Over the weekend, your author happened upon a rural Ford dealership seemingly frozen in time, still using signage from past decades and proudly eschewing whatever cold corporate design is currently being foisted upon dealer principals by The Suits in Dearborn. It was neat to see a store embrace its heritage.
Not all are so lucky, such as a San Antonio Hyundai dealer who is currently removing what many are describing as a local landmark. Why? According to the dealer group’s head of marketing, it’s not part of the “Hyundai experience.”
Diesel engines are great at a lot of things, but many automakers are dropping oil burners as they transition to electrification. Ford cut the option from its F-150 line over a year ago, and Jeep removed diesels from its Wrangler lineup heading into 2024. Now, it’s the Jeep Gladiator’s turn, and the automaker recently announced plans to remove the diesel option from the truck’s configuration list after a final FarOut special edition model.
Build Your Dreams, or BYD, is likely one of the largest companies you’ve never heard of. The Chinese giant is one of the world’s busiest EV automakers, with almost 1.9 million units manufactured in 2022. Though enormous, BYD isn’t satisfied with dominating its home market and wants the rest of the Chinese electric auto industry to come with it.
Self-driving vehicles have become a contentious issue in San Francisco. The city currently serves as a public testing ground for over 500 autonomous cars being fielded by Alphabet’s Waymo and General Motors’ Cruise. But local residents have been losing patience with the vehicles, with numerous reports that they’ve been misbehaving in traffic.
While public complaints seemed to be endangering the companies’ ability to expand operations, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted 3-to-1 on Thursday to do just that. This opens the door to allow Waymo to begin charging for autonomous taxi services, something Cruise was already doing there, and accelerate their respective AV programs within California.
Electric vehicles are heavy, there’s no way around it, but the debate over the consequences of that heft is far from over. Some believe EVs will destroy our roads, and most safety experts agree that being hit by an EV can yield deadly results. Volkswagen, busy gearing up to release its long-awaited ID. Buzz retro electric van in the United States, is having cold feet over the weight of the Euro version of the vehicle, which can far exceed three tons with people and gear. The automaker is reportedly delaying the van over concerns that its laden weight could exceed the standard European driver’s license limits, requiring potential owners to get a commercial license.
Many manufacturers are busy running in the opposite direction from small, affordable cars, but there remain a few which are willing to play in this low(er) margin arena. Kia is one of them, with cars like the Rio and Forte – and it may be re-upping the latter in our market later this year.
Those who follow the automotive industry will have undoubtedly noticed that dealer inventories are slowly approaching levels that would have been considered normal before the pandemic. While this is presumably good news for people who have absolutely had it with dealerships marking up their products, some are growing concerned by how much electric vehicle inventories are outpacing their gasoline-reliant counterparts.
Despite elevated fuel prices, aggressive marketing, and most companies vowing to transition toward building electrified automobiles exclusively, America has an EV supply of more than 100 days on dealer lots. That’s about double the average for gasoline vehicles. While it would seem that people are losing interest in battery-driven automobiles, industry experts are claiming that all is not as it seems.
There are Cadillacs, and then there’s the Escalade. The hulking luxury family hauler has been around since the late 1990s and has become a showcase for the automaker’s technology and design prowess, but GM is going electric, and a three-ton V8-powered SUV doesn’t fit with that vision. Of course, Cadillac couldn’t just drop the Escalade, so it’s going electric with the 2025 Escalade IQ, an impressive and expensive EV that looks every bit as deluxe as its liquid dinosaur-guzzling counterparts.
Ford is now four years deep into an alarming lawsuit that highlights alleged sexual harassment and what the plaintiff described as a very hostile workplace. The Detroit News reported that DeAnna Johnson filed the suit over her experience working at Ford’s Dearborn Truck plant, and the details are disturbing, to say the least.
Before connected vehicles had become ubiquitous, numerous companies suggested that they would be networked into roadway infrastructure to improve safety and decrease traffic congestion. The concept even became a keystone issue for lobbyists trying to convince lawmakers to create regulations favorable to autonomous cars.
But it never manifested due to just how ambitious the overarching concept happened to be. The relevant technologies were still in their infancy and would require years of collaboration between multiple industries and various government agencies before anything got off the ground. However, things are reportedly starting to change. Pilot programs are being implemented on public streets, companies are working on the necessary hardware, and the U.S. government is asking for more with cash in hand.
General Motors recently announced plans to enable bi-directional charging in its new EVs starting in 2026, but the automaker snuck a hint into the end of that announcement that is worth unpacking. GM released a video with its announcement to highlight the feature, and at the end, text appears that says the tech will be available with “New Ultium-Based Coupes.”
On Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed that it would be investigating over one million Ram 1500 pickup trucks over complaints about power steering issues.
While the conditions for a regulator-enforced recall have not yet been satisfied, Stellantis may institute a voluntary recall of its own before regulators have completed their probe. In 2016, the automaker recalled a batch of 1500 pickups when it was still Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) over contaminated power steering units. Debris has apparently entered the system, creating a possibility of an electrical short.
General Motors has an exciting few years ahead of it, as the automaker plans several new EVs before the end of the decade. Starting in 2026, GM’s electric vehicles will offer a clever bi-directional charging function that allows them to act as backup home generators or emergency EV chargers for other drivers.
When Russia invaded Ukraine and governments around the world began systematically cutting financial ties with the Putin-led government, companies quickly followed suit. McDonald’s famously moved out, and other international firms did the same, wanting to avoid being seen as doing business with an abusive Russian government. Now, it appears that at least one American company could still be working with Russia, as a report from PBS points to Haas Automation’s ties to the country.
It would seem our musings – and the musings of many other outlets, to be fair – regarding the future of Nissan’s entry in the full-size pickup truck segment were right on the money. The company has confirmed they plan to wind down production of the Titan after this model year.
Dodge has been quite loud with its proclamations that this year’s “Last Call” Challenger and Charger models would really be the final round, but it appears that’s not entirely the case. Users on the Hellcat owner’s forum discovered that Dodge handed out as many as 25 ultra-exclusive Demon 170 Jailbreak models with exclusive colors to celebrities and select customers.
Word has it that Mercedes-AMG is mulling over how best to bring back V8 power to the C and E-Class. While the performance unit downsized its powertrains in a bid to be more emissions compliant, fans pointed out that AMG had long been synonymous with under-stressed and over-engineered V8s making enough power to burn through a set of tires in a single outing.
The shift ended up being a bit of a scandal and one that left a sour taste in the mouth of the people that would actually buy AMG-branded products — which may explain the claimed change of heart.
Toyota’s got a lot going on, from the shockingly good-looking new Prius in 2023 to a fresh Tacoma pickup and Land Cruiser SUV next year. On top of that, Automotive News recently reported that the automaker has several other new models on the way, starting with a Crown Crossover and an electric three-row family hauler.
Hyundai and Kia are among the most talked-about automakers on the planet. The duo’s new electric models are exciting and feature styling that makes them look ripped straight from a sci-fi film. Their growth has been impressive, but the news isn’t always positive. The automakers recently recalled more than 91,000 vehicles for an issue that could cause an oil pump fire.
A few days ago, we brought you news of the entry-level Blazer EV vanishing off the order sheet, a development caught by eagle-eyed fans and confirmed by General Motors. Now, the gearheads at Automotive News have learned the trim has been permanently deep-sixed for the 2024 model year.
Subaru Motorsports has revealed its entrant for the Open 4WD class of the American Rally Association (ARA) Championship. The vehicle is simply being called the “WRX Rally Car” and it’s a painful reminder that enthusiasts haven’t been afforded a hardcore variant of the platform. The ARA racer is effectively what the mind conjures up when trying to imagine a modern WRX STI — a model the fans expected but Subaru elected not to build.
Styling for the upcoming Acura ZDX was hewn at the brand’s design studio in SoCal, making the annual soirée at Monterey a logical location for its unveiling.
And if you’re wondering why our hero shot is so grainy, it’s because we brightened the image for ya in order to see more detail.
There has been loads of speculation about what the United Automobile Workers would be asking for during this year’s contract negotiations, with the assumption being that demands would be fairly lofty. Much of this was fueled by statements made by UAW leadership, especially those coming from President Shawn Fain.
Following its massive corruption scandal, union members sought a change in management and Fain is eager to prove himself as on the side of workers. He’s taken a more-adversarial approach to the industry than his predecessors and has promised to make up for ground lost over the last few decades. While demands were initially left vague, the UAW has since shared a series of specific proposals to be brought forward during contract negotiations with Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. Compared to the standards we’ve become accustomed to, they are indeed lofty.
Volvo Cars is suspending sedan sales in the United Kingdom and it looks like North America could be next if we consider the brand’s rationale. The company has said its sales volume has skewed so heavily toward SUVs and crossovers that it doesn’t make good sense to offer anything else.
Volkswagen stopped selling the standard Golf here a few years back, leaving only the GTI and Golf R to carry the hatchback torch in the United States. Though impressive, the current eighth-generation models are not going to make it through the transition to electrification, but a newfound patent application suggests the cars could be reborn as electric models down the road.
Toyota and Subaru have partnered on a few vehicles in recent times, including the BRZ/GR 86 and bZ4X/Solterra twins. The brotherly love is expected to continue with a new three-row SUV in 2025. Toyota will build the vehicle in its Kentucky factory, where its own electric three-row will be produced.
The General is set to launch several new electric vehicles this year, including the Blazer EV. When the model was first announced, it was indicated there would be an entry-level trim called the 1LT checking in at around $45,000. Fresh information tells us that’s no longer the case, at least for now.
As automakers convert their gas vehicle lineups to electric models, it’s not surprising that the big, thirsty engines are among the first to go. Ford, a pioneer of V8 engines and muscle cars, is certainly no exception, but the automaker’s executives aren’t giving up on displacement just yet.
With dealer lots starting to fill back up with product after years of lean inventories that encouraged salespeople to ask for absolutely ludicrous prices, the Federal Reserve has found that lenders are declining would-be borrowers at a record-setting pace.
The reasons for this are many. Annual percentage rates have come up, requiring consumers to pay more money over time that lenders just aren’t certain they’ll see a return on. More people are also defaulting on loans across the board and inflationary pressures are poised to make the issue worse since the dollar just doesn’t go as far as it used to.
The Mazda MX-30 EV will be pulled from the U.S. market after 2023, with the manufacturer stating its preference to prioritize hybrid models. While the small crossover will live on in other parts of the world with a rotary range extender, mimicking what BMW did with the i3 with some Mazda-specific flair, the company’s first all-electric vehicle seems to have been a flop in North America.
A group of gearheads from Down Under have apparently set a new world record for driving a car underwater, taking a specially prepped old-school Land Cruiser about 7 kilometers (approximately 4.5 miles) across the floor of Darwin Harbour.
After emerging from the briny deep, one onlooker told the team to “drive this thing straight to the pub.” It doesn’t get more Oz than that.
Parking brakes can be very useful, but only in limited situations and when the driver intends to use them. Unexpectedly engaging the parking brake while the vehicle is moving can cause a loss of control and cause the vehicle to crash. Ford recently issued a recall for several hundred thousand F-150 pickup trucks for an issue that could cause their parking brakes to engage while driving.
Hyundai’s EVs are some of the most buzzed-about models on sale today, but it appears not everyone is happy with the ownership experience. The Drive recently reported that the automaker’s facing a class-action suit from owners who say their EVs’ charging ports can overheat and prevent the vehicle from getting a full charge.
Ford is all-in on EVs, but The Blue Oval is finding that there are still plenty of buyers wanting fuel-efficient gas vehicles. That’s why CEO Jim Farley announced that his company would come up with a range of new hybrid models over the next few years as it continues its march toward electrification.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will soon release its proposal to increase Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) requirements and General Motors has signaled its concerns regarding how much more money it will cost the automotive industry. GM is estimating that the new rules could result in manufacturers paying $100-300 billion in emission fines between 2027 and 2031.
However, the Biden administration has reportedly said it’s highly dependent on which plan is implemented — suggesting industry penalties would vary heavily between companies and average out to be far lower than GM has claimed.
On Wednesday, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares suggested that Tesla’s profitability was on the decline due to the automaker having to confront some of the issues of a legacy manufacturer.
"They are entering my world, the world of tight pricing, cost competitiveness, and the operational issues that a big company like ours may face," Tavares told the press during a presentation of Stellantis’ half-year financial report.
Since everyone loves a little industrial drama, the statement became national news. But is Tesla really on the decline because it’s finally on the level of other multinational automakers or is Tavares just coping?
The UK-based wheel specialist from Dymag and composites wizards from Korea's Hankuk Carbon have announced the development of a line of hybrid carbon-fiber wheels for Hyundai’s N cars.
A prototype of the new N Performance carbon hybrid wheels were showcased at the Hyundai stand at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed alongside the spicy and all-electric Ioniq 5 N. Based on statements from Dymag, it may be the first model to receive them.
Kia’s SUVs are surprisingly premium and well equipped for the price, and the automaker has had great success with its Telluride three-row. The long-running Sorento is due for a facelift after a few years on sale in its current form, and it appears it’s getting one – at least in South Korea.
It will surprise precisely zero of our readers to learn that some carmakers apply optimistic range estimates to their electric vehicles. Prior to EVs taking the stage, it also wasn’t uncommon – especially prior to changes in methods at the EPA – for cars with internal combustion powertrains to bear outsized fuel economy ratings thanks to twisted testing protocols.
The 2024 Mitsubishi Triton has made its global debut and everyone is already talking about how the midsize pickup might perform in our truck-heavy market. Though it could be argued that the vehicle was never intended to accommodate our needs and therefore has no business coming here.
Assembly of the Triton (also known as the L200) has been focused on Thailand and Brazil for over a decade because those are its most important markets. That was kept in mind when developing the new model, as it comes with a 2.4-liter diesel engine and drum brakes at the rear.
If you want to add what Tesla calls full self-driving capability (FSD) to one of its new vehicles, you’re looking at up to $15,000 on top of the price of a new model. In an effort to juice sales this quarter, the automaker is letting existing FSD customers transfer their services to a new model, but only in the next couple of months.
Tesla’s Supercharger network seems to have taken over the world, with several major automakers recently announcing a shift to the standard in the coming years. However, that hasn’t stopped many others from banding together to form their own charging network, including some who signed on with Tesla.
With reports of Toyota developing a turbocharged version of the GR86, many are wondering when Mazda is going to release a boosted variant of the MX-5. Toyota’s coupe already delivers a smidgen more oomph and so does the Subaru BRZ. So it seems plausible that the Miata might see a bump in power to remain competitive.
However, Mazda doesn’t seem to think there’s any need and has suggested that chasing power would risk spoiling the model’s sublime balance.
If there’s one thing at which Stellantis excels, besides stuffing the largest engine they can find into most of their models, it’s the creation of endless special editions to create a bit of buzz. This time, the subjects need no further promotion – but they’re getting it anyway.
Canada’s Unifor is slated to negotiate terms with Stellantis, General Motors, and the Ford Motor Company starting next month. But it appears to be taking a softer approach than what we’ve been seeing from its counterpart in the United States.
The UAW has been promising to play hardball with automakers in an effort to regain lost ground stemming back to the early 2000s. It’s going into contract negotiations with an adversarial tone and has said it would withhold support of any politician that refused to support its demands. But Unifor seems to be taking up a more cordial tone.
If you’re a child of the 1970s and 80s, there’s almost nothing more nostalgic than faded rainbow-colored graphics on cars and old t-shirts. Ford seemed to know this at the time, offering a Free Wheeling package for several models, including the Bronco. The automaker is back at it heading into 2024, as it recently announced a new package for the Bronco Sport.
With General Motors plowing full-speed ahead toward electrification, there are bound to be a few vehicles that don’t make the transition. Chevy’s long-running EVs, the Bolt and Bolt EUV, were two names not expected to make the jump, but the automaker recently announced a new Bolt variant.
When Apple's next operating system drops later this year, it’s supposed to include a feature that will help drivers decipher what those little symbols on the dashboard mean. While unlikely to offer the same amount of information as an OBD-II scanner, iOS 17 will come with an improved version of Visual Look Up. The new system offers users help when they can’t figure out what the warning light displaying the little oil can is trying to convey.
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- Tassos The EQS is the best looking BEV, better than even the only Tesla I would ever consider (the S) and more luxurious inside etc etcThe self driving features will come in handy when I'm 110 and my eyesight and reaction times start to suffer.But that's four decades away, and only Tim recommends 40 year old "used cars"
- Tassos "Baby, Baby light my fire!""Oh God please give me a Kia Forte" --Janis Joplin
- Tassos The fugly looks of any Subaru, and especially the non-sporty non-elegant, fugly, low-rent looks and interior of the WRX are alone a sufficient turnoff to never want to own one.One can be a 100% car enthusiast but ALSO demand a beautiful AND luxurious vehicle one can be truly proud of and which makes one very happy every time one drives it.The above is obviously totally foreign to Subaru Designers and managers.
- Thehyundaigarage Am I the only one that sees a Peugeot 508?
- Lou_BC I realized it wasn't EV's burning by the absence of the usual suspects.