March 26th, 2013 at 11:42am
Uh-oh, looks like Australia could be left without any auto shows, as one just got canceled. Subaru just promoted its COO and CFO of America to president of the company’s American operations. Buick released pictures of the new 2014 LaCrosse. All that and more, plus how one automotive supplier is changing its engine components to help meet the upcoming fuel economy regulations.
Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily, have we got a lot to get to today, so let’s get to it.
NO AUTO SHOWS FOR AUSTRALIA?
Uh-oh, looks like Australia could be left without any auto shows. There was supposed to be an International Motor Show in Melbourne in June but it got cancelled due to declining attendance and weak support from automakers. That leaves Sydney as the only city with an auto show, but it’s in danger of being cancelled, too. Actually Australia’s auto industry has always gotten more attention than its size would suggest. With a population of around 23 million people, it’s more than 10 million people smaller than Canada or even California.
SUBARU PROMOTES DOLL
Subaru just promoted Tom Doll to president of the company’s American operations. You might remember him from our coverage of last year’s LA Auto Show. He will also retain his current positions of COO and CFO of Subaru of America. Doll got this promotion because since 2008 the company racked up four record sales years and its market share in the U.S. doubled.
2014 BUICK LACROSSE
Buick released pics of the new 2014 LaCrosse. It has new front and rear LED lighting, a slew of new safety features and can be equipped with what Buick calls an Ultra Luxury Interior Package. Mechanically, however, the car is pretty much a carryover model. Since its introduction in 2009, the LaCrosse sold over 500,000 units making it the most popular Buick model.
CADILLAC CTS GETS ATS MAKEOVER
In other GM news, last week we learned that the Cadillac CTS would be getting a new twin-turbo engine. And now Cadillac released images of what the new version looks like. Very interestingly it picks up a lot of the design cues from the smaller ATS. Cadillac sure is developing a very strong family resemblance between its models, a page that comes right out of BMW’s design book.
JUST SPELL MY NAME RIGHT
Hollywood movie stars rarely appear in car ads because it’s considered just too much of a commercial sellout for their carefully crafted public images. But actually that only seems to apply in the American market. Outside of the United States it’s a different story. Brad Pitt is a paid spokesman for Cadillac ads in China. And now the Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation just signed Nicolas Cage to become the spokesman for the Shen Bao brand, which are cars based off the old Saab platforms that BAIC bought a couple of years ago. Marquee actors like these would never be caught dead hawking Hyundais or Chevys in the U.S. no matter how good the money is.
CHEAP AND CHEERFUL
Everyone knows the Tata Nano is the cheapest car in the world, but there are a couple of cars in China that come awfully close. Right now the cheapest car in China is the Jiangnan TT, which is a copy of the old Suzuki Alto, and has been in production unchanged since the early 1990’s. It sells for only $2,865. That’s more than the Nano’s base price of $2,500. But the Jiangnan TT comes with standard features not found on the Nano, like a passenger side mirror, a radio and two, yes two windshield wipers. But the Zotye automobile company just came out with an updated version of the TT. Meet the Zotye Z100. Kind of a good design that seems to mix design cues from the Scion iQ and the Chevy Spark. But progress doesn’t come for free. The Z100 is priced at $3,828.
Coming up next, a look at how the new fuel economy standard is changing engine components, we’ll be back right after this.
KSPG AUTOMOTIVE GROUP
The fuel economy regulations for 54.5 mpg by 2025 are ramping up quickly, and it’s not just automakers that are designing new technologies to meet those standards. So are parts suppliers. Autoline Daily correspondent Sean McElroy has an report on how one company is responding.
(Interview with KSPG’s Chairman and CEO, Dr. Gerd Kleinert can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)
Thanks for that report, Sean. And that wraps up today’s show, please join us again tomorrow, and on Thursday tune in for Autoline After Hours when our guest will be Ken Kelzer, the Chief Engineer for the all-new Chevrolet Impala. Join me and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo for the best insider information in the business.