Official: GM joins Ford in booking $1.2B quarterly profit

Filed under: GM, Earnings/Financials

General Motors' Detroit headquarters at the Renaissance Center

Ford isn’t the only American automaker that’s in the money. General Motors has just reported a second quarter income of $1.2 billion, although that number actually represents a year-to-year drop compared to Q2 2012. This drop can be chalked up to the expense behind launching a new line of full-size pickup trucks (the 2014 GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado), as well as the acquisition of GM Korea. Aside from those one-time costs, GM reported a seven-percent increase in income before interest and taxes, to $2.3 billion.

Like Ford, GM also trimmed its European losses, but by a larger margin – where Ford’s losses were $58 million lower for Q2, GM slashed $284 million over the second quarter of 2012 (the equivalent of $71 million per quarter). GM’s North American success, like Ford’s, can be tied largely to strong demand for pickups. Even with the changeover from the old Sierra and Silverado to the new models, Automotive News reports that full-size truck profits actually increased by five percent versus 2012. According to AN, this is GM’s fourteenth straight quarter in the black since its bankruptcy in 2009.

For all the numerical details, check out GM’s official press release by scrolling below.

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GM joins Ford in booking $1.2B quarterly profit originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Jul 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Volvo joins Australia’s V8 Supercars series [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Sedan, Videos, Volvo, Australia, Racing

Volvo S60 Polestar V8 Supercars teaser - video screencap

It was just a rumor, but now it’s official, mates: Volvo will be joining the V8 Supercars series in Australia with an official team for 2014. Volvo is partnering with Garry Rogers Motorsport and its own Polestar tuning firm to create Volvo Polestar Racing.

A V8 engine will be produced by the Swedish arm of the racing effort, and will be supplied to the Garry Rogers team, which will get the whole shebang ready for the track. The outfit will be running two V8 Supercars “based on the production S60 road car.” Considering that the S60 uses a range of transversely mounted engines with four, five or six cylinders (powering either the front or all four wheels) while the new race car will employ a V8 sending about 650 horsepower to the rear wheels, make that very loosely based on the production S60…

Volvo claims this is the first factory-backed entry in the V8 Supercars series from a luxury brand. We should note, though, that Mercedes-Benz is represented in the series with an E-Class sedan, but that outfit isn’t quite an official entry from the car’s German parents. In any case, you’re encouraged to watch the teaser video and read the press release below for all the details.

Continue reading Volvo joins Australia’s V8 Supercars series [w/video]

Volvo joins Australia’s V8 Supercars series [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Jun 2013 15:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Long Term: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI joins Autoblog’s Long-Term Garage

Filed under: Sedan, Volkswagen, Diesel, Long-Term Garage

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI – Click above for high-res image gallery

If you had told us last year that this year’s most controversial redesign would be the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, we would’ve politely walked away and laughed at your outrageous claim behind your back. We’re like that. But here we are, and the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta is, arguably, the most controversial redesign of the year.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

The reason is not so much how the designer’s hand has changed the car’s look, but rather how the bean counters and product managers have completely changed what the Jetta is. It’s no longer a premium compact sedan with a price to match. Now it’s a near-mid-size four-door with an ultra-competitive base price.

Jetta fans and auto journalists have been less than enthused with the changes. Buyers, however, apparently disagree. Sales of the new Jetta through April are up 68.8 percent. So which camp is right?

After the untimely demise of our last long-term Jetta (follow the jump for the whole story), a 2010 model year TDI Cup Street Edition, we were offered a 2011 model to take its place. Driving these two diesel Jettas back-to-back will help us craft a before-and-after snapshot of what the car has gained and lost with this latest redesign.

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2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI joins Autoblog’s Long-Term Garage originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 31 May 2011 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Brent Mustangburger joins the cast of CARS 2 [w/video]

Filed under: Coupe, Videos, Ford

brent mustangburger from cars 2

CARS 2 Brent Mustangburger – Click above for high-res image gallery

CARS 2 was already on our must-see list (for the kids, of course) even before we talked to director John Lasseter, and after that interview, we added a star next to the already-circled June 24 release date. But since we’ve still got a ways to go before the movie hits the big screen, we’ll have to take any information we can gather.

The latest character to be revealed is Brent Mustangburger, who is obviously voiced by sportscasting legend Brent Musburger. The excitable broadcaster will trade in his trademark glasses and blazer for a 1964.5 Ford Mustang body. The golden voice will remain unchanged, though, as the super broadcaster calls the fictional World Grand Prix during the movie.

Hit the jump for a 360 degree video that show just how good Mustangburger looks in Ford blue, and scroll through our image gallery to see the full slate of CARS 2 characters.

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Brent Mustangburger joins the cast of CARS 2 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 May 2011 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Porsche Cayman S Black Edition joins the dark side

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Porsche, Luxury

2012 Porsche Cayman S Black Edition

2012 Porsche Cayman S Black Edition – Click above for high-res image gallery

Porsche has just unveiled the newest addition to its stable: the 2012 Porsche Cayman S Black Edition. Along with that sinister paint scheme, the vehicle packs an extra 10 horsepower over the standard Cayman S and rolls on unique 19-inch Boxster Spyder wheels. That bumps the final pony figure up to 330 hp, which helps the vehicle scoot to 60 miles per hour in a scan 4.6 seconds.

Outside, all of the vehicle’s chrome accents have been painted black for the ultimate stealth look, and that theme carries on indoors. Black is the only available interior color, though brushed stainless steel and aluminum accents are littered throughout the cabin for a little flair. Even the gauges have been doused dark, and a Sport Design steering wheel is part of the package, too.

The Cayman S Black Edition toes the same line as the Boxster S and 911 Black Editions by offering the Porsche Convenience package as standard equipment. The 500 buyers lucky enough to sink their teeth into this model will be treated to adaptive bi-xenon headlights and rain-sensing wipers, among other kit, and navigation is standard, as well.

If you like what you see, Porsche will kindly ask for $67,500 for the pleasure of ownership. Hit the jump for the full press blast.

Continue reading 2012 Porsche Cayman S Black Edition joins the dark side

2012 Porsche Cayman S Black Edition joins the dark side originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 May 2011 12:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale joins the family portrait

Filed under: Performance, Videos, Maserati, Luxury

Maserati lineup

Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale joins its family – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Major automakers take note: if you want to see how far your can go with a single platform, look towards small exotic automakers like Maserati or Aston Martin.

Both these rival marques build their entire lineup on a single platform each (with occasional exceptions like the MC12 or One-77, respectively). In Maserati’s case, the latest addition is the GranTurismo MC Stradale (known just as the GranTurismo MC on this side of the Atlantic). And to tie the family together, the Modenese automaker has released this video that showcases the MC against a backdrop that also includes the standard GranTurismo coupe, the GranCabrio (known here as the GranTurismo Convertible) and the Quattroporte flagship.

Follow the jump to scope out the footage and start counting those savings bonds.

Gallery: Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale

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Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale joins the family portrait originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 May 2011 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford joins GM, Chrysler in sitting out Tokyo Motor Show

Filed under: Japan, Tokyo Motor Show, Chrysler, Ford, GM

Tokyo Motor Show

An American auto show wouldn’t be the same without the participation of Japanese automakers. But the inverse could hardly be said, as all three of Detroit’s automakers are set to be no-shows at the Tokyo Motor Show once again.

News of General Motors and Chrysler passing on the semi-annual Japanese auto expo came back in February, with word of Ford’s plan to pass just now being released. It will be the second time that the Big Three are staying back in Detroit, after having sat out the last show in 2009. Tokyo Motor Show organizers tried to attract more exhibitors by changing its venue and timeframe – a necessary move, as Tokyo is quickly losing ground to the auto shows in Shanghai and Beijing.

A slew of European automakers are set to be on hand in Tokyo, as the list of exhibitors has been released to include Volkswagen and several of its brands, as well as Daimler and BMW, along with Saab, Renault, Citroën, Peugeot, Jaguar and Land Rover. However, like its American counterpart, Fiat and its brand portfolio are notably absent from the list.

[Source: Tokyo Motor Show via Automotive News – sub. req.]

Ford joins GM, Chrysler in sitting out Tokyo Motor Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate joins Autoblog’s Long-Term Garage

Filed under: Sedan, Hyundai, Luxury, Long-Term Garage

2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate long-term

Long-Term 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 Equus proves that Hyundai has the Lexus LS 460 in its sights by offering the best value proposition in the luxury flagship segment. We’re eager to see how Hyundai’s new range-topping model stands up to the day-to-day rigors of American life, and so we’ve just added one to the Autoblog Long-Term Garage.

Our Equus is the fully loaded Ultimate model in White Satin Pearl, and though it’s packed with premium equipment, the as-tested price is only $65,400. The Ultimate trim level adds the four-passenger seating configuration, and no other option packages are available.

Things are pretty luxurious for rear seat passengers, as features like power recline and massage functions have been added, as well as a rear entertainment system, refrigerator, power headrests and illuminated vanity mirrors. And yes, our car does have the reclining right rear passenger seat. Check out our car’s full list of equipment on its Monroney.

Before we go on, we must confess that we haven’t been as regular as we had planned with updates on our other two long-term cars – the Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT and Volkswagen Jetta TDI Street Cup. You’ll be hearing about the fate of both in the very near future, and to fix this issue with irregularity, we’re going to do our long-term updates a bit differently with the Equus.

We’ll be publishing the majority of our on-the-go Equus coverage on Autoblog’s official Facebook page. Be sure to Like the page so you can join the conversation. We’ll also be posting instant impressions to our Twitter account, @therealautoblog, so be sure to follow us and look for any tweets with the #ablongterm tag. Finally, we’ll publish a monthly update right here on the site that includes data like fuel economy and maintenance costs.

We’re ready to add thousands of miles to the Equus’ odometer, so let us know what questions you’d like answered in the comments below and see our car from every angle in the high-res image gallery below.

Gallery: 2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate: Long-Term

2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate

Photos copyright (C)2011 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate joins Autoblog’s Long-Term Garage originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Mar 2011 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota Etios joins India’s B-car ranks

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Toyota, India

2011 Toyota Etios

2011 Toyota Etios – Click above for high-res image gallery

Toyota will officially join the Indian B-car segment with this, the 2011 Etios sedan. A hatchback version, Etios Liva, will follow in April. While the styling is decidedly sedate, Toyota hopes to attract shoppers with the Etios’ low price point – 496,000 Rupees, or just under $11,000 USD based on current exchange rates.

Power comes from a 1.5-liter inline-four mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Tuned specifically for fuel efficiency, athe engine produces just 89 horsepower and 97 pound-feet of torque. The Etios is capable of achieving 17.6 kilometers per liter, or roughly 41.2 miles per gallon.

Inside, the relatively spartan interior uses a center-mounted instrument panel, and amenities like steering-mounted audio controls and red seat inserts are available in the more upmarket models. The Etios is offered in four trim levels – J, G, V and VX – with pricing as high as 686,000 Rupees (roughly $15,287) for the top-tier Etios VX.

Hit the jump for Toyota’s official press release, and scan through the gallery below to see high-res images of the India-only Etios.

Gallery: 2011 Toyota Etios

2011 Toyota Etios2011 Toyota Etios2011 Toyota Etios2011 Toyota Etios2011 Toyota Etios

[Sources: Toyota, Paultan.org]

Continue reading Toyota Etios joins India’s B-car ranks

Toyota Etios joins India’s B-car ranks originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 04 Dec 2010 09:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ex-Hyundai and Benz stylist Piaskowski joins Ford as head of exterior design

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Ford, Design/Style

Joel Piaskowski, designerAccording to AutoWeek, Joel Piaskowski, formerly of General Motors, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz, is now making his way to Ford to head the exterior design team for the automaker in the Americas.

Piaskowski is perhaps best known for penning the Hyundai Genesis coupe and sedan – two vehicles that helped change the Korean automaker’s image here in the United States. He then left Hyundai at the end of 2008 to become the head of design at Mercedes-Benz’s advanced design studio in Irvine, California. Following his departure in March of this year, Piaskowski officially joins Ford Motor Company on October 1.

With recent debuts like the Fiesta as well as the upcoming Focus, Ford is proving that it’s capable of creating great design. Adding Piaskowski to the mix of clever-eyed design team should only strengthen Ford’s future portfolio, and we’re eager to see what new designs come out of the Blue Oval under the journeyman’s leadership.

[Source: AutoWeek | Image: General Motors]

Ex-Hyundai and Benz stylist Piaskowski joins Ford as head of exterior design originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 Sep 2010 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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