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  1. Today was Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' earnings report day and the results for the past year was a bit mixed. FCA reported a profit of 377 million euros (about $410 million) for 2015. This is a large decrease compared to the 632 million euros (about $689 million) profit for 2014. FCA attributes the decrease to investment costs and a large number of recalls on their vehicles. For the year, FCA said reported adjusted earnings increased 39 percent to 5.3 billion euros (about $5.75 billion) thanks to a strong performance in North America and a European market that is recovering. Total global deliveries for 2015 were 4.6 million vehicles. This is in line with 2014, but falls slightly short of FCA's goal of delivering 4.8 million vehicles. Along with the announcement of earnings, FCA has updated its five-year business plan. Here are the highlights: FCA will be shifting North American production capacity to produce more SUVs and trucks. The reasoning behind this comes down to the company believing low fuel prices will be “permanent” and expects the trend of consumers going toward utility vehicles and pickups to continue.This move will affect the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne both “will run their course,” likely meaning we will not see a second-generation of either model. [*]Alfa Romeo's product plans has been realigned once again (insert shocked face here -WM) Reason for this comes from "uncertainties" in China and giving the brand extra time to "guarantee proper global distribution network execution." Manufacturing, product investment, and R&D investments slimmed down till 2018. The planned product lineup (including a hatchback, full-size sedan, two utility vehicles, and two speciality vehicles) will now be completed by mid-2020 The Guila is still planned to go into production and launched this year. A midsize utility vehicle will be launched late 2016/early 2017 [*]The next-generation Jeep Wrangler will be coming out in 2017 with a variety of new powertrains and a pickup version. 2018 will see a mild-hybrid and diesel powertrain options being available. 2022 will see a full-hybrid Wrangler. This is part of a plan to meet new regulations. [*]Ram is also expected to get a mild hybrid system sometime in 2020 or so Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2, The Detroit News
  2. The Cadillac Escalade is an anomaly for the brand. The model represents everything that Cadillac would like to leave behind, Shares the platform that Chevrolet and GMC use for their full-size SUVs Too Much Bling Nimble Performance is non-existant Hasn't sold in any real volume in other countries But the Escalade is the model that commands top dollar and brings in buyers who tend to go for German and Japanese luxury brands. According to Automotive News, buyers laid down an average of $85,000 for the long-wheelbase Escalade ESV. The Escalade "is the one car we have that import buyers won't even bat an eye to buy," said Keith Harvey, executive manager of Gold Coast Cadillac in Oakhurst, N.J. "They don't have to worry what people will think when they pull up to the country club. It's an Escalade." This leaves Cadillac in a precarious place. How do you bring one of your most popular models into the image you are trying to create for the brand? In the short-term, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen has floated the idea of doing a VSport model to possibly expand the Escalade lineup. But long-term, de Nysschen admits there is some frustration on how to evolve the model. "How do you balance the desire to bring it into alignment with where we're taking the brand and the equally intense desire not to screw up a good thing?" he said last April. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  3. FCA's second five-year plan had some interesting products for Chrysler, including a new compact called the 100 due in 2016. But there could be some changes in store for Chrysler's lineup due to current situation in the market. Allpar reports that investor presentation mentioned that Chrysler's future lineup was “under re-evaluation”. Causes for the re-evaluation include fuel prices going down and are predicted to stay there for the next few years, the increasing popularity of crossovers, and the decline in small car sales. The original plan for Chrysler in the second five-year plan included, Compact 100 sedan to be launched in 2016 Next-generation minivan to be launched in 2016, with a PHEV to follow a year later New full-size crossover to be launched, with a PHEV in 2017 200 sedan is refreshed in 2017 Midsize crossover is launched in 2018 Next-generation 300 is launched in 2018 Allpar believes that the 100 might morph into a crossover, complementing the Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade. But there could be the possibility of 100 being sold elsewhere in the world and not the U.S. and Canada. The midsize crossover is speculated to be the replacement for the Dodge Journey and is expected in the near future. Source: Allpar
  4. Cadillac is giving the ATS and CTS some much needed improvements for the V6 powertrain. 2016 models will introduce a new version of 3.6L DI V6 producing 335 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque, an increase 14 and 9 respectively. Along with more power, the 3.6L will see a 9 percent increase in combined fuel economy - 24 MPG for rear-wheel drive and 22 MPG for all-wheel drive models. The V6, along with the 2.0L turbo-four will gain the eight-speed automatic transmission. Source: Cadillac Press Release is on Page 2 New Technologies Boost Efficiency for 2016 CYLINDER DEACTIVATION AND START/STOP SYSTEMS BEGIN PRODUCTION ON ATS AND CTS PRODUCT LINES Renowned for luxury and design, Cadillac has recently added dynamic driving performance to its list of attributes. Now as 2016 model year production begins, Cadillac adds new fuel-saving technologies. Active Fuel Management and Automatic Stop/Start technologies, and widespread use of a new 8-speed transmission, are combining to raise fuel economy ratings and reduce emissions in Cadillac’s portfolio. Cadillac’s all-new six cylinder engine contains Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, technology enabling it to seamlessly switch from six-cylinder to four-cylinder operation under certain light-load conditions, while maintaining excellent performance. The new 3.6-liter engine is part of the 2016 ATS and CTS product lines. Additionally, the Cadillac Escalade luxury SUV’s V8 will shift to four-cylinder operation in many daily driving conditions, as will Cadillac’s all-new high performance CTS-V sedan. Cadillac’s advanced engine technology will accelerate in the new Twin Turbo-powered CT6 prestige sedan, which will be the world’s only six-cylinder engine to combine turbocharging with cylinder deactivation and Stop/Start technology. Cadillac’s ATS and CTS also offer a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the most popular choice among buyers. These models also see fuel economy improvements in 2016 via the use of Automatic Start/Stop, or AutoStop, technology. This system reduces emissions and fuel consumption by automatically turning off the engine when the car is stationary, such as at red light. The engine quickly and automatically resumes as soon as the driver releases the brake. Previous Start/Stop systems often relied on the car’s battery system. Cadillac employs a voltage stabilization system powered by ultracapacitors to re-start the engine. This alternative power source inside the car enables smoother and quicker re-starts compared to previous systems, while enhancing durability by reducing strain on the existing electrical systems. Cadillac’s new 8-speed transmission nets another efficiency gain, and like the new V6 engine, just started production in the 2016 ATS and CTS. “While these new systems increase efficiency, a main focus in engineering at Cadillac is to integrate these systems smoothly with no compromise to the driving experience,” says David Leone, Cadillac executive chief engineer. “Our new 8-speed transmission was developed internally for fast and smooth shifting in every situation with Cylinder Deactivation and Start/Stop are integrated in a more seamless manner than our competitors.” The result is cleaner and more fuel-efficient Cadillac models. CO2 output has been reduced up to 6 percent on 2016 ATS and CTS models.
  5. Earlier this week, we introduced you the refreshed 2016 Holden Commodore lineup. Now one question that came up was if the Chevrolet SS - a rebadged version of the Commodore - would see any changes. Chevrolet has provided the answer with an announcement of an updated 2016 SS sedan. Changes for the 2016 SS are mostly cosmetic with new vertical ducts to improve aerodynamics and a set of LED lighting. Finishing off the exterior are a set of functional hood vents and nineteen-inch alloy wheels. The 6.2L V8 remains unchanged with 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A new dual-mode exhaust comes as standard. "The 2016 SS design changes more fully express the true driving character of the sedan while further enhancing the car's overall performance," said Todd Christensen, Chevrolet Performance Car marketing manager. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 2016 Chevrolet SS Designed for Performance DETROIT – Building on the performance-oriented updates made to the Chevrolet SS last year, the 2016 model features several exterior enhancements that reinforce its presence on the road. A revised front fascia features new, vertical ducts at the outer edges to direct airflow over the front wheel openings to improve aerodynamic efficiency. The fascia also incorporates new LED signature lighting, while new, functional hood vents and new-design 19-inch cast-aluminum wheels contribute to a stronger appearance for the rear-drive sports sedan. “The 2016 SS design changes more fully express the true driving character of the sedan while further enhancing the car’s overall performance,” said Todd Christensen, Chevrolet Performance Car marketing manager. What hasn’t changed is the SS’s unique blend of performance, comfort and spaciousness. It features a 6.2L V-8 engine under the hood and turns out an SAE-certified 415 horsepower (310 kW) and 415 lb-ft of torque (563 Nm), and offers a six-speed manual transmission or a paddle-shift six-speed automatic transmission. A new, dual-mode exhaust system for 2016 complements the V-8 engine with quieter performance at low engine speeds and a more muscular engine note at wide-open throttle.
  6. Late last week, Honda introduced a refreshed 2016 Accord in Silicon Valley. The location was chosen for the Japanese automaker to make the point of one the biggest changes for this model - introduction of Android Auto and Apple's CarPlay. Standard on EX models and up, these systems allow your phone to take the place of the vehicle's infotainment system. Additionally, all Accord trims come with the option with Honda Sensing, a suite of advanced driving and safety features that includes Forward Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, and Collision Mitigation Braking System. Outside, the 2016 Accord looks more like an Acura (for better or worse) with a new front grille and LED taillights. The top Touring trim gets LED headlights. A set of 19-inch wheels are available on higher trims. Powertrains largely carryover from the current model. The 2016 Accord arrives at dealers later this summer. Source: Honda Press Release is on Page 2 Honda Introduces the Highest Tech Accord Yet in High Tech’s U.S. Hub—Silicon Valley Jul 23, 2015 - MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. Upgraded 2016 Accord features one of the first applications of both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ in a volume-produced vehicle More dynamic styling, including first 19-inch wheels on Accord Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive tech available on all trims New 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen interface Honda introduced a refreshed 2016 Accord loaded with advanced technology in Silicon Valley today, the first time the company has launched a new vehicle in the U.S. tech hub. Coming to market in August, the 2016 Accord will be the first Honda model and among the first high-volume cars in the marketplace to feature both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. These and other major upgrades to technology and features make it the most high-tech Accord ever. The 2016 Accord Sedan and Coupe receive dynamic new styling, a new Display Audio touchscreen interface, and Honda Sensing™, the most comprehensive suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies in the midsize car class. The 2016 Accord also adds HD Radio®, heated rear seats, front and rear parking sensors, and a number of other new features and technology to be revealed in coming weeks. Details on the Accord Hybrid will be announced at a later date. "Where else to introduce the most technologically advanced midsize sedan, the 2016 Accord, than in Silicon Valley," said John Mendel, executive vice president of the Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Customers want their vehicles to be more intelligently integrated with their smartphone-powered lives, and we are committed to delivering that experience starting with Accord, retail car buyers' most popular vehicle the past two years." Exterior and Interior design The 2016 Accord gets a major facelift with sportier, more sophisticated styling, front and rear. In front is a more sharply creased and intricately structured bumper fascia with outside edges that tuck into intake-like meshed areas that house new LED fog lights (Sport trim and above). A new aluminum hood features sharper character lines that meet up with a brighter, more expressive front grille. In the rear, the Accord gets restyled LED taillights and a similarly aggressive rear bumper fascia redesign. While all models feature restyled wheels, the Accord Sedan (Sport and Touring trim) and Coupe (Touring, new for Coupe) get new, larger 19-inch wheels and tires. The Touring sedan also gets a new rear deck spoiler. All models, Coupe and Sedan, feature the expanded use of LED lighting – LED taillights for all models, LED headlights for the new Touring Coupe, and LED daytime running lights (DRLs) for Sport and above trims. Honda Sensing™All 2016 Accords also can now be equipped with Honda Sensing™, among the most comprehensive suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies in the class. Honda Sensing includes a Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), and is available as a standalone option on all trims with the exception of Touring, where Honda Sensing is included as standard equipment. Also, all 2016 Accords feature a standard Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and Expanded View Driver's Mirror and, for the first time, new auto high-beam headlights (Touring trim) that enhance nighttime visibility and driving convenience by defaulting to the high-beam setting and automatically switching to low beams when an oncoming vehicle is detected. Display Audio with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ The Accord audio and digital experience also is significantly upgraded with the application of a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen interface featuring Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, on EX and above trims, as well as available HondaLink™ Assist (e911) and HD Radio. The intuitive and easy-to-use capacitive touchscreen lets users swipe, tap and pinch—just like on a tablet or smartphone—to control the vehicle’s audio system, display settings and other advanced features. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ are designed to support seamless smart phone integration and offer a multitude of new functions and features. Apple CarPlay® takes the things you want to do with your iPhone while driving and puts them right on your car’s built-in display. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third party apps. Apple CarPlay® is compatible with iOS 8.4 or later and iPhone 5 or later. Android Auto™ was designed to give drivers a simple, intuitive way through touch and voice to minimize the potential for distraction so the driver can stay focused on the road. Compatible with Android 5.0 and higher, Android Auto features Google Maps, Google Now, messaging, music and numerous popular apps. To take full advantage of these new systems and features, the 2016 Accord's new 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen is paired with an upper 7.7-inch high-resolution display screen and steering wheel-mounted controls. The upper screen can display audio settings, turn-by-turn directions, time and trip information, LaneWatch™ and Rearview Camera displays, incoming calls, SMS text messages when stopped, and parking sensor alerts. Upgraded FeaturesThe Accord value proposition is further bolstered by new standard and available features: Accord EX and above trims (Sedan and Coupe) with automatic transmission get remote engine start, 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen and HD Radio. SiriusXM satellite radio and Homelink remote, previously on EX-L and Touring, are now standard on EX and above trims. Sport and above trims in the sedan lineup also get a new 60/40 split and folding rear seat, previously a one-piece folding design. The Accord Sedan in Touring trim gets heated rear seats, front and rear parking sensors and new rain-sensing windshield wipers. Advanced Powertrains The Accord will continue to be offered with two advanced Honda engines: a direct-injected (DI) 2.4-liter inline i-VTEC™ 4-cylinder and a 3.5-liter VTEC™ V-6 that is the most powerful engine offered in a Honda sedan to date. Available transmissions include a sporty and fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) for the 4-cylinder engines, unique 6-speed manuals for the 4-cylinder and V-6 engines, and a 6-speed automatic for V-6 models.
  7. During the reign of former Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piëch, the company was arranged in such a way where each of the twelve brands were given autonomy to encourage competition between them. Many believed this arrangement made controlling almost impossible and was slow to react to changes in the marketplace. But with Piëch out the company, there appears to be a change incoming in how the company is structured. German publication Handelsblatt reports that Volkswagen will restructure the decentralized system into four holding companies for the 12 brands. Here's how it will break down, Holding Company 1: Volkswagen, Skoda, and Seat to be under the leadership of Former BMW manager Herbert Diess. Holding Company 2: Audi, Ducati, and Lamborghini to be under the leadership of current Audi CEO Rupert Stadler. Holding Company 3: Bentley, Bugatti, and Porsche to be under the leadership of Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller Holding Company 4: MAN, Scania, and Volkswagen Commercial to be under the leadership of former Daimler trucks boss Andreas Renschler This new structure is designed to improve efficiency and help make faster decisions. Each head will be on Volkswagen's board. Now with this possible change, a number of positions will be cut. Such positions include the groupwide head of sales and marketing. Source: Reuters via Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  8. Cadillac hoped the ATS would make a real impact in the compact luxury class. Instead, the model has lagged behind competitors and its market share has been in constant decline since 2013. Automotive News says one of the key reasons comes down to the ATS' resale value falling at a steady rate. This is turn makes it harder and expensive for the brand to offer a competitive lease, something needed if you want to make it in the marketplace. To try and fix this, Cadillac has made a number of changes for the 2017 model. The big one is the base 2.5 four-cylinder being dropped and the turbo 2.0L taking its place. Cadillac is also adding a bit more equipment such as a Bose audio system, 8-inch touchscreen with CUE, and a backup camera. These changes bump the ATS' base price to $35,590 (about $1,500 more than the 2016 model). But in turn, the higher trim levels for the ATS will see price cuts ranging from $650 to $1,100. "We want to emphasize the 2.0-liter turbo and the car's features while attacking the market on the product side, rather than using increased incentives," said Cadillac's global product planning director, Hampden Tener. Will it be enough? Only future sales figures will be able to answer this question. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  9. After spending two years at Infiniti, Johan de Nysschen has stepped down from his position as President and become the president of Cadillac. The news was announced yesterday in a press release by General Motors. In his new role, the 54-year-old will be responsible "for all aspects of Cadillac globally." “Johan brings to our company vast experience in the development and proper execution of luxury automotive brands. With over 20 years in this exact space, especially in the development of the Audi brand, his track record proves he is the perfect executive to lead Cadillac for the long term,” said GM President Dan Ammann. “I have for some time now been impressed by how the new General Motors has been transformed into a formidable force in the industry. The combination of strong corporate leadership and exceptional engineering resources presents the perfect combination to restore Cadillac to its place among global premium brands." said de Nysschen. “The recognition of the brand is immense, and the progress on the fundamental product front is widely acclaimed. I am delighted at the opportunity to join the GM executive team to lead the Cadillac business, and I look forward to working with my Cadillac colleagues and our global retail partners.” Cadillac's former head, Robert Ferguson has been named Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy. Source: Cadillac William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Cadillac Names Johan de Nysschen President Cadillac to operate as global brand, more distinct business unit DETROIT – General Motors today announced the appointment of Johan de Nysschen as President – Cadillac. de Nysschen will be responsible for all aspects of Cadillac globally including sales, pricing and network development, strategic brand development and marketing and product portfolio planning, including critical input for product engineering and design. de Nysschen, 54, joins the GM executive leadership team as an executive vice president of the company beginning August 1 and reports to GM President Dan Ammann. “Johan brings to our company vast experience in the development and proper execution of luxury automotive brands,” said Ammann. “With over 20 years in this exact space, especially in the development of the Audi brand, his track record proves he is the perfect executive to lead Cadillac for the long term.” de Nysschen said he is eager to join the GM team. “I have for some time now been impressed by how the new General Motors has been transformed into a formidable force in the industry,” he said. “The combination of strong corporate leadership and exceptional engineering resources presents the perfect combination to restore Cadillac to its place among global premium brands. “The recognition of the brand is immense, and the progress on the fundamental product front is widely acclaimed. I am delighted at the opportunity to join the GM executive team to lead the Cadillac business, and I look forward to working with my Cadillac colleagues and our global retail partners.” Cadillac is the fastest-growing luxury brand worldwide, with sales improving approximately 30 percent globally in 2013, and an aggressive cadence of new models recently introduced and in cue. Some highlights include: CTS - 2014 Motor Trend Car of the Year Next generation 2015 Escalade arriving in showrooms The summer’s launch of the 2015 ATS coupe, based on the success of ATS sedan, the 2013 North American Car of the Year Approximately 60 percent of Cadillac buyers are new to the brand de Nysschen spent the last two years as head of the Infiniti brand worldwide. Prior to that, de Nysschen was chief executive of Audi USA for eight years and president of Audi Japan for five. He began his career with Audi in South Africa in 1993 after a variety of automotive positions with the Ministry of Transportation, BMW in South Africa and an automotive supplier. GM Names Ferguson to Lead Global Public Policy DETROIT — General Motors today appointed Robert E. Ferguson to Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy. Ferguson will report directly to GM CEO Mary Barra and is responsible for GM's federal, state and international government relations and public policy activities in the U.S. and its markets around the globe. The appointment is effective immediately. Ferguson returns to the top public policy position having guided GM's ignition switch recall response among lawmakers and regulators while also serving as Senior Vice President, Global Cadillac. During his tenure at Cadillac, the iconic nameplate became the world's fastest-growing full-line luxury brand and sold record volumes in the important China market. With the introduction of acclaimed new products such as the CTS, ATS coupe and Escalade, the brand is positioned for even greater success. "We need Bob's leadership and full focus on rebuilding relationships and instilling confidence in GM's efforts to create a new industry standard for safety," said Barra. "As GM's voice in critical policy issues, Bob will communicate a clear sense of purpose and collaborative spirit." Ferguson, 54, joined GM in 2010 as Vice President for Global Public Policy and served in that position through October 2012. He is credited with helping GM strengthen its position on Capitol Hill, and with its many regulatory agencies, on a wide range of business challenges related to energy, tax, labor, and finance policy. Ferguson was tapped by then-GM CEO Dan Akerson to head Cadillac's global marketing team. During that time, Cadillac saw nearly 30 percent global growth, highest among all full-line luxury brands, and U.S. growth of 22 percent. Cadillac's 66 percent growth in the white-hot China luxury market resulted in record sales of 50,000 units, putting the brand on a path to double sales there in two years. Prior to joining GM, Ferguson was at the business advisory and strategic communications firm Public Strategies, where he worked with a diverse and international group of clients as a senior strategist. Before joining Public Strategies, Ferguson spent more than 10 years as an executive at AT&T, where he served as the president of state legislative and regulatory affairs and also as group president and CEO of SBC's Enterprise Business Services. Ferguson, who succeeds Selim Bingol, also will serve as Chairman of the GM Foundation and oversee the philanthropic organization's contribution to the communities where GM employees live and work. Ferguson's replacement at Cadillac will be named later.
  10. The wreath-less Cadillac badge that debut on the ATS Coupe will soon be appearing on the 2015 ATS Sedan. That's not the only change in store for the ATS sedan for the 2015 model year though. Along with the badge, the 2015 ATS sedan gets some revised sheetmetal in the front to better match the ATS Coupe. On the tech front, the 2015 ATS sedan will get 4G LTE connectivity, text message alert, and a Powermat wireless phone charging dock. Power-wise, the turbo 2.0L four sees an increase of 14 percent for torque. Numbers now stand at 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The 2.5 four and 3.6L V6 carry over into 2015. Cadillac hasn't revealed pricing at this time, but expect the 2015 ATS sedan to be sitting along the side the ATS coupe later this summer. Source: Cadillac, Automobile Magazine William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  11. Despite just showing off the new 2015 Legacy at the Chicago Auto Show, Subaru has some changes incoming. Car & Driver reports that the automaker is working on a replacement on 3.6L flat-six that will appear the mid-cycle refresh, most likely happening in three years. The new flat-six engine will be 3.0 liters and pack more power than the current 256 horsepower from the 3.6L. Its unknown if the engine will have direct-injection or a turbocharger. Also, Subaru is considering dropping in the direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0L FA boxer-four engine that is found in the Forester XT and WRX. No timeframe has been set if given the greenlight. Source: Car & Driver William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com April 17, 2013 Cadillac has announced some executive changes to help take full advantage of the sale increases the brand is experiencing. Don Butler who is Cadillac's U.S. VP of marketing will become VP of global Cadillac strategic development. Butler's goal in this new position is to drive the next phase of Cadillac growth internationally," planning strategy and developing new markets. Taking Butler's place as Cadillac's U.S. VP of marketing will be Steve Majoros. Majoros worked at Campbell-Ewald as its managing director and has "Like a Rock" and "American Revolution" campaigns under his belt. Source: General Motors William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Cadillac Leadership Moves Drive Further Growth New alignment supports global expansion DETROIT, 2013-04-12 – As part of its ongoing global growth, Cadillac today enhanced its leadership team with two new executive appointments aimed at extending the brand's momentum. U.S. Vice President of Marketing Don Butler will take on the position of Global Cadillac Strategic Development vice president. In this newly created role, Butler will drive the next phase of Cadillac growth internationally, including new market development and strategic global planning. He will continue to report to Bob Ferguson, GM vice president, Global Cadillac. "Cadillac is continuing to expand in our home market and globally, which demands that we continually enhance our team's focus and capabilities," said Ferguson. "Don's international experience and deep product knowledge will be major assets as we take our global growth to the next level." Steve Majoros is named director, Global Cadillac Marketing. He will report to Ferguson and will lead the Cadillac global marketing team. In his new role, Majoros will assume responsibility for domestic and global marketing to ensure tight coordination between Cadillac's marketing, advertising and sales field teams. Prior to joining Cadillac, Steve was managing director, Campbell-Ewald. "Steve's extensive expertise in automotive marketing and his proven leadership record will significantly strengthen Cadillac's focus on global expansion," said Ferguson. "In our continuing effort to elevate Cadillac, Steve's unique perspective will complement our already-strong organization." Cadillac ended the first quarter of 2013 as the fastest growing full-line luxury brand in the United States, with sales increasing 38 percent. Brand growth has been driven by the all-new ATS sport sedan, the current North American Car of the Year, and the new XTS luxury sedan. Cadillac began the next phase of its ongoing global growth plan recently, with the start of production of the XTS in China, leading the brand's expansion in the world's largest luxury market. Earlier this year, Cadillac revealed the next models in its product-driven expansion, the 2014 Cadillac ELR extended range electric vehicle and the all new Cadillac CTS. Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at media.cadillac.com.
  13. Chrysler has announced some new appointments to its leader which take effect immediately. Head of the Ram Truck brand Reid Bigland becomes the new head of Alfa Romeo in the North America. Robert Hegbloom, who was the brand director of Ram Trucks becomes the head of the brand. With these appointments, both Bigland and Hegbloom become members of Chrysler's NAFTA Leadership Team. Bigland also gets a seat on Fiat Chrysler Group Executive Council – the highest decision-making body for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Source: Chrysler William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group Announces Executive Appointments August 18, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today announced that Reid Bigland is appointed Head of Alfa Romeo Brand for the NAFTA region. Bigland continues as Head of U.S. Sales and as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Chrysler Canada. He will also continue as a member of the NAFTA Leadership Team and the Fiat Chrysler Group Executive Council (GEC). In addition, Robert Hegbloom is appointed Head of Ram Truck Brand. In his new role, Hegbloom will become a member of the NAFTA Leadership Team. Both appointments are effective immediately. "I am delighted to be able to announce these appointments. Reid has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in managing Chrysler's consistent rise in sales and market share in both Canada and the U.S.," said Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO, Chrysler Group and CEO of Fiat S.p.A. "The addition of Alfa Romeo to his portfolio of responsibilities is an indication of how committed we are to the establishment of this brand in the North American market, a process that has already started with the introduction of the Alfa Romeo 4C. Much more is expected from this brand in the next few years as outlined in our five-year plan presented on May 6, 2014, and Reid's seniority and experience are ideal for the significant task that is now getting underway. "Reid has been working intensely with Bob in the establishment of the Ram Truck Brand after separation from Dodge, and it is appropriate that Bob now be given the opportunity to continue and intensify the work started by Reid. "These appointments are a clear reflection of the value we at Chrysler place on people development and the nurturing of leadership skills. Both Reid and Bob have grown tremendously as leaders in the last five years, and the time has come for them to have expanded leadership roles." Hegbloom previously served as the Director of Ram Truck Brand. He has held a series of positions with increasing responsibility supporting the Company's truck brand. Hegbloom joined Chrysler in 1986.
  14. Even though the Cadillac Escalade is quite fresh, Cadillac has a number of changes in store for it in the coming year to keep it the thick of the luxury SUV battleground. The big change is the introduction of the Platinum trim for the Escalade. The Platinum trim adds a bit more shine on the exterior with additional chrome trim, twenty-two inch wheels, Cadillac's new crest, and Platinum badges. Inside, the Escalade Platinum gets Nappa semi-aniline leather in a choice of either beige or gray; suede microfiber headliner, heated and cooled seats for the front, eighteen-way power seats, and three screens for rear seat passengers (two seven-inch screens in the headrests, and a nine-inch screen in the center). Other changes for the 2015 model include an eight-speed automatic taking the place of the six-speed, a new two-speed transfer case for four-wheel drive models, Surround View camera system, 4G LTE connectivity, and a hands-free power liftgate. Pricing for the 2015 Escalade will start at $73,965 (includes $995 destination charge), while the new Escalade Platinum model kicks off at $90,270. Source: Cadillac William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 New Platinum Collection, Added Features Elevate Escalade Craftsmanship and Technology Entire SUV line gets 8-Speed transmission, Surround View camera and 4G LTE connectivity DETROIT – Cadillac today announced numerous enhancements to the just-launched 2015 Escalade, including the new range-topping Platinum Collection model launching in the fourth quarter this year. Escalade Platinum features elegant, hand-crafted luxury additions to both the exterior and interior while the entire Escalade range gets new technical features, highlighted by the addition of 4G LTE connectivity, a new 8-speed automatic transmission and a Surround View camera system to help increase visibility. "Since the launch just a few months ago, the next-generation Escalade has proved exceptionally desirable among luxury SUV buyers," said Uwe Ellinghaus, chief marketing officer, Cadillac. "Now, within the same year we are able to elevate the Escalade line with the Platinum Collection, as well as deliver enhancements through the entire Escalade range." The 2015 Escalade Platinum extends and upgrades the use of premium materials within the Escalade's cut and sewn interior. First- and second-row seats are wrapped in Nappa semi-aniline leather, while the dashboard, upper door panels and center console are clad in hand-stitched and hand-wrapped leather. Customers can choose between two distinct interior environments, each paired with sueded microfiber headliner trim and unique exotic wood accents. Escalade Platinum Collection is also designed to provide passengers with unsurpassed comfort and convenience. Heated and cooled 18-way power front seats are standard, and include a massaging function on the driver's seat. A pair of seven-inch LCD screens, embedded in the front head rests, supplement the overhead 9-inch screen, while a cooled center console compartment can keep chilled beverages handy. Platinum models also include premium floor mats and Platinum-branded door sill plates. Escalade Platinum models ride on 22-inch wheels and the model is distinguished by chrome accents, Platinum exterior badging, and a unique grille mesh design. All Escalade models wear the new, streamlined Cadillac Crest. In addition, all Escalade models – from the standard Collection through to the Platinum – feature a host of technology upgrades. Vehicle performance is aided by the new eight-speed automatic transmission that is standard on all models, as well as a two-speed transfer case standard on four-wheel drive models. An electronic hands-free liftgate already standard on Escalade will also feature hands-free closing capability. Like the new ATS sport sedan, Escalade includes OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity with a WiFi hotspot capable of connecting up to seven devices and inductive wireless device charging. Surround View, which provides a bird's eye view of the area immediately surrounding the vehicle. The enhancements add just $1275 to Escalade's starting price in the U.S., for a total of $73,965, including destination. The top-of-the-range 2015 Escalade Platinum is priced from $90,270, including $995 in destination.
  15. Cadillac hoped the ATS would make a real impact in the compact luxury class. Instead, the model has lagged behind competitors and its market share has been in constant decline since 2013. Automotive News says one of the key reasons comes down to the ATS' resale value falling at a steady rate. This is turn makes it harder and expensive for the brand to offer a competitive lease, something needed if you want to make it in the marketplace. To try and fix this, Cadillac has made a number of changes for the 2017 model. The big one is the base 2.5 four-cylinder being dropped and the turbo 2.0L taking its place. Cadillac is also adding a bit more equipment such as a Bose audio system, 8-inch touchscreen with CUE, and a backup camera. These changes bump the ATS' base price to $35,590 (about $1,500 more than the 2016 model). But in turn, the higher trim levels for the ATS will see price cuts ranging from $650 to $1,100. "We want to emphasize the 2.0-liter turbo and the car's features while attacking the market on the product side, rather than using increased incentives," said Cadillac's global product planning director, Hampden Tener. Will it be enough? Only future sales figures will be able to answer this question. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  16. The Cadillac Escalade is an anomaly for the brand. The model represents everything that Cadillac would like to leave behind, Shares the platform that Chevrolet and GMC use for their full-size SUVs Too Much Bling Nimble Performance is non-existant Hasn't sold in any real volume in other countries But the Escalade is the model that commands top dollar and brings in buyers who tend to go for German and Japanese luxury brands. According to Automotive News, buyers laid down an average of $85,000 for the long-wheelbase Escalade ESV. The Escalade "is the one car we have that import buyers won't even bat an eye to buy," said Keith Harvey, executive manager of Gold Coast Cadillac in Oakhurst, N.J. "They don't have to worry what people will think when they pull up to the country club. It's an Escalade." This leaves Cadillac in a precarious place. How do you bring one of your most popular models into the image you are trying to create for the brand? In the short-term, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen has floated the idea of doing a VSport model to possibly expand the Escalade lineup. But long-term, de Nysschen admits there is some frustration on how to evolve the model. "How do you balance the desire to bring it into alignment with where we're taking the brand and the equally intense desire not to screw up a good thing?" he said last April. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  17. FCA's second five-year plan had some interesting products for Chrysler, including a new compact called the 100 due in 2016. But there could be some changes in store for Chrysler's lineup due to current situation in the market. Allpar reports that investor presentation mentioned that Chrysler's future lineup was “under re-evaluation”. Causes for the re-evaluation include fuel prices going down and are predicted to stay there for the next few years, the increasing popularity of crossovers, and the decline in small car sales. The original plan for Chrysler in the second five-year plan included, Compact 100 sedan to be launched in 2016 Next-generation minivan to be launched in 2016, with a PHEV to follow a year later New full-size crossover to be launched, with a PHEV in 2017 200 sedan is refreshed in 2017 Midsize crossover is launched in 2018 Next-generation 300 is launched in 2018 Allpar believes that the 100 might morph into a crossover, complementing the Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade. But there could be the possibility of 100 being sold elsewhere in the world and not the U.S. and Canada. The midsize crossover is speculated to be the replacement for the Dodge Journey and is expected in the near future. Source: Allpar View full article
  18. During the reign of former Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piëch, the company was arranged in such a way where each of the twelve brands were given autonomy to encourage competition between them. Many believed this arrangement made controlling almost impossible and was slow to react to changes in the marketplace. But with Piëch out the company, there appears to be a change incoming in how the company is structured. German publication Handelsblatt reports that Volkswagen will restructure the decentralized system into four holding companies for the 12 brands. Here's how it will break down, Holding Company 1: Volkswagen, Skoda, and Seat to be under the leadership of Former BMW manager Herbert Diess. Holding Company 2: Audi, Ducati, and Lamborghini to be under the leadership of current Audi CEO Rupert Stadler. Holding Company 3: Bentley, Bugatti, and Porsche to be under the leadership of Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller Holding Company 4: MAN, Scania, and Volkswagen Commercial to be under the leadership of former Daimler trucks boss Andreas Renschler This new structure is designed to improve efficiency and help make faster decisions. Each head will be on Volkswagen's board. Now with this possible change, a number of positions will be cut. Such positions include the groupwide head of sales and marketing. Source: Reuters via Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  19. Late last week, Honda introduced a refreshed 2016 Accord in Silicon Valley. The location was chosen for the Japanese automaker to make the point of one the biggest changes for this model - introduction of Android Auto and Apple's CarPlay. Standard on EX models and up, these systems allow your phone to take the place of the vehicle's infotainment system. Additionally, all Accord trims come with the option with Honda Sensing, a suite of advanced driving and safety features that includes Forward Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, and Collision Mitigation Braking System. Outside, the 2016 Accord looks more like an Acura (for better or worse) with a new front grille and LED taillights. The top Touring trim gets LED headlights. A set of 19-inch wheels are available on higher trims. Powertrains largely carryover from the current model. The 2016 Accord arrives at dealers later this summer. Source: Honda Press Release is on Page 2 Honda Introduces the Highest Tech Accord Yet in High Tech’s U.S. Hub—Silicon Valley Jul 23, 2015 - MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. Upgraded 2016 Accord features one of the first applications of both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ in a volume-produced vehicle More dynamic styling, including first 19-inch wheels on Accord Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive tech available on all trims New 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen interface Honda introduced a refreshed 2016 Accord loaded with advanced technology in Silicon Valley today, the first time the company has launched a new vehicle in the U.S. tech hub. Coming to market in August, the 2016 Accord will be the first Honda model and among the first high-volume cars in the marketplace to feature both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. These and other major upgrades to technology and features make it the most high-tech Accord ever. The 2016 Accord Sedan and Coupe receive dynamic new styling, a new Display Audio touchscreen interface, and Honda Sensing™, the most comprehensive suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies in the midsize car class. The 2016 Accord also adds HD Radio®, heated rear seats, front and rear parking sensors, and a number of other new features and technology to be revealed in coming weeks. Details on the Accord Hybrid will be announced at a later date. "Where else to introduce the most technologically advanced midsize sedan, the 2016 Accord, than in Silicon Valley," said John Mendel, executive vice president of the Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Customers want their vehicles to be more intelligently integrated with their smartphone-powered lives, and we are committed to delivering that experience starting with Accord, retail car buyers' most popular vehicle the past two years." Exterior and Interior design The 2016 Accord gets a major facelift with sportier, more sophisticated styling, front and rear. In front is a more sharply creased and intricately structured bumper fascia with outside edges that tuck into intake-like meshed areas that house new LED fog lights (Sport trim and above). A new aluminum hood features sharper character lines that meet up with a brighter, more expressive front grille. In the rear, the Accord gets restyled LED taillights and a similarly aggressive rear bumper fascia redesign. While all models feature restyled wheels, the Accord Sedan (Sport and Touring trim) and Coupe (Touring, new for Coupe) get new, larger 19-inch wheels and tires. The Touring sedan also gets a new rear deck spoiler. All models, Coupe and Sedan, feature the expanded use of LED lighting – LED taillights for all models, LED headlights for the new Touring Coupe, and LED daytime running lights (DRLs) for Sport and above trims. Honda Sensing™All 2016 Accords also can now be equipped with Honda Sensing™, among the most comprehensive suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies in the class. Honda Sensing includes a Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), and is available as a standalone option on all trims with the exception of Touring, where Honda Sensing is included as standard equipment. Also, all 2016 Accords feature a standard Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and Expanded View Driver's Mirror and, for the first time, new auto high-beam headlights (Touring trim) that enhance nighttime visibility and driving convenience by defaulting to the high-beam setting and automatically switching to low beams when an oncoming vehicle is detected. Display Audio with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ The Accord audio and digital experience also is significantly upgraded with the application of a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen interface featuring Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, on EX and above trims, as well as available HondaLink™ Assist (e911) and HD Radio. The intuitive and easy-to-use capacitive touchscreen lets users swipe, tap and pinch—just like on a tablet or smartphone—to control the vehicle’s audio system, display settings and other advanced features. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ are designed to support seamless smart phone integration and offer a multitude of new functions and features. Apple CarPlay® takes the things you want to do with your iPhone while driving and puts them right on your car’s built-in display. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third party apps. Apple CarPlay® is compatible with iOS 8.4 or later and iPhone 5 or later. Android Auto™ was designed to give drivers a simple, intuitive way through touch and voice to minimize the potential for distraction so the driver can stay focused on the road. Compatible with Android 5.0 and higher, Android Auto features Google Maps, Google Now, messaging, music and numerous popular apps. To take full advantage of these new systems and features, the 2016 Accord's new 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen is paired with an upper 7.7-inch high-resolution display screen and steering wheel-mounted controls. The upper screen can display audio settings, turn-by-turn directions, time and trip information, LaneWatch™ and Rearview Camera displays, incoming calls, SMS text messages when stopped, and parking sensor alerts. Upgraded FeaturesThe Accord value proposition is further bolstered by new standard and available features: Accord EX and above trims (Sedan and Coupe) with automatic transmission get remote engine start, 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen and HD Radio. SiriusXM satellite radio and Homelink remote, previously on EX-L and Touring, are now standard on EX and above trims. Sport and above trims in the sedan lineup also get a new 60/40 split and folding rear seat, previously a one-piece folding design. The Accord Sedan in Touring trim gets heated rear seats, front and rear parking sensors and new rain-sensing windshield wipers. Advanced Powertrains The Accord will continue to be offered with two advanced Honda engines: a direct-injected (DI) 2.4-liter inline i-VTEC™ 4-cylinder and a 3.5-liter VTEC™ V-6 that is the most powerful engine offered in a Honda sedan to date. Available transmissions include a sporty and fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) for the 4-cylinder engines, unique 6-speed manuals for the 4-cylinder and V-6 engines, and a 6-speed automatic for V-6 models. View full article
  20. Earlier this week, we introduced you the refreshed 2016 Holden Commodore lineup. Now one question that came up was if the Chevrolet SS - a rebadged version of the Commodore - would see any changes. Chevrolet has provided the answer with an announcement of an updated 2016 SS sedan. Changes for the 2016 SS are mostly cosmetic with new vertical ducts to improve aerodynamics and a set of LED lighting. Finishing off the exterior are a set of functional hood vents and nineteen-inch alloy wheels. The 6.2L V8 remains unchanged with 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A new dual-mode exhaust comes as standard. "The 2016 SS design changes more fully express the true driving character of the sedan while further enhancing the car's overall performance," said Todd Christensen, Chevrolet Performance Car marketing manager. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 2016 Chevrolet SS Designed for Performance DETROIT – Building on the performance-oriented updates made to the Chevrolet SS last year, the 2016 model features several exterior enhancements that reinforce its presence on the road. A revised front fascia features new, vertical ducts at the outer edges to direct airflow over the front wheel openings to improve aerodynamic efficiency. The fascia also incorporates new LED signature lighting, while new, functional hood vents and new-design 19-inch cast-aluminum wheels contribute to a stronger appearance for the rear-drive sports sedan. “The 2016 SS design changes more fully express the true driving character of the sedan while further enhancing the car’s overall performance,” said Todd Christensen, Chevrolet Performance Car marketing manager. What hasn’t changed is the SS’s unique blend of performance, comfort and spaciousness. It features a 6.2L V-8 engine under the hood and turns out an SAE-certified 415 horsepower (310 kW) and 415 lb-ft of torque (563 Nm), and offers a six-speed manual transmission or a paddle-shift six-speed automatic transmission. A new, dual-mode exhaust system for 2016 complements the V-8 engine with quieter performance at low engine speeds and a more muscular engine note at wide-open throttle. View full article
  21. Despite just showing off the new 2015 Legacy at the Chicago Auto Show, Subaru has some changes incoming. Car & Driver reports that the automaker is working on a replacement on 3.6L flat-six that will appear the mid-cycle refresh, most likely happening in three years. The new flat-six engine will be 3.0 liters and pack more power than the current 256 horsepower from the 3.6L. Its unknown if the engine will have direct-injection or a turbocharger. Also, Subaru is considering dropping in the direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0L FA boxer-four engine that is found in the Forester XT and WRX. No timeframe has been set if given the greenlight. Source: Car & Driver William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  22. After spending two years at Infiniti, Johan de Nysschen has stepped down from his position as President and become the president of Cadillac. The news was announced yesterday in a press release by General Motors. In his new role, the 54-year-old will be responsible "for all aspects of Cadillac globally." “Johan brings to our company vast experience in the development and proper execution of luxury automotive brands. With over 20 years in this exact space, especially in the development of the Audi brand, his track record proves he is the perfect executive to lead Cadillac for the long term,” said GM President Dan Ammann. “I have for some time now been impressed by how the new General Motors has been transformed into a formidable force in the industry. The combination of strong corporate leadership and exceptional engineering resources presents the perfect combination to restore Cadillac to its place among global premium brands." said de Nysschen. “The recognition of the brand is immense, and the progress on the fundamental product front is widely acclaimed. I am delighted at the opportunity to join the GM executive team to lead the Cadillac business, and I look forward to working with my Cadillac colleagues and our global retail partners.” Cadillac's former head, Robert Ferguson has been named Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy. Source: Cadillac William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Cadillac Names Johan de Nysschen President Cadillac to operate as global brand, more distinct business unit DETROIT – General Motors today announced the appointment of Johan de Nysschen as President – Cadillac. de Nysschen will be responsible for all aspects of Cadillac globally including sales, pricing and network development, strategic brand development and marketing and product portfolio planning, including critical input for product engineering and design. de Nysschen, 54, joins the GM executive leadership team as an executive vice president of the company beginning August 1 and reports to GM President Dan Ammann. “Johan brings to our company vast experience in the development and proper execution of luxury automotive brands,” said Ammann. “With over 20 years in this exact space, especially in the development of the Audi brand, his track record proves he is the perfect executive to lead Cadillac for the long term.” de Nysschen said he is eager to join the GM team. “I have for some time now been impressed by how the new General Motors has been transformed into a formidable force in the industry,” he said. “The combination of strong corporate leadership and exceptional engineering resources presents the perfect combination to restore Cadillac to its place among global premium brands. “The recognition of the brand is immense, and the progress on the fundamental product front is widely acclaimed. I am delighted at the opportunity to join the GM executive team to lead the Cadillac business, and I look forward to working with my Cadillac colleagues and our global retail partners.” Cadillac is the fastest-growing luxury brand worldwide, with sales improving approximately 30 percent globally in 2013, and an aggressive cadence of new models recently introduced and in cue. Some highlights include: CTS - 2014 Motor Trend Car of the Year Next generation 2015 Escalade arriving in showrooms The summer’s launch of the 2015 ATS coupe, based on the success of ATS sedan, the 2013 North American Car of the Year Approximately 60 percent of Cadillac buyers are new to the brand de Nysschen spent the last two years as head of the Infiniti brand worldwide. Prior to that, de Nysschen was chief executive of Audi USA for eight years and president of Audi Japan for five. He began his career with Audi in South Africa in 1993 after a variety of automotive positions with the Ministry of Transportation, BMW in South Africa and an automotive supplier. GM Names Ferguson to Lead Global Public Policy DETROIT — General Motors today appointed Robert E. Ferguson to Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy. Ferguson will report directly to GM CEO Mary Barra and is responsible for GM's federal, state and international government relations and public policy activities in the U.S. and its markets around the globe. The appointment is effective immediately. Ferguson returns to the top public policy position having guided GM's ignition switch recall response among lawmakers and regulators while also serving as Senior Vice President, Global Cadillac. During his tenure at Cadillac, the iconic nameplate became the world's fastest-growing full-line luxury brand and sold record volumes in the important China market. With the introduction of acclaimed new products such as the CTS, ATS coupe and Escalade, the brand is positioned for even greater success. "We need Bob's leadership and full focus on rebuilding relationships and instilling confidence in GM's efforts to create a new industry standard for safety," said Barra. "As GM's voice in critical policy issues, Bob will communicate a clear sense of purpose and collaborative spirit." Ferguson, 54, joined GM in 2010 as Vice President for Global Public Policy and served in that position through October 2012. He is credited with helping GM strengthen its position on Capitol Hill, and with its many regulatory agencies, on a wide range of business challenges related to energy, tax, labor, and finance policy. Ferguson was tapped by then-GM CEO Dan Akerson to head Cadillac's global marketing team. During that time, Cadillac saw nearly 30 percent global growth, highest among all full-line luxury brands, and U.S. growth of 22 percent. Cadillac's 66 percent growth in the white-hot China luxury market resulted in record sales of 50,000 units, putting the brand on a path to double sales there in two years. Prior to joining GM, Ferguson was at the business advisory and strategic communications firm Public Strategies, where he worked with a diverse and international group of clients as a senior strategist. Before joining Public Strategies, Ferguson spent more than 10 years as an executive at AT&T, where he served as the president of state legislative and regulatory affairs and also as group president and CEO of SBC's Enterprise Business Services. Ferguson, who succeeds Selim Bingol, also will serve as Chairman of the GM Foundation and oversee the philanthropic organization's contribution to the communities where GM employees live and work. Ferguson's replacement at Cadillac will be named later. View full article
  23. The wreath-less Cadillac badge that debut on the ATS Coupe will soon be appearing on the 2015 ATS Sedan. That's not the only change in store for the ATS sedan for the 2015 model year though. Along with the badge, the 2015 ATS sedan gets some revised sheetmetal in the front to better match the ATS Coupe. On the tech front, the 2015 ATS sedan will get 4G LTE connectivity, text message alert, and a Powermat wireless phone charging dock. Power-wise, the turbo 2.0L four sees an increase of 14 percent for torque. Numbers now stand at 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The 2.5 four and 3.6L V6 carry over into 2015. Cadillac hasn't revealed pricing at this time, but expect the 2015 ATS sedan to be sitting along the side the ATS coupe later this summer. Source: Cadillac, Automobile Magazine William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  24. Chrysler has announced some new appointments to its leader which take effect immediately. Head of the Ram Truck brand Reid Bigland becomes the new head of Alfa Romeo in the North America. Robert Hegbloom, who was the brand director of Ram Trucks becomes the head of the brand. With these appointments, both Bigland and Hegbloom become members of Chrysler's NAFTA Leadership Team. Bigland also gets a seat on Fiat Chrysler Group Executive Council – the highest decision-making body for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Source: Chrysler William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group Announces Executive Appointments August 18, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today announced that Reid Bigland is appointed Head of Alfa Romeo Brand for the NAFTA region. Bigland continues as Head of U.S. Sales and as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Chrysler Canada. He will also continue as a member of the NAFTA Leadership Team and the Fiat Chrysler Group Executive Council (GEC). In addition, Robert Hegbloom is appointed Head of Ram Truck Brand. In his new role, Hegbloom will become a member of the NAFTA Leadership Team. Both appointments are effective immediately. "I am delighted to be able to announce these appointments. Reid has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in managing Chrysler's consistent rise in sales and market share in both Canada and the U.S.," said Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO, Chrysler Group and CEO of Fiat S.p.A. "The addition of Alfa Romeo to his portfolio of responsibilities is an indication of how committed we are to the establishment of this brand in the North American market, a process that has already started with the introduction of the Alfa Romeo 4C. Much more is expected from this brand in the next few years as outlined in our five-year plan presented on May 6, 2014, and Reid's seniority and experience are ideal for the significant task that is now getting underway. "Reid has been working intensely with Bob in the establishment of the Ram Truck Brand after separation from Dodge, and it is appropriate that Bob now be given the opportunity to continue and intensify the work started by Reid. "These appointments are a clear reflection of the value we at Chrysler place on people development and the nurturing of leadership skills. Both Reid and Bob have grown tremendously as leaders in the last five years, and the time has come for them to have expanded leadership roles." Hegbloom previously served as the Director of Ram Truck Brand. He has held a series of positions with increasing responsibility supporting the Company's truck brand. Hegbloom joined Chrysler in 1986. View full article
  25. Even though the Cadillac Escalade is quite fresh, Cadillac has a number of changes in store for it in the coming year to keep it the thick of the luxury SUV battleground. The big change is the introduction of the Platinum trim for the Escalade. The Platinum trim adds a bit more shine on the exterior with additional chrome trim, twenty-two inch wheels, Cadillac's new crest, and Platinum badges. Inside, the Escalade Platinum gets Nappa semi-aniline leather in a choice of either beige or gray; suede microfiber headliner, heated and cooled seats for the front, eighteen-way power seats, and three screens for rear seat passengers (two seven-inch screens in the headrests, and a nine-inch screen in the center). Other changes for the 2015 model include an eight-speed automatic taking the place of the six-speed, a new two-speed transfer case for four-wheel drive models, Surround View camera system, 4G LTE connectivity, and a hands-free power liftgate. Pricing for the 2015 Escalade will start at $73,965 (includes $995 destination charge), while the new Escalade Platinum model kicks off at $90,270. Source: Cadillac William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 New Platinum Collection, Added Features Elevate Escalade Craftsmanship and Technology Entire SUV line gets 8-Speed transmission, Surround View camera and 4G LTE connectivity DETROIT – Cadillac today announced numerous enhancements to the just-launched 2015 Escalade, including the new range-topping Platinum Collection model launching in the fourth quarter this year. Escalade Platinum features elegant, hand-crafted luxury additions to both the exterior and interior while the entire Escalade range gets new technical features, highlighted by the addition of 4G LTE connectivity, a new 8-speed automatic transmission and a Surround View camera system to help increase visibility. "Since the launch just a few months ago, the next-generation Escalade has proved exceptionally desirable among luxury SUV buyers," said Uwe Ellinghaus, chief marketing officer, Cadillac. "Now, within the same year we are able to elevate the Escalade line with the Platinum Collection, as well as deliver enhancements through the entire Escalade range." The 2015 Escalade Platinum extends and upgrades the use of premium materials within the Escalade's cut and sewn interior. First- and second-row seats are wrapped in Nappa semi-aniline leather, while the dashboard, upper door panels and center console are clad in hand-stitched and hand-wrapped leather. Customers can choose between two distinct interior environments, each paired with sueded microfiber headliner trim and unique exotic wood accents. Escalade Platinum Collection is also designed to provide passengers with unsurpassed comfort and convenience. Heated and cooled 18-way power front seats are standard, and include a massaging function on the driver's seat. A pair of seven-inch LCD screens, embedded in the front head rests, supplement the overhead 9-inch screen, while a cooled center console compartment can keep chilled beverages handy. Platinum models also include premium floor mats and Platinum-branded door sill plates. Escalade Platinum models ride on 22-inch wheels and the model is distinguished by chrome accents, Platinum exterior badging, and a unique grille mesh design. All Escalade models wear the new, streamlined Cadillac Crest. In addition, all Escalade models – from the standard Collection through to the Platinum – feature a host of technology upgrades. Vehicle performance is aided by the new eight-speed automatic transmission that is standard on all models, as well as a two-speed transfer case standard on four-wheel drive models. An electronic hands-free liftgate already standard on Escalade will also feature hands-free closing capability. Like the new ATS sport sedan, Escalade includes OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity with a WiFi hotspot capable of connecting up to seven devices and inductive wireless device charging. Surround View, which provides a bird's eye view of the area immediately surrounding the vehicle. The enhancements add just $1275 to Escalade's starting price in the U.S., for a total of $73,965, including destination. The top-of-the-range 2015 Escalade Platinum is priced from $90,270, including $995 in destination. View full article

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