Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of rumors about the disappearance of the IS-F, but nothing was official until this week. Talking to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, a Lexus official confirmed the end of production for the high-performance sedan.
Launched back in 2007, Toyota had high hopes for the Lexus IS-F, the high-performance version of the IS sedan. Its purpose was to compete against established models like the BMW M3, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and the Audi RS4, but results were below expectations and the IS-F wasn’t able to “steal” too many customers from its German competitors because in seven years of production, only 11,000 units were sold. As a comparison, BMW sold that amount of M3s annually. [Read the full article…]
Maserati will follow a similar strategy used by their Italian competitors, Ferrari, in order to boost sales but not lose their exclusive status. According to the carmaker’s managing director for Maserati Global Overseas Markets quoted by Automotive News, Maserati wants to go over 50,000 units per year by 2018, but will limit sales to 75,000 units per year. Ferrari did the exact same thing a while ago, but the Italian sports car manufacturer limited annual production to just 7,000 units.
Last year, Maserati sold 14,500 units, but they’re extremely confident that the new models they will launch soon will significantly contribute to increasing sales. The current lineup includes the GranTurismo, the Quattroporte and the Ghibli, but an SUV is almost ready for launch (the Maserati Levante), plus a new sports coupe called Maserati Alfieri. Both the SUV and the already launched Ghibli are expected to bring new customers for the Italian brand and the first signs are promising. For example, after the Ghibli was launched, the average age of Maserati customers dropped, the model attracting customers with an average age of 29 years, significantly lower than the existing average of 45. [Read the full article…]
The Saab saga continues and not the way the Swedish carmaker planned. Just five months after the Swedish brand’s new owners, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) resumed the Saab 9-3 production, activity at the Trolhattan factory was once again frozen due to lack of cash and it looks like things will stay that way at least four weeks.
According to the official statement from NEVS, these financial problems showed up after Qingbo Investment Co., one of NEVS’s strategic partners failed to deliver their part of the deal and provide the required money. “The reason is that NEVS’ part-owner, Qingbo Investment Co., has not fulfilled its commitment to, when necessary, finance NEVS’ activity. NEVS is therefore making a temporary and controlled halt of production, which hitherto has been six cars per day, and is reducing agency staff,” the statement said. [Read the full article…]
After the Volkswagen Group decided that Bentley’s upcoming SUV will be built at the British carmaker’s production facility in Crewe, intense preparations are made to prepare the factory for the high production volume. And since here Bentley already builds the Mulsanne, Continental GT and Flying Spur, 140 new jobs will soon be available, because the three models make the factory currently run at full capacity. According to a recent press release by Bentley, out of the 140 jobs, 90 will be engineering positions and the rest will be recruited from the graduates of different training programs that the British carmaker has organized in the past years.
This workforce investment is jsut the first step of Volkswagen Group’s bigger plan of investing almost 1 billion Euros (around $1.37B) in the Crewe factory over the next three years. This major investment is meant to extend the factory’s production capacity and as a result sales are expected to rise 50% (from a little over 10,000 units in 2013 to around 15,000 units in 2018). [Read the full article…]
Mitusoka Orochi is probably one of the ugliest supercars ever built, but the nightmare will soon be over, since production will end later this year, in September. The announcement was made by the company building the Orochi, an independent Japanese car manufacturer that created their supercar based on the platform from the late Honda NSX. The last Orochi units will be available in two special colors, “pearl gold” and “Fuyoru blackberry” and will come as standard with front splitter, 19-inch modular alloy wheels, two-tone Alcantara leather upholstery, metallic ornaments and Alcantara leather wrapped steering wheel. Pricing for the Mitsuoka Orochi Final Edition starts at 12.7 million yens, which is about $125,000. [Read the full article…]