Archive for the ‘Celebrities’ Category

Audi Taps the Iron Man to Reveal New e-tron GT

Third Audi EV will also be one of its fastest cars ever.

by on Nov.28, 2018

Actor and Audi fan Robert Downey Jr., left, and designer Marc Lichte, pull the covers off the new Audi e-tron GT sports car in Los Angeles.

We got a hint of what Audi has in mind as it launches its first performance electric car earlier this week with some intentionally blurry images of the upcoming e-tron GT. Now, the automaker has put the battery-electric sports car into sharp focus with the help of the “Iron Man,” actor Robert Downey Jr.

A serious Audi fan himself, Downey paired up with designer Marc Lichte to lift the covers off the e-tron GT during a media sneak peek in downtown Los Angeles ahead of the car’s formal debut at the L.A. Auto Show.

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“I’ve been having an extramarital affair for a decade – with a brand,” the actor joked, as he and the designer smiled for photographers gathered at the invitation-only event. (more…)

Ghosn Scandal Could Fracture Renault-Nissan Alliance

Handling of allegations against Ghosn raising questions.

by on Nov.23, 2018

Carlos Ghosn was formally ousted as Nissan Chairman by the automaker's board on Thursday.

With relatively little debate, Nissan’s board voted to oust Chairman Carlos Ghosn on a Thursday afternoon emergency meeting at its headquarters in Yokohama, the latest move in a scandal that could see the man credited with saving the company remain in Japanese police custody for another week or more.

The 64-year-old Ghosn, who helped save the Japanese automaker in 1999 after it received a massive capital infusion from French carmaker Renault SA, was arrested on Monday upon returning to Japan and accused of both under-reporting his income by as much as $45 million, while also misusing company assets. Japanese media on Wednesday reported the Brazilian-born executive would remain in detention in Tokyo until prosecutors decide whether to bring a formal indictment.

Beyond the Headlines!

The arrest follows what Nissan CEO Hirota Saikawa described as a months-long investigation triggered by a “whistleblower.” But there are some questioning exactly what the case really involves, with the board of Nissan’s French alliance partner Renault SA notably choosing not to oust Ghosn as its own CEO while waiting for clear evidence. Several sources NBCNews.com spoke to went further, questioning why Ghosn was even arrested.

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Automakers Deliver Some Neat Tricks and Plenty of Treats for SEMA Show

Here's our round-up of the coolest, hottest and wackiest concepts to roll into the Las Vegas Convention Center.

by on Oct.31, 2018

The Honda Rugged Open Air concept.

Trick or Treat? Make that trick and treat, as the annual SEMA Show gets underway in Las Vegas.

Perfectly timed for Halloween, the annual aftermarket event regularly sees the debut of some intriguing concept vehicles from U.S., Asian and European automakers, and this year is no exception.

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In fact, there’s a Demon-chaser from Mopar which reveals a 1,000-horsepower crate motor that takes last year’s version of the Hellcat line to new levels. (more…)

Ford’s New Ad Campaign Shoots Straight Hyping Products, History

First commercials debut during college football this weekend.

by on Oct.19, 2018

Ford is kicking off a new ad campaign, Built Ford Proud, that features print ads as well as new commercials.

Ford Motor Co.’s recent advertising campaigns haven’t quite hit the mark in terms of creating a positive buzz, so it’s going back to the future with an update to an oldie but goodie.

The automaker used to brag that its trucks were “Built Ford Tough,” but now the entire line-up is “Built Ford Proud.”

The Last Word!

Unveiled at its dealer meeting in Las Vegas, Ford’s new mantra will begin appearing on television screens this weekend, primarily during college football games. Featuring actor Bryan Cranston, famous for “Malcom in the Middle” and “Breaking Bad,” the three ads basically center on Ford’s pride in its history, ingenuity and progress. (more…)

Euro Football Legend David Beckham Lends a Hand To Vietnam’s New VinFast Brand

Asian automaker set to launch production by mid-2019.

by on Oct.02, 2018

The VinFast Lux A 2.0 is based on the prior-generation BMW 5-Series platform.

There have been a few surprising moments at an otherwise lackluster 2018 Paris Motor Show, and several of them came from sources you wouldn’t expect, notably the debut of the first two new models from Vietnam’s first real carmaker, VinFast.

Of course, it didn’t hurt to have European football star David Beckham on the stand when the Lux A sedan and Lux SA sport-utility vehicle rolled out on Tuesday morning. The two will go into production by the third quarter of 2019 at an all-new factory build largely upon land reclaimed from Haiphong Harbor. Giving real meaning to the second part of its name, VinFast plans to add two more models, one all-electric, to its line-up by the end of next year.

Beyond the Headlines!

“Our ultimate goal is to become a world-class automobile manufacturer with a footprint in markets around the world,” said the start-up’s CEO Jim DeLuca, a former General Motors Asia hand who came out of retirement to help launch the company in 2017. (more…)

Riding the Runway: New Kia Telluride Debuts at NY Fashion Week

Kia’s biggest-ever SUV teams up with designer superstar Brandon Maxwell.

by on Sep.10, 2018

Kia's new Telluride Concept is all but production ready -- minus the hat box.

It had all the accessories you might expect on a rugged new SUV, including brush guards, a snorkel for fording deep water and a ladder meant to make it easier to get up to the Kia Telluride’s big luggage racks. But there were also a few things you likely wouldn’t expect, including the leather-wrapped sideview mirrors and the transparent hatbox tied down on the roof rack.

It was all in keeping with the theme of the evening, the new Telluride sharing the stage with designer Brandon Maxwell’s launch of his fall clothing line during New York’s annual Fashion Week. Maxwell, a 33-year-old star in the garment industry, has developed close ties with Kia and may even lend his name to future special editions, he and Kia officials told TheDetroitBureau.com at the weekend event.

We're Always in Fashion!

Automakers have been looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, increasingly searching for alternatives to classic car show product debuts. Kia is just one of several automakers who were active during Fashion Week. The tie-up to Maxwell made sense considering the Texas native’s focus on his down-home roots in this year’s collection.

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Aston Martin Rolls Out Limited Line of “Goldfinger” DB5s

Continuation models will offer plenty of gadgets like revolving license plates – but no word on machine guns and ejection seat.

by on Aug.20, 2018

The original James Bond, Sean Connery, with the original Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger.

“Bond. James Bond.” For those who’ve always fantasized about being able to speak that familiar line, they can now lay claim to another feature from one of Agent 007’s most iconic adventures.

Working with the special effects team from the most recent James Bond film, Aston Martin has recreated the classic DB5 that originally appeared in “Goldfinger,” and it plans to offer 25 full-size reproductions that, the British marque claims, will include an assortment of “working gadgets.” Those will include “revolving number (license) plates and more,” we’re told, though Aston isn’t ready to reveal whether that also includes the machine guns and ejector seat Bond had at the ready.

Behind the Scenes!

“The connection between Aston Martin and James Bond is something of which we are very proud and it is remarkable that the DB5 remains the definitive James Bond car after so many years,” said Aston CEO Andy Palmer. “To own an Aston Martin has long been an aspiration for James Bond fans, but to own a Silver Birch DB5, complete with gadgets and built to the highest standards in the very same factory as the original James Bond cars? Well, that is surely the ultimate collectors’ fantasy.”

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Can the Flintstones and Jetsons Sell America on EVs?

New ad campaign brings back two classic cartoon families.

by on Aug.13, 2018

The Electrify America ad campaign plays up the fun-to-drive aspects of battery-cars as much as their environmental benefits.

There’s an electrified revolution heading for your local showroom, with dozens of hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles coming to market over the next few years. The challenge the industry faces is getting consumers to plug in. All forms of battery-based vehicles accounted for barely 3% of the total U.S. market last year.

Building awareness is a key goal for Electrify America, the project backed by $2 billion from Volkswagen, part of the settlement of its diesel emissions scandal. The 10-year effort makes its public debut this week with an ad campaign pitching the virtues of battery-electric vehicles. And to help get the message across, it’s borrowing the theme music from two Boomer-era cartoon shows, the Flintstones and the Jetsons.

We Keep You Plugged In!

The first spot, dubbed JetStones, features a number of new battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, and will air on national and local cable television, with a radio version running in both English and Spanish. At the same time, Electrify America will begin placing a network of high-speed charging stations across the country.

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New Mustang Hits – With a Bullitt

We follow the tracks of the legendary Steve McQueen chase in the 2019 Mustang Bullitt.

by on Aug.06, 2018

Two icons: the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt emerges from the fog by the Golden Gate Bridge.

(ED: We’ve corrected a few typos and added more on the Bullitt’s six-speed gearbox.)

The streets of San Francisco are eerily quiet on this early morning with the heavy fog that’s rolled in off the Pacific making it possible to imagine traveling back to another time, 50 years ago, when police Lieutenant Frank Bullitt burned rubber going after the bad guys in one of cinema’s most famous chase scenes.

It helps, of course, that we’re riding in the latest iteration of the Ford Mustang Bullitt, the limited-edition pony car meant to celebrate that iconic film and the car driven by star Steve McQueen. Like the original, our coupe is finished in Dark Highland Green, and it’s got a few other touches lifted from the original Bullitt Mustang, including the cue ball shifter knob. But Lt. Bullitt could have only dreamed about having the latest, 475 horsepower version of Ford’s 5.0-liter V-8 under the hood, as well as the magnetic ride control suspension that would make those legendary hilltop jumps a wee bit less jarring.

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Temptation is there, but we’ve been asked to take things a little easy this grey morning. No jumps, no drifting, high-speed turns. After all, there’s no film crew on hand, nor the necessary permits and police escort holding back the crowds. No big deal, we’ve already pushed the limits driving through some of the back roads carving through redwood country south of Fog City.

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Wahlberg Jumps into Auto Business, Buys Chevy Dealership

Actor and entrepreneur expands his business holdings.

by on Jul.20, 2018

Actor Mark Wahlberg is adding a Chevrolet dealership in Ohio to his growing business empire.

There is a new Chevrolet dealer in Columbus, Ohio who has the potential to produce some of the best new car ads ever: Mark Wahlberg.

The man who hyped Calvin Klein underwear as a young rapper has since become a top-grossing actor with a burgeoning business empire anchored by the famous Wahlburger restaurant franchise.

Celebrity News!

Wahlberg is partnering with Michigan-based dealer Jay Feldman, who owns eight Chevy dealerships in southeast and mid-Michigan, according to Associated Press. They say they’ve been friends for several years and became partners in Wahlburgers restaurants in Cleveland and Georgia.

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