Jeep, No Longer Unstoppable, Desires to Repair Its Game in an Overlooked Market place

2016 Jeep Wrangler

Right after posting sales gains that most automakers would sell their souls for, Jeep’s skyrocketing climb hit the upper limits of the atmosphere in September, with sales dropping by three % compared to the very same month a year ago.

Perhaps the Jeep brand is not larger than Jesus. With the new vehicle marketplace cooling off and two of its oldest — but nonetheless strong-promoting — models being pared down to 1, Jeep requirements to branch out to preserve the momentum going.

It has products up its sleeve — a Wrangler pickup and $ 140,000 luxo-ute to name a couple — and has factories planned for developing nations everywhere, but Jeep could reap a sales reward if it stopped screwing up in a single obvious but overlooked marketplace.

With the exception of the American Southwest, Australia seems tailor-made for the Jeep brand. There’s warm temperatures, beaches, desert, and a patriotic thirst for off-roading and automobiles that buck the norm. Hell, the place is almost all rural.

And but, Jeep sales are dwindling to pathetic levels Down Beneath. What went wrong at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia?

For starters, the firm was rocked by a scandal, with FCA Australia suing former Jeep boss Clyde Campbell for allegedly misusing $ 30 million in funds throughout his 3-year stint (2010-2013). His successor Pat Dougherty, stepped down (or was pushed out) in August, two years into his 3-year contract.

In 2015, a record-setting year for Australian new car sales, Jeep saw its sales tumble 19.7 percent. That is a tally of 24,418 Jeep vehicles for the whole year. The last time the U.S. recorded a month-to-month sales figure that low was in 2010. Australian Jeep sales in the first half of this year are down 51 %. Is it a hemisphere factor? What goes up in America goes down in the outback?

FCA Australia’s newest boss does not think so, and feels he knows specifically what the brand’s dilemma is. According to the Aussie publication Drive, Steve Zanlunghi claims the brand’s advertising is all off, and says he desires to reclaim the historically tough, go-anywhere appeal that has drawn clients — military and civilian — to Jeep from Day 1.

“It’s not a cute brand,” Zanlunghi told reporters this week. “It’s not a funny brand. It’s not luxury. It is not pretentious.”

A new ad campaign is poised to launch, a single that takes the place of a panned commercial that had Australians incredulously asking “You bought a Jeep?”

“I inform you I wasn’t terribly satisfied with what some of the path I saw most recently,” Zanlunghi said. “If we don’t comprehend what the brand is, then how do we anticipate dealers to comprehend it and eventually customers, do they know what it is? So I put together a manifesto for what the Jeep brand here is Australia and presented it to our inventive agency and they get it, and then to the national sales company and they get it and ultimately to the dealers and they get it and they’re on board.”

Australia hasn’t escaped the SUV/crossover craze sweeping the planet, with SUV sales up nearly 16 % last year. Industry share for utility vehicles is closing in on percentages noticed in the U.S. If Jeep Australia stops shooting itself in the foot, there’s gold to be found in them there hills.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Vehicle Critiques – The Truth About Vehicles

Low-cost and Green: Volkswagen Desires to Create You a Low-Priced Electric

2015 Volkswagen eGolf Motor

“Do those non-diesel items, only far better,” seems to be Volkswagen’s mantra these days.

The aftermath of the continuing diesel emissions scandal saw the embattled automaker dive deep into cleaner technologies, and it now appears like VW desires its name on a relatively cheap electric automobile, Autocar reports (through Carscoops).

The firm has been bullish on electrification ever given that the scandal broke, but its present financial predicament signifies careful preparing is in order. The standalone EV model would likely ride atop VW’s modular MEB platform, which the company sees as getting a large money saver — when more models commence utilizing it.

If the organization reaps the anticipated rewards of its plug-in platform, it hopes to offer the new EV at a value lower than its electric e-Golf, with a far much better variety.

“The MEB platform toolkit gives us the ideal chance to gain scale by using the platform answer in as many methods as possible,” said Frank Welsch, technical development head for VW. “If we can achieve scale then all sorts of things will become open to us, from decreased fees to more quickly R&ampD.”

The newest version of the e-Golf (which carries an MSRP of $ 28,995, prior to a federal tax credit) arrives in significantly less than a year with a 108-mile range, better than the existing model’s 83-mile range, but lagging that of upcoming models like the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model three.

To stand out from the pack, the firm is aiming for a 310-mile range for its future EV (or a nicely rounded 300 kilometres for metric aficionados), with an ultra-quickly charging time of 15 minutes.

Volkswagen’s green epiphany is not relegated to just battery-powered automobiles and hybrids. Final week, the automaker showed off its new 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, festooned with each and every gas-saving technology it could lay its hands on.

The Truth About Automobiles » Auto Critiques

Hold Up, Ford Desires a 200-Mile EV Soon after All

2013 Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-In Hybrid, Exterior, Charging Plug, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

It seems Ford didn’t want to remain residence from the EV dance.

Just ten days following Ford Motor Organization electrification guru Kevin Layden stated that one hundred miles of variety is just lots, thank you very significantly, CEO Mark Fields is now saying one thing extremely various.

According to Automotive News, Fields was asked about his competitors’ plans for 200-plus mile electric cars for the duration of a conference contact associated to his company’s boffo initial-quarter earnings, and replied that such a automobile was in development.

Tesla and General Motors are at the moment the greatest players in the game. Chevrolet plans to have its 200-plus mile Bolt in production this fall, with Tesla following a year later with its Model three. Regardless of what Layden stated, Ford clearly desires to be a competitor.

In response to the 200-mile EV question, Fields replied, “Clearly that’s anything we’re establishing for,” adding that he desires Ford to be “among the leaders or in a leadership position” when it came to battery-powered automobiles.

Last year, Fields funneled $ four.5 billion towards car electrification, including the improvement of a hybrid F-150 (due by decade’s finish).

The automaker is at the moment attempting to trademark the “Model E” name. Unless the organization is trying to resurrect the Edsel, this model would have to be a totally electric car.

Automotive News states that the Model E will go into production at a newly built Mexico assembly plant in 2019, 1 year soon after Tesla’s infant EV (but likely not before all 400,000 preorders are delivered).

The Truth About Cars » Auto Evaluations

Ford Desires to be Your War Zone Companion

Machine gun practice, Iraq

Confident, most (if not all) cop automobiles provide protection from boring ol’ pistols and AR-15s. But if you are looking to drive into a hail of armor-piercing .30-caliber rifle or machine gun fire, Ford’s got your back.

The company announced yesterday that its Police Interceptor automobiles will now offer you the highest level of ballistic protection among pursuit-rated vehicles.

Ford says the plates inserted inside the doors of its pursuit vehicles will meet the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) National Institute of Justice regular Type IV. The move is a bonus for police officers and delivers bragging rights to Ford, provided that pursuit vehicles from other automakers only meet Type III specifications. Poseurs.

It’s also a move that could increase exports to other countries.

The truth that we design our Police Interceptors around officer feedback is what has made them number one,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer for Ford Police Interceptors, in a statement. “Officers globally told us they needed protection from armor piercing ammunition and we added increased ballistic protection to an currently wonderful product…”

YouTube Preview Image

Police departments can not outfit their automobiles like the ones seen in the last ten minutes of any A-Group episode, so the armor has to be discreetly hidden away inside the body. It can be a tight fit, which means the use of modern day supplies is key.

The protective panels in the Ford Police Interceptors are created of ceramic and a Kevlar-type material but nevertheless add substantial weight to the vehicle’s doors, requiring Ford to test-slam them one hundred,000 times to ensure the hinges could manage the added pressure.

According to the feds, achieving Variety IV ballistic protection means a panel has to be in a position to quit an armor-piercing, 166-grain 7.62 mm NATO round.

A Type III designation implies protection from modest arms fire up to and including a non-armor-piercing 7.62 mm round, which is why it’s widespread to see officers making use of their opened doors as cover from possible gunfire. As a side note, that distinct cartridge has more ballistic oomph than these employed in the AR-15 and AK-47, meaning Type III armor ain’t all that poor.

It is difficult to not see Ford’s announcement as a critique of American culture, but there’s a bright side to it all. Getting Fords with Iowa-class armor indicates smaller police departments won’t have to crowdfund a military-grade armored vehicle.

[Supply: USA Nowadays, Related Press]


The Truth About Automobiles » Car Reviews

Who Desires To Lease A Chevy Cruze For Significantly less Than A Gym Membership?

Mary-Barra-Chevrolet-Cruze

Leasehackr has a screaming deal on a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze Restricted (the old physique style) 1LT Automatic if:

1) You can sell it for much more than $ 13,000 soon after two years
2) You are had been a Costco Auto member prior to Sept. 30
3) You can get $ 1,800 off of MSRP, or thereabouts
4) Max incentives
five) You are a existing lessee of another automaker
six) You don’t thoughts driving a Chevrolet Cruze Restricted 1LT Automatic for two years.

If you ticked every 1 of those boxes, congratulations! You can lease a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze for $ 40 or less*** per month for 24 months.

The math breaks down as such, according to Leasehackr:

Incentives:

  • GM Financial Lease Cash — $ 1,700
  • Incremental Bonus Client Money — $ 1,075 (not obtainable in some locations, including Denver)
  • Chevrolet Bonus Cash — $ 1,000
  • GM Competitive Lessee Conquest Cash — $ 1,500

Add all these up, and knock it off the asking price tag of $ 21,070 and you’re roughly looking at $ 15,795.

Now, ask the Chevy dealer to quite, fairly please knock $ 1,800 off the price of an outgoing Cruze model and you’re sitting at $ 13,995 following it’s all over.

According to Leasehackr, GM Financial estimates that your 2016 Chevrolet Cruze will be worth roughly $ 13,280 soon after two years with 10,000 each year, which tends to make the total depreciation expense $ 715 — or about $ 29 a month. Throw in a month-to-month finance charge of about $ 11, and that is a Chevy Cruze for $ 40 a month.

Exactly where does the Costco membership come in?

If you have been a Costco Auto member ahead of Sept. 30, you can get a $ 700 present card back from Costco for leasing the Cruze. That’s a lot of mayo.

*** You already personal a Chevrolet Volt, you say? Greater news! You can get $ 2,500 Volt Loyalty cash off that Cruze lease, which implies you just scored a 24-month lease for free — or even made cash.

You’re welcome,

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The Truth About Automobiles » Auto Reviews

Hyundai May possibly Make Its Personal Laptop Chips for Autonomous Vehicles Simply because No One particular Desires to Be a Coachbuilder

HMMA Plant Tour (Montgomery, Alabama)

Hyundai is considering creating its own computer chips for autonomous automobiles, which the company expects will be readily offered by 2030, according to Bloomberg.

The South Korean automaker, which is already preparing its vehicles with semi-autonomous technologies, says the technology could be essential to auto generating in the future. Hyundai buys its autonomous driving-associated technology from a supplier, but the director of the automaker’s automotive handle system improvement group didn’t specify the company from which Hyundai buys the technologies hardware.

Hyundai’s announcement could be competitors for Silicon Valley giants such as Google and Apple that are creating autonomous driving technologies to be licenced (Google) or possibly their own cars (Apple). Hyundai creating its own chips could be a way to keep the automaker from becoming merely a sheet metal provider to autonomous automobile technology makers.

According to Bloomberg, the typical new vehicle has $ 333 worth of chips in it, an 11-% boost in the previous four years.

On Monday, chipmaker NXP completed its $ 12 billion buy of processor-maker Freescale to create the world’s biggest automotive chip-making organization, according to Reuters.

Analysts expect that growth in automotive chips will substantially outpace the rest of the electronics sector in the subsequent handful of years as automobiles are stuffed with far more technologies.


The Truth About Vehicles » Auto Critiques

Toyota Desires $500 From Canadian Owners To Repair Odometers (Video)

Toyota Odometer Stuck

Owners of some Toyota vehicles in Canada say that the Japanese automaker is asking them to foot the bill for replacement odometers due to a glitch that will not permit the gauges to roll over right after 299,999 kilometers, CTV is reporting (by means of AutoFocus).

The glitchy odometers are discovered in 2003-2008 Toyota Matrix and Corolla models, and some 2004 and 2005 Toyota Prius models.

There are a couple of videos on YouTube of folks expecting to hit 300,000, but they never ever do.

We reached out to a Toyota spokesman in the U.S. but haven’t heard back. According to the CTV report, Toyota is replacing the odometer but asking owners to pay for the replacement (for now).

The Truth About Automobiles » Vehicle Critiques