Auto News (and lots of it) for Feb. 23

 A new J.D. Power study concludes that Lexus and Porsche lead the industry in vehicle dependability. The 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study takes a look at problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of 2014 model year vehicles. Toyota claimed third place in the latest study followed by Buick, and Mercedes-Benz.

 Hyundai is the most improved nameplate in the study, in sixth position and its best-ever ranking in the VDS.

 Other notable improvements came from Dodge, Ford, and   Land Rover.

 Increased technology related problems contributed to dependability worsening in the industry for a second consecutive year. Specifically, Bluetooth paring/connectivity and built-in voice recognition misinterpreting commands.

 Wall Street liked the fact that Tesla lost less money in its latest quarter than the markets were expecting. Its shares picked up ground after the announcement. Elon Musk said the company is on schedule to deliver its less expensive Model 3 electric in July, with production ramping up to 5,000 per week by year’s end.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

 One of the auto industry’s most acclaimed leaders is stepping down. Carlos Ghosn will leave his job as CEO at Nissan and turn the reigns over to his co-chief executive Hiroto Saikawa. Ghosn will retain his role as Nissan’s Chairman and concentrate on integrating the recent acquisition of Mitsubishi into the Renault/Nissan alliance. Shareholders will vote on the changes at their June meeting. Ghosn, who rescued Nissan from bankruptcy, is pictured.

 Meanwhile, the head of PSA Group said Peugeot/Citroen is ready to create a “European car champion”, if it acquires Opel in a multi-billion dollar deal with GM. CEO Carlos Tavares said his firm would restructure Opel in much the same way that Peugeot/Citroen were turned into profit makers. Bloomberg reported that could include cutting costs, combining development of new models, and playing up the appeal of German engineering to boost sales. If it goes through, the deal would create Europe’s second largest automaker behind Volkswagen. Talks between GM and PSA are continuing.


 Land Rover will unveil the Velar at the New York Auto Show on March first. It is a new model with an old name that was used on prototypes in the Sixties. The Velar will fill a gap in the Land Rover lineup between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. It is said to use “unique sustainable materials” and is the “avant-garde” Range Rover.




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