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    • By William Maley
      Last week, we reported on comments made by Volkswagen NA CEO Hinrich Woebcken on wanting to expand the number of crossovers in their lineup. It seems there is another crossover possible destined for the U.S.
      According to a source, Volkswagen is planning to launch the T-Roc compact crossover for the U.S. beginning in 2019. First shown as a concept back at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the production model will launch this summer in Europe. The decision was made by Volkswagen once dealers in the U.S. gave a firm commitment to the company they would be able to sell enough T-Rocs to make a profit. It also appears this decision was made only last week judging from a comment made by VW brand chief Herbert Diess.
      "It was only yesterday that we decided on an additional SUV for 2019," Diess told reporters when asked about product strategy for the U.S.
      There are still a number of items up in the air, however. For one, Volkswagen needs to decide where it will build the T-Roc. It could import the model from Volkswagen's Portugal plant, build it in Puebla, Mexico, or have it in the same assembly plant as the Atlas in Chattanooga, TN.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Pic Credit: Newspress

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    • By William Maley
      Last week, we reported on comments made by Volkswagen NA CEO Hinrich Woebcken on wanting to expand the number of crossovers in their lineup. It seems there is another crossover possible destined for the U.S.
      According to a source, Volkswagen is planning to launch the T-Roc compact crossover for the U.S. beginning in 2019. First shown as a concept back at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the production model will launch this summer in Europe. The decision was made by Volkswagen once dealers in the U.S. gave a firm commitment to the company they would be able to sell enough T-Rocs to make a profit. It also appears this decision was made only last week judging from a comment made by VW brand chief Herbert Diess.
      "It was only yesterday that we decided on an additional SUV for 2019," Diess told reporters when asked about product strategy for the U.S.
      There are still a number of items up in the air, however. For one, Volkswagen needs to decide where it will build the T-Roc. It could import the model from Volkswagen's Portugal plant, build it in Puebla, Mexico, or have it in the same assembly plant as the Atlas in Chattanooga, TN.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Pic Credit: Newspress
    • By dfelt
      G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com
      Tesla Officially in Trouble, Business Insider Says!

      To quote Business Insider final comments on Tesla and the Chevy Bolt:
      "Clearly, Tesla would be in less trouble if the Chevy Bolt were a bad car. But it isn't. Teslas have always blown me away. The Bolt blew me away for different reasons. I just hope Tesla is prepared to take this into account." 
      Matthew is a Business Insider senior correspondent who covers transportation and as a fan of Tesla was excited to check out a Chevy BOLT as comparison to the Tesla. On a recent trip to california he took time to visit the closet Chevrolet Dealer to his hotel and this is what he found.
      He states that to borrow Barkley's line, "Tesla is in trouble." You have one of the world's biggest auto companies that is known for killing the electric auto stepping off the sidelines and actually committing considerable resources to building a long range EV where it can afford to lose money on it long term till the market changes. Tesla has 400,000 plus pre-orders, but is burning through cash by the billions and while the launch of the Tesla 3 is near and Tesla still has Sexy much like Apple to an iPhone. Tesla does not have the depth of customer auto experience to pull from and as the author points out, Tesla balance sheet is precarious as it is based on raising funds on a growth story. The author goes onto say that no one will cross shop a Tesla S or X with the Chevy BOLT. They will due to limited options cross shop the Tesla 3 to the Bolt.
      To pull some interesting statements from the story, the author had the following to say:
      "I found it more fun to drive than both the Tesla Model S and the Model X, but not the original Roadster, a much smaller vehicle."
      "The Bolt is plenty fast for most people."
      "GM isn't going to overwhelm Tesla with Bolt sales. I actually think the Model 3 will greatly outsell the Bolt once Tesla's car arrives. However, it's also possible that if the Model 3 is delayed or is slow to ramp up, Chevy will be preparing a mid-cycle refresh of the Bolt before Model 3 sales start to achieve some major momentum. In other words, GM will always be ahead, and the company — barring another massive financial meltdown — will never stop putting the Bolt up against the Model 3."
      BI covered the BOLT in follow stories with the next one being more of an official review that starts off with covering the auto with the following statement: "A platform, not business as usual!" 
      From ride-hailing to ride-sharing, self driving Chevy has delivered an auto for the future that gives GM options on how they build and expand their EV lineup. BI took delivery of their white Premier BOLT just before the blizzard that hit NY. Clearly a compact-crossover-hatchback look, design is what the magazine employees felt it was and is. Surprising the BI reviewers was the amount of cargo the auto can hold and how well it handled 4 people and grocery getting. BI states that GM has told them the next addition to the BOLT lineup will be a larger auto that can accommodate 5 or more people. An exceptionally well executed minimalist design that comes with an interior that feels more premium in comparison to auto's this size in the past from GM that felt clearly parts bin cheap. The review goes on to talk about how setting the front seat for a 6'4" tall driver and getting in the back with room ahead of the knees for the same size person is a nice welcome addition to such a compact auto. Heated steering wheel was welcomed by all. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto kept everyone happily connected to their phone while driving.
      The final statement to quote from the review is as follows:
      "We were impressed with the Bolt, as a car, as an electric car, and as a mobility concept. In many ways, it is GM's post-bankruptcy masterpiece, a real feather in the cap of CEO Mary Barra and her executive team, who took what the company had achieved with its ill-fated EV-1 back in the 1990s and turned it up to 11. 
      I also flat-out loved driving it. I blasted in and out of New York City twice, rocketed around the streets of Gotham, darting through traffic, and cruised along the highways of New Jersey. I also enjoyed just driving it around the quiet streets of the suburb where I live.
      The steering is quick and responsive, and the handling is sharp enough to provide the confidence you need when surfing that sweet EV torque.
      The single-pedal mode is also very cool — I dug not using the brakes at all for extended excursions in my town. After a bit of practice, you get into a kind of Zen state with it. 
      Not a single person asked me about the car, and that can be chalked up to the ho-hum design. But I didn't care. I was lovin' it. Plain and simple, the Bolt is fun."
      Here is where we have overlap between story #2 and Story #3 which covers the 7 Killer Features:
      Dual Screens- 10.2" touch screen infotainment center & an 8" drivers console display which are totally customizable. Auto's wireless charging console. BOLT App allowing you to be connected to your auto at all times. Five cameras: front, rear, side mirrors and their 360 camera. 9hr full charge time from a 240 volt charger. 25 miles per hour, faster with Level 3 DC charging. Lane Keep assist feature. Modern Seat design allowing for maximum space inside. Over all these writeups show that GM has delivered a superior auto to the Prius, Leaf, 500e, etc. The future will be bright for the BOLT as GM move the platform forward.

      BI Story #1
      BI Story #2
      BI Story #3
    • By William Maley
      We have been wondering what kind of impact the Mitsubishi and Nissan alliance would bring to the table. According to a report from Automotive News, it looks like delays for a couple of key products for the diamond star brand.
      Speaking with supplier sources, Mitsubishi has pushed back the redesigns of the Outlander and Outlander Sport crossovers. Originally, Mitsubishi was planning to launch the next Outlander "in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019", while the Outlander Sport would follow a year later. Now, the Outlander has been pushed back to late 2019 or 2020 and the Sport to after 2020.
      The delay is due to a review being undertaken by Mitsubishi and Nissan to search for a way to share architecture and parts with the Rogue and Rogue Sport. According to sources, the goal is to "commonize underpinnings and components" to save money while keeping an outer identity distinct to each brand.
      Mitsubishi confirmed the review but declined to comment on any delays.
      This delay could be a big blow for Mitsubishi's dealers in the U.S. who have been clamoring for new products. Joe Bizzarro, chairman of Mitsubishi's national dealer advisory board told Automotive News that no such delay was discussed during a meeting with dealers earlier this year - leading us to suspect this delay has come up recently. Dealers have yet to be notified about this delay.
      Right now, the only new product destined for Mitsubishi's U.S. dealers is the upcoming Eclipse Sport due in early 2018.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      We have been wondering what kind of impact the Mitsubishi and Nissan alliance would bring to the table. According to a report from Automotive News, it looks like delays for a couple of key products for the diamond star brand.
      Speaking with supplier sources, Mitsubishi has pushed back the redesigns of the Outlander and Outlander Sport crossovers. Originally, Mitsubishi was planning to launch the next Outlander "in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019", while the Outlander Sport would follow a year later. Now, the Outlander has been pushed back to late 2019 or 2020 and the Sport to after 2020.
      The delay is due to a review being undertaken by Mitsubishi and Nissan to search for a way to share architecture and parts with the Rogue and Rogue Sport. According to sources, the goal is to "commonize underpinnings and components" to save money while keeping an outer identity distinct to each brand.
      Mitsubishi confirmed the review but declined to comment on any delays.
      This delay could be a big blow for Mitsubishi's dealers in the U.S. who have been clamoring for new products. Joe Bizzarro, chairman of Mitsubishi's national dealer advisory board told Automotive News that no such delay was discussed during a meeting with dealers earlier this year - leading us to suspect this delay has come up recently. Dealers have yet to be notified about this delay.
      Right now, the only new product destined for Mitsubishi's U.S. dealers is the upcoming Eclipse Sport due in early 2018.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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