Inside the Industry

Chinese car company still interested in buying Saab

(November 30, 2009) Reuters reports that Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp. might still be interested in buying Saab, the Chinese car company's general manager said.

Asked by reporters whether BAIC would consider approaching General Motor Co.'s Saab as a solo buyer or only as a part of a consortium, Wang Dazong said: "I would just say, 'stay tuned a little bit.' "

Speaking on the sidelines of a China-European Union business summit, Wang said BAIC's strategy of going global was still in place.

New Buick Regal to be built in Oshawa, Ontario, beginning early in 2011

(Novembr 25, 2009) OSHAWA, Ontario — North American production of the all-new 2011 Buick Regal was confirmed today for the Oshawa Car Assembly plant beginning in first quarter 2011. The new Regal is a midsize sport sedan based on the award-winning Opel Insignia – the 2009 “European Car of the Year” – and it brings all of Insignia’s award-winning design, technology and European-inspired performance capabilities to the North American market.

General Motors says it has possible buyers for Saab

(November 28, 2009) General Motors said on Friday it was talking to possible buyers of Saab, four days before a GM board meeting considers whether to attempt to revive a sale process or eliminate the 60-year-old Swedish auto brand.

Hyundai, Kia set optimistic global sales target for 2010

(November 26, 2009) Hyundai and affiliate Kia have set their combined 2010 sales target at 5.39 million vehicles, up 16 percent from the estimated sales this year, Maeil Business Newspaper reported.

The global sales target has been revised up recently following signs of strength in China and India, the newspaper reported in its early Friday edition, citing an unnamed company source.

A Hyundai Motor spokesman said no decision has been made on the sales target for the company or Kia.

Ford engineers going back to school to gain electric vehicle education

(November 26, 2009) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Company is teaming with the University of Detroit Mercy to retrain traditional automotive engineers, providing them with the skills and expertise to develop the next generation of advanced electric and hybrid vehicles.

As vehicle electrification plans expand, the automotive industry’s need for electric vehicle-savvy engineers also is growing, creating increased demand for electrical, mechatronics, systems and controls engineering education. Ford and UDM have collaborated to create a new graduate-level curriculum focused on key engineering skills for the development of electrified vehicles.

Kia replacing Amanti with Cadenza; to go on sale in North America in 2011

(November 24, 2009) Kia Motors Corp. is replacing its Amanti large sedan with a new model called the Cadenza, which was unveiled today in South Korea. It goes on sale there this year and in North America in 2011. The Cadenza will make its global auto show debut Dec. 12 at the Riyadh Motor Show in Saudi Arabia.   

The five-seat Cadenza is shorter than the Amanti but has a longer wheelbase delivering more interior space, Kia said in a release. The Korean edition has a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, but the North American version's engine specifications are still being decided.

BMW introduces 2011 5-Series sedan

(November 24, 2009) BMW's mid-size 5-Series sedan has been restyled and re-engineered in a bid to keep it ahead of key rivals such as the recently renewed Mercedes-Benz E-class and the Audi A6. The car was unveiled Tuesday.

Toyota to replace accelerator pedals on 3.8 million vehicles

(November 25, 2009) Toyota said today it will replace the accelerator pedals on 3.8 million vehicles involved in the company's largest recall ever.

The models involved are: • 2007 to 2010 model year Camry; • 2005 to 2010 Avalon; • 2004 to 2009 Prius; • 2005 to 2010 Tacoma; • 2007 to 2010 Tundra;  • 2007 to 2010 Lexus ES350;  • 2006 to 2010 Lexus IS250; • 2006 to 2010 Lexus IS 350.

Saab future looks grim with agreement termination

(November 24, 2009) Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg Group AB has terminated its agreement to buy the Saab brand from General Motors Co.

"We're obviously very disappointed with the decision to pull out of the Saab purchase," GM CEO Fritz Henderson said today in a statement announcing Koenigsegg's decision. "Given the sudden change in direction, we will take the next several days to assess the situation and will advise on the next steps next week."

Honda has most fuel efficient lineup in the United States

(November 22, 2009) Honda has the most fuel efficient fleet in the United States, followed closely by Hyundai, the Environmental Protection Agency said Friday in releasing preliminary figures for 2009.

All vehicles sold in the 2009 model year are expected to average 21.1 miles per gallon in "real world" driving, which is one-tenth of a mile better than in the 2008 model year, the Detroit News reported.

Final 2009 figures will be released next year in October or November. The preliminary numbers are based on sales data and confidential product reports and sales estimates from the companies and usually don't vary much from the final tallies, which are based on actual sales.