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 |  Jul 15 2010, 9:48 AM

With recent confirmation that Jaguar is planning to add new models to its lineup, company CEO Carl-Peter Forster has made clear plans that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will expand in a big way. “Over the next few years we plan to nearly double our vehicle selection,” he said in an interview with Automotive News publication Automobilwoche.

Forster recently joined JLR-owner Tata Motors from General Motors Europe and together with new JLR boss Ralf Speth, the two quickly began to examine his new company for growth strategies. “there were many gaps in the portfolio,” said Speth, “We had to initially consider what the brands should look like and what models we should have.”

The results of this plan are now becoming clear, with news that Jaguar will launch a new X-Type model as a competitor to the 3 Series, as well as a new XE Concept that will eventually evolve into an entry level sports car to compete with the Porsche Boxster. Also confirmed are an XF Wagon and long-wheelbase model for China, while the XF Coupe continues to be just a rumor.

As for the Land Rover line, it will get a new Evoque model (which is expected to be offered in both 2-door and 4-door sizes).

A main goal for the company is the reduction of the weight in its vehicles, which will help improve both performance and fuel economy.

[Source: Automotive News via CNET]

 |  Jul 13 2010, 8:39 AM

In a recent interview with a German automotive trade publication, Jaguar CEO Carl-Peter Forster confirmed production plans for a new small roadster model, as well as a rival to BMW’s 3 Series sports sedan.

Previous reports have suggested a new convertible sports car, known under the names F-Type, E-Type and XE Concept, will debut at the Geneva Auto Show next year as a rival to Porsche’s Boxster.

A small luxury sedan will also come to production, slotting in underneath the XF and competing with cars ranging from the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4, Lexus IS and Infiniti G. It is unlikely to wear the X Type badge of its predecessor.

Forster commented that in order for the vehicles to be successful they would have to be offered in “several variations” perhaps hinting that the next X Type could be offered as a wagon, as well as both a coupe and convertible.

In addition, Jaguar will also look to introduce an XF estate (wagon) as well as a long wheelbase version of the car for the Chinese market.

The introduction of both a small roadster model and 3 Series rival is seen as a move towards more volume-based production as Jaguar looks to become a self-sustaining entity within the Tata empire.

[Source: AutoCar]

 |  Jun 01 2010, 1:26 PM

Nearly 13 years ago today, Britain handed over sovereignty of Hong Kong to the Chinese government, ending a 99-year lease on the territory, and signaling the end of a British presence in China.

Now, reports from various news agencies say that India’s Tata Motors is looking at building Jaguar and Land Rover assembly plants in China. Like all car factories in China, this one is expected to be a joint venture between a local (read: state owned) automaker and Tata. Carl-Peter Forster, the Tata executive responsible for the British brands said that demand is strong enough to support a Chinese assembly plant, and the construction of a new factory won’t harm any jobs in Britain.

[Source: Inside Line]

 |  Jun 01 2010, 8:04 AM

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With recent news of several new models joining a the Jaguar lineup, CEO Carl-Peter Forster has shed some new light on the company’s expansion plans – with a little creative interpretation from the folks at AutoExpress. According to a new report, the F-Type will take Jaguar down-market in the sports car segment, competing with the Porsche Boxster. Priced significantly lower than the current XK line, Jaguar could increase sports car sales considerably. The project is already part-way started with Forster admitting that designer Ian Callum has already begun the clay modeling stage.

Equally exciting is renewed ambition for Jaguar to create a new X-Type model – one that doesn’t devalue the brand, but rather works as a proper stepping stone to bring younger buyers into the Jaguar fold. Inspiration for the X-Type could come from the R-D6 concept (above), with coupe-like styling along the lines of the Mercedes CLS.

Also planned is a new wagon model, likely off the XF platform – but that’s not all. At a press conference last week Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) chairman Ralf Speth commented that the XF has been a sales success, but that more models are needed in that family. This might be a clear hint that Jaguar is planning an XF Coupe (and possibly even a convertible). The cars would clearly target the Mercedes E-Class Coupe, which has already attracted enough attention that Infiniti has decided to build a rival M Coupe.

All these new models are thanks to a major investment by parent company Tata Motors, which has decided to put £1 billion into JLR each year for the next five years. And JLR doesn’t seem to be squandering the opportunity, instead using the cash infusion to design, engineer and build more high-volume models that will allow the automaker to become self-sustaining.

[Source: AutoExpress]

 |  Jun 16 2009, 11:04 AM

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General Motors has officially announced it has reached a tentative deal to sell its Swedish Saab brand to a group of companies lead by Swedish supercar-maker Koenigsegg.

The deal will see the Koenigsegg group receive $600 million in funding from the European Investment Bank, which has been guaranteed by the Swedish government.

GM will provide Saab with platform and powertrain technology for an undisclosed period of time, while Saab is set to begin production of the next generation 9-5 in the near future at its plant in Trollhättan, Sweden.

“The proposed agreement will enable us to maximize the brand’s potential through an exciting new product line-up with a distinctly Swedish character.  Today’s announcement is great news for Saab’s current and future customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe, said Jan Ake Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab.

“This is yet another significant step in the reinvention of GM and its European operations,” said GM Europe President, Carl-Peter Forster.  “Saab is a highly respected automotive brand with great potential. Closing this deal represents the best chance for Saab to emerge a stronger company.  Koenigsegg Group’s unique combination of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and financial strength, combined with Koenigsegg’s proven ability to create world-class Swedish performance cars in a highly efficient manner, made it the right choice for Saab as well as for General Motors.”

Koenigsegg’s acquisition of Saab is expected to be completed by the third-quarter of this year.

Official:

Continue Reading…

 |  May 12 2009, 10:16 AM

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GM Vice Chair Bob Lutz Kisses a Saturn Astra. Recently he kissed-goodbye to all his stock in the company.

In a move that should probably be illegal (but isn’t) six General Motors executives recently sold off all their shares in the company. That’s right, those same guys who helped drive GM into bankruptcy traded in all their stocks when a trading window opened.

The move signifies that GM will most likely file for Chapter 11 and while it does seem unjust that these executives are permitted to jump ship, smart investors will see this as a sign. (You know what they say when the rats start to leave a ship).

GM’s Vice Chairman Bob Lutz (pictured above) sold off all of is 81,360 shares at $1.61 each, cashing in on $130, 969.60. The North American President of GM, Troy Clarke, dumped his 21,380 shares for just $1.45 each for a total of $31,001.

The remaining executives involved in the sell-off were VP Thomas Stephens, as well as Group VPs Gary Cowger, Carl-Peter Forster and Ralph Szygenda.

The move prompted the stocks to continue their slide, dropping 17 cents (or 11 percent) to just $1.44 by days end. In the past year GM’s stock value has declined by 92 percent.

General Motors is facing a June 1st restructuring deadline by the Obama administration or else the federal government will pull the funding plug on the automaker. As it stands a bankruptcy scenario seems unavoidable.

[Source: Bloomberg]