opinion Henry Payne The Detroit News Published 10:52 PM EST Jan 2, 2019 When I was a kid, my mom would drive me to the race track in an old Ford Fairlane station wagon to watch my dad race sports cars. Last year I drove a Mercedes station wagon to NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky ... to track it. The Ford had a rear-facing, third-row trunk seat for spectating. The Mercedes has a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 putting out 603 horsepower for gulping straightaways. How times have changed. As I’ve been faithfully reporting in this space, the world has gone mad. In 2017, I took a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk on Maine’s formidable Club Motorsports race track. Then I hauled an Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV around the Circuit of Americas Formula One track in Texas. Now come the 2018 Mercedes AMG E63 S and Jaguar XF Sportbrake wagons. You know, family cars. Americans prefer SUVs over station wagons, so I admire European manufacturers' persistence in … [Read more...] about Payne: Battle of the super wagons, Mercedes vs. Jaguar
Alfa romeo super bowl
By Peter M. DeLorenzo Detroit. Ah yes, 2018, what a spectacular time to be in the automobile business. With the promise of new beginnings and untold profits dancing in "The New Visionaries'" heads, a Next Frontier marked by a horde of shiny happy zombie cars careening across the landscape, and a blissfully unaware populace with joker-like grins plastered on their faces as they revel in the mindless, pay-as-you-go un-involvement – what could possibly go wrong? Meanwhile the real-world market has been upended by actual paying customers and their insatiable desire for Crossovers, SUVs and Trucks, to the point that legacy auto companies like GM have been caught out of position and unprepared, forcing it to close underperforming plants and cut thousands of workers. GM blames the market conditions, but I place the blame squarely on management for their lack of planning and inability to anticipate where the market was going. Add to this chaotic situation the headlong rush of … [Read more...] about DIGITAL DISCIPLES, ZOMBIE CARS, AND ENOUGH DELUSION AND HUBRIS TO POWER THE NEW EMERALD AUTO CITY JUST OVER THE HILL. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG, BESIDES EVERYTHING? THAT’S RIGHT, IT’S TIME FOR THE AUTOEXTREMIST 2018 YEAR IN REVIEW!
Carol Cain Free Press Business Columnist Published 6:30 AM EST Dec 8, 2018 Family dynasties — think Ford, Meijer and Penske, among others — have done a lot for Michigan and Michiganders in need of jobs. Most are much smaller, but altogether, family-owned companies create more than half of all jobs and account for the lion's share of gross domestic product. As family businesses go, so too the fate of Detroit and Michigan. “We have so many great families here making a difference in many ways,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Roger Penske is always a significant factor. So too Ford, which is rebuilding Corktown and bringing back jobs ... And that is how we will ultimately rebuild Detroit.” I had a chance to sit down with creators of some these businesses as part of an upcoming TV special, CBS 62’s “Eye on the Future: the Power of Family Business” TV special that airs at 6:30 … [Read more...] about Penske, other family business leaders explain their success
opinion Henry Payne The Detroit News Published 11:15 PM EST Nov 7, 2018 At the same time Audi announced this summer it was ditching the manual transmission for its A4 sports sedan, Genesis said its G70 competitor would not only have a manual variant — but that it would be offered as an upscale Sport version unto itself. That tells you a lot about Hyundai’s aggressive new luxury brand. This Seoul-produced entry-level sedan has soul. The G70 is rightly baselined to the compact segment icon, the BMW 3-series. Stealing away BMW M-class engineering guru Albert Biermann and Lamborghini design director Luc Donckerwolke, Genesis put the G70 on its own rear-wheel drive platform and trained it in the German makers’ Nürburgring racetrack backyard. But BMW, Audi and Mercedes are no longer the segment performance leaders. That honor now goes to the terrific Cadillac ATS, Alfa Romeo Giulia and Tesla Model 3 sedans. Indeed, the irony of the … [Read more...] about Payne: Genesis G-pulling G70 is a bargain athlete
“America’s Import” Takes On the World In the Fall of 2013, Chrysler launched their “Ready To Take On The World” marketing campaign for the all-new Chrysler 200. They followed that bold statement with their Super Bowl advertisement in January 2014 that created controversy and curiosity, announcing the Chrysler 200 was “America’s Import.” By doing so they made simple and clear statements: the 200 was here to take on the World of midsize sedans. Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai and Kia were, I can only guess, mildly amused and said a collective—Bring it on! So how did Chrysler do? Drivetrain The 2015 Chrysler 200 comes with two power plants: the Tigershark I-4 and the Pentastar V-6. Clean Fleet Report drove them both over a two-week period beginning with the 2.4-Liter, DOHC, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder engine, with MultiAir and multiport fuel injection. This aluminum engine produces 184 hp and … [Read more...] about Road Test: 2015 Chrysler 200 C & S