Report: Mercedes considering Mexico for CLA production

Filed under: Sedan, Plants/Manufacturing, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Luxury

Would you buy a Mercedes-Benz if it were made in Mexico? That’s what the German outfit is wondering, as it considers localizing production of its new budget model at a factory operated by Nissan, of which the automaker is a joint-venture partner.

According to a report from Automotive News, moving production of American-spec CLAs from Hungary to Mexico would protect Mercedes from currency fluctuations. “Mexico is the best location for the United States,” Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche told AN. The CLA is also expected to become the brand’s volume model in the US market, which makes North American production a logical move.

In the event that Mercedes approves the plan, Nissan would expand the capabilities at its Aguascalientes, Mexico plant, allowing production to begin in 2018.

Mercedes considering Mexico for CLA production originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: RON Automóviles shows off RXX and R7 sports cars for Mexico

Filed under: Concept Cars, Convertible, Performance, Specialty, Racing

Occasionally we learn about a new car manufacturer starting up in Mexico, but usually the country’s most significant involvement in the auto industry is relegated to building vehicles and parts for other auto companies. RON Automóviles de México hopes to change that with its new line of sports cars. The flagship model, the RXX, resembles an Ariel Atom with bodywork, while the R7 was inspired by the Lotus 7.

The RXX will be built and sold in three different versions, the RXX, RXX-S and RXX-R. The company states on its Facebook page that the model variants will be differentiated by their finish, equipment and power, but their specifications haven’t been released yet. Not much else is known about the RXX except that it is expected to be a lightweight, high-performance roadster with two tandem seats (that’s right; the driver sits in front of the passenger), an aluminum chassis with carbon-fiber bodywork and a carbon-fiber interior. RON states the RXX will be a street-legal machine that brings the excitement of driving a Formula One car to the masses.

The R7 will follow a more traditional mold, as it was inspired by the Lotus 7 and is based off of the 7’s chassis; no tandem seating here. From the photos, we can tell the R7 retains features that would be found on an old Lotus 7, such as rear drum brakes and a live rear axle. Let’s just hope that third-generation Volkswagen Jetta parts don’t find their way into the build.

RON Automóviles shows off RXX and R7 sports cars for Mexico originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 14 Jul 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dodge updates Attitude for Mexico with latest Hyundai Accent, forgets badges *UPDATE

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Dodge, Hyundai

2012 Dodge Attitude

What you’re looking at is not the 2012 Hyundai Accent, it’s the 2012 Dodge Attitude. Yes, we see the Hyundai badge. No, we aren’t kidding.

Dodge has, for quite some time now, sold a rebadged version of the Hyundai Accent in Mexico under the Attitude moniker. (Hyundai, as an automaker, is otherwise absent from the Mexican market). And while the previous-generation Attitude was simply a rebadged version of the old Accent sedan, it appears that the 2012 model doesn’t even go that far.

We got our first glimpse at the U.S.-spec Accent at the 2011 New York Auto Show earlier this year, and while our market will benefit from the functionality of the five-door hatchback configuration, the Dodge Attitude will only be available as a sedan. A 1.4-liter gasoline engine is standard, with a 1.6-liter powerplant available as an option.

Dodge N100UPDATE: Looks like the Accent isn’t the only Hyundai vehicle being given the Pentastar treatment in Mexico. The Korean automaker’s Starex van (known as the iLoad and iMax – seriously – in Australia) also wears a Dodge nameplate in Mexico, though like the Attitude, the Hyundai badges have remained intact. The Dodge H100 is available in both cargo van and passenger van configurations. (Hat tip to owenrec!)

Dodge updates Attitude for Mexico with latest Hyundai Accent, forgets badges *UPDATE originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 May 2011 11:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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VW will happily sell you an armored last-gen Jetta… in Mexico

Filed under: Sedan, Safety, Volkswagen, Specialty

Volkswagen Bora Protect

Personal protection is a big deal south of the border, and the people of Mexico reportedly spend upwards of $80 million per year on armored vehicles. When we think of armored cars, we tend to think about Chevy Tahoes and Ford Expeditions, but Volkswagen has for years offered a smaller, slightly more affordable option.

The Bora Protect is little more than a previous-generation Jetta, except it can stop a bullet. The no-doubt heavy little sedan costs about $70,000 in U.S. funds, but if that’s what it takes to stop a high-velocity round from entering the cabin, it’s likely money well spent. And as an added bonus, buyers of the Bora Protect receive the superior interior of the last-generation Jetta, as opposed to the cost-cut cabin of the current model.

And as you might expect, the base 115-horsepower 2.0-liter engine isn’t the mill of choice when you’re hauling several hundreds of pounds worth of Kevlar and other bullet blockers. For 70-large you also get the 200-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter mill mated to a six-speed DSG for (at least close to) proper motivation. Run-flat rubber makes shooting out the tires a less-fruitful endeavor, as well.

Something tells us that the 2.0T isn’t quite as peppy under the hood of the Bora Protect as it is in the GLI, but then again, the Bora Protect is about stopping bullets, not driving like one.

[Source: Volkswagen]

VW will happily sell you an armored last-gen Jetta… in Mexico originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Richard Hammond admits regret over Top Gear Mexico remarks

Filed under: Etc., Europe, UK, Celebrities, South America

Top Gear staff discussing Mastretta MXT

Richard Hammond apologized this week for his offensive remarks about Mexicans during a Top Gear segment discussing the Mastretta MXT earlier this year. Hammond said he regretted the remarks, and sees now how they could have been offensive. Still, Hamster didn’t exactly come all the way clean, saying that his words – and those of his two co-hosts – were clearly a joke.

For its part, the BBC has stood behind Hammond, May and Clarkson, saying that off-color humor is an integral part of the show. The presenters and the BBC got a thorough shellacking over the comments after the show aired. Mexico’s ambassador to the UK called the remarks “offensive, xenophobic and humiliating.”

[Source: On the Box]

Report: Richard Hammond admits regret over Top Gear Mexico remarks originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mexico’s Mastretta hoping to turn Top Gear notoriety into sales

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Etc., UK, Celebrities

Mastretta MXT

Mastretta MXT – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mexican sportscar manufacturer Mastretta is making the best of a bad situation. The company is attempting to capitalize on the furor over insulting comments that the presenters of Top Gear made about the automaker and Mexico in general. According to Drive.com, since the incident, traffic to the company’s website has skyrocketed, and more importantly, orders for the Mastretta MXT have leapt as well. According to Carlos Mastretta, the company’s general manager, the manufacturer now has orders from countries in Europe as well as Brazil and Chile. Mastretta has recently begun to receive inquiries from the States, as well.

The jump in attention is thanks solely to the dust up over the Top Gear comments. According to Drive.com, the MXT was a relative unknown – even in its home country. While Mastretta is a well-known manufacturer of public-transportation vehicles, few knew that the company is also responsible for this new sportscar before hearing about the confrontation between the BBC and Mexico’s ambassador to the UK.

The Mastretta MXT is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter Ford Duratec four-cylinder engine with around 250 horsepower, and the company says that the vehicle should be good for 0-60 mph dashes in the high four-second range thanks to its lightweight design.

Gallery: Mastretta MXT

[Source: Drive.com]

Report: Mexico’s Mastretta hoping to turn Top Gear notoriety into sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Feb 2011 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Top Gear Mexico remarks get the animated dramatization treatment

Filed under: Etc., Videos, Celebrities, Humor

Next Media Animation of Top Gear Mexico controversy

Mexico takes on Top Gear in animated form – Click above to watch video after the jump

It started with politically incorrect commentary from Jerermy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May; the hosting trio of the BBC’s Top Gear. When discussing the Mexican-built Mastretta MXT, the three quickly turned to jokes relating the car to stereotypical viewpoints on Mexican citizens.

Shortly thereafter, the Mexican Ambassador didn’t find the spot humorous and complained to the BBC, which in turn has issued an apology (kind of). Now this entire affair has reached the modern pinnacle of worldwide attention… it’s been (That’s right, you guessed it!) turned into a cartoon by Next Media Animation. Finally!

Click past the jump to view Taiwan’s take on the the show’s falling out with Mexico. And remember, Top Gear can suck it!

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Video: Top Gear Mexico remarks get the animated dramatization treatment

Video: Top Gear Mexico remarks get the animated dramatization treatment originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Feb 2011 19:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chevy Volt components to be built from Gulf of Mexico’s oil-soaked booms [w/video]

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Plants/Manufacturing, Chevrolet, GM, Electric

2011 Chevrolet Volt recycled boom material

Recycled boom material under the hood of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

There’s really no way to positively spin the disaster that took place in the Gulf of Mexico when BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded and leaked untold millions of gallons of oil into the ocean. That said, it seems that General Motors has figured out a way to “creatively recycle” an estimated 100 miles of oil-soaked plastic boom material.

If not recycled, much of this material would likely have ended up in landfills, and we’d much rather see it reused under the hood of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt than buried under the ground to rot way over several lifetimes. Specifically, GM will mold radiator air deflectors from plastic that’s made up of 25 percent recycled boom material and 25 percent recycled tires, with the remaining 50 percent “a mixture of post-consumer recycled plastics and other polymers.”

Enough of the boom material has apparently been collected to fill GM’s needs for these plastic parts over the Volt’s entire first year of production, and it’s likely that these recycling efforts will continue to other models in the automaker’s portfolio. See the recycled boom material used in the Volt in our image gallery below, and check out a video along with the entire press release after the break.

Gallery: Recycled boom material in the Chevrolet Volt

Recycled boom material in the Chevrolet VoltRecycled boom material in the Chevrolet VoltRecycled boom material in the Chevrolet Volt

[Source: General Motors]

Continue reading Chevy Volt components to be built from Gulf of Mexico’s oil-soaked booms [w/video]

Chevy Volt components to be built from Gulf of Mexico’s oil-soaked booms [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 Dec 2010 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officially Official: Volkswagen confirms new engine plant in Silao, Mexico

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Volkswagen

Volkswagen has officially announced plans to construct a new powerplant facility in Mexico. Designed to crank out a total of 330,000 engines a year, the Silao plant will cost the company $550 million to build and will bring around 700 jobs to the area. VW says that the new factory is key to its strategy for expansion, and it will help provide engine components for both the new Jetta, which is built in Puebla, Mexico and the company’s New Midsize Sedan (NMS), which is slated to be built in the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant starting in 2011.

The new facility also underscores the VW decision to redouble its focus on the American market. The manufacturer says that the new plant is part of its plan to create vehicles that are more tailored to American tastes in a quest to go after a larger market share.

In addition to having an ample work force, the 60-hectacre piece of land already features transportation options and had been previously developed. The full press release can be found after the jump.

[Source: VW]

Continue reading Officially Official: Volkswagen confirms new engine plant in Silao, Mexico

Officially Official: Volkswagen confirms new engine plant in Silao, Mexico originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 23 Sep 2010 17:22:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Volkswagen building engine plant in Mexico to supply U.S. factory

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Volkswagen

2011 Volkswagen NMS Sketch – Click above to enlarge

Reports streaming out of Mexico indicate that Volkswagen will announce a new plant about 250 miles northwest of the Mexico City in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. If true, this facility is expected to produce engines for both VW’s new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, along with the already up-and-running plant in Puebla, Mexico.

Such an announcement has been expected, as executives from the German automaker have publicly stated that the company will spend $1 billion on additional production facilities in Mexico over the next three years.

The engines from this plant would be destined for North American-bound Volkswagen Jetta sedans and the upcoming New Midsize Sedan that we’ve all been waiting so patiently for over the last couple of years.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req’d]

Report: Volkswagen building engine plant in Mexico to supply U.S. factory originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 Sep 2010 17:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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