Marchionne Confirms Ferrari SUV

First Up 10/10/17

Mitsubishi's Make It or Break It Moment 
In the waning days of 2017, the mainstream midsize crossover segment in the U.S. will get its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, reports Automotive News. It will beat any current luxury crossover model for both MPGe and electric-only range, come with direct-current fast-charging and will be available nationwide at a price attainable by many households. But the badge on the chrome grille won't be Honda's, Toyota's, or Ford's. It will be Mitsubishi's. The Outlander PHEV crossover, new for 2018, will be a low-volume model. Sales goals are a modest 3,000 to 4,000 a year. But it is a crucial opportunity for the brand and its dealers in a long journey back to relevance in the U.S. Thus, the brand faces two key challenges: getting the word out about the new Outlander plug-in and having in place a dealer body engaged and prepared for the new type of customer this and future electrified models will bring. Read more here.  

Marchionne Confirms Ferrari SUV, Rules Out Jeep Sale
Sergio Marchionne confirmed speculation that Ferrari NV will make its first sport utility vehicle model while tamping down rumors that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV may part ways with Jeep. Ferrari is beyond just considering an SUV and will take about 30 months to decide on production, which will be limited to preserve exclusivity, Marchionne told reporters Monday at the New York Stock Exchange. According to The Detroit News, the comments went a step further from when the CEO said during an August earnings call that an SUV would “probably happen.” Marchionne, 65, also said Fiat Chrysler won’t consider selling Jeep as a separate entity and rejected the idea of making a deal with Chinese rival Great Wall Motor Co., which has expressed interest in buying the brand. Marchionne has spoken about the rationale against splitting Jeep from the rest of Fiat Chrysler before, telling analysts in July that Fiat Chrysler needed “to worry about the stump that’s left behind.” For more on Marchionne’s remarks, click here

Waymo, Safety Groups Launch Campaign for Self-Driving Cars
Waymo, the Alphabet subsidiary developing autonomous drive vehicles and technology, is teaming with some of the country's best-known safety advocates to raise awareness of the potential for self-driving cars to save lives. According to CNBC, the campaign, "Let's Talk Self Driving," will start with digital and outdoor advertising in Arizona, where Waymo is testing autonomous drive vehicles. Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Safety Council, the Foundation for Blind Children, and the Foundation for Senior Living are among the groups teaming with Waymo in hopes of making the public more comfortable with the idea of sharing the road with autonomous drive vehicles. In announcing the campaign, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said: "There's a lot to talk about when it comes to self-driving cars. As with any new technology, there's great enthusiasm and curiosity about self-driving cars — and there's some confusion, too." Read more here

Toyota, Nissan Among Automakers Checking Parts Hit By Metals Scandal
Automotive News reports that Japanese automakers including Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda are investigating whether falsely labelled products supplied by Kobe Steel have impacted the safety of their cars. Kobe Steel, Japan's third-biggest steelmaker, said staff falsified data related to strength and durability of some aluminum and copper products used in aircraft, cars, and maybe even a space rocket. About 4 percent of the aluminum and copper products shipped from September 2016 to August 2017 were falsely labelled as meeting the specifications requested by customers, Kobe Steel said. Toyota called the breach of compliance principles a "grave issue" and said it is working to identify which of its vehicles might be affected. Nissan said it is rushing to check performance because the material is used in parts such as hoods and may affect protection of pedestrians. Honda said it used the materials in question for doors and hoods of its cars. Read more here

Best-Ever 3rd Quarter for CPO Vehicle Sales
With the best third quarter ever and a sales increase of more than 6 percent in September, the certified pre-owned market passed the 2 million unit sales mark for the year, reports Auto Remarketing. The market remains ahead of the 2016 pace by one percent, meaning another record year is likely in the works. Autodata Corp., which released updated CPO sales figures through nine months on Tuesday,  said there were an estimated 221,902 certified vehicle sales in September, which beat year-ago figures by 6.6 percent. This capped a record third quarter, where dealers moved 679,367 units. In addition to besting Q3 2016 figures by 0.5 percent, it was the strongest third quarter on record and the second-best quarter ever for CPO sales,  according to Autodata. The best was the second quarter of 2017, which was 2.1-percent stronger than the most recent period. Read more about CPO sales here

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