Toyota believes fuel cells are the future, becoming a competitive technology up against other zero-emission compliance tech by 2030 at the latest. In fact, the automaker plans to hedge their bets in the near future by setting an annual sales goal of 5,000 to 10,000 fuel-cell powered machines beginning in 2015.
As a journalist, if you ask an OEM rep about any given car’s redesign or next generation, you’ll undoubtedly be met with a terse “we don’t comment on future product plans”. But if you’re an analyst? Different story.
Chevrolet is betting that the number 13 will be lucky one. The GM brand announced on Wednesday that they will be introducing 13 redesigned or completely new vehicles for the North American market in 2013. While a number of those are expected, like the new Impala and the latest iteration of the Silverado fullsize body-on-frame pickup, according to GM spokesman Michael Albano the automaker is “thrilled” that two of the thirteen cars and trucks will be “complete surprises”. Joining the Impala and Silverado, among the non-surprises there’s going be a new Traverse CUV, a diesel Cruze and an electric Spark (sorry, I didn’t name the car).
“13 is a big year for Chevrolet. You know some of them. There’s a lot of chatter about others and a couple will be complete surprises, which we’re thrilled about.”
For most of the last 20 years, Ford and Mazda have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship which worked quite well. Ford needed Mazda’s engineering and Mazda needed Ford’s volume to keep their profit margins. In short, everyone was happy. Then came the recession. Ford needed money and it needed it fast, so they mortgaged their logo, cut staff and closed factories. But curiously, Ford divested a huge chunk of Mazda which netted them, in the auto world, very little money. Ford reduced their 33.4% stake in Mazda to 13.4%, netting $540 million, but effectively losing Mazda. Not that Ford’s Mark Fields is worried.