When the week began, all appeared quite calm on the automotive industry front, and that’s how it would stay for the week. Then the week actually began and all of that quietness was drowned out by spy shots, SUV of the Year awards, and the possibility of a major American automaker packing some of its bags and moving production to Europe. First, we started with our in-office cohorts over at Motor Trend naming the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL as its latest SUV of the Year award recipient. But that wasn’t nearly all that we saw as this week progressed, snowballing into one of the more eventful ones we’ve had in between auto shows. We’ve recapped this week’s biggest stories below.
Monday, October 15
The week in automotive news began with our colleagues over at sister publication Motor Trend announcing their 2013 SUV of the Year winner, the Mercedes-Benz GL. The field was stacked this year with the redesigned 2013 Ford Escape, 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, and spritely 2013 Mazda CX-5 lurking in the background. Nevertheless, the GL was able to hold off the competition and take the crown as Motor Trend‘s SUV of the Year. As senior features editor Jonny Lieberman writes, “it was no contest,” the GL took the title by a landslide. That’s not to say the CX-5 or Escape aren’t capable vehicles; the GL is just cut from a different cloth.
Tuesday, October 16
Honda stole the automotive news limelight on Tuesday with its announcement of its one millionth hybrid vehicle sold. Honda began building hybrid vehicles in Japan back in 1999 with the Insight being the automaker’s first. It quickly made the jump stateside and began selling the Insight in the United States as a 2000 model. To date, while Honda has sold one million hybrid vehicles worldwide, only about 318,000 Honda hybrids have traded hands in the United States. Currently, Honda sells four hybrid models in the U.S., one of which flies under Acura’s tutelage: CR-Z, Civic Hybrid, Insight, and the Acura ILX Hybrid.
Wednesday, October 17
Wednesday brought more bad news for Fisker, the beleaguered automaker that has run into more than its fair share of problems. Fisker’s next model, the Atlantic, was originally scheduled to enter the market sometime later this year. Now, it will be delayed at least two years and will appear sometime late in 2014 as a 2015 model. The cause of the newest delay: drivetrain refinement. Fisker engineers need a little more time with a fine-tooth comb to pick through the drivetrain to ensure the sedan will be worth its base price of $55,000. We recently had a chance to drive the Fisker Karma and came away impressed with it, but it still has a few more growing pains to weather before it’s ready for the masses.
Thursday, October 18
Perhaps the biggest story of the week was the latest—and maybe best—spy shots of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette’s interior. Earlier in the day, Chevy’s flagship sports car revealed a revamped badge, but that quickly fell to the wayside once these shots surfaced. The latest round of interior shots gives as a glimpse (emphasis on “glimpse”) of the next-gen Vette’s dashboard that appears to sweep right into the door panel. From the looks of these shots, it appears the dash will also be covered with a contrast-stitched material, presumably leather. This is good news for those wishing Chevy would up the ante of the Corvette’s interior, which has been notoriously shoddy. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette will officially be unveiled on January 13 at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, so stay tuned for more details.
Friday, October 19
The week was rounded out with some sobering news of Fiat’s potential plans to move some of Chrysler’s production into Europe. This move is spurred by the automaker’s lack of presence in the market as well as an attempt to restart Europe’s painfully slumping automotive market. As it stands now, Fiat is bracing to take a $912 million hit in the European market, but CEO Sergio Marchionne is hoping to offset some of that. Marchionne’s plan is to move the all-new Dodge Dart and its production to right outside of Rome. No word yet if it will coincide with the Dart’s Belvidere, Illinois, facility that recently went through a major overhaul in preparation for the new sedan.
The Week in Review is your weekly recap of all important and major automotive news stories that happened during the past several days. Like our list? Did we miss something? Tell us about it in the comment section below.