AutoGuide News Blog
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.
A Cheap Box, and Not Much Else
When the Scion xB was first introduced in 2003, it was a funky looking little square box aimed at youths involved in the tuner car scene. However, like many vehicles of this era targeted at younger buyers, it never really caught on. Blame the lack of power, blame the quirky looks, blame an unknown brand, but the xB look was destined to disappear into the automotive hall of shame with Edsel, the Aztek and the Vehicross.
You might find it strange, but in Europe when automakers release a new model, they don’t always retire the old one.
That’s the case with Fiat‘s Panda 2, which will now run under the new “Panda Classic” title. Fiat debuted the new model at last September’s Geneva Motor Show, where it seemed likely the old model would be discontinued.
Rather than doing that, Fiat decided to repurpose the old Panda as an entry-level competitor to other low-cost cars according to a story reported in an Italian automotive news publication.
The Panda Classic will serve as competition for the Dacia Logan, which is gaining ground in the Italian market quickly. The Fiat comes at a higher cost than the Renault sedan, but it also saves on engineering a new car. Despite the higher cost, the Panda Classic still enjoys a solid reputation in Italy as an established and popular vehicle.
[Source: Left Lane News]
Volkswagen is looking to add an entry-level brand for the Chinese market as a means of stabilizing its lead in the Chinese marketplace. ”We are currently evaluating with our partner First Auto Works whether we need to add a domestic brand to enter the low-cost portion of the Chinese market,” Soh Weiming, executive VP for Volkswagen’s Chinese sales and marketing arm, told Automotive News.
Soh cited the fact that the “low cost” portion of the Chinese auto market makes up about 20 percent of sales. General Motors, Honda and Nissan all have their own sub-brands. Volkswagen is looking to double Chinese production to 4 million units a year by 2018, and is building new factories and expanding its current plants as well.