Tag: Product Planning

Will the Subaru BRZ Survive If Toyota Nixes the 86?

News of the Toyota Supra’s four-cylinder engine, currently relegated to the Japanese market, bolstered media assumptions that the base model could eventually replace the 86 coupe in North America. While that’s a bit of a stretch, especially considering The Japan Times says a second-generation 86 is rumored to in the works for 2021, sales of the model […]

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The Country’s Cheapest Normal* Electric Breaks Out of California

That asterisk exists in the headline because the Smart EQ Fortwo is not a vehicle many families would consider useful as a lone driveway denizen. With two seats and a range of — wait for it — 58 miles, the Smart brand’s city runabout manages to be more impractical that the late, unloved Mitsubishi i-MiEV. […]

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Toyota’s North American CEO Isn’t Exactly Brimming With Enthusiasm for EVs

“(Tesla CEO Elon Musk) has excited a lot of people about EVs,” Lentz said. “I worry a little bit we are over-stimulated in our belief that EVs are going to take over the world quickly. Today, if you look at just alternative vehicles (hybrid, plug-in hybrid, BEV, or fuel-cell) there are 94 nameplates out there. […]

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Lincoln Promises ‘Elegant’ EVs, but Will They be Visible?

Numerous observers walked away from the North American Auto Show, and more specifically Cadillac’s NAIAS Eve unveiling event, wondering whether electric crossovers are even more homogenous looking than their internal combustion brethren. So, when Ford’s North American president, Kumar Galhotra, claims a Lincoln vehicle born of the Ford Mach E (or some similar name) will carry […]

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Hyundai, While Not Pulling Up Stakes in the Car Market, Knows Where Its Future Prosperity Lies

Ignore that slight dip in U.S. sales volume last year, Hyundai Motor America’s chief operating officer, Brian Smith, says. It’s just because the automaker stopped flinging so many cars at rental agencies. Barring some unexpected disaster, 2019 should see the brand’s sales climb in the U.S., Smith said, adding that Hyundai’s not planning on pulling […]

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Our EVs Will Turn a Profit, Ford Says

As it prepares to launch a battery electric crossover, likely named Mach E, in 2020, Ford’s product boss told Blue Oval fans — and nervous investors — that the company isn’t in the habit of losing money with its products. As such, the upcoming Mustang-inspired crossover, like Ford’s other planned EVs, won’t be Fiat 500e-like […]

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QOTD: Manufacturer Cooperation – Cash Saver, or Corrosive Cancer?

Cooperation and borrowing between auto manufacturers is nothing new, and it isn’t always a bad thing. For example, look what happened in the 1980s when Lincoln borrowed a BMW inline-six turbodiesel for its Continental Mark VII luxury coupe. Oh, maybe that’s not the best example. But two events this week have led to a couple […]

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Cadillac’s CT6 Isn’t As Dead As You Thought

General Motors’ future passenger car lineup might not be as threadbare as initially thought. After sparking continent-wide hair pulling with its decision to shutter three assembly plants and cull six car models in the process, it seems the most prestigious vehicle of the bunch might live on after its plant goes dark. The Cadillac CT6, […]

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Volkswagen Flings Cash, Jobs, and EVs at Chattanooga

Volkswagen spent the past year and change hinting that its Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant could become ground zero for an electric American product offensive, and guess what? That’s exactly what VW plans to do. In a not-at-all surprising announcement, the German automaker said it plans to build electric vehicles at its only American plant, which […]

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Ford and Volkswagen Announce Alliance; Joint Pickup Project Is a Go

Months of speculation and rumors came to an end in Detroit Tuesday, as auto giants Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group officially announced they will take their relationship to the next level. After signing a Memorandum of Understanding last year, initially to explore joint commercial vehicle production, the two automakers now say their pact will […]

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2020 Lexus RC F and RC F Track Edition: Driving Machines for a Dwindling Market

Toyota’s Lexus Division made 2018 all about the sedan, hoping to remind the buying public that forgoing cargo space is still possible in this day and age. This year, or at least at this Detroit show, Lexus is all about the two-doors, with a drop-top LC “concept” available for perusal, as well as a brace […]

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2020 Kia Telluride: One Word, Folks – ‘America’

Is it possible to be more American that a Kia Telluride? Probably not. Clint Eastwood drove one in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. John Rambo rolled into a small, Northwestern town behind the wheel of one shortly after his repatriation. John Wayne owned two, and the Telluride was the first vehicle to storm […]

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A Crossover With No Name Is Cadillac’s Hedge Against an Oilless Future

Everyone else is doing it. And, if lawmakers on this side of the Atlantic start going the way of their European counterparts, traditional American luxury will need a shot of cleanliness. Even if they don’t, a fickle U.S. public might suddenly fall in love with the green lifestyle and give a big middle finger to […]

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Lexus’ LC Convertible ‘Concept’ Is More Like a Halo in Waiting

Late last year, Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz suggested the automaker, after taking stock of its inventory, might cut some struggling product from its store shelves. It now seems on the verge of adding a new one. Bound for a Detroit debut, the company’s Lexus LC Convertible Concept is not a way-out pipe […]

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Electrification’s Silver Lining: Audi CEO Announces PB 18 e-tron Production Plans

Audi unveiled the PB 18 e-tron Concept at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance with absolutely no assurance that it would ever be more than a fun idea. In fact, the company outright said it had no plans to put the vehicle into production. Miraculously, Audi flip-flopped, and the electrified hypercar is now slated for assembly. […]

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Forget About the Flops: Cadillac’s Job Is to Make GM Greener

Remember the Cadillac ELR? Your author saw a single, solitary unit in the wild once, and there’s a good chance a journalist was behind the wheel. Not long for this world, the plug-in hybrid Caddy coupe gave way to the stately (but equally low-volume) CT6 Plug-in, whose death was revealed shortly before that of the […]

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Volkswagen Considering a Rough-and-tumble Electric

The sky’s apparently the limit when it comes to the variety of vehicles that might emerge from Volkswagen’s dedicated MEB electric architecture. While the automaker’s looming EV onslaught already contains a hatchback, crossover, microbus, panel van, and possible luxury sedan, VW feels something’s missing: a tough, off-road ute. One VW exec is pushing hard to […]

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2020 Ford Explorer: Now Rear-drive, This SUV Aims to Blend In

Wednesday night, Ford pulled the wraps off its all-new 2020 Explorer at an event held, quite appropriately, at Detroit’s Ford Field. The model is a complete redesign of America’s all-time best-selling SUV. Since the introduction of the original, Ranger-based Explorer, over eight million units have found American homes. With that heritage in mind, the 2020 […]

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Carrot & Stick: Days After Cutting Prices, Tesla Chops Base Models

There will be no Ace of Base prizes for the Tesla Model X or Model S in 2019. Just days after promising to cut prices of all its cars by $2,000 in response to the company blowing through its federal tax credits faster than a record producer with a bag of high-test cocaine, the company’s […]

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Under Fire From Multiple Foes, Jaguar Land Rover to Cut 4,500 UK Workers

For now, Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover isn’t saying whether any of its British plants will close as a result of the automaker’s cost- and job-cutting spree, nor whether we’ll see a shedding of models from its portfolio. Many would argue there’s some Jags in need of cutting. With global sales falling 4.6 percent in 2018, […]

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