Posts By: Matt Posky

By on September 14, 2020

Not that it should be any surprise with pricing creeping up, but U.S. vehicle inventories are some of the lowest we’ve seen in roughly a decade. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get a solid estimate on supplies as many automakers no longer have the balls to conduct monthly reports, at least not any they’re willing to share. The few that still do have been a little light on the lot, however.

Going into fall, we’d expect to see supplies around the 60-day mark with about a quarter of those vehicles representing the upcoming model year. Mainstream brands seem to be running with a lot fewer cars this month. On Monday, Automotive News estimated that September was probably representing the lightest industry-wide supply of vehicles since October of 2011. Meanwhile, Cox Automotive has the industry sitting on 56 days worth of cars — noting that national inventories shrank to 2.26 million vehicles, or about 870,000 fewer from the year before.

(Read More…)

By on September 11, 2020

Image: Hyundai

Hyundai and Kia are recalling nearly 200,000 vehicles in the United States over a potential short in the antilock brake system of select models. Problem vehicles include around 180,000 examples of the 2019-21 model year Hyundai Tucson and roughly 9,000 Kia Stingers from 2019.

Based on the recall information provided by the manufacturers, around six Stingers have caught fire over the issue. Regulators have confirmed that the issue lies in the ABS control module and that combustion is still possible when the vehicle has been shut down. That has led us to believe this might be related to an earlier recall involving 283,803 Kia Optima sedans (MY 2013-15), 156,567 Kia Sorento crossovers (2014-15), and 151,205 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport crossovers (2013-15). Each of those models ran the risk of brake fluid seeping out onto the hydraulic electronic control unit and causing a fire.

(Read More…)

By on September 11, 2020

Thanks to a particularly slow news week, everyone has had extra time to gawk at the 2021 Maserati MC20 — a vehicle that serves to set right all that is wrong with the Italian nameplate and will be the first new vehicle the company has built in almost five years.

Despite being most famous for its racing vehicles from the 20th century, the brand has been passed around more than a basketball and has been forced to evolve its identity. Under Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Maserati has remained fixated on luxury and had straddled the line between premium mainstream cars and hyper exclusivity. With a base price of around $200,000, it’s pretty clear what side of the line the MC20 is on. But it’s hard to criticize something that’s biggest problem is being a supercar  especially when it’s part of a larger effort to rebuild the brand’s racing pedigree and garner extra attention from the sort of people that are serious about cars and have money to waste on sleek, flame-belching baubles.

(Read More…)

By on September 11, 2020

While we’ve suspected that electric vehicle startups and green tech, in general, is probably a little overvalued, we’ve never accused anyone of outright fraud. Burgeoning automakers have a tendency to over promise and under deliver. Throughout history, this has occasionally gotten them into serious trouble. But it’s also how the game is played, especially when you’re new to the scene and need to distinguish yourself from giant entities who would just as soon crush you in lieu of risking the eventual competition. Nikola is a perfect example of this and built a hype train so swift that legacy brands could only hope to buy it out or invest and share in the fruits of its labor before it sped away.

But what if it wasn’t ever growing any industrial fruit?

That’s the claim being made by Hindenburg Research — which specializes in short selling, pointing to firms on the cusp of financial disaster (hence the name), and attempting to bust businesses the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might be interested in. The financial research firm has suggested that Nikola founder Trevor Milton had misrepresented what the company was actually capable of in terms of product, with the intent to mislead investors into thinking the company should be incredibly valuable. It reads like a hit piece and was accused by Milton of being just that. However, there are issues brought up in the report that are still worth examining.

(Read More…)

By on September 10, 2020

Cadillac is upping the ante on the CT4 and CT5 for the 2021 model year. As both cars were introduced last year and the upgrades represent fairly comprehensive changes to both vehicles, this refresh is quite curious. Either General Motors spent the pandemic being more productive than we initially presumed or this is a desperate effort to make these cars more appealing to Americans. U.S. Cadillac sales decreased by 41.4 percent in the second quarter of 2020, so we’re inclined to believe either scenario.

The biggest change the manufacturer would like you to know about the ability to option GM’s Enhanced Super Cruise system. While still limited to divided highways, it technically offers hands-free driving on a limited basis… though that’s technically true of all vehicles with decent wheel alignment. Super Cruise is a bit fancier than that and will offer the ability to changes lanes and is no longer limited to the V-Series trims, starting in 2021.

(Read More…)

By on September 10, 2020

Germany’s Schaeffler AG will reportedly be eliminating 4,400 jobs and abandoning several facilities in its home country as the supplier confronts what it dubbed complications relating to the global pandemic. Like Continental, which is actually controlled by the same people, Schaeffler has been coping with lessened demand after automakers around the globe shut down earlier this year as a precautionary measure. While the coronavirus lockdowns can’t be faulted for every issue the companies are facing, they have been a thorn in the side of parts suppliers everywhere.

Continental announced it would need to eliminate roughly 13 percent of its workforce last week. That’s roughly 30,000 fewer jobs. Schaeffler’s restructuring plan only calls for eliminating 4,000 positions. However, it is the smaller of the two and has decided to spread its cuts out as much as possible.

(Read More…)

By on September 10, 2020

On Thursday, Toyota Motor Corp.’s research division announced it would create an $800 million global investment fund. While important news, Toyota’s dispatch was expected. The business had previously mentioned it was assembling a new holding company called Woven in July, noting that the entity would be focused on heavily upon software development and finding new partners for its most advanced projects.

Most of those seem to be in support of the “mobility as a service” concept that seeks to remove customers’ ability to own vehicles. The rest are interested in promoting alternative energy solutions or social engineering how we’ll be living in the future via “smart cities.” The fund also seems to be helping replace Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD). In fact, the Japanese R&D arm was actually the one that announced the $800 million “global growth-stage investment fund” that officially creates Woven Capital.

(Read More…)

By on September 10, 2020

Nissan has issued another teaser for the impending 400Z with clear intent to alleviate any confusion created by the previous marketing materials. We said it looked like the company planned on offering the sports coupe with a manual transmission and are required to revise our claim. It’s now blatantly obvious that Nissan is planning on producing be-clutched examples. We can only assume that Nissan’s marketing department noticed that everyone had started to catch onto the possibility of there being a manual option in its last posting and simply decided to remove all doubt.

One can even imagine the video conference where management tells the person editing the clips to throw in a bare shot of the gear selector this time. Nissan knows few customers will actually buy one but that the automotive press can’t help but mention the last of a dying breed. Some of us wake up in a cold sweat nightly, haunted by the knowledge that carefully using two appendages to change gears isn’t something future generations are going to put up with.

(Read More…)

By on September 9, 2020

Minus an unpleasant amount of virtue signaling, the Lucid Air debut was pretty good. But this is technically a commercial so what else could we have possibly expected? Lucid is an electric vehicle brand so it’s required by law to succumb to the growing list of EV clichés. Building this car the way Lucid does won’t just be better for the environment, “it will be better for all mankind.” We need to rally together because the world is ending. This startup is changing by building an extravagant automobile  that was the gist of the presentation anyway.

“We’re a California company,” explained the car’s interior designer. The Golden State was apparently so important that the interior color palates are based entirely on the way the sun plays off California’s various regions at different times of the day. They even held the event on the state’s birthday and made sure to mention it.

You get the idea. It started out a complete drag. And yet the car itself was quite interesting and the technical portions of the presentation excelled at explaining why someone might actually want this car over literally everything else that’s on the market right now.  (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2020

Genesis has predictably brought the G70 onboard with the rest of its lineup’s familial styling. Fortunately, the look the company has gone for has successfully merged disparate concepts by being both spectacular and incredibly tasteful. While your author would have argued that prior Genesis models had aped German exteriors so effectively that they might actually be beating Deutschland at its own game, the new designs only serve extend its advantage. It seems as though everything Hyundai Motor Group touches these days can’t help but have a stunning exterior and it’s true from the sub-$25,000 Kia K5 right on up to the $72,000 Genesis G90.

Quad lamps (front and rear) are now the hallmark of Genesis Motor and have finally been affixed to the G70, giving it a more refined and luxury-focused appearance. It’s also quite unique across the industry and helps distinguish the Korean brand from other nameplates at a distance. While many (including your author) enjoyed the sporting musculature on the current model, 2022 will be a more opulent affair better suited to the frugal fanciness the Genesis has become synonymous with.

(Read More…)

By on September 9, 2020

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is receiving a series of updates for 2021 — including some new engine options, styling adjustments, and the obligatory infotainment updates. There’s even a new lifted version called the E450 4Matic All-Terrain that’s clearly targeting fancy alternatives to the Subaru Outback (e.g. the Audi A6 Allroad).

Unfortunately, these enhancements have raised the price of the E-Class slightly. The base model E350 now starts at $55,300 (including destination), which seems a lot to ask for a 2.0-liter turbo making 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. That’d be a juicier package inside one of Mercedes’ smaller products and opting in to an all-wheel-drive 4Matic brings the price $57,800 before you’ve even had a whiff of the 3.0-liter inline-six. But you do get Daimler’s updated MBUX software across the range and a longer list of interior material choices and styles. Though our readers seemed to really hate the interior found in the new S-Class and we’re doubting you’ll be any fonder of the wavy lines found inside the refreshed E-Class family, even if they’re not drastically different from what was available beforehand.

(Read More…)

By on September 9, 2020

Ford badge emblem logo

Unifor has selected the Ford Motor Company as its target for collective bargaining. Once negotiations conclude, the union will be using the terms established with the automaker to lay the groundwork for pattern deals with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

While the talks have not yet begun, we already know Unifor wants to cement production commitments in Oakville, Ontario, where Ford is rumored to be ending Edge assembly. It would also like to secure deals for FCA plants in Brampton and Windsor. Naturally, the union will also be demanding wage increases  though this is sometimes the most contentious issue. Contract talks from 2016 became stuck in the mud over higher pay until Ford insisted employees remain subject to a 10-year wage grow-in that union members had been split on. It’s unclear if that will remain the case in 2020 but we genuinely haven’t had high hopes for the Union pulling out anything that resembles a major victory.

(Read More…)

By on September 9, 2020

Uber Technologies has promised to make sure that 100 percent of the vehicles used to convey customers in Europe, Canada, and the United States will be powered entirely by electricity — allotting itself just under a decade for the transition. By 2030, Uber said all cars used on the platform will be required to be of the plug-in variety. At the same time, General Motors announced it would be helping drivers get there by offering juicy discounts on items they’ll be required to buy in preparation for the coming change. That seems incredibly convenient, especially for the purveyors of these soon-to-be-mandatory products.

On Tuesday, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi noted he wanted Uber to help lead a “green recovery” in the wake of the coronavirus lockdowns that resulted in an American unemployment rate not seen since the Great Depression. He acknowledged how nice the air had gotten in urban environments (Manhattan still smells like expired milk, FYI) and suggested going back to the before times would be a mistake. We were practically cave people prior to 2020 and have metamorphosed into a higher state of being.

(Read More…)

By on September 8, 2020

Nissan has been extremely clear that it has been focusing heavily upon its past for the formation of its upcoming 400Z. Considering how the automaker is faring in the present, casually throwing customers into a sea of nostalgia is likely a 200-IQ play. Vintage Z cars have an obsessively loyal fan base and are awarded rolling praise from practically everybody who remembers them in their heyday.

Your author has always held a soft spot for the 300ZX Twin Turbo, despite his not being the resident Nissan aficionado and the 300 being the most pig-like in the Z-car’s expansive lineage. But plenty of people recall its enthralling performance as turbo lag boost was playfully teased out to make pressing the accelerator feel less like you were about to pass a slow-moving motorist on the highway and more like you were about to launch a Grumman F-14 Tomcat off an aircraft carrier. They also undoubtedly remember its stellar design, especially the Z32, which present-day Nissan has decided to tap into for the upcoming performance model. (Read More…)

By on September 8, 2020

General Motors announced it will be taking an 11-percent stake in Nikola on Tuesday. It even said it would be actively helping the startup produce the hydrogen/battery-powered Badger pickup, sending the firm’s already-insane share price through the roof. Nikola shares were up 30 percent before the trading day even began, with the General seeing some positive changes in its own stock. Things only improved from there for both companies as news of the partnership continued to spread.

The deal is costing GM $2 billion and allots it one board member of its choosing in exchange for its manufacturing expertise.

(Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • GenesisCoupe380GT: I’m grateful Cad has this option at all. BMW took it away from the M5 and now it’s...
  • ToolGuy: That hood graphic reminds me of the circuit board out of my WiFi router which suffered a lightning strike in...
  • ToolGuy: Those A-pillars look refreshingly slender (could be the camera angle).
  • EBFlex: Built Ford Proud! This is a result of the furniture salesman squeezing suppliers to the bone to keep the...
  • ToolGuy: The new Corvette has a workaround – pop the front trunk. (It must function as a fighter-jet-style...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber