The final post

This is now the final post of AutoDan. After almost almost 4 years blogging, AutoDan (known as Daniel’s Car Blog from 2010 to 2011 and Motorblog from 2011 to 2012) is to be replaced by a new blog hosted on Blogger known as DanBlog, which will not just only have car posts, but posts of other stuff.

Good bye!

AutoDan

May 30, 2010 to January 21, 2014

Chevrolet to withdraw from Europe in 2016, except in former USSR

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General Motors has announced that Chevrolet would withdraw from the European market in 2016 due to low sales and economic conditions in Europe (especially in Continental Europe), compared to Daewoo in Europe back in 2004.

Prior to 2005, Chevrolet had been selling few of its American lineup to Europe, but modified to suit European regulations. However in 2002, three years after the bankruptcy of Daewoo’s parent company, General Motors acquired Daewoo and in 2005 Daewoo models in Europe had been rebadged Chevrolets with a slogan saying that “Daewoo has grown up enough to become Chevrolet” to help promote Chevrolet in Europe. However in the end Chevrolet in Europe saw a fall in sales and 1.75% market share in the European Union. In Spain, Chevrolet sold 14,000 cars in 2013 compared to Daewoo selling 29,503 cars in Spain in 2004. This results in the former Daewoo brand being more successful in Europe, than its successor Chevrolet brand had.

This was the same for Opel in Australia, which withdrew from that market last year, for a similar reason to Chevrolet in Europe. However Chevrolet will still sell its models in the former Soviet Union, as well as the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to Europe, but according to a Spanish car magazine, it said car could badged under a different brand in Europe, possibly the former Corvette brand General Motors used in Europe during the mid to late-2000s and early 2010s, when Chevrolet in Europe comprised only the Daewoo-bulit models. Most Chevrolets sold in Europe are assembled in South Korea.

The problem with Chevrolet not being successful in Europe compared to GM Europe’s Vauxhall and Opel brands is because Vauxhall/Opels are more cheaper in Europe than Chevrolets. Similar in recent years Chevrolets have started to more resemble Vauxhalls and Opels more. Notable Chevrolet models that resemble Vauxhall/Opel models are the Chevrolet Trax (resembles the Vauxhall/Opel Mokka) CUV off-road vehicle and the Chevrolet Volt electric car, in which the body was later used for the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera, also an electric vehicle. The Chevrolet versions are often expensive in Europe, but the Vauxhall/Opel ones are much cheaper in Europe.

The Chevrolet Aveo supermini/subcompact car (Chevrolet Sonic in North America) was the best selling Chevrolet in Europe with Italy (with over 31,000 cars sold) and Russia (with over 200,000 cars sold) being best selling Chevrolet markets in Europe.

Happy New Year from AutoDan

AutoDan wishes you a happy new year with lots of suprises to come over the new year.

2014 Ford Ka

The Ford Ka has just been recently spotted (in July 2013) at Ford’s engineering centre in Cologne, Germany. Unlike the first two European Ford Ka models launched in 1996 and 2008 respectively which only had 3 door versions, the new upcoming Ford Ka will now only have 5 doors to focus on value for money and space. Unlike the first two generations of the Ka, which were only sold in Europe, Latin America and for a short time in Australia from 1999 to 2001; the new Ka will be sold globally. The car is based on the Ford Figo, a small car sold in developing countries (such as Mexico and India) based on the previous-generation Ford Fiesta (2002-2008). The car will only have petrol/gasoline engines only to keep costs down and to have a global appeal.

GM withdraws Opel from Australia

Opel withdraws from Australia due to poor sales and less consumer demand

When General Motors launched Opel in Australia, as part of GM’s broader plan to expand the Opel brand worldwide to offset losses in Europe, it was expected to sell around 15,000 cars in the first three years, but sadly it only sold 541 cars in 2012 and only 989 in the first six months of 2013. The solution was to withdraw the Opel brand from the Australian market.

Vauxhall/Opel based models were sold in Australia and New Zealand during 1990′s and 2000′s under the local GM brand Holden, but since recent years they had been replaced with Chevrolet/Daewoo based models until these models returned in Australia in September 2012 under the Opel brand, which led to poor sales since the brand’s existence in Australia.

Opel spokeswoman Michelle Langt told News Australia the following statement:

“We can’t sell our cars at the price they need to be in order to meet our volume targets, The Astra small car was supposed to underpin our brand but with the prices of most rivals dipping to close to $20,000 we just couldn’t compete.”

An official statement from Opel stated:

“These changes, combined with the continued investment required to ensure brand awareness, result in a business which is not financially viable for any of the parties involved.”

 

2014 Chevy Impala to get 5 Star rating in NHTSA

The 2014 Chevrolet Impala has been rated five stars by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the United States as part of its New Car Assessment Programme, with the full size sedan fitted with a series and available safety features, including radar, that help avoid crashes.

“Safety is a key consideration for all car buyers, and Impala sets a new benchmark for Chevrolet’s flagship sedan, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala is designed to provide excellent crash safety, and offers customers several safety technologies not previously available in Chevrolets,”

Gay Kent, GM general director of Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness.

Impala’s safety standard includes 10 airbags, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, all speed traction control, anti-lock brake system (ABS) and electronic brake force distribution.

NHTSA has also noted the presence of OnStar, which uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of a crash.

Sources:

Lotus Esprit from James Bond heads to auction

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James Bond’s 1977 Lotus Esprit (pronounced “es-pree”) S1–Series One– submarine has been consigned by RM Auctions in London for its coming sale this September.

The car appeared in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). The Lotus Esprit was first designed in 1972 as a silver concept car named the “Kiwi” by Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro and was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show that year. But because the tradition of Lotus car model names beginning with “E”, the “Kiwi” was renamed the Esprit and was relased in 1976. The S1 (the original Esprit) conitnued in production until 1978, when it was replaced by the Esprit S2 which continued until 1981.

According to RM Auctions, the car costed $100,000 to convert to submarine duty.

After filming the car later went to Long Island, New York and then to Los Angeles, where it was shown briefly at a car museum, but it was rarely displayed.

RM Auctions did not confirm a pre-auction estimate for the car, but an RM Auctions spokeswoman said that was expected to be £500,000 or US$760,000. The original Bond car, the Aston Martin DB5 (1963-1965) was sold by the company in 2010 for £2.9m.

The Esprit will be offered from 8-9 September without reserve from RM Auctions’ Battersea sale.

Sources:

  • BBC Autos
  • The Lotus Book (1998)
  • Wikipedia

2015 Citroen DSX7 concept car

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Citroen has announced a luxury compact SUV to compete with Porsche Macan (due to launch this autumn/fall) and the Audi Q5 (launched in 2008). The name of the car has not been confirmed but the possibility is that the car could be known as the Citroen DSX7. The X nameplate is considered to be used on Citroen’s off-road vehicles and 7 is to be used as the highest rank of any of Citroen’s DS range.

The car’s dimensions are 4.7 metres long, 1.95 metres wide and only 1.59 metres tall. A Spanish car magazine stated that the car is a mix of a coupé and a off-road vehicle. The car is based on the Citroen DS5 (released in 2011) platform.

The car will have a 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol/gasoline engine with a 70 HP electric motor.

Mercedes to launch 13 new models until 2020

In the future Mercedes will launch 13 new models until 2020. These cars have no predecessor in the automaker’s portfolio.

One planned model is the GLA, which is to be built in the United States. It will be a futuristic crossover to be unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show, this April.

Also the S-Class will not just replace the previous S-Class, but will also replace the Maybach 57 and 62. Types of the S-Class include regular and long-wheelbase models, a coupe, a convertible and a flagship limousine.

Skoda to launch 6 models in 2013

According to Skoda France, Skoda plans to launch 6 models in 2013. 3 have been announced whereas the other 3 haven’t.

The 3 announced cars are the Rapid compact saloon/sedan, the Octavia compact saloon/sedan and the Octavia Combi estate/station wagon.

The other 3, could be the Yeti 2013 facelift, the new Superb mid-size saloon/sedan and the Octavia RS (vRS in the UK).

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