Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A. Sometimes colloquially referred to as simply Alfa, is an Italian manufacturer of cars. Founded as A.L.F.A. (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili) on June 24, 1910, in Milan, the company has been involved in car racing since 1911, and has a reputation for building expensive sports cars. The company was owned by Italian state holding company Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale between 1932 and 1986, when it became a part of the Fiat Group, and since February 2007 a part of Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A.
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Dating back to 1913, British automaker Aston Martin has kept a low profile among ultraluxury cars in the U.S. market except for its spotlight in various James Bond films, including the two recent flicks starring Daniel Craig. Bond's top-of-the-line DBS and the lesser DB9 and V8 Vantage share a platform and follow the same formula: two doors, front engine and rear-wheel drive. This year Aston has added a four-door hatchback model called the Rapide. All of the two-door models are available as convertibles as well as hardtops. While some competitors have become heavy and switched to all-wheel drive, Aston Martins remain comparatively lightweight.Aston is headquartered in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England. After 13 years under Ford Motor Co., Aston Martin was purchased by a group of private investors in 2007.
Aston Martin Models
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Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. designs, engineers, manufactures and distributes high-performance, luxury automobiles. Bugatti's headquarters and assembly plant are located in Molsheim, France. Volkswagen AG purchased the Bugatti trademark in June 1998 and incorporated Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. in 1999. Bugatti presented several concept cars between 1998 and 2000 before commencing development of its first production model, the Veyron 16.4, delivering the first Veyron to a customer in 2005. The company is currently developing its next production car model, the 16C Galibier, which is expected to go on sale in 2015.
Buick is one of four General Motors makes that survived the company's 2009 bankruptcy. This surprised many because of the brand's reputation for older buyers, but two recent successful models had brought down the average buyer's age considerably. Buick is also one of the best-selling foreign brands in China, an important emerging market. GM's stated competitor for Buick is Lexus, Toyota's luxury division. The company sees Buick as a premium brand, leaving Cadillac as the luxury marque to compete with German imports.The first model in Buick's renaissance, the Enclave, is arguably the best-executed of GM's large crossovers, which include the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia. (The Saturn Outlook was discontinued.) It seats seven or eight in three rows of seats. The mid/full-size LaCrosse sedan -- which was developed in the U.S., China and Germany -- has also sold briskly. Buick will continue selling the larger Lucerne sedan into 2011. The newest addition, the midsize Regal sedan, is based on a top-selling European model. Buick plans to expand its lineup with more cars and crossovers.In the wake of its bankruptcy, and pending an initial public offering of stock, Detroit-based GM is privately held predominantly by the U.S. Treasury, which owns more than 60 percent. The Canadian government owns roughly 12 percent, and bondholders from the now-defunct GM (Motors Liquidation Co.) hold about 10 percent. More than 17 percent belongs to a United Auto Workers health care and pension trust that the union accepted in lieu of earlier cash commitments. The UAW will sell its interest to fund the trust once the company goes public.
One of four makes that survived General Motors' 2009 bankruptcy, Cadillac is the company's luxury brand, intended to compete with German imports. Cadillac showed its ability to do so when it introduced the 2003 CTS sedan, whose rear-wheel drive and racetrack-engineered suspension emulated BMW's approach. Now in its second generation, the CTS is frequently cited as one of the best products -- if not the best -- General Motors makes.The CTS now comes in sedan, wagon and coupe forms, all of which are available with rear- or all-wheel drive. The sedan and coupe are offered in performance-oriented V-Series versions comparable to BMW's M and Mercedes-Benz's AMG variants. Cadillac continues to sell the large, roomy DTS sedan, a holdover from the front-wheel-drive era. The STS, also a full-size sedan, is closer to the CTS philosophy, with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. Now late in its life cycle, the STS is more comparable to the first-generation CTS in terms of quality and refinement. A V-Series version of the STS was discontinued.Crossovers and SUVs include the compact SRX and the hulking Escalade, which continues to come in regular, extended (ESV), pickup truck (EXT) and hybrid versions.In the wake of its bankruptcy, and pending an initial public offering of stock, Detroit-based GM is privately held predominantly by the U.S. Treasury, which owns more than 60 percent. The Canadian government owns roughly 12 percent, and bondholders from the now-defunct GM (Motors Liquidation Co.) hold about 10 percent. More than 17 percent belongs to a United Auto Workers health care and pension trust that the union accepted in lieu of earlier cash commitments. The UAW will sell its interest to fund the trust once the company goes public.