New York, New York – The luxury-oriented New York International Auto Show’s press days kicked off Wednesday with several automakers showing their latest options.
General Motors' replacement for the Cadillac CTS luxury sedan offers advanced technologies such as the Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system. (Photo courtesy of General Motors)
Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition
Paying homage to the 1970 Datsun 240Z that launched Nissan's sporty car business, the anniversary edition's paint job copies race-winning versions of the car. (Photo courtesy of Nissan)
2020 Hyundai Sonata
The 8th generation of Hyundai's family sedan has a sportier look and a new 2.5L engine. Tech features include electronic keys that can be emailed to car-borrowing friends. (Photo courtesy of Hyundai)
2020 Hyundai Venue
Soon to be Hyundai's smallest, least expensive crossover, the Venue will give the Korean automaker an option for budget-minded buyers. (Photo courtesy of Hyundai)
2020 Subaru Outback
For the first time, the base engine on the popular sport utility wagon is turbocharged -- a 2.5L horizontally opposed Boxer capable of 260hp. (Photo courtesy of Subaru)
2020 Toyota Highlander
The vehicle that effectively established the mainstream crossover market adds several safety features including lane tracing assist (LTA) and road sign assist (RSA). (Photo courtesy of Toyota)
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS
The updated luxury crossover adds a bit more of everything -- space, power, safety features, and luxury features. An evolution of its old design, it goes on sale late this year. (Photo courtesy of Mercedes)
Kia HabaNiro Concept
Give Kia creative naming points. The company says the electric vehicle (EV) version of its Niro small crossover will be hot, hence the name HabaNiro. (Photo courtesy of Kia)
2020 Lincoln Corsair
Ford's decision to swap inscrutable alpha-numeric codes for cars with real names means the small MK-C crossover (the corporate twin of the Ford Escape) needed a new name. The Corsair is slightly larger than the MK-C and will be made at the company's Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky. (Photo courtesy of Ford)
Volkswagen Tarok Concept
Not as silly as the subcompact Toyota Yaris pickup shown off as an April Fools joke, the small Tarok will go on sale in South America later this year. VW has no plans to bring it to the U.S. for now, but a strong reaction at auto shows could change that. (Photo courtesy of Volkswagen)
Kentucky Derby 2019 Ram Heavy Duty Pickup
Special edition cars for May's big horse race come out every year. Targeted at wealthy horse breeders, the Ram Heavy Duty features a Limited interior with premium leather seats. (Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC)
Important new vehicles include General Motors’ Cadillac CT5, a replacement for the CTS sedan; an updated Sonata from Hyundai and a new Venue crossover; an updated Toyota Highlander crossover; the Corsair, Ford’s replacement for the aging Lincoln MK-C; and a possible future pickup from Volkswagen.
Best concept-car name awards (as bestowed by Today’s Motor Vehicles’ editor on the basis of his personal amusement) goes to Kia. The Kia Niro small crossover has been on sale for nearly a year, and the automaker showed off an electric vehicle (EV) version of it in New York. Saying it will be a hot seller of the company makes it, Kia engineers named it the HabaNiro.
Scroll through the picture gallery for a look at what hit the show floor in New York.
Ed Beaumont comes out of semi-retirement, refocuses Beaumont Machine
Supplier of fast hole EDM renews commitment to industry, seeks continued expansion of machine line and markets.
As company president Ed Beaumont explains, “We needed a fresh start and we were committed to making it happen, on every level, from our physical location to the machine offerings to the markets served and more.”
And Beaumont Machine has done exactly that with the opening of its new manufacturing facility in the Cincinnati area – 4001 Borman Dr., Batavia, Ohio 45103; 513.701.0421; www.beaumontmachine.com.
“I started the company over 25 years ago, had success in the aerospace industry here in Cincinnati and elsewhere. After five years of semi-retirement, I returned to run the company, with three goals in mind. I wanted to relocate the business to a larger facility, expand the machine line to offer more companies the benefits of our unique designs and, lastly, grow our consumables business, a key to long-term relationships with EDM customers, precisely because the wire, guides, electrodes, dielectric resin, filters, rotary unions, seal kits and more are critical components to keep the machines up and running,” Ed says.
As of today, all three goals have been met, resulting in more business for the company and an expansion into new markets such as semiconductor materials processing and land-based power generation, particularly turbine blades.
The consumable sales have ramped up, owing to Beaumont securing reliable partners and having the warehouse capacity to carry expanded inventories. Customers can now call on Beaumont for all their consumables needs.
“Though Beaumont machines are available with Fanuc or Siemens CNC controls,” Ed explains, “our newest platform with Siemens allows us to create even more shapes with Realtime EDM. We bring them some pretty complex specs and they can always meet the challenges.”
Beaumont EDM machines are used primarily for precision placement of the cooling and gas flow holes in various products, from metering and diffuser holes on a jet engine turbine blade to large blade, seals, vanes, and transition ducts on power gen equipment and more.
The company also provides customers fixture design, training, part programming assistance, engineering, turnkeys, and vision system integration.
“It’s good to be back in the day-to-day operation of the business. It’s a passion for me and my team. We love solving EDM problems for our customers and will continue to push the envelope in machine performance,” Ed concludes.
News roundup: Mid-engine Corvette teased, Jeep Gladiator heads to dealers
Upcoming vehicles from General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have rabid fans waiting.
Cleveland, Ohio – General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) took steps last week to please some of the most fervent fan bases in the auto industry.
Rumors that the next-generation of the Corvette would move its engine behind its passengers (as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and other supercar manufacturers do) have been floating around for more than a year, and the company showed off a heavily disguised version of the vehicle in advance of this week’s New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).
GM CEO Mary Barra and Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter showed up in New York to announce a charity auction of the last seventh-generation Corvette to benefit the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. They arrived in a camouflaged version of the upcoming vehicles.
“GM, GMC, and Chevrolet support the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its commitment to injured and fallen military members, first responders, and their families,” Barra said. “The sale of this iconic Corvette will help the foundation continue its good work and pave the way for the Next Generation Corvette that we will introduce on July 18.”
Though disguised, GM photos of the new model show a clear change in the vehicle’s layout. The passenger compartment is closer to the front of the vehicle, allowing an almost straight line from the roof to the front bumper instead of a sharper angle needed for a long engine, a telltale visual cue of mid-engine layouts. The slope from the passenger compartment to the rear is also more pronounced than in older Corvette models, likely making the new model more aerodynamic.
The first shipment of 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup models left FCA’s Toledo, Ohio, factory late last week. On sale in the coming weeks, the Gladiator required a $273 million upgrade at the plant and 329 new workers.
Earlier this month, FCA offered fans the opportunity to order limited-production Launch Editions of the Gladiator. The 4,190 models (419 is the area code for the Toledo plant) sold within a few hours.
“There has been significant interest in the all-new Jeep Gladiator since it was first revealed late last year,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Jeep Brand – North America.
Panasonic reconsidering future investments in Tesla Gigafactory
Battery producer is studying future investments as it watches demand reports for electric vehicles.
Cleveland, Ohio – Panasonic will meet 2019 commitments to boost battery capacity output for Tesla, but the company is reconsidering further investments as it is “watching the demand situation” for electric vehicles (EVs).
In 2014, Panasonic and Tesla agree to produce 35GWh of battery storage capacity annually by the end of 2019, and Panasonic officials say they plan to meet that commitment. However, the deal called for 50GHw of capacity by the end of 2020, a figure for which Panasonic officials are now “studying feasibility of various options.”
The decision won’t hurt Tesla’s ability to grow EV sales this year, but it casts doubt on how much EV demand is growing. In the first quarter of this year, Tesla deliveries badly missed expectations, and EV maker is taking steps that could further limit demand.
Tesla leaders have long promised that its Model 3 would be available for $35,000, and the company briefly produced a handful of such lower-priced versions this year. But at the same time that Panasonic said it was reconsidering further battery investments with Tesla, the automaker announced that it would no longer offer the$35,000 Model 3 for order on its website – Tesla’s primary order portal for customers.
Instead, people seeking the lower-priced model will have to go to Tesla showrooms (which only exist in a handful of large cities) or call the company’s phone center. The least expensive Model 3 on the company’s website starts at $39,500.
Tesla officials billed the Panasonic decision as a change in strategy, not a reduction in investments.
“There is far more output to be gained from improving existing production equipment than was previously estimated,” Tesla officials said. “We are seeing significant gains from upgrading existing lines to increase output, which allows Tesla and Panasonic to achieve the same output with less spent on new equipment purchases.”
Officials added that demand for batteries continues to outstrip its ability to make them. Panasonic’s announcement does anticipate demand growth this year. So, the decision to curtail commitments to future investment could either be because efficiencies will allow more than 35GWh of capacity without new investment or because Panasonic officials aren’t convinced that demand will surpass that 35GWh figure.
About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 18 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.