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!

2012 Kia Soul review on Bullz-Eye

Read what Bullz-Eye.com had to say about the 2012 Kia Soul!

The 2012 Kia Soul is the result of a good thing that just keeps getting better. Kia continued the out-of-the-box fresh looks of the Soul and refined the interior and more power under the hood. You can’t help but have a good time driving the Soul, and at a reasonable sticker price, the good times keep rolling!

Exterior
Our test model was unique looking from the alien green paint and the Soul is easily distinguishable from the other models with exclusive projector headlamps with front LED accents and LED taillights complemented by stunning new 18-inch alloy wheels. For 2012, the Soul’s exterior design has been updated with subtle changes to front and rear fascias to project a wider stance, while new auto on/off projection headlamps, taillights, side mirrors and wheels project a more modern look. Our test model also sported a power tilt sunroof, fog lights and a finished product that says “modern good looks.”

Read the full review.

ACB: Targa Newfoundland

Public roads, blinding speeds, and drivers towing the line between courage and stupid were the hallmarks of vintage racing. But with the advent of governing bodies and modern racetracks, those days are long gone. Almost.

Today, Speed was kind enough to stream their coverage of the Targa Newfoundland online. A real throwback of racing action but with thoroughly modern machinery. So check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

Avalanche to get rolled in 2013

Chevy will kill the Avalanche in 2013 due to sagging sales. What was once one of the sportier and incredibly versatile Truck/SUV’s on the road the Avalanche will be heading for the scrap yard next year. Times change quickly in the auto industry as consumer preferences will always dictate what is hot and what was once hot but now passé. Just ask those who loved their Avalanche’s!!

From AutoNews.com:

DETROIT — The Chevrolet Avalanche, the truck that helped launch the boom in crew cab pickups, is ending its run a decade after its U.S. sales hit their high level.

Chevrolet confirmed today the 2013 Avalanche will be the final year for the crew cab, which it will send off with the 2013 Black Diamond edition.

GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said Avalanche sales peaked in 2003 with 93,482 units, but were only 20,088 for 2011.

“As the crew cab pickup became an increasing part of the light duty market, Avalanche sales have really been tapering off,” Wilkinson said. “We have a very passionate following but unfortunately it’s not large enough to make a strong enough business case to do a next generation Avalanche as part of the next generation full-size truck program.”

Read the full story.

2012 Honda Pilot Touring Review

Bullz-Eye.com recently reviewed the 2012 Honda Pilot Touring and these is what the guys had to say…

With so many SUVs on the road today, it can be difficult to discern one from the other. But there is no mistaking the 2012 Honda Pilot 4WD Touring. The strong look and large interior are trademarks of the Pilot, and we could add a few more standout features to the list.

Exterior
The size of the Honda Pilot is what first caught my eye, and that’s because of the sleek but aggressive look that is unique for this segment. Our Bali Blue Pearl test vehicle looked amazing and the 18-inch alloy wheels fit well with the overall exterior look. You will love the double polygon chrome grille, which looks as tough as any construction truck around, and for a brand like Honda that symbolizes “nice,” the Pilot is a change of pace. With that toughness also comes a refined body design with features like auto on/off headlights, fog lights, heated power door mirrors, roof rails, chrome body side moldings, rear privacy glass, chrome exhaust finishers, power tailgate with lift-up glass hitch and power moonroof with tilt feature.

Interior
The wide Pilot shines with an interior fit for those who demand more room and comfort in their SUVs, and the 2012 Honda Pilot 4WD Touring delivers. The expansive dashboard is filled with high-end features and cup holders and storage areas for those who truly value bins and compartments. The Touring was loaded with extremely comfortable gray leather seats, Honda Navigation System with Voice recognition, rearview camera, Hard Disk Drive, DVD Rear Entertainment System with 9-inch display & wireless headsets, AM/FM/CD Premium Audio system with 10 booming speakers, Bluetooth hands free link, Bluetooth audio, XM satellite radio, USB audio interface, Tri zone automatic climate control, drivers 10-way power seat, memory seat and mirrors, heated front seats which can get nice and toasty if choose the high option, auto dimming rearview mirror, tilt and telescopic steering column, second row sunshades and homelink system.

Read the full review.

2012 Kia Soul Gallery on Bullz-Eye

Bullz-Eye.com recently scouted the 2012 Kia Soul. Read their initial impressions and check out their gallery!

Bullz-Eye is having some fun testing the 2012 Kia Soul in some pretty decent Midwest weather. The look of the Soul is distinct and surely gets some looks on the road, and for those who like getting noticed, that’s a good thing! The model we are driving is loaded and has a very reasonable sticker price of $22,100, which is good news for the pocket book. Keep an eye out for our upcoming full review of the 2012 Kia Soul.

Check out the full gallery.

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