Product Planning

LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Redesigned Chrysler 200 is likely foundation for Journey replacement

7:37 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 13, 2014
Chrysler Group's introduction Monday of an all-wheel-drive variant for its redesigned 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan makes me think about another future vehicle: the replacement for the Dodge Journey....
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2014 DETROIT AUTO SHOW

GMC Canyon offers big-truck looks in smaller package

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12, 2014
The 2015 GMC Canyon is the bolder, more-chiseled half of GM's dual bid to revive consumer interest in smaller pickups. While the Chevrolet Colorado is sporty and sleek, the Canyon, its corporate sibling, looks a bit like a little brother to the GMC Sierra full-sized pickup. And that's by design....
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Mercedes plans long-wheelbase C class for China

3:05 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 19, 2013
Mercedes-Benz will build a long-wheelbase version of its new C-class sedan for China, as part of ambitious plans to roll out production of its biggest selling model across four continents in six months....
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2014 DETROIT AUTO SHOW

Volvo readies concept to preview next XC90

1:51 pm U.S. ET | Dec. 17, 2013
Volvo will pull the wraps off a concept at the Detroit auto show to illustrate the direction of styling for the redesigned 2015 XC90 crossover....
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Soft, evocative, fused and masterful: What people are saying about '15 Mustang

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 5, 2013
A roundup of what dealers, journalists and others are saying about the redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang...
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Volvo secures $800 million loan from China Development Bank

9:49 am U.S. ET | Nov. 25, 2013
Volvo Cars, struggling to restore profits since Zhejiang Geely Holding Group acquired the company from Ford in 2010 for $1.8 billion, signed a second loan agreement with China Development Bank....
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2013 L.A. AUTO SHOW

Fuel cell nearing leap from lab to highway

2:42 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 21, 2013
Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles are moving slowly out of the science project phase and onto the roads of the real world. Now the struggle shifts from making the technology reliable to bringing down the price. And the United States needs nationwide distribution of hydrogen fuel....
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2013 TOKYO MOTOR SHOW

Toyota, Subaru board turbo train for downsized power

1:52 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 21, 2013
Honda, which unveiled three turbocharged engines ahead of this week's Tokyo Motor Show, is not the only one turning to turbos to boost fuel efficiency without sacrificing power -- or to boost power without hurting fuel efficiency. Toyota and Subaru outlined plans at the Tokyo show to roll out downsized turbos. The first entries debut next year, and more will follow....
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2013 L.A. AUTO SHOW

Chevy banks on mid-sized pickup comeback with 2015 Colorado

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 20, 2013
GM is betting that an eye-catching, fuel-efficient mid-sized pickup can draw buyers from Toyota and inject life into a segment that its Detroit 3 rivals have abandoned. The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado that GM unveils today uses a version of the full-sized 2014 Silverado's fully boxed frame and mimics its upscale, refined interior....
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LINDSAY CHAPPELL

Nissan challenges assumptions with BladeGlider

9:21 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 18, 2013
Nissan says it is serious about building an electric car that looks nothing like any other vehicle on the world's roads -- or at least some piece of the car....
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2013 L.A. AUTO SHOW

Honda boosts output, shrinks size of hydrogen fuel cell stack

10:00 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 18, 2013
Honda has increased the output and shrunk the size of the new fuel cell stack that will power its next-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle due in 2015. The new stack is 20 percent smaller than the current stack that debuted in 2006 in Honda's FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, yet its maximum power output increases from 100 kilowatts to 106....
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2013 L.A. AUTO SHOW

Mini retools Cooper with more room, high-tech gear

10:00 am U.S. ET | Nov. 18, 2013
Mini -- feeling some heat from new rivals, notably the Fiat 500 and Chevy Spark -- is upping its game with the third-generation Cooper hardtop and loading the venerable mini car with premium high-tech safety, performance and infotainment features....
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2013 TOKYO MOTOR SHOW

Infiniti comes home to Japan -- sort of

5:00 am U.S. ET | Nov. 11, 2013
Nissan is finally bringing the Infiniti marque to Japan, a quarter century after its global debut in the United States. Well, sort of. Building Infiniti into a truly global brand -- with name recognition in its home market -- could benefit its image in North America and elsewhere....
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Penske product-specialist plan stems from Apple concept

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 11, 2013
Penske Automotive Group Inc. is testing the use of product specialists in one of its stores in hopes of increasing sales and improving customer satisfaction....
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Dodge resurrects 'shaker' hood, Scat Pack Club to mark centennial

8:30 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 5, 2013
Dodge has rolled out several nameplates from Chrysler Group's muscle car past. Now it's resurrecting a telltale shake and adding an electronically controlled rumble....
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2014 DETROIT AUTO SHOW

Hyundai previews new Genesis

8:00 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 23, 2013
The cab-rearward proportions, revamped grille and taut new sheet metal on Hyundai's re-engineered Genesis are part of a plan to pit the rear-wheel-drive sedan more directly against German luxury models....
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NEWS ANALYSIS

GM may develop future Opel vehicles on its own in Europe

4:57 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 23, 2013
GM's ability to reverse years of losses in Europe is coming down to products, not partners. The company appears to be gaining confidence that it doesn't need the help of France's PSA Peugeot Citroen or any other partner to stem more than $18 billion in European losses over the past 13 years....
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Infiniti steps up Europe challenge with new product head

Oct. 21, 2013 06:01 CET
Infiniti named Nicolas Tschann as product director for Europe to help the brand become a stronger challenger to BMW, Audi and Mercedes in the region....
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Toyota lays out future powertrain plans in catch-up bid

4:00 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2013
After trailing many of its competitors in the recent engine- and transmission-technology wars, Toyota will launch a swath of powertrains in the next several years, a top powertrain r&d executive said....
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Cadillac weighs large crossover under Escalade badge

9:25 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 7, 2013
Cadillac is considering adding a large crossover to its lineup and branding it under the Escalade name. Bob Ferguson, head of Cadillac, said GM product planners "are still looking at" a large, unibody crossover to complement the Escalade SUV, which continues to ride on a more truck-like, body-on-frame platform....
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GM's Silverado, Sierra workhorses take aim at Ford's heavy-duty crown

1:00 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 26, 2013
GM has clothed its re-engineered heavy-duty pickups in fresh sheet metal and provided nicer interiors for 2015 in an effort to capitalize on surging demand for big workhorse trucks....
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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

Chrysler's IPO filing an expensive distraction

5:31 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 24, 2013
The breathless hullabaloo over Chrysler Group's long-awaited filing for an initial public stock offering has the automotive world abuzz with revelations of perceived palace intrigue under the Pentastar....
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Defying Dad, by building on his legacy

Defying Dad, by building on his legacy

At Courtesy Auto Group in Illinois, Ray and Rik Fregia are seeing sales boom after million-dollar overhauls at their three stores. Mon., September 15
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