Mazda Unleashes Blitz of 5 New Crossovers, Will Build CX-50 in Alabama

First Up 10/07/21

Mazda Unleashes Blitz of 5 New Crossovers, Will Build CX-50 in Alabama

Mazda, which sees utility vehicles as a fast path to profits, is beefing up its crossover lineup, starting with the addition of a newly minted Mazda CX-50 to be made its plant in Alabama, reports Automotive News. That new nameplate, which will arrive in 2022, will be followed by a slew of new products that will be built on the Japanese automaker's upcoming large-vehicle platform. Some North America offerings will use robust turbo-charged inline six-cylinder engines and plug-in hybrid systems. The fleet of new nameplates will include the Mazda CX-60, CX-70, CX-80, and CX-90, Mazda Motor Corp. said in a news release on Thursday. All of the vehicles will land between 2022 and 2023. Mazda is unleashing the crossover blitz as it repositions its lineup toward the hot-selling utility vehicle segment and tries to move upmarket with bigger, more powerful offerings. "We aim to offer customers a diverse choice of SUVs able to provide both the driving pleasure and the latest environmental performance to meet demands in the continuously growing global SUV segment," Mazda said in its statement, saying the CX-50 will be a core U.S. model. Read more here (Source: Automotive News).

Mercedes to Add 300 Jobs at U.S. Plant in Preparation for EV Production

Mercedes-Benz will add about 300 jobs at its Alabama assembly plant by the end of this year as the luxury automaker gears up to build electric utility vehicles, reports Automotive News. The factory, in the town of Vance, employs 4,400 and is a production hub for the Mercedes GLS and GLE utility vehicles. Starting next year, it will produce battery-powered versions of the two popular vehicles. Electric vehicle production will be integrated into the Alabama factory's existing body shop, paint shop and assembly lines. A new battery assembly plant is located on 270 acres nearby. Mercedes is hiring for the assembly, body and paint shops, as well as the battery plant, where workers will assemble high-voltage EV battery systems. U.S. production of the electric EQS SUV is expected to begin in June, while assembly of the EQE crossover will start next October, according to AutoForecast Solutions. Mercedes could build about 40,000 of each electric model in the first full year of U.S. production. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Automakers Overload New Vehicles with Tech Features Consumers Don't Want

A sizable share of buyers either don’t use all the technology built into their vehicles, according to J.D. Power’s 2021 Tech Experience Index. In many cases, owners don’t want all those features, and others don’t even know what technology their vehicles offer, reports The Detroit Bureau. Gesture control systems rank rock bottom with owners, based on the latest study. At the other extreme, one-pedal driving ranked at the very top and experienced the fewest number of reported problems. How well motorists react to their technology often depends upon the brand they buy from. Genesis, the luxury spinoff of Hyundai, ranked highest in the Tech Experience Index, or TXI, followed by Cadillac, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz. Read more here (Source: The Detroit Bureau). 

Sweden's AB Volvo Wins Its Largest Electric Truck Order So Far

Volvo Trucks has received an order for 100 electric trucks from shipping firm DFDS, its biggest commercial electric truck order to date, the Swedish truck maker said on Wednesday. According to Reuters, Volvo Trucks, AB Volvo's main truck brand, said the order was one of the largest ever for heavy electric trucks worldwide, adding that deliveries would start in the fourth quarter of 2022. The FM Electric trucks, which have a range of up to 300 kilometers, will be used for both short and long transport in Europe. "We are pleased to see that growing interest among our customers is starting to be reflected in firm orders," Volvo Trucks President Roger Alm said in a statement. Volvo, which started serial production of electric trucks in 2019, is targeting for half of its global truck deliveries to be electric in 2030. Read more here (Source: Reuters). 

GM Says It Will Double Annual Revenue by 2030 to $280B in Digital Push to be Seen more Like Tesla

General Motors plans to double its annual revenue to $280 billion by the end of this decade as it transitions to all-electric vehicles and diversifies its operations beyond selling cars and trucks, reports CNBC. The automaker announced the new revenue target, along with fatter projected operating profit margins of 12% to 14%, on Wednesday ahead of investor presentations in which it detailed how the company plans to hit those targets through traditional automotive operations and new software- and data-focused businesses. The revenue goal is based on a rolling average of about $140 billion for the automaker in recent years, a company spokesman said. GM’s revenue last year was nearly $122.5 billion, down 10.8% compared with 2019 thanks largely to factory shutdowns at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Its operating profit margin was 7.9% in 2020. Read more here (Source: CNBC). 

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