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Chrysler says Cherokee production delay will not cause sales setback
The launch of the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee has been delayed about one month, though Chrysler has assured dealers they will have ample inventory by fall. “With sales planned for September, this gives them roughly three months to work out issues," says AutoPacific's Dave Sulllivan. "The Jeep customer is astute and (Chrysler) needs to make this a grand slam."
Tesla: Consumer Reports' best car ever tested
Consumer Reports is calling the Tesla Model S the best car it has ever tested, scoring a 99 out of a possible 100. While the Lexus LS460 received this same score in 2009, no car at any price has ever scored higher. The question remains, however, can Tesla maintain its momentum? AutoPacific's Ed Kim believes Tesla will have to move beyond this car. "Ultimately, Tesla's going to have to transition from building six-figure cars for bleeding-edge early adopters to making a car for a more general audience.
Why Luxury Sales Could Thrive in 2013
Luxury car sales improved 12.3% during the first three months of 2013, outpacing the industry's 6.4% gain. Does that mean luxury cars are making a comeback? AutoPacific's Ed Kim comments on the probability of luxury car sales improving over time. "There will be a greater market share for those vehicles because it's people who can afford those vehicles who tend to be into buying new vehicles in general."
Automakers pitch green cars for saving money, not the planet
As Tesla, GM and Nissan all try to boost sales of electric vehicles, the advertising focus has shifted from environmental benefits to economic benefits. According to AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan, "The environmental play hasn't worked out in anyone's favor so far...They have to sell the benefits of why you would need this on a day-to-day basis."
GM, Ford look to the past for Chinese concept cars
AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan shares his thoughts on the recently unveiled Buick Riviera and Ford Escort concepts at the Auto Shanghai 2013 show. For the Escort, Sullivan says it's highly unlikely the U.S. will see the Escort concept, but elements from the car could make their way to the states if they play well in China. The Riviera could provide an idea of the direction for some design cues for the brand.
U.S. taxpayers could wind up with Fisker assets
As struggling automaker Fisker Automotive laid off most of its workers, analysts said the move likely signals the death of the company. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan commented, "The race is over for them now...Expect the assets to be sold for pennies on the dollar."
Jeep Takes Radical New Turn with Cherokee
The Jeep Cherokee is back! But will its new, more aerodynamic design keep buyers away? Jeep announced on Wednesday at the New York Auto Show the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee, replacing the Liberty. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan thinks the drastic redesign will cost Jeep some loyalists. "This is not an edgy brand. It's all about the off-road design and capability."
Kia compact coupe, hatchback go turbo
Kia just revealed its hot Forte coupe at the New York auto show, following on the heels of the hatchback introduction at the Chicago show in February. AutoPacific research shows that small, turbocharged sporty cars are among those most favored by young car buyers. Could these new Forte versions be young consumer favorites?
Family car demand grows behind better deals, fuel economy
Nearly one in six new cars sold in 2012 came from "family cars," a large part due to six redesigns for 2012 or 2013: Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Passat. According to AutoPacific's Ed Kim, "All things being equal, the American consumer will tend to go for the largest vehicle they can get into. So when a "family car" is getting highway fuel economy that's well into the 30s or high 30s, there's no reason to downsize.
GM puts engineers, cars on the fast track
Mark Reuss, General Motors' North America president, is seeding the automaker's racing operations with engineers who spend time helping Chevy and Cadillac racing teams, and then rotate back into product development. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan agrees with this approach saying GM needs people who aren't wedded to traditional long-term product development cycles. "They need people who can address issues in more rapid fashion than they have in the past."