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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.
 |  Sep 27 2011, 2:15 PM

Before the Mulsanne, Bentley had the Arnage luxury sedan, which over the years was also offered as a convertible called the Azure and a coupe called the Brooklands.

Since the Mulsanne was launched in 2010, it has so far been only offered as a one-size fits all luxury sedan. Now according to Bentley’s CEO Wolfgang Durheimer, all that will change very soon.

In a recent interview, he talked about expanding their current line-up. Durheimer said; “With the Mulsanne we get requests all the time for a longer wheelbase model, for instance. The question is whether we do it as a special order or put it on the model line. We are evaluating it, but I have no doubt we could also sell that type of car in the US and China.”

He also added that a coupe and convertible model could possibly be added on this platform.

He went on to say that he also wants to expand the Continental-series line-up. They already offer a coupe, sedan and convertible on this platform, but perhaps could go into lighter-weight models and special models.

With Bentley looking to expand their product line, they must be confident that the world’s economy will do better in coming years. We hope so.

[Source: Autocar]

 |  Jul 18 2011, 1:44 PM

German auto giant BMW wants to become a bigger giant, as it looks to expand its annual production volume from 1.5-million vehicles/year to 2-million vehicles by 2020.

Herbert Diess, BMW’s board member in charge of purchasing said in a recent interview that this expansion will come by the way of reducing purchasing costs, while keeping a keen eye on quality. BMW has already cut its annual parts purchasing costs by $5.5-billion, but thanks to good quality parts, their warranty costs have also decreased. Currently, BMW spends $37-billion on parts purchasing alone. Diess says this number will grow with the increase in production numbers.

Diess also said that the type of purchasing will also change. Engines with fewer cylinders are becoming more popular and the electrification of the auto industry is only going to grow over the coming years. To prepare itself for this change, BMW is starting their own sub-brand called “i” which will cater to electric and hybrid vehicles.

The industry is also changing its preferences in materials. Instead of steel, more and more parts are being made from lighter aluminum, and soon carbon-fiber will become available on normal cars, not just high-end exotics.

In order to move forward with its plan, China is an important factor, as 75% of the foreign purchasing BMW does is with the Chinese. America is another benefactor, as the new X3 will also be produced in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  May 09 2011, 11:46 AM

Last month, the private Formula 1 outfit Team Lotus acquired Caterham cars. Now comes news that Caterham will be looking to expand on their product portfolio, while keeping Colin Chapman’s vision of lightweight cars.

Caterham is best known for building and constantly improving on the old Lotus 7 design. The company earlier this year launched an all-new additional model called the SP300/R, which was the first new model launched by the company since their ill-received Caterham 21 went out of production.

New owner Tony Fernandes has plans for a new range of cars, with technology trickling down from their F1 division. Ansar Ali, the man responsible for running Caterham over the years, is still in charge of all operations and wants to see the principals of the company to stay upheld in the new products. He said; “We will be looking at expanding with Seven-esque cars. Anything we offer will be an affordable supercar with wide appeal that complements what we’ve already got.”

Team Lotus is still in court with Group Lotus over the legal use of the name, and a decision by F1 courts will be revealed in July. If Team Lotus is forced to give up the Lotus part of their name, they will likely rename themselves Team Caterham, which would bring global exposure to the British brand.

[Source: Autocar]