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GM Going After Toyota in Indonesia

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2013 Chevrolet Spin

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China aside, General Motors has been an insignificant player in the emerging markets in Asia. But with a new lease on life, the American automaker is finally taking the necessary steps to becoming a dominant player in the region. Indonesia is a promising market that has piqued its interest.

According to reuters, emerging markets accounted for half the vehicles sold worldwide in 2012 and are expected to make up two-thirds of all sales by 2020. With a population of 240 million, Indonesia has become one of the hottest markets. Sales in the country, which stood at one million cars in last year, are expected to double over the next three years.

This an opportunity GM realizes it cannot afford to miss. However, with Toyota laying outright claim to the market, winning over Indonesian buyers will not come easy. Despite entering the market several decades before the Japanese giant, it holds less than one percent market share, thanks in large part to a series of mismanaged joint-venture agreements.

The company wants to boost that share to seven to 10-percent within ten years, and plans to do so with a number of new vehicles, including the budget-oriented three-row Chevrolet Spin SUV. Designed specially for emerging markets, the car has a rugged construction and offers buyers a choice of 1.2 or 1.5-liter gasoline I-4 engine, as well as a 1.3-liter turbodiesel I-4 unit.

By and large the unshakable top tog in Indonesia, Toyota is not taking GM’s efforts lightly. The country’s largest Toyota dealer group has asked many of its dealers to sign loyalty pledges barring them from taking on GM franchises.

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New Electric Cars You May See On The Roads Of UAE

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Lamborghini Terzo Millennio Electric

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The UAE is becoming a desert oasis for electric vehicles.

When one thinks of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), they usually visualize immense wealth and immaculate infrastructure. And walking down the streets of opulent Dubai, you would think this is an accurate depiction of the Middle Eastern country. Well, it is all of that for the part, and car-aficionados in particular get to indulge in a treasure mine of some truly jaw-dropping, adrenaline-fueled supercars.

However, the UAE aims to see a different type of vehicle dominate its roadways in 2019, and it’s completely electric. Consider the following: when one compares car insurance online in the UAE, they will notice a prominent discount in the registration price for electric cars as compared to fuel-based ones.

Indeed, this is such one of many incentives the technologically progressive country has instituted to boost its electric vehicle adoption rates. Others include free parking, free charging, waiver of road tolls and discounts on the earlier-mentioned registration price.

FThe availability of advanced infrastructure and well-enforced traffic laws also contributes to making the UAE a suitable habitat for electric cars. Let us take a look at some of the new electric vehicles to hit its asphalt in 2019:

Blue Audi e-tron electric SUV
Audi e-tron 2019

Audi has entered the Electric Vehicle (EV) market with its flagship mid-sized SUV – the Audi e-tron 2019. The e-tron hits 0-60mph (~100kmph) in approximately 5.5 seconds, offering the start-up acceleration of a sports car. Audi’s e-tron also offers an all-wheel drive feature that allows the EV to expertly navigate the UAE’s formidable off-road terrain.

One feature that sets the Audi e-tron miles apart from its competition is the distinctive lack of bulky side-view mirrors. The EV instead incorporates a ‘virtual side-view mirror’, i.e. a sleek, high-definition camera that transmits images in real time to a screen on the inside of the door. The e-tron sports elegant interiors that mirror those of the Audi A8 and comes with an angled roof that further accentuates its silhouette.

Specifications

  • Output Power: 355 horsepower – 402 horsepower
  • Range: 204 miles (328 km)
  • Battery Capacity: 95 kWh
  • Top Speed: 124 mph (200 kmph)
  • Availability: Expected to release in the UAE market by mid-2020
  • Price: Approximately AED 350,000

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC

Mercedes EQC 2019

If only picking an EV was as simple as comparing car insurance online in the UAE…. The Mercedes EQC 2019 brings heavy competition with its bold all-electric SUV. This EV is loosely based on the Mercedes C-class and boasts of an immense pickup of 0-60mph (~100kmph) in 5.0 seconds.

The Mercedes EQC 2019 comes equipped with a pitch black panel that connects both of its front LED lights and carries numerous fibre-optic lights which illuminate the iconic Mercedes logo at night. The EQC interiors comprise of two crystal clear displays that make up the dashboard and entertainment system. The cabin is further touched-up in a black veneer that draws attention to the classic three-point steering wheel.

Specifications

  • Output Power: 402 horsepower
  • Range: 280 miles (450 km)
  • Battery Capacity: 80 kWh
  • Top Speed: 112 mph (180 kmph)
  • Availability: Expected to release in the UAE market by 2020
  • Price: Approximately AED 275,000

MINI Electric Car Concept

Mini Electric 2019

BMW’s timeless Mini Cooper is the latest to go electric. The plucky little car is chock-full of personality and comes equipped with its trademark agile-handling that Mini fans have lauded all over the world. The Mini Electric is expected to achieve 0-60mph (~100kmph) in approximately 7 seconds.

While the Mini Electric 2019 holds on to its stand-out aesthetic in terms of body design, the EV has chosen to swap out its open front panel for a solid, one-piece grille instead. With BMW’s other electric project – the BMW iX3 also in the works, the car manufacturer has chosen to reveal very little about the Mini Electric 2019. The specifications mentioned below are based on prototype models and as such, are subject to change.

Specifications

  • Output Power: Not Disclosed
  • Range: <160 miles
  • Battery Capacity: 42 kWh (Unconfirmed)
  • Top Speed: Not Disclosed
  • Availability: Expected to release in the UAE market by late 2019 or early 2020.
  • Price: Approximately AED 142,000 (Unconfirmed)

White Porsche Taycan electric car

Porsche Taycan

Determined to overthrow Tesla from the EV throne, the Porsche Taycan seems like a vehicle straight out of a Bond movie. As the car manufacturer’s first electric vehicle, the Porsche Taycan is eagerly anticipated and poised to be an indicator of whether or not Porsche will be able to carve a name for itself in the EV market.

The Taycan is built in the traditional Porsche design, with smooth rounded edges and a body that seems to flow effortlessly from bumper to exhaust. The headlights seem to dissolve within the car’s body and a gradually declining roof puts the finishing touch on a vehicle that wouldn’t seem out of place in an art museum. The Taycan is expected to achieve 0-60mph (~100kmph) in approximately 3.5 seconds flat.

Specifications

  • Output Power: 600 horsepower (Approximately)
  • Range: 300 miles (483 km)
  • Battery Capacity: 90 kWh
  • Top Speed: 155+ mph (250+ kmph)
  • Availability: Expected to release in the UAE market by 2020
  • Price: Approximately AED 330,000

Final Thoughts

As UAE residents wait with bated breath for these incredible new all-electric cars to enter the market, one cannot help but wonder if this is the year Tesla will be dethroned. Till then, readers may pass their time by identifying the nearest charging points and by comparing car insurance online in the UAE for an idea of the associated costs of owning one of these all-electric beasts.

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New Toyota 86 Sports Car Is Being Developed With Subaru’s Help

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Red Toyota GT 86, rear angle

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The arrival of the new Supra didn’t mean the demise of Toyota’s little sports car after all.

Toyota has officially confirmed that it is working on a new, second-generation Toyota 86.

There were rumors that the 86 would eventually be discontinued, but that’s apparently not the case. Speaking to Autocar, Toyota’s European marketing boss Matt Harrison stated that the 86 has been “a successful ‘halo’ product for us.”

The Supra and 86 will co-exist. “Supra is not to replace that car,” the executive added. “They are for different audiences and are different products. We see a situation where they will sit alongside each other.”

As with the first-generation 86, Toyota will develop the new 86 with the help of Suburu, which has also given a new BRZ the green light. Harrison indicated the two next-gen models will likely carry over the fruits of the Toyota-Subaru partnership, suggesting that they will be powered by Subaru’s flat-four boxer engine.

There have been reports, however, that the boxer will benefit from turbocharging or even hybrid technology for added power.

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Infiniti Exits Western European Market in 2020, Kills QX30

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Infiniti Grille logo

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Infiniti’s European division is calling it quits.

Infiniti has decided to pull out of the Western European market as part of a global restructuring initiative.

Nissan’s luxury brand entered Europe — home of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi — in 2008 and never had much success finding a foothold. Its best-ever year on the old continent was in 2015 when it sold nearly 14,000 vehicles. In 2019, the company delivered just 6,000 units!

The decision to leave Europe will allow Infiniti to focus on growth opportunities in North America and China. It will still operate in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Production at its Sunderland, UK plant, which builds the Q30 hatchback and QX30 crossover, ceases in mid-2019, and the company plans to discontinue its diesel engines as part as it shifts to electrify its entire lineup starting in 2021.

Finally, Infiniti will place more focus on its SUV lineup in North America to capitalize on the SUV-crossover craze and bring five new vehicles to China over the next five years.

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