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Author Topic: Automotive Industry News........updated on a daily basis......feel free to comment.... Back to Topics
contiki

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Message Posted: Nov 8, 2012 10:21:31 AM

This posting is about Automotive Industry News......

It will be updated on a daily basis.......

Enjoy the stories and feel free to comment on any stories you read.......

These are some of the stories that I come across and if I find them interesting enough I will post them.........

Enjoy the topic and please as always keep it friendly.......

[Edited by: contiki at 11/8/2012 10:24:45 AM EST]
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 15, 2013 3:23:26 PM

Does 'Car Fox' Tell You Everything You Need to Know?

Last August, 54-year-old Danny Chaney was heading down Highway 11, in rural Oklahoma near Ponca City, his only companions classic rock on the radio and the 2012 Chevrolet Colorado truck he'd just bought from a major area car dealer.

As Chaney slowed to make a turn, he said, everything froze, and the vehicle veered off the road.

"The passenger wheel locked up and just pulled the truck off to the side of the road," Chaney told ABC News.

That moment revealed a secret unknown to Danny before he spent twenty grand on the truck: the truck's frame -- the bones of the truck -- had been severely damaged in a wreck.

Does 'Car Fox' Tell You Everything You Need to Know?
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 15, 2013 2:46:10 PM

GM plans entry-level Corvette sports car, report says.......DETROIT (Reuters) -- General Motors is planning to build an entry-level Chevrolet Corvette that would cost less than $50,000 and widen the iconic sports car brand's appeal, people familiar with the plans told Reuters.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker is looking at bringing out the less-expensive model in mid- to late- 2015, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing future product strategy.

"Clearly, there's a lot of opportunity with Corvette," one of the people said. "It's good for General Motors to be thinking out of the box a little bit."

In January, GM showed the 2014 Corvette Stingray, the first new Corvette in nine years, ahead of the Detroit auto show. Called the C7 by fans, it is the seventh generation of the American-made sports car and will go on sale in late summer.

An entry-level Corvette would have a less powerful 5.3-liter V-8 engine, and lack a number of features found in the Stingray such as automatic climate control, the sources said. It would be offered only as a coupe and cost less than the current Corvette, which starts at just over $50,000 and runs up to $112,600.

GM plans entry-level Corvette sports car
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 15, 2013 11:24:32 AM

Woman ticketed in Maryland for driving slowly in passing lane......

This is the kind of story that should warm the hearts of any driver who's ever been caught behind a left-lane bandit and wished the police were around to see. A woman in Maryland was given a ticket by police for doing 63 mph in a 65 mph zone, but as you might have guessed, she'd been in the far left lane - i.e. the passing lane - at the time.

The woman, who hasn't been named, said that she'd slowed down because it was very windy at the time, which the NBC affiliate who reported the story confirmed. There were apparently wind gusts up to 40 mph at during the day.

Both a retired police officer and a spokesman from the local AAA affiliate both support the woman's case that the ticket probably won't stand up in court and that it sends the wrong message.

However, if the woman had simply moved over to the right lane to slow down, there wouldn't have been a problem. The left lane is the passing lane, plain and simple. It's not there to cruise in, to travel in. It's there to help pass other drivers. Sure, if you're driving in bumper-to-bumper rush-hour traffic, that fills up pretty quickly, but in normal conditions, get out of there.

Woman ticketed in Maryland for driving slowly in passing lane
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 15, 2013 8:19:09 AM

The Jeep Cherokee, then and now...........

We look back before its New York auto show debutThe Jeep Cherokee is one of the vehicles that jump-started the entire SUV phenomenon. One of Jeep's best-selling models for more than 20 years, it has been 12 years since we heard from the compact SUV in the United States.

Recently, however, the iconic Cherokee nameplate has been resurrected.

Jeep is bringing the Cherokee back for 2014, and the SUV will be revealed at the New York auto show later this month. But where did the precedent-setting Cherokee get its start?

The Cherokee name was introduced in 1974 by American Motors, and it was far from compact. Known to engineers and Jeepoholics as the SJ, it was introduced as the “sporty” two-door equivalent to the four-door Wagoneer.
Sporty attributes included bucket seats, a sport steering wheel and detailing designed to appeal to younger drivers.

It was the first production SUV to have the option of full-time 4WD (Jeep's QuadraTrac system), and was offered in two body styles: the Cherokee wide-track with 3-inch wider axles and fender flares, and the Cherokee with normal size axles and no fender flares.

The Jeep Cherokee, then and now...........



[Edited by: contiki at 3/15/2013 8:20:44 AM EST]
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 15, 2013 7:09:31 AM

Chevrolet Volt becomes best-selling EV.......

March 14, 2013

Volt, Prius overtake LEAF in global sales
The Chevrolet Volt has overtaken the Nissan LEAF as the globally best-selling electric vehicle, reports Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Chevrolet moved 30,090 examples of the Volt in 2012, just ahead of Toyota's Prius plug-in, which saw 27,181 sales.

It was the first time either vehicle had outsold the LEAF, the plug-in vehicle sales leader in 2011.

Nissan sold 25,435 of them in 2012, not even half of their target.

While all-electric and plug-in vehicle sales doubled last year and are expected to rise another 89 percent in 2013, to 225,000 units, that's still about a third of the demand manufacturers had expected, Bloomberg explained in a report.

Chevrolet Volt becomes best-selling EV.......
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contiki
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Message Posted: Mar 14, 2013 3:58:19 PM

The disappointing dozen: Cars that fail our tests......

The Consumer Reports Annual Autos Issue is a great resource for researching the best cars. Flip through the magazine or tour the website, and it is clear there are many great choices. However, just as there are many good cars available, there are also many that fail miserably. These vehicles fall way below our threshold to be recommended. Take a look at our disappointing dozen—the cars Consumer Reports has recently tested with the lowest test scores.

In perusing these models, you'll find a wide range of car types, counting small cars, sedans, SUVs, and pickups. Likewise, there are several brands represented, with Jeep and Toyota each appearing three times. Our criticisms of these vehicles are often similar, with common shortcomings being poor ride, sloppy handling, tepid acceleration, too much engine noise, and an uncomfortable driving position. Sure, these models may be better than the old junker you're looking to trade in, but they do not hold up against the latest competition. Simply stated: There are many better vehicles available for comparable prices.

We understand that many people buy these vehicles, and others, even though they don't meet our criteria to be recommended. To reach that pinnacle, cars must do well in our tests, attain average-or-better predicted reliability, and must not have failed any government and/or insurance industry crash tests.

The disappointing dozen: Cars that fail our tests......
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contiki
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Message Posted: Mar 14, 2013 2:01:41 PM

Most Americans drive while distracted on phones, CDC study finds

(Bloomberg) -- About seven of 10 Americans talk on their mobile phones while behind the wheel, a dangerous distraction that is more common in the United States than in Europe, U.S. health officials said today.

A survey showed 69 percent of Americans had used their phones while driving in the previous 30 days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The percentage of drivers in seven European countries who did the same ranged from 59 percent in Portugal to 21 percent in the United Kingdom, the CDC said today.

The study also found 31 percent of U.S. drivers read or sent text messages of e-mails while on the road.

Phone use while driving can be deadly.

In the United States, 3.5 million people suffer serious injuries in car crashes each year and an estimated 24 percent of those accidents involve phones, according to the National Safety Council, an injury prevention nonprofit group based in Itasca, Illinois.

Most Americans drive while distracted on phones, CDC study finds
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 14, 2013 1:34:36 PM

Our secret shoppers learn that when you buy a Cadillac or Lincoln, you get a gift!

You'd think that treating yourself to a shiny new $42,000 upscale sedan would be enough of a gift. But some car companies now give you a present at delivery—one that you pay for. So, do you want a black walnut presentation box or an iPad?

I recently took delivery of our 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. It was a surprise when the salesperson gave me a white cardboard box and told me to open it. He didn't know what it was and was genuinely curious. Going through several layers of packing material uncovered a shiny American black walnut presentation box, complete with the Lincoln logo inlaid in the lid.It pales to the surprise I got at the Cadillac dealer a few months back when I picked up our ATS. They handed me a new Apple iPad 2 with Cadillac engraved on the back in a custom logo-emblazoned presentation box. We also got one when we bought our XTS. In fact, you get the iPad if you buy a Caddy with the Cue controls, an apparent consolation prize for having to put up with the annoying interface.

Link

[Edited by: contiki at 3/14/2013 1:39:32 PM EST]
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contiki
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Message Posted: Mar 14, 2013 10:17:09 AM

ExxonMobil: Diesel use to surpass gas by 2020.........

March 13, 2013

Oil company predicts hybrid market share boom
Diesel will surpass conventional gasoline as the most widely used transporation fuel by 2020, according to a new report from oil company ExxonMobil.

The popularity of diesel is expected to grow in part because the use of heavy-duty commercial transport is expected to grow.

It should account for some 40 percent of all transportation demand by 2040, according to ExxonMobil's Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 report.

As diesel engines are, at the same time, installed in more and more light-duty, fuel-efficient cars, diesel fuel could make up 70 percent of the growth in fuel demand through 2040.

ExxonMobil: Diesel use to surpass gas by 2020
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contiki
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Message Posted: Mar 14, 2013 7:41:12 AM

Is General Motors’ over-300 km-range electric vehicle fact or fiction?

Just as the rest of the auto industry starts to cool on the idea of electric cars, General Motors says it’s working on a new type of electric vehicle with a range of 200 miles — or 322 kilometres. To put that in perspective, the current Chevrolet Volt’s pure-electric range is just 62-km and the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV (seen above at its world debut at last year's Los Angeles auto shwo) is expected to be able to go about 120-km between recharges.

As of now, GM is being vague as to the how and when of this supposed breakthrough in EV technology will come to fruition. The “200-mile” EV announcement came from GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Ackerson at an energy industry conference this week in Texas.

“There will be breakthroughs in battery technology, they’re on the horizon", said Ackerson. He added, GM is developing a “dual play on the technology”, one a 100-mile (160-km) range EV, the other is the aforementioned “200-mile” EV.

Vague? yes. But GM's mysterious "200-mile" EV does play into the U.S. automaker's previous pronouncements that it wants to own the plug-in electric market, despite rivals like Ford and Toyota continuing to focus on traditional gas-electric hybrids, like the Toyota Prius.

As before, Ackerson said GM plans on having about 500,000 vehicles on the road by 2017 with some form of “electrification”. That number would include everything from the automaker’s “mild hybrid” eAssist vehicles (Chevrolet Malibu and Buick Regal) to plug-in electric hybrids (Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR) to the pure-electric cars (Spark EV).

Is General Motors’ over-300 km-range electric vehicle fact or fiction?
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contiki
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Message Posted: Mar 14, 2013 7:08:58 AM

Honda Canada recalling some vehicles due to braking problem.........

MARKHAM, Ont. -- Honda Canada says it is recalling about 7,800 vehicles to repair a potential malfunction that could affect braking -- part of a global recall involving nearly 250,000 vehicles.

The problem lies with an electrical component of the Vehicle Stability Assist system, which on some cars, may have been damaged during manufacturing.

The automaker says the malfunction could apply a small amount of brake force without the brakes being touched, or apply too much brake force when the brakes are used.

Honda says there have been no reported crashes or injuries because of this, but it has received several complaints about the malfunction, which will be repaired free of charge.

The recall covers 3,200 Honda Pilot vehicles, 700 Acura RL vehicles and 3,800 Acura MDX vehicles from the 2005 model year, and 100 Acura MDX vehicles from the 2006 model year.

Honda Canada recalling some vehicles due to braking problem

[Edited by: contiki at 3/14/2013 7:11:09 AM EST]
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 13, 2013 2:59:15 PM

Looking back at Lincoln..........

After years of slumping sales, the Lincoln marquee seems to no longer carry the prestige it once did. In an effort to combat this, Lincoln was recently re-introduced as the Lincoln Motor Company.

Let's look back at Lincoln...are it's best days behind it?

Sunshine Special
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s state car, and possibly the start of Lincoln’s history of crafting presidential limos. No one is certain of how the car got the nickname Sunshine Special. The most popular rumour attributes the name to its retractable roof. Modifications included sirens, a two-way radio system and wide running boards and grab handles for Secret Service agents.

Lincoln Cosmopolitan
President Harry Truman’s ride of choice. Allegedly, GM had snubbed his vehicle requests during his campaign, so when Truman was elected, he let Ford supply him. This limo became known as the “Bubbletop” because of a detachable glass canopy that allowed the president to be seen when parading, even on a rainy day.

Continental Mk. 2
The Continental was back, but not under Lincoln’s name - it was simply known as the Continental Mark II. At nearly five times the cost of a regular Ford, the intention was to create the ultimate in American-made luxury. They were entirely hand built and saw a fanatical level of quality control. It was only available for two years. Ford reportedly lost money on each one sold.

Looking back at Lincoln..........

[Edited by: contiki at 3/13/2013 3:01:39 PM EST]
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 13, 2013 7:33:12 AM

U.S. safety agency could add more than 1 million cars to GM brake light recall ..........

DETROIT -- Safety regulators in the U.S. are investigating whether to add more than a million General Motors midsize cars to a recall for brake light problems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it's checking into complaints about the 2004 to 2011 Chevrolet Malibu and the 2007 to 2009 Saturn Aura. The safety agency says the brake lights may not come on when the pedal is pressed, while at other times the lights can illuminate for no reason.

In 2009, GM recalled about 8,000 Pontiac G6 midsize cars from the 2005 model year for the same problem. The government announced in February that it's investigating whether to add 550,000 G6s sold from 2005 to 2009.

Now the agency is investigating 97 complaints from Malibu and Aura owners about the same problems. The two cars share many of the same parts with the G6, but GM spokesmen were unsure Tuesday whether all three cars have the same brake lights.

U.S. safety agency could add more than 1 million cars to GM brake light recall
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contiki
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Message Posted: Mar 12, 2013 2:51:20 PM

SAN DIEGO -- Here's a prediction for a headline you're likely to see this fall: "Impala sales slide."

Not because the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, redesigned for the first time in eight years, is a bad car.

It's a leap over its predecessor and should be plenty competitive with the Toyota Avalon, Ford Taurus and other big sedan rivals, based on my driving impressions from a media event here. The vehicles hits showrooms in April.

Total Impala sales are likely to drop because General Motors is trying to execute a 180-degree turn from the rental-car special that the once-proud nameplate has devolved into over the past decade.

Nearly three in four of the 169,351 Impalas sold last year went to fleet buyers and rental agencies. Chevy marketing chief Chris Perry told me GM wants to flip that percentage and have about 70 percent of sales come at retail and 30 percent sold for fleet and rental, with a heavy emphasis on more-profitable corporate buyers.

Link.........

[Edited by: contiki at 3/12/2013 2:52:24 PM EST]
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contiki
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Message Posted: Mar 12, 2013 10:20:36 AM

Drivers fail car insurance test.......

Women score better than men, but few drivers really understand their car insurance policy

On a 10-question, multiple-choice test asking respondents to choose correct definitions for basic auto insurance terms, the average score was 32 percent out of a possible 100 percent, according to insurance.com. The test group included 500 drivers of all ages and from various regions of the United States, but apparently no matter what the details, nobody really knows much about car insurance.

When broken down into demographic segments, women outscored men by about 8 percentage points on average, and drivers in the south beat out those in the northeast by 10 percentage points.

Age also played a role in higher scores. According to insurance.com, drivers age 40 and older were able to get 39 percent of the answers right while those age 18 to 29 only answered 24 percent of the questions correctly. Still, these scores are a far cry from an A+.

Care to test your own knowledge? Here are a few questions from the test:

Drivers fail car insurance test
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 12, 2013 7:50:19 AM

The Ford F-Series: how much bigger can it get?

When Ford unveiled their new Atlas truck concept at Detriot, they hoped consumers would focus on its new technologies, not its size.

The Detroit Auto Show had an unexpected visitor this past January — the Ford Atlas pickup truck concept.

This truck, lowered from the rafters of the Cobo Hall theater, was a surprise to the assembled journalists.

Frankly this type of reveal is usually expected or at least suspected. Not this time, though. What dropped ever so gently from the ceiling was a truck with a body even larger than the current F-150; and with a host of technical advancements, too.

Ford is hoping consumers focus on the new technology part – designed to satisfy future customers' work-and-play needs – not size, it says. But there was just no overlooking the dimensions of the Atlas. Is this really where pickups are headed?

I remember asking that question the last time I tested a then-new-generation F-150 back in 2009. That year the F-series was resized – for the third time in as many generations – to become the biggest F-150 ever. If in 2014 the Atlas becomes the template for the next F-150 body, it will be the fourth example of this trend.

The Ford F-Series: how much bigger can it get?
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contiki
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Message Posted: Mar 12, 2013 7:19:38 AM

The world's least expensive countries for gas.......

Gasoline for $0.03 per litre? Find out where.

Depending where you are in the country, you're rolling up to a filling station with gas going for about $1.40 a litre, on average. That's a lot to the common Canadian family, but on the world's scale it's a figure that's simply middle-of-the-pack.

Earlier, MSN detailed the countries with the most expensive gas in the world, where a litre could set you back as much as $2.67. But where does gas cost just pennies? With data from MyTravelCost.com, here are the world's least expensive countries to fill your car.

Cost per litre: 31 cents
The sixth-least expensive country for gas is Kuwait, the Middle Eastern nation where gas goes for just 31 cents per litre. By extreme contrast, the world's sixth-most expensive country is also in the Middle East — Israel, where gas costs a whopping $2.33 per litre.

Cost per litre: 26 cents
Qatar is most notable to the western world as the host site for the 2022 World Cup. But for drivers, gas prices in the country are a kick, too. A litre of unleaded fuel in the Arab nation costs just 26 cents per litre, according to MyTravelCost.com.

Cost per litre: 22 cents
The largest Arab state in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia nearly owns the region's smallest gas prices. The oil-rich country provides much of the resource to the world, and its drivers at home reap the benefits, paying just 22 cents per litre for gas.

The world's least expensive countries for gas
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 11, 2013 4:46:39 PM

GENEVA -- Ford Motor Co.'s product development team is facing its toughest challenge yet in developing a global design language: creating a Mustang that works outside North America.

The next Mustang, scheduled to arrive next year, is scheduled for sale in Europe and other parts of the world. For Ford of Europe design chief Martin Smith, that means Ford has "a knife edge to walk" in keeping the fabled pony car attractive to American loyalists while appealing to new buyers.

"That is a really interesting challenge," Smith said in an interview at the Geneva auto show. "What will emerge from that whole process is one of the best sports cars in the world and one that is still affordable."

"It won't cost $1 million," he added, in a reference to the several seven-figure models on display in Geneva.

The development process is moving the Mustang to Ford global design and engineering standards, while trying to maintain its identity as "a North American icon," Smith said. The next-generation Ford Edge also will be sold in Europe.

Ford Motor Co.'s product development team is facing its toughest challenge yet in developing a global design language

[Edited by: contiki at 3/11/2013 4:47:40 PM EST]
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 11, 2013 11:37:35 AM

Chevrolet to take wraps off updated Camaro in NYC............

March 8, 2013

A little nip here and a small tuck there will help trim up the refreshed pony car.

It’s no secret the Camaro is a little rough around the edges. But, just like a trailer park bombshell, she may just need some lessons in refinement and an updated wardrobe.

Chevrolet will officially take the wraps off the 2014 Camaro (not pictured) at the New York Auto show later this month, alongside a slew of other models already revealed at other locales – Corvette Stringray Coupe and Convertible and the brand new Chevrolet SS.

However, if you are really wondering what the next Camaro will look like, this news writer has heard it will definitely be “more evolution than revolution” when it drops in a few years time.

Chevrolet to take wraps off updated Camaro in NYC
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 11, 2013 10:20:31 AM

2015 Ford Mustang may get boosted here after all.........

March 11, 2013

Road & Track reports the 2.3L EcoBoost Mustang being a Euro-only affair are incorrect.

According to our friends at Road & Track, the new-age SVO Mustang will be available to those of us who live in the colonies. It also won’t be the base engine, with the 2.3L EcoBoost mill slotting between the V6 and V8 powered models.

With the base V6 pumping out a very healthy 305hp, expecting the EcoBoost mill to crank out more than that isn’t out of the question. If it is a premium option it needs to offer premium power. However, the V8 will still remain as the king at the top of the power pyramid.

[Source: Road & Track]

2015 Ford Mustang may get boosted here after all
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Mar 11, 2013 8:07:22 AM

Akerson Says GM Working on 200-Mile Range Electric Car.......

General Motors Co. (GM) is working on developing an electric car that has a range of as much as 200 miles (322 kilometers), Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson said.

“There will be breakthroughs in battery technology, they’re on the horizon,” Akerson said today during a presentation at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference broadcast on CNBC.com. “We’re actually developing a car today which is really anathema to the way the auto industry works: We’re running a dual play on the technology to see which one will succeed. One will result in” a 100-mile range, “the other will be a 200-mile range.”

The CEO reiterated GM’s plans to have about 500,000 vehicles on the road by 2017 with some form of electrification, including the Chevrolet Volt, which can go 38 miles on battery power, and he also pointed to work the Detroit-based automaker is doing with diesel and compressed-natural gas, according prepared remarks.

During his speech, Akerson called on President Barack Obamato appoint a commission to develop a 30-year energy policy and said the U.S. should continue to develop all forms of energy, including renewable sources.

“Everywhere you look there are opportunities to seize the energy high ground,” Akerson said in the text of his prepared speech. “Indeed, our leaders have been presented with an historic opportunity to create a national energy policy from a position of strength and abundance. The pillars of such a plan must include energy diversity, so we do not become dependent on any one fuel or energy source.”

GM Working on 200-Mile Range Electric Car
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contiki
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Message Posted: Mar 11, 2013 7:29:15 AM

LOS ANGELES -- A proper sell-down of an aging nameplate is almost seamless on the showroom floor, a blend of marketing and incentives designed so only a handful of the old model remains when the new one arrives with a blast of publicity.

But reality gets in the way sometimes. Take the Honda Civic. The 2012 redesign that arrived in spring 2011 was panned by critics for its cheap-looking interior, carryover base engine and bland exterior styling. Honda was forced to throw big lease and interest-rate deals on the hood to move them. It also did a hurry-up of the midcycle change, arriving in December, about 19 months after launch.

But a funny thing happened. Once customers heard about the great deals on the '12, as early as last spring, they started flooding dealerships. Critical comments in the press be damned -- there were deals on the Civic to be had.

The Civic led the compact segment in 2012, beating the Toyota Corolla for the first time in recent years. As a result, dealers kept ordering more units, even when they knew the quick-turnaround restyling was on the way.

"It was a strange situation," said Art Wright, a Honda dealer in Lehigh Valley, Pa., since 1972. "It was panned by experts, but the consumers loved it. Some dealers were sorry to see the old one go. Those deals made them a pretty easy sell."


Link

[Edited by: contiki at 3/11/2013 7:33:08 AM EST]
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contiki
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Message Posted: Mar 10, 2013 8:26:25 PM

CHINESE CHEVROLET

Why haven't we heard this on the nightly news ????

GM is becoming CHINA MOTORS...........

[Edited by: contiki at 3/10/2013 8:27:52 PM EST]
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contiki
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Message Posted: Mar 10, 2013 12:39:45 PM

LOS ANGELES -- Toyota regained considerable value to once again be the world's most valuable automotive brand at $26 billion, up 6 percent from last year, according to marketing consultancy Brand Finance.

The surprise performer in the study was Volkswagen, which rose 33 percent to jump from fourth to second at $23.7 billion, despite sales softness in its home European market, the report said.

German brands dominated the other top spots, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz in third and fourth places despite their relatively low volumes compared with the global auto giants.

The top American car brand was Ford, rated fifth at $19.6 billion, with a 12 percent growth. Chevy was next among U.S. brands, moving up one spot to 12th -- with a 26 percent gain in value to $6.0 billion.

Toyota regained considerable value to once again be the world's most valuable automotive brand
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contiki
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Message Posted: Mar 10, 2013 8:54:28 AM

TURIN -- Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is betting billions of euros that Alfa Romeo and Maserati will help drive the automaker's money-losing European operations back into the black by 2015-2016.

He's also counting on the underperforming sporty brands to help ignite a production boom that will turn the company's under-used European plants -- particularly those in Italy -- into export champions that will work around the clock to meet untapped global demand for models such as the Levante, Maserati's first SUV.

Marchionne's big gamble on Alfa and Maserati comes at a time when rivals such as PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, General Motors and Ford Motor are negotiating to close European car plants to adjust to shrinking demand and to end big financial loses in the region.

Marchionne has said for years that European volume automakers must make painful capacity reductions to become profitable in Europe again. Now the CEO has accepted that it is politically impossible for Fiat to close factories in Italy. To fully use the group's underperforming Italian plants, Marchionne aims to increase Maserati's annual sales to more than 50,000 by 2015 from about 6,000 last year, and he wants Alfa to triple sales to more over than 300,000 by 2016.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is betting billions of euros that Alfa Romeo and Maserati will help drive the automaker's money-losing European
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Message Posted: Mar 9, 2013 3:33:13 PM


DETROIT -- Subaru of America is recalling more than 47,000 cars and SUVs with remote starters because the engines can start on their own.
The recall affects some Legacy and Outback cars from the 2010 to 2013 model years. Also covered are the Impreza from 2012 and 2013 and the XV Crosstrek from 2013.

Subaru says that if the key fob is dropped, it can malfunction and start the engine. The motor will run for up to 15 minutes, but could continue to start and stop until the car runs out of gas or the fob battery dies. If the cars are parked in a garage, there's a risk of carbon monoxide buildup.
The cars all have automatic or continuously variable transmissions. Subaru dealers will replace the fobs free of charge.

There was no mention of injuries related to the recall. Calls to Subaru early Thursday were not immediately returned.

Subaru of America is recalling more than 47,000 cars and SUVs
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Message Posted: Mar 9, 2013 8:37:34 AM

2013 Buick Verano Turbo quick spin.........

Quickly and quietly changing perceptions

What is it?
It was the summer of 1964, a duo called Jan & Dean released a single called “Little Old Lady from Pasadena” about a little old lady and her Super Stock Dodge — and her ability to smoke just about anyone off the line. Fast forward some 50 years, and what we’ve got here is the contemporary equivalent of that Super Stock Dodge.

We may have found the Little Old Lady’s modern day ride, but this time, it’s not a Dodge — it’s a Buick. The Max Wedge V8 might now be a turbocharged and directed four-cylinder engine, but the result is the same: a powerful small car that’s certain to catch many an unsuspecting driver off guard with low-key looks.

What’s new?
The big news, as you’ve likely guessed, is the addition of this new range-topping engine, which is borrowed from the Regal Turbo, Regal GS, and other GM products like the Cadillac ATS. While detuned to 250 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, it’s still capable of a 0-100 km/h time in the mid-six second range, handily out-pacing its direct rivals. It comes standard with a six-speed automatic, but in a surprising move, Buick is also offering it with a six-speed manual. Yes, you read that right – another Buick with a shift-it-yourself ‘box.

There is little to differentiate the Verano Turbo from the standard Verano; from the front, they are identical. The only giveaways are the subtlest of rear spoilers, a second exhaust tip, and dark-tinted multi-spoke wheels. Turbo models are lavishly equipped, and come standard with heated leather seats, heated steering wheel, back-up camera, blind-spot monitoring, push-button start, and just about every other toy luxury car buyers dream of.

What’s it like to drive?

2013 Buick Verano Turbo quick spin.........
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Message Posted: Mar 9, 2013 8:21:22 AM

DETROIT -- U.S. safety officials have ended a probe into allegations that three Ford SUVs can roll away even when they have been shifted into park.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in documents on its website that the investigation involved about 1.5 million Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer and Lincoln Aviator SUVS from the 2002 to 2005 model years.

The agency determined that failure rates on transmission and brake parts weren't high enough to take further action, such as a recall. The probe began in April 2009 and was closed on Feb. 12, the agency said. NHTSA found 36 complaints including 14 crashes and six injuries.

Link

[Edited by: contiki at 3/9/2013 8:24:41 AM EST]
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Message Posted: Mar 8, 2013 3:00:52 PM

Women shying away from buying domestic cars..............

March 8, 2013

Women buyers influence 80 percent of car-buying decisions
Many women new car buyers greatly prefer foreign makes over domestic brands, according to new data from analyst R.L. Polk & Co.

Women influenced four out of every five new car sales in 2012, and a record 39 percent of new cars were registered to women last year, too, reports the Detroit News.

But the percentage of female domestic buyers is going up, as the Detroit Three repair their reputations for building below-average quality cars.

The top ten brands with the highest percentage of female buyers included MINI, Kia, Nissan, Honda and Fiat — but not a single domestic automaker. Buick was the only domestic automaker to beat the industry average of 38.8 percent female ownership.

"It's not surprising," the Detroit News quotes Anne Feighan of advertising agency Campbell-Ewald. "When you look at the big segments in the industry, like midsize, and you think about the top reasons for the purchase, it's quality, reliability, dependability, fuel-efficiency and long-lasting. And the imports dominate those areas."

Women shying away from buying domestic cars..............
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Message Posted: Mar 8, 2013 12:32:01 PM

2013 Honda Civic aces tough IIHS crash test...........

After some mixed results from early models tested in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) new small overlap crash test, the latest batch of vehicles earn top scores.

The Volvo XC60 and two- and four-door versions of the Honda Civic earn Good ratings for small overlap protection. Both the Lincoln MKZ and the redesigned 2014 Mazda6 sedans earned an Acceptable rating in the latest test.

For this test, vehicles careen into a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph, replicating the impact with a tree or pole. The simulated crash involves just 25 percent of the width of the vehicle, concentrating the force on essentially the driver-side front corner.

To reward good performers, the IIHS added a "+" to their coveted Top Safety Pick award for those models that earn a Good or Acceptable in this rigorous test. To qualify for a Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must earn Good ratings in at least four out of five of their tests, which include the moderate front overlap crash, side impact, rollover, and evaluations of how well seat and head restraints protect occupants from neck injuries in rear impacts. Plus, the car has to earn no less than an Acceptable in the small front overlap crash test.

The Honda Civic is the first small car to earn the Top Safety Pick+ award.

For 2013, the Civic received significant front structural upgrades in the car body and cabin to improve its performance in the small overlap test.

2013 Honda Civic aces tough IIHS crash test
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Message Posted: Mar 8, 2013 12:09:47 PM

GM Canada to invest $250M in Ont. assembly plant...........

OSHAWA, Ont. -- General Motors says it will invest $250 million to install new equipment and retool at its CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont.

GM Canada says the improvements will enable the plant to build a wider variety of vehicles at a lower cost.

Construction on the project is expected to begin within weeks.

North American automakers have been gaining momentum recently as the industry recovers from the severe downturn that started in late 2008.
Industry observers have predicted 2013 North American sales will surpass last year's as the U.S. economy revives from the recession.

GM Canada to invest $250M in Ont. assembly plant
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Message Posted: Mar 8, 2013 7:34:27 AM

DETROIT -- Ford is recalling 230,000 minivans in 20 cold-weather states and Washington, D.C., to fix rust problems that can cause the third-row seats to come loose.

The company says the recall affects Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans from the 2004 through 2007 model years. They were sold mainly in Canada and U.S. states where salt is used to clear roads in the winter.

Ford said Thursday that rust can weaken the mounting brackets that hold the removable seats to the van floor. The company says no crashes or injuries have been reported from the problem.

Dealers will install new seat mounting brackets, placing them outside of the area that can rust. They'll also install panels above the rear wheels to prevent water from entering, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said. Owners will be notified of the recall by letter during the last week of March.

Ford is recalling 230,000 minivans in 20 cold-weather states and Washington, D.C., to fix rust problems

[Edited by: contiki at 3/8/2013 7:35:31 AM EST]
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Message Posted: Mar 7, 2013 3:12:14 PM

TURIN -- Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is betting billions of euros that Alfa Romeo and Maserati will help drive the automaker's money-losing European operations back into the black by 2015-2016.

He's also counting on the underperforming sporty brands to help ignite a production boom that will turn the company's under-used European plants -- particularly those in Italy -- into export champions that will work around the clock to meet untapped global demand for models such as the Levante, Maserati's first SUV.

Marchionne's big gamble on Alfa and Maserati comes at a time when rivals such as PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, General Motors and Ford Motor are negotiating to close European car plants to adjust to shrinking demand and to end big financial loses in the region.

Marchionne has said for years that European volume automakers must make painful capacity reductions to become profitable in Europe again. Now the CEO has accepted that it is politically impossible for Fiat to close factories in Italy. To fully use the group's underperforming Italian plants, Marchionne aims to increase Maserati's annual sales to more than 50,000 by 2015 from about 6,000 last year, and he wants Alfa to triple sales to more over than 300,000 by 2016.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is betting billions of euros that Alfa Romeo and Maserati will help drive the automaker's money-losing
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Message Posted: Mar 7, 2013 12:00:37 PM

General Motors aims to cut the weight of its North American vehicles by as much as 15 percent by the 2016 model year, compared with GM's current fleet, CEO Dan Akerson said today.

GM estimates that a 10 percent reduction in curb weight cuts fuel consumption by about 6.5 percent.

To reach that goal, Akerson said, GM is "aggressively investing" in new materials and technologies such as carbon fiber, nanosteel and resistance spot welding for aluminum structures.

"But if you're worried that we're going to throw safety, comfort and performance out of the window to get there, you can breathe easy," Akerson said during an address to a Houston energy conference.

He noted that the 2013 Cadillac ATS is lighter than the similar sized BMW 3 series.

GM has said that it is targeting major weight savings for its vehicles, which typically are heavier than rivals', hurting fuel economy. But it had not stated an across-the-board goal for weight reduction.

General Motors aims to cut the weight of its North American vehicles by as much as 15 percent by the 2016 model year
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Message Posted: Mar 7, 2013 7:52:29 AM

Nissan recalls cars over fire risk........

March 6, 2013

Sentra fuel tanks may spill over, leak
Nissan is recalling 90 brand new cars because a potential leak in the fuel tank could pose a fire risk.

Nissan Sentra cars from model year 2013 are affected.

On some of these vehicles, the fuel tank may not have been manufactured correctly, and could leak when full. If this happens when an ignition source is present, a fire could result.

Dealers will inspect the fuel tank and replace it if necessary.

Nissan recalls cars over fire risk........
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Message Posted: Mar 7, 2013 7:29:01 AM

Federal government wants feedback to revamp vehicle fuel-consumption labels
The federal government is looking for public and industry feedback on a proposed new fuel-consumption label for new cars, SUVs and non-commercial trucks and vans.

Natural Resources Canada has posted a notice on its web site explaining it wants to update the sticker to provide “comprehensive and meaningful” information so consumers can choose vehicles that best save fuel and minimize greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions.

“The purpose of this bulletin is to provide Canadians with background information and to solicit preliminary feedback that will be used to inform the development of the labels. This bulletin presents two options for a new gasoline vehicle label and one option each for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.”
Automobiles accounted for 12 per cent of Canada’s GHG emissions in 2009, the notice says. Ottawa says it has tightened fuel-consumption standards through to 2016 to maintain the trend to improved efficiency. But consumers need more help when they’re shopping for the most fuel-efficient vehicles. Better labeling apparently is part of the solution.

“A number of studies conclude that consumers need clear information that facilitates easy comparisons of different choices to help them purchase more fuel-efficient automobiles,” the bulletin says.

“The Government of Canada’s current EnerGuide fuel consumption label does not provide Canadians with the information they need to compare the energy, environmental, and financial costs and benefits of different vehicle choices.” Existing labels also don’t allow for information on vehicles using advanced technologies such as electric cars and hybrids, it says.

Link.....

[Edited by: contiki at 3/7/2013 7:31:08 AM EST]
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Message Posted: Mar 6, 2013 12:07:07 PM

LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) -- To see the constant tension at automakers between sales volumes and profit margins, look no further than the current state of Toyota Motor Corp.'s Camry.

The Camry sedan has been the top-selling car in the United States for 11 years.

In February sales results announced last week, however, there was a shocker: Camry sales slumped 9.5 percent from a year earlier, the biggest drop in 16 months, knocking Toyota's sales growth to about half what analysts had estimated.

The rough month reflects rising competition for Toyota, which regained the title of world's largest automaker in 2012.
In the mid-sized car segment that accounts for 22 percent of U.S. light-vehicle sales, Camry faces models that have been revamped in the past year, including the Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima, which both came with bigger discounts last month, according to researcher Edmunds.com.

While Camry's sales would have to continue to slide to lose its No. 1 title -- it outsold its nearest competitor by 22 percent last year and kept that same lead so far this year -- a swoon for its trademark product would be a blow for Toyota.

Link........
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Message Posted: Mar 6, 2013 9:42:36 AM

Kia concept car 'Provo' reminds some of IRA terror

DUBLIN - Kia's new concept car, the Provo, is designed to provoke comment. But to many across Britain and Ireland, the name sounds like a celebration of terrorism.

British lawmakers appealed Tuesday in the House of Commons for the South Korean car maker to junk the name of its planned mini sports coupe because "Provo" is the street name for the dominant branch of the outlawed Irish Republican Army. The Provisional IRA killed nearly 1,800 people during its failed 1970-1997 campaign to force Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom.

Kia insisted the Provo — an experimental prototype unveiled this week for the International Geneva Motor Show and years away from production — was named to suggest "provocative," not IRA bombings and shootings. And in a follow-up statement, Kia said it would be certain not to market any future car as a Provo in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland.

"I accept that this was a mistake made by the company and I know that their decisive action will be welcomed by many people, in Northern Ireland and beyond, whose lives have been affected by the murderous actions of the Provisional IRA," said Gregory Campbell, a British lawmaker for the main Northern Ireland party, the Democratic Unionists.

Kia concept car 'Provo' reminds some of IRA terror
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Message Posted: Mar 6, 2013 7:23:46 AM

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it sold a record 11,600 natural gas vehicles in its 2012 model year, more than triple the number it sold in 2010.

It's the latest sign that natural gas is making inroads as a transportation fuel, particularly for truck fleets, buses and taxis. The consumer market is tougher to crack, but sales are gaining there as well.

Natural gas is cheap and plentiful in the U.S. after a spike in production that began in the middle of last decade. At the same time, the price of gasoline and diesel fuel has jumped more than 30 percent.

That makes natural gas — which also emits fewer greenhouse gases — an increasingly attractive option for truck companies and municipalities.
But while natural gas may be a good choice for snow plows and trash trucks, which go relatively short distances and can refuel at city-owned pumps, it's a tougher call for ordinary consumers. Natural gas cars cost more and there are few public places to refuel them. Those issues need to be addressed if the vehicles are to significantly boost their share of the auto market, which is currently less than 1 percent.

General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group recently added natural gas pickup trucks to their lineups. Honda Motor Co. is seeing more interest in its natural gas Civic — with record U.S. sales of nearly 2,000 last year — and industry experts expect more offerings for regular buyers in the next year or two.

Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it sold a record 11,600 natural gas vehicles in its 2012 model year
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Message Posted: Mar 5, 2013 11:03:15 AM

Let the sunshine in: Toyota will build drop-top GT86........

The list of true competitors for the Mazda Miata has been pretty small since its introduction back in 1989. Most similarly sized rear-drive roadsters have either been too expensive (Audi TT, BMW Z3/Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK, Porsche Boxster), too compromised (Toyota's last US-only MR2) or have been driven by the wrong wheels (third-gen Mercury Capri).

Well, the long-running rumour that Toyota (and by default, Subaru) would take another crack at it, this time using its fantastic GT 86 has finally been confirmed. (The GT86 is sold as the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ here in Canada.)

From appearance, it looks like the concept retains the coupe's 2+2 seating, and we'd guess the top is powered canvas rather than a heavy folding-metal hardtop. The larger wheels and low-profile tires are tucked way up into the arches, but that's pretty standard autoshow-preview stuff... Production versions would probably ride on the same modest 17-inchers found on regular models, although perhaps a different style to differentiate the two.

Let the sunshine in: Toyota will build drop-top GT86........
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Message Posted: Mar 5, 2013 7:17:32 AM

GENEVA -- The Volkswagen Golf has been named Europe's Car of the Year by automotive journalists from more than 20 countries.

Introduced in 1974 and recently redesigned, the hatchback is the company's mass-market flagship -- and a key element in its ambition to overtake Toyota as the world's biggest carmaker.

The car left the competition in the dust Monday on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show, grabbing 414 votes. The Subaru BRZ, also sold as the Toyota GT-86, was second with 202 votes and the Volvo V40 third with 189 votes.

The award is one of the most important in Europe and gives consumers an idea of what the experts think the car of the future is. But it's old news for the Golf, which has already won it in 1992.

The Volkswagen Golf has been named Europe's Car of the Year
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Message Posted: Mar 4, 2013 5:20:58 PM

First Drive: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.......

March 4, 2013

2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Catalonia, Spain – Since its launch in 2009 as a 2010 model, the current generation E-Class has done quite well for Mercedes-Benz. Worldwide, they’ve moved about 700,000 sedans and 100,000 wagons. In fact, Mercedes calls the E-Class its most important nameplate.

Four years is quite some time to wait for a mid-cycle refresh in the luxury world. Nonetheless the Stuttgart automaker is using delicate brushstrokes on this makeover. Evolution over revolution.

Makes prefect sense. The E-Class is a conservative executive sedan, and no one kicking these tires is looking for a wild party.

First Drive: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
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Message Posted: Mar 4, 2013 12:56:57 PM

Does a lack of unveilings at the Geneva Motor Show spell trouble for European carmakers?

PARIS -- The Geneva Motor Show has long had a reputation as one of the glitziest stops on the global auto show circuit -- the place to unveil luxury models and out-of-this-world fantasy concept cars.

But this year the dire state of the European auto industry will hang over the exhibition halls. Hit by fleeing customers, struggling economies and idle production lines, the region's carmakers need to make tough decisions if they are going to survive.

Paul Newton, an analyst at HIS Automotive, an industry consulting firm, says no broad themes have emerged ahead of this week's show and no landmark unveilings are expected -- a sign of the industry's malaise and uncertainty. He argues that European automakers need deep restructuring, and not just a set of flashy new wheels.

"The Koreans are taking customers from somewhere. And it would appear that these guys are taking customers from the mass-market, established European players,'' said Newton.

Link.........



[Edited by: contiki at 3/4/2013 12:59:03 PM EST]
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Message Posted: Mar 4, 2013 7:28:53 AM

DETROIT -- General Motors is including scheduled maintenance in the price of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup for sales in March and April, matching a promotion it began last month on the GMC Sierra.

GM is looking to stoke demand for the aging full-sized pickups ahead of the late-spring rollout of its next-generation Silverado and Sierra. The free-maintenance promotion on the Sierra was a success last month and will be extended through April, GM executives said today.

The promotion includes oil changes, oil-filter replacements, tire rotations and vehicle inspections for 2 years/24,000 miles. It will be standard on any 2013 Silverado 1500 sold or leased during March and April and is transferrable between owners.

Kurt McNeil, vice president of GM's sales operations, called the two-year deal "the best pickup coverage in America" when combined with the 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Toyota offers a similar free-maintenance package on its Tundra full-sized pickup. Its powertrain warranty covers 5 years/60,000 miles.

GM is looking to stoke demand for the aging full-sized pickups................
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Message Posted: Mar 3, 2013 2:59:20 PM

Audi to sell carbon-neutral biogas car.......

March 1, 2013

A3 Sportback g-tron runs on Audi's e-gas
Audi will unveil the first vehicle designed to run on its new carbon dioxide-neutral e-gas, the A3 Sportback g-tron, at the Geneva Motor Show next week.

The five-door compact, to debut at the end of this year, emits just 30 grams of CO2 per kilometre (48 per mile), and has a total range of 1,300 km (807 miles).

It runs on both conventional gasoline and compressed natural gas, specifically the specially engineered e-gas Audi will produce in its power-to-gas plant in Werlte, Germany.

After starting up with gasoline, the engine quickly switches over to the CNG; range on e-gas is roughly 400 km (248 miles), with an additional 900 km (559 miles) on gasoline.

Audi to sell carbon-neutral biogas car............
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Message Posted: Mar 3, 2013 8:02:42 AM

A new study suggests drivers making a left-hand turn while talking on a hands-free cellphone is more dangerous than previously thought.

In a small study, researchers put 16 adults between the ages of 20 and 30-years-old to the test.

Using a driving simulator, complete with working foot pedals and a steering wheel, the test subjects manoeuvred through a series of driving tasks that became progressively more difficult over the course of an hour.

An man works his phone as he drives through traffic in Dallas, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Texas lawmakers are considering a statewide ban on texting while driving. (AP / LM Otero)

Commuters are reflected in a rearview mirror in rush hour traffic in Toronto.

All the while, researchers at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital mapped their brain activity with an MRI.

What researchers saw in the MRI scans was startling. They found that turning left requires a high level of brain activation. In fact, they say it uses more areas of the brain than turning right or even driving straight.

"When it came to a left-hand turn at a busy intersection, virtually the entire brain lights up, giving us objective evidence it is a very demanding task," said Dr. Tom Schweizer, a researcher at St. Michael's Hospital, who led the study.

That's key, because according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the U.S., left turn crashes happen more often. More than 22 per cent of the 2.3 million collisions that occurred in the U.S. in 2008 happened when drivers made left turns at intersections compared to 1.2 per cent during right turns. Transport Canada says about 30 per cent of fatalities and 40 per cent of serious injuries in crashes in Canada occur at intersections and left turn crashes are among the most dangerous.

A new study suggests drivers making a left-hand turn while talking on a hands-free cellphone is more dangerous than previously thought
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Message Posted: Mar 3, 2013 7:42:06 AM

GM sales rise 7.2%, Ford sales jump 9%, Chrysler up 4% in strong February

The Detroit News

The Detroit Three all posted U.S. sales gains in February, and much of the driving factor was full-size pickup sales.

General Motors Co. said its full-size pickup sales jumped 28 percent in the month, with sales of the Chevrolet Silverado up 28.9 percent and GMC Sierra up 25 percent in the comparative period.

Ford Motor Co. said its F-Series sales jumped 15.3 percent in February from February 2012. Sales of Chrysler Group LLC's Ram pickups rose 3 percent from February 2012, marking the best February for Ram pickup sales in six years.

"The housing sector has now joined auto sales in propelling the U.S. economy forward," Kurt McNeil, GM's vice president of U.S. sales operations, said in a statement. "More importantly, the recovery in new home construction is reinforcing the underlying improvement in auto-buying conditions, especially for pickups."

Overall, GM's 224,314 U.S. sales in February were up 7.2 percent from a year ago, as all four of its brands posted year-over-year sales gains. The Cadillac brand saw its sales jump by 20.3 percent, the Buick brand gained 15.2 percent, GMC jumped 9.8 percent and Chevrolet was up 4.9 percent year-over-year.

GM sales rise 7.2%, Ford sales jump 9%, Chrysler up 4% in strong February

[Edited by: contiki at 3/3/2013 7:46:58 AM EST]
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Message Posted: Mar 3, 2013 7:31:36 AM

LOS ANGELES -- American Honda's February sales fell 2 percent, as rare slumps by such volume models as the Civic, CR-V and Odyssey offset a strong month for the redesigned Accord.

With nearly 28,000 sales, up 35 percent, the Accord led Honda brand sales, and gave the Toyota Camry its closest contest for top-selling car in months -- though it still trailed by more than 3,200 units.

"It took a big winter storm in the Northeast to slow us down a bit, but our robust sales over the last three weeks show that our strong retail momentum continues," John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president, said in a statement. "With Accord posting strong numbers and spring just around the corner, the best is yet to come."

Meanwhile, Honda says dealers this year are selling the restyled 2013 Civic "on merit," and not relying on incentives, as they did with the outgoing 2012 model.

"We're not spending nearly so much on special finance rates and lease deals," said spokesman Chris Martin. "Mostly all the '12s are gone now."

American Honda's February sales fell 2 percent...........
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Message Posted: Mar 2, 2013 11:36:30 AM

TORONTO - New data suggest the afternoon drive home may be riskier than the drive to work in the morning.

The report says car crashes that result in people being hospitalized are more common in the afternoon and evening than at other times in the day.

The figures were released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

They show that in 2010–2011, nearly 4,000 drivers were admitted to hospital between 4 p.m. and midnight after collisions on public roads.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the figure was just under 2,600 people and from midnight to 8 a.m., 1,800 drivers were in crashes that led to hospitalizations.

"During the day, the morning drive seems to be a lower risk period than the afternoon drive. And it may be that people are doing more driving at the end of the day — running around doing chores, etc.," says Greg Webster, who is CIHI's director of primary health-care and clinical registries.

New data suggest the afternoon drive home may be riskier than the drive to work in the morning

[Edited by: contiki at 3/2/2013 11:37:21 AM EST]
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Message Posted: Mar 2, 2013 10:16:59 AM

Auto sales surge despite Washington budget fight..........

For the last several years, automotive sales have helped carry the struggling economy. This time, however, the recovering housing market appears to be giving a boost to the auto industry.

February sales showed unexpectedly solid momentum, automakers are reporting today, despite concerns about recent fuel price spikes and the potential damage that the ongoing budget battle in Washington could cause to a still-fragile economy.

As in recent months, cheap financing and pent-up demand helped propel the car market, but industry analysts say other factors helped drive a roughly 7% increase for February in the sales of new cars, trucks and crossovers.

“The housing sector has now joined auto sales in propelling the U.S. economy forward,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations for General Motors, which reported a 7% increase, year-over-year. “More importantly, the recovery in new home construction is reinforcing the underlying improvement in auto buying conditions, especially for pickups.

Auto sales surge despite Washington budget fight
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