Archive for the ‘China’ Category

China Suspends Punitive Tariffs on US During Negotiations

Tariff halt is for three months.

by on Dec.14, 2018

Chinese fans of American cars can rejoice – if only for three months – as the extra 25% tariff on autos has been suspended.

Shortly after the U.S. and China declared a truce, China put forth a goodwill gesture, announcing it will temporarily suspend additional 25% tariff on U.S.-made vehicles and auto parts starting Jan. 1, 2019.

The 25% tariff came oddly enough just after China reduced the levy to 15% earlier this year, but when President Donald Trump decided to increase tariffs on China, the country immediately pushed it back up to 40%.

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The Ministry of Finance, in a statement on its website, the two sides can expedite talks to remove all additional tariffs on each other’s goods. For now, the suspension will last for three months. The impact in some places was immediate. (more…)

Infiniti Teases Electric Crossover Ahead of 2019 Detroit Auto Show

“An illustration of where we want to go with the brand.”

by on Dec.14, 2018

Infiniti is providing a glimpse of its first all-electric crossover concept, which it plans to debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

Infiniti has a history of telegraphing its future with a series of intriguing auto show concept vehicles – and we can expect that to happen once again next month as it pulls the wraps off an electric crossover concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The prototype will carry forward the striking and well-received Prototype 10 and Q Inspiration concepts the Japanese luxury brand unveiled over the past year. And it appears quite likely to tease not only an upcoming battery vehicle but an all-new EV architecture that will be used for a variety of future Infiniti models.

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“The concept car we will show in Detroit is the beginning of a new era for Infiniti, and an illustration of where we want to go with the brand,” said Executive Design Director Karim Habib. “Electrification and other new technologies have given us the opportunity to evolve our design philosophy.” (more…)

Trump Takes Swipes at GM, Barra about EV Strategy

President claims EV strategy is flawed.

by on Dec.13, 2018

GM CEO Barra and President Donald Trump during better days. Trump called Barra "nasty" during an interview on Fox News today.

President Donald Trump is like a dog with a bone when it comes to General Motors and CEO Mary Barra today again taking swipes at the company and its product strategy as well as Barra herself.

On an appearance on Fox News, Trump said the company’s focus on shifting to electric vehicles is poorly conceived and won’t work.

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“They’ve changed the whole model of General Motors. They’ve gone to all-electric. All-electric is not going to work … It’s wonderful to have it as a percentage of your cars, but going into this model that she’s doing I think is a mistake,” Trump said.  (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Toyota Prius AWD

Less quirkiness, more practicality.

by on Dec.13, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Prius comes in an all-wheel drive model that should stimulate sales in cold-weather environs.

When the original Toyota Prius first rolled into U.S. showrooms nearly 20 years ago it promised to transform the auto industry, delivering the sort of fuel economy numbers that seemed all but impossible at the time. Never mind the hatchback’s quirky styling – or perhaps because of it – the Prius quickly developed a broad and loyal following, at its peak becoming the best-selling nameplate in the huge California market.

Sales have been in a slump for several years, however, and a variety of factors, including cheap gas and some odd design choices on the fourth-generation Prius deserve much of the blame, along with the fact that the Toyota hybrid now has lots more competition.

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Yet, even as some of its key competitors are walking away from the passenger car market, Toyota is doubling down and betting it can breathe new life back into Prius. The 2019 model-year brings some modest, if much-needed design tweaks, as well as the introduction of a new electric all-wheel-drive system that, the automaker expects will account for about a quarter of the nameplate’s sales going forward by enhancing the hatchback’s appeal in Snowbelt climes. (more…)

Aston Martin’s Valkyrie Will Bring F1 Engine Tech to the Street

11,000 RPMs and 1,000 hp.

by on Dec.13, 2018

This snarling V-12 puts out 1,000 horsepower and 11,000 rpms and it powers the new Aston Martin Valkyrie.

The horsepower race continues to accelerate. Where 400 hp was once considered extreme, more and more exotics are nudging into four-figure territory, Aston Martin the latest to get there by taking some of its Formula One technology from the track to the street.

The British marque’s new Valkyrie is still more than a year away from production but it is offering up a first look at what will become the hypercar’s beating heart, a hybridized V-12 capable of revving up to a dizzying 11,000 rpms in the process of punching out a full 1,000 horsepower.

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“To anyone with a drop of petrol in their blood, a high-revving naturally aspirated V12 is the absolute pinnacle. Nothing sounds better or encapsulates the emotion and excitement of the internal combustion engine more completely,” proclaimed Aston CEO Andy Palmer in a release accompanying these images. (more…)

Could a Pickup Truck be Tesla’s Next Vehicle?

Musk wants to make truck "so bad."

by on Dec.12, 2018

A rendering shows the Tesla pickup bears a striking resemblance to the Tesla Semi.

Tesla’s next vehicle will be the second-generation roadster, right? Oh wait! It’s supposed to be a small sport-utility! Maybe neither of them.

Co-founder Elon Musk has often mentioned his desire to bring out a pickup, but he’s never put a firm date to when it might show up: until now.

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In response to a tweet, Musk yesterday suggested the prototype will be unveiled sometime next year with production plans to follow shortly thereafter. (more…)

Daimler Investing More Than $20B in Battery Cells

Company furthers commitment to EVs.

by on Dec.12, 2018

Daimler AG's Dieter Zetsche announced the company's commitment to buy more than $22 billion in battery cells.

Daimler AG is prepared to put up $22 billion to purchase battery cells over the next dozen years.

Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said the commitment is expected to help insure that the batteries are available to move ahead with the development of electric vehicles.

Global News!

“Our electric offensive continues to gain momentum. After investing billions of euros in the development of the electric fleet and the expansion of our global battery network, we are now taking the next step,” Zetsche said. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 BMW 3-Series

Rediscovering the art of “the ultimate driving machine.”

by on Dec.11, 2018

BMW's taking the covers off the next-gen 3-Series. The 330i is certainly a step above its predecessors.

There are advantages to being the best in breed – but there are some disadvantages, as well, as BMW is well aware. Since the very first version rolled out in May 1975, the BMW 3-Series has been the benchmark of the compact sports sedan market, delivering a mix of performance, handling and luxury that other brands have struggled to match.

Now, however, as the seventh-generation 3-Series gets ready to roll into showrooms, the Bavarian automaker faces a level of competition never seen before. Traditional rivals like Mercedes-Benz and Audi have been zeroing in on the BMW formula, as have new competitors such as Genesis, which recently won high-profile kudos like the Motor Trend Car of the Year.

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And Tesla is aiming to redefine the rules with its all-electric Model 3. BMW is even competing with itself. In an SUV-crazed world, more and more traditional 3-Series buyers have been migrating to the brand’s own X3 crossover. (more…)

White House Tells Automakers China Tariffs Coming Down

Automotive levies coming down to 15%.

by on Dec.11, 2018

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer appears to be making progress in talks with the Chinese.

After the first few days of talks, White House officials once again believe China is ready to cut tariffs on U.S. cars, trucks and utility vehicles from 40% to 15%.

Trump administration officials told automakers following a U.S.-China trade call they believe China will cut tariffs on U.S. autos to 15% from the current 40%, an auto executive told Reuters after being briefed on the call.

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Before excitement begins to bubble, this has been heard before. President Donald Trump tweeted a few weeks ago that China was cutting the levies, only to have to backtrack on those assertions. Additinally, there is no actual documentation to support the idea. (more…)

China’s Auto Sales Sliding Downward

EVs and hybrids the only bright spot currently.

by on Dec.11, 2018

Electric vehicle sales are booming in China courtesy of subsidies and mandates by the government.

The world’s largest automotive market continues to face headwinds as auto sales in China dropped for the fifth consecutive month.

The Chinese economy was already experiencing a long-term slowdown, including auto sales, when the tariff fight between the U.S. and China began.

Global News!

Sales of SUVs, sedans and minivans in China fell 16% from a year ago to just under 2.2 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, reported Tuesday. Through November, sales were down 2.8% from a year earlier at 21.5 million, putting 2018 sales on track to shrink for the first time in three decades. (more…)

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