The seven-strong Lexus GS lineup will enter 2020 with only five models in the lineup. Cars Direct found out the entry-level GS 300 will not ring in the new year, the discovery explained by a Lexus spokesperson with, "the GS 300 represented a small percentage of GS sales in 2018." That will leave the standard GS 350 and the GS 350 F Sport, both offered in either rear- or all-wheel drive. With the $47,885 GS 300 out of the game, the price of entry for the range goes up to $52,420 for the GS 350 RWD. That price represents a $150 increase over 2019, and an MSRP of $51,395 plus a $1,025 charge for destination and handling. Perhaps it's a sign of how much Lexus believes in the sport sedan credentials of the GS 350 that the rear-wheel-drive version currently on sale costs $330 more than the all-wheel-drive model. This is reversed for the F Sport trims, with the GS 350 F Sport AWD needing $1,745 more than version with a driven rear axle only. If pricing differentials hold across the range into 2020, that would make the GS 350 AWD $52,090, the GS 350 F Sport RWD would cost $53,785, and the GS 350 F Sport AWD $55,530. The GS F, charging along with a 5.0-liter V8 producing 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque sent to the rear wheels only, will run $86,035. That's a $560 bump over the 2019 model year. Since the GS F 10th Anniversary Edition celebrated the tenth anniversary of F performance this year, we don't expect the $89,350 sedan to continue into next year. The GS has been in the spotlight at Lexus HQ since last summer, when the brand's general manager told Automotive News "we're certainly evaluating both vehicles," speaking of the GS and IS. For next year, the 241-horsepower GS 300 slips off the scene, but one wonders how long even the 311-hp GS 350 can stick around when the entire lineup sold just 6,604 units in the U.S. last year. Sales are down more than 50 percent this year, down from a 2015 high of 23,117. The new ES is just nine horses down on the GS, $7,000 less expensive, and sold 50 percent more units in the U.S. in January than the GS has so far this year. With no news of an updated GS on the way and the ES rumored to add an all-wheel-drive trim for 2020, the GS could have a hard time standing up to business-case scrutiny.
The Japan Coast Guard says more than 300 North Korean fishing boats have been spotted in Japan's exclusive economic zone off the Noto Peninsula since late May.
In recent years, North Korean squid-fishing boats have illegally operated from early summer to winter in a fishing ground known as Yamatotai off the peninsula on the Sea of Japan.
General Motors will announce on Friday plans to invest $300 million in a suburban Detroit plant that builds electric and self-driving vehicles for Chevrolet and the automaker's self-driving Cruise unit, two people familiar with the plans said on Thursday. The largest U.S. automaker is expected to announce it plans to build a new electric compact vehicle for Chevy, said the people, who asked not to be identified. GM executives also will formally endorse a revised North American free trade deal known as USMCA, the sources said. GM declined to comment. Company executives are expected to make the case that the new EV — originally considered for one of GM's Chinese plants — is being built in the United States because of the new trade deal that is still awaiting approval by the U.S. Congress. GM has come under harsh attacks from President Donald Trump over its decision to end production at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant. On Thursday, the company said its executives would be joined at the Orion plant by United Auto Workers union Vice President Terry Dittes and government officials to announce "a major new investment focused on the development of GM future technologies." GM Chief Executive Mary Barra is expected to make the formal announcement, which could add hundreds of jobs. The new Chevy vehicle is based on the same compact architecture as the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Cruise AV that are assembled in Orion. The Orion Township plant is slated to begin building a new generation of electric and self-driving vehicles, using GM's dedicated BEV3 architecture, but not until 2023, a third source said. GM said a year ago it would invest $100 million to upgrade the Orion Township plant ahead of commercial production of the Cruise AV in late 2019. Rival Ford this week said it planned to expand its Flat Rock plant outside Detroit to add production of electric vehicles, an investment of more than $850 million expected to add 900 jobs. Ford's first self-driving vehicles will be assembled nearby at an as-yet-undisclosed location.
Lexus is making the Black Line Special Edition treatment available again, this time offering it on the F Sport version of the 2019 IS 300 sports sedan.
The package adds 18-inch, split-spoke wheels with the "black vapor chrome" finish that also appear on the flagship LS sedan, plus back side mirrors. Inside, you get black Nuluxe seats with red accents and contrasting red stitching, which also appears on the center console and armrests, plus red accent panels flanking the center stack. There's also a heated, black wood-trimmed steering wheel highlighted by what Lexus says is "distinctive shades of black that were created by a Japanese calligraphy shop dedicated to perfecting ink for more than 200 years." All Black Line versions are equipped with navigation and triple-beam LED headlights.