The automotive business blog from Glenn Brooks
If you would like to offer your comments, opinions, suggest topics or just have a good rant, please feel free to email: Glenn Brooks.
Observing (or not) Infiniti in its home market
04 Nov 2013 08:05
HK plate on top, Guangdong one underneath for trips across the boundary - Ciao to the mainland!
I'm in Hong Kong, the global headquarters of Infiniti. It's a fascinating market for new vehicle sales: a Toyota battles the Mercedes E-Class for the number one spot.
The always excellent Best Selling Cars blog confirms what I can see on the streets here - in Infiniti's home town, no-one seems interested in buying the brand's cars. That despite some big posters aimed at brand building displayed at various high visbility locations around this ciy.
Almost every car you see here is in immaculate condition. Our hotel's courtesy limo is a Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit that has to be about 25 years old: you'd never see that at a top London hotel, would you? Not to mention the roads being full of pristine Mercedes A-Class hatchbacks, C-Class and S-Class sedans from the 1990s and of course swarms of Toyota Crown Comfort taxis plying every expressway and street here in Kowloon.
I'm yet to see a new Range Rover Sport, which surprises me, nor have I spied an Infiniti FX, which doesn't - the Cayenne is much in evidence parked outside the most chic shopping boutiques, as is, you will notice, the Q7.
Driver fined for wearing Google Glass
01 Nov 2013 09:16
BMW readies its Zinoro EV brand
30 Oct 2013 09:27
Remember Zinoro, the brand name which BMW and Brilliance announced at April's Shanghai motor show? Since then we haven't heard much about the project from the JV partners. That looks like it's about to change.
This website has now appeared. Word is, the first model will be built at the Tiexi plant in Shenyang from 2014. The model name will reportedly be 1E, with the vehicle to be more or less a plug-in version of the X1, albeit with new grille and other details. There won't be any BMW badges on it, though. When we will see the 1E? Perhaps as soon as next month's Guangzhou motor show.
Mercedes W205 C-Class pics are out
29 Oct 2013 17:15
Seems to be the month for pics of future German cars being finding their way onto the web ahead of schedule. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the latest.
We've seen some official interior pics, as well as a technical illustration of the body in white but until now, nothing of the exterior.
Judging on looks alone, the W205 should sell well. The new C-Class has its official motor show outing at the NAIAS in mid-January. It will be made in more places than the current car too. This time around, build or assembly will be in Germany, India, China, the US, South Africa and Brazil.
Porsche Macan is video-papped in Dubai
24 Oct 2013 16:32
It had to happen. Just under a month to go before its international debut at the LA auto show and someone has captured a now only lightly disguised Macan on film.
The four exhausts seem to confirm the rumours about the Turbo being one of the initial variants. Porsche, like BMW, maximises income by almost always launching the priciest derivatives first - if you have to own one before anyone else, then you're going to have to pay top dollar. Or indeed, top dirham.
The secret Range Rover super-SUVs
23 Oct 2013 08:06
Land Rover doesn't want to talk about the future Range Rover Sport R and Evoque R. Yet prototypes have been seen hammering around the Nordschleife.
I've asked several Land Rover execs about plans for such models and each time, the reply is silence or a "no comment". Word from the inside tells me the R version of the Evoque is due out during the first half of 2014, and likely to have a more powerful version of Ford's 2.0 EcoBoost as fitted to the 250PS Focus ST. JLR already uses this engine in lower-power form for the XJ, Freelander/LR2 and Evoque. Let's presume a world premiere at either the Detroit or Geneva shows.
As for the RRS R, it seems obvious what unit will be under its bonnet: the thundering 405kW (550PS) supercharged 5.0-litre V8 that we know from the Jaguars XJR, XKR-S, XKR-S GT and experimental (F-TYPE) Project 7 concept. What would it sound like in a Range Rover Sport? Click here to find out.
BMW 2 Series pics appear
21 Oct 2013 11:22
The replacement for the E82 1 Series Coupé is codenamed F22, while the successor for the E88 1 Series Convertible is F23.
Hyundai's next Genesis: production pic appears
18 Oct 2013 09:22
It's almost impossible to keep near-production cars secret. This pic of what will be sold as the Genesis Sedan in South Korea proves the point.
Unlike the current car, the second generation one will be available with the option of HMC's newly announced HTRAC all-wheel drive system too.
The car's likely global debut will be at November's LA auto show. To be sold in the US and Canada as the 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan, in China, it will again be the Hyundai Rohens. And Europe? Sadly, we're unlikely to see it in this region.
There have been rumours for some time that Hyundai-Kia's DH architecture would be adapted for right-hand drive production so let's see if the new Genesis (a model, not a brand in markets outside South Korea) makes it to places where the dealers have been after it for years, such as Australia. Next year's replacement for the Coupe would also sell well down there.
Ex-GM exec Joel Ewanick speaks out
17 Oct 2013 08:58
Corvette-engined Citroën ID19 anyone?
02 Oct 2013 08:47
Yes, it HAS to be an ebay listing. And if you're as old as me, you'll know who Alice Cooper is - the car even has a connection to him.