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Volvo Sets Up Subscription Service for Polestar

First slots are completely sold out.

by on Dec.15, 2017

Volvo' first offering from its Polestar high performance division, the Polestar 1, will be built at its new plant in China.

Polestar, the new electric performance brand of Volvo Cars, announced the initial launch markets for its first car, the Polestar 1, in the United States and China and Western Europe.

Since its launch in October, Polestar has seen customers line up for the new Polestar 1 subscription with both performance enthusiast and electric car fans depleting the early production slots available.

Global Auto News!

By offering its vehicles, starting with the Volvo XC40 for a flat monthly subscription, Polestar expects to step away from the old-school, dealer-focused method of selling cars and adopted the model used to great success by Netflix and Spotify.  (more…)

Former Union Leader Ashton Quits GM Board

Resignation comes at investigators scrutinize UAW funds.

by on Dec.15, 2017

Former UAW Vice President Joe Ashton resigned from the General Motors' Board of Directors as federal investigators.

General Motors Co. announced Joseph Ashton, a former United Auto Workers vice president who led the union’s GM department, resigned from the company’s board effectively immediately.

Ashton was nominated to the GM board by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits trust, which administers funds that pay for health benefits for UAW-GM retirees and holds a large block of General Motors stock.

News You Can Trust!

The trust received the stock has part of the restructuring of GM supervised by the federal government after the company was forced into bankruptcy in 2009. (more…)

PepsiCo Joins List of Tesla Semi Truck Buyers

Giant beverage and food producer orders 50 trucks.

by on Dec.14, 2017

PepsiCo is the latest company to plunk down deposit money on Tesla's semi truck. The company ordered 100 trucks.

PepsiCo has become the latest big-time user of commercial trucks to sign an order for Elon Musk’s battery-electric semi trucks.

Pepsi placed the largest order yet by reserving 100 Tesla semi trucks, meaning the company wrote a $2 million check. The soda and snack company plans to use the trucks for shipments of beverages and snacks foods from factories or distribution centers to retailers, and is currently deciding which routes would best suit the electric trucks.

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Tesla claims the semi, which was unveiled last month, has a range of 500 miles when towing a full 80,000-pound load, and that 400 miles of range can be restored in just 30 minutes at one of its new Megacharger stations. (more…)

First Look: 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Mercedes reinterprets maker's military-based classic.

by on Dec.14, 2017

The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class gets a makeover for the 2018 model year.

Daimler AG has updated its G-Class sport utility vehicle, which like the Jeep Wrangler, began its life more than 40 years ago as a military vehicle but is now one of the most coveted vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz model line.

The G-Class or Geländewagen or G-Wagen as its now known was developed as cross-country vehicle for use in remote places such as the desert or Arctic region is a midsized, boxy style SUV that is built for Daimler by Magna-Steyr in Graz, Austria.

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The redesign, which is described as the most extensive in the vehicle’s long history and includes a more spacious cabin, maintains the ute’s iconic elements to give the G-Class its unique appearance such as distinctive door handles, exterior protective strip, exposed spare wheel on the rear door and the prominent indicator lights. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Jeep Wrangler

New design means better performance on-road and off.

by on Dec.13, 2017

The Wrangler is back — again! The 2018 Wrangler Sahara is part of a portfolio considered the most capable Jeeps ever.

Few vehicles can match the storied history of the Jeep Wrangler, born nearly 80 years during a competition to build a light-weight military vehicle.

The Willys Corp., one of the many, many ancestors of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, won the design competition and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. The forerunner of the Jeep Wrangler has carried scouts, wounded soldiers and weapons during combat around the world and during the years has also evolved into a favorite of outdoorsman, hunters and fisherman who prized its ability to traverse all sorts of terrain.

Reviews You Can Use!

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler continues the long tradition of being able to travel over all sorts of ground. But it adds a measure of civility and safety that is sure to capture the attention of less adventurous buyers with its ride and handling and new technology. (more…)

Volvo XC60 Drives Off with Japan’s Car of the Year Award

Winner pulls away at the end in close vote.

by on Dec.12, 2017

The Volvo XC60 capture the Japan Car of the Year award.

The Volvo XC60 was named Japan Car of the Year, beating out some formidable competition.

In a close vote count that saw the lead change three times between the XC60, beat out the BMW 5-Series and the closest Japanese competitor, the Toyota Camry, the XC60 pulled away at the end polling 294 votes.

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The XC60 finished some 52 votes in front of the 5-Series and 62 votes ahead of the Camry. (more…)

Next-Gen Toyota Avalon Debuting at Detroit Auto Show

Automaker readies for second product reveal at NAIAS.

by on Dec.11, 2017

Toyota plans to take the wraps of its next-generation Avalon at the Detroit Auto Show next month.

Toyota Motor Corp. is going to have a full schedule at next month’s North American International Auto Show as the automaker revealed it will have a second major product debut in Detroit.

The Japanese automaker will premiere its all-new 2019 Avalon Monday, Jan. 15, during the 2018 NAIAS. The fifth generation Avalon shares the new platform utilized by the Toyota Camry and will be built at the automaker’s big assembly complex in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Product News!

Last week, it was revealed that Lexus plans to unveil a new concept vehicle in Detroit as well. (more…)

Fuel Economy of New Vehicles Continues to Drop

Strong sales of large vehicles means average mpg continues falling.

by on Dec.08, 2017

Despite efforts to improve the fuel economy of large SUVs, their popular cuts into the U.S. national fuel economy average.

The fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. during November dropped by 0.1 miles per gallon to 25 mpg—the lowest mark this year, according to researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

The value for November is up 4.9 mpg since October 2007 – the first full month of monitoring by UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle – but still down 0.5 mpg from the peak of 25.5 mpg reached in August 2014.

Fueling Up on News!

In addition to average fuel economy, Sivak and Schoettle issued a monthly update of their national Eco-Driving Index, which estimates the average monthly emissions generated by an individual U.S. driver. The EDI takes into account both the fuel used per distance driven and the amount of driving—the latter relying on data that are published with a two-month lag. (more…)

Chinese Ride-Sharing Company Eyes Move into Mexico

If Didi goes to Mexico, it would mark second showdown with Uber.

by on Dec.08, 2017

Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi is contemplating a move into Mexico where it will compete with Uber.

A report out of China indicates Didi Chuxing, the largest ride-sharing company in China and perhaps the world, is preparing to expand internationally for the first time by setting up shop in Mexico.

Didi basically ran Uber out of the Chinese market where Uber sustained losses totaling roughly $2 billion. If Didi moves into Mexico it would set the stage for a huge clash where Uber has established a large presence with more than 7 million users spread across 45 cities.

Global Auto News!

Speculation about Didi’s plans, like Ford Motor Co.’s efforts to partner with Alibaba, underscore the growing influence the Chinese have on the global automotive industry. During the next decade ride-sharing companies are expected to become the major buyers of new vehicles around the world. (more…)

Welburn Captures Lifetime Design Achievement Award

He was GM's just sixth-ever design chief.

by on Dec.07, 2017

Ed Welburn shows off the new trophy that will be given to the 2017 North American Car and Truck of the Year winners.

GM’s former chief designer Ed Welburn has been named the recipient of the 2018 Eyes on Deisgn Lifetime Achievement Award. The annual award is unique in that the selection is made by the previous winners of the award.

This group includes scores of well-known design executives, including Chris Bangle, Nuncio Bertone, Wayne Cherry, Walter de Silva, Willie G. Davidson, Tom Gale, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Chuck Jordan, Robert Lutz, Syd Mead, Shiro Nakamura, Patrick le Quement, Sergio Pininfarina, Stewart Reed, Peter Schreyer and Jack Telnack.

Industry News!

The award will be presented to Welburn next June during the annual Eyes on Design weekend, which culminate in the annual automotive design exhibition, held every Father’s Day on the lakefront grounds of the Eleanor & Edsel Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores outside Detroit. (more…)

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