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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

U.S. Auto Sales Predicted to Be Low in June

On: Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 12:06PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

U.S. Auto Sales Predicted to Be Low in June test 1-1

The automotive industry in the U.S. is not looking like recovery will be just around the corner, in fact Bloomberg News reports that; “U.S. auto sales this month probably posted the smallest increase since February as consumers concerned about unemployment and the economy avoid large purchases.”

Forecasters predict that sales of cars and light trucks may have slowed in June after May’s improvement.  Automakers sold 1.1 million vehicles in May, the best month so far this year. J.D. Power and Associates, Truecar.com is predicting that June sales will drop below 1 million.

Recent Survey Indicates Motorists Feel Safe Even After Recalls; iPhone App Says They Shouldn't

On: Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 1:37PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Recent Survey Indicates Motorists Feel Safe Even After Recalls; iPhone App Says They Shouldn't test 1-1

In spite all of the recent media on recalls for many automotive brands, a survey conducted by Speedemissions Inc in Atlanta, suggests that motorists in the U.S. feel safe, or safer driving their vehicles than they did a year ago.  In fact, the survey polled over 1,300 motorists and 79% responded favorably.

But according to an article posted on Speedemissions.com; a new iPhone application that diagnoses an automobile's computer systems points out that consumers may not be as knowledgeable about the mechanical safety of their vehicles as they may have initially believed.

Dangers of Leaving Children Unattended in Cars

On: Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:31AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Dangers of Leaving Children Unattended in Cars test 1-1

It’s that time of year again when the tragic statistics start to appear nationwide regarding unfortunate children who die of heat stroke from either being left in cars or accidently getting trapped in automobiles in the heat. Every year the numbers seem to be very predictable, but this year some research indicates that that number is on the rise.

Eight kids across the nation in the toddler/infant age group have reportedly died since June 13th this year, the largest number in over 10 years.

Susan West, a registered nurse in Oklahoma who was interviewed by News Ok.com, reports that children have many special physical challenges when their bodies cope with rising temperatures.  Kids have less overall body fluid so they dehydrate much more rapidly than adults. Overall children’s bodies heat up five times faster than a person who is full gown, and on top of that, an infant does not develop mature sweat glands to help cool the body until around 6 months of age. "They're just defenseless, they can't help themselves," said Susan West, Safe Kids Tulsa. "They're just victims." West also said;"They're heating up faster, they're dehydrating faster,"


Nationwide Gets New Cars, Dodge Challenger Is Gorgeous

On: Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 1:46PM | By: John Welch

Nationwide Gets New Cars, Dodge Challenger Is Gorgeous test 1-1

NASCAR is unveiling (that’s right, I didn't say "NASCAR is reveals . . .") new bodywork for the second-tier Nationwide Series. This is bad because these new silhouettes are much closer representations of their respective models then what are used in the Sprint Cup Series, and they are also much more desirable models. Ford and Dodge have pulled out all the stops, serving up bodies that are not aero-perfect but that follow the spirit of racing much more closely than in years past. Win on Sunday sell on Monday works much better if the winning car represents at least some of the content provided by the customer car. Seriously, who buys a Fusion because it is fast? Fusions aren't fast, so nobody. The Mustang on the other hand . . . just sayin' . . .


Daimler AG to Test New Electric Car Fleet in US

On: Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 12:06PM | By: Michael Jon Lazar

Electric Smart Car  test 2

Daimler AG – the gargantuan German automaker – is looking to go ‘green’ this year with the announcement of the launch of their newest electric vehicle innovation: Smart USA. The manufacturer of these newer mini electric cars is owned by Daimler, and is being spurred forwards by the company in attempts to capture potential US holdings of the ever-growing and expanding consumer demand for efficient and green electric cars in the US. Similar to the late 90s, when GM released the first electric car in the US, dubbed the EV1 (or Electrical Vehicle One), these newer Smart Cars will only be available for leases to businesses, as the company does not plan on selling them at dealerships right away.

The Wall Street Journal report really offers some perspective on what the German carmaker is hoping to accomplish by leasing these new test fleets in the US. “Smart will lease a fleet of 250 electric cars to businesses, organizations and select people, in Portland, Ore.; San Jose, Calif.; Indianapolis; Orlando, Fla.; and the Washington, D.C.-Boston corridor. A similar effort was started last year in Europe and will spread to Asia next year for a total test fleet of 1,500, Smart said in a statement.”

As to the range and efficiency, as well as the leasing terms, of these newer electric cars by Daimler, the Wall Street Journal report said that, “The car would be leased for four years at $599 a month and would be under warranty during the full period. It would have a projected range of 82 miles and would be limited to 62.5 miles per hour.”

The move by Daimler to start making electric cars in the US is tantamount to growing competition in all sectors with rival automakers, according to the Wall Street Journal report. “Smart also is joining a growing group of auto makers betting on electric vehicles. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. is the most ambitious, with plans to sell as many as 150,000 electric cars in the U.S. in 2013, but Toyota Motor Corp. , General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC all have announced electric cars due out in the next few years.”

The president of Smart USA, Jill Lajdziak, stated in an interview with the newspaper that, “Certainly, for growth of the brand, this is a milestone. The mere perception in the marketplace of Smart is of an environmentally friendly vehicle.”

Government Mandate on Fuel Economy May Increase Auto Prices

On: Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 10:44AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Government Mandate on Fuel Economy May Increase Auto Prices test 1-1

Experts have reported that although there will be savings at the gas pump, the cost of automobiles will rise significantly. It is estimated that consumers will pay approximately $434 more for each vehicle they purchase in the year 2012, and by model year 2016 that number will go up to $926.

According to the Transportation Department and the EPA, consumers would actually save over $3000 on fuel expense in the lifetime of their vehicles.

The new mandate will cost the auto industry somewhere around $52 billion, but the government reports that the program will provide $240 billion in savings to consumers, who will realize the savings through lower fuel consumption.

Hyundai Plans to Launch New Products

On: Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 9:51AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Hyundai Plans to Launch New Products  test 1-1

Hyundai Motor India, India's second largest automaker, has been known as a budget car of sorts; its lower price tag is definitely a big selling point. But, according to Hyundai, all that is about to change as the company plans to launch a new line of products. According to Chang-Hwan Han, Hyundai Motor senior vice president, America's regional division, "By launching these new models, our brand image in the U.S. will be enhanced. The purchasing pattern will be changed."

Elon Musk Plans To Raise $178 Million From Tesla ISO

On: Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 3:02PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Elon Musk Plans To Raise $178 Million From Tesla ISO test 1-1

Tesla Motors is getting ready for public offering, and founder, Elon Musk, who was voted 2007 Entrepeneur of the Year, says he plans to raise $178 million dollars from the IPO. The company filed its stock registration on January 29th and the expectation was initially to collect proceeds of only $100 million.

The company, which has not yet posted a profit, will sell 11.1 million shares which equates to 12% of the company at $14-$16 each. Tesla Motors has been valued at about $1.5 billion, according to Renaissance Capital. Musk plans to re-coop a portion of his initial investment taking about $21 million from the sale.

After the IPO offering, Toyota will subsequently purchase $50 million in shares and Tesla will then turn around and pay Toyota $42 million for the Nummi factory in California that is currently closed. The Nummi factory, which was a previous a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors, will be the future location where Tesla will build its second automobile, the Model S Sedan. Tesla’s first model, the Roadster, sold over 1,000 models (including cars sold to Brad Pitt and George Clooney) for $109,000 each, yet the company still endured a total loss of around $290 million.

Toyota Forced To Recall Lexus HS Hybrid For Fuel System Issues

On: Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 1:59PM | By: John Welch

Toyota Forced To Recall Lexus HS Hybrid For Fuel System Issues test 1-1

It is a pointless car, the HS. A more expensive, tarted-up Prius that is slower than a Prius, and just as miniscule? Not an easy sell I would think. At least the interior is fancy. My opinions aside, the HS really hasn't been all that difficult to sell, and Lexus has done a good job of it in the few months it has been on the market. Whether you appreciate this tiny luxury yacht for what it is—a smaller ES that is as well furnished as a car this size could possibly be—or not, you can't ignore one design detail that matters to everyone, the integrity of the fuel lines. The HS has an issue that involves fuel lines leaking after hard collisions. This fuel could make its way to hot exhaust or engine parts, causing a fire. Not good.

The HS may be a fine auto, may serve its purpose well for its owners, but it just can't have leaking fuel lines. The entire NHTSA post inside . . . this . . . post . . ..

Tickets Still Available For 100th DP Race, NASCAR Thrown In As A Bonus

On: Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 10:14AM | By: John Welch

Tickets Still Available For 100th DP Race, NASCAR Thrown In As A Bonus test 1-1

Well, okay, technically it's probably the other way around. The Brumos Porsche 250 will be held at noon on Saturday, July 3rd. After the Rolex Series sprint race, the Daytona International Speedway crews will set about blocking off the road course and readiying the track for the Coke Zero 400. Formerly the Pepsi 400 . . . formerly the FireCracker 400. Sigh. I can't help it, I miss cigarette sponsorships and races named after a certain region or holiday. How are Jack Daniels and Coke Zero any better than Winston and The Southern 500? They aren't, but I digress . . .

So, anyway, you buy a NASCAR ticket and you get a historic Grand Am race as well. Genius marketing on the one hand, but really unavoidable on the other. Think about the logistics of clearing the entire Daytona facility out in between races, cleaning everything, setting up the track and then opeing the ticket counters again . . . instead of a green flag at seven p.m. we wouldn't see stock cars until midnight!

For anyone wanting to experience live racing but who have no idea what sort of racing they would like to see, this is the best of both worlds. In the morning you are treated to a hard-fought, prototype-filled road race, and in the balmy July evening you get brash, brutally exciting stock cars crammed into every input receptor on your face. The AutoShopper will be there, and you still have time to join us:

Brumos Porsche 250 (and some NASCAR something or other,) Tickets

Look inside the post for videos and other Grand Am goodies . . .

Ford Develops New Eco-Friendly Material for Seat Cushions

On: Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 11:56AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Develops New Eco-Friendly Material for Seat Cushions test 1-1

Ford has done it again! The Detroit automaker, known for changing with the times, is now adding more eco-friendly materials to their automobiles. For example, the new 2011 Ford Explorer will offer a new bio-based polyurethane foam made from soy in seat cushions and seatbacks, as well as a 25% increase in fuel economy over the 2010 model.

Ford was the first automaker to discover that soy-based foams could be used for automotive purposes, revolutionizing its use in seats as far back as 2008 in the Ford Mustang. Now Ford plans to continue developing the use of soy-based foam in the interior of nearly all of its 2011 line-up as part of a project to start utilizing more recyclable and renewable resources in designing all of its automobiles.

Already there are over two million Ford vehicles that have the bio foam used to construct interior seat cushions; Ford reports that the implementation of the innovative material has helped the company reduce the use of petroleum oil by three million lbs every year as well as reducing greenhouse gas emission by 11 million lbs. Those are very impressive numbers evolving from simply substituting one substance for another.

Ford, the First Automaker to Use Soy Based Eco Friendly Material for Seat Cushions
Prnewswire                               http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ford-adds-soy-foam-seat-cushions-to-ford-explorer-expands-use-of-eco-friendly-material-across-lineup-96996819.html
Ford has done it again!  The automaker has been known to change with the times is now adding more eco-friendly materials to their automobiles.  For example, the new 2011 Ford Explorer will offer a new bio-based polyurethane foam made from soy in seat cushions and seatbacks as well as 25% increase in fuel economy over the 2010 model.