Mitsubishi to Debut Engelberg Tourer Concept in Geneva

Automakers says show car hints at “next-generation technology and enhanced EV performance.”

by on Jan.29, 2019

Mitsubishi's awkwardly named plug-in, the Engelberg Tourer Concept debuts in March.

Okay, perhaps the odd name resonates in the cantons of Switzerland but there’s no question, you’re likely to get some strange looks when you tell somebody about the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer Concept set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in a little more than a month.

It’s the latest in a series of show cars rolling out from the long-struggling Japanese automaker, most – if not all – putting the emphasis on plug-based drivetrain technologies. For its part, Mitsubishi seems determined to keep us waiting for most of the details but does offer some hints about the latest prototype which, it turns out, is named after a popular Swiss ski resort that has some links to European motor sports.

All Charged Up!

The Engelberg Tourer, the company suggests, will “bring further developments in SUV styling and practicality, along with a focus on next-generation technology and enhanced EV performance.” Read the rest of this entry »

Toyota Teases 2020 Tacoma Ahead of Chicago Auto Show

King of the midsize hill aims to maintain iron grip on sales crown.

by on Jan.29, 2019

Toyota will also offer a live webcast for the 10 a.m. CST debut of the 2020 Tacoma on Feb. 7.

Toyota officials pulled the wraps off an assortment of new models in a top-secret meeting with dealers last weekend. And among the 19 all-new or updated products coming to market over the next couple years, one of the standouts is expected to be the 2020 Tacoma.

The midsize pickup is in need of a significant refresh as a lot has happened since the last all-new model made its debut in the 2016 model-year. The midsize market has seen a surge of new competitors, such as the Honda Ridgeline, with even more coming this year in the form of the reborn Ford Ranger and the all-new Jeep Gladiator.

Product News!

For the moment, we can only guess at what’s in store by perusing this teaser image. The good news is that we’ll get a look at the 2020 Toyota Tacoma in the sheet metal during one of the first of this year’s media previews at the Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 7. Read the rest of this entry »

FCA’s New Benefit Helps Employees With Big Tuition Bills

Workers find a CommonBond through new program.

by on Jan.29, 2019

Fiat Chrysler is making it easier for employees to manage student debt through its tie-up with CommonBond.

With automakers pressing ahead with new technology manufacturers are eager to bring in new talent to exploit it.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. is adding a new wrinkle to its benefit package to help salaried employees saddled with student loans and help bring in new recruits.

Business News!

The new benefit helps FCA employees refinance their student loans through CommonBond. It is in addition to the tuition assistance program offered to employees working on an additional degree while employed by the company, FCA spokesman Michael Palese said in an e-mail. Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla Strongly Hints at Q1 Loss as Musk Warns of “Very Difficult” Road Ahead

Automaker’s stock continues tumble triggered by job cuts.

by on Jan.29, 2019

Weaker-than-expected Q4 demand is expected to mean just a modest profit.

Tesla is expected to report a small profit for the final quarter of 2018 but the automaker’s CEO is now signaling it may have some bad news for the current quarter.

The automaker delivered a solid surprise when it announced a $311.5 million profit for the third quarter of last year, well exceeding analysts’ expectation. CEO Musk earlier this month warned that the final three months of the year would bring a much smaller profit. While Wall Street has already digested that forecast, there are concerns about Musk’s latest advisory.

Breaking News!

While Musk, on January 18th, suggested the company might still be able to deliver “a tiny profit… with great difficulty, effort and some luck” as it headed into 2019, his latest advisory suggests its luck may be running out, at least for now. With Musk warning of a “very difficult” road ahead, there’s a growing consensus the first quarter now will bring another dose of red ink.

Read the rest of this entry »

Zotye On Track to Sell Chinese-Made Cars By End of Year

Company has 19 dealers signed up with more to come.

by on Jan.28, 2019

Could this be Zotye's first entry in the U.S. market in later this year? An SUV will be first, the company said.

Zotye Automotive appears poised to win the race to be the first Chinese automaker to sell vehicles in the United States as its lined up 19 dealers to push the company’s first product: an SUV.

The automaker actually sells several types of SUVs in China so given vehicle preferences there and in the U.S. the selection of a sport-ute makes plenty of sense.

News Now!

Perhaps more importantly, Zotye plans to implement “no haggle” pricing for its vehicles. Those prices, according to officials, will be as much as 20% cheaper than other similar models from other brands. They’ll also be able buy the vehicles online. Read the rest of this entry »

Toyota Set to Unleash Flood of 19 New Products

More utility vehicles in the works, but don’t expect it to abandon sedans.

by on Jan.28, 2019

The new Toyota Supra made its street-version debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Toyota will be flooding U.S. showrooms with 19 new models during the next three years, a senior official said last weekend, a list that includes the next-generation Supra, Corolla and Corolla Hybrid.

Expect to see more utility vehicles in the Japanese automaker’s line-up, but don’t expect to see Toyota abandon the passenger car market. If anything, it hopes to pick up some of the slack as its Detroit-based rivals trim back their own sedan and coupe lines.

Subscribe Now!

“We’re still committed to being a full-line manufacturer, Toyota brand chief Jack Hollis told trade publication Automotive News following a “make meeting” with dealers at the annual National Automobile Dealers Association convention. Read the rest of this entry »

Subaru Resumes Auto Production After Part Problem

Issue now resolved, company is back at full speed.

by on Jan.28, 2019

Subaru restarted production at its two factories in Gunma, Japan, after resolving a part defect issue.

Subaru resumed production at two plants in Japan after they were shut down for nearly two weeks due to a defect on a power-steering component.

The problem began in late December, according to the company, and involved the Forester, Impreza and Crosstrek models, but Subaru elected to halt production on other models assembled on the same lines. The shutdown began Jan. 16.

News You Can Trust!

The two factories in Gunma, north of Tokyo, were set to make 650,000 vehicles this year – two-thirds of Subaru’s total global output – before the shutdown. Many of those models produced on that line end up in the U.S., as it accounts for most of Subaru’s sales. Read the rest of this entry »

New Vehicle Sales Buoyant During January

NADA economist sales conditions are still good for strong sales.

by on Jan.28, 2019

New vehicle sales in January are expected to surpass those from a year ago, according to analysts' estimates.

Despite the government shut down that cost the U.S. economy roughly $6 billion since Christmas, according to economists estimates, early indicators suggest new vehicle sales are expected to inch up in January, compared with year-ago results.

However, early indications are that for the start of the year, sales will continue to be strong before sliding off later in the year.

Business News!

“The current posture of the U.S. economy is strong,” NADA Senior Economist Patrick Manzi said at a press briefing during the NADA Show in San Francisco. “A tight labor market continues to put upward pressure on wages, which are rising. Consumer spending, a significant contributor of GD, remains solid. It’s a positive sign that consumers are spending money.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nissan Troubles Escalate As SEC Launches Pay Probe

France says Ghosn shouldn’t get “exorbitant” payout.

by on Jan.28, 2019

Carlos Ghosn, former CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and his case in Japan has triggered an investigation by the SEC in the U.S.

Nissan says it is facing a probe by the SEC looking into the accuracy of its executive pay disclosures, a probe stemming from the arrest of former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn last November in Japan.

The former executive has been held since Nov. 19, in the Tokyo Detention Center on multiple charges, including allegations that he failed to disclose about $88 million in income. Nissan has also been charged by Japanese prosecutors in connection with the alleged scheme.

Global News!

“We have received an inquiry and are cooperating fully,” the automaker said in a statement e-mailed to TheDetroitBureau.com that added, “We cannot provide further details.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nissan CEO Saikawa to Resign to Improve Alliance

No timetable set for his departure.

by on Jan.25, 2019

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa plans to resign in the near future to ease the tensions between Renault and Nissan.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa plans to step down from his post now that Carlos Ghosn has resigned as chairman and CEO of Renault. The move is designed to make the transition into the next phase of the partnership between Nissan and Renault easier.

Ghosn, who has been in jail on financial corruption charges, resigned two days ago after the French government began to apply pressure to Renault’s governing board to replace him. In the wake of his arrest last November, Ghosn was fired from his position as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi.

The Last Word!

Saikawa, a former Ghosn protégé, is thought to have played a critical role in bringing the charges leveled against Ghosn to authorities, hoping to use the case to leverage greater autonomy from Renault, as TheDetroitBureau.com previously reported. The French company holds a controlling 43.4% stake in its alliance partner and has been exploring the idea of merging the two manufacturers entirely. Read the rest of this entry »

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