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New Hyundai Elantra Gets Timid
AutoPacific's George Peterson got up close and personal with the 2017 Hyundai Elantra, a car he says is "is good looking, but not head-turning like its predecessor." The new Elantra is "quiet, solid and comfortable," and has most of the high tech infotainment and technology features available.
Kia plans first sports sedan next year as it seeks younger, more hip image, report says
Kia Motors plans to launch its first sports sedan next year. Codenamed CK, Kia aims to start producing the sedan in May 2017. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says "Kia hit a home run with the Soul -- they figured out how to keep it fresh and fun. Apply this formula to a rear-wheel-drive sedan and they might be able to go after a younger consumer who is bored with the played-out BMW 3 series but wants to move out of their Soul they have had since college."
2017 Bentley Bentayga: The Bentley Boys Are Busy
AutoPacific President George Peterson writes about the 2017 Bentley Bentayga, arriving in the U.S. this May. Just another SUV for an overstuffed market? Not so, says Peterson, who also says the Bentayga promises to be Bentley’s top-selling vehicle.
FCA to Cut Dodge Dart, Chrysler 200 in Shift to Pickups, Jeeps
Sergio Marchionne announced that FCA will"withdraw the current 200 and Dodge Dart from the marketplace over a prolonged period of time." AutoPacific's Dave Sulllivan contributes his thoughts, saying "They're probably going to be gone in probably two years at the most." Sullivan expects FCA to focus on money-making pickups and Jeeps.
Cadillac CT6 Makes Red Carpet Debut at Oscars
Cadillac will pass on advertising during the Super Bowl this year and instead focus on the Academy Awards. This coastal strategy confronts European makers where they are strongest – on the East and West coasts where 40 percent of luxury sales are made. “This is a living and breathing experiment processing techniques that haven’t been used before,” says auto analyst Dave Sullivan of AutoPacific. “It’s also an experiment in what’s coming from Cadillac.”
Minivan Makeover Seeks to Appeal to New Customers
Minivans have dropped in popularity and sales since their introduction in 1983. Fiat Chrysler is betting on a strong minivan future as they move forward with the new Pacifica minivan, to go into production later this year. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan, driver of a Nissan Quest minivan, says “as millennials start to have children, a generation that went to soccer practice and family outings as passengers in the vehicles will return as prime buyers.”
Mysterious carmaker Faraday to step into CES spotlight
Faraday Future, a somewhat mysterious electric carmarker, plans to unveil a concept car they dub as "the future of mobility" tonight at CES in Las Vegas. As for Faraday's plans, AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan expects Faraday to focus on shared mobility services as opposed to selling cars. “They’re going in a different direction,” says Sullivan. “They want to be a mobility provider, not necessarily a retailer of vehicles.”
Midcycle updates grow more extensive, more expensive
Midcycle updates are no longer just a vehicle freshening, they are more like full makeovers. Tougher competition is just one reason for more extreme midcycle enhancements, and vehicle software that makes changes more feasible is helping automakers. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan contributes his thoughts to Automotive News.
Chevrolet, Toyota raise game in green battle
The all-new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Toyota Prius hybrid are two of the nation's most fuel-efficient cars, according to the latest EPA fuel economy guide, and both are being launched at a time when gasoline is cheap in many states. Despite their similarities, AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says they appeal to very separate types of buyers. "They are very different cars, very different goals in mind."
U.S. Consumers Won't Likely Balk at China-Built Vehicles
With Buick's confirmation that they will offer their first Chinese-built vehicle next summer, AutoPacific's Ed Kim talks about China-built vehicles and their predicted acceptance in the U.S.