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Found 286 results

  1. Many people were hoping that Ford would bring the new Raptor Ranger to the U.S. It would offer the off-road performance and capability of the larger F-150 Raptor, but in a smaller and (hopefully) more affordable package. But that isn't going to be happening. Hermann Salenbauch, the vehicle line director for Ford Performance told journalists yesterday that the company has no plans to bring the Ranger Raptor to the U.S. A key reason mentioned by Salenbauch is due to the high costs to make the Ranger Raptor legal to sell in the U.S. as the model is based on the global Ranger. We have to assume a key part would come from trying to either make the twin-turbo 2.0L diesel legal or finding a possible replacement. But Autoblog notes there is another reason not mentioned by Salenbauch, pricing. Considering the base price of the F-150 Raptor is $52,855, we would guess the Ranger Raptor would be a few thousand dollars less taking into account the various changes that would be needed. For a number of buyers, spending a few extra thousand dollars to get a bigger and badder truck isn't that big of a problem. Plus, Ford is making a nice amount of profit on each Raptor sold - especially considering that Raptors sit on dealer lots for an average of 20 days. Why introduce a competitor that would make less money? That isn't to say Ford isn't taking the Raptor Ranger off the table for the U.S. fully. Autoblog writes that "Salenbauch didn't say the Ranger Raptor would never come here, and he and other Ford executives said they're always listening to feedback and open to new models." Source: Autoblog View full article
  2. When Ford introduced the GT, they made it very clear it would be a limited run affair. 500 models would be built over the course of two years. Then the company expanded the amount to 1,000 vehicles that would be built over four years. Now, Ford has expanded the pool of GTs again. An additional 350 GTs will be built, bringing the grand total to 1,350. This also means a longer production run. Previously, Ford was going to wrap up production in 2020, but has pushed it back to 2022. If you were one of the many people who applied for a GT and didn't get one, Ford will be opening the application process one more time beginning on November 8th and have it running for 30 days. Prospective owners will find out if they got the approval early next year. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance director. Somehow, we doubt many Ford GT owners will have the same view. Source: Ford Ford Increasing GT Production To Make Ownership Dreams A Reality For 350 More Supercar Fans Due to the popularity of Ford GT, Ford is raising the number of supercars it will build to 1,350 – up from 1,000; Ford GT production will run for a total of approximately six years Ford is re-opening the final owner application process for select global markets on Nov. 8; prospective owners can submit their applications at FordGT.com for 30 days Previous applicants need to confirm or modify their original application to be considered in this final application window to own a Ford GT Dearborn, Mich., Oct. 18, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is increasing Ford GT production to 1,350 vehicles after more than 6,500 applicants raced to sign up for the original 1,000 cars allotted in 2016 – even before the car recaptured LeMans glory later that year. “The response to our Ford GT has been unprecedented, with initial demand outstripping supply by more than six-to-one,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance director. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers.” Ford is re-opening the application window to customers hoping to join the exclusive group of Ford GT owners starting Nov. 8 for select global markets. Prospective owners will be able to submit their applications for 30 days at FordGT.com. Successful applicants will work with the Ford GT Concierge Service for a personalized purchase experience of cars produced in the 2020 to 2022 calendar years. Production of the Ford GT – powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and featuring a carbon fiber architecture, active aerodynamics and 216 mph top speed – began in December 2016. View full article
  3. Chris Chapman, senior chief designer at Hyundai's Design Center has an ambitious plan for the coming years. He wants each Hyundai model to have their own visual identity. "We're going for more of this chess-piece rather than the family look. We're using consistently shared elements … but we're going to avoid this sort of Russian-doll approach to our vehicles in the future," Chapman told reporters at the media launch of the Kona EV. Designers will be tasked to give each model "a look that matches its intended use and customer." Take for example the Kona crossover which has a funky look that should appeal to a younger audience than the new Santa Fe. Another example is the Kona and Kona EV that have different design touches to set them apart. "Both kind of have extroverted design, but they're dressed differently for different demographic purposes," Chapman said. Part of Chapman's motivation for this comes from his past. As Roadshow notes, he worked as a designer at BMW during the Chris Bangle era which brought forth the problem of telling the difference between the 3, 5, and 7-Series. He said BMW referred to this as "Eine Wurst, drei Grosse" -- one sausage, three sizes. While he may not say it outright, reading between the lines reveals he would like to avoid this. Source: Roadshow View full article
  4. William Maley

    Ford Says No To Ranger Raptor For U.S.

    Many people were hoping that Ford would bring the new Raptor Ranger to the U.S. It would offer the off-road performance and capability of the larger F-150 Raptor, but in a smaller and (hopefully) more affordable package. But that isn't going to be happening. Hermann Salenbauch, the vehicle line director for Ford Performance told journalists yesterday that the company has no plans to bring the Ranger Raptor to the U.S. A key reason mentioned by Salenbauch is due to the high costs to make the Ranger Raptor legal to sell in the U.S. as the model is based on the global Ranger. We have to assume a key part would come from trying to either make the twin-turbo 2.0L diesel legal or finding a possible replacement. But Autoblog notes there is another reason not mentioned by Salenbauch, pricing. Considering the base price of the F-150 Raptor is $52,855, we would guess the Ranger Raptor would be a few thousand dollars less taking into account the various changes that would be needed. For a number of buyers, spending a few extra thousand dollars to get a bigger and badder truck isn't that big of a problem. Plus, Ford is making a nice amount of profit on each Raptor sold - especially considering that Raptors sit on dealer lots for an average of 20 days. Why introduce a competitor that would make less money? That isn't to say Ford isn't taking the Raptor Ranger off the table for the U.S. fully. Autoblog writes that "Salenbauch didn't say the Ranger Raptor would never come here, and he and other Ford executives said they're always listening to feedback and open to new models." Source: Autoblog
  5. William Maley

    Ford Expands Production of the GT (Again)

    When Ford introduced the GT, they made it very clear it would be a limited run affair. 500 models would be built over the course of two years. Then the company expanded the amount to 1,000 vehicles that would be built over four years. Now, Ford has expanded the pool of GTs again. An additional 350 GTs will be built, bringing the grand total to 1,350. This also means a longer production run. Previously, Ford was going to wrap up production in 2020, but has pushed it back to 2022. If you were one of the many people who applied for a GT and didn't get one, Ford will be opening the application process one more time beginning on November 8th and have it running for 30 days. Prospective owners will find out if they got the approval early next year. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance director. Somehow, we doubt many Ford GT owners will have the same view. Source: Ford Ford Increasing GT Production To Make Ownership Dreams A Reality For 350 More Supercar Fans Due to the popularity of Ford GT, Ford is raising the number of supercars it will build to 1,350 – up from 1,000; Ford GT production will run for a total of approximately six years Ford is re-opening the final owner application process for select global markets on Nov. 8; prospective owners can submit their applications at FordGT.com for 30 days Previous applicants need to confirm or modify their original application to be considered in this final application window to own a Ford GT Dearborn, Mich., Oct. 18, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is increasing Ford GT production to 1,350 vehicles after more than 6,500 applicants raced to sign up for the original 1,000 cars allotted in 2016 – even before the car recaptured LeMans glory later that year. “The response to our Ford GT has been unprecedented, with initial demand outstripping supply by more than six-to-one,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance director. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers.” Ford is re-opening the application window to customers hoping to join the exclusive group of Ford GT owners starting Nov. 8 for select global markets. Prospective owners will be able to submit their applications for 30 days at FordGT.com. Successful applicants will work with the Ford GT Concierge Service for a personalized purchase experience of cars produced in the 2020 to 2022 calendar years. Production of the Ford GT – powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and featuring a carbon fiber architecture, active aerodynamics and 216 mph top speed – began in December 2016.
  6. Jaguar Land Rover has already announced plans to begin electrifying their lineups beginning in 2020, but Jaguar could be going one step further. Autocar reports that the management is considering making Jaguar an EV-only brand within the next decade. Plans have already been drawn up for a strategy that would see Jaguar phase out its conventional lineup with fully electric models over the next five to seven years. Here is the gist of the strategy, A fully-electric sedan would replace the XJ sedan in two-years time. This model will take on the likes of the Tesla Model S and Porsche's upcoming Taycan. The XE and XF will be replaced by a new electric crossover that will be similar in size to Audi's e-tron crossover (possibly taking the place of the F-Pace) by 2023. 2025 would see the E-Pace replaced by the next-generation I-Pace. The upcoming large J-Pace crossover will be the sole conventional model until 2027 when an electric replacement debuts. There is talk about an electric sports car taking the place of the F-Type. It is quite the gamble that JLR is considering for the brand. But it one the brand is seriously considering for two reasons. One is that Jaguar sales have been floundering due partly to lineup having more sedans than crossovers, along with being heavily dependent on diesel. The other is that it would allow Jaguar to jump ahead of the likes of Audi and Mercedes-Benz with electric vehicles. Remember, Jaguar already has their EV on sale, while Audi and Mercedes-Benz are in the process of launching theirs. Source: Autocar View full article
  7. Chris Chapman, senior chief designer at Hyundai's Design Center has an ambitious plan for the coming years. He wants each Hyundai model to have their own visual identity. "We're going for more of this chess-piece rather than the family look. We're using consistently shared elements … but we're going to avoid this sort of Russian-doll approach to our vehicles in the future," Chapman told reporters at the media launch of the Kona EV. Designers will be tasked to give each model "a look that matches its intended use and customer." Take for example the Kona crossover which has a funky look that should appeal to a younger audience than the new Santa Fe. Another example is the Kona and Kona EV that have different design touches to set them apart. "Both kind of have extroverted design, but they're dressed differently for different demographic purposes," Chapman said. Part of Chapman's motivation for this comes from his past. As Roadshow notes, he worked as a designer at BMW during the Chris Bangle era which brought forth the problem of telling the difference between the 3, 5, and 7-Series. He said BMW referred to this as "Eine Wurst, drei Grosse" -- one sausage, three sizes. While he may not say it outright, reading between the lines reveals he would like to avoid this. Source: Roadshow
  8. William Maley

    Rumorpile: Jaguar Considers Going Fully Electric

    Jaguar Land Rover has already announced plans to begin electrifying their lineups beginning in 2020, but Jaguar could be going one step further. Autocar reports that the management is considering making Jaguar an EV-only brand within the next decade. Plans have already been drawn up for a strategy that would see Jaguar phase out its conventional lineup with fully electric models over the next five to seven years. Here is the gist of the strategy, A fully-electric sedan would replace the XJ sedan in two-years time. This model will take on the likes of the Tesla Model S and Porsche's upcoming Taycan. The XE and XF will be replaced by a new electric crossover that will be similar in size to Audi's e-tron crossover (possibly taking the place of the F-Pace) by 2023. 2025 would see the E-Pace replaced by the next-generation I-Pace. The upcoming large J-Pace crossover will be the sole conventional model until 2027 when an electric replacement debuts. There is talk about an electric sports car taking the place of the F-Type. It is quite the gamble that JLR is considering for the brand. But it one the brand is seriously considering for two reasons. One is that Jaguar sales have been floundering due partly to lineup having more sedans than crossovers, along with being heavily dependent on diesel. The other is that it would allow Jaguar to jump ahead of the likes of Audi and Mercedes-Benz with electric vehicles. Remember, Jaguar already has their EV on sale, while Audi and Mercedes-Benz are in the process of launching theirs. Source: Autocar
  9. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Melfi plant is beginning to process of retooling to build a plug-in hybrid Jeep Renegade by 2020. The investment totaling 200 million Euros (about $229 million) will include modernizing the plant and training employees. FCA is planning to get pre-production models rolling off the line next year. Melfi is home to the Renegade and Fiat 500X production. FCA says the Renegade will become the third electrified vehicle in their lineup, following the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV and Ram 1500 eTorque mild hybrid. This is part of an effort to launch "12 electric propulsion systems (BEV, PHEV, full-hybrid and mild-hybrid)", adding that 30 different models would be equipped with one or more of these systems. No mechanical details were given on the plug-in hybrid system destined for the Renegade. Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Melfi Plant prepares for production of new Jeep Renegade Plug-in Hybrid The FCA Melfi Plant in Italy is beginning preparations to produce the Jeep Renegade Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) scheduled for market launch in early 2020. The Renegade PHEV will be produced alongside the Renegade and 500X full combustion engine products that are currently produced at the Melfi vehicle assembly plant. The pre-production units of the new Jeep Renegade PHEV are scheduled in 2019. The investment for the new engine launch equates to more than €200M and also includes a strong commitment by FCA for training all workers on the application of this new technology. The Plant facilities involved in the production will also be modernized accordingly. "With over 742,000 Renegades produced to date in Italy, the Melfi plant and the Renegade are the ideal location and the perfect product to launch the PHEV, further strengthening the offer of this highly successful Jeep", said Pietro Gorlier, Chief Operating Officer EMEA region. During the FCA Capital Markets Day on June 1, when the 2018-2022 business plan was presented to the financial community, it was stated that one of the most important change factors addressed in the strategic plan is electrification. Investments during the plan period result in a portfolio of technical solutions that will enable FCA to comply with the regulatory requirements in each sales region. At the same time, the technology will also be applied to enhance the specific strengths of each brand. The Renegade PHEV is the next step in FCA's roll-out of Electrification, following the launches of the PHEV Pacifica Minivan and the mild-hybrid e-Torque technology launched on the Ram 1500 truck earlier this year. By 2022, FCA will offer a total of 12 electric propulsion systems (BEV, PHEV, full-hybrid and mild-hybrid) in global architectures. Thirty different models will be equipped with one or more of these systems. London, 8 October 2018 View full article
  10. Care By Volvo was one of the first new car subscription services to launch. It offered a buyer an XC40 with a yearly allowance of 15,000 miles; maintenance, insurance, and a concierge service for either $600 or $700 per month for 24 months. But the service had some hiccups with various issues dealing with paperwork and not hearing back from dealers. "The process was very, very stretched. We have learned that the process needs to be smoother, and also the process related to insurance and all the rules in all the states in this beautiful country ... we have learned a lot," said Volvo's North American CEO, Anders Gustafsson to Roadshow. A key example is having a larger stockpile of vehicles allocated for subscribers. The entire Care by Volvo allotment of XC40s sold out in four months, causing Volvo to push deliveries of new XC40s through the service till next year. Gustafsson admits Care By Volvo is "far away from where we would like to be." But he believes the S60, the next vehicle to be offered through the service will be much smoother. Roadshow also asked Gustafsson what's next for Care By Volvo. He revealed that it could be used cars. A used-car subscription service "is probably 50 percent of the questions that we receive from our customers and from our retailers," said Gustafsson. As for when something like this could appear, Gustafsson said it could happen within a year. Source: Roadshow
  11. Care By Volvo was one of the first new car subscription services to launch. It offered a buyer an XC40 with a yearly allowance of 15,000 miles; maintenance, insurance, and a concierge service for either $600 or $700 per month for 24 months. But the service had some hiccups with various issues dealing with paperwork and not hearing back from dealers. "The process was very, very stretched. We have learned that the process needs to be smoother, and also the process related to insurance and all the rules in all the states in this beautiful country ... we have learned a lot," said Volvo's North American CEO, Anders Gustafsson to Roadshow. A key example is having a larger stockpile of vehicles allocated for subscribers. The entire Care by Volvo allotment of XC40s sold out in four months, causing Volvo to push deliveries of new XC40s through the service till next year. Gustafsson admits Care By Volvo is "far away from where we would like to be." But he believes the S60, the next vehicle to be offered through the service will be much smoother. Roadshow also asked Gustafsson what's next for Care By Volvo. He revealed that it could be used cars. A used-car subscription service "is probably 50 percent of the questions that we receive from our customers and from our retailers," said Gustafsson. As for when something like this could appear, Gustafsson said it could happen within a year. Source: Roadshow View full article
  12. Stop me if you have heard this before; Cadillac President Steve Carlisle is vowing to reboot the brand with six new models beginning with the XT4 crossover and a new advertising campaign that will replace the boring 'Dare Greatly" tagline. “We lost our mojo for a long period of time. This time, it is different and we will show you," By Bloomberg's count, this is the eight reinvention of the brand in the past two decades. Despite the brand's best efforts to reverse a shrinking market share and improve their image, they haven't paid off in the U.S. China is a different story where Cadillac sold more vehicles there than in the U.S. last year. Cadillac's problems are numerous and familiar; lack of SUVs, too many sedans, and older buyers continue to be the majority of people entering the showroom. Not helping has been the confusing "Dare Greatly" advertising. “‘Dare Greatly’ has been a disaster from beginning to end. When you have product that is in many ways better than the competition, you tell people about it. You don’t dare them to take a leap of faith on your cars,” said Bob Lutz, retired GM chairman. Carlisle agrees with Lutz on the ad campaign not really going anywhere. He and Deborah Wahl, Cadillac's new marketing boss are working on a new campaign "that will emphasize features and new technologies." The upcoming the XT4 will also be playing a vital role, becoming the brand's least expensive model with a price tag of under $35,000. The low price and crossover shape are hoped by Cadillac that it will bring in younger customers. Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required) View full article
  13. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Melfi plant is beginning to process of retooling to build a plug-in hybrid Jeep Renegade by 2020. The investment totaling 200 million Euros (about $229 million) will include modernizing the plant and training employees. FCA is planning to get pre-production models rolling off the line next year. Melfi is home to the Renegade and Fiat 500X production. FCA says the Renegade will become the third electrified vehicle in their lineup, following the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV and Ram 1500 eTorque mild hybrid. This is part of an effort to launch "12 electric propulsion systems (BEV, PHEV, full-hybrid and mild-hybrid)", adding that 30 different models would be equipped with one or more of these systems. No mechanical details were given on the plug-in hybrid system destined for the Renegade. Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Melfi Plant prepares for production of new Jeep Renegade Plug-in Hybrid The FCA Melfi Plant in Italy is beginning preparations to produce the Jeep Renegade Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) scheduled for market launch in early 2020. The Renegade PHEV will be produced alongside the Renegade and 500X full combustion engine products that are currently produced at the Melfi vehicle assembly plant. The pre-production units of the new Jeep Renegade PHEV are scheduled in 2019. The investment for the new engine launch equates to more than €200M and also includes a strong commitment by FCA for training all workers on the application of this new technology. The Plant facilities involved in the production will also be modernized accordingly. "With over 742,000 Renegades produced to date in Italy, the Melfi plant and the Renegade are the ideal location and the perfect product to launch the PHEV, further strengthening the offer of this highly successful Jeep", said Pietro Gorlier, Chief Operating Officer EMEA region. During the FCA Capital Markets Day on June 1, when the 2018-2022 business plan was presented to the financial community, it was stated that one of the most important change factors addressed in the strategic plan is electrification. Investments during the plan period result in a portfolio of technical solutions that will enable FCA to comply with the regulatory requirements in each sales region. At the same time, the technology will also be applied to enhance the specific strengths of each brand. The Renegade PHEV is the next step in FCA's roll-out of Electrification, following the launches of the PHEV Pacifica Minivan and the mild-hybrid e-Torque technology launched on the Ram 1500 truck earlier this year. By 2022, FCA will offer a total of 12 electric propulsion systems (BEV, PHEV, full-hybrid and mild-hybrid) in global architectures. Thirty different models will be equipped with one or more of these systems. London, 8 October 2018
  14. Mazda is the latest automaker to announced plans for electrify its entire lineup and it will involve the return of the rotary engine. By 2030, five percent of Mazda vehicles will be pure electric and range extender models. The rest will have combustion engines with some sort of electrification. "We've seen drastic changes in automotive-related environmental policies all over the world. We at Mazda are keeping an eye on what is going on in the industry as we move forward with our strategy," said Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto. The push begins in 2019 with a mild-hybrid model, followed by a electric vehicle that is being developed in-house according to Automotive News. A plug-in hybrid will debut in 2021. But what about the rotary engine? This will be the range-extender for an electric vehicle that will recharge the battery and provide a longer cruising range. Mazda says the rotary is the perfect engine for this application as it is compact, powerful, and quiet. One interesting tidbit - Mazda says the rotary will be able to burn liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Mazda MAZDA ANNOUNCES ELECTRIFICATION AND CONNECTIVITY STRATEGIES FOR CARS THAT INVIGORATE MIND AND BODY CONTINUES TAKING A HUMAN-CENTERED APPROACH TO THE JOY OF DRIVING; CONTRIBUTING TO THE EARTH, SOCIETY AND PEOPLE October 2, 2018; HIROSHIMA, Japan – Mazda Motor Corporation today announced electrification and connectivity strategies that build on the company’s human-centered development philosophy, aiming to further advance the joy of driving, provide both drivers and passengers with peace of mind through an enhanced sense of connection with the car in everyday driving situations, and offer an emotionally enriching joy of life through car ownership. The strategies are based on Mazda’s long-term vision for technology development, “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030,” which makes it the company’s mission to preserve the beauty of the earth and enrich society and individual lives and seek solutions in the areas of people, society and the earth. The electrification and connectivity technologies outlined below will further enhance the inherent value of the automobile. ELECTRIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES Mazda will strive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and enhance the joy of driving by deploying compact, lightweight electrification technologies while further refining the internal combustion engine, which is forecast to be equipped in the majority of new cars for many years to come. The company will introduce electric vehicles as the optimal solution in regions that generate a high ratio of electricity from clean energy sources or restrict certain vehicle types to reduce air pollution. With a view to achieving a 90-percent reduction versus 2010 levels in its corporate average “well-to-wheel” carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, Mazda will deploy some form of electrification in all production vehicles by 2030. By 2030, Mazda expects that internal combustion engines combined with some form of electrification will account for 95 percent of the vehicles it produces and battery electric vehicles will account for 5 percent. In-house development of electric vehicles will leverage the advantages of electric drive systems and be guided by Mazda’s unique human-centered development philosophy that focuses on human traits and sensibilities. Mazda will develop two battery electric vehicles, one powered solely by battery and another that pairs a battery with a newly developed range extender powered by Mazda’s small, lightweight and exceptionally quiet rotary engine. The range extender will recharge the battery when necessary to effectively increase the vehicle’s driving range. The concept behind the rotary-powered range extender was to leverage the rotary engine’s small size and high power output to make multiple electrification technology solutions possible via a shared packaging layout. Taking advantage of the rotary engine’s compatibility with gaseous fuels, the rotary-powered range extender is designed to also burn liquefied petroleum gas and provide a source of electricity in emergencies. CONNECTIVITY TECHNOLOGIES In line with its human-centered development philosophy, Mazda will develop connectivity technologies that offer an enriching experience of the joy of life, connecting people by facilitating the sharing of experiences and feelings through cars. By offering this new value together with the joy of driving, Mazda aims to inspire people and enrich society. Contribute to the resolution of social issues, such as the weakening of interpersonal connections that has accompanied changes in society, by connecting people and society through connectivity technologies. Link connectivity with model-based development and reflect the results in future product development, improving quality and customer satisfaction. Leverage the alliance with Toyota Motor Corporation in the development of connectivity technologies. “They say that the automotive industry is undergoing a once-in-a-century transformation. At Mazda, we see this as an opportunity to create a new car culture,” said Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO. “New trends and technologies in connectivity, autonomy, sharing and electrification offer new possibilities for creating ever more attractive cars. Using new technologies based on our unique human-centered development philosophy, Mazda will, in the spirit of ‘Never Stop Challenging,’ continue to pursue the joy of driving and work to create an emotional connection with customers that rivals the strongest brands in the world.” View full article
  15. Mazda is the latest automaker to announced plans for electrify its entire lineup and it will involve the return of the rotary engine. By 2030, five percent of Mazda vehicles will be pure electric and range extender models. The rest will have combustion engines with some sort of electrification. "We've seen drastic changes in automotive-related environmental policies all over the world. We at Mazda are keeping an eye on what is going on in the industry as we move forward with our strategy," said Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto. The push begins in 2019 with a mild-hybrid model, followed by a electric vehicle that is being developed in-house according to Automotive News. A plug-in hybrid will debut in 2021. But what about the rotary engine? This will be the range-extender for an electric vehicle that will recharge the battery and provide a longer cruising range. Mazda says the rotary is the perfect engine for this application as it is compact, powerful, and quiet. One interesting tidbit - Mazda says the rotary will be able to burn liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Mazda MAZDA ANNOUNCES ELECTRIFICATION AND CONNECTIVITY STRATEGIES FOR CARS THAT INVIGORATE MIND AND BODY CONTINUES TAKING A HUMAN-CENTERED APPROACH TO THE JOY OF DRIVING; CONTRIBUTING TO THE EARTH, SOCIETY AND PEOPLE October 2, 2018; HIROSHIMA, Japan – Mazda Motor Corporation today announced electrification and connectivity strategies that build on the company’s human-centered development philosophy, aiming to further advance the joy of driving, provide both drivers and passengers with peace of mind through an enhanced sense of connection with the car in everyday driving situations, and offer an emotionally enriching joy of life through car ownership. The strategies are based on Mazda’s long-term vision for technology development, “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030,” which makes it the company’s mission to preserve the beauty of the earth and enrich society and individual lives and seek solutions in the areas of people, society and the earth. The electrification and connectivity technologies outlined below will further enhance the inherent value of the automobile. ELECTRIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES Mazda will strive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and enhance the joy of driving by deploying compact, lightweight electrification technologies while further refining the internal combustion engine, which is forecast to be equipped in the majority of new cars for many years to come. The company will introduce electric vehicles as the optimal solution in regions that generate a high ratio of electricity from clean energy sources or restrict certain vehicle types to reduce air pollution. With a view to achieving a 90-percent reduction versus 2010 levels in its corporate average “well-to-wheel” carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, Mazda will deploy some form of electrification in all production vehicles by 2030. By 2030, Mazda expects that internal combustion engines combined with some form of electrification will account for 95 percent of the vehicles it produces and battery electric vehicles will account for 5 percent. In-house development of electric vehicles will leverage the advantages of electric drive systems and be guided by Mazda’s unique human-centered development philosophy that focuses on human traits and sensibilities. Mazda will develop two battery electric vehicles, one powered solely by battery and another that pairs a battery with a newly developed range extender powered by Mazda’s small, lightweight and exceptionally quiet rotary engine. The range extender will recharge the battery when necessary to effectively increase the vehicle’s driving range. The concept behind the rotary-powered range extender was to leverage the rotary engine’s small size and high power output to make multiple electrification technology solutions possible via a shared packaging layout. Taking advantage of the rotary engine’s compatibility with gaseous fuels, the rotary-powered range extender is designed to also burn liquefied petroleum gas and provide a source of electricity in emergencies. CONNECTIVITY TECHNOLOGIES In line with its human-centered development philosophy, Mazda will develop connectivity technologies that offer an enriching experience of the joy of life, connecting people by facilitating the sharing of experiences and feelings through cars. By offering this new value together with the joy of driving, Mazda aims to inspire people and enrich society. Contribute to the resolution of social issues, such as the weakening of interpersonal connections that has accompanied changes in society, by connecting people and society through connectivity technologies. Link connectivity with model-based development and reflect the results in future product development, improving quality and customer satisfaction. Leverage the alliance with Toyota Motor Corporation in the development of connectivity technologies. “They say that the automotive industry is undergoing a once-in-a-century transformation. At Mazda, we see this as an opportunity to create a new car culture,” said Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO. “New trends and technologies in connectivity, autonomy, sharing and electrification offer new possibilities for creating ever more attractive cars. Using new technologies based on our unique human-centered development philosophy, Mazda will, in the spirit of ‘Never Stop Challenging,’ continue to pursue the joy of driving and work to create an emotional connection with customers that rivals the strongest brands in the world.”
  16. Stop me if you have heard this before; Cadillac President Steve Carlisle is vowing to reboot the brand with six new models beginning with the XT4 crossover and a new advertising campaign that will replace the boring 'Dare Greatly" tagline. “We lost our mojo for a long period of time. This time, it is different and we will show you," By Bloomberg's count, this is the eight reinvention of the brand in the past two decades. Despite the brand's best efforts to reverse a shrinking market share and improve their image, they haven't paid off in the U.S. China is a different story where Cadillac sold more vehicles there than in the U.S. last year. Cadillac's problems are numerous and familiar; lack of SUVs, too many sedans, and older buyers continue to be the majority of people entering the showroom. Not helping has been the confusing "Dare Greatly" advertising. “‘Dare Greatly’ has been a disaster from beginning to end. When you have product that is in many ways better than the competition, you tell people about it. You don’t dare them to take a leap of faith on your cars,” said Bob Lutz, retired GM chairman. Carlisle agrees with Lutz on the ad campaign not really going anywhere. He and Deborah Wahl, Cadillac's new marketing boss are working on a new campaign "that will emphasize features and new technologies." The upcoming the XT4 will also be playing a vital role, becoming the brand's least expensive model with a price tag of under $35,000. The low price and crossover shape are hoped by Cadillac that it will bring in younger customers. Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)
  17. Lincoln launched a pilot program for its own subscription service through Ford's Canvas earlier this year in the Los Angeles and the San Francisco areas. Unlike other programs that offer new vehicles, Lincoln's program offered off-lease vehicles that ranged from 2015 to 2017 model years. This allowed Lincoln to offer lower prices than competitors - prices ranged from $500 to $950 plus variable pricing on the amount of miles per month. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lincoln's subscription service isn't doing so hot. “I’ve been surprised how few people are genuinely interested in that type of ownership. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have said this is the next big thing. A lot of people are struggling to make the math work,” said Lincoln’s director of marketing, sales and service, Robert Parker. Parker explained that most of the customers who signed up needed a vehicle for a short time like searching for a new vehicle or needing something to get them around while their car was in the shop. “The amount of people coming out after one or two months is very high. It’s just kind of an interim process,” said Parker. Lincoln is going to be making some changes to their program, although it is unclear what those might be. Parker threw out the suggestion of involving Lincoln dealers in the service, along with expanding vehicle ability. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  18. Lincoln launched a pilot program for its own subscription service through Ford's Canvas earlier this year in the Los Angeles and the San Francisco areas. Unlike other programs that offer new vehicles, Lincoln's program offered off-lease vehicles that ranged from 2015 to 2017 model years. This allowed Lincoln to offer lower prices than competitors - prices ranged from $500 to $950 plus variable pricing on the amount of miles per month. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lincoln's subscription service isn't doing so hot. “I’ve been surprised how few people are genuinely interested in that type of ownership. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have said this is the next big thing. A lot of people are struggling to make the math work,” said Lincoln’s director of marketing, sales and service, Robert Parker. Parker explained that most of the customers who signed up needed a vehicle for a short time like searching for a new vehicle or needing something to get them around while their car was in the shop. “The amount of people coming out after one or two months is very high. It’s just kind of an interim process,” said Parker. Lincoln is going to be making some changes to their program, although it is unclear what those might be. Parker threw out the suggestion of involving Lincoln dealers in the service, along with expanding vehicle ability. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  19. Come 2019, Infiniti will not have any hybrid vehicles available for sale. Green Car Reports has learned from Infiniti spokesman Kyle Bazemore that the Q50 Hybrid model will be axed from the lineup come the 2019 model year. This follows an announcement of the Q70 hybrid being dropped earlier this summer. No reason was given as to why both hybrid models have been dropped, but Green Car Reports speculates the slow sales is the explanation. With the departure of the QX60 Hybrid last year, this leaves Infiniti with no hybrid models. But that doesn't mean Infiniti isn't getting out of the electrification game for good. As we reported back in January, Infiniti will begin offering full electric powertrains and plug-in hybrid models beginning in 2021. Source: Green Car Reports View full article
  20. William Maley

    Infiniti Drops Q50 Hybrid For 2019 Model Year

    Come 2019, Infiniti will not have any hybrid vehicles available for sale. Green Car Reports has learned from Infiniti spokesman Kyle Bazemore that the Q50 Hybrid model will be axed from the lineup come the 2019 model year. This follows an announcement of the Q70 hybrid being dropped earlier this summer. No reason was given as to why both hybrid models have been dropped, but Green Car Reports speculates the slow sales is the explanation. With the departure of the QX60 Hybrid last year, this leaves Infiniti with no hybrid models. But that doesn't mean Infiniti isn't getting out of the electrification game for good. As we reported back in January, Infiniti will begin offering full electric powertrains and plug-in hybrid models beginning in 2021. Source: Green Car Reports
  21. Polestar has revealed new details as to how it plans on selling their vehicles in the U.S. As we have previously reported, Polestar will be using an online system for customers to do research, configure, and order their vehicle. They'll also have the choice of either purchasing a vehicle outright or doing a subscription model where insurance and maintenance is covered in the payment. But as Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar admits in a statement, "many people want to physically see a car before ordering." That's where Polestar Spaces come into play. These will be franchised by dealers and allow customers to check out the cars and learn more from product information specialists - not working on commission. The spaces will also handle servicing of the vehicles, although customers won't need to drop their vehicles off. Using a smartphone app, customers will be able to schedule a pickup for servicing. Once completed, Polestar will drop the vehicle back off. According to Car and Driver, Polestar will open their first space in New York City in late 2019 or early 2020. Nine more spaces will follow: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas or Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Source: Car and Driver, Polestar Polestar – the new electric performance brand and a new approach to car ownership for US customers As a new entrant into the electrified automotive industry, Polestar has confirmed its positioning and innovative go-to-market strategy in the important North American car market. As a start-up electric car brand owned by Volvo Car Group, Polestar will offer electric performance cars with a modern, fully digital customer experience. “Launching an entirely new car brand gives us the opportunity to assess what customers enjoy about car ownership, and what they are less keen on,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer at Polestar. “As an electric performance brand, we want to maximize our customer’s enjoyment of driving. Polestars will be great looking cars with avant-garde design that are full of modern technology and great to drive. “We also want to remove the hassle from traditional car ownership. The customer will be able to research, configure and order their car online. They can choose our innovative subscription model that enables them to have all their motoring costs covered by one single monthly payment. “We also know that many people want to physically see a car before ordering, so our customers will be able to meet the brand in a franchised Polestar Space. In a town center location, they’ll interact with non-commissioned product experts who are totally focused on enhancing their brand experience and giving them the information they want and need. They will also have pick-up and delivery servicing, meaning that their days of standing in line at service reception are over.” “Polestar is a global brand from day one, operating in the world’s most important car markets – Europe, China and North America. We will therefore be opening Polestar Spaces in major US cities as demand requires them. We are also developing a new Polestar North America organization to meet the demands of this important market,” concludes Thomas Ingenlath. Polestar’s momentum has been building following its launch as the new electric performance brand. The company’s first car, Polestar 1, was revealed in October 2017 as a 600 hp Electric Performance Hybrid, but with the longest pure electric range of any hybrid in the world. The Polestar 1 will start production in mid-2019 at the new Polestar Production Centre, which is nearing completion. The first full year of production has already sold out, with 200 cars currently destined for North American customers. The brand’s second car, Polestar 2, will be the company’s first full battery electric vehicle and is designed to compete with Tesla Model 3. The Polestar 2 will be revealed early in 2019, with production starting a year later.
  22. Polestar has revealed new details as to how it plans on selling their vehicles in the U.S. As we have previously reported, Polestar will be using an online system for customers to do research, configure, and order their vehicle. They'll also have the choice of either purchasing a vehicle outright or doing a subscription model where insurance and maintenance is covered in the payment. But as Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar admits in a statement, "many people want to physically see a car before ordering." That's where Polestar Spaces come into play. These will be franchised by dealers and allow customers to check out the cars and learn more from product information specialists - not working on commission. The spaces will also handle servicing of the vehicles, although customers won't need to drop their vehicles off. Using a smartphone app, customers will be able to schedule a pickup for servicing. Once completed, Polestar will drop the vehicle back off. According to Car and Driver, Polestar will open their first space in New York City in late 2019 or early 2020. Nine more spaces will follow: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas or Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Source: Car and Driver, Polestar Polestar – the new electric performance brand and a new approach to car ownership for US customers As a new entrant into the electrified automotive industry, Polestar has confirmed its positioning and innovative go-to-market strategy in the important North American car market. As a start-up electric car brand owned by Volvo Car Group, Polestar will offer electric performance cars with a modern, fully digital customer experience. “Launching an entirely new car brand gives us the opportunity to assess what customers enjoy about car ownership, and what they are less keen on,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer at Polestar. “As an electric performance brand, we want to maximize our customer’s enjoyment of driving. Polestars will be great looking cars with avant-garde design that are full of modern technology and great to drive. “We also want to remove the hassle from traditional car ownership. The customer will be able to research, configure and order their car online. They can choose our innovative subscription model that enables them to have all their motoring costs covered by one single monthly payment. “We also know that many people want to physically see a car before ordering, so our customers will be able to meet the brand in a franchised Polestar Space. In a town center location, they’ll interact with non-commissioned product experts who are totally focused on enhancing their brand experience and giving them the information they want and need. They will also have pick-up and delivery servicing, meaning that their days of standing in line at service reception are over.” “Polestar is a global brand from day one, operating in the world’s most important car markets – Europe, China and North America. We will therefore be opening Polestar Spaces in major US cities as demand requires them. We are also developing a new Polestar North America organization to meet the demands of this important market,” concludes Thomas Ingenlath. Polestar’s momentum has been building following its launch as the new electric performance brand. The company’s first car, Polestar 1, was revealed in October 2017 as a 600 hp Electric Performance Hybrid, but with the longest pure electric range of any hybrid in the world. The Polestar 1 will start production in mid-2019 at the new Polestar Production Centre, which is nearing completion. The first full year of production has already sold out, with 200 cars currently destined for North American customers. The brand’s second car, Polestar 2, will be the company’s first full battery electric vehicle and is designed to compete with Tesla Model 3. The Polestar 2 will be revealed early in 2019, with production starting a year later. View full article
  23. As part of their ambitions to compete with European automakers on their home soil, Cadillac was working on a range of four- and six-cylinder diesel engines. According to Automotive News, the upcoming XT4 was expected to have a diesel engine by 2020 and other models would follow. There was also plans about selling diesels for Cadillacs in the U.S. But Cadillac President Steve Carlisle said development has been put on hold. "We have been working on diesel, but the markets may be changing more quickly than we anticipated," he said to AN. "Going forward, we will focus on electrification." The diesel program at Cadillac got hit with a double whammy over the past few years. First was the Volkswagen diesel emission crisis that broke in September 2015. There was talk about killing the project, but "executives felt it had progressed too far to kill". Then last year, General Motors sold Opel to PSA Group. The German division was working with Cadillac with development. Still, the brand continued with progress. It is unclear as to why Cadillac has put the program on hold now, but we're guessing the combination of stricter regulations coming into Europe and more competitors deciding to go all-in electrification are the main reasons. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  24. William Maley

    Ferrari's New CEO Reveals Plans Through 2022

    Ferrari held their annual Capital Markets Day where the company provided details about their plans through 2022. CEO Louis Camilleri revealed a roadmap that is similar to what former CEO Sergio Marchionne presented previously. 15 new models are expected to launch by 2022 and that will include a new SUV called Purosangue. However, Camilleri has pushed back the launch from 2020 to 2022 to "get it perfect." There will also be a new mid-engine model that may serve as Ferrari's performance flagship as it is said to be quicker than the La Ferrari. Ferrari is also expanding its hybrid offerings, planning to offer 60 percent of its total production with a hybrid engine by 2022. This will include a new V6 with turbocharging. Camilleri has also pulled back on Marchionne's earnings target of 2 billion euros to a range of 1.8 to 2 billion by 2022. "This is an ambitious plan, but a doable one based on a concrete, detailed framework," said Camilleri. Source: Bloomberg
  25. Ferrari held their annual Capital Markets Day where the company provided details about their plans through 2022. CEO Louis Camilleri revealed a roadmap that is similar to what former CEO Sergio Marchionne presented previously. 15 new models are expected to launch by 2022 and that will include a new SUV called Purosangue. However, Camilleri has pushed back the launch from 2020 to 2022 to "get it perfect." There will also be a new mid-engine model that may serve as Ferrari's performance flagship as it is said to be quicker than the La Ferrari. Ferrari is also expanding its hybrid offerings, planning to offer 60 percent of its total production with a hybrid engine by 2022. This will include a new V6 with turbocharging. Camilleri has also pulled back on Marchionne's earnings target of 2 billion euros to a range of 1.8 to 2 billion by 2022. "This is an ambitious plan, but a doable one based on a concrete, detailed framework," said Camilleri. Source: Bloomberg View full article

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