More and more automakers are looking at exotic locales to produce their wares (us Canadians can consider Mexico exotic thanks to its ice-free beaches) as they expand their brands and explore in-roads to untapped markets.
For Jeep, that means investing in a shared money-printing press with an unlikely partner: Tata, the parent company of Land Rover. FCA will put $280 million USD into joint venture Fiat India Automobiles Private Limited which, since 2007, has solely produced Fiat models.
For the first time in more than a decade, new car sales in India have failed to post a year-over-year increase. Instead, a sharp drop in sales spells bad news for carmakers with heavy investments in that important developing market.
Toyota’s Cambridge, Ontario plant will have the honor of being the sole facility outside Japan to produce hybrid Lexus RX crossovers. The announcement came alongside plans for an investment of $34 million investment from the Canadian government.
The S-Class Mercedes has been the default choice for the global taste-and-wealth set for a very long time, probably since the demise of the Elwood Engel Continental. The 7-Series BMW, by contrast, has always been a slightly embarrassing purchase, the choice of the man cut out from the classy club by birth, ignorance, or a slightly unseemly insistence on driving dynamics. BMW is the striver’s brand, launched into the spotlight by a man who was sort of the Nadia Comaneci of sweaty social climbing. Mercedes is the real thing. Hasn’t it ever been thus?
German investors, on the other hand, seem to like the Roundel.
Bucolic Spartanburg, SC, will get a new boost when BMW drops $900 million on the plant to expand its capacity to 350,000 units per year. Spartanburg will become one of the world’s largest BMW plants. The BMW Group already invested USD 750 million in the expansion of the plant for production of the new BMW X3 between 2008 and 2010. Now, the plant is being expanded again to make room for the X4. (Read More…)
Some say, TTAC has an anti-Detroit, pro-import slant. We won’t comment on that, you mommy-fraternizing liars. All we can say is: If you harbor these notions, don’t move to Oklahoma. Oklahoma’s largest newspaper, the Oklahoman, dishes out more anti-Detroit snark in a single serving than even a Farago could have cooked-up in his TTAC lifetime. How about calling the former owners of Chrysler unqualified “idiots?” And not the former owners you think of now. Wait, there is worse. (Read More…)
GM is the market leader in the United States. Volkswagen has Europe. Toyota has Australia and Japan. Fiat has…. Brazil? That’s right. Fiat is the number one in Brazil. Brazilians do love a good Fiat. But with Volkswagen’s global ambitions, that number one position in Brazil isn’t safe for Fiat. Volkswagen is number 2 there and if it one thing Volkswagen doesn’t like, it’s playing second fiddle. This is why Fiat is going on the offensive. (Read More…)
Intellectual property warriors, get your guns: Following GM, its arch nemesis Toyota will plant a brand new R & D center smack into the alleged intellectual property jungle called China. Toyota plans to spend between $330 and $440 million for the center. Building will commence next year. Compared to Toyota, the one GM built in 2008 was the lite version at a price of only $250 million.
The Toyota R&D center, complete with a full-scale test course, will be located not far from the GM center, in the outskirts of Shanghai, Gasgoo reports. (Read More…)