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Hoping to appeal to American tastes, Hyundai designers pushed to increase the revamped Tucson's wheelbase, add a more upright grille and front end, and pushed the crossover's A pillars back. (DAVE GUILFORD)
 

America, land of big spaces, spurs Hyundai Tucson redesign

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, March 4
GENEVA -- So how do you design a crossover with a name evoking the old West -- that cowboy, cactus, rugged desert terrain ethos?
With a strong sense of the uniqueness of U.S. driving and lifestyles, says Thomas Burkle, chief designer for Hyundai Motor Europe. Burkle’s team redid the look of Hyundai’s Tucson in “very intensive cooperation” with design teams in California and Korea, he says.
The result is a bolder design that fits the U.S., Burkle says: “For me, when I’m in America you can breathe. There’s space. There’s big roads. There’s fantastic nature. There’s sun.
“So the car has to have more pres ...
     Continue reading "America, land of big spaces, spurs Hyundai Tucson redesign" » Mar 4, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Whatever happens with a takeover, automakers always learn something

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, March 3
blogs
Ford gave its aluminum-production system a dry run at Jaguar starting in 2003 with the XJ sedan and then took what it learned back to Dearborn and deployed it in the lightweight 2015 F-150.
Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda and Volvo all have something in common today besides the fact that they were once owned or controlled by Ford Motor Co.
All three are starting to blossom again now that they have developed their own unique vehicle architectures, powertrains and technologies, and as Ford-based hardware ages out of production.
This is not to say that Ford was a bad corporate parent. In many ways, Ford was a good corporate steward to these automakers. There is no question that Jaguar Land Rover would not have survived -- and Mazda and Volvo probably wouldn’t have either -- were it not for Ford& ...
     Continue reading "Whatever happens with a takeover, automakers always learn something" » Mar 3, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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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 s ...
     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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