Archive for the ‘Automakers’ Category

Next-Gen Mercedes GLE Hybrid Will Go 62 Miles Electric Only

If it hits the target, it would set a new benchmark.

by on Oct.12, 2018

For 2019, the GLE hybrid will travel 62 miles in electric-only mode as compared with 10 miles in the current model.

Mercedes-Benz’s push into electrified vehicles isn’t limited to its EQ line-up expected to debut next year some time, it’s looking to amp up many of its next-gen offerings of current vehicles, such as the GLE.

The next-generation of the GLE hybrid, which will be a 2020 model coming out next fall, will be able to travel 62 miles in electric-only mode, according to Automotive News Europe. The current hybrid travels just 10 miles on batteries only.

The Last Word!

Ola Kallenius, head of Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Car Development, told the publication that the move is to help meet increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions standards around the world. (more…)

Average Age of Vehicles in the U.S. is Higher than Ever

Average car is now 10.5 years old.

by on Oct.12, 2018

The average age of a vehicle on U.S. roadways these days is 10.5 years.

The average age of a vehicle driven in America has steadily risen during the past few years and the latest study reveals that the average is even higher still – 10.5 years in 2017 up from 9.3 years in 2009 – but it also unmasks some other interesting facts.

First, trucks are kept much longer than vehicles on average while SUVs are kept less, although that could be related to the recent surge in SUV sales offsetting the overall ages of utes in the market. Car sit in between, the two.

Product News!

The average age of a pickup truck in 2009 was 11.2 years and now it is 13.6 years: a difference of 2.4 years. Meanwhile SUVs in 2009 were an average of 7.1 years old and as of last year, they were 8.5 years old. (more…)

China Car Market Tumbles, Complicating Problems for U.S. Automakers

BMW plans to be first foreign maker to take control of Chinese joint venture.

by on Oct.12, 2018

President Donald Trump is engaged in a trade war with China, and automakers are beginning to pay the price.

After nearly two decades of double-digit growth, the Chinese car market is entering a tailspin, and that could be particularly problematic for American automakers caught up in the U.S.-China trade war.

But other foreign automakers could better weather the downturn, in part due to changing rules that have lowered import tariffs – except on American products – and will now allow foreign manufacturers to take control of joint ventures. BMW is set to become the first to take advantage of the relaxed rules, agreeing to spend $4.2 billion to up its stake in an ongoing alliance with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings.

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“The automotive industry has been a driver of China’s economic growth for years. Now it is pulling back,” Xu Haidong, the assistant secretary general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said during a Friday news briefing, responding to questions about the market’s third straight monthly decline. (more…)

Tesla Sales Surge Past Mercedes; But Loss of Fed Tax Credits Could Hit Future Demand

Orders placed before 10/15 will be delivered in time to collect $7,500 giveback, Tesla says.

by on Oct.12, 2018

Tesla is quickly approaching the 200,000 vehicle limit that ends the $7,500 federal government tax incentive for EV buyers.

With its manufacturing problems largely overcome, Tesla sales have been booming in recent months, the California battery-carmaker delivering more cars in the U.S. than luxury mainstay Mercedes-Benz in the most recent quarter.

But whether Tesla can maintain that momentum is uncertain, especially with federal tax incentives of as much as $7,500 about to go away, even as a flood of new, long-range electric alternatives come to market, complete with those tax credits.

Business News!

Tesla is advising potential buyers that they will have only until the end of Monday, Oct. 15, to place a an order for one of its new vehicles and be sure of getting the $7,500 federal incentive. Starting in January, the credits will be halved. They will be cut again mid-year, and then vanish entirely under the revised U.S. tax law passed by Congress last December. (more…)

GM Shows Support of Gender Equality with Board Appointment

Company named tops globally for gender equality.

by on Oct.12, 2018

International executive and former CIA deputy director Jami Miscik is joining General Motors board of directors.

General Motors has added a female executive with broad experience in international affairs to its board of directors and, in the process, signals its support of gender equality.

The addition of Jami Miscik, the CEO and vice chair of Kissinger Associates, a geopolitical consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and Presidential adviser Henry Kissinger, brings the total membership of GM’s board to 12.

News You Can Trust!

The GM board now includes 11 outsiders and is made up of six men and six women. (more…)

Germans Top Total Quality Awards – Again

Mercedes-Benz SL named #1 model in 2018 owner survey.

by on Oct.11, 2018

The Mercedes-Benz SL took the top honors in this year's Total Quality Awards, which were dominated by German automakers.

The Mercedes-Benz SL was the top-ranked vehicle in the annual Total Quality Awards, narrowly beating out last year’s winner, the Porsche Macan.

The awards are designed to measure not only conventional quality data, but also how owners click with their vehicles on an emotional level, according to Strategic Vision, the California-based research firm that pulls the study together. And the SL easily overwhelmed the competition with a mixture of real and perceived quality.

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“Mercedes-Benz is in a Renaissance period for the brand,” said Strategic Vision President Alexander Edwards. “With current innovative features and performance styling, Mercedes has clearly focused on answering the challenge of being a brand for our current generation of luxury buyers. Based on the voice of the consumers, Mercedes has unquestionably answered.” (more…)

Toyota Rated as Best Automotive Brand

Sixteen auto brands make Top 100 — GM and FCA brands not on the list.

by on Oct.11, 2018

Toyota was the top automotive brand in this year's Best Global Brands Top 100 list, taking seventh overall.

A quick poll of people asking what automaker is the best might net several folks saying “Tesla!” and while it does have a massive market cap, they’d be wrong. The best brand? Toyota.

According to Interbrand’s 2018 Best Global Brands report, Apple was the top company on the list with a valuation of $214 billion. Toyota was seventh on the list at $53 billion, which was up 6% over last year’s result.

Insight!

Overall, 15 automotive brands made the Top 100 list and while there aren’t really any surprises about what ones are on the list, those that are not on the list may be reason to take pause. None of the General Motors brands made this year’s list. The aforementioned Tesla did not make the list either. Nor did any of Fiat Chrysler’s brands. (more…)

Bollinger Takes Wraps off New B2 Pickup Truck

New truck expected to be available by 2020.

by on Oct.11, 2018

The new Bollinger B2 pickup truck is expected to hit U.S. roadways in 2020.

Plenty have talked about it – Elon Musk most prominently – but only one company seems close to producing a battery-electric truck and that’s Bollinger Motors.

The now-Michigan-based EV maker debuted its B1 SUV less than a year ago with a promise of a pickup truck in the near future. Well, as one prominent politician likes to claim: promises made, promises kept. Only this time, it appears to be true.

Electrifying!

“The new B2 incorporates everything that we’ve learned in making the B1, and takes it in an exciting new direction. It’s always been the plan to have both the B1 and B2 start off our line-up,” said Robert Bollinger, founder and CEO, Autoblog reported.  (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Readying to Launch New S-Class Hybrid

Third-gen model puts out more than 400 horsepower.

by on Oct.11, 2018

The third-generation Mercedes-Benz S 560 e is being readied for launch by the automaker.

Mercedes-Benz is preparing for the launch of the third generation of the new S 560 e plug-in hybrid sedan.

The modified components and the intelligent powertrain management in S 560 e new anticipatory functions give the customer enhanced electric performance and added convenience thanks to faster charging times.

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In the luxury sedan – available exclusively with a long wheelbase – the efficiency of the 9G-TRONIC plug-in-hybrid transmission and a new lithium-ion battery are good for an all-electric range of around 50 kilometers or about 30 miles.  (more…)

Update: Musk Calls “Incorrect” Reports Murdoch Will Replace Him as Tesla CEO

Hunt continues with clock ticking under SEC settlement.

by on Oct.11, 2018

Elon Musk appears to have ruled out reports suggesting James Murdoch will replace him as Tesla Chairman.

Fox CEO and Tesla board member James Murdoch is apparently out as a prospect to replace Elon Musk as the battery-carmaker’s chairman.

Musk, who must relinquish the post as part of a settlement with the SEC, issued a Wednesday afternoon tweet declaring “incorrect” a report in the Financial Times that cited two supposed inside sources naming Murdoch as the frontrunner in the search. The FT story came days after several other media outlets also pointed to Murdoch as the likely successor.

Dig Deeper!

The 45-year-old Murdoch is a friend of the Tesla founder and boss and has been on the company’s board since last year. He was seen as a particularly suitable replacement for Musk as he will soon relinquish his role as CEO of Twenty-First Century Fox, the media conglomerate founded by his father Rupert Murdoch, after it sells off most of its assets to Disney.

(more…)