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Shortly after abandoning plans for an Indian joint venture with Mahindra, Ford has announced they’re restructuring their South American operations.

The big news is the closure of the Camaçari, Taubaté and Troller plants in Brazil.

Main production at the Camaçari and Taubaté plants will “cease immediately,” although some parts production will continue for a few months to build up inventories for aftermarket sales. The Troller plant in Horizonte will close in the fourth quarter and the moves mean the company will no longer sell the EcoSport, Ka and T4 once inventories are sold out.

Also Read: Ford’s Troller T4 Off-Roader Refreshed For 2020, Remains A Brazil-Only Affair

Ford didn’t say how many jobs will be affected, but the Camaçari plant employed approximately 4,600 people. Likewise, roughly 1,370 people worked at the Taubaté engine plant.

The move is pretty drastic, but Ford noted the “COVID-19 pandemic amplifies persistent industry idle capacity and slow sales that have resulted in years of significant losses.” The automaker also said they’re not abandoning Brazil as they will maintain their product development center in Bahia, proving ground in Tatuí as well as their regional headquarters in São Paulo.

In a statement, Ford CEO Jim Farley said “With more than a century in South America and Brazil, we know these are very difficult, but necessary, actions to create a healthy and sustainable business.” He added, “We are moving to a lean, asset-light business model by ceasing production in Brazil and serving customers with some of the best and most exciting vehicles in our global portfolio.”

Speaking of the latter, Ford said Brazil will receive the Bronco and Mustang Mach 1 as well as the new Transit and Ranger pickup. Ford went on to say they’re planning to “accelerate the introduction of several new connected and electrified models.”

Ford is taking a roughly $4.1 (£3.0 / €3.3) billion hit from the move including around $2.5 (£1.8 / €2.0) billion in cash that will be used for separation, termination and settlement agreements as well as other payments.


The Mercedes EQS is getting all the attention, but the company is getting ready to pull the wraps off the all-new EQA.

Spotted undergoing testing with minimal disguise, the EQA is essentially an electric version of the GLA.

As a result, the EQA has a familiar design and a handful of special touches which distinguish it from the GLA. The most noticeable change is a fully enclosed grille which features illuminated accents. The model also adopts a slightly revised front bumper, but the AMG Line variant remains pretty faithful to its GLA counterpart.

Also Read: Mercedes EQA Drops Camo As Debut Inches Closer

Additional changes are limited, but the model has been equipped with a unique rear bumper which features vents that are surrounded by chrome trim. The crossover also has an electric charging port on the passenger side as well as what could be EQA badging near the A-pillar.

Mercedes has been teasing the EQA for nearly a year and previous reports have suggested it was supposed to be launched in 2020. However, the model was reportedly delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now expected to debut in the next few months.

The exact timing remains a mystery as does the crossover’s powertrain options. However, reports have suggested we can expect multiple battery packs with capacities ranging from 60 to 110 kWh. They will reportedly enable the model to have a range of at least 248 miles (400 km) on a single charge.

The EQA is also slated to be offered with multiple electric motors as well as an optional all-wheel drive system. Specifications are elusive, but the crossover could have outputs of 201 hp (150 kW / 204 PS), 268 hp (200 kW / 272 PS) and 335 hp (250 kW / 340 PS).

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Picture credits: CarPix for Carscoops

Lexus is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the LFA, a spectacular supercar that entered limited production at the end of 2010.

Nevertheless, while the Japanese exotic is officially 10 years old, its story began in the early 2000s as a research and development project, with chief engineer Harahiko Tanashi given free rein and the opportunity to work with new materials and processes.

See Also: Jeremy Clarkson Says The Lexus LFA Is Still The Best Car He’s Ever Driven

Toyota’s luxury car brand completed the first prototype in 2003, and the following year it was put through its paces on the Nurburgring. The world was given a first glimpse of the LFA through a study shown at the 2005 NAIAS, followed by an updated version two years later. In 2008, the LFA made the first of four appearances at the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring, and at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show Lexus finally confirmed it for production.

The LFA, of which only 500 examples were made, featured a lightweight construction, with CFRP used in the bodywork instead of aluminum, and power was supplied by a naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V10. Developed together with Yamaha, the engine produced 560 HP at 8,700 rpm, driving the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox. It was capable of hitting a 202 mph (325 km/h) top speed, and it did the 0 to 62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 3.7 seconds.

A more track focused version, named the LFA Nurburgring Edition, followed, and it offered a stiffer suspension, aerodynamic enhancements, lighter alloy wheels and a total output of 570 HP. It was limited to 50 units and set a lap record for production cars on the Nordschleife in 2011 with Akira Ida behind the wheel.

 

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