Tag Archive | "BMW"

Autobrake Ratings Show Improvement


Via The Detroit News:

Washington —The auto industry is moving quickly to adopt advanced technologies to help drivers avoid front-end crashes by adding systems that automatically brake the vehicles. Automakers are being prompted in part by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which last year unveiled a new rating system for front-crash prevention.

In its latest testing of 24 cars and SUVs released today, IIHS said 21 earned advanced or higher ratings.

Four of those vehicles with advanced options earned perfect scores: the 2014 BMW 5 Series and X5, 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and 2015 Hyundai Genesis.

Four U.S. cars rounded out the eight models getting the highest rating of superior: General Motors Co.’s 2014 Buick Regal, Cadillac CTS, Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala earned the top rating when equipped with the automaker’s forward-collision warning and auto braking system. The 2014 Buick LaCrosse earns the next-highest rating — advanced — when it has the same system. All of these cars also are available with a warning system only, which earns a basic rating.

GM previously got superior ratings for the Cadillac ATS and SRX, which were included in the first round of testing in 2013.

The only other U.S. vehicle to get rated in this round of testing was Chrysler Group’s Dodge Durango, which won an advanced rating.

Besides the eight models earning superiors, 13 were deemed advanced and three got basic ratings. IIHS rates vehicles as superior, advanced or basic for front-crash prevention depending on whether they offer auto braking and, if so, how effective it is in tests at 12 and 25 mph. Some systems merely alert drivers of a possible crash, rather than apply the brakes in an emergency situation.

The insurance industry-funded group said more than 20 percent of 2014 models offer a front-crash prevention system with automatic braking, twice as many as in 2012. Forward-collision warning systems are offered as an option on nearly 40 percent of 2014 models.

Many automakers have improved the systems to meet new tests set by IIHS, because many consumers consult the ratings before buying a new car.

“We are already seeing improvements from automakers since the initial launch of our ratings last September,” said David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer. “BMW and Lexus, for example, have added more braking capability to their systems, which has paid off in higher ratings.”

BMW’s improved system did well in testing. By contrast, its 2013 3 series was rated basic. The earlier model’s system braked for a stopped car ahead only if sensors first detected the car moving before it stopped.

Toyota’s Lexus luxury unit improved its radar-based systems to provide more braking capability, garnering an advanced rating for the GS large car and IS midsize car.

The systems show great promise to save hundreds — if not thousands — of lives by warning inattentive drivers before they hit a car ahead, or alerting them they are about to go off the road — or intervening to prevent crashes. Those types of wrecks account for 60 percent of fatal highway accidents, and the new technology could substantially reduce them.

“We know that this technology is helping drivers avoid crashes,” Zuby said. “The advantage of autobrake is that even in cases where a crash can’t be avoided entirely, the system will reduce speed. Reducing the speed reduces the amount of damage that occurs to both the striking and struck cars, and reduces injuries to people in those cars.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration missed a self-imposed Dec. 31 deadline to decide whether to advance regulations to require the systems in future vehicles. Nearly five months later, the auto safety agency has offered no timetable for making a decision. NHTSA could simply opt to note whether vehicles have systems on window stickers as part of its New Car Assessment Program.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has praised the technologies, but opposes making them mandatory. It notes that the electronic systems can add $1,000 to $3,500 per vehicle, though costs will decline since most are software-based.

It takes a long time for advanced safety features, which typically debut on luxury cars, to reach all cars on the road. IIHS estimates it takes at least 30 years for a safety feature to spread to 95 percent of vehicles on the road.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments (0)

BMW recalls 156,000 cars and SUVs


Via The Detroit News

BMW AG said it will call back 156,000 vehicles, including the 2010-12 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series Gran Turismo and X3, X5, X6 and Z4 along with the 2011-2012 5 Series and 2012 6 Series, because the aluminum bolts that secure the housing for the variable camshaft timing adjustment unit can loosen over time and may break and could cause stalling.

It will also issue extended warranties for another 170,000 inline six-cylinder 2010-12 vehicles not covered in the recall to address problems if they arise. The vehicles were built between September 2009 and February 2012.

BMW said in 2011 that it first had 12 warranty claims in the United States related to the camshaft unit. BMW has no reports of crashes or injuries linked to the problem in the U.S.

BMW decided to call back vehicles in China in June 2012 for the same problem on vehicles built between February and October 2010 linked to some reports of stalling. The German automaker said because of the “low rate” of problems, it opted not to recall the vehicles in the United States and instead issued a dealer bulletin.

Earlier this year, the Chinese auto safety agency opened an investigation into four reports of stalling in BMW vehicles. In mid-March, BMW extended the recall to vehicles in China that were built between September 2009 and July 2011, but said it wasn’t treating the repairs as a safety campaign. The same day China’s safety agency classified BMW’s action as a recall, it opted to recall the vehicles in the United States.

Owners will receive notice in May and U.S. dealers will replace the bolts.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments (0)

Ford, Chevy and Toyota Lead the Way in Edmunds.com’s Inaugural Most Popular Vehicle Awards


Santa Monica, Calif. – Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota are the most decorated brands among a diverse selection of new cars and trucks that earned the 2014 Most Popular on Edmunds.com Awards. The inaugural awards were presented by the car shopping Web site at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

Ford has the strongest representation of any brand recognized by the Most Popular on Edmunds.com awards, with 10 winning vehicles. Highlights include the Ford F-150, which was named one of the 2014 Most Popular on Large Trucks; and Ford Mustang, which was named one of the 2014 Most Popular on Entry Sport Cars.

Chevy and Toyota each earned seven awards. Highlights include the Chevy Colorado, which was named one of the 2014 Most Popular on Compact Trucks; and the Toyota Camry, which was named one of the 2014 Most Popular on Midsize Sedans.

Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Dodge, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Nissan, Porsche and Tesla also were honored in a range of categories.

“Edmunds.com is in a unique position not only to offer independent and trusted reviews of every vehicle on the market, but also to see firsthand which cars and trucks most pique the interest of shoppers on our site,” said Seth Berkowitz, president, Edmunds.com. “By naming these award-winning vehicles, we hope that car shoppers have an easier time evaluating some of the excellent choices available on the market today.”

The 2014 Most Popular on Edmunds.com awards were determined by finding the three models in each of 23 vehicle segments with the highest total monthly car-shopper consideration in calendar year 2013. “Consideration” means the number of unique visitors during a calendar month to the research and inventory pages on Edmunds.com desktop site for each new model.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments (0)

Autodata: February Sales Fall 1.4%


Woodcliff Lake, N.J. — Harsh winter storms continued to impact new-vehicle sales, which fell 1.4% from a year ago to 1.19 million units, according to Autodata Corp. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), however, was even with the rate recorded in February 2013 at 15.34 million units. However, the sale rate was up slightly from 15.24 million in January. The following is a breakdown of sales performance by manufacturer:

BMW: The BMW Group reported a 4.4% decreased in February sales vs. one year ago, with sales totaling 24,476 units. On a year-to-date basis, sales were down 1.2% from a year ago on sales of 45,272 units in the opening two months of the year. BMW Brand Sales increased 3.3% from a year ago to 22,017 units. On a year-to-date basis, sales were up 6.5% to 40,270. Sales for MINI USA dropped 42.8% from a year ago to 4,302 units sold. On a year-to-date basis, sales were down 37.3% on volume of 5,002 units.

Chrysler: Chrysler Group LLC reported its best February sales since 2007, with sales increasing 11% from a year ago to 154,866 units. The Chrysler (up 1%), Jeep, Ram Truck (up 26$), and FIAT (up 5%) brands each posted year-over-year sales gains vs. a year ago, with Jeep posting the largest gain of 47%.

Six Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in February, including the Jeep Compass, Patriot and Wrangler. The Chrysler 200 and Dodge Journey also logged their best ever February, while the Ram pickup truck posted its best February in eight years with a 26% sales increase. Additionally, sales of the all-new Jeep Cherokee rose 12% vs. one year ago.

Ford: February sales for the domestic automaker fell 6% from a year ago to 183,947 units. Retail sales totaled 125,919 units, a 4% decrease from a year ago. Officials noted a late-month sales surge, which they hope means good things for March. One bright spot was the company’s F-Series truck line, which realized its best February in eight years. Sales of the pickup truck totaled 55,882 units.

Led by the MKZ and MKX, Lincoln sales increased 36% from a year ago to 6,661 units. February marked the fifth straight month of positive sales for Ford’s luxury brand. And over the last five months, Lincoln sold 34,476 units, a 26% increase over the same period one year ago.

General Motors: The domestic automaker reported a 1% decline in sales vs. a year ago, with the company delivering 222,104 vehicles in February. On a month-to-month basis, however, sales increased 30% thanks to the company’s Olympic advertisements.

The Chevrolet Sonic, Cruze and Malibu posted double-digit sales increases, while the Cruze realized its best February to date. Deliveries of the Corvette were up 149% from a year ago. As for Cadillac, the brand’s CTS sedan helped drive a 7% increase in retail sales for the CTS range, while sales of the SRX were up 23% from a year ago.

Sales of the Buick Encore nearly doubled, while Enclave and Equinox realized their best February sales ever. Additionally, deliveries of the GMC Acadia were up 2%.

Honda: American Honda reported a 7% decrease in sales from a year ago, with sales totaling 100,405 units. Bucking the trend were Acura light trucks, with sales increasing 29.8% from a year ago to 7,482 units.

The company’s Honda division recorded sales of 88,860 units, with the Accord, Civic and CR-V (up 0.1%) each recording sales of more than 20,000 units in February. Odyssey sales increased 4.6% to 8,945 units.

The Acura Division realized a 1.6% sales increase, with sales totaling 11,545 units in February. Sales of the brand’s MDX increased 54.9% to 4,563 units. The RDX posted its 22nd consecutive monthly sales record, with sales rising 4.2% to 2,911 units sold.

Hyundai: Sales for Hyundai Motor America decreased 6% to 49,003 units in February. On a month-to-month basis, however, sales were up 11% from January. Despite the tough month, two of brand’s smallest cars, the Accent and Veloster, realized a sales increase of 20%, while sales of the company’s two SUVs, the Santa Fe and Tucson, were up 12% from a year ago.

Mazda: The automaker reported February U.S. sales of 24,431 vehicles, a 2.4% decrease from a year ago. Year-to-date sales through February were down 6.7% vs. last year, with 43,155 vehicles sold. However, the Mazda6 experienced its second-best February since 2008 with 3,945 vehicles sold, a 46% increase from a year ago. The CX-5 realized its best sales month ever, with sales increasing 71.6% to 9,355 units sold. The company also reported that its SKYACTIV Technology accounted for 83.2% of all vehicle sales during the month, the largest percentage sold in one month.

Mercedes-Benz: The German automaker reported sales of 24,971 units for the month of February, a 3.8% increase from a year ago. This was the highest volume on record for the month, officials noted. The Mercedes-Benz brand alone achieved record February retail sales of 22,609 units, a 2.65% increase from a year ago. On a year-to-date basis, sales rose 1.5% to 45,213 units.

Sales were the led by the brand’s C-, E- and M-Class model lines, with sales totaling 5,612, 4,271 and 3,258 units, respectively. At the high end, sales of the all-new 2014 S-Class flagship model jumped 93.8% to 1,789 units.

Mitsubishi: The OEM reported a 1.2% dip in sales from February 2013, with sales totaling 5,977 units. On a year-to-date basis, sales were up 1.3% from a year ago. Sales of Mitsubishi’s core models (Outlander Sport, Outlander, Lancer, and Mirage) were up 8.9% in February and 12.7% on a year-to-date basis. Realizing the biggest sales increase was the Outlander Sport, with sales up 42.8% from a year ago.

Nissan: The Japanese automaker reported a 15.8% increase in February sales vs. a year ago, with sales totaling 115,260 units — a record total for February. Sales of the all-electric Nissan LEAF also set a February record, increasing 118.2% to 1,425 units. Also setting a new monthly record was the Rogue, with sales rising 72.6% to 17,197 units. The Nissan Juke also recorded its best monthly sales total, with sales rising 111.7% to 5,791 units.

Infiniti reported sales of 9,729 units in February, an increase of 6.4% vs. one year ago. Sales of the all-new Infiniti Q50 luxury sports sedan totaled 3,275 units, while overall sales of Infiniti sports sedans, including the Infiniti G37, rose more than 14.4% for the month.

Toyota: Toyota Motor Sales reported a 4.3% decrease in February sales vs. one year ago, with sales totaling 159,284 units. Toyota division sales were down 5%, totaling 140,429 units. Lexus sales increased 8.7% from a year ago to 18,855 units.

By model, the Toyota Camry posted sales of 29,000 units, while sales of the all-new Corolla totaled more than 25,000 units. The RAV4 realized its best February sales, with sales increasing 23% from a year ago. Also realizing its best-ever February sales month was the all-new Highlander, which posted a 30% sales increase from a year ago. As for Lexus, the IS and GX posted triple-digit sales gains, while sales of the GS were up more than 42%. The Lexus RX posted sales of more than 5,600 units.

Volkswagen: February sales for the German automaker were down 13.8% from a year ago to 27,112 units delivered. This was due, in part, to the winding down of outgoing models and the fewest number of selling days for the year, officials noted. Volkswagen’s TDI Clean Diesel models accounted for 16.8% of sales in February. Total Jetta deliveries accounted for 11,908 units of Volkswagen’s February sales total, while sales of the Passat totaled 6,997 units.

Audi sales just about mirrored last February’s sales totals, with 10,881 units sold. Leading the way was the company’s luxury SUVs, with the Q7 posting a 33.6% sales gain from a year ago. Sales of the company’s luxury sedans also stayed strong, with the A6 posting a sales increase of 27.2% vs. one year ago. Sales of the R8 were also up 40% vs. a year ago.

Porsche realized a 15% boost in sales over this time last year and a 2% increase on a year-to-date basis. The automaker realized its all-time best February, with 3,232 units delivered. The Cayenne continued to be the automaker’s most popular model with 1,260 sold units.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments (0)

BMW Fends Off Audi, Mercedes to Retain Luxury-Car Lead


(Bloomberg) – Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) held the lead in global luxury-car sales for the ninth straight year even as Audi and Mercedes step up efforts to overtake their rival.

Sales at the namesake brand increased 7.5 percent to a record 1.66 million cars in 2013, fueled by demand for the 3-series sedan and X1 compact sport-utility vehicle, the Munich-based manufacturer said. Including Mini and Rolls-Royce, deliveries rose 6.4 percent to 1.96 million vehicles in 2013.

“The BMW group posted record sales once again in 2013 and is clearly the No. 1 in the premium segment,” BMW sales chief Ian Robertson said in a statement. “Despite the prevailing headwinds in many markets, we aim to increase sales and make 2014 another record year.”

BMW is increasing spending on new models to fend off Daimler AG (DAI)’s Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s Audi, which have both vowed to take the lead in the segment by the end of the decade. To keep its edge, BMW plans to introduce the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, BMW showcased the new 2-Series compact coupe to help regain the luxury-car sales lead in the U.S., which it lost to Mercedes last year. The 2-Series will replace the 1-Series in the U.S. in the first quarter.

Narrower Gap
Both Audi and Mercedes narrowed the gap to BMW last year. Audi cut its deficit to 79,600 cars in 2013 from 85,000 the previous year, while Mercedes trailed by 193,500 vehicles compared with 220,000 in 2012.

“BMW still has quite a large edge over the competition,” said Frank Schwope, an analyst with Nord LB in Hanover, Germany. “Mercedes and Audi won’t able to catch up so quickly, as BMW can keep pace with new models.”

Audi reported an 8.3 percent rise in global sales in 2013 to a record 1.58 million cars, driven by the revamped compact A3 model and the brand’s growing line-up of SUVs. Mercedes, which lost the lead in luxury-car sales to BMW in 2005, delivered 1.46 million cars last year, up 11 percent.

Demand for BMW’s 3-Series surged 23 percent to more than 500,000 vehicles. The world’s best-selling luxury car will face tougher competition when Mercedes rolls out an overhauled version of the C-Class starting in March.

Deliveries of BMW’s X1 rose 9.2 percent to 161,000 vehicles. Mercedes is introducing the GLA compact SUV next year to compete with the BMW crossover.

Mercedes Gains
Mercedes, the world’s third-largest maker of luxury autos, sliced into No. 2 Audi’s sales advantage last year as its compact cars won new buyers. The company plans to further narrow the gap this year and is forecast to overtake Audi in 2015, according to forecasts from IHS Automotive.

Audi is responding with the new A3 sedan in the U.S. and a revamped version of the TT coupe in 2014. Over the next five years, Audi plans to spend 22 billion euros ($30 billion) to expand its lineup to 60 models from 49 and add production capacity in China, Brazil and Mexico.

All three German luxury-car brands posted sales records last year as they tap into rising wealth in countries such as China, India and Russia and a rebound in spending in the U.S.

This year, the manufacturers are again expected to grow. BMW is forecast to retain its lead with sales of 1.77 million vehicles, beating Ingolstadt-based Audi’s 1.66 million and Stuttgart-based Mercedes’s 1.56 million, according to data from IHS Automotive.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments (0)

Automakers Post Big Gains in 2013 Sales


Total light vehicle sales in December increased 0.3% from a year ago to 1.36 million units, according to Autodata Corp. For the year, the industry sold 15.6 million units, a 7.6% increase from a year ago. The following is a breakdown of sales performance by manufacturer.

BMW: Sales of BMW brand vehicles in December totaled 43,981 units, a 0.3 % increase from December 2012. For the year, sales increased 8.1% from 2012 to 375,782 units, a new record for the BMW Group.

Sales of BMW brand vehicles in December totaled 37,389 units vs. 37,399 vehicles sold in December 2012. For the year, sales of the BMW brand were up 9.9% from 2012 on sales of 309,280 units.

MINI USA reported its best December ever with sales of 6,592 units, a 2.1% increase from a year ago. For the year, sales totaled 66,502 units, a 0.6% increase.

Chrysler: In 2013, the domestic OEM posted its strongest sales year since 2007, with sales increasing 9 percent to 1.8 million units. In December, the manufacturer sold 161,007 units.

Ford: The domestic OEM’s 2013 sales jumped 11% to 2.5 million units, a six-year high and the fourth-consecutive year Ford claimed the title of best-selling brand. Leading the way were F-Series pickups, which accounted for one in three Ford vehicles sold. Ford also realized record annual sales for the Ford Fusion, Escape and Fiesta.

General Motors: Despite December sales falling 6% from a year ago, the domestic automaker sold 2.8 million vehicles in the United States in 2013, a 7% increase from 2012. The automaker also reported that Buick realized its best sales year since 2006, while GMC sales were the strongest since 2007. Sales of the GM’s full-size pickups were up 14%. Additionally, Cadillac finished the year as the fastest growing, full-line luxury brand.

Honda: The Japanese automaker reported annual sales of 1.53 million units, a 7.2% increase from 2012 and the second-best outcome in company history. For December, the OEM sold 135,255 Honda and Acura vehicles, eclipsing last December’s strong sales by 1.9%.

Honda Division annual sales reached 1.36 million units in 2013, a year-over-year increase of 7.4% and the second best all-time sales total for the Honda brand. The Acura division posted year-to-date sales of 165,436 units, a 5.9% increase and the best annual sales performance since 2007.

In December, the Honda division sold 119,504 units, a 2.4% increase from the previous year. Acura Division posted sales of 15,751 units.

Hyundai: The Korean automaker sold 63,005 units in December, a 6% increase from a year ago and the best December in company history. This was also the first December that the carmaker broke the 60,000-unit mark. For the year, sales totaled 720,783 units, up 2.5 percent over the company’s record-setting 2012.

Leading the way was the Hyundai Elantra, which set a full-year record with 247,912 units sold. Additionally, annual sales of the Santa Fe and Sonata Hybrid were up 25% and 26%, respectively.

Mazda: The automaker reported a 15.7 percent decrease in December sales vs. a year ago, with sales totaling 22,964 units sold. For the year, Mazda realized a 2.5 percent increase from 2012, with 283,946 units sold.

Mitsubishi: December sales for Mitsubishi increased a whopping 56 percent, with sales totaling 6,423 units. This was the first back-to-back increase in monthly sales, with more than 6,000 units sold since July/August 2011. Ford the year, sales increased 7.7 percent from 2012 to 62,227 units sold.

Nissan: The Japanese automaker reported December sales of 109,758 units, a 0.5% increase from a year ago. For the year, Nissan sold 1.25 million units, a 9.4% increase vs. 2012 and the best sales year in company history. Setting annual sales records were the Altima, Rogue, Versa, Pathfinder, LEAF, JUKE and NV.

Toyota: Annual sales for the Japanese automaker increased 7.4 percent from 2012 to 2.24 million units. For December, sales fell 1.7% from a year ago to 190,843 units on a raw-volume basis. Additionally, the Toyota Camry ended the year as America’s best-selling car for the 12th year in a row.

Annual sales for the Toyota Division fell 4.6 percent to 156,086 units, while sales for the company’s Lexus division increased 13.6% to 34,757 units. For December, Toyota division sales were down 0.7% from a year ago, while Lexus sales increased 18.1% from a year ago on a daily selling rate basis and 13.6% on a raw volume basis.

Volkswagen: The German automaker realized a 22.7% decrease in December sales and a 6.9% dip in annual sales. The automaker, however, realized its second best December since 1972, with 34,015 units sold for the month and 569,419 units sold in 2013. Sales of Volkswagen’s TDI Clean Diesel models totaled 95,823 sales, accounting for 23.5 percent of 2013 sales.

Porsche realized its 36th consecutive record sales month in December and ended 2013 with its fourth-straight record for annual. The luxury sports car maker also realized a record sales year for 2013, with sales jumping 21% from 2012 to 42,323 units sold. This was the first time the company eclipsed the 40,000-unit mark in one year. For December, Porsche dealers sold 3,246 cars, a 10% increase from a year ago.

Audi sold 158,061 units in 2013 and 17,013 in December, marking the first time the company sold more than 15,000 units in one month.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments (0)

Page 5 of 12« First...34567...10...Last »