• GMC readying smaller, more carlike model

    October 3, 2013
  • Future BMW M cars to get all-wheel-drive option

    October 3, 2013
  • GM-owned Holden’s future up in the air

    October 3, 2013
    The Australian government will decide whether to inject more money into General Motors’ troubled Holden division in February of next year at the latest.


    The decision will be heavily influenced by a report that will shed light on how long Holden can continue to turn a profit by building cars in Australia.  The automaker received $275 million (roughly $256 million) in government aid a year and a half ago in order to secure its future through 2022, but the automaker’s top executives say they urgently need more money because market conditions have changed.  Ian Macfarlane, Australia’s federal industry minister, hinted a second cash injection would most likely be the last.

    Failure to obtain money from the government might lead parent company GM to shutter the division and lay off about 1,700 blue collar workers, putting an end to American auto manufacturing in Australia.  


    Once one of the biggest Australian automakers, Holden has seen its profits and its share of the local market drop steadily over the past decade as sales of cheaper imports have been on the rise.  Government statistics indicate 80 percent of cars sold new to private buyers in Australia are imported into the country.  


    Holden’s demise would have little impact on GM’s global operations as its lineup is a cocktail of re-badged Chevrolets such as the Spark, the Cruze and the Volt and larger brand-specific vehicles like the Ute, the Commodore and the Sportwagon.  The brand-specific cars are sold exclusively in Australia with the exception of the four-door Commodore, which will land in Chevrolet showrooms wearing the SS nameplate in the coming months.


    Plagued by similar problems, Ford announced last March it will stop building cars in Australia towards the end of 2016 and kill off the iconic Falcon.  <![CDATA[
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  • Details emerge on Caterham’s range-topping coupe

    October 3, 2013
    A new report coming out of England gives us the best idea yet of what to expect from the lightweight closed-top sports car that Caterham is currently developing with Renault’s reborn Alpine division.


    Called C120 internally, the coupe will be powered by a Renault-designed four-cylinder engine mounted transversally behind the front seats in order to optimize weight distribution.  The C120 will boast around 250 horsepower when it lands in showrooms, but Caterham will waste no time in developing more powerful variants and the coupe could offer over 300 horsepower in its most powerful state of tune.

    The C120 will be built alongside its Renault sibling in Alpine’s historic Dieppe, France, factory.  The two cars will ride on the same platform but they will not share any exterior or interior design cues. 


    “This is not a project that will create two cars that look the same, like the [ Scion FR-S] and Subaru BRZ,” affirmed Laurens van den Acker, Renault’s head of design, in a March 2013 interview. “What we plan to create is two cars that will look completely different. People will not recognize them when they are parked together.”


    Unlike Caterham’s current lineup of Lotus Seven-based open-top sports cars, the C120 will be a relatively high-volume model so the firm is ramping up its dealer network in key markets around the world to prepare for a potential sales increase of up to 500 percent. 


    Caterham expects the C120 to hit showrooms across the United Kingdom in 2016 at the latest.<![CDATA[
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  • Government shutdown forces NHTSA to suspend recall notices, crash tests

    October 3, 2013