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Attire at this year's Shanghai auto show displays is much more conservative than in recent years. (HANS GREIMEL)
 

Shanghai show cleans up its act

Posted 6:36 am U.S. ET, April 20
SHANGHAI -- Automakers in China have once again proved where there’s a will, there’s a way.
And this time, they found a way around a much-ballyhooed ban of floor models at this year’s Shanghai auto show. The new code had been foisted upon exhibitors by organizers looking to clean up an image largely associated with plunging necklines, see-through blouses and crowds of camera nerds craning to click pics of the wrong types of models on display.
Yet when doors opened today to the press, there were plenty of models striking a pose.
The difference: The tacky sleaze from past shows was way toned down. Demure solid-color one-piece dresses and suits better ...
     Continue reading "Shanghai show cleans up its act" » Apr 20, 2015 6:36 am U.S. ET
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Why it could be the Volt's time to shine in China

Posted 7:17 am U.S. ET, April 20
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SHANGHAI -- Since the Chevrolet Volt hit U.S. showrooms in late 2010, it's been dogged by a central question: How can General Motors drive down the plug-in hybrid's cost enough to make it affordable to more people, and eventually turn a profit?
I think I know at least part of the answer: Sell a boatload of them in a Chinese market that's fast warming to EVs.
GM has sold a miniscule number of Volts since it began exporting the car for sale in China in 2012. There are two big reasons for that.
First, the U.S.-built car is subject to Chinese tariffs, which makes it prohi ...
     Continue reading "Why it could be the Volt's time to shine in China" » Apr 20, 2015 7:17 am U.S. ET
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Super-sized Shanghai more survivable than Frankfurt

Posted 5:22 am U.S. ET, April 20
The Shanghai auto show’s new home is bigger than the fairgrounds used for the Frankfurt show, but it is less brutal on the body.
The recently opened National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai calls itself with world’s largest exhibition complex with 400,000 square meters of covered space.
The Messe Frankfurt, home to the biennial Frankfurt show, has 355,678 square meters of hall space, according to its website.
In 2013, exhibitors at the Frankfurt show occupied more than 230,000 of those square meters. I couldn’t get an accurate account of ...
     Continue reading "Super-sized Shanghai more survivable than Frankfurt" » Apr 20, 2015 5:22 am U.S. ET
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Self-driving building blocks already in place

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, April 14
blogs
The Audi SQ5 SUV that Delphi used during a coast-to-coast autonomous vehicle demonstration was outfitted with many technologies and systems the company already has -- or soon will have -- in production. (DELPHI)
No one had ever done it before.
And for such a massive undertaking, it didn’t really get a lot of media attention. On the surface, you could, I suppose, see it as some kind of flashy PR stunt. But what auto supplier Delphi Automotive just did -- completing a 3,400-mile drive from San Francisco to New York in a self-driving car -- is an amazing technological feat. And it shows just how rapidly engineers and software code slingers are working the bugs out of autonomous cars.
It will largely be the work of software writers that determines the safety, performance and comfort of autonomous cars. Engineer ...
     Continue reading "Self-driving building blocks already in place" » Apr 14, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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Look-alike cars? Whether by design or not, it's an old, familiar story

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, April 7
blogs
Bentley: The Lincoln Continental Concept, top, mimics the Bentley Flying Spur, bottom.
Ford found itself in an uncomfortable position yet again last week over design.
By now you’re aware of the kerfuffle over the new Lincoln Continental.
Ford is very familiar with this kind of controversy.
Let’s go back to 1960. Check out the grille on Ford’s final Edsel.
It looks like a twin of the one used on the 1959 Bonneville, doesn’t i ...
     Continue reading "Look-alike cars? Whether by design or not, it's an old, familiar story" » Apr 7, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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Meet South Korea's newest automaker

Posted 11:10 am U.S. ET, April 3
blogs
Cony's trucks are funky little retro-styled two-seaters with flared fenders, mini-running boards and pie-pan wheels.
SEOUL -- Cony Motor Co. doesn’t have a factory or a single customer. Its vehicles aren’t even street-legal yet.
But South Korea’s youngest would-be automaker -- at less than a year old -- just splurged on a front-and-center stand at the country’s premier auto show, right next to Bentley no less.
The audacious startup hopes its prime and pricey position at the Seoul Motor Show will spur interest from investors and potential partners, COO Choi Jong Youn says.
Its bold ambition: Sell mini-pickups, powered by pint-size diesel engines or electric mo ...
     Continue reading "Meet South Korea's newest automaker" » Apr 3, 2015 11:10 am U.S. ET
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Apple is a no-show at the New York show

Posted 10:19 am U.S. ET, April 2
NEW YORK -- Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto are finally here!
Well, almost here.
Kia unveiled its 2016 Optima sedan in New York and announced the car would offer both CarPlay and Android Auto, the heavily hyped and eagerly anticipated software systems designed to get your car and smartphone to operate seamlessly as one device.
But the real ...
     Continue reading "Apple is a no-show at the New York show" » Apr 2, 2015 10:19 am U.S. ET
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Cadillac's challenge is to be incomparable. Escalade is.

Posted 12:34 pm U.S. ET, April 1
blogs
(BLOOMBERG)
NEW YORK -- Having witnessed the dramatic unveiling of the new CT6 luxury sedan Tuesday night at a swanky soiree on the Brooklyn waterfront, I think it’s safe to say that Cadillac has something very special in its stable.
But it’s not the CT6.
For sure, the new range-topper from Cadillac looks like a capable vehicle. Brand chief Johan de Nysschen described it as being as large as a standard-wheelbase BMW 7-series, but as light as the Cadillac CTS, one class below. It comes with a suite of fuel-saving technology, including lightweight materials, cylinder deactivation, a stop-start engine and an ...
     Continue reading "Cadillac's challenge is to be incomparable. Escalade is." » Apr 1, 2015 12:34 pm U.S. ET
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Malibu? Not the biggest splash at Chevy this week

Posted 2:34 pm U.S. ET, April 1
blogs
GM President Dan Ammann said today that focus groups loved Chevy's new spots. Before seeing the commercials, they used words like “tough” and “traditional” to describe Chevrolet, Ammann said. Afterward, they were more likely to use “changing,” “innovative” or “leading.”
NEW YORK -- Quick: What’s Chevrolet’s most important unveiling this week?
You’d be forgiven if you answered the redesigned 2016 Malibu that debuted here today, the car that General Motors execs believe finally will put the midsize sedan on the shopping lists of Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Ford Fusion buyers.
But you’d be wrong.
The major Chevy brand advertising campaign that rolls out s ...
     Continue reading "Malibu? Not the biggest splash at Chevy this week" » Apr 1, 2015 2:34 pm U.S. ET
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Traditional sedans fading away? Not in New York

Posted 12:10 pm U.S. ET, April 1
blogs
Alan Batey, head of North American operations for GM, unveils the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. The longer, lighter Malibu has been restyled to offer more interior space and improved fuel efficiency, more connectivity and more advanced safety features.
NEW YORK -- One of the more troubling sales trends for car buffs lately has been a shift away from sedans. Especially larger sedans.
But watch the runway at this year’s New York auto show.
There is a hot new sedan from Cadillac -- the CT6. A stylish new Kia Optima. An eighth-generation Nissan Maxima with an unprecedented collection of bells and whistles. A retooled Chevrolet Malibu. And just to smack down any thought that sedans are fading away, Ford Motor Co. is rolling out a new Lincoln Continental Concept.
Interpret what you will from its decline in U.S marke ...
     Continue reading "Traditional sedans fading away? Not in New York" » Apr 1, 2015 12:10 pm U.S. ET
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More »    
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Mercedes shrinks SUV with GLC coupe concept
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