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Mercedes-Benz is overhauling the nomenclature used to identify its car and light-truck lineup as it prepares for the launch of 30 models — including 11 all-new vehicles — by 2020. Along with the new models planned, Mercedes-Benz said the changes are being made as the company prepares to introduce new body variants and drive systems. Some dealers have said the proliferation of models has posed marketing challenges and confusion among consumers, especially when companies have adopted alphanumeric names. The new nameplates will begin to appear next year when Mercedes-Benz will launch either redesigned or freshened version of all of its crossovers and SUVs.
Source: Automotive News
Emails show auto maker placed urgent order for 500,000 replacement switches in December 2013
General Motors Co. ordered a half-million replacement ignition switches to fix Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars almost two months before it alerted federal safety regulators to the problem, according to emails viewed by The Wall Street Journal. The parts order, not publicly disclosed by GM, and its timing are sure to give fodder to lawyers suing GM and looking to poke holes in a timetable the auto maker gave for its recall of 2.5 million vehicles. The recall concerns a switch issue that is now linked to 30 deaths and has led to heavy criticism of the auto giant’s culture and the launch of a Justice Department investigation.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest selling car manufacturer, has been criticized for neglecting profits in its dash to increase sales, but its latest financial results pleased investors because profits grew faster than revenues. VW owns the luxury Lamborghini and Bentley brands, and upmarket Audi and Porsche, which all have made huge profits. But it has struggled to make much money from its own namesake brand, and its other down-market subsidiaries Skoda and SEAT. Skodas and SEATs, which produce their own versions of the VW range, aren’t available in the U.S. In the third quarter, VW earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 16 percent to 3.23 billion euros ($4.0 billion) compared with the same period last year, outpacing the four percent rate of sales growth.
Source: The Detroit News