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      Age: 35
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    • By William Maley
      Tesla's production hell seems to be only getting worse than better. Various issues at their Freemont plant has caused the automaker to push back their goal of producing 5,000 Model 3s from late last year to June of this year. This, in turn, has caused some holders of Model 3 reservations to have their order pushed back to 2019.
      “As we work hard to meet demand, we wanted to let you know that your estimated delivery timing has been adjusted to a slightly later window,” Tesla said in an email to customers.
      According to Bloomberg, the new date depends on when the reservation was placed and what model was chosen. Tesla is trying to get the more expensive long-range battery model out first before starting production of the cheaper standard battery model. This has buyers of the latter model worried as they might not get the full $7,500 tax credit. The credit begins to phase out once an automaker has built 200,000, something Tesla expects to hit sometime this year.
      The move has caused some reservation holders to take to various forums and Twitter to complain. Others are deciding to jump ship and buy a Chevrolet Bolt. Reuters reports that Chevrolet dealers in California are seeing a noticeable increase of Tesla shoppers interested in the Bolt.
      “We’re getting the Tesla people who wanted their Model 3. We ask them, ‘What other cars are you interested in?’ They’re mostly Tesla. But they want the car now. They don’t want to wait,” said Yev Kaplinskiy of Stewart Chevrolet.
      Kaplinskiy said they sold 15 Bolts last weekend.
      Chevrolet is taking advantage of the delay by emailing some prospective buyers this week with the message of, “Bolt EV: Now available.”
      Source: Bloomberg, Reuters

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    • By William Maley
      Tesla's production hell seems to be only getting worse than better. Various issues at their Freemont plant has caused the automaker to push back their goal of producing 5,000 Model 3s from late last year to June of this year. This, in turn, has caused some holders of Model 3 reservations to have their order pushed back to 2019.
      “As we work hard to meet demand, we wanted to let you know that your estimated delivery timing has been adjusted to a slightly later window,” Tesla said in an email to customers.
      According to Bloomberg, the new date depends on when the reservation was placed and what model was chosen. Tesla is trying to get the more expensive long-range battery model out first before starting production of the cheaper standard battery model. This has buyers of the latter model worried as they might not get the full $7,500 tax credit. The credit begins to phase out once an automaker has built 200,000, something Tesla expects to hit sometime this year.
      The move has caused some reservation holders to take to various forums and Twitter to complain. Others are deciding to jump ship and buy a Chevrolet Bolt. Reuters reports that Chevrolet dealers in California are seeing a noticeable increase of Tesla shoppers interested in the Bolt.
      “We’re getting the Tesla people who wanted their Model 3. We ask them, ‘What other cars are you interested in?’ They’re mostly Tesla. But they want the car now. They don’t want to wait,” said Yev Kaplinskiy of Stewart Chevrolet.
      Kaplinskiy said they sold 15 Bolts last weekend.
      Chevrolet is taking advantage of the delay by emailing some prospective buyers this week with the message of, “Bolt EV: Now available.”
      Source: Bloomberg, Reuters
    • By William Maley
      If you have been following auto sales for the past few years, then you know that SUVs and trucks currently dominate the sales charts partly due to the low gas prices. This is especially true when it comes to the luxury segment, where utility models are eating sedans. But a new report from The New York Times reveals that American automakers are eating the lunches of luxury car manufacturers. 
      According to data from Edmunds, the likes of Ford, Chevrolet, and GMC have seen their share of domestic sales of models with an average price of $60,000 steadily climbing, while luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Lexus have been declining. GMC, in particular, has shown the largest growth, accounting 11.3 percent of domestic sales of $60,000-plus models in 2017. Five years ago, the brand only made up 0.1 percent of those sales. A lot of this credit can be laid at the feet of GMC's Denali brands. At a recent investor conference, GM showed data that the Denali line had an average sale price of $56,000 - more than the average price of an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz.
      “This thing is a money machine,” said GM's president Dan Ammann about Denali.
      Over at Ford, more than half of F-150 sales are made up by the Lariat, King Ranch, Raptor models. Only a few years ago, those models made up a third.
      Why are American automakers seeing a massive increase in expensive SUVs and trucks? Part of it comes down to price, but there is also the image.
      “We’ve been taking in Lexuses on trade-ins, BMWs," said Gary Gilchrist, owner of a GMC dealer in Tacoma, Washington.
      “People used to want German cars for the image factor. Now, if you have a Denali, you get that. People turn their heads to look.”
      Source: New York Times

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      If you have been following auto sales for the past few years, then you know that SUVs and trucks currently dominate the sales charts partly due to the low gas prices. This is especially true when it comes to the luxury segment, where utility models are eating sedans. But a new report from The New York Times reveals that American automakers are eating the lunches of luxury car manufacturers. 
      According to data from Edmunds, the likes of Ford, Chevrolet, and GMC have seen their share of domestic sales of models with an average price of $60,000 steadily climbing, while luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Lexus have been declining. GMC, in particular, has shown the largest growth, accounting 11.3 percent of domestic sales of $60,000-plus models in 2017. Five years ago, the brand only made up 0.1 percent of those sales. A lot of this credit can be laid at the feet of GMC's Denali brands. At a recent investor conference, GM showed data that the Denali line had an average sale price of $56,000 - more than the average price of an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz.
      “This thing is a money machine,” said GM's president Dan Ammann about Denali.
      Over at Ford, more than half of F-150 sales are made up by the Lariat, King Ranch, Raptor models. Only a few years ago, those models made up a third.
      Why are American automakers seeing a massive increase in expensive SUVs and trucks? Part of it comes down to price, but there is also the image.
      “We’ve been taking in Lexuses on trade-ins, BMWs," said Gary Gilchrist, owner of a GMC dealer in Tacoma, Washington.
      “People used to want German cars for the image factor. Now, if you have a Denali, you get that. People turn their heads to look.”
      Source: New York Times
    • By William Maley
      A moment of silence for the 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder that powered the Fiat 500 since its launch 2012 as it will not be appearing in the 2018 model. Instead, Fiat has slipped in the turbocharged variant of the 1.4 into all 500s (aside from the Abarth). This boosts power from 101 horsepower and 97 pound-feet of torque to 135 and 150 respectively. A five-speed manual and six-speed automatic are the transmission choices. Other mechanical changes include upgraded brakes and a sportier suspension tune.
      Pop and Lounge models become slightly aggressive outside with a new body kit, 16-inch wheels, fog lights, and 'Turbo' badge on the rear. The other key change is a backup camera being added to all 500s.
      No word on pricing, but Fiat will open the order books this month with deliveries taking place in the second quarter.
      Source: Fiat
      Press Release is on Page 2


      FIAT Brand Introduces All-turbo 500 Lineup for 2018
      All 2018 Fiat 500 models now come standard with 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine and 33 percent more horsepower than last year’s model 2018 Fiat 500 Pop and Lounge offer standard performance braking system and suspension, ParkView rear backup camera, sport spoiler and additional exterior upgrades High-performance, track-ready 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth models deliver up to 160 horsepower and 183 lb.-ft. of torque Customers who purchase or lease a Fiat 500 Abarth also receive – for no additional charge – a one-day high-performance driving session at the legendary Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving Dealers can order 2018 Fiat 500 vehicles this month, with cars arriving at FIAT studios in the second quarter 2018 FIAT product lineup also includes the fully electric 500e, functional 500L, all-wheel-drive small crossover 500X and the 124 Spider roadster February 8, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The Fiat 500 lineup goes all-turbo for 2018, with the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine and a sportier appearance now standard on all models.
       
      “With an all-turbo lineup, the iconic Fiat 500 now offers an even more dynamic driving experience and more standard horsepower than any of its competitors,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat, FCA – North America. “In fact, the entire FIAT brand lineup now comes standard with turbocharged power, adding to our roster of fun-to-drive, Italian-designed vehicles.”
       
      The 2018 Fiat 500 lineup is available in three models: Pop, Lounge and the high-performance Abarth. Pop and Lounge models now come standard with the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, which features a single turbocharger, twin intercoolers and a sport-tuned exhaust, and delivers 135 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque – 34 more standard horsepower than last year’s model. The MultiAir Turbo engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission as standard and is available with a six-speed automatic transmission.
       
      Pop and Lounge models are also updated with standard 16-inch aluminum wheels, performance braking system, sport suspension and ParkView rear backup camera. Exterior updates include body-color front and rear fascias, side-sill ground effects, a sport spoiler, fog lamps and “Turbo” badging on the liftgate.
       
      On the Fiat 500 Abarth models, the track-tested 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine delivers up to 160 horsepower and 183 lb.-ft. of torque; while Abarth-tuned hardware offers a world-class ride and track-ready durability.
       
      Other unique Abarth features include a performance suspension; three-mode electronic stability control with an innovative torque transfer control (TTC) system that maximizes throttle performance during on-throttle cornering; 16-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels; and Pirelli tires with red brake calipers. An Abarth-designed concentric “double-tip” dual-exhaust system delivers a high-performance look with menacing Abarth-tuned sound.
       
      Inside, distinctive Abarth-styled front performance seats feature a one-piece design with large side bolsters, a racing-harness pass through, accent stitching around the perimeter and integrated side-thorax air bags. Below the instrument panel, Abarth-designed aluminum pedal covers feature Nero (black) rubber trim for a decidedly racing look.
       
      Should the driver choose to switch to Sport mode in a Fiat 500 Abarth, the turbo-boost gauge, mounted left of the instrument cluster, illuminates “Sport” and an up-shift light integrated in the cluster alerts the driver when engine speed is approaching the redline, giving the immediate feedback needed on the track or during high-performance driving.
       
      Customers who purchase or lease a Fiat 500 Abarth also receive – for no additional charge – a one-day high-performance driving session at the legendary Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.
       
      The 500 lineup also features three new colors for 2018 (late availability) – Brillante Red, Mezzanotte Blue Pearl and Vesuvio Black Pearl – for a total of 11 exterior paint color choices. Any 2018 Fiat 500 model is also available as a Cabrio, delivering open-air freedom across the 500 lineup. 2018 Fiat 500 vehicles are available to order this month, with cars arriving at FIAT studios in the second quarter of this year.

      View full article
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