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Ghosn May Ring in New Year in Japanese Custody

Former Nissan CEO denies any wrongdoing.

by on Dec.04, 2018

Ousted Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn may ring in the new year in Japanese custody.

Ousted Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn may be arrested again by Japanese authorities as part of their ongoing investigation into charges of alleged financial misconduct by the former company executive and a colleague.

Ghosn was initially expected to be released on Dec. 10, after having his release delayed two times already. Japanese law allows investigators to arrest a suspect again if new criminal charges are filed, which is exactly what is expected to happen with Ghosn.

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He could be detained until the end of the year. Japanese prosecutors are expected to file charges that Ghosn’s total compensation for 2016 and 2017 exceeded the cap set by the company’s shareholders, according to an Automotive News report. (more…)

Trump to End Electric Vehicle Subsidies by 2021

GM, Tesla have already enjoyed the best of the tax credits.

by on Dec.03, 2018

President Donald Trump said he told GM CEO Mary Barra that the country has been "very good" to the automaker.

President Donald Trump has threatened to kill one of the signature efforts of the Obama administration, but today White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow confirmed it: Trump will end subsidies for electric cars.

The move, which Kudlow said would happen in 2020 or 2021, covers other items including renewable energy sources. He revealed he plans in response to a question about what the administration plans to do in response to General Motors’ recently revealed plant closings and employee layoffs.

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The president, who is in China, did not offer an official proclamation, nor has he tweeted about it, which is often how he reveals impactful actions he plans to take. (more…)

Nissan’s Flagship Maxima Only Gets Better for 2019

Part family car, part racer powered by 300 hp V6.

by on Nov.30, 2018

Dan Mohnke, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing and Operations, Nissan North America, left, and Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., Global Design unveil the 2019 Nissan Maxima.

Just as more and more automakers seem to be fleeing from passenger cars, Nissan appears to be doubling down — at least if the 2019 Maxima unveiled in Los Angeles is any indication.

The Maxima has long been the company’s flagship sedan. It’s part family hauler and part race car — maybe more race car. In an era that has seen passenger car sales fall precipitously, the Maxima roars on for next year, especially since it sports a standard 300 horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 powerplant.

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“As our flagship sedan, Maxima is an important contributor to the Nissan brand,” said Dan Mohnke, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing and Operations, Nissan Division U.S., Nissan North America, Inc. “Maxima is our longest running nameplate, having thrilled owners for four decades with style, performance and quality.” (more…)

Mercedes Debuts New GLE Ute in Los Angeles

The new GLE is bigger than its predecessor.

by on Nov.30, 2018

Mercedes-Benz rolled out its new 2020 GLE sport-ute at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Most of the L.A. Auto Show product intros centered either a new EV or SUV – sometimes both – Mercedes-Benz took on the latter with the new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE.

The new GLE is more evolution than revolution with the updates for the 2020 model focusing more on innovation than design makeover. The new model gets updates on its existing advanced driver assistance systems.

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“The new Mercedes-Benz GLE has a wealth of innovations. For example, the active suspension system E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL on a 48-volt basis is a world first,” said Dietmar Exler, president and USA, Mercedes-Benz USA. (more…)

FCA Pledges $5.7B Investment in Italian Auto Plants

Plans call for new 500 EV and Alfa Romeo hybrid.

by on Nov.30, 2018

FCA CEO Mike Manley signed off on a $5.7 billion investment plan in the company's facilities in Italy.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said this week that its plants in Italy would return to full employment with a $5.7 billion investment in new cars and engine technology, including a fully electric version of the Fiat 500 city car and a plug-in hybrid Alfa Romeo compact utility vehicle.

The FCA announcement plans to mollify anxious union workers – and uneasy political factions in its home country – offer a sharp contrast to the tack taken by General Motors Co., which announced plans to close seven plants and eliminate 15,000 jobs.

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GM’s announcement angered union officials in the U.S. and Canada as well as figures from opposite end of the political spectrum, such as U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (more…)

New Porsche 911 Models Come Fast … and Faster

Want a race ready 911? 200 folks can get the 911 GT2 RS Clubsport.

by on Nov.29, 2018

The 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S hits the runway at its debut in Los Angeles, the night before the LA Auto Show.

Porsche arrived in Los Angeles the night before the auto show hyping a theme for the debut of the eighth-generation 911: fast and faster.

The best-known of all Porsches with that iconic profile, the next-gen of flat-six turbocharged beasts gets more power as well as a complete redesign of the interior to cater to the needs of today’s driver.

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The flat-six is more powerful than ever, putting out 443 horsepower in the S and Carrera S models. The boost in power – 23 hp – comes from an improved fuel injection process and a new turbocharger and intercooler layout, according to the automaker.  (more…)

VW’s Keogh Confirms Plans for New US Plant for Electric Vehicle

New site will build $30K to $40K EV for U.S. market by 2020.

by on Nov.29, 2018

VW of America President Scott Keogh confirmed plans to bring an EV to the U.S. by 2020 and VW is looking for location for an EV plant in the U.S.

Volkswagen’s top U.S. official confirmed the German automaker is searching for a place to build a new plant that will produce a new electric vehicle aimed for the mass market with a price tag of less than $40K.

Scott Keogh, VW of America president, told reporters at the L.A. Auto Show that the company was intent on introducing a new EV in the U.S. by 2020. The vehicle would be priced between $30K and $40K, making it competitive with the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, the current top sellers.

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He also noted the company would like to build this vehicle in the U.S. and a search was underway to find a location for the new plant. (more…)

Toyota Adds New Hybrid Model to Corolla Portfolio

New battery-electric gas sipper debuts at L.A. Auto Show.

by on Nov.29, 2018

The new 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is expected to get more than 50 mpg.

Toyota is known for its leadership in the hybrid marketplace with the Prius, especially with its newest model, the Prius AWD-e that debuted at the L.A. Auto Show; however, it wasn’t the only new hybrid on display, the Corolla hybrid made its premiere as well.

The big news on the Corolla was the complete exterior redesign it received for the 2020 model year, but lost in the hubbub was the fact that it also gets a hybrid version of the old reliable compact that’s been bouncing around for more than two decades.

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The new Corolla hybrid gets at least 50 mpg combined fuel economy, according to Toyota’s projections, making it the most fuel-efficient Corolla to ever. (more…)

Mazda Shows Off “Matured” Design for New Mazda3

New iterations feature an evolution of Kodo design.

by on Nov.29, 2018

The new Mazda3 sedan features a "matured" version of the brand's Kodo design language.

No fireworks were necessary for Mazda Motor Corp.’s debut of the new Mazda3 as the Japanese automaker introduced a refined, “matured” version of the brand’s entry-level sedan and hatchback in Los Angeles.

The automaker’s “matured Kodo design language” was on full display. The company’s been using the design philosophy for its exteriors for years now. It’s aim is to present clean and contemporary looks that aren’t quick to go out of style.

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“While the overall form presents a simple, single motion, subtle undulations bring the design to life through shifting light and reflections that glide over the body surface. The result is a richer and more powerful expression of vitality than previous Kodo models,” according to the automaker. (more…)

Toyota Introducing New Prius AWD-e in L.A.

New electric AWD gives fourth-gen version more capability.

by on Nov.28, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e uses four electric motors on each will to up the power and efficiency.

What do you do when you have the best-known and best-selling hybrid in the world? Toyota made the newest Prius more … capable.

Not only can you get places cheaper, in the 2019 Prius AWD-e, you can get to more places cheaper with the car’s new AWD-e system. Toyota officials claim that new Prius AWD-e will lay claim to being one of the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive-equipped passenger cars available in the U.S.

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Toyota is projecting mpg estimates of 52 mpg city/48 mpg highway/50 mpg combined. Apparently, the Japanese automaker believes that “go anywhere” capability is the secret sauce as Toyota estimates that the AWD-model could account for as much as 25% of annual U.S. Prius sales. (more…)