Archive for the ‘Convertibles’ Category

Renault Expected to Give Thumbs Up to FCA Marriage Proposal

Nissan upbeat, but cautious, according to report.

by on Jun.04, 2019

Any merger between FCA and Renault must protect France's hourly workforce, such as its Maubeuge plant, French government officials said.

Renault’s board will meet on Tuesday afternoon to pore over the merger proposal offered late last month by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and reports from Europe suggest the response will be a positive one.

Should the French automaker signal its approval it would surprise few, several observers told, considering the two companies had discussed the idea of a full merger for more than a month before the plan became public.

Global News!

But there are some potential obstacles to be overcome, including the existing ties between Renault and its long-time alliance partner Nissan, as well as Mitsubishi which entered the alliance several years ago. But the two Japanese automakers also appear to be signaling cautious approval for the deal that would create the world’s third-largest automaker – and largest automotive group. (more…)

Power, LMC Predicting 2.1 Percent Drop in May Auto Sales

Power, LMC Predicting 2.1 Percent Drop in May Auto Sales

by on May.28, 2019

New vehicle sales are expected to fall 2.1% compared with last May's results.

May is expected to see the continuation of falling monthly auto sales in the U.S. that the industry has seen for the first four months of the year with a decline of 2.1%, according a new estimate.

Higher prices for new vehicles are largely to blame, according to analysts at J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, who also predicted a 3.1% slide in retail sales for May down to 1.23 million units and 1.56 million, including fleet and other sales, units overall.

Sales News!

The expected bump in sales over Memorial Day weekend isn’t likely to offset earlier declines in the month as vehicle prices combined with higher interest rates are still combining to shut some potential buyers out. Dealers often put out for special sales on the long holiday weekend. This year was no exception and manufacturers were backing those efforts with some big discounts, and a return of several 0% financing deals. (more…)

Zetsche Takes Well-Earned Bow as He Leaves Daimler

Dr. Z could be back in a couple years though.

by on May.24, 2019

Dieter Zetsche leaves the podium at his final Daimler shareholders meeting with a simple wave.

Just like that it was over.

By the time, the annual Daimler AG shareholders meeting wrapped up Wednesday evening, Dieter Zetsche’s long, remarkable career with the German automaker had come to an end.

Global News!

Unlike his high-profile contemporaries in the car business, Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan Renault chieftain, whose career ended ignominiously with an arrest in Japan last November, and Sergio Marchionne, who died last summer after keeping a deadly illness a secret, Zetsche even got to take a bow at the annual meeting to sustained applause from Daimler shareholders. (more…)

Behind the Scenes: How Toyota and BMW Teamed up to Develop New Z4, Supra

You can't cost-cut your way to a world-class sports car.

by on May.13, 2019

Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer for the 2020 Toyota GR Supra flashes a thumbs-up during the sports car's first media drive.

(This story has been corrected to reflect the proper spelling of Supra Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada.)

The call came as a surprise. The chief engineer overseeing Toyota’s joint venture with Subaru that resulted in the 86 sports car, Tetsuya Tada was attending a media event in Barcelona when he was asked to jump on a flight for Munich seven years ago this month.

“Don’t tell anybody,” his boss said, and didn’t give Tada himself much to go on, beyond advising him there would be a car waiting at the airport. Once he arrived, the Toyota veteran learned he was being driven over to BMW headquarters, putting into motion one of the most unusual alliances in the history of either manufacturer.

Beyond the Headlines!

Almost seven years to the day after that first meeting, Tada is sharing a dinner in suburban Washington, D.C. and, for the first time, revealing the back story of what eventually became the 2020 Toyota GR Supra – as well as the new BMW Z4.


First Drive: 2020 Toyota Supra

Are sports car fines likely to debate its merits? Probably, but the new Supra was well worth the wait.

by on May.12, 2019

The 2020 Supra was born of an unusual collaboration between Toyota and BMW.

It’s easy to feel intimidated at Summit Point Motorsports Park. The Shenandoah Circuit is an undulating, 2-mile course that sends you ping-ponging from one blind corner to another, rising and falling over the rocky West Virginia landscape. But it was as close to perfect a place to get my first ride in the all-new 2020 Toyota Supra as I could imagine.

It’s been 21-years since the last Toyota to wear that badge appeared in U.S. showrooms. Rumors of Supra’s revival have been circulating ever since. We got a hint that something really might be in the works five years ago when the Japanese automaker revealed the striking FT-1 concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Reviews You Can Trust!

The show car was anything but the sort of plain vanilla product Toyota has become known for, it’s long nose and sweeping roofline embodying the “passion” that Akio Toyoda has been crying out for since being named Toyota president and CEO in 2009. But the question was whether the Japanese automaker would actually ever put the FT-1 into production. Coming up with an answer became even more iffy in the years that followed, as new car buyers around the world began to migrate from sedans, coupes and sports car to SUVs, CUVs and pickups.


Ferrari Set to Reveal New Hybrid Supercar this Month

“Top-of-the-line performance…and a true beauty,” promises CEO.

by on May.10, 2019

The LaFerrari showed that hybrid power could deliver high levels of performance.

It’s been a while since Ferrari first dropped the hint that it would add a new hybrid to its line-up and now, according to CEO Louis Camilleri, we’ll be getting to see it before the end of this month.

The hybrid will be one of five new models coming from the Maranello-based manufacturer, said the chief executive, and there are some signs more than one of these products will rely on an electrified boost to performance. But that should surprise fewer and fewer Ferrari fans considering the broad push towards battery propulsion in the supercar and hypercar segments.

The Last Word!

We’re hearing plenty of rumors about the hybrid coming this month, including the comment Camilleri dropped during a conference call to discuss the brand’s first-quarter earnings. According to the chief executive, “It will be a top-of-the-line hybrid with supercar performance and a true beauty.”


New Corvette Stalling Sales of the New Corvette

Fans waiting for the mid-engine C8, slowing C7 sales.

by on May.06, 2019

General Motors is adding a second shift and more than 400 hourly jobs at its Bowling Green (Kentucky) Assembly plant in preparation for the C8 Corvette.

The new Corvette is the best ever — and no one wants one.

Well, perhaps not no one, but with the news confirming that the eighth-generation, mid-engine ’Vette is due to arrive later this year, sale of the America’s sports car are fading even faster than they have for the past few years.

Beyond the Headlines!

Corvette sales hit their high-water mark at about 37,000 in the U.S. in 2006. (more…)

GM Updates Chevy Camaro’s Appearance for 2020 Model

New look design to spur lagging sales.

by on May.06, 2019

The 2020 Camaro SS sports an updated new front fascia derived from the 2019 SEMA concept car.

Chevrolet is planning to change up the appearance of the 2020 Camaro due out next fall with a new front-end appearance for the SS model as well as a new LT1 V-8 performance model at a relatively modest price.

Other changes promised for 2020 include a making a 10-speed-automatic transmission available with the 3.6-liter V6 used in the 2020 Camaro line-up.

Product News!

“Customers spoke, and we listened,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet passenger car and crossover marketing. “The overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Shock’s stylized design helped prompt its transition from concept to production.” (more…)

Nissan Adds Another Nail to Convertible Coffin with Plans to Kill 370Z Roadster

Choice of ragtops growing increasingly thin.

by on May.02, 2019

Nissan will still offer the Z Roadster overseas, but it's dropping the ragtop in the U.S. due to slow sales.

Nissan is pulling the plug on its 370Z Roadster at the end of the 2019 model-year, the Japanese automaker has confirmed, marking the end of one of the brand’s most iconic offerings.

The good news for roadster fans is that the coupe version of the sports car will remain in production indefinitely – which doesn’t mean it will last forever, just that there are no current plans to once again remove it from the line-up.

Product News!

The 370Z Roadster joined the Z Coupe after it was returned to the Nissan family in 2009, part of the automaker’s turnaround program. Its demise comes as automakers rethink their passenger car strategies and, in particular, cull their slow-selling convertible offerings.


April Sales Sag a Bit as Tough Conditions Continue

Sales hurt by higher interest rates and prices.

by on May.01, 2019

The 2020 Subaru Outback kept the automaker's consistent sales increases chugging along in April.

Nissan and Subaru posted sales increases during April, but Fiat Chrysler and Toyota sales fell in April as deliveries of new vehicles continued drop under pressure from rising prices and higher interest rates.

For Subaru of America, April was another solid month with a 7.7% increase compared with April 2018, and the best April in the history of the company. The automaker also reported year-to-date sales of 214,042, a 5.5% gain compared with the same period in 2018.

Sales News!

“April saw another Subaru monthly sales record and the reveal of our all-new 2020 Subaru Outback at the New York International Auto Show, both strong indicators of a record sales year to come,” said Thomas J. Doll, Subaru of America president. “And thanks to the amazing efforts of our retailers, both the current Outback and new Forester maintained a very strong sales pace in a highly competitive marketplace.” (more…)