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GM’s Opel Should Stay Away from Fiat

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Opel is currently in the process of separating itself from a bad partner that, in most regards, is reminiscent of the ancients Romans – greedy, too confident in its abilities and too complacent. This partner, of course, is General Motors. Even though Fiat has yet to acquire Opel and, thus, has yet to establish the automotive empire it desires, I already see in this Italian automaker the bad things that brought GM to its knees. And I’m sure if Opel’s management was aware of this, it would focus on enticing other buyers.

Opel has very good expertise in making competitive cars, arguably moreso than Fiat itself. So it doesn’t need help in this area. What Opel is seeking is a company that can sustain it financially in the long-run. And quite frankly, this something I don’t see Fiat being able to do. I mean here is a company that had to become a subsidiary (basically) of GM so that it wouldn’t go under, a company that GM was willing to pay $2 billion to so that it wouldn’t have to deal with it again. Just because Fiat has had a respectable turnaround under current CEO Sergio Marchionne doesn’t necessarily paint a bright future for the automaker.

Fiat is still struggling to make a decent profit ever since it separated from GM. It also incurred big costs to restructure itself into the leaner automaker it is today. Coupled with the fact that it will put down at least several billions to acquire a large chunk of Chrysler, it makes one wonder where the automaker is getting its money from and whether it will have enough money to help Chrysler move along, let alone sustain itself. Add Opel to the picture and matters look a bit more dreary.

I am sure Sergio is a highly competent leader, something he has demonstrated by turning around a near-dead Fiat. A view he holds is that there are simply too many players in the global automotive industry and that for most of these players to survive, they have to join forces. This is something few people would deny. Nevertheless, Marchionne should think to himself “aren’t I moving a bit too fast?”. Chrysler, Opel, Saab (reports have it that the Swedish brand is also being targeted) – wouldn’t this be too much of a strain on a relatively small and still-recovering company like Fiat? Wouldn’t it be too hard to manage?

From a competitive standpoint, the Chrysler partnership makes a lot of sense mainly because Fiat is not a player in North America. A partnership with Opel on the other hand is a little bit fuzzy because the German brand fiercely competes against Fiat on the European continent. There will be an obvious overlap in the offerings of both automakers, and as history has shown, that never works out well. I’m sure Marchionne will expect Chrysler and Opel to sustain themselves, but this becomes more difficult when you have one party (i.e. Fiat) calling most of the shots.

Let’s get back to what Opel is really looking for – Money. Truth be told, there are wealthier partners out there than Fiat. Opel would likely be better off enticing Chinese buyers. Even the consortium consisting of GAZ, Sberbank and Magna seems like a better long-term proposition than Fiat is. But in regards to the Chinese automakers, not only are they backed by the Chinese government to some degree, but they also seek expertise needed to build good, quality cars. Opel will get the short and long-term funding needed to sustain itself and the Chinese automaker will in return get the much needed expertise, access to the European market.

As it is now Opel is already a very competitive brand, and things are only getting better. The company already has the expertise needed to remain competitive, but it needs money for its long-term sustainability. I believe Fiat will not be the best partner because it has little of what Opel is looking for – money. Opel will be better off with a Chinese partner or with the consortium consisting of GAZ, Sberbank and Magna. The Chinese partner will likely have the funds, whereas Opel will have the expertise. This is a recipe for a commitment-rich relationship. In the end, both will be better off.

I have little doubt that one of the main reasons (if not the main reason) why Fiat is being seriously considered by GM is because it is willing to pay the American automaker the most up front to get Opel off its hands. Although this will benefit cash-strapped GM, it won’t benefit Opel in the long-run. So if Opel’s management and the German governments were smart, they would incentivise a more promising suitor.

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Audi

10 Exciting Electric Cars Coming In 2020

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Rivian R1T Electric Truck

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2020 is a good year for anyone shopping for an electric vehicle.

If you’ve been waiting to get your hands on the perfect electric car, 2020 could be the year you found one. It’s noteworthy for the large number of high-profile EVs that will be released.

With prices becoming competitive and range anxiety almost a thing of the past, the age of the electric vehicle is truly upon us. Whether you’re looking for a practical car to use for daily commutes or something that simply wows people with impeccable style, there’s bound to be something for you. Here are ten exciting electric vehicles we are looking forward to the most in 2020.

Rivian R1T Truck R1S SUV

1. Rivian R1T Truck / R1S SUV

There have been much excitement surrounding Rivian, and for good reason. The electric car upstart is seen by many as a serious threat to Tesla, and you have the Rivian R1T and R1S SUV to thank for that. The all-electric R1T pickup truck is arguably the coolest and most well-rounded pickup in recent memory, offering supercar-levels of performance (it does zero to 60 mph in just 3 seconds!), world-class trucking capabilities, and serious off-road chops. A massive 80kWh battery gives it an effective driving range of 400 miles (644 km) and can be charged to 100% capacity in an hour when depleted.

Mechanically identical to the R1T, the R1S is for those who would prefer more seats and a hatch rather than a truck bed. As a seven-passenger electric SUV, it’s better suited for carrying people around than the R1T.

Porsche Mission E-Cross Turismo Concept

2. Porsche Taycan / Taycan Cross Turismo

As the company’s first fully-electric vehicle, Porsche’s long-awaited Taycan four-door performance sedan and its high-riding Taycan Cross Turismo estate (wagon) variant will offer buyers a super powerful lithium-ion battery and up to 350 kW charging capacity. Both models can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds and have a driving range of more than 300 miles (500 km). Their battery can be charged to provide 62 miles of range in just four minutes.

New Tesla Model Y Small SUV

3. Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y is essentially the SUV version of the highly-popular Tesla Model 3, featuring the same interior design and similar performance. It offers more interior room than the Model 3, however, with an optional package allowing it to seat up to seven people. The most affordable Model Y will have a driving range of up to 280 miles (451 km/h), while the long-range version might deliver as much as 300 miles (483 km).

Volkswagen ID Hatchback Concept

4. Volkswagen ID Neo

As one of the more affordable family cars coming to the market, the Volkswagen ID Neo is for the masses. Essentially an all-electric interpretation of the highly-popular VW Golf, the practical five-door compact hatchback has capable motors, a 125kw charging capacity, and is expected to come with three different battery size options giving it a driving range from 180 miles on the low end to 342 miles.

Volkswagen ID Crozz II_Concept, Driving

5. Volkswagen I.D. Crozz

The VW I.D. Crozz is a fully-electric compact crossover with rear-biased all-wheel drive system. It offers 311 miles (500 km) of driving range, according to European NEDC tests, and performance should be brisk thanks to two electric motors generating a combined 302 hp. With a 150 kW DC fast charger, its battery can be recharged to 80 percent capacity in just 30 minutes.

According to Volkswagen, the production I.D. Crozz will have as much interior room as the VW Tiguan SUV.

Peugeot e-208 electric car

6. Peugeot e-208

French automaker PSA took its first step towards the full electrification of its entire lineup by 2023 with the Peugeot e-208, an all-electric version of Peugeot’s hot selling 208 city car. The impeccably-styled electric hatchback uses a 50 kWh battery pack to power a 100 kW electric motor for an estimated 211-mile (34 km) range on the WLTP cycle, while fast charging can give it an 80% charge in around 30 minutes.

Primed for city driving, the electric Peugeot e-208 should be within reach for most people, even those who might need a little help from car-buying service like Buy Here Pay Here Car Lots.

Audi E-Tron Sportback

7. Audi e-tron Sportback

The Audi e-tron Sportback is one of the more exciting, head-turning electric vehicles coming in 2020. As a coupe-like SUV, it is a more stylish interpretation of the new Audi e-tron SUV for those who place design above practicality. And like the regular e-tron SUV, it will likely utilize one electric motor at the front and one at the rear to produce a maximum of 402 horsepower (300 kilowatts) and 490 lb⋅ft (664 Nm) of torque, allowing it to hit 60 miles per hour (96 km/h) in 5.7 seconds before reaching an electronically-limited top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h). A 95-kilowatt-hour battery pack provides a driving range of over 200= miles EPA range and can be recharged to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.

White Polestar 2 EV

8. Polestar 2

As the second car from Polestar (formerly the performance arm of Volvo), the Polestar 2 is a five-door fastback EV featuring many hallmarks of Scandinavian design and offering 310 miles (500 km) of range from a 87kWh battery. Its 408 horsepower and all-wheel drive system provide more than enough propulsion to get you moving. Learn more about the Polestar 2.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC

9. Mercedes-Benz EQC

The Mercedes-Benz EQC is Mercedes-Benz’s first-ever all-electric SUV. A little bigger than the Mercedes-Benz GLC and expected to go on sale in early 2020, the electrified German SUV has an 80 kWh lithium-ion battery and two electric motors — one at each axle to provide all-wheel drive — that make 402 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.1 seconds. The EQC is estimated to be priced around $90,000.

BMW ix3 electric SUV Concept

10. BMW iX3

With the German government massively supporting the development of electric vehicles, it’s no surprise to see BMW bringing several to the market. Essentially an all-electric version of the popular X3 SUV, the BMW iX3 makes around 270bhp and can travel up to 249 miles on a full charge, and charging its 70kWh battery to full capacity when depleted takes just 30 minutes!

BMW plans to introduce a whole fleet of new electric vehicles over the next few years, and the iX3 will probably be its most popular model.

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Auto Tech

8 Of The Best ‘Old’ And New Car Features Of 2019

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Future car technologies 2020

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The future in auto tech is already here, and it’s very exciting.

As cars become safer, more fuel-efficient, and more comfortable, it’s harder and harder for the average motorist to imagine how they can be even better. However, for car manufacturers, there seems to be endless possibilities everywhere.

Be it improvements in autonomous tech, electric drivetrains and heads up displays, or upping a car’s luxury, the automotive industry is bringing us many exciting things. Here are eight of the best ‘old’ and new car features of 2019.

1. Blind Spot Sensors

Many of the features in cars focus on driving safety. Blind spot sensors detect when cars are out of the typical range of mirrors and alert you of their presence. This doesn’t remove the importance of taking a quick glance over your shoulder before changing lanes, but it will definitely help reduce the number of accidents caused by blind spots.

2. Phone Starter

Imagine a blistering cold morning, One where the ground is covered by snow and you’re frantically scraping your windshield clean of ice while you bitterly await the car’s heater to put out its end of the bargain. Well, situations like this are a problem of the past as of 2019.

New vehicles can connect to your wireless device and power on remotely, allowing to take on the cold winter months with confidence knowing you will have a heated car waiting for you. In addition to the climate control system, your car’s door locks, alarm, interior and exterior lighting, and liftgate or trunk can also be operated remotely.

3. Heads Up Display

Touch screen menus now have a second cousin. Heads up displays (HUD, for short) are the hip new feature in today’s cars. They are usually in the form of a small display on the front windshield above the steering wheel and below your eyes’ normal field of vision that shows speed, gas levels, and even directions to minimize any reason for you to take your hands of the steering wheel and/or look away from the road.

4. Automatic Parallel Parking

For those of you who have visited small beach towns in Florida or driven through the crowded, narrow streets of San Francisco, you know that parallel parking is a must-have skill. But parallel parking is difficult, and car manufacturers seem to agree, explaining why many 2019 vehicles now come equipped with automatic parking assist systems.

If you’ve been thinking of moving to that bustling Florida town, you can take comfort in knowing there will be a car to handle the tight street parking for you anytime and anywhere, be that car be from a Mercedes Benz dealer near Coral Springs or a Honda dealer in Seattle.

5. 360 Cameras

You know those rear-end cameras that help with reversing? Those are so 2018. Now you can expect full 360-degree cameras to cover all four sides of your car. This comes in handy in many situations and can prevent unforeseen scratches or bumper damage.

6. Individual Climate Zones

Thanks to advancements in auto tech, the driver and the passengers can now create their own microclimates inside a of car. By giving each person the power to set his or her own temperature, there will be less bickering over the AC dial.

Many new cars offer dual-zone climate controls for the driver and front passenger, and some can even be equipped with “tri-zone” or “quad-zone” climate control so that rear passengers aren’t left in the cold, so to speak.

7. Pre-Safe Pulse

For those who want to take safety to the next level, the Pre-safe Pulse is a new crash safety measure for side impacts. When the car senses an imminent crash about to take place, the driver and passenger seats automatically move closer to the center of the vehicle. For side accidents, even a minimal five-centimeter difference can reduce the impact felt to passengers by one-third.

8. Mirrors with Auto-dim

If you drive a lot at night, you’ve probably noticed that headlights have gotten much more powerful over the years. In some ways, this is tremendously beneficial. Being able to see further and with more clarity is important. However, being on the receiving end of these lights is not only annoying, but it can be dangerous.

Drivers are less inclined to check their mirrors if they get blinded every time they try. For this reason, newer vehicles have equipped mirrors with auto-dimming. These reduce the glare caused by headlights behind you and keep your focus on the road.

Cars Are Getting Smarter

The results of these new features are that cars are getting smarter and drivers now have the tools they need to make better decisions. This combination of factors will surely decrease the number of car accidents and make driving a safer, more efficient and reliable method of transportation.

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Advice

This Simple Trick Will Keep Your Headlights Clean And Bright

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Cleaning Classic Car

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For the sake of your safety and everyone around, make sure your headlights are clean and shine their brightest.

We take many things for granted in the digital age, especially our cars. The automotive industry is undergoing a profound transformation, but while autonomous technology and electrification are talk of the streets, evergreen inventions like headlights have also benefited greatly from cutting edge innovations.

What started off as simple acetylene lamps in the late 19th century has evolved into the complex LED and laser systems of today. But as cool and exciting as all their new features are, headlights still have one primary purpose and that’s to be the eyes of a vehicle, allowing you to see at night and be seen by other motorists. As such, always make sure yours are clean at all times to help ensure a safe ride wherever you go.

Checking the condition of your headlights on a regular basis and especially before long trips is a must for drivers of all skill levels. In this article, we look at a few ways for keeping your headlights shining bright whenever and wherever.

Do It Yourself — Cleaning And Polishing Of Headlights

It’s common for the plastic components of a car’s headlights to become blurry or yellow overtime, making the car look older and poorly maintained. Apart from being ugly, yellowing and blurring headlights can be dangerous because they don’t illuminate light as well as clear ones, undermining road visibility. Fortunately, there is one effective way to clean and refresh them, and you can do it yourself without having to spend a lot of money.

All you need is an abrasive toothpaste and a few sandpapers to get started, and then follow these three steps:

1. Washing headlights and car protection

First, wash the headlights and the parts around them with water and car washing detergent to remove any impurities. Washing will help reveal any scratches and the lamp’s matte appearance.

After washing, cover the surface around the headlamps with paper or strips to protect your car’s paintwork from any accidental damage that might arise from the sanding process. You can buy such paper and strips online or from any paintwork shop.

2. Sanding headlights

The next thing you want to do is sand the headlights, but not before applying water (which acts as a lubricant) to the headlight and the sand paper. Start off with a super fine P800 sandpaper to eliminate big scratches, follow up with ultra-fine granulation P1500 sandpaper, and end with P2000 sandpaper.

Changing sandpapers changes the direction of sanding to provide maximum coverage (P800 goes vertically, P1500 horizontally, etc.). The headlights will remain matte after sanding, but this shouldn’t worry you — the polished look is achieved with the next step.

3. Toothpaste

Use a dry cloth to wipe and dry the headlights after sanding, and then apply some toothpaste on a piece of dry cotton cloth to begin the polishing process. Use circular movements with mild pressure. Don’t use a damp cloth or mix the paste with water, as this will reduce the efficacy of the paste and the entire polishing process.

After polishing, wash the headlights with a mild detergent like dishwashing liquid. The difference should be noticeable in the brightness of your headlights after all is said and done, and your visibility at night and in poor weather conditions should improve markedly.

Bonus Tip

Ask your dentist to order you some prophy paste samples, hopefully for free. Prophy pastes are more abrasive than toothpaste and are used in preventative dentistry for teeth polishing.

There are differences in polishing pastes, such as in their granulation (grit sizes — fine, medium-fine, medium, coarse, and extra coarse). Wonderful dental offers a plethora of prophy paste products, so feel free to try it. Prophy paste has been shown to deliver better results than regular toothpaste.

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