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.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation announces end of year figures with growth in all major area's

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation Announces Full-year Fiscal 2014 Operating Results and Fiscal 2015 Forecasts
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today announced its sales and financial results for the full 2014 fiscal year (FY2014) ending March 31, 2015, as well as forecasts for the full 2015 fiscal year (FY2015), ending March 31, 2016.

1. Full-year fiscal 2014 operating results
1. Performance overview
MMC posted a consolidated net sales of 2180.7 billion yen over the full term of FY2014 (April 1 2014 through March 31, 2015), a 4% or 87.3 billion yen increase over the same period last fiscal year.

MMC posted an operating income of 135.9 billion yen, an increase of 10% or 12.5 billion yen over the same period last fiscal year. Although sales and R&D expenses increased along with a decrease in sales volume and model mix, these were overcome by reductions in material and other costs in addition to favorable foreign exchange rates.
Other items include ordinary income at 151.6 billion yen, a 17% or 22.1 billion yen increase, and a net income of 118.2 billion yen, a 13% or 13.5 billion yen increase, both year-on-year. All profit areas for FY2014 were all-time record high profits.
2. Sales volume (Retail)
Global retail sales volume for the full 2014 fiscal year totaled 1,090,000 units, an increase of 4% or 43,000 units over the same period in FY2013. Sales volumes by regions were as follows.
Japan: Sales volume decreased with both registered vehicles and minicars totaling 115,000 units, a year-on-year decrease of 20% or 28,000 units.
North America: Sales volume totaled 117,000 units, an increase of 21% or 20,000 units over the same period last year. The increase was driven by brisk sales of the Outlander Sport and Mirage as economic recovery in the United States moved onto a firmer pace
Europe: Sales volume totaled 227,000 units, an increase of 13% or 25,000 units year-on-year. Despite worsening economic situation in Russia which affected sales decline from the same period last year, the sales increase of the Outlander PHEV in Western Europe contributed to the overall increase for the region.
Asia: Sales volume totaled 344,000 units, which was about the same level as the same period last year. Although recovery in total demand for Thailand remained sluggish, an increase in sales in China, mainly stemming from GAC Mitsubishi Motors Corporation offset this.
Other Regions: Sales volume totaled 287,000 units, an increase of 10% or 26,000 units year-on-year. Sales increased in the Middle East, resulting in an overall increase in sales for the region.
2. Full-year fiscal 2015 forecasts
Full-year FY2015 (April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016) operating results forecasts are as follows:
1. Outline of full-year FY2015 operating forecasts:
  • Net sales:
2280.0 billion yen, an increase of 5% or 99.3 billion yen year-on-year
  • Operating income:
125.0 billion yen, a decrease of 8% or 10.9 billion yen year-on-year
  • Ordinary income:
130.0 billion yen, a decrease of 14% or 21.6 billion yen year-on-year
  • Net income:*
100.0 billion yen, a decrease of 15% or 18.2 billion yen year-on-year
* This item will be changed to "Net income attributable to owners of the Parent" in FY2015
2. Sales volume forecast (Retail):
Forecast for full-year FY2015 is 1,100,000 units, a 1% or 10,000 units over FY2014. Breakdown by region is as follows:
  • Japan:
107,000 units, down 7% or 8,000 units year-on-year
  • North America:
128,000 units, up 9% or 11,000 units year-on-year
  • Europe:
191,000 units, down 16% or 36,000 units year-on-year
  • Asia:
378,000 units, up 10% or 34,000 units year-on-year
  • Other regions:
296,000 units, up 3% or 9,000 units year-on-year
Note on forward-looking statements:
All statements herein, other than historical facts, contain forward-looking statements and are based on Mitsubishi Motors Corporation's current forecasts, expectations, targets, plans, and evaluations. Any forecasted value is calculated or obtained based on certain assumptions. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of significant factors could therefore cause actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Significant risk factors include:
  • Feasibility of each target and initiative as laid out in this news release;
  • Fluctuations in interest rates, exchange rates and oil prices;
  • Changes in laws, regulations and government policies; and
  • Regional and/or global socioeconomic changes.

Potential risks and uncertainties are not limited to the above and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is not under any obligation to update the information in this news release to reflect any developments or events in the future. If you are interested in investing in Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, you are requested to make a final investment decision at your own risk, taking the foregoing into consideration. Please note that neither Mitsubishi Motors Corporation nor any third party providing information shall be responsible for any damage you may suffer due to investment in Mitsubishi Motors Corporation based on the information shown in this news release.

MEXICO - Jaguar is still considering a plant in Mexico, possibly to produce LR products as well.

Jaguar Land Rover is considering building a plant in Mexico, following other luxury car makers lured by cheap labor and free trade agreements. Mexico is a "very strong option" for Jaguar Land Rover to invest in, possibly more than $500 million, said Joseph ChamaSrour, Jaguar director general for the brand in Mexico.

"Three years from now it could be interesting to have a plant in North America, and Mexico would definitely be a very strong candidate because of the cost of labor, the logistics and the expertise of the whole supply network," he said in an interview in Mexico City.
Jaguar Land Rover, owned by India's Tata Motors Ltd., would tread a well-worn path to Mexico, Latin America's top vehicle producer, which has already wooed Germany's premier luxury brands.
BMW AG last year committed $1 billion to start turning out 150,000 cars in 2019, following Volkswagen AG's Audi and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz in deciding since 2012 to build cars in Mexico.
Earlier this month Toyota Motor Corp., the world's best-selling automaker, said it will spend about $1 billion to begin producing Corollas in 2019 in Mexico, its first car factory in the country as it ends a self-imposed freeze on new plants following the financial crisis.
Hyundai Motor Co. may also build a factory in the country, its managing director in Mexico said earlier this month, joining a roster of other Asian manufacturers including Nissan Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co.
Automakers are flocking to Mexico to take advantage of a low-wage yet highly experienced labor base, and export access to the U.S. and other countries through the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Land Rover's Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport are top sellers in the U.S. and could possibly be produced at a new Mexico factory because it would be tied to the U.S. market, ChamaSrour said.
He didn't rule out producing Jaguars at the plant.

Ford to recall 390,000 Fiesta's and Fusion's and Lincoln MKX models for a possible Door Latch issue.

Ford Motor Company is issuing a safety recall for approximately 390,000 2012-2014 Ford Fiesta and 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles for a door latch issue. The door latch in these vehicles may experience a broken pawl spring tab, which typically results in a condition where the door will not latch. If a customer is then able to latch the door, there is potential the door may unlatch while driving, increasing the risk of injury.

Ford is aware of two allegations of soreness resulting from an unlatched door bouncing back when the customer attempted to close it, and one accident allegation when an unlatched door swung open and struck an adjacent vehicle as the driver was pulling into a parking space.
Affected vehicles include certain 2012-2014 Ford Fiesta vehicles built at Cuautitlán Assembly Plant, Feb. 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013; certain 2013-2014 Ford Fusion vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, July 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013; and certain 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ vehicles built at Hermosillo Assembly Plant, July 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013.
There are approximately 390,000 vehicles in North America (actual 389,585), including 336,873 in the United States and federalized territories, 30,198 in Canada and 22,514 in Mexico.
Dealers will replace all four door latches at no cost to the customer.

AUDI named Manufacturer Of The Year in Car Dealer magazine Awards Ceremony 2015.

Sales network backs Audi UK by scoring it more highly than any other manufacturer/importer to secure coveted dealer satisfaction award
  • Audi voted Manufacturer of the Year in 2015 Car Dealer Magazine Awards
  • Award unique in being voted for by dealers representing manufacturers
  • Scores generated through ratings in 13 categories covering everything from return on investment to accessibility and forward planning
The votes are in from the network of Audi Centres across the UK which extoll the virtues of Vorsprung durch Technik on a daily basis – despite stiff competition they were sufficiently strong to secure the Manufacturer of the Year Award for Audi in the prestigious Car Dealer Power Awards 2015.

The awards, which were presented last night at a ceremony in the magnificent Spinnaker Tower overlooking Portsmouth Harbour, are unique in that every winner is chosen by dealers. Each retailer can assign its affiliated manufacturer a rating in a range of 13 categories including warranty, aftersales, marketing and manufacturer return on investment. Each rating, ranging from ‘poor’ to ‘faultless’, carries a specific percentage that contributes to the overall score.
Acknowledging the excellent result for Audi, Car Dealer Magazine Editor Colin Channon said: “Dealers have been very impressed with Audi. They like dealing with them, and Audi is certainly living up to its slogan of ‘advancement through technology’ with the introduction of the innovative new virtual cockpit and some very special new cars. Audi are worthy winners of this highly sought-after award.”
Head of Customer Quality and Network Development Gary Pearson encapsulated the mood of his team at Audi UK headquarters by adding: 
“This award has a special significance for us because it genuinely reflects the views of dealers, whose consensus is one of the best yardsticks for our performance because they work with the brands and cars every day. It’s a great litmus test of our support for the Audi network in providing the assets that bring customers to their business to drive sustainable, profitable growth. 
We never forget that dealer networks are the linchpin of our business, and we’re absolutely delighted with this acknowledgement of that fact.”

Jaguar’s Director of Design, Ian Callum, collects Designer of the Year Award.

  • Jaguar’s Director of Design, Ian Callum, collects Designer of the Year Award after topping The Drum’s coveted Designerati list
  • Ian Callum top with Maggie Hodgetts, Head of Graphic Design at Waitrose and Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative Officer at Burberry in second and third place respectively
  • Ian praised for his dedication to innovation and eye for detail in his car designs including the Jaguar F-TYPE, XE and all-new XF
  • Designerati list celebrates elite group of the top 100 most influential individuals in UK design
Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design, has won the Designer of the Year Award after taking the number one position in The Drum’s second annual Designerati – a list celebrating the top 100 most influential individuals in UK design.
The expert panel of judges decided Ian is this year’s most influential UK designer finishing top ahead of Maggie Hodgetts, Head of Graphic Design at Waitrose and Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative Officer at Burberry in second and third place respectively.

Stephen Lepitak, editor of The Drum, said: "Ian Callum is a visionary of British design. From his roots at Ford in the 1970s, to his craftsmanship on Aston Martin, his influence on car design is legendary.
"His beautifully simple designs, including the 2013 Jaguar F-TYPE and the new XF, unveiled last month, have ushered in a new era for Jaguar, breathing life into the classic brand.
"Ian's dedication to innovation, his eye for detail and his strong vision for what Jaguar cars should look like truly represent the best of design in the UK."
Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design, said: “It is an honour to reach the number one position in the Designerati list. For an automotive designer to claim this award is very special indeed – especially considering the depth and array of talented UK designers across the disciplines of architecture, fashion and graphic design. 
"Being ranked number one and winning The Drum's Designer of the Year Award is testament to the fantastic team at Jaguar I’m privileged to work with every day.”
Individuals on the Designerati list are judged on their overall career successes todate and highlights over the preceding 12 months as well as general involvement in the industry as a whole.
Ian’s career includes time at Ford, where he worked on the Escort Cosworth, and Aston Martin where he was key to the design of the DB7, DB9 and Vanquish. The first examples of Jaguar’s design direction under Callum were the luxury XK grand tourer, the XF saloon and XF Sportbrake, XJ saloon car and the two-seater F-TYPE sportscar. September 2014 saw the launch of an all-new Jaguar model line in the form of the XE, followed closely in March 2015 by the introduction of the second-generation XF.
Since joining Jaguar in 1999, Ian and his team have created striking concept cars such as the R-Coupe, RD-6, C-X17 and the C-X75, recently announced as featuring in the 24th Bond movie, Spectre due out later this year.
This is Ian’s second major honour within six months after he was awarded the Minerva Medal by the Chartered Society of Designers for his outstanding contribution to automotive design.

Chauffeured Limousine company invests in a fleet of Hybrid Lexus 330 GS Models.

Little’s luxury chauffeur drive has introduced the first hybrid vehicles to its fleet, adding five Lexus GS 300h to its limousine portfolio. The full hybrid saloons are helping the business strengthen its environmental profile and meet the demands of customers who require prestige transport with greener performance.
Heather Matthews, Managing Director, said: “The Lexus are the first hybrids we have used and we are confident they will add an important and attractive new dimension to our luxury vehicle fleet.

“More and more of our clients place an emphasis on environmental performance and sustainability, issues that we can address with the highly efficient GS 300h. By running these vehicles we are also able to strengthen the ‘green’ qualities of our own operations.
“At the same time, the Lexus hybrids provide a very smooth and refined ride and a luxurious, quiet cabin environment, maintaining the high standards of quality and comfort we require of all our vehicles.”
Stuart Ferma, Manager Toyota and Lexus Fleet Services, said: “Little’s decision to take the GS 300h is an acknowledgement of how Lexus successfully combines its advanced, highly efficient hybrid technology with contemporary luxury and refinement. We are confident the cars will prove a valuable, reliable and worthy addition to its prestigious fleet.”
Little’s has chosen the SE version of the GS 300h, which comes as standard with dual-zone climate control, electrically adjustable seats, a 12-speaker audio system with DAB tuner, LED ambient cabin lighting and automatic headlights and windscreen wipers. The model’s full hybrid powertrain allows it to run in near-silent all-electric EV mode in slow moving city traffic, reducing tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption to zero.
The new cars, arranged through Toyota and Lexus Fleet Services and supplied through Lexus Glasgow, are entering service with Little’s Scottish fleet. Established almost 50 years ago, Little’s has its headquarters in Glasgow but has an international reach, co-ordinating chauffeur services in worldwide locations. It specialises in corporate travel, including airport and rail transfers and event delegate transport for groups of all sizes. Its team is also experienced in the logistical organisation for single and multiple venue roadshows, taking care of all transport, luggage and passenger requirements. For leisure travellers, it is able to provide bespoke visitor itineraries for worldwide destinations.

The all-new Mazda2 has been named Car of the Year by Car Dealer Magazine.

  • The all-new Mazda2 has been named Car of the Year by Car Dealer Magazine.
  • Motor trade title Car Dealer Magazine recognised the all-new Mazda2 at its annual Car Dealer Power Awards held at Portsmouth’s famous Spinnaker tower.
  • Award is decided by votes from UK car dealers.
  • 15-strong all-new Mazda2 model line-up priced from £11,995 to 17,395 on-the-road (OTR).
The all-new Mazda2 has been named Car of the Year in the annual Car Dealer Power Awards. The leading motor trade title’s annual awards are decided by votes from UK car dealers, who choose the best manufacturers, models and suppliers they deal with.

“We’ve had dozens of dealers telling us what a star it is,” commented Car Dealer Magazine Editor, Colin Channon. “With lots of standard kit, a spacious interior and impressive performance levels, plus sharp looks inside and out, it’s a wise supermini buy that’s been very well received by dealers and their customers. By quite a clear margin, this year’s Car Dealer Power Car of the Year is the Mazda2.”
The all-new Mazda2 combines Mazda’s unique SKYACTIV technology with its striking KODO: Soul of Motion design philosophy, to bring new levels of technical sophistication, active safety and driving pleasure to the supermini sector.
With a choice of 11 petrol and four diesel variants, the 15-strong all-new Mazda2 line-up stands out thanks to its signature wing front grille, predatory headlamp styling and muscular cab-rearward styling. With a longer wheelbase and smaller overhangs to maximise interior space, the all-new Mazda2’s superior ergonomics and premium interior finishes raise the bar in quality and design in the supermini segment.
Jeremy Thomson, Mazda Motors UK Managing Director said: “I’m delighted that Car Dealer Magazine and the UK’s dealers have recognised the all-new Mazda2 with their Car of the Year title. The all-new Mazda2 is another example of how our SKYACTIV technology and KODO design merge to create stylish, efficient and great to drive cars. 
Our dealer network has done a great job with the Mazda2 and we’re looking forward to a busy year with more all-new product launches to come and an extensive upgrade of all our dealerships with exciting new interiors and more eye-catching branding.”