Herb Shuldiner


Based in New York City, Herb specializes in coverage of the European automobile importers, sales and marketing issues and new technology.

U.S. Team Made Final Push for Lexus ES Output in Kentucky
Toyota has been considering adding Lexus ES sedan output in North America for at least a year. But CEO Akio Toyoda credits the decision to pull the trigger on the plan to a March reorganization of its management ranks.
Hyundai Boosts Sonata Hybrid for More Power, Fuel Economy
The ’13 model's Blue Drive powertrain features a bigger-capacity 10.5-kW starter generator, 35-kW (47-hp) electric motor and 47-kW LG Cheml 72-cell lithium-polymer battery pack.
Volvo Launches New R-Design Versions of S60, XC60
The auto maker is standing pat with its current lineup because it is phasing out existing engines in favor of an all-new 4-cyl. powerplant that eventually will power all Volvo models.
Subaru Hopes Rising XV Crosstrek Tide Lifts Hybrid
With sales of the conventionally powered CUV running at about 3,000 units a month, the auto maker calls the hybrid’s projected 10% share “the right volume.”
Sequester Not Sidetracking NHTSA, Administrator Says 
Any safety issues, including vehicle recalls if necessary, will be handled routinely, David Strickland says.
Smart Readies for EV Launch in U.S., Second-Gen Models for Europe 
Following the U.S. rollout of its electric vehicles, Smart will retool for next-generation versions of its mainstream models. Based on the Renault Twingo, they’ll hit Europe later this year.
Nissan Doubles Testing Regimen of New York Taxi Van
The prototype is scheduled to continue testing until July. The first delivery to fleets and independent taxi owners begins in October. “We will start bringing vehicles in at a rapid pace from our Cuernavaca, Mexico, plant,” Joe Castelli says.
U.S. Growth Opportunities Abound, BMW Chief Says
Ludwig Willisch is confident about BMW’s prospects this year. Besides overall U.S. market strength and “a nice influx of new models,” he expects a sales boost from a new 4-cyl. diesel engine in the 328d that debuts in August.
Mercedes Sales Chief Expects Global Growth in 2013
Mercedes continues to do well in China, a growing market, and the U.S., Russia, Brazil and India also are bright spots, Joachim Schmidt says.
Virtual Fuel Testing Targets More-Efficient Injectors 
The researchers’ goal is to eliminate pinging caused when fuel explodes because of uncontrolled burning and expansion. This can cause premature wear and engine failure.
Ghosn Targets 10% Share for Nissan in U.S., China 
The CEO acknowledges product development is less efficient when two or three companies work on a project, but the eventual savings are compelling for all involved.
J.D. Power Chief Sees Steady Rise in Retail LV Sales
Retail sales are growing while OEMs have cut back on incentives that reduced margins, market analyst Finbarr O’Neil says.
Toyota: Optimistic About 2013
The auto maker has no long-range plan to become No.1 in North America, Senior Vice President Bob Carter says, citing its unwillingness to pump up fleet sales. But he would “love to be No.1” in retail deliveries.
Emotion Trumps Technology in BMW Diesel Marketing Push 
BMW will eschew a technical argument in touting the new diesels’ fuel efficiency. “Our brand resonates, regardless of the fuel you use, as the ultimate driving machine,” the auto maker’s chief U.S. marketer says.
Researchers Create Space-Saving, Lightweight CNG Tanks 
The tank will fit more readily into a vehicle than traditional cylinders and, because it is so conformable, it can fit under the floor of a car.
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