Category: Alliances

By on November 25, 2015

2017 Infiniti QX30 Reveal Los Angeles-5

* Assuming a “cut” is a unit of measurement equaling 3/4 of an inch.

The night before the opening of the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, Infiniti invited media to check out its new crossover darling: the 2017 QX30.

Calling it a crossover might be a stretch as the new model is but a mere 0.75-inches taller than the Q30 (which is 0.75-inches taller than the Q30 S) on which it’s based. Same with calling it an Infiniti, as anyone who’s spent time in a Mercedes-Benz GLA will attest. Daimler touches are everywhere.

“But,” said Roland Krüger, president of Nissan’s luxury marque, “once you drive it, you’ll immediately know it’s an Infiniti.”

What Krüger means by that is very much open to interpretation. However, differentiating the newest compact crossover from that of its frenemy is paramount to making it successful.

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By on November 18, 2015


Finally, a Fiat in North America that isn’t a 500.

The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is what happens when you give a spectacular chassis to the Italians and let them fit it with a torque-happy turbocharged engine.

The new roadster, which is based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata, was revealed today at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. It will be powered by what we all suspected — a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine with 160 horsepower and 184 lbs-ft of torque. A pair of six-speed transmissions, one manual and the other automatic, will send that turbo power to the rear wheels.

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By on November 16, 2015


After officially giving the Mazda2 its North America reveal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in January, Mazda Canada announced, nearly 10 months later, it will not sell the subcompact hatchback in the country.

“Following a thorough evaluation of the B-car segment, Mazda Canada has decided not to launch the new generation Mazda2 in Canada,” Mazda Canada said in a statement released Monday.

Instead, the company will focus on its CX lineup, including the CX-3, CX-5 and new, upcoming CX-9 to be revealed for the first time this week in Los Angeles.

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By on November 13, 2015

Renault Fluence Z.E. and Nissan Leaf Circa 2013

The battle between Nissan and the French government over the former’s voting stake in the Renault-Nissan Alliance continues on.

This month, after temporarily raising its stake to 19.7 percent, the French government cut back its stake to around 15 percent, which is still enough voting power under the Florange Law to block anything it didn’t like from Nissan and its allies during shareholder meetings.

However, second-in-command at Nissan, Chief Competitive Officer Hiroto Saikawa, expressed it wasn’t enough to go back to “the situation of seven months ago,” desiring “a better balance between the two companies,” a source told Reuters.

Instead, Nissan responded to the draw-down with a proposal establishing a “better-balanced” 25-percent/35-percent crossed shareholding, with Nissan finally having a say after 16 years of merely owning a piece of the company which rescued it from death back in 1999.

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By on November 6, 2015

East Palo Alto, CA - September 4, 2015:  Toyota announces $50 million in funding partnership with MIT and Stanford University for artificial intelligence research collaboration September 4, 2015 in East Palo Alto, California.   (Photo by Beck Diefenbach)

Toyota will open a new artificial and robotics R&D company to be called Toyota Research Institute, Inc. (TRI) with an initial investment of $1 billion to open two locations in the United States, the automaker announced Friday.

TRI, which will make its headquarters in Palo Alto, California and establish another office in Cambridge, Massachusetts near MIT, will be led by Dr. Gill Pratt, a former academic in the field of engineering and program manager at DARPA.

“The investment is in addition to the $50 million investment over the next five years with MIT and Stanford to establish joint fundamental artificial intelligence research centers at each university,” said the automaker in a release.

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By on October 26, 2015


Japanese tire giant Bridgestone agreed Monday to buy Pep Boys for $835 million and potentially create the largest chain of U.S. automotive service centers, the companies announced.

The deal would create a chain of more than 3,000 auto care stores — 2,200 Bridgestone-owned centers including Tires Plus, Firestone Complete Auto Care, Hibdon Tires Plus and Wheel Works, and more than 800 company-owned Pep Boys stores.

According to the companies the deal will finalize in early 2016.  Read More >

By on October 19, 2015

Turkey Saab 9-3

The Turkish Science, Industry and Technology ministry announced last week that it had purchased the intellectual property rights — but not naming rights — to the second-generation Saab 9-3 that was most recently produced by National Electric Vehicle Sweden, according to Digital Trends.

According to the ministry, the car will be produced with 85 percent of its materials coming from the country, and will sport a face from the defunct Cadillac BLS.

The Swedish car company, who owns most of the shuttered Saab, sold the rights to the Turkish government after it stopped producing the all-electric Saab in 2014. The new car will be powered initially by some engine, according to the report, with the ministry working with NEVS to make an electric powertrain.

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By on September 26, 2015

Red Bull Ring

Red Bull’s F1 team is the latest victim of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, as a possible deal between the team and the automaker has gone “up in smoke.”

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By on September 18, 2015


Like a bad reality show, the figurative clock is ticking for the Toyota/BMW courtship that may or may not be spawning a sports car.

Reuters reported (via Automotive News Europe) that Toyota spokesman said the companies would make a decision on whether to pursue the joint project further.

“By the end of the year we will approve whether or not we will make it,” a Toyota spokesman told Reuters. “The whole study before that, on what kind of platform, on what kind of architecture, that’s been progressing quite well. We haven’t yet decided to give the green light to the project, but it’s coming up.”

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By on September 16, 2015

GM Ventures Sees Potential in Fuel Saving Technology

General Motors may use an advanced cylinder deactivation technology, co-developed with Delphi and Silicon Valley startup Tula Technologies, in its SUVs and V-8 cars to shut down up to six cylinders to maximize fuel economy, Automotive News reported.

According to the automaker, GM in 2012 invested in Tula, which specializes in automotive engineering. The automaker announced in January that it would pursue the advanced cylinder deactivation technology for some of its SUVs, which could improve fuel economy by 15 percent in cars with engines with more than four cylinders.

The system, dubbed Dynamic Skip Fire, keeps the throttle open during operation and controls cylinder firing through a special valve that cuts off oil to the deactivated cylinders’ valve lifters. According to the company, the engine computer changes the deactivated cylinders to avoid vibration or noise.

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