By on July 18, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Sonic - Image: ChevroletAmerican car buyers are increasingly turning their backs on subcompact cars.

During the first six months of 2017, the subcompact car losing the greatest number of sales is the Nissan Versa, which is suffering as Nissan realigns its dealer strategy to emphasize certified pre-owned cars.

But the subcompact car losing the second-highest number of sales is the Chevrolet Sonic, which has declined 37 percent this year (for a 10,334-unit decrease). In a continued attempt to dramatically reduce Sonic inventory — GM had a 159-day supply at the beginning of June; a 43-day supply at the beginning of July — GM is extending the scheduled plant shutdown at the Chevrolet Sonic’s Orion Township assembly plant north of Detroit, Michigan.

There are side effects from such a shutdown, an aftertaste following the swallowing of a bitter pill, spin-offs from a show nobody was watching to begin with. (Read More…)

By on June 6, 2016

17LincolnContinental_03_HR

After entering the hot Chinese car market two years ago, Lincoln Motor Company now wants to start building its vehicles there, sources close to the matter tell Bloomberg.

Lincoln is reportedly in talks with partner Changan Automobile Group to build a manufacturing facility — which would serve as an export hub — as early as 2018. Timing of production depends on whether sales continue their upward path. (Read More…)

By on May 16, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Prototype on road, Image: Tesla Motors

In a bid to get the Model 3 out the door on time, ideally without the snafus that plagued the Model X, Tesla Motors has hired a longtime Audi executive to serve as vice-president of vehicle production.

The hiring of 22-year Audi veteran Peter Hochholdinger, first reported by Reuters, comes as Tesla ramps up its manufacturing capacity to handle the 400,000 reservations placed on its upcoming $35,000 sedan.

Amid the company’s all-out dash to bring its Fremont, California factory’s production capacity to 500,000 vehicles per year by 2018, a damning report just released by the Bay Area News Group sheds light on the low-cost foreign labor helping to build that capability. (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

At the Tesla Model 3’s glitzy unveiling, everyone knew the model was a half-baked cake. Now, company founder Elon Musk admits the much-hyped electric sedan still isn’t out of the oven.

Musk said in a recent conference call that the design of the $35,000 Model 3 EV still isn’t finalized, according to Reuters, and the company plans a spending spree to get the model into production on time. (Read More…)

By on May 6, 2016

Honda-ARC-Line-2

Henry Ford’s way of building cars was so 20th Century, so Honda tried something new.

Workers at the automaker’s new Thailand plant now stay in motion all day, moving with the vehicle as it travels down the assembly line, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)

By on May 6, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Prototype on road, Image: Tesla Motors

Time’s a wastin’ if you want to impress your friends and neighbors with a gee-whiz Tesla Model 3 anytime in the next three years.

As he’s known to do, Tesla founder Elon Musk took to Twitter last night to warm wannabe owners about the growing wait for his $35,000 electric sedan. If you’re just lining up for a Model 3 now, consider signing a lease for another vehicle while you wait — you probably won’t have to terminate it early. (Read More…)

By on May 2, 2016

2016 Jeep® Renegade Latitude

The Jeep brand is Fiat-Chrysler’s biggest money maker, so it’s no wonder that CEO Sergio Marchionne is scattering factories around the world like a sailor’s offspring.

The company’s head honcho outlined his business plan for the brand in an interview published by Automotive News, and it involves no longer having to make a “Sophie’s Choice” decision with Jeep output. (Read More…)

By on April 6, 2016

Elon Musk

Tesla founder Elon Musk wants to build a new European factory to satisfy growing demand on the continent, and France knows just the place he should do it.

French Energy Minister Segolene Royal reportedly pitched the idea of using the site of a soon-to-be-mothballed reactor to Musk, according to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe).

“He didn’t say no,” said Royal, who plans to follow-up the pitch by meeting with Tesla management.

(Read More…)

By on March 21, 2016

2014 Jeep Wrangler

Americans might finally start to see a few of these so-called “Jeeps” roaming around their hometown.

That, Mark Fields can pick up everyone’s tab, eight (speeds) isn’t enough at General Motors, the Phaeton ends its long farewell, and GM Korea wants out of its slump … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on March 7, 2016

Subaru Global Platform

Subaru’s next generation of models will ride atop a platform that is stiffer, less prone to body roll and can incorporate a variety of propulsion sources, Motor Authority reports.

The new modular platform will underpin all future Subaru vehicles except the BRZ, starting with the Indiana-built 2017 Impreza.

Besides its adaptability to a range of models, the company says the key selling point of the Subaru Global Platform is a greatly increased stiffness that lends itself to safety and handling.

(Read More…)

By on March 30, 2011

Japanese car production was down 5.5 percent in February on weak domestic sales (down 12.4 percent in February to 401,292 vehicles) which were (not quite) compensated by a 13.2 percent rise in exports, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association says. Exports were especially strong to Europe, where 73.7 percent more cars were shipped. A total of 795,632 automobiles (all kinds) were made in Japan in February. This was the good news. (Read More…)

By on December 22, 2010

Usually, at this time of the year, Germany would already be closed down, to reopen some time after the first week of January.  Not so this time around. The calendar punishes Deutschland by putting the 25th and 26th of December and 1st of January – all legal holidays – on weekends. Ouch. And if you are working at a German car manufacturer, you might be asked to come in “between the holidays” to make some badly needed cars. (Read More…)

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