I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Friday, 3 May 2013

EXCLUSIVE - First look at Jaguar F-Type Coupe


The Jaguar F-Type coupe has been revealed in a series of patent images, giving us our best look yet at how it will look when it reaches showrooms in the near future.
The images – accessed by German enthusiast website Auto Motor und Sport – are believed to show the F-Type coupe in near-production form.
The Jaguar F-Type coupe represents a subtle evolution of the C-X16 Concept that debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show, and mirrors the final design of the F-Type Roadster – the international launch of which is taking place this week in Spain.
The F-Type coupe retains the classic sports car lines of the roadster, and is arguably even more elegant thanks to its roofline that flows seamlessly from the top of the A-pillars to the tip of the tailgate.
The roof tapers inwards at the rear, emphasising the coupe’s haunches and adding extra muscularity to its design.
There’s no indication yet if the rear glass will be side-hinged as in the C-X16 concept or attached more conventionally.
Quad tailpipes suggest the vehicle in the patent images is the flagship Jaguar F-Type V8 S, which is powered by a 364kW/625Nm 5.0-litre supercharged V8. The 250kW/450Nm F-Type V6 and 280kW/460Nm F-Type V6 S will sit below it in the line-up as in the roadster range, while Auto Motor und Sport believes a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine will also be added at the entry end of the line-up.
The Jaguar F-Type coupe is expected to join the roadster in the iconic British brand’s new-generation sports car range from 2014, potentially undercutting the soft-top’s $139,000 starting price.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

New brand Qoros wins award.

 New international car brand, Qoros, once again attracted attention at the 15th Shanghai International Auto Show by collecting its first design award.  In addition to catching the eye of hundreds of thousands of show visitors with its elegant styling and spacious interior, the Qoros 3 Sedan received the Award for the Most Eagerly Anticipated Domestic Car of 2013 at the Most Beautiful Automobile China Awards ceremony.

The Qoros 3 Sedan was styled by the brand’s Executive Director of Design, Gert Hildebrand, who leads the Qoros design teams in Munich and Shanghai.  The car exemplifies two core design concepts advocated by Hildebrand: perfect proportion and ‘less is more’.  The Qoros 3 Sedan is dynamic yet elegant, generously proportioned, and has a spacious interior and a larger footprint than other compact (C-segment) cars.  It introduces several Qoros signature design themes that will feature on future models.

 “It is a great pleasure for Qoros to be honoured with such a prestigious award for our first car,” said Hildebrand.  “The Qoros 3 Sedan defines the unique characteristics of future Qoros models through its elegant, modern and dynamic design features.”

The Qoros 3 Sedan was designed specifically for young, aspirational metropolitan motorists.  In addition to its elegant looks, it will feature European engineering, quality and safety standards and a generous level of equipment as standard, including an industry-leading eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

The Most Beautiful Automobile China Awards programme, one of the most prominent in the global auto design industry, honours the most beautiful cars on display at the Shanghai and Beijing Auto Shows.  The prestigious awards were introduced in 2007 by Car & Driver China magazine.

“That the Qoros 3 Sedan should receive the trophy for the Most Eagerly Anticipated Domestic Car of 2013 in these highly respected awards demonstrates the impact that the judges believe this forthcoming model will have in the coming years, not only within the Chinese auto industry, but on a global scale,” concludes Hildebrand.

Jaguar Land Rover US announces increased sales for April

  • Jaguar Land Rover North America sales increase 7 percent for April 2013; up 13 percent YTD 2013
  • Jaguar U.S. sales increase 6 percent
  • Jaguar XF Sedan grows 54 percent on power of All Wheel Drive and new powertrains
  • Land Rover U.S. sales increase 8 percent for April 2013; hits all time U.S. YTD high for the brand.
  • All new Range Rover sales increase 20 percent for April, 2013

Jaguar Land Rover North America today reported April 2013 U.S. sales: Land Rover sales were 3,543 units, 8 percent up from 3,292 units in April 2012; Jaguar sales were 1,141 units, 6 percent up from 1,073 units in April 2012. Jaguar Land Rover North America April U.S. sales for both brands hit 4,684 units, a 7 percent increase from 4,365 in April 2012.

Year to date through April, Jaguar Land Rover North America is up 13 percent, with Jaguar up 7 percent and Land Rover up 14 percent. For Land Rover, 2013 YTD sales of15, 962 are the highest first four months in the history of the brand in the United States.

"Sales continued to grow in April with solid growth for both Jaguar and Land Rover products," said Andy Goss, President, Jaguar Land Rover North America.  "It is an exciting time for both brands with new products in the showrooms and more to come later this year."


Land Rover

For the month of April, the volume leader continues to be the Range Rover Sport with 1,305 sales, an increase of 9 percent from 1,199 sales in April 2012. The all new Range Rover Sport goes on sales this fall.

The new Range Rover increased sales 20 percent to 674 units, up from 562 units in April, 2012.

Range Rover Evoque continued to grow, with an increase of 3 percent to 832 units from 806 units in April, 2012.

For Land Rover, 2013 YTD sales of15, 962 are the highest first four months in the history of the brand in the United States.The previous high had been 2006 with 15,034.

Land Rover's 2013 model year line-up features five models: The 240-hp 2.0 liter powered LR2 and Range Rover Evoque; the LR4 powered by the 375-hp 5.0 liter V8; the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover, both available with the Naturally-aspirated 375-hp V8 and 510-hp supercharged 5.0 liter V8 powertrains. For MY14 both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will come equipped with a choice of supercharged 340-hp 3.0 liter V6 or 510-hp supercharged 5.0 liter V8 powertrains.


For the month of April, the Jaguar XF continues to be the volume and growth leader with 709 units sold, up 54 percent from 459 sales in April 2012. Year to date, Jaguar sales are 4,726, up 7 percent from 4,401 sales, with the XF sales increasing on the appeal of new powertrains and All Wheel Drive.

At the 2013 New York International Auto Show, Jaguar debuted two new models, the 550-hp Jaguar XJR and Jaguar XKR-S GT, expanding its R performance lineup to six models.

For MY13 the transformed Jaguar U.S. lineup includes:

  • Instinctive All Wheel Drive™ - Available on both the XF and XJ
  • Supercharged 340hp V6 engines in the XF and XJ
  • Turbocharged 240hp four cylinder engine available in the XF
  • Eight Speed ZF® Automatic Transmissions on all XF and XJ models
  • Auto Engine Stop/Start on select XF and XJ models

Jaguar's 2013 model year line-up features three models: The Jaguar XJ luxury sedan, powered by either the supercharged 3.0 liter V6 in rear wheel or all wheel drive configuration, naturally-aspirated 385-hp 5.0 liter V8, the 470-hp supercharged 5.0 liter V8 or the 510-hp supercharged 5.0 liter V8; the Jaguar XF sports sedan powered by the 240-hp 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder,  supercharged 340-hp 3.0 liter V6 in rear wheel or all wheel drive configuration, the naturally-aspirated 385-hp 5.0 liter V8, the 470-hp supercharged 5.0 liter V8 or, in the XFR, the 510-hp supercharged 5.0 liter V8 powertrains; and the XK coupe and convertible sports cars powered by either the naturally-aspirated 385-hp V8, or for the XKR, the 510-hp supercharged 5.0 liter V8 powertrains. Jaguar also offers its highest performance models ever, the 2013 Jaguar XKR-S coupe and convertible with a 550-hp supercharged 5.0 liter V8 powertrain.  The Jaguar F-TYPE convertible will join the lineup in summer of 2013.

Mclaren produces interactive experience online.

  • Insight into the groundbreaking aerodynamic technology which has optimised the bodyshape of the McLaren P1™
  • Online interactive experience can be found at designedbyair.com

The key to the performance for the McLaren P1™ is aerodynamics, and a new web experience, entitled ‘Designed by Air’, is the first of a two part series telling the extraordinary story behind the car’s design.

The website offers participants a detailed insight as the car is ‘born’ from raw metallic and carbon elements and is crafted by airflow. The journey evolves to unveil the McLaren P1™ within the wind tunnel highlighting the aerodynamic focus of the design.

Expanding into further sections, the story behind the design of the McLaren P1™ reveals an interactive 3D model with further information about the finely honed aerodynamic features. The immersive experience, inspired by McLaren Automotive Design Director Frank Stephenson’s biomimicry design philosophy, showcases the McLaren P1™ in simulated urban, alpine, highway and track environments, detailing how the active aerodynamic systems adjust and adapt to deliver optimum performance for differing driving conditions.

The ‘Designed by Air’ McLaren P1™ experience is socially enabled, with a final section ‘Future Chapters’ inviting users to ‘like’, share and register ahead of future updates on the car’s interior and performance features.

Frank Stephenson, Design Director at McLaren Automotive explains: “Our main objective with the McLaren P1™ was to design the best driver’s car in the world, on road and track. Managing air flow in and around the car’s bodywork and optimising aerodynamics was key in achieving this goal. This design philosophy crafted the highly unique and emotive shape of the car.

“The online ‘Designed by Air’ experience developed for the McLaren P1™ captures the essence and detail of the car’s aerodynamic design in an immersive and engaging way.”

The McLaren P1TM experience can be found at designedbyair.com.

Fancy having a shave or haircut in a Bentley ?

  • New collaboration with top London men’s grooming salon
  • Luxury brands share their passion for contemporary craftsmanship
  • Bentley hides and bespoke embroidery used in chair renovation

Bentley is delighted to announce the launch of its new collaboration with the luxury men’s lifestyle brand Pankhurst, at the opening of the new Pankhurst men’s grooming store in London.

Bentley craftsmen based at the company’s renowned Crewe headquarters have renovated six barbers’ chairs, utilising the craftsmanship and engineering techniques of the illustrious marque and incorporating materials and finishes from Bentley cars.

Pankhurst London offers classic haircuts with a modern twist, drawing inspiration from timeless styles, then updating each look with a unique and inspirational edge. Both Bentley and Pankhurst share a commitment to peerless quality, contemporary style and modern luxury which combine to make the partnership one of true excellence.

Stefan Buescher, director of marketing¸ Bentley Motors, commented: “Bentley is widely recognised as one of the world’s most desirable and authentic luxury brands. A key part of what makes Bentley special is our hand-crafted expertise in wood and leather that makes our car interiors a special place to be.”

“Working with Pankhurst has given us the opportunity to show this craft in an innovative and exciting way to create a unique experience in London’s finest barber shop. Only Bentley could make such exquisite and beautiful chairs.”

The project combines Bentley’s skills in both leather trim expertise and the Mulliner special commissioning department. Eight hides were used in the development and production of Bentley’s unique chair covers, while bespoke Bentley and Pankhurst embroidery was created to embellish the luxury specification of the chairs.

The chairs’ arms were refabricated by grafting new wood onto the structure to replace the redundant ashtrays, and the suspension system within the chairs was reworked to improve the level of comfort. Hand-sculptured new headrest foams were also produced in an improved density material to further enhance the sense of wellbeing. Finally, colour combinations were chosen by the Bentley colour and trim team in conjunction with Pankhurst. Fire Glow and Burnt Oak, standard colours across the Bentley product range, were used for five chairs, with stitching and piping in Linen, the stitch pattern on the Fire Glow seats being based on the Continental GT range. The stitch pattern on the Burnt Oak seat was based on the Mulliner specification.

Brent Pankhurst, owner of Pankhurst, added:  “The beautiful barbers' chairs Bentley has created for Pankhurst London highlight both brands' commitment to bespoke style and luxury, helping create a haven of masculinity in our new flagship home on Newburgh Street, London W1.”

“Sumptuous, stunning and elegant, our Bentley crafted chairs are the perfect place to sit back as we ensure you'll never leave with a hair out of place.”

Golf MK7 Bluemotion achieves 88.3mpg

From today, UK customers can order one of the world’s most fuel-efficient family cars: the new Golf BlueMotion.  This car offers fuel economy of 88.3 mpg on the combined cycle, and CO2 emissions of just 85 g/km, yet like its predecessors it still offers customer all the Golf’s traditional attributes of practicality, comfort and safety.

The new Golf BlueMotion’s fuel economy is 15 per cent better than that of the previous-generation model, which emitted 99 g/km (now the emissions of a standard Golf 1.6-litre TDI). The original Golf BlueMotion, revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007, returned, at that time, a class-leading 62.8 mpg with emissions of 119 g/km – figures now surpassed by even the range-topping diesel, the 184 PS Golf GTD.

With its 50-litre fuel tank and 88.3 mpg fuel consumption, the new Golf BlueMotion has a theoretical range of 970 miles.  Assuming an average annual driving distance of under 10,000 miles, most drivers will only have to refuel 10 times a year.  Road tax won’t be an issue, either – the Golf BlueMotion is in Band A, meaning it’s zero pounds a year.

The reduction in the car’s combined fuel consumption has been achieved through lightweight design (including 26 kg less weight in the running gear and 37 kg less in the body), engine-related modifications and a collection of other measures.  These include super low rolling resistance tyres with higher air pressure, longer gear ratios (six-speed manual gearbox), the Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems that are standard in all new Golfs, plus specific aerodynamic modifications.

The frontal area of the new Golf was reduced by 0.03 m2 and aerodynamic drag (Cd x A) by nearly 10 percent, giving it a Cd value of 0.27.  Compared to other standard Golf models, the aerodynamics of the BlueMotion were also refined by a lowered ride height (by 15 mm), a roof spoiler, lateral air guide elements on the rear window, a masked front grille, partially closed air inlet screens, optimised cooling system airflow, special underfloor panels, optimised brake cooling channels and a C-pillar spoiler.

At the heart of the new Golf BlueMotion is a 1.6-litre 110 PS common rail TDI from the new EA288 engine series (producing 5 PS more power than in non-BlueMotion models).  The four-cylinder 16-valve unit develops its maximum torque of250 Nm from just 1,500 rpm up to 3,000 rpm.

Various measures such as reduced internal friction, an innovative thermal management system with shortened warm-up phase, exhaust gas recirculation, cylinder pressure sensor, two-stage oil pump, switchable electric water pump and water-cooled intercooler right in the intake manifold result in successfully reducing fuel consumption and emissions.  To reduce emissions values further, Volkswagen has also implemented an oxidation catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter and a NOx storage catalytic converter.

Prices for the new Golf BlueMotion start at £20,335 (RRP OTR) for the three-door and rise to £20,990 for the five-door, with specification based on that of the standard Golf S – see price list for full details.  UK Volkswagen Retailers are taking orders for the new Golf BlueMotion now, with the first deliveries expected in August.

Land Rover launches new app to promote the new Range Rover

•  The Trail Less Traveled app is available now on Apple's iTunes for iPhone and iPad

•   App enables consumers to explore the most capable, most refined Range Rover ever, inside and out, through an eight-stage interactive journey from four synced camera angles

Yesterday, Land Rover North America announced the release of the brand's first ever app designed to showcase the fourth generation Range Rover vehicle. The Trail Less Traveledapp, available now on iTunes.com, enables users to take a journey with the Range Rover vehicle, explore its robust  on-road and off-road capabilities and experience the numerous interior and exterior refinements that make the vehicle the most capable and refined Range Rover ever.

"For over 65 years, Land Rover has been a pioneer in the auto industry by exploring new ways to help take people places in a way that other vehicles simply cannot.The Trail Less Traveledapp is meant to showcase this spirit that is inherent to our brand," said Kim McCullough, Brand Vice President of Land Rover North America.  "Moreover, the app is a tool that we know will resonate with our owners and enthusiasts as they are tech-savvy and intensively active social-media users."

Robust on-road and off-road capabilities, combined with a collection of interior and exterior refinements, help differentiate the Range Rover vehicle from its competitors.The Trail Less Traveledinvites users to explore the fourth generation Range Rover, inside and out, through an eight-stage interactive journey from any of four camera angles - simultaneously.  The technology takes the driver through stunning scenery, then switches instantly from wide camera angles to tight close ups and even the driver's point-of-view, all to provide an authentic Range Rover driving experience.

A driver can select his or her own route through an interactive map, advance to different stages of the journey, and even pause the experience, to explore pictures and videos of the latest engineering advancements in the vehicle. Beyond the journey, the driver can choose their own perspective, soundtrack, and even their own ending.

The Trail Less Traveled was conceptualized and produced by Land Rover's creative agency team comprised of a partnership between Wunderman, Y&R and Blast Radius and is the latest digital tool implemented by Land Rover to create a "digital showroom" for owners and enthusiasts. In the past two years, Land Rover has delegated more resources to digital and mobile now than at any time in the brand's history. Digital media spending has doubled to more than 35% of the marketing mix.  Land Rover has also explored new ways to produce digital content through partners such as 500px and refreshed its mobile site and all social properties. The brand is also enhancing its digital presence on social platforms including Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Toyota's US powertrain plant reaches milestone.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, Inc., (TMMWV) and its 1,300 team members celebrated production of the plant’s 10 millionth powertrain unit at a ceremony this afternoon with guests from the state’s business and civic community.  Powertrain units include engines and automatic transmissions.

Facts about TMMWV and its 10 millionth powertrain:

TMMWV is the first plant outside of Japan to produce 10 million units.
Every 20 seconds a Toyota vehicle rolls off a North American assembly line with a TMMWV powertrain product.
Total output of all engines produced at TMMWV tops 1 billion horsepower.  

“From the very beginning, our mission was to support Toyota’s growing North America operations by building high-quality powertrains for our customers,” said TMMWV President Yogi Suzuki.  “Our team members’ focus on quality, safety and their commitment to continuous improvement is second-to-none.  West Virginia has been and will continue to be an important part of Toyota’s efforts to localize production in North America.”

TMMWV, which assembles four-cylinder and V6 engines and 6-speed automatic transmissions for nine of 12 North American-produced vehicles, recently completed its seventh major expansion earlier this year resulting in 80 new jobs.  Production began in 1998.  Cumulative investment at the plant is $1.3 billion and annual capacity is more than 650,000 engines and more than 520,000 automatic transmissions.

Comments from elected officials:

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin:
“Every day TMMWV team members perform at their best, building high-quality engines and transmissions in the small, tight-knit community of Buffalo.  I’m thankful for their commitment to quality craftsmanship because, over the years, these individuals have built a world-class reputation.  I also want to thank Dr. Toyoda and the entire TMMWV leadership for believing in West Virginia and our exceptional workforce. Congratulations to all on your 10 millionth unit!”

Senator Jay Rockefeller:
“Twenty years ago, the idea of Toyota in West Virginia was just a hope and a dream. Because of the incredible team members, this community, its families and the company that showed so much faith in them, we’re celebrating a milestone: Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia’s 10 millionth unit. Today represents more than just the units produced; it represents a better life for families and new growth for the Buffalo community and our state. From the very beginning, I pledged to Toyota officials that they’d never be disappointed in West Virginia. Each and every day, they see that promise kept. Bringing Toyota to West Virginia is truly one of the proudest moments of my career, and I’m simply thrilled at this historic milestone.”

Senator Joe Manchin:
“As this automotive leader learned more than 15 years ago, there is not a more loyal, well-trained and quality-driven workforce anywhere else in the world.  Today’s celebration is more proof of that.   As we gather today to highlight Toyota’s steadfast commitment to West Virginia, to its team members, to ‘The Toyota Way’ of manufacturing and to the consumers it serves with quality products, I congratulate Toyota and its devoted team members.  I look forward to celebrating many more of these historic milestones with this great company.  With corporate partners like Toyota, we are truly building a brighter future for West Virginia.”

Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito:
“Since 1996, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, Inc., has been expanding, making our state proud and providing the country with high quality automatic transmissions, gears and engines.  Employing 1,300 West Virginians, I want to thank Toyota for making a home in the state that I love.  I also want to congratulate everyone who made the milestone of producing the 10 millionth powertrain unit possible.  Keep growing. Keep building. And keep powering our nation’s automobiles.”

Donation to local schools
To commemorate today’s celebration, TMMWV donated $32,500 to 13 area schools in Putnam, Mason, Cabell and Kanawha counties to enhance TMMWV’s and Bridgemont Community and Technical College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician program (AMT), created last summer.  The AMT program combines a cutting-edge curriculum, paid work experience, and instruction in highly sought after business principles and best practices from a world-class manufacturer that results in a two-year associate’s degree from Bridgemont.

Additionally, TMMWV last week donated $5,000 to Buffalo High School for last Saturday’s Arbor Day activities at the school where students, teachers and TMMWV team members cleared a three acre tract of land for their Agriculture Education program.

Since 1996, TMMWV has donated nearly $6.5 million to organizations throughout the state.

Mitsubishi US announces April Sales

Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) today reported sales of the U.S.-built Outlander Sport achieved a year-over-year sales increase of more than 77 percent in April.

The 2,111 units sold is the third-highest-ever total of Outlander Sport sales in a month and marks the eighth consecutive month of sales increases for the fuel-efficient CUV. Outlander Sport sales are up more than 41 percent year to date.

“We’re particularly pleased with the response to our limited edition Outlander Sport model commemorating 30 years of Mitsubishi sales in the U.S. and 25 years of production in Normal, Illinois,” said MMNA President & CEO Yoichi Yokozawa. “With a starting MSRP of just over $19,000, we feel Outlander Sport is appealing to many customers looking for a crossover with high fuel-efficiency and a vast array of standard features for an attractive price.”

Outlander Sport recently received the "Best All-Around Performance" Award from the Automotive Science Group (ASG) – the organization's top honor – for "best overall performance amongst all model year 2013 crossover SUVs sold in the U.S. market."

Lancer sales were also up, almost 8 percent for the month compared to the prior year and more than 50 percent year to date. The well-equipped and affordably-priced sport sedan was recently recognized as the best overall value in the small sedan vehicle segment by USAA.

There were 127 sales of Mitsubishi’s all-electric i-MiEV in April, compared to 79 sales in April 2012.

Sales of Mitsubishi models currently in production were up more than 30 percent compared to April 2012. However due to discontinued models, total overall Mitsubishi sales were down 15 percent

KIA USA announces April sales

With the first deliveries of the all-new 2014 Cadenza and Forte sedans taking place throughout the month, Kia Motors America (KMA) today reported best-ever April sales of 47,556 units.  The U.S.-built* Optima midsize sedan led Kia’s sales for the 17th consecutive month with 14,678 units sold, and together with Sorento CUV, also built in West Point, Georgia*, accounted for nearly 50 percent total sales for the month. The Soul urban passenger vehicle also recorded robust monthly of sales of 11,311 units.

Cadenza and Forte join the 2014 Sorento CUV as three of the seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles to launch this calendar year.  Each of these new products furthers Kia’s efforts to advance value to new levels of sophistication by combining European-influenced styling with cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities and affordable pricing.    

Kia:  One of the World’s Fastest Moving Global Automotive Brands

Kia Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in each of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000 unit mark for the first time.  With a full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs, Kia is advancing value to new levels of sophistication by combining European-influenced styling – under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – with cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable pricing and the lowest cost of ownership in the industry.

Kia recently joined the exclusive ranks of Interbrand’s “Top 100 Best Global Brands,” and is poised to continue its momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2013.  Over the past decade Kia Motors has invested more than $1.4 billion in the U.S., including the company’s first U.S. assembly plant in West Point, Georgia – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – which is responsible for the creation of more than 11,000 plant and supplier jobs.

The success of the U.S.-built* Optima and Sorento in two of the industry’s largest segments has fueled Kia’s rapid growth and is complemented by Kia’s comprehensive lineup which includes the Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima Hybrid, the Forte sedan, 5-door and Koup compacts, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona minivan.

Porsche USA announces April sales

Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), importer and distributor of Porsche sports cars, Cayenne SUVs and the Panamera four-door sports sedan line-up in the United States, today announced April 2013 sales of 4,032 vehicles, marking the highest sales month in PCNA history. This compares to 3,437 vehicles sold in April 2012, an increase of 17 percent. For the year, PCNA has delivered 13,681 vehicles in the U.S., up 29 percent over last year’s total (10,596).

Sales of the Cayenne SUV remain strong, up 27 percent compared to April 2012 – with the Diesel model accounting for 29 percent of overall Cayenne sales. The Boxster/Cayman model line saw an impressive increase as well, with current year-to-date sales (2,252) up more than 350 percent over the same period last year (486).

“This is the first time in history that Porsche has delivered more than 4,000 cars in one month in the United States – which can mainly be attributed to a very attractive and young model line-up,” said Detlev von Platen, President and CEO, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. “We are on track to have another very successful year, as long as the current U.S. economic situation continues to improve.”

In addition to strong new car sales, Porsche dealers sold 824 Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) models in April, a five percent increase over last April. For the year, Porsche has sold 3,195 CPO vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz US announce highest second Quarter start.

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported the highest second quarter start in its history with record April sales of 26,157, a 4.4% increase over April 2012. Mercedes-Benz models alone saw a 5.8% gain in sales volume at 23,635 bringing year-to-date totals for the brand to 92,822. Combined with monthly sales from smart (667) and Sprinter Vans (1,855) MBUSA saw a year-to-date total of 101,371, a 10.2% increase over the previous year, making this April the earliest month ever to break 100,000 units.

"We've entered the second quarter of 2013 at an incredible pace," said Steve Cannon, president and CEO of MBUSA. "A record first quarter gave us a great start. With our completely redesigned E-Class now in showrooms, I fully expect to see continued momentum in the months ahead."

Mercedes-Benz April sales were driven by the C-, E-, and M-Class model lines. The sporty C-Class - the current gateway to the brand on the car side for younger and first-time Mercedes-Benz buyers - took the lead, posting sales of 7,338, up 14.2%. The E-Class, which receives a complete redesign for 2014 now available in dealerships, followed with sales of 4,431. MBUSA's top-selling SUV, the M-Class, rounded out the top three with sales of 3,280. At the high-end, strong performers were the company's flagship S-Class, which saw 16.4% growth, and the SL-Class, which increased 275.2% over April 2012.

The Sprinter model line saw sales of 1,855 for the month, while smart recorded sales of 667 vehicles.

Sales of the high-performance AMG models were 574 for the month, up 8.5% from the same period last year. Sales of the company's BlueTEC diesel models finished the month of April at 1,171.

Separately, through the Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned (MBCPO) program, MBUSA sold 8,748 vehicles in April, an increase of 37.4% when compared to April 2012 (sales of 6,368 vehicles). On a year-to-date basis, MBCPO sold 33,118 vehicles, an increase of 26.0% over the comparable period (with sales of 26,292 vehicles).

Mazda USA announces April sales

Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today reported April U.S. sales of 19,894 vehicles, representing a decrease of 7.5 percent versus last year. Year-to-date sales through April are down 5.2 percent versus last year, with 98,177 vehicles sold.

Lead by Mazda CX-5 with 6,262 units sold, equating to an increase of 78.0 percent year-over-year, SKYACTIV® TECHNOLOGY vehicles accounted for 74.4 percent of total vehicle sales for Mazda, with 14,795 vehicles sold. Mazda3 with SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY sold 5,586 units during April, achieving a mix of 79.0 percent of SKYACTIV-equipped Mazda3s versus the non-SKYACTIV Mazda3. All 2,933 Mazda6 sales for the month of April were comprised of the all-new 2014 Mazda6, with the full-suite of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY.

The 2014 Mazda6 continues to exceed sales expectations without any official advertising support of the vehicle thus far. On April 29, however, Mazda launched its all-new Game Changers advertising campaign starting with the all-new Mazda6. Inventory remains light as Mazda goes nationwide discussing the vehicle's key attributes, like SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, all-new available safety features and its all-new KODO-Soul of Motion design, which landed Mazda6 as a finalist for World Car Design of the Year.

Another vehicle featuring the new KODO design language is the Mazda CX-9, which saw a YOY increase of 11.2 percent with 1,694 vehicles sold. Recently reimagined, CX-9 gives consumers a seven passenger vehicle that drives like no other on the market, period.

Mazda Motor de Mexico (MMdM) reported April sales of 2,448 vehicles, up 32.0 percent versus last year.

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through more than 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

Volvo US announces April sales

Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, (VCNA) reported U.S. sales of 4,464 units, a 7.9 percent decrease from April 2012. Year-to-date sales are down 8 percent over the first four months of 2012.

The S60 sports sedan was the top seller for the month with 1,547 units sold. The XC60 crossover, currently the only luxury SUV to earn IIHS' Top Safety Pick+ award, finished the month right behind with 1,455 units sold, up 15.4 percent versus April 2012.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Toyota US announces small increase in sales for the month of April

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported April 2013 sales results of 176,160 units, a decrease of 5 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis compared to the same period last year. Unadjusted for 25 selling days in April 2013 versus 24 in April 2012, TMS sales were down 1.1 percent over the year-ago month.  

Toyota Division posted April total sales of 158,069 units, down 5.4 percent year-over-year on a DSR basis.  Volume-wise, Toyota Division sales decreased 1.5 percent over April 2012.

“From an industry standpoint, continued retail sales growth indicates the underlying strength of the market, which is a great sign for the months ahead, especially with new products, low interest rates and plenty of pent up demand,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Division.  “Toyota’s two newest models – Avalon and RAV4 – continued to attract customers with double digit gains in April.”

Lexus reported April total sales of 18,091 units, down 1.0 percent on a DSR basis and up 3.1 percent by raw volume compared to the same period last year.

"With strong sales of our recently introduced LS and ES sedans, Lexus’ April sales were 3 percent higher than last year’s,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “We also celebrated Earth Month by selling 3,145 of our five luxury hybrid models, which accounted for 17 percent of our monthly sales. Lexus now sells two out of every three luxury hybrids, making Lexus the clear luxury hybrid leader.”

Other Highlights:

  • TMS retail sales up 4.3 percent
  • Toyota Division is No. 1 retail brand for the second consecutive month
  • All-new Avalon up 119.4 percent for best April since 2007
  • Camry sales top 30,000 units for the fifth consecutive month
  • Toyota Division truck sales of nearly 70,000 units, up 11.6 percent
  • All-new RAV4 posted best-ever April sales of 18,541 units, up 22 percent
  • Tacoma continued to lead its segment with sales of 12,971 units, up 19 percent
  • Tundra sales of 8,276 units, up 14.6 percent
  • Sienna sales of 9,948 units, up 5.3 percent
  • Prius family remains hybrid volume leader with sales of 19,889 units

Hyundai announces April US sales

  • Elantra up 45 percent
  • Azera up 48 percent
  • All-new Santa Fe up 10 percent
  • Inventory remains tight, especially for fast-turning Sonata
  • Assurance Connected Care launching May 16

Hyundai Motor America today announced sales of 63,315 units, up two percent versus the same period in 2012.

“April is always a transitional month going into our peak selling season and we were pleased with the strength that both the industry and our award-winning lineup of vehicles exhibited,” said Dave Zuchowski, executive vice president of national sales. “Through the first four months of this year, HMA has shattered its all-time volume mark, and with strong economic signals, improving availability and a historically strong selling season directly in front of us, we fully expect to continue this record-setting trend for the first six months of the year.”

Elantra sales for the month were 24,445 units, up 45 percent over last April and up 29 percent year-to-date. The all-new award-winning Santa Fe, which is offering families a fresh alternative in this highly competitive segment, had sales of 6,940 units for the month, up 10 percent over April 2012 and 27 percent for the year.

“While we did a decent job matching production levels with strong demand for Azera, Elantra and Santa Fe, our U.S.-built Sonata inventories remain among the lowest in the segment, and we continue to work to meet demand for all variants of our fast-turning mid-size sedan,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “Our new Sonata Hybrid has been a focus model for us though, and here we’ve been able to support a 40 percent year-over-year sales increase with additional production and high consumer interest in our upgraded hybrid powertrain with its industry-leading Lifetime Hybrid Battery Warranty.”

Genesis and Equus inventories remained extremely tight due to model year ramp up, with the freshened 2014 Equus on its way to Hyundai showrooms later this month.

Hyundai recently announced an enhancement to its Assurance suite of consumer-focused programs with its innovative connected-car solution, Assurance Connected Care. Three years of Assurance Connected Care will become standard on all Blue Link-equipped vehicles, representing most Hyundai models, beginning May 16.

Fleet mix was 16 percent for both the month and the year, among the lowest in the industry. Certified Pre-Owned vehicle sales were 6,218, an April record, up 33 percent over April 2012. Low fleet mix and high CPO sales are two key ingredients driving Hyundai’s strong residual value performance, among the best in the industry according to ALG.

Nissan groupe announces US sales for April

Nissan North America, Inc. today reported April U.S. sales of 87,847 units versus 71,329 units a year earlier, up 23.2 percent.  Nissan Division sales rose 24.6 percent for the month at 80,003 units, driven by retail sales gains by top-selling models like Altima, Pathfinder, Sentra and Rogue. Sales of Infiniti vehicles were up 10 percent over the prior year, to 7,844 units.


  • Nissan Division posted 80,003 sales, an increase of 24.6 percent over last April's 64,200 unit total.
  • Sales of Nissan Altima rose 35.4 percent to 21,991, driven by a 42 percent increase in retail deliveries.
  • Nissan Rogue crossover sales set a new April record at 11,904 units, an increase of 39 percent over the prior April.
  • Nissan Pathfinder sales were up 214.7 percent to 6,473, setting a new April record and marking the sixth consecutive month it posted an increase in deliveries of at least 145 percent. Pathfinder sales are up 180.9 percent in 2013.
  • Sales of the all-electric Nissan LEAF jumped 423.5 percent to 1,937, spurred by the move of vehicle assembly to Nissan's vehicle and battery assembly facilities in Smyrna, Tenn., as well as a substantial price repositioning to include a wider range of trim levels and added value. Year-to-date, LEAF sales are up more than 160 percent.
  • The all-new Nissan Sentra posted a 44.9 percent sales increase, at 10,734 deliveries.

Comments from Jose Munoz, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing – Nissan Americas:

"April was a very good sales month for the Nissan division, not only from an overall volume standpoint where we were up more than 24 percent, but also in retail where our sales rose more than 32 percent."

"In the first quarter of 2013, we improved our retail sales by more than 4 percent while reducing deliveries to fleet customers by more than 17 percent. We continued this trend in April with retail up 29 percent and fleet mix down over four percentage points from one year ago, which proves that our new products such as Altima, Sentra and Pathfinder are taking strong hold in the marketplace."

"Our strong performance in April was driven largely by double and even triple digit increases on some of our core products, such as Altima up more than 35 percent, Sentra up nearly 45 percent, Rogue up 39 percent and the all-new Pathfinder up over 214 percent."

"We expect to have gained market share in April due to our strong retail performance, which we have full intention to continue through the summer months given the building momentum that we are seeing with Altima, Sentra and Pathfinder in particular."

"With a strong April building on a record-breaking March, Nissan LEAF sales are now up over 160 percent year-to-date. The wider array of trim levels and lower price driven by the start of U.S. LEAF production at our Smyrna plant are bringing more new customers to our showrooms every day."


  • Infiniti today reported sales of 7,844 units in April, an increase of 10 percent from 7,129 units during April 2012.
  • Deliveries of Infiniti G Sedan totaled 2,696, an increase of 29 percent.
  • Infiniti FX performance crossover was up 12.8 percent.
  • Sales of the Infiniti JX 7-passenger luxury crossover increased 24.1 percent to 2,580 in April.

NOTE: To ensure consistency in global sales reporting, Nissan North America calculates monthly variances on a straight-percentage basis, unadjusted for the number of selling days. April 2013 had 25 selling days, while April 2012 had 24 selling days.

BMW/MINI announce US sales for April

  • BMW brand sales up 10.3 percent
  • MINI brand sales up 1 percent
  • BMW Motorcycle sales up 31.6 percent

The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported April sales of 29,011 vehicles, an increase of 8.3 percent from the 26,793 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago.  Year-to-date, the BMW Group (BMW and MINI combined) is up 5.3 percent on sales of 107,968 in the first four months of 2013 compared to 102,522 in the same period in 2012.  

“The solid April results are a good set-up for the months ahead as BMW transitions to model year 2014 with a range of new models coming to market,” said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America. “Our dealers are reporting a sizeable increase in business and we expect to see even more in May and June.”

BMW Brand Sales

Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 10.3 percent in April for a total of 23,225 compared to 21,062 vehicles sold in April, 2012. Year-to-date, the BMW brand is up 6.7 percent on sales of 88,127 compared to 82,611 sold in the first four months of 2012.

In April, best performing vehicles included the 5 Series, up 46.8 percent to 5,234 units; the 6 Series, up 48.1 percent to 760 units; and the 7 Series, up 68.8 percent to 871 units.

BMW Pre-Owned Vehicles
In April, sales of BMW used vehicles (including certified pre-owned and pre-owned) increased 5.1 percent to 14,194 vehicles compared to the 13,511 vehicles sold in April, 2012.  January through April, BMW used vehicle sales are up 3.7 percent on volume of 56,869 compared to 54,863 in the same period of 2012.

MINI Brand Sales

MINI USA reported sales of 5,786 automobiles in April, an increase of 1.0 percent from the 5,731 sold in the same month a year ago.  Year-to-date, MINI sales in the U.S. are down 0.4 percent on volume of 19,841 compared to 19,911 in the first four months of 2012.

MINI Pre-Owned Vehicles
In April, sales of MINI used automobiles (including MINI NEXT certified pre-owned and pre-owned) decreased 4.4 percent to 1,637 automobiles from the 1,713 sold in April, 2012.  January through April, MINI used vehicle sales are up 19.1 percent on volume of 6,483 compared to 5,443 in the same period of 2012.

Honda/Acura US sales announced with significant improvements

American Honda today reported April 2013 U.S. sales of 130,999 units, an increase of 7.4 percent compared with April 2012 (up 3.1 percent based on the Daily Selling Rate, or DSR*). The Honda brand posted April 2013 sales of 117,100 units, an increase of 6.6 percent compared with April 2012.  Acura U.S. April sales of 13,899 units increased 14.2 percent compared with April 2012.


Award-winning CR-V sets all-time April sales record, up 12.2 percent in to 26,519 units, breaking the record set in April 2012
Hot-selling Accord continues its retail sales strength, topping 33,500 units with year-to-date sales up over 26 percent
Sales for ultra-functional and efficient Fit up 33.9 percent for April
"The April sales record for the CR-V exemplifies the incredible retail sales success of Honda’s core models," said John Mendel, executive vice president of Sales at American Honda. "The Accord and Civic also continue to resonate, one customer at a time, with overall year-to-date sales well ahead of last year."


Sales of the all-new luxury flagship RLX sedan strong with 400 units in its first full month, as dealer inventory builds
RDX sets its twelfth-consecutive monthly sales record, up 106.0 percent from last April, and is the top-selling Acura model in April with sales of 4,088 units
Acura sets an April truck sales record, with total Acura year-to-date sales up over 13 percent
"With a full year of record sales growth, the RDX is a resounding success," said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura Sales. "Continued record-breaking sales of the RDX is laying a solid foundation for the new RLX and MDX Acura models launching this year."

*The daily selling rate (DSR) is calculated with 25 days for April 2013 and 24 days for April 2012. Year-to-date, the DSR is calculated with 101 days for 2013 and 101 days for 2012. All other percentages in release are unadjusted; see table for adjusted DSR figures.

Subaru announces Excellent US sales for April

• April 2013 is best April sales month in Subaru history
• Sales of 32,943 units represent a 25 percent increase over April 2012

Subaru of America, Inc. today reported 32,943 vehicle sales for April 2013, which represents a 25 percent increase over April 2012 and the best-ever April sales month in company history. Year-to-date sales for Subaru total 125,470– a 17 percent increase over the same period in 2012. These results build on strong sales from 2012 where Subaru achieved five consecutive years of sales increases and exceeded 300,000 annual sales in 2012 – a first in company history.

April sales for the all-new 2014 Forester increased 65 percent over April 2012 Forester sales. XV Crosstrek and BRZ sales were also notably strong at 4433 and 812, respectively.

“Demand for the all-new 2014 Forester has been especially strong,” said Thomas J. Doll, president and chief operating officer, Subaru of America, Inc. “We expect to see sales for the Forester and XV Crosstrek continue to grow throughout the year.”

“Our 25 percent increase in sales was primarily driven by the all-new 2014 Forester and strong performance across the rest of the model lines,” said Bill Cyphers, senior vice president of sales, Subaru of America, Inc. “We look forward to adding the XV Crosstrek Hybrid – Subaru’s first-ever hybrid – to our line-up.”

Audi announces US sales, and they are also up.

• Audi sold 13,157 vehicles in April, up 14.2%; YTD sales up 15.5%
• Only December 2012, March 2013 topped the April 2013 sales totals
• Top-end A8, A7, A6, Q7 models make up 32% of total April sales
Audi today reported April 2013 sales of 13,157 vehicles, a 14.2% increase over the previous April record set last year. April stands as the 28th consecutive month of record sales for the brand.

Audi year-to-date sales through the end of April 2013 were 15.5% above the pace set a year earlier when Audi finished with record annual results in the U.S. Sales in April 2013 were only exceeded by the sales of 14,841 vehicles in December 2012 and 13,253 vehicles in March 2013.

Sales of Audi premium category vehicles (Audi A8, Audi A7, Audi A6, and Audi Q7) increased 23% YTD, and represent 32% of total Audi sales YTD. Demand for the Audi flagship cars the Audi A8 and S8 sedans, jumped 30% while the Audi Q5 luxury SUV posted a 32% gain for the month. Audi momentum also benefitted strongly from robust demand for the Audi Q7, which generated a 33% sales increase for the month, and a 44% increase above sales in the January-April 2012 period.

“Audi shows no sign of slowing down in the U.S. market, and April clearly demonstrated that fact,” said Mark Del Rosso, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Audi of America. “To record the third-best sales totals ever in the traditionally fickle month of April is a remarkable achievement for our brand.”

• Sales mix for Audi S performance variants finished the month at 17% for the S4 sedan; 39% for the S5/ RS 5 Coupe; 27% for the S5/ RS 5 Cabriolet; 10% for the S6; 21% for the S7; 22% for the S8; 52% for the TTS / TT RS coupe and 41% for the TTS Roadster.

• Audi A5 sales up 27% compared to April 2012; YTD sales grew 13% compared to previous period.
• Sales of Audi A6 increased 22% compared to April 2012; YTD sales grew 22% compared to previous period.
• Sales of the Audi A8 increased 30% compared to April 2012; YTD sales grew 36% compared to previous period.
• Sales of the Audi Q5 increased 32% compared to April 2012; YTD sales grew 36% compared to previous period.
• Sales of the Audi Q7 increased 33% compared to April 2012; YTD sales grew 44% compared to previous period.
• Audi sold 468 allroad models in April, bringing YTD sales to 1,758 of the sport wagon.
• Sales mix for Audi TDI clean diesel models finish the month at 9% for the A3 TDI and 29% for Q7 TDI. A3 sales in April 2013 were down substantially as the brand prepares for the arrival of the all-new A3 sedan in early 2014.
• For the record-setting month of April 2013, five Audi models recorded year-over-year sales increases of 20% or more, including the Audi A5, Audi A6, Audi A8, Audi Q5 and Audi Q7.
• Audi Certified pre-owned sales increased 14% to 3,257 vehicles in April; YTD increased 6% to 12,311 vehicles sold.

GM announces April sales figures, and they are good.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) sold 237,646 vehicles in the United States in April, up 11 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales increased 10 percent, fleet sales were up 16 percent and the fleet mix was 28 percent of total sales.

“Car-buying conditions are strong and will continue to release pent-up demand,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations. “We’re very optimistic because GM’s market share is growing, the economy continues to move forward and important car and truck launches are just getting underway.”

Chevrolet dealers began receiving their first shipments of the all-new 2014 Impala in mid-April, and the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cabs will begin arriving in dealerships in the summer. Buick is launching redesigns of the Regal and LaCrosse in late summer and Cadillac will launch an all-new CTS luxury sedan in the fall.

April Highlights (vs. 2012)

  • All four GM brands posted higher total and retail sales.
  • Crossovers were up 14 percent; trucks, which include pickups, vans and SUVs, were up 17 percent; and car sales were up 6 percent.
  • Large pickups were up 23 percent.
  • Strong sales of the all-new Chevrolet Spark and double-digit sales increases for the Buick Verano , the Chevrolet Sonic and the Chevrolet Cruze drove a 31 percent increase in sales of GM mini, small and compact cars.
  • The new Chevrolet Malibu achieved its best sales and retail segment share since launch.

Calendar Year to Date Highlights (vs. 2012)

  • Cadillac was the industry’s fastest-growing brand in the first quarter, and April’s results bring the brand’s year-to-date sales increase to 37 percent.
  • Through April, Buick total sales are up 23 percent. Retail sales are up 19 percent and have increased for 12 consecutive months.
  • Sales to small business customers totaled 57,030 units, which is up 32 percent.
  • Chevrolet had its best-ever year-to-date crossover sales, driven by a 14 percent increase for Equinox and an 18 percent increase for the redesigned Traverse.
  • GM’s large pickup sales are up 21 percent and GM’s estimated retail segment share is up more than 1 percentage point and its total share is up almost a point.
  • GM’s fleet mix is 26 percent.

Ford of America announce April sales

  • Ford Motor Company April U.S. sales up 18 percent compared to last year – best April sales since 2007, with cars up 21 percent, utilities up 16 percent and trucks up 16 percent
  • Fusion and Escape both establish April sales records, with sales increases of 24 and 52 percent respectively
  • F-Series, America’s best-selling pickup for 36 years, posts a 24 percent increase, with sales of 59,030 – best April sales results since 2006
  • Lincoln overall sales up 21 percent; MKZ delivers its best monthly sales performance ever – with April sales passing the 4,000 vehicle mark for the first time in MKZ history
Ford’s April sales climbed 18 percent with gains across the portfolio – with cars up 21 percent, utilities up 16 percent, and trucks up 16 percent. Retail sales were up 27 percent.

“We are working harder than ever to keep pace with record demand for our all-new, fuel-efficient Fusion and Escape – with sales growth particularly strong on the coasts,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “F-Series pickups also continue to build on their momentum as the housing and construction industries rebound.”

Fusion continues its strong sales run with best-ever April sales results of 26,722 vehicles, a 24 percent increase over record year-ago April levels. The strongest retail sales increases for Fusion continue to come from the western and southeastern U.S. – with the sales in the West doubling in April and the Southeast up 70 percent.

Escape also had its strongest April sales since its launch 13 years ago, reporting a 52 percent increase with 25,826 vehicles sold.

Sales of America’s best-selling pickup, the Ford F-Series increased 24 percent, with 59,030 pickups sold. This represents F-Series best April sales results since 2006. It also is the 21st straight monthly sales increase for F-Series – with sales up 19 percent year to date.

In April, Lincoln sales increased 21 percent. The new Lincoln MKZ established an all-time monthly sales record, with 4,012 vehicles sold for the month – breaking the 4,000 vehicle mark for the first time ever.

Volkswagen USA announce April sales.

  • April sales total 33,644 units delivered
  • April sales total 33,644 units, representing an 10.3 percent decrease versus the prior year
  • Chattanooga-built Passat delivered 9,069 units for the month, 30.8 percent TDI® Clean Diesel
  • Jetta Sedan achieved 11,110 sales in April
  • Best year-to-date sales of Tiguan with 10,439 units delivered through April and 2,488 for the month
  • High-mileage, TDI® Clean Diesel models accounted for 21.7 percent of sales in April and 21.5 percent of sales year to date, the best year to date on record.

Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) today reported 33,644 units delivered in April, a 10.3 percent decrease over prior year sales.

“While it was a challenging month, particularly in the compact and midsize sedan segments, we remain solidly focused on our long term growth strategy,” said Jonathan Browning, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “In spite of segment challenges with robust competition, the Jetta sedan and Passat showed strength in April and so far this year.”

Jetta sedan, the volume leader for Volkswagen, delivered 11,110 units. Jetta SportWagen closed the month with 1,968 units.

The Chattanooga-built Passat continued to deliver strong results with 9,069 units sold. Over 30 percent of the Passat’s sold were TDI® Clean Diesels. Last week, Volkswagen announced it will begin offering a new, value-oriented Wolfsburg Edition later this spring. Building on the well-equipped S model, the Passat Wolfsburg Edition adds distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels, perforated V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces, a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, satellite radio, and a Media Device-Interface (MDI) with an iPod® cable. The 2013 Passat Wolfsburg Edition is priced at $23,495, and will go on sale in late spring.

The Beetle and Beetle Convertible delivered 1,980 and 1,699 units, respectively, for the month. The Beetle R-Line® Coupe is due to arrive in showrooms in early May, with a 210-horsepower turbocharged engine, an increase of 10 horsepower over the current Beetle Turbo with an anticipated fuel economy improvement.

The Tiguan saw a significant increase in sales with 2,488 units sold, up marking the year-to-date ever for the vehicle.

Total sales of the Golf (including Golf R and GTI) were 2,607 units.

Volkswagen’s high-mileage, TDI® Clean Diesel models accounted for 21.7 percent of sales in April, and 21.5 percent for the year, the best year-to-date ever.

Chrysler group announce April sales

  • Best April sales since 2007
  • 37th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains
  • Seven Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records for month of April
  • Dodge Dart compact car records highest monthly sales since 2012 vehicle launch
  • Dodge Durango sales up 65 percent; best April sales since 2005
  • Jeep® Grand Cherokee sales up 27 percent; best April sales since 2005
  • Ram Truck brand sales up 49 percent; largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in April 

Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 156,698 units, an 11 percent increase compared with sales in April 2012 (141,165 units), and the group’s best April sales since 2007.

The Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in April compared with the same month a year ago. The Ram Truck brand’s 49 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in April. Chrysler Group extended its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 37-consecutive months in April.

“Chrysler Group’s best April sales in six years helped to maintain our sales momentum and drove us to our 37th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains,” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Our sales last month were solid across the board with seven Chrysler Group vehicles recording their best April sales ever.”

The Dodge Durango’s 65 percent sales increase was the largest sales gain of any Dodge brand vehicle in April and second only to the Ram Cargo Van’s 110 percent sales gain among Chrysler Group vehicles. Jeep brand sales rebounded in April as all Jeep brand models except Jeep Liberty, which is no longer in production, posted sales gains last month. Sales of the flagship Jeep Grand Cherokee were up 27 percent in April compared with the same month a year ago, its best April sales in eight years.

Seven Chrysler Group vehicles set sales records in the month of April. The Jeep Compass compact SUV and the Jeep Wrangler each logged their best April sales ever, as did the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Journey, Fiat 500, and Ram Cargo Van. The all-new Dodge Dart compact car had its best sales month since the vehicle was launched in June last year.

Chrysler Group finished the month with a 66-days supply of inventory (415,019 units). U.S. industry sales figures for April are projected at an estimated 15.4 million units Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR).

April 2013 U.S. Sales Highlights by Brand

Ram Truck Brand

Ram Truck brand sales were up 49 percent, the largest percentage sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in April. It was the brand’s best April sales since 2007.

Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 49 percent in April, the pickup truck’s 36th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The 49 percent sales gain was the pickup truck’s best April sales in six years. Sales of the Light Duty Ram pickup were up 54 percent, driven by the Quad Cab pickups, while Heavy Duty Ram sales were up 30 percent. The Ram Cargo Van set a sales record for the month of April with its 110 percent sales gain.

The Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn earned a spot on Ward’s 10 Best Interiors for 2013 list in April. WardsAuto editors selected the top passenger compartments after spending February and March evaluating 46 vehicles that are all-new or feature significantly-upgraded interiors. WardsAuto said the Ram 1500 is a spectacular, emotive interior that sets a high standard other automakers will be hard-pressed to emulate.

Dodge Brand

Dodge brand sales were up 18 percent, the brand’s best April sales since 2008 and its 23nd-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Sales of the Dodge Durango full-size SUV were up 65 percent, its best April sales in eight years. Production of the new 2014 Dodge Durango, with its standard state-of-the-art, class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission, is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of this year. The Durango’s sales gain was the largest percentage increase of any Dodge brand model in the month.

The Dodge Journey full-size crossover and the Dodge Challenger each set a sales record for the month of April. Sales of the Challenger increased 17 percent, while Journey sales were up 14 percent.

The all-new Dodge Dart continued on its upward sales trend with its month-over-month increase in April, the compact car’s best monthly sales since Dodge dealers began selling the model in June last year.

Two Dodge brand models earned awards this week at the Texas Auto Writers Association’s (TAWA) 2013 Auto Roundup at the Texas Motor Speedway. The Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 took home the award for Performance Coupe of Texas, while the Dodge Journey Crew earned the Activity Vehicle of Texas award. After a day of demanding driving at the racetrack in Fort Worth, journalists voted on their favorites and Chrysler Group secured seven of the possible 19 awards – the most of any participating manufacturer at the event.

Jeep® Brand

Improving Jeep production in April helped Jeep brand sales to rebound with an 2 percent year-over-year sales gain for the month, the brand’s best April sales since 2007. All Jeep models in production recorded sales gains in April compared with the same month a year ago.

The Jeep Compass compact SUV and the Jeep Wrangler each set a sales record for the month of April. Sales of the Compass were up 23 percent, while sales of the Jeep Wrangler, winner of Four Wheeler magazine’s prestigious 2013 Four Wheeler of the Year Award, were up 10 percent in April.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee’s 27 percent increase was its best sales month so far this year and its best April sales in eight years. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT earned TAWA’s Performance Utility of Texas award at this week’s Auto Roundup in Texas.

FIAT Brand

The Fiat 500 set a sales record for the month of April with its 1 percent increase. It was the model’s 14th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. The Fiat 500 Abarth, with its 22 percent sales gain, had the largest year-over-year percentage increase of any of the 500 models in April. The Fiat 500 Turbo took home the award for Sub-Compact Car of Texas during this week’s TAWA Auto Roundup at the Texas Motor Speedway.

This summer, the all-new 2013 Fiat 500e electric vehicle will join the 500 model lineup in the state of California. The 500e will be offered to California residents at launch with a $199 a month/$999 due at signing lease for 36 months, same as the current lease offer on a Fiat 500 Pop powered by a gas engine.

Chrysler Brand

The Chrysler Town & Country minivan logged a 4 percent sales increase in April, its best April sales in three years. The Town & Country this year won the Polk Automotive Loyalty Award in the “Minivan” category for a record 12th-consecutive time. Chrysler brand sales were down 13 percent compared with the same month a year ago.

Two Chrysler brand models earned awards this week at TAWA’s Auto Roundup. The Chrysler Town & Country Limited minivan took home the award for Minivan of Texas, while the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition earned the Best New Interior award.

The Chrysler brand has two special edition models coming to dealerships shortly. Production of the 2013.5 Chrysler 200 S Special Edition began in April. It will begin arriving in dealerships this month. The 2013 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition is expected to arrive in dealerships later this quarter.

Jaguar's Ian Callum wins Design award

Ian Callum, Design Director for Jaguar, was honored this evening with the the prestigious BritWeek Design Icon Award at the BritWeek Christopher Guy Design Event in West Hollywood. Callum was recognized for his significant contributions to British design. The event, held at the Christopher Guy showroom in West Hollywood, and in collaboration with Architectural Digest, celebrates British design across interiors, fashion and architecture.

Callum has been at the forefront of revolutionizing the Jaguar brand and the transformation of Jaguar's design aesthetic since joining the brand in 1999. Born in Dumfries, Scotland, he studied Industrial Design at the Glasgow School of Art.  Upon graduating, Callum opted to specialize in vehicle design, enrolling at the Royal College of Art (RCA) on the Automobile Design course, and has since received five honorary doctorates from universities around the world. Callum is responsible for the new design language created over the past decade, which includes the current Jaguar XK, followed by the XF, the XJ and most recently the F-TYPE, the the first two-seater sports car from Jaguar since the iconic E-Type was launched 50 years ago.

"Design has long been a hallmark of the Jaguar brand and I'm honored that fellow British designer Christopher Guy has recognized my appreciation for automotive design with the BritWeek Design Icon Award," said Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Cars.

The third annual BritWeek Christopher Guy event is a celebration of the huge influence of the UK in luxury design. Christopher Guy, a globally renowned furniture designer, is recognized for his originality and uncompromising quality in creating luxury furnishings.

Every Spring, BritWeek hosts a program of events celebrating the creative fusion between the United Kingdom and California.  The two-week celebration promotes British creativity, innovation and excellence in California across multiple categories including, film and television, art, design, philanthropy, business, and more. The events take place throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco. Jaguar has supported BritWeek for the last four years.

Mercedes Benz SL-Class gets additions, new kit and AMG status

  • Significant changes to the SL-Class from June 2013 production
  • SL 350 and SL 500 now available as AMG Sport models
  • Additional standard equipment added to SL 63 AMG
  • SL 350 AMG Sport from £69,960 OTR and SL 500 AMG Sport from £79,970 OTR

The SL-Class is now even more luxurious, thanks to enhanced standard equipment and key exterior appointments, mixing style with comfort and advanced engineering.

Both the SL 350 and SL 500 now gain AMG Sport status, which includes additional standard equipment with a combined value of £6,625, including the AMG Sports Package for both the interior and exterior, an electric glass sunroof, and Parkronic with Active Park Assist.

The exterior AMG Sports Package comprises elegant 19” AMG five-spoke alloy wheels; sports suspension lowered by 10mm, with revised damper settings; AMG body styling for side skirts and front and rear aprons; a body-coloured boot lip; upgraded braking system (SL 350 only) with perforated rear brake disks; and grey brake calipers with ‘Mercedes-Benz’ lettering.

Joining the upgraded suspension and braking systems, the 7G-Tronic Plus transmission with ‘S’ mode now features modified shift points. Inside, the SLS now benefits from sports seats with perforated leather, vertical fluting and designo Platinum White Pearl piping on door armrests, centre console, seat side bolsters and head restraints; sports steering wheel with silver gear shift paddles and perforated leather in grip areas; chequered flag-design instrument cluster; AMG floor mats; and black fabric roof lining.

The paint and interior choice have also been updated to now include one non-metallic paint and five metallic paints, including new Polar White as standard, with the cost option of two addition colours, including new Hyacinth Red (£690). Black leather is now standard in the range, with a cost option of Bengal Red or Porcelain nappa leather (£710), and standard trim is now in Light Brushed Aluminium, with Black Ash Wood available as a £345 option.

The SL 63 AMG, also benefits of an electric panoramic glass sunroof and Parktronic with Active Park Assist as additions to the standard equipment specifications, with a value of £1,500. There are no changes to the SL 65 AMG.

The SL 350 AMG Sport, from £69,960 OTR, SL 500 AMG Sport, from £79,970 OTR, and SL 63 AMG from £110,785 OTR,  are available from June 2013 production.

Lexus celebrates Best Manufacturer win in Auto Express Driver Power Awards

Lexus named best manufacturer in 2013 survey

Lexus has been named top manufacturer in the 2013 Auto Express Driver Power survey, returning to the number one spot after four years as runner-up.

The results, based on the opinions and real-life experiences of more than 45,000 UK motorists, reflect the special quality, owner-appeal and performance of Lexus models.

Steve Fowler, Auto Express editor-in-chief, said: “Lexus takes a well deserved top spot in the Driver Power 2013 manufacturer chart. It finished first in three out of the 10 categories in our survey, and second in two others – a hugely impressive result.

“More than anything, Lexus customers praised their cars’ premium qualities – they’re expertly put together, packed with gadgets and a pleasure to drive.”

Richard Balshaw, Lexus Division Director, said: “We’re delighted to have earned this award again, the competition becomes tougher every year.

“Lexus came to the market promising to deliver a new and better customer experience, and we’ve stayed true to that promise by creating cars that deliver luxury, style, reliability and a great driving experience.

“Today our range of models is more extensive and more technically advanced than ever. It’s set to grow further this summer with the all new IS sports saloon, which for the first time will offer the option of full hybrid power. This means even more customers will be discovering what makes the difference when it comes to owning and driving a Lexus.”

Mercedes World launches new AMG performance centre

The first AMG Performance Centre in the UK has launched at Mercedes-Benz World in fitting style.

Its launch was timed to coincide with Mercedes-Benz World hosting a Pistonheads Sunday Service – with 600 vehicles and over a thousand guests attending in a diverse range of performance cars.

Former Formula 1™ racing driver and current AMG Ambassador, Karl Wendlinger, marked the occasion by setting a blistering pace as he performed dramatic laps of the Handling Circuits in the new  E 63 AMG. Meanwhile, the new AMG Performance Centre hosted two UK debuts – the A 45 AMG and the dramatic new SLS AMG Black Series both appearing for the first time.

The setting for the debuts was perfect – the design of the new AMG Performance Centre is intended to develop an even closer relationship with visitors and customers through a personalised showcase characterised by AMG’s brand identity.

The opening of the new AMG Performance Centre complements the range of AMG Driving Experiences. Visitors and customers to the brand centre can now see the latest models and more from AMG in an exclusive atmosphere. Beyond the opening weekend, an impressive selection of cars will always be on display, regularly changing to show the athletic range of models over the course of time.  Feature cars will also take special position to capture the fascinating stories and performance that AMG has underneath its belt, that has gone on to make it the fastest-growing performance brand in the UK automotive market.

Also on display and making a link from racetrack to road, was the SLS AMG GT3.  An imposing reminder that AMG’s credentials are built on motor racing success. The GT3 was designed to win races, just like the cars before it from 1971 when the company took its first victory.  And now as it was then, the racers are still developed from the road going versions.

Alongside the cars under the spot-light is a relaxing seating area with a larger than life engine badge on the wall to communicate the “one man – one engine” philosophy; the manufacturing principle of the powerful hand-crafted AMG engines is brought to life on the screen that furthermore fascinates and captivates the essence of AMG.

THROW BACK THURSDAY 009 - Land Rover celebrates 65 years in style


Two years ago, Land Rover release the below press release to celebrate the marque's 65th year, and two years later, we see that the brand back then, is so far removed from what we have today, and into the future, with new models already here, about to be launched, and products undergoing development now, the future for Land Rover is as secure now, as it has ever been, and is a brand that  others can only dream of emulating.
  • April 30th marks Land Rover’s 65th anniversary
  • Celebratory Defender LXV Special Edition launched
  • Special event showcases 65 years of Land Rover innovation
  • Most significant collection of Land Rovers ever including 130 heritage vehicles at  
  • Packington Estate; the original testing ground for Land Rover

This week, Land Rover will mark 65 years of technology and innovation with a celebratory event at Packington Estate near Solihull; Land Rover’s first off-road proving ground.

To celebrate the 65th Anniversary on 30th April 2013, Land Rover will launch a Special Edition Defender – the ‘LXV’. Since its inception, the Defender has now sold in excess of two million units. In the UK, 65 Defender LXVs will be available in 90” Hard Top form. The LXV is based on the standard Land Rover Defender Hard Top and is equipped with the 2.2-litre diesel engine and 6-speed manual transmission, producing 122PS@3,500rpm of power and 360Nm@2,000rpm of torque.

This striking Special Edition sports 16-inch Sawtooth alloy wheels and comes in Santorini Black with contrast Corris Grey roof, grille, headlight surrounds and facia. The interior boasts exclusive full leather seats with LXV embossed front headrests and unique orange contrast stitching on the seats, steering wheel and centre cubby compartment to complement exterior LXV decals. A union flag decal is located on the rear of the vehicle. Pricing in the UK will start from £28,765.

Over 130 heritage Land Rover vehicles will attend the celebratory event at Packington Estate which was the testing ground for the original 1947-48 Land Rover prototypes through to the Range Rover development vehicles of the late 1960’s and early 70’s. These vehicles will showcase key milestones in Land Rover’s 65-year history and also some 4x4 world firsts such as anti-lock brakes, adjustable air suspension, Electronic Traction Control, Hill Descent Control, Terrain Response® and Stop/Start technologies.

The vehicles on display will demonstrate Land Rover’s legendary breadth of capability, with ploughing, emergency service, military, expedition, royal and concept vehicles all firmly positioning Land Rover as the world’s most versatile vehicle. They will sit alongside Land Rover’s current model line-up – the Defender, Discovery, Freelander, All-New Range Rover, All-New Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque – and include the brand’s latest technological innovations in the form of the new Electric Defender research vehicle and the world’s first 9-speed transmission for a passenger car.

In a nod to the brand’s rich heritage in the provision of adapted vehicles for military use, a cake in the shape of the very first Land Rover nicknamed ‘HUE’ will be flown in by special delivery in a Lynx helicopter by a member of the ‘Black Cats’ Royal Navy display team,  renowned for thrilling audiences with their dynamic air displays.

John Edwards, Land Rover’s Global Brand Director says: “Land Rover is celebrating 65 years of proud heritage. It is in fact a dual celebration, as March saw Land Rover deliver the strongest ever monthly and quarterly sales performance in its history.

“Since 1948, every component in our vehicles has been designed and engineered with intent and Land Rover continues to this day, to build the world’s most capable all-purpose vehicles. A blend of refinement, performance and unmatched all-terrain capability make Land Rover vehicles distinctive and unique, ready to tackle the world’s most challenging and inhospitable terrain.”

John Edwards continues: "The all-new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are the result of unprecedented investment in technology, in engineering and in our manufacturing facilities to produce the world’s first SUVs with a lightweight aluminium body structure. Investing in innovation has always been the lifeblood of Land Rover and we will continue to develop innovative new technology and sustainable motoring solutions for the future, whilst retaining the class-leading and legendary breadth of capability that Land Rover’s heritage is built upon."