Check Engine: A Globalized Industry Collides With National Politics – The Big Picture

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 21:29

Sergio Marchionne told it like it was. Shortly before his death I asked the FCA CEO whether Donald Trump’s trade wars and Britain’s turmoil over Brexit—its departure from the European Union, one of the world’s largest trade blocs—posed a threat to his company’s business. He paused a moment, then powered ahead: “These are strange times,” he agreed. “We have never been here before.”

Indeed. Globalists are out. Economic nationalists are in. It’s a bad time to be running an automaker. With everything from the smallest part to complete vehicles streaming ceaselessly across borders from factories all over the planet, the auto industry is the globalists’ poster child. It generates billions in revenue, employs millions, and offers consumers an unprecedented choice. But not everyone believes that’s a good thing.

“Build them here!” tweeted President Donald Trump as he threatened tariffs on imported cars and castigated Harley-Davidson for plans to move some motorcycle production out of the U.S. to avoid retaliatory taxes from the European Union. “F**k business,” former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reportedly said after BMW warned that, without a guarantee of tariff-free movement of cars and parts across Britain’s border, Brexit would threaten the viability of its U.K. manufacturing operations.

What alarms auto industry executives is these strident voices are not coming from a radical left-wing fringe but from politicians belonging to parties they have long regarded as business-friendly. However, those parties are now in thrall to voters angered by wage stagnation and declines in social services—voters for whom life in the globalized economy has not improved their personal pocketbooks. The awkward problem for the auto industry is those voters have a point.

Research by the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution has revealed that, adjusted for inflation, worker wages in the U.S. have only grown by 10 percent since 1973. Over the same period, the inflation-adjusted price of a base Mustang has increased more than 60 percent. It’s a similar story in Britain, where a base Ford Mondeo costs 50 percent more than the inflation-adjusted price of a 1973 Ford Cortina. Of course, today’s Mustangs and Mondeos are in every way far better cars than their predecessors. But for average wage earners, they’re not as good a deal as they used to be.

Anti-globalization rhetoric is seductive. “All we want to do is be able to sell as many Fords into Germany as they sell BMWs here,” said Peter Navarro, one of Trump’s key trade advisers.

That’s oversimplifying things a bit. Yes, last year BMW sold more vehicles in the U.S. than Ford sold in Germany—305,685 versus 246,589. And Navarro correctly points out that American-made cars shipped to the European Union are taxed at a higher rate than European cars shipped to the U.S. But the auto industry’s globalist business model punctures the economic nationalist argument that fixing the tariff imbalance will create more jobs for highly paid American workers: Apart from the Mustang, none of the 14 other Ford models sold in Germany is actually made in the U.S. (In case you’re wondering, Germans last year bought 5,742 Mustangs, more than anyone else in Europe.)

Today’s globalized auto industry is not a zero-sum game. When Trump blasted European automakers, he ignored the fact that they already employ more than 50,000 American workers who build more than 800,000 vehicles a year—in America. BMW’s largest factory in the world is located in South Carolina, used for vehicles sold in America and exported elsewhere.

When Navarro huffed “smoke and mirrors” after GM boss Mary Barra bluntly warned protectionist tariffs would shrink the company’s U.S. operations, he overlooked the fact that GM now sells more vehicles in China than anywhere else in the world.

Automakers are in for a rough ride as they deal with collateral damage from Trumpism and Brexit. “It’s going to cost us in capital, and we are going to become less efficient as we try and get out of this mess,” Marchionne said.

In short, start saving. Tariffs are a tax, and the cost will be passed on to the consumer. Toyota, for example, has said the price of a typical Camry will jump by about $1,800. Your next new car, truck, or SUV isn’t going to be more affordable. No matter where it’s made.

More from Angus MacKenzie:

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Categories: Property

Spied! 2019 BMW 3 Series Wagon Caught Looking Practical

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 21:05

If you haven’t heard already, BMW is about to introduce a redesigned 3 Series. Lightly camouflaged prototypes began appearing earlier this year, and it wasn’t long before we got shots of the interior, as well. We even caught a fully electric prototype out testing recently. Now, we have images of another variant—the 3 Series wagon.

As far as styling goes, there isn’t much that’s shocking or unexpected. The five-door 3 Series looks about like you’d expect it to if you’ve already seen previous 2019 prototypes. That means it has lost some of the current car’s sharp angles and now looks a lot like a smaller 5 Series, especially up front. In profile, the long sloping roofline and bulging rear fenders give the 3 Series wagon a sporty look despite its practical nature. Out back, the chrome-tipped dual exhaust continues the theme.

Inside, BMW appears to be less focused on disguising the cabin. Our spy photographer was able to get several shots of the interior, including the center console and the door panel. We don’t expect the cloth door inserts to make it stateside, but with the steering wheel on the left, these photos should give you a pretty good idea of what the next 3 Series will look like on the inside.

Having recently driven a 2019 BMW 330i prototype, we already know the next 3 Series will be lighter and more fun to drive than the outgoing model. But will the five-door version still be offered in the U.S.? Now that the X1 has gone front-wheel drive, we certainly hope so.

Source: CarPix, BMW via YouTube

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Categories: Property

2019 Subaru Forester compact SUV costs $25,270 to start, about $500 more than outgoing model

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 20:22
The 2019 Subaru Forester crossover SUV will cost $25,270 when it goes on sale later this year, the automaker announced Thursday. Top-of-the-line Touring versions will cost $35,270. All prices include a mandatory $975 destination fee. Base versions of the new Forester cost $560 more than last year's version, when similarly equipped. A 2018 Forester...
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2019 Subaru Forester Starts at $25,270

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 20:20

The 2019 Subaru Forester will start at $25,270 when it goes on sale this fall. Prices look a little different from the 2018 model, and that’s partially because Subaru dropped the six-speed manual and the 2.0-liter turbo engine option. Now, all models come with a 2.5-liter flat-four engine making 182 hp and mated to a CVT. Last year, the base Forester was priced at $23,710 with the manual and $24,710 with the CVT.

Standard features on the new Forester include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM compatibility, as well as 17-inch steel wheels, all-season tires, and four-wheel disc brakes. Upgrading to alloy wheels on the base model will cost $600. Premium models up the ante with standard 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, dark tint privacy glass, roof rails, and a panoramic power moonroof for $27,670. That’s a small increase from the $27,110 price tag on last year’s Premium model with the CVT.

As we previously reported, there is a new Sport trim for 2019. This model includes gloss black exterior accents, black-finish 18-inch wheels, a rear roof spoiler, orange body accents, and special badging. Inside, you’ll find gray upholstery and orange stitching. The Forester has “Intelligent” and “Sport” driving modes, but the Sport trim replaces the latter with “Sport Sharp.” Sitting in the middle of the Forester lineup, the Sport model costs $29,770.

Limited models feature keyless access with push-button start, an all-weather package, high beam assist, LED steering responsive headlights, and blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert. Perforated leather-trimmed upholstery finish off the look on this model that goes from $31,770. This price is up from last year’s $30,310 price tag.

On the Touring trim, buyers receive chrome exterior door handles, exclusive leather trimmed upholstery choices, heated rear seats, an 8-inch navigation screen with Harman Kardon sound system, and a 7-speed manual shift mode and paddle shifters for the CVT. This version will set you back $35,270, a considerable jump from the $34,005 price tag on last year’s Touring model.

The Forester faces steep competition in the compact crossover segment. Toyota hasn’t released prices for the new 2019 RAV4, but the 2018 Honda CR-V starts at $25,245, or $26,645 with all-wheel drive.

Source: Subaru


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Categories: Property

Infiniti Prototype 10 Looks Long and Low in This Teaser Sketch

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 18:00

Earlier this month, Infiniti released a teaser showing what looked like a single-seat sports car concept. But because the top-down image only showed the driver’s seat, it was hard to get an idea of what the car looked like. Thanks to this most recent teaser, though, that has changed.

Called the Prototype 10, Infiniti’s latest concept is a followup to last year’s retro Prototype 9 EV. Except while that concept’s design was inspired by race cars from the 1930s, the Prototype 10 is more of a reimagined speedster from the 1950s. Unlike the actual cars from that era, Infiniti says the Prototype 10 is electrified.

“The Infiniti Prototype 10 echoes the layout and design of some of the most evocative car designs of all time, where power was celebrated through high-powered single-seat competition cars,” said Karim Habib, Infiniti’s head of design, in a release. “Our new concept speaks of an electrified future, something which is reflected in its form and details. It is appropriate that we found inspiration in an optimistic bygone era in which cars were characterized by the simple love of driving.”

At the moment, there’s no telling exactly what kind of powertrain it uses, but Infiniti probably wouldn’t have said “electrified” if the Prototype 10 was fully electric. Instead, we suspect it’s some sort of hybrid. Parallel hybrid? Series hybrid? Plug-in hybrid? Who knows. If we got to choose, we’d love to see a turbine-electric hybrid, but sadly, Infiniti didn’t ask us.

In addition to the Sketch, Infiniti released a few more close-up teaser images over the past few days. These give use a better view of Prototype 10 from the side. We can see the bodywork rises to form a streamlined speedster fairing behind the headrest. And while it does come to a sharp, vertical point, it’s not quite the Jaguar D-Type fin we thought we saw initially. We also see more clearly the vertical slats in the fairing and next to it in the recess where the passenger seat would normally go. These vents could be cooling for a battery pack, combustion engine, or something else entirely. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Currently, the official reveal of the Prototype 10 is scheduled for August 23, but there’s always a chance Infiniti will release more information before then.

Source: Infiniti

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Categories: Property

Honda Odyssey Outperforms Rivals in Small Overlap, LATCH Tests

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 17:31

In its latest round of crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna received very different ratings in two categories: LATCH and the passenger-side small overlap test. In both these categories, the Honda Odyssey proved the clear winner.

LATCH is a system of attachment hardware that’s supposed to make it easier for customers to install child restraints in their cars. That’s the intent, although some systems aren’t as easy to use as others. IIHS ranks the systems for their ease of use, including the accessibility of the lower anchors, the force required to attach the seat, and the number of LATCH-equipped seating positions among other criteria. Of the three minivans, the Odyssey came out on top.  It earned a “Good+” rating in this category, while the Sienna scored “Acceptable” and the Pacifica was deemed “Marginal.” The Dodge Grand Caravan and Kia Sedona are also rated “Acceptable.”

For several years, IIHS has issued ratings for the driver-side small overlap test. This test simulates what happens when the front left corner of a car crashes into a tree, pole, or other object at 40 mph. Just recently, IIHS added ratings for the passenger side, which simulates the same event on the right-hand corner of the vehicle. Once again, the Odyssey takes the cake with a “Good” rating. The Pacifica scored “Acceptable” and the Sienna scored “Marginal.” Neither the Grand Caravan nor the Sedona have been rated in this category.

If such a crash were to happen in real life, the front passenger in a Sienna may sustain injuries to the right hip and lower leg, IIHS said. The crash caused 16 inches of intrusion into the dashboard and 20 inches into the lower compartment. Toyota modified the Sienna’s structure for increased driver-side protection starting with 2015 models, but failed to make the same improvements to the passenger side, the agency noted.

Vehicles don’t need to earn top ratings in the passenger-side test or the LATCH test to qualify for the Top Safety Pick award. The Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and Kia Sedona have earned the award for 2018. To achieve this feat, a vehicle must have “Good” ratings in all crash tests except the passenger-side test, a headlight rating of “Acceptable” or “Good,” and a front crash prevention rating of “Advanced” or “Superior.” So far this round, no minivan has earned the even more prestigious Top Safety Pick+ award, which requires at least an “Acceptable” rating in the passenger-side test in combination with a “Good” headlight score.

View the most recent minivan ratings from IIHS here.

Source: IIHS

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Categories: Property

New figures show 86% fall in business rates appeals

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 17:03
The number of appeals started in the 15 months since the 2017 rates revaluation has fallen year-on-year by more than 86% according to the VOA’s newest figures.
Categories: Property

2018 Woodward Dream Cruise: Cruising with Fiat-Chrysler/SRT’s Mark Trostle

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 16:37

Last year we spent the first three days of Woodward Dream Cruise week riding along with designers from the Detroit Three. This year we decided to round up reps from each company’s performance group. First up: Mark Trostle, who has been overseeing the SRT performance group’s design since March of 2011. These days he also has responsibility for Dodge, and all passenger and utility-vehicle exterior design, as well, but it’s still the high-performance stuff that excites him. A car guy through and through, the racing bug bit him when he started autocrossing a Dodge Omni GLH Turbo. He crewed for a friend who was IT racing a CRX and eventually bought a showroom stock Dodge Neon race car (which he drove home to Michigan from Florida in the summer). Sadly we spotted no GLHs, Neons, nor the first car he purchased as a Chrysler employee: a 1992 Eagle Talon TSI Turbo with AWD. These days Mark’s daily driver is a Hellcat, but because he opted for the rear-seat-delete package, we’re rolling in a press-office Hellcat Widebody that seats four.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

Maybe we’re overly sensitized to them tonight, but the Avenue seems to be absolutely jammed with modern high-horsepower Challengers including a Hellcat convertible (“I hope that got a lot of reinforcement!”) and about a half-dozen Demons. Several observers curbside and in nearby cars remark about not having seen a Redeye Widebody yet, however. It’s not long before we sidle up next to a Demon that’s a dead ringer for one in Mark’s collection (which bears VIN 10) except that it lacks his car’s black hood/roof/decklid option. Mark is relieved to note that none of the Hellcats or Demons on Woodward are committing the cardinal sin of leaving the bright yellow chin-spoiler protectors on. “We made them yellow so they’d be too ugly to leave on!” he exclaims. The ultimate sin, spotted at a car show: leaving the yellow protector installed and protected with blue painter’s tape.

1987-1993 Fox Mustang

Mark’s impressionable first moments at the wheel of any car came in a 1979 Mercury Capri hatchback with a manual transmission. It was built on Ford’s Fox platform shared with this Mustang. His father (also a car designer) had bought it for his mother, and it was eventually handed down to him. A budding car designer even then, Mark couldn’t resist taking the car down to bare metal, painting it black, adding 16-inch wheels, and upgrading it with the later (’83­–’86) bubble-window rear hatch. A very young Mark and the aging Capri survived a carjacking in Detroit; he ended up recovering the car about a week later. Although we made umpteen laps of the hottest stretch of Woodward, we never found a Fox Capri (and saw darned few Fox Mustangs). This was the closest we came—and Mark was quick to note that this one’s modifications might not exactly match his personal taste …

2008-2010 Dodge Viper SRT 10

Mark worked internships with both GM and Chrysler design groups, but it was the Viper that inspired him to accept a job with Chrysler shortly after he graduated from the College for Creative Studies in 1992. He basically wanted to work for any company crazy or bold enough to make such a car, and sure enough, by 2011 he was in charge of the group designing the Viper. Mark previously owned a 1992 Viper, and he currently has VIN 001 of the 2017 model Viper painted in—what else?—designer’s black.

1968 Plymouth Road Runner

Mark is ever the Mopar fan, and this slightly grungy base 383 Plymouth Road Runner really caught his eye. It’s missing its Looney Tunes cartoon Road Runner decals and rear hubcaps, and its mismatched tires lend it a strong function-over-form vibe that really suits Woodward. We did not succeed in prevailing upon the owner to demonstrate its “beep-beep” horn function …

1965-1967 Mk III AC/Shelby Cobra 427

Get many designers going about iconic car designs they love, and this one comes up a lot. It quite obviously inspired the original Viper, and Mark would love to own one. It’s pretty hard (but not impossible) to imagine someone wheeling an original down Woodward, but if this is a reproduction it’s at least a very faithful knockoff with no obvious cheating on the dimensions or build quality.

1967 “Eleanoresque” Mustang

Mark was obviously destined for a life in design, given that he couldn’t leave the design of his very first hand-me-down car alone. Today he loves seeing how other people alter production designs, enhancing the line work, emphasizing the proportion, using color and sheen to show off the lines. He was very favorably impressed by this matte monochrome bronze ’67 Mustang that had a vaguely Eleanor/Gone in 60 Seconds vibe to it—but with far greater subtlety. The wheel diameters and offsets perfectly fill the arches, the hood has a Demon-like air inlet, the blacked-out chrome greenhouse trim and body-color bumpers look great, and the bronze-tint headlight lenses finish it off superbly.

1948-1951 Studebaker Starlight Coupe

When asked how the mods on this Studebaker struck him, Mark’s one-word answer was a diplomatic “polarizing.” There’s no arguing with the quality of the coachwork, which is impressive. A true artisan mixed the cleaner horizontal taillight design of the ’48–’49 Starlight coupe with the more iconic bullet-nose front end from the ’50–’51 design. Chopping the roof looks kind of cool, but the rear glass isn’t chopped enough to preserve the roof’s curvature. That’s great for rear visibility—less great for preserving the original Virgil Exner/Raymond Loewy design’s beauty.

1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda

Mark once owned a ’70 ’Cuda, though his car only packed a 360 under the hood. This one is nicely outfitted with the big-block 440, Go Wing, rally wheels, and Limelight Poly green paint.

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

We round out our Mopar Muscle car-spotting adventure with this modestly equipped Challenger R/T, sporting a twin-nostril hood and a curious combination of a black hood stripe and white side stripes. But the factory wheels and white-letter tires really set the car off nicely, and it looked great prowling the Avenue in a sea of even wider, taller LC body Challengers.

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Categories: Property

2019 Chevrolet Impala

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 15:50
The 2019 Chevrolet Impala delivers muscular style and a spacious, comfortable interior without the land-yacht ride of full-size sedans of yore. It’s a handsome, likeable sedan, but limited standard active safety gear keeps its rating to 5.8 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.) The 2019 Impala is much like last...
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2019 Nissan Sentra adds Apple CarPlay, Android Auto

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 15:35
The long-servicing 2019 Nissan Sentra gets a few important updates and a slight price bump for the new model year, highlighted by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on most trim levels. The 2019 Nissan Sentra S now starts at $18,685 including a mandatory $895 destination charge, and comes standard with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine making 124...
Categories: Property

2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet First Look: One Fast Pony

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 15:30

What better place than Woodward Avenue during Dream Cruise week for Ford to unleash a limited-edition 50th anniversary Mustang Cobra Jet race car.

With the roar of engines and high-octane smell lingering over the boulevard from night after night of cruising leading up to the main rolling event on Saturday, Ford ups the ante with the fastest production Mustang on the drag strip. The car was shown to the media today and will make its public debut at the Dream Cruise on Saturday as part of the Mustang Alley display.

The 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet is a turnkey race car—it’s not street legal—and Ford will only make 68 of them to mark the year the original debuted. You have a choice of two colors: Race Red or Oxford White. Price tag: $130,000, not including available anniversary badging and graphics. You can place your order now at a Ford dealership.

Under the hood is a 5.2-liter version of Ford’s 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 with a 3.0-liter fifth-generation Whipple supercharger. It has a three-speed racing transmission.

Ford says the car can exceed 150 mph, which necessitates a parachute on the back. And it claims the car will do the quarter-mile run in just over 8 seconds, which means it has at least 700 horsepower and likely exceeds 1,000 (more specs including horsepower will be revealed later this summer). For perspective: Motor Trend clocked the Tesla Model S P100D’s quarter-mile at 10.5 seconds.

The Mustang has a four-link rear suspension, 9-inch solid rear axle, two-way coil-over shocks with adjustable ride height, and a low-drag disc brake system from Strange Engineering. An NHRA-certified safety roll cage can be ordered from the factory along with FIA-certified seats and anniversary-badged racing wheels.

This latest rendition is a reverent nod to the original Cobra Jet engine that debuted, and won, in 1968 at the NHRA Winternationals. The orignial V-8 generated 335 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque. Ford brought back a Mustang Cobra Jet in 2008 with a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8; that run was limited to 50 examples, and they did not have VINs and thus weren’t street legal. From 2009 to 2016 Ford made another 250 cars, essentially making 50 every two years. It was in 2013 that the engine switched to the 5.0-liter V-8.

The 2018 model was developed by the Ford Performance team and uses the 2018 Mustang platform. But again, no VINs. It starts life at Ford’s Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan and goes to Watson Racing to lighten the body, add the roll cage and other modifications before returning to Flat Rock for paint and final assembly. Then it returns to Watson for final addition of performance parts.

If you can’t get to Woodward, the new Mustang Cobra Jet will be in Norwalk, Ohio, Aug. 25 for the 50th Anniversary Ford Performance Cobra Jet Reunion at Summit Motorsports Park, which is expected to attract more than 150 cars.

The post 2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet First Look: One Fast Pony appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Minivan crash-tests, BMW gets sporty again, Eco-car deals: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 15:30
IIHS finds mixed results in latest minivan crash tests Not all minivans provide the best crash protection for their occupants, the IIHS said Thursday. In its testing, the insurance industry-funded group praised the 2018 Honda Odyssey while noting structural deficiencies in the 2019 Toyota Sienna and 2019 Chrysler Pacifica. Ohio senator wants to...
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2019 Ram ProMaster City

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 13:36
The 2019 Ram ProMaster City doesn’t have time for our clever analysis—there’s work to do. Normally, it’s a small cargo van (sometimes a small passenger van) destined for a rough-and-tumble life wherever it goes. With seats up front and a box in back, it wasn’t built to shine on our scale that prefers passenger cars...
Categories: Property

Drum reveals distillery-anchored Pacific Quay regeneration plans

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 13:15
Drum Property Group has submitted plans for the £30m first phase of its mixed-use regeneration project at Pacific Quay in Glasgow, featuring 20,000 sq ft of Grade A office space and an urban whisky distillery.
Categories: Property

SDL Graham Penny achieves unusually high success rate

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 13:14
Leicester branch achieves 88% success rate, but £2.4m raised is 40% down on August 2017 auction result.
Categories: Property

£275m Brum resi scheme given green light

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 13:10
Manchester-based investor MCR Property Group has been granted planning permission for a £275m, 1,000 unit residential scheme at Monaco House in Birmingham.
Categories: Property

Grainger hires national acquisitions director from LaSalle

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 12:24
Grainger has appointed Tom Henry from LaSalle Investment Management as national acquisitions director.
Categories: Property

TRIUVA takes on Frankfurt's Junghof Plaza with forward purchase

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 11:20
PATRIZIA-owned TRIUVA has agreed the forward purchase of Frankfurt’s mixed-use Junghof Plaza from PGIM Real Estate and FGI Frankfurter Gewerbeimmobilien.
Categories: Property

Harman Healy raises £3m from sale of 19 lots at latest auction

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 11:17
London-based auctioneer Harman Healy sold 19 of the 29 lots on offer at its sale on 9 August, raising £3m and achieving a 66% success rate.
Categories: Property

Allsop finds 59% of landlords charge below-market rents

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 11:12
More than half of private landlords are letting residential properties at below-market rents to keep tenants, according to a report by Allsop and research consultancy BDRC.
Categories: Property