On the eve of the Detroit Auto Show, Chevrolet is finally ready to reveal details about the second generation of its groundbreaking plug-in hybrid vehicle. The 2016 Volt is new in pretty much every way, with a refined exterior and interior design, plus improvements under the hood that offer 50 miles of EV range and a total driving range of more than 400 miles. GM claims that means owners can average 1,000 miles between fill-ups with regular charging. The dual-motor drive unit isn’t just more efficient; it’s also 100 pounds lighter (the battery dropped 20 pounds too). Despite putting out 149 hp (same as the previous unit), it’s also faster, with an 8.4-second 0-60 time that’s 7 percent faster, and a 19 percent improvement in its zero to 30 time, now down to 2.6 seconds. As promised, it even adjusts charging patterns if you’re at home or away based on GPS. The only question not answered yet is the price, which GM expects to reveal this summer (or any details about that rumored lower-price Bolt). (more…)
The weakening yen (which is currently trading at 120 per dollar) has persuaded, Fuji Heavy Industries, to bring production for its new Subaru XV Crosstrek back to Japan instead of building them at their plant in Lafayette, Indiana. It also cited “capacity restraints” in the state as another reason to forgo using its US plant in favor of the one Gunma prefecture (northwest of Tokyo).
The news comes from an un-named source who told Reuters that the company had originally planned to turn out 65,000 of the Crosstreks a year after Toyota Motor Corp. that it had ended its arrangement with Fuji Heavy for making Camrys at the American plant so they could use it for Suburu models last year. In turn, Toyota is said to be considering producing some of its new Camrys back to Japan from Kentucky as well. In the meantime, Reuters also reports that Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor Co. is also considering bringing the Rogue SUV back to Japan as well.
General Motors and Chrysler have each announced plans to close hundreds of dealerships by the end of 2010, but the two companies are each handling the matter differently. If you would like to know whether your local Chrysler dealership is on the closure list, you can find out easily. The list was disclosed as part of the company’s ongoing bankruptcy filing, and can be found on many websites.