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Alan Mulally to continue advising successor Mark Fields after stepping down in July

Alan Mulally, outgoing chief executive of Ford Motor Co., plans to continue advising successor Mark Fields, while keeping in contact with the carmaker. Mulally is slated to step down from his post in July. “I’m going to stay close to Ford going forward,” he told Bloomberg Television in an interview.

Mulally was expected to step down by the end of 2014, but Ford said the CEO had decided to exit six months earlier than planned to make way for Fields. People with knowledge of Mulally’s plans told Automotive News that the CEO has been lining up a corporate post -- probably as a board director or chairman.

Mulally said the Bloomberg TV interview that he had fallen in love with Ford, adding that it is “a great company.” Mulally jumped from Boeing Co. to Ford in 2006, and became the mastermind of the carmaker’s turnaround from a near bankruptcy.

Read the entire article Alan Mulally to continue advising successor Mark Fields after stepping down in July

Skoda Scala is the newest compact model from the Czech carmaker

At the 2018 Paris Motor Show earlier this month, Czech carmaker Skoda unveiled the Vision RS Concept. According to Skoda, the new Vision RS doesn’t just show how its RS models could appear in future, but also foreshadows a new model in the compact car segment. Now, Skoda has finally confirmed the name of that new compact model – the all-new Skoda Scala.

Skoda reveals that the newest nameplate in its lineup derives its name from Latin word ‘scala’, which when translated would mean ‘stairs’ or ‘ladder.’ Thus, Scala signifies the next step forward for Skoda in the compact segment. Furthermore, the Skoda is taking a leap forward in terms of technology, providing the new Scala with innovative features that so far only offered in vehicles belonging to higher segments. Moreover, the Czech brand has also taken a number of several major development steps forward.

Interestingly, the Scala is the first Skoda series production model in Europe to feature the “Skoda” lettering -- instead of the Skoda logo -- in the center of tailgate.

Read the entire article Skoda Scala is the newest compact model from the Czech carmaker

Direct replacements for the BMW i3 and i8 are not a sure thing yet

BMW fans may be surprised with what the car manufacturer’s boss Robert Irlinger said in a recent interview with Autocar during a recent media meeting. And this is the fact that the BMW i3 and BMW i8 will not necessarily be receiving direct replacements.

So what should fans expect instead? For the i8, the automaker is still deciding on what to do with it, though they did say that there definitely is a market for new types of sports cars. But since there is no concrete plan for this yet, they do not have a name for it just yet and that it is still under discussion.

In other words, the company plans to create vehicles that will cater to a particular market - this could be as small as a niche market. For instance, the i3 was built as a pioneer electric car for the manufacturer. As for the i8, it showcased electric technologies.

Read the entire article Direct replacements for the BMW i3 and i8 are not a sure thing yet

Ian Callum claims that the Jaguar XJ successor will be a special one

It was sometime in early 2017 when we last heard from Jaguar regarding the XJ’s successor at the New York Auto Show. At that time, it was the general manager of North American product management, David Larsen who talked about the up and coming XJ. Ian Callum, who is in charge of Jaguar’s design, told CAR Magazine that the new range topper is “nearly signed off”. And so we are assuming that we will be seeing the XJ in one version or another very soon. With all the developments going on in Jaguar, this is surely exciting news.

Callum gave us a little more idea of what is happening internally, and apparently, there have been a lot of arguments regarding the XJ’s direction – specifically on where the next generation model should go. So the team ended up deciding that the XJ’s successor will be “something quite special”.

However, they did not share further details apart from that. If you were not aware, the outgoing XJ was actually launched in 2009 and it is the oldest model in its class today. With very little detail about the upcoming XJ, Callum also adds that we will not see the model any time soon as it will definitely not come out in 2018.

Read the entire article Ian Callum claims that the Jaguar XJ successor will be a special one

Alfa Romeo has been working on revitalizing its product portfolio, beginning with the Giulia and the Stelvio. Other than those two, the Italian automaker also has plans on adding a larger crossover in the lineup too, but what will that be? Well, if our sources are reliable, the automaker was said to be looking into two new vehicles, namely the 4C and another model that will be the successor of the Giulietta.

Roberto Fedeli, Alfa Romeo’s chief technical officer told Auto Express, said that they will need a few other pillars, to put in the C-segment, as well as a much sportier model, for them to be able to complete the Alfa range of products.

Alfa Romeo is also considering a shortened version of the Giulietta, which will be the shortened version of the Giulia sedan’s platform, and it will likely be a rear wheel drive as well. And take note, that this is a rare territory for C-segment hatchbacks, kind of like the formula of the BMW 1 Series hatch. The thing is, Alfa and FCA will have to make sure that it is worth their time, money, and effort to re-enter that segment.

Read the entire article Alfa Romeo will add 2 new models to its lineup: a Giulietta successor and a new 4C

We first saw the Galibier Concept eight years ago when Bugatti unveiled it. But today, it seems like they still have not given up on the development of an ultra-luxury sedan.

Wolfgang Durheimer, president of Bugatti, said in an interview with Automotive News that the four-door model "is not dead". Though he did not elaborate on this statement, he said that by 2018, its future will be determined by the Volkswagen Group executives.

If the automaker's plan pushes through, we can expect to see this model by 2024, and this model may actually replace the current Chiron, considering what Durheimer said will be a "one-model brand" for the future.

Read the entire article Bugatti might replace the Chiron with an ultra-luxury sedan

In an interview involving Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali and Automotive News, the topic about the Urus was thoroughly discussed. This super SUV is scheduled to make its debut later this year. Domenicali also told them that the Urus should be in the hands of customers by mid-2018. With a starting price of less than €200,000 ($223,000), the company expects it to play a major role in terms of sales, expecting to sell over 7,000 units annually by 2019. There were exactly 3,457 supercars that left the Lamborghini factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese last year.

Besides the Urus, Domenicali revealed to Automotive News that the niche market is analysing the prospects of developing a four seater sports car, when asked about Lamborghini’s plans beyond the hot SUV - making the interview much more interesting. But don’t be too excited, as they company has planned for its release in the “2025 to 2030 horizon”, that is a long time from now.

Not so long ago, there were rumours that Lamborghini’s fourth model will take inspiration from the past. What they really meant was that the timeless Miura might get a modernized interpretation, according to Domencali. But like he said, though it receives a stamp of approval, the 21st century Miura will not be out in the next coming years.

Read the entire article Lamborghini Miura successor is being considered

From the moment that Ferrari pulled the wraps off the LaFerrari, each of the 500 examples has been spoken for albeit the seven-digit price tag. As it is armed with a hybrid powertrain that delivers a combined 950hp and 664lb-ft of torque, not to mention its very superb design, it isn’t hard to realize why the hypercar nearly sold like hot pancakes.

Besides, it is unusual for an upcoming car (then Enzo’s successor) to have been built on so much hype. There were endless teasers, concept drawings and even wild speculations concerning the LaFerrari’s specs before its debut. At the end of it, the Italian hypercar boasts a high revving V12 engine with electric motor featuring HY-KERS (or Kinetic Energy Recovery System that is), which charges the batteries either by means of the engine or with the use of regenerative braking.

The 6.3-liter engine has a peak power of 800PS (789hp) at 9,000 rpm. To push the hypercar’s total power output by up to 963PS (950hp) and 900Nm (664lb-ft) of powerful torque, the electric motor ekes out an additional 163PS (160hp). With both power plants working at the same time, the LaFerrari can sprint from 0-62 miles per hour (0-100km/h) in less than 3 seconds and 0-186mph (0-300km/h) in 15 seconds before reaching a top speed of 217mph (350km/h).

Read the entire article Check out these renderings of Ferrari LaFerrari successor a.k.a. LaRossa

You probably heard about Ford’s CEO Mark Fieldsdeparture from the company. Fields has spent almost three years with the company, and now, he is going to be replaced by Jim Hackett, chairman of Ford Smart Mobility.

If you didn’t know why he was ousted, the former CEO had a difficult situation to handle - that is “to develop an autonomous car, and to be a worldwide guy”. The company basically gave Fields an impossible task considering the timeframe he was given.

The company even criticized him earlier this month during the annual shareholder meeting regarding the Michigan-based company’s sluggish financial results. This issue began when the company’s market capitalization fell behind Tesla’s earlier this year. Some even say that this action by Ford was unfair for Fields, since it is very difficult to compete with Google’s autonomous car space, the Alphabet, and Elon Musk of Tesla.

Read the entire article Former Ford CEO Mark Fields rumored to be sent home with $57.5 million

Ford Motor Co. now has a new man on the top, and he goes by the name of Jim Hackett. Effective May 22, 2017, Hackett is named the new president and chief executive officer of Ford, replacing erstwhile top honcho Mark Fields. In his new role, Hackett is now reporting directly to Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

Along with Bill Ford, Hackett outlined three main objectives for the carmaker: to sharpen Ford’s operational execution; to modernize the company’s present business; and to transform the carmaker to meet future challenges.

Hackett was formerly vice chairman of office furniture giant Steelcase (2014 to 2015). Before that, he was the company’s CEO, until his retirement in February 2014. In total, Hackett spent around 30 years in Steelcase, and is widely credited in guiding the company to becoming a global leader in the office furniture industry. He was instrumental in transforming Steelcase from just a traditional manufacturer to an industry innovator positioned as the #1 in the world.

Read the entire article Ford names Jim Hackett as its new CEO

The other day, we were just wondering whether the 2018 Skoda Karoq was a successor of the larger Kodiaq. But since the company said that the Yeti was discontinued for something more exciting, we thought that maybe the new compact crossover will be the one replacing it. Turns out we were right - Skoda officially announced that the 2018 Karoq is the Yeti’s successor.

After a long wait, the company is finally ready to unveil the compact crossover, as the Yeti’s replacement. Not only did it get a new name, it seems to also have been influenced by the Kodiaq’s design, albeit a mini version of it, especially at first glance.

The Czech company announced that the Karoq will be available in the second half of 2017.

Read the entire article 2018 Skoda Karoq is officially the Yeti successor

Well, you guys don’t have to wait too long for its debut. And even before Thursday, a sneak peek of the compact crossover has been posted online to ease the anticipation. Though the photos are much of a tease, despite the fact that one of them is just a silhouette, and the others are still in their camouflage, we can sort of imagine how it looks like already. First of all, we can tell that it is a mini version of its big brother - like a Kodiaq built on a 75-percent scale, and both models resemble one another a lot.

The Karoq was built with slightly larger upper headlights, and the lower ones have been reshaped. Its rear end has new LED taillights that extend onto the upper area of the electric trunk lid. Like I said, it is very similar to the Kodiaq with only subtle changes.

Inside the cabin, the Karoq will be getting Skoda’s newest infotainment system in glass - like the one in the facelifted Octavia and Kodiaq. Aside from that, it will be equipped with an all-digital instrument cluster which is something new from the Czech automaker. Other details include an electric parking brake and glossy black bits, and of course, LED ambient lighting in ten different colours that customers can choose from.

Read the entire article Skoda releases teaser photos of the Karoq crossover

Surely, you guys are all familiar with the scene when a local store goes out of business: usually, a big “CLEARANCE SALE” shows up, waving you inside, urging you to make a last-minute shopping before it closes up for good and you miss all the good stuff you could’ve bought back when it was still in business. Well, this may be some kind of business strategy for some in the hopes of increasing their sales before that “closing date”.

This scenario is actually very similar with how Ferrari goes on with its business – not that we’re saying this automotive tycoon is going out of business because we don’t think it ever will. The point is, Ferrari likes making these “last chance” vibe every now and then, especially with their hypercars, making you feel sorry for not being able to purchase one when you had the chance. But of course, this “last chance” strategy works really well (apparently for those who can afford these hypercars) and only means that there’s something better in store – the latest example is the Ferrari LaFerrari.

According to Ferrari Chief Technology Officer Michael Leiters, a better replacement (read: faster and stronger) of the Ferrari LaFerrari is in the works, and may be available three to five years from now. From reports, this new hypercar will come with more innovative technologies but will also be practical for road use. Looks like we’ll have to make another countdown, eh?

Read the entire article Successor of Ferrari LaFerrari in the works – coming three to five years from now

As the loveable 2nd-generation Skoda Yeti will be possibly geared towards an apparent retirement, Czech automobile manufacturer Skoda has recently confirmed that a new member will join the ranks of its predecessors, a Tiguan-related medium SUV that will be known as the Skoda Karoq. The all new crossover will have its global debut on May 18 this year in Stockholm, and sales in Europe will begin in the latter part of this year.

Rumors were indeed true, as Skoda will be saying goodbye to the its esteemed Yeti. The new name is indeed catchy, with the moniker based on the same language that also gave us the Kodiaq- the Aluttiq folks, who are indigenous tribes hailing from the Kodiak Island archipelago situated off the southern coast of Alaska. The Skoda's Kodiaq is named for the bear that is known as the Kodiak in English, with the q being substituted to serve as a tribute to the Alutiiq, where they name the bear as Taquka'aq. Morevoer the name Karoq is drawn from the words "Kaa'raq" which means car, and "Ruq" which means an arrow.

As the sibling model of the Volkswagen Tiguan and SEAT Ateca, the all new Skoda model will have the group's dynamic MBQ platform and will be geared with 2 gasoline and 3 diesel engines that will produce 115 hp (85 kW) and 190 hp (140 kW). The brand new 1.5 L TSI unit with cylinder deactivation akin to the Golf model improvement will also be provided, and the 190 hp 2.0 L diesel will be set as the standard with the all-wheel drive and 7 speed DSG. Moreover, the 5 seat Karoq will have a front-wheel drive system identical to its 2 siblings, however the higher specs variants will be the only models to be equipped with AWD. The 6 speed DSG transmissions and manual will also be offered.

Read the entire article Skoda Yeti successor announced, meet the Karoq!

Porsche is laying aside any plans of pushing another hybrid hypercar into their line-up -- at least not at this time. Oliver Blume, Porsche Global Chief confirmed in a recent conversation with Motoring that a 918 successor is definitely not in the cards right now.

Notwithstanding the fact that Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin are moving forward with a new breed of hypercars, it is unlikely for Porsche to slip out a new 918 Spyder anytime soon.

Blume explained how Porsche usually launched special models every ten years. He said that since the 918 Spyder was just launched in 2015, it makes it quite unlikely for another hybrid hypercar to be in the works.

Read the entire article Porsche 918 Spyder successor not coming in the near future

Fiat's joint venture in Turkey, Tofas, is planning a $1-billion investment to build a family of compact cars replacing the Bravo in Europe. Three new cars will be built starting next year, primarily for export. According to sources of Automotive News Europe, the family will include a hatchback, sedan and station wagon.

The hatchback and the sedan will replace the Bravo and the Linea, respectively. According to Tofas last year, it would invest $520 million to build 580,000 units of a new sedan model. It recently announced that it would produce 700,000 units of a new hatchback and station wagon in Turkey, for a total investment of $1 billion starting this year while the production will run from 2016 to 2023.

Tofas said in a filing with the bourse that a significant portion of the vehicles are for exports, adding that discussion with Fiat on the details for the conditions of investment, sales and procurement are already in the final stage. Tofas saw sales of the Bravo drop 59 percent to 3,078 units in the first nine months of 2014, according to JATO Dynamics.

Read the entire article Fiat’s Turkish JV eyes $1B investment to build Bravo successor

BMW is eyeing to roll out a successor to its Z4 roadster before the end of the decade, development chief Klaus Froehlich told Automotive News Europe. The carmaker could share development costs with Toyota as partners. The carmakers have a cooperation deal that includes a common sports car architecture, collaboration on powertrain electrification and pooling of r&d on lightweight technologies.

BMW is trying to update the car in a cost-effective manner since global demand for two-seat roadsters and coupe has been dropping. “If you look at the volume … we have to realize that these segments are shrinking,” Froehlich said, noting that the body type is not popular in China, which is currently the largest auto market in the world.“

The unpopularity of such in China could be attributed to the preference of customers for privacy, which could be compromised when in a vehicle an open top. Likewise, driving in an open top is not preferable in many of China’s cities, no thanks to the issue of poor air quality.

Read the entire article Successor to BMW Z4 may come before 2020

The Lexus LFA supercar won’t have a successor anytime soon, as the Japanese luxury carmaker plan to will focus on its F Sport tuner packages as well as F-series high-performance variants to boost the marque’s performance image. The main reason, however, lies with the fact that a supercar typically has a very high price tag.

Mark Templin, executive vice president of Lexus International, told Automotive News in January at the Detroit Auto Show that the carmaker doesn’t have a plan for an LFA successor “right now," although a halo nameplate will be offered in the future. Lexus built the very limited LFA -- positioned as the ultimate expression of the brand’s quality and performance -- from December 2010 to December 2012 Toyota City.

The supercar, however, was sold out even before its production commenced. He quipped that when the LFA project was started, it was visualized as a coupe for “people to move up in the family.”

Read the entire article Lexus says it has no plans for a successor to LFA supercar right now

Mark Fields, chief executive of Ford Motor Co., said it is possible that a carmaker would launch a self-driving vehicle within the next five years, although he discounted his company to have the honor as it is focusing on driver-assist technologies. A number of carmakers are working to develop self-driving cars, which should be an answer for a safer transportation.

Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche unveiled at the International CES its own concept of an autonomous car -- the Mercedes-Benz F 015. The Mercedes concept car features four seats that can face each other, rather than the road.

The Mercedes-Benz F 015 is fitted with six screens to enable passengers to monitor information about the vehicle and the outside world through technology that responds to eye movements and gestures.

Read the entire article Ford CEO Mark Fields believes self-driving car is possible in half a decade

Ford Motor Co. has commenced building the aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 pickup, vowing to fully stock its dealers with the vehicle in the second quarter of 2015, according to chief executive Mark Fields. Ford will start shipping the first stock F-150s to dealerships in next month and the retail orders in February.

The carmaker had to spend 10 weeks to install new equipment in its Dearborn truck plant in Michigan to prepare for the production of the new F-150, which requires different assembly techniques from its predecessor, including riveting, adhesive bonding and laser welds.

Once Ford’s Dearborn site reaches full production speed, Ford start revamping its Claycomo assembly plant in Missouri in January to enable it to build aluminum bodied F-150. The launch of F-150 production at the Dearborn site was presided by Fields and Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

Read the entire article CEO Mark Fields says Ford dealers should be fully stocked with F-150s in Q2 of 2015