Login to your account
Not a member? Register now.
AutoShopperBlog

Subscribe To The Blog:




Follow Us



The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Car News

Subaru's Version of the FT-86 Gets Some Details

On: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 3:06PM | By: Chris Weiss


Subaru's Version of the FT-86 Gets Some Details  test 1-1

Toyota and Subaru have long been working jointly on the FT-86 sports coupe. While Toyota showed its cards nearly a year ago, Subaru has remained mum about its own version of the coupe. This week, Autocar revealed some details on the Subaru-spec FT-86 that indicate (not surprisingly) that it will be a more powerful version. Subaru's version, which doesn't yet have a model name, will also get more aggressive styling.


Tacoma Production Produces Jobs In Texas

On: Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 10:10AM | By: John Welch


2011 Toyota Tacoma test 2

The Toyota Tacoma has typically sold well in the US, even when domestic competitors have seen their small truck sales slump, like Stacks after his Tommy DeVito lead sandwich. Causing us to like the reliable Tacoma that much more, Toyota has hired 1,000 workers at the TMMTX (Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas) facility in San Antonio, Texas.

Hit hard by the effects of slow sales, TMMTX didn't panic and start printing pink slips by the hundreds. Instead of lay-offs, this facility retained its workforce and focused on improving processes and 'team member skills'. The official plant opening was attended by Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Toyota Motor Corporation Executive Vice President Atsushi Niimi. The Toyota-supplied press release inside the post . . .


Lamborghini Considering First-Ever Sedan

On: Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 9:25AM | By: Chris Weiss


Lamborghini Considering First-Ever Sedan test 1-1

Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann recently gave credence to a possible Lamborghini sedan in an interview with Bloomberg. Winkelmann's statement lends some credibility to the idea that Lamborghini might build a production four-door based on the Estoque concept of the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The sedan would compete with other high-end performance four-doors like the Aston Martin Rapide, Maserati Quattroporte, and Volkswagen AG stablemate Porsche Panamera.

Winkelmann pointed to the possibility of a four-door concisely in an interview at Lamborghini's headquarters in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy, stating: “A third model would fit Lamborghini very well. A four-door car would be a very feasible approach.”

According to Bloomberg's report, Lamborghini has not yet made a final decision on the four-door and it will need to make sense in terms of boosting sagging sales.


Obama Says U.S. Will Continue to Support Automotive Jobs

On: Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 9:19AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Obama Says U.S. Will Continue to Support  Automotive Jobs test 1-1

President Barack Obama, after visiting with the Big Three Detroit automakers, told workers at a Chicago-based Ford Motor Co. plant that they are a crucial part of today’s economy. “I refuse to walk away from this industry and American jobs,” Obama said after touring a factory where Ford, the only Big 3 U.S. automaker that didn’t take bailout money, will begin assembling the new 2011 Explorer later this year. “I have put my money on the American worker. I have put my money on the American worker.”

As many people know, last year’s bailout money that GM and Chrysler Group received helped the automakers to avoid eliminating literally hundreds of thousands of jobs, which according to Barack Obama would have resulted in “severe consequences for the U.S. economy.” Obama announced that Ford Motor Co. would qualify for a $250 million guarantee loan from the Export-Import Bank to finance the shipment of over 200,000 U.S.-made Ford vehicles including, of course, the new redesigned Ford Explorer to Canada and Mexico.


 

Grand Thrown Down At Watkins Glen, Ganassi Takes Number Seven!

On: Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 4:47PM | By: John Welch


Grand Thrown Down At Watkins Glen, Ganassi Takes Number Seven! test 1-1

The race was going quickly . . . very quickly. By the middle of the first hour it appeared that the Crown Royal 200 at the Glen was going to go the distance caution free, something that has never happened at Watkins Glen. With no yellow flags to slow and bunch the field, the race leaders were running a blistering pace. The No. 01 Ganassi BMW averaged a startling 120.679 mph on its way to the 7th victory of the season for Ganassi.

Tying the Rolex Series record for wins in one season is a big deal (especially considering there are two races left, with no signs of weakness from the Ganassi bunch), but the margin was paper thin. Scott Pruett brought the attractive (for a DP) BMW/Riley across the line 2.722 seconds ahead of the Wayne Taylor Dallara driven by Max ('The Ax') Angelelli. These two cars rubbed fenders all day, but, as usual, Scott Pruett came out on top.


Convicted Man Goes Free With Claim Regarding Toyota's Unintended Acceleration

On: Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 2:18PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Convicted Man Goes Free With Claim Regarding Toyota's Unintended Acceleration  test 1-1

It seems that Toyota’s high profile unintended acceleration problems have given a Minnesota man a new chance at freedom. In St. Paul, Minnesota, a man convicted of vehicular homicide in 2006 and sentenced to 8 years incarceration, was recently released after claiming that his Toyota Camry was one of the automobiles involved in Toyota’s unintended acceleration recalls.

Koua Fong Lee was involved in a tragic automobile accident four years ago in his 1996 Toyota Camry when it crashed into an Oldsmobile Ciera in a rear end collision, killing the driver and two young children in the Oldsmobile. In his court hearing, Lee insisted that he was stepping on the brakes of the Camry, but the car would not stop or slow down. Lee’s attorney explained to jurors in his closing argument at the trial that Lee must have accidentally stepped on the accelerator, rather than the brake. 


AutoShopperBlog Personas For Mozilla Firefox!

On: Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 12:04PM | By: John Welch


AutoShopperBlog Personas For Mozilla Firefox!  test 1-1

We know you love reading the AutoShopperBlog on a daily basis, not because you have to, because you want to. With that in mind we have developed a way for Mozilla Firefox users to stare at their favorite AutoShopper photography instead of finishing those dreaded TPS Reports. These "Personas" work only with Firefox , are free, and feature as much racing hooliganism as we can fit into a 3000x200 rectangle. A very kewl way to spice up your browser that doesn't involve unicorns or Japanese animation or blinged-out Escalades that are so off center you can see only half of one massive chromed wheel.

We have submitted three Mozilla Personas to Firefox so far, but will be adding more weekly. Click inside the post to adorn your browser with some AutoShopper eye-candy . . .


Toyota Profit Forecast Goes Up as U.S. Sales Recover

On: Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 9:44AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Toyota Profit Forecast Goes Up as U.S. Sales Recover test 1-1

According to a recent Bloomberg News report, “Toyota may post net income of 340 billion yen ($3.98 billion) in the year ending in March, compared with an earlier estimate of 310 billion yen, it said in a statement today. For the fiscal first quarter, the company swung to a 190.47 billion yen ($2.22 billion) profit from a year-earlier loss.”

Toyota sales around the world, including Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia are helping to raise the sales record which supports the company’s economic recovery that resulted from the damaging effects of the massive recall related to problems with unintended acceleration. According to a Toyota spokesperson, sales in Asia “are growing with great momentum.”  Japanese  subsidies are attributed in part for making the Prius the world's best-selling hybrid model, and the top selling car in Japan this year.

As the Japanese automaker has raised the bar for future net profits, so has its number one competitor in the United States, Honda Motor Company, which followed suit to lift its sales forecast as well.


China Develops a 2-Lane Straddling Bus

On: Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 9:32AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Chinese Bus-o-Tron Attempts to Devour Hapless American Pig-Dog test 2

Many metropolitan areas have problems with traffic jams causing delays and increasing the level of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Adding subways can be very expensive and the more buses a metro area has, the worse traffic conditions become.   

The answer, according to innovative Chinese technology, is a 3-D Fast Bus (that looks more like a gigantic double tram than a bus) that is able to transport passengers throughout the city by carrying commuters above the street level, straddling the traffic lanes underneath the bus with an open design like a tunnel allowing cars to literally drive through the bus.

The Chinese company, named Shenzhen Hashi Co., developed the idea for the massive Fast Bus that provides commuters with a ride on a fixed route. The bus is powered by the city’s municipal power grid coupled with solar energy that originates from the roof top of the bus. 

The Fast Bus has a top speed of just a little below 40 mph, so it would be inappropriate for long trips, but was intended for metropolitan transit purposes, targeted at large highly populated cities such as those that are common in China. The Fast Bus system can transport 1,200 passengers and is ideal for inner city commuting.


End Is In Sight: Toyota 80 Percent Finished With Acceleration Recalls

On: Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 9:27AM | By: Chris Weiss


End Is In Sight: Toyota 80 Percent Finished With Acceleration Recalls test 1-1

In the 2010 automotive landscape, the words "Toyota" and "recall" have taken on a near synonymous relationship that the Japanese automaker undoubtedly can't wait to shed. According to a company executive, Toyota is nearly ready to start fresh. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting warmer and brighter, and Toyota is more than 3/4 of the way toward finishing its unintended acceleration recalls.

Steve St. Angelo, Toyota's chief quality officer in the United States, recently announced that Toyota has repaired 80 percent of the vehicles involved in its 2009-2010 unintended acceleration recalls. By his reckoning, that puts it ahead of the average in terms of the percentage of cars repaired under a given recall. The automaker is focusing its attention on following up with the remaining 20 percent to ensure that all vehicles are safe to drive.

Toyota's acceleration issues began last September when it announced a recall involving 3.8 million U.S. vehicles. This initial recall was for floor mats that Toyota cited as the cause of unintended acceleration. Less than four months later, Toyota announced another major recall affecting 2.3 million U.S. vehicles, also for unintended acceleration. However, floor mats were no longer to blame, and the second recall related to a sticking accelerator pedal. In all, Toyota has recalled over 11 million vehicles worldwide in the past year.

During its recall crisis, Toyota has come under scrutiny from every angle—from U.S. government investigations to media reports to lawsuits and independent analysis. In April, after an extensive investigation, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration fined Toyota $16.4 million—the maximum that it's allowed to issue under law—for its delayed actions in the recalls. The NHTSA's investigation remains ongoing.


Hyundai Looks to Lead the Way in Efficiency

On: Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 11:43AM | By: Chris Weiss


2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid test 2

Hyundai announced intentions of averaging 50 mpg across its entire line by 2025, pushing to continue its leading role in fuel efficiency. Hyundai's plan, which was announced earlier this week, pushes ahead of U.S. government requirements that dictate an average of 35.5 mpg by 2016. Prior to the NHTSA requirements of 35.5 mpg by 2016, Hyundai had announced intentions of reaching 35 mpg by 2015. Hyundai is clearly embracing the future of efficient technology and looking to maintain an industry lead that it's enjoyed since 2008.