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Magna Building New BMW Z4, Toyota Supra

New vehicles to be produced in Austria.

by on Jul.05, 2018

Toyota Supra Racing Concept is the basis for the new Supra that will be built by Magna Steyr.

Magna Steyr has received the contract to build the new sports cars developed jointly by BMW and Toyota.

Magna has confirmed its that it has signed a contract with BMW and Toyota to produce the new BMW Z4/Toyota Supra starting at the end of 2018. It said that production of the new BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra will be added to its production line in Graz, Austria, after upgrades to the production line are complete.

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Although, the production levels for the Z4/Supra are expected to be relatively modest the added output will further drive Magna to reach its production capacity of 200,000 units in early 2019, analysts said.  (more…)

New Vehicles Jumping in June

Big Six automakers all enjoy sales increases last month.

by on Jul.03, 2018

Ram trucks and Jeep led Fiat Chrysler to an 8% sales jump in June.

Even as the price of gasoline rises, the six big car makers that dominate the U.S. market, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. N.V. Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Toyota Motor Co., American Honda and Nissan, all reported sales increases for June with the help of strong sales of trucks and utility vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. reported June 2018 sales of 202,264 vehicles, an 8% increase compared with sales in June 2017.

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Overall sales were bolstered by both the Jeep and Ram brands, which reported significant increases for the month. FCA had the best retail sales in June sales since 2004. Fleet accounted for 23% of total sales, a 1% decline from the previous year. (more…)

Gas Prices Highest in Four Years, Expected to Rise

Prices lower now than at Memorial Day.

by on Jul.03, 2018

The summer driving season is upon us and after a short decline in gas prices, they are expected to rise.

With the Fourth of July holiday upon us, the price of gasoline has declined slightly since the start of the summer driving season but is now expected to go higher as the price of crude oil begins to climb.

At $2.86 per gallon, gasoline prices are at their highest point for an Independence Day holiday in four years. However, for the nearly 40 million motorists expected to travel this week, they will find prices at the pump 11-cents cheaper than the past Memorial Day holiday.

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“The national gas price average has held fairly steady for the past 10 days, suggesting that U.S. demand is keeping pace with supply and stabilizing summer gas prices,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.  (more…)

Obrador’s Win in Mexico Presidential Election Portends NAFTA Trouble

Tough NAFTA talks expected to get even more difficult.

by on Jul.02, 2018

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is likely to have a negative impact on NAFTA.

In a development that leaves the future North American Free Trade Agreement hanging by a slender thread, Andreas Manuel López Obrador was elected president of Mexico in a landslide victory that could lead to sweeping change in Mexican politics.

The leftist Obrador is considered by some commentators as Mexico’s version of Cuba’s Fidel Castro or Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

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Obrador, who narrowly lost the Mexican Presidency in 2006 and 2012, has forcefully rejected the Castro-Chavez comparison. Instead he ran on a platform that promised to curb corruption in Mexico. But Obrador, who won 53% of the vote July 1, has promised to attack the inequality in Mexico and has said the NAFTA isn’t working for the average Mexican worker needs a hefty pay increase. (more…)

Chevy Spruces Up Volt for 2019

New model charges twice as fast.

by on Jul.02, 2018

Surviving its much-rumored death, the new 2019 Chevy Volt arrives this fall.

For months word has circulated that General Motors was preparing to kill one of the cars that helped launch the company’s resurgence  from bankruptcy, the Chevrolet Volt.

But GM is making a game effort to silence the chatter with the announcement of a series of technical and equipment changes to what will be the 2019 version of the Chevrolet Volt, starting with a new 7.2 kW charging system the cuts recharging times nearly in half and power seats. The change in the charging system will almost double the all-electric driving range per hour of electric charge, Chevrolet said.

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The changes will take effect this fall and could be one last effort to save the Volt from extinction. (more…)

Car Dealers Tell Commerce Department That Tariffs are Taxes on Consumers

Department studying if imported autos risk national security.

by on Jun.29, 2018

AIADA's Cody Lusk chastised the Trump administration in a filing, saying a new tariff amounts to a new tax on the American people.

This country’s international auto dealers, who sell brands from Asia and Europe, fired a broadside shot against the Trump administration’s plans to impose a heavy tariff on cars imported into the U.S.

America’s auto dealers, domestic and international, stand to lose up to 2 million annual sales if the investigation rules against their products and the 25% tariff proposed by the Trump administration is put in place, the American International Auto Dealers Association said.

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The AIADA comments were filed with the Department of Commerce’s Section 232 investigation into whether or not imported autos and auto parts, used in every car sold in America, pose a national security threat to the United States. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Kia Stinger GT1

Brand's first sports sedan turns heads, snaps necks.

by on Jun.28, 2018

The Kia Stinger GT1 shows the automaker is looking to attract attention with its designs and products.

Cars of various kinds have come to seem kind of ordinary or even passed their prime even though still much go and fit anywhere 99% of motorists go day in and day out with a minimum fuss and great efficiency.

But they are also kind of boring, which is one of the primary reasons buyers have moved toward the compact two-box SUVs that have become so popular during the past couple of years.

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The Kia Stinger, however, is one car that doesn’t try to hide the fact it is a car and is certainly anything but humdrum. Indeed, the Stinger is quick, cleverly packaged so it doesn’t feel cramped when you are sitting in the driver’s seat and comes with all kinds amenities, including up-to-date technology and as well as convenience-oriented features. (more…)

New Vehicle Sales Holding Steady in June

First half set to be the weakest in four years.

by on Jun.28, 2018

June auto sales are holding steady, but the second half is expected to be soft.

New vehicle sales in June appear to be holding steady but are expected to decline during the second half of the year, analysts reported this week.

Cox Automotive said it expected June to rise 2.1% from last year, resulting in a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16.9 million. The June sales pace is up from last year’s 16.6 million rate and is up slightly from the 16.8 million level in May 2018, Cox said. Through the first five months of 2018, the SAAR has averaged 17.1 million.

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J.D. Power and LMC Automotive predicted a 0.6% decrease compared with June 2017. “The first half of 2018 will deliver the weakest industry retail sales results since 2014,” said Thomas King, senior vice president of the Data and Analytics Division at J.D. Power. (more…)

Uber Gets Reprieve in London

Court gives ride-hailing service a 15-month pass.

by on Jun.27, 2018

Uber has been given a 15-month reprieve in London by a British court.

Uber has been granted a 15-month probationary license by a British court on Tuesday, which will allow it to continue operating in London.

The ride-hailing service argued successfully that Uber had made significant changes to its business and corporate culture after Transport for London, the city’s regulatory body for public transportation, declared Uber unfit to serve the city. The agency said Uber had failed to vet its drivers, who had been involved in a series of sexual assaults.

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Uber’s “approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” Transport London said in its decision. (more…)

Daimler AG Lowers Earnings Guidance Due to Trade Tensions

Retaliatory measures in China and Europe has Daimler concerned.

by on Jun.26, 2018

Mercedes-Benz builds SUVs at its plant in Vance, Alabama, that are shipped to China. The tariffs on those are expected to rise, cutting sales.

The rising risk of a global trade war has prompted Daimler AG, the parent of Mercedes-Benz Cars, to reduce its earnings guidance for 2018.

Daimler said has “made a new assessment of the earnings” potential for the year 2018 and reduced its earnings guidance for the full year because of the uncertainty surrounding trade.

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“From today’s perspective, the decisive factor is that, at Mercedes-Benz Cars, fewer than expected SUV sales and higher than expected costs – not completely passed on to the customers – must be assumed because of increased import tariffs for U.S. vehicles into the Chinese market,” Daimler said in its new guidance.  (more…)

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