Archive for the ‘Pickups’ Category

Hyundai Names Former Nissan Exec José Muñoz its New COO

The 53-year-old exec was forced out in wake of Nissan’s Ghosn scandal.

by on Apr.18, 2019

José Muñoz, Nissan's former chief performance officer, is joining Hyundai and will oversee U.S. operations as part of his duties.

José Muñoz, the widely admired Nissan chief performance officer forced out in the wake of the scandal surrounding former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, is moving to South Korea, where he will become the global chief operating officer at Hyundai Motor Co.

The 52-year-old Muñoz was considered a rising Nissan star and a potential successor to Ghosn but tendered his resignation in January, sources told, in protest over the Japanese automaker’s handling of the Ghosn investigation. The 65-year-old Ghosn remains in a Japanese detention center accused of a variety of financial crimes, though skeptics contend he has become the victim in a power struggle between Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault.

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In his new post, Muñoz also will serve as president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor North America and Hyundai Motor America. (more…)

Live From New York!

Dozens of news models debuting in the Big Apple.

by on Apr.17, 2019

America’s largest city is the center of the automotive universe this week as the New York International Auto Show is underway. The event features four floors of displays from the world’s automakers with dozens of world and North American premieres as well as just as many top executives making news. is – as always – covering the 119thshow, bringing the latest news to you so check in regularly to stay on top of the latest happenings. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Crew Cab

Stylish looks with ample power and comfort — a recipe for success.

by on Apr.16, 2019

The Chevy Colorado Z71 offers a do-it-all vehicle in a growing and competitive segment.

Even with the car business facing some stiffening headwinds, trucks are still going strong and manufacturers are driving interest the segment with new models.

For example, the Chevrolet Colorado has been vital to the growth of the midsized truck market, which has expanded recently, prompting manufacturers to tinker with variants such as the one I drove recently.

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The 2019 Colorado Z71 Crew Cab Short Box with four-wheel drive has a bold presence and plenty of curb appeal as well as a spirited powertrain as well as the ground clearance to ride confidently on dirt roads or even off road. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Confidently Pays First-Ever Dividend

Payout marks optimism about rest of 2019 performance.

by on Apr.15, 2019

Fiat Chairman John Elkann told shareholders at the FCA annual meeting that he expected strong results in 2019.

The top executives of Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. delivered an upbeat assessment of the company’s future prospects during the company annual shareholder meeting in Amsterdam, agreeing to pay a dividend to shareholders for the first time since Fiat took effective control of the Chrysler Group in 2009 and brought it out of bankruptcy.

In the first shareholders gathering since the death of Sergio Marchionne, FCA’s longtime chief executive, it fell to John Elkann, Fiat’s chairman, to deliver an optimistic forecast for 2019 despite the drop in the company’s business in North America and the slowdown in the sales of Jeep, which has emerged as the company’s principal brand.

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Elkann, the representative of the founding Agnelli family, which has run Fiat for more than 100 years, told investors the Italo-American group was ready to play a part in the “new and exciting” era for the auto industry. (more…)

From Minicars to $4M Hypercars, Something for Everyone

Check out the debuts from the foreign makers.

by on Apr.15, 2019

The New York International Auto Show will see dozens of new model introductions this year.

There’s been plenty of talk about the end of the auto show era, and we’ve certainly seen a lot of manufacturers step back from the lavish previews that were the norm in decades past. That said, this year’s New York International Auto Show looks to be a major event, with close to three dozen vehicles making either their North American or global debut.

There’s something for everyone’s taste and budget, from the new, entry-level Nissan Versa all the way up to the special edition Bugatti Chiron Sport “110 ans Bugatti,” a hypercar expected to go for somewhere around $4 million. No surprise, there’s a particular focus on sport- and crossover-utility vehicles, reflecting the ongoing shift in the U.S. market.

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We’re waiting to hear more about some of the products coming to the 2019 NYIAS, several automakers promising to deliver some surprises – such as the all-electric concept Genesis has been hinting at. But here’s a look at the foreign automaker’s products we already know about that will debut at the Jacob Javits Convention Center this coming week. (We’ve put the American brands in a separate piece due to length.) (more…)

Tarok Concept Hints at VW’s Return to U.S. Pickup Market

Although there are no plans for the U.S. ”… Tarok is meant to “gauge reaction.”

by on Apr.15, 2019

Volkswagen's Tarok Concept suggests the German automaker may be bringing a new small pickup to new markets.

There was a time when Volkswagen was a serious player in the U.S. pickup market. It even offered a truck based on the old Rabbit hatchback between 1978 and 1984. And now, with downsized pickups gaining momentum again, the German automaker is hinting that it just might be ready to make its return.

We got the first sign at the New York International Auto Show in March of 2018, with the debut of the Tanoak Concept based on the big VW Atlas SUV. Now, the automaker is coming back to the 2019 NYIAS with another pickup prototype, this one dubbed the Tarok Concept. And it suggests VW planners are a big step closer to giving the project the green light.

What a Concept!

“Although there are no plans to produce the vehicle for the U.S. market, the Tarok concept is being shown to gauge market reaction for a truly versatile and compact entry-level pickup,” VW said in a statement accompanying these images. (more…)

Toyota Will Rely on Single Platform for All Future Pickups

Electrification option reportedly in the works.

by on Apr.09, 2019

Toyota is updating the midsize Tacoma for 2020, and showed off a TR Pro edition in Chicago.

Both of Toyota’s pickups, the midsize Tacoma and the full-size Tundra, are due for major overhauls early in the coming decade. Now, it seems, the next version of both of those trucks – and possibly the Sequoia SUV, as well — will share a common platform.

The automaker is working up a common architecture, internally codenamed “F1,” according to a report in Automotive News and confirmed by’s own sources. It is likely to be ready to go by late 2020.

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The move would echo what Toyota is in the midst of doing in other areas of its line-up. The launch of the fourth-generation Prius hybrid brought with it the debut of the Toyota New Global Architecture, a flexible architecture that eventually will underpin a vast array of passenger cars and crossovers.


Italy’s Alcantara Expands to Meet Material Demands

Plant expansion allows for company growth.

by on Apr.08, 2019

CEO Andrea Borgano said the company's 300-million euro expansion will allow the company to meet increased demand.

With demand for its unique products soaring, Alcantara has completed the first phase of its 300-million euro expansion of its production facilities in Nera Montoro, Italy.

“The startup of these new facilities is an important, symbolic moment for us,” said Andrea Borgano, Alcantara CEO.

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“It is confirmation of our intention to grow, the positioning of the brand accomplished over the years, and our ability to generate strong growth in demand for Alcantara. Since the investment will reduce energy consumption and environmental impact, Alcantara also is confirming its strong and serious commitment to sustainability.” (more…)

Jeep Reveals 6 Extreme Concepts for Annual Easter Safari to Moab

Pushing the limits in Jeep style.

by on Apr.08, 2019

The 53rd annual Moab Easter Safari is near and that means six new creations from Jeep designed to tackle everything off-road.

If you’re like most folks, you’ll likely gather with family members to mark the upcoming Easter holiday. Serious Jeep fans may also like to get together with friends and family, but the gathering often takes place out in wide-open spaces.

For the 53th consecutive year, Jeep is hosting its Moab Easter Safari and, along with Fiat Chrysler’s Mopar parts division, it’s come up with an assortment of six customized models that will join in on the fun.

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And for this year’s safari, Jeep will be bringing along something completely new: customized versions of the 2020 Gladiator, the brand’s first new pickup in 27 years. Here’s a look at the six Moab Easter Jeep Safari concept: (more…)

Gas Prices to Keep Rising, Expected Pass $3/Gallon Before Falling

Trump administration's push to lower prices ineffective.

by on Apr.08, 2019

Gas prices have been on the rise since the beginning of this year. However, the jump has been more severe in the last seven weeks.

New vehicle sales have been on the decline all year as higher interest rates and lower incentives combine to drive down demand. Now consumers are seeing another auto-related cost climbing upward: gas prices.

Across the U.S., gas prices have risen for the last seven weeks. As of April 1, the national average, according to, was $2.69 a gallon. It was a jump of 3.9 cents in one week and the highest prices it has been in 142 days.

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Diesel prices are also on the rise, albeit not as steeply, rising just 0.2 cents per gallon last week to an average $3.02 a gallon. On top of that, GasBuddy’s own information suggests that as of April 7, the prices have jumped another 6 cents a gallon since April 1. (more…)

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