Most Loved Vehicle Awards – Tesla and Chevrolet on Most Loved Vehicle Awards - Tesla and Chevrolet

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The Tesla Model 3 comes in at the top spot of this year’s Most Loved Vehicle Awards, according to Strategic Vision’s 2018 Customer Love Index (CLI) measure. The same research claims Chevrolet is building strong connections with their products and messages.

CLI puports to measure the amount of love that consumers have for products. Along all aspects of the vehicle, from styling and performance to tire and wipers, “Love” is the holy grail of customer experience. Love directly influences customer loyalty and product advocacy and is measured in terms of “emographics,” or the emotional profile of a population, which is crucial to understanding the “why” of decision-making. Continue reading

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Rubber Soul? First-Ever UX to Celebrate a Sneaker on Lexus 2019 Sole of the UX - a rubber sneaker?

Lexus 2019 Sole of the UX – a rubber sneaker?

Lexus says that to celebrate the launch of the first-ever 2019 UX, a compact crossover, Lexus partnered with designer John Elliott to create the “Sole of the UX” — custom tires inspired by his John Elliott x Nike AF1 shoe.

“The tires re-imagine the classic silhouette of Elliott’s sneaker, embodying the spirit of clean, purposeful, and modern design. Tires that, like the crossover itself, are inspired by and designed for the city,” Lexus said. Continue reading

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Wither US Automotive Sales? Uncertainties Abound

CAR’s latest automotive sales outlook forecasts U.S. light vehicle sales at 16.8 million units for 2019. The forecast includes a continuation of sales declines in 2020 down to 16.5 million units in 2021.

As most know by now, U.S. auto sales thumped most forecasts to end 2018 at 17.3 million units. However, AutoInformed notes that forecasters we respect are not as optimistic about 2019. The latest “on the other hand” cautionary signal comes from the Center for Automotive Research.

CAR notes that there are “many risks to the 2019 automotive outlook: Will 2019 be the start of the economic downturn? How will U.S. trade policies affect the auto industry? Will regulatory and technological developments start to change what products are made and sold in North America?” Continue reading

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Cars for Cheese? EU Turning Point in Japanese Localization on EU Japanese Brand Light Vehicle Production as a Percent of Country Light Vehicle Production - Courtesy LMC Automotive Consultancy

Bloody hell have the British gone daft?

Our friends at consultancy LMC Automotive write that “over the past 30 years or so, Japanese OEMs have been significant investors in the UK’s automotive industry. However, Nissan’s recent decision to cancel capacity expansion plans, and not build the next X-Trail model at its UK flagship plant in Sunderland, could potentially mark a more general turning point in Japan’s commitment to the automotive industry in Britain.”

AutoInformed viewers might remember that we have been flummoxed at the prospect of Brexit – a job destroying machine fueled by xenophobia, the breakup of small villages and resentment over sending Eurocrats in Belgium British Pounds. It’s not only angry white Trump voters who are self-destructive, the UK under the Brexit fiasco is about to lose £9 Billion a year due to a conservative Republican-like temper tantrum that will materially hurt middle class workers, as well as society as a whole. Continue reading

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Midwest Automotive Media Association Family Vehicles of Year on MAMA Family Vehicle Awards - Chicago Auto Show February 2019

“Choosing a family vehicle is an important decision,” said MAMA award coordinator Tim Healey. We agree

The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) announced at the Chicago Auto Show that the 2019 Subaru Ascent has been named the winner of its ninth annual Family Vehicle of the Year award, and the 2019 Volvo XC40 has been named the inaugural winner of the Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year award. MAMA is a nonprofit group of automotive journalists  (including AutoInformed) and public relations professionals. MAMA developed the awards to help car-shopping families make a wise decision when they’re ready for a new vehicle.

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Rolls-Royce: Record Apprenticeship Places Open on Roll-Royce Apprenticeship Program

The ecstasy comes from having a good job.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars says that a record number of places are available for the company’s 2019 Apprenticeship Program. Since the program was launched in 2006, numbers have progressively increased, with 2019 offering a record 31 candidates the opportunity to join the team at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, United Kingdom.

The Program includes, for the first time, Sir Ralph Robins Degree Apprenticeships. Sir Ralph Robins is a Non-Executive Director of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars with a career in engineering and industry. Continue reading

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California Cars and Global Warming: CRC, Kraft-Heinz and Mothers Pay $1.4 Million For Violating Air Quality Rules on US Energy-Related CO2 Emissions 2016

It will be fun watching “states rights” Republicans try to ignore their key belief now that states are increasingly asserting the rights of their citizens to breathe clean and combat global warming.

Three companies paid $1,436,252 to the California Air Resources Board for failing to comply with the state’s consumer products clean air regulations. Kraft Heinz Foods of Chicago, IL, Mothers Polishes, Waxes, Cleaners of Huntington Beach, and CRC Industries of Horsham Township, PA were selling automotive cleaning products that violated air quality regulations.

Neither Kraft Heinz Foods, nor Mothers Polishes has a history of past violations and CRC is considered a “good actor,” going above and beyond with corrective actions. Continue reading

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First Look: 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport Freshening on Nissan 2020 Rogue Sport - Retouched Car

Nissan 2020 Rogue Sport – retouched SUV and retouched photo.

The 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport receives the expected new front-end appearance for the 2020 model year, along with redesigned rear tail lamps, revised trim level and option package content. Set for sale in fall 2019, Rogue Sport follows the rather more significant upgrades for the 2019 model year. These included the addition of optional ProPILOT Assist, Nissan Safety Shield 360 technology*, updated audio system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and an optional Bose Audio System with nine speakers, TK more than the number of seats.

Nissan Safety Shield 360, currently offered on SV and SL grades, will become standard on all 2020 models including the base S grade. It includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), radar-based Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and High Beam Assist (HBA). Continue reading

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Ford Invests $1 Billion in Chicago Plants for Explorer, Police Interceptor, Lincoln Aviator on 2020 Ford Explorer - Chicago Assembly

Jason Hoskins, Ford employee, learns to build the 2020 Ford Explorer – Chicago Assembly, February 2019.

Ford Motor Company is investing $1 billion in Chicago Assembly and Stamping Plants and adding 500 new jobs as it prepares to launch three new SUVs that go on sale later this year. The renovation at the plants beginning in March, will expand capacity to produce the new Ford Explorer – including the Explorer ST and Explorer Hybrid – the new Police Interceptor Utility and the new Lincoln Aviator. The work will be completed in the spring. The additional 500 full-time jobs bring total employment at the two plants to ~5,800.

Ford was the No. 1 producer of vehicles in the U.S. and the leading exporter of vehicles from the U.S., building nearly 2.4 million in 2018, Ford says it employs the most hourly U.S. autoworkers.  Continue reading

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Lagonda All-Terrain Concept to Debut at Geneva on Lagonda All-Terrain Concept - Geneva 2019Aston Martin at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show will show the Lagonda All-Terrain Concept. This is part of the ongoing relaunch of Lagonda as the world’s first luxury zero-emission brand (Tesla is steak and kidney pie?) and the sequel of the Lagonda Vision Concept at last year’s Geneva Show. Continue reading

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Rock Creek Trim Packages Join 2019 Pathfinder Line on 2019 Nissan Pathfinder with Rock Creek Trim PackageNissan has a new 2019 Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition, which goes on sale this spring with a package price of $995 available on SV and SL trims. Nissan says that this is a $1,315 package savings. The Rock Creek Edition special value package offers different Pathfinder exterior and interior treatments. The 2019 Pathfinder is offered in 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive configurations and a choice of four grade levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum.

The Rock Creek package pricing reflects a savings of up to $1,315 versus similar equipment priced separately. It comes on Pathfinder SV and SL grades, in both 2-wheel and all-wheel drive versions, and in a choice of seven exterior colors. Continue reading

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Season of Luxury Lifestyle with Aston Martin on Aston-Martin Monte Carlo Experience

For motorsport enthusiasts there are options, starting with the Monaco in May where guests can enjoy a night-race weekend with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

Aston Martin’s 2019 season of luxury lifestyle once again will provide guests with the opportunity to enjoy access to topnotch events. Art of Living by Aston Martin is “created for those who want to live life the Aston Martin way, indulging in curated lifestyle experiences in areas such as travel, haute cuisine, sport, fashion and culture.”

The season begins in February with the popular ‘Hokkaido on Ice, which sees guests travel to the Tokachi International Circuit in Japan to learn how to find the limit of an Aston Martin sports car on snow and ice alongside specialist Aston Martin driving instructors, before unwinding in a hot spring. Continue reading

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GM Declares Q1 2019 Dividend of 38 Cents on GM Dividend and 2020 Silverado Heavy Duty.

Chevrolet Silverado HD Lead Engineer Jaclyn McQuaid with the 2020 Silverado Heavy Duty.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today declared a first quarter 2019 dividend of 38 cents per outstanding share of common stock. The dividend is payable Friday, March 22, 2019, to all common shareholders of record at the close of business on Friday, March 8, 2019.

GM is counting on the longer, wider and taller Silverado HD to bolster profits. It has a new 6.6-liter V8 gas engine with direct injection with a six-speed automatic transmission.

A Duramax 6.6-liter turbo-diesel V8 engine coupled with an Allison 10-speed automatic transmission is also available – with a max towing capability of 35,500 pounds. The 2020 Silverado HD goes on sale this summer.

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Ghosn to be Gone at Next Nissan Shareholders Meeting

“It’s time to accelerate the shift to zero-emission mobility by working together with all parties concerned,” said then Alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn in 2015.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today held an extraordinary meeting of its board of directors, at which it decided to hold another extraordinary meeting of shareholders in April limited to the following aims: 1) Discharge of directors Carlos Ghosn and Greg Kelly; 2) appointment of Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard as director.

The Nissan move follows a Renault’s Board of Directors meeting on January 24, 2019 at 10 a.m. under the chairmanship of Philippe Lagayette, Lead Independent Director with the resignation of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn. The Board then changed Renault’s new governance structure separating the functions of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. Continue reading

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NASCAR ‘Shocked’ at Cheating. Changes 2019 Season Rules

AutoInformed.comon 2019 NASCAR Rule Changes

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers on the track during testing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on January 31, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

NASCAR announced it will move its post-race inspection to the track immediately following each national race for the 2019 season. If a vehicle fails post-race inspection, it will be disqualified, resulting in a last-place finish and the loss of all benefits from the win/finish, as well as any stage points. All other vehicles will move up in the finishing order under this scenario. It’s an attempt to speed up the scoring process.

NASCAR will inspect the first- and second-place vehicles, as well as a random vehicle, after each race. Previously, full post-race inspections were delayed since they took place at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, NC. This delayed the results and interfered with sponsors and their promotion of participation. Continue reading

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