Archive for the ‘Asia Pacific’ Category

Volvo Bringing Ambience to its Newest Beijing Concept

Company's latest concept builds off S90 Excellence.

by on Apr.23, 2018

Volvo's newest debut, the S90 Ambience Concept, is based off last year's S90 Excellence.

Volvo newest concept for the Beijing Auto Show continues to show the company’s focus on the wants, needs and desires of the world’s largest luxury vehicle market: China. The S90 Ambience Concept is based on the S90 Excellence from last year.

The company describes the Ambience Concept as “an industry-first sensory experience that synchronizes visuals, sound and scent to redefine in-car luxury.”

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In short, that means passengers can personalize the Ambience Concept’s interior atmosphere or feel using a smartphone app. Users can choose from one of seven visual theme that are linked to audio and scents. (more…)

Wage Deal in Hand, GM Abandons Threat to Put Korean Ops in Bankruptcy

But questions remain about the unit’s long-term prognosis.

by on Apr.23, 2018

With concessions from unions, GM believes it has a deal in place to keep GM Korea from bankruptcy.

General Motors today reached a tentative agreement with its South Korean labor union, a move that is expected to keep the automaker from putting its Korean subsidiary in bankruptcy – though it still is waiting for a final decision on a bailout from the Korea Development Bank.

Faced with plunging sales and rising costs, GM earlier this year announced it would close one of four Korean assembly plants and warned it could seek the Korean equivalent of Chapter 11 protection if it didn’t get a deal from workers and support from the KDB, which owns a 17% stake in GM Korea.

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“The labor union has demonstrated its commitment and we continue to work with our other key stakeholders to gain their support,” GM Korea CEO Kaher Kazem said in a statement, noting that ratification of the tentative agreement is “critical” to achieving additional support from shareholders and the Korean government. (more…)

Images of Mercedes-Maybach Ultra-Lux SUV Leak Ahead of Beijing Debut

“Vision Ultimate Luxury concept” set to make official debut on April 24.

by on Apr.23, 2018

The Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Concept is ready to make its mark in Beijing.

Just days ahead of its official debut at the Beijing Motor Show – and shortly after an official teaser video was released – we’ve gotten our hands on leaked images of the Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury concept.

Unlike several recent Maybach prototypes, the show car set to debut in Beijing on April 24 appears to be giving us a good sense of what the ultra-premium brand eventually will bring to bring to market – a production SUV set to take on the likes of the Bentley Bentayga and the upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

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And reflecting the choice of venues Maybach has chosen – China is ramping up rules calling for more zero-emission vehicles, the Ultimate Luxury Concept uses an all-electric drivetrain delivering power through four individual electric motors developing a total of 738 horsepower which Maybach will suggest can punch the show car up to 155 mph. (more…)

Japanese Surge Reveals Broader Jump in Auto Imports

Rising numbers from Japan, Mexico, Korea, China challenge Trump 

by on Apr.20, 2018

Demand for the latest version of Nissan's Rogue has contributed to an increase in imports from Japan.

When Toyota and Mazda open a new assembly plant in Alabama in 2021, it will become the latest in a growing array of automotive plants Japanese manufacturers have set up in the U.S. since the mid-1980s – yet despite investing billions in their American operations, Japanese manufacturers have also been increasing exports to the U.S. from their home market factories.

The number of Japanese-made vehicles imported into the U.S. rose almost 10% during the first quarter of 2018. And Japan wasn’t alone.  Auto imports, as a whole have actually been on the rise, whether from Korea, Europe or Mexico, the latter country shipping about 7.5% more vehicles to the U.S. in March than the year before – despite Pres. Donald Trump’s high-profile push to bring more auto production back to the States.

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“Japan sends us million and millions of cars, and we tax them virtually not at all. And we don’t send so much product because we have trade barriers and lots of other things,” the president complained during a news conference this week while standing alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

(more…)

Mercedes-Benz Kicks Off Production of A-Class

New compact car to built in Hungary as well as Germany.

by on Apr.20, 2018

Dieter Zetsche introduces the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class wagon and sedan in Amsterdam.

During the last few years, Mercedes-Benz has followed a dual strategy, promoting its high-end luxury cars while expanding into the compact segments as it overtakes key rivals such as BMW and Audi.

Mercedes is now building the new A-Class at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt, some 60 miles from the headquarters of its parent company, Daimler AG, in Stuttgart, Germany. The A-Class is also scheduled to roll off the assembly line at the Mercedes-Benz plant Kecskemét, Hungary, in just a few weeks.

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“Mercedes-Benz Cars starts an unprecedented ramp-up cascade with the A-Class. In our global production network, we can ramp-up the production of our vehicles in proven top quality and supply the global market even faster. Using modern industry 4.0 technologies our plants are becoming even more flexible and efficient,” said Markus Schäfer, member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production & Supply Chain. (more…)

Brand boss de Nysschen out in Shake-Up at Cadillac

Move comes at launch of critical new products.

by on Apr.18, 2018

Johan de Nysschen, now former Caddy chief, said in New York last month Caddy's upcoming product lines could double current sales.

Just weeks after presiding over the debut of two critical new products, the CT6 V-Sport sedan and XT4 sport-utility vehicle, Johan de Nysschen is out as the head of the Cadillac brand, replaced by Steve Carlisle, a fast-track executive credited with major turnarounds for parent General Motors in Canada and Thailand.

With extensive experience in the global luxury car market, including stints with BMW, Audi and Infiniti, de Nysschen laid out broad plans for Cadillac’s revival after joining the brand in 2014. That ranged from additions to its product portfolio to the decision to move Caddy from Detroit to New York City to give it more distance from the parent company and put it at the center of one of the country’s biggest luxury car markets. But several sources suggested senior GM management was growingly increasingly concerned about Caddy’s weak performance in its home market.

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“We appreciate Johan’s efforts over the last four years in setting a stronger foundation for Cadillac,” said General Motors President Dan Ammann, who helped lure de Nysschen from Infiniti to Cadillac. “Looking forward, the world is changing rapidly, and, beginning with the launch of the new XT4, it is paramount that we capitalize immediately on the opportunities that arise from this rate of change. This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regard.” (more…)

Walking a Tightrope: Ford Trying to Please All with New Mustang Variants

The original pony car continues to draw new fans.

by on Apr.18, 2018

The Ford Mustang is celebrating 54 years, and the current best-selling sports car in the world intends to remain so.

(This story has been updated with new information.)

You can’t stand still in the muscle car market. What’s hot today could be all but forgotten tomorrow. That’s something Ford Motor Co. learned when rival General Motors brought back the Chevrolet Camaro in 2010, delivering a sucker punch to the long-dominant Ford Mustang.

Since launching an all-new version of the Mustang to mark the nameplate’s 50th anniversary four years ago, Ford has retaken its crown as king of the pony car hill. It has now been the world’s best-selling sports car for three years in a row.

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And Ford is determined to maintain that lead with a series of Mustang variants set to come to market during the next 18 months. That includes not only the latest version of the GT500 but a first-ever Mustang hybrid. (more…)

Model 3 Production Halt Raises New Worries About Tesla

Automaker wants to “improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks.”

by on Apr.17, 2018

Tesla is shutting down its plant temporarily to resolve production problems that have delayed Model 3 production.

Tesla is temporarily idling its troubled Fremont, California assembly plant for as long as five days, the automaker has confirmed, in order to “improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks.”

The factory, originally built by General Motors, is Tesla’s only automotive manufacturing facility and currently produces the company’s three battery-electric vehicles, the Models S, X and 3. The latter EV is Tesla’s first “affordable,” long-range vehicle and is meant to push the company into the mainstream – and its balance sheet into the black.

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But the factory has been in what CEO Elon Musk calls “production hell” since the first Model 3 rolled off the line last July, running up unexpected deficits and leading some to question the company’s very survival. (more…)

Geely’s Li Shufu Says Partnerships Key to Auto Success

Team up or get swallowed up.

by on Apr.17, 2018

Geely Chairman Li Khufu purchased 9.7% of Daimler AG for $9.2 billion.

Geely owner Li Shufu urged Daimler AG, in which he recently became one of the largest shareholders, to consider further strategic partnerships.

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Li Shufu, who is also the owner of Volvo, recently became a major shareholder of Daimler after acquiring a 9.69 % stake in the Stuttgart-based company. (more…)

Mustang: World’s Best-Selling Sports Car for Third Year in a Row

Exports to Asia and Europe pushing pony car to the top.

by on Apr.17, 2018

The Ford Mustang is the world's best-selling sports car three years running.

When the Ford Mustang turned 50, the automaker decided it was time to see just how popular the pony car was, and it began selling one of America’s first muscle cars globally.

Turned out to be a fine idea.

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Now that the Mustang is about to turn the big Five-Four, it is also celebrating its third consecutive year as the best-selling sports car in the world, according to IHS Markit. Global Mustang registrations in 2017 totaled 125,809 cars, according to Ford. (more…)

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