July 27th, 2010 at 11:32am
Pricing is announced for the Chevy Volt today, and reports say it won’t be cheap. Hyundai unveils the all-new Avante, which is known as the Elantra in the American market. Toyota delays U.S. production of the Prius for several years. All that and more, plus we take a tour of the factory in Trollhättan, Sweden where Saab is building the new 9-5.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
This is Autoline Daily for July 27, 2010. And now the news.
EV STICKER SHOCK
And boy is there a lot of news about electric cars. GM is going to officially announce the price of the Chevrolet Volt today. Bloomberg reports that it’s going to cost about $40,000, which is exactly what GM told us it would cost several years ago. We’ve also learned that GM is going to start selling the Volt in China, along with an electric version of the Chevrolet Sail and a hybrid version of the Buick LaCrosse.
ZOE IS EV BARGAIN
Meanwhile, in Europe, the French newspaper Le Figaro reports that Renault announced the price of its electric car, the Zoe, will cost under €15,000, or just under $20,000. That includes a €5,000 credit. And customers will have to pay €100 a month to rent the battery. Even so, that gives it about the same price as a Renault Clio with a diesel engine.
PORSCHE COMMITS TO EVs
And sticking with the EV news in Europe for the moment, Porsche announced it is definitely going to come out with an all-electric sports car. It is going to build three electric Boxsters to start developing the technology. But it does not say if the Boxster is the EV it will put into production.
PRIUS PRODUCTION DELAYED FOR U.S.
Now we switch from EVs to hybrids. Toyota says it is not going to build any Priuses in the United States until 2016 at the earliest. Reuters reports that the Prius will probably be built in the U.S. when the car gets remodeled. So it sounds like it’s not going to get remodeled for another 6 years. Toyota built a new assembly plant in Mississippi ostensibly to make the Prius. Instead, it will make Corollas, which is where Toyota moved production of that car after it closed the NUMMI plant in California. Toyota says it wants the U.S. car market to recover before it produces the Prius in the U.S. But sales of the Prius are up 18% this year. Sounds to me like Toyota is hedging its bet on hybrids, what with all these electric cars about to hit the market.
HYUNDAI AVANTE (ELANTRA)
Hyundai revealed the new Avante in South Korea, which is known as the Elantra in the U.S. market. The best selling model in the company’s line-up worldwide will be powered by a 1.6L four cylinder with direct injection and mated to a six-speed automatic, developed completely in-house by Hyundai. Fuel economy is about 39 MPG, or 6.1 l/100km. And there are features available that you wouldn’t expect in a vehicle this size like a parallel park assist system, heated rear seats and HID headlamps. The Avante goes on sale next week in South Korea.
CHRYSLER SWITCHES TO SIEMENS PLM
Siemens announced that Chrysler will use its PLM Software for product design and development for its vehicles. Chrysler has been using part of its software since 2008 and now will use a more comprehensive version, known as NX, to develop vehicles. Prior to using Siemens PLM Software, which is what Fiat uses, Chrysler used Catia software.
FORD TO EXPAND CHINA LINE-UP
Ford CEO Alan Mulally revealed that the company plans to sell all of its models in China. According to Gasgoo, Mulally said Ford is working on growing its operations in China in order to bring its vehicles to the country as quickly as possible. This includes the new Explorer, which Mulally said will be in China next year. The current model is already sold in the country.
EXPLORER DROPS A GRAND
And sticking with Explorer news for the moment, the Detroit Free Press reports that the base price will start just under $29,000, about a $1,000 less than the previous Explorer.
Coming up next, we’ll take a look at how Saab is manufacturing the new car that will make or break the company.
The new Saab 9-5 is a critical car for the company. If it doesn’t do well, there will be no second chance. Isaac Bouchard files this story from Sweden about how the car will be manufactured.
Thanks for that report Isaac.
And that is the top news in today’s global automotive industry. Please join us tomorrow for the next update on Autoline Daily.