Detroit Electric moving SP:01 EV production to Holland

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Manufacturing/Plants

Detroit Electric SP:01 delayed again.

The plans that the revived Detroit Electric company made headlines with when it announced the all-electric SP:01 sports car were, at best, optimistic. To go from concept to starting production in half a year was always a going to be a challenging proposition, so we were hardly surprised when it was recently discovered that the company’s offices in the Fisher Building are tumbleweed-empty and that it is not on track to build cars in the Detroit area. But we were caught a bit off guard with the just-announced change of plans, which will see the company step away from its Motor City namesake to build cars in Holland. According to a report by The Detroit News, the company still hopes to make cars in Michigan someday, just not right now.

The timeline has also been pushed back. Instead of the promised August start date, the Dutch plant is now supposed to start building the SP:01 in the fourth quarter. In a statement to the newspaper, Detroit Electric CEO Albert Lam said, “We are Detroit Electric, not London Electric. Our commitment to the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan and the United States is as strong as it ever was. While there have been some delays in our plan to start production in Detroit, many vehicle programs experience some form of delay.” Despite this prominent delay, the company’s website still promises it will have “two other high-performance models” in production “by the end of 2014.” We’ll see.

Detroit Electric moving SP:01 EV production to Holland originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 15:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Detroit Electric SP:01 production plans delayed again

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Performance, Plants/Manufacturing, Electric

Detroit Electric SP:01 delayed again.

The revival of Detroit Electric and the imminent arrival of its first vehicle, the SP:01 sports car, have us hooked, not because the EV is the most innovative design around (based on the Lotus Exige, it’s strikingly similar to Tesla’s discontinued Lotus-based Roadster), but because it promises to be yet another American-built high-performance EV with some unique twists. We like the fact that customers can opt for a four- or five-speed manual transmission (particularly unusual in an EV), or use the car to power a building in the case of a power outage. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a bit longer before the SP:01 hits the road, because Detroit Electric has yet to finalize a lease or purchase agreement of its chosen production facility in Plymouth, Michigan, The Detroit News reports.

Detroit Electric has been trying to hammer out an agreement, but the negotiations for the Plymouth facility are producing enough uncertainty that Detroit Electric’s North American President Don Graundstadt says the automaker-to-be is negotiating with other parties.

Previous plans for SP:01 production called for its manufacture to begin by this month, but plans change, and production will be pushed back. There is no mention of when the electric sports car will become a 2,500-unit-per-year reality, but rather ominously, The Detroit News notes that “the immediate fate of the automaker should be known in the next couple of weeks.”

Detroit Electric SP:01 production plans delayed again originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 24 Aug 2013 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: BMW M4 to debut in Detroit, lose manual transmission

Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Coupe, Performance, BMW

BMW M4 Concept live at Monterey 2013 reveal

BMW took the wraps off its M4 Concept at Pebble Beach last weekend, and many speculated that the highly anticipated production version of the sleek new two-door sports coupe would debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this year. But a well-placed source tells Autoblog that the E92 M3’s successor won’t arrive in Southern California this November. Instead, the German automaker will wait until the Detroit Auto Show in January for its first official reveal.

An all-new 3.0-liter inline-six with twin turbochargers is expected under the hood, and it should provide about the same horsepower as the current 4.0-liter V8 (rated at 414 horsepower), but with much more torque that arrives lower on the tachometer. The lightweight engine is said to have an impressively high redline, which is unusual for a turbocharged engine.

Unfortunately, Save the Manuals members aren’t going to like this next bit of news. After four generations of three-pedal M3 models, our source says the upcoming F82 M4 will arrive with a dual-clutch transmission (DCT) as standard equipment – with no manual option – just like the latest iteration of the track-ready Porsche GT3 (few have complained about the automaker’s PDK after driving the latest sports car from Stuttgart). In exchange for some moans, groans and gripes from enthusiasts, BMW’s DCT mounted aft of the M4’s inline-six will provide quicker acceleration and improved fuel economy.

BMW M4 to debut in Detroit, lose manual transmission originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 13:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mercedes S65 AMG to bow in LA, S600 in Detroit

Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, LA Auto Show, Hybrid, Sedan, Performance, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

Between the launch of the 2014 Mercedes S-Class, the debut of the S63 AMG (shown above) and reports about a new “super S-Class,” the Mercedes-Benz flagship sedan has been in the news a lot lately. According to Car and Driver, Mercedes plans to introduce three new flavors of the latest S-Class at the Frankfurt, LA and Detroit auto shows.

We already heard that the plug-in hybrid version will be introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, but this new report says that the V12-powered S65 AMG and S600 models will soon follow. At the LA Auto Show in November, the S65 AMG will hit the stage with a twin-turbo V12 expected to produce more than the current model’s 621 horsepower. This should make for one quick S-Class, no doubt able to shave a few ticks off the 2014 S63 AMG’s 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds.

Following the S65’s debut, Mercedes will reportedly take the wraps off its S600, which will use a less-powerful version of the mighty V12. The 2013 model year S600 produces 510 hp from its 5.5-liter twin-turbo V12, which is enough to propel the sedan to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds. The updated version should only improve those figures. Stay tuned.

Mercedes S65 AMG to bow in LA, S600 in Detroit originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Jul 2013 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: 2014 Chevy Impala used as recording studio for Detroit band

Filed under: Sedan, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Chevrolet

Detroit band Gentlemen Mutineers recording song inside a 2014 Chevy Impala - video screencap

When the Chevrolet Sonic came out, the YouTube-tastic band OK Go used it in a music video in which they drove the tiny hatch through a bunch of giant instruments to play their song Needing/Wanting. Two years later, the arrival of the 2014 Chevrolet Impala has got another band in a music-making mind, but this time it’s Detroit’s Gentlemen Mutineers recording their song Detroit Throttle inside the “library quiet” cabin of the sedan.

We could tell you more about it, but Chevrolet tells you all you want to know in the press release below. Besides, a municipal anthem should be allowed to speak for itself, so you can watch it in the video below.

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2014 Chevy Impala used as recording studio for Detroit band originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 26 Jul 2013 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Organizers vow city bankruptcy won’t affect Detroit Auto Show

Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Government/Legal, Earnings/Financials

2013 North American International Auto Show - Cobo Hall sign

Detroit’s bankruptcy is going to mess up a lot of stuff in the coming months – if not years. One thing that shouldn’t be affected, though, is the North American International Auto Show, held at downtown Detroit’s Cobo Center.

Currently in the midst of a much-needed $299-million renovation, Cobo’s operation was taken over by the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority in 2009, essentially protecting the convention center, and by extension, the auto show, from the city’s ills.

Speaking to Automotive News, executive director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, Rod Alberts, said he isn’t worried about the effect of Detroit’s bankruptcy on the show’s most visible municipal presence – security. City officials are committed to providing the same degree of activity as in previous years. In addition to the regular police presence, the auto show will hire its own security forces for this year’s show rather than contracting out. Not all the pressure is on the show and the DPD, though, as Alberts pointed out to AN, “‘I know we can lean on other agencies to help us out if we need to.'”

Held annually at Cobo since 1965, the North American International Auto Show is one of the premiere events on the global auto show calendar. Held every January, it has been a regular source of frostbite news and new vehicle introductions for media from around the world.

Organizers vow city bankruptcy won’t affect Detroit Auto Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 15:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Detroit pins hopes to bankruptcy as Motor City sags

Filed under: Government/Legal, Earnings/Financials

Detroit from the air

Detroit. The Motor City. Motown. Hitsville, USA. Hockeytown. The largest municipality ever to file for bankruptcy in US history. You can add that last one to Detroit’s many titles, as Republican Governor Rick Snyder authorized emergency manager Kevyn Orr to file a petition for bankruptcy yesterday.

Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy bid is likely to be very bad news for city employees, retirees and their families, but what does it mean for the auto industry? Automotive News spoke with Wall Street financial guru Steven Rattner, the same man that acted as President Barack Obama’s so-called auto czar, ushering General Motors and Chrysler through bankruptcies of their own, to see what parallels there will be between the two situations.

According to Rattner, bankruptcy for the city was inevitable, just like it was for GM and Chrysler. “It’s analogous to the auto companies, in that you have too many stakeholders whose claims are too underwater to realistically ever worked this out with some kind of bankruptcy,” Rattner told AN. But, Rattner cautions, “This will be much messier.” The auto bankruptcies took a brief six weeks, while the city’s case will likely last at least a few months, if not a year or more.

While the automaker presence in the city isn’t what it once was, GM still employs roughly 3,000 people at its Renaissance Center headquarters, right in the heart of downtown. Chrysler’s Detroit workforce is mainly blue collar, at the Jefferson North factory, which builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. Ford, the only automaker not to go through bankruptcy, has limited its presence within Detroit city limits.

In a statement, GM said its “is proud to call Detroit home and today’s bankruptcy declaration is a day that we and others hoped would not come. We believe, however, that today also can mark a clean start for the city.” Ford shared a similar sentiment, with a release stating “The city has a difficult job ahead, and we are optimistic that governmental leaders will be successful in strengthening the community.” Chrysler, meanwhile, reiterated its commitment to the city, “We not only continue to invest in the city and its residents by adding to our presence in Detroit, we also are committed to playing a positive role in its revitalization.”

Detroit pins hopes to bankruptcy as Motor City sags originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 10:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: VW Phaeton coming back to US, could be revealed in Detroit

Filed under: Sedan, Volkswagen, Luxury

Since its ignominious departure from the US car market in 2006, there have been any number of on-again/off-again rumors about the Volkswagen Phaeton returning to our shores. With that said, VW’s aggressive goals in terms of worldwide sales dominance would seem to countenance all manner of new product; taking a second stab at a halo-luxury car for the US, included.

At least that’s the gist of a new report from Bloomberg, which dangles the idea of a new Phaeton potentially being “shown to US consumers in January,” or just in time for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

Short on specifics and citations, the Bloomberg report seems to rely on the expansionist behavior of VW as a whole over the last few years, and a few statements of positivity from VW CEO Martin Winterkorn. The publication quotes Winterkorn as saying, “A brand as large as Volkswagen needs a halo project in the upscale segment.” Bloomberg also states that Winterkorn was “confirming” the Phaeton’s return to the US.

The supposedly Detroit-bound Phaeton demonstrator could come in concept form, as a way of better judging public reaction to the reintroduction of the sedan. Pending a greenlight, the next-gen Phaeton is likely to share architecture with the Audi A8, with the potential good for a hybrid version, as well.

VW Phaeton coming back to US, could be revealed in Detroit originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Jul 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler seeks injunction to stop sale of ‘Imported from Detroit’ shirts

Filed under: Government/Legal, Chrysler

Imported From Detroit logo

Chrysler has asked a judge to enforce a preliminary injunction to prevent clothing store Pure Detroit from selling t-shirts bearing the slogan, “Imported from Detroit.” Chrysler asked for the injunction on the grounds that the public may be misled into thinking that the shirts came from Chrysler.

This round of legal squabbling is the latest in a series of trademark battles Chrysler has dealt with since it unveiled the slogan during the Super Bowl. Chrysler filed a lawsuit against Pure Detroit’s parent company Moda Group, LLC on March 15.

According to Chrysler, Pure Detroit agreed on Feb. 24 to stop selling the shirts via its website, but hasn’t stopped sending them to stores. Chrysler applied for two separate trademarks on the slogan, one for use on cars on November 23, and one for use on clothing on January 18. Pure Detroit says it plans to fight Chrysler’s injunction.

[Source: The Detroit News]

Chrysler seeks injunction to stop sale of ‘Imported from Detroit’ shirts originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 27 Mar 2011 13:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Followup: Scott Burgess resumes role as auto critic for The Detroit News

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs

Scott Burgess, Auto Critic for The Detroit NewsFollowing an official apology by his former and once again present editors, Scott Burgess, auto critic for The Detroit News, has returned to the newspaper. Burgess had resigned after changes were made to a review he had written that criticized the 2011 Chrysler 200 sedan, apparently in response to complaints made by parties that advertised with the paper. Naturally, we wish Burgess the best of luck with his reborn career with The Detroit News. [Source: Jalopnik]

Followup: Scott Burgess resumes role as auto critic for The Detroit News originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Mar 2011 18:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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