Luxury sales profits drive automakers

first_imgDETROIT – Despite consumers’ growing affection for smaller and more fuel-efficient cars, luxury vehicles are holding their own in the U.S. market, and automakers hope to maintain that momentum with new models that will be introduced this week at the New York Auto Show. Mercedes-Benz plans to simulate an electrical storm with lightning bolts to debut the redesigned E-Class sedan. Lexus will show a hybrid sports car, while Audi AG will introduce the redesigned 2008 TT coupe and Infiniti will debut the 2007 G35 sedan. BMW AG’s Z4 coupe will make its U.S. debut, and Acura will show a production-ready version of its RDX crossover vehicle. The New York show opens to the public Friday. Automakers are responding by emphasizing that luxury vehicles can be fuel efficient and clean as well as powerful. Saab will have an ethanol-powered concept coupe called the Aero X at the New York show. The Aero X has a 400-horsepower V-6 engine but emits less greenhouse gas and cuts dependence on foreign oil, Saab says. Lexus says its 2007 GS 450h is the world’s first rear-wheel-drive hybrid sport sedan. The car, which will be in New York and will go on sale in May, has a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that, when combined with an electric motor, performs like a 4.5-liter V8. The GS 450h has an estimated fuel economy of 20 miles per gallon, Lexus says. Automakers have a lot riding on luxury brands. As sales of SUVs fall, so do the healthy profit margins those vehicles provide, estimated at $10,000 per vehicle or more. Luxury sales can soften the blow. Nowhere is that more true than at General Motors Corp., which has been struggling with falling U.S. sales and lost $10.6 billion last year. Its revamped Cadillac lineup is widely viewed as a success, and the automaker is now turning its attention to Saab, the luxury brand that has been in the red since GM acquired it in 2000. Saab’s annual U.S. sales peaked at 47,400 in 1986 but sank as low as 18,800 in 1993. The brand sold 38,343 vehicles in 2005; by comparison, Lexus sold 302,895.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventSales of luxury vehicles rose 6 percent in the first quarter compared with an industrywide sales increase of 1 percent, according to Tom Libby, the senior director of industry analysis at the Power Information Network. Luxury sales now make up 11.2 percent of the market, Libby said. The Power Information Network, which is a division of J.D. Power and Associates, considers 14 brands to be luxury, including Lincoln, Cadillac, BMW, Volvo and Audi. Luxury sales will continue to grow this year because household wealth and consumer confidence are on the rise, said Paul Taylor, chief economist with the National Automobile Dealers Association. Luxury sales last surged in 2000, but had been trending downward since 2001 in part because of weakness in the economy, Taylor said. But the U.S. luxury market isn’t universally healthy. While entry-level and mid-size cars like the Acura TSX and the BMW 3-series were up between 4 percent and 5 percent in the first quarter and large sport utility vehicle sales were up 8 percent thanks to the revamped Cadillac Escalade, sales of mid-size luxury SUVs dropped 5 percent, Libby said. Hummer saw the largest sales increases because of its new H3 SUV; Jaguar performed worst, with sales dropping 41 percent. There’s also evidence that high gas prices could stifle luxury sales, Taylor said. They are already hurting sales of used luxury vehicles, he said, and he expects full-size SUVs to take a hit this summer if gas prices rise to $3 a gallon. Full-size luxury SUVs won’t catch their stride unless gas prices fall to $2.50 a gallon or below, he said. last_img read more

Royals manager Ned Yost to retire after 100-loss season

first_img(AP) – Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost will be retiring at the end of the season, a year in which his team lost 100 games.His decision was announced by the team Monday, a day after a 12-8 loss in which the Royals fell for the eighth time in 10 games. Kansas City is 57-100 and 39 1/2 games behind Minnesota in the AL Central.Yost got the Kansas City job in 2010. He is the all-time winningest manager in franchise history with 744 victories and the first manager to lead the team to consecutive World Series appearances.The 65-year-old Yost noted the development of young players and the presence of returning veterans. He says he hopes the “worst is behind us in this rebuilding phase of our organization.”last_img read more

Kanter leads Knicks to easy win despite Porzingis injury

first_imgMalditas save PH from shutout MOST READ The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay “I mean, the last two games we couldn’t stop nobody,” Dragic said. “I feel like they’re playing 5 on 0 right now. They can score at will.”New York made nearly 64 percent of its shots in taking a 33-22 lead after one, then extended it to 65-44 at halftime on one of their prettiest baskets of the season. Jarrett Jack got the ball after a Heat miss, fired it all the way down from the free throw line to the other end of the court, where Tim Hardaway Jr. leaped and threw it in in one motion from 21 feet to beat the buzzer.The lead ballooned to 84-54 in the third quarter.Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Whiteside had been sore the last few weeks and had been using the day after games to rest. He said Whiteside would be evaluated Thursday when Miami is back home, though didn’t believe an MRI would be necessary since Whiteside already had one.“So this is just part of the process. We anticipated this,” Spoelstra said. “Hasn’t gotten any worse necessarily, just the schedule hasn’t let up and he really hasn’t been able to do two days of work in a row for a while.”Porzingis said he thought his injury looked worse than it was and hoped he could return Sunday. He had hoped to even get back in Wednesday’s game and told Kanter at halftime he was all right.“He’s a strong unicorn,” Kanter said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Porzingis had started quickly, making his first two shots before he was hurt chasing the ball near the baseline by the Miami bench. Justise Winslow stepped on his foot, causing Porzingis’ ankle to turn awkwardly, and he was helped to the locker room during a timeout.The Knicks said X-rays were negative and that their leading scorer was available to return, but they later ruled out a return in the third quarter. There was no need by then the way they were playing.“He’s a big part of our family, but when he goes down everybody just stepped up,” Kanter said. “Not just me. Everybody stepped up.”Courtney Lee added 17 points for the Knicks.Kelly Olynyk had 18 for the Heat, who lost in Cleveland on Tuesday and finished their trip 2-2. They had won six straight at Madison Square Garden. Point guard Goran Dragic said energy, especially defensively, was the team’s biggest problem.ADVERTISEMENT Back after missing three games with back spasms, Kanter had his way against a Heat team missing starting center Hassan Whiteside because of left knee soreness, going 7 of 9 from the field.“Enes was a monster today,” Porzingis said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe Knicks lost all three games Kanter missed, their longest skid since starting 0-3, but shot 60 percent and led by as much as 30 points with their center back.“I just didn’t play three games. I was like so excited, just like so hungry,” Kanter said. “I just wanted to go out there and bite somebody’s ear off.” MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021center_img After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads LATEST STORIES Reggie Jackson scores 23 points, Pistons rout Suns Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters (11) passes the ball against New York Knicks center Enes Kanter (00) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)NEW YORK—Enes Kanter was so good after coming back that it didn’t matter that Kristaps Porzingis went out.Kanter had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the New York Knicks beat the Miami Heat 115-86 on Wednesday night despite losing their leading scorer to a sprained right ankle after 2 1/2 minutes.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Rice U professors share LemelsonMIT award donate prize money

first_imgA low-cost fluorescence microscope that uses a battery-powered LED flashlight. The Global Focus Microscope can be manufactured for about one-10th the cost of a conventional fluorescence microscope. Some 20 prototypes of the device are in field tests worldwide.“What is striking about these great professors is their vision that undergraduates can develop robust, inexpensive, technical solutions to solve real problems, and that the students can go to places like Malawi, deploy their prototypes and make the necessary modifications and improvements to deliver sustainable, practical, working devices,” said Ned Thomas, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering.The Lemelson-MIT Program and its awards are named for Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors. Lemelson and his wife, Dorothy, founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994.“By introducing their undergraduate students to the health care challenges that exist in low-resource areas, and training those students in the invention process both inside and outside of the classroom, Rebecca Richards-Kortum and Maria Oden have created a group of young inventors who are developing solutions that save lives,” said Joshua Schuler, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “The Lemelson-MIT Program’s award winners are chosen based on their own technological inventiveness and their ability to inspire the next generation of inventors. With several inventions in the field and many of the Beyond Traditional Borders students going on to include technology and global health as a focus of their careers, Rebecca and Maria are outstanding award winners and role models.”###The following VIDEOS are available at:Day One: The story behind the project” alt=”last_img” /> read more