Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

BMW Adds Gran Coupe Version of 8-Series

Bigger, roomier and now offered with new Inline-six.

by on Jun.19, 2019

The 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is the Bavarian maker's latest coupe-like sedan.

BMW has pulled the wraps off a new sedan version of its 8-Series. Oops, make that a Gran Coupe version, the distinctive moniker the Bavarian maker is using for four-door versions of its coupes.

Though it picks up on the basic shape of the two-door 8-Series model, which launched just a year ago, the Gran Coupe is longer, taller, wider and roomier. It’s also being offered with a new, inline-six engine, as well as the 523-horsepower twin-turbo V-8 found in the two-door version of the 8-Series.

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Set to start at just over $85,000 when it reaches U.S. showrooms next autumn, the 2018 8-Series Gran Coupe can push well over six figures with options such as performance tires, a carbon fiber roof, night vision, and a 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system. (more…)

Tesla Stock Rebounds, But Questions Remain About Production

Musk fires up troops to break production record.

by on Jun.18, 2019

Tesla's stock rallied in early morning trading, but by the end of the day, it gave back most of its gains.

After plunging last month to levels not seen since 2016, Tesla shares have been rebounding in recent days. And though a Tuesday morning rally wound up the day in negative territory by the time the final bell was rung, shares are still up more than 4% in recent days, giving the battery-carmaker a bit of a respite.

But whether the upturn will continue is far from certain, with analysts and investors anxiously waiting to see how Tesla’s second-quarter production and sales numbers fare. The automaker fell well short of its first quarter target, driving its bottom line deep into the red. CEO Elon Musk has signaled that the losses likely will continue for the current quarter, but he has also indicated that production and sales have been picking up.

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Separately, Tesla bulls appear relieved by the 47-year-old entrepreneur’s newfound caution when it comes to using his Twitter . Musk has found himself in serious trouble on several occasions over the past year due to his tendency to say whatever comes to mind in his steady flow of tweets. Among other things, that has led to his removal as Tesla chairman and it had earlier this year raised the prospect he might also be forced out as CEO. (more…)

First Drive: 2020 Ford Explorer

New model is roomier, more rugged than predecessor.

by on Jun.18, 2019

The 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum edition is bigger, roomier and more powerful than its predecessor.

Since starting life as something of an experiment by Ford Motor Co’s product planners more three decades ago, the Explorer has become one of the company’s major sources of revenue.

The Explorer might not have a following as large as the F-150 but the fan base is large enough and diverse enough to extend the line to satisfy an even broader range of customers with the sixth-generation Explorer that is beginning to reach dealers across the U.S. now.

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The 2020 Explorer is larger, roomier, more power powerful and equipped with more technology than its predecessors. It’s also engineered to be more rugged and both the hybrid and XLT – the expected volume leader – versions of the 2020 Explorer that I drove easily mastered the short off-road course, which included steep downhill and uphill grades as well as a sweeping curve with a steep bank that I doubt very much previous generations of the Explorer could have handled. (more…)

Chevy Could Be First to Deliver $100,000 Pickup

Demand for pickups of all sizes, prices, defies overall U.S. sales downturn, says truck marketing chief.

by on Jun.18, 2019

Chevrolet is investing heavily into its plants to keep up with demand for its heavy-duty trucks.

The U.S. automotive market is expected to post only its second downturn since the end of the Great Recession, a decline that likely would be worse if not for surging demand for pickups of all sizes and price points, said Sandor Piszar, the marketing chief for Chevrolet trucks.

If anything, Chevy and sibling brand GMC are struggling to meet demand for their latest line-up of midsize, full-size and heavy-duty pickups, Piszar noted during an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com, a situation that last week led parent General Motors to announce a $150 million expansion of its truck plant in Flint, Michigan.

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As always, demand is being driven by the “core” audience who want trucks for work and need lots of towing and cargo capacity, said Piszar. But there’s a growing market among non-traditional buyers who see a pickup as an alternative to a sedan or coupe and, in many cases, a luxury car. And those buyers “are demanding more” high-line features while also accepting fast-rising transaction prices. Chevy moved up-market with is latest trim level, the Silverado High Country. But it is exploring the potential to reach even higher, a move that could see it offer the first truck to top the $100,000 mark. (more…)

Toyota’s Gazoo Racing Teases Planned Hypercar

Street and track versions under development.

by on Jun.17, 2019

Toyota is in the midst of developing a hypercar for both the track and the road that will race in the 2020/2021 season.

Toyota is bound and determined to prove everything you thought you knew about the company is wrong, especially if that included words like “boring,” and “plain vanilla.” Fresh on the heels of its successful effort at the the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as its revival of the Supra model, the Japanese giant is giving us a hint of the hypercar it is developing for both track and street.

It’s not far away, either, with Toyota promising its most powerful model ever will be “on the grid” during the 2020/2021 World Endurance Championship series.

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“Both road and race car are undergoing design and intensive development at the company’s technical centers in Toyota City, Higashi-Fuji and Cologne,” the automaker said in a release. It has also noted that president Akio Toyoda – the guy who keeps demanding more “passion” from the company – has himself spent some time test driving the as yet-unnamed hypercar. (more…)

Toyota Announces New Features for 2020 Model-Year Line-Up

Safety is focus of new upgrades.

by on Jun.14, 2019

For the 2020 model year, the Toyota plans to offer some upgrades across most of its vehicle line-up.

When Toyota Motor North America rolls out its vehicle line-up for the 2020 model year, they’ll sport two new features: Automatic Engine Shut Off and Automatic Park, as well as have options for a few others.

Starting with 2020 model year vehicles, Toyota will phase in an automatic park system, which is designed to help reduce the risk of roll-away vehicles. The feature will be available in vehicles with an electronic means of shifting and/or applying the parking brake.

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It will automatically shift the vehicle into the “park” position and/or apply the electronic parking brake, in the event the driver exits the vehicle without placing the vehicle in “park,” Toyota officials said. (more…)

Looking for a Vehicle? The Used Car Lot May be Best Bet

Low-mileage off-lease vehicles hitting used car lots.

by on Jun.14, 2019

Used car lots may be the way to go for buyers looking for a good deal, Edmunds says.

For those in the market for a replacement vehicle, marching past the new car showroom over to the used car lot is looking more and more like the smarter play, claim some industry experts.

According to Edmunds analysts, a deluge of lightly used, lower-mileage vehicles are coming off lease and filling used car lots. Edmunds experts also note that these used vehicles are not that old, they comprise the styles, i.e. sport-utilities, crossovers and trucks, that new vehicle buyers are after.

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They also have many of the technology features that buyers want in their vehicles these days, the group noted. (more…)

GM Rams $150 Million into Flint Plant to Up HD Truck Production

Move marks second big truck investment in a month.

by on Jun.12, 2019

General Motors President Mark Reuss touted the "opportunities" available to the company with the $150 million investment the Flint Assembly plant.

General Motors is in the business of building trucks and if the company’s move to invest $150 million into its truck plant in Flint, Michigan, is any indication, business is good.

Just last month, the company announced plans to invest $24 million into its Ft. Wayne, Indiana plant to help expand its light-duty truck production. Today’s announcement is to ramp up production of GM’s heavy-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

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“We have tremendous opportunities to grow our heavy-duty pickup business, because we’ve invested in capability, performance, innovation and capacity,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. (more…)

First Look: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB 250

A small SUV with room for seven.

by on Jun.11, 2019

Mercedes-Benz had a gap in its utility line-up between the GLA and GLC. There isn't one anymore with the debut of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB.

There’s a war out there among luxury automakers, the Germans, in particular, determined to fire a new model into every possible bit of “white space.” Nowhere is that more apparent than over in Stuttgart where Mercedes-Benz has rolled out an array of new offerings, including its first long-range all-electric model, the EQC, which was previewed at the New York International Auto Show a couple months back.

Now, Mercedes has pulled the wraps off yet another significant new offering: the even more downsized GLB, which was previewed at an event in Utah overnight. Slotted in-between the GLA and GLC models, the downsized crossover appears to have plenty going for it, including an array of tech features that should appeal to young buyers. But there’s another surprising . Despite its diminutive footprint, the GLB manages to offer seating for up to seven passengers.

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It’s the first three-row offering from the Stuttgart-based automaker in this segment and, considering the market demand for seven-seaters, could gain a leg up on its two-row competition. (more…)

Tesla Workers Less Keen on EV Maker than Last Year

EV maker not sweating the satisfaction slide.

by on Jun.10, 2019

Tesla took 5,000 orders for the Model 3 last week, Musk said, but ultimately its production goal is 10,000 a week.

Tesla employees expressed concerned about layoffs and executive losses in back to Glassdoor.com.

Tesla Inc.’s employees aren’t enjoying their jobs as much as they once did citing concerns about potential layoffs, executive turnover and changing corporate strategy, according to two job websites that track these rankings.

The Palo Alto, California-based EV maker placed 16th on LinkedIn’s annual “Top Companies 2019” list, which came out in April. That’s a significant decline from its fifth-place spot last year and sixth place in 2017.

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Meanwhile, Tesla’s overall company rating at Glassdoor.com fell to 3.2 out of 5.0 stars based on reviews written in the first quarter of this year. That’s down from its high-water mark of 3.6 in 2017, according to historical data compiled by Glassdoor at Reuters’ request. The average rating of the nearly 1 million employers reviewed on the site is 3.4.  (more…)


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