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  1. Did you know that Mercedes-Benz has nearly 30 models on sale in the U.S. at the moment? Factor in the various engine choices and body styles and you're looking at nearly 90 different models. This is causing Mercedes-Benz and their dealers a number of headaches dealing with it. "It has gotten to the point of being just too much to manage customer model confusion, vehicle logistics and manufacturing. Each of these models require marketing support, education at the dealer level, even service and parts inventory," said Jeff Schuster, president of global forecasting at LMC Automotive. Mer
  2. Did you know that Mercedes-Benz has nearly 30 models on sale in the U.S. at the moment? Factor in the various engine choices and body styles and you're looking at nearly 90 different models. This is causing Mercedes-Benz and their dealers a number of headaches dealing with it. "It has gotten to the point of being just too much to manage customer model confusion, vehicle logistics and manufacturing. Each of these models require marketing support, education at the dealer level, even service and parts inventory," said Jeff Schuster, president of global forecasting at LMC Automotive. Mer
  3. When we drove the Volkswagen Atlas back in the summer, we liked the base turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder for the most part. Aside from noticeable turbo-lag, the engine provided decent oomph. But for 2019, Volkswagen is quietly reducing the number of models you can order with the turbo 2.0L. CarsDirect recently obtained the order guide for the 2019 Atlas and reports that the base S trim will be the only model available with the 2.0T. Previously, the SE and SEL could be ordered with the 2.0T. Volkswagen has also decided to drop V6 FWD configuration for the S. This means the mid-level SE is
  4. When we drove the Volkswagen Atlas back in the summer, we liked the base turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder for the most part. Aside from noticeable turbo-lag, the engine provided decent oomph. But for 2019, Volkswagen is quietly reducing the number of models you can order with the turbo 2.0L. CarsDirect recently obtained the order guide for the 2019 Atlas and reports that the base S trim will be the only model available with the 2.0T. Previously, the SE and SEL could be ordered with the 2.0T. Volkswagen has also decided to drop V6 FWD configuration for the S. This means the mid-level SE is
  5. Owning a Mercedes-Benz AMG model for a time was something special as there was only a few models to get the performance treatment. But the past few years has seen an explosion of AMG models that offering varying levels of performance. There is also the AMG-only models like the GT and GT 4. Some are wondering if AMG is going a bit overboard with this model expansion. Not so according to Tobias Moers, head of AMG. "The A35 family is not diluting the brand. We have shared components with the next 45. And driving-dynamics-wise it's on the same level as the current A45, but with less horsepowe
  6. Owning a Mercedes-Benz AMG model for a time was something special as there was only a few models to get the performance treatment. But the past few years has seen an explosion of AMG models that offering varying levels of performance. There is also the AMG-only models like the GT and GT 4. Some are wondering if AMG is going a bit overboard with this model expansion. Not so according to Tobias Moers, head of AMG. "The A35 family is not diluting the brand. We have shared components with the next 45. And driving-dynamics-wise it's on the same level as the current A45, but with less horsepowe
  7. With Ford planning on dropping most of its cars except for one, the automaker is making changes to its advertising strategy, Automotive News is reporting that Ford has ended nationwide marking for the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Taurus. The company is also dialing back spending in certain regions. Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service tells AN that the money will be used on the Mustang, EcoSport, and new models coming in the pipeline. "It allows us to focus our resources. If we can take that money from sedans, where we have a middle-of-the-road position,
  8. With Ford planning on dropping most of its cars except for one, the automaker is making changes to its advertising strategy, Automotive News is reporting that Ford has ended nationwide marking for the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Taurus. The company is also dialing back spending in certain regions. Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service tells AN that the money will be used on the Mustang, EcoSport, and new models coming in the pipeline. "It allows us to focus our resources. If we can take that money from sedans, where we have a middle-of-the-road position,
  9. Ford's announcement of dropping most of their lineup of traditional cars likely caused a number of automakers to consider doing something similar. One automaker that will not be doing this is Subaru. Dominick Infante, Subaru’s national manager of product communications told Motor Trend one of the key reasons they keeping traditional cars is increasing gas prices. “Gas prices are starting to come up now. So a good hedge for better economy is having a sedan,” said Infante. “So we still make the Impreza and the Impreza hatchback. They do get better gas mileage than say a comparable
  10. Ford's announcement of dropping most of their lineup of traditional cars likely caused a number of automakers to consider doing something similar. One automaker that will not be doing this is Subaru. Dominick Infante, Subaru’s national manager of product communications told Motor Trend one of the key reasons they keeping traditional cars is increasing gas prices. “Gas prices are starting to come up now. So a good hedge for better economy is having a sedan,” said Infante. “So we still make the Impreza and the Impreza hatchback. They do get better gas mileage than say a comparable
  11. Since last year, we've been hearing various rumors of Ford cutting a number of passenger cars. In October, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said various cuts were incoming, including ones for the vehicle lineup. This would be part of a $7 billion shift of development funds from passenger cars to SUVs/Trucks. At the time, Ford wouldn't say what vehicles would be cut. During Ford's fourth-quarter and 2017 earnings call, Hackett said details about which models would be cut would finally be revealed later this year. Analysts hoping to get an answer were frustrated by this news. Ford has already ende
  12. Since last year, we've been hearing various rumors of Ford cutting a number of passenger cars. In October, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said various cuts were incoming, including ones for the vehicle lineup. This would be part of a $7 billion shift of development funds from passenger cars to SUVs/Trucks. At the time, Ford wouldn't say what vehicles would be cut. During Ford's fourth-quarter and 2017 earnings call, Hackett said details about which models would be cut would finally be revealed later this year. Analysts hoping to get an answer were frustrated by this news. Ford has already ende
  13. The past few years has seen Nissan expanding their lineup of NISMO performance models around the world. But that isn't enough as Nissan plans on expanding NISMO into more markets. To that end, the company announced a new unit called the NISMO Cars Business Unit. This will be part of Autech Japan, Inc - a Nissan group company that convert vehicles for disabled drivers and tunes performance vehicles. Nissan hopes that the new unit combined with the efforts Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. and other group companies can deliver more NISMO products in a shorter timeframe. "As a Ni
  14. The past few years has seen Nissan expanding their lineup of NISMO performance models around the world. But that isn't enough as Nissan plans on expanding NISMO into more markets. To that end, the company announced a new unit called the NISMO Cars Business Unit. This will be part of Autech Japan, Inc - a Nissan group company that convert vehicles for disabled drivers and tunes performance vehicles. Nissan hopes that the new unit combined with the efforts Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. and other group companies can deliver more NISMO products in a shorter timeframe. "As a Ni
  15. Aston Martin will soon be relaunching the Lagonda brand as a competitor to the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Speaking with Motoring, Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer said Lagonda would standard apart from its parent company. “Historically, Lagonda competed with the likes of Rolls and Bentley. [but] it has been largely dormant or has often been used as a sub brand… or a pet name of Aston, so lots of confusion. We’re going to get rid of the confusion… The direction I gave to Marek [Reichman, Aston Design boss] was look, Rolls Royce, is the epitome of luxury. It’s first class in a [Boeing]
  16. Aston Martin will soon be relaunching the Lagonda brand as a competitor to the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Speaking with Motoring, Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer said Lagonda would standard apart from its parent company. “Historically, Lagonda competed with the likes of Rolls and Bentley. [but] it has been largely dormant or has often been used as a sub brand… or a pet name of Aston, so lots of confusion. We’re going to get rid of the confusion… The direction I gave to Marek [Reichman, Aston Design boss] was look, Rolls Royce, is the epitome of luxury. It’s first class in a [Boeing]
  17. "SUVs are the top-selling segment in the U.S. That is why we are introducing five new SUVs in the U.S. by 2020," for the Ford brand, said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service in a statement this week. We already know three of the five models: EcoSport in 2018, the electric compact crossover in 2019, and the Bronco in 2020. But what about the other two? Reuters has learned from supplier sources that the models in question will be based on Ford's next-generation Focus and Fiesta. Meanwhile, Lincoln will be getting an additional model to their crossover
  18. "SUVs are the top-selling segment in the U.S. That is why we are introducing five new SUVs in the U.S. by 2020," for the Ford brand, said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service in a statement this week. We already know three of the five models: EcoSport in 2018, the electric compact crossover in 2019, and the Bronco in 2020. But what about the other two? Reuters has learned from supplier sources that the models in question will be based on Ford's next-generation Focus and Fiesta. Meanwhile, Lincoln will be getting an additional model to their crossover
  19. Lexus executives admit there are some holes in their lineup such as not having a subcompact or three-row crossover. Speaking with Automotive News, Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken said the brand is losing as many as 70,000 potential vehicle sales by not competing in certain segments. "We do think there's room to fill some gaps that still exist for Lexus," said Bracken. One possibility is introducing a subcompact crossover possibly with a production version of the UX concept. "That's a gap we are watching very closely. We're very fixated on trying to move that conversation for
  20. Lexus executives admit there are some holes in their lineup such as not having a subcompact or three-row crossover. Speaking with Automotive News, Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken said the brand is losing as many as 70,000 potential vehicle sales by not competing in certain segments. "We do think there's room to fill some gaps that still exist for Lexus," said Bracken. One possibility is introducing a subcompact crossover possibly with a production version of the UX concept. "That's a gap we are watching very closely. We're very fixated on trying to move that conversation for
  21. The Bentley Bentayga maybe one of most controversial models ever launched by the brand, but it has exceeded sales expectations. Because of this, Bentley is considering expanding Bentayga lineup. Autocar reports that there are three models up for consideration. First up is a coupe-styled version that could launch in 2019 if given the green-light by Volkswagen. “I’m confident that it will happen and our team is working on the case for this car, but it is not yet approved for production. We are the first in the luxury SUV space and at the moment unopposed, but there are lots of rivals c
  22. The Bentley Bentayga maybe one of most controversial models ever launched by the brand, but it has exceeded sales expectations. Because of this, Bentley is considering expanding Bentayga lineup. Autocar reports that there are three models up for consideration. First up is a coupe-styled version that could launch in 2019 if given the green-light by Volkswagen. “I’m confident that it will happen and our team is working on the case for this car, but it is not yet approved for production. We are the first in the luxury SUV space and at the moment unopposed, but there are lots of rivals c
  23. As more consumers head over to crossovers and SUVs, automakers find themselves making changes to their lineup. Case in point is Ford which is considering dropping some of their nameplates because of the change in demand. “Over time, there should be some pruning of the portfolio to support growth in other areas. Clearly we’re going to invest in growing the SUV portfolio. We certainly intend to have a strong car base as well; we don’t know where the market’s going to go. But there will be some pruning over time as there should be in a nameplate and portfolio,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford presid
  24. As more consumers head over to crossovers and SUVs, automakers find themselves making changes to their lineup. Case in point is Ford which is considering dropping some of their nameplates because of the change in demand. “Over time, there should be some pruning of the portfolio to support growth in other areas. Clearly we’re going to invest in growing the SUV portfolio. We certainly intend to have a strong car base as well; we don’t know where the market’s going to go. But there will be some pruning over time as there should be in a nameplate and portfolio,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford presid
  25. Sales of Fiat vehicles in the U.S. have been tanking and FCA is making a drastic change to try and reverse this. Automotive News got their hands on documents revealing a new pricing structure that will see Fiat cut the prices on some of their models. The base 500 will see a price cut of $2,000 ($14,995 from $16,995). The price doesn't include a $995 destination charge. The big price cuts will come to the 500C lineup as there will now be a $1,495 difference between the cabrio and regular hardtop. A key example is the 500C Abarth which sees its price drop from $26,695 to $21,490 for 2017. P

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