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    • By William Maley
      BMW Group U.S. Reports August 2016 Sales
      BMW brand sales decrease 8.0 percent MINI brand sales decrease 2.7 percent Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 1, 2016… Sales of BMW brand vehicles decreased 8.0 percent in August for a total of 25,531 compared to 27,755 vehicles sold in August, 2015.  Year-to-date, the BMW brand is down 8.3 percent in the U.S. on sales of 204,744 vehicles compared to 223,348 sold in the first eight months of 2015.
       
      Notable vehicle sales in August include the BMW 7 Series which increased to 1,230 cars, the BMW X3 which increased to 4,668 vehicles, and the BMW X5 which increased to 4,121 vehicles.
       
      “The clear trend toward Sports Activity Vehicles took a good-sized leap forward in August, as our U.S. plant again increased production and availability of the always popular BMW X3 and X5 pushing total X model sales to 44% of BMW retail in the U.S. in August,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America. “With the production increase, I fully expect the key SAV numbers to remain strong in the U.S. through the end of the year.”
       
      BMW Group Sales
      In total, the BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported August sales of 30,500 vehicles, a decrease of 7.2 percent from the 32,864 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago.  Year-to-date, BMW Group sales are down 9.2 percent on sales of 239,631 vehicles in the first eight months of 2016 compared to 263,908 in the same period in 2015. 
       
      MINI Brand Sales
      For August, MINI USA reported 4,969 automobiles sold, a decrease of 2.7 percent from the 5,109 sold in the same month a year ago.  Year-to-date, MINI USA reported a total of 34,887 automobiles sold, a decrease of 14.0 percent from 40,560 automobiles sold in the first eight months of 2015.

    • By dfelt
      G. David Felt
      Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer
      www.CheersandGears.com
       
      2017 Chevy BOLT Update

      Car & Driver did a ride along on a near production BOLT with  Bolt’s chief engineer, Josh Tavel . It was interesting to read that while Tavel stated the BOLT does zero to 60 in 7 seconds, that that drove it said the feel in the butt is that it is faster than that. They also stated that hit feels even faster the the BMW i3. Picture are here of a early run on the assembly line of a Chevy BOLT. These car pictures are our best view of what the production run BOLT will look like and it is looking very nice indeed.
      Some of the other interesting notes is that Josh is an SCCA Spec Racer. As such he had been very focused on making sure the BOLT is dialed in for the best of both worlds, daily driver and performance junkie. The story had the following to say as they got to take the BOLT out and about in the Detroit area.
      At 3600lbs, this compact CUV is what the public wanted when GM did their research, not some slick slice through the air Jelly bean car like Tesla, but a CUV. So this pretty much puts to rest the whole airflow thing, as they did their best while giving the public what it has asked for, a roomy, high seat position CUV.
      Also with 200HP and 266lbs of Torque, the story states that you have a clear choice, put the transmission in D and drive it like any other auto or slip it into L and Drive it normal but enjoy just like the Tesla S a return on regenerative power. What this means is you can get some of the battery recharged driving in the regen mode. Interesting is that Josh says if you drive the full 200+ miles you can get about 40 miles added back into the battery, so then you have a 200+ range plus 40 miles more when driving in L mode using regenerative mode.
      To quote the Story in regards to steering as many here have always talked about the numb feel in various auto's;
      " The electrically assisted rack-and-pinion steering is slack-free on-center, quick to respond, and nicely weighted. Walking that fine line between comfort for civilian drivers and engaging dynamics for enthusiasts is no easy feat, but Tavel deserves credit for balancing the two conflicting mentalities."
      There is plenty more to be said about the auto, an example is that using a DC quick charge, gives you 90 miles of range in 30 min. It is worth clicking the link above to read the story.
      Over all this has made me even more excited about the BOLT and what it can do for the public. Especially that after a 50+ mile drive in the BOLT, they say that having plenty of space for passengers, personal stuff and a highly congenial attitude makes the BOLT a Joy. I do like the BOLT in White as the 19 Pictures show with a decent interior.
      If you want to read just how much the BOLT beats the BMW i3, then read this story. 
      Chevy BOLT stacks against the BMW i3
      Considering this is written by the folks at BMWBlog, they feel the BOLT was designed to give customers the range of a Tesla but focused on the i3 as it's clear CUV competitor.  They also feel that the BOLT is faster than the stated 7 seconds for 0 to 60. They make some other statements and still claim that the i3 is an excellent package for the money. Not sure how they see that as the i3 is 80 miles range compared to the 200+ of the BOLT. Plus looking at the pictures, the BOLT is a superior interior I believe, but then this was written by a BMW fan.

    • By William Maley
      BMW Group U.S. Reports July 2016 Sales BMW brand sales decrease 4.4 percent MINI brand sales decrease 8.0 percent WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Aug. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Sales of BMW brand vehicles decreased 4.4 percent in July for a total of 25,777 compared to 26,970 vehicles sold in July, 2015.  Year-to-date, the BMW brand is down 8.4 percent in the U.S. on sales of 179,213 compared to 195,593 sold in the first seven months of 2015.   Notable vehicle sales include the BMW 7 Series which increased 31.3 percent, the BMW 2 Series which increased 66.1 percent, and the BMW X1 which increased 79.1 percent.   "The volatility that has characterized the 2016 sales year was clearly evident in the beginning of the third quarter," said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America. "As we have seen through the early months of the year, the 2 Series and X1 have acquired a strong following and the 7 Series continues gaining ground.  At the same time, the global popularity of our X models continues to constrain our sales here in the U.S."      BMW Group Sales In total, the BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported July sales of 30,551 vehicles, a decrease of 5.0 percent from the 32,161 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago.  Year-to-date, BMW Group sales are down 9.5 percent on sales of 209,131 in the first seven months of 2016 compared to 231,044 in the same period in 2015.    MINI Brand Sales For July, MINI USA reported 4,774 automobiles sold, a decrease of 8.0 percent from the 5,191 sold in the same month a year ago.  Year-to-date, MINI USA reported a total of 29,918 automobiles sold, a decrease of 15.6 percent from 35,451 automobiles sold in the first seven months of 2015.  
      BMW Group
      Vehicle Sales BMW of North America, LLC, July 2016
          July 2016
      July 2015
      %
      YTD July 2016
      YTD July 2015
      %
      i3
      1,479
      935
      58.1%
      4,359
      5,391
      -19.1%
      i8
      166
      217
      -23.5%
      786
      950
      -17.3%
      2 Series
      1,708
      1,028
      66.1%
      10,765
      6,370
      68.9%
      3 Series
      6,799
      7,729
      -12.0%
      39,775
      50,525
      -21.3%
      4 Series
      2,186
      3,190
      -31.5%
      21,462
      28,083
      -23.6%
      5 Series
      3,303
      2,186
      51.1%
      23,578
      25,767
      -8.5%
      6 Series
      523
      311
      68.2%
      2,398
      5,395
      -55.6%
      7 Series
      1,203
      916
      31.3%
      6,808
      6,139
      10.9%
      Z4 
      124
      118
      5.1%
      675
      1,190
      -43.3%
      X1
      2,130
      1,189
      79.1%
      14,269
      7,094
      101.1%
      BMW passenger cars
      19,621
      17,819
      10.1%
      124,875
      136,904
      -8.8%
      X3
      2,678
      2,340
      14.4%
      22,506
      15,623
      44.1%
      X4
      329
      407
      -19.2%
      2,944
      3,553
      -17.1%
      X5
      2,744
      6,011
      -54.4%
      24,948
      35,162
      -29.0%
      X6
      405
      393
      3.1%
      3,940
      4,351
      -9.4%
      BMW light trucks 
      6,156
      9,151
      -32.7%
      54,338
      58,689
      -7.4%
      BMW brand
      25,777
      26,970
      -4.4%
      179,213
      195,593
      -8.4%
      Cooper /S Hardtop 2 Door
      813
      2,482
      -67.2%
      7,053
      12,727
      -44.6%
      Cooper /S Hardtop 4 Door
      924
      1,036
      -10.8%
      7,243
      9,297
      -22.1%
      Cooper /S Convertible
      536
      272
      97.1%
      2,366
      1,979
      19.6%
      Cooper /S Clubman
      1,076
      0
      0.0%
      5,487
      0
      0.0%
      Coupe
      0
      25
      -100.0%
      6
      283
      -97.9%
      Roadster
      1
      78
      -98.7%
      4
      751
      -99.5%
      Countryman
      1,422
      1,203
      18.2%
      7,702
      9,481
      -18.8%
      Paceman
      2
      95
      -97.9%
      57
      933
      -93.9%
      MINI brand
      4,774
      5,191
      -8.0%
      29,918
      35,451
      -15.6%
      TOTAL BMW of North America, LLC
      30,551
      32,161
      -5.0%
      209,131
      231,044
      -9.5%
       
    • By William Maley
      In light of the fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S and Autopilot back in May, automakers are reconsidering their plans for rolling out their autonomous technologies. General Motors was planning to introduce Super Cruise on the Cadillac CT6 sometime next year. But in light of Tesla crash, GM is rethinking their plans.
       
      “We aren’t putting a specific date on it,” said GM CEO Mary Barra at a cybersecurity conference.
       
      Officials told The Detroit Bureau later on that the feature would still appear next year. This would be corroborated by a Cadillac spokesman to Motor Trend.
       
      “Right now, the plan continues to be that we will introduce [super Cruise] in the Cadillac CT6 in calendar year 2017,” said Cadillac spokesman Donny Nordlicht.
       
      “We want to make sure it is safe for our customers to use and we’ll launch it when we’re confident in the technology,” Nordlicht said. “Our engineers have been testing and validating the technology for the past several years to make sure all of our systems are focused on providing the customer among the most intuitive and safe solutions. We’re not driven by a deadline, we’re driven to make the system customer-friendly and safe so the exact month of introduction cannot be announced at this time.”
       
      Insiders at GM believe that Super Cruise should be able to avoid some of the problems that plague Tesla's Autopilot. Like Autopilot, Super Cruise blends information from radar and cameras. But Super Cruise will also use a high-definition map that provides more details than what you can get on a current navigation system. This map will help the system determine where the vehicle is and whether it is safe to engage the system. There is also a retina detection system that monitors the driver and will switch off Super Cruise if it detects if the driver isn't paying attention.
       
      Source: The Detroit Bureau, Motor Trend
    • By William Maley
      Luxury automakers are finding it difficult to make the business case for building V8 engines. Stricter fuel economy and emission standards, along with sales of V8 powered models dropping have them wondering if they should continue work on developing new variants.
       
      Take for example Jaguar Land Rover. The current V8 in naturally-aspirated and Supercharged forms has been with us for 20 years. While the company has been trying its best to keep the engine up to date, the thirsty nature and possibility of it not meeting future emission standards has the future of V8 up in the air.
       
      But Automobile reports that a deal is currently being worked out by JLR and BMW for the German automaker to supply V8 engines to the British. The possible engine is a new 4.0L twin-turbo V8 that promises to be more powerful, fuel efficient, and lighter than the current V8s on offer from either automaker.
       
      Why is BMW making a possible deal with JLR? Most likely it comes down making a stronger business case as to why they should go forward with developing a new V8 engine.
       
      Source: Automobile


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