Archive for the ‘Markets’ Category

First Drive: 2019 Kia Sorento SUV

Practical, yet stylish and laden with technology.

by on Dec.14, 2018

The 2019 Kia Sorento offers practicality, but with plenty of upgrades.

Practical is usually the word associated with sport-utility vehicles and that practicality makes them appealing to a wide cross section of consumers.

The Kia Sorento certainly is practical, but in a segment crowded with a lot of very good vehicles it is also stylish, loaded with features and comes with an interior that looks as if it might belong in a more traditional luxury vehicle.

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The up-level version of Sorento that I drove carried a sticker price of $48,020, which includes the $990 transportation charge so it can hardly be considered inexpensive. (more…)

Infiniti Teases Electric Crossover Ahead of 2019 Detroit Auto Show

“An illustration of where we want to go with the brand.”

by on Dec.14, 2018

Infiniti is providing a glimpse of its first all-electric crossover concept, which it plans to debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

Infiniti has a history of telegraphing its future with a series of intriguing auto show concept vehicles – and we can expect that to happen once again next month as it pulls the wraps off an electric crossover concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The prototype will carry forward the striking and well-received Prototype 10 and Q Inspiration concepts the Japanese luxury brand unveiled over the past year. And it appears quite likely to tease not only an upcoming battery vehicle but an all-new EV architecture that will be used for a variety of future Infiniti models.

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“The concept car we will show in Detroit is the beginning of a new era for Infiniti, and an illustration of where we want to go with the brand,” said Executive Design Director Karim Habib. “Electrification and other new technologies have given us the opportunity to evolve our design philosophy.” (more…)

NADA Predicts New Car Sales to Decline Slightly in 2019

Rising interest rates, falling incentives will push some buyers out.

by on Dec.14, 2018

The National Auto Dealers Association Chairman Wes Lutz predicts that auto sales will fall slightly in 2019 to 16.8 million units.

The National Automobile Dealers Association, the trade association for new-car dealerships across the U.S., expects another strong year for new car sales in 2019 despite rising interest rates and an economy that shows signs of slowing.

“We’re forecasting sales of 16.8 million new cars and light trucks in 2019,” said Patrick Manzi, NADA senior economist, at an industry briefing. “This would represent a falloff in sales of about 1.1% compared to 2018.”

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Based on a strong November, new-vehicle sales are expected to reach 17 million units in 2018, which would mark the fourth straight year of U.S. auto sales above 17 million units.  (more…)

Trump Takes Swipes at GM, Barra about EV Strategy

President claims EV strategy is flawed.

by on Dec.13, 2018

GM CEO Barra and President Donald Trump during better days. Trump called Barra "nasty" during an interview on Fox News today.

President Donald Trump is like a dog with a bone when it comes to General Motors and CEO Mary Barra today again taking swipes at the company and its product strategy as well as Barra herself.

On an appearance on Fox News, Trump said the company’s focus on shifting to electric vehicles is poorly conceived and won’t work.

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“They’ve changed the whole model of General Motors. They’ve gone to all-electric. All-electric is not going to work … It’s wonderful to have it as a percentage of your cars, but going into this model that she’s doing I think is a mistake,” Trump said.  (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Toyota Prius AWD

Less quirkiness, more practicality.

by on Dec.13, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Prius comes in an all-wheel drive model that should stimulate sales in cold-weather environs.

When the original Toyota Prius first rolled into U.S. showrooms nearly 20 years ago it promised to transform the auto industry, delivering the sort of fuel economy numbers that seemed all but impossible at the time. Never mind the hatchback’s quirky styling – or perhaps because of it – the Prius quickly developed a broad and loyal following, at its peak becoming the best-selling nameplate in the huge California market.

Sales have been in a slump for several years, however, and a variety of factors, including cheap gas and some odd design choices on the fourth-generation Prius deserve much of the blame, along with the fact that the Toyota hybrid now has lots more competition.

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Yet, even as some of its key competitors are walking away from the passenger car market, Toyota is doubling down and betting it can breathe new life back into Prius. The 2019 model-year brings some modest, if much-needed design tweaks, as well as the introduction of a new electric all-wheel-drive system that, the automaker expects will account for about a quarter of the nameplate’s sales going forward by enhancing the hatchback’s appeal in Snowbelt climes. (more…)

Aston Martin’s Valkyrie Will Bring F1 Engine Tech to the Street

11,000 RPMs and 1,000 hp.

by on Dec.13, 2018

This snarling V-12 puts out 1,000 horsepower and 11,000 rpms and it powers the new Aston Martin Valkyrie.

The horsepower race continues to accelerate. Where 400 hp was once considered extreme, more and more exotics are nudging into four-figure territory, Aston Martin the latest to get there by taking some of its Formula One technology from the track to the street.

The British marque’s new Valkyrie is still more than a year away from production but it is offering up a first look at what will become the hypercar’s beating heart, a hybridized V-12 capable of revving up to a dizzying 11,000 rpms in the process of punching out a full 1,000 horsepower.

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“To anyone with a drop of petrol in their blood, a high-revving naturally aspirated V12 is the absolute pinnacle. Nothing sounds better or encapsulates the emotion and excitement of the internal combustion engine more completely,” proclaimed Aston CEO Andy Palmer in a release accompanying these images. (more…)

Asian Car Brands: Least Expensive to Repair and Most Reliable

Mazda leads in lowest repair costs for a brand.

by on Dec.13, 2018

Mazda is the automotive brand that is likely to cost the least to repair, averaging less than $300.

With automakers everywhere throwing big red ribbons on top of their cars, trucks and utes telling us ‘tis the season to get a new vehicle, perhaps its best to know which of these new vehicles, or at least the brands, will cost you the least to repair.

That would be Mazda and Kia, according to CarMD, which recently released its annual analysis of 2018 Vehicle Health Index Make and Model Reliability Rankings.

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Mazda’s cost an average of $286 to repair while Kia’s jump to $320. Following those are Dodge, Hyundai and Chrysler. (more…)

Ford Idling Workers at Michigan Transmission Plant

Employees offered spots at other plants.

by on Dec.13, 2018

Ford informed workers at the Van Dyke transmission plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, it would layoff 230 workers beginning March 2019.

(This story has been updated.)

In another sign of growing concern about a slowdown in the auto industry, Ford Motor Co. notified the United Auto Workers that it plans to idle indefinitely up to 230 employees from a transmission plant in suburban Detroit.

Ford made no public announcement of the impending layoffs but did notify United Auto Workers Local 228 in Sterling Heights, Michigan, that the layoffs would begin March 2019. In turn, Local 228 sent a letter about the proposed layoffs to its members. A copy of the letter was reviewed by bingdb.info.

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The union letter noted that legacy members with seniority would be able to “bump” into other jobs at the nearby Sterling Axle Plant. “In Progression employees with less than four years and six months seniority would be able to post out because of the possible indefinite layoffs at Van Dyke,” the letter said. (more…)

Toyota Announces Takata Recall a Year in Advance

Next repair should solve problem permanently.

by on Dec.12, 2018

Toyota is recalling 2002-2005 model year Sequoias to replace faulty Takata airbags.

Toyota cannot seem to shake free of former airbag supplier, Takata; however, the news related to the now-defunct supplier responsible for the largest automotive recall in history is good.

The Japanese automaker is announcing its plans to replace airbags in 65,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the U.S. one year ahead of time. These are vehicles that have already had the airbags replaced, but need a second replacement to ultimately solve the problem.

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The second time around the replacements will made with non-Takata airbags at no cost, the company noted.   (more…)

Could a Pickup Truck be Tesla’s Next Vehicle?

Musk wants to make truck "so bad."

by on Dec.12, 2018

A rendering shows the Tesla pickup bears a striking resemblance to the Tesla Semi.

Tesla’s next vehicle will be the second-generation roadster, right? Oh wait! It’s supposed to be a small sport-utility! Maybe neither of them.

Co-founder Elon Musk has often mentioned his desire to bring out a pickup, but he’s never put a firm date to when it might show up: until now.

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In response to a tweet, Musk yesterday suggested the prototype will be unveiled sometime next year with production plans to follow shortly thereafter. (more…)

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