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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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 »

Analysts Forecasting Strong Auto Sales in January

Uptick comes despite government shutdown.

by on Jan.25, 2019

Analysts are predicting that January new vehicle sales will be up compared with last year's results.

Automakers and analysts alike have predicted that new vehicle sales in the U.S. for 2019 will be lower than they were in 2018. Of course, we now know they were happily wrong, and the early predictions have 2019 ahead of last year’s sales pace.

Edmunds predicts that 1,169,804 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in January for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 17.2 million. This reflects a 28.1% decrease in sales from December 2018, but a 1.3% increase from January 2018.

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“January’s sales strength shows car shoppers are still feeling optimistic, even in the midst of the government shutdown and talk of a slowing economy,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds’ manager of industry analysis.  Read the rest of this entry »

Government Shutdown May Hurt Automakers Soon

FCA delayed intro of new Ram 3500 HD due to EPA closure.

by on Jan.25, 2019

FCA CEO Mike Manley said the government shutdown is delaying the sale of the new Ram 3500 HD.

The government shutdown is now in its 34thday. The longest-ever shutdown has impacted 800,000 government employees, making it difficult for them to pay bills, buy groceries and meet day-to-day financial obligations.

The ongoing fight between President Donald Trump and Democrats has also impacted the public at-large through longer lines at airports, closure of National Parks and the delay of at least one new vehicle model.

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Environmental Protection Agency employees are part of the shutdown, including those responsible for performing the various tests necessary for new vehicle models in the EPA labs in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Without the certifications, the vehicles don’t meet federal regulations and cannot be sold. Read the rest of this entry »

Ford CEO Hackett Wants to Double Profits After Poor 2018

New target is an 8% operating profit margin.

by on Jan.25, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett has set a new benchmark for the company's profits: an 8% operating profit margin.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett told the company’s employees that it was time to move on from 2018, but that those “mediocre” results will not be acceptable for 2019 and its longer-term goal — doubling last year’s annual profits.

It is “time to bury the year (2018) in a deep grave, grieve over what might have been and become super focused on meeting, and, in fact, exceeding this year’s plan,” Hackett wrote.

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Hackett relayed his expectations to employees: an operating profit margin of 8%, which equates to an operating profit of nearly $14 billion. In 2018, the company’s operating profit was $7 billion, resulting in a margin of 4.4%. Read the rest of this entry »

First Drive: 2019 Genesis G90

Luxury and performance with a lower price tag.

by on Jan.25, 2019

The Genesis G90 full-size sedan provides plenty of luxury appointments with an impressive driving experience for a lower price than its competitors.

Genesis, the luxury brand from Hyundai, hasn’t sold many cars yet but it has won an ample and growing number of plaudits from any number of judges of automotive metal.

The accolades, by the way, are well deserved since cars such as the G90 from Genesis that I recently had the opportunity to drive, are well-designed inside and out, loaded with technology, handle well and provide almost all the power anyone would ever really need away from a racetrack.

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With its 124.4-inch wheelbase, the G90 is something of a disappearing breed — a genuine full-sized sedan with ample room in both the front seat for the driver and a passenger and the rear seats where the passengers can relax in comfort almost as if they were riding in a vehicle driven by chauffer, which probably is the point. Read the rest of this entry »

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