Blogs from the Detroit auto show

Can I request a Jeep Gladiator in the plan?

Posted 2:06 pm U.S. ET, May 2
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The Jeep Gladiator concept was shown at the 2005 Detroit auto show.
LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE:  To borrow a line from The Blues Brothers movie a few decades ago, Chrysler Group is “getting the band back together” on Tuesday to reveal its next five-year business plan. So I wonder: Is it too late to put in a request? If it’s not, if there’s still time, then what I’d really like to hear next week is that CEO Sergio Marchionne and company have reconsidered his ear ...
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The Detroit show will stay in the cold weather

Posted 11:13 am U.S. ET, Jan. 20
blogs Jamie LaReau covers the automotive retail beat for Automotive News.
 
Metro Detroit is beautiful in the late spring, summer and fall. Yet a large part of the world sees it only during the bleakness of winter when the Detroit auto show takes place.Cobo Center looked great inside last week. But people still have to wade through dirty-snow-lined streets under a fog of dreariness to get to it. In fact, we got lucky this year. Had the show been a week earlier, it would h ...
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Succeed Sergio? You'd have to be a bit crazy

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 20
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Marchionne. pictured at the Detroit auto show, will remain Fiat-Chrysler CEO. (Bloomberg)
LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE:  Many journalists went into the Detroit auto show with questions about CEO succession at various automakers.Why didn't Ford's Alan Mulally trade Mustang 50.0 for Windows 8.1? Would Mark Reuss or Dan Ammann be team players for new coach Mary Barra at General Motors?Fiat-Chrysler tried to cut off speculation by announcing that CEO Sergio Marchionne would stick around for "at least" three more years. ...
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A weighty matter: Chevy Colorado vs. Ford F-150

Posted 10:39 am U.S. ET, Jan. 18
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The Colorado's maximum tow rating is 6,700 pounds -- about twice as much weight as the average boat or camper that gets hauled to the lake on weekends. (BLOOMBERG)
RICHARD TRUETT:  DETROIT -- In the race to get the weight out of pickups, General Motors -- not Ford -- may actually be the biggest loser.Ford rolled out the long awaited 2015 aluminum-bodied F-150 this week, and claimed the curb weight will be 550 to 700 pounds less than the 2014 version forged with steel sheet metal. Hats off to Ford. That's huge.Because the F-150 is the nation's top-selling vehicle -- car or tr ...
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Why Detroit’s auto show should be longer -- not shorter

Posted 4:02 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 17
blogs Lindsay Chappell is the Mid-South bureau chief for Automotive News.
 
Over the past several years, the Detroit auto show's press preview has evolved into a neatly compact event that celebrates new cars for about 36 hours, give or take.That’s very efficient. Very considerate to executives who have important meetings somewhere. But it’s a missed opportunity.The Detroit show ought to be longer -- not shorter.It ought to be a week-long out-of-control celebra ...
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Why economic developers love auto events

Posted 3:54 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 16
blogs Jesse Snyder is editor of the opinion page at Automotive News.
 
Wherever auto executives gather, so do people trying to land the next new plant location or retain the car jobs they’ve already won.The economic development folks hit Detroit in droves this week. They swarmed press and industry days at the Detroit auto show. Yesterday alone at the Automotive News World Congress, I ran into four teams: the states of Virginia and Georgia and the countries of C ...
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Winterkorn humbled by U.S. struggles?

Posted 4:02 am U.S. ET, Jan. 16
blogs Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe.
 
Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn often spices up his speeches at European auto shows with bold predictions and reminders of his company's dominance in the region. That was not the case at the Detroit auto show this week.Winterkorn reiterated one bold prediction – that VW Group wants to sell 800,000 VWs and 200,000 Audis a year in the United States by 2018. However,  he sounded unc ...
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Count on them: Death, taxes and used vehicles

Posted 2:48 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 15
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John Mendel, executive vice president of auto sales with American Honda, introduced the 2015 Honda Fit this week. (BLOOMBERG)
ARLENA SAWYERS:  Death and taxes are two things we know we can count on.Here's one more: The new cars and trucks on display this week at the Detroit auto show will become used vehicles someday.That's why folks including Larry Dixon, an analyst with NADA Used Car Guide, and Eric Ibara and Alec Gutierrez, analysts with Kelley Blue Book, spent time at the show looking at what's coming down the road.Dixon, Ibara and G ...
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All the wrong things pay off for Tesla

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
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When the wireless microphone a questioner was using temporarily malfunctioned, someone in the crowd joked, “The battery ran out.” (BLOOMBERG)
NICK BUNKLEY:  DETROIT -- Among the unspoken rules that automakers typically follow at an auto show:Don't put an executive onstage holding note cards.Don't tell the world you plan to be reckless.Don't hand the microphone to journalists who want to ask about vehicles catching fire and a new recall.Do show a new car.Tesla Motors broke all of those rules Tuesday with perhaps the least rehearsed, most amateurish-loo ...
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AutoNation's Mike Jackson picks his show winners

Posted 10:06 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
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Mike Jackson on the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: "It personifies everything that is right with General Motors today."
JAMIE LAREAU:  AutoNation's CEO Mike Jackson has a tradition at the Detroit Auto Show.He walks the show floor at 7 a.m., before most others arrive. Only once in his 25 years of attending the show was that ritual interrupted: In 1999, when a snowstorm forced the airplane Jackson was on to wait 9 hours on the runway for a gate, he says.He missed the first day of the show that year."I like to really look without be ...
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At BMW, a careful eye on the EV market

Posted 12:35 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 14
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The BMW i3 has been on sale in Germany for only six weeks, and BMW already has more than 10,000 orders. (SHIRAZ AHMED)
DIANA T. KURYLKO:  DETROIT -- BMW of North America has 100,000 hand-raisers for the new i3 compact electric car, CEO Ludwig Willisch says.Of course, not all of the prospects will turn into orders or sales, but BMW figures it will take "a few years" to satisfy demand for the i3, Willisch said.Deliveries of the i3 will begin in late April and the United States will be the biggest market for the carbon-fiber car.Pricin ...
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Eau Rouge points to sportier Infiniti portfolio

Posted 7:37 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
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Infiniti aims to kick things up a notch with the Q50 Eau Rouge concept. (BLOOMBERG)
LINDSAY CHAPPELL:  DETROIT -- With key new products some two years away, Infiniti is showing audiences a concept car that heralds the brand's new racing direction.The Q50 Eau Rouge, unveiled at the Detroit auto show, remakes the recently introduced Q50 sedan into a Formula One racing-inspired sports sedan, with sculpted body-side rocker wings, carbon-fiber body components, ceramic exhausts and a restyled aerodynamic ...
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At Subaru, a high-performance STI in 2 flavors

Posted 2:03 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 14
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The blue Launch Edition of the WRX STI will be available starting in April for only three months or until the 1,000 units are sold. (BLOOMBERG)
RICHARD TRUETT:  DETROIT -- Subaru's latest sporty sedan, the 305-hp WRX STI, made its debut twice at the North American International Auto Show today.The Japanese automaker showed two versions of the high-performance car, a special limited production blue model with gold wheels and blue accents on the seats and the regular production model.The blue Launch Edition model, will be available starting in April for onl ...
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Hyundai honors Genesis with a winged badge

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 14
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After sticking with Hyundai's circular "H" badge for the original U.S. market Genesis, the redesigned model will come wearing the winged badge that graces every Genesis sold in South Korea. (BLOOMBERG)
RYAN BEENE:  The three-pointed star of Mercedes-Benz. BMW's blue-and-white roundel. Audi's four rings. Hyundai's wings.OK, it's probably a little premature to put Hyundai in that group of luxury carmakers. (A little?) But Hyundai looks like it's starting to get more serious about its luxury aspirations. For evidence, look no further than the 2015 Genesis' badging.After sticking with Hyundai's circular "H" badg ...
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Porsche nixes entry-level roadster, small crossover

Posted 6:11 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
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The Porsche 911 Targa unveiled Monday in Detroit.
RICHARD JOHNSON:  DETROIT -- Porsche won't build an entry-level roadster or a small crossover, but is ready to make the call on other new models, said Bernhard Maier, board member for global sales and marketing.One model under consideration is a sports car to fill the rarefied gap between the most-exclusive 911 and the limited-edition 918 Spyder."We have a lot of ideas and a lot of opportunities," Maier told Automo ...
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EPA chief gives automakers 'A' for fuel economy effort

Posted 4:21 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
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EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy with U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., on the floor of the auto show earlier today. (Gabe Nelson)
GABE NELSON:  DETROIT -- Car companies are fiercely competing for better fuel economy. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is convinced they're trying about as hard as they can.Speaking to reporters today at the Detroit auto show, McCarthy said that if the fuel economy standards must be scaled back during a "midterm review" in 2017, it will be due to no lack of effort within the industry."If we don't quite get ther ...
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Nissan again the focus of protests by union organizers

Posted 3:29 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
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Chip Wells, a Nissan worker in Canton, Miss., says the UAW would give employees a much-needed voice in the plant's operations and working conditions.
NICK BUNKLEY:  A group of workers and union activists trying to organize Nissan North America's plant in Mississippi returned to the auto show for a second year, but without making much of a public spectacle.At a press conference across the street from the show, members of the group, known as the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan, went through a list of grievances against the automaker, including intim ...
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Why Porsche fans like the 'real' 911 Targa

Posted 1:22 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
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The 2014 Targa features a curved glass rear window that, at the touch of a button, lifts out of the way to allow the cloth roof to fold up and stow behind the rear seats.
AMY WILSON:  With the 2014 model unveiled today at the Detroit auto show, Porsche aficionados are applauding the return of what some describe as the "real" 911 Targa.The difference with this model versus the sports car brand's recent iterations of the semi-convertible variant? It's all about the Targa roof bar, which debuted on the original 911 Targa show car in 1965. Porsche ditched the bar in the 1990s in fa ...
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GM's caravan for 'the big nasty'

Posted 11:56 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
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Look closely: A Corvette caravan snakes its way to downtown Detroit today.
NICK BUNKLEY:  As if it's not hard enough to make sure an auto show press conference goes off without a hitch, General Motors decided to add freeway traffic to the equation as it unveiled the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 today.Shortly before it was scheduled to pull the wraps off the Z06, GM loaded a camouflaged Z06 on a trailer behind a Chevrolet Silverado at its suburban Detroit tech center. The truck then led a par ...
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From doom to boom: New Chrysler 200 rescued a plant destined for shutdown

Posted 11:56 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
blogs Nick Bunkley is an enterprise reporter for Automotive News.
 
Most auto show reveals make it seem as though the car or truck being shown will just magically appear at dealerships when it goes on sale. But Chrysler Group, in unveiling its redesigned 200 sedan today, took time to highlight the suburban Detroit assembly plant that will build the car.Chrysler brand chief Al Gardner said the company is investing more than $1 billion in its Sterling Heights Assemb ...
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GM's Reuss: 'I want to get my hands on' Ford's new pickup

Posted 4:35 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
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GM's Mark Reuss acknowledged having some "concern" about Ford's new truck and the competitive advantage that shedding up to 700 pounds could reap on fuel economy. (BLOOMBERG)
MIKE COLIAS:  DETROIT -- Hordes of auto show goers will be lining up over the next few weeks to paw over the 2015 F-150 pickup that Ford unveiled here Monday. Among them: General Motors' incoming product chief Mark Reuss.The guy in charge of developing the next-generation of the F-150's biggest rivals -- the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra -- sounds genuinely interested in finding out what the Ford is up to. ...
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In 2014, the auto sales game will be won in the trenches

Posted 4:24 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
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After four straight years of U.S. auto sales gains of at least 1.1 million annually, most forecasts call for growth in the mid-single digits in 2014. (BLOOMBERG)
JESSE SNYDER:  From an industrywide perspective, U.S. auto sales look as graceful as a long completed pass to a wide receiver.But at the brand and nameplate level, it's messy. Downright lumpy, actually.And in 2014, the game is gonna get tougher. After four straight years of U.S. auto sales gains of at least 1.1 million annually, most forecasts call for growth in the mid-single digits.In football terms, think few ...
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Why Mini is expecting big things in the future

Posted 6:54 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
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Mini's John Cooper Works Concept unveiled Monday at the 2014 Detroit auto show.
ARLENA SAWYERS:  Mini is a small car with a bright future, Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the board of management of BMW AG, told reporters who gathered for the unveiling of the Mini John Cooper Works Concept car Monday.Without giving a 2014 sales projection for the Mini brand, Schwarzenbauer said the company expects the overall U.S. auto market to grow about 5 percent in 2014 and for Mini sales to grow along wit ...
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At Volvo Cars N.A., Nicolosi gets formal CEO nod

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
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Tony Nicolosi: The right guy for Volvo Cars North America. (BLOOMBERG)
RICHARD JOHNSON:  DETROIT -- You can forget the "acting" part of Tony Nicolosi's title as chief executive of Volvo Cars North America.Volvo announced Monday that Nicolosi is the boss of Volvo's U.S. marketing arm -- with no ifs, ands or buts.He was promoted in October, but for some reason an interim status was attached to the job.But Volvo Car's global CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, said Sunday night at the company's auto ...
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Redesigned Chrysler 200 is likely foundation for Journey replacement

Posted 7:37 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 13
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Judging from the Chrysler 200 shown in Detroit, designers working on the replacement for the Dodge Journey should have a good set of bones with which to work. (BLOOMBERG)
LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE:  DETROIT -- Chrysler Group's introduction Monday of an all-wheel-drive variant for its redesigned 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan makes me think about another future vehicle: the replacement for the Dodge Journey.It's not hard to see, really. Take the redesigned 200's front half, extend the rear to include a third row of seats and a hatchback and build it all on top of the 200's disconnecting awd system.Pr ...
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