Week in Review: Expansions, Promotions, and Prototypes

The hustle and bustle from the New York Auto Show has calmed down, bringing us back to the heart of the automotive industry. We enjoyed seeing all the new and refreshed models at the show, but this week, we had to get on with the news. The week started off strong, with Hyundai announcing its plan to launch 13 models within the next three years. Tuesday revealed rumors surrounding Mark Fields taking over for Alan Mulally as CEO of Ford. And Wednesday had us ready to rock with a contest to win 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger cars, as well as a VIP experience at Motley Crue's "Final Tour." On Thursday, we discovered Nissan's 'self-cleaning' car, although we're still skeptical. And Friday finished out the week with what it takes to make a Buick. Read on below to catch up on this week's news.

Monday, April 14

Hyundai is expanding yet again. Borrowing a move from its own playbook, the automaker has announced plans to launch 13 models within the next three years to help boost sales numbers. The company plans to focus on the crossover segments, as it currently doesn't have many offerings. There are also talks of expanding the Santa Fe and Tucson nameplates into full lineups to help with gaining market share. Dave Zuchowski, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said "We've got fairly aggressive growth plans for the next five years, and just like it was in 2010 through 2012, that growth will be driven by a really aggressive product cadence." New nameplates are also expected to make their way onto Hyundai's roster, and we can't wait to see what they roll out.

Tuesday, April 15

It's officially official. Mark Fields, Ford's chief operating officer, will take the place of CEO Alan Mulally when he retires later this year. There were rumors circulating around the industry that Fields would be taking over the position, and now it seems like there's some weight behind them. Fields has been a part of the Ford family since 1989, leading the Mazda division in 2000 before heading up Ford's premium brands that included Lincoln, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin. By 2005 he was put in charge of North American operations before finally taking his place as COO for the automaker. Mulally is leaving some pretty big shoes to fill with his retirement, as he was responsible for saving the company from bankruptcy. However, Fields is up for the task.

Wednesday, April 16

Who doesn't want to try their hand at being bad? Dodge and Motley Crue have teamed up to promote the new 2015 Challenger and Charger vehicles, along with the band's "Final Tour." The "Dodge Chance to Be Bad Giveaway" gives fans of both the band and the automaker the chance to win awesome prizes like a new 2015 Challenger or Charger, an ultimate Motley Crue VIP experience, autographed guitars, concert tickets, and more. All you have to do is watch a short 30 second video and fill out a form. Sounds pretty easy if you ask us. The "Final Tour" kicks of this summer in Grand Rapids, Mich., but fans can enter the contest now for a chance to see the band live one last time. Dodge, the main sponsor of the tour, is also holding another weekly contest on its Facebook page, offering fans another chance to win some cool prizes.

Thursday, April 17

Do you hate washing your car? Spend crazy amounts of money at your local car wash? Now, you no longer have to do that. Nissan has created the first self-cleaning car, thanks to a new paint technology that repels dirt, water, and more. The automaker is currently testing the self-cleaning paint on a Note hatchback in Europe, and the automaker has shared a video of the new paint in action. If all testing goes well, Nissan may very well include this paint as an aftermarket option in the near future. We have no idea how much this will cost you, but it may be worth it in the long run. If it actually works. There's no guarantee that it will last forever, but it could save you time and money.

Friday, April 18

Rounding out our week, Buick has decided to put some kids to work. As a part of 'Take Your Child to Work Day,' Buick employees have not only brought their kids to see what it is they do every day, but to give the engineers valuable research information. Are you one of those people constantly getting carsick? This is just one of the studies that Buick is conducting with the kids by determining the best spot to place the rear DVD screen. Also, the kids were asked to rate how easy it was to buckle up in the third row using a system of five smiley faces. All research has been compiled and will find its way into the new Enclave's design.
 
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