Daimler Might Build Smart EVs In China Because America Doesn’t Want Them

There’s no doubt that Daimler’s Smart car brand did not succeed in the US. Although it found some early success in Europe, Americans did not find the Smart car’s small dimensions particularly appealing. But Daimler, which is also the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, is not giving up on the Smart brand.

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Bloomberg reports the German automaker is currently holding talks to build Smart cars in China with its long-time Chinese partner Beijing Automotive Group. The intent is to begin selling electric cars to the world’s largest EV market. Smart has already made plans to become an EV-only brand, so it makes a lot of sense to get a strong foothold in China. Apparently, Daimler is aiming to set up a new joint venture with Beijing Electric Vehicle, which just so happens to be a unit of Beijing Automotive Group.

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Here’s What Ford’s Upcoming Focus-Based Small Truck Could Look Like

A few days ago we learned that Ford plans to launch a new next-generation Focus-based small pickup truck in the US for 2022. The automaker has yet to officially confirm this, but the source of the rumor is solid. Besides, such a vehicle does make a lot of sense given America’s love for pickup trucks.

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If such a vehicle gets built, it will be slotted below the upcoming 2019 Ranger pickup truck in size, price, and general capabilities. It will ride on a car-based platform, meaning front-wheel drive and, very likely, all-wheel drive as well. Another noteworthy fact is that Ford will essentially kill off its US car lineup over the next couple of years.

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1.4 Million Ram Trucks Recalled Due To Tailgate Fault

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 1.4 million Ram pickup trucks across the US to upgrade their tailgate locking mechanisms. After an investigation, the company discovered the power locking mechanisms in the tailgates of certain pickups have a small internal component that may break over time.

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This could cause the tailgate to unlatch and open while driving, spilling the cargo onto the road and potentially causing an accident. The company says it is not aware of any related injuries or accidents. Specifically, the recall affects certain Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups from model years 2015 through 2017 equipped with 5-foot-7 and 6-foot-4 cargo beds.

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Meet The New Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan For America

Months after unveiling the hatchback variant for Europe and the long wheelbase version for China, Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed the A-Class sedan that will be sold in North America for the first time in the model’s history. Measuring 179.1 inches long and riding on a 107.4-inch wheelbase, the standard A-Class sedan is 2.3 inches shorter than the Chinese version but it still looks extremely stylish with clear design cues from the CLA.

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As revealed by Mercedes earlier this week, the new compact luxury sedan has the lowest aerodynamic drag of any production car in the world with a drag coefficient 0.22, beating the previous record set by the CLA Coupe. The A-Class Sedan will be available in two different flavors: an A220 and an A220 4Matic. Both trims are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine sending 188 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque to either the front or all four wheels, mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

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The Nissan Juke Has Officially Been Dropped In The US

It was back in 2011 when the Nissan Juke launched in the US. Many did not know what to make of the funky-looking small crossover with its frog eye-like front-end design and, at the time, unusual proportions. In 2018 just about everywhere one goes a Juke can be spotted on the road. Automotive News reports that Nissan has officially dropped the subcompact Juke crossover from its American lineup.

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Sales were down last year by 48 percent, compared to 2016. Its replacement is the all-new Nissan Kicks. Americans haven’t quite taken to the Juke in nearly the same enthusiastic manner as the Europeans have, but it was an important vehicle for Nissan North America nonetheless. It brought attention to the brand. Nissan says the Juke’s goal in the US was not to appeal to family crossover shoppers, but rather young single men whose next car would hopefully be a 370Z.

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Italian Coachbuilder Creates The Ultimate Land Rover Defender

The Land Rover Defender has been out of production for a few years now. A new-generation model is on the horizon. But if you can’t wait for the all-new version to arrive, Ares Design, an Italian coachbuilder has revealed a new take on the iconic off-roader, and it’s probably going to be a bit controversial.

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Dubbed “The Ultimate Defender”, Ares says that “every aspect” of the Defender has been reworked, from the engine to the interior, and the SUV also gets a full body kit. “The Defender is a motoring icon,” said Ares CEO Dany Bahar, who previously worked as the boss of Lotus. “Icons can be reimagined, though, and our Defender is the ultimate incarnation of the bespoke4×4, delivering incredible performance, captivating looks and opulent touches more akin to a luxury SUV.”

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Forget Trade Wars, Tesla Will Build Cars In China

The United States has entered a trade war with China after imposing a 25% tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods. China has reciprocated with tariffs of its own, companies like Tesla are already feeling the burn. Tesla had to increase the price of its cars in China, but CEO Elon Musk already has plans to get around the tariffs.

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Since it looks like the US and China aren’t backing down, Tesla has announced a new factory in Shanghai. Musk met with Chinese officials, and Shanghai will speed up efforts to cancel restrictions on foreign investment in the country. In the past, automakers that wanted to build in China needed to have a Chinese partner. Earlier this year, the Chinese government said that it will ditch these restrictions for automakers building electric vehicles.

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