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Will aluminum Ford F-150 be mpg king? Let's do the (fuzzy) math

Posted 11:27 am U.S. ET, Sept. 30
blogs Richard Truett covers engineering for Automotive News.
 
Ford looks poised to reclaim at least part of the pickup fuel economy crown from Chrysler’s hard-charging Ram 1500 with the new aluminum bodied 2015 F-150. Buried in a statement Monday on the redesigned F-150 was the first clue to how the truck will perform on the EPA’s mileage tests. Ford has said very little about the fuel economy of the revamped F-150, focu ...
     Continue reading "Will aluminum Ford F-150 be mpg king? Let's do the (fuzzy) math" » Sep 30, 2014 11:27 am U.S. ET
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Tavares, Palmer, Gales ready to shine in new CEO roles

Posted 2:00 am U.S. ET, Sept. 30
A year ago Carlos Tavares was unemployed, Andy Palmer was Nissan’s global head of planning and Jean-Marc Gales was leading supplier group CLEPA. The three former auto brand No. 2s will have the spotlight all to themselves at the Paris auto show this week. Tavares, 56, rose as high a second-in-command to Carlos Ghosn at Renault before getting restless. He left Renaul ...
     Continue reading "Tavares, Palmer, Gales ready to shine in new CEO roles" » Sep 30, 2014 2:00 am U.S. ET
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For fuel efficiency, the time has come for plug-in hybrids

Posted 9:52 am U.S. ET, Sept. 30
Plug-in hybrids are about to become a lot more common on Europe's roads as the region's mass-market brands start to introduce such cars in a bid to lower the average CO2 emissions of their new-car fleets ahead of tougher EU limits. Europe's volume automakers once shunned hybrid drivetrains, leaving the field to Toyota and premium brands, but the Paris auto show will highl ...
     Continue reading "For fuel efficiency, the time has come for plug-in hybrids" » Sep 30, 2014 9:52 am U.S. ET
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Renault Eolab's funny numbers

Posted 5:37 am U.S. ET, Sept. 30
I was stunned to discover the weight figures for the Renault Eolab plug-in hybrid concept that debuts at this week’s Paris auto show. A deeper investigation revealed some interesting calculations. Renault’s release on the car says the 955kg Eolab is more than 20 percent lighter the Clio. Another figure touted was that it is 400kg lighter than the Clio. Based ...
     Continue reading "Renault Eolab's funny numbers" » Sep 30, 2014 5:37 am U.S. ET
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Tavares, Palmer, Gales ready to shine in new CEO roles

Posted 2:00 am U.S. ET, Sept. 30
A year ago Carlos Tavares was unemployed, Andy Palmer was Nissan’s global head of planning and Jean-Marc Gales was leading supplier group CLEPA. The three former auto brand No. 2s will have the spotlight all to themselves at the Paris auto show this week. Tavares, 56, rose as high a second-in-command to Carlos Ghosn at Renault before getting restless. He left Renaul ...
     Continue reading "Tavares, Palmer, Gales ready to shine in new CEO roles" » Sep 30, 2014 2:00 am U.S. ET
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Wrong move for Cadillac -- the creative vibe is in Detroit, not New York

Posted 11:28 am U.S. ET, Sept. 29
DETROIT -- On Sept. 23, we had our Automotive News Marketing Seminar in New York and I listened to Matt VanDyke, director of global Lincoln marketing, talk about how Ford moved the operations of the Premier Automotive Group to California many years back. That was when Ford owned Aston Martin, Volvo and Jaguar/Land Rover. He said the biggest issue was that the move ended u ...
     Continue reading "Wrong move for Cadillac -- the creative vibe is in Detroit, not New York" » Sep 29, 2014 11:28 am U.S. ET
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How to drive dealers back to Washington, D.C.?

Posted 2:03 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 26
Martens Volvo-Volkswagen were the first car dealerships in Washington, D.C. – and the last. The stores have been sold, and Martens Volvo is now Euro Motorcars Volvo of Bethesda. It moved to Chevy Chase, Md., on Sept. 1. Its counterpart, now called Ourisman Volkswagen of Bethesda, is still in D.C. But not for long. It also will relocate to a Maryland suburb soon, le ...
     Continue reading "How to drive dealers back to Washington, D.C.?" » Sep 26, 2014 2:03 pm U.S. ET
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Why climate change could stall growth in emerging markets

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 26
TOKYO -- Auto executives have long salivated over the huge future sales possible in emerging markets as their teeming, upwardly mobile masses migrate from motorbikes to cars. So imagine the irony behind a new economic forecast that says surging greenhouse gases, spurred partly by auto emissions, will throw cold water on that once-anticipated development boom. The problem ...
     Continue reading "Why climate change could stall growth in emerging markets" » Sep 26, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why climate change could stall growth in emerging markets

Posted 6:51 am U.S. ET, Sept. 25
TOKYO -- Auto executives have long salivated over the huge future sales possible in emerging markets as their teeming, upwardly mobile masses migrate from motorbikes to cars. So imagine the irony behind a new economic forecast that says surging greenhouse gases, spurred partly by auto emissions, will throw cold water on that once-anticipated development boom. The problem ...
     Continue reading "Why climate change could stall growth in emerging markets" » Sep 25, 2014 6:51 am U.S. ET
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Automakers battle in annual Texas truck showdown

Posted 12:45 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 25
General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and Toyota are rolling into this weekend’s Texas State Fair in Dallas with guns blazing -- at each other. Around 3 million pairs of cowboy boots visit the fair each year, which makes it ground zero in the truck and SUV marketing wars. No state comes even close in sales of trucks and SUVs than Texas, with its 803,721 registrations in 20 ...
     Continue reading "Automakers battle in annual Texas truck showdown" » Sep 25, 2014 12:45 pm U.S. ET
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Auto finance industry still paying for past sins

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 24
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulators seem to have a caricature of a plaid, polyester sport coat-wearing car salesman in mind when they talk about auto retailing. (Picture the salesman in the movie Fargo who won’t take no for an answer from an angry customer who refuses to buy “Tru-Coat sealant.”) CFPB Director Richard Cordray, in opening remar ...
     Continue reading "Auto finance industry still paying for past sins" » Sep 24, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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How Mazda survived the atomic bomb, by a split hair

Posted 10:30 am U.S. ET, Sept. 23
Editor's note: This story has been amended to better reflect the number of estimated casualties resulting from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945.  HIROSHIMA -- Mazda Motor Corp., the most famous company from Hiroshima, may have survived the city’s infamous atomic bombing on Aug. 6, 1945, quite literally by only a split hair. It’s a ...
     Continue reading "How Mazda survived the atomic bomb, by a split hair" » Sep 23, 2014 10:30 am U.S. ET
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Lotus' timeless 'tub'

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 23
New Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales sees no reason to change the British sport car maker’s underpinnings. He says Lotus’ bonded aluminum “tub" -- launched on the first Elise in 1996 -- remains a benchmark for vehicle dynamics and fuel efficiency. To support his belief, he pointed to the carbon-fiber tub used on the recently launched Alfa Romeo 4C roadster. &ld ...
     Continue reading "Lotus' timeless 'tub' " » Sep 23, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Hyundai's hubris -- $10B land deal backfires

Posted 4:08 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 22
SAN FRANCISCO -- Chung Mong-Koo sought to imbue Hyundai with Gangnam style. Instead, Hyundai Motor Group’s $10 billion bid for a 19.6-acre plot in Seoul’s prestigious Gangnam district backfired on the company that Chung has elevated into a global powerhouse. It should serve as a warning to the industry: Using profits to build a Babel-like headquarters, instea ...
     Continue reading "Hyundai's hubris -- $10B land deal backfires" » Sep 22, 2014 4:08 pm U.S. ET
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Why Detroit is a small town, big city for auto dealers

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 20
On Thursday night, I watched dealer Karl Zimmermann officially dedicate his refurbished George Matick Chevrolet building in Redford Township, Mich. Like every grand opening, it was highly predictable: food, drink, balloons, local performers, extra shiny vehicles and some speechifying. Like every grand opening, it was unique. Highly personal to all gathered. Pick a day, ...
     Continue reading "Why Detroit is a small town, big city for auto dealers" » Sep 20, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why the UAW will strike in 2015 -- no matter what's offered

Posted 10:22 am U.S. ET, Sept. 19
Here is something that will happen in 2015 upon which you can bet serious money: The UAW will strike one -- and likely all three -- Detroit automakers before reaching a deal on a new labor agreement. And here’s the thing: There is nothing that any of the automakers could offer that would avoid that inevitability. The 2015 strike(s) will not be long. They will not b ...
     Continue reading "Why the UAW will strike in 2015 -- no matter what's offered" » Sep 19, 2014 10:22 am U.S. ET
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2015 Mustang is a hit on LA streets

Posted 11:50 am U.S. ET, Sept. 19
LOS ANGELES -- No sooner had we left our hotel and hit the streets in West Hollywood when we began to notice people noticing us. Granted, it was hard to miss our 2015 Ford Mustang painted in Competition Orange -- seemingly bright enough to be picked up by a satellite orbiting above. As we sat and waited at a traffic light, a man in the next lane lowered the window of his ...
     Continue reading "2015 Mustang is a hit on LA streets" » Sep 19, 2014 11:50 am U.S. ET
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Why Cadillac's forthcoming 'LTS' could get another name

Posted 2:46 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 19
DETROIT -- We've known about Cadillac's plans for a big, rear-wheel drive, range-topping sedan for more than two years now. For most of that time, we've been referring to it by its internal codename, LTS. But here's a bet: When the wraps come off the car sometime in the first half of next year, it won't sport an LTS badge. Here's my thinking. First, the basics. The firs ...
     Continue reading "Why Cadillac's forthcoming 'LTS' could get another name" » Sep 19, 2014 2:46 pm U.S. ET
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Why Toyota punted on a V-6 in the Tundra for '15

Posted 11:58 am U.S. ET, Sept. 18
Editor's note: The horsepower and torque ratings on the Ford F-150 with V-6 engines were incorrect in the chart accompanying earlier versions of this story. DETROIT -- It’s rare when Toyota admits defeat and folds -- especially when it comes to engines and fuel economy. But that’s what happened last week when Toyota introduced the 2015 Tundra pickup and reve ...
     Continue reading "Why Toyota punted on a V-6 in the Tundra for '15" » Sep 18, 2014 11:58 am U.S. ET
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The case for casting a wider net with credit apps

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 17
Auto lenders complain they hate it when dealership F&I managers send them credit applications outside their preferred range of credit scores. Yet Greg Goebel, CEO of DealerStrong, a dealership training and consulting firm, advised finance managers to do just that at last week’s Industry Summit in Las Vegas. According to an analysis Goebel did with a database of ...
     Continue reading "The case for casting a wider net with credit apps " » Sep 17, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Scrap Nissan's Leaf battery plant? Hardly

Posted 3:23 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 17
News broke this week that Nissan and Renault are debating the future of their electric-vehicle battery technology sourcing. Frankly, it would be bigger news if the two automaker partners weren’t debating it. According to the news reports, Nissan purchasing leaders believe Nissan and Renault can be most competitive continuing to source EV battery technology from Jap ...
     Continue reading "Scrap Nissan's Leaf battery plant? Hardly" » Sep 17, 2014 3:23 pm U.S. ET
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Strike shows restless UAW is going after two-tier wage system

Posted 3:30 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 16
Well, well. The word “strike” has returned to the UAW lexicon. The union struck on Saturday at a Lear Corp. plant in Hammond, Ind., that makes seats for Ford Motor Co.’s Chicago Assembly Plant. By Monday, the 760 Lear workers of UAW Local 2335 were back on the job. In hand was a tentative contract that met their primary demand: an end to a two-tier wage ...
     Continue reading "Strike shows restless UAW is going after two-tier wage system" » Sep 16, 2014 3:30 pm U.S. ET
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Vauxhall flexes its muscles

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 14
Opel and Vauxhall’s harmonious relationship was tested recently by the naming of their new minicar. Vauxhall fought against using a name that just wouldn’t work in Britain -- and won. Germany-based Opel picked the name Karl for the brand’s budget minicar, which debuts next year. Opel and Vauxhall have shared vehicle names since 1995, but the German-sound ...
     Continue reading "Vauxhall flexes its muscles" » Sep 14, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Incentives prop up sedan-heavy strategies

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 13
NASHVILLE -- Take a look at who’s been increasing incentives lately and you will see a larger trend in U.S. vehicle strategy. The guys who stepped up their incentive spending last month are brands that are counting on strong sedan strategies in an era of crossover growth. Honda, one of the most powerful brands in the American market, raised its incentives-to-transa ...
     Continue reading "Incentives prop up sedan-heavy strategies" » Sep 13, 2014 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Smart dealers can make big bucks through smartphones

Posted 2:50 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 12
Car dealers are sitting on a gold mine: their idle inventories.  The tool to turn that gold mine into gold is the smartphone. Increasingly, people are using their smartphones to solve their transportation needs rather than relying on traditional personal car ownership. Ride-summoning services such as Uber and Lyft are slowly replacing the need for taxis in some maj ...
     Continue reading "Smart dealers can make big bucks through smartphones" » Sep 12, 2014 2:50 pm U.S. ET
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