Blogs from the Frankfurt auto show

Frankfurt show featured many beasts, few beauties

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Oct. 9 2015
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Best of show: Mazda Koeru
LUCA CIFERRI:  The Frankfurt auto show may have slipped behind Shanghai when it comes to the amount of exhibition space offered, but it remains the unrivaled No. 1 in terms of vehicle debuts. There were 210 debuts at this year’s Frankfurt show, based on one count. This column, however, is not about numbers, it is about the real winner of the show: overdesign. And if overdesign won, that means the biggest ...
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Frankfurt: Lights, cameras, technology!

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 21 2015
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Jason Stein is publisher and editor of Automotive News.
JASON STEIN:  By 8:30 a.m. last Tuesday, about the time BMW's new CEO Harald Krueger tumbled to the stage inside cavernous Hall 11, the Frankfurt auto show was veering toward an odd theme. Amid all the predictions of European momentum -- as represented by 90-some new-vehicle introductions -- all anyone wanted to talk about was who wasn't here.Krueger, having recovered from his dizzy spell, got a clean bill of h ...
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Opel pins compact car comeback on Astra's posh comforts

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 18 2015
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Available features on the latest Astra compact hatchback include a massaging driver's seat, a perfume diffuser and high-end LED adaptive headlights, made up of 16 ultrabright bulbs.
MIKE COLIAS:  BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- Mainstream brands have been nuzzling closer to their luxury counterparts in recent years, adding everything from heated steering wheels to high-end sound systems and high-tech safety packages. But General Motors' Opel brand has reached a new level of luxury incursion with its redesigned Astra, a cousin of the Chevy Cruze. Available features on the compact hatchback includ ...
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Wave your hand, watch the hood pop (minus grimy fingers)

Posted 6:00 am U.S. ET, Sept. 18 2015
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A show car developed by Brose for the Frankfurt auto show.
NEAL E. BOUDETTE:  FRANKFURT -- Auto suppliers are not only working to make for clean air. Some also want clean hands. At the Frankfurt auto show, German components maker Brose showed off its latest innovations -- among them, a rear door that can be opened automatically and a gas tank door that can be opened with a simple gesture. The rear door uses electronics similar to those found in automatic liftgates, someth ...
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Why Infiniti will offer Q30 with different heights

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 18 2015
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Infiniti Q30 aims to appeal to younger and older buyers with different versions of the Q30.
NICK GIBBS:  Infiniti will offer its new Q30 compact car with two different ride heights: the Premium and SE versions of the five-door hatchback are 20mm taller than the Sport model. But why? The Nissan-owned premium brand doesn’t call the Q30 an SUV. The QX30 will fulfill that role once it is revealed at the Los Angeles auto show in November. The big reason for the different heights is to satisfy a gr ...
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Future Buicks could get Opel's 'floating' roofline

Posted 6:14 am U.S. ET, Sept. 16 2015
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Opel design chief Mark Adams shows off the "floating" roofline on the redesigned Opel Astra. The design feature helps make the car look longer and sleeker, and could find its way into future Buicks. (Mike Colias)
MIKE COLIAS:  FRANKFURT -- One of the most distinctive design elements of the redesigned Opel Astra unveiled at the motor show here is its “floating” roofline, an element likely to appear on future Opels -- and by extension, future Buicks. Opel made the 2016 Astra compact a bit smaller than its predecessor, but managed to increase interior space. That’s good for weight reduction and roominess ...
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The view of the global auto market from Germany? Not so bad

Posted 6:17 am U.S. ET, Sept. 16 2015
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Richard Johnson is print editor of Automotive News.
RICHARD JOHNSON:  FRANKFURT -- How bad are things on the world automotive stage? Pretty awful, right? ‎Th‎e U.S. is the only bright spot in a global industry filled with turmoil.‎ At least that's how Americans tend to view the situation. But here in Germany things don't look so bleak. "There is always some part of the world where you have headwinds," said Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW AG board member in ...
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The look of Mercedes-Benzes to come

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 16 2015
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Mercedes made extensive use of digital design tools to develop the IAA concept in record time of just 10 months. (Reuters)
AMY WILSON:  Mercedes-Benz says its Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile concept unveiled Monday in Frankfurt will influence its design language for years to come. The concept’s interior will show up in the redesigned E-class sedan next year. “It’s basically redefining a new level of modern luxury in the middle class, somewhere between S and C,” said Gorden Wagener, vice president of de ...
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Bentley Bentayga is fit for a queen

Posted 5:28 am U.S. ET, Sept. 16 2015
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The 12-cylinder Bentley Bentayga will offer 608 hp and a top speed of 301kph.
NICK GIBBS:  Bentley has reserved the first Bentagya that will roll off its production line in Crewe, England, for Queen Elizabeth, CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer told Automotive News Europe at the SUV's unveiling during the Frankfurt auto show Tuesday. The UK-based automaker didn't provide a value for the Queen's Bentayga, but the starting price is 229,000 pounds ($352,000) for the limited-run First Edition version ...
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The look of Mercedes-Benzes to come

Posted 11:49 am U.S. ET, Sept. 15 2015
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Mercedes made extensive use of digital design tools to develop the IAA concept in record time of just 10 months. (Reuters)
AMY WILSON:  FRANKFURT -- Mercedes-Benz says its Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile concept unveiled Monday in Frankfurt will influence its design language for years to come. The concept’s interior will show up in the redesigned E-class sedan next year. “It’s basically redefining a new level of modern luxury in the middle class, somewhere between S and C,” said Gorden Wagener, vice pr ...
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VW Group boldly takes up Tesla's electric challenge

Posted 11:20 am U.S. ET, Sept. 15 2015
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The Porsche Mission E concept, a 911-inspired four-door electric sports car, claims a longer range than a Tesla Model S and a faster recharge time.
RYAN BEENE:  FRANKFURT -- Had Elon Musk attended the Volkswagen Group’s brand cavalcade last night, he probably would’ve left with a smile on his face. VW’s pre-show event was full of electrification news. Porsche showed the Mission E concept, a 911-inspired four-door electric sports car that claims a longer range than a Model S and a faster recharge time. Also shown was the Audi quattro e- ...
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Why Nissan's Gripz concept makes Joe Isuzu smile

Posted 12:45 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 15 2015
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GRAHAM KOZAK:  We knew Nissan was bringing a new take on the Z car to the Frankfurt motor show. Based on the freaky teaser video, we suspected it would be some sort of crossover-type thing. Yet we weren’t really expecting the Nissan Gripz (the “z” is for “Z car,” get it?!), a Maxima-nosed 4X4 concept supposedly inspired by the Safari Rally-winning Datsun 240Zs of yore. And it&rsquo ...
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Why a Rolls-Royce ATV isn't a strange idea

Posted 7:32 am U.S. ET, Sept. 15 2015
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A Silver Ghost Rolls, left, once owned by Communist Party founder Vladimir Lenin. In former times, Rolls-Royces were specifically built for heavy-duty purposes, prompting the brand to consider labeling its forthcoming 'utility' vehicle an ATV. (BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO)
RICHARD JOHNSON:  Rolls-Royce has all but settled on the styling of its first "utility" or "high sided” vehicle, which is planned to be on sale in a little over three years. But what to call the thing? An SUV, crossover, superluxury activity vehicle? "We haven't decided yet, but we're thinking 'all-terrain vehicle,'" said Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos. A Rolls ATV? Really? Not as strange as it soun ...
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Rolls-Royce rebalances amid China slowdown

Posted 9:30 am U.S. ET, Sept. 15 2015
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Torsten Muller-Otvos, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, introduces the Dawn cabriolet at the Frankfurt auto show this week. The Middle East has taken China's place as the No. 2 market for the British luxury brand where Rolls-Royce has seen “tremendous growth,” he says. (BLOOMBERG)
DIANA T. KURYLKO:  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars may not see an increase in global sales this year because of the meltdown in China, says its CEO, Torsten Muller–Otvos. “China was exploding so it really great for two years, it was our second biggest market,” Muller-Otvos said in an interview. The losses in China “may be compensated in some markets but not in all of them,” he said. “We ...
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Marchionne's numbers take the shine off auto show glitz

Posted 2:15 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 14 2015
blogs Dave Guilford is a news editor at Automotive News.
 
Sergio Marchionne’s biting criticism of the industry’s economic inefficiency will provide a contrarian undercurrent during this week’s Frankfurt auto show press days. Frankfurt will have the normal auto show glitz -- pounding music, celebrity cameos, sparkling new cars -- and the monumental buildings that German automakers construct to mark their turf. But it will be hard to ig ...
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Yanfeng-JCI's vision shows smooth move to self-driving reality

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Sept. 14 2015
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The ID16 shows what Yanfeng Automotive Interiors envisions for the inside of an autonomous car, where the driver and occupants can work, play and chat while the vehicle does the driving.
DOUGLAS A. BOLDUC:  Editor's note: Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is already working on a new generation concept car that will debut in early 2017. Interiors suppliers Yanfeng and Johnson Controls have developed a futuristic concept car that, among other things, shows how a motorist will smoothly and safely hand over control of the vehicle. The Innovation Demonstrator 2016 (ID16) concept car was unveiled to jour ...
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Why Barra's timing is good for Frankfurt appearance

Posted 2:34 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 11 2015
blogs Mike Colias covers General Motors for Automotive News.
 
Mary Barra will make her first public appearance at a European auto show as GM’s CEO next week in Frankfurt. Her timing is pretty good. GM’s Opel division had little to feel good about the last time the automotive world descended on its home country for the sprawling Frankfurt motor show, in September 2013. Opel had lost market share for 14 straight years. GM Europe was piling up los ...
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Will the next Nissan Z be a crossover?

Posted 11:15 am U.S. ET, Sept. 1 2015
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Nissan's latest small crossover -- the Kicks concept -- was shown in 2014 in Sao Paulo. Nissan plans to showcase how a "Z' crossover could look as early as the Frankfurt auto show this month. (NISSAN)
JAY RAMEY:  After scrapping production plans for the Nissan IDx coupes, there is now a very real possibility that the next Z car will be a crossover. Autocar reports that not only will it be previewed in concept form at the Frankfurt auto show, but that it will go on sale in 2017. How did we get to this point? For starters, the current 370Z will be allowed to expire by 2017. As its replacement, Nissan ...
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