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News and Information about production

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Infiniti halts production of QX60 hybrid, skips 2018 QX50 for new 2019 model

The Infiniti QX50 compact crossover has been in the market since 2014, and has not been given a facelift since then. After being in the market for almost four years, the SUV will be needing some updates to keep up with its competitors, though the company did say that the update will come in 2019, and that they will completely skip the 2018 model year.

This statement was confirmed by Infiniti on Tuesday when they said that they are not considering a 2018 model year QX50, but will focus on a better version of the vehicle for the 2019 model year, says Motor Authority. Engineers and designers will make sure that the new SUV will resemble the QX50 Concept we saw earlier this year at Detroit.

Right now, you are probably wondering what to expect from the 2019 model year. Well, sources say that it will come powered by Infiniti’s new Variable Compression-Turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine that they refer to as VC-Turbo - this was first previewed last August. For improved performance and fuel economy, the technology changes the cylinder compression ratio. As for performance, the first production unit is unfortunately less powerful than the 3.7-liter V6 found on the outgoing QX50 with 325 horsepower (242 kilowatts). That being said, it has 268 horsepower (200 kilowatts) and 288 pound-feet (390 Newton-metres) of torque.

Read the entire article Infiniti halts production of QX60 hybrid, skips 2018 QX50 for new 2019 model

VW to bring ID Buzz Concept into production with market release set in 2022

Volkswagen’s Microbus has already gained an iconic status thanks to the free spirit that it has come to symbolize. Since 2001, the German carmaker has been introducing different Microbus concepts. The latest of these concepts was unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show – the Volkswagen ID Buzz Concept. Featuring a full electric drive sending power to all four wheels as well as an electric range of 270 miles (US driving cycle), the VW ID Buzz Concept was a study that was hard to ignore.

Now, VW can no longer ignore the appeal of and the enticing proposition by the ID Buzz Concept. Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess remarked during the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance event in Pebble Beach, California, following presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit, Michigan and in Geneva, Switzerland, that the carmaker has been receiving a large number of letters and e-mails from customers urging the German company to bring the ID Buzz Concept into production,

During the event, the German carmaker announced that it has decided to go beyond the Microbus concept and bring the ID Buzz Concept into production. The announcement – made by Diess (who also serves as chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand) and Eckhard Scholz (sitting as chair of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand) – doesn’t mean that the production version of the ID Buzz Concept is coming soon though, as interested customers would have to wait half a decade later to get a piece of this futuristic iteration of the Microbus in 2022.

Read the entire article VW to bring ID Buzz Concept into production with market release set in 2022

Last Dodge Viper rolled off assembly line in Detroit, production plant to be closed next

August 17, 2017 is a sad day for the Dodge Viper, its fans, enthusiasts and its admirers. It is the day when the last Dodge Viper rolled off the assembly line, thereby effectively ending the tumultuous run of the brand’s beloved serpent.

This bittersweet event was witnessed by no other than Ralph Gilles, FCA’s head of design. Gilles has played a big role in bringing the Viper back to life in 2012 when he was the president and chief executive of SRT. In his Instagram account, Gilles posted a number of images showing him posing alongside two examples of the fifth generation of the Dodge Viper at FCA's Connor Assembly Plant, which has been the home of the two-seat sports car since 1995.

One of these images feature a Viper wrapped in red finish, which Gilles disclosed in the comments section of his Instagram post as the “ultimate last one.” As the very last example of the Viper, this unit is considered as something special. This could be the reason that Dodge wouldn’t deliver this example of the Viper to any customer, and would instead take it as a keepsake as part of its heritage collection. Another Viper was shown to be wrapped in yellow and black finishes, and it would be delivered to one of Gilles’ friends.

Read the entire article Last Dodge Viper rolled off assembly line in Detroit, production plant to be closed next

Maserati aims to build only EVs and hybrids starting 2019

The persistent trend in the automotive industry remains to be the shift to electric-powered models. While most brands are developing new products to achieving that end, customers and enthusiasts have been accustomed to hearing the word “delay” associated with Maserati.

All that is about to change with the recent announcement of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Maserati’s parent company, outlining its green program. None other than CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed during a conference call with investors that at least 50% of the corporation’s range will be electrified, in one way or another, by the year 2022.

CEO Marchionne, who intends to retire by 2019, declared that given the fate of diesel in the Europe market, the issue has become mandatory. He said further that there will be no choice but to implement some degree of electrification when it comes to gas engines.

Read the entire article Maserati aims to build only EVs and hybrids starting 2019

From the latest interview with Mercedes-Benz USA spokesman Rob Moran by Automotive News, we learned that the company is letting go of its zero-emissions hatchback a.k.a. the B-Class Electric Drive effective on the third quarter of this year. It hasn’t even been three years yet since it started selling in the market in December 2013. The reason behind its departure isn’t only caused by the EV’s obvious poor sales performance, but also because Mercedes-Benz will soon to renovate its manufacturing facility in Restatt, Germany.

Details about replacing this model have not been revealed yet but the factory will be converted mainly for Mercedes Benz’s upcoming compact model range. By 2018, the German car manufacturer is looking to launch an all-new A-Class hatchback along with other compact vehicle models. While the traditionally powered B-Class maintains its production course, Mercedes sees to it that its newly developed EQ sub brand will find the new range of EVs ready for take-off. More than ten vehicles with no combustion engines are being prepared for launch all the way until 2025. All these come with an investment amounting to $11.7 Billion.

It seems Mercedes finally knows what to expect as far as electrification is involved especially after setting out the Concept EQ last 2016 in Paris. Though the concept model is actually a crossover, talks about another EQ concept are strong and it seems to be heading its way to this year’s Frankfurt Motorshow. If so, Mercedes is looking to unveil a production hatchback EV that will probably rival the BMW i3, if not exceed it. Rumors also suggest that it is set to arrive as a road-going model by 2020.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive will be discontinued

The first time Porsche revealed the Panamera Sport Turismo to the public was during the 2017 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. And now it has already entered production, and is on its way to its first customers all over the globe. The Leipzig facility was produced especially for the second-generation Panamera family, and Porsche had to invest a total of €500 million ($582 million), a part of which was used to build a new quality center.

The new 400-hectare facility is also in charge of the production of the Macan and Cayenne SUVs, apart from the Panameras. There are 4,055 people who are working in the facility and in the last year alone, they produced a total of 158,432 cars. The Leipzig facility opened in August 2002 and already €1.3 billion ($1.5M) have been invested.

Within the facility, 345,345 square meters cover the production area. To date, the Leipzig factory has 948 robots in the body shop, paint shop, and in the assembly facility, where they build 1.7 million parts each day. There is a wood chip burning system that provides 80% CO2-neutral heat to the paint shop. Outside the production area, there is a 3.7-kilometer race track and a 6-kilometer off-road track. In terms of wildlife, 75 aurochs, 1.5 million bees, and wild horses live in the area. Porsche’s factory is also open to visitors, and 40,000 people come to the customer center annually.

Read the entire article Production begins for the 2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

The Europe-bound WRC hatch developed by Toyota and Gazoo Racing team will be limited to just 400 examples as reported by AutoCar this week. Otherwise known as Gazoo Racing Masters of Nurburgring, the GRMN variant of the 2018 Toyota Yaris will likewise arrive in the UK with not more than 100 units to be sold. It also seems that the Japanese brand has no plans of introducing the sports hatch in the US but is said to be eyeing the new Volkswagen Polo GTI and Ford Fiesta ST as the Yaris’ closest competitors.

Fresh from its debut earlier this year in Switzerland, the hatch boasts a powerful 205hp (153kW) 1.8 liter supercharged engine. The car should be capable of 6.3 second acceleration from zero to 100km/h based on the prototype review conducted by TopGear.

Aside from the uprated power, this new Yaris with racing DNA comes with the new 17” BBS multi spoke wheels, a new set Bridgestone high performance tyres and a larger diameter front anti roll bar with additional bracing between the front and rear suspension.

Read the entire article 2018 Toyota Yaris GRMN is limited to only 400 units for Europe, including 100 for the UK

If you look at today’s trends, people seem to be leaning more towards small crossovers instead of mini MPVs, which means that automotive companies should be developing more of the former. That is what Kia has planned with the brand new Stonic that they unveiled on June 20, a week after the Hyundai Kona’s launch.

The Kia Stonic is quickly becoming popular, and is looking like the perfect car to attract new and young customers, as well as current Kia owners that are looking for an upgrade. The Korean automaker even said that almost a quarter of their buyers are upsizing from a hatchback to something with a little more height. Having said all that, it has also been confirmed by Kia’s top manager that we will no longer be seeing a successor of the Venga MPV.

As the SUV segment grows with the new Stonic, it is time to say goodbye to good old MPVs like the Kia Venga. But to make things clear, the Stonic is not a replacement for the Venga. Kia’s European Chief Operating Officer Michael Cole said to AutoExpress that the Stonic’s arrival made it “difficult to justify a next generation” for the Venga. And for the record, MPV segments have been in decline for some time now. He added that as the MPV segment shrunk, “it has created an opportunity for us and sales are going fine for us now”.

Read the entire article Kia axes the Venga, makes room for the Stonic

Last July 3rd, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors announced on Twitter that the first 30 Tesla Model 3s will be delivered earlier to customers earlier than they have expected. He even added that the first ever model will be ready on Friday, July 7th.

We did not get an update over the weekend whether it was finished or not, but now, the company has confirmed that the first Tesla Model 3 has been built, and is just going through a final checkout.

Unsurprisingly, the new owner of the #0001 is the CEO himself. He did explain that to get the rights to have the first model, you have to be the first person to make a full deposit. He also told the Brad Sams, the guy that asked who the lucky owner of the Model 3 is, that it was Ira Ehrenpreis who had the rights as he was the very first person who paid the full deposit. But Ehrenpreis gave the rights to Musk as his 46th birthday present. The number one Tesla Model 3 is dressed up in a black exterior finish, as seen on Musk’s post.

Read the entire article First Tesla Model 3 goes to Elon Musk as a birthday gift

The 2018 Toyota Camry will be the first vehicle to be produced in the United States with the use of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). And June 28 marks the day of the 2018 luxury sedan’s production at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky facility, where it has always been produced since the late 1980s.

The Japanese company has spent over $1 billion in the past few months so that the Kentucky facility could accommodate the Toyota New Global Architecture. Over 700 employees have been added, so that number now totals to about 8,000 employees - the most they’ve ever had in that facility.

With that huge of a facility, it’s not just the Camrys that will be built there, but also the Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, and Lexus ES350. In the past, thousands of Sienna, Solara, and Venza crossovers were also built there. Since it first began producing cars 31 years ago, the facility has delivered over 8 million Camrys, and more than 11 million vehicles all in all.

Read the entire article Toyota starts production of the 2018 Camry

Audi currently does not have any fully electric model that they can call their own after the R8 E-Tron has been discontinued last year. But this year, they showed us concepts of the E-Tron Quattro and the E-Tron Sportback (at Auto Shanghai), and the good news is that the zero-emissions SUV will finally begin production at their Brussels, Belgium factory. The SUV will then be followed by its sleeker counterpart, the Sportback, in 2019.

What sets the E-Tron Sportback apart from the others is the fact that it is a “four-door gran turismo”, with a powertrain of 430 horsepower (320 kilowatts) at standard, and an impressive 496 horsepower (370 kilowatts) when the boost mode is activated. In just four and a half seconds, it can hit 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour). That’s very impressive for a full electric vehicle, but we shouldn’t be too excited until the production model has been tested, and that’s a long while from now.

In today’s world, there is this thing we call “range anxiety”. It simply refers to the stress or anxiety that people who own EVs get, knowing that their car runs on battery power, and that it can simply shut off when the battery gets drained. So the issue is whether they would get to their destination before they’ll have to recharge their vehicles, especially for long distance drives.

Read the entire article Audi E-Tron Sportback confirmed to hit production in 2019

Fiat and Italian supermarket chain Esselunga share the same values of customer-focus and uniqueness. So for the supermarket’s sixtieth anniversary, both companies teamed up and handed over a total of 1,495 Fiat 500 cars to their new owners. This event surprised many, including the Guinness World Record judge, who later on approved for it to be included in the book of records. That is a lot of giveaways!

Overall, there were 1,520 units that were supposed to be delivered to Fiat’s Mirafiori plant where the event took place. However, 25 of the winners in the Esselunga competition could not make it to the event. Fiat said that in under two days, all the cars were collected by the winners who came from several parts of Italy including: Lazio, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Veneto, Liguria, Lombardy, and Piedmont.

The winners were given keys to their new Fiat 500 Esselunga. The special version 500 was made specifically for the competition in association with Fiat Design Center, thus only 1,520 units are available. The design of the car was inspired by the Lounge trim, riding on 14-inch wheels, with Paste White exterior finished paired with an Ivory interior. The 500 Esselunga features seven airbags, climate control, Uconnect 5 infotainment system, AUX-IN and USB ports, steering wheel controls, and LED daytime running lights. Under the hood comes a 1.2 liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine, which produces 69 horsepower (51 kilowatts).

Read the entire article FCA earns Guinness World Record after delivering 1,495 Fiat 500s

We first saw the Jaguar I-Pace Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year, and it seemed to have gotten the interest of a lot of people. Now, there have been reports going around that the electric SUV has reached the production line, and it may be ready to make a debut later this year.

Jaguar’s I-Pace is set to compete with Tesla’s Model X, and according to Automotive News, production has already begun at their plant in Austria. The first few examples are currently being built by Magna Steyr, a vehicle manufacturing division of Magna International, the Canadian supplier. By the third quarter of this year, the first few models shall make their debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show. However, US residents will have to wait until the second half of 2018, for a second generation I-Pace.

The reason why Magna Steyr has a significant role in this project is because they have been given consent by Jaguar. Freidrich Stracke, president of vehicle technology and engineering of Magna Steyr said: “we were invited very early in the product development time frame in order to provide our process and manufacturing engineering proposals”. He also said to Automotive News that they “tried to include the right processes in the vehicle early on. We did it for every function - body exterior, drivetrain, body interior, body in white, paint. We did this with all functions and optimized the design”.

Read the entire article Jaguar I-Pace is already in production

Citroen is phasing out the current generation C5 in Europe after it produced the final example in Rennes, France. The C5, being one of the aging models released for the European market since 2007, coincides with the ending of Citroen’s famous hydropneumatic suspension. It can be recalled that the automaker officially confirmed that it will end the use of this “old technology” in 2015 due to low customer demand and high production cost. Having said that, Citroen intends to replace its famous hydraulics system with a more innovative set-up this year.

For more than a decade, the French marque was able to sell over 635,000 examples of the C5 and 435,000 of it was marketed in Europe. In 2016, Citroen however sold fewer than 10,000 examples of the C5 to the European market.

While the station wagon was the final example of the C5 made for Europe and the production of the sedan came to a halt the previous year, Citroen will continue producing the C5’s revolutionized version in China. As for Europe, the French automaker is working on a new generation model that could possibly take the shape of a sporty hatchback instead of the traditional sedan body style.

Read the entire article Production of current generation Citroen C5 and its hydraulic suspension finally ends in Europe

Lamborghini has been saying for a long time that it is aiming to boost up the production of its supercars, but only recently the Italian sports car producer has made the 8,000th Huracan. This is highly commendable as it took Lamborghini only 3 years to reach this milestone. The Italian automaker sure is in a rush to roll them out, and when the Urus joins the line-up, one might chance upon a Wild Bull on every corner globally.

The aforementioned 8,000th vehicle is a Huracan Spyder that is sporting a Grigio Lynx gray. It will be delivered to a customer based in the United Kingdom. The Italian automaker is now celebrating the 8,000th unit of the Huracan that is rolled out of the assembly line in Sant'Agata Bolognese, just 3 years after the Huracan's introduction, another milestone in the 54-year-old history of the Italian automaker. Interested Huracan consumers will be offered a range of choices when deciding on which version of the super car to purchase.

The LP 610-4 is a unit that a daring driver can take on every season with its impressive all-wheel system and hardtop. Drivers who prefer a conventional vehicle can choose the 580-2 rear wheel drive. Moreover, if you are the person who opts to drop the top for an open-air experience at high speed, then the Spyder models will be the perfect pick for such. Sitting at the top of the tier is the superb Huracan Performante.

Read the entire article Lamborghini marks another milestone by producing an impressive 8,000th Huracan in 3 years

The right set of tires can be a huge factor when it comes to performance, it can make a difference between victory and loss, whether it be on the drag strip or at the road course. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is lucky enough to have some really wide drag radials from the factory, which is vital to handle 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque when the tank is filled with race gas. Now, there has been some issue in terms of the production process of the Demon.

It’s really not a good move for a company to put together a specialty car and a family sedan in the same assembly line. Well apparently, the Demon, like any other Dodge Challenger, is built at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario. And according to the latest reports, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon’s drag tires don’t fit the production line.

One thing is for sure, the 315/40-series tires are not overly massive. In fact, the Viper ACR’s steamroller rubber is much larger as pointed out by a lot of people on Reddit. The difference is that the Viper is not assembled on a line together with a large number of Challenger SXTs with 235/55-18 inch tires. Apparently, the Demon’s tires are built at the plant that builds Chargers and Chrysler 300s. The problem here is that the Demon’s 315 millimeter tire is too wide to fit on the line at the plant.

Read the entire article Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is having production issues with its drag tires

A global scale ransomware cyber-attack has caused several factories of Renault-Nissan Alliance to stop production on Saturday. According to Automotive News, the company’s spokesperson said they have administered “proactive measures” which led to the temporary shutdown of certain production sites. Reuters however confirmed the next day that regular work is slated to resume on Monday particularly in France.

Over the weekend, thousands of computers have been infected with WannaCry ransomware, spreading to almost one hundred countries worldwide. The French carmaker has particularly shut down its Sandouville plant in Northwestern France following the attack. The first sign of threat in Renault’s Sandouville factory occurred when the assembly line’s alarm didn’t work on Saturday. This happened shortly after a ransom demand appeared on their monitors.

Renault-Nissan failed to give a full list of the affected sites but a spokesperson from the UK said that files in Nissan’s Sunderland factory were hit on Friday evening. It didn’t however confirm if the Sunderland plant was shut down afterwards. The UK production facility has about 7,000 employees which manufactures the Infiniti Q30 and QX30, the Nissan Juke, Note, Qashqai and Nissan Leaf. In any case, Renault reassures that almost all factories will be opening today.

Read the entire article Ransomware cyber-attack affects Renault’s production in France and the UK

The one-millionth unit of the Porsche 911 is here. Fifty-four years after the iconic 911 was first introduced, Porsche has finally reached the one million count on the 11th of May at their factory in Zuffenhausen. It rolled out of the production line as an Irish Green Carrera S - and this is actually what Australian race car driver Mark Webber teased us with.

Though one million in a span of over half a century does not sound much, the 911 is actually quite popular considering that it is an expensive model. In comparison, that number is already impressive for a sports car, but then again, it is unusual for automakers to keep the same model line alive for 10 years, even more in this case. In fact, the company says that 70 percent of all 911s are probably road worthy still. In other words, there are about 700,000 units of the 911 that are still in good shape all over the world today.

So, what makes this one extra special apart from its production number? This 911 is a rear wheel drive Carrera S, equipped with an upgraded flat-six engine that produces 450 horsepower. It’s similar to the very first model but it’s better as it comes in a seven-speed manual transmission.

Read the entire article One millionth Porsche 911 rolls out of the production line

Mahindra group-owned automotive design firm Pininfarina may be commonly noted for its sensational coachbuilding efforts, but now Pininfarina is planning to expand its portfolio. The Italian automaker has possibly signed a deal with Iranian automotive company Iran Khodro following a flurry of electric cars unveiled at Auto Shanghai show. The said deal will see Iran Khodro, which produced vehicles for Iranian Samand, Peugeot and Renault to be sold in Iran, to reportedly produce a new platform.

Previously, Iran Khodro heavily depended on platforms from different automakers, primarily France's PSA Group. Now the said platform that they will be working on will be a modular chassis that is made specifically to be utilized in at least 4 different vehicles. The platform will approximately cost around €70 million ($76 million) to develop.

The first phase is a passenger car that will be made for the midsize category and will take the form of either a small SUV or a sedan, perhaps. A total of 3 years will span for the agreement done between Pininfarina and IKCO, and will not only include the platform development, but will also tackle concept architecture, body design, as well as a product development throughout virtual and physical validation.

Read the entire article Pininfarina teams up with Iran Khodro to develop modular platform

Customers like us always want to have options. In fact, the more options, the better. BMW offers a range of vehicles that can provide for everybody’s needs, from sedans, coupes, hatchbacks to convertibles. Although this is a good thing (providing more choices), there is also a downside to this. By having many options, some of your models may do really well while the others may not - especially the ones in between.

Just last month, reports say that the 4 Series Gran Coupe sedan is one of the company’s bestselling cars. Same with the 6 Series, the Gran Coupe makes up over 50 percent of BMW’s total sales, while the Cabrio comes second and the Coupe seems to be the last one that sells. So believe it or not, BMW just put a stop on the production of their 6 Series Coupe. And did you know that they have already stopped production back in February, except the information was not disclosed until now.

According to Road and Track, a BMW spokesperson confirmed that production has ended for the coupe. However, if anyone is interested in this model, it is still available to order in some markets, but not in the United States.

Read the entire article BMW stops production of the 6-Series Coupe in the United States
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