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So far, F-150's rivals are mostly sticking with steel
Nearly everyone thought there would be a rush to aluminum after Ford last year switched the skin and bones of the venerable F-150 pickup from steel to the lightweight material. It didn't happen. Fiat Chrysler is sticking with steel for the next-gen Jeep Wrangler due out in 2017 as a 2018 model. ...
U.S. Fleet Sales, June and YTD
U.S. Fleet Sales, June and YTD June 2015
Retail vs. fleet sales
Estimated retail and fleet volume for June 2015 vs. June 2014
June June 6 mos. 6 mos.
June 2015 June 2014 6 mos. 2015 6 mos. 2014
2015 % retail 2014 % retail June 2015 % retail 2014 % retail 6
Infiniti QX60 ad pays homage to 'Vacation' movies
Infiniti has summoned some goofy nostalgia in a new QX60 ad that would make Chevy Chase proud. The spot pays homage to a classic scene in 1983's National Lampoon's Vacation where an alluring blonde, played by supermodel Christie Brinkley, suddenly pulls up in a Ferrari alongside Chase's character
Battle of the Small-Car Giants (7/7/15)
Small-car wars: Soul, Versa duke it out as subcompact market slips, Elantra leads Cruze in compact battle; FCA chair: Not giving up on GM tie-up; Google goes to Austin; New ads for '16 Honda Pilot.
Mazda3 repackaged for 2016 with more features, new base price
The Mazda3 sedan and hatchback are getting more standard features for 2016 and a new base price. Mazda has discontinued the old base model and made the Mazda3 i Sport the new standard model, with a starting price of $18,665, including an $820 destination charge. U.S. sales of the Mazda3 have ...
Quality Metalcraft acquired by private equity firm
Automotive metal components and assemblies supplier Quality Metalcraft Inc. was acquired last month by private equity firm The Watermill Group LLC. Terms of the deal, which closed on June 30, were not disclosed. QMC, based west of Detroit in Livonia, Mich., supplies prototyping parts for low- to ...
Toyota's next Prius hybrid takes on fastback styling
The next-generation Toyota Prius hybrid may be getting a lot closer in looks to the 2016 Chevrolet Volt. A five-door hatchback wearing heavy disguise spotted during testing in California could offer the best look yet at the next Prius. Toyota plans to unveil it sometime in the third quarter. The ...
No, Bob Nardelli. Just no.
In a column released this week on LinkedIn.com, former CEO Bob Nardelli takes credit for turning around Chrysler Corp. and guiding it back to where it is today. Nardelli's column, "What I learned leading a Company like Chrysler through Bankruptcy -- and Revitalization, " is the type of revisionist
Ferrari picks UBS for stock listing, report says
MILAN (Bloomberg) -- Ferrari SpA, the supercar maker being spun off by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, picked UBS Group AG to help manage its initial public offering in New York later this year, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg. JPMorgan Chase and Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ...
Hamp Release Called Imminent (7/7/15)
Ex-Toyota exec to be released from jail - report; Ghosn rallies for EVs; Free juice in Boston; Greek crisis a risk to FCA?; Jeep sticking with 'spot on' Cherokee design.
Rich Russians beg Tesla to sell them 'IPhone on wheels'
MOSCOW (Bloomberg) -- The love wealthy Muscovites have for Elon Musk is costing them dearly. Almost 100,000 Russians follow Musk's unofficial social media page, yet the Tesla founder seems to be promoting his dream car everywhere but here, forcing enthusiasts such as Andrey Vratskiy to go to great
Ex-Toyota exec Hamp to be released from custody in Japan, report says
TOKYO (Reuters) -- Tokyo prosecutors plan to release Julie Hamp, a former Toyota Motor Corp. executive, after she was arrested last month on suspicion of illegally importing the painkiller Oxycodone into Japan, Kyodo News reported today. Japan's daily Yomiuri newspaper also reported Hamp was ...
Toyota, PSA boost joint Czech output 38% on updated models
PRAGUE (Reuters) -- Toyota and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's car factory in the Czech Republic increased first-half production by 38 percent to 114,694 thanks to the launch of updated versions of the minicars the plant builds, the company which operates the joint venture said on Tuesday. The joint venture,
Trouble selling grandma's cars sowed seed for $1 billion startup
(Bloomberg) -- In summer 2012, Christian Bertermann was a frustrated young man trying to get rid of two old cars that belonged to his grandmother. Bertermann, 31, an Internet specialist in Berlin, had recently quit his job at Groupon Inc., and along with fellow entrepreneur Hakan Koc wanted to set
Takata, Autoliv named in Brazil price-fixing probe
SAO PAULO (Reuters) -- Brazil's antitrust watchdog has opened an investigation into a suspected cartel involving local units of Japanese auto parts maker Takata Corp. and Swedish-American rival Autoliv Inc., citing potential price collusion in safety belts, airbags and steering wheels. Cade, as the
Greek sales slide amid broader European rebound
FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- Greece suffered the sharpest drop in new-car registrations of any western European car market in June, falling 22 percent amid political uncertainty in the run-up to the country's bailout referendum. Official figures for Greece will not be provided until Friday, but data from
Google begins testing self-driving vehicles in Austin
(Reuters) -- Google Inc. has begun testing its self-driving vehicles in Austin, Texas, expanding efforts to gather information on how the prototypes interact with traffic, road conditions and people, the company said today. Google has been testing self-driving prototypes since 2009, mainly around
Renault cuts global car market forecast on Russia, S. America woes
PARIS (Bloomberg) -- Renault said global industrywide sales will probably increase 1 percent this year, rather than a 2 percent gain predicted earlier due to the slowdown in the Chinese market and the crisis in Latin America and in Russia. Renault has been pushing into emerging markets to reduce ...
Smartphonelike car displays challenge safety policymakers
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -- When it comes to dashboard displays that are more like smartphones, two things are clear: Customers want them, and automakers are intent on supplying them. But are they really a good idea? Automakers say outsized dashboard displays that behave more like smartphones will
Did Piech's prodding revive Alfa?
So now that the Alfa Romeo plan is more fully hatched and the strategy is clear -- horsepower and hair-raising versions come first, and mainstream models follow -- here's a nagging question: Do we have Ferdinand Piech to thank for all of this? Are the fingerprints of the former Volkswagen ...
Fiat Chrysler, PSA could be at risk from Greek euro turmoil
FRANKFURT -- Industry watchers say a Greek exit from the euro after the country's no vote to austerity terms could impact southern European markets, along with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, the automakers most exposed to those markets. Spain and Italy are among countries that
Chassix finds support for Chapter 11 exit plan
Debt-laden auto supplier Chassix Holdings Inc. entered its bankruptcy court confirmation hearing late last week with nearly unanimous creditor support for its Chapter 11 exit plan. All four voting classes of Chassix creditors -- secured bondholders, unsecured bondholders, trade claim creditors and
Average fuel economy drops to 25.4 mpg in June
The average fuel economy of light vehicles sold in the U.S. was down 0.1 mpg in June, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. The average window-sticker value of new cars, SUVs, vans and pickups purchased in the U.S. was 25.4 mpg in June, down slightly from 25.5
GM ignition-switch death toll rises to 121
General Motors' faulty ignition switches are now linked to 121 deaths , two more than a week ago, the office of attorney Kenneth Feinberg said. GM hired Feinberg last year to independently compensate the victims of crashes caused by the automaker's defective ignition switches, which prompted the ...
Focus ST: Less choppy, more buttons, but no GTI
"If all you're looking to do is go quick in a straight line, the mud-and-snow tires don't hinder acceleration from the 252-hp turbo four, as the ST returned a zero-to-60 time of 6.3 seconds, as well as a quarter-mile time of 14.9 seconds. Although we've had 6.3-second STs in the past, 14.9 makes ...