Tag: america

By on June 4, 2019

2019 Ram 1500 eTorque

Running a car company is hard, in case you haven’t noticed. It gets even more difficult when various and sundry world events conspire to create a jittery public or wonky cost structures. Toss in a pinch of interest rate paranoia and you’ve the perfect recipe for a very challenging industry.

Last month, sales of light vehicles in America was roughly flat compared to the same time period one year ago. This would normally not be cause for much celebration but, against a backdrop of a disastrous April, it is almost worth breaking out a case of the good stuff.

(Read More…)

By on April 2, 2019

2019 Ram Power Wagon

Talking heads have been warning for days that the auto industry should prepare itself for a rougher than usual ride in 2019, speculating that sales for the first quarter would be softer than what we’ve seen in past years.

This proved to be true, as players such as the Detroit Three, Nissan, Toyota, and Mazda all conspired to drag the industry down by just over three percent compared to this time last year. Fortunes were better at places like Kia, Hyundai, and Honda, each of whom recorded jumps in volume – two of them quite healthy.

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By on February 1, 2019

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon

The long slog that is January provided a mixed bag of sales results for America’s automakers, with some enjoying the fruits of their new products while others stared down the barrel of red ink as they tried to kick their fleet habit. Frightening and frigid weather patterns didn’t help anyone, either.

Talking heads are expecting this calendar year to be the first since 2014 in which total vehicle sales in America drop below 17 million units. While it seems a bit early to sound that alarm, it cannot be denied that some companies have already dug themselves a big hole.

(Read More…)

By on January 30, 2019

2019 Dodge Durango SXT

America. It’s generally thought of as the country where everything is bigger and customers get a lot more for a lot less. Take the price of fuel, for example, or the portions at any all-you-can-eat buffet.

Viewed in that light, this base model Durango should have an American flag on the hood and pictures of bald eagles stitched into the seats. This is a lot of truck for less than $30,000.

(Read More…)

By on November 1, 2018

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon

More mainstream brands saw year-over-year rises in sales volume last month than those who endured a sojourn into the red. It will surprise exactly no one to learn those who did earn sales growth largely did so on the backs of trucks, SUVs, and crossovers.

Nowhere was this more apparent than at Genesis, a brand peddling some excellent cars but – for the moment – completely bereft of an offering in America’s hottest segment. Fiat Chrysler, on the other hand, had a particularly strong October thanks to its top-heaviness in each of those markets.

(Read More…)

By on October 2, 2018

2019 Ram 1500 eTorque

Dealerships across America were awash in red last month, both from the ink spilling across financial ledgers and the anger emitting from corner offices. Just about every marque was off in September and not by insignificant amounts. This can be blamed on a number of factors, not the least of which was last year’s pent up demand after a devastating Hurricane Harvey and this year’s Hurricane Florence having the opposite effect.

One ray of sunshine? Fiat Chrysler, which finally got its Ram production in gear and started delivering snazzy new pickup to eager customers in a big way. Of course, having the perpetually strong-selling Jeep brand on the books didn’t hurt, either.

(Read More…)

By on August 1, 2018

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara

Major manufacturers saw their fortunes take a dip in July, with red ink spilling across the page like an airport departures board during a snowstorm.

More than ever, sales performance seems tied to the number of crossovers and SUVs available at a given OEM. Sedan heavy marques are taking a beating. Even Ford’s strong selling truck line could not drag the company’s results into the black, thanks to a tanking of sedan sales.

(Read More…)

By on July 3, 2018

Midsize trucks - Images: Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM

A sea of green greets execs at major automakers this morning, providing a feeling of relief not unlike that of a weary travelling viewing the flight board at JFK where all flights read “On Time.” Come to think of it, that example is surely one of fiction. Anyway…

Unsurprisingly, light trucks and SUVs are the main reason for industry gains, driven by insatiable consumer thirst for tall wagons and vehicles with a pickup bed. This is a familiar refrain in an industry that is up nearly two percent so far this year.

(Read More…)

By on March 1, 2018

2015 Escalade/Escalade ESV

With only 24 selling days in which to make a buck in February, the nation’s automakers found themselves staring down the tunnel of a short month. In many parts of the country, the weather at this time of year doesn’t help matters, either.

Most major OEMs saw fewer machines wend their way off dealer lots, with a few notable exceptions.

(Read More…)

By on February 12, 2018

Ford Ranger Raptor

Reno, Rochester, Roswell … take your pick to complete the alliteration puzzle above. Whichever one you choose, it’s a safe bet that the Ford Raptor Ranger will be plying its roads at some point in the future. We think. Maybe.

Last week, the Blue Oval dropped a Raptorized version of its Ranger at an event in Thailand. At the time, Ford remained mum about the truck’s chances of showing up on American soil. Now, thanks to a Glass House engineer’s conversation with Australia’s Drive, we have a bit more confidence in saying the Ranger Raptor will be sold in the United States.

(Read More…)

By on January 18, 2018

peugeot-308gti-

At Wednesday’s Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, Peugeot SA Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said the French automaker is picking the brains of former Opel engineers to develop vehicles for re-entry into U.S. market. In keeping with current trends, he also said Peugeot will offer electrification as an option on all its vehicles by 2025.

With plans to use the 2017 acquisition of GM’s European Opel and Vauxhall operations as the springboard for global expansion, Americans could eventually find themselves once again experiencing the Gallic delights of French motoring.

(Read More…)

By on January 5, 2018

2018 Accord, Image: Honda

Actually, I don’t feel fine. Far from it, in fact. Ever since I can remember, there has been a three-box sedan in my family’s driveway — both before and after I was old enough to buy by own vehicles. Midsize sedans used to be the default choice for most families in my hardscrabble hometown, parked cheek-to-jowl with rusty pickups at the local grocery store.

Now, our inky-black Charger is the exception rather than the rule in the school drop-off queue. Save for a CTS next door and a Mazda 3 down the street, we’re about the only household around with a sedan in the drive. The midsize four-door is in a bad way.

(Read More…)

By on February 10, 2017

2016 Fiat Toro

Ralph Gilles, global design head for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, just loves the little Fiat Toro pickup. He can’t get enough of it.

Unfortunately for FCA, and especially the Fiat brand, Americans certainly can say “no” to FCA models adorned with a classic Italian badge. Fiat, which returned to these shores just six short years ago, is floundering in North America, so ears perked up in Chicago yesterday when Gilles seemed to imply the brand might introduce a life-saving model into the U.S. market.

Alas, the company appears to have no intention of trying something desperate to stop the sales bleeding. (Read More…)

By on September 22, 2015

Michael Horn 51nbsp President und CEO der Volkswagen Group of America ab 1 Januar 2014Michael Horn, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, didn’t mince words last night during Volkswagen’s launch of the 2016 Passat midsize sedan, according to Automotive News.

At the vehicle launch in Brooklyn on Monday night, the executive said, “Our company was dishonest with the EPA, and the California Air Resources Board and with all of you. And in my German words: We have totally screwed up. We must fix the cars to prevent this from ever happening again and we have to make this right. This kind of behavior is totally inconsistent with our qualities.”

Volkswagen has opened themselves up to $18 billion in fines in the United States alone. Additional fines could be levied if the group’s 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine is also found not to comply with EPA emissions regulations.

By on August 24, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang Exterior-010

2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium

5.0-liter, DOHC V-8, CVVT (435 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm; 400 lbs-ft @ 4,240 rpm)

6-speed Getrag MT82 manual

15 city/25 highway/19 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

18.2 mpg (Observed, MPG)

Tested Options: GT Premium Trim, Ruby Red Paint, 401A Package, Performance Package, Adaptive Cruise Control, Navigation, Recaro Seats

Base Price:
$30,875*
As Tested:

$45,470*

* All prices include $900 destination charge.

Ford’s Mustang is as American as the hot dog and KFC Double Down, but for 2015 it received an internationally-focused makeover. Since 1964, the Mustang has been the place to find a large V8, a manual transmission and a solid rear axle. That solid axle has been a point of contention for foreign auto journalists who frequently compared the Ford’s handling to a pickup truck, and decried the GT as a one-trick pony: the car that was excellent in a straight line at a drag strip — and that was about it. That’s a problem when Ford’s new mission is greater harmony in their lineup worldwide.

While 2015 retains the large V8 engine, manual transmission and rear wheel drive we’ve all come to know and love, it brings the first completely independent suspension to every Mustang in over 50 years. Also big news for 2015 is the resurrection of a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, something we haven’t seen since the Fox body Mustang of the early 1990s. In a nod to our friends in Old Blighty, a factory-made right hand drive model is also in the works. All of these changes are because this Mustang is suddenly thrust into a much bigger pool of competitors.

Can Ford teach this pony some new tricks to compensate?

(Read More…)

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