Category: Export

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.

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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


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


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 >

By on April 22, 2016


A day after its head office was raided by Japanese Transport Ministry officials, the U.S. is going to put Mitsubishi’s mileage claims under scrutiny.

The scandal began when Mitsubishi admitted it overstated fuel economy numbers on its Japanese market eK mini wagons, but Reuters is now claiming the false data extends to U.S. market vehicles. Read More >

By on April 20, 2016

2016 Buick Envision Front 3/4

Buick’s turbocharged, Chinese-made Envision crossover is landing on American shores in early summer, but the price could cause some buyers to rethink their purchase date.

Holding the title of being the first U.S. model manufactured in China, the Envision is already a two-year veteran of the overseas market. Americans are notoriously SUV-thirsty, so it was inevitable that the Envision would make its way here, loaded with a high level of standard equipment.

The starting MSRP for the 2016 Envision is $42,995 (all charges included), a figure that tops the range-leading Enclave, which starts at $39,065 (minus freight, destination and fees). Read More >

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