Author Archive

Mercedes-Benz Taking Orders for New EQC Electric Crossover

New electric crossover already faces competition from VW's ID.3.

by on May.09, 2019

Mercedes-Benz is taking orders for its new EQC electric crossover vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz has begun taking orders for its new electric vehicle, the EQC, which the German luxury-car maker describes as the “Mercedes-Benz of EVs.”

“With the Mercedes-Benz EQC, we are entering a new era of mobility,” said Britta Seeger, member of the board of management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales.

Product News!

“It is part of the growing family of all-electric vehicles at Mercedes-Benz and combines brand-defining features such as quality, safety and comfort. We offer our customers progressive design and unique ride comfort – and this with a range absolutely suitable for everyday use.” (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Tabs Infiniti’s Meunier to Head Jeep

Manley reaches outside company for top brand's new leader.

by on May.08, 2019

Former Infiniti Chief Christian Meunier is taking charge of Fiat Chrysler's top brand: Jeep.

In a surprise move, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. has gone outside the company to recruit a new chief to head up its most important brand: Jeep.

FCA announced it has tapped Christian Meunier to serve as Global President of the Jeep brand.

News Now!

Meunier joins FCA with broad background in the global automotive experience. In his most recent post before joining FCA, he was Chairman and Global President for Infiniti Motor Co. Ltd. at Nissan. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Kia Forte EX

Newest compact car update proves its mettle.

by on May.07, 2019

Despite the segment shrinking, Kia is plowing ahead with small cars with an all-new 2019 Forte sedan.

New compact cars keep showing up on roads and streets all around the United States despite the surge in sales of utility vehicles and pickups.

In fact, the compact car segment has become one of the most competitive as buyers look for ways for transportation that both relatively economical and comfortable. The new Mazda3 and the new Toyota Corolla and new 2019 Kia Forte are all putting new life into a segment that also includes cars such as the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Golf.

Reviews You Can Trust!

The 2019 Kia Forte EX I drove recently had a roomy and comfortable interior that made it easy to like and fun to drive. I never had to worry about parking spaces and the car had ample power to address the challenges of everyday driving. (more…)

Trade Talks With China Vital to U.S. Companies

Two sides appeared to be making progress before talks ended.

by on May.07, 2019

With the stoppage of trade talks between the U.S. and China, this picture's going to be less frequent in the short term.

Trade talks between the U.S. and China seem to have hit another pothole despite hopes for a broad agreement that could satisfy both sides. Car makers worldwide have been hoping for a new deal during the past several months.

Michael Dunne, president of ZoZoGo LLC, an advisory firm specializing in China’s electric and autonomous tech market and long-time student of Chinee industry, said tension are inevitable given the stakes and do leave Detroit’s automakers vulnerable.

Global News!

“The Chinese are really tough negotiators,” noted Michael Dunne said during an appearance at the Automotive Press Association. (more…)

GM Updates Chevy Camaro’s Appearance for 2020 Model

New look design to spur lagging sales.

by on May.06, 2019

The 2020 Camaro SS sports an updated new front fascia derived from the 2019 SEMA concept car.

Chevrolet is planning to change up the appearance of the 2020 Camaro due out next fall with a new front-end appearance for the SS model as well as a new LT1 V-8 performance model at a relatively modest price.

Other changes promised for 2020 include a making a 10-speed-automatic transmission available with the 3.6-liter V6 used in the 2020 Camaro line-up.

Product News!

“Customers spoke, and we listened,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet passenger car and crossover marketing. “The overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Shock’s stylized design helped prompt its transition from concept to production.” (more…)

VWoA Wins Delay in UAW Vote in Chattanooga

Union's attempt to get a quick vote denied.

by on May.06, 2019

The UAW's third election in five years at VW's Chattanooga plant has been delayed by the NLRB.

The National Labor Relations Board, in a vote along party lines, agreed to Volkswagen’s request to postpone an union election vote at the German automakers factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The United Auto Workers surprised VW last month by asking for a quick vote, among the 1,400 production workers in Chattanooga with the hope of minimizing the impact of anti-union campaigns, particularly by local political figures and outside anti-union groups.

Union News!

The UAW won the right to represent Chattanooga’s 300 or so maintenance workers in 2016. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Audi Q8 Quattro

A seamless blend of design, performance and functionality.

by on May.03, 2019

The 2019 Audi Q8 features a number of distinctive tweaks to the brand's familiar cues, including the signature singleframe grille.

Audi made its reputation building sleek, road-worthy sedans that have earned their way into the hearts of motorists around the world. The A8 is a great example of the sort of benchmark-setting model, one that has done well challenging competitors like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series.

But that’s becoming a smaller and smaller segment of the premium luxury market as buyers around the world continue migrating from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs. The good news for Audi is that, among its impressive stable of utility vehicles it has an alternative to the flagship A8. Like the sedan, the Q8 crossover is flush with all the industry’s latest and most advanced technology. And it also boasts the solid driving characteristics for which the German automaker has won over a legion of loyal fans.

Reviews You Can Use!

We had a chance to spend a full week getting to know the 2019 Audi Q8 and while its base price of around $70,000 certainly would stretch the budget for most buyers, we found it an attractive, lavishly equipped and fun-to-drive alternative to the classic luxury sedan.

(more…)

Product Launches Hammer FCA’s Q1 Earnings

But Ram pickup sales provide a cushion.

by on May.03, 2019

CEO Mike Manley needs to prove he can maintain the pace set by his former boss, Sergio Marchionne.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported profits dropped 41% in the first quarter as a slump in sales in key markets cut the company’s revenues by 5 percent.

The automaker attributed the decline to the normal production challenges related to an array of new product launches in North America, as well as pricing pressure in China and South America.

Financial News!

FCA CEO Mike Manley, however, reaffirmed the company’s guidance for the full year. “We expect earnings to grow in the following quarters,” he said as FCA completes the launch of the new Jeep Gladiator and the Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck.

(more…)

GM Ponders $1B Investment in Missouri Plant

Automaker reportedly meeting with governor about incentives.

by on May.02, 2019

GM may invest as much as $1 billion into its Wentzville, Missouri plant that produces midsize trucks and full-size vans.

General Motors is apparently preparing for a major investment at its big truck assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri, according to media reports from St. Louis.

GM officials are expected to meet with Missouri Governor Mike Parson to discuss what is described as a $1 billion expansion project at Wentzville, which currently employs 3,800 hourly and salaried employees, St Louis Today reported.

Plant News!

No details about the expansion have been disclosed but GM is expected to request a package of incentives from the state of Missouri to help pay for job training and retooling the plant, which is located about 40 miles from St. Louis. (more…)

April Sales Sag a Bit as Tough Conditions Continue

Sales hurt by higher interest rates and prices.

by on May.01, 2019

The 2020 Subaru Outback kept the automaker's consistent sales increases chugging along in April.

Nissan and Subaru posted sales increases during April, but Fiat Chrysler and Toyota sales fell in April as deliveries of new vehicles continued drop under pressure from rising prices and higher interest rates.

For Subaru of America, April was another solid month with a 7.7% increase compared with April 2018, and the best April in the history of the company. The automaker also reported year-to-date sales of 214,042, a 5.5% gain compared with the same period in 2018.

Sales News!

“April saw another Subaru monthly sales record and the reveal of our all-new 2020 Subaru Outback at the New York International Auto Show, both strong indicators of a record sales year to come,” said Thomas J. Doll, Subaru of America president. “And thanks to the amazing efforts of our retailers, both the current Outback and new Forester maintained a very strong sales pace in a highly competitive marketplace.” (more…)

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