2020 Car Model You Didn’t Expect

Arguably cars are the most hi-tech things the mass market can accept. Today’s cars require years of researche, experiments, modelling and testing, and it seems impossible to enter this market from scratch unless you’re Elon Musk. Nevertheless, if you want a car with your brand to hit the asphalt, there are many ways. Yourmotobro tells about the seconds Harley-Davidson-branded GMC that already hit the American stores. But don’t be surprised to see a Sony or Xiaomi car this year.

The New Harley-Davidson GMC Presented


It’s a strange dystopian feeling to see Harley-Davidson branded cars. As if the vendor has made an Orwellian shift to “two wheels good, four wheels better!”, this year we see the second branded car. Now, from a single experiment, it turns to permanent activity.

Not that the famous motorcycle brand has always stood away from cars. Still, the most respectable American model, Ford F-150, that has received Harley Davidson branding from 2000 to 2011, was rather an exception, one of a kind, and it has always been rather Ford than H-D. But in 2019, the situation changed when Tuscany Motor Co. purchased a license and started manufacturing its own Ford F-150. This year, in addition to this new take on classics, we see a Harley Davidson version of a GMC Sierra truck. Both of the models are manufactured by Tuscany Motor Co. under licenses from the original vehicle vendors and Harley-Davidson supervision.

Branded components are inside and outside. The logos are on the grille and across the tailgate, on doors, on the console and across the interior. Two-tone leather completes the visual style. The pedals and the door inserts, the gauges and even the floor mats are branded too: nothing is too minor. Sensors are recalibrated too, from the speedometer to the tire ones.

As yourmotobro.com reports, the overall batch of the H-D branded Sierra (oh, pardon, GMC Harley-Davidson Truck) is just 250 units. The suggested price is rather respectable: $94,995. Nothing exclusive is cheap, anyway. We don’t know yet whether there will be extra units, or the next year Harley-Davidson and Tuscany alliance will license some other cult brand to make another limited series.

Sony: from Walkman to Ride

While the overall impression left by CES 2020 was quite dull, it was Sony who broke the windows and let some fresh air in. The Japanese company seemed all about entertainment rather than technology lately. It sold its VAIO laptop brand and stopped producing computer components, investing in gaming and cinema production instead. So it came as a surprise when Sony introduced its electric car Vision-S in Vegas.

The model is still a prototype, and it’s unclear whether its mass production will ever start. Still, Sony made a good impact with the very fact. Taking a closer look at Vision-S makes the impression complete. Big displays and 200-KW motors, ubiquitous sensors and an AI driver, and, of course, great sound provided by Sony speakers.

Like Harley-Davidson is all about “good ol’ America”, fast and dusty, Sony brings futuristic Japan vibe from the 1980s’ sci-fi, shining and glittering. They seem to be different species: a truck with Sturm-und-Drang nature and all-electronic smooth futurism.

Xiaomi: Now They Really Produce Everything

The Chinese giant may still be taken as a second-row vendor, but its ubiquity and productivity can impress anyone. Its first product in 2010 was not even a smartphone, but an Android-based operating system for other vendors. Now it sells smartphones and smartwatches, tablets and laptops, smart home sensors and vacuum cleaners, and even exotic things like telescopes. And in 2019, it presented the car.

Well, it’s not exactly its own (like the previous examples), but branding does much of the work. Redmi, a Xiaomi subbrand, is known for its affordable and rather solidly built devices. The same goes out to the car named simply Xiaomi Redmi Car.

In fact, it’s just a branded version of an existing model by a locally known vendor, namely Bestune T77 SUV. The class of it is compact-SUV, with 1.2 L CA4GB16 engine and front-wheel drive. The interior reminds that of the modern Mercedes analogs, and the exterior has obviously been influenced by Citroen-designed DS 7 Crossback.

Yet, hopelessly secondary in terms of car design, the Chinese car gets its revenge when it comes to user experience. It features a holographic assistant that accompanies traditional voice recognition. In addition to a wow effect, it also replaces the traditional windshield decorations. Of course, the interior also boasts a digital dash and a large touchscreen. It’s also worth mentioning a 5-speed manual, or a 7-speed DCT.

But what does Xiaomi bring? Maybe nothing but its name (much more famous than Bestune, or Besturn as it was before, or whatever), and some visual branding. Maybe just a better integration with its phones. But it’s quite enough. It has a large fanbase almost all over the world, waiting for the right moment to invade the US market.

Other Trends

But does it necessarily take a branded car model to enter the industry? Well, Google and Apple probably don’t need their names on the exterior, while definitely developing car technologies. Exclusive solutions and limited series can sell well, but going massive is a higher sort of ambition. On the other side, fashion designers are always welcomed in the car industry. They provide the style in limited series, and it works for a long time, too.

Will it lead to three-branded cars? For example, if a BMW or a Lexus stuffed with electronics by Sony or Google and designed by Lacoste or Gucci, will it boast all the brands? The answer is: why not.

And what do you think about side brands in the car industry? Would you drive such a vehicle? Or would you prefer something more traditional?


The Impressive Harley Davidson Bagger Bike

Img source: luxlife.rs

Harley Davidson has left its mark in the history of motorcycles, becoming almost synonymous with it. Their bikes are presents on the streets and roads around the world and now their 2012 Road King has received an upgrade by the talented team of mechanics from Taiwan, Rough Crafts.

Img source: luxlife.rs

The back end of the bike is made out of light composite materials, together with incline saddle bags and numerous details all painted in matte black. The front end received Arlen Ness mudguard, together with custom built gas tank, giving the Road King a sleek silhouette. Knee guards are placed on the sides, while black leather seat finishes the look.

Img source: luxlife.rs

The bike features Arlen Ness progressive forks and Pirelli Night Dragon 23-inch tire, mounted on Arlen Ness rims. It also has the Legend Air Ride system, giving it the ability to adjust the height of the ride. It is powered by a twin-cam engine and Performance Machine hydraulic clutch.

Img source: luxlife.rs

Donald Trump Supports Harley-Davidson Boycott


According to the US President Donald Trump, it is “great” that many Harley-Davidson owners decided to boycott the company in this row of tariffs that escalates. Trump said that “most other firms… including Harley competitors” agreed to imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

As for Harley-Davidson, they announced that some of the production would be moved out of the United States, in order to avoid the tariffs set by the EU. As a response POTUS threatened the company with higher taxes. Instead of commenting, Harley-Davidson pointed to an interview CNBC did with Matthew Levatich last month.

He said that the company’s preference “in all cases is to supply the world from the United States.” However, he also noted that the firm invested in international manufacturing over the past two decades because “trade and tariff situations in certain markets” made it “prohibitive” without this investment.

“We’re only doing that because these are important growth markets for the company that, without those investments, we wouldn’t have access to those customers, at any kind of reasonable price,” he said.

image source: visordown.com

The warning came last month from Harley-Davidson that the profit margins of the company this year were most likely to halve due to trade tariffs. The added costs this year will be approximately $50 million because of the taxes imposed by the European Union. In June, the famous motorcycle maker said that they would have to move some of the production from the US to the assembly plants in Australia, Brazil, India, and Thailand. It is not specified which factory would start producing more.

Meanwhile, Trump declared that tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are essential to protect the US steel and aluminum industries. This has forced countries such as Canada, Mexico, India, as well as EU to react. The US has also threatened to hit billions of Chinese imports with import taxes, while the country also considers tariffs on foreign cars and vehicle parts.

Donald Trump believes He Can Win in Trade Wars


Donald Trump has been dissatisfied with the trade deals, and he has started several trade wars. Thanks to the powerful US economy, he might be able to carry on longer than the other countries.

The decisions to engage in trade wars with his enemies as well as his friends are criticized by many, and they claimed that he would have to give up on the fight before tariffs and other US sanctions cause much damage, especially considering that we are entering mid-term elections in the fall. However, the US economy is on president’s side whether we like him or not. The US economy will grow at a 3.7% annual clip in the second quarter. Interestingly enough we haven’t seen an increase of over 3% since 2005, and this would be the first time that this happened.

Some of the things which have propelled the economy forward are tax cuts, higher government spending and a low unemployment rate caused by the increase in business investments over the last few years. Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh said: “The economy is doing well. You don’t want to see it happen, but there are a lot of worse times [a trade fight] could happen.”

Compared to the US, the Canadian economy is growing at its weakest rate in the past two years, while the European has also slowed down drastically. On the other side of the world, China is enduring a bear market in stocks.


One of the reasons why the United States has a healthy economy is that Americans are buying and selling from the other Americans. The US is exporting 12% of its goods, while that percentage is almost 20% for China and about 33% for Canada and 50% for Germany, one of the leading EU countries.

“Nobody wins in a trade war, but the U.S. is much, much less dependent on exports as a percentage of our economy,” said Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust in Chicago. “The strategy is very clear. They are willing to go a long way with the tariffs because they feel our relative pain will be lower than it will be for other countries.”

Trump has believed that the other countries have taken advantage of the United States and now he wants to put an end to it. And he was right – the economists claim that the US economy is more open and has fewer trade barriers, generally speaking. Chief Economist Richard Moody of Alabama-based Regions Financial said: “It’s not that there are not legitimate grievances. The question is the best way to go about resolving them.”

However, the approach Trump has taken is unconventional for Washington that has always relied on a dialogue. So far, POTUS has announced billions worth of tariffs on Chinese-made products and foreign steel, and he also wants to block the transfer of sensitive US technologies. Moreover, he will most likely impose automobile tariffs on Canada and the EU. And while these are the resources America is imposing the additional taxes on, the other countries targeted goods such as soybeans, whiskey, and Harley-Davidson bikes.


Trump tweeted: “The United States is insisting that all countries that have placed artificial Trade Barriers and Tariffs on goods going into their country, remove those Barriers & Tariffs or be met with more than Reciprocity by the U.S.A. Trade must be fair and no longer a one way street!”

In the short run, the US will suffer little damage. In other words, whether the US has the growth of 3.0 or 2.8 percent, it doesn’t really matter. However, some businesses will be affected by trade wars and companies as well as individuals could pay more for the goods which are affected by the US tariffs. Trump should win these trade wars and work out new deals sooner rather than later because as the time passes, the damage that could be done to the US economy increases. The good thing about everything that is going on is that the other countries are under a lot more pressure and they may be the ones to give up first.

Source: marketwatch.com