September 7th, 2012 at 11:55am
Ford announces its plan to expand and boost sales in Europe. Renault just introduced a small premium sedan for the Indian market called the Scala. Land Rover unveiled the all-new Range Rover which is up to 926 pounds lighter than the outgoing model. All that and more, plus a look at the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.
Thanks for joining us today as we wrap up another week of following all the goings-on in the automotive industry.
FORD EXPANDS IN EUROPE
More news on that big Ford announcement yesterday on how it plans to grow in the European market. It’s going to bore in on the small SUV segment, which it believes will double in size in the next few years. The Brazilian-developed EcoSport and the Kuga will lead the charge, but it’s also going to export the Edge from Canada to Europe, and market it as a premium SUV. All together, Ford expects to sell 1 million SUVs in Europe over the next six years. Before you think that sounds too ambitious, that works out to 166,000 a year which is a very doable number. The company is also going to export the next-generation Mustang from the U.S. to Europe and revealed it will continue working with Fiat in the B-segment. Remember, the Ford Ka is actually made by Fiat in Poland and is based on the Fiat 500 platform. Most interestingly, Ford revealed it is formulating a strategy of how to address the €10,000 segment. The cheapest Ka is priced just over €10,000 with tax, and while the Ford Figo, which is made in India, has a base price of about €5,500 it does not meet European safety or emission standards. Ford needs a four-door car priced under the two-door Ka, and we’ll have to keep track of how they plan to pull this off.
NEW RENAULT SCALA
Speaking of inexpensive cars, Renault just introduced a small premium sedan for the Indian market called the Scala, the fifth vehicle it launched in India in the last 18 months. The Scala is powered by either a 1.5-liter diesel or 1.5-liter gasoline engine. Even though it’s a small vehicle, customers often have a chauffer for this type of car. That’s why it offers best-in-class roominess, leather seating and cup holders in the rear seats. The Scala is available in three trim levels and starts at $12,600.
BIGGER CARS = MORE SALES
Subaru’s sales are up nearly 25 percentthis year in the American market, and yet the company says it could be even better if its inventory levels weren’t so low. Production capacity is completely maxed out. New product is a key component of that growth. The new Impreza, which was launched earlier in the year, is up 150 percent compared to last year and the BRZ sports car is all plus business. But the real key to its success, Subaru says, is that three to four years ago it started making its cars bigger for bigger American customers, and that really helped its popularity in the U.S. With its new crossover called the Crosstrek just launching, Subaru expects to keep its momentum going.
NEW RANGE ROVER REVEALED
The folks at Land Rover trotted out an all-new Range Rover at an event in London, England yesterday. This dramatic-looking SUV is the fourth generation of the iconic nameplate that debuted more than 40 years ago. Like most luxury utility vehicles, today’s Rover is a pig, tipping the scales at three tons! But with the 2013 edition engineers declared war on excess mass. By switching to an all-aluminum chassis they’ve managed trim anywhere from 700 to 926 pounds off the vehicle’s waistline! According to Autoblog the body shell is more than 60 pounds lighter than a BMW 3 Series’! It may be slim and trim but don’t think its gone soft. The company claims the redesigned Range Rover is even more capable off road. An array of powerful engines is offered, including a new diesel-hybrid model. The company is taking orders for this ultra luxurious off-roader right now. The base price in the UK is about £72,000, roughly $115,000.
OLDEST TRADE IN EVER
Car dealers get all kinds of trade-ins. New-car buyers are all too eager to swap their old rides for something fresh, but this story redefines the adjective “old.” WardsAuto reports a Ford store in Santa Barbara, California took a 1929 Ford Model AA truck in on trade! The 83-year-old pickup must be the oldest trade in ever! The dealer’s general manager has not decided whether they’re going to keep the automotive relic or sell it. I vote for keeping it!
Coming up next, a look at the new John Cooper Works Countryman.
JOHN COOPER WORKS COUNTRYMAN
(The John Cooper Works Countryman overview is only available in the video version of today’s program.)
When Friday rolls around here at Autoline.tv we’re all ready for a bit of a diversion from the week’s serious news. So, we turn to our Chief Diversion Officer Craig Cole, who also happens to be the host of RoundAbout. Here he is with more.
Tonight at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time we’ll start the show with another RedLine rundown of the most curious auto news of the week. We’ll tell you about a driver who caused a crash to prevent another and save four lives. And, did you know Jeremy Clarkson and Julia Child were separated at birth? Bon appetit! Plus, we’ll play our brand new game where automotive journalists prove they have absolutely no artistic skill! Join us tonight at Autoline.tv for all this and a lot more.
And that’s a wrap for today, thanks for watching we’ll see you next week.