The World Green Car of the Year will be announced at the New York Auto Show on April 17 – and it looks like hats may be tipping toward the BMW i3. Not only did it make the top five finalist list for World Green Car, it was also named a finalist for 2014 World Car of the Year and the World Car Design of the Year.
Fascination with Tesla Motors' role in the luxury electric vehicle market continues, even among the competition. Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America recently told Bloomberg that, Tesla is "cool" and "the talk of the town," and that, "what the industry as a whole can learn from them is continue to push innovation, continue to have the challenger spirit."
Tesla Motors has taken on the huge challenge of reinventing the car shopping experience – while at the same time delivering what consumers are used to getting when they buy electronic products such as an iPhone. Since 2008, Tesla has opened about 25 retail stores and galleries in North America where consumers can learn about the company's all-electric offerings, and sometimes a test drive, before placing an order.
While this is a time of retrenchment in electric vehicles (EVs) and alternative powertrains for automakers, BMW appears to be heading in the other direction, Automotive News enterprise editor Dave Guilford writes. Entrepreneurs are "flaming out" (figuratively and sometimes literally) and some major automakers are pushing EVs farther back on the product pipeline as excitement wanes among car shoppers.
For the last seven years, BMW has had a stranglehold on the top spot in the luxury car market. That reign is in danger of coming to and end, as Audi sales are on the rise. According to an Automotive News Europe report, Audi cut the difference in sales between itself and BMW to only 2,110 vehicles sold so far this year.
Some would say that 2011 wasn't exactly a banner year, but the good chaps at Rolls-Royce would likely respond with a definitive "Poppycock!" That's because the 107-year-old brand experienced its best-ever sales totals in 2011, with 3,538 very expensive autos sold around the globe. That's a 31 percent increase over the 2,711 models sold in 2010, thanks mostly to brisk sales of the Ghost and Phantom models.
There are a number of simple, reliable truths in the world. The Earth is round. A compass points north. Nobody but the Chinese buy Buicks and Lexus is the best-selling luxury brand in the United States. Well, hold on to your horses. Lowly old Buick, long seen as the doorstop of the luxury segment, has outsold Lexus two months straight and shows no signs of slowing down.
Though the first eight months of 2010, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz were in a dead heat in the race to be crowned the top-selling luxury brand in the States. But big-time September sales at Mercedes-Benz pulled the German marque ahead of Lexus by a substantial 3,000 units, really putting the heat on Toyota's luxury arm. Could Mercedes pull off the upset to unseat Lexus for the first time since 2000? Not if Lexus can help it.
Up until very recently, the reason that you bought a BMW 3 Series or a Mercedes-Benz C-Class was to prepare you to buy a 5 or an E in a few years. You know, ladders to climb, blowing up to do, de-luxe apartments in the sky to own. These days, according to a new study, that is less and less the case: fewer premium buyers are moving up and more buyers are actually moving down.
Luxury car sales are off by at least one-third compared to last year's numbers, and the end is probably not in sight. In past recessions, the wealthy have been insulated by their money, but not this time. Real estate and banking are responsible for a large amount of the financial pickle we're in, and as those sectors get walloped by reality, the luxury cars typically purchased by agents, brokers, and bankers are languishing.
So the Kia VG mule that has kept spy photographers busy the last few weeks has now been given a computer animated face and body. It's a nice looking ride, though has a surprising amount in common with the Hyundai Genesis... which means we also see, well, a lot of other cars in it. But that's not a bad thing, really, because the result is a tasty little creation, especially coming from Kia. The lines are a touch more forceful than those on the Genesis, which goes along with Kia being the sporting
According to Audi, well, all that "ye olde worlde traditional luxury" stuff is great, but it's not the new hotness. Scott Keogh, marketing head for Audi of America, says that the key now is to combine the values of old European luxury -- high quality and traditional prestige -- with new, West Coast luxury values of "a more casual attitude, a sense of Zen and spirit and those types of things."
Take Maserati for example. The exotic Italian brand offers potential buyers who take a new Quattroporte for a spin a pair of Bose headphones valued at around $179. Lexus doesn't even bother with a gift -- its dealers straight up offer you a $100 American Express gift card for taking the new IS 350 for a spin. Bentley is a little more subtle in its giving by offering to donate money to the Breast Cancer Alliance if you try their car.
One of our favorite non-auto-publications-laughably-doing-car-stories, Forbes has just issued its list of the most affordable luxury cars available today. Sound like an oxymoron? Well, it is, sort of, but their point is a logical one. Even the entry-level models from most luxury players are getting the toys from their bigger siblings. And even in cars that don't necessarily have more expensive siblings, they have had to adopt those features to stay competitive. The idea behind the article is to
The Car Connection spoke to GM vice chairman Bob Lutz at the Chicago Auto Show who told them a bigger, badder Cadillac built on the new Camaro chassis could be in the works. Lutz said the reason Camaro's expected on-sale date was delayed was so that the platform could be better integrated with future products.
In the event that high gas prices begin hitting even the wealthy, displacement-loving, power-toting blokes among us, BusinessWeek has compiled a list of the top ten most fuel efficient luxury cars. The list, especially when you include the runners-up, is a diverse showing of both automakers and fuel types, with hybrids and diesels finding a place alongside with their gasoline-powered siblings.