November 2019 GLOBAL NEWS


Concepts Envision The “Open Future” Theme…

The Tokyo Auto Show takes place every other year. And in keeping with this year’s theme of “Open Future,” automakers at the 48th biennial show pulled out all the stops with futuristic space-age designs. And while some concepts may seem far-fetched enough to never see the light of day, many vehicles and/or the technologies they feature are bound to make it into production in the not-too-distant future.

Take, for instance, the Lexus LF-30 electrified concept car. Complete with roof-mounted doors, shark-like front end and a stubby rear, the LF-30 is supported by a new electric platform that will be used on Lexus and Toyota EVs beginning in 2022.

Other automakers offered their own interpretations. Suzuki debuted the Hanare concept. The retro-styled vehicle, according to Suzuki, is designed for the family that loves being in a van but hates leaving home to enjoy it. Designed with a fully autonomous future in mind, the Hanare has no driver’s seat, but is equipped with an enormous screen that controls everything.

The copper-colored Nissan IMk, on the other hand, is a fully electric concept fitted with cameras that serve as mirrors and doors with no handles. On the inside, there are no buttons on the dashboard. Instead, glass displays are activated by the touch of a human hand.

The Lexus LF-30 electrified concept car may seem other worldly, but the vehicle is underpinned by a new electric platform that will be used on Lexus and Toyota vehicles beginning in 2022.

Designed with a fully autonomous future in mind, the retro-styled Suzuki Hanare van has no driver’s seat. But it is equipped with a huge screen that controls the whole shebang.

The futuristic Nissan IMk, a fully electric concept, sports cameras for mirrors and doors with no handles. Touch-activated glass displays replace the traditional dashboard.


Swedish Performance Brand Aims To Change Automotive Retail Model…

Swedish electric performance brand Polestar recently opened its first European retail establishment in Oslo, Norway. According to a company announcement, the Oslo Space demonstrates the brand’s new retail concept, combining minimalist design with seamless digital interactivity that allows consumers to define the journey from initial inquiry to the delivery of their chosen Polestar model.

The new Oslo Space is situated in a historic 1900s city-center building, where customers have the chance to encounter the hassle-free experience that defines the Polestar brand and its products. Inside the retail environment, for instance, Polestar Specialists, who act as brand ambassadors on a noncommissioned basis, will engage with and inform customers about the company and its products.

Test drives can be conducted on-site and deliveries can be made at home or offices. But, unlike traditional auto dealerships, the facility holds no inventory, allowing customers to choose their personalized configuration. Those who purchase a Polestar can complete the process through the company app or website at their leisure, be it at home or in the Polestar Space.

“The Space in Oslo is extremely special,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. “The location is perfect, right in the heart of where people shop and relax, and the way this modern retail experience sits inside a historic building really reinforces our belief that great design is timeless. Performance for us isn’t just about great driving dynamics, it is also about the experience customers have choosing their perfect Polestar and the excitement of living with it every day.”

Polestar’s new retail Space in Oslo, Norway, is designed to change the face of automotive retailing, combining minimalist design in a historic building with no-hassle, no-pressure sales, no inventory and an environment intended to engage and inform the customer about the company and its products.


Fully Electric Vehicle Is The First In A New Lineup…

Volvo, the Swedish brand owned by Chinese automaker Geely, recently revealed the XC40 Recharge, a fully electric vehicle based on the XC40 small SUV, the first of a family of fully electric Volvos.

“We have said several times before: for Volvo Cars, the future is electric,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “Today we take a major new step in that direction with the launch of our fully electric XC40 and the Recharge car line.”

The electric all-wheel-drive powertrain has a range of more than 248 miles on a single charge and output of 480hp. The battery charges 80 percent of its capacity in 40 minutes on a fast-charger system, according to the company.

Volvo aims for plug-in hybrids to make up 20 percent of total sales in 2020. To further encourage electric driving, every Volvo Recharge plug-in model will come with free electricity for one year through a refund for the average electricity cost during that period.

In its quest to offer an electric vehicle fleet, Volvo has introduced the fully electric XC40 Recharge, based on the XC40 small SUV, the first in a family of all-electric Volvos.

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