Today's morning roundup also takes a look at Nissan killing off a small SUV and Honda's new EV battery plant.
Good day to you, and welcome to another morning news roundup. Since yesterday's edition of Cold Start, we've seen Ram increase the price of the 1500 TRX by a small margin and unpacked the new styling elements coming to 2024's BMW X5 M. Ford has also teased the V8 rumble of the seventh-generation S650 Mustang.
But in today's roundup, we're looking at the futures of the Nissan GT-R and the Nissan Z. Sticking with the Japanese brand, a small crossover is being killed in America. We'll also see why the production of the Chevrolet Corvette is shutting down and discuss the return of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Honda's new facility in the US is worth addressing, too, so let's get started.
Back in 2018, we learned that Nissan had begun designing the replacement for the current-generation R35 GT-R. In the years since, we've heard very little about the car in an official capacity, although there have been numerous conflicting rumors. We've heard it said that the GT-R will be powered solely by electricity. We've heard that it will become a hybrid like the Ferrari SF90. And we've heard that it will stick with gas power. But when addressing Australian media during a briefing for the Nissan Z, the GT-R's chief engineer, Hiroshi Tamura, said that a decision has not yet been made on what will power the R36 GT-R. In fact, Nissan hasn't decided on what the Z's future will be either. We hope something concrete develops soon.
General Motors announced yesterday that production at two of its plants will be halted this week and will only resume on Monday, 5 September. The Silao plant in Mexico and the Bowling Green plant in Kentucky will both be affected, which means that the manufacturing of the Chevy Corvette will be impacted too. Interestingly, the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage is not to blame this time, but it is a supply issue that has caused this delay. Hopefully, the one-week hiatus from production will be adequate to allow the brand to get back on track and deliver these shiny new Corvettes to their eager owners.
Thanks to the rules of the newly passed Inflation Reduction Act, many international automakers have been hustling to get their roots put down on American soil. The latest is Honda, which yesterday announced that it had struck an agreement with LG Energy Solution. This agreement will see the formation of a new company that will break ground on a US-based battery production facility for Honda and Acura's future EVs. The deal sees an investment of $4.4 billion being set aside for establishing the new plant, a location for which is yet to be decided upon. Despite this, Honda expects construction to begin early in 2023, with mass production of pouch-type lithium-ion cells to commence by the end of 2025.
Mercedes-Benz has announced a slew of new models for 2023 and has taken the opportunity to welcome the G-Class back into the lineup after the G550 and AMG G63 were placed on ice for 2022. Unsurprisingly, the G-Class has been hit with a price hike and now starts at $139,950, a wallet-slimming $8,150 more than the 2021 model's price of $131,750. Unfortunately, Mercedes did not disclose what the high-performance G63 variant will cost, but if it's getting the same 6.18% increase as the regular G550, 2023 pricing will kick off at around $166,000. Presumably, there will be some updates to the standard equipment offerings to justify this increase.
According to a new report from Automotive News, official dealer communication has stated that production of the Rogue Sport will come to an end in December 2022. The automaker has reportedly concluded that the new Rogue and the refreshed Kicks cover the area of the market in which the Rogue Sport resides rather well. Since Nissan lists sales of the Rogue and the Rogue Sport in a combined figure, it's impossible to tell if poor market reception is the cause for the Rogue Sport's demise, but considering that it rides on an aging platform, we suspect that people are more interested in the cheaper Kicks and the more capable Rogue.