Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014 7:12PM EST
For the last quarter century I have spent several days in January chronicling essentially the same story – Detroit’s back!
You know the clichés: Chrysler, Ford and General Motors are now “firing on all cylinders” and the Detroit Three have “turned the corner.” Detroit’s car companies are “racing ahead” with exciting new models and “inspired” leadership. The former Big Three have their “plants humming” and their “mojo” back.More »
Thursday, Jan. 09, 2014 3:10PM EST
At long last, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is on the way to dealers.
Chrysler had hoped to have this Ram diesel in showrooms in the third quarter of 2013. In fact, I test drove the Ram diesel in the fall of 2013 and was hugely impressed with its smooth power.
Now Chrysler isn’t commenting on the delay. Chrysler Canada spokesman Daniel Labre referred to it as a representative of “minor adjustments” to the production schedule.More »
Tuesday, Jan. 07, 2014 3:47PM EST
If you own a Kia or Hyundai vehicle sold between 2010 and 2012, heads up: the fuel economy flap involving both Hyundai and Kia continues in Canada, though not the United States.
Both Korean brands have announced a settlement in response to consumer lawsuits related to incorrect fuel economy ratings. Various sources say Hyundai and Kia in the U.S. will pay up to $395-million to settle consumer lawsuits. The average Hyundai payment comes to $353, while at Kia the estimated average payment will come to $667 (all figures in U.S. dollars), notes Edmunds.com.More »
Wednesday, Jan. 01, 2014 7:00AM EST
John Krafcik, former CEO of Hyundai Motor America, offered prescriptions for change and improvement in a 2009 speech at the Chicago auto show. They are worth revisiting as 2014 begins.
Prescription No. 1: Build the highest quality vehicles possible. That’s happening. As David Sargent, vice president of J. D. Power and Associates, says, "Manufacturers keep improving product quality." The progress is obvious and real.More »
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 1:05PM EST
John Krafcik is leaving his position as head of Hyundai Motor America on January 1. But he’ll land somewhere. He’s too savvy, too energetic, and too charismatic to remain on the shelf for long. If you are running a car company, hire him.
Karfcik, with a master’s degree from MIT and a background in product development, is a highly competitive straight talker with a social conscience. A capitalist with a heart. As CEO of Hyundai’s North American business, he’s been a major force for change over these last five years.More »
Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 10:00AM EST
We might give Japanese auto makers a participation ribbon for their efforts in large pickups.
Yes, Nissan with the Titan, Toyota with the Tundra and Honda with the Ridgeline all deserve an “E” for effort.
Canadian sales numbers tell the story through the end of September: 2,354 Titans, 5,004 Titans and 1,471 Ridgelines. Ford of Canada sells more F-Series pickups in a month than the Japanese in nine.More »
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 10:43AM EST
Last week, fans of The Colbert Report were surely laughing with Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally.
Stephen Colbert, spoofing Fox News pundits, accused Mr. Mulally of being a communist. Mr. Colbert argued he’s a “pinko” because he supported the 2009 government bailouts of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.More »
Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 3:43PM EST
Turbos, turbos everywhere. Car companies are pushing the benefits of turbocharging as a brilliant approach to squeezing out better fuel economy without sacrificing power.
Is that the case? A definite maybe.
Take Ford Motor’s EcoBoost engines. They do offer the potential for fuel savings, while giving drivers access to crisp acceleration. Thus the name EcoBoost – “Eco” for fuel economy and “Boost” for performance.More »
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 6:45AM EST
Despite suggestions by Toyota and the International New York Times, cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells are not on the cusp of a “Prius moment,” says Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Nissan-Renault Alliance.
“The challenge is mass marketing,” he said, following Toyota’s unveiling of a hydrogen fuel cell car that the world’s biggest auto maker says will go on sale “around 2015.”More »
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 11:54AM EST
General Motors CEO Dan Akerson could step down as early as next year, says a Reuters report, and with his departure we will close the book on what was arguably the most successful industrial bailout in history.
I should caution that Akerson, says Reuters, has not given GM’s board any formal retirement notification. But earlier this year his pay packet changed and that hints at the future. A securities filing shows the CEO was not awarded any restricted stock units last year, “in acknowledgement of the possibility of his retirement before the completion of the three-year vesting period” which, says www.just-auto.com, would be in 2015. At the very latest, Akerson will surely be gone by 2015.More »