Toyota Set to Reveal Supra at Geneva Motor Show

New model likely to come with Gazoo Racing badges.

by on Feb.15, 2018

Japanese auto magazine, Best Car, revealed several pictures of the yet-to-be-unveiled sports car, including this racing version.

This story has been updated with new information.

Toyota Motor Co. dropped a broad hint that it is preparing to unveil a concept car at the upcoming 2018 Geneva Motor Show that will signal the impending return of one of its most famous nameplates, the Supra.

However, a Japanese auto magazine, Best Car, released early pictures of the alleged sports car along with a smattering of technical information. The pictures show a vehicle closely related to its MKIV concept car from a few years ago.

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The automaker offered only a partial look at the new Supra, a car that helped embellish the Japanese automaker’s reputation for building some of the world’s best cars. The Supra has been gone – but hardly forgotten – from the Toyota model line for the better part of two decades. Read the rest of this entry »

Lincoln Adds More Star Power to its Ads with Serena Williams

Tennis star talks about role Navigator played in her life.

by on Feb.15, 2018

Tennis great Serena Williams is promoting the new Lincoln Navigator.

All right, all right, all right. It’s time for a new Lincoln spokesperson and new mom Serena Williams — already once a Navigator owner — is stepping into the role.

Lincoln has pinned a lengthy ad campaign on actor Matthew McConaughey and now expands its celebrity spokesperson stable to include Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slam tennis titles, to promote the newly redesigned Navigator.

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“Serena is an amazing athlete who has won 23 Grand Slams, but she also has a family, she has her own clothing line, she sits on major boards, she’s philanthropic – she has all these competing demands on her time,” said John Emmert, group marketing manager, The Lincoln Motor Co. Read the rest of this entry »

Dyson’s EV Efforts Following a Familiar Path

Entrepreneur plans to start with a low-volume, premium car then add two.

by on Feb.14, 2018

James Dyson confirmed plans to produce an electric vehicle by 2020.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a quirky entrepreneur decides to get into the automotive business by developing an electric vehicle, even though he has no real experience in that arena. The grand plan calls for three vehicles to anchor the company.

Sound familiar?

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Yes. But it’s not Elon Musk and Tesla, but rather James Dyson, the famous inventor of the Dyson vacuum and many other products. Dyson recently revealed plans to produce an EV using a solid state batteries rather than the lithium ion panels currently used by automakers. Read the rest of this entry »

Nissan Set to Reveal All-New Altima at NY Auto Show

Nissan hopes to hang onto midsize buyers in an SUV market.

by on Feb.14, 2018

Nissan is looking to ensure that its Altima midsize sedan continues to attract buyers in the competitive segment.

Midsize sedans. Remember them? In reality, while SUVs and CUVs have been gaining lots of momentum in the U.S. marketplace, the classic family four-door is still a seriously popular alternative, ringing up millions of sales each year.

It helps to have new sheet metal in the market, and last year saw two critical offerings, the completely remade Toyota Camry and Honda Accord – the latter being named North American Car of the Year, with Camry a runner-up. Now, it’s Nissan’s turn to weigh in, and the Japanese automaker has confirmed we’ll get our first look at the 2019 Altima at the New York Auto Show in a little more than a month.

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Spy shots have been popping up in recent months and they suggest we won’t see any radical shift away from Nissan’s current formula. A brief statement from the second-largest Japanese car manufacturer says that, “New Yorkers have always loved the Altima, making the Northeast region the most popular market for Nissan’s best-selling sedan and NYIAS the ideal place to reveal the next generation.” Read the rest of this entry »

New Mercedes-Benz C-Class Getting More Power, More Smarts

Semi-autonomous tech moves over from the S-Class.

by on Feb.14, 2018

The most important of the introductions by Mercedes-Benz at the Geneva Motor Show may be the midcycle refresh of the C-Class.

It’s going to be a busy Geneva Motor Show for Mercedes-Benz, the automaker rolling out an assortment of new models for global or European debuts, including the new four-door AMG GT, the updated S- and G-Class models, the all-new A-Class, and an updated C-Class.

While that compact sedan may only be getting a midcycle refresh it could prove to be the most significant of the introductions considering that the C-Class remains Mercedes’ global best-seller, generating more than 400,000 sales in 2017. Freshening it up will be critical at a time when more and more buyers are shifting from passenger cars to SUVs and CUVs.

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Both the C-Class sedan and wagon models will be updated for 2019, and while exterior and interior changes will be modest, buyers will be tempted with an increase in power, as well as the addition of new semi-autonomous technology lifted from the lofty S-Class and able to handle a limited amount of hands-free driving. Read the rest of this entry »

Maven Making Move to Toronto

Service expands into new country.

by on Feb.14, 2018

GM's car-sharing service, Maven, continues to grow. The on-demand access to vehicles is now in Canada's largest city, Toronto.

General Motors car-sharing service, Maven, which offers customers access to personalized, on-demand mobility services, has opened for business in Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

So far, GM has rolled out Maven in more than a dozen cities in North America, including New York and Los Angeles.

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“Toronto has a unique spirit. Residents are constantly on the go and want more sharing and mobility options,” said Julia Steyn, vice president, General Motors Urban Mobility and Maven. “Maven offers cars Torontonians want to drive to help them be there for the moments that matter.” Read the rest of this entry »

Automotive Consumer Debt Continues to Rise

Despite selling fewer vehicles, loan originations rose last quarter.

by on Feb.14, 2018

Americans borrowed more money to buy new vehicles in 2017 despite the fact that they bought fewer vehicles.

The amount of money Americans borrowed to finance the purchase of new vehicles increased again during the fourth quarter of 2017, according to new figures published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The Federal Reserve Bank of NY said the value of auto loans approved during the fourth quarter increased by $8 billion over the same period in 2016 when sales were of vehicles were relatively stronger. In addition, the value of automotive loans or debts held by lenders increased in 2017 by $64 billion to $1.22 trillion even though overall new vehicle sales dropped last year.

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The percentage of delinquent auto loans also dropped in the fourth quarter to 2.3% from 2.4%, the report noted. Read the rest of this entry »

Lexus and Buick Lead Industry in Long-Term Dependability

But latest J.D. Power study finds reliability is up overall.

by on Feb.14, 2018

The Lexus ES led in the Premium Compact Car segment, while Lexus was ranked the most dependable brand overall.

While many studies look at the quality of vehicles soon after they roll off the showroom floor, the real question is how they hold up after a few years on the road. And the answer, according to annual J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, is better than ever.

Almost across the board, reliability showed a large jump – the first improvement since 2013 – though some manufacturers did notably better than others. For the seventh consecutive year, the Japanese luxury brand Lexus led the VDS overall while Buick was tops among mass market brands. Chrysler lagged at the back of the pack, with nearly twice as many problems as those two rivals, but it also showed some improvement.

Insight!

“For the most part, automotive manufacturers continue to meet consumers’ vehicle dependability expectations,” said Dave Sargent, the head of automotive practices as J.D. Power and Associates. “A 9% improvement is extremely impressive, and vehicle dependability is, without question, at its best level ever. For people looking for a new or used model, now is a good time to find that special vehicle.”

Read the rest of this entry »

First Look: 2019 BMW X4

Longer, lower, wider.

by on Feb.14, 2018

The 2019 BMW X4 grows in all dimensions but one, with its roofline lowered a mere 0.1 inches.

BMW is blowing a kiss to fans of its Sports-Activity Vehicle line-up, giving a first look on Valentine’s Day at the next-generation X4.

The Bavarian automaker has been filling in just every possible niche with its SAVs, most recently debuting the new X2 so, it seems, it’s heading back to refresh the rest of the line-up. If you get a sense of déjà vu, no surprise, considering the 2019 X4 shares most of its underpinnings with the latest BMW X3.

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“The second-generation BMW X4 brings together a distinctive, dynamic silhouette with a clear, pared-back use of forms,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pot Smokers Not Only Thing High on 4/20 – Traffic Accidents Too

New study shows double-digit percent increase in traffic fatalities.

by on Feb.13, 2018

Marijuana advocates celebrate "4/20" annually by smoking pot. Researchers say that traffic fatalities rise by 12% that day. Photo credit: Daily Camera

Each year on April 20, thousands of people in the United States celebrate 4/20, the date 2o- years ago that High Times, a marijuana advocacy publication, designated to celebrate what it perceived as the virtues of smoking pot.

However, a new study shows that it’s not only people that get high on that day, traffic fatality rates get high(er) as well.

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Actually the results of the study are more educated guess than stone cold fact. Researchers cannot not fully determine if marijuana-intoxicated drivers caused the rise in vehicle deaths on 4/20, but they appear to be the most likely culprits, according to John Staples, an internist and researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Read the rest of this entry »

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