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By on June 27, 2016

2015-Ford-Focus-07

Indonesia is the biggest vehicle market in Southeast Asia, and Ford Motor Company is running away from it.

The automaker’s announcement earlier this year that it plans to stop selling vehicles in the country came as a shock to dealers, who now want Ford to compensate them in a big way, Reuters reports. Read More >

By on June 15, 2016

2016 Fiat 500L, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Despite Pope Francis giving the model a thumbs up, sales of the ungainly looking Fiat 500L continue their downward slide, with the automaker announcing it will cut one of three shifts at its Serbian factory.

The cuts made at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ assembly plant in Kragujevac, Serbia amount to nearly 30 percent of Fiat Serbia’s workforce, according to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe). When all three lines were running, the plant employed 3,100 people.

Blame the Fiat 500L’s sinking European fortunes and failure to catch on in the U.S. Read More >

By on June 15, 2016

Skoda Octavia RS Wagon, Image: Skoda

There’s been much talk lately about the possibility of Czech automaker Škoda entering the American market, spurred by news of the brand trademarking some model names in the USA.

The idea is that Škoda could complement or even replace Volkswagen on American soil with its larger, cheaper cars. But can it make sense? Can Škoda offer something that VW can’t? Is it better suited to American tastes? And, is it cheap enough? Let’s look at all these question with the eyes of someone who’s familiar both with Škodas and with American cars and consumer tastes.

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 26, 2016

Cosworth

A company whose name is synonymous with performance wants to put down roots in Big Three territory.

Cosworth, the British manufacturer of specialized engine parts and electronics, aims to open a $30 million plant in the northern suburbs of Detroit by 2018, Automotive News reports. 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 16, 2016

2014_Nissan_Qashqai_Right_Side

It’s nowhere near the scale of the Volkswagen debacle, but Nissan is in hot water with the South Korean government over dodgy emissions from its diesel SUV.

That country’s environment ministry accuses Nissan of using a “defeat device” to disable the emissions controls on its UK-built Qashqai SUV, Automotive News reports. 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 5, 2016

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

There’s probably no s’mores or ghost stories, but Tesla founder Elon Musk is still a fan of camping out at his company’s Fremont, California production facility.

Musk admitted to giving his sleeping bag a regular workout during a recent earnings call, during which he outlined his production goals for the upcoming Model 3. The optimistic deadline of July 1, 2017 is now viewed as impossible (due to supply issues), but Musk is optimistic that significant quantities of the $35,000 EV will be out the door before New Year’s Eve.

Musk might need to splurge on an upgraded sleeping bag next summer. 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 >

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