Although the 2012 Ford Focus has yet to hit our North American shores, those smug Europeans are the first to get the chance to test-out Ford’s new global compact car. As first impressions go, the reviewers at AutoCar.com like the more premium feel — inside and out — of the new Focus, while expressing dissatisfaction that in an effort to appeal to a wider demographic, it has lost much of the sporty personaility that characterised the previous models. Find their review below:
China’s Geely Buys 10-Percent Stake In Mercedes Parent Daimler
Chinese automaker Geely has acquired a 10 percent stake in Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, becoming it largest single shareholder.
Geely has owned Volvo Car since 2010 and has a controlling stake in Lotus; the investment of around $9 billion further expands its interest in European automakers.
Daimler expressed optimism about the acquisition in an interview with , with spokesman Joerg Howe stating:
“[Geely chairman] Li Shufu is a Chinese entrepreneur Daimler knows well and regards highly in terms of his competency and focus on future developments. Daimler already has a strong footing in China. We have a very strong partner with our existing cooperation with BAIC Motor.”
They two companies have yet to announce any collaborative projects or intellectual property sharing, but the investment could provide Geely with more opportunities to expand its global reach in an automotive industry that’s moving towards electrification and autonomous vehicles.
MINI Will Soon Be Made In China
BMW, parent company of MINI, is in “advanced discussions” with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors to build an electric MINI in China.
The Chinese government wants 20% of cars sold to be electric or rechargeable-hybrid vehicles by 2025, spurring a rash of fresh investment from the world’s car makers in the county.
The two companies are still finalizing where to build the car and how much to invest in the project. Great Wall operates factories in an industrial city Baoding and in Tianjin, both of which are in the Beijing area.
MINI’s Oxford, England, factory will also manufacture the electric MINI, with production slated to begin in 2019. It wasn’t revealed when Chinese production will begin.
BMW and Great Wall’s factory will initially build cars exclusively for the local market, but made in China” MINI models could eventually find their way to Europe or North America.
How does that sit with you>
Genesis Claims Top Spot From Audi In Consumer Reports Rankings
Genesis, Hyudai’s luxury brand, has entered Consumer Reports’ brand rankings with a bang, claiming the top spot from Audi. The two are the only brands to achieve ‘recommended’ ratings for every model in their respective lineups.
In all fairness, Genesis only has two models to Audi’s ten, so this isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. In fact, the mismatch makes Audi’s placing all the more impressive, with Consumer Reports stating:
“This is an especially impressive feat for Audi, which makes 10 models for the US market spanning categories from small cars to three-row SUVs. Genesis, with just two models tested, had less to get right to earn its place at the top of the list.”
BMW, Lexus and Porsche round out the top five. Kia grabbed sixth place, beating Subaru, Tesla, Honda and Toyota.
Chrysler gained the most points thanks to high road-test and reliability scores for the latest Pacifica minivan, while Buick and Acura dropped by the most due to falling reliability scores.