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BMW will introduce at least 26 new or updated M cars by late 2020 under overhaul program

Just a couple of days ago, BMW published an image of their long term plan for the next couple of years, and this includes electrifying most of their cars. We also know that the sports division will not build a front wheel drive car, but instead will switch to conventional torque converter automatics in the next six to seven years. A new report from Autocar gives us more details on the company’s roadmap as they prepare for a pretty ambitious revision program in history.

Long story short, BMW aims to launch at least 26 all-new and revised models by the end of 2020. This will consist of 11 true M cars plus 15 “warm” M performance versions of current models. The Bavarian automaker aims to deliver 100,000 units around the globe annually.

Models like the next generation M3, together with the M4 Coupe and Cabriolet, will have a central role in the overhaul program. Sources say that the M3 will make an appearance at Frankfurt Motor Show in 2019, with sales starting a couple of months later. However, it is a bit too early to rely on rumours like that, plus nothing has been confirmed yet.

Read the entire article BMW will introduce at least 26 new or updated M cars by late 2020 under overhaul program

China will impose strict rules on automakers’ use of alternative energy in 2019

Automakers, or any other company for that matter, tend to listen when their largest market starts talking. In this case, it is China that had announced its demands as it aims to quickly facilitate the shift to electric-powered vehicles and other forms of alternative energy. China is urging manufacturers to make this possible. To be more specific, the Chinese government recently set out some rules and a credit system that covers how automakers sell their plug-in hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, and fully electric cars. In other words, these automakers will have to meet these standards in China or risk penalties. If car manufacturers do not meet the requirements, then they will have to use credits or pay a fine. The bottom line is that if they do not shift to alternative energy, they will have to waste extra money.

So beginning in 2019, a minimum energy score of 10 percent must be met by automakers. And by 2020, this will increase to 12 percent. This score will rely on sales of plug-in hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, and fully-electric cars. Credits are earned in the process.

Right now, it might still be a bit confusing because credits for low or zero emission vehicles can differ from one another. To avoid losing credits or getting fined, car makers who build or import at least 30,000 cars to China should start getting into greener options, and dedicate most of their efforts on those. Currently, not many of them have reached fuel-cell levels, so this means the focus is on electric power.

Read the entire article China will impose strict rules on automakers’ use of alternative energy in 2019

BMW has a new plan for electrifying every model you can think of

What has BMW been up to lately? The company recently announced that they are currently focusing on electrification, and so far, their new architecture will enable “electrification of every model series”. In other words, all brands and all models can already be electrified in the near future – as either a full-electric version or as plug-in hybrid powertrain one. The company plans to make these available by the end of the decade. There will definitely be more fully-electric vehicles in the next generation.

On July 25, the company confirmed that the fully electric MINI 3 door variant will be the company’s core model. But production for this model will not begin its production until 2019. By doing that, MINI customers will have more choices when it comes to powertrains. Soon, choices will range from petrol, diesel internal combustion engine, a plug-in hybrid, and a battery electric vehicle. Since it is the BMW Group that is starting this, the MINI’s electric drivetrain will first be built at the Plant Dingolfing and Landshut in Bavaria, before it gets shipped to the Oxford Plant where the MINI 3 door models are being built.

The Dingolfing and Landshut plants are vital to the company’s global production network as the company’s global competence center for electric mobility, said Oliver Zipse, BMW AG Management Board member for Production. He then added that their system can adapt to rapidly changing customer demands, and that it is innovative. Though they have not done this yet, they are confident that they can quickly increase production of electric drivetrain components quickly if it is necessary.

Read the entire article BMW has a new plan for electrifying every model you can think of

France aims to end sale of fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2040

France has already jumpstarted plans for a greener future. The country’s Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, Nicolas Hulot promises that by 2040, sales of diesel and gasoline fueled cars will be over. Instead of making use of fossil fuels that harm our environment, the minister opts for a transition to purely electric mobility. This is just a part of his proposed series of measures to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

To clean up the country, the minister came out with a 23-point plan that spans over six major themes. But we will already witness the implementation of some of these measures during Emmanuel Macron, France’s newly elected president’s term.

The good thing is that they have already started taking actions. Hulot developed a program wherein residents who trade in a pre-1997 diesel vehicle or pre-2001 gasoline car into an electric vehicle, or a less polluting one will be given monetary incentives. However, he has not yet specified how much the people will be receiving.

Read the entire article France aims to end sale of fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2040

Earlier this month, Volkswagen’s annual meeting took place at its hometown in Wolfsburg, Germany. This year’s meeting was focused on the company’s business plan they call “Transform 2025+”. This plan is solely based on hybrid and electric vehicles.

Aside from providing updates on its hybrid and electric vehicles, Volkswagen also addressed what their agenda is when it comes to new models arriving in the next couple of months. And it seems like they have a handful of models arriving sooner than we thought. For instance, they just reconfirmed that the company will begin production of the all-new Polo next month, meaning that in the next coming weeks, photos of the supermini will probably be circulating around the web.

That’s just one of the few models VW will put in production. The T-Roc compact crossover, which is based on the Golf, will also hit the assembly line for the EU market as early as August. So in the next few months, we will finally see the brand new T-Roc with its covers off. The company also said that the compact crossover will be sold in the United States by 2019. The factory to build the T-Roc will be based in Palmela, Portugal.

Read the entire article VW announces production dates for the Polo, T-Roc and Touareg this year

Spanish automobile manufacturer Seat is seeking to expand its market in both North Africa and Latin America in the next ten years, looking to steady its profit by decreasing its dependence on the Europe market.

Luca de Meo, head of the Volkswagen AG's seat division, announced in Barcelona that even though there has been a steady increase in sales such as in markets of Italy and France, it would be highly beneficial for Seat to be able to sell around 30 percent of the vehicles outside Europe in the next 50 to 10 years. Producing Seat automobiles in VW production departments in Mexico could ease access to Central and South American markets, de Meo exclaimed.

Seat, created around 1950 to assemble Fiat models and that was acquired and had become a subsidiary for Volkswagen in 1986, has been a chink in the armor for the German automobile manufacturer. VW has reiterated that it will reassess its company's portfolio in the wake of "dieselgate"- the emission scandal that rocked the car market scene.

Read the entire article Seat is ready to enter auto markets in North Africa, Latin America

PSA seems very confident about conquering the world. The purchase of Opel/Vauxhall for €2.2 billion ($2.3B) from General Motors makes PSA the second largest car company, just behind the Volkswagen Group, but taking over Renault-Nissan’s spot.

Jean-Philippe Peugeot, a family shareholder of PSA, said that they have already discussed a potential acquisition of Opel back in 2012, as early as when the General Motors made a deal with the French company. However, it was not the right time for the marriage of both companies so they waited until this year to announce their plan to the public. He also added in his interview with a German newspaper that PSA wants to go global in the coming years. Thus, the goal was set to “conquer the rest of the world step by step”.

The acquisition includes: Opel/Vauxhall’s automotive operations, the brands they carry, assembly and component manufacturing facilities, an engineering center in Deutschland, and all their employees. Now that Opel is part of the PSA group. It is a big help for the company’s plan to achieve important economies of scale, and this means manufacturing at least three million cars for a core market. Robert Peugeot (Chairman of the PSA Group’s strategy committee) further explained himself and said that “all large carmakers have a volume of three million cars in one important market.

Read the entire article PSA-Opel marriage sets out to conquer the world

Volvo is making a huge investment -- $500 million to be exact -- in the U.S. to kick off its highly ambitious comeback. The plant that the automaker will construct has an annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles – quite higher than its sales last year of 56,366 vehicles in the U.S. Five years ago, Volvo was acquired from Ford Motor by Chinese investors.

It’s about time that Volvo launches its comeback plan, which includes the plant in South Carolina, and a radical new powertrain and vehicle architecture strategy. CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, Lex Kerssemakers, said that the brand has reinvented itself and so it makes sense now to “go on the attack” once more in the U.S.

There would always be skeptics to lofty plans such as this but 20 years ago, this strategy of constructing a huge U.S. plant to meet future sales growth has worked so well for Mercedes-Benz and BMW. In the 1990s, these two luxury automakers invested in U.S. production and grew from being low-volume importers.

Read the entire article Volvo has ambitious goals for U.S. comeback plan

A statement released by Hyundai Motor Co. last Wednesday denies a plan to build a plant in Mexico. In a Bloomberg report that came out on Tuesday, Pedro Albarran, managing director for Hyundai Motor de Mexico, had said that Hyundai may construct a factory in Mexico as soon as the automaker’s domestic auto sales increase in the country.

The top Mexican official, who heads sales and marketing but not manufacturing, added that Hyundai hopes for Mexico to become a “very important base” for its global production. He said that the brand will soon produce Hyundai units in Mexico but then it will have to wait for annual domestic sales to surpass 50,000 units before opening a factory.

Hyundai started sales in Mexico last year with 12,000 units. It forecasts that by 2018, its sales will exceed 50,000. Albarran said that an announcement about this plan may be made before then. In Hyundai’s statement disputing the claim, it clearly said that it “does not have any plan of building a factory in Mexico.”

Read the entire article Hyundai releases statement to dispute plan to build plant in Mexico

Audi will follow a strategy similar to those implemented by carmakers with their electrified offerings – giving them a distinguishing design. According to Audi development chief Ulrich Hackenberg, the carmaker is planning to introduce a battery-powered sports activity vehicle in the large premium segment that could travel over 500 kilometers in a single full charge.

This EV will feature “a new, very attractive design,” which is being developed especially for the e-tron range and for battery-electric vehicles. He said that more information about the new styling language will be out before the end of year. Audi’s new battery-electric crossover will be underpinned by the second generation of its modular longitudinal platform MLB 2.

The first Audi model to use the new platform will be the second-generation Audi Q7 that will arrive later this year. Analysts have been saying a key reason why Toyota Prius outsold its rival and brand siblings -- was because of its recognizable shape.

Read the entire article Audi plans distinctive styling language for its electrified offerings

Daimler needs to review its plans to expand its production in the United States if the European currency remains weaks against its trans-atlantic counterpart, according to the carmaker's top labor chief, Michael Brecht. In October 2014, Daimler said it will transfer some output of its Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans from its Duesseldorf site in Germany, to a new factory somewhere in North America.

In recent months, however, the weaker euro has rendered European plants more competitive than a year ago, according Brecht said. "If the situation stays like this over a longer period, then the question is: Do I go in now, or can I do it later," Brecht said during a roundtable discussion in Stuttgart.

The Sprinters being sold in the US are currently built kit form at Daimler’s Duesseldorf and Ludwigsfelde sites and reassembled in Charleston, S.C. Brecht remarked that some projects that have been agreed upon but are yet to be fully implemented may be amended.

Read the entire article Daimler needs to review its US expansion plan, says labor chief

Hyundai Motor America has made diversity a part of its business plan, chief executive Dave Zuchowski said at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Automotive Project conference in Detroit. He noted that diversity and inclusion were once part of Hyundai’s social responsibility department, but it didn’t work well due to lack of accountability from the operating groups.

Now, the business plan calls for diversity, with clear-cut objectives in areas like hiring, the automaker’s retail network, suppliers, marketing and advertising. But unlike before, those in charge of meeting those objectives will be held accountable, Zuchowski remarked.

He noted that 92 percent of the growth in the auto business comes from female and ethnic diversity buyers, which means the company can’t do business the way it used to. Hyundai accounted to 5.6 percent of 502,000 new cars and trucks vehicles delivered to African Americans in the first six months of 2014, according to data compiled by IHS Automotive.

Read the entire article Hyundai Motor America makes diversity a part of its business plan

Ford Motor Company unveiled today its 2020 Vision and as expected we have plenty of new subjects to reveal you folks. First of all would be that the American company wants to increase its global sales by 52 percent to 9.4 million vehicles sold annually by 2020. In order to achieve this impressive number, Ford aims to expand into markets such as Asia and invest heavily in its Lincoln luxury brand.

In the United States, Ford aims to sell 3.5 million vehicles in 2020, which is an achievable target as the company managed to sell 2.9 million vehicles last year. In addition, profit margins will also grow by 2020 from 8 percent this year to 10 percent.

Half of the projected global sales are attributed to industry grown, while the rest will come from new buyers but also from customers attracted from rival brands with new vehicles such as the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150, which is expected to give the company a “once in a lifetime” chance to conquest from competitive brands.

Read the entire article Ford outlines 2020 Vision plan, aims to increase sales to 9.4 million annually

A good performance by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in the United States will be crucial in the carmaker’s five-year business plan, according to FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne. FCA unveiled its business plan last month, which aims to grow globally by putting more focus on its Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands.

The plan envisions a 60-percent surge in sales and a five-fold hike in net profit by 2018. Marchionne remarked that FCA needs cash from Chrysler’s booming US business to be able to fund its strategy in Europe, where Fiat has been suffering from weak demand and excessive production capacity.

Chrysler was granted a government-funded bailout when it filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Fiat then took control of Chrysler until it completed a full takeover early this year. The companies are being merged, with the resulting carmaker to be listed in New York by end of 2014.

Read the entire article Fiat Chrysler’s US performance crucial to five-year business plan

The new business plan of chief executive Sergio Marchionne for the Fiat Chrysler group will rely on Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Maserati becoming global brands. Marchionne is set to unveil Fiat Chrysler’s five-year business plan on May 6, which should show the newly merged company can "go on the attack against the giants" in the auto industry.

This time, the US-Italian carmaker will focus on execution, after repeatedly missing sales targets due to delayed investments and making some bad styling decision. Investors are aching to see how Marchionne would be able to hike sales by over a third to more than 6 million vehicles by 2018 as well as how and when the CEO would compete against larger carmakers like Toyota Motor Corp, General Motors Co and Volkswagen.

Stephanie Brinley, a senior analyst at researchers IHS Automotive, told Reuters that Fiat Chrysler has to stop saying it will do it, adding that what is lacking is the execution of the plans. Jeep is currently the best weapon that Fiat Chrysler has, having ready products and being a global SUV brand.

Read the entire article New Fiat Chrysler five-year business plan to focus on execution

In order to follow Fiat’s new five-year business plan, Dodge is preparing to drop some models from its lineup. As a result, Dodge will end the production of the Avenger in 2014 and it will not build a new model because the Chrysler 200 will address this portion of the market.

Moreover, the production of the Grand Caravan will end in 2016 as the Chrysler Town & Country will address this portion of the market. The next-generation Dodge Dart will arrive in 2016, followed by the Dart SRT few months later.

The Journey / D CUV will debut in 2016, while the D CUV SRT will be introduced in 2017. In 2018, the new subcompact hatch from Dodge will be introduced, followed by a SRT version in early 2017. The next-generation Dodge Challenger will be unveiled in 2018, while by the end of the year the Challenger SRT will arrive. In the same period, Dodge will present the Charger and the Charger SRT versions.

Read the entire article Dodge will drop Avenger, Grand Caravan as part of Fiat’s new 5-year business plan

In order to grow its Alfa Romeo brand, Fiat announced today as part of its new 5-year business plan that it will invest 5 billion euros or $7 billion. As a result, the Italian brand will introduce eight new models by 2018 and plans to quintuple its sales within four years.

Alfa Romeo is planning to introduce a mid-sized model in 2015, but the buzz will be from 2016 through 2018 when the brand will receive two compact cars, a new mid-sized model, a larger car, two new utility vehicles and a specialty vehicles (could be the more powerful version of the Alfa Romeo 4C).

Despite the fact that the company didn’t announce when Alfa Romeo will arrive in the United States, it did say that its distribution network will grow. Alfa Romeo recently introduced the 4C at the New York Auto Show and the model comes with several enhancements for the United States market.

Read the entire article Alfa Romeo has a 5-year business plan which includes 8 new models by 2018

As you may know already, Ferrari is owned by Fiat Chrysler, which means that the Italian brand known for its red supercars also revealed its five-year business plan. First of all, the company announced that it will continue to limit its global sales to 7,000 units every year and what’s more interesting is that also every year we will see a new vehicle.

The current models, 458, California, F12berlinetta and the FF will continue through 2018. LaFerrari is already sold out. Ferrari will keep every model for four years and after this period it will roll out the “M” versions. For those who don’t know, “M” is an abbreviation of modificato, the Italian for modified.

The bad news is that Ferrari didn’t announce any new models, which means that we will still be surprised when the supercars will make their debut. Sergio Marchionne said that the 7,000 unit limitation of Ferrari is willful and intended limitation.

Read the entire article Ferrari announces 5-year business plan, will launch new model every year

Within two years, Fiat will double its lineup in the United States as part of its five-years business plan. The Italian brand will introduce the 500X crossover but also a new specialty vehicle. If we listen to the rumors, the specialty model will be called Fiat 125 Spider and will be based on the next-generation Mazda MX-5, built in partnership with Alfa Romeo.

The Fiat 500X will first arrive in Europe later this year, while a new compact sedan and a specialty model will be revealed in 2015. In 2016, Fiat will introduce in Europe a new compact hatch and a compact station wagon, as well as a new b segment car.

In 2017, Fiat will roll out a compact CUV, while in 2018 the new Panda will arrive. According to Fiat brand chief Olivier Francois, Fiat is a chameleon as the brand looks different wherever it travels.

Read the entire article Fiat reveals its 5-year business plan, 500X crossover announced

If the production version of the Alfieri Concept was just a rumor, today it became official as Maserati has just announced its 5-year business plan. If the Alfieri Coupe will arrive in 2016, the Maserati Alfieri Cabrio will make its debut in 2017, while the new Granturismo will be introduced in 2018.

The RWD versions of the Maserati Alfieri Coupe and Cabrio models will be powered by a V6 engine rated at 410 hp, but a more powerful V8 engine rated at 450 hp or 520 hp will be available on AWD versions of the models.

In 2015, Maserati will finally introduce its Levante SUV, which will receive a V6 petrol engine that generates 350 hp, as well as a more powerful version that delivers 425 hp, A V8-powered Levante will get more than 560 hp. Still, Maserati will be offer with diesel engines that will deliver 250 hp, 275 hp and 340 hp.

Read the entire article Maserati shows its 5-year business plan, Alfieri gets green light for production
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