Posts Tagged ‘car news’

Ford Denies Plan to Move Next-Gen Fusion to China

Wire report claims midsize model will follow Focus as Ford cuts costs.

by on Dec.14, 2017

The Fusion has lost momentum in a U.S. market increasingly focused on SUVs and CUVs.

Ford Motor Co. says it has no plan to consolidate production of its next-generation Fusion and Mondeo models in China for shipment to markets around the world, countering a report by Reuters.

On Wednesday, the news service referenced automotive suppliers and other sources to indicate the midsize sedans would move out of their current plants in Europe and Mexico with a facility in China taking over as Ford’s single production source. Ford earlier this year announced a similar strategy for the smaller Focus model.

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“We have no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe,” Ford said in a statement responding to the wire report. “Fusion/Mondeo are an important part of the Ford car lineup. We will have more information to share about the next Fusion/Mondeo at a later date.”

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The 15 Hottest New Cars, Trucks and Crossovers for 2018

Great designs, hot performers, breakthrough safety, unexpected features define the best of the 2018 class.

by on Dec.13, 2017

The Stelvio is the first SUV ever from Alfa Romeo - though more are in the works.

The 2018 model-year is bringing with it an array of new cars, trucks and crossover — with an emphasis on SUVs that matches up with the broad shift in the U.S. market away from traditional sedans and coupes.

All told, buyers can choose from close to 100 different completely new and updated 2018 models, a daunting challenge to those who might not know where to start. So, TheDetroitBureau.com is weighing in with 15 of our favorite picks for the new model-year. These are vehicles that offer stand-out styling, impressive performance, unexpected levels of standard features and the latest in high-tech infotainment and safety gear.

The Best of the Best!

The list includes an assortment of domestic, European and Asian models. And after you read through you’ll understand why we think these 15 are the hottest new cars, trucks and crossovers for 2018.

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Toyota Expects Electrified Vehicles Will Make Up Half of Its Global Sales

Automaker planning partnership with Panasonic.

by on Dec.13, 2017

Toyota Pres. Akio Toyoda at the launch of the Lexus LC coupe - which is offered with a hybrid option.

Toyota Motor Co. President Akio Toyoda said Wednesday that he expects half of the company’s sales to come from electrified vehicles – including hybrids and plug-based models – by 2030.

Toyoda spoke during a news conference called to announce a partnership with Panasonic to develop new battery technology that would be used for future Toyota products. The emphasis on electrified vehicles underscores a major shift in strategy by Japan’s largest automaker which, until recently, focused on hybrids but steered clear of more advanced plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.

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“The auto industry is now facing a major change of the kind that comes once in a hundred years,” said the 61-year-old grandson of Toyota’s founder.

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Mercedes Taking New “User Experience” to CES

Automakers struggle to add more high-tech content – and make it easier to use.

by on Dec.12, 2017

The interior of the next Mercedes-Benz A-Class shows off its expansive display technology.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has become a showcase for the auto industry, as much as it traditional was for computer, TV and smartphone manufacturers. A number of intriguing products, such as the Volkswagen BUDD-e van and Chevrolet Bolt EV have debuted there in recent years, but Mercedes-Benz is taking a different tack next month, using CES to reveal a completely new infotainment system.

Dubbed the Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX, it is designed to replace the German marque’s now-familiar COMAND system. Using artificial intelligence and what Mercedes calls “an intuitive operating system,” the goal appears to be finding a way to add even more technology into tomorrow’s luxury products without confounding owners.

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That’s a major challenge. Today’s cars are loaded with as many as 100 different microprocessors operating such things as a vehicle’s engine and safety gear. But manufacturers are also loading up with lots of new infotainment technologies and in many cases, they can turn out to be “nightmares” to operate, Renee Stephens, vice president at J.D. Power and Associates noted when unveiling the research firm’s latest APEAL study earlier this year.

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Nissan to Test Robocabs Ahead of 2022 Launch of First Fully Autonomous Vehicles

Japanese maker plans to bring increasingly sophisticated self-driving tech to market each year.

by on Dec.11, 2017

A prototype, 1st-gen Nissan Leaf is shown during testing in Tokyo traffic.

One of the first automakers to commit to developing autonomous vehicle technology, Nissan plans to begin field-testing its first robocabs in Japan next year, part of an expanding development program aimed at putting fully autonomous vehicles into production by 2022.

The pilot program, pairing Nissan with technology development firm DeNA, will operate near the Japanese automaker’s headquarters in Yokohama. It will be the latest in a fast-growing series of self-driving ride-share programs, including one started by Google spin-off Waymo this year. Lyft is launching its own field test in Boston. And Nissan’s alliance partner, Renault has been testing similar technology in France.

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Nissan last week revealed it intends to have its first fully autonomous vehicle in production sometime during the 2022 calendar year. But the carmaker plans to introduce a series of increasingly sophisticated, semi-autonomous technologies before then, starting with the ProPilot system debuting on the 2018 Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle.

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Lyft Launches Autonomous Test in Boston

Long-term goal is to go fully driverless.

by on Dec.08, 2017

An autonomous prototype developed by nuTonomy, one of the models Lyft will begin using in Boston.

Lyft has become the latest ride-sharing service to begin testing autonomous vehicles.`

The pilot program, launched in Boston this week, is being run in partnership with self-driving tech firm nuTonomy. Lyft has also been working with both Ford Motor Co. and General Motors, two carmakers that share its long-term goal of going completely driverless in a bid to slash costs while also improving safety.

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“Based on back from pilot participants, nuTonomy’s engineers will adapt and improve our system, so that we can deliver an autonomous transportation experience that is extremely safe, efficient, and comfortable,” nuTonomy said in a statement.

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Ford Moving EV Production From Michigan to Mexico

Move will open up plant to build new line of autonomous vehicles.

by on Dec.07, 2017

“You’re starting to see the foundation of Ford’s bet on AVs (or autonomous vehicles),” said Jim Farley.

Ford plans to shift production of electric vehicles from a suburban Detroit plant to a factory in Mexico, a top company official said. That move will make room at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant for Ford to launch a new line of driverless vehicles that will be used by ride-sharing and delivery fleets.

The move could create some political headaches for the second-largest of the Detroit Big Three automakers. During his campaign for the White House, then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly bashed Ford’s plans to move small car production from Michigan to a second assembly plant it was building in Mexico. It ultimately scrubbed that facility and will shift production of the Focus model to China, instead.

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“You’re starting to see the foundation of Ford’s bet on AVs (or autonomous vehicles),” said Jim Farley, the president of global markets for Ford.

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Rinspeed Snap Offers Lego-Like Flexibility to Driverless Vehicles

Concept pairs autonomous EV platform with mix-and-match pods.

by on Dec.06, 2017

This rendering show the Rinspeed Snap's platform and passenger pod before docking.

Think of it as a sort of motorized Legomobile. Swiss think tank Rinspeed is known for coming up with creative – and sometimes wacky – concept vehicles and the one it plans to bring to the Consumer Electronics Show next month would allow a user to plug different bodies onto a flat, skateboard-like electric vehicle platform.

Rinspeed is by no means the first to adopt an essentially self-contained platform that could be used with a variety of different bodies. General Motors first revealed that concept more than a decade ago in the form of its hydrogen-powered Hy-Wire. And most modern electric vehicles now mount their batteries and other key components in or below the load floor.

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But the appropriately named Rinspeed Snap would allow the passenger compartment to separate from its electrified, autonomous platform and be used for other purposes. “(The) pod can even be useful when stationary,” says a release. “it can be anything from a variable shopping pod or a spacious camping pod to a cozy cuddling pod and even provide a breathtaking, fully connected user experience for the occupants of the passenger cabin. The sky is here the limit for the possible applications.”

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Ford to Test Online Sales in China

Expected to announce partnership with Chinese online giant Alibaba on Thursday.

by on Dec.06, 2017

Up til now, Ford and its Lincoln brand have relied on a relatively conventional dealer model in China.

The vast majority of car buyers around the world now rely on the Internet during at least some part of the shopping process, according to industry data, but Ford Motor Co. is expected to take the next big step this week as it announces a new partnership with Chinese online retail giant Alibaba.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett and Chairman Bill Ford are expected to attend a ceremony in Hangzhou on Thursday where they will be joined by representatives of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to announce new venture that could include the use of a new “auto vending machine” store concept, reports the Reuters news service.

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The tie-up, which is also expected to involve at least some of Ford’s existing Chinese dealers, will come just days after the Detroit-based automaker announced plans to launch 50 new vehicles in the booming Asian nation, 15 of them to rely on electrified propulsion technology. Ford is making an aggressive push to expand its presence in China where it lags well behind rivals General Motors and Volkswagen. (more…)

Ford Adding 50 New Vehicles in China, 15 of Them “Electrified”

Detroit automaker hopes to regain momentum in world's largest auto market.

by on Dec.05, 2017

Ford's Peter Fleet faces a tough challenge gaining share in a slowing Chinese market.

Ford, a latecomer to the booming Chinese automotive market, said Tuesday it will launch 50 new models there by 2025, 15 of them “electrified.”

The announcement, made in Shanghai on Tuesday, is meant to shore up the company’s presence in the world’s largest automotive market — Ford’s Chinese sales sagging in recent months. It also indicates the Detroit-based carmaker will fall in line as Chinese regulators push the industry to introduce more low and zero-emissions vehicles in an effort to deal with endemic pollution problems.

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“Between now and 2025, we will launch 50 new vehicles in China, and of those 50 new vehicles, 15 of them will be all-new electrified vehicles,” said Peter Fleet, Ford’s head of Asia Pacific operations.

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