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Archive for the ‘Jaguar’ Category

As Tesla Model Y Debuts, Musk Asks: Do You Think We’re “S3XY”?

New Model Y to be offered in four distinct versions – but economy buyers will have to wait.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.15, 2019

The Tesla Model Y is likely to look quite familiar to fans of the earlier Model 3 sedan.

The long-awaited Tesla Model Y made its formal debut on Thursday night, with CEO Elon Musk declaring it takes an already attractive line-up and makes it “S3XY.” The inside joke adds the new electric SUV to the automaker’s existing line-up of Models S, 3 and X.

But there’s a serious side to the launch. Tesla continues to struggle to right its balance sheet, plunging back into the red this quarter after earning money during the second half of 2018. The Model Y is expected to become Tesla’s best-seller, Musk declared, telling his audience “we’ll do more Model Ys than S, X and 3 combined.” And that includes not just the U.S. but also China, where Tesla is struggling to get a foothold in the world’s largest market for battery-electric vehicles.

Breaking Product News!

The Model Y will be one of the vehicles Tesla plans to produce once it opens up a new plant in Shanghai later this year. That will give it a way to hold costs down and also to sidestep any escalation in the U.S.-China trade war.

(Here’s our Model Y preview. Click Here to see how close we came.)

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Jaguar Rethinking its Line-Up as Market Continues Shifting to SUVs

Automaker launching two major cost-cutting programs in bid to return to profitability.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.04, 2019

Jaguar's U.S. leader Joe Eberhardt said the speed with which customers moved from cars to SUVs was problematic.

While the surge in SUV and CUV sales has been underway for more than a decade, few could have guessed the pace with which that shift has accelerated during the last few years. And while that’s good news for one of the company’s brands, it has been a major challenge for the other half of Jaguar Land Rover.

Add in what a senior executive calls external “headwinds,” and the Indian-owned automaker posted a loss of 281 million British pounds, or $371.5 million, for the final quarter of 2018. That’s triggered a two-prong turnaround program that, U.S. CEO Joe Eberhardt said, is aimed at making the company “sustainable.”

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“I don’t want to say the speed of change took us by surprise, but they were too quick for us to react to immediately. It takes time to transform ourselves to the point we can be profitable again,” Eberhardt said during an interview. (more…)

First Look: 2020 Jaguar XE

Sport sedan gets a makeover inside and out for model year.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.01, 2019

Jaguar's given its XE sport sedan a complete makeover for 2020, including an all-new interior.

Jaguar has announced a series of updates to the 2020 XE sports sedan, including what is described as an enhanced exterior design; all-new interior with new materials and layout and advanced infotainment and drivers’ assistance technologies.

“The new Jaguar XE is all about building on the undeniable sporting proportions of the original car,” said Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design.

Product News!

“We’ve given the car much bolder graphics and more visual width; planting it in a way which really illustrates its dynamic intent. The new XE is a wonderfully complete package with a very purposeful exterior matched to a beautifully crafted, sporty interior,” Callum said. (more…)

Honda Shutting Down Lone UK Auto Plant

Maker says Brexit not the reason, but move highlights problems.

by Michael Strong on Feb.19, 2019

Honda announced plans to close its manufacturing plant in Swindon. It means the loss of 3,500 jobs.

Honda will close its only auto plant in Great Britain in 2021 becoming the latest automaker to say it was leaving and turning what was once a trickle into a torrent of closures due to Brexit. The facility makes the Civic.

The Swindon plant closure means the loss of 3,500 jobs and a tenth of all vehicles produced in Britain. However, despite early reports, Honda officials claim Brexit had little to do with the move. Honda officials said the company was focusing manufacturing in the areas where it has the largest sales, and Europe isn’t one of those.

Business News!

“We had to consider the rise of electrified vehicles, and the different speeds at which electric vehicles will be taken up in North America and Europe,” said Honda Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo. “This decision was not informed by Brexit.”  (more…)

Apple Cuts Over 200 Jobs at Autonomous Vehicle Project

Move raises questions about what will remain of Project Titan.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.24, 2019

Apple Tim Cook had called self-driving vehicles "the mother of all AI projects."

Apple has cut at least 200 jobs at Project Titan, its autonomous vehicle project, sources told TheDetroitBureau.com, a report now confirmed by CNBC.

The operation has been underway in near secrecy for several years and had previously gone through several upheavals, according to sources, as the tech giant tried to figure out exactly what its long-term goals would be. While it appeared committed to the idea of developing self-driving vehicle technology, the big question was whether Apple should also build the cars that would use that technology and, if so, how they would be used.

Breaking News!

“We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple,” a company spokesperson told CNBC overnight. “As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple.”

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Jaguar Land Rover Cutting 4,500 Jobs in Europe

Brexit, dying diesel sales and slow sales in China driving cuts.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.11, 2019

Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth said the company was facing struggles due to Brexit and other industry issues around the globe.

Jaguar Land Rover is preparing to eliminate about 4,500 jobs worldwide as it responds to the decline of demand for diesels, the slowdown in the sales of new vehicles in China and the drag on sales created by Great Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, known as Brexit.

While Jaguar Land Rover enjoyed a good year in the U.S. with sales rising 7%, the company, which is the United Kingdom’s largest automaker representing roughly 10% the company’s workforce, is implementing a plan to reduce costs by $3.2 billion.

Global News!

The effort was announced last year as part of a series of moves toboost cash flow through 2020. JLR already eliminated 1,500 jobs in 2018, the company said Thursday in a statement. (more…)

Hyundai Lifts Page from Smartphone Tech With Fingerprint Key

The car key may soon become a thing of the past.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.17, 2018

A driver starts up the new Hyundai Santa Fe simply by using her fingerprint.

If you own a relatively recent smartphone odds are you no longer have to bother remembering a passcode, instead relying on fingerprint or facial recognition. Now, it seems, automakers are starting to move in the same direction.

Hyundai has pulled the wraps off the new Chinese version of the 2019 Santa Fe and, buyers in that market will be offered the ability to equip the SUV with a fingerprint recognition system that can lock or unlock the vehicle while also starting the vehicle. Depending on which of multiple users the vehicle recognizes, it will even set up automatically such things as seat position and sideview mirrors.

In the Right Key!

But Hyundai isn’t alone. A number of other automakers are looking at other ways to replace the traditional vehicle key or wireless keyfob with things like wearable bracelets and smartphone apps that an owner can share with friends and family.

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Honda Insight Named Green Car of the Year

Jaguar I-Pace and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV also honored.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.29, 2018

Honda's Ray Mikichuk with Green Car Publisher Ron Cogan and Green Car of the Year Insight.

The 2019 Honda Insight was named the Green Car of the Year on Thursday, during a news conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The hybrid sedan had to share the stage, however, with two other winners, the Jaguar I-Pace taking home a trophy as Luxury Green Car of the Year, while the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was honored as SUV Green Car of the Year.

The award comes as something of a vindication for Honda. The automaker was actually the first to sell a hybrid in the U.S. market, but the original, two-seat Insight, launched in 1999, was a slow seller and a second version bearing the Insight badge didn’t do much better. The new model finally appears to be connecting with consumers by “being a no-compromise vehicle,” Ray Mikichuk, Honda’s assistant vice president for U.S. sales, told TheDetroitBureau.com.

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Range Rover Wires In Teaser ahead of New Evoque Debut

Fleshed-out SUV coming to Los Angeles – and could feature new Transparent Hood technology.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.15, 2018

Land Rover created full-size, wireframe versions of the second-generation Range Rover Evoque.

Land Rover took a dramatic turn with the 2011 launch of the Range Rover Evoque, moving away from its traditionally boxy SUVs to deliver something far more sleek and sinuous. With its distinctive, sloping roofline, it quickly became the brand’s big seller, attracting a wide range of new buyers that might otherwise have ignored the British brand.

Eight years in, the automaker is getting ready to roll out a new version of the Evoque at the Los Angeles Auto Show, with a sneak peek coming a week earlier. To give us a hint of what’s coming, Land Rover has released a group of unusual teaser images.

Auto Show News!

Unlike the usual teasers that cross our desk, these aren’t carefully cropped or shadowed images but, rather, wireframe renderings that clearly lay out the exterior dimensions of the new 2019 Range Rover Evoque. And, we’re hearing, there very well could be a secondary meaning to this approach, hinting at a major new feature that could debut on the new SUV.

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Green Car of the Year Finalists Revealed

“Green” comes in many forms.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.30, 2018

The 2019 Insight is Honda's third attempt to market a mainstream, entry-level hybrid: an a possible winner of Green Car of the Year.

Not all that long ago, motorists looking for an environmentally friendly vehicle were likely in for a long search, with only a handful of models on the market. These days, it’s becoming a lot easier, as more and more new alternatives come to market, seemingly almost every week.

And that’s convinced the organizers of the annual Green Car of the Year Awards to expand their program this year. “Green comes in many forms,” they explain, noting that this year will bring new awards for the Luxury Green Car of the Year and the Green SUV of the Year.

Dig Deeper!

The three awards will be handed out at the Los Angeles International Auto Show just a month from now, and could see the jury highlight the wide range of “green” technologies now available to American motorists. (more…)