The Truth About Cars » Overseas http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 01 Jul 2015 22:30:01 +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 » Overseas http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/overseas/ Mahindra-Pininfarina Deal Rejected By Creditors http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mahindra-pininfarina-deal-rejected-by-creditors/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mahindra-pininfarina-deal-rejected-by-creditors/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102857 Mahindra’s attempt to buy Italian design firm Pininfarina collapsed over the weekend due to opposition by the latter’s creditors. According to Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, three or four banks holding Pininfarina’s €87 million ($97 million USD) debt rejected a deal by the Indian company to buy the design house with the idea of writing off […]

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Mahindra XUV 500 W6 2013

Mahindra’s attempt to buy Italian design firm Pininfarina collapsed over the weekend due to opposition by the latter’s creditors.

According to Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, three or four banks holding Pininfarina’s €87 million ($97 million USD) debt rejected a deal by the Indian company to buy the design house with the idea of writing off half of said debt, Reuters reports; Mahindra and Pininfarina had worked on SUVs and concepts in the past. Pininfarina will now seek a new debt restructuring agreement.

Had Mahindra’s deal been approved, the company would be the latest to acquire ownership of an Italian company in a series of foreign takeovers, such as ChemChina’s purchase of tire manufacturer Pirelli earlier this year, amid Italy sorting itself and its economy out.

(Photo credit: RL GNZLZ/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Suzuki CEO Appoints Toshihiro Suzuki To President, COO Roles http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/suzuki-ceo-appoints-toshihiro-suzuki-to-president-coo-roles/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/suzuki-ceo-appoints-toshihiro-suzuki-to-president-coo-roles/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102817 Suzuki chairman and CEO Osamu Suzuki announced Tuesday the appointment of his son and likely successor, Toshihiro Suzuki, to the role of president. Toshihiro’s appointment is part of Osamu’s plan of bringing aboard a younger management team over the next five years to guide the company, Automotive News reports, with Osamu overseeing the changeover: We […]

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Osamu and Toshihiro Suzuki

Suzuki chairman and CEO Osamu Suzuki announced Tuesday the appointment of his son and likely successor, Toshihiro Suzuki, to the role of president.

Toshihiro’s appointment is part of Osamu’s plan of bringing aboard a younger management team over the next five years to guide the company, Automotive News reports, with Osamu overseeing the changeover:

We thought we needed to rejuvenate ourselves, and in that case it would be best if I left first. But I am so full of conceit that I cannot do that.

Osamu took on the mantle of president and chief operations officer following Hiroshi Tsuda’ 2008 resignation over poor health. His son, who observers see as his successor since the 2007 passing of son-in-law Hirotaka Ono, will take the mantle July 1.

Toshihiro headed the company’s Iwata factory west of Tokyo and managed mini and compact car production at Kosai early in his career, after which he acted as the company’s liaison at General Motors beginning in 2001. There, he helped facilitate exchanges of technology between the two companies, including those surrounding a jointly developed FCV. GM would divest itself of its 20 percent of Suzuki by 2008, a decade after first agreeing to a joint venture with the company.

Whether Toshihiro or another ultimately takes the helm of Suzuki, Osamu’s successor will have much to carry upon their shoulders, such as defending its stronghold in India while pursuing newer markets, and acquiring financing via new partnerships for new, greener powertrain technologies. They will also have the burden of handling the fallout from the dissolution of the company’s partnership with Volkswagen; the case recently finished arbitration, with both parties awaiting a ruling.

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Mass Transit In Greece Free This Week Due To Economic Crisis http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mass-transit-in-greece-free-this-week-due-to-economic-crisis/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mass-transit-in-greece-free-this-week-due-to-economic-crisis/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 17:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102009 Some transit authorities offer free service to encourage ridership. Greece is offering free service this week because no one has money. As a result of Greece’s banks shutting their doors and ATMs for the entire week in order to prevent potential bank runs at the expense of their customers — in turn the result of […]

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Electric Bus In Athens, Greece

Some transit authorities offer free service to encourage ridership. Greece is offering free service this week because no one has money.

As a result of Greece’s banks shutting their doors and ATMs for the entire week in order to prevent potential bank runs at the expense of their customers — in turn the result of the failing bailout of the nation’s economy — transportation minister Christos Spirtzis declared transit service in Athens would be free to all until next week, Business Insider says.

The move would affect only those in the greater Athens metro area, where 40 percent of the nation’s population call home; the next-largest city, Thessaloniki, can’t waive its fares because its system isn’t fully run by the Grecian government. Meanwhile, Greece stands to lose €4 million ($4.44 million USD) as a result of the declaration; typical fares are around €1.20 ($1.33).

(Photo credit: hans-johnson/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

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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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Chart Of The Day: 2015 Will Be Ford Fiesta’s Seventh Consecutive Year As UK’s Best-Selling Car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day-2015-will-ford-fiestas-seventh-consecutive-year-uks-best-selling-car/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day-2015-will-ford-fiestas-seventh-consecutive-year-uks-best-selling-car/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 13:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095769 The Ford Fiesta is on track in 2015 to celebrate a seventh consecutive year as the best-selling vehicle in the United Kingdom. A streak which began in 2009 – following the Focus’s own tenure atop the leaderboard – appears completely secure now that the Fiesta has outsold its nearest rival by 19,000 units over the […]

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UK best-selling autos market share chart

The Ford Fiesta is on track in 2015 to celebrate a seventh consecutive year as the best-selling vehicle in the United Kingdom. A streak which began in 2009 – following the Focus’s own tenure atop the leaderboard – appears completely secure now that the Fiesta has outsold its nearest rival by 19,000 units over the course of just five months.

The Fiesta is not a popular car by the standards with which Americans identify popularity. On this side of the pond, for example, the Ford F-Series is America’s best-selling line of vehicles, but the F-Series accounts for 4.3% of the overall auto industry’s volume. The Fiesta generates 5.3% of UK auto industry volume.

The Fiesta also outsells the second-ranked Vauxhall Corsa to the tune of nearly 1.5-to-1. The F-Series, on the flip side, isn’t even outselling the combined efforts of its nearest rival, the Chevrolet Silverado and its identical GMC Sierra twin so far this year in the U.S.

Then consider the fact the Fiesta is absurdly popular despite the fact that the third-best-selling car in the UK – and the Fiesta’s predecessor among top sellers – is sold right alongside the Fiesta on dealer forecourts.

The Fiesta is also on the rise. Although the UK auto market is up 6% this year, Fiesta sales are up just 1%. But the Fiesta is old, and the growth it has achieved through the first five months of 2015 comes after annual year-over-year increases in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Takata’s Shigehisa Takada Sees Dramatic Pay Cut For 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/takatas-shigehisa-takada-sees-dramatic-pay-cut-for-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/takatas-shigehisa-takada-sees-dramatic-pay-cut-for-2014/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 16:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100577 While some Japanese CEOs are doing well for themselves in compensation, Takata’s Shigehisa Takada took a dramatic cut in pay for 2014. Shown Friday, the supplier’s regulatory filing found Takada took home less than ¥100 million ($810,373 USD) in 2014, Reuters notes. The figure pales to his compensation during FY 2013, when he was given […]

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Shigehisa-Takada-circa-June-2015

While some Japanese CEOs are doing well for themselves in compensation, Takata’s Shigehisa Takada took a dramatic cut in pay for 2014.

Shown Friday, the supplier’s regulatory filing found Takada took home less than ¥100 million ($810,373 USD) in 2014, Reuters notes. The figure pales to his compensation during FY 2013, when he was given ¥206 million ($1.67 million).

The exact amount paid in FY 2014 wasn’t disclosed, however; the Japanese government only requires full disclosure of compensation above ¥100 million.

Takada’s pay cut — and those of Takata’s other five directors — is in part over the failings over the handling of the airbag recall crisis affecting several million vehicles and 10 automakers. Takada issued an apology over the matter Thursday following the company’s annual shareholders meeting, and said he and the directors would give back part of their pay as a result.

Per a representative, Takada would see a reduction of 25 percent for the year ending this March, while the five directors would give back 20 percent of their compensation.

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2016 Ford Focus RS Delivers 345 HP With ‘Specially Engineered’ EcoBoost Mill http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-ford-focus-rs-delivers-345-hp-with-specially-engineered-ecoboost-mill/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-ford-focus-rs-delivers-345-hp-with-specially-engineered-ecoboost-mill/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 17:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1099817 Ahead of its arrival at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England, the 2016 Ford Focus RS’ horsepower figures were officially revealed. Ford says the hot hatch’s “specially engineered 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine” is good for 345 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque to all four corners. The turbo-four shares the basics with […]

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2016 Ford Focus RS

Ahead of its arrival at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England, the 2016 Ford Focus RS’ horsepower figures were officially revealed.

Ford says the hot hatch’s “specially engineered 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine” is good for 345 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque to all four corners. The turbo-four shares the basics with the all-aluminum mill found on the Mustang, with upgrades including: a “low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with larger compressor”; “less restrictive intake design” for more breathing capability; larger intercooler and radiator for increased cooling; high-temp-resistant cylinder heads and high-tensile cast iron cylinder liners; and “a large-bore high performance exhaust system with an electronically controlled valve in the tailpipe that helps optimise the balance of back pressure and noise output.”

Other features linked to the powertrain include Ford’s Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring system, launch control, and a handful of driving modes, including an “industry-first” drift mode so one can drift in Formula D without first yanking out the front differential.

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Julie Hamp Could Face Criminal Intent Charges Over Controlled Drug Importation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/julie-hamp-could-face-criminal-intent-charges-over-controlled-drug-importation/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/julie-hamp-could-face-criminal-intent-charges-over-controlled-drug-importation/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 16:15:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100065 Toyota PR exec Julie Hamp isn’t having the best time in Japan right now, and the situation could worsen thanks to the nation’s strict drug importation laws. As explained by Jalopnik‘s Kat Callahan, Japan requires users of any controlled substance brought into the nation to walk in a limited amount of the prescribed meds before […]

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Julie Hamp Not In BlackToyota PR exec Julie Hamp isn’t having the best time in Japan right now, and the situation could worsen thanks to the nation’s strict drug importation laws.

As explained by Jalopnik‘s Kat Callahan, Japan requires users of any controlled substance brought into the nation to walk in a limited amount of the prescribed meds before customs, declare the drugs, and present a doctor’s note translated into Japanese before they can be allowed into one’s medicine cabinet. Otherwise, narcotics like the Oxycodone brought in by Hamp are verboten, and cannot even be sold by or found in a pharmacy in Japan; they can’t also be mailed.

Non-controlled drugs, meanwhile, don’t need a translated note, but must now be walked in and declared, and only a one-month supply is allowed to enter the country.

While Hamp could attempt to plead ignorance on the laws of the land, her case would need to depend on her not hiding the Oxycodone in a box marked “Necklaces” among a ton of toy necklaces, and thus, avoiding customs declarations in so doing. Unfortunately, this is the scenario which played out, giving prosecutors the ability to declare criminal intent on the part of Hamp; it’s also why Toyota’s HQ was raided by police a few days ago.

Should the criminal intent charge stick, Hamp would be in prison for a long time before finally given the boot out of the country for the rest of her life.

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Takata’s Shigehisa Takada Publicly Apologizes For Airbag Crisis http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/takatas-shigehisa-takada-publicly-apologizes-for-airbag-crisis/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/takatas-shigehisa-takada-publicly-apologizes-for-airbag-crisis/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 14:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1099761 Spending a year out of the public eye since Takata’s airbag crisis exploded, president Shigehisa Takada publicly apologized for the situation Thursday. Following the supplier’s annual shareholders meeting — where he made his last public appearance a year earlier — Takada bowed and apologized at a public conference over the eight fatalities and the hundreds […]

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Shigehisa TakadaSpending a year out of the public eye since Takata’s airbag crisis exploded, president Shigehisa Takada publicly apologized for the situation Thursday.

Following the supplier’s annual shareholders meeting — where he made his last public appearance a year earlier — Takada bowed and apologized at a public conference over the eight fatalities and the hundreds of injuries caused by his company’s airbags over the past decade, Automotive News writes:

I apologize for not having been able to communicate directly earlier, and also apologize for people who died or were injured. I feel sorry our products hurt customers, despite the fact that we are a supplier of safety products.

Takada says his company is looking over ways to help those affected by the airbags, including the establishment of a compensation fund.

Meanwhile, shareholders took him to task for disappearing from the public eye instead of facing the music, the slow progress on the investigation into the root cause behind the catastrophic failures of Takata’s airbags, and the lack of dividends.

Regarding the last point, Takada says he hoped dividend payments would resume “as soon as possible” once the crisis was resolved, adding he intends to see through to the end as its president. He declined to speculate as to when the end of the crisis would come, stating “the analysis isn’t progressing very well” as far as the investigation goes.

The apology comes after FCA cut ties with Takata, bringing aboard rival TRW Automotive to supply the 4 million modules needed to replace the defect airbags. The decision was made on the basis Takata would continue to use ammonium nitrate in its airbags — the same chemical linked to the catastrophic failures — whereas TRW uses a safer chemical propellant in its units.

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BREAKING: Toyota Offices Raided In Tokyo In Connection With Hamp Arrest http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/breaking-toyota-offices-raided-in-tokyo-in-connection-with-hamp-arrest/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/breaking-toyota-offices-raided-in-tokyo-in-connection-with-hamp-arrest/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:36:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097897 Reuters is reporting police have raided Toyota’s office in Tokyo in connection with the arrest of communications chief Julie Hamp over alleged drug importation offences. When asked, a Toyota spokesman declined to comment on the nature of the police presence, but said the company is cooperating with police. Hamp, the first female senior executive at Toyota, […]

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Julie HampReuters is reporting police have raided Toyota’s office in Tokyo in connection with the arrest of communications chief Julie Hamp over alleged drug importation offences.

When asked, a Toyota spokesman declined to comment on the nature of the police presence, but said the company is cooperating with police.

Hamp, the first female senior executive at Toyota, has a long road ahead of her if there’s enough evidence to bring her to trial, as we covered last week.

[Source: Reuters]

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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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Nürburgring Management Bans Manufacturers From Attempting, Publishing ‘Ring Times http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nurburgring-management-bans-manufacturers-from-attempting-publishing-ring-times/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nurburgring-management-bans-manufacturers-from-attempting-publishing-ring-times/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 17:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095969 Depending on one’s point of view, this is either the best or the worst thing to happen: The ‘Ring time is no more on the Nürburgring. During filming of “APEX: The Story of the Hypercar” — a documentary following auto manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche and Koenigsegg over three years as they battle for halo-car dominance, […]

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BMW M5 Ring Taxi

Depending on one’s point of view, this is either the best or the worst thing to happen: The ‘Ring time is no more on the Nürburgring.

During filming of “APEX: The Story of the Hypercar” — a documentary following auto manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche and Koenigsegg over three years as they battle for halo-car dominance, with the ‘Ring as the backdrop — director J.F. Musial said he received a phone call from Koenigsegg founder and CEO Christian Von Koenigsegg, informing him the track’s management had banned all manufacturers from attempting and publishing times achieved on the famed course. Koenigsegg had planned to put his One:1 through the pace prior to the ban.

The ban stems from an accident during a VLN race in March involving driver Jann Mardenborough, where a spectator was killed as a result. Management reacted by imposing a speed limit at the site where the accident occurred, followed by similar limits on other high-speed portions of the ‘Ring.

While management is set to review the limits at the end of this year, manufacturers are barred from making lap-record runs, even if the entire track was closed to the public for said runs. However, a run recorded by Lamborghini with its Aventador SV was allowed — under the claim the run happened before the limits were in place — while WTCC is permitted to ignore the limits altogether.

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

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Reputation, Status Keys To Judicial Fate For Toyota’s Julie Hamp http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/reputation-status-keys-to-judicial-fate-for-toyotas-julie-hamp/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/reputation-status-keys-to-judicial-fate-for-toyotas-julie-hamp/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 16:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095921 Yesterday, TTAC reported on the arrest in Japan of Toyota Chief Communications Officer Julie Hamp on drug smuggling charges. We have new information on what awaits Hamp now. Through our anonymous source, Hamp’s alleged receipt of 57 Oxycodone pills — marked in a parcel dubbed “necklaces” — in the mail at Tokyo’s Narita Airport is […]

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Julie HampYesterday, TTAC reported on the arrest in Japan of Toyota Chief Communications Officer Julie Hamp on drug smuggling charges. We have new information on what awaits Hamp now.

Through our anonymous source, Hamp’s alleged receipt of 57 Oxycodone pills — marked in a parcel dubbed “necklaces” — in the mail at Tokyo’s Narita Airport is a fairly common practice, where U.S. citizens in Japan take over housing from another foreigner, then use the previous occupant’s name to ship whatever drugs they desire. Japanese authorities routinely intercept the packages, which are then delivered as usual prior to a raid hours later.

The idea for allowing the delivery to go through as planned is if the package was delivered in error, the current occupant would either return it to the post office, or bring it to the nearest police station if thought to be suspicious. In most cases, the raid finds the package is already opened, and the drugs partially consumed.

Our source adds Hamp has a few things going for her as she navigates through Japan’s judicial system, including social status, reputation, and Toyota itself. The process of investigation, trial and verdict would take around 80 days to complete, with Hamp leaving the country almost immediately following a guilty plea, or upon serving 18 months in prison if she pleads innocent and is found guilty; there are no plea bargains under said system.

Speaking of Toyota, president Akio Toyoda apologized for the arrest during a press conference on the matter, Reuters reports:

To me, executives and staff who are my direct reports are like my children. It’s the responsibility of a parent to protect his children and, if a child causes problems, it’s also a parent’s responsibility to apologize.

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Subaru Launches Impreza Sport Hybrid In Japan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/subaru-launches-impreza-sport-hybrid-in-japan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/subaru-launches-impreza-sport-hybrid-in-japan/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095785 Consumers in Japan will soon be able to purchase a new hybrid from Subaru, in the form of the Impreza Sport Hybrid. Power for the newest Impreza variant comes from a 2.0-liter DOHC flat-four paired with an electric motor, and is sent to all corners through a CVT. Fuel economy is expected to hit 20.4 […]

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IMPREZA SPORT HYBRID 2.0i-S EyeSight low

Consumers in Japan will soon be able to purchase a new hybrid from Subaru, in the form of the Impreza Sport Hybrid.

Power for the newest Impreza variant comes from a 2.0-liter DOHC flat-four paired with an electric motor, and is sent to all corners through a CVT. Fuel economy is expected to hit 20.4 km/liter; range and power figures weren’t made available.

The Impreza Sport Hybrid comes standard with Subaru’s EyeSight camera system, which works with the hybrid system’s Eco-Cruise Control to “make the maximum use of electric vehicle driving and regenerative braking when Adaptive Cruise Control is operating, thereby improving fuel consumption under everyday conditions.”

Other features include: enhanced aero; larger and wider wheels for better grip and fuel economy; hydraulic engine mounts; and a range of colors, including a pair of blue pearl paints and crystal black silica.

Price of admission starts at ¥2,505,600 ($20,366 USD) with consumption tax for the standard model, ¥2,635,200 ($21,418) for the 2.0i-S. Both come with Japan’s Eco-Car tax incentives, reducing acquisition and tonnage taxes to 80 percent and 75 percent respectively.

The newest Impreza variant is only the second hybrid launched by the automaker, coming two years after the XV Hybrid. Subaru expects to sell 500/month once sales begin July 10.

(Photo credit: Subaru)

IMPREZA SPORT HYBRID 2.0i-S EyeSight low Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid Boxer Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid Transmission Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid powertrain Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid Powertrain Overhead

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DeLorean Owned By Mrs. DeLorean Goes On The Auction Block http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/delorean-owned-by-mrs-delorean-goes-on-the-auction-block/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/delorean-owned-by-mrs-delorean-goes-on-the-auction-block/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 16:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1093297 Should you happen to be in Berlin next Friday, you could have a shot at the DeLorean once owned by none other than the former Mrs. DeLorean herself. German auction house Auctionata is putting this particular bit of history on the block in Berlin June 26, Autoblog reports, a gift bestowed by the late John […]

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delorean-erstbesitz-mr-delorean-baujahr-1982-1

Should you happen to be in Berlin next Friday, you could have a shot at the DeLorean once owned by none other than the former Mrs. DeLorean herself.

German auction house Auctionata is putting this particular bit of history on the block in Berlin June 26, Autoblog reports, a gift bestowed by the late John DeLorean in 1982 to his then-wife, actor/model/presenter Cristina Ferrare.

Following the collapse of the company and the marriage, Ferrare sold the DeLorean to its then-new owner in the United States, ultimately garnering 13,540 miles in the three decades it has been on the road.

Bidding for this DeLorean is set to start at €34,000 (around $38,000 USD), though the auction house expects the vehicle to leave the block for anywhere between €70,000 and €100,000 (~$79,000 and $112,000).

Said expectation is in line with the highest price paid for the iconic vehicle: a 1976 prototype sold by Canadian house RM Auctions left the block at Pebble Beach for $110,000 in 2007 ($128,000 in 2015 dollars).

[Photo credit: Auctionata]

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Citroen’s Famed Hydraulic Suspension Rides Comfortably Into The Sunset http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/citroens-famed-hydraulic-suspension-rides-comfortably-into-the-sunset/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/citroens-famed-hydraulic-suspension-rides-comfortably-into-the-sunset/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 17:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1092753 The suspension setup known for helping to save the life of late French president Charles de Gaulle will soon join him in the pages of time. Citroen’s famous hydraulic suspension is being discontinued by PSA Peugeot Citroen, Reuters reports, and will self-level its last car when the current C5 sedan concludes its production run. The […]

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Charles de Gaulle's Citroen DS

The suspension setup known for helping to save the life of late French president Charles de Gaulle will soon join him in the pages of time.

Citroen’s famous hydraulic suspension is being discontinued by PSA Peugeot Citroen, Reuters reports, and will self-level its last car when the current C5 sedan concludes its production run.

The discontinuation of the decades-old system, which combined a hydraulic pump with several nitrogen-filled pneumatic spheres to deliver a ride unmatched for decades, is part of CEO Carlos Tavares’ ongoing cost-cutting actions throughout the company. A source close to the Tavares says he believes other modern suspension systems can offer a comfortable ride just as well as the one under classics like the DS and SM.

Speaking of the DS, the hydraulic suspension under the DS of de Gaulle helped the car’s driver maintain control during an assassination attempt in 1962, where 12 gunmen killed two of the president’s motorcycle guards, as well as shot out two of the DS’ tires. In spite the assassins’ efforts, de Gaulle and his wife survived.

Similar systems were implemented by Rolls-Royce, Mercedes and Audi, but few others took the legendary setup beyond Citroen’s assembly lines.

[Photo credit: Davide Oliva/Flickr/CC BY-SA 3.0]

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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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Volvo Markets Simplified Identity Against Teutonic Complexities http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volvo-markets-simplified-identity-against-teutonic-complexities/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volvo-markets-simplified-identity-against-teutonic-complexities/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 19:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1091833 Whereas the Teutonic Trinity of Audi, BMW and Mercedes go for complexity in their offerings, Volvo aims to attract luxury consumers through simplicity. At the 2015 Automotive News Europe Congress in Birmingham, England, Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson pointed out the number of buttons the XC90 had compared to two new models from two of the […]

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163787_Volvo_XC90_at_the_Swedish_Royal_Wedding

Whereas the Teutonic Trinity of Audi, BMW and Mercedes go for complexity in their offerings, Volvo aims to attract luxury consumers through simplicity.

At the 2015 Automotive News Europe Congress in Birmingham, England, Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson pointed out the number of buttons the XC90 had compared to two new models from two of the trinity as far as handling the main controls go, Automotive News Europe notes. While the Germans opted for 55 and 37 buttons respectively, Samuelsson stated Volvo only needed eight to get the point across.

Samuelsson’s point behind the button count was to declare his company would not match feature for feature against the Teutonic Trinity, proclaiming “no one wants to buy a copy. They buy the original.” The proclamation was followed by a presentation of an app which would grant one-time access to a given Volvo model to those delivering groceries, dry cleaning, and other items, followed by a text alerting the owner the delivery occurred.

Both examples are meant to demonstrate Volvo’s reinvention following its purchase from Ford by Geely in 2010. Then, the automaker had little product, and relied upon Ford’s platforms and engine offerings to see everything through.

Samuelsson said his company would pursue consumers more concerned about their families and the environment as part of its new strategy, than those looking to destroy ‘Ring times. Said pursuit is expected to be aggressive, as Volvo aims to increase global sales from a targeted 500,000 in 2015, to 800,000 by 2020 via a product offensive which will see all platforms and engines as being 100 percent Volvo starting this summer.

[Photo credit: Volvo]

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2017 Ford GT Entering 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2017-ford-gt-entering-2016-24-hours-of-le-mans/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2017-ford-gt-entering-2016-24-hours-of-le-mans/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 13:43:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1091553 Nearly 50 years ago, Ford threw down against Ferrari at Le Mans, sweeping the podium in so doing. Come 2016, Ford aims to do the same with the 2017 Ford GT. The 2017 GT will compete in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season in LM GTE Pro, as well as the 2016 TUDOR United […]

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FORD_LE_MANS_10

Nearly 50 years ago, Ford threw down against Ferrari at Le Mans, sweeping the podium in so doing. Come 2016, Ford aims to do the same with the 2017 Ford GT.

The 2017 GT will compete in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season in LM GTE Pro, as well as the 2016 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, where it will make its debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January.

The two-team effort will be led by Chip Ganassi Racing, who will campaign four GTs at Le Mans, with Roush Racing responsible for preparing the exotic’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 for endurance competition; driver announcements will come later.

Our own Ronnie Schreiber will have more on the Ford GT’s return to Le Mans later on; for now, these photos and the promo video will do.

2016 Ford GT FIA-WEC Gallery
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2016 Ford GT IMSA-TUDOR Gallery
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[Photo credit: Ford]

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Winkler: Smart Crossover Not Planned In The Near-Term http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/winkler-smart-crossover-not-planned-in-the-near-term/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/winkler-smart-crossover-not-planned-in-the-near-term/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 17:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1090657 Those hoping for a Smart crossover/SUV to hit showrooms will be waiting for a while, as there are no near-term plans to expand beyond the city car market. During the 2015 Automotive News Europe Congress, Smart CEO Annette Winkler said a crossover or SUV would not be joining the ForTwo and ForFour city cars anytime […]

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2016 smart fortwo (47)

Those hoping for a Smart crossover/SUV to hit showrooms will be waiting for a while, as there are no near-term plans to expand beyond the city car market.

During the 2015 Automotive News Europe Congress, Smart CEO Annette Winkler said a crossover or SUV would not be joining the ForTwo and ForFour city cars anytime soon, Automotive News Europe reports, before adding such a vehicle could come in time.

Fans of the Smart Roadster will be disappointed, however, as Winkler dashed any hopes of a revival due to the roadster segment being too small to be profitable for a Smart-branded entry.

Regarding the ForFour, underpinned by the architecture found in the Renault Twingo, Winkler said the partnership between Smart and Renault created “enormous economies of scale” for the parties involved. She proclaimed the ForFour was the more premium of the two because of higher-quality interior components in the former.

Parent company Daimler AG says Smart is due for “significant” growth this year, thanks to help of new features such as the optional Twinamic six-speed dual-clutch transmission, replacing the oft-maligned automated manual which sacrificed smooth shifts for greater fuel economy.

Said Twinamic will likely appear in the U.S.- and China-bound ForTwo later this year, as well. Winkler explained her company wanted to wait to deliver the two-seater city car to those markets until the new transmission was available “since premium customers want the level of comfort offered by Twinamic.” The ForTwo will head east to China in August, then cross the Atlantic for U.S. deliveries starting this fall; the ForFour will not make the westbound trip.

[Photo credit: Smart]

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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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Trailer For Final Top Gear Episode Unveiled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/trailer-for-final-top-gear-episode-unveiled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/trailer-for-final-top-gear-episode-unveiled/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 19:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1088417 Cue up The Doors, because the end is near: the trailer for the final episode of “Top Gear” was released Tuesday. The episode will be presented by only James May and Richard Hammond, with Jeremy Clarkson out of the picture following the “fracas” between him and producer Oisin Tymon earlier this year, The Telegraph reports. […]

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Top Gear Arctic Expedition

Cue up The Doors, because the end is near: the trailer for the final episode of “Top Gear” was released Tuesday.

The episode will be presented by only James May and Richard Hammond, with Jeremy Clarkson out of the picture following the “fracas” between him and producer Oisin Tymon earlier this year, The Telegraph reports.

The 30-second trailer — pulling footage from the two films which will comprise the final episode — presents the full trio tackling caravanning and racing to a dinner in the worst SUVs £250 ($382 USD) can buy. A second trailer shows trucks rolling down a muddy hill, and the lads travelling to a classic car show in affordable classic roadsters.

The BBC reportedly offered the remaining presenters a multi-million pound deal to stay on the long-running program, though the pair have stated they would be reluctant to return without Clarkson or show producer Andy Wilman.

The airdate for the final “Top Gear” episode has yet to be announced, but is expected to air on BBC Two in the next few weeks.

[Photo credit: Wapster/Flickr/CC BY 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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