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Driving It Home

The latest auto industry news and trends brought to you by the car experts on our Globe Drive team

Part two: More previews from the New York Auto Show

JEREMY CATO

The minivan is not dead: Not at Kia. The next-generation Sedona will have its global debut in the city where minivans are used only as taxicabs. The next Sedona will seat up to eight.

lr_discovery_vision_concept_teaser.jpg 

Land Rover’s LR2 and LR4 names to be axed? In most of the world, the LR4 is known as the Discovery. The next-generation version will be called the Discovery around the world. What the next Discovery will look like will be highlighted in the Discovery Vision concept. As for the LR2, will it be globally badged as the Freelander? Without a shred of a doubt.

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Part one: A preview of the New York Auto Show

JEREMY CATO

Ah, springtime in New York. Next week the word’s auto makers will use the New York International Auto Show as their last big chance to promote their newest and shiniest models – at least until the fall at the Paris auto show.

The New York show bills itself as “America’s first and biggest auto show.” That’s true – and here in 2014, also a little ironic. New York was indeed the site of the first auto show in the United States, and as far as irony goes, it’s held in Manhattan, one of places in the United States where you can live and work without owning a car at all.

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Double standard: Car company bosses and bankers

JEREMY CATO

Let’s talk about double standards – car companies and their bosses versus financial companies and theirs.

Lawmakers in the United States grilled General Motors CEO Mary Barra last week, wondering aloud and often why The General took years to recall 2.6 million cars for faulty ignition switches. Good question and we all await the full and final answer, including, it appears, Barra herself.

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Want to visit a car museum done right? You'll have to go to Germany

JEREMY CATO

American and Japanese car companies have much to learn from their German counterparts about how a devotion to heritage – matched by a commitment to commerce – sells more cars.

In the auto business, the Germans never forget where they’ve come from. Never. Historical references pepper their conversation about the auto industry, with Mercedes-Benz types constantly noting that Gottlieb Daimler “invented the car” and Porsche officials reminding us that Ferdinand Porsche developed the first hybrid in 1898, the Lohner-Porsche.

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Why Jaguar is finally thriving (and rolling in cash) under Tata

JEREMY CATO

Jaguar and its Land Rover sibling are hiring so many new employees here in Coventry that, well, the walk into headquarters and the factory from the parking lot is quite a hike. There just isn’t enough parking on the main grounds.

This is what happens when you’re a car company whose Jaguar brand alone saw sales surge 42 per cent globally in 2013, with Canadian sales up a stunning 96 per cent. Jaguar Land Rover sales overall last year were up 19 per cent to 425,006. And annual profits are now in the billions.

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Three trucks, three ways to squeeze more power from less fuel

JEREMY CATO

For General Motors, the key to squeezing out fuel economy in its latest full-size pickups – GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado – has been cylinder deactivation and overall engine efficiencies. GM calls it “Active Fuel Management.”

For Ford Motor, EcoBoost has become the centrepiece of a push to position the Dearborn, Mich. car company as a fuel economy leader for its F-Series rigs and all other models in its lineup.

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The price tag of mishandling big recalls

JEREMY CATO

If anyone wondered why General Motors CEO Mary Barra herself has taken charge of the company’s massive 1.55 million vehicle recall related to faulty ignition switches, and why she named GM veteran Jeff Boyer to the newly-created position of vice-president, global vehicle safety – effective immediately, let’s put a number on it: $1.2-billion (all figures in U.S. dollars).

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This is the car that will boost Audi’s sales in Canada in 2014

JEREMY CATO

How Audi Canada’s parent, Audi AG, could postpone products that fit the needs of Canadian, and even American buyers, seems more than odd until you compare Audi’s sales in North America to its sales in China.

Aha! Through the first two months of this year, Audi China delivered 76,884 vehicles, compared to 23,372 combined in Canada and the United States. China is three times as important as North America, sales-wise.

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Volvo finally coming back to life

JEREMY CATO

We are seeing signs of a pulse at Volvo after the many years of decline that began under former owner Ford Motor and continued with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the proprietors who bought Volvo in 2010.

"This year our focus will be growth," Volvo Car Corp. CEO Hakan Samuelsson told reporters earlier this year at the Detroit auto show.

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Jaguar Land Rover is (arguably) the hottest car company in the world right now

JEREMY CATO

The hottest car company in the world arguably is Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover, or JLR.

Last month, JLR reported third-quarter profits more than doubled to $1-billion (U.S.). The Jaguar F-Type sports car is hot, as are Range Rover’s sport-utility vehicles. Jaguar sales in Canada are up nearly 40 per cent this year, with Land Rover sales up nearly 35 per cent.

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Jeremy Cato

In 25 years of covering the auto industry, Jeremy Cato has won more than two-dozen awards, including three times being named automotive journalist of the year.