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    • By William Maley
      At the Shanghai auto show, Honda introduced a hybrid version of the CR-V crossover. Not many details were released about it aside from it featuring the company's Sport Hybrid i-MMD two-motor hybrid system and would go on sale in China in the second half of this year. This got a few outlets wondering if Honda might bring the CR-V hybrid to the U.S. as the automaker has said they plan on electrify core models.
      Green Car Reports reached out Honda's U.S. office to ask about this and here is Honda responded,
      "We have already announced our intent to electrify core volume models, including light trucks.  CR-V will logically be a part of that, and we'll announce timing for the U.S. at a later date."
      In other words, we're are planning to sell CR-V hybrid in the U.S. When it does arrive, it will face off between the Nissan Rogue Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
      Source: Green Car Reports

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      At the Shanghai auto show, Honda introduced a hybrid version of the CR-V crossover. Not many details were released about it aside from it featuring the company's Sport Hybrid i-MMD two-motor hybrid system and would go on sale in China in the second half of this year. This got a few outlets wondering if Honda might bring the CR-V hybrid to the U.S. as the automaker has said they plan on electrify core models.
      Green Car Reports reached out Honda's U.S. office to ask about this and here is Honda responded,
      "We have already announced our intent to electrify core volume models, including light trucks.  CR-V will logically be a part of that, and we'll announce timing for the U.S. at a later date."
      In other words, we're are planning to sell CR-V hybrid in the U.S. When it does arrive, it will face off between the Nissan Rogue Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
      Source: Green Car Reports
    • By dfelt
      G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com
      China’s Influence on GM, EVs, and Others!
      We saw just at the end of 2016 Toyota saying they would build a team to focus on EVs. This being a complete reversal of their pledge in 2013 to focus on Hydrogen as the practical alternative to traditional ICE autos. Toyota will have a long range EV auto out on the market for the 2020 auto year. Being that 2019 is when you're 2020 autos will start selling, this puts Toyota 4 years behind GM's Chevrolet BOLT EV.
      What would cause this change to happen? China is what has happened. China started to push the global auto industry by stating that 8 percent of auto sales in 2018 be each vendor has to be EV or plug-in hybrid. 10 percent is the number for 2019 and 12 percent in 2020.
      Toyota one would think should be fine with their Prius line of Hybrids until you realize that China has stated all hybrids such as the Prius, Volt and others built outside of China are considered ICE autos. Currently the only Hybrid being built in China that is a legal hybrid is the Cadillac CT6 plugin hybrid. Toyota is planning to start selling a plugin hybrid in China in 2018 as a 2019 model.
      So we are seeing that Toyota is being forced to get over their EV allergy and come up with a real plan to have a global EV on the market in 2019 as a 2020 model year. Daimler has a large EV roll out planned for the global market by 2021. VW has stated they will have multiple EVs rolled out around 2019 through 2021. So has BMW, Audi, etc.
      So where does that leave GM? What is GMs strategy now that China is flexing their muscle and setting some big standards for an auto company to play in their backyard?
      We have the Cadillac CT6 plugin hybrid. Chevrolet BOLT EV able to be exported to China. GM announced that they will start building a China market Chevrolet Volt as they start to push the Chevrolet brand in China next year. GM has also announced a Buick Velite 5 Hybrid for the Chinese market starting at 265,800 yuan or about $38,600 US. This will have a 72 mile pure electric mode before the generator kicks in giving it a 480 mile range. EVs in China are exempt from sales tax and license plate quotas.
      According to Fox Business news, Buick sold 1 million autos in China for calendar year 2016 rising to the number two auto brand sold behind Volkswagen. They also go onto say that Chevrolet has been selling legacy models only up till now and GM has announced 20 new models for China by 2020 the first being a China version of the Chevrolet Equinox. GM says China is demanding the same models they have in the US and as such, China and the US will be more aligned to have identical models. GMs China business is stated to have produced $2 billion in income last year. China clearly helping GM to sell 10 million cars in 2016 globally.
      How important is the China Market to GM? In the Month of January Cadillac sold 10,298 autos in the US. Cadillac sold 18,000 in China for the month of January. Clearly China will continue to take on a bigger and bigger role in GM’s ongoing growth.
      So where does that leave GM in regards to EVs, auto production, etc.? Reuters points to a story they did back in January 2016 where CEO Mary Barra stated that they could build the dies used to stamp the auto parts in china for 20 to 40 percent less than in Europe or the US. Dies will start to be built and shipped out worldwide from China. Clearly this would tend to show that GM will be affected by the China market more and more.
      So this brings me back to my original question of what is GMs plan for their EV strategy. We have seen and heard so much about the competition and yet with GM this seems to be a black hole. Knowing that GM sold about 1.5 million auto’s last year in China and now for next year 10 percent will have to be EV / Plugin Hybrids, that means 150,000 of these auto’s. For Volkswagen, this is an even bigger number since they are number 1 in the market and have no EV or hybrid that I am aware of.
      All Auto companies who do not have a specific plugin hybrid built in china or EV to import into China is going to find selling auto’s to be very difficult.
      References
      Reuters story
      AP story
      Fox Business Story
      CNN Money Story
      Motley Fool Story
      Reuters 2016 story
    • By William Maley
      When Hyundai unveiled the current Sonata at 2014 New York Auto Show, it landed with a bit of thud. Compared to the previous-generation model that stood out from the crowd with a sharp design, the new model was a bit dull. Hyundai is addressing this with a heavily refreshed Sonata that made its debut today in New York.
      The 2018 Sonata has a bit more personality thanks to new pentagonal grille (Sport and 2.0T models get a mesh insert), reshaped hood, smaller headlights, new trunk lid, and LED taillights. For the interior, Hyundai has redesigned the center stack, updated the instrument cluster, and added a USB port for rear seat passengers.
      Engines are the same as the current Sonata - 2.4L four-cylinder, 1.6L turbo-four, and 2.0L turbo-four. However, the 2.0L turbo gets a new eight-speed automatic transmission that is said to improve acceleration and fuel economy. Hyundai has also worked on improving ride and handling with thicker trailing arms, new rear bushings, and a revamped steering system. 
      As for safety, all Sonatas will now come with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard.
      The 2018 Sonata hits dealers later this year.
       
      Source: Hyundai
      Press Release is on Page 2


      2018 SONATA: DEFINING THE BENCHMARK FOR MID-SIZED SEDANS
      New Features, Technology and Hardware  Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Now Standard Equipment NEW YORK, April 12, 2017 –The redesigned 2018 Sonata enters the market with a new look from the front, side and rear thanks to a “cascading grill,” a more assertive profile and an entirely new rear; showcasing a clean and handsome approach with reimagined, slim taillights. 
      “It’s all about making an impact,” said Chris Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai North American Design Center. “We wanted to deliver an exciting expressive car to our customers and show the world how passionate Hyundai is about design and craftsmanship. The objective was to make an impact, this design provides the visual excitement and unique identity our customers associate with Sonata.”
      Created at Hyundai’s California Design Studio with American aesthetic tastes in mind, the new Sonata is bold, daring and beautiful. The 2018 Sonata made its North American debut today at the New York International Auto Show.
      ELEVATED ELEGANCE
      Supplementing the bodywork, the 2018 Sonata now lights the way with LED daytime running lights. When night falls, available LED headlamps with dynamic bending light illuminate the path and add to Sonata’s already radiant posture. The same standout style continues in the rear with sharp taillight design and enlarged Hyundai badge, which now cleverly houses the trunk release button. Chrome accents surround the daylight opening (DLO) and fresh wheel designs cap off its new look.
      Inside, the renewed center stack and instrument panel echo the exterior’s catching new looks. The trend carries down to gauge dial design and a strong three-spoke steering wheel. Piano key buttons for audio and HVAC controls give a premium look and touch.
      “The moment the pen left the drafting paper I knew we had something special in this re-imagined Sonata,” says Chapman, “Dynamic lines, strong graphics, and our new signature cascading grille come together in an athletic way.”
      BEAUTY BENEATH THE SKIN
      The new Sonata has a refined chassis with improved ride and handling. To achieve this feat, talented engineers increased the torsion bar stiffness within the steering system by 12 percent, which improves steering response and feel in all conditions. They then enhanced that improvement further with new steering calibration, focusing on responsiveness and on-center steering feel. Previous ratings for ride, handling and NVH showed customers were quite satisfied, so engineers just reset an already high bar.
      In addition to these steering changes, the Sonata received an updated rear suspension. The trailing arms are 21 percent thicker, making them stiffer and better able to manage heavy suspension loads. New bushings work with the new suspension arms to allow for more ride compliance and yet quicken response time to control all other wheel motions. The result is a communicative, nimble and comfortable sedan. 
      For the top-of-the-line powertrain, there’s even more. The 245 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine now includes an eight-speed automatic transmission, which adds ratio range at both the top and bottom of output speeds. The eight-speed allows for extra thrust off-the-line and a quieter, more fuel-efficient dash down the interstate. The 2.0-liter turbo models roll on 18-inch wheels, now with Michelin tires.
      COMPELLING COMFORT AND SAFETY
      The 2018 Sonata features a standard seven-inch color display audio touchscreen with both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® integration. Speaking of smartphones, driver and passenger alike can keep them charged without a plug using the available Qi standard wireless charging pad. Sonata now adds a second row USB charge port, a nod to today’s connected rear-seat passengers. Available navigation systems now come with a bird’s eye view feature as well as traffic flow and incident data, without ever having to pay a subscription for the service.
      The Sonata offers more safety features in 2018. In addition to seven standard airbags (dual front, side, and curtain, as well as driver’s knee) and a battery of safety systems (VSM, ESC, TCS, ABS, EBD, BA, and TPMS) comes Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA). The Sonata is the only Midsize car sold with this safety technology as standard equipment. Despite drivers spending a tiny amount of time in reverse, one-quarter of all accidents happen when someone is backing up. BSD with RCTA gives drivers peace of mind that the road behind them is clear. Furthermore, there’s also a new Lane Departure Warning system with an enhanced Lane Keep Assist function available. 
      BETTER BLUE LINK
      As our cars become a mobile extension of the connected world, Blue Link continues to add more features to integrate your life. Blue Link now talks to Amazon Echo™, allowing you to control your car inside your home, or wherever the Amazon device is located.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When Hyundai unveiled the current Sonata at 2014 New York Auto Show, it landed with a bit of thud. Compared to the previous-generation model that stood out from the crowd with a sharp design, the new model was a bit dull. Hyundai is addressing this with a heavily refreshed Sonata that made its debut today in New York.
      The 2018 Sonata has a bit more personality thanks to new pentagonal grille (Sport and 2.0T models get a mesh insert), reshaped hood, smaller headlights, new trunk lid, and LED taillights. For the interior, Hyundai has redesigned the center stack, updated the instrument cluster, and added a USB port for rear seat passengers.
      Engines are the same as the current Sonata - 2.4L four-cylinder, 1.6L turbo-four, and 2.0L turbo-four. However, the 2.0L turbo gets a new eight-speed automatic transmission that is said to improve acceleration and fuel economy. Hyundai has also worked on improving ride and handling with thicker trailing arms, new rear bushings, and a revamped steering system. 
      As for safety, all Sonatas will now come with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard.
      The 2018 Sonata hits dealers later this year.
       
      Source: Hyundai
      Press Release is on Page 2


      2018 SONATA: DEFINING THE BENCHMARK FOR MID-SIZED SEDANS
      New Features, Technology and Hardware  Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Now Standard Equipment NEW YORK, April 12, 2017 –The redesigned 2018 Sonata enters the market with a new look from the front, side and rear thanks to a “cascading grill,” a more assertive profile and an entirely new rear; showcasing a clean and handsome approach with reimagined, slim taillights. 
      “It’s all about making an impact,” said Chris Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai North American Design Center. “We wanted to deliver an exciting expressive car to our customers and show the world how passionate Hyundai is about design and craftsmanship. The objective was to make an impact, this design provides the visual excitement and unique identity our customers associate with Sonata.”
      Created at Hyundai’s California Design Studio with American aesthetic tastes in mind, the new Sonata is bold, daring and beautiful. The 2018 Sonata made its North American debut today at the New York International Auto Show.
      ELEVATED ELEGANCE
      Supplementing the bodywork, the 2018 Sonata now lights the way with LED daytime running lights. When night falls, available LED headlamps with dynamic bending light illuminate the path and add to Sonata’s already radiant posture. The same standout style continues in the rear with sharp taillight design and enlarged Hyundai badge, which now cleverly houses the trunk release button. Chrome accents surround the daylight opening (DLO) and fresh wheel designs cap off its new look.
      Inside, the renewed center stack and instrument panel echo the exterior’s catching new looks. The trend carries down to gauge dial design and a strong three-spoke steering wheel. Piano key buttons for audio and HVAC controls give a premium look and touch.
      “The moment the pen left the drafting paper I knew we had something special in this re-imagined Sonata,” says Chapman, “Dynamic lines, strong graphics, and our new signature cascading grille come together in an athletic way.”
      BEAUTY BENEATH THE SKIN
      The new Sonata has a refined chassis with improved ride and handling. To achieve this feat, talented engineers increased the torsion bar stiffness within the steering system by 12 percent, which improves steering response and feel in all conditions. They then enhanced that improvement further with new steering calibration, focusing on responsiveness and on-center steering feel. Previous ratings for ride, handling and NVH showed customers were quite satisfied, so engineers just reset an already high bar.
      In addition to these steering changes, the Sonata received an updated rear suspension. The trailing arms are 21 percent thicker, making them stiffer and better able to manage heavy suspension loads. New bushings work with the new suspension arms to allow for more ride compliance and yet quicken response time to control all other wheel motions. The result is a communicative, nimble and comfortable sedan. 
      For the top-of-the-line powertrain, there’s even more. The 245 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine now includes an eight-speed automatic transmission, which adds ratio range at both the top and bottom of output speeds. The eight-speed allows for extra thrust off-the-line and a quieter, more fuel-efficient dash down the interstate. The 2.0-liter turbo models roll on 18-inch wheels, now with Michelin tires.
      COMPELLING COMFORT AND SAFETY
      The 2018 Sonata features a standard seven-inch color display audio touchscreen with both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® integration. Speaking of smartphones, driver and passenger alike can keep them charged without a plug using the available Qi standard wireless charging pad. Sonata now adds a second row USB charge port, a nod to today’s connected rear-seat passengers. Available navigation systems now come with a bird’s eye view feature as well as traffic flow and incident data, without ever having to pay a subscription for the service.
      The Sonata offers more safety features in 2018. In addition to seven standard airbags (dual front, side, and curtain, as well as driver’s knee) and a battery of safety systems (VSM, ESC, TCS, ABS, EBD, BA, and TPMS) comes Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA). The Sonata is the only Midsize car sold with this safety technology as standard equipment. Despite drivers spending a tiny amount of time in reverse, one-quarter of all accidents happen when someone is backing up. BSD with RCTA gives drivers peace of mind that the road behind them is clear. Furthermore, there’s also a new Lane Departure Warning system with an enhanced Lane Keep Assist function available. 
      BETTER BLUE LINK
      As our cars become a mobile extension of the connected world, Blue Link continues to add more features to integrate your life. Blue Link now talks to Amazon Echo™, allowing you to control your car inside your home, or wherever the Amazon device is located.
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