Newsflash: nieuwe Mazda 6 gaat techniek delen met volgende generatie Lexus IS

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+++ BMW could soon be ready to top its pricey X7, with an even more expensive SUV: the X8. BMW hinted at its plans for the X8 at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and the German brand has now filed a fresh set of trademarks, earmarking a new rangetopping model that will replace the X6 M Competition as the company’s most expensive vehicle. BMW has been filing trademarks for the X8 nameplate since 2016, but the new X8 M badging hints at a performance-oriented flagship variant. BMW seems confident about the new offering. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, an insider at the company told that an X8 was “under serious discussion” internally. While acknowledging that the styling of the X7 concept has not met with universal approval, my source also said that BMW expects the SUV will sell strongly in markets such as the US, Russia and China, where there is an appetite for an even more ostentatious SUV. Precedents for an X8 have already been set elsewhere in the range with the X2, X4 and X6. Hildegard Wortmann, BMW’s senior vice president, explained: “The luxury segment is very important for us. We decided to create a different visual identity for the 7 Series, 8 Series and X7. It is modern luxury for customers who have achieved something in their lives”. Wortmann refused to rule out the possibility of an X8 when quizzed, simply smiling and saying “let’s see”, when pressed. +++

+++ The all-electric BYTON M-Byte, the SUV from China with an infotainment screen as wide as many TVs, has reached the pre-production stage. It has been a touch over 2 years since the M-Byte was presented by Byton at CES in Las Vegas, but now the first prototypes have rolled off the assembly line. Images from the plant confirm that the finished product looks largely identical to the concept. The overall shape of the M-Byte is very sleek. Up front, there are a pair of sharp LED headlights and daytime running lights which double as the turn signals. The futuristic looks continue at the rear with the sleek taillights. In China, 2 variants will be sold. The first features a single electric motor driving the rear wheels and delivering a total of 272 hp and 400 Nm. This motor will receive its juice from a 72 kWh battery pack and should be good for 360 km of range under the WLTP cycle. Sitting above this variant in the range will be a dual electric motor, all-wheel drive example delivering 408 hp and paired with a 95 kWh battery making possible a 435 km range. One of the M-Byte’s key selling points is the massive 48 inch display that stretches the width of the dashboard and encompasses the gauge cluster and infotainment screen. Other screens are also found in abundance through the cabin. For example, the odd-shaped steering wheel has a large tablet-like touchscreen, while there’s also another display jutting out from the center console. In the rear, displays attached to the front seats will keep those being chauffeured around entertained. +++

+++ CADILLAC officially confirmed that the high-output variants of its new CT4-V and CT5-V sedans will be dubbed “Blackwing”, sharing a nameplate with GM’s stillborn twin-turbocharged V8. As an added bonus, company representatives said for certain that both of Cadillac’s new supersedans will be offered with a manual transmission, confirming long-standing rumors to that effect. “The Blackwing name has come to represent the very best of Cadillac performance engineering, craftsmanship and technology”, said Cadillac chief engineer Brandon Vivian. “The new CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing build on the brand’s respected legacy of ultimate-performance driving experiences and elevate them even further”. Cadillac says the 2 Blackwing sedans, which are successors to the critically acclaimed ATS-V and CTS-V, will represent “the apex of Cadillac performance and driver engagement”. The company also remained mum on just what to expect in terms of capability, teasing only the fact that both the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing posted quicker lap times in testing at Virginia International Raceway earlier this year than their predecessors did. Rumors have pointed to the CT5-V Blackwing making use of the company’s supercharged 6.2-liter V8, which also powered its predecessor. The 6.2 shares its architecture with the company’s flagship, naturally aspirated V8, making it an economical choice for powering performance cars. The smaller CT4-V is likely to be motivated by a turbocharged 6-cylinder. They will also be available in limited numbers, though Cadillac’s announcement did not elaborate on just how many (or few, as the case may be) will eventually be built, or how many model years to expect. The CT6-V, which carries the 4.2-liter V8 that shares the “Blackwing” name, saw only limited production before being axed. The V8 itself may find a new home down the road, but for the time being, it’s toast. Cadillac assured us that more information on the new CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing will be come along soon enough. For now, at least we know what they’re going to be called. +++

+++ Toyota and Mazda’s joint venture $1.6 billion manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Alabama was supposed to kick off production next year, with both carmakers intent on building new crossovers, having 150.000 units allocated to each brand. However the start of production will be delayed by a “minimum of 5.5 months” due to the impact of the CORONA VIRUS . Toyota and Mazda began building the plant last year, aiming to create no fewer than 4.000 jobs in the process. “On April 9, we informed state and local government officials in Alabama, along with our key suppliers, how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our ability to maintain critical equipment delivery schedules, creating labor shortages and slowing construction”, said Toni Eberhart, a spokeswoman for Mazda Toyota Manufacturing. “As a result, we will delay the start of production af the plant to a time period later in 2021. We are eager to keep the project moving forward and appreciate the ongoing support of all key stakeholders”. The plant already experienced at least one coronavirus-related delay this month when activity was suspended in accordance with the governor’s stay-at-home order on April 4. Work then resumed 3 days later, but only in areas where Alabama Department of Public Health guidelines could be met. As for the 2 models in question, it is believed that Toyota’s crossover will be a production version of the FT-4X Concept, while Mazda’s offering could be something midsized, possibly breathing new life into the CX-7 moniker. +++

+++ FORD said it expects to post a pre-tax loss of about $600 million for the first quarter as the coronavirus outbreak pummeled its sales and shuttered vehicle assembly plants, resulting in a 21 % drop in vehicle sales to dealers versus the same quarter in 2019. The news sent Ford’s shares down more than 5 % in morning trading. Only Ford’s joint ventures in China, where the Covid-19 pandemic has been receding, are currently producing vehicles. The automaker said it is working on a scenario for a phased restart of its manufacturing plants beginning in the second quarter. “However, we believe we have sufficient cash today to get us through at least the end of the third quarter with no incremental vehicle production and wholesales or financing actions”, chief financial officer Tim Stone said in a statement. Asked whether Ford would apply for loans from the U.S. government or the Federal Reserve to sustain its operations for longer if needed, a spokesman for the automaker said that unlike during the Great Recession (when financing dried up) there is still plenty of liquidity in the capital markets. “We have a broad range of options” for obtaining additional financing if needed, the spokesman said. As of April 8, Ford said it had about $30 billion in cash on its balance sheet, including $15.4 billion it borrowed last month against 2 existing credit lines. Ford said any decisions on restarting its plants will be made “in cooperation with local unions, suppliers, dealers and other stakeholders”. In March, the company shuttered plants in North America and Europe due to the spreading pandemic. Earlier this month, the No. 2 American automaker said its first quarter U.S. sales had fallen 12.5 % during the quarter. This market, with its highly profitable pickup and SUV segments, generates the overwhelming majority of Ford’s profits. Ford’s U.S. sales chief Mark LaNeve said on April 2 that Ford believes some level of government stimulus will be needed for American consumers once the Covid-19 pandemic recedes. Ford said it expects its first-quarter adjusted loss before interest and taxes to be about $600 million, compared with a profit of $2.4 billion a year ago. The company said it expects to report revenue of about $34 billion for the quarter. +++

+++ HYUNDAI ’s Czech car plant was the first in the central European country to get back to work after a 3-week outage, potentially easing some of the strain on the hard-hit economy. The car sector accounts for 10 % of economic output and a quarter of exports in the Czech Republic, and employs 150.000 directly and even more indirectly. All 3 of the country’s major carmakers have been offline since around the middle of March as part of efforts to curb the coronavirus and authorities have forecast at least a 5 % economic contraction this year. Yet while Hyundai’s plant in the east of the country returned to work, there was gloomier picture elsewhere. TPCA, a joint venture of Toyota and PSA, said it would extend its outage to May 4, scrapping plans to relaunch later this week. The country’s top exporter, Skoda, is for now planning to leave workers at home until April 27. Hyundai, whose output of 309.500 cars last year was nearly all for export, said it would run 2 out of 3 shifts. The down shift will be used for disinfecting operations. The virus’s outbreak has put most of Europe on lockdown and left numerous factories idled. The car plant closures have hit auto part makers along the supply chain. The Czech government has introduced aid schemes for companies and workers hit by measures to curb the virus. The Czech Automotive Industry Association said at the beginning of April that 90 % of the sector was crippled by the crisis and a third was forced to halt operations. +++

+++ KIA and its affiliate Hyundai are set to suffer a sharp decline in their first-quarter earnings due to a growing coronavirus impact on production and sales, data showes. Hyundai is expected to post an operating profit of 700 billion won ($577 million) for the January-March period; down 15 % from 824.9 billion won a year earlier. Before the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Hyundai had been forecasting to post an operating profit of 1.2 trillion won in the first quarter helped by new models. Kia’s operating profit is estimated to have plunged 44 % to 333.5 billion won in the first quarter from 594.1 billion won a year ago. It was originally projected to post an operating profit of 500 billion won in the first quarter. Hit by the spreading Covid-19, the 2 carmakers have suspended most of their overseas plants. They are still operating plants in South Korea and China, as well as Kia’s plant in Slovakia. Analysts said the companies will focus on boosting domestic sales until the Covid-19 outbreak slows down and sales in overseas markets recover. But they expected it will take some time for consumers to return to dealerships. Looking ahead, Hyundai and Kia will report an operating profit of 735.5 billion won and 300 billion won, respectively, in the April-June quarter, sharply down from 1.238 trillion won and 533.5 billion won in the same period of last year, according to the data. The dampened economic situation is forcing South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor Group to shut down facilities globally following weakened exports and restrictive regulations in major markets, according to industry sources. The business disruption in the auto industry is also hitting tire manufacturers, with major Korean companies suspending overseas plant operations. Hyundai said that it has decided to extend the shutdown of its manufacturing plant in Turkey over the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously, Hyundai had planned to close the plant from March 27 to April 12. Earlier, it delayed reopening its Alabama plant in the US from April 10 to May 1, suspending operations for 45 days. Kia has also shut down its Georgia plant in the US, extended to April 24; originally, it was scheduled to reopen on April 10. The automaker said it has also decided to extend the factory shutdown in San Paulo in Brazil and Monterrey in Mexico from April 9-24. The company added that it remains unclear when its plants in Chennai and Anantapur in India will reopen. It had planned to start operations from Wednesday. Following reduced consumer sentiment over the economic downturn due to Covid-19 globally, sales of automobiles in the global market have also plummeted, failing to overcome a fiscal cliff, according to market analysts. This has also led to local companies in related businesses including auto parts makers and tire manufacturers to cease operations of their manufacturing plants. +++

+++ MAZDA stepped up their game with the current 6 sedan and it’s been reported that the next-generation model will go even further – a lot further, actually. The redesigned sedan should arrive by late 2022 and follow a very BMW-like formula. The model will ride on a new rearwheeldrive platform and feature a longitudinal engine layout. There are little details about the latter, but we can expect an inline-6 with Skyactiv-X technology and a 48 volt mild-hybrid system. Interestingly, the 6-cylinder engine could also be used in the next-generation Lexus IS and RC. Little is known about those particular models, but previous reports have suggested they should arrive early this decade. Getting back on the Mazda6, the car is expected to resemble the Vision Coupe concept which debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show and, despite its name, was actually a sports sedan with 4 doors. There’s no word on specifics at this point, but the concept was an elegant 4-door coupe which featured a long hood, streamlined bodywork and a compact greenhouse. While the concept had a 4-seat interior, the new Mazda6 would likely retain its more practical 5-person layout. There is a chance that the next-generation could spawn a 2-door coupe. That’s certainly interesting and it would help to fill the void left by the elimination of the RX series. While it would likely eschew rotary engines, it would be nice seeing another Mazda coupe. +++

+++ The long-awaited successor to the NISSAN 370Z is finally becoming a reality and the all-new sports car could be revealed to the world within the next 12 months. Tipped to be called the 400Z, it’s set to make use of a twin-turbocharged V6 offering greater levels of performance than its predecessor. With the 370Z having been on sale with only minimal changes since 2009, rumours of what will replace it have been circulating for years. Nissan recently filed a trademark application in Canada for a redesigned Z badge. It uses a retro font that harks back to the original Z car, the Datsun 240Z, and the later 260Z and 280Z. The badge won’t be the only element of the 400Z designed to evoke memories of previous Nissan sports cars, however. Some dealer managers in the US – the car’s largest market – have been privy to the new design, and it’s understood from them that the Japanese brand has returned to its roots with a 240Z-inspired nose and 300ZX-inspired taillights. Significant upgrades will also be made to the interior of the 400Z over and above the 370Z, which was often criticised for its outdated design. Material quality is set to be brought into line with Nissan’s latest US-market models, while the antiquated touchscreen will be replaced by a modern infotainment system featuring connected services. A digital instrument display could also be offered, while advanced driver assistance technology will be brought in. Details of the 400Z’s specific underpinnings have yet to be divulged but, given the relatively low sales and margins of sports cars in this segment, it’s unlikely to be a bespoke platform. The rearwheeldrive architecture of sister brand Infiniti’s Q50 and Q60 could be a prime candidate for adaptation. Supporting this theory, the 400Z will make use of an Infiniti-sourced powertrain. Shunning the natural aspiration of its recent forebears, the new sports car is tipped to utilise the flagship Q60’s 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6. This all-aluminium engine is part of the VR family, which also includes a larger 3.8-litre unit used by the Nissan GT-R. Producing 400 hp in the Q60 (where it’s mated to a 4-wheeldrive system), the 3.0 litre V6 powers the 4-seat coupé from 0-100 kph in 5.0 seconds. Although the 400Z is expected to be rear-wheeldrive, its performance should be better than that, given that it will be significantly lighter than the 1.825 kg Infiniti. Nissan has experimented with this engine in the 370Z already, fitting it with a manual gearbox and displaying it at the SEMA aftermarket trade show in 2018. The 400Z name also implies this power output, plus the latest prototypes of the new Z car spied testing wore modified 370Z bodywork. The 370Z appeals firmly to fans of old-school, enthusiast-targeted sports cars, so it’s likely Nissan will want to offer a manual gearbox alongside an automatic. However, rivals such as the Toyota GR Supra and Alpine A110 go without a stick-shift option. There’s also scope for the Nismo sub-brand to make a return on a future faster variant of the 400Z, with more hardcore suspension tuning and racier styling. Whereas the previous 370Z Nismo benefited from a boost of only 16 hp over the standard car, turbocharging allows engineers to easily release significantly more power if necessary. Nissan product planning boss Ivan Espinosa confirmed that a plan is in place, saying we “can expect something soon” on a new Z model. Design boss Alfonso Albaisa echoed this, saying it was “easy to imagine” a successor to the 370Z. He added: “The Z is the car that democratised sports cars back in the ’60s. Before that, you had to have the money to buy a Porsche or Jaguar. The current car has been a long time in dealerships, and so you can imagine the designers working on a successor, even if I’m not going to confirm it”. No firm date for the 400Z’s unveiling has been given yet. Sources initially suggested a debut this year could be on the cards, but the pandemic could easily cause the launch to be delayed until next year. Also a mystery is whether Nissan intends to offer the car in Europe. The US has less stringent CO2 targets than the EU and selling such a car here would have a negative impact on Nissan’s fleet emissions. However, with modest sales figures likely, this issue could be minimised by restricting supply to these markets. +++

+++ Non-electric RENAULT passenger cars will no longer be sold in China after the brand withdraws from its joint venture with Dongfeng, the company has confirmed. The French car maker will transfer its 50 % stake in the joint venture, Dongfeng Renault Automotive Company, to the native Chinese brand. All “Renault brand related activities” will be halted across China, although electric Renault cars and light commercial vehicles will continue to be sold under existing joint ventures with Brilliance Jinbei Automotive Company, eGT and the Jiangxi Jiangling group. “Renault will continue to provide high quality aftersales service for its 300.000 customers through Renault dealers but also through Alliance synergies”, the company said. However, it claims “further development for Renault brand passenger cars will be detailed later” as part of a new mid-term plan. Like many large car makers, Renault has been hit hard by the impact of the coronavirus shutdowns. The joint venture with Dongfeng in China was loss-making and sales were struggling, with just 18.607 cars sold in 2019 despite a capacity of 110.000 and an operating loss of more than 1.5 billion yuan (€190 million). The Chinese car market has been hit hard in the first part of this year due to the pandemic. But Renault was also late to the market with a joint venture, not signing up with Dongfeng until 2014. François Provost, chairman of Renault for China, said a “new chapter in China” will have it focus on EVs and LCVs (“the 2 main drivers for future clean mobility”) and “more efficiently leverage our relationship with Nissan”. Renault will continue to operate together with Dongfeng and common partner Nissan on “connected vehicles” and a range of new engines. Dongfeng claims it will arrange positions for the joint venture staff within its wider group operations. It also plans to upgrade the existing plants to build cars without Renault branding. +++

+++ Unionized workers at RENAULT SAMSUNG voted Wednesday to accept an agreement with the company over wages for last year as the automobile industry is struggling to cope with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The company said 70 % of the 1.700 member union voted to accept a wage freeze and cash bonuses of 8.88 million won ($7,320) per person for 2019. The wage deal represents a consensus between the company and the union to make joint efforts to weather the impact of the coronvirus outbreak on the auto industry, it said. The company and the union had held 19 rounds of wage negotiations since September. Union workers held a two-week partial strike in January, causing production losses of about 10,400 vehicles worth about 200 billion won. To avoid further losses from walkouts, the company shut down its sole plant in Busan, 453 kilometers south of Seoul, for the nighttime shift from January 10. It was the second time that the company partially shut down the plant after it took a similar step for one day during wage negotiations with the labor union in May 2018. In late January, the union suspended partial strikes undertaken in protest against the company’s wage freeze proposal and voluntary retirement program, so they could resume talks in February. The company has said it will be difficult to maintain the current workforce as the output volume of Nissan’s X-Trail is expected to fall sharply this year from last year’s 60.000 units. Renault Samsung produced about 100.000 X-Trails at its local factory that were exported, under a manufacturing contract with Nissan. But Nissan cut its output allocation to the plant to 60.000 last year, citing output losses caused by labor strikes. To offset the reduction in X-Trail production, Renault Samsung badly needs to secure export volume for the XM3 compact SUV, but the company is still in talks with its parent company Renault and no decision has been made yet. From January to March, Renault Samsung’s sales plunged 28 % to 28.390 units from 39.210 in the year-ago period. The company’s current lineup includes the all-electric SM3 Z.E. sedan, SM6 midsize sedan, QM6 SUV, XM3 SUV, Renault Master bus and Renault Twizy 2-seat electric car. Renault has an 80 % stake in Renault Samsung. +++

+++ Arguably the pinnacle of luxury, the ROLLS-ROYCE Phantom exudes levels of opulence that many can only dream of. However, what if you can’t quite stomach the Phantom’s colossal cost or church-like dimensions? Well, no problem, that’s where the smaller Ghost fits (pun intended) into the picture. Although having aged rather well, the Ghost has been lurking in the Phantom’s shadows for almost 10 years. Fortunately for us, it’s about to undergo a major redesign and we take an illustrative look at what to expect. Let’s explore further: As you’d expect from a company that has kept the same models in production for decades in the past, the second-generation Ghost features an evolutionary design that won’t put its customer base into cardiac arrest. As with any other Rolls-Royce product, you’re greeted with a dominant vertical-columned radiator grille flanked by slim laser-tech LED headlights and a bolder lower fascia incorporating larger intakes. Casting your eye to the side reveals a sportier profile featuring coach doors with sleeker front and rear pillars. Sheetmetal surfacing is typically elegant, relying on large dimensions rather than fussy styling flourishes. Rear styling is highlighted by twin trapezoidal exhausts, a steeply raked trunk and oblique ‘ring-framed’ LED tail lamps. Stepping inside the sumptuous cabin will reveal a retro-themed dashboard similar in appearance to the Phantom and Cullinan. The Ghost ups the ante by utilizing a digital driver’s display with circular gauge pods, flanked by a widescreen infotainment system and an off-centre analogue clock. It’s not as futuristic as Mercedes-Benz’s cowl-less MBUX setup, but it won’t offend the purists either. Expect a re-imagining of the ‘art gallery’ dashboard allowing owners to further personalize their cabin with artwork (or tasteless rubbish, however you interpret it). Other goodies include personalized door-panel embroidery, a wi-fi hotspot and a head-up display. Self-driving capability will be coupled with driver assists like surround-view camera, night vision aid, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure assist. Unlike the old car which was based off the last-generation BMW 7-Series, the all-new Ghost rides on a new aluminum space-frame architecture in regular and extended-wheelbase (EWB in Rolls-talk). Whilst similar in dimensions to the current Ghost, the switch to aluminum will help it lose weight, improving fuel efficiency and handling. Dear, I say it’s almost sounding sporty. Those with ‘spinal ailments’ will appreciate the self-leveling air suspension with advanced chassis management. Along with control over stiffness and body-roll, the system also includes pothole-detection assist by using a camera to spot road imperfections on the fly. As far as Ghosts are concerned, the current one is no slouch with its twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12. However, this engine is to be dropped in favor of another twin-turbo unit that powers the Cullinan; featuring a 6.75-litre V12, it produces a healthy 571 hp and 850 Nm. Power will be fed to all 4 wheels via a ZF-sourced, 8-speed automatic transmission and will benefit from a 48 Volt electrical architecture assisting lowdown torque and efficiency. Plug-in hybrid and all-electric variants of the Ghost are said to be in the works as well. It’s a battle of Goodwood versus Crew; as arguably the most natural rival to the Ghost is Bentley’s new Flying Spur. Other luxury competitors include the Mercedes-Maybach S 560/S 650 and long-wheelbase versions of the regular S-Class, 7-Series and Audi A8. Conjecture had a reveal penciled in for later this year as a 2021 model year offering, however, due to the current Covid crises, we anticipate the debut date might now be pushed back until things start getting back to normal around the world. +++

+++ SSANGYONG has approved a 40 billion won ($33 million) lifeline from Mahindra, its Mumbai, India-based parent. The funds will initially be in the form of a loan and will eventually be converted into equity in the Korea Exchange-listed company. The board of the Korean unit, which is 74.65 % owned by Mahindra, voted in an extraordinary meeting to use the funds from the Indian automaker to keep the troubled Korean automaker operating, SsangYong Motor said. “The emergency fund will help SsangYong stay in business this year”, spokesperson Kwak Yong-sub told. “It also shows that Mahindra is committed to the Korean market and it will end speculation that the company will exit Korea”. SsangYong was initially expected to receive a 230 billion won rescue from Mahindra based on the fact that the Korean unit will need at least 500 billion won in the next 3 years. 3 months ago, Mahindra managing director Pawan Goenka visited Korea and had discussions with the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), SsangYong’s main creditor, and mentioned the possible need for help in rehabilitating SsangYong. But the Indian company’s board voted recently to abandon the 230 billion won plan as the parent is facing business difficulties of its own as the pandemic reduces demand. Mahindra calculates that SsangYong needs 500 billion won over 3 years to return to profit. SsangYong has been posting net losses for 12 consecutive quarters. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the company sold 30.7 % fewer vehicles in the first 3 months this year compared to a year earlier. SsangYong does not have plans for new models this year and is solely focused on improving its financial structure while releasing modified versions of its current lineup to the market. In addition to the lifeline, Mahindra promised to find ways of attracting more investors to support the subsidiary. It noted that the 40 billion won in funding will not help the company’s long-term prospects. The company needs an estimated 50 billion won to maintain itself every month and has a 90 billion won loan from the KDB maturing in July. According to its annual financial statement last year, SsangYong had a total of 2 trillion won in assets and 1.61 trillion won in debt. “The 40 billion won will help us through this year, for this month at least”, Kwak said. “We would need more funds in the future for SsangYong to return to black, and that additional amount will be discussed later when Mahindra gets through the coronavirus pandemic and is stabilized”. SsangYong CEO Yea Byung-tae said in a message to employees earlier this month that the company will ask for additional funds from the government and the financial sector to overcome the crisis.

+++ TOYOTA said it plans to restart limited production at vehicle plants in France and Poland from April 22 after closing them due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most other plants in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia will remain closed for now, it said in a news release. Toyota said it was suspending auto production in its Brazil plants until at least June 22, joining General Motors which also expects to resume production in the same month. Most carmakers in Brazil, South America’s top auto producer, are currently not producing cars due to the coronavirus crisis. Major Brazil players such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Volkswagen have yet to announce when they expect to resume production. +++

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