Automotive Purchasing Weekly 16 November 2015 - page 8

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LexusRX: It’s theendof rock’n’ roll
12 November 2015 | OEM
Lexus has designed and equipped its new
RX model to put an end to rocking and
rolling, whether the driver is travelling on
the highway, or driving on rougher off-road
surfaces.
The new luxury SUV’s active suspension
performance moves to a higher level,
securing a smoother and more stable ride
and a more rewarding driving experience.
The system design has been updated and
customers can specify an Adaptive Variable
Suspension system for sportier performance.
Ride and handling have also been improved
thanks to the engineering of a significantly
more rigid vehicle body.
Improved suspension
The new RX features an updated version
of suspension system used in the current
model: MacPherson struts at the front and a
rear trailing arm and double wishbone set-
up, with components fine-tuned for extra
stability when cornering and improved
handling overall. Changes include a larger
front anti-roll bar, which gives both a crisper
turning response and better ride quality.
Sportier performance can be gained
from Lexus’s Adaptive Variable Suspension
(AVS), a standard feature of the F Sport and
Premier grade models. This automatically
adjusts the damping force delivered by the
shock absorbers at each wheel in response
to the quality of the road surface and the
driver’s inputs. For example, on rough roads,
the system switches to a more compliant
setting to maintain comfort. When driving
through a bend, the damping force is firmer,
to reduce body roll and give the RX more
performance-focused, flatter cornering.
Building a more rigid body
As well as advanced suspension tuning
and technology, the new RX reaps the
benefits of having a more rigid body – a
fundamental quality that has a positive
impact on its handling, comfort and cabin
quietness, as well as providing more robust
crash protection.
Lexus has achieved this with innovative
techniques, including a new ring-frame
construction method to create stronger
sections around the front and rear doors.
Panel joints have been made stronger using
high-tech body adhesives and laser screw
welding, and high tensile strength steel has
been used at strategic points throughout,
including the A and B-pillars and underbody
crossmembers. Extra spot welds around the
rear of the body also contribute to the car’s
strength and handling stability.
The new RX is available to order now,
with first deliveries to UK customers from
January.
Salesof Ford’s turbo technologyset
to toponemillion in2015
12 November 2015 | OEM
Year-to-date, total sales of EcoBoost-
powered Ford vehicles are up 46%. Ford
expects 2015 will be the first year in which
EcoBoost-equipped vehicles in the U.S.
exceed one million sales.
For 2015, EcoBoost is available on every
non-hybrid light-duty passenger vehicle in
Ford’s U.S. lineup. The technology combines
smaller engines with turbocharging, direct
injection and variable valve timing – as
well as Ford’s proprietary EcoBoost engine
management software – to bring customers
fuel efficiency along with the performance
they expect.
“Ford
EcoBoost
delivers
great
performance along with the capability of
impressive fuel efficiency,” said Erich Merkle,
Ford Sales Analyst. “Ford leadership in clean
gasoline turbocharged engine technology is
paying dividends as evidenced by EcoBoost
sales growth.”
Through October, Ford sold 210,239
EcoBoost-powered F-150 trucks in the
United States. Escape is the company’s next
best-selling EcoBoost-equipped vehicle,
with sales of 203,855 vehicles. Fusion,
at 105,999 EcoBoost-equipped cars sold,
claims the third spot.
With respect to year-to-date retail sales,
EcoBoost accounts for 78% of Escape sales,
64% of F-150 sales and 43% for Fusion.
New models with the technology – Transit
and Mustang – have bolstered EcoBoost
sales, and helped fuel Ford’s overall sales
growth. Ford sold a total of 89,621 Transit
vans with EcoBoost through October, while
Mustang, with a total of 39,420 EcoBoost-
powered cars sold, rounds out the top five.
Ford’s global EcoBoost engine family
now includes the 1.0-litre three-cylinder;
1.5-litre, 1.6-litre, 2.0-litre and 2.3-litre four-
cylinder engines; and the powerful 2.7-litre
and 3.5-litre V6 engines. A Lincoln-exclusive
3.0-litre V6 debuts in 2016.
To meet demand for the 2.0-litre twin-
scroll EcoBoost now available on the all-new
Edge, Ford recently invested nearly $200
million at its Cleveland engine plant, where
production began this year.
In 2013, Ford doubled production
capacity at its Cologne, Germany, plant to
more than 1,000 EcoBoost engines a day
to meet robust demand for the 1.0-litre now
powering one in five Ford vehicles sold in
Europe. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost is available in
the U.S. for Fiesta and Focus.
The technology is driving strong demand
for Fiesta ST, which features a 1.6-litre
EcoBoost engine, and Focus ST, with its
2.0-litre EcoBoost.
Audi continues salesgrowth inOctober
12 November 2015 | OEM
Audi has started the fourth quarter with
further sales growth. In October, global
deliveries increased year-on-year by 2% to
around 149,200 cars. Demand proved very
positive in the U.S. and several southern
European markets.
Since January around 1,497,150 customers
decided to buy an Audi globally, leading to
a 3.6% growth compared to one year ago.
Cumulative sales exceeded the 2014 figures
in all regions around the world.
“Despite the imminent model changeover
with our bestseller, the A4, Audi sales
continued to develop positively in October.
This once again demonstrates that our
business stands on a very solid foundation,”
said Dietmar Voggenreiter, Member of
the Board of Management for Sales and
Marketing at Audi. “We are thus firmly on
track to achieving another all-time high for
the whole of 2015.”
The new A4 will be launched this week
as a Sedan and Avant in the first European
countries before celebrating its premiere in
the overseas markets in 2016. To date, its
predecessor has been the most successful
Audi A4 generation ever, with already
over 2.4 million units sold worldwide. The
company will continue the success story with
the new A4 and expects further substantial
growth for the global premium mid-size
segment. Even before the new A4 arrives at
dealers, the pre-orders for the model have
already reached a very high level.
Over the past few months both the
new Audi TT and the new Q7 got off to a
successful start; both continued to grow in
October. TT sales rose by 79% to around
2,400 units compared with the same
period in 2014. Sales of the Q7 grew by
55.3% to around 7,600 full-size SUVs. Its
new generation is still to be introduced in
the large non-European markets over the
coming months. In October, sales of the A6
also increased notably (+5.2% to around
24,500 cars) in the top segment.
Among Audi’s large sales markets, the
U.S. proved the strongest growth engine for
the four rings in October too. Audi of America
reported sales up 16.8% to 17,700 customers
in the month. Audi’s cumulative sales
increased by 13% since January to 165,103
premium cars and, as such, performed more
than twice as strongly as the U.S. market as
a whole.
In Europe, France (+11.0% to 5,495
cars), Italy (+11.9% to 4,602 cars) and the
Netherlands (+30.4% to 1,619 cars) in
particular managed in October to build on
their positive development over the past
few months. Audi also achieved further
progress on the Iberian Peninsula: in Spain,
Audi delivered 3,380 cars, 7.7% more than
a year ago, while 881 deliveries in Portugal
topped the previous year’s figure by 39.4%.
In Russia by contrast, following growth in
September, October sales returned to miss
2014 levels (-17.9% to 2,155 cars). In total,
Audi sold around 67,350 cars in Europe in
the past month, 3.4% more than a year ago;
cumulative sales totaled around 680,000
deliveries, up 3.8%.
In China, Audi delivered 46,763 premium
cars to customers in October, down 2.8%
year-on-year. In the same period last year,
the market introduction of the A3 Sedan as
another locally produced model, which got
underway in fall 2014, created additional
traffic at Chinese dealers. From January
through October of this year, sales in China
were almost on the same level as in 2014:
down 0.6% to 461,174 customers. In the same
period, Audi increased sales substantially in
Australia (+19.0% to 19,079 cars) and South
Korea (+11.1% to 25,848 cars). As such, the
company’s cumulative deliveries throughout
the Asia-Pacific region totaled around
549,100 cars, 0.3% more than a year ago.
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