Infiniti Boss De Nysschen: EVs ‘absolutely’ coming, just not right away

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Infiniti, AutoblogGreen Exclusive

Johann de Nysschen with Infiniti Emerg-E

“There absolutely will be EVs in Infiniti’s future” – Johan de Nysschen

Despite being closely connected to the electric vehicle pioneers at Nissan, Infiniti is taking the slow road to bringing an EV to market. Last month, the first Infiniti EV – to be based on the LE concept from the 2012 New York Auto Show – was delayed to add better tech. Infiniti president Johan De Nysschen wants to make it perfectly clear that this delay is both intentional and in no way a cancellation.

Speaking with AutoblogGreen at a media event in Newport Beach, California this week, de Nysschen was blunt: “First and foremost, I simply must state that there absolutely will be EVs in Infiniti’s future.” The first Infiniti EV was delayed, in part, to give the brand room to grow in all directions. De Nysschen, who took over Infiniti in June of 2012, told us:

We have a massive journey ahead of us. We have to diversify our product portfolio, we have to enter a bunch of new market segments, we have to enter new geographies, we have to invest in new production capacity. And all of these things together amount to a massive investment in the brand. When it comes to EVs, that is another area that would require very huge investments and it is simply, for us, balancing the investment amounts with the short-, medium- and long-term profitability requirements and the role that all these various cars will play as we shape and reposition the brand.

As Infiniti gets ready to become a global player, one thing company representatives made clear is that the big goal, a plug-in car, is not at the top of the “To do” list. It’s on there, sure, but not what’s driving the company in 2013. Plus, as de Nysschen said, when the Infiniti EV arrives, it must have the latest and greatest tech.

Continue reading Infiniti Boss De Nysschen: EVs ‘absolutely’ coming, just not right away

Infiniti Boss De Nysschen: EVs ‘absolutely’ coming, just not right away originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 22 Aug 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Firing of M-B boss upheld

Filed under: Government/Legal, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Mercedes-Benz

Ernst Lieb, the disgraced former CEO of American operations for Mercedes-Benz, will not be getting any more money from the Silver Arrow’d teat. His wrongful dismissal suit against MB’s parent company, Daimler, was tossed out of a German appeals panel. This, followed the initial rejection by a lower court last year.

According to court documents acquired by Automotive News, Lieb was found to have “accepted payments of substantial value to which he – as he was aware – had no claim.”

Lieb took over American operations from former CEO Paul Halata in September of 2006. Reports surfaced in October of 2011 that Lieb was dismissed from his posting at MB, with a variety of rumors swirling. Eventually, news broke that financial wrong doing was responsible for the German’s firing.

Lieb misappropriated over $100,000 of corporate funds for home improvements to his Mahwah, New Jersey residence, which were used for new beds, a home gym, a theater and a built-in barbecue. Mercedes-Benz replaced Lieb with current CEO Steve Cannon in December of 2011.

Firing of M-B boss upheld originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Opel director Sedran to succeed Docherty as Chevy Europe boss

Filed under: Europe, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GM

Thomas Sedran, Chevy and Cadillac Europe bossWhen longtime General Motors executive Susan Docherty announced she would be stepping down from her post as the head of Chevrolet and Cadillac in Europe, there was some idle chatter that plans for the creation of a new global overseer position for the Bowtie brand was behind the move. And while US sales chief Alan Batey has indeed assumed control of Chevy worldwide since her departure announcement, Docherty’s vacancy is being filled after all, with Opel chief strategist Thomas Sedran taking up the reins.

That’s according to Automotive News, who reports that Sedran will be tasked with pulling Chevy out of a sales funk, much of it pegged on Europe’s stagnant auto industry, which has sunk to a 20-year low. AN notes that Chevy’s EU sales plunged 32 percent to 57,584 units through the first five months of 2013, but the everyday value brand is faring worlds better than Cadillac, which has sold just 167 units in Europe over the same time period.

Sedran, 48, has been in the auto industry for over 20 years. Most recently, at Opel he had been working on long-term plans for the marque, and was appointed to the brand’s management board in April of last year. Prior to joining GM, Sedran was employed as a management consultant for AlixPartners, where he worked closely with Opel for six years. Sedran will assume his new duties beginning July 1.

Opel director Sedran to succeed Docherty as Chevy Europe boss originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: NHTSA boss Strickland weighs in on Jeep recall fracas

Filed under: SUV, Government/Legal, Recalls, Safety, Jeep

David Strickland

Adding yet another chapter to the ongoing Jeep recall story, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) head David Strickland has gone on record to defend the government’s request that Chrysler recall 2.7 million out-of-production Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty vehicles after the agency investigated fiery rear-end collisions that have reportedly killed at least 51 people over the years. In statements made to The Detroit News, Strickland said, “We felt very strongly that the process that we undertook and the findings that we made and … we made the decision to issue a recall request. We do not take that very lightly.” The top US auto safety regulator stopped short of telling owners to park their cars until the automaker takes action. “They can make their own risk assessment and their own choices,” he said.

Chrysler does not intend to recall the models, insisting the “vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity” when they were manufactured and sold. “The company does not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective,” Chrysler announced last week in a statement. “We believe NHTSA’s initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data, and we are committed to continue working with the agency to resolve this disagreement.”

Legally, Chrysler has until June 18 to formally respond to NHTSA’s request. If the automaker does not take action, NHTSA is expected to issue a formal finding and seek a recall.

NHTSA boss Strickland weighs in on Jeep recall fracas originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 15 Jun 2013 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: BMW Group design boss von Hooydonk talks 328 Hommage

Filed under: Concept Cars, Classics, Convertible, Performance, Europe, Videos, BMW, Misc. Auto Shows, Luxury

BMW 328 Hommage Concept

BMW 328 Hommage concept with Adrian von Hooydonk – Click above to watch the video after the break

While at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este (yeah, we’re roughing it here) we grabbed BMW Group chief of design Adrian von Hooydonk for an interview about his team’s latest two-person open-top concept car, the 328 Hommage.

The 328 Hommage marks 75 years since the launch of the gorgeous 1930s icon, the 328, and carries on the tradition of that car in its lightness. While the 328 six-cylinder was underpowered on paper in its day, it kicked butt on the race circuit due to its very light weight and superior dynamics.

The 328 Hommage frankly looks more like an homage to the 1950s sex-tastic 507, but at least the concept gets the open sides, leather straps, and wingnut wheels fairly correct. And we like that the tall kidneys on the grille make a modern return.

Von Hooydonk admits that the 328 Hommage isn’t proportionally much like the 328 of old, but, he says, “Any sports car today needs to be wider and lower anyway.” We, however, harken back to the 2006 Mille Miglia coupe concept, which simply blew one and all away. That car also went directly from its public unveiling into the BMW museum in Munich, never to be seriously driven.

Click through to the jump to continue reading and to watch the video.

Continue reading BMW Group design boss von Hooydonk talks 328 Hommage

BMW Group design boss von Hooydonk talks 328 Hommage originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 May 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Boss 302 crate engines now available from Ford Racing

Filed under: Aftermarket, Ford

Ford Mustang Boss 302 Crate Engine

Ford Mustang Boss 302 Crate Engine – Click above for high-res image gallery

Last year Ford made the Mustang’s 5.0L V8 available as a crate engine. Shortly thereafter, many of them found homes in some well-deserving cars. Now, Ford Racing is offering the Boss 302’s 5.0L V8 as a standalone purchase through its performance parts catalog, allowing anyone to put the 444 horsepower engine into their own project car.

The difference between the Mustang’s standard 5.0L V8 and the Boss 302 variant is more than just 32 horsepower. The Boss 302 features a new high-flowing intake manifold; CNC-machined cylinder heads; upgraded exhaust valves; forged pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft; a more aggressive camshaft and more. All of those upgrades cost a pretty penny, though. Ford Racing lists the Boss 302 V8 crate engine at $11,999.00, while the standard 5.0 will cost you just $6,999.00.

Follow the jump for a full list of features, or let us know what vehicle you’d drop a Boss 302 into via the comments below.

Gallery: Ford Mustang Boss 302 Crate Engine

[Source: Ford Racing]

Continue reading Boss 302 crate engines now available from Ford Racing

Boss 302 crate engines now available from Ford Racing originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 01 May 2011 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lexus boss Templin says brand to lose luxury sales crown over Japan quake

Filed under: Japan, Lexus, Luxury

mark templin lexus vp Lexus has been the king of luxury car sales in the U.S. for over a decade, but Toyota’s high-end brand will likely lose its crown in 2011, due at least in part to the March 11 earthquake in Japan.

Certainly, Lexus was already facing a great deal of pressure from rivals like BMW and Buick, but Automotive News reports that Toyota VP and Lexus Group Manager Mark Templin says dealers are down to a 30-day supply of most models, and that vehicle shortages will be felt as early as this week. The problem is that some key components from Japan come from plants that are still shut down as a result of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The Lexus CT 200h is reportedly close to sold out due to the issues.

Further complicating matters is the fact that Lexus ramped up the leasing business three years ago, and those customers will soon be bringing back their luxury rides in large numbers. That’s good news for dealers looking for products to sell, but it’s bad for customers who may not have the ability to purchase a new Lexus model.

The automaker is looking to ease this issue by offering six-month lease extensions. At the same time, Templin knows many customers will simply purchase their lease vehicle outright, and he’s asking dealers not to gouge those customers. The fear is that a shortage of models will result in more demand than supply, which could then jack up the price of Lexus models to unreasonable levels.

Since the automaker appears to be out of the running for the 2011 luxury sales crown, it seems natural that Lexus will come back with a vengeance in 2012. But Templin says the automaker may never again grab the sales crown, since luxury car makers are aiming down-market to improve corporate fuel economy averages. Templin opines that it won’t be long before a luxury car maker hits 500,000 sales in a year.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

Lexus boss Templin says brand to lose luxury sales crown over Japan quake originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Apr 2011 16:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford Mustang Boss 302 fails Motor Trend brake test. Here’s why

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Safety, Ford

2012 ford mustang boss 302

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford’s new M3-fightin’ Mustang, the 2012 Boss 302, is a 444-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive two-door designed to fight well above its weight class. Motor Trend decided to spend quality time with the coupe, and something scary happened. Not scary as in ‘whoa, this thing is scary fast’ but more along the lines of ‘call my tailor, I ruined my pants’ terrifying.

Part of M/T’s testing gauntlet includes a look at braking distance. Road Test Editor Scott Mortara ran the Ford up to 70 miles per hour. Now it was time to see how quickly he could bring it to zero. Typically, this is just a matter of mashing the brakes and holding on. The sound of straining tires is a sound that’s welcome, but a metallic snapping noise is not. Either way, the 2012 Boss 302 was a runaway pony.

Mortara used the six-speed manual transmission to reduce the coupe’s speed before exiting the track through a gap at its end. What went wrong? A pin that connects the brake pedal to the rod that actuates the master cylinder had failed and snapped off. Normally, the brake pedal connects to the rod in a manner that distributes the pressure evenly over a large surface area and would still actuate the brakes when one presses the pedal. The setup on this particular Mustang was faulty, and allowed for far more pressure on the individual piece that failed.

Ford has examined this car, as well as the brake installation process at its assembly plants. It seems this car is unique in its defect. Motor Trend contends that it’s possible the brake assembly was removed then reinstalled after the vehicle left the factory, which could explain why the part failed in such an abnormal manner. Check out the full story over at Motor Trend.

Gallery: 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302: First Drive

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 3022012 Ford Mustang Boss 3022012 Ford Mustang Boss 3022012 Ford Mustang Boss 3022012 Ford Mustang Boss 302

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Motor Trend]

Ford Mustang Boss 302 fails Motor Trend brake test. Here’s why originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Apr 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford Mustang Boss 302R captures first Grand-Am victory

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Ford, Racing

Multimatic Motorsports Mustang Boss 302R

Multimatic Motorsports Mustang Boss 302R – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford has been quite successful in Grand-Am’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, most recently winning the championship in 2009 with the FR500C Mustang. Last year, Ford Racing introduced the Mustang Boss 302R into the series, but as with any new race car, it had various kinks and bugs to work through. The Boss 302R ended the 2010 race season without a victory, and the championship went to the BMW M3.

Things are looking up once again for the Mustang, however, with the Mustang Boss 302R taking its first victory this past weekend at Barber Motorsports park. Multimatic Motorsports drivers Scott Maxwell and Joe Foster brought home the win, while the Roush Boss 302R of Jack Roush Jr. finished in third place. The Multimatic Motorsports team is currently five points behind Turner Motorsports and its BMW M3.

You can read full details about the Boss 302R’s first victory in the press release after the jump, or hit up the gallery below for your full of high-res road racing pony cars.

Gallery: Multimatic Motorsports Mustang Boss 302R

[Source: Ford | Images: Grand-Am]

Continue reading Ford Mustang Boss 302R captures first Grand-Am victory

Ford Mustang Boss 302R captures first Grand-Am victory originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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eBay Find of the Day: 4,400-mile, unrestored 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

Filed under: Classics, Coupe, Performance, Auctions, Ford

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 – Click above for high-res image gallery

The seller of this 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 bought it from its original Akron, Ohio owner who racked up a scant 4,405 miles before offloading it back in the day. It’s been garage-kept all its life, and still sports its original, terrifying bias-ply tires. According to the seller, this particular Boss 429 is fitted with the coveted ‘S’ engine, a feature only available on the first 279 Boss 429s produced.

The current owner says he bought the car in excellent shape in 2007 and had it professionally cleaned and re-awoke the engine after a long slumber. Since then, the car has been pampered and its astonishing mileage preserved.

Despite its low mileage, the Boss participated in, and won, a couple bracket races when new. The quarter windows still carry the winner’s stickers. The price for this all-original time capsule is enough to make even the most-hardcore Mustang fan gulp. Buy-It-Now is set at an astounding $550,000. Is it worth it? Have your say in Comments. Top tip, Brent!

Gallery: 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 front three-quarter1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 side1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 side1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 front side1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 rear three-quarter

[Source: eBay Motors]

eBay Find of the Day: 4,400-mile, unrestored 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 10 Apr 2011 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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