Mazda and Kia tease out new models
Ramping up for this fall’s auto show season, Japan’s Mazda and Korea’s Kia released images of all-new versions of their respective Mazda6, and Forte and Rondo models.
The front-drive, mid-size Mazda sedan will make its world debut at next month’s Moscow show, and is expected to go on sale sometime in 2013.
Mazda is saying that, after the current CX-5 small crossover, the 6 will be the second vehicle to incorporate its Skyactiv powertrain technologies and Kodo design language.
After going on sale in Korea, the all-new Kia Forte sedan will appear at Canadian dealerships during the first quarter of 2013, to be followed by a five-door hatchback and a two-door coupe, while the Rondo will debut at this fall’s Paris auto show.
Cadillac finally signs off on a true flagship sedan
Although it watched the likes of Hyundai launch big, luxury four-doors, General Motors’ Cadillac brand has come under criticism for its lack of a true, flagship sedan.
No more. A large Caddy sedan has been given the green light, to position the brand against stalwarts such as the Audi A8, the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
The big four-door will be built on a new rear-wheel-drive platform, arrive by 2015, and is a key to GM’s ambitions to expand Cadillac in China.
Mercedes gets help to meet small-car demand
Mercedes-Benz is struggling to keep up with demand for its smallest car: the all-new A-Class.
A Reuters report said Finland’s Valmet Automotive — which also makes the Fisker Karma electric vehicle — would build more than 100,000 copies of the A-Class compacts for the German automaker, starting next year.
Mercedes says it has received more than 40,000 orders for the A-Class, which is currently only built at one of its German plants.
New-car buyers opting for longer loans
Although monthly payments on new-vehicle loans have been essentially flat since 2007 (averaging $528), the average finance term has been extended from 50 to 62 months, which, according to J.D. Power and Associates, is making the MSRP “irrelevant” to buyers.
In 2007, the industry analyst says only 6.4 per cent of Canadian buyers purchased a new vehicle with a payment term of 72 months or greater. Today, that figure stands at 40 per cent.
BMW and Toyota reach sales milestones
During the modern brand’s 10th year in Canada, BMW sold its 40,000th Mini this past month.
With Mini sales up more than 27 per cent for the first half of 2012, the brand is building on 2011, when it sold more than 5,000 cars in Canada — it’s best year ever.
Speaking of milestones, Toyota built its 200 millionth car in June, dating back to its Model G1 truck in 1935. Close to 40 million of its vehicles were Corollas, the world’s most mass-produced car ever.