Posts Tagged ‘TheDetroitBureau.com.’

PepsiCo Joins List of Tesla Semi Truck Buyers

Giant beverage and food producer orders 50 trucks.

by on Dec.14, 2017

PepsiCo is the latest company to plunk down deposit money on Tesla's semi truck. The company ordered 100 trucks.

PepsiCo has become the latest big-time user of commercial trucks to sign an order for Elon Musk’s battery-electric semi trucks.

Pepsi placed the largest order yet by reserving 100 Tesla semi trucks, meaning the company wrote a $2 million check. The soda and snack company plans to use the trucks for shipments of beverages and snacks foods from factories or distribution centers to retailers, and is currently deciding which routes would best suit the electric trucks.

Product News!

Tesla claims the semi, which was unveiled last month, has a range of 500 miles when towing a full 80,000-pound load, and that 400 miles of range can be restored in just 30 minutes at one of its new Megacharger stations. (more…)

First Look: 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Mercedes reinterprets maker's military-based classic.

by on Dec.14, 2017

The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class gets a makeover for the 2018 model year.

Daimler AG has updated its G-Class sport utility vehicle, which like the Jeep Wrangler, began its life more than 40 years ago as a military vehicle but is now one of the most coveted vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz model line.

The G-Class or Geländewagen or G-Wagen as its now known was developed as cross-country vehicle for use in remote places such as the desert or Arctic region is a midsized, boxy style SUV that is built for Daimler by Magna-Steyr in Graz, Austria.

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The redesign, which is described as the most extensive in the vehicle’s long history and includes a more spacious cabin, maintains the ute’s iconic elements to give the G-Class its unique appearance such as distinctive door handles, exterior protective strip, exposed spare wheel on the rear door and the prominent indicator lights. (more…)

Ferrari Doubling Production a Year Early

If maker hits mark, profits soar past $2 billion.

by on Dec.13, 2017

The Portofino is Ferrari's latest model. CEO Sergio Marchionne is pushing for production levels to double, perhaps next year.

It would appear that CEO Sergio Marchionne is finally getting his wish to bulk up the production of Ferraris as the Italian sports carmaker plans to produce 9,000 vehicles next year.

Marchionne has long wanted to produce more vehicles to squeeze more profits out of the company. It led to a dispute with the former chief, Luca di Montezemolo, which led to his departure from Ferrari. Montezemolo was concerned that building too many vehicles would cut the exclusivity of the brand and lower its value.

Product News!

Clearly, Marchionne disagreed but the new production numbers are a full year ahead of even his projections, according to Automotive News. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Jeep Wrangler

New design means better performance on-road and off.

by on Dec.13, 2017

The Wrangler is back — again! The 2018 Wrangler Sahara is part of a portfolio considered the most capable Jeeps ever.

Few vehicles can match the storied history of the Jeep Wrangler, born nearly 80 years during a competition to build a light-weight military vehicle.

The Willys Corp., one of the many, many ancestors of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, won the design competition and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. The forerunner of the Jeep Wrangler has carried scouts, wounded soldiers and weapons during combat around the world and during the years has also evolved into a favorite of outdoorsman, hunters and fisherman who prized its ability to traverse all sorts of terrain.

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The 2018 Jeep Wrangler continues the long tradition of being able to travel over all sorts of ground. But it adds a measure of civility and safety that is sure to capture the attention of less adventurous buyers with its ride and handling and new technology. (more…)

General Motors Earns Patent for External Airbags

Mercedes-Benz and Volvo also hold patents for similar devices.

by on Dec.13, 2017

GM's drawings for its pedestrian airbags reveal the position of the safety devices.

Automakers have spent the last 30 years perfecting the airbags that protect the passengers inside the vehicle, but now General Motors and others are turning their attention to pedestrians.

General Motors recently filed a patent for an exterior airbag that would protect pedestrians in the event of a collision. The company was granted a patent last week for its “Fender Located Pedestrian Airbag,” according to TheTruthAboutCars.com.

Safety News!

The patent is for an airbag developed by the automaker that pops out of the a-pillar and covers the windshield to being released from a fender flap in order to inflate and cover the windshield wiper arms and other sharp pieces on the front end of the vehicle. (more…)

Ford, GM Report Divergent November Sales in China

Overall results were flat for the month.

by on Dec.12, 2017

Ford China Chief Jason Luo noted that Lincoln sales hit record numbers in November.

China may be the world’s largest automotive market, but it appears to be mimicking U.S. auto sales now as November sales came in flat and are up just 1.9% for the year-to-date.

Much like the U.S. market, the Chinese market is coming off a record sales year in 2016. Also like the U.S. market, sales of sedans are falling while sport-utes and crossovers are enjoying a strong year.

Global Auto News!

Through November, sedan sales have fallen 4.8% while utility vehicles have enjoyed an 8.9% jump, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. After a spring slump, sales have increased monthly for seven consecutive months. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Nissan Leaf

Nissan balances range and price while upping the fun factor.

by on Dec.12, 2017

Nissan's second-generation Leaf features a significant upgrade in range and technology.

Eight years after Nissan lifted the covers on what would become the world’s first mass-market battery-electric vehicle, the Japanese automaker has just launched production of the all-new, second-generation Nissan Leaf.

Plenty has changed since the original model came to market. Batteries are growing more powerful, even as their price has fallen more than six-fold since the beginning of the decade, translating into longer range at lower costs. And while “BEVs” still make up little more than a rounding error when it comes to overall U.S. sales, demand is clearly growing. But so is the list of competitors Leaf has to stare down, including both the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Tesla Model 3.

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With the Gen-2 Leaf, Nissan chose to walk a tightrope. It doesn’t offer quite as much range as the Chevy and Tesla battery-cars, but it’s thousands of dollars cheaper. The 2018 Leaf is also less wonky in appearance and a lot more fun to drive than the model it replaced, TheDetroitBureau.com discovered, during a long day of driving through fire-scarred Napa Valley earlier this month. (more…)

Regular Good Enough When Filling Up Gas Tank, AAA Says

Save your money and use what recommended for your vehicle.

by on Dec.12, 2017

The only difference between regular octane and premium octane gasoline for most vehicles is the price.

With automakers doing all they can these days to deliver more power from smaller and more fuel-efficient engines, it seems the easiest thing to do to help that along is to give your car, truck or SUV “the good stuff,” when you fill up, right?

Wrong. Using higher octane fuel for your vehicle, if it doesn’t require it, does not net any substantive increase in horsepower or improvement in mileage or emissions, according to a new AAA study.

Fueling Up on News!

In essence, all you’re doing is throwing away perfectly good money you could spend elsewhere as the average price per gallon for premium gasoline is as much as 25% more than regular. It may not sound like much, but with the U.S. average hovering around $2.46 for regular and $3.01 for premium, you’re talking about between $7 and $10 on an average fill up. (more…)

Volvo XC60 Drives Off with Japan’s Car of the Year Award

Winner pulls away at the end in close vote.

by on Dec.12, 2017

The Volvo XC60 capture the Japan Car of the Year award.

The Volvo XC60 was named Japan Car of the Year, beating out some formidable competition.

In a close vote count that saw the lead change three times between the XC60, beat out the BMW 5-Series and the closest Japanese competitor, the Toyota Camry, the XC60 pulled away at the end polling 294 votes.

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The XC60 finished some 52 votes in front of the 5-Series and 62 votes ahead of the Camry. (more…)

GM “Absolutely” Could Re-Enter or Europe, Says CEO Barra – or Quit Even More Markets

Addressing workplace harassment a high priority for industry's first female CEO.

by on Dec.11, 2017

GM CEO Mary Barra covered a variety of topics with reporters during a Q&A with the Automotive Press Association in Detroit.

Just months after closing the sale of its long-troubled Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said she would “absolutely” consider the option of returning to the European market if the right opportunity came along – especially with new, “transformative” technologies, such as autonomous and electrified vehicles.

Barra, who was named the first female CEO of a major automaker four years ago this week, took on a wide range of topics, including autonomous and electrified vehicles, tax reform, NAFTA and sexual harassment, during a Q&A session with reporters at a meeting of the Detroit Automotive Press Association on Monday.

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The 56-year-old Barra has been credited with ushering in widespread change at the largest of the Detroit automakers, a company that emerged from Chapter 11 protection in 2010 only with the help of a massive federal bailout. That has required her to balance the traditional, metal-bending side of the business with next-generation technologies, including electrified powertrains and autonomous driving. She has shown a willingness to break with a tradition that had, for 100 years, translated into bigger is better. (more…)

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