Krishnan M. Anantharaman:
The results of that drive will show up in April, said the 45-year-old marketing chief, when Cadillac unveils its range-topping CT6 sedan, the first car to carry its new vehicle-naming system, at the New York auto show, along with a revamped strategy that will seek to position Cadillac not just as a car brand, but as a pure luxury brand.
“Johan de Nysschen, my boss, and I always say we want to build the first luxury brand that just happens to make cars,” Ellinghaus said in an interview at the Los Angeles Auto Show. “That sounds like a joke, but we’re serious about it.”
The new image will come from a General Motors division that is in transition under de Nysschen’s leadership, preparing to distance itself from the GM mother ship in Detroit and set up as a new business unit with its own headquarters in New York. After a hot 2013, Cadillac sales have slid this year as higher sticker prices repelled customers, leading to gluts of CTS and ATS sedans on dealer lots.
Brendan Case and Nacha Cattan:
The 37-year-old machine operator at an auto suspension plant earns $295 per month — not enough to afford a telephone service or separate beds for her two daughters, let alone a computer or car. Pay raises have barely kept pace with inflation since she began working in the industry 15 years ago, she said.
“When I see a nice car pass by I think, ’I made that suspension but I’ll never be able to own one,’” Velazquez said from her rented cinder block home in the city of Queretaro, about 130 miles northwest of Mexico City.
Productivity has risen twice as fast as wages since 2005 in Mexico, Bank of America Corp. calculates, helping the country attract investment and become the second-largest auto supplier to the U.S. and the world’s biggest flat-screen TV exporter. The flip side is there’s not much left over for workers, capping retail sales and keeping economic growth in the past 10 years at less than half the pace of regional peers such as Chile, Peru and Argentina.
Joshua Ryor and Letha Tawney:
This factsheet is a simple, go-to resource outlining how electricity supply options (renewable vs. traditional) can be appropriately compared.
This publication is the first in a series of three tools to help breakdown these analyses for greater clarity and precision in weighing the cost effectiveness of renewable energy options.
Dr. Alexander Hars, via Oliver Bruce:
Two and a half years ago I wrote a note on the various views about the paths for adopting self-driving vehicles. Since then, more and more signs point towards my ‘avalanche’ model, where the adoption of self-driving cars becomes a self-sustaining, accelerating process fueled by expectations of a fundamental transformation of the auto industry and major opportunities for profit.
As a thought exercise, I have sketched a hypothetical timeline which shows how this self-accelerating global innovation process could unfold. The purpose of the timeline is to show how autonomous vehicles could come into widespread use rather quickly and what kind of market and political forces could be involved. This is an extreme of many possible futures for self-driving cars:
2015 Google launches first short-range fully autonomous vehicle service in California at NASA Ames (not on public roads) and possibly in Mountain View (small scale pilot, limited to Google employees).
“The sports car market is roughly half of what it used to be,” Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales, said in an interview at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Munich. “Post-2008, it just collapsed. I’m not so sure it’ll ever fully recover.”
In Europe and North America, the car’s role as a status symbol has diminished, with SUVs and crossovers becoming ever more popular.
In China and emerging markets, Robertson said hot weather, pollution and a penchant for chauffeur-driven limousines have made sports cars less popular among richer clients.
Despite the downturn, selling a car built for speed and performance — priced at a relatively high margin — is an important part of building a brand’s allure. That’s why BMW, known for turning out sporty luxury vehicles, is teaming up with Toyota Motor Corp. to share development costs on a new midsize sports car, Robertson said. The duo said last week their project has moved to the concept stage after completing a feasibility study. They declined to provide details.
More front drivers on the way….