The Truth About Cars » Asia http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 29 Aug 2015 15:27:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Asia http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/asia/ Is This The 2017 Elantra in a South Korean Factory? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/2017-elantra-south-korean-factory/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/2017-elantra-south-korean-factory/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 18:19:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1155465 Korean site Auto Tribune it says it received of the new 2017 Hyundai Elantra in a South Korean factory taken by a contract employee. It looks roughly similar to the sketches we saw earlier this month from Hyundai, although its grille isn’t as dynamic and the South Korean car has doors. The front’s design features the same […]

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Korean site Auto Tribune it says it received of the new 2017 Hyundai Elantra in a South Korean factory taken by a contract employee. It looks roughly similar to the sketches we saw earlier this month from Hyundai, although its grille isn’t as dynamic and the South Korean car has doors.

The front’s design features the same large, hexagonal grille and the sleeker, lower headlights. The taillamps are decidedly different as well.

The next-generation Elantra is scheduled to be unveiled in November at the Los Angeles auto show. 

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Inside the Elantra will have a much bigger steering wheel and different control layout.

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According to Auto Tribune, the Elantra will sport a 1.6-liter GDI under the hood.

 

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China Will Again Control Rare Metals in Hybrids, Other Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/china-will-control-rare-metals-hybrids-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/china-will-control-rare-metals-hybrids-cars/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1154281 Metals found in hybrid batteries, diesel fuel and headlight glass could again be subject to China’s ever-changing rules for rare earth exports. On Wednesday, Molycorp announced that it would be suspending its mining operations of rare earth metals in California, but keep its mines in China and Estonia open for the time being. The company, […]

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Metals found in hybrid batteries, diesel fuel and headlight glass could again be subject to China’s ever-changing rules for rare earth exports.

On Wednesday, Molycorp announced that it would be suspending its mining operations of rare earth metals in California, but keep its mines in China and Estonia open for the time being.

The company, which went public in 2011, has fallen on hard times. In June, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and slowing demand in China isn’t helping. However, without a mine in the U.S., much of the rare earth metal mined in the world could be under Chinese government purview, and that’s not good.

In 2010, China’s tightening grip of its mines and exported metals opened a hole for Molycorp to exploit. As prices skyrocketed for rare earth metals found in many parts of vehicles, so did the need for domestic production.

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Now, as a flood of illicitly obtained metals and loosened export restrictions by China reduces the value of the metal — in some cases by 50 percent, according to a Molycorp spokesman — the mining company was forced to lay off 500 workers and shutter its mine in California.

“In general, global demand for rare earths used in vehicles — particularly for the magnetic elements that go into fuel efficient vehicles, direct drive wind turbines, and energy saving home appliances — has been positive and is forecast for robust growth over the next several years. The problem is on the supply side,” said Jim Sims, spokesman for Molycorp.

That could set up a situation for automakers similar to 2010, when China severely restricted how much metal it would export and drove up the overall price. Analysts say China controls up to 95 percent of the market.

Sims also said producers in China are mining rare earth metals illicitly or without environmental impact oversight, which are making their way into cars today. According to Dudley Kingsnorth, a professor at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, up to 50 percent of rare earth magnets contain illicit material.

“The Chinese Government readily admits that this illicit production and smuggling is occurring, that it is the primary cause of weak rare earth pricing, and that they have had limited success to date in getting it in under control,” Sims said. “Even some legitimate producers in China who follow the rules and try to do right by the environment aren’t making money these days in their rare earth business.”

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Kia Shows Off New Sportage Ahead of Frankfurt Reveal http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/kia-shows-off-new-sportage-ahead-frankfurt-reveal/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/kia-shows-off-new-sportage-ahead-frankfurt-reveal/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1154081 Kia released pictures Thursday of its 2017 Sportage ahead of the car’s public debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month. The all-new Sportage sports a new face with dramatically redesigned headlight and fog light clusters and a swept windshield. The headlights don’t connect to the grille anymore, but rather sweep further back above the front wheel arches. (The […]

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2017 Kia Sportage

Kia released pictures Thursday of its 2017 Sportage ahead of the car’s public debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month.

The all-new Sportage sports a new face with dramatically redesigned headlight and fog light clusters and a swept windshield. The headlights don’t connect to the grille anymore, but rather sweep further back above the front wheel arches. (The new Sportage’s grille also borrows heavily from the last-generation Optima, in my opinion.)

According to Kia, the new Sportage will have longer front overhangs, shorter rear overhangs and longer wheelbase than the current model.

Kia says the new Sportage’s rear end borrows heavily from its Provo concept, which it showed off in Geneva in 2013.

Kia Provo

I’ll let you be the judge.

2017 Kia Sportage

The automaker says the new Kia was developed primarily in Europe, with Korean and U.S.-based design studio help.

The Frankfurt Auto Show begins Sept. 15.

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Honda CR-Z Gets New Face, Will Live Beyond 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/honda-cr-z-gets-new-face-will-live-beyond-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/honda-cr-z-gets-new-face-will-live-beyond-2015/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:30:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1153953 Honda unveiled its face-lifted CR-Z in Japan on Thursday, Automotive News is reporting, which means the slow-selling car will have a future in the U.S. and Canada for at least another year. The updated nose and redesigned rear bumper cover the fact that the car hasn’t mechanically changed from this year. The same 130-horsepower, four-cylinder hybrid will […]

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2016 Honda CR-Z

Honda unveiled its face-lifted CR-Z in Japan on Thursday, Automotive News is reporting, which means the slow-selling car will have a future in the U.S. and Canada for at least another year.

The updated nose and redesigned rear bumper cover the fact that the car hasn’t mechanically changed from this year. The same 130-horsepower, four-cylinder hybrid will power the car, mated to either a 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission.

Despite its critical reception as a relatively slow sportscar, engineers increased the size of the CR-Z’s brakes 10 millimeters.

Honda hasn’t officially confirmed that the updated Japanese design would make it to North America (the car is only sold in Japan, Canada and the United States anymore) but said that the 2016 CR-Z would gain “updated exterior and interior styling.”

Automotive News is reporting the updated CR-Z would go on sale in the U.S. in November. Honda hasn’t confirmed that date.

So far this year, Honda has sold 1,562 CR-Z models in the U.S.

(Photos courtesy Honda Motor Co.)

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Union Leader Blasts Obama on Pacific Trade Talks http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/union-leader-blasts-obama-pacific-trade-talks/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/union-leader-blasts-obama-pacific-trade-talks/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 21:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1153377 The head of the AFL-CIO in the United States is criticizing the current presidential administration for its pursuit of a trade zone in the Pacific that could open up Asian markets to America and vice versa, the Detroit News is reporting. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote the administration a letter saying that a free-trade agreement with […]

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Trans-Pacific Partnership Circa 2010

The head of the AFL-CIO in the United States is criticizing the current presidential administration for its pursuit of a trade zone in the Pacific that could open up Asian markets to America and vice versa, the Detroit News is reporting.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote the administration a letter saying that a free-trade agreement with countries such as Japan jeopardizes American jobs because those countries may be able to source cheaper parts from outside the negotiated area, according to the report.

“I hope it is not the case that the Canadian and Mexican negotiators are actually holding a harder line than our own government on this issue. But due to the unaccountable lack of transparency from USTR, absolutely critical decisions are being made without our input or voice. Thousands of good American jobs and an iconic American industry are at risk, and we don’t even know what our government’s negotiating position is.”

According to the Detroit News, a free-trade agreement with Asia would be high on Obama’s priorities before his administration ends.

Trumka said there would be no guarantee for American automakers to gain a foothold in Japan if the Trans Pacific Partnership were created.

Instead, he said, the deal would make it easier for American automakers to source cheaper parts from China and Thailand, or other developing nations, which would come at the expense of American auto workers. Under current free trade rules in North America, 62.5 percent of a car or light truck must originate within the trade zone to be tariff free. Mexico, which is currently building nearly 4 million cars a year, would like to increase that to 65 percent. Japan is proposing a 45-percent threshold for vehicles and 30 percent for parts.

The agreement could also end the 25-percent import tax on light pickups, commonly called the “Chicken Tax.”

Automakers have said they’d prefer to renew the Chicken Tax or slowly roll the tax back after years — or even decades.

According to the story, Japan doesn’t place any import tax on American-built cars, and has said they’ve spent billions building production facilities in America — which American automakers haven’t yet done in Japan.

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Nissan’s Next Z Vehicle Could Be a Death Star http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/nissans-next-z-vehicle-death-star/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/nissans-next-z-vehicle-death-star/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 20:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1152625 Nissan’s next Z could be a crossover because the world needs another crossover, Autocar is reporting. The next-generation Z may appear in Frankfurt as a concept to gauge the new direction for the model, according to the report. The car could be a two- or four-door crossover, powered by a gasoline or hybrid powerplant — […]

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2016 Nissan 370Z NISMO

Nissan’s next Z could be a crossover because the world needs another crossover, Autocar is reporting.

The next-generation Z may appear in Frankfurt as a concept to gauge the new direction for the model, according to the report. The car could be a two- or four-door crossover, powered by a gasoline or hybrid powerplant — or it could be a sub-orbital military base with the power to destroy planets. (We just don’t know!)

A crossover Z could be a logical step for the company to appeal to more buyers, or it could cannibalize sales from the Juke. At least we know the next-generation Z won’t be the IDx.

According to Autocar, the crossover Z could be based on the future shared global CMF B platform and theoretically home a 1.6-liter turbocharged mill.

We may have to wait until the Frankfurt Auto Show next month to see what Nissan’s up to, but any concept would likely be a far first step in some kind of product planning.

Car rumors are fun.

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Chevrolet Impalas Going Quickly in South Korea http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/impalas-going-quickly-korea/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/impalas-going-quickly-korea/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 16:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1152169 Buyers in South Korea have flocked to order the Chevrolet Impala by requesting more than 3,000 of the full-size sedans, which is two to three times higher than expected, BusinessKorea is reporting. The higher-than-expected draw in South Korea is part of a larger trend; according to the BBC, just around 6,000 cars were imported in 2000. In 2014, […]

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2014 Chevrolet Impala Exterior-005

Buyers in South Korea have flocked to order the Chevrolet Impala by requesting more than 3,000 of the full-size sedans, which is two to three times higher than expected, BusinessKorea is reporting.

The higher-than-expected draw in South Korea is part of a larger trend; according to the BBC, just around 6,000 cars were imported in 2000. In 2014, more than 196,000 cars were imported into the country, although many of those were European luxury models.

GM Korea forecasted 4,000 to 5,000 Impala models would be sold by the end of 2015, but Korean buyers are ordering 200 cars per day, which would exhaust their supply within one month.

Buyers in Korea are ordering the high-end models, too. The most popular pick for prospective Korean buyers is the 2.5-liter LTZ followed by the 3.6-liter LTZ, according to the report. The 2.5-liter LT is approximately 15 percent of the mix.

A spokesman for Chevrolet said Korea would be receiving Impala models built in Detroit.

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Toyota Keeping China Production Plant Closed Longer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/toyota-keeping-china-production-plant-closed-longer/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/toyota-keeping-china-production-plant-closed-longer/#comments Sun, 23 Aug 2015 15:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1150961 Toyota will keep a plant in China closed until at least Aug. 26 as it waits for conditions to improve after an explosion there killed more than 120 people, the Detroit News is reporting. The Aug. 12 explosion in Tianjin, China injured 67 Toyota employees nearby and damaged 4,700 Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The plant in Tianjin, […]

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Panoramic_View_from_Tianjin_TV_Tower_East(small)(2008-08)

Toyota will keep a plant in China closed until at least Aug. 26 as it waits for conditions to improve after an explosion there killed more than 120 people, the Detroit News is reporting.

The Aug. 12 explosion in Tianjin, China injured 67 Toyota employees nearby and damaged 4,700 Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The plant in Tianjin, which produces Crown, Reiz, Corolla and Vios cars, is responsible for roughly half of Toyota’s annual production in China.

“We will only restart operations when we have been able to confirm the safety of our facilities and their surroundings, and when our employees feel that they can once again go to work in a safe environment,” the company said in an email, according to Reuters.

According to reports, fires are still breaking out near the site of the explosion. On Aug. 12, a chemicals warehouse exploded in the port city, which killed 121 people and injured hundreds.

Analysts say the disruption to Toyota’s supply chain would be felt across the automaker’s lineup.

Automakers such as Volkswagen and Jaguar Land Rover said thousands of their cars were damaged in the explosion as well.

(Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

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Report: Buick Will Import Most of its New Cars by 2016 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/report-buick-will-import-new-cars-2016/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/report-buick-will-import-new-cars-2016/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 19:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1148865 Reuters is reporting that Buick will import most of its new models to North America from China and Europe by 2016. Only the mid-size that will eventually replace the LaCrosse and the large Enclave crossover will be built in America, both in Michigan. Other Buick models, including the coming Cascada convertible and the small crossover Envision would come […]

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Reuters is reporting that Buick will import most of its new models to North America from China and Europe by 2016. Only the mid-size that will eventually replace the LaCrosse and the large Enclave crossover will be built in America, both in Michigan.

Other Buick models, including the coming Cascada convertible and the small crossover Envision would come from Europe and China respectively. Production of the Verano would shift from Michigan to China, the next-generation Regal would come from Germany instead of Canada, and the Encore would continue to be assembled in Korea, but would eventually shift to China, Reuters reported from an unidentified source.

If true, executives would deliver a sizable blow to contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers union. Already, General Motors has announced substantial investments in North American plants during negotiations.

According to Reuters, a spokesman for Buick declined to comment on the report. A spokeswoman for the UAW said Buick would be unwise to import cars “after the sacrifices by U.S. taxpayers.”

Buick is expected to launch the China-built Envision in North America later this year.

Buick sells four times as many cars in China as they do in North America. 

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Hyundai Teases New Elantra Design Because Future Needs No Doors http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/hyundai-teases-new-elantra-design-future-needs-no-doors/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/hyundai-teases-new-elantra-design-future-needs-no-doors/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 16:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1145825 Hyundai released Wednesday a new concept sketch of the coming Elantra, which shows that the new model will sport a large hexagonal grille, sleeker and lower headlights, and a steeper dropping C-pillar. The Elantra is scheduled for a redesign for 2017 and outlets are reporting the new sedan will debut at the Los Angeles Auto […]

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2017 hyundai elantra

Hyundai released Wednesday a new concept sketch of the coming Elantra, which shows that the new model will sport a large hexagonal grille, sleeker and lower headlights, and a steeper dropping C-pillar.

The Elantra is scheduled for a redesign for 2017 and outlets are reporting the new sedan will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. It’s not clear what engines may power the new Elantra.

Hyundai released few details about the coming Elantra. According to Automotive News, the new Elantra will share a modified platform with Hyundai’s dedicated hybrid and Kia’s Forte. The Korean automaker is expected to release four hybrids, two plug-in hybrids and one electric car in the U.S. between 2016 and 2018.

Peter Shreyer

Peter Shreyer

However, the concept sports a red signature of identified origins. TTAC’s handwriting recognition investigators suspect it could be Hyundai’s chief of design Peter Schreyer who penned the sketch, as the compact signature sports all the hallmarks of horn-rimmed glasses.

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Japan Gets a New Toyota Land Cruiser, Ours May Come Soon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/japan-gets-new-toyota-land-cruiser-can-trade/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/japan-gets-new-toyota-land-cruiser-can-trade/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 21:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1144225 Toyota announced its updated Land Cruiser in Japan today, with a starting price of $38,000 (!?) for the off-roading legend. The seven-seater over there serves as the base for our Lexus LX over here, which was unveiled over the weekend in California alongside the turbo’d Lexus GS, and our version has all the grille. Based […]

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Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota announced its updated Land Cruiser in Japan today, with a starting price of $38,000 (!?) for the off-roading legend.

The seven-seater over there serves as the base for our Lexus LX over here, which was unveiled over the weekend in California alongside the turbo’d Lexus GS, and our version has all the grille.

Based on initial reception of the LX, when will we get the new Land Cruiser?

According to a Toyota spokesman, the automaker has “something” to tell us about the Land Cruiser tomorrow.

According to Toyota in Japan, the Land Cruiser 200 received a mild upgrade over the last generation. Although their prices are much lower than our $80,000 truck, the Land Cruiser in Japan is fitted with a smaller 4.6-liter V-8, instead of the 5.7-liter V8 found here in the States, which partially accounts for the price difference.

Both SUVs are extremely small volume cars for Toyota so changes are usually made globally.

So those of you (all 200 a month) who want to spend actual money for an actual Land Cruiser instead of a LX, your saving grace could be just around the corner.

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Could the Ford Taurus be Imported From China? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-taurus-imported-china/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/ford-taurus-imported-china/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 17:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1144049 The Ford Taurus, once the flagship in Ford’s range, apparently has fallen on hard times. Sales are down 28 percent through July, it hasn’t done much to outrun its perception as a perennial fleet queen and police fleet buyers are picking the Explorer-based Interceptor over the sedan. Automotive News details the fall and rise and fall again […]

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New Ford Taurus

The Ford Taurus, once the flagship in Ford’s range, apparently has fallen on hard times.

Sales are down 28 percent through July, it hasn’t done much to outrun its perception as a perennial fleet queen and police fleet buyers are picking the Explorer-based Interceptor over the sedan. Automotive News details the fall and rise and fall again of the Ford Taurus (thanks mostly to former Ford CEO Alan Mulally) and throws in a little tidbit in the middle:

If sales keep falling, analysts speculate Ford could eliminate U.S. production of it and … import the small volume it needs here from China …

Oh boy. 

It’s clear that Ford will have to make a decision about the Taurus soon. The current Taurus was last redesigned in 2009 and slightly updated in 2012. In April, Ford announced it would redesign the Taurus, but only in China.

Sales of the full-size Taurus peaked only a couple years ago, but the Taurus is on pace to sell 45,000 cars this year — including police cars — it’s lowest total ever.

In fact, the move to a full-size sedan — something Mulally pressed for early on in his tenure — may be what is killing the Taurus. By comparison, the Ford Fusion outsells the Taurus nearly four to one and is about $5,000 less for roughly the same car.

All that may be contributing to the tough time the Taurus is having in the States, and there’s always the Lincoln Continental right around the corner too.

So could the Taurus be Ford’s first import from China?

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Cadillac Slowing its Plans to Sell Cars in Europe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cadillac-slowing-plans-sell-cars-europe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cadillac-slowing-plans-sell-cars-europe/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 22:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1140154 Cadillac likely won’t push to sell more cars in Europe before 2020, the company’s CEO Johan de Nysschen told analysts on Tuesday. “We’ll go to that market when we have the right powertrains and the right cars,” he said Tuesday, according to the Detroit News. Previously, Cadillac had planned some right-hand drive models and diesel powertrains […]

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Cadillac likely won’t push to sell more cars in Europe before 2020, the company’s CEO Johan de Nysschen told analysts on Tuesday.

“We’ll go to that market when we have the right powertrains and the right cars,” he said Tuesday, according to the Detroit News.

Previously, Cadillac had planned some right-hand drive models and diesel powertrains to help it gain a foothold in European markets. According to the report, Cadillac has sold only 838 cars in Europe so far this year. Cadillac wants to sell 500,000 cars globally by 2020, de Nysschen said.

Instead of Europe, de Nysschen told J.P. Morgan Auto Conference attendees (we guess our invitation just got lost in the mail, or something) that Cadillac would focus on strengthening its position in China, Russia and the Middle East.

The report didn’t detail how Cadillac would combat crumbling or slowing economies in China or Russia, but it’s clear that Cadillac is going to wait until its portfolio is much, much stronger before it attempts to seriously compete with the Germans in their own backyard.

Global sales of Cadillacs are up 1.5 percent, led by a 7.4-percent rise in China, and despite a 2.4-percent slowdown in America.

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Honda Reportedly Considering S660 for America, but Will Any of Us Fit in It? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/honda-reportedly-considering-s660-america-will-us-fit/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/honda-reportedly-considering-s660-america-will-us-fit/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 21:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1140106 Honda may bring its small, two-seater S660 to the United States, Edmunds is reporting. The car, which is much smaller than Mazda’s MX-5 Miata and categorized in Japan in the “kei” class, is powered there by a small, 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder. In case you’re not picking up what I’m putting down: the S660 would be fantastically tiny on American roads. […]

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Honda may bring its small, two-seater S660 to the United States, Edmunds is reporting.

The car, which is much smaller than Mazda’s MX-5 Miata and categorized in Japan in the “kei” class, is powered there by a small, 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder.

In case you’re not picking up what I’m putting down: the S660 would be fantastically tiny on American roads.

The S660’s 90-inch wheelbase is 8 inches shorter than the new Smart ForFour and one inch shorter than a Miata’s.

According to the report, the S660 won’t be a direct competitor to the Miata, but it could have a bigger 1-liter, turbo 3-cylinder for the U.S. market, which produces 127 horsepower compared to the Mazda’s 155 hp.

“We’re looking at it intently for North America,” John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, told Edmunds. “We want some spice in the lineup.”

The tepid CR-Z doesn’t do much apparently, and the “Baby NSX” rumor could be true-ish (the S660 is mid-engined, after all).

Mendel added that the car would needed to be complemented with a somewhat sane business case — “It’s got to be commercially viable,” he said — but he should just dig in the Honda archives for that. Check under “S2000, Honda.” We’re sure it’s there.

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Hyundai Should Build This ‘Vision G’ Coupe Yesterday http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/hyundai-build-vision-g-coupe-yesterday/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/hyundai-build-vision-g-coupe-yesterday/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 18:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1139402 Hyundai will show off its “Vision G” concept coupe at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance next week, and holy crap just make it already. The Korean automaker showed the car off Tuesday to media in Los Angeles and detailed the concept’s theoretical specs. Its 5-liter V-8, which it shares with the Genesis Sedan and Equus, would provide […]

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Vision G Coupe Concept

Hyundai will show off its “Vision G” concept coupe at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance next week, and holy crap just make it already.

The Korean automaker showed the car off Tuesday to media in Los Angeles and detailed the concept’s theoretical specs. Its 5-liter V-8, which it shares with the Genesis Sedan and Equus, would provide motivation for the presumably rear-wheel drive car.

Mine eyes see Wraith in back, tall Aston up front. Wonderful. [You need vision correction, Aaron. -Mark]

Curiously, the car doesn’t sport ridiculous concept garb. There are no comically large wheels or cameras for windows. The car’s 20-something inch wheels look somewhat normal in the wells, and it appears that the doors don’t open in strange ways. (Hyundai says that the doors do open automatically, “as if being opened by a valet.”)

Peter Schreyer, president and head of Hyundai design speaks:

“The design is our interpretation of the idea that Hyundai breathes into all of its vehicles – a DNA that balances design and performance with the idea that you don’t need to be over the top in terms of glitz and stereotypical luxury cues.”

Nope. All you need to do is look like expensive Brits and cost one-third as much.

Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept Vision G Coupe Concept

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Automakers Are Taking a Beating Over China http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/automakers-taking-beating-china/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/automakers-taking-beating-china/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 16:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1139322 Stocks for automakers such as General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford took a pounding Tuesday after China devalued its currency in an effort to boost exports from the country, stemming the economic slowdown already underway. In a statement released Tuesday, GM said it had enough of a local supply chain within China to offset its […]

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Stocks for automakers such as General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford took a pounding Tuesday after China devalued its currency in an effort to boost exports from the country, stemming the economic slowdown already underway.

In a statement released Tuesday, GM said it had enough of a local supply chain within China to offset its exposure to international currency fluctuations.

“We believe that our exposure is limited and manageable, and do not expect that the devaluation will have a material impact on the company’s financial performance,” the company wrote.

According to the New York Times, China’s currency swing of nearly 2 percent yesterday is historic for the country. Typically the Yuan would fluctuate hundredths of a percent against the dollar. The largest move up until yesterday was 0.16 percent.

Still, the 2 percent dip isn’t considered a big enough swing to warrant a huge reaction. By comparison, the Euro and Yen have fallen 18 and 22 percent against the dollar in the last year, and China’s economy is ranging out of double-digit growth — but still growing.

Nonetheless, automakers with heavy ties to China — notably GM and FCA — took a shot in the pocketbooks yesterday on expectations of what could be around the corner for China.

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Will America Get The Funky Toyota C-HR Hybrid? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/will-america-get-funky-toyota-c-hr-hybrid/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/will-america-get-funky-toyota-c-hr-hybrid/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 17:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1137354 Toyota’s interpretation of the VehiCROSS new generation of compact crossovers will go on sale early next year after its reveal in Geneva in March, according to Autocar. The Toyota C-HR (or perhaps Auris Cross) will be built on Toyota’s new global architecture, from which half of its cars will be based by 2020. It’s unclear if the […]

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Toyota’s interpretation of the VehiCROSS new generation of compact crossovers will go on sale early next year after its reveal in Geneva in March, according to Autocar.

The Toyota C-HR (or perhaps Auris Cross) will be built on Toyota’s new global architecture, from which half of its cars will be based by 2020. It’s unclear if the car would be released in the States as a Toyota or as a Scion. The Auris recently went on sale in North America as the Scion iM.

The car hasn’t been confirmed for North American shores yet, but considering our penchant for anything crossover, the subcompact C-HR would scratch an itch Toyota has in its lineup now.

The new model could also be shared between Toyota and Mazda under a newly minted agreement between the automakers. We wrote in June that the car could be powered by one of Mazda’s 1.5-liter diesel engines overseas, perhaps even paired with a battery as a hybrid.

The new global architecture narrows the window for Toyota in development, and can produce cars “one-by-one” in a production method that could allow for some aggressively styled cars to roll off of Toyota production lines for short times.

The next-generation Prius should be the first car to be built on the shared architecture with more cars to follow. The platforms range from full-size to crossover.

Either way, it’s possible that we’ll see the C-HR on the streets sooner rather than later.

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How Can You Have Two Flagships? Lexus Explains http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/can-two-flagships-lexus-explains/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/can-two-flagships-lexus-explains/#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 16:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1137290 Last week, Lexus division general manager let slip that his company was thinking that it needed a paragon as the luxury division for Toyota. “We need a flagship. It doesn’t have to be a sedan,” Jeff Bracken, Lexus division general manager, told Reuters. What about the LS!? Is that chopped liver now? Oh, right. “In addition […]

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Last week, Lexus division general manager let slip that his company was thinking that it needed a paragon as the luxury division for Toyota.

“We need a flagship. It doesn’t have to be a sedan,” Jeff Bracken, Lexus division general manager, told Reuters.

What about the LS!? Is that chopped liver now? Oh, right.

“In addition to the LS (a large sedan), there could be another flagship in our lineup,” Bracken said. “We’ll define what it is in January.”

Sheesh.

The “flagship” should be something that resembles the LF-LC concept, a gigantic coupe in the vein of the Mercedes S63 Coupe, hopefully with V-8 motivation (or perhaps the LF-A’s V-10 sometime?) and rear-wheel drive.

According to Automotive News, Lexus trademarked the names “LC 500″ and “LC 500h” last year in preparation for the coupe, which could arrive as soon as 2017.

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Which begs the question: How do you have two flagships? Isn’t that like two best friends? Or two favorite flavors of ice cream?

Apparently you can have two flagships when you revise your previous statement.

Perhaps old Rice football coach Jess Neely put it best when he said: “If you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have any.”

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Why Can’t We Buy Bentleys on Amazon Yet? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cant-buy-bentleys-amazon-yet/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/cant-buy-bentleys-amazon-yet/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 20:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1135514 Chinese luxury car dealer Yongda and giant online retailer Alibaba are offering the next logical step in online car buying for luxury car buyers: point-and-click car buying. The South China Morning Post is reporting that Yongda, which has more than 200 high-end car dealerships in China, will make available its cars on the shopping site for browsers […]

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Chinese luxury car dealer Yongda and giant online retailer Alibaba are offering the next logical step in online car buying for luxury car buyers: point-and-click car buying.

The South China Morning Post is reporting that Yongda, which has more than 200 high-end car dealerships in China, will make available its cars on the shopping site for browsers to point, click, pay and drive away from a dealership.

Seems like a good idea for ultra-luxury cars.

According to Yongda, more than 20 luxury and ultra-luxury car makers will have available models online, including Land Rover and Bentley. To celebrate the new partnership, Alibaba will offer 4,000 models of the Chevrolet Epica at a 40 percent discount.

According to the companies, the partnership allows a broader base for Alibaba to appeal to a wider range of buyers. The online retail giant already sells cars that range between $15,000 and $25,000.

According to reports, roughly 20 million people signed up to finance their purchase through the online retailer.

It’s unclear how many dealerships Alibaba’s automotive division works with already, but the agreement with Yongda would offer 200 more dealerships where buyers would pick up their cars. Alibaba and Yongda would also offer a used car network where owners could sell their cars back to the companies online.

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Kia Prepping New Sports Car by 2020; Hyundai Isn’t http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/kia-prepping-new-sports-car-2020-hyundai-isnt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/kia-prepping-new-sports-car-2020-hyundai-isnt/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 17:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1135418 Kia’s chief in the U.K. says the automaker will have a new sports car by the end of the decade, Autocar is reporting. Hyundai probably won’t. The two reports roughly detail a global business case the Korean is making for a small, lightweight sportscar that would be sold worldwide and further positioning for the brands. According to […]

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GT4 Stinger

Kia’s chief in the U.K. says the automaker will have a new sports car by the end of the decade, Autocar is reporting. Hyundai probably won’t.

The two reports roughly detail a global business case the Korean is making for a small, lightweight sportscar that would be sold worldwide and further positioning for the brands.

According to Kia’s chief in the UK Paul Philpott, the car would be based on knowledge gleaned from the Stinger GT4 concept car.

According to the Autocar report, the architecture for Kia’s car would be all new and not based on any current Kia model.

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In April, Kia America’s head of product planning Orth Hedrick told Drive that the automaker would be bringing a car similar to its GT concept into production soon. It could be based on the Genesis Coupe and sport a V-6 under the hood. If that’s true, the new sports car due by the end of the decade would likely be a smaller, two-door version similar to the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT-86.

At the other side of the building, Hyundai UK chief Tony Whitehorn admitted to Autocar that another sports car wouldn’t likely be in that brand’s future: “Not many people make money out of sports cars. The sports car market is shrinking dramatically, and even firms with heritage and a great product are struggling. Aside from the Audi TT and Mazda MX-5, it is a tough place to be.”

So it sounds like Hyundai will be firmly planted in its sub-brand N, which will launch around 2017, for the next few years.

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Suzuki May Finally Climb Out From Under VW http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/suzuki-may-finally-climb-vw/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/suzuki-may-finally-climb-vw/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 18:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1133577 Hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb has purchased a minority stake in Suzuki Motor Corp., which may mean the automaker could have a ruling on its nearly 5-year arbitration with Volkswagen, Bloomberg Business is reporting. The unspecified investment in Suzuki by the billionaire Loeb, who is one of Japan’s wealthy business elite, could be a sign […]

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2003 Suzuki Wagon R

Hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb has purchased a minority stake in Suzuki Motor Corp., which may mean the automaker could have a ruling on its nearly 5-year arbitration with Volkswagen, Bloomberg Business is reporting.

The unspecified investment in Suzuki by the billionaire Loeb, who is one of Japan’s wealthy business elite, could be a sign that a ruling following June’s completion of arbitration is imminent. For years, Suzuki remained “paralyzed” as the procedure slogged on.

Suzuki has a significant automotive presence in emerging markets and India.

Shares of Suzuki jumped in Tokyo trading on the news.

In 2009, when the alliance between Volkswagen and Suzuki was announced, both automakers stood to gain from each other — on paper. Volkswagen would benefit from Suzuki’s growth in emerging markets, including its relationship and distribution in India with Maruti Suzuki. The Japanese automaker could benefit from VW’s vast resources and technology. The relationship soured quickly after.

The remaining issue between VW and Suzuki could be the nearly 20-percent ownership stake the German automaker has in the Japanese automaker. According to Bloomberg, Suzuki may have enough cash on hand to buy back the remaining shares if a London-based arbitration court allows it, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Either way, we could be seeing a lot more of Suzuki — which is still Japan’s fourth-largest automaker, by the way — real soon.

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Campbell Points Fingers At Kett, Manley, Marchionne in Defense http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/campbell-points-fingers-at-kett-manley-marchionne-in-defense/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/campbell-points-fingers-at-kett-manley-marchionne-in-defense/#comments Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1131633 The court case against former FCA Australia executive Clyde Campbell is turning into a veritable who’s-who of decision makers at the company, reports The Age. Campbell, who is charged with misappropriation of $30 million AUD of company funds, claims he had verbal permission from recently departed FCA executive John Kett, current company hotshot Mike Manley, and […]

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The court case against former FCA Australia executive Clyde Campbell is turning into a veritable who’s-who of decision makers at the company, reports The Age.

Campbell, who is charged with misappropriation of $30 million AUD of company funds, claims he had verbal permission from recently departed FCA executive John Kett, current company hotshot Mike Manley, and head of FCA Sergio Marchionne.

Campbell’s statement of defense comprises of many claims about instructions received by him from executives further up the chain of command.

One item of contention has to do with dealerships owned by formerly disgraced Mercedes executive Ernst Lieb and business partner David Piva. Campbell authorized payments from FCA to the pair to buy dealerships in Australia in order to increase FCA sales in Australia to 20,000 units per year by any means necessary.

From The Age:

Mr Campbell claims he authorised that expenditure on the instructions of Mr Manley, who “implied by a direction to increase FCA’s dealerships to 100 by June 2012″ that such deals were needed.

According to Mr Campbell, at a management meeting in Shanghai in 2012, Mr Manley told him FCA needed to match the sales volume of Kia and Volkswagen in Australia.

Mr Campbell claims he replied that Kia and Volkswagen had more dealerships and FCA was trying to expand its dealership network. 

According to the court documents, Mr Manley replied with words to the effect: “I’m sick of this excuse. Get 100 dealerships by June next year or you’re out of a job. I don’t care how you do it, I don’t care how much it costs, just get it done. All your marketing is being wasted if you do not have a dealer network to deliver on it”.

Campbell also claims he received “implicit instructions” from Sergio Marchionne and former executive John Kett.

It should be mentioned many of the claims made by Campbell lack supporting evidence.

Other deals as part of the case include the purchase of a plane painted in Alfa Romeo livery (pictured) and a $400,000 Chris Craft yacht.

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Reuters: Subaru Success Fueled By Marginalized Foreign Workers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/reuters-subaru-success-fueled-by-marginalized-foreign-workers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/reuters-subaru-success-fueled-by-marginalized-foreign-workers/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 20:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1128529 Reuters Investigates has a scathing report on foreign workers in Japan at some of Subaru’s most important suppliers. According to the news agency, due to the combination of a booming “Abenomics”, Japan’s 2010 asylum seeker program, and manufacturers looking for cheap sources of expendable labor, foreigners are taken advantage of and treated as second- and […]

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2015-Subaru-Forester

Reuters Investigates has a scathing report on foreign workers in Japan at some of Subaru’s most important suppliers. According to the news agency, due to the combination of a booming “Abenomics”, Japan’s 2010 asylum seeker program, and manufacturers looking for cheap sources of expendable labor, foreigners are taken advantage of and treated as second- and third-class workers. Another program meant to help Chinese citizens learn manufacturing skills in Japan is also implicated in helping Subaru take advantage of marginalized immigrant workers.

Subaru isn’t the only automotive manufacturer named as the same suppliers also feed parts to Honda and Toyota.

The long, detailed report states there are nearly 18,000 foreign residents in Ota, Subaru’s manufacturing home base in Japan, “making it a rare example of multiculturalism in a country stubbornly resistant to immigration” at three times the national average by percentage of population.

However, that immigration isn’t officially of the economic variety as is typically seen between industrialized nations, but of asylum seekers looking for a better life and finding their way into Japan through labor brokers and as indebted trainees. The situation has also been an example of institutionalized racism within Japan.

From Reuters:

In Ota’s auto industry, labor brokers and a manager at a Subaru supplier said ethnicity plays a part in how workers are placed: Japanese workers are at the top of the chain, followed by Brazilians of Japanese descent, who have been in the country longer under a special visa category and can speak the language. They’re followed by South Asians, many of them asylum seekers, and lastly, African workers at the bottom of the pyramid. An executive at one local manufacturer said he favored asylum seekers from Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh, who he said are more willing to take on difficult jobs for lower pay.

“We carefully examined the matter and confirmed that this was not the case,” Subaru said in a written response to questions from Reuters.

The conditions for asylum-seekers-turned-workers in Ota are fueled by Subaru’s popular Forester, Reuters states in the report, running counter to the company’s “Love Promise” to make “a positive impact in the world.” Some workers make as little as minimum wage — $6.60 an hour — before labor brokers take their own cut off the top for housing, utilities and “dispatch fees” for arranging employment.

Many of the employees, typically on short-term contracts, are working illegally while on provisional release from immigration detention centers.

From Reuters:

Asked how people on provisional release were supposed to survive if they were barred from working, Hidetoshi Ogawa, a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said they should rely on support from their relatives, friends and local charities. He said provisional release was a humanitarian measure to avoid long-term detention, “but in truth, these people should leave the country.”

The terms of employment, conditions of work, and treatment of the workers is fully detailed in the report and not what you’d expect from a supposed First World country like Japan.

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Ford Posts $1.9B Second Quarter Profit, Largest Since 2000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-posts-1-9b-second-quarter-profit-largest-since-2000/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-posts-1-9b-second-quarter-profit-largest-since-2000/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1126521 Ford announced that it made a $1.9 billion net-adjusted profit in the second quarter of 2015, marking the largest gain for the automaker since 2000, according to Automotive News. The profit represents a 44-percent gain over last year despite dipping global sales and a stronger U.S. dollar hampering exports. Ford said it was selling cars for […]

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2015 Ford F-150

Ford announced that it made a $1.9 billion net-adjusted profit in the second quarter of 2015, marking the largest gain for the automaker since 2000, according to Automotive News.

The profit represents a 44-percent gain over last year despite dipping global sales and a stronger U.S. dollar hampering exports. Ford said it was selling cars for more money and offering fewer incentives, despite recent reports of F-150 incentives topping nearly $11,000 in some places.

Ford said revenues in North America surged 10 percent, which helped the company beat Wall Street’s expectations.

The 10-percent gain in revenue in North America is despite Ford’s slower-than-average sales compared to the overall industry average. Automotive News reported that the automaker achieved a 1.7-percent increase in sales for the second quarter compared to the industry average of 3.3 percent.

A slowdown in production of the F-150 is partially to blame for the sales shortfall. Building the redesigned F-150 at both of Ford’s plants has gone slower than normal, the automaker said, and inventory levels should return to normal in September.

The automaker said it increased its global market share one-tenth of a percent to 7.6 percent. Twelve of its 16 planned global launches have happened already this year, and Ford said the rest were on track. The company said it was still on track for an end-of-year, pre-tax profit of between $8.5 billion and $9.5 billion.

Ford posted a net loss in South American, European, Middle Eastern and African markets, but posted a $33 million gain in the Asia Pacific region, a 20-percent improvement over last year.

Ford Credit posed a $506 million pre-tax profit for the second quarter, a 17-percent gain.

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GM to Develop Global Car with China-based SAIC Motors http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/gm-develop-global-car-china-based-saic-motors/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/gm-develop-global-car-china-based-saic-motors/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 15:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1126489 General Motors will invest $5 billion to build a global line of cars with Shanghai-based SAIC Motors that will be sold in Brazil, China and other emerging markets, the automaker announced Tuesday. The cars won’t be sold in the United States, according to the statement. The global vehicles will go on sale starting in 2019 and the automaker […]

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General Motors will invest $5 billion to build a global line of cars with Shanghai-based SAIC Motors that will be sold in Brazil, China and other emerging markets, the automaker announced Tuesday.

The cars won’t be sold in the United States, according to the statement.

The global vehicles will go on sale starting in 2019 and the automaker expects the line to eventually produce roughly 2 million cars annually.

GM said the new global architecture would replace several existing models, but didn’t specify what those outgoing models would be. The vehicles would be manufactured in China, Brazil, Mexico and India and exported to other countries. GM said they expect to source many of the car’s components from local suppliers.

“With a significant majority of anticipated automotive industry growth in 2015 to 2030 outside of mature markets, Chevrolet is taking steps to capitalize on that growth,” General Motors President Dan Ammann said in the statement . “Strengthening Chevrolet’s position through this major investment is consistent with our global strategy to ensure long-term profitable growth in the markets where we operate.”

In February, SAIC and General Motors (through its Shanghai General Motors Wuling joint venture business) opened a plant in Indonesia to build SAIC-branded cars. SAIC also owns British car company MG.

The GM-SAIC partnership has an interesting history, especially in India.

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