Author Archive

Lexus Taking Wraps Off New Crossover in Detroit

Maker has history of unveiling new models at NAIAS.

by on Dec.06, 2017

Lexus will unveil its latest creation, the LF1 Limitless, at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

Lexus has always made a point of unveiling its newest most important cars and concept vehicles at the North American International Auto Show and it plans to do it again this coming January.

Lexus announced it plans to reveal a new concept that reflects “the next genre” in luxury crossover vehicles. Created by the CALTY design studio in Southern California, the Lexus LF-1 Limitless is a flagship crossover that redefines the boundaries of luxury, Lexus officials said.

Auto Show News!

The Lexus LF-1 Limitless will make its official debut in Detroit next month, but released a teaser pic of the vehicle to come. (more…)

Production on the Rise, Keeping Gas Prices Down

Demand is lower while production levels are up.

by on Dec.06, 2017

Gas prices continue to fall as demand drops during the winter driving season.

With the winter driving season fast approaching, the price of gasoline is continuing to drop, according to AAA.

At $2.48, the national gas price average is at its cheapest level since early November. More so, pump prices nationally have been steadily dropping during the last two weeks. Today’s gas price is three cents less than a week ago, four cents cheaper than one month ago and 30 cents more than a year ago, according to AAA.

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“Cheaper winter gas prices are being seen for the bulk of the country as gasoline demand hits the lowest mark since February,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “On the week, 90% of states saw their gas price average drop – some even by double digits.”  (more…)

Toyota’s Hollis Expects Solid Sales in 2018

Automaker expects new Camry to lead the way to good year.

by on Dec.05, 2017

Toyota executive Jack Hollis told the Automotive Press Association that the company expects U.S. new vehicle sales to exceed 16.5 million in 2018.

Toyota expects 2018 to be another strong year as industry sales once again exceed hit 16.5 million units or better, Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division at Toyota Motor North America, told the Automotive Press Association.

Hollis cited several factors contributing to the continuing strength of car sales in the U.S., including a healthy U.S. economy, continuing job and wage growth, low fuel prices and improvement in consumer confidence.

Industry News!

“It might not be a record but still good strong pace,” Hollis said during in his speech during the APA meeting in Detroit. (more…)

BMW Pushing to Grow EV Sales by 50% in 2018

Automaker tweaking product line-up to generate excitement.

by on Dec.05, 2017

Expect to see a production version of the BMW X7, including an electrified model, sometime next year.

After using the Los Angeles Auto Show for the debut of the new i8, BMW AG is preparing to increase its sales plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles by 50% in 2018 as it moves to bolster its position as maker of electric vehicles.

“We’ll definitely boost sales by a mid-double digit amount,’’ Klaus Froehlich, who heads development for BMW, told reporters in Munich. “This is to stay ahead of the competition that’s starting to do its own rollout.”

Global Auto News!

Like other carmakers, BMW is spending substantial sums developing a more attractive suite of electric cars to jump start sluggish consumer demand for EVs. Demand for the vehicles remains at a fraction of total auto sales, with BMW’s target paling compared to total 2016 deliveries of 2.4 million vehicles.  (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Eyes Alliance with Hyundai

Marchionne says no merger in the works.

by on Dec.04, 2017

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said an alliance or a partnership with Hyundai would make sense for FCA.

After seemingly laying off talking about potential deal, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne is at it again, talking up the possibility of a partnership with Hyundai on technical projects.

Marchionne, during an appearance in Milan over the weekend, was careful to rule out any kind of merger with Hyundai after a flurry of reports this summer that FCA as eager to find merger partners for its automotive business.

Global Auto News!

“We already buy components from (Hyundai) … let’s see if we can agree on other points, especially for the development of transmissions and hydrogen,” Marchionne told journalists, adding there was “nothing to announce for the moment.”  (more…)

New Vehicle Sales Off Slightly in November

Black Friday sales couldn't push November sales into positive territory.

by on Dec.01, 2017

Ford's F-Series trucks helped the automaker to a 6.2% sales increase in November while General Motors and Fiat Chrysler sales fell.

This story contains updated results.

New vehicle sales stalled last month even as demand for trucks remained very healthy during November.

Both General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. reported a sales drop during November despite health sales of trucks and utility vehicles.

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Ford Motor Co. also had a strong month in November as it reported a sales increase of 6.2%.   (more…)

UAW Taps Veteran Bureaucrat to be Next President

Election to be held next year at convention.

by on Dec.01, 2017

The UAW's powerful "Reuther" caucus selected Gary Jones to replace Dennis Williams next year.

Gary Jones, a trained accountant and former Ford Motor Co. employee, has been tapped to become the next president of the United Auto Workers next June.

Jones, a long-time union staff member who has been a member of the UAW’s executive board for the past five years, was selected as the candidate of choice of the so-called “Reuther” or administrative caucus, which has dominated the union’s internal politics since the late 1940s.

Union News!

The officials vote for UAW president won’t come until next year during the convention. But during the past 70 years no challenger has ever succeeded in mounting a successful contest for the union presidency.  (more…)

Uber Facing Criminal Probe Due to “Espionage”

Query is delaying ongoing lawsuit between Waymo and Uber.

by on Dec.01, 2017

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who has faced one problem after another since his arrival at the company, is now dealing with a criminal investigation.

Federal prosecutors are apparently probing allegations that Uber engaged in “espionage” to uncover the trade secrets of rivals.

The investigation has prompted a federal judge to delay a trial in the mega lawsuit that Google and its self-driving-car unit have filed against Uber.

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Waymo has charged that Uber hired away a senior Google engineer to steal key secrets about its Lidar system. Waymo CEO John Krafcik has said the Lidar unit is a vital piece of the company’s self-driving car system.  (more…)

Lincoln Losing Letter-Based Labels, Going Back to Names

Experience in China sealed the deal as customers couldn't pronounce letters.

by on Nov.30, 2017

Lincoln's Kumar Galhotra says the brand will be returning to using names for its cars rather than letters.

Lincoln is getting rid of the often confusing letter-based nomenclature that it has used for the past several years.

Kumar Galhotra, president of the Lincoln Motor Car Co., said during the Lincoln press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show that the names such as MKX are going away. In the future Lincoln vehicles will have names that suggest travel and serve to underscore Lincoln’s commitment to making every customer’s journey of any kind more “effortless,” he said.

Auto Show News!

The theme already fits with names such as Navigator and Continental that Lincoln has used over the years. The name Nautilus, which will be used for the vehicle replacing the Lincoln MKX fits because its Latin root means sailor or seafarer. (more…)

Porsche Rolls Out Not One, But Four New Models

Third-generation Cayenne sport-ute sees the spotlight too.

by on Nov.30, 2017

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume introduces four new Porsches at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show.

The influence of the California market has on the management of Porsche AG was clearly on display during the press days leading into the Los Angeles Auto Show as the German sports car maker unveiled not one but four new sports cars and the new Porsche Cayenne in the U.S. for the first time.

Oliver Blume, Porsche’s chief executive officer, noted that if California was an independent country, it would be Porsche’s fifth-largest market and Porsche has always paid attention to the preferences of enthusiasts in California who have been instrumental in shaping the Porsche product line throughout the company’s life.

A Real Performer!

“Our cars are built in Southern Germany but they always seem to look better here in Southern California,” Blume said.  (more…)