Category: Industry

By on June 20, 2016

2016 Fiat 500X Trekking Plus

Nearly one-third of the workforce at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ plant in Kragujevac, Serbia, was laid off last week because of poor Fiat 500L demand.

In the United States, the 500L is by no means the only Fiat that isn’t selling.

Besides the 500L’s sharp U.S. sales decline — year-over-year volume has tumbled each month in the last nine months — the core 500 model which brought Fiat back to life in the U.S. has lost nearly half its volume this year, a 6,288-unit loss through only five months.

Meanwhile, the expectation that a crossover could make up for the poorly received 500L and rapidly aging 500 turned out to be false. A crossover, yes, that will be the ticket. Surely a crossover could work wonders. A relative of the Jeep Renegade, only prettier, could definitely restore Fiat to the peak glory days of 2014.

Glory days, when with two models in its lineup, Fiat USA failed to match its stated goal of 50,000 annual sales for the 500 alone? Of course, that Sergio Marchionne sales forecast was way off target.

Just as the 500L and 500X have missed the mark, as well. Read More >

By on June 17, 2016

Tremec transmission

A major automotive supplier plans to build a production facility in the Detroit area and make it the base for its U.S. operations.

Tremec Corp., best known for its high-performance transmissions, plans to invest $54 million in a multi-purpose facility in Wixom, Michigan, according to Crain’s Detroit Business. Besides production of transmissions and powertrain components, the facility will host Tremec’s sales and technical operations, and serve as its American headquarters. Read More >

By on June 17, 2016

Old Audi RS5 New Audi S5

“I can’t quite believe it, but it actually looks different to the last one. In a wild change of tack…,” CAR Magazine’s CJ Hubbard writes, “…Audi has built a new car that doesn’t look nearly indistinguishable from its predecessor.”

Er, sure.

To be fair, Hubbard is among an early group of drivers who spent a fair chunk of time with the new Audi A5 in Portugal, and with time comes familiarity, and with familiarity comes an ability to more easily distinguish the new car from the old. We’ll get there, too.

Moreover, while reviews in Top Gear and The Telegraph were more direct in regards to the new A5’s, “same-again bodywork,” and the idea that, “designers phones in the changes,” Hubbard simply said the new A5 does not look nearly indistinguishable from the old A5, which could be translated to mean that it does look somewhat indistinguishable.

Of course the new Audi A5 looks entirely like the old Audi A5. That’s how Audi does things, particularly when the predecessor was a home run. Why mess with success? Read More >

By on June 17, 2016

2016 Ram 1500 Tradesman 4x4 EcoDieselAt this moment, according to AutoTrader and Cars.com, there are fewer than three dozen new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Tradesman 4×4 Regular Cab pickup trucks available in the United States.

That’s right, of the roughly 8,000 Ram EcoDiesels and nearly 80,000 Ram 1500s available in the United States, there are approximately 30 available in a traditional working pickup truck format: diesel power, two doors, long box, base trim, four-wheel drive.

This is no slight on Ram or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ dealers. They’re simply responding to the market’s demands.

You, by which we mean the truck buying collective, don’t want real trucks. So you can’t have one. Because it’s highly unlikely you can find one, because dealers know you don’t want one. Read More >

By on June 16, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Last week’s General Motors announcement in Oshawa, Ontario felt like an olive branch being extended to the worried community, but workers and the city itself are now asking for the full meal.

The threatened Oshawa Car Assembly plant has no mandate to produce vehicles beyond 2017, and the announcement of 700 high-tech engineering jobs scattered around southern Ontario (and some in the north) didn’t do anything to calm fears of its impending closure. Read More >

By on June 16, 2016

BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf DC Charging

Volkswagen Group wants to give its operation a top-to-bottom shakeup, which means ditching the bureaucratic, centralized ways of the past and positioning itself as a lean, nimble player in a rapidly evolving marketplace.

Oh, and there will be tons of electric vehicles. Piles and piles of them.

In its announcement of the TOGETHER – Strategy 2025 plan, the automaker came off sounding more like a tech startup, touting a newfound “entrepreneurial mindset and approach” that will bring the company out of the long shadow of the emissions scandal. Read More >

By on June 16, 2016

Chevrolet vs. Ford rock drop

After watching General Motors drop 825 pounds of rock into the beds of a Chevrolet Silverado and a Ford F-150, I wasn’t caught up in fairness or relevance or with the advertisement’s status as a marketing stunt. Some observers asked whether GM crossed an unwritten line shared by Detroit’s cross-town truck rivals, as if in a year when presidential candidates toss deeply personal insults around like water balloons at a summer picnic a pickup truck critique would be over the line.

To me, it simply seemed clear from the moment of the ad’s YouTube launch that the Chevrolet Silverado’s apparent toughness advantage would be more frequently viewed than a traditional truck commercial. As of this writing, Chevrolet’s YouTube channel has racked up 4.4 million views with “Silverado Strong: Steel Bed Outperforms Aluminum Bed,” ten times more views than the channel’s 22 previous ads have generated in the last month, combined.

The Silverado could use the increased attention. U.S. sales of GM’s best-selling model line are flat despite a six-percent sales increase in the truck market so far this year. Read More >

By on June 15, 2016

2016 Honda CR-Z

2016 will be the final model year for the extraordinarily slow-selling Honda CR-Z in Canada. Honda Canada spokesperson Maki Inoue confirmed that the CR-Z is done, indirectly supplanted in Honda Canada’s lineup by the reborn Honda Accord Hybrid.

“As Honda aligns its product portfolio to best take advantage of growth opportunities in the marketplace, it will add a new Accord Hybrid, and discontinue CR-Z this year,” Inoue told GoodCarBadCar earlier this afternoon.

Of course, we knew the CR-Z was done for. Separate articles on TTAC earlier today made mention of an American Honda spokesperson’s impression that the CR-Z was already dead and the glut of CR-Z inventory of which Honda dealers must now rid themselves. Read More >

By on June 15, 2016

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

Two years after it issued, and then cancelled, a request for government assistance, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles finally received some cash to help pay for its Windsor Assembly Plant upgrade.

The province of Ontario handed FCA $85.8 million ($66.5 million U.S.) today to help cover some of the cost of retooling the facility to handle production of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. Some of the cash went to the research and development facility FCA operates jointly with the University of Windsor. Read More >

By on June 15, 2016

2011 Honda CR-Z EX red

We’re as certain as can be that the Honda CR-Z is dead. Defunct. Discontinued. Done for. Any other applicable d word you can think of.

Not only was the CR-Z long since discontinued in Europe and Australia, Honda is now offering a Final Label edition of the CR-Z in Japan, the company’s home market and the location of CR-Z assembly. Moreover, American Honda’s PR department already indicated to TTAC that they thought everybody knew the CR-Z was deceased, down the drain, discarded.

Dead, yes. But not yet departed. Honda’s U.S. dealers have plenty of CR-Z inventory. Don’t all storm the gates at once now. Tamp down that excitement. Let’s all remain calm. Read More >

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  • Contributing Writers

  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic

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