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Posts Tagged ‘LA Auto Show’

Toyota Teases New 2020 Corolla

Critical debut comes as Japanese automaker considers paring back passenger car line-up.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.12, 2018

Toyota will pull the wraps off the new Corolla during a webcast at 7 PM PST Thursday.

Earlier this month, Toyota’s top U.S. executive confirmed that the automaker is considering ways to pare back its passenger car line-up as the market continues shifting to SUVs – but you won’t see the long-popular Corolla going away any time soon, as this new teaser image suggests.

Toyota isn’t saying much beyond promising that, “The world’s most popular car is about to get greater than ever,” with the Japanese automaker set to reveal the 12th-generation sedan version of the Corolla during a livestream webcast on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. Pacific time.

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Toyota clearly needs to rebuild the buzz for the compact Corolla which has been around in sedan form since 2014. Sales fell 11.6% during the calendar-year-to-date, and 14.2% in October alone – and that’s despite supplementing the familiar sedan version with a hatchback model this past year.

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Hyundai Set to Debut New Large Ute – Palisade – at LA Auto Show

New seven-passenger ute coming to U.S. next year.

by Joseph Szczesny on Nov.08, 2018

Can you guess the name of Hyundai's newest member of its SUV line-up? Yup. Palisade.

Hyundai continues to expand its SUV portfolio, looking to turn around sluggish sales after missing the utility craze by a few years. The new three-row sport utility vehicle is named Palisade and hits dealer showrooms next year.

Mike O’Brien, Hyundai vice president of product, corporate and digital planning, said the new name carries with it connotations of luxury strength and safety.

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“The Palisade is place and a fortress,” he said, recounting that a Palisade can mean either a place with towering cliffs topped either by a castle or expensive homes. A palisade also means a fortification, he said. (more…)

BMW’s Concept X7 Joining Wave of Big, Bigger, Biggest Luxury SUVs

Lexus, others expected to push utes further up-market.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.01, 2017

Expect to see a production version of the BMW Concept X7 sometime next year.

Few automakers had a bigger presence at the L.A. Auto Show’s media preview this week than BMW, its stand filled with an array of new production vehicles, concepts and even a battery-electric motorcycle.

The biggest of those products was the Concept X7, a massive sport-utility vehicle making its North American debut. Though a prototype for now, BMW officials made it clear that a production model is already in the works.

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BMW isn’t alone. While Lexus used the Los Angeles show to preview a stretched version of its midsize RX utility vehicle, expect a much more lavish, full-size crossover model to follow. Where sedans like the BMW 7-Series long served as brand flagships, large utes are rapidly taking over, even Rolls-Royce developing one for its own line-up. (more…)

Toyota Setting up LA Plant to Convert Animal Waste to Clean Hydrogen

California pilot program could keep thousands of zero-emissions cars, trucks fueled up.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.30, 2017

Toyota's Doug Murtha talks about the automaker's hydrogen plant during the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Animal waste from the farms of California’s fertile Central Valley will soon be used to fuel up a new generation of ultra-clean cars and trucks, Toyota announced Thursday during a news conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

One of the industry’s biggest proponents of fuel-cell vehicles, or FCVs, Toyota hopes the Tri-Gen Project it is setting up at the Port of Long Beach, in suburban Los Angeles, will help overcome the chicken-and-egg problem that has so far limited acceptance of hydrogen power: the lack of a production and distribution network.

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“We believe hydrogen technology has the potential to become the powertrain of the future,” said Doug Murtha, a group vice president for strategic planning with Toyota’s North American operations. Adding the project, which will generate 1.2 tons of hydrogen a day, will be “a key milestone in Toyota’s larger commitment to clean mobility.” (more…)

Honda Clarity Named Green Car of the Year

Offering fuel cell, EV and PHEV models captured the title for Honda.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.30, 2017

Ron Cogan, editor of Green Car Journal, presents Honda's Steven Center with the trophy for the Green Car of the Year: the Honda Clarity.

After years of slow growth, electric propulsion seems to finally be gaining traction, or so one might suspect based on the number of announcements being made just this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

More battery-based and hydrogen-powered vehicles than ever are on display at the L.A. Convention Center, with manufacturers promising to add hundreds more hybrids, plug-ins, battery-electric vehicles and fuel-cell vehicles over the next few years.

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The L.A. Auto Show also saw the results of a shoot-out between the environmentally friendly vehicles already on the market, with the Honda Clarity being named Green Car of the Year. The decision was based, in part, the editor of Green Car Journal explained, on the fact that Honda is offering three different alternatives of the Clarity: a hydrogen-powered model, a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric version. (more…)

Subaru Lets the Dogs Out … For a Drive in LA

Ascent is the largest Subaru yet and expected to keep sales rising.

by Joseph Szczesny on Nov.30, 2017

Subaru of America President Thomas Doll introduces the dogs that "drove" the new Ascent onto the stage at the LA. Auto Show.

With the help of family of charming and well-behaved Golden Retrievers, Subaru officially unveiled a major addition to its product line, the 2019 Subaru Ascent, a family-oriented, three-row crossover vehicle.

Subaru executives note Subaru of America Inc. is building on nine consecutive years of sales growth. Sales have doubled in the just the past five years, added Tom Doll, Subaru of America president.  The addition of a three-row SUV, the largest vehicle Subaru has ever built, will help maintain the company’s sales momentum next year, he added.

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The Ascent draws on Subaru’s history of delivering a solid driving experience while the Ascent also offers a spacious interior, comfortable and flexible seating options and a host of new safety, driver assist and in-vehicle technologies.  (more…)

Kia Gears Up for Utility Battle with New Sorento, Niro

New utes help Kia with ever-more competitive segment.

by Michael Strong on Nov.30, 2017

The 2019 Kia Sorento gets new front and rear fascias giving the ute a more sophisticated look.

Like so many other automakers, Kia is looking to jump on the wave of crossover and sport-utility vehicle sales that have driven the market recently with its new 2019 Sorento and 2018 Niro models unveiled in Los Angeles.

The new Sorento and Niro, the South Korean automaker upgrades and fills holes in its utility vehicle portfolio as demand continues to soar. The larger Sorento gets some exterior upgrades as well as additions to its technology features.

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In the highly competitive crossover category, the Sorento is a clear example of how world-class design and craftsmanship are executed,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, KMA. (more…)

Mazda Puts a Premium on 2018 Mazda6 Update

Mid-cycle update yields torquey new turbo engine shared with CX-9.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.30, 2017

The new Mazda6 unveiled at the LA Auto Show borrows some style cues from the Mazda Vision concept.

For a mainstream automaker, Mazda officials spend a lot of time talking about “premium” vehicles lately. And a close look at the mid-cycle update of the brand’s midsize sedan helps put that into perspective.

The latest-generation Mazda6 wins kudos as one of the most attractive vehicles in its segment, and the 2018 update bumps things up a notch, picking up on some of the cues from the recent Mazda Vision concept. There are also a number of interior changes, with details like Napa leather and even real wood trim on the top-line version of the 2018 Mazda6. But there’s more to the story.

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In Mazda’s case, “premium doesn’t mean premium pricing, but a premium bond with your car,” explained Masahiro Moro, president of Mazda’s U.S. operations, during a preview at the Los Angeles Auto Show. (more…)

Hyundai Ups its Game With New Kona Crossover

Little ute, big expectations.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.29, 2017

Hyundai is looking to close a big gap in its product portfolio with the new Kona crossover.

Hyundai has a big gap in its small-car line-up, one it aims to fill with the debut of its new Kona crossover making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

One of eight new or substantially refreshed CUVs Hyundai plans to launch by 2020, the Kona fills a yawning gap below the current Tucson and Santa Fe models. And it finally lets Hyundai Kona take on competitors like the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V and the upcoming Ford EcoSport in what is expected to be one of the U.S. market’s fastest-growing segments over the next few years.

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“We’re confident it will set new standards for its segment, with appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class-leading available safety features,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning for Hyundai Motor America. (more…)

Honda, Ford Among Finalists for North American Car, Truck, Utility Vehicle Awards

Winners revealed at the Detroit show in January.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.29, 2017

Honda's new 2018 Accord is one of the three car finalists for North American Car of the Year.

And so the countdown begins. After a nearly year-long trial by fire, nine cars, trucks and utility vehicles have risen almost to the top as the finalists for North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year were revealed during a ceremony at the Los Angeles Auto Show Wednesday morning.

Honda scored twice, nabbing honors in both the car and utility vehicle categories with its Accord and Odyssey models. The Japanese automaker is one of only a handful of manufacturers to score two final wins from NACTOY. Ford, meanwhile, has two finalists in the truck category, one wearing the Lincoln badge.

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Now in its 24th year, NACTOY is widely considered one of the most credible automotive awards programs as it is based on the judgement and votes of 60 U.S. and Canadian journalists who will have, this year, compared nearly 100 all-new or significantly refreshed models. (more…)