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Russia, weak euro form backdrop for Geneva show

Posted 12:28 pm U.S. ET, March 2
Automakers don’t overreact to international tensions and currency fluctuations. They’re playing the long game, making decisions that many times will be in place for decades.
That’s why the comments coming from auto execs on the verge of the Geneva auto show are so striking. They indicate that, behind the hoopla and posturing at the show, automakers are pondering how two mega-issues might reshape the industry.
Issue No. 1: Russia
The Wall Street Journal last week quoted General Motors CFO Chuck Stevens recounting GM’s steps to cut production and shipments to Russia, trim marketing expenses and limit the amount of cash ...
     Continue reading "Russia, weak euro form backdrop for Geneva show" » Mar 2, 2015 12:28 pm U.S. ET
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Aston's clever distractions

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 27
blogs
The Aston Martin Vulcan produces more than 800 hp and will start at 1.8 million pounds. The racetrack-only car will debut at the Geneva auto show.
Aston Martin is cleverly covering up its biggest weakness -- its money-losing, aging lineup -- by creating headline-grabbing limited-edition models.
The British automaker is counting on a recently announced hypercar and a concept car created specifically for the world’s best-known spy to maintain momentum at the brand until its next all-new model arrives in late 2016.
Both vehicles feature smartly reworked technology from current models. The racetrack-only carbon-fiber Vulcan produces more than 800 hp from the company’s V-12 engine and will start at 1.8 million pounds ($2.79 million). The Vulc ...
     Continue reading "Aston's clever distractions" » Feb 27, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Why does Ford race? Because it can

Posted 3:56 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 27
DETROIT -- He’s not yet taking orders from Jay Leno for the Ford GT and GT350R, but Dave Pericak still has a full plate.
The director of Ford Performance related some juicy details to a rapt Automotive Press Association audience today at the Detroit Athletic Club, fleshing out what the December consolidation of Ford Motor’s various racing and performance operations means for go-fast enthusiasts.
Pericak talked mostly about structure but, yes, he dropped a trail of product crumbs along the way.
• Ford brand will keep racing.
• Lincoln won’t start. ...
     Continue reading "Why does Ford race? Because it can " » Feb 27, 2015 3:56 pm U.S. ET
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De Nysschen, 'Dare' I say, needs a better plan to rebuild Caddy's image

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Feb. 24
blogs
Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen shows off the Cadillac ATS-V. (GM)
DETROIT -- An open letter to Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen:
Fixing Cadillac will be the biggest challenge of your career, a far larger task, even, than breathing new life into Audi.
My brother is a perfect example why.
He’s 42 and a current -- and very satisfied -- owner of a General Motors product. He’s a voracious reader of automotive publications. He can easily afford an ATS, CTS, SRX, etc. He readily admits that technically, Cadillac’s cars are interesting, maybe even appealing, at least from a performance aspect.
...
     Continue reading "De Nysschen, 'Dare' I say, needs a better plan to rebuild Caddy's image" » Feb 24, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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A no-holds-barred online Q&A with Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen

Posted 3:46 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 23
blogs
Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen couldn't respond to all of the questions, but he answered many -- and gave it back to some of the smart alecks.
Jalopnik beckoned its readers this afternoon to “Ask Cadillac President de Nysschen anything.” They were more than happy to oblige.
A day after Cadillac’s “Dare Greatly” advertising campaign showcasing the new top-of-the-line CT6 debuted during the Oscars broadcast, the oft-irreverent auto industry Web log scored an hour of the Caddy boss’ time -- a rare opportunity for Cadillac owners, luxury-brand enthusiasts, curious onlookers and ...
     Continue reading "A no-holds-barred online Q&A with Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen" » Feb 23, 2015 3:46 pm U.S. ET
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Is an identity crisis the reason behind the Ram pickup's new styling?

Posted 12:14 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 20
blogs
The RAM letters are a stunning 5 inches tall on the tailgate.
It’s been nearly two months since I got my first up-close looks at the Ram Rebel and Ram Laramie Limited — the two trims Fiat Chrysler’s truck brand rolled out at this year’s auto shows in Detroit and Chicago.
Like a lot of armchair critics online, I’m not a fan of the styling of the two pickups’ front fascias and tailgates, but I’ve developed a theory as to what motivated them.
Both trim levels eschew the fledgling brand’s traditional shielded ram’s head logo front and rear in favor of the brand name in block capital letters.
...
     Continue reading "Is an identity crisis the reason behind the Ram pickup's new styling?" » Feb 20, 2015 12:14 pm U.S. ET
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Have no fear, Hyundai cracks the fuel-cell code

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Feb. 17
blogs
The biggest issue for Hyundai and other automakers is figuring out how to make and sell fuel cell vehicles profitably. (BLOOMBERG)
CHICAGO -- The valet at the Hyatt Regency hotel rolls up in the hydrogen-fueled Hyundai Tucson and opens the front doors for me and a Hyundai communications executive. Pleasantries are exchanged and then we glide away silently into 10 degree winter weather.
If the valet noticed that he was driving the future, he didn’t mention it. Indeed, looking at the Tucson fuel cell vehicle, you wouldn’t notice anything different from the standard-issue gasoline-powered version. Sharp eyes might notice the fuel cap is a bit larger. But that’s about it.
I spent about 20 minutes driving one of the worl ...
     Continue reading "Have no fear, Hyundai cracks the fuel-cell code" » Feb 17, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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National Corvette Museum -- a year after the sinkhole

Posted 10:45 am U.S. ET, Feb. 17
blogs
Eight rare Corvettes were swallowed up by the sinkhole.
It was just over one year ago that a massive sinkhole appeared on the floor of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.
Though eight rare Corvettes were swallowed up by the sinkhole, the 20-year-old museum turned the headline-grabbing disaster into a publicity bonanza: Attendance was up 67 percent year-over-year, and the museum seems well-positioned to come out of the whole affair standing on firm ground.
The same can’t be said about all eight of the cars impacted b ...
     Continue reading "National Corvette Museum -- a year after the sinkhole" » Feb 17, 2015 10:45 am U.S. ET
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Resist the temptation, Apple: Cars are a tricky proposition

Posted 9:13 am U.S. ET, Feb. 14
blogs
Charles Child is news editor for Automotive News.
So if media reports are true, Apple wants to join Google in the car business.
Apple, please resist -- for your own good.
It wasn’t so long ago that the Detroit 3 lurched from one diversification project to another. Chrysler, for instance, built corporate jets in the 1980s when it owned Gulfstream. And General Motors manufactured refrigerators with Frigidaire until 1979.
But the automakers wisely decided toContinue reading "Resist the temptation, Apple: Cars are a tricky proposition" » Feb 14, 2015 9:13 am U.S. ET
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In praise of consumer-focused auto shows

Posted 2:00 pm U.S. ET, Feb. 13
TORONTO -- The auto shows I’ve covered repeatedly for Automotive News are major global shows: Detroit, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai. I’ve also been to Chicago, New York, Geneva, Seoul and Frankfurt, but not often or recently enough to really know them.
At these global shows, other reporters and I flock to global debuts and chances to interview the bosses of the world’s largest automakers. If a vehicle has been shown anywhere earlier, we ignore it.
So it was eye-opening to attend media day, and the VIP Night preshow gala, this week at the Toronto auto show, officially known as the ...
     Continue reading "In praise of consumer-focused auto shows" » Feb 13, 2015 2:00 pm U.S. ET
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