Blogs from the Detroit auto show

ZF executive 'remarkably comfortable' in one-on-one chat with Obama

Posted 3:21 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 21
blogs
President Obama met with Johnson during his tour of the Detroit auto show on Wednesday. (Reuters)
BRYAN JOHNSON:  The most commonly asked question I’ve received in the past 24 hours is: “Were you nervous?” But I can honestly tell you that my 10-minute one-on-one conversation with The President of the United States, while being the pinnacle of my communications career, was remarkably comfortable. Wednesday afternoon I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explain to President Barack Oba ...
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ZF executive 'remarkably comfortable' in one-on-one chat with Obama

Posted 3:21 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 21
blogs
President Obama met with Johnson during his tour of the Detroit auto show on Wednesday. (Reuters)
BRYAN JOHNSON:  The most commonly asked question I’ve received in the past 24 hours is: “Were you nervous?” But I can honestly tell you that my 10-minute one-on-one conversation with The President of the United States, while being the pinnacle of my communications career, was remarkably comfortable. Wednesday afternoon I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explain to President Barack Oba ...
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Seeing double in Detroit

Posted 3:15 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 14
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Volvo XC90, Kia Telluride crossover concept
WES RAYNAL:  DETROIT -- The 2016 edition of the Detroit auto show is packed with the usual introductions, concepts and good gossip. This year, more than in previous years, though, we can’t help but notice some of the sedans, coupes, crossovers and trucks are all starting to run together: Bentleys and Continentals, Impalas and LaCrosses. Some are new and some have been around a while. Here are five exa ...
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Lexus trumps Toyota for valued floor space at Detroit show

Posted 12:11 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 14
blogs
More than 400 people flooded the LC 500 unveiling Monday afternoon. (Bloomberg)
HANS GREIMEL:  DETROIT -- Kudos to the hardworking crew that set up the Toyota display at this year’s Detroit auto show. Normally, workers would spend days prepping a stand in advance of the event. But this year, they had to tear down a booth and create a new one virtually overnight Monday. That is because the Lexus luxury sibling brand commandeered the expansive Toyota brand space on Monday as the unvei ...
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Is Toyota turning the Mirai into a mobile network server?

Posted 12:45 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 14
blogs
Shigeki Tomoyama, senior managing officer for Toyota, with a Mirai research car equipped with an advanced Kymeta antennae for data transmission. (REUTERS)
WESLEY WREN:  DETROIT -- Toyota Motor Corp. displayed its latest in-car connectivity at the Detroit auto show this week. Partnering with American-based flat-panel antenna developer Kymeta, Toyota aims to alleviate the data bottleneck that happens while using a standard mobile network, which is what connected cars currently use. In anticipation that bandwidth demand will only get worse in the future, Toyota sl ...
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Jeep waves green flag for Hellcat Grand Cherokee

Posted 2:15 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
blogs

JAKE LINGEMAN:  DETROIT -- A 707-hp Hellcat Jeep Grand Cherokee is coming before the end of 2017. We'll just let that sink in for a few seconds. Jeep brand head Mike Manley confirmed the information to writer/driver Brian Makse this week at the Detroit auto show; in turn, he broadcasted the news through his YouTube channel. Fiat Chrysler's Hellcat franchise, anchored by a 6.2-liter supercharged ...
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With a whiff, Ally aims to stand out

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
blogs
(HANNAH LUTZ)
HANNAH LUTZ:  What’s your car scent? A blend of cappuccino, hairspray, lipstick and yoga mat? Or is it a mix of bonfire, axle grease, flannel and beard? Or maybe it’s a combination of baby wipes, stain remover, crayon and a little bit of regret. Ally Financial will tell you. Ally is featuring a “New Car Smell” exhibit Jan. 11-24 at the North American International Auto Show at Cobo ...
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Confessions of a NACTOY judge: 2016 edition

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Jan. 12
blogs
The 2016 Volvo XC90, winner of the North American Truck of the Year, is inspected by a few journalists Monday at the Detroit auto show. (REUTERS)
RICHARD TRUETT:  DETROIT -- By now you know the winners of the North American Car and Truck of the Year are the redesigned Honda Civic and Volvo XC90. I am a member of the jury that selects the NACTOY award winners each year. The end of the process is usually one we jurors dread. Though it is fun to test drive all of the candidates, when it gets down to the finalists, any vehicle could win because they are all wo ...
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Why it was no surprise that Ford had no surprises

Posted 11:17 am U.S. ET, Jan. 12
blogs
Lincoln chief Kumar Galhotra today revealed the new Continental sedan, but the most notable aspect of the car is that it looks just like the concept shown last year. (REUTERS/Gary Cameron)
NICK BUNKLEY:  A year ago, the Ford GT was the surprise star of the Detroit auto show. Ford Motor Co. has a much lower-key presence in this year’s show. Even the GT itself is oddly hard to find. Instead of putting it front and center, where it would be certain to attract a nonstop gaggle of onlookers, Ford hid the GT on the second level of its new stand, along with the rest of its performance lineup. And ...
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Why the Buick Avista is a long shot for production

Posted 3:00 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 11
blogs
China isn't much of a coupe market, casting doubts on the Avista's long-term prospects. (REUTERS)
MIKE COLIAS:  DETROIT -- For the second straight Detroit auto show, Buick pulled a surprise -- this year, it's the Avista 2+2 coupe concept -- that has put it on many people’s most buzzworthy lists. But with this latest tease -- last year’s was the svelte Avenir sedan concept -- the questions are growing louder about whether Buick is serious about adding any of this sexy sheet metal ...
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RIP David Bowie: Thin White Duke once sang of Detroit's iconic car brands

Posted 3:43 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 11
blogs Bill Shea covers marketing and media issues for Crain's Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News.
 
My heart broke when I read the news on Twitter at 5 a.m. today: David Bowie is dead at age 69 after 18 months of fighting cancer. The Thin White Duke is gone. Ziggy Stardust has returned to his home planet. Obituary writers and fans will strain their thesauruses to find enough superlatives for Bowie and his work and style. Genius. Trendsetting. Elegant. Ethereal. Cool. Suave. Funky. Cosmic. Orig ...
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For 2016, some growth, but watch out

Posted 7:15 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 10
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Jesse Snyder is opinion page editor at Automotive News.
JESSE SNYDER:  It’s wonderful to be starting an expected seventh straight year of U.S. auto sales growth. The record 17.5 million light vehicles sold in 2015 were a remarkable 7.1 million more than in 2009 and the six consecutive years of gain is a string unmatched since the 1920s. But here’s the rub. The longer the string, the bigger the gains, the more likely the unknowns are to turn around and bi ...
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Ghosn on why Renault-Nissan really needs 2 CEOs

Posted 10:23 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 10
blogs
Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, at a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on January 4. (REUTERS)
HANS GREIMEL:  DETROIT -- Globetrotting Carlos Ghosn, the time-zone traveling dual CEO of France’s Renault SA and Japan’s Nissan Motor Co., is no stranger to the misery of jet lag -- splitting his time between Europe and Asia -- and everywhere in between. But what time trip really sets his head spinning? “The worst jet lag is Tokyo-New York or Tokyo-Detroit,” Ghosn said of the two Easte ...
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A 56K-era taste of Lincoln's new luxury sedan

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 8
blogs
This picture, which recently appeared on Ford Inside News, is in the trademark low-angle, front-three-quarter style that Lincoln (and Ford) use on their shopping websites.
GRAHAM KOZAK:  Do not adjust your monitor; do not check your Internet connection. This is our first look at the Detroit auto show-bound, production-spec 2017 Lincoln Continental, rendered in dialup-era pixilated glory. Sorry about that. This picture, which recently appeared on Ford Inside News, is in the trademark low-angle, front-three-quarter style that Lincoln (and Ford) use on their shopping websites. It&r ...
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Is CHAdeMO headed for CHAde-NO?

Posted 11:03 am U.S. ET, Jan. 8
blogs
The Nissan Leaf includes a CHAdeMO port next to the SAE-spec port.
JAMES B. TREECE:  DETROIT -- When I opened the charging door on the passenger side of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid crossover, I found a charging port and a large empty space covered with a flat slab of plastic. The charging port is the same SAE-standard version I have on my Chevrolet Volt. The empty space? That’s where a large CHAdeMO port should have been. CHAdeMO is a high-speed direct-cur ...
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Volvo's S90 will (just about) handle the driving on highway trips

Posted 1:15 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 7
blogs

JAY RAMEY:  When the 2017 Volvo S90 goes on sale late this year, you'll barely have to even drive it. The automaker has just announced that its semi-autonomous Pilot Assist software will be standard on the flagship sedan in the U.S. -- roughly the same system that debuted in the XC90 SUV. The big difference is that, unlike in the XC90, Pilot Assist will be available at speeds up to 80 mph. That means that th ...
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Today's safe cars: Too much nanny-tech?

Posted 2:00 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 7
blogs
The 2016 Buick LaCrosse with lane departure warning provides an alert when the vehicle exits a lane without a signal activated.
DAVE GUILFORD:  Automakers like to say that they are transforming cars into rolling computers or rolling smartphones. In doing so, they should take care not to turn their products into rolling smoke detectors. Let me explain. Recently I was awakened in the wee hours by a beeping smoke alarm. Not a fire, just a dying battery. After stumbling around the house for a while, I found it and shut it off. It left me p ...
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Henrik Fisker readies 2 cars for Detroit auto show

Posted 10:15 am U.S. ET, Dec. 11 2015
blogs

MARK VAUGHN:  Designer Henrik Fisker, he of the Aston Martin DB9, BMW Z8 and his very own Fisker Karma, will introduce two new cars at the Detroit auto show. He is only talking about one of them, though, and it looks like it’ll be a doozy -- The Force 1 (yes, he capitalizes the “The”). But when we say talking, it’s more like hinting. As you can gather from the design drawing here, the ...
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