Category: Emerging Markets

By on June 9, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Exterior Front 3/4. Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne could be on the cusp of a new (corporate) romance.

The automaker is talking with ride-sharing megaprovider Uber about join forces on a self-driving vehicle venture, according to Automotive News. Sources close to the matter say those talks are in the early phase, but a agreement could be announced before the end of the year. Read More >

By on June 6, 2016

17LincolnContinental_03_HR

After entering the hot Chinese car market two years ago, Lincoln Motor Company now wants to start building its vehicles there, sources close to the matter tell Bloomberg.

Lincoln is reportedly in talks with partner Changan Automobile Group to build a manufacturing facility — which would serve as an export hub — as early as 2018. Timing of production depends on whether sales continue their upward path. Read More >

By on June 2, 2016

2017 IONIQ HEV

If you’re still holding on to that copy of Who Killed the Electric Car? you bought back in your university days, it might be time to toss it in the trash.

In just two years, there could be four 200-plus mile electric vehicles on the market, now that Hyundai plans to jump into the long-range EV game.

The South Korean automaker doesn’t want to be an also-ran in the emerging field, so it’s planning a 2018 introduction of an EV designed to battle the 215-mile Tesla Model 3. It’s an ambitious goal for a company whose green car chief once called EVs and hybrids “a headache.” Read More >

By on May 31, 2016

Volkswagen Golf family

The diesel emissions scandal can’t be blamed for all of Volkswagen’s sales woes.

Today, the automaker announced first-quarter profits fell 86 percent compared to the same time last year, not surprising given its sidelined diesel models, the hit to its reputation, and a hastily cobbled together $18.2 billion scandal fund.

Worldwide sales of Volkswagen passenger cars fell 1.3 percent (year-over-year) this quarter, but the scandal doesn’t tell the whole story. That number would have been in positive territory if select countries weren’t grab-your-money-and-get-out economic disasters. Read More >

By on May 17, 2016

renault kwid

Three versions of a Renault hatchback spectacularly failed their frontal crash tests in India, earning them zero out of five stars, even with an available airbag.

It’s food for thought for the 125,000 Indian buyers who placed orders for the subcompact coffin, but the Renault Kwid isn’t alone in flunking Global NCAP testing in that car-hungry country.

The Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon also failed to earn a single star, reports Business Standard. Read More >

By on May 13, 2016

2016 Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X Grille, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Yesterday’s news that Nissan will buy a 34-percent controlling stake in Mitsubishi for $2.2 billion was the latest win for Carlos Ghosn, the man behind the Renault-Nissan Alliance of 1999 and possessor of many fingers in many pies.

Ghosn, CEO of both Nissan and Renault, inked the agreement with Mitsubishi as the other automaker battles a misleading gas-mileage scandal. At a price of 468.52 yen/share, Ghosn’s purchase of new shares was a smoking deal. Mitsubishi shares traded for 1,100 yen just last December.

What becomes of the two companies now? And how will Ghosn’s world-straddling empire benefit by snapping up beleaguered Mitsubishi? Read More >

By on May 12, 2016

Carlos Ghosn speaks -01. Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Yesterday’s vague Japanese media reports proved right this morning, as Nissan Motor Co. announced it will purchase a 34 percent controlling stake in scandal-plagued Mitsubishi Motors.

Taking advantage of Mitsubishi’s reduced market value following the company’s admission of cheating on Japanese fuel economy tests, Nissan’s 237 billion yen ($2.2 billion) bulk buy of shares makes it the automaker’s largest shareholder.

It’s a big win for Nissan, which can take credit for exposing the gas mileage scandal less than a month ago. Read More >

By on May 2, 2016

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

They’re on a little break right now, but Volkswagen plans to saunter back to America’s door, flowers and chocolates in hand.

As the diesel emissions scandal plods along to its buyback conclusion, the automaker plans to woo U.S. buyers with desirable products and a less confusing brand strategy, Automotive News reports.

Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess told reporters in Germany last week that the U.S. was still a target market primed for growth, but first the company must convince those buyers that it has changed its ways, and that it’s ready for commitment. Read More >

By on May 2, 2016

2016 Jeep® Renegade Latitude

The Jeep brand is Fiat-Chrysler’s biggest money maker, so it’s no wonder that CEO Sergio Marchionne is scattering factories around the world like a sailor’s offspring.

The company’s head honcho outlined his business plan for the brand in an interview published by Automotive News, and it involves no longer having to make a “Sophie’s Choice” decision with Jeep output. Read More >

By on April 27, 2016

Chevrolet Cavalier

No matter who you are or what status you hold in society, at some point in the past 34 years you did something in a Chevrolet Cavalier, and it was probably a lackluster experience (barring anything in the backseat, though even then…).

For reasons unknown, the nameplate that once summed up everything that was wrong with domestic compacts will return to the automotive landscape on a China-only Chevrolet model, GMInsideNews reports. Read More >

By on April 25, 2016

Acura CDX

Honda’s Chinese subsidiary is proud of the upcoming Acura CDX compact SUV, as it’s the first Acura designed for, and built in, that expanding car market.

Based on the Honda HR-V, the CDX tries to erase all signs of its body donor’s identity. Among other things, the new model adds shapelier flanks, conventional rear door handles, Acura’s new corporate diamond grille, and taillights that align with the brand. Read More >

By on April 22, 2016

General Motors Renaissance Center

There’s happy faces inside the Renaissance Center today.

General Motors saw its first-quarter pretax profit rise 28 percent, despite continuing trouble in foreign markets, Automotive News has reported.

A net income of $1.95 billion means investors will reap $32.66 a share, a 1.5 percent increase. Revenue was up four percent in the first quarter, at $37.27 billion. Read More >

By on April 19, 2016

lINCOLN-cONTINENTAL-pRESIDENTIAL-2

China’s thirst for American executive sedans knows no bounds, so Lincoln is rubbing its palms together and giving the red-hot luxury market exactly what it wants: piles and piles of prestige.

The Continental nameplate is already soaked in presidential history, but for the Chinese market, the company’s flagship model needed something a little more…obvious. These images from China’s Autohome (via Carscoops) reveals Lincoln’s elegant solution — the addition of a “Presidential” badge to the sedan’s rear. Read More >

By on April 14, 2016

Ford Focus diesel Russia

After partnering with the Russian company Sollers for the past five years and investing more than $1 billion into car and engine factories, Ford Motor Company is betting on a Russian rebound and still sees the beleaguered country as a long-term play.

Amid GM’s retreat from Russia, Ford stuck to its game plan by spending cash on new models and plants in that country, presumably to avoid a catch-up situation similar to the one it faced in China. According to Automotive News, the commitment paid off in the first quarter of 2016, sending sales up by 93 percent in a market that saw a 17 percent decline over the same period. Read More >

By on April 13, 2016

CU-ICAR/Toyota uBox concept (Image: Toyota)

It’s a bit like Scooby-Doo meets A Clockwork Orange.

Graduate students at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) spent two years working with Toyota to create the ideal vehicle for the next age demographic to leap into the car-buying fray: Generation Z.

No, we’re not talking about some stodgy Millennial born in 1985, with his cardigans and Dodge Journey. Generation Z refers to the cohort born in the late 1990s (at the earliest) onward, and these are the people automakers are going to start targeting right … about … now.

Read More >

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