Inside the Industry

New stylish Hyundai Sonata unveiled in South Korea

(September 18, 2009) Hyundai skipped the busy Frankfurt Motor Show this week, opting to unveil its sixth-generation Sonata in the company's homeland, South Korea.

The stylish new Sonata is poised to give the carmaker an upgrade in the ultra-competitive midsize-sedan segment when it hits the U.S. market in 2010, probably as a 2011 model.

GM reportedly drops plans for unibody pickup truck

(September 21, 2009) AutoWeek reports that General Motors is dropping plans to develop a new unibody pickup truck similar to the Honda Ridgeline.  As gasoline prices rose and pickup sales fell, GM sought an alternative to the standard body-on-frame pickup.

A mid-sized unibody pickup on GM's mid-sized, front-drive platform had been intended for buyers who do not need the hauling and towing capabilities of full-sized models. Honda's mid-sized Ridgeline is the only unibody pickup sold in the United States.

Indiana-built Civics to be exported to Mexico, Latin American nations

(September 21, 2009) GREENSBURG, Ind. — Less than a year after starting mass production, the Honda Manufacturing of Indiana plant will begin building Honda Civic sedans for sale in Mexico and export to 22 Latin American and Caribbean nations and U.S. territories.

The first Civics destined for export were shipped last week. Until now, the more than 50,000 Civics built at the Greensburg plant had been sold exclusively in the United States.

Edmunds.com predicts Cash for Clunkers fallout may lead to worst sales month

(September 17, 2009) SANTA MONICA, Calif — As the auto industry recovers from perhaps the biggest aberration in its sales history, Edmunds.com analysts are watching closely.

"The best month of the year for car sales is being quickly followed by what could be the worst month of the year," noted Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. Cash for Clunkers was supposed to prime the pump, but that is a physics concept, and economics is quite different. Demand has dropped off significantly since the program ended."

Mazda to launch sub-compact Mazda2 in U.S. in fall 2010

(September 17, 2009) Mazda will enter America's rapidly expanding small-car segment when it launches the Mazda2 here in fall 2010, according to Automotive News.

General Motors looking to ramp up production of four hot-selling models

(Septermber 17, 2009) Reuters reported on Wednesday that General Motors is exploring ways to ramp up production of four newer models that are selling well above its expectations, according to a GM spokesman said.

All four models are greatly revamped from previous versions and one, the Chevrolet Camaro, was resurrected five months ago after being out of production for seven years.

Early success of Cruze in Australia is promising sign for upcoming Chevrolet version

(September 17, 2009) Early success of the new Holden Cruze in Australia could be a promising sign for how Chevrolet's version of the small car will do in U.S. showrooms next year, the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday.

During its first full selling month in July, the Cruze compact car rose to the eighth best-selling car, according to General Motors numbers.

The Ford C-Max is coming to North America in 2011

(September 15, 2009) DEARBORN, Mich. — In conjunction with the Frankfurt Auto Show, Ford Motor Company held a Dearborn version of the company’s announcement of an all-new Multi Activity Vehicle (MAV), the Ford Focus C-MAX. The “Focus” name will not be used in Europe where the vehicle emanates and at some point the name may be dropped from U.S. models but that remains to be seen.

Ford to debut new lineup of EcoBoost 4-cylinder engines early in 2010

(September 15, 2009) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford's high-performance, fuel-saving four-cylinder EcoBoost engine family is making its global debut early in 2010, marking a major milestone in the company's strategy to deliver greater fuel economy for millions, Ford announced on Tuesday.

Ford develops an all-new diesel engine for 2011

(September 13, 2009) DEARBORN, Mich. — With all the hoopla over the wonders of hybrid technology another form of technology seems to have unnecessarily taken a back seat — diesel power. Diesel engines have been around for about 100 years and accounts for over 50 percent of all new vehicle sales in Europe. As for the U.S., the major use of diesel engines has been in larger on-, and off-road trucks and work-related vehicles. The inherent power and high-torque of diesels create the perfect motor for this segment.