GM CEO takes off the gloves in swipe at Lincoln’s viability

Things are heating up again between the General and the Blue Oval as GM CEO Akerson takes a hard swipe at the slumping Lincoln brand. GM must be very confident in the new Cadillac models coming very soon and flat out unimpressed on the new Lincoln’s coming to showroom floors. It’s time both brands look at targeting the real sales leaders in the luxury market and at this point I have to say the new Cadillac XTS and ATS are good starts.

From Auto Blog:

“They are trying like hell to resurrect Lincoln. Well, I might as well tell you, you might as well sprinkle holy water. It’s over.”

So says General Motors CEO Dan Akerson, speaking to reporters from The Detroit News. Fightin’ words to be sure, though it seems the suits at Lincoln, Ford’s luxury brand that competes with Cadillac here in the United States, have declined to comment on Akerson’s statement.

The dismissal of the Lincoln brand seems especially interesting given Akerson’s reported take on the current state of Cadillac. Akerson is said to believe that Cadillac isn’t yet where it needs to be, saying the brand needs another 12 to 24 months of gestation. By that time, there ought to be bookends to the current CTS in place in the form of the ATS (smaller) and XTS (larger, replacing the STS and DTS).

Still, Akerson doesn’t expect to “blow the doors off” Cadillac’s competition, saying instead that “they will be very competitive.” We’d think Caddy would be aiming squarely at something more like “class leading,” but what do we know?

Read the full article.

Chrysler is back and in a big way!

Make no mistake about it my friends as Chrysler are back in the black in a big way! Give Sergio and his team credit for bringing Chrysler back from the brink with still plenty of new product on the way to continue to drive this turnaround story.

DETROIT — Chrysler Group said its first-quarter net income quadrupled on surging sales as the automaker set a profit target of $1.5 billion for the year.

Chrysler earned $473 million in the January-March period, up from $116 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 25 percent to $16.4 billion as U.S. vehicle sales increased 39 percent, the company said in a statement today.

“It’s fair to say that Chrysler is firing on all cylinders,” Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said. “It’s been a great quarter, and I think that the indications for the remainder of the year are absolutely positive.”

The 2012 target of $1.5 billion in net income would far outpace the $183 million earned last year as Chrysler posted its first annual profit since its 2009 bankruptcy.

Read the full article.

Bullz-Eye.com First Drive: 2013 Acura ILX

Bullz-Eye.com had the opportunity to check out the 2013 Acura ILX! Check out what they had to say about the ride below.

Small Acuras have always held a special place in the automotive pantheon. Small, nimble and always ready to be wrung out, they delivered a premium driving experience without the premium cost. The Integra and RSX were thesis statements for what the Acura brand stood for: technologically advanced, fun to drive, and a great value for the money. The new ILX is the newest small Acura, and although not a true successor, it looks like it will continue Acura’s brand mission.

Exterior

The ILX shares a platform with the Civic, like the Integra and RSX did, but it does not look as differentiated as its predecessors. Acura took great pains to change the look though. The windshield was brought forward and raked farther back; the nose of the car has less overhang; and scalloped sides were added, not to mention the premium touches added such as the headlights, taillights, and metallic surrounds around the windows.

But although it looks completely different than its platform mate, it’s just not distinctive enough for a near premium car. The Integra and RSX could be spotted from across a parking lot because of their distinctive look; looks that drew in a generation of car enthusiasts. The ILX does not – it is attractive, but not in a way that will tug at the heartstrings.

Read the full review.

Bullz-Eye First Drive: 2013 Acura RDX

Bullz-Eye.com put together a slideshow on the 2013 Acura RDX and gave a “First Drive” review of the ride below.

At first glance the new Acura RDX may not seem entirely new, but underneath the revised sheet metal lies an entirely new car. Not only is it new, but it has been reconfigured for the customers that actually bought the original one. The first RDX was meant for young, aggressive A-type personalities, but this one is meant for the aging boomers that actually bought the car. However, that doesn’t mean that this car is any worse for it.

Refined Looks

To attract the young go-getters, the first-gen RDX was chiseled and sharp. But older professionals aren’t known for their edgy styling and forward thinking outfits. Because of this, the new RDX has been softened all around. Gone are the chiseled shoulder lines and aggressive taillight treatments, and in their places are rounder, friendlier items. The result is a more refined, professional image that fits this compact CUV nicely. It no longer looks like it’s trying too hard to act tough.

The story stays the same in the interior. Material quality is the same as before, but the interior design has benefitted from a mellowing out. It also comes very well equipped at any trim package, but navigation is not standard. The upgrade is well worth it for the ESL stereo system though. Even if grandpa isn’t going to be blasting dubstep while out on errands, he will appreciate the low range punch and high range clarity of the upgraded system.

Head to Bullz-Eye.com for the full review!

It’s time to break through for Cadillac and Lincoln

As Cadillac keeps working to gain traction against the imports Lincoln continues to fall further behind of everyone in the California luxury market. The numbers are clear and Lincoln needs a rear wheel drive platform more than ever but still no word on when this is going to happen. Cadillac is still behind the likes of Mercedes and BMW but with new offerings like the sleek and nimble Cadillac ATS that brand has a real change to increase sales for the General. Either way at some point Cadillac and especially Lincoln need to break out in the luxury market soon or it will start getting much harder to build any momentum.

From CNN.Com:

FORTUNE — Cadillac and Lincoln are two of America’s most storied car brands, with more than 200 years of automotive history between them. But in the country’s largest and highest profile luxury car market — California — they are regularly trounced by Europe’s upscale automakers and even the Japanese. Both domestic brands are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to catch up, but they have a long way to go.

Spend some time cruising the eight-lane freeways of Southern California as I did recently, and you will find yourself surrounded by fleets of Mercedes-Benz’s and BMW’s, sprinkled with an assortment of Audi sports cars, Range Rover SUVs, Jaguar sedans, and Porsches. These are mostly high-trim models, too, with AMG and M-sport badges in abundance. Black is the favored color. The Cadillac Escalade appears to be the most favored domestic offering — popular with hotel shuttle services — but you search in vain for a Cadillac CTS or any passenger car with a Lincoln’s in-your-face bow-wave grille.

Check out the full article!

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