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Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

Mercedes-Maybach is Coming Back

Super-luxurious crossover being built in Alabama.

by Michael Strong on Mar.18, 2019

Mercedes-Benz plans to build the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS at its plant in Alabama for global distribution.

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is already churning out the GLS and a few other models, but the German automaker is adding one more to the line: The Mercedes-Maybach GLS.

Introduced in China last year as an EV concept, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS will join the next-generation sport-ute getting ready to hit dealerships later this year, according to Autonews. The plant will build the new Maybach for global distribution, the automaker noted.

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Ultra-luxurious crossover is obviously playing up the theme from the original Maybach, which had its admirers, but didn’t sell in large enough numbers to build as a regular model in the 1990s and early 2000s. (more…)

Millennials Bucking the Automotive Trend With Driving Choices

Honda Accord is vehicle at the top of the list.

by Michael Strong on Mar.18, 2019

The Honda Accord is the top choice for millennials despite the fact they could likely afford a more expensive vehicle.

For so long, they’ve been the generation of non-drivers content to Uber their way through the world while staring at their iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. However, now that millennials are indeed driving, it’s time to see WHAT they’re driving.

Millennials may be content to spend big money on electronics, it appears that doesn’t translate to their vehicles, according to new study showing that the most popular vehicle among drivers 22 to 37 years old is the Honda Accord.

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This choice of a $23,000 sedan reinforces that millennials aren’t bound to follow the choices made by their parents or others. (more…)

Penske Takes on Daimler Electric Trucks for Deliveries

Trucks travel about 60 miles on a charge.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.15, 2019

The brand-new FUSO eCanter, the first all-electric light-duty truck in series production, is now being used by Penske for deliveries.

Penske Truck Leasing is preparing plans to operate electric trucks from Daimler AG’s Japanese affiliate Fuso for urban deliveries in California.

“With its Fuso brand Daimler was able to gain knowledge and experience with e-trucks globally in various markets,” said Hartmut Schick, head Daimler Trucks Asia.

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“We are very proud, that now with Penske, a huge commercial customer in the U.S., will also operate the Fuso eCanter for urban delivery – next to its Freightliner brothers. Penske will benefit from the global know how and experience network within Daimler Trucks,” he added. (more…)

Infiniti Set to Abandon Western European Market

Weak demand leading Nissan’s luxury brand to focus on Europe, China.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.12, 2019

The concept version of the Infiniti Q30 debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show as part of the brand's push to become an EU presence.

Infiniti has come to recognize there are limits to its global growth plans, the Nissan luxury brand announcing it will pull out of Western Europe by early next year.

Going forward, the brand will limit its scope to just two markets: the U.S. and China. Along with ending sales in Europe, Infiniti also will halt production of the Q30 and QX30 models at Nissan’s assembly plant in Sunderland, England. The parent company has raised questions about the broader viability of that plant as Britain struggles to manage its planned exit from the European Union later this month.

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A broader restructuring by Infiniti will see the luxury marque pair back on its overall product line-up, the brand’s new global CEO told TheDetroitBureau.com during an interview earlier this year.

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First Drive: 2019 GMC Sierra

Luxury and technology mated to power and performance.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.12, 2019

The GMC Sierra continues the brand's legacy a near-luxury vehicle, especially tough for a full-size pickup.

As a brand, GMC has come a long way from the days when it was a “work truck” often sold on dusty lots deep in parts of the city zoned for industrial use.

It has undergone a transformation in recent years that has made its utility vehicles a rival of luxury brands and the changes have also altered the GMC brand’s bread-and-butter vehicle, the pickup truck, which is more than evident in the GMC Sierra, which has been completely redesigned for the 2019 model year.

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The fact is when you’re riding in the cab of a 2019 GMC Sierra, if you close your eyes for a moment at a stop light, you might think you’re riding in a big, luxury sedan because the plush, comfortable interior and the surprisingly smooth ride and refined, overall performance out on the road or on the highway. (more…)

February Auto Sales in China Drop 13.8%

New energy vehicles, i.e. EVs, rose 53.6% last month.

by Michael Strong on Mar.11, 2019

New vehicle sales in China, like the Mazda CX-4, fell during the month of February 13.8%.

Automakers hoping that China might bail them out of sluggish sales in the U.S. are going to be disappointed as sales in the world’s largest market fell 13.8% in February.

The drop is eight consecutive month that China, only just two years ago posting double-digit increases, has seen buyers keep their money in their wallets. Sales fell 16% in January and 13% in December. Overall, 1.48 million new vehicles were sold in China last month, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

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“The trend experienced last year has continued into this year, and the economic situation has also been weak. This has dragged down consumption,” CAAM’s Deputy Secretary General Shi Jianhua told reporters at a news briefing in Beijing. (more…)

GAC Chairman Says Company Pushing US Entry Back Again

He blamed tariff uncertainty and brand name problem: Trumpchi.

by Michael Strong on Mar.08, 2019

GAC Motor President Yu Jun (center) says the company will be ready to enter the U.S. market in 2020. That entry time has been delayed again to later in the year.

Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group has once again delayed its entry into the U.S. market due to President Donald Trump’s implementation of tariffs as well as the man himself.

During the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, GAC officials said they were pushing back their timetable to sell vehicles in America, looking to begin now sometime in early 2020 rather than late 2019.

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However, GAC Chairman Zeng Qinghong told reporters at China’s annual parliament meeting in Beijing Friday that it would be even longer now, not establishing a time frame. He mentioned the uncertainty surrounding tariffs – discussions between the U.S. and China are ongoing – but also something personally tied to the president: his last name, sort of. (more…)

Poor February Auto Sales Confound Analysts

Industry to see run on new leases in next few months.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.07, 2019

Winter weather and rising prices kept sales down in February, surprising some analysts.

After of drop sales in February of 2.8%, the auto industry is facing unsettled times during the next few months, analysts predict.

“February had a lot of good economic news to support a healthy vehicle market outlook, but that may not be coming to pass. The stock market has had a tremendous ride since the start of the year and consumer confidence, which took a tumble in January, has regained much of its decline,” observed Charlie Chesbrough, Cox Automotive senior economist.

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“With January’s government shutdown and record-breaking sub-zero temperatures in the rearview mirror, we expected a general upward lift in February,” he said. (more…)

Hyundai Shows Off 2020 Remake for Sonata

South Korean automaker updates its flagship.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.06, 2019

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata has lifted some cues from several recent concepts, including the Le Fil Rouge.

Every so often, traveling down the highway, you’ll run across an old Hyundai Sonata and realize just how dramatically the Korean carmaker has changed its approach to styling over the course of barely a decade.

Get ready for another surprise as Hyundai prepares to roll out an all-new version of its flagship sedan at the upcoming New York Auto Show. Lower, wider, sportier and decidedly more upscale in appearance, it just might give pause to some of the folks who’ve been thinking about migrating to one of the company’s new SUVs.

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“Sonata celebrates innovative coupe-like silhouette,” said Sang Yup Lee, senior vice president and head of the Hyundai Design Center. “A short overhang, sloping roofline and low deck lid create a balanced feel, and Hyundai’s signature chrome accent now goes all the way into the hood, making it look even longer. It also has LED lighting built in. These cues bring the Sensuous Sportiness design to life.”

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First Drive: 2019 Audi A8 L Quattro

A supreme combination of luxury and performance.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.05, 2019

The Audi A8 L Quattro may be among the best-looking vehicles on the road today.

Passenger cars come in wide variety of shapes and sizes.

But no vehicle has the presence and stately grace of a well-made sedan and the Audi A8 L Quattro certainly fits the bill with its extra-long wheel base, roomy cabin, quiet ride and an extensive complement of technology designed to make driving less stressful and even less eventful for the driver.

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However, I also had a sneaking suspicion when I saw the spacious rear seat that this was actually a car where a chauffeur did the driving while the owner and his or her colleagues enjoy the comfortable ride and perhaps the view from large side windows. (more…)