industry news

industry news

  Automotive industry news, it feels like nothing of what they say is really important but put it together and you will get the big picture before the others.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne isn’t set to take the chairman of Ferrari role from Luca di Montezemolo until next month, but he’s already planning to do something his predecessor was opposed to throughout his tenure. Speaking at an event late last week, Marchionne divulged his plans of increasing production of Ferrari vehicles, including the LaFerrari , to meet with customer demand.

That issue was one of the reported reasons behind the disagreements Marchionne had with di Montezemolo, culminating in the latter’s decision to step down as Ferrari chairman after 23 years of holding that post. Di Montezemolo wanted to keep the Italian automaker’s production volume limited to 7,000 vehicles a year to protect its exclusivity, even at the expense of losing buyers willing to spend top dollar for these models.

But Marchionne is holding firm on his stance and is now planning to increase production of Ferrari models, including the $1.3 million LaFerrari that was initially limited to just 499 units.

“If that class increases, we should be able to follow them,” he said during the event. “The waiting list will become too long, and people get tired.”

He didn’t give a definite number on how many vehicles he wants Ferrari to produce every year, but he did say that there’s a potential for close to 10,000 models annually.

Only time will tell if his strategy works or whether it puts a taint on the Italian automaker’s ‘exclusive’ legacy.

Click past the jump to read more about Marchionne’s plans for Ferrari.

Source: detroitnews

The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has had strong sales numbers since it hit the market in 2013. But even a fast, powerful, and popular car isn’t immune from the tentacles of auto recalls. That’s exactly where the 2015 Corvette Stingray finds itself now with General Motors set to issue two recalls on the sought-after sports car .

Automotive News is reporting that GM is issuing these recalls to address problems with the Corvette Stingray’s airbags and parking brake cables. All in all, 2,800 models are affected by these problems, but most of these models have yet to leave dealerships. These issues are why GM sent stop-delivery orders to dealers late last week.

The airbag recall, in particular, affects around 2,000 Corvettes, most of which are still in Chevrolet’s plant in Kentucky. The problem centers on the driver-side airbag that could separate from the steering wheel in a crash, resulting in the potential injuries. An additional 800 2015 Corvette Stingray models have also been found to have defective parking brake cables that are not “fully seated and engaged” and could cause a significant drop in operational capability.

Both recalls have yet to be announced publicly because certain parts, especially for the airbags, are currently not available.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette.

The world debut of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata back on September 3rd wasn’t as much a debut as much as it was a “Hey, what’s up, world! This is what I look like” event. It didn’t give us anything more than a look at the MX-5’s new body. That would have been fine for any other car, but this is the Miata we’re talking about here. The full details of the sports roadster are expected to be announced at the Paris Motor Show, but that didn’t stop the folks over at Motoring Australia from digging deeper and finding out a few things about the fourth-gen MX-5.

A source close to the Australian auto site revealed that the Miata will weigh only 1,020 kg (2,248 pounds), close to 100 kg (220 pounds) less than its predecessor. Unfortunately, the engineering team failed to meet its goal of making the new Miata weight less than 1,000 kg.

Additionally, the third-generation Miata reportedly has more safety and convenience features, including the company’s new MXD Connect infotainment technology . A seven-inch color touchscreen will also be a welcome addition, as will the Bluetooth connectivity, satellite navigation, head restraint-mounted speakers, and LED lighting.

Here’s where things get interesting. According to Motoring, the entry-level model of the fourth-gen Miata will feature a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, Skyactiv engine that produces 128 horsepower. Torque figures are still being kept under wraps, but if that number is accurate, that’s marginally better than the third-generation model and its entry-level output of 125 ponies. A separate report also indicated that the U.S.-spec Miata will receive a 2.0-liter engine that produces a little over 145 horsepower. Both models will come with a six-speed transmission with the latter available for an upgrade to a dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission.

Ultimately, we won’t know if these numbers are accurate until the Paris Motor Show in October 2014, but these reports get us even more excited for the roadster’s full debut.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mazda MX-5.

Source: Motoring

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is headed to dealerships, but not all dealers will be able to get their hands on the high-powered coupe . As ordering for the Challenger SRT Hellcat begins, Dodge is switching up its allocation methods, turning it into a competition among dealerships to see which ones are able to to sell the most Dodge vehicles within the last 180 days. Yup. The more you sell, the better chance you get of securing more Challenger SRTs for your customers.

Then in December 2014, Dodge will issue a second allocation calculation based on the previous 90-days’ sales performance on top of the traditional 30-day inventory turn.

Dodge brand head Tim Kuniskis told Automotive News that this new system will reward dealerships that take the time to sell as many Dodge models as they can get. “You sell a lot of Darts for me, Journeys for me, Durangos for me, I’m going to give you the rights to this one, too, because this is a halo of the brand,” Kuniskis added.

In the future, Dodge will also begin implementing a system that measures how many days the Challenger Hellcat stays on the lot. According to Kuniskis, that would be a big factor in the allocation of the model to dealerships moving forward. Simply put, the longer a Challenger Hellcat stays on the lot, the less future Hellcat models that dealership receives.

Click past the jump to read more about the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

The appointment of former Nissan executive Andy Palmer as the new CEO of Aston Martin has opened deeper talks between the British car maker and German auto conglomerate Daimler . Reuters is reporting that Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche is “fundamentally open” to deeper talks with Aston Martin so long as Palmer wants to have one.

That appears to be a certainty given Palmer’s attempts to persuade Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn to invest in Aston Martin when he was still with Japanese manufacturer. Those discussions didn’t amount to anything and many in the industry believe that it was a factor in Palmer jumping ship — or cars — to the British automaker.

Now that he’s with Aston Martin, Palmer’s close relationship with Daimler during his time at Nissan is expected to play a big role in Aston Martin’s dealings with the German luxury car maker.

Daimler already owns five percent of Aston Martin and the two companies have existing engine deals with each other, including a tie-up to develop a new generation of AMG V-8 engines.

Don’t be surprised if talks between the two sides heat up soon. Daimler’s open to it and with Palmer now the CEO of Aston Martin, the pieces are in place for that to happen.

Click past the jump to read more about the Daimler-Aston Martin partnership.

Source: Reuters

Well this is some surprising news indeed. The man that has helmed Ferrari for more than two decades, Luca di Montezemolo is stepping down, effective October 13th. Sadly, and despite his age of 67, this doesn’t seem to be a simple retirement; there has been some serious tension in the land of the Italian automobile lately.

Not only is Ferrari struggling in Formula One , but Montezemelo has been butting heads lately with Fiat head Sergio Marchionne. Not only is Marchionne upset with the Formula One disappointment, but he and Montezemelo are at opposite ends of the scale when it comes to the future of Ferrari.

Currently Montezemelo has capped Ferrari’s sales at 7,000 cars per year to bolster and maintain the company’s elite status. Marchionne, on the other hand, wants Ferrari to expand, become even more profitable, and to donate technology and engineering to other brands in the Fiat family with the goal of creating more luxurious models across the range. Marchionne wants the new Fiat/Chrysler to become a true competitor to Volkswagen .

According to a report from Bloomberg, Montezemelo has been quoted as saying that “Ferrari is now American,” going so far as to call it “the end of an era.” I hope he is wrong.

This is most disappointing, as Montezemelo has an astonishing record at Ferrari. Since he took over, company revenue has climbed by 1,000 percent, yearly auto sales have tripled, and after years and years of F1 failure, the Ferrari team secured eight World Constructors’ Championships.

Marchionne is anything but an idiot, but I do feel worried for the Ferrari brand as a whole. Montezemelo has obviously had some incredible success in running this prestigious brand, and it is upsetting to see him so unceremoniously forced out of the company that he helped thrust into such incredible success.

Click past the jump to read more about Luca di Montezemolo’s collaboration with Ferrari.

Although the current-generation Dodge Viper is anything but slow, Chrysler has been struggling to sell its halo car ever since it launched it in late 2012. Viper sales have been so low throughout 2013 and 2014 that Dodge even had to halt production for two months and lay off 91 employees. The Viper’s struggle continues through 2014, with some 600 unsold units on dealer lots, which is why Dodge has decided to knock $15,000 off the sticker price in order to spur sales.

The discount is available for all unsold 2014 model year Vipers and incoming 2015 Vipers, putting their MSRP at $84,995. But the good news doesn’t stop here. In addition to this discount, Dodge is also offering $15,000 coupons to recent gen-five — 2013 to 2014 model year — Viper buyers who want to trade their model in on a 2014 or 2015 Viper . All told, if you own either a 2013 or 2014 Viper, you can essentially purchase a brand-new, updated model for $69,995 after the price cut and trade-in incentive. Quite the bargain, huh?

Cutting $15,000 off the sticker is just one step toward improving Viper sales. The company is also planning to open Viper sales to all Dodge dealers and market the sports car with the rest of the lineup and not as a stand-alone SRT vehicle. More than 2,300 Dodge dealers will be able to sell the 2015 Viper.

Click past the jump to read more about Dodge Viper.

It isn’t much of a secret that the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a marvel of engineering and technology that continually sets the benchmark for the cars of the future to aim for. From the first turbocharged diesel engine, the first airbag, and the first car to be available with anti-lock brakes, all the way up to the new “Magic Body Control” system, the S-Class always has the latest and greatest gear available. With a new S-Class due in less than three years, the big question is what changes are coming to keep this incredible machine in the spotlight.

Recently Auto Express sat down with Jan Kaul, the head of interior design at Mercedes to discuss the upcoming S-Class. The amount of information they gathered is pretty staggering considering the general level of secrecy that surrounds a new model like the S-Class. From the possibility of using 3D printing for interior structures to the use of gestures to control interior functions there is a lot of cool technology coming to the next S-Class.

Click past the jump to read about the Mercedes S-Class

Source: Auto Express

The second-generation Volvo XC90 came with a bang in August 2014. Redesigned from the ground up, the SUV ditched the first-gen’s dated image for a stunning, new exterior looks and an ultra-luxurious interior that are about to spread across the company’s entire lineup. And it seems a few Volvo products will shift to brand-new nameplates in the process, if we are to believe a report coming from Dutch paper De Telegraaf.

Specifically, Volvo is has decided that the next-generation S80 sedan , V70 wagon and XC70 crossover need not just makeovers, but new names too. And all three will be launched within the 90-Series family. The range-topping sedan will switch to S90, the station wagon will become the V90, while the XC70 will be renamed V90 Cross Country. The motivation behind this decision is that all three vehicles will grow bigger and include even more luxury amenities, De Telegraaf adds.

Also in the mix, per reports, is an entry-level 40-Series lineup and a mid-range 60-Series line. Within these series will be S sedans, V wagons and XC SUVs. There is also the chance for slightly heavier-duty Cross Country versions of the V40 and V60 wagons.

There’s no official information when these new vehicles will arrive, but rumor has it the S90 is scheduled to debut in late 2015. The sedan will reportedly be followed by a coupe version and long-wheelbase S90 L for the Chinese market. Volvo will launch new-generation models of its entire lineup by 2017.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo XC90

Source: Telegraaf

Former Nissan senior executive Andy Palmer proposed buying a stake in Aston Martin when he was still with the Japanese automaker. A report from Reuters indicated that before Palmer takes the reigns as CEO of Aston Martin later this month, he was in the ear of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn about investing in the British company.

Nissan ultimately turned down Palmer’s proposal, sources told Reuters.

Palmer’s move to Aston Martin comes after he successfully brokered an alliance between the company’s luxury brand Infiniti and Daimler, which, incidentally has a five-percent stake in Aston Martin. This automotive merry-go-round is a tad bit confusing, but it’ll make sense if recent reports of Daimler buying out Aston Martin come to fruition.

Aston Martin’s one of the last luxury car brands to not have a parent auto group. That’s kept the company out of important funding that it otherwise could have used to stay competitive in a market that’s becoming more saturated as rival brands, like Fiat-owned Maserati , continue expanding their lineups.

In its current state, Aston Martin is continuously losing money and needs new investors. Having Palmer run the show could serve as a precursor to Daimler taking full control of the company and injecting funds needed to steer it back in the right direction.

It all fits if you think about it.

As far as Nissan is concerned, only time will tell if its decision to pass on buying shares in Aston Martin bites them in the rear.

Source: Reuters

1 2 3 4 5 next >
Back to top