Erik Derr


Based in Los Angeles, Erik writes about the California market, its dealers and politics.

New Honda Design Studio Embraces Urban Grit in Downtown L.A.
The center’s original location in the Pasadena foothills seemed to work, but eventually the design team felt the need to tap into a greater level of creativity that comes with being on the cutting edge.
Bankruptcy Court Grants American Suzuki $100 Million Loan to Close Car Business
New-car orders exceeded remaining stock in November, when sales rose 22% from year-ago. As a result, the subsidiary plans to purchase 2,500 more vehicles from Japan that were built after the bankruptcy was announced.
Corvette Specialist Callaway Celebrates 35th Year With New Models
Also rolled out at the L.A. auto show is a new buyer program that delivers cars “with a concierge level of service.”
Jaguar Looks to Take Back U.S. Sports-Car Market With F-Type
First unveiled in Paris earlier this year, the F-Type is a RWD, 2-seat convertible. Molded with aluminum, the model weighs about 3,500 lbs. and is modeled in the spirit of Jaguar's iconic E-type convertible, the auto maker says.
Mercedes Introduces Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Concept SUV 
The auto maker says the vehicle only emits water and has a range of 500 miles.
Mercedes Touts Black Series as Fastest SLS AMG Ever
Due in the U.S. next summer, the SLS AMG Black Series’ 6.3L V-8 engine generates 622 hp at 7,400 rpm and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
BMW Reveals Pair of High-Tech 'i' Generation Members
Both the i3 Concept Coupe and i8 Concept Roadster provide a good idea of what the production vehicles will look like, the auto maker’s design chief says.
BMW’s i3 Concept Coupe Eco-Friendly
The electric vehicle has a range of 100 miles, with a special Eco Pro+ mode that can adjust navigation routes and shut down unnecessary accessories to extend driving as battery power becomes depleted.
Toyota to Help Tow Space Shuttle; Plans to Film Ad Along Way 2
The auto maker plans to film a stock ’12 Tundra this week as it pulls the 5-story-long, 170,000-lb. spacecraft a quarter-mile across the Manchester Boulevard Bridge near Los Angeles International Airport.
Drive Toward Autonomous Cars Shouldn’t Be So Automatic, Critics Warn
Liability and privacy issues are among concerns. If those aren’t addressed, “expect a bumpy road ahead,” says one auto industry group.
Golden State Car Dealers See New Standard in ’13 Lincoln MKZ
The redesigned sedan, the first of seven new or fully revamped Lincoln models expected to roll out over the next three years, will firmly reposition Ford’s last remaining luxury brand in the marketplace, predicts Eric Ragland, sales manager-Galpin Lincoln.
First Coda Electric Sedan Rolls Off Assembly Line
A leadership shakeup at the end of 2010 and ongoing uncertainty about a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, in addition to a handful of missed production deadlines, leave analysts questioning the viability of the Coda brand.
Experts Question Market Appeal of 100-MPG Vehicle
A physics professor at the University of California says technology to build a 100-mpg vehicle exists, but adds its optimal design would resemble a fish and fail to lure consumers.
Volkswagen Conducting Golf EV Testing in California, Virginia 
The 5-door, 5-seat electric car, nicknamed “The People’s Plug-in,” employs front-wheel drive and features a 1-gear transmission.
Critics Say California ZEV Rules Set Up Auto Industry for Fall 19
If the recent regulatory package is implemented as written, with the mandate that ZEVs and PHEVs account for one of every seven new cars sold in the state in 2025, another vehicle-market downsizing is inevitable, dealers warn.
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