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Found 203 results

  1. Volvo is finishing up an immense product rollout that began with the XC90 only a few years ago. So what's next on the Swedish automaker's to-do list? As we reported last July, Volvo is gearing up for an electrification offensive beginning in 2019 with five new electric vehicles and a number of mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Because of this, the automaker isn't planning to launch like a convertible or a rumored SUV coupe. “It would be nice to have a convertible or a coupe. It’s the cream on the cake but you don’t need it to survive,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) boss. “We cover 98% of the market with our current portfolio. Our electrification goals show we are taking it very seriously and we are rapidly expanding our electrified powertrains.” Autocar reports that the new XC40 crossover will be the first Volvo model to get an all-electric powertrain. Source: Autocar View full article
  2. Volvo is finishing up an immense product rollout that began with the XC90 only a few years ago. So what's next on the Swedish automaker's to-do list? As we reported last July, Volvo is gearing up for an electrification offensive beginning in 2019 with five new electric vehicles and a number of mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Because of this, the automaker isn't planning to launch like a convertible or a rumored SUV coupe. “It would be nice to have a convertible or a coupe. It’s the cream on the cake but you don’t need it to survive,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) boss. “We cover 98% of the market with our current portfolio. Our electrification goals show we are taking it very seriously and we are rapidly expanding our electrified powertrains.” Autocar reports that the new XC40 crossover will be the first Volvo model to get an all-electric powertrain. Source: Autocar
  3. Lincoln only established itself in China back in 2015, but it is proving to be quite successful. Last year, Lincoln sold 54,124 models in the country. But the brand has big ambitions and believes it could sell more models in the world's largest auto market if they started building models there. According to Reuters, Lincoln is planning on building up five new vehicles in China by 2022. Officially, Ford has announced a new crossover for the Chinese market in 2019. But sources tell the news service that the automaker is planning on building the upcoming Aviator in China by late 2019 or early 2020. This will be followed by the successors to the MKC and MKZ, and the Nautilus 2021. Wrapping up Lincoln's China production plans is a small, coupe-like crossover expected in 2022. “Our localization plans to support the China market are on track and will serve to further drive Lincoln’s growth in China. Beyond that, it would be premature to discuss our future product and production plans or timing,” said Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski when reached for comment. Moving production to China would help Lincoln immensely. Currently, Ford imports Lincoln models from the U.S. to China. This means they get hit with a 25 percent tariff and aren't able to compete with the likes of Cadillac and the Germans. Even if China does reduce the tariff on imported vehicles - something Chinese President Xi Jinping promised earlier this week, it might not make a big enough difference for Lincoln to close the gap. “As long as Lincolns are not manufactured in China, the brand’s sales will no doubt suffer continuously,” said Zhu Kongyuan, Secretary General of the China Auto Dealers Chamber of Commerce. Not helping matters is the war of words between the U.S. and China, and the possibility of a trade war on the horizon. Source: Reuters View full article
  4. Lincoln only established itself in China back in 2015, but it is proving to be quite successful. Last year, Lincoln sold 54,124 models in the country. But the brand has big ambitions and believes it could sell more models in the world's largest auto market if they started building models there. According to Reuters, Lincoln is planning on building up five new vehicles in China by 2022. Officially, Ford has announced a new crossover for the Chinese market in 2019. But sources tell the news service that the automaker is planning on building the upcoming Aviator in China by late 2019 or early 2020. This will be followed by the successors to the MKC and MKZ, and the Nautilus 2021. Wrapping up Lincoln's China production plans is a small, coupe-like crossover expected in 2022. “Our localization plans to support the China market are on track and will serve to further drive Lincoln’s growth in China. Beyond that, it would be premature to discuss our future product and production plans or timing,” said Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski when reached for comment. Moving production to China would help Lincoln immensely. Currently, Ford imports Lincoln models from the U.S. to China. This means they get hit with a 25 percent tariff and aren't able to compete with the likes of Cadillac and the Germans. Even if China does reduce the tariff on imported vehicles - something Chinese President Xi Jinping promised earlier this week, it might not make a big enough difference for Lincoln to close the gap. “As long as Lincolns are not manufactured in China, the brand’s sales will no doubt suffer continuously,” said Zhu Kongyuan, Secretary General of the China Auto Dealers Chamber of Commerce. Not helping matters is the war of words between the U.S. and China, and the possibility of a trade war on the horizon. Source: Reuters
  5. William Maley

    Next Jetta GLI To Get Some GTI Infusion

    We know that Volkswagen is planning a high-performance GLI variant of the new Jetta that is expected in the near future. Thanks to Autoblog, we have gotten some interesting information about what we should expect. Speaking to a Volkswagen representative, Autoblog learned that the new GLI will feature a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. It is expected to be the same engine found in the GTI which produces 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. There will be a choice of either a six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch. The representative also said the GLI would swap the torsion-beam rear suspension found on the standard Jetta for a multi-link independent setup. Expect to see the Jetta GLI make its debut during the next auto show season, possibly at LA or Chicago. Source: Autoblog
  6. We know that Volkswagen is planning a high-performance GLI variant of the new Jetta that is expected in the near future. Thanks to Autoblog, we have gotten some interesting information about what we should expect. Speaking to a Volkswagen representative, Autoblog learned that the new GLI will feature a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. It is expected to be the same engine found in the GTI which produces 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. There will be a choice of either a six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch. The representative also said the GLI would swap the torsion-beam rear suspension found on the standard Jetta for a multi-link independent setup. Expect to see the Jetta GLI make its debut during the next auto show season, possibly at LA or Chicago. Source: Autoblog View full article
  7. Cadillac has some ambitious product plans. Starting with the debut of the XT4 at the New York Auto Show, Cadillac will be launching a new vehicle every six months by 2022. This includes a large crossover, a replacement for the ATS/CTS, and a new Escalade. Once the brand finishes this offensive, the brand "can, candidly, generate some growth, generate some revenue, put volume through our dealer organization so they can also invest in the elevation of the brand, all those logical things," said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. One of those possible elevation plans is a "halo vehicle." According to Automotive News, the model might not necessarily be a car. Also in the cards is Cadillac releasing a number of electrified vehicles as part of GM's plan of introducing 20 new all-electric or fuel-cell models by 2023. de Nysschen said the brand is expected to receive a "disproportionate share" of those models. "Since these new technologies are pricey, it really begins to make a lot of common sense, not in all cases, to roll out some of them in Cadillac first. We therefore see it as a great opportunity for Cadillac to take the lead from GM with rolling out these things. Not only for the company and economically commercializing these new technologies, but also for the brand elevation it will give to Cadillac." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  8. Cadillac has some ambitious product plans. Starting with the debut of the XT4 at the New York Auto Show, Cadillac will be launching a new vehicle every six months by 2022. This includes a large crossover, a replacement for the ATS/CTS, and a new Escalade. Once the brand finishes this offensive, the brand "can, candidly, generate some growth, generate some revenue, put volume through our dealer organization so they can also invest in the elevation of the brand, all those logical things," said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. One of those possible elevation plans is a "halo vehicle." According to Automotive News, the model might not necessarily be a car. Also in the cards is Cadillac releasing a number of electrified vehicles as part of GM's plan of introducing 20 new all-electric or fuel-cell models by 2023. de Nysschen said the brand is expected to receive a "disproportionate share" of those models. "Since these new technologies are pricey, it really begins to make a lot of common sense, not in all cases, to roll out some of them in Cadillac first. We therefore see it as a great opportunity for Cadillac to take the lead from GM with rolling out these things. Not only for the company and economically commercializing these new technologies, but also for the brand elevation it will give to Cadillac." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  9. Back in January, Infiniti announced that it would electrify most of their lineup starting 2021. The long timeframe is to give Infiniti enough time to finish work on a new platform need for this plan. This in turn has cause Infiniti to delay the redesigns of the Q50, Q60 Coupe, and Q70 till this time. Speaking with Australian outlet GoAuto, Infiniti's product strategy vice-president Francois Bancon explained that he would liked to update their lineup of sedans and coupe quicker - the Q70 hasn't really changed since it was known as the M back in 2011. But the change to a new platform has caused the automaker to push them back. “We are going to have to change, this platform is a V6 platform, it is rear-wheel drive. We are going to have to shift because this platform is not an electrified platform. You need a battery, you need an electric motor, it’s a different package," said Bancon. “The oldest are the priority obviously, it’s not about one product versus another but it’s just about cascading management … and updating all of them. We would prefer to replace faster but we have some limits because it is a radical shift for us. It’s not about, well, you keep the platform but replace (the body design). When you change everything, including the manufacturing system, it is not a small change.” Bancon also dropped an interesting tidbit about the new platform. It will be all-wheel drive - gas engine driving the front-wheels and electric motors handling the rear. But will feature some sort of rear-bias. “Probably all-wheel drive, with some distribution more 50:50 (front-to-rear) than the 60:40 we have today, so probably a little more rear distribution than we have today. Since you shift electric you have a motor in the front and in the back, so rear-wheel drive does not make sense anymore. So with the new generation electrified platform … it’s a bit like Audi with its four-by-four (wheel drive).” The Q70 is expected to be the first model of this trio to transition, but Bancon admits that will only be for the Chinese market. The Q50 and Q60 are expected to follow. Source: GoAuto View full article
  10. William Maley

    Infiniti To Transition Sedans From RWD to AWD

    Back in January, Infiniti announced that it would electrify most of their lineup starting 2021. The long timeframe is to give Infiniti enough time to finish work on a new platform need for this plan. This in turn has cause Infiniti to delay the redesigns of the Q50, Q60 Coupe, and Q70 till this time. Speaking with Australian outlet GoAuto, Infiniti's product strategy vice-president Francois Bancon explained that he would liked to update their lineup of sedans and coupe quicker - the Q70 hasn't really changed since it was known as the M back in 2011. But the change to a new platform has caused the automaker to push them back. “We are going to have to change, this platform is a V6 platform, it is rear-wheel drive. We are going to have to shift because this platform is not an electrified platform. You need a battery, you need an electric motor, it’s a different package," said Bancon. “The oldest are the priority obviously, it’s not about one product versus another but it’s just about cascading management … and updating all of them. We would prefer to replace faster but we have some limits because it is a radical shift for us. It’s not about, well, you keep the platform but replace (the body design). When you change everything, including the manufacturing system, it is not a small change.” Bancon also dropped an interesting tidbit about the new platform. It will be all-wheel drive - gas engine driving the front-wheels and electric motors handling the rear. But will feature some sort of rear-bias. “Probably all-wheel drive, with some distribution more 50:50 (front-to-rear) than the 60:40 we have today, so probably a little more rear distribution than we have today. Since you shift electric you have a motor in the front and in the back, so rear-wheel drive does not make sense anymore. So with the new generation electrified platform … it’s a bit like Audi with its four-by-four (wheel drive).” The Q70 is expected to be the first model of this trio to transition, but Bancon admits that will only be for the Chinese market. The Q50 and Q60 are expected to follow. Source: GoAuto
  11. Lamborghini's model lineup will grow by one when the Urus goes on sale later this year. But the Italian sports car builder is considering adding another model to their lineup, not anytime soon though. “I think that first of all we need to consider where we were a couple of years ago. We were selling 1000 cars. It [current levels] is a big step. We’re going to do another step [with Urus], so we need to be prudent," said Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali to Motoring. “For sure, as soon as we have stabilised the growth, in a very methodical way, what we can see is that we’re going to think of introducing another model … but in the second part [of the next decade] – 2025 to 2030 — in that range. Not before. It would be wrong,” As to what the fourth model could be, Domenicali said they are still in talks. “Still discussing… Still discussing… Still under discussion. We see a lot of competitors attacking for the lower side of it… But we still have the time to discuss. And to make sure that we are once again different from the others.” If we were to guess right now, our money would be on a smaller SUV or a sedan. Source: Motoring View full article
  12. Lamborghini's model lineup will grow by one when the Urus goes on sale later this year. But the Italian sports car builder is considering adding another model to their lineup, not anytime soon though. “I think that first of all we need to consider where we were a couple of years ago. We were selling 1000 cars. It [current levels] is a big step. We’re going to do another step [with Urus], so we need to be prudent," said Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali to Motoring. “For sure, as soon as we have stabilised the growth, in a very methodical way, what we can see is that we’re going to think of introducing another model … but in the second part [of the next decade] – 2025 to 2030 — in that range. Not before. It would be wrong,” As to what the fourth model could be, Domenicali said they are still in talks. “Still discussing… Still discussing… Still under discussion. We see a lot of competitors attacking for the lower side of it… But we still have the time to discuss. And to make sure that we are once again different from the others.” If we were to guess right now, our money would be on a smaller SUV or a sedan. Source: Motoring
  13. Ever since PSA Group announced that it would be making a return the U.S. as part of a 10-year plan, there has been a large amount of speculation as to which brand would be sold. Would it be Citroen, DS, Peugeot, or the recently acquired Opel/Vauxhall? “We’ve chosen a brand, but it’s too early to talk about it,” said Larry Dominique, president and CEO of PSA North America to Car and Driver. PSA Group is still in the first phase of its plan with the Free2Move mobility aggregation platform (shows various ways of getting around such as bikes and electric vehicles) in Seattle. Somewhat worrying is that the company has only “activated its marketing” in Seattle recently according to Dominique - Free2Move launched back in October. Out of all of the brands under PSA Group, Car and Driver says there is a good chance that Opel could be the brand coming to the U.S. They point out a comment made by PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares saying after purchasing Opel/Vauxhall is that Opel engineers can “ensure the future products for this market will be fully U.S. compliant,” in terms of regulations and taste. But there is a possible complication to PSA's plans. Yesterday, President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum went into effect. There is also talk about a possibly matching up the tariff on imported vehicles - currently, the U.S. imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on imported European vehicles. Earlier this month, Tavares told Automotive News that he is watching the situation closely and that if a new vehicle tariff does come, it will make the company rethink their plans. “If the overall framework of tariffs change, it may have an impact on our strategy. That’s clear, because if we don’t have a profitable business plan, then we don’t go,” said Tavares. Dominique is a little bit more hopeful. Speaking at the J.D. Power Automotive Summit this week, Dominique said he doesn't believe an increase in the tariff will happen and expressed confidence that the various trade issues could be worked out. Source: Car and Driver, Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2 View full article
  14. Ever since PSA Group announced that it would be making a return the U.S. as part of a 10-year plan, there has been a large amount of speculation as to which brand would be sold. Would it be Citroen, DS, Peugeot, or the recently acquired Opel/Vauxhall? “We’ve chosen a brand, but it’s too early to talk about it,” said Larry Dominique, president and CEO of PSA North America to Car and Driver. PSA Group is still in the first phase of its plan with the Free2Move mobility aggregation platform (shows various ways of getting around such as bikes and electric vehicles) in Seattle. Somewhat worrying is that the company has only “activated its marketing” in Seattle recently according to Dominique - Free2Move launched back in October. Out of all of the brands under PSA Group, Car and Driver says there is a good chance that Opel could be the brand coming to the U.S. They point out a comment made by PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares saying after purchasing Opel/Vauxhall is that Opel engineers can “ensure the future products for this market will be fully U.S. compliant,” in terms of regulations and taste. But there is a possible complication to PSA's plans. Yesterday, President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum went into effect. There is also talk about a possibly matching up the tariff on imported vehicles - currently, the U.S. imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on imported European vehicles. Earlier this month, Tavares told Automotive News that he is watching the situation closely and that if a new vehicle tariff does come, it will make the company rethink their plans. “If the overall framework of tariffs change, it may have an impact on our strategy. That’s clear, because if we don’t have a profitable business plan, then we don’t go,” said Tavares. Dominique is a little bit more hopeful. Speaking at the J.D. Power Automotive Summit this week, Dominique said he doesn't believe an increase in the tariff will happen and expressed confidence that the various trade issues could be worked out. Source: Car and Driver, Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2
  15. William Maley

    BMW Not Planning Mass Production of EVs Until 2020

    BMW has plans of launching 25 electrified models by 2025 - 12 of those being fully electric. But don't expect to start seeing mass production of those 12 models anytime soon. BMW CEO Harald Krueger told analysts in Munich that its current electric vehicle technology is not profitable enough to scale up to volume production. “We wanted to wait for the fifth generation to be much more cost competitive. We do not want to scale up with the fourth generation,” said Krueger. The difference in costs between the fourth and fifth-generation according to Krueger "was a “two digit number” in percent terms." BMW is currently developing a sixth-generation of electric technologies that encompasses research into battery cells, and will hopefully bring down the costs. Currently, BMW's only EV is the i3. The lineup will expand beginning next year with the MINI E. This will be followed by the iX3 crossover in 2020. A sedan based on the iVision Dynamics concept will also be joining the lineup, though when exactly is unclear at this time. Auto Express which first reported this news says it will come out in 2020. But when asked by Automotive News Europe, Krueger said, "we shall see." Source: Reuters, Auto Express, Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
  16. BMW has plans of launching 25 electrified models by 2025 - 12 of those being fully electric. But don't expect to start seeing mass production of those 12 models anytime soon. BMW CEO Harald Krueger told analysts in Munich that its current electric vehicle technology is not profitable enough to scale up to volume production. “We wanted to wait for the fifth generation to be much more cost competitive. We do not want to scale up with the fourth generation,” said Krueger. The difference in costs between the fourth and fifth-generation according to Krueger "was a “two digit number” in percent terms." BMW is currently developing a sixth-generation of electric technologies that encompasses research into battery cells, and will hopefully bring down the costs. Currently, BMW's only EV is the i3. The lineup will expand beginning next year with the MINI E. This will be followed by the iX3 crossover in 2020. A sedan based on the iVision Dynamics concept will also be joining the lineup, though when exactly is unclear at this time. Auto Express which first reported this news says it will come out in 2020. But when asked by Automotive News Europe, Krueger said, "we shall see." Source: Reuters, Auto Express, Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) View full article
  17. It is no secret that Jeep has been toying with the idea of introducing a model smaller than the Renegade (see our story back in January). According to a new report from Autocar, Jeep might announce plans to do just that. In June, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be holding their five-year plan announcement. This is where the company outlines what's in store for the brands under the FCA umbrella. Autocar says Jeep is likely to announce their sub-Renegade model during it. As we reported back in January, the 'baby' Jeep would likely use the platform that underpins the Fiat 500 and Panda 4x4. It would be aimed at the European market where there is a growing demand for small crossovers. Jeep CEO Mike Manley said Latin America could also be another market for the 'baby' Jeep. Source: Autocar
  18. It is no secret that Jeep has been toying with the idea of introducing a model smaller than the Renegade (see our story back in January). According to a new report from Autocar, Jeep might announce plans to do just that. In June, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be holding their five-year plan announcement. This is where the company outlines what's in store for the brands under the FCA umbrella. Autocar says Jeep is likely to announce their sub-Renegade model during it. As we reported back in January, the 'baby' Jeep would likely use the platform that underpins the Fiat 500 and Panda 4x4. It would be aimed at the European market where there is a growing demand for small crossovers. Jeep CEO Mike Manley said Latin America could also be another market for the 'baby' Jeep. Source: Autocar View full article
  19. The fate of the Nissan Z has been up the air for a number of years. One minute, it seems the Z will be killed off. The next, Nissan is figuring out how to keep the Z alive. This brings us neatly to a report from Autocar which says a new Z car is expected in 2020. But after reading this report, we have some questions as to the validity of this information. According to "senior officials from Nissan," the new Z car has the codename of Z35 and will share a number of components with the Infiniti Q60 Coupe including the rear-drive platform and engines. Using the Q60's platform would make the Z a bit larger - the Q60's length is 17 inches longer and the wheelbase is about a foot longer. Power will come from a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine from the Q50 and Q60 producing 400 horsepower. There will also be a high-performance NISMO model that will use a re-tuned version of the twin-turbo V6 to produce 475 horsepower and be paired with an all-wheel drive system. But this report has a huge red flag. Emphasis ours. The issue is that there will not be a 2018 Tokyo Moto Show. It is a bi-annual auto show. The last one took place in 2017, meaning the next one will not happen till 2019. This also puts a red flag on the reveal of the production model at the 2019 LA Auto Show. This report comes a week after another rumor about the Z car was debunked. Japanese site Response reported that Nissan has asked their partner Mercedes-Benz on developing a new Z car. Using a Mercedes-Benz platform, the new Z would be offered with two engines. A 2.0L turbo-four from Mercedes as the base and the twin-turbo V6 from Infiniti. But as Japanese Nostalgic Car notes in their report, "the automotive rumor mill in Japan is like 1990s Motor Trend on crack." The partnership between Nissan and Diamler hit a rough patch earlier this year as Reuters reported that Infiniti would not use Mercedes' MFA2 modular platform due to cost issues. The new QX50 which was supposed to be the Infiniti vehicle to use this new platform would instead use its own unique platform. Motor Trend would deliver the final nail in the coffin of this rumor. According to their sources, Mercedes and Nissan did talk about the possibility of working together on a new platform that would be shared between the Z and SLC roadster. But these talks reportedly went nowhere. Also, Mercedes is planning to kill off the SLC once production of the current model ends. We know that Nissan does want to keep the Z alive from comments made by Philippe Klein, Nissan's chief planning officer back in January. As of right now, your guess is as good as ours. Source: Autocar
  20. The fate of the Nissan Z has been up the air for a number of years. One minute, it seems the Z will be killed off. The next, Nissan is figuring out how to keep the Z alive. This brings us neatly to a report from Autocar which says a new Z car is expected in 2020. But after reading this report, we have some questions as to the validity of this information. According to "senior officials from Nissan," the new Z car has the codename of Z35 and will share a number of components with the Infiniti Q60 Coupe including the rear-drive platform and engines. Using the Q60's platform would make the Z a bit larger - the Q60's length is 17 inches longer and the wheelbase is about a foot longer. Power will come from a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine from the Q50 and Q60 producing 400 horsepower. There will also be a high-performance NISMO model that will use a re-tuned version of the twin-turbo V6 to produce 475 horsepower and be paired with an all-wheel drive system. But this report has a huge red flag. Emphasis ours. The issue is that there will not be a 2018 Tokyo Moto Show. It is a bi-annual auto show. The last one took place in 2017, meaning the next one will not happen till 2019. This also puts a red flag on the reveal of the production model at the 2019 LA Auto Show. This report comes a week after another rumor about the Z car was debunked. Japanese site Response reported that Nissan has asked their partner Mercedes-Benz on developing a new Z car. Using a Mercedes-Benz platform, the new Z would be offered with two engines. A 2.0L turbo-four from Mercedes as the base and the twin-turbo V6 from Infiniti. But as Japanese Nostalgic Car notes in their report, "the automotive rumor mill in Japan is like 1990s Motor Trend on crack." The partnership between Nissan and Diamler hit a rough patch earlier this year as Reuters reported that Infiniti would not use Mercedes' MFA2 modular platform due to cost issues. The new QX50 which was supposed to be the Infiniti vehicle to use this new platform would instead use its own unique platform. Motor Trend would deliver the final nail in the coffin of this rumor. According to their sources, Mercedes and Nissan did talk about the possibility of working together on a new platform that would be shared between the Z and SLC roadster. But these talks reportedly went nowhere. Also, Mercedes is planning to kill off the SLC once production of the current model ends. We know that Nissan does want to keep the Z alive from comments made by Philippe Klein, Nissan's chief planning officer back in January. As of right now, your guess is as good as ours. Source: Autocar View full article
  21. Subscription services are beginning to become more popular as more companies and OEMs come into this market to offer consumers a range of different vehicles that can be swapped. Mercedes-Benz is the latest automaker planning to launch such a service in the U.S. "We plan to have something ready within this year. We are in the final conclusion" stage, said Britta Seeger, global head of sales for Mercedes-Benz to Automotive News. "With everything we see from the markets, from the customer … going forward, choice is really the topic of the future. Customers are so diverse and they want to have different offers. Subscription is another part of how to offer mobility to our customers." Earlier this month, Mercedes launched a pilot program called Mercedes me Flexperience at two of Germany's largest Mercedes' dealership groups. Customers who sign up can select and drive up to 12 new vehicles for a year at an undisclosed monthly rate depending on the vehicle segment. The rate includes insurance, maintenance, repair, tires, and up to 36,000 kilometers (22,369 miles) a year. As for vehicle choices, customers can choose from four different segments: A, C, E, and S-Class models and their crossover and AMG variants. Customers can upgrade to a higher model segment for an additional cost. When it comes to swap into a new vehicle, a customer can do it through the Mercedes me Flexperience app. Details as to where Mercedes plans to launch the pilot program for the U.S. and pricing are still being worked out. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  22. Subscription services are beginning to become more popular as more companies and OEMs come into this market to offer consumers a range of different vehicles that can be swapped. Mercedes-Benz is the latest automaker planning to launch such a service in the U.S. "We plan to have something ready within this year. We are in the final conclusion" stage, said Britta Seeger, global head of sales for Mercedes-Benz to Automotive News. "With everything we see from the markets, from the customer … going forward, choice is really the topic of the future. Customers are so diverse and they want to have different offers. Subscription is another part of how to offer mobility to our customers." Earlier this month, Mercedes launched a pilot program called Mercedes me Flexperience at two of Germany's largest Mercedes' dealership groups. Customers who sign up can select and drive up to 12 new vehicles for a year at an undisclosed monthly rate depending on the vehicle segment. The rate includes insurance, maintenance, repair, tires, and up to 36,000 kilometers (22,369 miles) a year. As for vehicle choices, customers can choose from four different segments: A, C, E, and S-Class models and their crossover and AMG variants. Customers can upgrade to a higher model segment for an additional cost. When it comes to swap into a new vehicle, a customer can do it through the Mercedes me Flexperience app. Details as to where Mercedes plans to launch the pilot program for the U.S. and pricing are still being worked out. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  23. When Volkswagen introduced the new T-Roc crossover last year, there were some who were hoping it would come to the U.S. But that would not be the case as would learn. Still, Volkswagen is planning a separate compact crossover that will be aimed at various global markets such as the U.S. and China. According to Automotive News, the new crossover known internally as Volks-SUV will sit underneath the Tiguan and be first built in China by the SAIC-Volkwagen joint venture with sales beginning in August. Production will expand to Argentina, Mexico, and Russia in 2020. "We will supply the U.S. from Mexico," said Volkswagen brand CEO Herbert Diess. No timeframe was given as to when the U.S. will see the new SUV. Automotive News reports the new crossover will be underpinned by the MQB modular platform and the final design was approved last week. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  24. When Volkswagen introduced the new T-Roc crossover last year, there were some who were hoping it would come to the U.S. But that would not be the case as would learn. Still, Volkswagen is planning a separate compact crossover that will be aimed at various global markets such as the U.S. and China. According to Automotive News, the new crossover known internally as Volks-SUV will sit underneath the Tiguan and be first built in China by the SAIC-Volkwagen joint venture with sales beginning in August. Production will expand to Argentina, Mexico, and Russia in 2020. "We will supply the U.S. from Mexico," said Volkswagen brand CEO Herbert Diess. No timeframe was given as to when the U.S. will see the new SUV. Automotive News reports the new crossover will be underpinned by the MQB modular platform and the final design was approved last week. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  25. For a number of years, people have been saying the biggest problem with Volkswagen is they haven't “figured out the American market yet.” Even the automaker admits that it's the reason that its market share has dropped. Volkswagen has tried again and again to make some inroads into the market to no avail. But the German automaker is giving it another go. Automotive News had the chance to do a deep dive into Volkswagen's new plan by speaking with Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken. His plan involves turning this division into an American car company - in spirit. It should be noted that Woebcken came to the U.S. as an exchange student in the seventies, something he credits for getting him interested in industrial engineering. "I owe America, I owe Rochester, N.Y., and I owe this metal shop for how I basically went to start my adult life. We want to get more Americanized not only in our product but in our business. It's not that we're giving up on the genes of the Volkswagen brand. Volkswagens are Volkswagens. But what we recognized over the years is ... that we were too much a small-car company, too much a sedan company," said Woebcken. This plan was sparked only a couple months into his position as Volkswagen America's CEO. During a meeting with dealers, Woebcken was introducing the three-row crossover that is now known as the Atlas. But at the time of the meeting, it was wearing the Teramont name. Dealers hated the name and wanted to have Atlas as the name. Woebcken agreed to talk with his bosses about changing the name. "Everybody said there was no chance to convince headquarters to change the name of a regional product. It's not a big thing, I know, but it's a symbolic statement that Wolfsburg said, 'OK, the region is independent. They want to make sure the brand is getting successful in this country. Let them decide for themselves the name,' " explained Woebcken. "It was, in terms of Volkswagen, a pretty big thing that demonstrates ... that this is really an independent company here in America, that the factories report to us, the engineering centers in California and Detroit report to us, the purchasing organization — which is a big leverage for the cost situation — is reporting into the North American region, plus, of course, all the sales and marketing. So we really have all the levers in our hand now, not only to listen to the demands of the market, but really also to implement them." Some of the parts of Woebcken's plan have come to fruition including cutting the prices on various models like the Tiguan and introducing a new 6 Year/72,000 Mile warranty. Other parts of Woebcken's plan include, Shortening Volkswagen's long product cycles with plans to “introduce two new cars every year” to North America Localize part sourcing for their two North American plans in Chattanooga, TN and Puebla, Mexico Roll out Volkswagen's electrification strategy beginning in 2020 with the I.D. Crozz It is an ambitious plan but it seems to be paying off somewhat. Sales in 2017 rose 5.2 percent. In 2018, sales are up 5.8 percent. We highly recommend checking out this piece by Automotive News as we are only scratching the surface. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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