Last week, General Motors’ long-idled Venezuela assembly plant fell into the hands of the country’s autocratic government, sparking the automaker’s exit from the strife-ridden nation.
With its material assets out of its hands, the automaker’s Venezuelan subsidiary jettisoned the plant’s entire 2,700-person workforce today, Reuters reports. It did so in as abrupt a manner as the takeover itself. Meanwhile, the government wants to chat. (Read More…)
As Venezuela descends even further into economic and social turmoil, and as mass demonstrations turn violent, we learned yesterday that General Motors’ Valencia assembly plant is no longer in the hands of General Motors.
The plant, which has sat idle for months, was “unexpectedly taken by the public authorities, preventing normal operations,” the automaker stated. Supposedly, the reason for seizing the asset lies in a 17-year-old lawsuit filed by a disgruntled dealer group angry over torn-up contracts. The dealers wanted billions of dollars in compensation — a sum that GM said “exceeds all logic.”
A new report has shed more light on the automaker’s situation, revealing that the government wasn’t the first group to seize the factory and bar the doors. (Read More…)
After being knocked off the top perch of the “fastest growing economy” podium in 2016, India is expected to return to the Number One spot both this year and next. The world’s second most populous country has seen average per-capita incomes rise to record levels and, while the average only amounts to $1,500 greenbacks, India’s well-to-do class is thriving.
For automakers, the untapped Indian market offers big potential. The latest to the game: Lexus, which arrived today to offer citizens something better than just a Camry. (Read More…)
General Motors isn’t finished slashing products or dialing back plans to bolster its financial standing.
After unloading its near century-long Opel and Vauxhall holdings to France’s PSA Group, a move that came after failed attempts to return the European brands to profitability, GM plans to turn its focus on underperforming products in North America. There’s a chance that a model you hold dear could find its way to the chopping block. (Read More…)
In the immortal words of ex-fighter pilot and Boeing 707 rescuer Ted Striker, “What a pisser.”
The resurrected Alpine A110, which never seemed like it had much of a chance of making it stateside, is officially barred from American driveways. Renault’s retro, mid-engined performance stimulated saliva glands when it debuted last year as a near-match concept car, leading some to dream that a French alternative to Porsche’s Cayman could become a U.S. reality.
The late Charles de Gaulle once said that France has no friends, only interests. Well, France isn’t interested in making this American dream come true. (Read More…)
Apparently, the tidy sale of General Motors’ European division to French automaker PSA Group isn’t so clean-cut after all.
According to German publication Der Spiegel, PSA is looking to secure more than just the Opel and Vauxhall brands. It also wants a key bit of gear — one that would make the new European alliance market leaders in electric vehicle technology.
GM isn’t willing to let it go without a host of conditions. (Read More…)
Ford’s smallest utility vehicle is bound for North America, giving hope to Blue Oval fans who find an Escape too unwieldy.
The EcoSport, offered in overseas markets since 2004, will soon be pressed into service to round out the bottom of the Ford’s domestic utility lineup. (Read More…)
In the many wars spanning the globe, a variety of vehicles have been pressed into military service by insurgents and militias alike, most notably the venerable Toyota Hilux. More recently Chinese compact pickups have appeared on battlegrounds, and even one Texas plumber’s Ford F-250 turned up in the hands of some bad guys.
Now comes word that, on October 21, a heroic Kurdish Peshmerga fighter used his bulletproof E32 BMW 7 Series as a military ambulance to save up to 70 people.
Ako Abdulrehman made repeated trips under ISIS sniper fire to save fighters and civilians wounded during the militants’ attack on the Kurdish city of Kirkuk. (Read More…)
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…)
Forget Chevrolet’s cringe-inducing launch of the first-generation Spark — this could be the biggest hipster Millennial marketing/branding effort to date.
Naturally, it’s for an affordable car brand, but with a difference: this brand is completely new and its products have yet to be revealed. Lynk & Co, a new subsidiary of Volvo parent company Geely, launches on October 20, Reuters reports, and it’s clear it wants to be every free-spirited young adult’s first car. (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…)
Ford doesn’t just want European SUV buyers to flock to its Edge, it wants luxury buyers, too.
The automaker is busy rolling out a refined version of its midsize CUV on the Continent, but an even plusher version is on the way, Automotive News Europe reports. With no Lincolns to sell, Ford figures it can turn one of its own into an Audi-fighter. (Read More…)
The hints keep piling up that the Škoda brand could one day arrive on our shores.
Volkswagen Group’s Czech subsidiary keeps dropping clues that it wants to enter the U.S. market, but the surging automaker’s CEO recently added his own voice to the rumor mill, according to Autocar. Company head Bernhard Maier said if the automaker does head to America, it already has the vehicle U.S. buyers want. (Read More…)
Ford Motor Company says its profits dropped 9 percent in the second quarter, and warns that leaner times are coming.
Net income, global market share, and earnings per share all fell, but the automaker’s financial news wasn’t all bad. Still, Ford plans to do some cost cutting as the red-hot new vehicle market cools off in North America. (Read More…)
Toyota SUVs and pickups are popular with insurgents in overseas conflict zones, so why shouldn’t the U.S. military kick the tires on some?
The U.S. Special Operations Command just placed an order for up to 556 vehicles outfitted for “unconventional warfare” use, most of them Toyota Land Cruisers, Military Aerospace reports. (Read More…)