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Automakers Caught “In Limbo” As New CAFE Rules Face Major Legal Hurdles

Anticipated court battle could delay changes for years.

by on Aug.03, 2018

Automakers are caught in the middle over the CAFE debate and could face even more challenges if the proposed Trump rollback drags on in court.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the Trump Administration’s plan to roll back the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, automakers are finding themselves in what one long-time industry analyst calls “limbo,” and it could be a year or more before they’ll actually be able to incorporate the CAFE update into their plans due to anticipated legal challenges.

As a result, it could be well into the upcoming decade before the White House revisions actually have any significant impact, according to numerous industry executives who spoke to TheDetroitBureau.com, if any changes ever actually occur.

Insight!

There is the very real possibility that the courts could rule against the proposed changes or that the legal battle drags on long enough for a new administration to come into office and revert back to the guidelines established under the Obama White House. As a result, automakers and suppliers face a major conundrum when it comes to planning for products set to come out through the middle of the coming decade.

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Toyota Motor Reports Increased Q1 Profits

Strong sales in U.S. and cost-cutting efforts pave way to profits.

by on Aug.03, 2018

Toyota's Masayoshi Shirayanagi noted that increased trade tensions and U.S. tariffs will eat into Toyota's bottom line.

Toyota Motor Corp. rode a wave of increased sales and decreased costs to a 7.2% increase in net income in its fiscal first quarter of 2018. Revenues also increased 4.5% during the quarter.

The company also announced it was ending its partnership with Isuzu Motor Ltd. The companies built diesel engines, but with oil burners falling out of favor, replaced by EVs and potentially fuel cells down the road, the two sides will split.

We Keep You In the Know!

Toyota owns a 5.89% stake in Isuzu. (more…)

Genesis Tops JD Power APEAL Survey

Korean up-start topples luxury mainstays, but Detroit mainstream brands also gain ground.

by on Jul.25, 2018

The Genesis brand aced another test, a month ago also topping Power's IQS.

Genesis, the upstart Korean luxury brand, has pulled off another surprise, this time landing the top spot in the 2018 J.D. Power APEAL study, surpassing such traditional highline brands as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.

It’s the latest in a series of coups by Genesis, which was spun off by Hyundai just two years ago. And it comes barely a month after the Korean marque also landed in the top spot on Power’s widely followed In initial Quality Survey. But there were some other surprises in the APEAL report which measures how well individual brands and models are satisfying their owners. Mainstream brands, notably including some Detroit marques, are rapidly gaining ground on the luxury badges that have traditionally led in customer satisfaction.

Beyond the Headlines!

But the industry, as a whole, achieved record levels in the 2018 APEAL study – the name short for “Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout” – the second year in a row that has happened.

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Toyota Adding New Edition of 86 for 2019

Small racer now comes in three trim levels.

by on Jul.24, 2018

Toyota added a third version of the 86 to its portfolio: the 86 TRD Special Edition.

Toyota plans to offer a new edition of the its 2+2 rear-wheel drive coupe, the Toyota 86.

The Toyota 86, with its impressive power-to-weight stats and superb balance and feel, gains an even sharper edge through its newest grade — the limited-production 86 TRD Special Edition.

Product News!

Two existing grades – 86 and 86 GT – complete the 86 range, and offer a wide variety of standard amenities, including the choice of a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. (more…)

Detroit Auto Show Moving to June in 2020, Adding Major New Features

Sponsors aim to revive what's been North America’s leading car show.

by on Jul.23, 2018

Toyota Pres. Akio Toyota is shown here revealing the 2019 Camry during this year's NAIAS.

The North American International Auto Show will move from January to June in 2020, a new timeslot that organizers are betting will help revive the flagging momentum of what had long been one of the industry’s most important annual events.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association had signaled its intention of abandoning its traditional, mid-winter schedule, though a switch to October was also under study. But that would have conflicted with other shows in Europe and Asia, the dealer group’s Executive Director Rod Alberts told TheDetroitBureau.com in an exclusive interview.

We Keep You In the Know!

In a background briefing ahead of today’s official announcement, Alberts said one of the advantages of a summer event is the ability to add new functions that expand beyond the confines of Detroit’s sprawling Cobo Hall convention center. “We realized we have to change the show (and) showcase Detroit, too,” said Alberts, who has been running the DADA for the past 28 years.

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Musk Denies a Quarter of Model 3 Orders Were Cancelled – But Reveals New Worry

Order rate, he reveals, has fallen behind increase in production.

by on Jul.20, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk denied claims in a recent analyst report suggesting that nearly a quarter of all Model 3 orders have been cancelled.

Elon Musk has dismissed as “bs” a report that suggested a growing number of advanced reservations for the Model 3 battery-car are being cancelled.

The recent report from investment bank Needham & Co. isn’t the first to raise that prospect, which could make it difficult for Tesla to achieve its promised profit for the second half of 2018. Needham’s Rajvindra Gill joined a growing chorus of analysts this week in downgrading Tesla shares, triggering another dip in the stock, traded as TSLA.

“Dunno where this bs is coming from,” CEO Musk said in a Thursday night tweet – but by trying to support the idea that there’s still strong demand for the Model 3, the South African-born executive actually may have sent a signal that Tesla is facing longer-term problems. Musk indicated Tesla received 5,000 orders for the Model 3 last week, but that’s actually less than the production target for the battery-car in the months to come.

The Last Word!

According to a report Needham issued Thursday, 24% of the estimated 400,000 original Model 3 reservations have been cancelled. That’s slightly higher than the 20% figure reported by data tracking site SecondMeasure in June. Each reservation is accompanied by a $1,000 deposit, so, if Needham is right, Tesla has had to refund more than $100 million and risk the loss of perhaps $4 billion or more in sales.

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Magna Building New BMW Z4, Toyota Supra

New vehicles to be produced in Austria.

by on Jul.05, 2018

Toyota Supra Racing Concept is the basis for the new Supra that will be built by Magna Steyr.

Magna Steyr has received the contract to build the new sports cars developed jointly by BMW and Toyota.

Magna has confirmed its that it has signed a contract with BMW and Toyota to produce the new BMW Z4/Toyota Supra starting at the end of 2018. It said that production of the new BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra will be added to its production line in Graz, Austria, after upgrades to the production line are complete.

News You Can Trust!

Although, the production levels for the Z4/Supra are expected to be relatively modest the added output will further drive Magna to reach its production capacity of 200,000 units in early 2019, analysts said.  (more…)

Every Car Sold in the U.S. is an “Import”

Tariffs would impact even “American-made” vehicles.

by on Jul.03, 2018

The Honda Odyssey is one of the most "American" cars but will still be hit by tariffs.

Every single car, truck or crossover sold in the U.S. would be affected by the 25% import tariff being proposed by Pres. Donald Trump, with prices on some models rising by tens of thousands of dollars.

That’s because even vehicles assembled in the U.S. rely on some level of imported parts and components, whether in their suspension, infotainment systems or powertrains.

Beyond the Headlines!

Complicating matters, American-made auto parts and vehicles could become more expensive, and lose their competitive edge, if trade partners enact their own tariffs in response, something a number of them have now threatened to do.

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Japan Warns Tariffs Put Global Free Trade “At Great Risk”

100s of thousands of U.S. jobs at Japanese carmakers may vanish.

by on Jun.29, 2018

Employees at Nissan's Canton, Mississippi, plant and other Japanese-owned U.S. plants could see their jobs threatened by new tariffs, Japan warned on Friday.

The Japanese government is the latest to weigh in on the potential dangers posed by the Trump Administration’s threatened trade tariffs on not only the global economy but U.S. jobs.

Warning that the White House’s proposed 25% tariff puts global free trade “at great risk,” a report issued by the Japanese government on Friday said such a move could backfire, threatening to “eventually undermine the entire U.S. economy” by, among other things costing the jobs of hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.

The Last Word!

The Japanese report echoed the findings of another analysis of the auto tariffs’ impact, the Peterson Institute for International Economics estimating that anywhere from 195,000 to as many as 624,000 U.S. jobs could be lost, the higher figure reflecting what would happen if trade partners retaliate.

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Lexus Order Fire-Related Recall as Feds Probe Hyundai, Kia, Tesla Fire Concerns

Nearly 2 million vehicles involved in recalls, probes.

by on Jun.27, 2018

The Lexus recall covers a number of models, including the 2010 IS350C convertible.

Toyota’s high-linen Lexus brand today said it will recall 121,000 vehicles because fuel leaks in the engine compartment could lead to a fire.

The announcement came about the same time the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advised a senior member of Congress that it is expanding a probe of engine problems with Hyundai and Kia vehicles that may also result in fires. And, as TheDetroitBureau.com reported earlier Wednesday, NHTSA is exploring reports that battery packs that have caught fire in Tesla vehicles have proved more difficult than expected to put out.

Breaking News!

The recall involving Lexus products covers four different products, 2006 through 2013 IS350 sedans, as well as the 2010 through 2014 IS350C, and the 2007 through 2011 GS350 and GS450h. All shared the same 3.5-liter gasoline powertrain.

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