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The long-awaited battle to retake the northern Iraq city of Mosul — an ISIS stronghold for the past two years — began this morning, with Allied forces supporting the Iraqi Army troops and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in their quest against the Islamic State.
One player has a heavy presence on both sides of the battle, and it isn’t a person or organization. It’s the Toyota Hilux, the go-to vehicle for terrorists and allies in the war-torn region. So numerous is the do-anything pickup, that the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. questions how so many Toyotas could find their way into ISIS hands. Read More >
After posting sales gains that most automakers would sell their souls for, Jeep’s skyrocketing climb hit the upper limits of the atmosphere in September, with sales dropping by 3 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
Maybe the Jeep brand isn’t bigger than Jesus. With the new vehicle market cooling off and two of its oldest — but still strong-selling — models being pared down to one, Jeep needs to branch out to keep the momentum going.
It has products up its sleeve — a Wrangler pickup and $140,000 luxo-ute to name a couple — and has factories planned for developing nations everywhere, but Jeep could reap a sales reward if it stopped screwing up in one obvious but overlooked market. Read More >
If you think engine displacements have become a little too European over here, you’d hate to see the motorcycle-worthy powerplants motivating econoboxes on the other side of the pond.
Paired with the magic of modern technology, inline threes and parallel twins can now make enough grunt to move respectably sized vehicles. However, those days could soon be over, all thanks to ambitious regulators and the downsized engines’ tendency to spew man-sized amounts of pollution.
And if you think this isn’t America’s problem, think again. Read More >
America’s unhealthy obsession with crossover vehicles has led to Ssangyong Motor Company’s decision to enter the U.S. market by 2020.
The Korean manufacturer has hinted at, and even announced, plans to come to America before with no resulting action. This time, things seem a little more realistic, with Automotive News reporting that the company is designating two small SUVs for the United States — the Tivoli and Korando — and giving itself a slightly longer timeline. Read More >
It’s a sad day in Australia as Ford Motor Company closes the door on 91 years of domestic vehicle production.
Some 600 Ford employees are now out of work after the automaker shut down factories in Melbourne and Geelong. This marks not just the end of Australian Ford production, but the death of a long-running nameplate. Read More >
Call it a longshot, but two wagon revelations in one week have us wondering if a long-ignored vehicle segment is about to see a resurgence in the SUV-loving U.S.
The latest news comes by way of Motor Trend, which confirms the upcoming Jaguar XF Sportbrake — British newspeak for “wagon” — is bound for these shores. Read More >
Few good news stories seem to originate in Iran, but Renault wouldn’t agree.
The French automaker has inked a deal with the government of Iran to massively boost vehicle production in the middle eastern country. Read More >
Lotus is waiting to see whose car pulls up to the orphanage, now that its parent company’s owners are looking for someone to take Proton off its hands.
The struggling Malaysian automaker, which bought a majority stake in Lotus in 1996, is being courted by at least three major automakers, Reuters reports. Read More >
Move over Chevrolet, Ram and Ford?
It’s hard to say if American van and truck builders have anything to worry about after the head of Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles division publicly mused about jumping into the U.S. market. Read More >
Production of the Buick Verano is expected to end next month, but it seems we’ve already forgotten about the nameplate and the sort-of luxury compact car it was attached to.
The model lives on in China, but a hatchback bearing the Buick badge and a Verano GS nameplate has been seen driving near General Motors’ Milford, Michigan proving grounds, according to photos published by AutoGuide. Read More >