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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

Lexus Teases First Super Bowl Commercial Ever

On: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 4:42PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lexus Teases First Super Bowl Commercial Ever test 2

Losing your 11-year title sure has a way of firing you up. After slipping from its stronghold as the number 1 luxury retailer in the US--all the way down to number 3--Lexus is more determined than ever to have a big year. The automaker is planning on growing its US sales by at least 20 percent. It is also kicking off early 2012 with its first-ever Super Bowl commercial.

New products really aren't much good if no one knows they exist. And why not reach out to the country's largest television audience and let them know what's going on at your brand. That appears to be what Lexus will do when it launches its first Super Bowl commercial during Super Bowl XLVI on February 5.

Lexus Plans New Models To Fend Off Surging Europeans And Retake U.S. Sales Crown

On: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 10:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

Lexus Plans New Models To Fend Off Surging Europeans And Retake U.S. Sales  test 2

After more than a decade of being the US luxury leader, Lexus fell from its throne and watched both BMW and Mercedes Benz surpass it in 2011 sales. Lexus's year was complicated by production issues that arose in the wake of the natural disasters that hit Japan last March.

Lexus has no intentions of ceding its throne for long. It's also not about to sit back, make excuses about the natural disasters and expect a natural rebound. It plans to actively revitalize its US presence with the launch of a variety of new models.

Overall, Lexus has nine new or updated models to introduce this year and is also mulling moving into some new segments. The company hopes that the new models will help it to produce a 21 percent sales bounce, putting it back in the running for the US luxury market's top spot.

GM Looks Through 'Windows Of Opportunity'

On: Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 10:22AM | By: Chris Salamone

WOO App test 2

What are automakers supposed to do as children become so entrenched in media exposure that they appear literally incapable of sitting quietly in the backseat? Surely today’s rear-seat DVD players and quasi-interactive gaming consoles won’t be enough to entertain kids of the future – when road trips will become something of an exercise in punishment. In a stroke of visionary boldness, GM has already pioneered a strategy to combat these rare moments of childhood un-productivity.

General Motors Research and Development issued a challenge to the students of FUTURE LAB (seriously) at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel to conceptualize new ways of helping rear seat passengers enjoy a richer riding experience. Their response: smart glass interface technology.

Malaysian Automaker Proton Sold; Is Lotus Next?

On: Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 3:47PM | By: Chris Weiss

Malaysian Automaker Proton Sold; Is Lotus Next? test 2

In a move that's been rumored for several months, Malaysia's state-owned Khazanah Nasional Bhd sold its 43 percent stake in Malaysian automaker Proton. While Proton may not be a relevant or familiar name to the US auto market, one of its holdings--Lotus--is. Lotus' future remains in question with Proton's sale.

According to Bloomberg, DRB-Hicom Bhd paid the equivalent of $410 million for the 43-percent stake, which comprises 234.7 shares. DRB is an automotive assembly and distribution company that works with prominent global brands like Mercedes and Volkswagen. The company is owned by Syed Mokhtar, one of Southeast Asia's youngest billionaires.

The sale brings a new emphasis on questions surrounding Lotus' future. Lotus has been under Proton ownership since 1996, during which time it has not turned a profit. A Bloomberg report earlier this month said that many investors were getting antsy, believing that Proton should sell Lotus.


Audi's Ahab Seeks Elusive White Nemesis

On: Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 1:05PM | By: Chris Salamone

Ahab Screenshot test 2

Just recently Audi released a new ad campaign during the National Football League’s division playoffs. Although originally a 60 second clip, a 30 second version will air nationally. For those of us unwilling to accept a watered down version, the original commercial – in all its glory – is shown below. And ‘tis glorious. Audi’s ‘Ahab’ campaign pays homage to Herman Melville’s epic tale of a devout (aka crazy) sea captain and his precious white whale.

But in the world of Ahab, our winter wonderland tow truck driver, only one white nemesis can lay claim to the man’s fractured mind – coming from the very same manufacturer that offers all-wheel drive in every single model, overcomes 37.5 degree inclines, and shreds enough fresh snow to leave tow trucks lonely for years to come.

Look! Just there, an elusive Quattro beast looms on the horizon. Missed it? Such a pity, perhaps next time.

North American Car And Truck Of The Year

On: Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 10:05AM | By: Chris Weiss

North American Truck of the Year: Range Rover Evoque test 2

The North American International Auto Show was last week, and the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards were announced at the show. The awards haven't been given out just yet, but the winners have been selected.

Out of the pool of six finalists, judges chose the Hyundai Elantra and the Range Rover Evoque as the respective car and truck winners. The Elantra beat out the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Passat for the honors and the Evoque beat out the BMW X3 and Honda CR-V.

The Land Rover crushed the competition with a score of 254 compared to 142 points for the CR-V and 94 points for the X3. The race was a little closer in the car segment, with the Elantra getting 174 points, the Passat 161 and the Focus 155.

2012 NAIAS: What We Didn't Learn

On: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 1:57PM | By: Chris Salamone

Honda Accord Concept Reveal test 2

While the press viewing of Detroit’s full bounty has expired, and many newly-exciting models are slotted for market, we have to ask ourselves one remaining question: what did we miss? Sure, Acura unveiled a new NSX, RDX, and ILX. Yes, we learned about the Accord, Buick’s Encore, the Dodge Dart, and a few Audis meant for ski country. But amongst all the ad posturing, marketing plans, and novel product innovations we can also glean some interesting non-information about the auto industry in 2012.

Welcome to the flip side of automotive journalism, where a company’s actions might – in themselves – speak volumes about what is or isn’t happening.

Test Track To Be Re-Imagineered

On: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 10:47AM | By: Chris Salamone

GM Test Track test 2

Thirteen years ago car enthusiasts everywhere finally found an excuse to visit Walt Disney World without sacrificing too much face. Epcot unveiled a joint-venture ride, between GM and Walt Disney Imagineering, labeled Test Track – which attempted to fulfill every car buff’s mechanical fantasy by weaving through the trials and tribulations of a simulated test track.

Since Test Track originally opened, however, the ride has remained virtually unimproved. Needless to say, both car and testing technologies have improved dramatically since the late 1990s, particularly with regard to GM. And so, GM and Disney have come together, once more, to renew a long-term business relationship towards modernization and a newly-single brand focus.

2012 NAIAS: Cadillac Unveils ATS; Aims To Dominate Compact Luxury Segment

On: Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 11:58AM | By: Chuck Arehart

2012 NAIAS: Cadillac Unveils ATS test 2

Cadillac continues its resurgence with the all-new 2013 ATS and has every intention of becoming the new benchmark of driving dynamics and technology in the compact luxury class. Instead of building the ATS on the existing small car platform of the Chevy Cruze and Buick Regal (both well-executed designs in their own right), Cadillac went its own way in creating an all-new platform. The ATS is rear-drive with all-wheel-drive availability and is right-hand drive ready for global production.

Weight reduction was a major priority in development not only for fuel economy but for driving dynamics. Less mass equates to reduced weight transfer, increased handling response and improved braking performance. Highlights of the Cadillac diet program include an aluminum hood, magnesium engine mounts and natural fiber door trim panels to help keep overall weight down to 3,400 lbs.

2012 NAIAS: Ford Introduces The All-New 2013 Fusion

On: Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 10:28AM | By: Chuck Arehart

2012 NAIAS: Ford Introduces The All-New 2013 Fusion test 2

Continuing its plan of global product utilization, Ford introduced its 2013 Ford Fusion that is essentially the European Ford Mondeo. Enthusiasts have thought for years that Ford should have brought over this slick-looking and highly regarded sedan. The new Fusion boasts new styling, powertrains and technologies in an effort to become a leader in the highly competitive mid-size sedan segment.

Buick's Encore, Sonic-Based Crossover

On: Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 3:08PM | By: Chris Salamone

2013 Buick Encore test 2

Over the past few years Buick sales have steadily increased – making the company a silent, but deadly, contender brand in the luxury market. But those years of unrecognizable nameplates and wish-washy styling are over. With the Encore, an all-new luxury small crossover, Buick’s former marketing strategy of covert operations just went nuclear, simply because it will be impossible to keep the Encore below the radar.

The 2013 Encore uses the same underpinnings found in today’s Chevy Sonic. Even the Sonic’s 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder can be found in both vehicles. So what makes the Encore worthy of a second glance?

How about class-leading luxury, fuel economy, and a maximum storage capacity of 48.4 cubic feet? What we have here is a miniature luxury crossover which doesn’t pretend to be functional like the Smart, won’t cost a fortune like the Aston Martin Cygnet, and actually manages to look somewhat sporty…unlike the Fiat 500.