Category: Global

By on October 23, 2015

Tesla Model S Center Stage

Tesla could start building cars in China within two years, which could help the automaker jumpstart sales there and increase volume for the small automaker, Reuters reported.

Tesla chief Elon Musk said the car company could cut costs on cars for sale there by one-third. Normally, foreign automakers are required to partner with domestic companies before building cars in China. For example, General Motors has partnered with SAIC Motor since 1998, who also partners with Volkswagen.

Musk said Tesla is already partnering with Baidu, China’s largest search engine, to provide GPS data.

Wait. Tesla is already partnering with China’s largest search engine company? That sounds, um, interesting.

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By on October 22, 2015

Volkswagen Chattanooga Tower

Volkswagen is offering up to double the average amount of incentives on some of its cars to help dealers during its diesel crisis, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).

Dealers, who received no-strings-attached cash from Volkswagen at the beginning of this month, are offering up to 11 percent off their cars’ stickers to help weather the storm of its diesel cheating scandal. The industry average is roughly 6.2 percent according to TrueCar. Read More >

By on October 21, 2015


General Motors is getting pickier about where it does business and the products it sells. Could that also translate to where it will build its products in the future?

In a recent piece from Automotive News’ Mike Colias, the trade publication paints a bleak picture for one of General Motors’ longest running nameplates. The subject was Impala and the question was whether the car named after an African antelope, while well received by the automotive press, could survive the guillotine in a market that increasingly prefers crossovers and SUVs over sedans.

“We have a broad portfolio. But how are we going to look at what are the right vehicles to put in the marketplace? We’ll look at what makes sense and what will generate a return,” General Motors CEO Mary Barra told Automotive News earlier this month.

Naturally, Colias brought up Impala, and the reply stopped short of commitment to the car and the segment.

Read More >

By on October 21, 2015

General Motors Renaissance Center HQ

General Motors announced Wednesday that third quarter, adjusted profit for the company was $3.1 billion, led by truck sales in North America and car sales in China. The net revenue was down $500 million from the same period last year, which GM says is due to currency fluctuations, but the automaker’s profits were decidedly higher.

Automotive News reported that the profit margin was the largest for GM since its 2009 bankruptcy, even after its $1.5 billion charge to settle claims related to its defective ignition switch that resulted in 124 deaths.

The automaker posted an 11.8 percent profit margin — also its largest since 2009 — and said it would end the year above 10 percent.  Read More >

By on October 19, 2015

Turkey Saab 9-3

The Turkish Science, Industry and Technology ministry announced last week that it had purchased the intellectual property rights — but not naming rights — to the second-generation Saab 9-3 that was most recently produced by National Electric Vehicle Sweden, according to Digital Trends.

According to the ministry, the car will be produced with 85 percent of its materials coming from the country, and will sport a face from the defunct Cadillac BLS.

The Swedish car company, who owns most of the shuttered Saab, sold the rights to the Turkish government after it stopped producing the all-electric Saab in 2014. The new car will be powered initially by some engine, according to the report, with the ministry working with NEVS to make an electric powertrain.

Read More >

By on October 15, 2015

Volvo Cars' vision of an electric future

Volvo announced Thursday that it would make an all-electric car available by 2019 and offer more plug-in hybrid versions of its cars sooner, starting with the S90. Volvo already sells a plug-in hybrid version of its XC90 SUV.

The automaker’s announced plans follow news that it would make a compact crossover by 2018, likely called the XC40, which would eventually share the same architecture as its V40 and V40 Cross Country.

According to the automaker, Volvo expects 10 percent of its sales by 2020 to be of electric cars. The automaker reported 465,000 sales in 2014.

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By on October 10, 2015


As Opel begins its retail roll out of the new Astra across Europe, some enterprising spy shooters have found the Opel’s Chinese-market twin wearing Buick tri-shields and Verano GS badging.

And holy shit, this is about to get very, very confusing.

According to Autohome, the Verano GS — marketed as Buick Weilang GS in China — is expected to be revealed at the Guangzhou Auto Show with GM’s 169 horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The same engine will be used in North America in the new Malibu, albeit with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Now before you get too excited about those GS badges, it may not mean what you think it means, at least in this case.

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By on October 5, 2015

Subaru Sambar

Twelve countries, including the United States, reached an agreement Monday on an historic trade agreement that could economically tie together more than 400 million people in Asian Pacific and American countries. The pact would cover trade for wide ranging products, from rice to pharmaceutical drugs to cars.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which negotiators have been working on for eight years, would thaw trade relations among countries included in the regional zone, including Japan and the United States. For automakers in both countries, the tentative deal includes provisions for Japanese automakers to (eventually) bring light-duty trucks to the U.S. For American automakers, part of the proposed agreement included a side deal between America and Japan to allow access for U.S. automakers to traditionally closed Japanese markets.

The agreement faces an uphill battle to get congressional approval; House Republicans and presidential candidates already have roundly dismissed the deal.

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By on October 4, 2015

Toyota Cavalier

A possible partnership deal between North American countries and Pacific countries may include provisions to penalize Asian governments for not opening up their markets enough for U.S. automakers, Bloomberg reported.

According to the report, negotiators are close to concluding talks regarding automobiles, which has been a contentious point during the talks. The CBC reported that talks in Atlanta were at a critical stage over pharmaceutical drugs, and any eventual deal may be delayed by an upcoming G20 meeting in Turkey.

Talks regarding automobiles have been focused on sourcing local content for each car. North American Free Trade Association rules mandate that cars made within the zone have 62.5 percent of its content sourced within the zone. Asian manufacturers have pressed for lower standards for sourced content in a bid for reduced manufacturing costs.

Read More >

By on October 2, 2015


While working on a story about some very old cars, I stumbled upon something relevant to the latest big story in the automotive world.

I ran into a Model T collector who’s also a powertrain engineer for Ford. Seizing the opportunity, I asked him if he could tell me what he was working on (sometimes they say no). He said that he was responsible for developing computerized engine controls. Because of that expertise, I started to ask him some questions about the software program that Volkswagen apparently used to cheat on the EPA’s diesel emissions testing.

What he was willing to say and what he wouldn’t say intrigued me. Read More >

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  • Jack Baruth, United States
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