Say hello to the T-Prime Concept GTE that was unveiled by VW at the Beijing Auto Show. It a full-size plug-in hybrid that VW said “previews the future” of its sport utility lineup. With total system power of 375 horsepower and 516 lb-ft torque, the T-Prime will go from 0-60 in 6.0 seconds with a top speed of 139 mph and an all-electric range of 31 miles. VW said at some point it will introduce an SUV “in the style” of the T-Prime concept along with a new, and larger Tiguan this spring, followed by a mid-size SUV.
It is worth noting that Mazda just produced its one millionth MX-5 Miata. Production of the fun-to-drive sports car began 27 years ago at the plant in Hiroshima, Japan. The Miata was my choice for Car of the Year, a selection echoed by many others. Miata number one million will be on display around the world, coming to the U.S. in September concluding with an appearance at “Miatas at Mazda Raceway” in early October.
This is report card week for two of Detroit’s three auto makers. Fiat Chrysler will report on quarterly earnings on Tuesday with Ford checking in on Thursday. Wall Street’s expectations are high given that GM posted record first quarter earnings.
GM will close four plants for two weeks because of a parts shortage caused by the earthquakes that have struck Japan. The plants are located in Lordstown, Ohio; Fairfax, Kansas; Spring Hill Tennessee; and in Ontario Canada. None of facilities manufacture GM’s much in demand Sport Utility Vehicles or trucks.
GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra saw her total compensation jump nearly 77 per cent in 2015 thanks to a one time stock option grant. The Detroit News said Barra earned more than Ford’s top executive, Mark Fields, but less than Fiat Chrysler’s CEO Sergio Marchionne.