Blogs from the Detroit auto show
Volvo CEO Samuelsson details U.S. agenda, 'e-ordering'
Posted 11:46 am U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson, with the XC90 in Detroit on Monday, is anxious to improve things in the U.S., where the company's sales slipped 8 percent. He says Volvo will be consigned to “regional brand” status unless it can get going in America. (REUTERS)
Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson didn’t exactly deny a report from China on Sunday that the Swedish brand is considering a U.S. assembly plant, but he wasn’t quite embracing it either.
The Reuters report cited unnamed executives at Geely, which owns Volvo. When asked about it Sunday night, Samuelsson suggested that the idea was premature for a company that sold just 56,000 units last year i ...
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Love the displays, but where's the color?
Posted 4:38 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Gaze down the long aisle of luxury brands, for example. What pops? The yellow triangle on the tip of the Smart logo, like an illuminated canary against the night sky. (BLOOMBERG)
DETROIT -- Every year, auto show displays get better -- yet somehow less distinctive.
This Detroit auto show is chock full of lavish, well-conceived and well executed backdrops specifically designed to show off each manufacturer’s latest products. Everybody on the main floor here obviously thought “Go big or go home.” Each individual display shines on its own.
And yet, I’ ...
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Ford's GT: 'Nobody knew this was coming'
Posted 11:46 am U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Only a small number of people had seen or even heard about the Ford GT before it was revealed.
While most big auto show unveilings are leaked or telegraphed ahead of time, Ford Motor Co. kept its GT supercar mostly a surprise until this morning’s introduction in Detroit.
That’s because even within Ford, only a small number of people had seen or even heard about the GT before it was revealed.
“Nobody knew this was coming,” Ford sales analyst Erich Merkle said as he ...
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Why the Buick Avenir is a pleasant surprise
Posted 10:37 am U.S. ET, Jan. 12
Reuss: Buick "is absolutely ready for it." (GM)
DETROIT -- I don't like surprises. And it's a good thing for me that automakers don't much, either.
Most of the vehicles revealed at auto shows today break cover before the wraps formally come off onstage. For the ones that don't, the companies are kind enough to give us automotive journalists the photos and details so we can write our stories ahead of time.
So I was mildly annoyed when Buick's ...
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Why Nissan's overhauled Titan falls short of the mountaintop
Posted 9:15 am U.S. ET, Jan. 12
DETROIT -- By now you’ve seen the new Nissan Titan pickup that debuted today at the North American International Auto Show here.
But even if you haven’t, you have.
That’s because it has Ford F-150 DNA stamped all over it, from the three horizontal indentations in the grille that recall Ford’s three-bar grille, to the shape of the chamfered headlights to the doglegs in the ...
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Why the growth in U.S. luxury sales gets tricky
Posted 7:59 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 11
Millenials are less impressed by luxury logos and traditional measures like exclusivity and status, says Steve Krause of Ipsos MediaCT. Millenials define luxury more by uniqueness, innovation and excellence in design, he said. (DAVID PHILLIPS)
Luxury automakers can expect their niche to expand. But reaching customers will get harder as Millenials increasingly enter the market.
A Society of Automotive Analysts conference Sunday before the Detroit auto show press days was all about the changing U.S. luxury auto market.
Lots of data and insight from several speakers, but the takeaway was dead simple. Luxury customers ain’t what the ...
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Honors for the 'people behind the cars'
Posted 9:45 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 11
Bob Lutz on stage and behind a rostrum -- yet again -- in Detroit on Sunday.
DETROIT -- A young, stylish and energetic crowd poured into Detroit's Orchestra Hall on Sunday night for the MAIN Event 20, the de facto kick-off for the North American International Auto Show.
The event, sponsored by Ford Motor Co. and now in its fifth year, celebrates the "people behind the cars" by honoring students, automotive executives and Detroit's design community. Other sponsors include ...
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Meet Infiniti's new 'halo' car: the Q60 Concept coupe
Posted 6:15 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 11
Michael Bartsch, vice president of Infiniti Americas, calls the coupe the halo for Nissan’s luxury marque.
DETROIT -- Infiniti finally has its much anticipated halo car. But it’s not the massive, performance-engined Porsche Panamera fighter once bandied about by brand executives.
Instead, it's the production coupe going on sale next year that will be based on the new Q60 Concept unveiled Sunday on the eve of the Detroit motor show press days.
Michael Bartsch, vice president of Infiniti Americas ...
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Buick stand goes from crickets to glitz under Aldred's direction
Posted 6:30 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 10
Buick: Thinking big and differently with all-new 2015 Detroit auto show stand. (VICTOR GALVAN)
DETROIT -- A year ago, just before Duncan Aldred took over as the head of Buick-GMC from his previous post at GM's Vauxhall brand, he visited the auto show here.
He didn't like what he saw.
The Buick stand, as Aldred remembers it, was like a sleepy backwater. Tucked in a corner between a line of supplier displays and Chevrolet's glitzy exhibit, there might as well have been crickets chirping fro ...
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