New Model News

2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition to be sold exclusively in Texas, surrounding states

Body-color accents make up the front of this truck.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Texas is the full-size pickup truck capital of the U.S. and Ram's new luxury trim level is aimed right at the heart of Lone Star State buyers. The 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition will be sold exclusively in Texas and neighboring states.

"For nearly 20 years, Ram has recognized that Texas and America's Southwest are the center of the truck universe," said Mike Koval,Ad Interim Head of Ram Brand, FCA - North America. "Ram was the first manufacturer to offer a Texas-exclusive model, and the Lone Star edition remains our most popular truck in Texas. Our new Ram Laramie Southwest Edition adds the segment's best combination of performance, capability, luxury and technology."

2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition The truck comes standard with power side steps that fold away when the vehicle is parked.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Laramie Southwest Edition features body-colored bumpers, mirrors, and grille surround. There are chrome highlights, including tow hooks, grille inserts, body side moldings, and polished 20-inch wheels. Included power side steps fold out of the way when the truck is parked or driving.

The truck comes loaded with a 12-inch infotainment touch screen, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, electric trailer brake control, automatic high beam headlights, blind-spot monitoring and cross-path detection, front and rear park assist, remote tailgate release, and rain-sensitive wipers.

Buyers can choose from bench or bucket seats. All Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Editions are delivered with a heavy-duty Mopar locking console when the bucket seat option is selected.

The 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition is available in all powertrain options. Buyers can choose Quad and Crew Cab body configurations and 5 ft.-7 in. (Crew only) or 6 ft.-4-in. bed lengths.

2020 Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition The interior of the new truck is as posh as Ram's most luxurious 1500 model, with special design nods to the Southwest, like light colored leather that doesn't soak up the heat from the hot sun.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Ram 1500 Laramie Southwest Edition's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at $45,380, plus $1,695 destination.

It will go on sale in the second quarter of 2020.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The teaser image of the 2027 Kia lineup includes numerous cars and SUVs.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has revealed plans to launch seven new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027 in numerous segments. The first, code named CV, will launch in 2021 and serve as the kickoff to a new Kia design direction. The move is known internally as the “Plan S" strategy. Under Plan S, Kia's BEV line will include 11 models by 2025.

The announcement coincides with the company's stated goal of having 25 percent of Kia's global sales come from BEVs by 2029. To do that, the company plans to work to expand the world's electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Kia has sold over 100,000 BEVs worldwide since the company introduced its first model in 2011, the Kia Ray.

Kia Ray EV 2011 The Kia Ray was the company's first production EV.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Plan S includes a company-wide business transformation that will include production, sales, and services. Dealerships will likely be required too invest in equipment to handle the influx of EVs. In the U.S, Kia will increase the number of EV work bays at dealerships to 600 by the end of 2020 and increase the number to more than 2,000 by 2023..

The product plan includes a diverse number of models. The vehicles will include BEVs that are “suitable for urban centers, long-range journeys, and performance driving". They will be based on the company's new adaptable Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The platform will allow for best-in-class interior spaciousness, according to Kia.

Though subscription services have not gained widespread popularity in the U.S., the company is exploring the creation of subscription services, as well as EV battery leasing and rental programs. Other “second life" battery-related businesses may be part of the plan as well.

Kia also plans to add around 500 charging stations in North America, partnering with its dealer networks. Further, the company is seeking a partner in North America to support a larger infrastructure buildout.

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The new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross used the Internet of Things to connect to the My Mitsubishi Connect app

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors North Americ

Mitsubishi has enlisted Aeris and Dealer-FX to better connect owners to their vehicles. Using integrations with the Aeris Mobility Services and Dealer-FX ONE platforms, the My Mitsubishi Connect mobile app will now enable Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross drivers to view real-time service and maintenance needs, as reported by their vehicles.

The system will push timely notifications from the vehicle to the app and the owner's smart mobile device allowing them to act in a matter of seconds rather than trying to remember that a warning light cane in while operating the vehicle.

"Mitsubishi customers are dreamers, achievers, entrepreneurs – active in their communities and in their family homes, and their time is extremely valuable," said Mark Chaffin, Chief Operating Officer of MMNA. "The My Mitsubishi Connect app allows us to enhance their experience, be more efficient with their time and continue to demonstrate our commitment to delivering high quality, top value vehicles with leading-edge technology in the U.S."

This isn't the company's first IoT foray. When it debuted, Mitsubishi Road Assist+ was the first hardware-free, smartphone-based app provided by an OEM that allowed owners to realize the cost savings of usage-based insurance without having to own "connected car" with built-in telematics capabilities or aftermarket-installed telematics hardware.

Mitsubishi continues to grow its presence in the U.S. market. The company recently relocated its headquarters from California to the Nashville, Tennessee area near where Renault-Nissan- Mitsubishi Alliance member Nissan has its North American headquarters.

The company recently announced a partnership with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to create the Small Batch - Big Ideas Entrepreneur Network, which gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from Mitsubishi executives, among other benefits.

The My Mitsubishi Connect and Mitsubishi Road Assist+ apps are currently available on the Google Play store and the Apple's App Store for use on Android and iOS devices.

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