Week In Review: Spy Photos, New Models, and Surveys

By | November 16, 2013
Everyone is winding down from SEMA and gearing up for the Los Angeles Auto Show next week, and while it may have been a comparatively slow news week, there was plenty to cover. On Monday, General Motors announced that it may bring a Chevrolet Cruze hatchback and other models to our shores to help fill gaps in its brands' lineups. Tuesday showed us that child booster seats are safer than they were in 2008, something we would expect anyway. On Wednesday we captured shots of the new 2015 Ford F-150 testing, and we were surprised how close it is to the Atlas concept that debuted earlier this year in Detroit. Thursday informed us that Subaru was not going to renew its agreement to build Toyota Camry sedans, and has instead decided to focus on its own lineup. Friday rounded out the week with a study from NADA showcasing how used car prices are continuing to decline. Check out the summaries of the week's top stories below. Monday, November 11
Could a Chevrolet Cruze hatchback be making its way to U.S. shores? Possibly. General Motors has announced an aggressive series of product launches to close holes in the group's lineup. Looking to other automakers who are offering hatchback variants and showing success with the models, GM is looking to do the same. Added to the Chevy Cruze hatchback is a "black hole" truck to be slotted between the heavy-duty and medium-duty lines, which will hope to compete against the Ford F350. For the Buick brand, GM is thinking about a new flagship sedan that will rival the Porsche Panamera, but that may be a stretch, to say the least. Cadillac is set to launch a new Escalade, and all-new ELR, hoping to gain some traction and better compete with more recognized luxury auto makers.
Tuesday, November 12
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released a new study that shows how booster seats are safer than they were in 2008. We would hope so. That's five years for a child seat manufacturer to come up with more safety features. This year, 19 out of 31 seats tested earned recommendations, while only two could not be recommended. Looking back to 2008, only 10 models earned the highest marks, while 13 failed to meet the requirements. According to new data, children in booster seats are 45 percent less likely to be injured in an accident than children wearing a regular seat belt. However, these seats can only help children if they are used. A study by the GM Foundation discovered that one in four parents drives without a car seat for their kids. Way to go, parents.
Wednesday, November 13
We've finally seen some shots of the revised 2015 Ford F-150. Looking at the photos, we were surprised to see just how similar the new model is to the Atlas Concept that debuted this year at the Detroit auto show. The new F-150 adopts the Atlas' grille and rectangular angles on the front end, and we can only imagine that it will also take on the LED headlights and taillights, along with unique shutters on the grille and wheels to help with aerodynamics. Under the hood we expect to find a 5.0-liter V-8 engine, along with a 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6. This new design should help to improve fuel economy with the help of the changes to the engine lineup and lightweight body, thanks to the heavy use of aluminum.
Thursday, November 14
Subaru has opted out of renewing a five-year agreement with Toyota Motor Corp. to build the Camry sedan. With Subaru struggling to keep up with the rise in demand for its models, it needs to find a way to increase production, especially as it plans to add new models to its lineup. Camry production wouldn't be stopped until the current agreement expires in 2016, which is when Subaru expects to start building the replacement SUV for the Tribeca that was recently discontinued. If the plant in Indiana stopped building the Camry, not only would there be an added capacity to produce 400,000 vehicles, those working on the Camry would not lose their jobs. Subaru has plans to add new models to the plant, and will bring on hundreds of new employees in the process.
Friday, November 15
It seems like now is the perfect time to buy a used car, as a study released by NADA showed that prices have dropped by 3.5 percent in October. With the government shutdown, consumer confidence is decreasing, which is one of the reasons that October's decrease is one of the lowest seen since October 2011. The three segments that had significant price decreases were midsize vans, luxury cars, and compact cars. According to the NADA's Jonathan Banks, depreciation is set to continue through the rest of the year. Trade-in prices are also expected to drop by 2.5 percent, but it seems that even though used vehicle prices may be on a downward spiral, prices are expected to be up to 0.8 percent higher than this time last year.