Archive for the ‘Coupes’ Category

Germans, Japanese Struggle as Koreans Expand Lead in Power Initial Quality Study

Detroit automakers show strength, though industry, overall, stalls out.

by on Jun.19, 2019

While Porsche scored below average overall, the 911 was the highest-quality model in the 2019 IQS.

Once known for bargain-basement pricing and mediocre quality, Korean carmakers have not only moved up-market but shown that they can deliver industry-leading quality, or so it seems, based on the latest annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.

If anything, Kia, Hyundai and recently launched luxury brand Genesis are actually expanding their lead over the Japanese and European marques that had traditionally led the closely followed Power IQS. Genesis topped the 2019 chart, followed by Kia and Hyundai, followed by Detroit-based Ford and Lincoln. Japan managed to place only three brands in the IQS top 10, while not a single European brand scored above average.

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But the new study – which focuses on new cars, trucks and crossovers during their first 90 days on the road – also revealed that the quality of the latest models leveled off after scoring significant improvements through much of the past decade, according to Power. (more…)

“Framing John DeLorean” Misses Mark, Still Must-See Movie

Saga of fallen former GM executive makes for compelling viewing.

by on Jun.19, 2019

"Framing John DeLorean" chronicles the rise and fall of the former GM executives.

“Framing John DeLorean,” the new movie about the fallen auto executive, has an awkward title and cinema purists are likely to be put off by its mix of talking heads, bits from news film and videos and scenes re-acted by actors.

It almost seems that the producers of the film couldn’t find enough archival footage to do a documentary but had nowhere near enough money to hire actors and find the locations necessary to serve as back drop for DeLorean’s biography.

Beyond the Headlines!

But the film, with Alec Baldwin serving at the narrator and commentator, manages to succeed in telling the dramatic story of rise and fall a Detroit-born auto executive, who left his name on what has become an iconic vehicle with a unique place in American popular culture. (more…)

Nissan Recruits New Design Chief from Lincoln

Woodhouse helped to lead luxury brand's renaissance.

by on Jun.14, 2019

Dave Woodhouse played a key roll in Lincoln's renaissance and is now heading up Nissan North America's design team.

Nissan has hired away the top designer at the Lincoln brand from the Ford Motor Co. to serve as its new design chief in North America.

David Woodhouse, who has overseen Lincoln design during Ford’s recent efforts to revive the brand, will serve as vice president, Nissan Design America, Nissan announced.

Business News!

In this role, Woodhouse will lead all Nissan and Infiniti design activities in North America. He will also serve on the company’s Global Nissan Design Management Committee. (more…)

Exterior Airbags Could Save Lives of Passengers and Pedestrians

ZF bag automatically triggers ahead of an collision.

by on Jun.13, 2019

Auto supplier ZF has developed exterior airbags to help mitigate injuries to both vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians.

Today’s cars are loaded with smart safety systems, including technology like forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, designed to prevent crashes. But when a crash does occur, airbags can substantially reduce the risk for vehicle occupants.

Today’s airbags can pop out of all sorts of nooks and crannies, including the steering wheel, the instrument panel and a vehicle’s headliner. But ZF has unveiled a new airbag concept that is mounted outside the vehicle where it can be triggered in the milliseconds before a crash occurs, rather than after an impact already has taken place.

Safety News!

“Occupant safety is paramount when developing new vehicles for automated and autonomous driving,” said Michael Büchsner, head of ZF’s Passive Safety Systems Division. “Our concept of the pre-crash external side airbag is a great example of how ZF wants to achieve its Vision Zero, a world without accidents and emissions.” (more…)

Mercedes-AMG Unveils Most Powerful 4 Cylinder Ever

New powerplant puts out 416 horsepower.

by on Jun.07, 2019

Mercedes-AMG produced a new 416 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder: the most-powerful ever.

The days of anemic four-cylinder engines passed long ago, and most of us have had a chance to push a peppy four banger to its limits with a fair bit of enjoyment.

However, in recent years, the horsepower numbers have been creeping up to unprecedented levels surpassing 300 hp. Mercedes-Benz and its performance partner, AMG, have now taken it to a new level with its 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder that puts out 416 hp.

The Last Word!

The new figure is 40 hp more than the M133 engine it replaces. The M139 is now the new titleholder for most powerful four cylinder at 416-hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That engine is for the S-badged AMG. The lower trim, non-S model gets a 382 hp and 354 lb-ft four cylinder. (more…)

Auto Loans, Payments Reach Record Highs

New benchmarks set for new and used vehicles.

by on Jun.07, 2019

People are taking out bigger loans for their vehicles, and that means bigger payments: Both have reached record highs.

Despite the fact that automakers are selling fewer vehicles, they continue to make more money per sale because buyers are borrowing more and, as a result, paying more each month for those new vehicles.

The average amount borrowed to buy a new vehicle hit a record $32,187 during the first quarter, according to Experian, which tracks millions of auto loans each month. The trend has spilled over to used vehicles where the average loan also hit a record, $20,137.

Business News!

“We have not seen a slowdown in loan demand. In fact, volume for new and used loans is up from previous years,” said Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive financial solutions for Experian. (more…)

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 TheDetroitBureau.com, 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…)

Mini Electric Tows a 150-ton Boeing Jet

New commercial highlights new EV’s stump-pulling torque.

by on Jun.03, 2019

Need to tow a Boeing 777? Mini's new SE battery-electric model is clearly up to the task.

Tell most folks you want to buy an EV and they’ll likely picture a slow and stodgy vehicle that can barely get out of its way.

That image is changing, thanks to the Tesla Model S with Ludicrous Mode, as well as some of the new battery-electric supercars like the new Pininfarina Battista. But there were clearly some folks shocked when they realized what you could pull off stuffing an electric drive system inside a Mini.

News Now!

The British arm of BMW is kicking off an ad campaign teasing the all electric Mini Cooper SE it will launch later this year by showing it towing a 150-ton Boeing 777F freight jet at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. (more…)

U.S. New Vehicle Sales Tick Upward in May

Toyota and Fiat Chrysler led monthly sales surge.

by on Jun.03, 2019

Reid Bigland, FCA head of U.S. Sales, reported that the company's Ram division set a new sales record in May.

With Fiat Chrysler and Toyota leading the way, automakers surprised on the upside in May, posting modest sales increases for the month.

FCA, where overall sales increased 2%, reported setting three records in May, led by the Ram brand which notched its 12th consecutive monthly sales record as demand for both light-duty and heavy-duty pickup trucks remained strong.

News You Can Trust!

It was also the best May ever for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the highest level of May sales for the Dodge Charger in six years. Overall, total sales rose to 218,702 vehicles. Fleet represented 31% of total sales during the month. On a year-to-date basis, fleet accounted for 22% FCA of sales, the automaker reported. (more…)

Honda Sees Opportunity to Grow Car Sales in a Light Truck Market

Japanese automaker aims to pick up business abandoned by Detroit’s Big Three.

by on May.31, 2019

Honda's Henio Arcangeli continues to believe in a well-rounded product portfolio.

When Henio Arcangeli came to Detroit this week he might have stopped by the offices of Detroit’s Big Three to offer his thanks. As the senior vice president of the automobile division of American Honda Motor Co., Arcangeli is setting out to pick up some of the business General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler are giving up as they slash their passenger car line-ups.

It’s not that Honda is determined to ignore the rapid shift that has seen sales of SUVs, CUVs, pickups and other light trucks surge to 70% of the American new vehicle market so far this year, it’s just that the Japanese automaker thinks it can continue to grow demand for familiar sedans and coupes, like the Accord and Civic, while also adding more trucks to its own model mix.

The Last Word!

“We all know the narrative: Cars are dead and dying,” Arcangeli said Friday during a lunchtime presentation to the Automotive Press Association. “That’s certainly true for some, but not for us. Our story is a little different.”

(more…)