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Sorry to say this to the Sport Quattro Concept fanatics. If you guys have been hoping for the production of this iconic concept to begin, prepare for your dreams to be quashed. Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Audi Sport, has no interest in producing the said model. Although Winkelmann referred to it as a “nice dream,” he feels like there is so much more to take care of in the company, and that as of now, it is not his top priority. Instead, the Audi CEO is currently focusing on the company’s lineup.
In 2010, Audi initially launched the RS5 concept to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Quattro, as a contemporary version of the original Quattro sports coupe (first launched in 1980 at the Geneva Motor Show). This was followed by an update in 2013 when they presented the Sport Quattro with a hybrid 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 TFSI engine, boasting an output of 690 horsepower (515 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 NM) of torque, wearing a stunning yellow paint.
And just a year later at the 2014 Consumer Electronics show, the red Sport Quattro Laserlight concept made its debut, again with added features such as the laser-assisted matrix LED headlights. Unconfirmed reports say that a production version is in the plans and had long been expected to arrive after all these years of concepts being showcased.Read the entire article Audi CEO confirms there won't be a Sport Quattro Concept production version
If the outspoken chairman and chief executive of Italian sports maker Ferrari, Sergio Marchionne, is to be believed, some of its customers only became Lamborghini’s clients because they couldn’t get their own Maranello-built car.
Speaking before a media forum at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Marchionne made those remarks while answering a number of questions, as thrown to him by the press. He noted during the media forum that the waiting list of some of Ferrari’s car is long, and many failed to make the cut.
Marchionne said that while he has lot of respect for Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali – who once served as principle for Ferrari’s F1 team – he believes those who missed to make the cut for Ferrari cars and were turned away ended up buying Lamborghini vehicles. We wonder how Domenicali would respond to Lamborghini connoted as a second choice to Ferrari cars.Read the entire article Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne says clients who missed the order list became Lamborghini customers
Daimler Group CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche somehow confirmed that there will be a new SUV in their lineup. This announcement came from the CEO himself while on a press meeting at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Unfortunately, he didn’t go over the details. According to Zetsche, “I’d like to say you will be seeing it, but I’ll leave it at that.”
According to rumors, the luxury SUV will be wearing a Maybach badge. If that’s the case, the SUV will be among Mercedes’ Maybach division which also includes the limited edition S650 Cabriolet. For sure, not everyone would be pleased with the idea but some people would also want an SUV with all the luxurious appointments. Even if it gets delayed for a few more years, we think a Mercedes-Maybach SUV would be more than amazing.
Besides, don’t you think it’s about time that Mercedes-Benz comes up with an ultra-posh SUV? In any case, the German brand’s luxury sport utility vehicle will be pitted against Lamborghini’s Urus, Rolls Royce’s Cullinan and of course, Bentley’s Bentayga model.Read the entire article Daimler CEO confirms that we’ll soon see a Mercedes-Maybach SUV
When Ferrari started putting turbocharged engines inside their models, plenty of people were wary and saw that move as controversial. A report by Automotive News Europe reveals that there is another potential controversy brewing as the brand is planning a widespread use of hybrid engines across its product range.
Many agree that it’s acceptable that the LaFerrari was fitted with an electric motor as it meant the power already provided by the internal combustion V12 engine could be increased. The LaFerrari was first revealed during the 2013 Geneva Auto Show. Back then it showed a hybrid system composed of a 6.3-liter V12 engine and an electric motor resulting in a combined power of 949 hp. This power is then transferred to the road through the automatic dual-clutch 7-speed transmission.
However, according to CEO Sergio Marchionne, the shift to electrification is meant to increase the volume of sales for the brand.Read the entire article Ferrari will introduce more hybrid models starting 2019, CEO says
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk revealed that the company’s 2170 battery cell will not only be the best in the world but also the cheapest there is. This was announced during a conference call conducted with analysts wherein he not only discussed this new battery but also discussed the opportunities it had to offer. The battery was created through a collaboration with Panasonic and will be manufactured at the company’s Gigafactory located in Nevada.
While this claim from Musk may appear bold to some, those who know him would likely say such a statement is no longer a surprise. The fact remains that for many companies, the choice has always been to have a cell that is dense but expensive or offer a less expensive version but with less density. The matter of density is the main issue at hand with CEO Musk clarifying his statement stating that when he said the best cell, in reality he meant a battery cell that had the best energy density.
At present, both the Model S and the Model X from Tesla utilize Panasonic’s 18650 battery cells. Also called as the 18-650, this battery cell is 65 millimeters long with a diameter of 18 millimeters. Should the 2170, or the 21-70, follow a similar trend, then it would likely have a length of 70 millimeters with a diameter measuring 21 millimeters.Read the entire article Tesla announces new battery cell that will have best density at lowest price
During the event held on October 28, 2016, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled his company’s latest offering of two solar roof-top panels. At the Universal Studios in Los Angeles, Musk revealed the Powerpack 2 aimed for businesses. It also introduced the high-capacity Powerwall 2 residential battery pack valued at $5,500.
Even before the unveiling, Musk had long been teasing that the company would be coming out with rooftop panels embedded with photovoltaic cell. In addition to the display of the roof-top panels, the event also explained why it was important for Tesla to acquire Solar City, considering that if the merger does not push through, the actual launch of the tiles would prove to be a problem. Also prior to the event, the company installed non-operational tiles on the homes used for the Desperate Housewives show. The tiles appeared normal and this could be why no seemed to notice. However, this is what the two companies wanted.
Once the event started, CEO Musk also displayed a Tuscan-style house whose garage had a roof composed of glass tiles. A quick look and one would fail to see that it was indeed getting energy from the sun. The same house had the rest of its original tiles and according to Musk, this set-up allows homeowners to choose where to put the solar panels should they want to ensure that their homes would look good as well.Read the entire article Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils solar roof panels, Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2
An invitation to discuss a mega merger deal sent via email by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has been turned down by General Motors CEO Mary Barra last March, according to a recent report from the New York Times. Sources said that Marchionne suggested a merger of the global automakers so that they will save billions of dollars and form an automotive giant.
It’s not a surprise that Marchionne sent the email since he has been quite vocal in his plan for a consolidation. Last April 13, Reuters reported that Marchionne wanted a super merger, possibly in the U.S., to eliminate the weaknesses within the company and to strengthen his legacy before he steps down in early 2019.
The New York Times report revealed that Barra and other GM executives weren’t interested in the idea of a merger. Sources said that Marchionne had requested for a meeting and was “flatly turned down.” When Fiat Chrysler posted lower-than-expected in the first quarter, Marchionne made a plea in public to limit the number of players in the global auto industry.Read the entire article GM CEO says no to Fiat Chrysler Marchionne’s merger plan
By the end of the year, UK sports car maker Aston Martin will decide where to build a second plant, according to CEO Andy Palmer. In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Palmer said that the plant is likely to be located in the U.S., particularly in the state of Alabama. This new plant is slated to roll out the upcoming DBX crossover.
Palmer said that the company is in the process of narrowing the possible locations to places where the most DBX models will be sold. He said that its principal customers will be in China and the U.S. However, a location in China will be “difficult” since the automaker will need to enter a joint venture with a local automaker.
It’s also harder to export vehicles from China. The launch of the DBX will be in 2019 as part of the company’s plans to give its annual vehicle sales a boost from 4,000 in 2014 to 15,000. Aston Martin’s lone plant in Gaydon, central England, has limited room for growth.Read the entire article Aston Martin CEO says it might build plant in Alabama to roll out the DBX crossover
Incoming BMW AG CEO Harald Krueger is inheriting a company that’s at the top of its game but he faces the challenge of proving himself a worthy successor to Norbert Reithofer who is making the shift to chairman. At 49 years old, Krueger is relatively young to take on the mighty responsibilities of being the CEO of a company that’s now the leader in the luxury car market.
He takes on the task of taking the reins from 58-year-old Reithofer who leaves without the recommended break of two years. Krueger will have to break from his predecessor’s strategy while managing the changing needs of the industry and the growth of new rivals like Tesla Motors Inc.
Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, said that Krueger hasn’t made much of a mark because of his age but must now “leave his stamp” on BMW while the auto industry undergoes a time of “far-reaching” changes.Read the entire article Harald Krueger is named new BMW CEO, Reithofer stays on as board chairman
Lotus Cars CEO Jean-Marc Gales is confident that the automaker will make a profit once again by 2017 after having lost money for years. Gales, who used to be an executive of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Daimler, has undertaken measures to reduce costs while improving the product lineup since he started overseeing Lotus in May 2014.
However, Gales said that the automaker won’t launch all-new cars until its new China-assembled SUV is released in 2018/19 as he puts the focus on increasing sales and cashflow. He added that in the short term, Lotus will raise sales by modifying the existing three-car lineup.
An automatic transmission has been added to its track-focused Exige two-seater, which is on track to overtaking the entry-level Elise as Lotus’ top-selling model. Gales anticipates that Exige models with automatic transmission will make up 40% of sales.Read the entire article Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales expects to be profitable by 2017
Before Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler, steps down in 2019, he wants to be able to strengthen his legacy and leave the company stronger than before he was in it, according to a Reuters’ report citing sources. To accomplish that, Marchionne is now looking for a huge deal that may possibly be in the U.S.
However, reports say that the company (No. 7 largest automaker in the world) is struggling to reach a deal with anyone. It has big debts under its belt and is barely able to break even in Europe. Its aim to revamp Alfa Romeo will also require a ton of cash to attain.
Several sources say that General Motors is being targeted by Marchionne and Fiat's founding Agnelli family since Fiat Chrysler already has a foundation in the U.S. market but has a weakness in Asia.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler CEO Marchionne hopes to complete giant deal before stepping down
Even as Nissan is investing to advance EV technology, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn believes that the obstacle to increasing sales of the electric Leaf is the need for a bigger public battery-charging network in the U.S. Despite these challenges, Ghosn is confident that Leaf sales in the U.S. can reach 50,000 units a year, a marked increase from the 30,000 units sold last year.
Ghosn said that the automaker is working toward the initial phase of factory capacity for battery modules, built at its Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plant. At the New York auto show, Ghosn was asked if Leaf sales will be able to support Nissan's U.S. investment in EV battery manufacturing.
He replied that a sales volume of 50,000 EVs in North America is well within its capacity. However, he is adamant that there should be additional investment in EV-charging facilities from governments and public-private initiatives.Read the entire article Nissan CEO expects 50,000 Leaf sales per year, cites need for charging infrastructure
If needed, Nissan still has the capacity to produce between 300,000 and 400,000 more vehicles in Japan to support the bid of chief executive Carlos Ghosn to capture 8 percent of the global auto market in 2017.
According to Trevor Mann, Nissan’s chief performance officer, the spare capacity means that the carmaker will not be constrained as it pushes for its market share goal. "We have more than that in available capacity in Japan," he told Automotive News in an interview.
Nissan is considering a number of options to address the capacity issue, including additional work shifts at existing assembly site, Mann remarked. In 2014, Nissan saw sales of its Rogue compact crossover limited in the United States by a shortage in capacity at its Smyrna site in Tennessee.Read the entire article Nissan sites and suppliers prepared for CEO’s 8% global share target
Sergio Marchionne, in his capacity as chief executive of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, received a pay package valued at EUR31.3 million ($34 million) in 2014, according to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. He received EUR2.5 million in salary, EUR4 million in annual incentives as well as other compensation -- bringing his pay package to about EUR6.6 million.
Likewise, non-executive directors green-lighted a one-off cash award of EUR24.7 million to Marchionne to recognize his strategic contribution to the group in 2014, when he was instrumental in the merger of Fiat and Chrysler to create the seventh-larger carmaker in the world.
He will also receive a grant of EUR1.6 million restricted shares, subject to approval by shareholders, as well as a special bonus of EUR12 million that he could only receive when his mandate ends. Marchionne has said he will remain as chief of FCA through the end of a five-year plan, which should culminate in 2018.Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler CEO Marchionne gets EUR31.3 million in pay package in 2014
Jaguar Land Rover needs to have a plant in the United States to remain competitive and continue to grow, remarked chief executive Ralf Speth. However, JLR needs to have a vehicle that could sell between 30,000 and 40,000 units to justify the establishment of a plant in the US. He said that a vehicle made in the US would have be sold primarily in the country as the carmaker does not want to export a large number of US-built vehicles overseas.
In 2014, JLR’s best-selling vehicle in the US was the Range Rover Sport, which volume reached just under 18,000 units. According to Speth, a healthy supply of aluminum would be essential since JLR is planning to use aluminum space-frames for all its vehicles and use aluminum components extensively.
He remarked that the supply and quality of aluminum would improve in the US with the launch of the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 pickup and with the expected surge of new vehicles with increased aluminum content.Read the entire article Jaguar Land Rover needs US site to grow and compete, says CEO
While carmakers are racing to add more gadgets into their vehicle offerings, Group Lotus is removing them, so says its chief executive Jean-Marc Gales. He told Reuters in an interview that the carmaker’s customers have no intention to let go of the wheel. Gales noted that while Lotus’ analogue models like the Evora flagship may eventually be equipped more digital controls, electronics and software, the priority is a return to the lean essentials -- which means getting rid of unnecessary gadgets.
"We had an electronically opening glove box, which in a sports car is worse than useless," he remarked at the Geneva auto show, adding that he took it out. While Lotus is resisting adding more gadgets to its models, it found hard to resist other trends. For instance, the next Lotus vehicle could be a crossover SUV, Gales remarked.
Lotus has been known for its aluminum chassis technology that results to stronger yet lighter material. Lotus is also known for its VH architecture used by a generation of Aston Martins.Read the entire article Group Lotus CEO preferring an SUV as its next vehicle
Takanobu Ito announced plans to step down as President and CEO of Honda Motor Co. He named Takahiro Hachigo, who currently heads the carmaker’s r&d, purchasing and production in China, as his successor. Hachigo will commence on his new role as president and chief executive. In a statement, Honda said Hachigo’s appointment will be confirmed during the carmaker’s annual shareholders’ meeting that month.
Honda named Ito as its CEO in 2009. Since then, Ito has been leading a carmaker beset by a number of challenges like the 2011 Japanese earthquake-tsunami disasters; a period when a strong yen eat on the carmaker’s profit; and a global recall of millions of vehicles fitted with possibly defective Takata airbags tied to six deaths.
No thanks to a series of recalls in Japan, Ito was forced to delay several product launches and overhaul the carmaker’s r&d strategy. The reforms that Ito has introduced are just beginning to take shape, and Hachigo vowed to continue what his predecessor has started. For instance, Ito retooled the r&d division to slow development, add extra quality checks and cut the onerous workload -- all just disclosed in 2014.Read the entire article Takanobu Ito is stepping down as Honda CEO in June
Retired General Motors chief executive Dan Akerson believes that Apple Inc. should not venture into car-making and instead get more involved in auto electronics. “I think somebody is kind of trying to cough up a hairball here,” Akerson told Bloomberg in a phone interview. He said that if he was an Apple shareholder, he would be highly suspect of the long-term prospect of “getting into a low-margin, heavy-manufacturing” business.
He remarked that the auto industry is harder than people realize because of the regulatory and safety requirements. He said those who were not operating in the auto industry have a tendency to underestimate.
He said that Apple could find more potential in working with carmakers in areas of electronic operating systems and entertainment equipment. He even remarked that he would have turned over the infotainment and interconnectivity of every GM car to Apple when was still GM’s CEO. Akerson was GM’s top honcho from 2010 to 2014, when he stepped down to care for his wife.Read the entire article Apple should stay away from car-making, says former GM CEO Dan Akerson
Dieter Zetsche will receive EUR8.36 million for his role as chief executive of Daimler AG in 2014, around 1.2 percent higher than he got in 2013 at EUR8.25 million. His base salary remains at EUR2 million. His remuneration also includes a short-term bonus of EUR1.73 million, a medium-term bonus payable in 2016 that depends on share performance, and long-term variable compensation that also entails stock options.
The extra pay comes after Mercedes posted higher sales growth in 2014 at 13 percent, which beats the pace posted by larger German luxury rivals BMW and Audi. Thanks to strong deliveries for its flagship S-class sedan and the GLA crossover, Mercedes was able to deliver over 1.65 million vehicles last year, but is still behind Audi by 91,090 and BMW by 161,709.
Combined pay, bonuses and stock options for Daimler's management board, however, dropped 5.6 percent to EUR28.5 million after Andreas Renschler, former head of manufacturing and procurement, jumped ship to Volkswagen in January 2014. Excluding Zetsche, the base salary of the management board jumped an average of 5 percent.Read the entire article Daimler raises Dieter Zetsche’s pay by 1.4 percent after record sales in 2014
Takanobu Ito is determined to fend off moves for his ouster as the chief executive of Honda Motor Co. and is even looking to extend his term by another two years, four people privy with the matter told Reuters. Ito is said to have upset former Honda executives as well as it long-term local suppliers by looking for global suppliers to cut its costs.
One retired executive at Honda said that Ito’s moves have thrown group suppliers into disarray, adding by the way things are going, these local suppliers could become subcontractors with “no technologies of their own." Two of Reuters’ sources said that that despite the calls for his removal, he is determined to see his reforms through.
A Honda divisional head told the news agency that since the start of 2015, Honda has been operating on the assumption that Ito will continue as CEO, adding that the top honcho has a 70-percent chance of keeping his job.Read the entire article Honda CEO determined to defend self against possible ouster
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