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    • By William Maley
      The past few years have seen various automakers pull out of the Detroit Auto Show due to them figuring out better ways to spend their marketing dollars. This year alone saw Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, and Porsche be no-shows. Mitsubishi and Volvo were there in a small capacity, but due to the local dealers putting up a display. There could be another automaker joining the no-shows next year.
      Automotive News has learned from a senior executive source at Mercedes-Benz that the German automaker may withdraw for the 2019 edition.
      "We have to look at whether a trade show like Detroit fits with the cadence of our launch calendar and whether there's a more effective format for our needs. The G class was the perfect product to debut this year, but the likelihood we will be in Detroit next January is very slim. That doesn't mean however we are ruling out a return in 2020," the source said.
      A source at Mercedes' parent company Diamler casts further doubt of Mercedes-Benz making a return to Detroit.
      "With the number of models we have there's always a new car waiting to be launched. That's not the reason. Trade shows were designed so potential customers could easily compare prices across brands in one day, but this is no longer contemporary," said the source.
       "Once you make the decision you're out, why go back?"
      Like many automakers, Mercedes-Benz has been looking at different ways to debut models and reach consumers. Such methods have included off-site showings and holding their own events.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The past few years have seen various automakers pull out of the Detroit Auto Show due to them figuring out better ways to spend their marketing dollars. This year alone saw Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, and Porsche be no-shows. Mitsubishi and Volvo were there in a small capacity, but due to the local dealers putting up a display. There could be another automaker joining the no-shows next year.
      Automotive News has learned from a senior executive source at Mercedes-Benz that the German automaker may withdraw for the 2019 edition.
      "We have to look at whether a trade show like Detroit fits with the cadence of our launch calendar and whether there's a more effective format for our needs. The G class was the perfect product to debut this year, but the likelihood we will be in Detroit next January is very slim. That doesn't mean however we are ruling out a return in 2020," the source said.
      A source at Mercedes' parent company Diamler casts further doubt of Mercedes-Benz making a return to Detroit.
      "With the number of models we have there's always a new car waiting to be launched. That's not the reason. Trade shows were designed so potential customers could easily compare prices across brands in one day, but this is no longer contemporary," said the source.
       "Once you make the decision you're out, why go back?"
      Like many automakers, Mercedes-Benz has been looking at different ways to debut models and reach consumers. Such methods have included off-site showings and holding their own events.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears
    • By William Maley
      2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Lexus' F performance brand and to celebrate, the Japanese automaker will introducing special editions of the GS F and RC F to North America at this week's Chicago Auto Show.
      The two models made their debut last year at the Tokyo Motor Show where Lexus announced they would build a combined total of 500 GS F and RC F 10th anniversary edition models for the Japanese market. In the U.S. Lexus will only build a total of 340 10th anniversary models - 240 RC Fs and 100 GS Fs.
      What makes the 10th anniversary models standout from the standard ones? It begins outside with a Nebula Gray matte-finish paint and a set of 19-inch, multi-spoke wheels finished in black. A set of blue brake calipers provide the finishing touch. The interior features a lot of blue; blue leather trim, carbon fiber accents with a hint of blue, and seats upholstered in blue and white leather.
      Don't expect any changes with the 5.0L V8 as it will still provide 467 horsepower in both models.
      No word on pricing, but the 10th anniversary GS F and RC F arrive at dealers this summer.
      Source: Lexus
      Press Release is on Page 2


      A Decade of Lexus Performance
      Special Edition GS F and RC F Models Commemorate Ten Years of “F” Cars CHICAGO  (Feb. 5, 2018) – The purest expression of Lexus performance, that was the goal of the Lexus “F” performance brand when it was introduced in 2008. Every vehicle with an “F” badge would set new standards for Lexus performance and help redefine the brand for a new generation of customers.
       
      Today, Lexus adds another chapter to the “F” performance story with the introduction of the 2019 Lexus GS F and 2019 RC F 10th anniversary special editions that will be displayed for the first time in the U.S. at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show.
       
      Set to arrive at dealers this summer, these limited-edition models come standard with unique features that make them stand out beyond their already exceptional performance.
       
      The transformation of both cars starts with a coat of matte finish Nebula Gray paint. It’s the first use of matte paint on a production vehicle since the LFA supercar. Particular care was taken to assure that the unique finish was durable enough for the rigors of everyday use, including the ability to withstand the average mechanized car wash without degrading the quality of the finish. The dark gray finish contrasts with the standard polished black multispoke wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires. Blue brake calipers peek out from behind the 19-inch wheels to add a splash of color and hint at the changes found inside.    
       
      Open the door and you’re greeted by unique blue carbon fiber trim on the window switch panel and dashboard along with blue leather accents that give the interior the look of a custom-made exotic. It’s not an illusion either, as each car also gets engraved plaques certifying its limited-edition status. Only 240 10th anniversary RC Fs will be built, corresponding to the current number of U.S. Lexus dealers, while the 10th anniversary GS F is limited to just 100 units.
       
      In the RC F coupe, the front sport seats get blue leather with white accents along with a blue accented shift knob, steering wheel and instrument panel hood. An embossed headliner is also part of the package to give the coupe’s interior an even more personalized appearance.
       
      For the GS F sedan, the front seats mimic those in the RC while the rear seats also get a splash of blue leather on the side bolsters. Additional blue carbon trim is used on the center console along with blue suede dash trim and blue seatbelt straps. There is additional blue leather trim on the steering wheel, console and shift knob, although the GS F doesn’t get the same embossed headliner as the RC F.
       
      All RC F coupes feature a 467-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 that sends power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s capable of going from 0-to-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. A Torsen limited slip differential is standard along with variable dampers and multiple drive modes. A torque vectoring differential is also available as an option.
       
      The GS F sedan also comes with a 467-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8, an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear wheel drive. A torque vectoring rear differential comes standard. The GS F is capable of delivering a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds and up to 24 mpg on the highway. Variable dampers offer a choice between a smooth highway ride or a more responsive feel for spirited driving. A range of drive modes, including a full custom setting, allows the driver to adjust multiple settings with the turn of one knob.
       
      Additional options packages will be required on both 10th anniversary models, but final pricing has not been determined.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Lexus' F performance brand and to celebrate, the Japanese automaker will introducing special editions of the GS F and RC F to North America at this week's Chicago Auto Show.
      The two models made their debut last year at the Tokyo Motor Show where Lexus announced they would build a combined total of 500 GS F and RC F 10th anniversary edition models for the Japanese market. In the U.S. Lexus will only build a total of 340 10th anniversary models - 240 RC Fs and 100 GS Fs.
      What makes the 10th anniversary models standout from the standard ones? It begins outside with a Nebula Gray matte-finish paint and a set of 19-inch, multi-spoke wheels finished in black. A set of blue brake calipers provide the finishing touch. The interior features a lot of blue; blue leather trim, carbon fiber accents with a hint of blue, and seats upholstered in blue and white leather.
      Don't expect any changes with the 5.0L V8 as it will still provide 467 horsepower in both models.
      No word on pricing, but the 10th anniversary GS F and RC F arrive at dealers this summer.
      Source: Lexus
      Press Release is on Page 2


      A Decade of Lexus Performance
      Special Edition GS F and RC F Models Commemorate Ten Years of “F” Cars CHICAGO  (Feb. 5, 2018) – The purest expression of Lexus performance, that was the goal of the Lexus “F” performance brand when it was introduced in 2008. Every vehicle with an “F” badge would set new standards for Lexus performance and help redefine the brand for a new generation of customers.
       
      Today, Lexus adds another chapter to the “F” performance story with the introduction of the 2019 Lexus GS F and 2019 RC F 10th anniversary special editions that will be displayed for the first time in the U.S. at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show.
       
      Set to arrive at dealers this summer, these limited-edition models come standard with unique features that make them stand out beyond their already exceptional performance.
       
      The transformation of both cars starts with a coat of matte finish Nebula Gray paint. It’s the first use of matte paint on a production vehicle since the LFA supercar. Particular care was taken to assure that the unique finish was durable enough for the rigors of everyday use, including the ability to withstand the average mechanized car wash without degrading the quality of the finish. The dark gray finish contrasts with the standard polished black multispoke wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires. Blue brake calipers peek out from behind the 19-inch wheels to add a splash of color and hint at the changes found inside.    
       
      Open the door and you’re greeted by unique blue carbon fiber trim on the window switch panel and dashboard along with blue leather accents that give the interior the look of a custom-made exotic. It’s not an illusion either, as each car also gets engraved plaques certifying its limited-edition status. Only 240 10th anniversary RC Fs will be built, corresponding to the current number of U.S. Lexus dealers, while the 10th anniversary GS F is limited to just 100 units.
       
      In the RC F coupe, the front sport seats get blue leather with white accents along with a blue accented shift knob, steering wheel and instrument panel hood. An embossed headliner is also part of the package to give the coupe’s interior an even more personalized appearance.
       
      For the GS F sedan, the front seats mimic those in the RC while the rear seats also get a splash of blue leather on the side bolsters. Additional blue carbon trim is used on the center console along with blue suede dash trim and blue seatbelt straps. There is additional blue leather trim on the steering wheel, console and shift knob, although the GS F doesn’t get the same embossed headliner as the RC F.
       
      All RC F coupes feature a 467-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 that sends power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s capable of going from 0-to-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. A Torsen limited slip differential is standard along with variable dampers and multiple drive modes. A torque vectoring differential is also available as an option.
       
      The GS F sedan also comes with a 467-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8, an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear wheel drive. A torque vectoring rear differential comes standard. The GS F is capable of delivering a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds and up to 24 mpg on the highway. Variable dampers offer a choice between a smooth highway ride or a more responsive feel for spirited driving. A range of drive modes, including a full custom setting, allows the driver to adjust multiple settings with the turn of one knob.
       
      Additional options packages will be required on both 10th anniversary models, but final pricing has not been determined.
    • By William Maley
      Toyota Motor North America Reports January 2018 Sales
      TMNA posts best-ever light truck sales for January Toyota Highlander, RAV4 and 4Runner post best-ever January Lexus NX gas and hybrid post best-ever January PLANO, Texas (Feb. 1, 2018) – Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) today reported January 2018 sales of 167,056 vehicles, an increase of 16.8 percent from January 2017 on a volume basis. With one more selling day in January 2018 compared to January 2017, sales were up 12.1 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. 
       
      Toyota division posted January sales of 149,142 units, up 17 percent on a volume basis and 12.3 percent on a DSR basis.
       
      “We are off to a great start with strong customer demand for light trucks, including RAV4, Highlander and 4Runner, setting best-ever records for January,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager, Toyota division. “We’re encouraged by the strength of the market and the momentum we have with a full calendar year of the all-new Camry, followed by the launch of the all-new Avalon in the spring.”
       
      Lexus posted January sales of 17,914 vehicles, up 15 percent on a volume basis and 10.4 percent on a DSR basis.
       
      “Lexus is off to a very strong start this year. The NX, both gas and hybrid, had their best January ever, and the all-new three-row RXL is just now starting to hit dealership showrooms,” said Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager, Lexus division. “Combined with the launch of our fifth-generation LS and LS hybrid this month, along with the Limited Edition LC Inspiration Series and two-row LX, we're very optimistic about the year ahead. These new models will be followed throughout the year by 10 additional new models.”
       
      January 2018 Highlights  
      Camry sales were up 21.3 percent TMNA, Toyota and Lexus divisions post best-ever light truck sales Toyota division SUV posts 56,933 units RAV4 sales of 26,655 units, a best-ever month 4Runner sales were up 11.2 percent, a best-ever month Highlander sales of 15,484 units, a best-ever month Toyota division pickups up 27.3 percent Tacoma up 33.6 percent Tundra posted sales of 7,644 units, up 15.3 percent Lexus division LUVs up 23.6 percent, a best-ever month  NX up 41.9 percent in January, a best-ever month  RX posts monthly sales of 6,738 units  GX sales up 12.1 percent  Lexus ES sales were up 21.6 percent *Note: Unless otherwise stated, all figures reflect unadjusted raw sales volume
      TOYOTA  U.S. SALES SUMMARY
      JANUARY 2018
        -- CURRENT MONTH --
      -- CALENDAR YEAR TO DATE --     
                          2018
      2017
      DSR %
      VOL %
      2018
      2017
      DSR %
      VOL %
      TOTAL TOYOTA
      167,056
      143,048
      12.1
      16.8
      167,056
      143,048
      12.1
      16.8
      TOTAL TOYOTA DIV
      149,142
      127,476
      12.3
      17
      149,142
      127,476
      12.3
      17
      TOTAL LEXUS
      17,914
      15,572
      10.4
      15
      17,914
      15,572
      10.4
      15
                        YARIS IA (INCL SCI IA)
      2,132
      1,951
      4.9
      9.3
      2,132
      1,951
      4.9
      9.3
      YARIS LIFTBACK
      174
      1330
      -87.4
      -86.9
      174
      1,330
      -87.4
      -86.9
      TOTAL YARIS
      2,306
      3,281
      -32.5
      -29.7
      2,306
      3,281
      -32.5
      -29.7
      iQ
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      xD
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      xB
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      tC
      0
      72
      -100
      -100
      0
      72
      -100
      -100
      COROLLA IM (INCL SCI IM)
      1,396
      1,460
      -8.2
      -4.4
      1,396
      1,460
      -8.2
      -4.4
      COROLLA SEDAN
      20,011
      20,107
      -4.5
      -0.5
      20,011
      20,107
      -4.5
      -0.5
      TOTAL COROLLA
      21,407
      21,567
      -4.7
      -0.7
      21,407
      21,567
      -4.7
      -0.7
      86 (INCL FR-S)
      317
      474
      -35.8
      -33.1
      317
      474
      -35.8
      -33.1
      MIRAI
      213
      83
      146.4
      156.6
      213
      83
      146.4
      156.6
      AVALON
      3,481
      2,503
      33.5
      39.1
      3,481
      2,503
      33.5
      39.1
      PRIUS
      6,943
      7,829
      -14.9
      -11.3
      6,943
      7,829
      -14.9
      -11.3
      CAMRY
      24,638
      20,313
      16.4
      21.3
      24,638
      20,313
      16.4
      21.3
      TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. CAR
      59,305
      56,122
      1.4
      5.7
      59,305
      56,122
      1.4
      5.7
                        CT
      3
      393
      -99.3
      -99.2
      3
      393
      -99.3
      -99.2
      IS
      1,447
      1,423
      -2.4
      1.7
      1,447
      1,423
      -2.4
      1.7
      RC
      161
      447
      -65.4
      -64
      161
      447
      -65.4
      -64
      ES
      2,640
      2,171
      16.7
      21.6
      2,640
      2,171
      16.7
      21.6
      GS
      475
      422
      8.1
      12.6
      475
      422
      8.1
      12.6
      LS
      116
      280
      -60.2
      -58.6
      116
      280
      -60.2
      -58.6
      LC
      176
      0
      0
      0
      176
      0
      0
      0
      LFA
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      0
      TOTAL LEXUS CAR
      5,018
      5,136
      -6.2
      -2.3
      5,018
      5,136
      -6.2
      -2.3
      TOTAL TOYOTA CAR
      64,323
      61,258
      0.8
      5
      64,323
      61,258
      0.8
      5
                        SIENNA
      8,548
      7,285
      12.6
      17.3
      8,548
      7,285
      12.6
      17.3
      C-HR
      3,946
      0
      0
      0
      3,946
      0
      0
      0
      RAV4
      26,655
      22,155
      15.5
      20.3
      26,655
      22,155
      15.5
      20.3
      FJ CRUISER
      1
      0
      0
      0
      1
      0
      0
      0
      VENZA
      0
      4
      -100
      -100
      0
      4
      -100
      -100
      HIGHLANDER
      15,484
      12,656
      17.5
      22.3
      15,484
      12,656
      17.5
      22.3
      4RUNNER
      9,669
      8,699
      6.7
      11.2
      9,669
      8,699
      6.7
      11.2
      SEQUOIA
      923
      1,146
      -22.7
      -19.5
      923
      1,146
      -22.7
      -19.5
      LAND CRUISER
      255
      272
      -10
      -6.3
      255
      272
      -10
      -6.3
      TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. SUV
      56,933
      44,932
      21.6
      26.7
      56,933
      44,932
      21.6
      26.7
                        TACOMA
      16,712
      12,509
      28.3
      33.6
      16,712
      12,509
      28.3
      33.6
      TUNDRA
      7,644
      6,628
      10.7
      15.3
      7,644
      6,628
      10.7
      15.3
      TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. PICKUP
      24,356
      19,137
      22.2
      27.3
      24,356
      19,137
      22.2
      27.3
      TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. TRUCK
      89,837
      71,354
      20.9
      25.9
      89,837
      71,354
      20.9
      25.9
                        NX
      4,205
      2,964
      36.2
      41.9
      4,205
      2,964
      36.2
      41.9
      RX
      6,738
      5,520
      17.2
      22.1
      6,738
      5,520
      17.2
      22.1
      GX
      1589
      1418
      7.6
      12.1
      1,589
      1,418
      7.6
      12.1
      LX
      364
      534
      -34.6
      -31.8
      364
      534
      -34.6
      -31.8
      TOTAL LEXUS TRUCK
      12,896
      10,436
      18.6
      23.6
      12,896
      10,436
      18.6
      23.6
      TOTAL TOYOTA TRUCK
      102,543
      81,790
      20.4
      25.4
      102,543
      81,790
      20.4
      25.4
      Selling Days
      25
      24
          25
      24
          DSR = Daily Selling Rate
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