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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Still soldiering toward its goal to regain the world’s top luxury automaker title, Daimler paid 640 million euros for a 12 percent stake in Beijing Automotive Group today.
Fuel-cell powered vehicles are likely to become the next big thing in non-gas powered vehicles, and today Nissan, Daimler and Ford announced that they are joining forces on creating a new common fuel-cell system that will be put to use in what the companies call “the world’s first affordable, mass-market” fuel-cell vehicle.
The China Investment Corporation, the country’s investment vehicle, is interested in purchasing a stake in Daimler AG between 4 and 10 percent according to a Chinese media outlet.
The number-crunchers have been earning their keep the last few weeks. With their mathematical weapon of choice in hand, be it a calculator, tally counter or even a trusty abacus, they’ve kept an exacting total of how many vehicles automakers sold over the past 12 months. How did things shake out? Which brand nearly doubled its sales for the year?
Following a drop to third place among luxury automakers, the CEO of Mercedes parent company Daimler is setting his eyes on an ambitious target of regaining the top spot in 2020.
Christmas is all but here and with the end of the year at hand, many dealerships are in full swing with their holiday sale events.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney isn’t the only one that’s skeptical about electric vehicles and their development. At an industry panel in New York, executives expressed their criticisms of the electric vehicle market as automakers have quietly shelved strong pushes towards developing EVs.
Marking a milestone in one of the key hindrances to plague electric vehicles (EVs) thus far, eight of the word’s automakers have agreed to unify on a harmonized charging system capable of a 15-minute recharge.
It’s been two years since Daimler and BYD of China announced a partnership to develop electric vehicles for the Chinese market, but the collaboration finally has a name: Denza.
The two have not decided on what the logo will look like, but it appears that there are three possibilities being considered. None of the logos being proposed resemble the badges from Mercedes-Benz or BYD. It’s believed that the first Denza-badged vehicle will be built on the previous-generation Mercedes B-Class platform.
While Mercedes is in charge of the chassis, BYD will be in handle developing the electric powertrain. As For now, Denzas will only be sold to the Chinese market. Further details are scarce but we’ll probably hear more about the first Denza model when the Beijing Motor Show kicks off.
GALLERY: Denza Proposed Logos
[Source: Sohu via Leftlane News]
Car enthusiasts probably cringed during Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Otis” video as the duo mangled a Maybach 57, but the joke seems to be on them now.
The irreverently-altered Maybach was supposed to bring between and estimated $100,000 and $150,000 at auction. That money was meant to go, at least in part, to the Save the Children Charity.
Unfortunately, as the audacious music stars learned, people don’t really like the idea of spending that kind of money on what amounts to a disfigured and outdated Maybach. The car earned $60,000 — an less than a quarter of its original value. While that’s chump change to own an ultra-exclusive Maybach (especially because the company is gone), it’s still a lot to pay for junk.
It’s too bad one of the music moguls didn’t just “give” it to the other as a memento of the video shoot. They could have collectively donated more to the charity without breaking much of a sweat. Heck it wasn’t so long ago that Birdman gave his brother and Lil Wayne Rolls-Royce Ghost and Bentley Mulsanne respectively.
Nonetheless, Save the Children is probably grateful for whatever money it got, regardless of wasted potential. At least it still raised more than Justin Bieber‘s Hyundai Genesis, though even that is questionable considering the Hyundai sold for more than its original MSRP.
You can watch the music video after the break.
Wikipedia is known to the world as the open encyclopedia that anyone can edit on the Internet. While it may seem like the foundation of a disaster, Wiki contributors have, for the most part, kept things accurate and factual.
So why is it a surprise to some that a company would edit its own Wikipedia page? Well, it’s not really, since it probably happens more often than is documented, but it’s unfortunate when the company selectively removes anything negative that was written about them.
That’s what Daimler is being accused of when their German Wikipedia page was edited and the IP address of the user pointed back to Daimler AG’s headquarters in Germany. The information that was removed mentioned that Daimler, BMW, and Porsche had all received the “Worst EU Lobbying Award” back in 2007 for their joint efforts to delay Europe’s upcoming CO2 regulations.
Naturally Daimler is saying that the edit was not made on behalf of Daimler but that it was the work of an independent Wikipedia contributor that also added onto an article about Victoria, the Crown Princess of Sweden, and another article about müesli. We’re not sure what those alleged edits have to do with Daimler, but it doesn’t seem so shocking that the company would remove negative information from a public forum, given the ability.
Although Daimler has announced the discontinuation of the Maybach brand, young money ballers, shot-callers now have the opportunity to bid on what’s arguably the most notorious Maybach of all.
Starring in the Jay-Z and Kanye West “Otis” music video, the chopped “Mad Max” Maybach will be put on the block by auction house Phillips de Pury & Co. at the New York Contemporary Art Evening sale on March 8. All proceeds of the Maybach auction will be donated to Save the Children. Previously, this vehicle was also up for auction to benefit the victims of drought in East Africa.
Burning rubber in four-wheel drifts and spitting fire in the process, Rockafella’s insane whip is estimated to raise between $100,000 to $150,000. Considering Jay-Z and Kanye’s handiwork left us with half a car, it seems appropriate for its estimate to be half the value of a Maybach 57 when new.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a funky, but rugged luxury SUV from the German automaker, and it appears that it’ll be in production until at least the year 2020.
Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler has come to an agreement with Magna Steyr to extend the production of its G-Wagen in Graz, Austria and was able to get more favorable conditions along with a better price from Magna. Daimler went so far as to threaten Magna that the company would move production of the G-Class to Hungary but it appears that Magna conceded to Daimler’s wants and production will continue in Austria.
The G-Class was originally designed to be a rugged off-roader and a light military vehicle for the German Army. The plant in Graz began production of the SUV back in 1979 and is currently the longest produced Mercedes-Benz in Daimler’s history. Last year, 7,200 G-Class vehicles were made, and this year the number is set to 8,500. Mercedes hopes to hit an annual production of 10,000 for their G-Wagen.
Daimler got caught with their pants down this year when Audi passed Mercedes-Benz for the first time in history to become the world’s number two luxury car maker. That won’t be the case if they have their way next year.
According to internal documents obtained by Automotive News, Daimler is spurring Mercedes to increase output by 13 percent next year to more than 1.4 millon passenger vehicles. Those numbers don’t include their Smart or soon-to-vanish Maybach brands. With those figured into the mix, the company projects 1.52 million vehicles next year, though a Daimler spokesperson declined to comment on the goals.
“Mercedes-Benz is going on the attack,” Daimler board member for manufacturing and procurement Wolfgang Bernhard said in a press release. “We are securing our path to the top by extensively investing in the expansion of our high-performance production network.”
Mercedes fell to third place this year despite breaking company records by selling 1.25 million cars and SUVs.
GALLERY: 2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class
[Source: Automotive News]
Lieb’s five-year run as Mercedes CEO was cut short when he was dismissed for allegedly misusing $100,000 in company funds to upgrade a Mercedes-owned home in New Jersey. Lieb’s lawyer, Stefan Naegele, states that some of the improvements were ordered or approved by Daimler’s facility management. Those that weren’t on the list were called necessities with Naegele stating that the washer and dryer were replaced because they were not repairable and the home gym was refurbished because of water damage.
Naegele will be approaching the case with the premise that Daimler has fired dozens of former executives unfairly as a result of their “zero tolerance” crackdown on ethics violations. The American government had alleged that Daimler made improper payments of at least $56 million from 1998-2008 to at least 22 countries in order to obtain government contracts. In April 2010, Daimler paid out $185 million to settle the charges.
The long rumored Aston Martin-Daimler alliance appears to be taking shape, with a report in the Financial Times suggesting that the British sports car builder has approached Daimler with a request for assistance regarding engines, safety systems and other technology.
Aston Martin seems to be seeking independence from former owner Ford, which helped out greatly on the technological front. Aston Martin and Ford have an engine deal that lasts until 2013, and the Kuwaiti consortium that now owns Aston has been previously rumored to have approached Daimler regarding a possible collaboration with their Maybach division.
Remember Maybach? Of course not, we’re in a recession. But back in the day, when the grass was green and birds sang sweetly in the forests, Mercedes’ experiment with ultra-luxury was quietly shuttered after people decided that two-tone paint wasn’t compelling enough a reason to buy what looked like a melted S-Class owned by Simon Cowell.
So now, Mercedes-Benz is quietly weighing their options. They could turn Maybach into a sub-brand of Mercedes, like AMG or Designo: more in line within the company than as a separate division. They could ask Aston Martin to build the next Maybach—the Brits have already created four concepts based on the S-Class for Benz’s consideration. Or, they could take it out back and shutter it.
Dieter “Dr. Z” Zetsche, CEO of Daimler, admitted that a partnership with Aston Martin was in the talks. And, the Daimler board need to reach a conclusion on Maybach by July 1st, the next time they are scheduled to meet. Spokespeople for both companies refused to comment.
Hey, after all, nouveau riche Beijingers and oil sheiks have needs, too.
[Source: Automotive News]
The slow-selling luxurious Maybach may be in trouble and we will find out by July 1. Mercedes parent company Daimler AG is trying to decide what to do with the Maybach company after slumping sale issues. Daimler will either axe the car or possibly partner with British car-maker Aston Martin for a second-generation car.
According to CEO Dieter Zetche, “there is a higher likelihood to come to a positive decision” for a new-generation of Maybach if a partner joins production. Zetche did confirm that Daimler has been discussing a partnership with Aston Martin and that there are no other prospects. A concept for the next-generation Maybach has been designed but a final decision has not been made, according to Zetche. Daimler invested over $1 billion on development for the Maybach, but ”it was not a good investment for a small-volume vehicle.”
Slow-selling would be an understatement. Only 157 Maybachs were sold last year, according to IHS Automotive, far short of the Mercedes- Benz goal of 1,500 units.
If Aston Martin produces the Maybach, the British automaker would be inclined to buy engines (V8 and V12) and transmissions (seven-speed automatic) from Mercedes-Benz but would implement them into other Aston Martin vehicles.
GALLERY: 2011 Maybach Lineup
[Source: Automotive News]