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By on July 1, 2020

Everyone’s doing it, and now it seems Subaru has joined the maddening crowd of sales reporting conformity.

Not long ago, Subaru, like most every other automaker, reported its sales totals on a monthly basis. And why wouldn’t it? The previous decade saw the brand’s popularity expand massively in the U.S., with volume up not on an annual basis, but on a monthly, year-over-year basis. It pulled off the latter feat 93 consecutive times.

Alas, times change. Read More >

By on June 30, 2020

kia

The name Americans have come to associate with Kia’s midsize family sedan is dead, but you probably knew that already. Hopefully you’ve recovered.

On Tuesday, Kia pulled the wraps off the U.S.-market K5, the automaker’s replacement for the long-running Optima (which carried the Magentis name in Canada until 2010). Riding atop a third-generation N3 platform, the midsizer grows in length, wheelbase, and width, while slouching closer to the road.

For the coming model year, Kia also saw fit to equip the newly renamed model with a more potent uplevel engine and all-wheel drive, but the liftback you might think exists behind the backseat is all in your head. Read More >

By on June 30, 2020

Early adopters willing to toss cash at an exciting idea have been the lifeblood of modern-day electric vehicles. Without investors believing in Tesla and cramming its sweet cheeks full of cash, it never would have gotten to a point where it could actually manufacture cars. The same is true for the thousands of people dropping deposits on vehicles that have yet to be produced, let alone tested by the community.

It’s time to do the same for American hybrid truck designer Nikola, true believers. The all-electric startup is now accepting deposits on its prospective pickup truck. Due to arrive in a few years, the unit currently has no prototype. Under normal circumstances, we’d continue ribbing the company via monthly updates until it dissolves like Faraday Future. But its ludicrous market valuation seems to indicate that the hype is very real, even if the same cannot be said about its products.  Read More >

By on June 30, 2020

If you detected a whiff of sarcasm in that headline, your nose wasn’t off. Yes, style and beauty is entirely subjective, but the range-topping Bentley Bentayga has never found itself at the top of any writer’s sexiest-dressed list.

And that’s okay! It’s big, it’s bold, and it sells, so Bentley naturally loves anything that generates profits in a market quickly shying away from traditional body styles. Still, better is always possible, so the marque took the Bentayga to the plastic surgeon. Read More >

By on June 30, 2020

Uber Technologies is reportedly in negotiations to acquire Postmates, specifically for the purpose of incorporating the brand’s food-delivery services into Uber Eats and cashing in government lockdowns that look to ensure 2020 remains a perfectly dismal year.

Our collective loss may end up being Uber’s gain, however.

With constraints easing in most regions, ridership is slowly creeping back up. That will undoubtedly continue as risk-adverse urbanites choose to avoid the subway and bus lines for months to come.

Meanwhile, new restrictions on dining establishments are effectively forcing delivery services to become an umbilical cord between restauranteurs and their customers. Now is the perfect time to get a bead on the market and make moves, ensuring your place as the all-important middle man.  Read More >

By on June 30, 2020

Chinese electric car startup Byton will reportedly idle production next month as it attempts to reorganize itself. While the coronavirus emerged as a villain in this play, the issues confronting Byton actually seem pretty dire. The company isn’t just idling factories to address a health crisis, it’s shutting things down for six months while it engages in more fundraising and tries to pay what’s owed to employees.

That’ll be tough with no normal income. Byton has already furloughed a large portion of its staff in California and plans to cease all production in Nanjing. While we knew the PRC’s approach to electrification would ultimately result in countless EV startups going under, we didn’t expect Byton to be among them. Slick products, good marketing, and interesting designs made it seem like it could go the distance — now it seems wholly preoccupied with survival. Read More >

By on June 30, 2020

Nascar fans. Grindstone Media Group/Shutterstock.com

A while back, I penned a piece describing my mixed feelings about NASCAR running without fans during the pandemic.

Now, a few weeks on, I have a bit more clarity.

I was worried that even with NASCAR’s safety protocols in place, the coronavirus might spread among crew. I was also worried about contact between the safety crews and a driver after a crash that could lead to virus spread (this worry didn’t make the final edit).

Read More >

By on June 30, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reportedly cracking the whip again, spurring his company’s workforce into a frenzy of car-building as the end of the second quarter looms.

After posting a surprising first-quarter profit in early April, Tesla warned that the full weight of the coronavirus pandemic — and related lockdowns and sales implosion — would land on its balance sheet in Q2. To keep investor enthusiasm alive, the push is on to make those numbers as rosy as possible. Read More >

By on June 30, 2020

Rolls Royce Cullinan

We’ve covered how mainstream automakers rose to the coronavirus challenge ad nauseum, but what about companies whose customers dream of rich mahogany and yachting off Cannes all night?

Well, just like a Silicon Valley tech mogul, Rolls-Royce spent these past few months reflecting, peering deep within its soul, all to learn how to become a better friend to its clients. Apparently, “post-opulence” is now a thing. Read More >

By on June 30, 2020

ford

If you’re in the market for a midsize pickup and possess an irresistible urge to tackle the worst terrain you can find, chances are the most rugged variants of Chevy’s Colorado and Toyota’s Tacoma top your list of maybes. Ford would like a word.

The Ranger didn’t enter the segment with the brawniest hardware in tow, but the passage of time has a way of correcting mistakes (if you want to look at it that way). On Tuesday, the Blue Oval debuted a trio of packages designed to deliver more off-road capability — and even power. Raptor Lite? Read More >

By on June 30, 2020

Ford

Like the server who came to your table that one time, Ford’s 2021 F-150 boasts many appealing attributes — so many, in fact, it may have you thinking about ditching your current ride for a new one.

Evolutionary on the outside and innovative within, the next-gen pickup offers owners ample space for both sleeping and work. It’s the latter feature we’re discussing today, as it seems Ford had a simple solution to its table problem all along. Read More >

By on June 29, 2020

ford

On the same day that it encouraged fans to follow it on Instagram for sexy Bronco teasing, Ford Motor Company announced it will pull advertising from all social media platforms for a period of 30 days.

As you read here roughly nine minutes ago, Ford’s move comes after Honda did exactly the same. The automakers, among a number of other companies, aim to pressure big social media companies to root out and erase or ban hate speech — which can be a very nebulous term, depending on who’s using it. Read More >

By on June 29, 2020

nissan

I’m your man, Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida told shareholders at an annual meeting Monday, promising to take a pay cut while firming up the fiscal foundations of an automaker that was floundering even before the pandemic hit.

Nissan rolled out a very different kind of four-year plan in late May. Cost-cutting and consolidation is the name of the game going forward, but shareholders often want more assurance than a blueprint can provide. Read More >

By on June 29, 2020

American Honda has joined a cadre of sizable brands opting to pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram in order to “stand with with people united against hate and racism.” It’s part of a broader campaign, called #StopHateforProfit, in which activists push brands to boycott social media giants until they enact stricter regulations about what constitutes actionable language that should be censored/penalized.

Over the last few days, we’ve seen numerous companies adopt the increasingly popular campaign, yet the reasons for doing so seem as varied as their individual terms and conditions. Multinational consumer goods company Unilever said it will scrap all social media advertising for the remainder of 2020 in the United States. While most attribute this primarily to hate-speech concerns, the company also noted that the contentious political climate on those platforms (including Twitter) having become undesirable for its own advertising purposes. Coca-Cola is similarly pausing social media spending for a few weeks, it’s made it clear that it’s not joining the official boycott, despite claims to the contrary in the news.

While Honda’s involvement in the movement is a little easier to follow, there are still a few twist and turns. Read More >

By on June 29, 2020

Well, that’s it, then. Is the traditional auto show dead? The tombstone has yet to be erected, but Monday’s cancellation of the 2021 Geneva International Motor Show, coming on the heels of so many cancellations in 2020, certainly makes it feel as if, somewhere, an epitaph’s being chiseled on a monument.

The planned 2020 Geneva event was the first international trade show cancelled this year (at the 11th hour, it should be noted) as the coronavirus spread north from a Northern Italy hot spot, heralding a slew of cancellations to follow. New York, a month later, then Detroit in June. China and Germany.

And now Geneva again. Read More >

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