Archive for the ‘U.S./North America’ Category

First Drive: 2019 Toyota Avalon

New model enjoys upgraded interior, and a hybrid option.

by on Apr.23, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Avalon XLE is the automaker's fifth-generation of its flagship model.

Big passenger cars have seemingly gone out of style perhaps for good.

After all Toyota admits the average age for the buyers of its full-size sedan, the Toyota Avalon, is 64, hardly the age of trend setters in our youth-oriented culture.

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But with the fifth-generation Avalon, which is about to reach Toyota show rooms across the country, the Japanese auto giant thinks it has found a way to bring some younger buyers with an all-new vehicle that offers more style, more power, more comfort and more features. (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.

Trade News!

“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…)

Musk Gets Preliminary Approval for Testing Tunnel in L.A.

Los Angelse City Council must provide a final approval.

by on Apr.20, 2018

Elon Musk's Boring Co. got preliminary approval for a proof of concept tunnel under Los Angeles.

The City of Los Angeles has approved Elon Musk to be more boring, er, to do more boring of tunnels that is.

Actually, Los Angeles City Council’s public works committee approved an environmental review exemption for a tunnel that Musk, through his Boring Co., wants to dig to test his underground transportation system.

Pushing the Envelope!

The committee approved the measure noting it was in favor of any idea that could help alleviate the crippling traffic jams that so often plague the city and surrounding areas. The motion now heads to the full City Council for approval. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Chevrolet Colorado Redline

Flexibility, looks, power all in one midsize truck package.

by on Apr.20, 2018

The Chevrolet Colorado Redline is one of several variants to the brand's highly successful midsize truck.

While pickup trucks share some of generic similarities, the stylistic differences are always critical and one of the trend setters since it first appeared has been the Chevrolet Colorado.

The Colorado seems to be a perfect size for working in urban spaces since it’s relatively easy to maneuver into urban or suburban parking spaces. It also has a spacious interior and looks handsome either sitting at the curb or out in traffic.

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Chevrolet has also smoothed out the ride by beefing up the suspension and improved the steering and brakes on the truck so it’s easier and more enjoyable to drive even if you are traveling a good distance. (more…)

GM Adds eBay CEO to Board of Directors

Company updates $16.5 billion line of credit.

by on Apr.20, 2018

Devin Wenig, eBay CEO, has been recommended to joined the General Motors Board of Directors.

General Motors has reached out to Silicon Valley to obtain a new recruit for the company’s board of directors while also adding to its lines of credit.

The election of eBay CEO Devin Wenig to the board’s slate of nominees will bring GM’s Board of Directors to 11 members, 10 of whom are non-employee directors. Wenig will stand for election at GM’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders on June 12, 2018.

Industry News!

“Devin brings significant expertise in technology, global operations and strategic planning to our board,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.  (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.

Product News!

“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…)

Senate Strikes Down Rule Protecting Against Discriminatory Lending

House expected to pass Senate measure for Trump to approve.

by on Apr.19, 2018

The National Auto Dealers Association, led by Chairman Wes Lutz, applauded the reversal of CFPB guidance over potentially discriminatory lending practices.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to take up a measure passed by the Senate on Wednesday that wiped out guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau designed to eliminate lenders from discriminating against auto buyers based on race or national origin.

The guidance, which was offered in 2013 by the Obama Administration, was considered controversial at the time and faced fierce opposition from Republicans as well as banks, lenders and finance companies.

Industry News!

The Senate asked the General Accounting Office to era to review whether or not the guidance, which was aimed at preventing auto lenders from charging borrowers higher rates based on factors such as race or national origin, should have been subject to Congressional review. (more…)

Walmart Set to Add Super Fast-Chargers in 34 States

Chargers will deliver up to 200 miles in 10 minutes.

by on Apr.19, 2018

The new Walmart chargers will be capable of boosting range by as much as 20 miles a minute.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer could soon operate one of the nation’s larger vehicle charging networks.

The Arkansas-based company is partnering up with Electrify America to set up 100 fast-charger stations at stores in 34 states by mid-2019. That’s part of 2,000 chargers Electrify America aims to have in place by then at 500 stations across the U.S.

Electrifying!

“Along with providing our customers with an enhanced shopping experience through added convenience, this initiative also allows us to contribute to the expansion of our nation’s EV charging station infrastructure,” said Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President of Energy for Walmart, Inc.

(more…)

Cargo Expanding Opportunities for Ridesharing Drivers

Company offering new services to users.

by on Apr.19, 2018

Cargo is offering Uber and other ridesharing drivers a way to expand the services they offer and get more cash.

Carsharing is expected to re-shape the automotive business, but it is also creating business opportunities that go beyond the rides offered by companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Cargo, self-described as an “in-car commerce” platform for the rideshare economy, has partnered with The Coca-Cola Company to offer beverages to thousands of rideshare cars across the U.S. that are equipped with Cargo apps and systems.

Industry News!

“We’re very excited to enter this new distribution channel in rideshare with Cargo,” said John Carroll, vice president and general manager eCommerce for Coca-Cola.  (more…)