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Archive for the ‘Sedans’ Category

Chevy Sonic Could Be Next as GM Kills Off Slow-Selling Passenger Cars

Several more plants also on endangered list.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.18, 2019

The Chevy Sonic is limping along and appears ripe to be discontinued by GM.

In the northern Detroit suburb of Orion Township, one of General Motors’ assembly plants is hanging on by a thread. The factory is barely running on one shift and, were it not for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, might have been a fourth plant on the list of assembly lines GM said it would shut down last November.

The automaker has actually increased production of the all-electric Bolt in recent months, but demand for the Chevrolet Sonic, the other model rolling off the line there has dropped to less than 2,000 a month, barely enough to bother, it seems.

The Last Word!

TheDetroitBureau.com first warned that the subcompact Sonic was on the endangered list in April 2017 and now, it seems, its fate may be sealed. The Wall Street Journal is reporting Sonic’s days are numbered, though a spokesperson for Chevy says that, at least for now, there is nothing formal to be announced. (more…)

No-Shows, But Tesla and Musk Still Have Strong Presence at NAIAS

But can California carmaker survive the new onslaught of competition.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.17, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off a prototype Model S in 2010, the last time he attended the NAIAS.

Battery-electric vehicles may still account for less than 1% of the U.S. new vehicle market, but they have had a notable presence at this year’s North American International Auto Show – something that many credit to a manufacturer that was notably absent from Detroit’s Cobo Hall convention center: Tesla.

Cadillac made a major splash during the first media preview of this year’s show, when it not only revealed the new XT6 utility vehicle but announced that it will be the first General Motors brand to use the automaker’s new all-electric platform for another SUV debuting in 2021.

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Electrifying!

Throughout the show, automaker’s either revealed new battery cars and concepts or outlined their plans for an electrified future. Volkswagen, for one, announced plans to invest $800 million to add production of two new all-electric models at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

(more…)

BMW Updates Flagship 7 Series

In an SUV era does it matter?

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.16, 2019

BMW's new flagship model, the 7 Series, is ready to hit the road, borrowing some styling cues from the X7.

In an era of exotic SUVs like the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus, do sedans really matter anymore? Can a conventional four-door model still be considered a “flagship?”

That’s a question BMW is trying to answer with the launch of the updated, 2020 7 Series. But it’s takes just one look to recognize which side of the product line-up is influencing the other. With the all-new X7 set to roll into showrooms in short order, it looks like the SUV is setting the tone for the sedan.

Product News!

Just one glance at the image shown here and you’ll see what that means. As a midcycle update, there’s a limit to what the Bavarian marque can achieve, since it won’t be able to change the underlying platform for a few years. Nonetheless, you can’t miss the massive new version of the traditional BMW double-kidney grille that looks like it was lifted whole from the new X7. (more…)

New President, New Strategy for Infiniti

Luxury brand wants to downsize its ambitions.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.15, 2019

Infiniti's new boss, Christian Meunier, plans to streamline the luxury brand's product portfolio.

Nissan’s luxury division Infiniti has a new president. And Christian Meunier has a new strategy for the brand, one that downsizes the marque’s line-up but which he is confident will also make Infiniti more nimble and responsive to changing consumer trends.

The automaker offered a hint of where it is going during a news conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday – or at least it tried to. But the QX Inspiration Concept vehicle didn’t want to cooperate, refusing to budge from its hiding spot behind the stage. It was eventually towed out almost two hours after the event ended.

Business News!

Glitches aside, the electric concept vehicle is meant to showcase a variety of trends Infiniti is looking at, including autonomous and electrified technologies, as well as the shift from conventional sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs. While the timing for Infiniti’s first self-driving vehicle to reach market is uncertain, it intends to “electrify” all of its models by 2021, whether using pure battery-electric power or as plug-in hybrids. (more…)

Hyundai Powers Up With New Elantra GT N Line

Targeting the tuner crowd with sporty looks and performance and “compelling price points.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.14, 2019

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra GT N Line gives the South Korean brand another entry into the hot hatch segment.

Hyundai continues evolving away from its roots as a basic econobox brand, and the Elantra GT N Line coming to the North American International Auto Show suggests the Korean carmaker will be delivering a lot more sporty products going forward.

The GT becomes the first American offering to carry Hyundai’s new N Line badge – but it clearly won’t be the last. Globally, we’ve already seen several more models added to the performance sub-brand, Veloster N, i30 N and i30 Fastback N, with more expected to follow.

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“Hyundai N models satisfy the needs of performance-oriented enthusiasts with exclusive, custom-tuned powertrain and chassis applications,” said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president of Hyundai Motor Group’s Product Planning & Strategy Division.” “N Line is designed for those buyers craving N’s sporty styling cues coupled with performance-tuned suspension upgrades, all at compelling price points.” (more…)

Koreans Pull Double Win in North American Car, Truck, Utility of the Year Awards

Ram overwhelms its truck competition as Genesis, Hyundai score in truck, car categories.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.14, 2019

William Lee, CEO of Hyundai’s North American operations, celebrates the South Korean brand's win for North American Utility of the Year.

In a rare double victory, the Koreans managed to nab two of the three awards as the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards were announced Monday morning.

“These are like the Oscars,” declared Erwin Raphael, the president of the Genesis brand which took home the trophy for Car of the Year with its new G70 sedan, a BMW 3-Series fighter and only the third model the luxury brand has introduced since it was spun off from parent Hyundai mid-decade.

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Hyundai itself claimed honors in the widely followed Utility Vehicle of the Year. Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Ram brand, meanwhile, wrapped up the morning event by claiming honors for Truck of the Year for its new, full-size Ram 1500 pickup. (more…)

Volkswagen Looks to Generate Buzz with New Passat

The new sedan looks to capture, amplify best of previous model.

by Michael Strong on Jan.14, 2019

Volkswagen's 2020 Passat uses the best of the previous model and amplifies it hoping to lure new buyers.

Volkswagen is looking to build a better mousetrap with the 2020 Passat sedan on display in Detroit today, by taking the tenets of the previous model – introduced eight years ago amazingly – that attracted buyers and improving them.

According to VW, the new Passat offers more of what matters: bolder design, upgraded technology, and enhanced access to convenience and driver-assistance features.

NAIAS News!

“Passat is the only midsize sedan to offer German driving dynamics at an affordable price and has long resonated with buyers for its combination of comfort, reliability and driving dynamics,” said Scott Keogh, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen.  (more…)

Newest Lincoln Continental Gets Some Coach-ing for 2019

Luxury brand offers just 80 of the limited edition models.

by Michael Strong on Jan.14, 2019

Lincoln is marking the 80th anniversary of its Continental luxury sedan with a glamorous, limited-run Coach Edition.

Although much of this year’s North American International Auto Show is going to be focused on the new truck, the new SUV or the EV, at least one company – Lincoln – remembered to bring some glam to the show.

Ford’s luxury division is commemorating the 80th anniversary of its iconic Continental luxury sedan with a limited-run of Coach Door Edition models, harkening back to when men wore suits and cars were big and had suicide doors.

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Lincoln plans to build 80 of the Continental Coach Door Edition, with center-opening doors – commonly known as suicide doors – Lincoln used back in the 1960s. The limited run specials also get six inches of additional leg room as well as a plush “Black Label” interior. (more…)

Downsized Detroit Auto Show Still Has Some Big Debuts

SUVs, CUVs, even a few sedans and coupes.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.13, 2019

The North American International Auto Show will host scads of new vehicle debuts in January for the last time as it moves to June for 2020.

The North American International Auto Show is set to make its last winter run. No, NAIAS isn’t going away. It’s just moving to June in 2020, a definite relief for those who’ve had to trudge down to the Detroit riverfront for the annual event since it went “international” 30 years ago.

The show is a fair bit downsized from its glory days when as many as 70 new products debuted during three packed days of press previews. That said, this year’s event still has some significant, headline-making vehicles set to make a first appearance.

Auto Show News!

And TheDetroitBureau.com has a list of the most important products set to show up in Detroit this year. Check out this preview of the upcoming week’s highlights: (more…)

GM Expects Bigger Profits, More Transformation in 2019

Company wants to make workforce changes during strong labor market.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.11, 2019

GM CEO Mary Barra is leading the transformation of the company's manufacturing footprint.

General Motors Co. expects earnings to grow in 2019 as it restructures, picks up the pace of moving towards what Chairman Mary Barra described as an “all-electric” future, and maintains its market share in China.

“We will continue to strengthen our core business and invest in the technologies that will transform the future of mobility. Managing both well is critical to position General Motors for success for generations to come,” Barra said, adding that it was better to tackle this restructuring during a strong labor market.

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“We are committed to driving significant shareholder value over the long term as we drive the transformation,” she added. (more…)