Posts Tagged ‘paul a. eisenstein’

Global Auto Sales Set to Hit Record in 2018

Industry coming tantalizing close to 100 million mark.

by on Feb.16, 2018

Despite sluggish sales in the U.S. and China, global auto sales are expected to set a new record in 2018.

Global auto sales are expected to hit an all-time record in 2018 of 97.3 million vehicles, according to a new forecast by LMC Automotive.

That 2.1% jump over 2017 would come despite a weak market in North America, as well as softening growth in what is now the world’s largest automotive market, China, LMC researchers said during a media conference call.

News Now!

The U.S., in particular, posted its first annual decline in vehicle sales since the market hit bottom in 2010, and it remains unclear what will happen in 2018, LMC Managing Director Pete Kelly cautioning that it “could go either way.” (more…)

Another Transmission Recall at Fiat Chrysler

Move targets over 200,000 Pickups that could roll away.

by on Feb.16, 2018

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 229,000 Ram pickups due to a problem with the the trucks unexpectedly shifting out of park.

Fiat Chrysler will recall 229,000 Ram pickups due to a defect that cause them to unexpectedly roll away.

Because a pin can become dislodged inadvertently if a driver keeps a foot on the brake when it is shifted into park, the normal shift interlock mechanism can be deactivated, allowing the vehicle to unexpectedly shift out of park without a key in the ignition or a foot on the brake.

Safety News!

It is the latest in a series of transmission problems for the Detroit automaker, though most of the recent issues have involved new electronic shifters that don’t have a direct mechanical linkage to the gearbox. One issue was linked to the death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, who was crushed by his Jeep two years ago. (more…)

Mercedes-AMG GT Four-Door Caught Blowing in the Wind (Tunnel)

Debut coming at Geneva Motor Show.

by on Feb.15, 2018

The new Mercedes-AMG GT four-door is among the slipperiest sedans money can buy.

Think of them as tattoos, rather than camouflage, for there’s little left to the imagination in these shots of the new Mercedes-AMG GT four-door as it goes through wind tunnel testing ahead of its formal debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

The current GT is one of the more wind-slick models on the market, but stretching its length and wheelbase and then adding two more doors threatened to change aero equation massively, so it’s no surprise the German automaker designers have been spending so much time in the tunnel.

Performance News!

“Final tests will be carried out in the wind tunnel before the new member of the AMG GT family has its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show,” the automaker said in a statement accompanying these images, adding that, “It is already clear that the new family member is also a fine aerodynamic performer.” (more…)

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.

Product News!

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.” (more…)

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.

Global News!

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. (more…)

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.”

(more…)

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.

New Product News!

“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.

(more…)

It’s Official: Rolls-Royce SUV Will be Named Cullinan

A diamond in the rough?

by on Feb.13, 2018

Project Cullinan is about to make its debut as the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

Surprise: Rolls-Royce plans to call its first-ever SUV the Cullinan. Oh, wait, you already knew? Well, the reality is that folks inside the British maker have been referring to the ultra-luxurious  ute for some time as “Project Cullinan,” but the company only now is making that the official choice for the production model.

So, with a little less than shock value to the name, Rolls has also released an assortment of pictures of what it prefers to call a “high-bodied vehicle.”  And, if you’re wondering, it’s an appropriate moniker for something targeting the world’s most affluent motorists, making reference to the largest diamond ever discovered.

Product News!

“The name Cullinan has been hiding in plain sight since we revealed it as the project name some years ago,” explained Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce. “It is the most fitting name for our extraordinary new product. Just like the Cullinan Diamond, the largest flawless diamond ever found, it emerges when it is perfect and exists above all others.”

(more…)

GM Shutting One Korean Plant, Considering Fate of Others

Government open to aid offer – but demands investment guarantees.

by on Feb.13, 2018

The Gunsan plant has produced several GM models, including the Chevy Orlando shown here.

Facing rising costs and declining sales, General Motors today said it will close one of four factories in South Korea and, as part of an ongoing restructuring program, the automaker is weighing the fate of the remaining three facilities.

South Korean government officials expressed “deep regret” at the news. The country’s trade minister left open the possibility of financial aid but cautioned that any assistance will depend on whether GM plans to invest in its operations in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. But it appears all sides are playing a game of brinksmanship, the U.S. automaker waiting to see what stakeholders, including its unions, might be willing to offer.

Global News!

“As we are at a critical juncture of needing to make product allocation decisions, the ongoing discussions must demonstrate significant progress by the end of February, when GM will make important decisions on next steps,” Barry Engle, GM executive vice president and president of GM International, said in a statement.

(more…)

First Look: Mercedes-AMG G63

More muscle for an off-road beast.

by on Feb.13, 2018

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 features several distinctive design details, including its grille and side exhaust pipes.

Less than a month after Arnold Schwarzenegger helped pull the wraps off the next-generation Mercedes G-Wagen, the German automaker is back with an even more bulked-up version of the off-road beast.

With a helping hand from the AMG side of the family the new G63 will boast the sort of power that one might more typically expect from a Mercedes sports car, a full 577 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque.

Off-Roading!

“The new AMG G63 brings driving performance to the segment of unadulterated off-road vehicles in unexpected form,” said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.” The vehicle has evertheless reached a completely new dimension in terms of technology with the handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine as well as in combination with the off-road characteristics, the agility and the vehicle dynamics achieved.”

(more…)

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