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Tim Kuniskis, president and CEO of Dodge, with the Challenger R/T Shaker at the 2014 New York Auto Show.
 

Can Dodge rebuild Pontiac excitement?

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Jan. 27
DETROIT -- General Motors CEO Mary Barra, at the recent Automotive News World Congress, said the company doesn’t miss any of the brands that were discontinued during the company’s 2008-09 bankruptcy and restructuring -- Saturn, Saab, Hummer and Pontiac.
You can take that to mean that none will ever be revived by GM, at least while Barra is in power.
But that doesn’t mean displaced customers of two of the brands -- Hummer and Pontiac -- have nowhere to go.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is building a lineup that would be a natural home for displaced Hummer and Pontiac customers.
Looking at Jeep’s staggering glo ...
     Continue reading "Can Dodge rebuild Pontiac excitement?" » Jan 27, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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Why tomorrow's sports cars will have mixed pedigree

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Jan. 20
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The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.
DETROIT -- I’m at the North American International Auto Show sitting in the snug, black leather driver’s seat of the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata -- the top-selling, two-seat convertible sports car of all time.
First, I can tell you the MX-5 Miata looks better in the flesh than it does in pictures. The photos I’ve seen make the car look like one of those angry kitchen appliances former GM product czar Bob Lutz railed about 15 years ago. It is not. The face of the new car is a bit meaner than that of the old one, but still has a friendly look. The taillights are a lot like those of the new Jaguar F-Type.
Continue reading "Why tomorrow's sports cars will have mixed pedigree" » Jan 20, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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Auto show vet longs for toy cars and comes up with thumb drives

Posted 2:08 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 15
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Toy cars like this Mini Cooper are rare now at auto show, but popular -- and pricey -- on EBay.
DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- My fondest moments covering auto shows, after jostling with my peers at press briefings, have been collecting the swag -- toy cars, clocks, hats, even chairs emblazoned with logos of new models.
I’m sorry to report, that era is over.
At the preview to this year’s Detroit auto show, which runs until Jan. 25, I got my hands on exactly one toy car -- a 4- inch-long aluminum model of the Acura NSX supercar -- that’s already attracting $100 bids on EBay. Most of the other automakers were handing out ... thumb drives.
Clearly more pr ...
     Continue reading "Auto show vet longs for toy cars and comes up with thumb drives" » Jan 15, 2015 2:08 pm U.S. ET
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How will the newest metal in Detroit hold up in the used market?

Posted 2:12 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 15
blogs
The Mercedes Benz GLE Coupe: A good omen for the brand's use-vehicle prices down the road. (BLOOMBERG)
DETROIT -- When analysts who examine used vehicles and establish prices for them look at an all-new or redesigned car or pickup, they study exterior styling, engine specs and technical innovations. The also weigh factors such as price, incentives, competitors and deliveries to rental fleets.
The idea is to get an idea of how a vehicle’s value and consumer demand will hold up when it is sold to its second or third owner.
Alec Gutierrez, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book, had his eye on subcompact SUVs and crossovers such as the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V and Chevrolet Trax at the Detroit auto show this ...
     Continue reading "How will the newest metal in Detroit hold up in the used market?" » Jan 15, 2015 2:12 pm U.S. ET
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Zetsche, Tesla's Musk have similar timetables for self-driving cars

Posted 8:00 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
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Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche believes that during this decade there will be Mercedes-Benz cars with assistance programs that can take over driving on the highway -- first without the ability to pass, then with it -- as well as the ability to park the vehicle after the driver has exited. (BLOOMBERG)
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Tesla CEO Elon Musk have very similar timetables for when they think autonomous cars will be on the road.
Musk said that in five years or less the technology will be advanced enough for fully autonomous driving to be a reality. Then it will take another two to three years to:
1) Prove that self-driving cars are safe.
2) Draw up the rules to regulate autonomous driving.
“Therefore, it will take about seven to eight years for it to launch,” Musk said during a press conference following his ...
     Continue reading "Zetsche, Tesla's Musk have similar timetables for self-driving cars" » Jan 14, 2015 8:00 am U.S. ET
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So what is a Bentayga?

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
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The Bentley SUV -- then named EXP 9 F -- when it was introduced at the Geneva auto show in March 2012. (BLOOMBERG)
DETROIT -- When it comes to quirky names for SUVs, Volkswagen Group has the market pretty well cornered.
This is the German company that dreamed up the Touareg, named for the nomadic Tuareg people of North Africa, and Tiguan, a combination of the words tiger and iguana. Both wear the Volkswagen brand.
They’re the sort of names that send journalists scrambling to Google for a quick spell check.
Now we can add a new head-scratcher to the list: the Bentley Bentayga. That’s what Bentley is christening its first-ever SUV, which will be introduced later this yea ...
     Continue reading "So what is a Bentayga? " » Jan 14, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Save up -- the future is a hungry beast

Posted 11:57 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
blogs
Honda's FCV Concept vehicle -- powered by the company's newest full cell -- on display this week in Detroit.
Anywhere on the Detroit auto show floor you can see healthy automakers branching out.
The exhibits bulge with new technologies and more introductions as companies’ product-development cadences speed up. Automakers expanding into new segments. A spate of fresh and attractive products. Tons of specialty models, from green plug-ins to thirsty exotics with 500, 600, even 700 horsepower.
Call it the vigor of health. These initiatives don’t happen in hard times.
It’s fortunate the auto industry is profitable these days. Better save some cash.
Continue reading "Save up -- the future is a hungry beast" » Jan 14, 2015 11:57 am U.S. ET
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Downtown development mogul Gilbert sees missed opportunities with Detroit auto show

Posted 9:58 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
DETROIT -- Real estate mogul Dan Gilbert, the key player in the revival of downtown Detroit, thinks more can be done with the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center.
Just what more, he’s not saying or doesn’t yet know.
There are missed opportunities to create an even bigger, Detroit-centric event around the auto show, he said, moments after helping present the Robb Report’s award for car of the year to Porsche for its 918 Spyder.
Continue reading "Downtown development mogul Gilbert sees missed opportunities with Detroit auto show" » Jan 14, 2015 9:58 am U.S. ET
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GM takes long view with Chevrolet Bolt EV

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
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With the Bolt, GM can remove the battery pack and replace it with the fuel cell without having to design a fuel cell vehicle from the wheels up.
DETROIT -- That General Motors rolled out a battery-powered electric car, the Chevrolet Bolt, at the Detroit auto show on Monday should be no surprise.
 
Some think the Bolt is GM’s way of raising a middle finger to Tesla, or at least slowing Elon Musk’s juggernaut. That likely isn’t why the Bolt exists, though it may accomplish both.
 
Yes, the Bolt provides GM with a competitor to Tesla’s planned small sedan, the Model 3, coming in 2017, as well as the Nissan Leaf. But, looking further down the ...
     Continue reading "GM takes long view with Chevrolet Bolt EV" » Jan 13, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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Drones fly at Ford and stir up drama

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
blogs
(VICTOR GALVAN)
DETROIT -- There’s drone drama at the Detroit auto show.
Ford Motor Co. is delivering toy models of its F-150 Raptor by drone, but the city’s fire marshal briefly grounded the stunt. And after some people didn’t like the drone flying throughout the stand, its flight path was restricted to an area in which no one would be underneath.
Meanwhile, General Motors put in a last-minute request with show organizers to shoot video of the new Chevrolet stand by drone on Wednesday morning and was awaiting a decision this afternoon.
Chevy spokesman Cra ...
     Continue reading "Drones fly at Ford and stir up drama" » Jan 13, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Product news
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NEWS ANALYSIS
Nissan steps back from cutting-edge offerings
12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 26
Nissan and its luxury Infiniti sibling have mellowed in their message of cutting-edge future products as 2015 begins. ...
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NO COWBOYS
With Titan, Nissan aims for 'white space' below biggest pickups
Nissan has a new strategy for scratching out a piece of Detroit's full-size pickup market: ...
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Beyond SUVs, VW weighs van, Golf pocket rocket for U.S.
VW development chief Hans-Jakob Neusser said VW is close to deciding whether to produce th ...
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Opel's next-gen Adam could also be a Buick
Buick's top U.S. executive wants to bolster the brand's U.S. ...
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Land Rover has high conquest goals for new Discovery Sport
With a more mainstream design, optional seven-seat configuration and improved technology, ...
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Stadler: Audi to build range-topping Q8 SUV
Audi will launch a flagship SUV called the Q8 before the end of the decade, CEO Rupert Sta ...
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Renegade comes through, on-road and off
When Jeep introduced the Compass -- and later, its platform mate, the Patriot -- with fron ...
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STYLE & SUBSTANCE
Viewing the 2015 Detroit show through a designer's eyes
To get a read on the visual appeal of this year's Detroit auto show, we sought a designer' ...
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Suppliers dream up future innovations. Will automakers bite?
Suppliers try to look over the horizon and craft new features and equipment for autos. ...
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Mitsubishi, Renault-Nissan midsize sedan project stalls
A plan for the Renault-Nissan Alliance to supply Mitsubishi dealers with a midsize sedan h ...
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Entry-level Jeep Renegade should boost brand in subcompact market
The Renegade subcompact SUV is Jeep's latest attempt at an entry-level vehicle. ...
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Why auto show display design is tricky
Automakers and suppliers spent an estimated $300 million building out displays for this ye ...
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Audi to build range-topping Q8 SUV, CEO Stadler says
Audi plans a range-topping SUV that will go on sale before the end of the decade, CEO Rupe ...
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McLaren names new design chief
UK supercar maker McLaren promoted Robert Melville to the post of chief designer, reportin ...
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Volkswagen mulls VW van, high-performance Golf for U.S.
Volkswagen has more than just an SUV offensive up its sleeve as the company considers addi ...
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