Posts Tagged ‘paul eisenstein’

First Drive: 2018 Kia Stinger GT

Sometimes it feels good to get stung.

by on Oct.09, 2017

The 2018 Kia Stinger GT features a twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 pushing the rear or all four wheels.

It was a formidable line-up baking there in the Mojave Desert sun: an assortment of Audis, BMWs, Lexus (Lexii?) and, perhaps most intimidating of all, a Porsche Panamera. But we hadn’t driven out to the California badlands for a shoot-out among traditional luxury brands. Across the tarmac, poised like the new sheriff in town: a line-up of new Kia Stinger GTs sat waiting to challenge the established order.

Kia? Really? Yep, really. The brand, long known for its no-frills subcompacts, has made some surprising strides in recent years with larger, more lavish offerings like the Optima sedan and Sorrento SUV. It’s even tried its hand in the luxury market with the full-size K900 sedan. Kia has already kicked sand in the faces of some of the industry’s most exclusive brands, handily topping the charts in a series of recent quality and customer satisfaction surveys.

Reviews You Can Trust!

And if any new model reveals what Kia’s plans for the future might be, it is certainly the new Stinger. First shown in concept form at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the five-door hatchback will be rolling into U.S. showrooms in the coming weeks with only the most modest of changes.

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Leaner, Faster, More High-Tech, Ford CEO Hackett Outlines His Vision of the Future

Maker will focus on electric vehicle development.

by on Oct.04, 2017

Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Hackett spent his first 100 days rethinking all aspects of Ford's business.

(Updated)

Ford Motor Co.’s new CEO Jim Hackett emerged from a 100-day review of the company’s challenges, capabilities and strategies late Tuesday afternoon to reveal a series of changes expected to yield billions of dollars in savings for the second-largest U.S. automaker while also driving up sales, revenues and margins by targeting new business opportunities in both the U.S. and overseas markets.

The former head of furniture maker Steelcase, Hackett said Ford has to prepare for the disruptions threatening the auto industry while using them to boost revenues. Joined at Ford headquarters in the Detroit suburbs by four of his top lieutenants, Hackett outlined a series of key goals and changes that will include, among other things a reduction in the number of sedans and conventional passenger cars while shifting capital to the development of more utility vehicles and electrified vehicles.

Disrupting News!

Improvements in the product development and manufacturing process, meanwhile, will yield about $10 billion annual savings, said the 62-year-old Hackett. Acknowledging Ford had “fallen short on key targets,” the new CEO promised to deliver profit margins of at least 8%, up from the current 6.1%, a figure he said “simply (is) not good enough.”

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GM Going All-Electric; 20 New EVs Planned by 2023.

“GM believes in an all-electric future,” says product czar Reuss.

by on Oct.02, 2017

The Chevrolet Bolt will soon by joined by "at least" 20 more battery-electric vehicles from GM.

Despite a slow start for its Chevrolet Bolt EV, General Motors “believes in an all-electric future,” the maker’s global product development chief said Monday, announcing GM will back that up with the launch of 20 pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, by 2023.

The Bolt, the automaker’s first long-range electric model, will be joined by two other BEVs within the next 18 months, GM also confirmed Monday. The largest of Detroit’s Big Three automakers also revealed a fuel-cell-powered heavy-duty truck concept dubbed SURUS, that could be used for a variety of purposes, such as a delivery vehicle or first-responder vehicle.

Stay Plugged In!

GM joins a growing list of manufacturers who have, in recent months, announced plans to greatly expand their range of battery and fuel-cell vehicles. Some, such as Volvo, intend to only offer electrified drivelines, others, such as Volkswagen, say they will have electrified options available on all future models. But while it has not set out a timeline, GM intends to go to 100% pure electric across the board, officials said.

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VW Doubles Warranty Hoping to Put Diesel Scandal in Rearview Mirror

But cost of emissions scam surges past $30 bil mark.

by on Sep.29, 2017

The 2018 VW Golf family will come under the new People First Warranty program.

Volkswagen is doubling the bumper-to-bumper warranty on its U.S. Line-up to six years and 72,000 miles, it announced during a Detroit news event on Friday.

The move affects its entire range of models, extending the longer warranty it launched with the debut of the new Tiguan and Atlas SUV models earlier this year. Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubisi offer have 10/100 warranties, but only for powertrain coverage.

The Last Word!

The new warranties come as the German maker struggles to regain momentum lost in the wake of the emissions scandal that meant that it could no longer offer U.S. buyers the diesel options that had accounted for as much as a fifth of its sales in the American market. At the same time, VW announced it was taking an additional $2.9 billion charge to cover costs related to the scandal for the third quarter, bringing to $30 billion the expenses the rigging scheme has so far cost the company.

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Elon Musk Wants to Send You to Mars – or at Least Around the World in an Hour

SpaceX aims to land two cargo ships on Mars by 2022.

by on Sep.29, 2017

An artist's rendering of SpaceX BFR spaceships on Mars. While the sky is blue and sunsets are red on Earth, it's the other way around on Mars.

Elon Musk is clearly out to change the way we travel, both where we go and how we get there. The visionary entrepreneur has laid out a series of plans for his SpaceX rocket company that would not only set the stage for colonizing Mars but speed up the process of getting to just about any place on Earth.

Musk has revealed plans for a next-generation spacecraft – dubbed BFR, for “Big Falcon Rocket” – that could be used to go from New York to Shanghai, for example, in less than a half-hour. With the internal nickname, “Big Fucking Rocket,” it would also be the vehicle to get man back to the moon and even Mars, Musk announcing plans to land two cargo ships on the Red Planet in 2022, and astronauts two years later.

Science Fiction to Reality?

“That’s not a typo — although it is aspirational,” said the South African-born Musk, during a presentation at the International Astronautical Congress, or IAC, in Australia, early today.

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Renault-Nissan’s Ghosn Raises Caution Flag for U.S. Auto Market

Exec expects NAFTA to survive, despite threats from Trump.

by on Sep.28, 2017

Carlos Ghosn relinquished his title as Nissan CEO this year to focus more on Mitsubishi.

After months of decline, September could bring some good news for U.S. automakers, with a modest upturn in new vehicle sales. But don’t expect that upturn to last long, warns Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

The Brazilian-born executive said that sales in the U.S. market are likely to remain “stable,” meaning no growth. On the other hand, he told CNBC he doesn’t expect the serious downturn that some observers have begun to worry about after months of weak sales.

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Beyond the Headlines!

Asked if there’s an opportunity for the American market to grow, following three record years of sales, Ghosn said, “I’m not planning on that,” adding that, “For the next six years we’re seeing a stable U.S. market (but) we don’t see growth in the U.S.”

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Chevy Marks 100 Years of Pickups With Two Special Centennial Editions

Original One-Ton model was cobbled together by factory workers.

by on Sep.28, 2017

The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado Centennial Edition.

It’s coming up on 100 years since some Chevy workers cobbled together a handful of parts to create the One-Ton, the bowtie brands first pickup truck, and the Detroit automaker is launching a 100-day celebration to mark the centennial.

The festivities include the debut of two special-edition models, Centennial Edition versions of both the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado and Silverado trucks. Among other things, the two models get a variety of nice touches, such as chrome trim, tow hooks and mirror caps. They also showcase various versions of the familiar bowtie logo Chevy has used over the years.

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Keep on Truckin'!

“The Chevy Trucks Centennial is a huge milestone for us,” said the brand’s truck marketing and advertising chief Sandor Piszar. “It’s important that we share this celebration with our loyal customers who have helped us achieve this accomplishment.”

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When it Comes to Jobs, Automakers Give – and Take Away

Industry announces plans for 12,000 jobs long-term, but cutbacks costing thousands now.

by on Sep.25, 2017

Mercedes is one of the automakers getting set to expand U.S. operations and create new jobs.

If you’re looking for a job at an auto assembly plant, hang tight, there will be thousands of new openings over the next several years. But for now, you might want to look elsewhere.

The auto industry was one of the sparks that helped set fire to the U.S. economy after the Great Recession, and since just the beginning of the year, manufacturers ranging BMW to Volvo have announced plans to add at least 12,000 new jobs as they add new U.S. assembly plants or expand existing ones.

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Jaguar Busting Stereotypes to Build Sales

Three SUVs, with more likely. Now add batteries.

by on Sep.21, 2017

Design Director Ian Callum gives the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace its U.S. preview.

Say the name, Jaguar, and you’re likely to picture a sleek sports car like the F-Type or a sexy sports sedan, like the big XJ. But reality for the British automaker is starting to look quite different.

Sure, it’s getting ready to roll out the $187,500 XE SV Project 8, at 592 horsepower the most powerful street-legal model it has ever produced. But when it comes to moving the sales needle, you need to look in the other direction, starting with the F-Pace, the British maker’s first sport-utility vehicle. After a long, downward spiral it almost single-handedly transformed Jaguar into the world’s fastest-growing automotive brand in 2016.

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Beyond the Headlines!

Now, Jaguar is hoping to pull off a similar feat with the launch of its second utility vehicle, the smaller E-Pace, which it rolled out for a sedate U.S. debut on Thursday after a much more spectacular unveiling in London two months ago. A third ute, the I-Pace, will feature a pure battery-electric drivetrain, will come to market late next year.

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A Year Before it Opens, Volvo Set to Double Size of New Charleston Plant

Will start with S60; second model to be announced "soon."

by on Sep.20, 2017

The new Volvo XC60 is anchoring parent Geely's ambitious global expansion plans.

The first car isn’t scheduled to roll down the assembly line at Volvo’s new Charleston, South Carolina assembly plant for another year, but the automaker already appears to be optimistic enough to plan for a second, $1 billion line.

The plant will become Volvo’s first assembly plant in the U.S., and will combine its capacity with two new facilities that have already opened in China. The Charleston facility originally was designed with just one line, and was expected to produce about 140,000 vehicles annually – relatively small by modern automotive standards. Sources indicate that will be boosted to more than 200,000 with the addition of a second line.

Breaking News!

“The factory is extremely important for Volvo,” Lex Keemakers, the CEO of Volvo North America, told TheDetroitBureau.com during an interview last month. Among other things, he said, when the original investment was announced “it sent a signal” to both consumers and dealers that Volvo was making a serious commitment to the U.S. market.

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