Tag: Overseas

By on April 12, 2019

Image: Geely

The ever busy Geely Auto Group unveiled both a car and a brand on Thursday, lifting the sheets off the first model sold under the Chinese auto giant’s Geometry brand — the Geometry A. Efficiency in naming seems to be part of Geely’s MO.

Positioned to capture low-priced electric vehicle buyers in China, Europe, and elsewhere, the all-electric brand’s first offering strives for “minimalistic elegance” … and big, big sales. Oh, and it comes in Standard Range and Long Range versions. Now, why does that sound familiar? (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2019

2018 Ford EcoSport - Image: Ford

The Blue Oval brand stands to seriously pare back its Russian presence, a new report claims, with two of the automaker’s three assembly plants rumored to close. Ford entered into a joint venture in the country in 2011, partnering with Russia’s Sollers. The two recently reached a new agreement, Sollers claims, but details remain scarce.

One person with knowledge of the pact claims Ford will cut its passenger car operations, leaving only its commercial vehicle business. More market share for the resurgent Lada, it seems. (Read More…)

By on March 20, 2019

GM

The pint-sized Buick Encore subcompact crossover came to China in 2012, and, judging by the photo directly above, the launch of an updated model in 2016 was a splashy affair, indeed.

Back in the days when General Motors was looking to rapidly grow its market share in the world’s largest car market, Chinese and American Encores shared the same underpinnings, engines, and (for the most part) bodies. That’s about to change, and now we have a glimpse of the 2020 Chinese-market Encore ahead of the launch of an American-market model.

Wanna bet the Chinese are getting the looker of the two? (Read More…)

By on March 12, 2019

After rising steadily for almost three decades, China’s end of the economic seesaw seemed to hit its maximum elevation early last year, thus kicking off a swift plunge. For foreign automakers hoping to cash in on a burgeoning middle class hungry for cars, lofty dreams were pared back.

New vehicle sales in the world’s most populous country fell for the first time in 28 years in 2018, and the first two months of 2019 show no change in the market’s downward trajectory. (Read More…)

By on March 7, 2019

Image: Subaru

A vehicle most American enthusiasts would want — or at least claim to want — has undergone an emergency operation. Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show, the revamped Subaru Levorg will no longer thrill buyers in entry-level form.

Counterintuitive? Definitely not, says Subaru. Apparently, the Levorg, which can best be described as a WRX wagon offered in two power flavors, scared buyers away. What else could Subaru do except lower its standard horsepower? (Read More…)

By on February 27, 2019

Image: Honda

Ahead of its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, Honda has revealed the prototype of its upcoming “urban electric vehicle” in full, providing tasty yet bittersweet catnip for eco-conscious American drivers who have neither the funds nor patience to hop aboard the Tesla train.

The e Prototype, a successor to the brand’s 2017 Urban EV concept, should give buyers a good sense of what they’re in for. European buyers, that is. Despite the considerable buzz generated by this car, it stands to remain well out of reach for North Americans. And, depending on your point of view, that’s a shame. (Read More…)

By on February 26, 2019

Image: VW

There’s a reason for the use of upper-case letters — the Volkswagen Jetta is still a car model sold in China, and a quite popular one at that, while JETTA is a new brand aimed at entry-level consumers in that mega market.

VW is an incredibly big deal in the world’s most car-hungry country, eating up a considerable share of China’s mainstream vehicle segments. The brand sold 3.11 million vehicles in China last year. However, its presence at the bottom end of the market isn’t quite as strong, and there remains many millions of Chinese who haven’t adopted the new way of life and picked up a car. That’s what JETTA’s for. (Read More…)

By on February 7, 2019

Image: Suzuki UK

(The following is an open letter from contributor Seth Parks, who, like many of us, holds a special fondness for the rugged little Suzuki Jimny – a vehicle available almost everywhere … except North America. We’ve added photos for your viewing pleasure.)

Dear Mr. Takuya Sato,

As EVP of Suzuki Motor of America, you are responsible for driving revenue and profitability growth. One arrow in your quiver of growth strategies is undoubtedly new products. And you are certainly aware of one of the newest and most exciting products in the Suzuki portfolio, the all new fourth-generation Jimny. Like many others, I suggest you bring the Jimny to America (most Americans know it as the Samurai).

However, unlike many others, I understand the challenges and am writing to offer a solution, albeit one based on a grossly oversimplified analysis. (Read More…)

By on November 9, 2018

Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co. continue to become more chummy with each passing day. They may even be on the cusp of sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

After signing a Memorandum of Understanding in June, executives are now hinting at widespread collaboration. Ford wants help in Europe and Latin America, areas awash in a sea of red. Volkswagen wants a piece of Ford’s self-driving technology, while the pair would work together on electric vehicles, according to recent reports. It’s worth noting that Ford, which has proven more open in discussing the matter, previously said nothing would be off the table if the two joined forces.

The most recent update concerns VW’s proposed investment in Ford’s self-driving partner, Argo AI. While both companies are dead set on a future of “electro mobility,” both fall short in critical areas.  (Read More…)

By on November 7, 2018

Image: VW

A new Volkswagen pickup for Brazil? Yawn. As much as small, cheap pickups turns this writer’s crank, the image that came to mind upon hearing news of this week’s São Paulo unveiling was a weird amalgam of the late Ford Courier and VW Fox.

Then I looked at pictures of the VW Tarok concept, which is said to almost exactly mirror the production vehicle bound for that market. My, my — what a fetching little truck. Sporting pretty much the exact same wheelbase of the Atlas and bearing a bed that extends in both directions, the MQB-platform vehicle is a versatile and stylish little unibody runabout.

Isn’t this pretty much what Hyundai has in mind for North America, assuming it pulls the trigger on the Santa Cruz? (Read More…)

By on October 29, 2018

Image: Kia Motors

A subcompact crossover will appear on U.S. shores next year, Kia claims, in order to create a new entry point below the Sportage. It’s also a vehicle consumers in India are eager to learn more about. Before you start calling it the Korean EcoSport, however, be aware that this is a new crossover, and U.S.-bound production will take place in South Korea, not the subcontinent.

While last year’s release of the Kia Stonic sparked assumptions that the diminutive utility vehicle would find its way here, that proved not to be the case. The new vehicle will be based on Kia’s SP Concept, which shares its mechanicals with the Indian-market Hyundai Creta, a name that inspires as many visions of a Greek island as it does actor Richard Crenna. (Read More…)

By on October 26, 2018

Ford Motor Company is engaged in hurried discussions with Volkswagen, with the German automaker seen as a sure-fire way to reverse falling fortunes in overseas markets. Ford needs help in Europe and Latin America, especially — a situation made clear in Thursday’s quarterly earnings report.

Since signing a Memorandum of Understanding with VW in June, the scope of Ford’s partnership has expanded from its initial focus on commercial vehicles. There was already room in the MOU’s wording for the two companies to go further. Now, it looks almost certain that passenger vehicles will become part of the plan. (Read More…)

By on October 25, 2018

China, Europe, and South America all conspired to sink Ford’s profits in the third quarter of 2018, with the automaker posting a 37 percent net income drop compared to the same quarter a year ago.

The earnings report came the same day Ford announced the creation of a standalone Chinese business unit, Ford China. Dismal overseas performance didn’t come as a shock, however, as these headwinds were also felt in previous quarters, albeit not as strongly. That hasn’t stopped a barrage of questions directed at CEO Jim Hackett over how he plans to build a successful operation outside of America’s borders. (Read More…)

By on October 24, 2018

Ford isn’t about to kiss off the barely tapped potential of the Chinese new vehicle market, so it’s throwing more effort into strengthening its efforts in that “developing” country. To better mine a market in which its sales sank 43 percent last month, the automaker has announced the creation of a standalone business unit: Ford China.

Overseeing the unit is a CEO poached from a Chinese automaker — a man who once spent 17 years working under the Blue Oval banner. (Read More…)

By on October 16, 2018

A big question mark hanging over the auto industry concerns the rate of electric vehicle adoption, but BMW — unlike some of its rivals — isn’t prone to wild predictions about the public’s enthusiasm for clean, green EVs.

Despite rolling out a global plan earlier this year for 25 plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles by 2025, the automaker knows customers won’t abandon their love of inline sixes and turbo fours just because a big battery batted its eyelashes. It’s keeping diesels around, too. Those other guys, the company’s R&D chief implies, just don’t know how to make them right. And politicians are being unfair.

As for EVs, too many people have unrealistic expectations, he adds. (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • WallMeerkat: A strange world when US motoring enthusiasts are lamenting the loss of the Fiesta
  • WallMeerkat: People said the same of Japanese and Korean cars when they started exporting, now look at the brands....
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