China’s state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) pulled the wraps off of its latest concept car at the Detroit auto show, and it’s electric. Dubbed Enverge, the battery-electric SUV wears svelte bodywork and sports traditional concept car design cues such as gullwing doors, small cameras in place of exterior mirrors, and a massive digital dashboard display. GAC claims the Enverge can travel more than 370 miles on a single charge thanks to a 71-kWh battery pack.The concept is a promising look at what’s to come from the company, which officially announced plans to enter the United States market before the end of the decade. This isn’t just talk, either, as GAC will be attending the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in March in order to drum up support for a dealer network. While GAC sells its vehicles under the “Trumpchi” nameplate in China, the company said that it will forgo that name in the U.S. and instead … [Read more...] about China’s GAC Debuts EV Concept; Announces U.S. Sales in 2019
The void in the U.S. diesel passenger-car market left by Volkswagen’s abrupt exit is becoming less and less of an empty space as Chevrolet, Jaguar, and others attempt to gain a foothold in this niche. Kia will be the next entrant with a diesel-powered version of the Sorento crossover, which is slated to go on sale in the United States by the beginning of 2019.Orth Hedrick, Kia’s vice president of product planning, confirmed at the Detroit auto show that the company is working with the EPA to get the Sorento diesel certified and ready for sale. He noted that the government agency is stricter than ever about emissions certification, which slows down the overall process, but claimed that the Sorento diesel is getting closer to U.S. sales starting by the end of 2018 at the earliest.Kia isn’t saying at this point which diesel engine will come to America, but the obvious candidate is the turbo-diesel 2.2-liter inline-four it offers in the Sorento in Europe. That … [Read more...] about It’s Official: A Kia Sorento Diesel Is Happening in the U.S.
It's clear from the Jetta's official reveal inside Cobo Center, which used images of Detroit cityscapes and photos of hip young millennials and families, whom Volkswagen is targeting with the new generation of its best-selling vehicle in the U.S. But the company also sees the Jetta as an important piece of rebuilding consumer trust in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal and strengthening its position in the U.S. market.It sounds strange for a company that sold 6.23 million vehicles globally in 2017, an increase of 4.2 percent, and will challenge Toyota for the crown of world's biggest automaker. But VW brass is serious about growing market share in the United States, where its sales last year were 339,700. VW opened its Jetta reveal event by talking about its new Atlas SUV and Tiguan three-row crossover, saying it knew it had to respond to Americans' appetite for big utes."This is just the beginning of our model offensive. We are pushing really hard, and I won't rest until … [Read more...] about 2019 VW Jetta price, new features key to brand’s U.S. strategy
Guangzhou Automotive Corporation is clearly serious about entering the U.S. market, which it said Monday it hopes to do in the fourth quarter of 2019. That was evident from its news conference at the Detroit Auto Show, where it invited no less than Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to the stage for photos following its presentation and announced it's building new facilities in both Los Angeles and Detroit, adding to an R&D center it opened in Silicon Valley last year.Whether it can hit that goal is another question entirely.It's the fourth year that GAC Motor has displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The company showed off a battery-electric compact crossover called the Enverge that curiously lacks glass — or transparent materials of any kind — in the side windows, plus the brand-new GA4 compact sedan, which it says it will start selling in China later this month.Selling Chinese-built automobiles in the United States isn't new, of course. Cars like … [Read more...] about GAC’s audacious goal: Sell Chinese cars in the U.S. by late 2019
DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said on Thursday it will shift production of Ram Heavy Duty pickup trucks from Mexico to Michigan in 2020, a move that lowers the risk to the automaker's profit should President Donald Trump pull the United States out of the North American Free Trade Agreement.Fiat Chrysler said it would create 2,500 jobs at a factory in Warren, Michigan, near Detroit, where the Ram 1500 is currently built, and FCA will invest $1 billion in the facility. The Mexican plant will be "repurposed to produce future commercial vehicles" for sale global markets. Mexico has free trade agreements with numerous countries.Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne a year ago raised the possibility that the automaker would move production of its heavy-duty pickups to the United States, saying U.S. tax and trade policy would influence the decision.If the United States exits NAFTA, it could mean that automakers would pay a 25 percent duty on pickup trucks assembled in … [Read more...] about FCA shifts Ram Heavy Duty trucks from Mexico to U.S., creating 2,500 jobs
There’s good news this morning for Fiat Chrysler worker in the United States, and it’s also good news for members of the Trump administration. The automaker has announced plans to sink another $1 billion into its Warren Truck Assembly plant and bring production of its Ram Heavy Duty models to Michigan from Saltillo, Mexico. At the same time, some 60,000 hourly and salaried workers in the U.S. can expect a $2,000 bonus (paid in the second quarter of 2018) in recognition of “their continued efforts towards the success of the company.” The move also means 2,500 previously unannounced jobs for Michigan. What’s behind all of this sudden goodwill? Recent changes to the country’s tax landscape, FCA claims. “It is only proper that our employees share in the savings generated by tax reform and that we openly acknowledge the resulting improvement in the U.S. business environment by investing in our industrial footprint accordingly,” … [Read more...] about Fiat Chrysler to Bring Heavy Duty Pickup Production Back to U.S., Shower Workers With Cash
Trucks and SUVs may be selling like hotcakes, but according to the latest report from the Environmental Protection Agency, when using real-world figures, average fuel economy in the U.S. actually hit a new high in 2016, the most recent year on record. Reuters reports that the U.S. car and truck fleet averaged 24.7 mpg in total, up 0.1 miles per gallon over 2015. Based on current projections, 2017 is expected to set an even more significant record, hitting an average of 25.2 mpg.The improvement between 2015 and 2016 was significantly lower than the 1 mpg increase the previous administration’s rules had called for, but thanks to low oil prices, there’s been little to deter consumers from buying the trucks and SUVs they prefer. Back in March, the Trump administration ordered a review of Obama-era fuel economy regulations and is considering revising them. But environmental advocates and states like California have pushed back against those potential changes. The … [Read more...] about Average Fuel Economy in the U.S. Rises to 24.7 MPG
Mazda is studying the potential of offering all-wheel-drive sedans eventually. But such a product may come sooner than expected, if this website from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is any indication. While searching for 2018 Mazda6 crash test ratings on the site, we found results for both front- and all-wheel-drive versions. Both cars receive an overall five-star rating.Recently, Mazda’s North America CEO Masahiro Moro opened up to CarAdvice on this subject. He indicated there’s a layout issue that would prevent combining the new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine in the Mazda6 with all-wheel drive.However, he also noted there is plenty of demand for all-wheel drive cars in the U.S. “Four-wheel drive becomes a premium cue for U.S. consumers, and obviously, I have asked our R&D department to think about how we can accommodate four-wheel drive capability in the future,” he said.The 2018 Mazda6 goes on sale this spring, but will it … [Read more...] about Will the 2018 Mazda6 Offer All-Wheel Drive in the U.S.?
It’s odd that distinctly British popular music dried up around the time the last vestiges of British Leyland disappeared from the nation. Rover Group bit the dust at the turn of the century, with its associated nameplates finding new homes in unlikely places.Perhaps we have cumbersome, money-losing car conglomerates to thank for New Wave and Britpop. Maybe the Spice Girls killed everything. Who knows.Jaguar and Land Rover, having once shared the same BL umbrella, were already orphans by that time, ultimately finding each other again thanks to the temporary love of foster parent Ford. Now owned by India’s Tata Motors and nowhere near as financially dodgy, Jaguar Land Rover is on a product tear. It’s these new models you can thank for the automaker’s record sales year in 2017 — both globally and in the United States.Don’t thank traditional sedans.Globally, JLR’s 2017 volume surpassed 2016 — another record year — by 7 … [Read more...] about British Invasion, Part 2: Jaguar Land Rover Sales Soar in U.S., No Thanks to Cars
The Ford EcoSport became the first vehicle made in India to be sold in the U.S. when it quietly went on sale this month, arriving a little late to the subcompact crossover party. The nameplate has been around since 2003 and the current one has been on sale since 2014 -- it's hardly new -- and this Fiesta-based CUV has been a hit in many world markets. The decision to offer the EcoSport was sparked by the unexpected surge in demand for compact crossovers more than five years ago.Powered by a choice of a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder producing 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque driving the front wheels or a 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 166 hp and 149 lb-ft of torque driving all four wheels, each paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, the EcoSport is offered in four trim levels with a starting price of $20,990 for the base S trim. Standard features on the base trim include a 4.2-inch infotainment screen and 16-inch aluminum wheels, among other items. The top SES trim … [Read more...] about Ford EcoSport becomes first Indian import to be sold in the U.S.