English Press / Presse anglaise

Keiser University's auto retailing plan

Automotive Business Review - 20 févr. 2017 - 06:01
Keiser University launches its automotive dealership management program this spring on the former Northwood University campus in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Steering supplier JTEKT begins reinventing the wheel

Automotive Business Review - 20 févr. 2017 - 06:01
JTEKT, the world's No. 1 steering system supplier, is preparing for the day that self-steering autonomous cars make its main bread-and-butter products obsolete.

Suppliers' mood turning up, survey finds

Automotive Business Review - 20 févr. 2017 - 06:01
Now that the election turmoil is over, suppliers say they are more confident about business. But they are still anxious about the Trump administration's trade issues.

Amazon could shake up parts business

Automotive Business Review - 20 févr. 2017 - 06:01
Amazon used to be too slow to satisfy aftermarket parts customers. That's no longer the case - and parts makers are taking notice.

Suppliers sort out Mexico options

Automotive Business Review - 20 févr. 2017 - 06:01
Suppliers don't know what impact trade rule changes will bring - but they are thinking about alternatives.

RFJ to expand one-price selling

Automotive Business Review - 20 févr. 2017 - 06:01
RFJ Auto Partners will begin to expand its Hassle Free Buying strategy, a form of one-price selling, to all of its stores starting this year. It currently uses the model at its high-volume Dave Smith dealerships.

Dealer's telephone overhaul answers the call

Automotive Business Review - 20 févr. 2017 - 06:01
Bill Penney Toyota's outdated phone system hurt revenues and damaged customer satisfaction reviews. A telecommunications overhaul turned things around.

Lithia wants FCA stores

Automotive Business Review - 20 févr. 2017 - 06:01
Lithia Motors Inc. is in talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to win a chance to open new stores as the automaker expands its dealership network.

GM’s 9-Speed Automatic Transmission To Be Rolled Out In China

China car times - 19 févr. 2017 - 22:19

In Shanghai, China, General Motors announced today that it will swiftly and extensively release its high-performance nine-speed auto transmission which will be debuting later this year with a large number of SUVs. The cutting-edge transmission technology improves efficiency and enhances performance and is expected to be adopted in 13 different models from Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Buick by 2020. It was a collective global development and was thoroughly tested globally—even in China. The newly developed nine-speed transmission has a 2pc higher fuel efficiency compared to its six-speed transmission counterpart. It implements a start/stop technology which saves fuel in typical traffic situations by shutting the engine down.

China GM’s VP, Global Propulsion Systems; Michael Carman said “GM has made it a priority to bring our company’s most advanced global technologies to China to benefit our local customers. This is enabling us to reduce emissions and maximize the fuel economy of our current and next generation of vehicles.” The 9-speed auto transmission features an overall ratio of 7.6:1, a first gear of 4.69 and for small-Rpm highway cruising it has a top gear of 0.62. This helps to optimize acceleration, minimize engine noise, and optimize fuel consumption while cruising to give you that balanced finesse and performance which you will all love at any speed.

The 9-speed automatic transmission was developed to address the small packaging needs of transversal propulsion systems and it also features an on-axis design which lines the gears with the crankshaft. This is GM’s first use of a one-way clutch that offers selection. These features aim to minimize package size making it loosely equivalent in size to the 6-speed transmission. For accurate and seamless shifts, a special procedure is employed to select the torque converter, gear sets, and clutches. Five epicyclic gear sets are employed having four parked clutches and three rotary clutches which saves on space. Gears transition from the 2nd to 9th gear ratios with clear-cut clutch-to-clutch changes—the clutch is connected to one gear while simultaneously disengaging from another gear.

800,000 Charging Stations To Be Added In China To Aid The Skyrocketing NEV Market

China car times - 19 févr. 2017 - 22:15

In support of the growing new energy vehicles, Chine has decided to set up a total of 800,000 new charging ports this year. Out of the 800,000 charging ports, a 100,000 of them will be public charges and the rest non-public chargers. A majority of the non-public chargers will be used as company charging ports, and charging stations for buses, taxes and commercial transportation vehicles. Currently, there is a total of 150,000 charging stations with two-thirds of them—100,000 having been added last year.

The new charging stations will be mainly set up on highways and cities. The National Energy Administration of China has stated that within the cities of Shanghai and Beijing, there is a charging station within a 5-km radius at all times and that there are fast-charging stations within the 14,000km of highway. The construction period is estimated to continue on until 2020 at the least which is when China predicts to have adequate charging stations to keep up with a fleet of electric vehicles totaling five million.

The new line of new energy automobiles includes plug-in hybrids(PHEV) and electric vehicles(EV). In 2016, a total of 507,000 NEVs were sold in China alone and the country aims to sell 800,000 units of the same. This year’s number of sales include 350,000 passenger vehicles, and the rest is a cumulation of a variety of commercial vehicles and buses. The NEV commercial vehicles have largely grown unnoticed, however, its growth is projected to exceed the number of NEV passenger vehicles.

Huge cities like Shanghai and Beijing are continuously incorporating plug-in hybrid and electric buses at a high rate to their fleet. Additionally, a large number of city-based transportation businesses are adopting electric vehicles employing a wide range of vehicles from mid-sized trucks, minivans to tricycles.

BYD’s Plug-In Sales Plummet Due To The Uncertainty Surrounding EV Subsidies In China

China car times - 19 févr. 2017 - 22:12

2015 and 2016’s largest plug-in electric vehicle manufacturer, BYD, was caught up in China’s uncertain subsidy. There has been a rise in fear amongst Chinese consumers from the last quarter of 2016 with BYD selling only 8000 units last November and December. This was after maintaining 5-digit unit in sales in the several months prior to the end of 2016. Unfortunately, the Tang (278) and Qin (208) plug-in hybrids managed several hundred sales in January 2017 making the situation even worse. This cumulates to a 91pc drop which translates to about 486 sales although there is currently no data on all-electric versions.

At the center of the problem is a government notification from 2016 stipulating that all new plug-in hybrids and all-electric automobiles would undergo an incentive eligibility reevaluation in 2017. This was after a claiming rebate scandal earlier last year. Although it sounds like a brilliant idea, the Chinese government has yet to publish the eligible vehicles catalog for 2017. Which leaves everyone out in the cold since January, and the majority of February.

We can only presume that the plug-in vehicles by BYD which consumers are eagerly waiting for to be inculcated in the new subsidies catalog instead of having to pay the MSRP bill.

Chinese Automaker GAC Motor Plans An SUV Debut In The US Come 2019

China car times - 19 févr. 2017 - 22:09

GAC Motor, a Chinese state-owned Automobile group unveiled its GS7 and GE3 SUVs together with the EnSpirit a plug-in hybrid crossover and the luxurious GA8, during the Detroit North American International Show making it the third time the company appeared. In an interview, GAC Motor executives reported that they hoped to enter the U.S market by 2019 during the auto show and also hope to retail the 5-passenger SUV at a compact car price. Yu Jun, the general manager, and Director said they were in talks to set up a dealer network, comply with US safety policies and have a research center up and running by the end of the year. Being the fastest growing company in China, GAC Motor has been riding its momentum which led to being the first Chinese brand to debut at the auto show.

GS7 SUV

The boxy looking five passenger GS7 SUV features a “Flying Dynamic” 2.0 grille, a cutting-edge 10-inch screen, 29 cubic feet for luggage, wireless charging, a dock for a smart key system and phone. It is likely going to be the first vehicle to reach the U.S. The GS7 has a 107-inch wheelbase and 186 inches of length which add to the roomy interior. It uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, offers 198 horsepower, 6-speed auto transmission and 236 pounds per square foot of torque. According to a translated press release “GS7 carries In-Joy intelligent interaction system which is independently developed by GAC MOTOR, and full of human-centered design with science and technology feeling to offering pleasant travel experiences.”

The interior is fitted with adjustable leather seats, a sunroof with a panoramic view that charms you all the way in. It is expected to debut in the U.S in 2018/19.

 

THE GE3 SUV

The GE3 SUV is the first vehicle to be built using the GAC’s new energy platform and was showcased at the auto show. Sales in China are expected to begin in June. It’s said to output 214 pounds per Square Foot of torque, 161 horsepower, powered by a lithium-ion battery with 47-kWh, a range of 192 miles and gets to 80pc charge in less than half an hour thanks to its fast-charging system.

 

The EnSpirit Concept

This is a futuristic sporty SUV-coupe dubbed as an innovative achievement. According to a press release, “It perfectly integrates the features of the coupe, SUV, and open car, meeting modern consumers’ demands for diversity, which will be embodied in subsequent GAC models to be massively produced.” The plug-in hybrid features a 4-cylinder 1.5-liter engine. It’s unclear on what the output is but it prides itself on having a unique color in both the interior and exterior and most notably a bonsai tree smack in the middle of the console.

Although the bonsai doesn’t beat the fish tank we saw on the WitStar concept vehicle in Detroit 2015, it’s an excellent conversation starter. However, with that said, it is unlikely it will make it to the production line.

 

What We Think

There is always the risk that American may perceive Chinese vehicle as low quality but it won’t be hard to imagine since GM and Volvo are manufactured in China. The GS7 isn’t all that beautiful to look at, but should it have a good pricing it might just give the rest of the car makers some competition. Many believe the G7 will be the first of GAC’s vehicle to enter U.S market though the company has a lot of hurdles and hoops to jump over with regards to U.S standards. No doubt the company is a fast growing one, registering a consistent 97pc increase in sales every year in China alone and plans to enter the U.S market by 2018.

Audi Faces A Bleak Future In Chinese Market Due To Strained Dealer Relations

China car times - 19 févr. 2017 - 22:02

Last month, luxury brand car maker, Audi got the short end of the stick in China’s luxury car consumer market.  Audi registered a 35pc drop in deliveries last January having been overtaken by other luxury car brands namely BMW and Mercedes-Benz. This came as a disappointment considering that in the same month, 2nd-tier luxury car brands, Volvo and Cadillac had strong sales. Audi chalked up the drop to its dealers but ultimately, the company was to blame. The drop was a consequence of the speedy move Audi undertook last year to build up a distribution system with SAIC MOTOR CORP. The move had a lot of retaliation from Audi dealers who are associated with China Faw Group Corp, a partner to Audi.

This is an embarrassing change of situation for Audi, a brand which basically gave rise to China’s luxury consumer car market. Volkswagen, in an effort to avoid the 25pc import tariff, joined up with China Faw Group and started manufacturing Audi vehicles in 1995. Additionally, Audi got a favorable bump up when the government officials took a liking to for Audi’s stretched A6 Sedan. In the course of the two decades that followed, Audi was without a doubt China’s most popular luxury car brand. However, things began to turn south when president Xi Jinping initiated an anti-corruption crusade in 2013.

This saw a decline fleet sales from Audi since government officials rescinded their limousine purchases. But this was just the beginning, to make matters worse, Audi took their time to upgrade their product lineup. However, their rival company, Mercedes saw an opportunity. Mercedes seamlessly repaired their ineffective distribution channel and started to bring out the next generation of crossovers in 2013. This saw their sales skyrocket. Audi made two sour mistakes while under pressure last year. First of all, the company got rid of excess vehicles in their dealerships’ inventories, which made them lose out on money. The second blunder was that Audi signed a preliminary agreement with SAIC MOTOR last year November in an effort to set up a secondary dealership channel.

This came as a shock to Audi dealers, whom later published a cautionary open letter stating that a new distribution network would eventually have deteriorative effects. In an auto show in Guangzhou, the company’s executives had a sit down with the dealers but the talks didn’t appease the angry retailers. Sources from Chinese Media claim that Audi dealers issued a warning to withdraw and rescind ordering Audi vehicles.

Unfortunately for Audi, this wasn’t an idle threat and most of the dealers if not all, have gone ahead and executed that threat. Audi released a statement on Wednesday stating that the plunge in sales was due to China’s local dealers who apparently, had planned a laid-back inventory volume earlier this year. Audi participated in new talks this month with its Chinese dealers in an attempt to resolve the issue. However, the company couldn’t meet the demands of its dealers; an assurance that Audi would suspend its secondary distribution channel plans.

This deadlock forecasts a grim future for Audi. If Audi is unable to come up with a win-win situation with its dealers, then this will drain its market share revenues.

PSA-GM job fears strain Paris and Berlin relations

Financial Times - 19 févr. 2017 - 20:09
France set to avoid the axe with cuts likely at German, UK and Spanish car plants

Opel was once the little engine that could

Automotive Business Review - 19 févr. 2017 - 06:01
Europe has been a drain on General Motors for a long time, but Opel did have its glory days and at least once helped keep GM afloat. Automotive News Print Editor RIck Johnson was there when it happened.

Toyota sees wider window for TRD

Automotive Business Review - 19 févr. 2017 - 06:01
Toyota's expansion of Toyota Racing Development trims across its truck line opens the door for a sporty subbrand that could find its way onto higher-volume products such as the RAV4 and Camry as the automaker chases younger and more affluent buyers.

Nissan Leaf finds its fan base

Automotive Business Review - 19 févr. 2017 - 06:01
Nissan's bold move into electric vehicles with the Leaf earlier this decade looks like a sales flop to many. But there are pockets of the U.S. market where EVs are in demand.

British PM to discuss Vauxhall with Peugeot CEO

Financial Times - 18 févr. 2017 - 16:47
Unions seeks guarantees over jobs at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port and Luton plants

Head of Unite union to meet chief executive of PSA Group

Financial Times - 18 févr. 2017 - 16:47
McCluskey seeks guarantees over jobs at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port and Luton plants

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