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    • By William Maley
      Cadillac is offering 400 of its smallest dealers a buyout if they don't want to be part of the ambitious and contentious Project Pinnacle.
      Automotive News reports the offers will range from $100,000 to $180,000. The dealers eligible for the buyout sold less than 50 new Cadillac models in 2015. While the 400 dealers make up 43 percent of Cadillac's total number of dealers in the U.S. (around 925), this group only made up 9 percent of total sales last year.
      Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said the buyouts is to give those an alternative who don't want to forward with the new program.
      “This is going to be a long, arduous and challenging journey and certainly not one for the faint-hearted. Some people may choose to make life a little easier than what lies ahead,” said de Nysschen.
      de Nysschen did say while Cadillac has too many dealers compared to their rivals, the buyout program isn't meant to be seen as a way to get rid of low-volume dealers. 
      Project Pinnacle is a new incentive program that will separate dealers into five tiers based on sales volume. Each tier offers a varying level of customer perk along with different requirements for services and facilities. For example, small stores cannot stock vehicles on site. Instead, they would offer a virtual showroom for customers to explore and order a vehicle. This program has gotten backlash from dealer groups, saying it would violate franchise laws and be unfair to the smaller dealers. 
      Those who have been offered the buyout have until November 21st to either take it or move forward with Project Pinnacle, which is expected to begin January 1st.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
       

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    • By William Maley
      Cadillac is offering 400 of its smallest dealers a buyout if they don't want to be part of the ambitious and contentious Project Pinnacle.
      Automotive News reports the offers will range from $100,000 to $180,000. The dealers eligible for the buyout sold less than 50 new Cadillac models in 2015. While the 400 dealers make up 43 percent of Cadillac's total number of dealers in the U.S. (around 925), this group only made up 9 percent of total sales last year.
      Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said the buyouts is to give those an alternative who don't want to forward with the new program.
      “This is going to be a long, arduous and challenging journey and certainly not one for the faint-hearted. Some people may choose to make life a little easier than what lies ahead,” said de Nysschen.
      de Nysschen did say while Cadillac has too many dealers compared to their rivals, the buyout program isn't meant to be seen as a way to get rid of low-volume dealers. 
      Project Pinnacle is a new incentive program that will separate dealers into five tiers based on sales volume. Each tier offers a varying level of customer perk along with different requirements for services and facilities. For example, small stores cannot stock vehicles on site. Instead, they would offer a virtual showroom for customers to explore and order a vehicle. This program has gotten backlash from dealer groups, saying it would violate franchise laws and be unfair to the smaller dealers. 
      Those who have been offered the buyout have until November 21st to either take it or move forward with Project Pinnacle, which is expected to begin January 1st.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
       
    • By William Maley
      While Ford is introducing an updated 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and ten-speed automatic for the 2017 F-150, the 2018 F-150 is more interesting to us. This is because Ford will be giving their full-size truck a facelift and a diesel engine. Thanks to Car and Driver, we're able to get a closer look via a set of spy shots.
      We'll begin with the facelift. Ford has done a decent job with the camouflage, but we can pick out a new grille design that seems to mimic the F-Series super duty. Expect new headlights, along with new taillights and wheel choices.
      We have reported previously on the venturi exhaust and a video with the noises of a diesel engine . Now we have more proof of the diesel engine. Thanks to a Ford engineer leaving the hood open, we have gotten our first clear look at the diesel engine. We can't tell much about the engine aside from there being a mess of hoses and wires. You might be asking how we know this is a diesel. Two key items give it away; a diesel fuel inlet behind the fuel filler door and a sign taped inside saying"Diesel Fuel Only!"
      Everyone believes the diesel engine in question is a 3.0L turbodiesel V6 that is used in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport TD6 models. This engine produces 254 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque.
      Source: Car and Driver

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    • By William Maley
      While Ford is introducing an updated 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and ten-speed automatic for the 2017 F-150, the 2018 F-150 is more interesting to us. This is because Ford will be giving their full-size truck a facelift and a diesel engine. Thanks to Car and Driver, we're able to get a closer look via a set of spy shots.
      We'll begin with the facelift. Ford has done a decent job with the camouflage, but we can pick out a new grille design that seems to mimic the F-Series super duty. Expect new headlights, along with new taillights and wheel choices.
      We have reported previously on the venturi exhaust and a video with the noises of a diesel engine . Now we have more proof of the diesel engine. Thanks to a Ford engineer leaving the hood open, we have gotten our first clear look at the diesel engine. We can't tell much about the engine aside from there being a mess of hoses and wires. You might be asking how we know this is a diesel. Two key items give it away; a diesel fuel inlet behind the fuel filler door and a sign taped inside saying"Diesel Fuel Only!"
      Everyone believes the diesel engine in question is a 3.0L turbodiesel V6 that is used in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport TD6 models. This engine produces 254 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque.
      Source: Car and Driver
    • By William Maley
      Ford has finally confirmed that it will be moving small car production in the U.S. to Mexico in the next two to three years. This information isn't new as we knew about it a year ago thanks to a new contract with the UAW. We learned that in 2018, the Ranger would be taking up residence at the Michigan Assembly plant, home currently home to the Focus and C-Max.
      Why is Ford moving small car production to Mexico? It comes down to costs. With low gas prices, consumers are buying up crossovers and trucks at a rapid rate. This means small cars are sitting on dealer lots, costing automakers money.
      “Every global manufacturer has to determine how it can best create revenue and limit expenses. Small vehicles are the most price-sensitive, so any cost-savings that can be gained offer competitive advantages. Thus moving production to a lower-labor-cost country makes particular economic sense for small cars,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book.
      It doesn't hurt that labor costs in Mexico are significantly less than those in the U.S. The Detroit News reports that workers earn the equivalent of $8 to $10 an hour, compared to the $29 an hour top-tier workers in the U.S earn.
      “I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom. It’s a reflection of the shrinking market share for compact cars,” said Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for research firm AutoPacific.
      But you have to wonder if Ford could have handled this better. Especially when Presidental candidate Donald Trump ripped into Ford for this decision, vowing to put a 35 percent tariff on Ford vehicles if elected. 
      Source: The Detroit News

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