Archive for the ‘Personalities’ Category

Live From Detroit!

Are Sedans a Dying Breed?

by on Jan.15, 2018

The 2018 North American International Auto Show is making big news this week and revealing some of the significant trends reshaping the auto industry.

Of course, TheDetroitBureau.com is still combing the show floor to bring stories and analysis so keeping checking the site often for additional must-know news and the latest updates. (more…)

Toyota’s Flagship Avalon Gets Makeover for 2019

Exterior update matched by interior improvements.

by on Jan.15, 2018

Toyota's flagship, Avalon, gets a refresh for the 2019 model year and comes in a hybrid model as well.

The North American International Auto Show is being dominated by trucks this year with some notable exceptions, such as the fifth generation Toyota Avalon.

The 2019 Avalon unveiled in Detroit, with its 113-inch wheel base, sits on Toyota’s New Global Architecture platform, and is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 or Toyota Hybrid System powertrain, which is coming to market right along with the V6 to give consumers more choices when it arrives in showrooms.

Product News!

The new Avalon also has several new features, such as standard Apple CarPlay and Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signals, available authentic Yamaha wood and aluminum cabin accents, and Engine Sound Enhancement that are used in a Toyota product for the first time. (more…)

Henrik Fisker Officially Reveals Autonomous EMotion EV

Danish designer reveals plans for a “menu of mobility” that will later include affordable electrics and driverless shuttles.

by on Jan.12, 2018

The gull-winged Fisker EMotion makes its official debut at the Consumer Electronics Show.

After months of teasers, Henrik has finally pulled the wraps off his latest project, the autonomous EMotion battery-eletric vehicle making its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The second attempt by the Danish designer to launch his own battery-car company, the EMotion is a stunning, gull-winged sports sedan that reportedly will offer a range of up to 400 miles, even while delivering blistering performance – top speed 161 mph – thanks to a new generation of solid-state batteries.

The Last Word!

The EMotion isn’t due to market until sometime late in 2019. But in an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com, Fisker revealed that he is already working on future products as part of a “menu of mobility” that will include a much more affordable Tesla Model 3 fighter and even a driverless shuttle along the lines of the Toyota e-Palette concept that also debuted at CES.

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Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Creates $1 Bil Venture Fund

“We can’t everything ourselves,” says Ghosn.

by on Jan.10, 2018

The new fund is expected to invest about $200 million annually in new technology and services.

The Renault-Nissan- Mitsubishi Alliance will invest around $1 billion over the next five years to help it fund start-ups and other small tech companies that can help it bring to market electrified, connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn announced Tuesday.

The corporate venture capital, or CVC, fund is intended not only to give the Franco-Japanese alliance access to potentially breakthrough technology but to help it make decisions more quickly than is normally the case for a big corporation, Ghosn said during a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Tech News!

“We can do everything ourselves,” explained the Brazilian-born executive. “We have to get access to people who think about things in different ways.”

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Mexican Auto Imports on Increase Despite Trump’s Pushback

Sales of models produced “South of the Border” hit all-time high in 2017.

by on Jan.09, 2018

Mexico exported 2.33 million vehicles to the U.S. in 2017, a 9.4% increase over 2016.

Despite a campaign promise by Pres. Donald Trump to curb their import, sales of Mexican-made cars, trucks and crossovers surged to an all-time high in 2017.

In all, 2.33 million vehicles were shipped to the U.S. from assembly lines “South of the border,” a 9.4% increase over 2016, according to Mexican auto industry data. That reflects a variety of factors, including the opening of new Mexican assembly plants, including an Audi factory that last year became the sole global source of the carmaker’s popular Q5 crossover-utility vehicle.

News Now!

The surge could create some political headaches for Mexico, however. During his 2016 campaign, then-candidate Trump sharply criticized carmakers like Ford for importing cars from Mexico and warned he would impose “a big border tax.” While Trump hasn’t followed up on that threat his administration’s chief trade representative is engaged in a high-stakes bid to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement that helped boost the Mexican auto industry. (more…)

CES Focus Shifts From Smartphones, Smart TVs to Smart Cars

“The potential applications of...technology are incredible."

by on Jan.08, 2018

A Nissan engineer monitors a volunteer's brain activity while testing new brain-to-vehicle software.

Anyone who has driven a relatively recent-vintage vehicle has probably experienced the benefits – and occasional snags – of using voice control to plug in a destination, dial a call or change the radio station. But Nissan’s IMx concept vehicle aims to take things a step further. It uses brain-to-vehicle technology to respond to what the driver is thinking.

“The potential applications of the technology are incredible,” helping motorists relax more while driving, while also improving vehicle safety, said Dr. Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher at the Nissan Research Center in Japan.

LA Auto Show News!

While you’re not likely to see Nissan’s B2V technology wind up in showrooms for at least five to 10 more years, the automaker plans to demonstrate its potential during the CES show in Las Vegas next week. And Nissan won’t be alone. Formerly known as the Consumer Electronic Show, the annual gathering traditionally focused on gizmos and gadgets, smartphones, TVs, computers and drones. But over the last few years, it has become a showcase for the auto industry, as well.

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Tesla Misses By a Mile its Model 3 Target

Models S and X beat forecast, but slow ramp-up of smaller sedan poses big problems.

by on Jan.03, 2018

A new Model 3 in front of Tesla's Fremont, California assembly plant.

Despite promises by CEO Elon Musk, Tesla has yet to dig its way out of the “production hell” it has faced since the launch of its Model 3 battery sedan last July.

The Silicon Valley carmaker said it delivered just 1,550 of the “affordable,” long-range electric vehicles during the fourth quarter, well below what industry analysts had been anticipating. Some had forecast the numbers would come closer to 9,000 for the October-December quarter, with even pessimists forecasting something closer to 4,000.

Industry News!

The shortfall means that many of the roughly 400,000 customers who have plunked down $1,000 deposits for a Model 3 could be waiting well into 2019 before taking delivery, observers warned. It also raises the specter that Tesla might have to seek more capital to offset continuing losses. The company had said it would finally get into the black as production reached the longer-term target of 10,000 vehicles a week. (more…)

Infiniti Inspired: Q Inspiration Concept Hints at Future Flagship

Q45 reborn?

by on Jan.03, 2018

Infiniti provides a rear view of the Q Inspiration Concept coming to the NAIAS this month.

Infiniti has a long history of teasing us with exotic concepts that eventually translate into slightly more sedate production vehicles. So, what to make of the inspiring new fastback prototype it plans to bring to the North American International Auto Show in mid-January.

Though the brand now uses “Q” to designate all of its passenger car models – and QX for its SUVs and CUVs — the name, Q Inspiration Concept, clearly suggests it is envisioned as the long-awaited successor to the original Q45 sedan that first put the brand on the map.

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“Experimenting with new proportions in a typically conservative segment, the Q Inspiration features a shorter hood and elongated body,” says Karim Habib, here delivering his first major concept car as the newly named Infiniti executive design director. “We aim to take the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution.”

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LeEco CEO Defies China’s Order to Return, Stays in US

Jia Yueting stays put to complete $1B in fund raising for Faraday Future.

by on Jan.02, 2018

Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting has money riding on both LeEco and Faraday Future.

Jia Yueting, CEO of Faraday Future, defied orders to return to China and meet with federal regulators there concerning the company’s debt, deciding instead that the company’s financial future was here and now in the U.S. raising funds for the beleaguered start-up automaker.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission ordering Jia Yueting to return to China to address mounting debt from LeEco – he’s the CEO – to protect investors’ rights. Instead Yueting sent his younger brother, Jia Yueming, to meet with the government officials, explaining he needed to remain in the U.S. to wrap up deals to secure the $1 billion in funding that Faraday needs.

Electrifying News!

“I am deeply sorry and blame myself for the negative impact of LeEco’s debt crisis,” he said in the statement that was posted on his official WeChat account, according to Reuters.  (more…)

Hyundai, Kia See Pressure on Sales in 2018

South Korean automakers predicting tough sales year ahead.

by on Jan.02, 2018

Hyundai's efforts to expand into new market segments comes as sales growth is expected to get tougher.

Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors expect only limited growth in 2018 as global auto sales slow perceptibly during the new year, the company’s senior executives said in a “New Year’s Day” message to employees.

The South Korean auto giant, which ranks fifth by global sales, is targeting sales of 7.55 million vehicles. However, Hyundai-Kia is likely to have missed its sales target for the third consecutive year in 2017 as it sold 7.25 million units this past year, according to estimates by analysts.

Market Trends!

“Global auto demand growth is expected to stagnate this year, with demand seen shrinking in major markets like the U.S., China and Europe,” Yoon Yeo-chul, Hyundai’s vice chairman, said in a New Year’s speech to employees. (more…)