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    • By William Maley
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is none too pleased with the Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd as they're planning to sell an off-road vehicle that looks very much like the original Willys Jeep.
      Bloomberg obtained a complaint filed by FCA to the U.S. International Trade Commission on August 1st. The document claims that Mahindra's Roxor infringes key characteristics of Jeep's signature design - namely the “boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood.”
      “They are a nearly identical copy of the iconic Jeep design. In fact, the accused product was ‘modeled after the original Willys Jeep."
      The Roxor is a small, two-seat off-road vehicle. There is a lot of resemblance to original Jeep design and there is a reason for that. Beginning in 1947, Mahindra got a license to build the Willys CJ3 for the Asian market. They would do so until 2010. At this point, Mahindra introduced an updated model known as the Thar that meets India's road going passenger vehicle standards and looks like a 1990's Wrangler.
      Now the Roxor isn't being sold as road-legal vehicle. Instead, Mahindra is selling this as a side-by-side off-road utility. That means its not road legal. Which brings us to the next key part of FCA's complaint. The company is arguing that Roxor imports "threaten it with substantial injury as they are underselling Jeeps." This is due to Mahindra manufacturing the parts and creating a knock-down kit, which is then shipped to a plant in the Detroit area for final assembly. We're not sure about this partly due to the arena the Roxor competes in, but also the price. The model begins at just under $15,500. Comparable models from Polaris and Honda begin at under $10,000.
      While Mahindra has had some success in the U.S. with tractors, they haven't had the same when it comes to automobiles. Previously, the company was planning to offer a diesel pickup through a distributor. But plans were scrapped and Mahindra would find itself in a lengthy court battle. The Roxor is the next attempt at possible entry for Mahindra to enter the automotive market. They have spent almost a quarter-billion dollars for a new assembly plant where they currently employ around 300 people. Last November, the company announced a $600 investment and plans to employ as many as 670 workers by 2020.
      Source: Bloomberg

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is none too pleased with the Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd as they're planning to sell an off-road vehicle that looks very much like the original Willys Jeep.
      Bloomberg obtained a complaint filed by FCA to the U.S. International Trade Commission on August 1st. The document claims that Mahindra's Roxor infringes key characteristics of Jeep's signature design - namely the “boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood.”
      “They are a nearly identical copy of the iconic Jeep design. In fact, the accused product was ‘modeled after the original Willys Jeep."
      The Roxor is a small, two-seat off-road vehicle. There is a lot of resemblance to original Jeep design and there is a reason for that. Beginning in 1947, Mahindra got a license to build the Willys CJ3 for the Asian market. They would do so until 2010. At this point, Mahindra introduced an updated model known as the Thar that meets India's road going passenger vehicle standards and looks like a 1990's Wrangler.
      Now the Roxor isn't being sold as road-legal vehicle. Instead, Mahindra is selling this as a side-by-side off-road utility. That means its not road legal. Which brings us to the next key part of FCA's complaint. The company is arguing that Roxor imports "threaten it with substantial injury as they are underselling Jeeps." This is due to Mahindra manufacturing the parts and creating a knock-down kit, which is then shipped to a plant in the Detroit area for final assembly. We're not sure about this partly due to the arena the Roxor competes in, but also the price. The model begins at just under $15,500. Comparable models from Polaris and Honda begin at under $10,000.
      While Mahindra has had some success in the U.S. with tractors, they haven't had the same when it comes to automobiles. Previously, the company was planning to offer a diesel pickup through a distributor. But plans were scrapped and Mahindra would find itself in a lengthy court battle. The Roxor is the next attempt at possible entry for Mahindra to enter the automotive market. They have spent almost a quarter-billion dollars for a new assembly plant where they currently employ around 300 people. Last November, the company announced a $600 investment and plans to employ as many as 670 workers by 2020.
      Source: Bloomberg
    • By William Maley
      We've known that Bentley is planning to do an electric vehicle, most likely using the platform underpinning the Porsche Mission E. What is still up in the air is what shape that vehicle could be? 
      “The next step for sure is an electric, unique Bentley that isn’t based on an existing car but a completely fresh and new development, with electric propulsion and obviously different proportions following the function. It gives us a great chance to establish a completely new design language for the company,” said Bentley design director Stefan Sielaff.
      “It will happen not so far in the future.”
      Auto Express believes the model in question is a four-door coupe, partly due to Sielaff's comments.

      “It should be a four or five-seater and it should also have the possibility to carry a little bit of luggage, maybe not for five people. I think we need to make sure that this family member is obviously new, and not imitating another concept we have already in the portfolio. But definitely more than two seats; that’s something I am convinced of,” said Sielaff.
      “But nevertheless I think it should be a vehicle that contains a certain coupe-style or sportivity, and also a certain elegance. I don’t think it should be something that is raised high, like an SUV.”
      This seems to line up with a rumor back in November where it was reported that Bentley was planning a four-door coupe possibly named Barnato.
      Source: Auto Express

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      A constant complaint we have about Audis is their one-size fits all design philosophy as it is difficult to tell the difference between an A3 and A4 for example. Thankfully, Audi will be diversifying their designs in future models.
      “This [repetition] design process was used to make Audis more recognisable in newer and emerging markets. Now we are well known in major markets like China, we can begin to change this philosophy and give each car its own look,” said Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler to Autocar.
      “We recognise that there is a place for more differentiation now. Since our cars are in production for a minimum of six years, in today’s world I think each model should have its own design to be attractive for this long time,” said Audi design boss Marc Lichte
      You can see this with the Audi Q2 crossover with a different take on the grille and C-Pillar from other Audi crossovers. But Lichte says the biggest change will come with the launch of the e-tron quattro SUV next year. Due to the compact size of the electric powertrain, this gives designers more space to play with.
      “Design will go in a very different way. [Designers] will have more material space to play with, so we’ll be able to produce [vehicles with] shorter overhangs and lower bonnets. It makes for a more attractive design overall.”
      Source: Autocar

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      If it weren't for focus groups, the design of the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox could have looked so much different.
      Speaking to Automotive News, chief engineer of the 2018 Equinox Mark Cieslak revealed that focus groups weren't not impressed with the first designs of the redesigned model. They described the design as being bulky, 'not compelling', and looking a bit odd. If this was old GM, they would have gone forward with the design.
      "Back in the day, we would have probably just kept going," said Cieslak.
      "What we had on paper we felt was not going to win."
      But this being the new GM where bean counters lost a fair amount of influence, the decision was made to go back to the drawing board. At the time, GM was scrambling to fix the Malibu as its redesign earned poor reviews and a drop in sales which likely played a part in this decision. They needed to get the Equinox redesign right as the model it would replace was very popular. There were concerns that this could cause the new Equinox to be delayed. But in the end, the team were able to design a new Equinox without falling off schedule.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
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