Category: News Blog

By on July 9, 2020

General Motors Renaissance Center

General Motors’ racketeering lawsuit against rival Fiat Chrysler is dead in the water after a federal judge dismissed the case on Wednesday.

The move comes after GM appealed U.S. District Court Judge Paul Borman’s order that the CEOs of the battling automakers should meet in private and hash out a resolution themselves. The General won half of its appeal, and the meeting was scrapped, but Borman, who described the lawsuit as a “nuclear” option that only served to clog up the courts in a time of COVID-19, stayed on the case — against GM’s wishes.

Now, the case has come to an end, though the battle might still rage on. Read More >

By on July 9, 2020

toyota

A strange new animal has appeared overseas, bearing a name that’s very, very familiar to American drivers. Corolla Cross, by Toyota.

It’s a Corolla, only a crossover.

Let’s explore. Read More >

By on July 9, 2020

The Twitterverse — which is a horrible place, by the way — finds itself rocked this week, torn asunder and factionalized by the mass signing of a remarkably anodyne letter supporting free speech and open discussion. Twenty-six-year-old NYC bloggers are up in arms; here at Casa Steph, the popcorn bucket’s working overtime.

But while these warriors clash in the online streets over the core tenet of liberal democracy, a great number of opinions, beliefs, and offbeat thoughts remain behind lock and key in our own minds. The subjects these thoughts cover are vast in scope, and one of them is surely cars. Yes, cars. And trucks, and those who build them.

Let’s exercise a little free speech today. Read More >

By on July 8, 2020

Parts supplier Continental says the extended lockdown protocols that closed countless automotive factories and dealerships will result in the worst quarter witnessed since the Second World War. It also isn’t overly optimistic about Q3, as supply chain issues will continue making normal business operations difficult while the global recession begins to take hold.

“The second quarter is just behind us. It will be the historically weakest quarter for the auto industry since 1945,” Continental Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart said, according to a transcript of a speech due to be delivered at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on July 14 that was intercepted by ReutersRead More >

By on July 8, 2020

2019 Genesis G70 rear quarter

The G70 has thus far proven to be the most popular model in the Genesis lineup, attracting new buyers in the premium compact passenger car space since its late-2018 introduction.

Last year, the brand drew 56 percent of its volume from the G70. Through the first half of 2020, the G70 boasted more than double the sales of the next closest model, the G80. With quality awards adorning its trophy shelf, a pleasing design that fits its role as a rear-drive sports-luxury sedan, a window sticker capable of luring customers from German and Japanese brands, and power to spare, the G70 has a lot going for it.

But perhaps there’s a way for Genesis to boost its margins… Read More >

By on July 8, 2020

Daimler plans to turn up the volume on cost-cutting measures due to operating losses in the second quarter that haven’t officially manifested. CEO Ola Källenius believes the damage caused by the pandemic response will be too severe to proceed with business as usual for the rest of 2020. At the company’s annual meeting, held Wednesday, the CEO told shareholders to anticipate additional measures to protect profits.

“Our previous efficiency goals covered the upcoming transformation, but not a global recession. That’s why we are further sharpening our course,” Källenius said, noting that the company is currently in talks with labor representatives. Considering the automaker enacted a plan bent on reducing its workforce by at least 10,000 to save an estimated €1.4 billion ($1.6 billion) by 2022, we doubt those discussions are super cordial.  Read More >

By on July 8, 2020

hyundai

There’s an all-new Hyundai Elantra arriving for 2021, and not a moment too soon. Your author was not a fan of the 2019 refresh, though the basic package remained as competent as before, if a little boring. And the new-generation sedan retains that basic thrift and utility, but not every Elantra driver longs for a life of numbing okay-ness.

That’s where the N Line comes in. Read More >

By on July 8, 2020

gm

The seemingly cursed mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette, aka the C8, probably spends its nights dreaming of clear skies and a vaccine. Early development problems, a lengthy strike, a deferred production start, then a pandemic-prompted production shutdown all conspired to make for a hellish entry into the world for the new-generation 2020 ‘Vette.

For 2021, the entry-level Stingray model doesn’t try anything wild, maintaining its entry price while adding a few things buyers might like… and one thing no one asked for. Read More >

By on July 8, 2020

mazda

Mazda appears to have embraced a two-pronged strategy to generate interest in its redesigned-for-2019 3 hatchback and sedan. For the coming model year, the automaker plans to add two engines to the lineup — one a potent, uplevel offering designed to give enthusiasts the oomph they so desire; the other, a returning cast member that never went away north of the border.

After this latest move, Mazda may well be out of options for luring eyes and wallets. Read More >

By on July 8, 2020

2017 Chevrolet Sonic

This was a long time coming. In fact, Wednesday’s announcement of the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact was expected to arrive by the end of last year, not halfway through the present one.

Regardless, the small hatchback and sedan that greeted buyers near the outset of the 2010s will not last more than a year into the 2020s. It’s dead come October.

Sad? Read More >

By on July 8, 2020

Following the triumph that was Audi’s all-electric e-tron utility (the automaker doesn’t believe in uppercase letters), the brand developed a Sportback version for 2020 that sacrificed interior volume for a fastback roofline. The manufacturer describes it as “coiled yet poised, the stylized potential of the e-tron Sportback is clear from any angle — it’s designed to attract, electrify and generate envy of ownership,” making us cringe at the sheer magnitude of its pomposity. Based on the sales record of e-tron models, we may not be alone in feeling that way.

While plenty of outlets praised the model for its luxurious ride and upscale interior with lavish technical inclusions, we’ve come down hard on its production troubles and lackluster range. That’s likely the result of us mistakenly thinking cars should be broadly useful, especially SUVs and crossovers. But we’re also hyper-critical grumps and Audi also failed to deliver on the one item that set these cars apart from their internal combustion counterparts — the battery. Our hope was that the formula would be improved for the brand’s next EV, and that does seem to have happened.

Audi just debuted the Q4 Sportback e-tron Concept to complement the Q4 EV that appeared at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

Read More >

By on July 7, 2020

Tata Motors has been hunting for a new CEO at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), and new reports claim the search is narrowing in scope. At the start of 2020, the company announced that Ralf Speth would step down as chief executive in September, and that the quest for his replacement had begun — though it technically began in 2019.

We’ve since learned he will stick around as non-executive vice-chairman of JLR and supervise the transition of leadership, with details now emerging about his likely successor. It’s a clever way of keeping him around as he ages into retirement at 65 years, as per the parent company’s corporate policy.

According to the Financial Times, Tata has narrowed it down to three candidates. Internally, JLR seems as though it would like to promote its engineering lead, Nick Rogers. But former Audi CEO Bram Schot and BMW development boss Klaus Fröhlich are also under consideration, in addition to Fred Schulze — Audi’s product line manager at the Ingolstadt plant.  Read More >

By on July 7, 2020

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS in Wisconsin wrecking yard, RH rear view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Better clean up that spilled drink. It’s a safety hazard.

Yes, two low-end, Recession-era Chevrolets have been singled out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for an investigation, this one pertaining not to faulty ignition switches (that’s all in the past), but the pooling of flammable liquid in areas where such things should not pool. Read More >

By on July 7, 2020

Harbor Freight

The Harbor Freight saga continues, with the company now issuing a recall of the jack stands meant to replace earlier jack stands recalled due to their collapse risk.

After calling back its 3- and 6-ton Pittsburgh brand stands, the tool company learned of a mechanic who did exactly as he was told, trading in his old, defective 3-ton stands for a new set. However, the new stands couldn’t handle the weight of a Volkswagen Golf. So here we are. Read More >

By on July 7, 2020

Volkswagen Group appears to have completed the terms laid out by the U.S. Department of Justice after it decided the automaker required some oversight in the wake of the 2015 emissions fiasco (colloquially known as Dieselgate). VW was found guilty of equipping certain models with emissions-cheating software that would allow the car to run cleaner under testing conditions (passing regulations) and dirtier, with better performance, the rest of the time.

The con was brilliant and allowed VW to fool regulators for years until it all blew up in its face. Getting caught in the United States kicked off a chain reaction that cost the automaker a fortune globally. In May, VW estimated it had spent €31.3 billion ($34.40 billion USD) in fines and settlements and fines globally — adding that it expects to bleed another €4.1 billion through 2021. But the company was certainly happy to announce on Monday that it had adhered to settlement deal it reached with the Department of Justice and California’s Attorney General.  Read More >

Recent Comments

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