The Truth About Cars » Global http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:37:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 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 » Global http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/global-news-blog/ Volkswagen Introducing ‘Budget-Car Family’ By 2018 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-introducing-budget-car-family-by-2018/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-introducing-budget-car-family-by-2018/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1101537 Once upon a time, Volkswagen lived up to its name by providing a low-cost car for the people. Now, the automaker has plans to do so once more. CEO Martin Winterkorn told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag Sunday his company would bring “a budget-car family to market in 2018, with an SUV, saloon and hatchback,” […]

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Volkswagen Beetles in Paphos Circa March 2015

Once upon a time, Volkswagen lived up to its name by providing a low-cost car for the people. Now, the automaker has plans to do so once more.

CEO Martin Winterkorn told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag Sunday his company would bring “a budget-car family to market in 2018, with an SUV, saloon and hatchback,” Reuters reports. Winterkorn added the cars — to cost between €8,000 and €11,000 ($8,932 and $12,225 USD) — would be assembled in China; the original target was between €6,000 and €8,000 ($6,670 and $8,932).

Though the low-cost vehicles are aimed for markets in Southeast Asia, Winterkorn says his company would determine “if this is something of interest for other markets as well.” Whether North America is among them, only he and his senior execs know for certain.

(Photo credit: Chris Parker/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Marchionne Not Yet Ready For GM, Fields Not Interested In Any Merger http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/marchionne-not-yet-ready-for-gm-fields-not-interested-in-any-merger/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/marchionne-not-yet-ready-for-gm-fields-not-interested-in-any-merger/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100777 FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne says he’s not ready to court General Motors’ shareholders for a merger, while Ford’s Mark Fields prefers no mergers at all. Though Marchionne was said to be gathering allies in the finance field to help persuade GM’s investors to consider consolidation — having been rebuffed already by CEO Mary Barra — […]

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Fiat 500 At Tuscany Wedding Circa April 2014

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne says he’s not ready to court General Motors’ shareholders for a merger, while Ford’s Mark Fields prefers no mergers at all.

Though Marchionne was said to be gathering allies in the finance field to help persuade GM’s investors to consider consolidation — having been rebuffed already by CEO Mary BarraReuters says he stated the following while on the sidelines at Wednesday’s unveiling of the Alfa Romeo Guilia:

We are very far removed from any of those scenarios today. None of my staff has spoken to them, I haven’t spoken to them, nobody is under instruction to speak to them.

When asked about the possibility of going hostile in his ongoing need for industry consolidation, Marchionne’s reply was to proclaim those who “kept wasting capital” were the ones meting out the hostility.

One such individual would likely be Fields. Per The Detroit Bureau, the Ford CEO told reporters attending the annual Further With Ford conference mergers with any automaker, let alone FCA, were out of the question:

We have no interest or plan other than accelerating the One Ford Plan; delivering product excellence and driving innovation in every part of our business. We are never going to take our eye off of being a great developer of cars, trucks and utility vehicles.

Fields added he would consider ways to improve his company’s overall business model, stating it was important for Ford “to open up that lens” in order to lead the industry towards betterment.

(Photo credit: Monica Arellano-Ongpin/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

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Lotus Resumes US Operations, Moves US HQ To Detroit Area http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/lotus-resumes-us-operations-moves-us-hq-to-detroit-area/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/lotus-resumes-us-operations-moves-us-hq-to-detroit-area/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 19:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1099441 After a brief hiatus in 2014, Lotus Cars USA is back in the game for 2015, including a move to the Detroit metro area. The U.S. subsidiary of Lotus will relocate its headquarters to Ann Arbor, Mich. from Lawrenceville, Ga. by the end of July 2015, where it will share facilities with Lotus Engineering, AutoGuide […]

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Lotus Evora 400 Circa Geneva 2015

After a brief hiatus in 2014, Lotus Cars USA is back in the game for 2015, including a move to the Detroit metro area.

The U.S. subsidiary of Lotus will relocate its headquarters to Ann Arbor, Mich. from Lawrenceville, Ga. by the end of July 2015, where it will share facilities with Lotus Engineering, AutoGuide reports. The move would allow both divisions more ability to grow, and would improve efficiency of operations.

Meanwhile, the first car to make its way across the Pond will be the 2017 Evora 400, sale of which are set to begin this December. The 3-Eleven track car and a proposed crossover are expected to follow.

Finally, Lotus’ U.S. dealership network recently expanded by four to 47 total showrooms, with more planned for the future. The four newest additions are in West Covina and Thermal, Calif., Scottsdale, Ariz. and Calgary, Alberta.

(Photo credit: Lotus)

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Ford Unveils Carsharing Pilot Program For Select Ford Credit Consumers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/ford-unveils-carsharing-pilot-program-for-select-ford-credit-consumers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/ford-unveils-carsharing-pilot-program-for-select-ford-credit-consumers/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1099089 Financing a Ford and looking to bolster your monthly payments? The automaker has an idea: rent your car to others. Ford owners financing their rides through Ford Credit can rent them out to other drivers through its Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing program, announced Tuesday evening. The pilot program will invite 14,000 and 12,000 owners “in six […]

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2015 Ford F-150

Financing a Ford and looking to bolster your monthly payments? The automaker has an idea: rent your car to others.

Ford owners financing their rides through Ford Credit can rent them out to other drivers through its Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing program, announced Tuesday evening. The pilot program will invite 14,000 and 12,000 owners “in six U.S. cities and London, respectively” to rent their vehicles to prescreened drivers on a short-term basis, with rental payments going towards paying down the note.

To enable this, Ford partnered with rideshare companies Getaround (U.S. market) and easyCar Club (London), whose respective “Web-based, mobile-friendly software” will handle all transactions.

The six U.S. cities selected to participate in the sharing program are the California cities of Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco, as well as Portland, Chicago and Washington. The program is slated to run through November 2015.

(Photo credit: Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars)

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Renault-Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn Banks $16M In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/renault-nissans-carlos-ghosn-banks-16m-in-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/renault-nissans-carlos-ghosn-banks-16m-in-2014/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097801 Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn did well for himself in 2014, banking around $16 million in compensation compared to the salaries of other automotive CEOs. Breaking down the numbers, Nissan paid Ghosn ¥1.035 billion ($8.39 million USD) during 2014, Reuters says, up 4 percent from what he made in 2013. On the Renault side, Ghosn took […]

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Carlos Ghosn

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn did well for himself in 2014, banking around $16 million in compensation compared to the salaries of other automotive CEOs.

Breaking down the numbers, Nissan paid Ghosn ¥1.035 billion ($8.39 million USD) during 2014, Reuters says, up 4 percent from what he made in 2013. On the Renault side, Ghosn took home €7.2 million ($8.17 million), bringing total compensation to $16.56 million.

Ghosn’s combined paycheck is in line with compensation paid to two of the Detroit Three’s CEOs, where both Ford CEO Mark Fields and General Motors CEO Mary Barra made $16.8 million and $16.2 million respectively at the end of their first year helming their companies. Meanwhile, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne’s compensation paints a complex portrait, with figures ranging between $8 million and $72 million depending on the source.

Among the rest of the ToHoSan Zaibatsu, Toyota’s Akio Toyoda made ¥229 million ($1.84 million) in 2014, while Honda’s Takanobu Ito brought home ¥150 million ($1.21 million).

In Germany, the Teutonic Trinity’s CEOs took home €6.57 million ($7.35 million – Audi’s Rupert Stadler), €7.25 million ($8.11 million – BMW’s Norbert Reithofer) and €9.35 ($10.5 million – Mercedes’ Dieter Zetsche).

Finally, under the remaining stripes of the Tricolore Français, PSA Peugeot Citroën CEO Carlos Tavares received €2.75 million ($3.07 million).

(Photo credit: Nissan)

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Mercedes Considering Introducing Convertible SUVs To Lineup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mercedes-considering-introducing-convertible-suvs-to-lineup/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mercedes-considering-introducing-convertible-suvs-to-lineup/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 15:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1096577 Up until 2013, one could purchase a Mercedes G-Wagen with a droptop. Now, the automaker is thinking of dropping the tops throughout its SUV lineup. Mercedes sports cars and SUVs chief Wolf-Dieter Kurz says it may be possible to bring a convertible SUV to market once the market for them is found, CarAdvice.com.au writes. He […]

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mercedes-g500-convertible

Up until 2013, one could purchase a Mercedes G-Wagen with a droptop. Now, the automaker is thinking of dropping the tops throughout its SUV lineup.

Mercedes sports cars and SUVs chief Wolf-Dieter Kurz says it may be possible to bring a convertible SUV to market once the market for them is found, CarAdvice.com.au writes. He says the reason Mercedes stopped producing the G-Wagen Cabriolet after 34 years was due to a combination of volume and production reasons, adding such a vehicle exists in “a very slim niche in terms of the SUV portfolio.”

As for who might go for it, Kurz believes China would be a good start for a GLA or GLC convertible, though sales may be an uphill battle:

… China is not very good these days, or in total, in terms of convertibles, in terms of classical sedan-based coupes, in terms of roadsters. And it’s somewhat also the driving force in the meanwhile for the overall portfolio: can it be successful in China?

He adds there are “lots of discussions” and market research regarding convertible SUVs, but no decisions whether to press forward or not have been made thus far.

(Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz)

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Frankfurt 2015: Production-Ready Infiniti Q30 Set For Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/frankfurt-2015-production-ready-infiniti-q30-set-for-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/frankfurt-2015-production-ready-infiniti-q30-set-for-debut/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2015 13:11:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1096097 Two years ago in Frankfurt, the Infiniti Q30 debuted before the world in concept form. Come this September, it will return with a production-ready look. The brand is putting the finishing touches on its first-ever compact luxury car, including “dynamic testing and ultimate validation” in the United Kingdom — where development of the Q30 was […]

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2013 Infiniti Q30 Concept

Two years ago in Frankfurt, the Infiniti Q30 debuted before the world in concept form. Come this September, it will return with a production-ready look.

The brand is putting the finishing touches on its first-ever compact luxury car, including “dynamic testing and ultimate validation” in the United Kingdom — where development of the Q30 was completed last year — and across the Channel in Europe.

Following its debut in mid-September, the Q30 will hit European showrooms from Nissan’s production line in Sunderland, England at the end of 2015, with other markets set to get theirs in 2016.

The Q30 and its sibling compact crossover, the upcoming QX30, are expected to receive power from the same 2.0-liter turbo-four found under the bonnets of the Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA, whose basic underpinnings also provides a foundation for the Infiniti compacts. The exchange is part of a joint venture between Daimler AG and Renault-Nissan.

For now, this spy shot from Infiniti is the best we’ve got until closer to showtime:

Infiniti_Q30_TEASER_image___19_June_2015

(Photo credit: Infiniti)

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Republican Hopeful Donald Trump Threatens Ford With Tariffs Over Mexico http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/republican-hopeful-donald-trump-threatens-ford-with-tariffs-over-mexico/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/republican-hopeful-donald-trump-threatens-ford-with-tariffs-over-mexico/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 19:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095409 Republican presidential hopeful and billionaire Donald Trump wants to bring the pain via punitive tariffs to Ford for manufacturing vehicles in Mexico. During his announcement of his 2016 campaign Tuesday, The Detroit News says Trump vowed he would levy a 35 percent tariff on Ford parts and vehicles imported from Mexico if the automaker presses […]

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Smug Motherfucker Donald Trump Douching It Up Like He Always Does

Republican presidential hopeful and billionaire Donald Trump wants to bring the pain via punitive tariffs to Ford for manufacturing vehicles in Mexico.

During his announcement of his 2016 campaign Tuesday, The Detroit News says Trump vowed he would levy a 35 percent tariff on Ford parts and vehicles imported from Mexico if the automaker presses forward with a $2.5 billion investment in the nation, claiming the move would “take away thousands” of jobs from American workers.

Trump then proceeded to roleplay how he would deliver the “bad news” to “the head of Ford,” CEO Mark Fields:

Let me give you the bad news: every car, every truck and every part manufactured in this plant that comes across the border, we’re going to charge you a 35 percent tax — OK? — and that tax is going to be paid simultaneously with the transaction. They are going to take away thousands of jobs.

Announced in April, the $2.5 billion investment would add 3,800 jobs to the 11,300 already employed by Ford in Mexico, and would include new engine and transmission plants aimed toward the export market in the United States and other global markets.

Trump continued on with his roleplay, stating Ford would use lobbyist power to persuade “President Trump” to drop the tax, only for him to sandbag the automaker into submission. He added he knew Fields personally, and thought Ford was a good company overall.

In response, spokeswoman Christin Baker reiterated Ford’s investments into its home market:

We are proud that we have invested $6.2 billion in our U.S. plants since 2011 and hired nearly 25,000 U.S. employees. Overall, 80 percent of our North American investment annually is in the U.S., and 97 percent of our North American engineering is conducted in the U.S.

Of course, Trump wouldn’t be legally able to punish Ford for building its plants wherever it wanted, let alone single-out Ford with his plan without also doing the same to General Motors and FCA (how he would deal with Fiat owning Chrysler would be a whole other round of metaphors and hyperbole altogether).

At least one thing is for certain in Trump’s campaigning thus far: the dead cat on his head is actually his hair.

(Photo credit:Gage Skidmore/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

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New Top Gear Presenter Reveals Talent Search For Co-Presenters http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/new-top-gear-presenter-reveals-talent-search-for-co-presenters/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/new-top-gear-presenter-reveals-talent-search-for-co-presenters/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 18:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095273 BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans is the new lead presenter for “Top Gear,” but now he needs at least one other at his side, and it could be you. According to Top Gear magazine, the host began his audition search Thursday, which is open to any and all comers: The way Richard and James were […]

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Top Gear Talent Search

BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans is the new lead presenter for “Top Gear,” but now he needs at least one other at his side, and it could be you.

According to Top Gear magazine, the host began his audition search Thursday, which is open to any and all comers:

The way Richard and James were found was by auditioning, so what we’re going to do is hold auditions. Not just for famous people, ex-famous people, up-and-coming famous people, but for people who are watching the show.

Male, female, old, young, it doesn’t matter. The one thing that does matter is that you’ve got to have a real appetite for cars, and you’ve got to know something about cars.

You can be a mechanic, you can be an amateur racing car driver, you can be a guy who’s a fireman but who’s been building his own Land Rover in his shed for five years, but you’ve got to know about cars…

Those who wish to live the dream are asked to record a video clip no longer than 30 seconds, filmed from the waist up with “no stunts, no gimmicks,” just talking. Candidates must be over 16, but they can be from anywhere in the world.

Finalists will be invited to audition live before Evans and the show’s production staff, though the host offered no guarantees a member from the public would be selected, stating such a selection would “only happen if there’s anything good.”

Details on where to send the clip will be announced Friday.

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BMW i8 PHEV Unit Wins 2015 International Engine of the Year Award http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/bmw-i8-phev-unit-wins-2015-international-engine-of-the-year-award/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/bmw-i8-phev-unit-wins-2015-international-engine-of-the-year-award/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 16:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095217 The BMW i8’s 1.5-liter 3-cylinder PHEV unit is the winner of this year’s International Engine of the Year award, beating out Ford by seven points in voting. In addition to taking the overall prize, the 1.5-liter also took home the top prizes in the New Engine and 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre categories, while falling short of […]

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2015 BMW i8

The BMW i8’s 1.5-liter 3-cylinder PHEV unit is the winner of this year’s International Engine of the Year award, beating out Ford by seven points in voting.

In addition to taking the overall prize, the 1.5-liter also took home the top prizes in the New Engine and 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre categories, while falling short of beating Tesla for the Green Engine category. BMW also took home the top prize in the 2.5-Litre to 3-Litre category with the 3.0-liter twin-turbo six under the bonnets of the M3 and M4.

Other winners include Ford’s 999cc turbo-three (Sub 1-Litre), PSA Peugeot Citroen’s 1.2-liter turbo-three (1-Litre to 1.4-Litre), the Mercedes-AMG 2.0-litre in the CLA45/GLA45 (1.8-Litre to 2-Litre), Audi’s 2.5-liter turbo-five (2-Litre to 2.5-Litre), McLaren’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 (3-Litre to 4-Litre), and the Ferrari 4.5-liter V8 (Above 4-Litre, Performance Engine).

Among the American manufacturers, Tesla also placed sixth in the overall category, while Ford scored fifth, third and fifth respectively in the 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre, 2-Litre to 2.5-Litre, and Green Engine categories. FCA took home sixth in both Above 4-Litre and Performance Engine categories with its 6.2-liter Hellcat V8s, as well as fifth in the Sub 1-Litre category (GM’s Opel took second), and sixth in the 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre category.

(Photo credit: domantasm./Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

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General Motors, FCA Recruit Advisors Amid Merger Standoff http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-fca-recruit-advisors-amid-merger-standoff/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-fca-recruit-advisors-amid-merger-standoff/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 15:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095169 The Lifetime movie starring FCA has reached the “dangerous stalker” phase, as the automaker and General Motors recruit advisors amid a merger standoff. Despite GM and CEO Mary Barra both rebuffing FCA’s and CEO Sergio Marchionne’s attempts to consolidate the two automakers and their respective resources, the former has brought aboard Goldman Sachs and Morgan […]

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Abarth 500

The Lifetime movie starring FCA has reached the “dangerous stalker” phase, as the automaker and General Motors recruit advisors amid a merger standoff.

Despite GM and CEO Mary Barra both rebuffing FCA’s and CEO Sergio Marchionne’s attempts to consolidate the two automakers and their respective resources, the former has brought aboard Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley for advice in handling the latter’s attempts to force the issue, Reuters reports. FCA is being advised by UBS, with help from Lazard via the automaker’s founding Agnelli family.

For months, Marchionne has been beating the drum of consolidation, going as far as to recruit GM investors to force the automaker’s board to meet FCA at the negotiation table. His reasoning amounts to reducing costs involved in developing platforms and technologies for new vehicles by spreading those costs throughout two or more merged parties.

However, for FCA to make GM theirs forever and always, sources close to the matter claim the automaker would need to pay $77 billion in an all-stock transaction, based on GM’s shareholders demanding a 35 percent premium regarding market capitalization, as well as a significant payout on their shares.

The hostile takeover would put FCA under financial strain, as well. Its market value — most of which is linked to Ferrari, which is set to strike out on its own later this year — is around $57 billion, while capitalization is $20 billion, much smaller than GM’s respective figures of $84 billion and $57 billion.

(Photo credit: Shane Hayes/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Hyundai Struggles Against Infrastructure Issues To Meet Global FCV Sales Target http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-struggles-against-infrastructure-issues-to-meet-global-fcv-sales-target/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-struggles-against-infrastructure-issues-to-meet-global-fcv-sales-target/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 17:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1094721 Global sales of Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell haven’t been able to match sales targets since the FCV’s launch in 2013, though not for a lack of trying. Hyundai says it shipped a total of 273 units of the Tucson Fuel Cell to showrooms in its home market and abroad since 2013, Yonhap News Agency reports, […]

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2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell

Global sales of Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell haven’t been able to match sales targets since the FCV’s launch in 2013, though not for a lack of trying.

Hyundai says it shipped a total of 273 units of the Tucson Fuel Cell to showrooms in its home market and abroad since 2013, Yonhap News Agency reports, 69 of which were delivered in 2015 thus far. The automaker planned to move 1,000 units by the end of 2015, a goal not likely to occur at this rate.

As for why, the problem comes down to infrastructure. Hyundai Auto Canada representative Chad Heard told TTAC the Canadian subsidiary leased two Tucson Fuel Cells thus far, and received its second shipment for allocation this month.

Heard explained there were more interested consumers than actual product, but doesn’t expect for sales to hit double-digits in 2015 due to infrastructure constraints, adding the company would be able to meet demand in Canada “if there was more access to hydrogen gas.” There is only one filling station available to Tucson Fuel Cell owners, located in Surrey, British Columbia, while the United States and South Korea fare little better with 10 and 11 stations, respectively.

[Photo credit: Hyundai]

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Mexico, Southeastern US Besting Canada, Detroit In Auto Manufacturing http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mexico-southeastern-us-besting-canada-detroit-in-auto-manufacturing/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mexico-southeastern-us-besting-canada-detroit-in-auto-manufacturing/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 18:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1093441 Despite being unified on the trading front, Mexico and the Southeastern United States are besting Canada and Detroit in the automotive industry game. Presently, Mexico’s contribution to overall North American annual production came to 18.8 percent in 2014, Detroit Free Press says, double the percentage of vehicles the country’s burgeoning industry made back in 2004. […]

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National Flag of Mexico

Despite being unified on the trading front, Mexico and the Southeastern United States are besting Canada and Detroit in the automotive industry game.

Presently, Mexico’s contribution to overall North American annual production came to 18.8 percent in 2014, Detroit Free Press says, double the percentage of vehicles the country’s burgeoning industry made back in 2004. Conversely, Canada’s percentage fell from 16.9 percent a decade earlier, to 14.1 percent last year. The U.S. also lost production volume over the years, rebounding to 67.1 percent in 2014 after its seven-year-decline from a peak of 73.6 percent ended in 2011.

While the U.S. still makes the most vehicles per year, more production is heading south of the Mason-Dixon when not crossing the border entirely. DesRosiers Automotive Consultants president Dennis DesRosiers says “over half the capacity and 80 percent to 90 percent of investment dollars are going to the U.S. South or Mexico,” leaving Detroit and the Canadian auto industry out in the cold.

DesRosiers adds Canada’s industry could downsize to five automakers with a single factory each over the next 10 to 20 years, while Mexico could grow volume to an additional 1 million or 2 million units per year, thanks to heavy investments — $7 billion alone in 2014 — from North American and foreign automakers alike.

Meanwhile, IHS Automotive Consulting managing director Michael Robinet expects production volume in the Southeastern U.S. to grow to 5 million units, while volume in the Midwest will remain around 6 million units/year. Said growth is fueled by a combination of lower labor costs compared to Detroit, a nonunionized workforce at the ready, and state and local financial incentives meant to lure transplants to bring jobs to the region.

As for Canada, the nation’s industry has dwindled from 20 assembly plants — all established under the 1965 Auto Pact trade agreement between the U.S. and Canada — to just 10 in 2014 under the North American Free Trade Agreement. As a result, 2.1 million units of volume were lost since 1992, and is expected to jump to 2.6 million when General Motors ends some production at its plants in Oshawa, Ontario next year. More could be lost if FCA decides to move production of its full-size vehicles out of Canada, as well, a move which some believe will decide the ultimate fate of Canada’s industry.

No matter the projections, all three parties to the trade agreement will continue to fluctuate as far as investment is concerned. GM North America president Alan Batey said as much, stating the automaker wants to maintain a “balanced presence” in all three nations to better handle currency fluctuations and shipping costs, a view held among the manufacturers investing their resources into North America’s overall auto industry.

[Photo credit: iivangm/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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Straubel: Tesla Model 3 Hitting Showrooms In Sedan, Crossover Variants http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/straubel-tesla-model-3-hitting-showrooms-in-sedan-crossover-variants/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/straubel-tesla-model-3-hitting-showrooms-in-sedan-crossover-variants/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 14:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1093257 Tesla dropped a bombshell at a conference in Washington Monday, when Chief Technical Officer J.B. Straubel said the Model 3 would be two separate models. Per Straubel, not only would there be a sedan to take home, but a crossover Model 3, as well, Wall Street Journal reports, complimenting the Model S and upcoming X […]

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Tesla Model S Center Stage

Tesla dropped a bombshell at a conference in Washington Monday, when Chief Technical Officer J.B. Straubel said the Model 3 would be two separate models.

Per Straubel, not only would there be a sedan to take home, but a crossover Model 3, as well, Wall Street Journal reports, complimenting the Model S and upcoming X at the entry-level starting price of $35,000. Both models are due in 2017, and will give owners 200 miles to enjoy the silence with every charge. No other details were given at this time.

Meanwhile, Straubel says Tesla is working on new models set to come after the Model 3 — no details were given here, either — and reiterated CEO Elon Musk’s statement of selling 500,000 units annually by 2020, adding there would be 1 million Teslas on the road around the world by then, as well.

The announcement comes on the heels of the automaker receiving a secured revolving credit line of up to $750 million in an agreement with Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo. The line of credit is meant to give Tesla some breathing space as it prepares to launch the long-awaited Model X, expected to hit showrooms this fall barring (yet) another delay.

[Photo credit: Tesla/Facebook]

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Survival Of Canadian Auto Industry Hinging On FCA Brampton Reinvestment http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/survival-of-canadian-auto-industry-hinging-on-fca-brampton-reinvestment/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/survival-of-canadian-auto-industry-hinging-on-fca-brampton-reinvestment/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 19:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092793 The fate of Canada’s auto industry is linked to whether or not the nation’s leaders can convince FCA to reinvest into its Brampton, Ontario facility. The Brampton Assembly plant is home to three of FCA’s biggest draws, the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger. Yet, the high rate of production and quality found there […]

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2015 Chrysler 300S

The fate of Canada’s auto industry is linked to whether or not the nation’s leaders can convince FCA to reinvest into its Brampton, Ontario facility.

The Brampton Assembly plant is home to three of FCA’s biggest draws, the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger. Yet, the high rate of production and quality found there clashes against the oldest paint shop the automaker has in North America, an aging line of assembly robots, and the trio themselves looking for a major makeover, Automotive News reports.

There’s also the fact FCA is already investing $2 billion into the Windsor Assembly facility in Windsor, Ontario, where a new generation of minivans are expected to begin production in 2016. The Brampton facility needs $1 billion to modernize, something CEO Sergio Marchionne may be wary of doing.

According to the Windsor Star, Marchionne approached the Canadian and Ontario governments last year with a request for a financial incentive package totalling $700 million to augment the $3.6 billion he planned to put into Windsor and Brampton. He explained his reasoning before reporters during the 2015 Detroit Auto Show:

This commitment that we’re making is a multibillion dollar commitment. We have to resolve the issue about the competitiveness of this investment in Windsor. So, I have to make sure the environment and the conditions that support the investment are adequate to ensure a proper return on our capital. That means labour costs, that means everything.

Months later, Marchionne backed down from moving forward with the proposal, choosing to invest in Windsor on his own while Brampton remains left out in the cold.

Unfortunately for those holding onto hope Brampton will remain, the business case may not be there to continue. Despite exchange rates between Canada and the United States providing a level playing field regarding unionized labor costs for now, nonunion factories in the Southeastern U.S. and Mexico offer both competitive incentive packages and labor-cost advantages.

Finally, Marchionne’s preference toward running factories flat-out through three shifts may prompt a reallocation of production if another model couldn’t be added to Brampton’s schedule. Thus, FCA could send the three full-sizers to either Toluca or Saltillo, Mexico, with the latter more likely than the former as a result of supplying engines like the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 6.4-liter HEMI V8 to Brampton.

The only issues with either location amount to retooling Toluca and sending Fiat 500 production elsewhere — the Dodge Journey will move to Windsor to join the new-gen minivans next year — or adding a new line to assemble the cars in Saltillo.

[Photo credit: Chrysler]

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Volkswagen Forges New Auto Union Through Reorganization http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-forges-new-auto-union-through-reorganization/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-forges-new-auto-union-through-reorganization/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 16:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092657 Volkswagen Group is reorganizing itself into a decentralized organization with four holding companies to better handle high production costs. German business daily Handelsblatt reports former BMW manager Herbert Diess will head up the first group, expected to be composed of Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat, Automotive News Europe says. Current Audi CEO Rupert Stadler will lead […]

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Audi RS 3 Sportback

Volkswagen Group is reorganizing itself into a decentralized organization with four holding companies to better handle high production costs.

German business daily Handelsblatt reports former BMW manager Herbert Diess will head up the first group, expected to be composed of Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat, Automotive News Europe says. Current Audi CEO Rupert Stadler will lead the second group, featuring Audi, Lamborghini and Ducati, while Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller will be in charge of the third group made up of Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti. Finally, former Daimler truck boss Andreas Renschler will helm the last group of three, set to include VW Commercial, Scania and MAN.

The new structure is expected to improve efficiency and speed-up decision making, each group deciding what models to sell and where to sell them. The group bosses will also have a seat on the main group’s management board, while groupwide positions would be eliminated.

According to investment group Evercore ISI, the move affects mainly the mass-market trio of VW, Skoda and Seat, resulting in a unit delivering 7.6 million units annually with a combined revenue of €119.2 billion ($133.9 billion USD) and €3.2 billion ($3.6 billion) in earnings.

The reorganization also casts aside the plan made by ousted VW Group chairman Ferdinand Piech, which allowed the brands to go their own way while competing amongst each other. Industry observers say this scheme made the overall structure hard to manage, hindering quick reactions to changes in the market.

[Photo credit: Audi]

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General Motors Returning To Medium-Duty Truck Market Via Isuzu http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-returning-to-medium-duty-truck-market-via-isuzu/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-returning-to-medium-duty-truck-market-via-isuzu/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 14:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092625 General Motors exited the medium-duty commercial truck market when it left bankruptcy in 2009. Now, the automaker plans to return with the help of Isuzu. Unlike the Kodiak of past, GM plans to slap the Chevrolet bow tie on the nose of Isuzu’s medium-duty range, Reuters reports. Few details on the plan are known as […]

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Chevrolet Kodiak

General Motors exited the medium-duty commercial truck market when it left bankruptcy in 2009. Now, the automaker plans to return with the help of Isuzu.

Unlike the Kodiak of past, GM plans to slap the Chevrolet bow tie on the nose of Isuzu’s medium-duty range, Reuters reports. Few details on the plan are known as of this writing, but what is known is the automaker will import 80 percent of Isuzu’s trucks from Japan, assembling the rest in the United States via an Isuzu partner facility. The Japanese-made trucks will come with diesel power, while the American-made variants will be fitted with gasoline engines.

The import deal is the latest development in the renewed partnership between GM and Isuzu, following a September 2014 announcement the duo would jointly develop a mid-size pickup for markets outside of North America. Their previous 35-year-long capital alliance came to an end in 2006 amid financial troubles for the Detroit automaker.

The deal is also a new development for GM itself, which discontinued the Kodiak and GMC Topkick after negotiations to sell the medium-duty division to Isuzu and Navistar collapsed in 2009. As early as 2010, the automaker has looked for ways to return to the vacated market, either in Class 5/6 or 4/5.

[Photo credit: Frank Deandro/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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Toyota, Ford Show No Interest In Heading Down The Aisle With FCA http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/toyota-ford-show-no-interest-in-heading-down-the-aisle-with-fca/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/toyota-ford-show-no-interest-in-heading-down-the-aisle-with-fca/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 16:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1091505 When General Motors ultimately rebuffs FCA’s attempts to put a ring on it, Toyota or Ford could be the one true love, right? Not so fast. Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz told those attending a groundbreaking ceremony at the Toyota Technical Center in York Township, Mich. his employer had not been contacted by FCA […]

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Toyota North America Groundbreaking Ceremony

When General Motors ultimately rebuffs FCA’s attempts to put a ring on it, Toyota or Ford could be the one true love, right? Not so fast.

Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz told those attending a groundbreaking ceremony at the Toyota Technical Center in York Township, Mich. his employer had not been contacted by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne about consolidation between the two, The Detroit News reports.

Had the suggestion been made, however, Lentz says it wouldn’t happen, as there would be “no advantage” for Toyota to consider such a move, citing Ford’s decision to avoid bankruptcy by selling off brands like Volvo and Land Rover to focus on a simpler portfolio:

To me, a large OEM today taking on Chrysler is contrary to what was very successful for Ford. FCA has a very strong Jeep brand, and especially today with fuel prices, it’s a great brand to have… but it really isn’t a fit for what we need at Toyota.

Speaking of Ford, CFO Bob Shanks said consolidation could occur at the supplier level, as well as partnerships with other automakers to share powertrain and transmission technology. As for Ford marrying FCA, however:

We’re not a suitor for FCA. We don’t see that type of opportunity as one that applies to us.

We have a lot of experience with mergers… We’re not babes in the woods. Based on that experience, for us that doesn’t seem to be where we’d want to go. We want to have a more forward-looking perspective in terms of what’s happening in the industry… It doesn’t seem to be that it would be doubling down on the past.

Kelley Blue Book senior analyst Karl Brauer had some encouraging news for Marchionne, stating FCA would its true love eventually, just not among the larger automakers, whom Brauer believes already have enough on their minds as it is without seeing a Ram 1500 in the parking lot blasting “Every Breath You Take” and “Wrapped Around Your Finger” from its custom bed with embedded nine-speaker audio system:

Poor Sergio; always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

[Photo credit: Toyota]

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Renault Testing Canadian Waters With Limited Kangoo EV Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/renault-testing-canadian-waters-with-limited-kangoo-ev-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/renault-testing-canadian-waters-with-limited-kangoo-ev-sales/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 18:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1089049 Renault is testing the waters for a full return to the Canadian market via the limited introduction of its Kangoo Z.E. EV. The announcement of Kangoo Z.E.’s arrival follows an announcement made last week regarding the Twizy city EV’s own introduction through partner Azra Network, La Press reports. Once approved by Transport Canada, Renault will […]

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Renault Kangoo Z.E. Recharges At A Construction Site

Renault is testing the waters for a full return to the Canadian market via the limited introduction of its Kangoo Z.E. EV.

The announcement of Kangoo Z.E.’s arrival follows an announcement made last week regarding the Twizy city EV’s own introduction through partner Azra Network, La Press reports.

Once approved by Transport Canada, Renault will bring over up to 1,000 Kangoo Z.E. EVs for a two-year period per the terms of the compliance waiver. This move would give Renault an opportunity to see if it would be worth bringing its EV products in line with the Canadian and U.S. standards.

According to EV sales manager Vincent Square, it would four to five years for volume to be sufficient enough to merit building products specifically for the Canadian market, and hopes the waiver will be enough to put the automaker on the path back to a market vacated by the French automakers in 1991.

Should Renault’s two-pronged attack not pan out as hoped, however, the automaker plans to have an after-sales network for the EVs and their owners.

[Photo credit: Renault]

[H/T: Jonathan Roy/Twitter]

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Kia Officially Launches Brand In Mexico, Sales Beginning In July http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/kia-officially-launches-brand-in-mexico-sales-beginning-in-july/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/kia-officially-launches-brand-in-mexico-sales-beginning-in-july/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 13:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1088897 Kia officially announced Wednesday it is launching the brand in Mexico, with sales to begin July 1 of this year. The automaker will sell its wares at 21 dealerships in 10 major cities across Mexico next month, with three models — Forte, Sportage and Sorento — the first to be offered for sale; the Optima […]

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Kia Mexico June 2015 02

Kia officially announced Wednesday it is launching the brand in Mexico, with sales to begin July 1 of this year.

The automaker will sell its wares at 21 dealerships in 10 major cities across Mexico next month, with three models — Forte, Sportage and Sorento — the first to be offered for sale; the Optima will join the lineup by this November.

In the near term, Kia will continue to add dealerships to its newest network, with 26 more expected by next January, 65 total by January 2017.

As for where some of those Kias may come from, construction of the automaker’s first factory in Mexico, located in Pesqueria, Nuevo León, is 50 percent complete, with operations to begin by the middle of 2016. Pilot production will occur over five months to ensure final product quality prior to the first showroom-ready models leaving the line, some of which will head for other Latin American markets, as well as the United States. Annual production is set for 300,000 units, with the Forte and a possible compact set for assembly.

Once in operation the Pesqueria plant will boost global production to 3.7 million units annually, and will employ 3,000 on the floor; an additional 7,000 will be hired by suppliers nearby.

Kia Mexico June 2015 02 Kia Mexico June 2015 01 Kia Mexico June 2015 03 Kia Mexico June 2015 05 Kia Mexico June 2015 04

[Photo credit: Kia]

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Marchionne Planning Shotgun Wedding For FCA With General Motors http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/marchionne-planning-shotgun-wedding-for-fca-with-general-motors/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/marchionne-planning-shotgun-wedding-for-fca-with-general-motors/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 18:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1088273 How desperate has FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne become about marrying off his company? He’s asking activist investors to prod General Motors to the chapel. Marchionne recently began reaching out to hedge funds and other activist investors to help bring FCA and GM (or a European automaker) together to consolidate resources, Wall Street Journal reports. The […]

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Fiat Coupe Getting Ready To Be Married

How desperate has FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne become about marrying off his company? He’s asking activist investors to prod General Motors to the chapel.

Marchionne recently began reaching out to hedge funds and other activist investors to help bring FCA and GM (or a European automaker) together to consolidate resources, Wall Street Journal reports.

The search, which is coming up blank thus far, is the latest in the CEO’s attempt to find a happy ending for his increasingly desperate romantic tragicomedy film, fearing excess production and duplicate costs in engineering, R&D et al threaten future profitability of the overall industry.

For now, though, FCA’s low profit margins do not make for a good partner with stronger players, while Marchionne’s dealings with GM leave much to be desired. In 2005, he convinced the Detroit automaker to pay $2 billion to not buy Fiat — in hospice care by then — a move which also dissolved a five-year-old partnership to produce engines and transmissions together.

More recently, Marchionne attempted to woo GM back with an email to CEO Mary Barra suggesting as much. The automaker is transitioning its lineup to global architectures and can build said lineup on a broader scale than FCA. GM is also undergoing an internal consolidation to further boost profits, a plan Barra and others in management won’t allow to be derailed by outside distractions like Marchionne holding up a boombox in front of the RenCen playing Peter Gabriel, hoping GM will say anything but no.

However, Barra’s recent dealings with activist investors over a share buyback of $8 billion — resulting in a $5 billion buyback with no further issues regarding board seats — has given Marchionne hope for his own cause, which could become more aggressive with every breath GM takes.

[Photo credit: hamster!/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0]

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First Rendering Of Hyundai Creta Subcompact CUV Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/first-rendering-of-hyundai-creta-subcompact-cuv-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/first-rendering-of-hyundai-creta-subcompact-cuv-revealed/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 17:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1088209 Recently announced for production with the Santa Cruz to possibly be made as well, the Hyundai Creta was revealed in rendered form Tuesday. The new subcompact crossover boasts a so-called premium look based on Hyundai’s “evolved design philosophy,” with details such as the blacked-out A-pillar reminiscent meant to evoke “an open and airy cabin,” a […]

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Hyundai Creta Rendering

Recently announced for production with the Santa Cruz to possibly be made as well, the Hyundai Creta was revealed in rendered form Tuesday.

The new subcompact crossover boasts a so-called premium look based on Hyundai’s “evolved design philosophy,” with details such as the blacked-out A-pillar reminiscent meant to evoke “an open and airy cabin,” a “bold” front section with the automaker’s newest corporate grill — already on the new Tucson — embrasure side windows, and a rearward swooping slash along the beltline.

The Creta will soon appear in showrooms sometime during H2 2015, with India being the first on the subcompact crossover’s list of global markets to visit. Whether the North American market is on said list — where it would face the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax and Mazda CX-3 among others — is up for Hyundai to decide.

[Image credit: Hyundai]

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BMW Rumored To Be Working On US-Built Tesla Model X Rival http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/bmw-rumored-to-be-working-on-us-built-tesla-model-x-rival/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/bmw-rumored-to-be-working-on-us-built-tesla-model-x-rival/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 15:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1088137 Should rumors of BMW’s latest plans be true, there will soon be another electric SUV rival to the Tesla Model X on the market. According to a report from German newspaper WirtschaftsWoche, BMW is looking to enter the electric SUV/crossover game with a rival to the upcoming Model X, Automotive News says. The entrant would […]

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2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e

Should rumors of BMW’s latest plans be true, there will soon be another electric SUV rival to the Tesla Model X on the market.

According to a report from German newspaper WirtschaftsWoche, BMW is looking to enter the electric SUV/crossover game with a rival to the upcoming Model X, Automotive News says. The entrant would be assembled in Spartanburg, S.C., home of the X Series line of crossovers and SUVs, pending board approval.

However, said SUV would not be an X waiting to give it to the Model X, but a new member of the i Series, forming a triad with the i3 city car and i8 PHEV sports car; the latter two are assembled in Leipzig, Germany.

When asked by Automotive News if the report was true, a BMW representative said it was all “speculation.” If the story does hold up, though, don’t expect to see the new entry right away. According to Evercore ISI global automotive research chief Arndt Ellinghorst, the earliest such a vehicle would hit showrooms would be in 2018.

The i Series SUV would also be the second possible rival to Tesla’s offering, with Audi entering the game in 2018 with its own all-electric SUV; said SUV is set to arrive in concept form at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show.

[Photo credit: BMW]

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GM Designer Bryan Nesbitt New Buick Global Design Boss http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/gm-designer-bryan-nesbitt-new-buick-global-design-boss/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/gm-designer-bryan-nesbitt-new-buick-global-design-boss/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 17:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1085505 Longtime General Motors designer Bryan Nesbitt is now Buick’s global design boss as part of the automaker’s shuffling of chief designers. Nesbitt enters the role as he returns from a four-year stint heading design for both GM China and GM’s international operations division, Automotive News reports. He joined the automaker in 2001 following the introduction […]

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New Chevy Malibu Delivers Estimated 38 MPG Highway

Longtime General Motors designer Bryan Nesbitt is now Buick’s global design boss as part of the automaker’s shuffling of chief designers.

Nesbitt enters the role as he returns from a four-year stint heading design for both GM China and GM’s international operations division, Automotive News reports. He joined the automaker in 2001 following the introduction of one of his major hits, the Chrysler PT Cruiser, in 2000. Since then, he has led design teams involving the 2007 Saturn Aura, 2008 Buick Enclave, 2013 Cadillac ATS and 2014 Escalade.

Nesbitt replaces Buick and Cadillac global design chief Andrew Smith, who has held the roles since September 2013; Smith will continue on as Cadillac’s executive global designer. Meanwhile, Nesbitt will be replaced at GM China with Chevrolet’s truck design head Ken Parkinson, who shared the brand’s overall design duties with car design boss John Cafaro; Cafaro will now helm both halves.

The changes in design leadership were made to “emphasize” each of GM’s global brands, according to a representative, and took effect June 1.

[Photo credit: General Motors]

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Ssangyong Planning Jeep Wrangler Rival For US Market Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/ssangyong-planning-jeep-wrangler-rival-for-us-market-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/ssangyong-planning-jeep-wrangler-rival-for-us-market-debut/#comments Wed, 03 Jun 2015 15:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1083513 Mahindra & Mahindra’s Ssangyong is looking to enter the U.S. market, with a planned rival to the Jeep Wrangler leading the charge. The Wrangler fighter would be based upon the recently introduced Tivoli compact crossover while styling would be greatly influenced by the Ssangyong Korando, a vehicle whose life began as a licensed Jeep CJ-7 […]

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Mahindra & Mahindra’s Ssangyong is looking to enter the U.S. market, with a planned rival to the Jeep Wrangler leading the charge.

The Wrangler fighter would be based upon the recently introduced Tivoli compact crossover while styling would be greatly influenced by the Ssangyong Korando, a vehicle whose life began as a licensed Jeep CJ-7 clone, Autocar reports. Power for the proposed model would also come from the Tivoli, which includes 1.6-liter gasoline and diesel engines, as well as an EV variant.

Ssangyong’s first entry into the U.S. market follows years of avoiding said market due to the huge investment it would have needed to make in order to build models aimed at attracting American consumers, per one company source:

The company has never cracked North America because it requires a huge investment, and because the distributor model that we use in other territories wouldn’t really work in the USA. But a Wrangler-style high-design 4×4 could create the waves we’d need in order to make a mark over there. At the same time, it’d work really well for us in the UK and Europe at a time when building profile is absolutely key.

The Tivoli-based model would follow the long-wheelbase version of the Tivoli set for 2016, and would be produced alongside the crossover.

[Photo credit: Minseong Kim/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0]

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