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Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Reports

Porsche Beats Out Audi For VW Sports Car Design

On: Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 10:09AM | By: Chris Weiss


Porsche Beats Out Audi For VW Sports Car Design  test 1-1

The Volkswagen family sure has a lot of siblings. And like any big family that tends to mean a little sibling rivalry. Both Audi and Porsche desired to take a lead role within the VW group in designing future platforms for sports cars and large luxury sedans, but only one will take that role: Porsche. That's good news for the future sportiness of VW brands.


Auto Workers May Get Profit Sharing Deal Says UAW

On: Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 4:25PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Auto Workers May Get Profit Sharing Deal Says UAW test 1-1

Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Chrysler Group are anticipating next year’s impending labor contract negotiation process, and Detroit's Big Three Automakers are all contemplating increasing profit sharing for their employees. To some this may be a bit surprising, since profits haven’t returned to pre-recession levels. 

The issue of profit sharing is a significant component in the early stages of the labor negotiation process, and while formal negotiations have not yet started, union leaders and executives have broached profit-sharing increases in early negotiations, according to two unidentifiable sources familiar with the efforts.

According to Automotive News: "All of the companies have been hinting at profit- sharing changes."  General Holiefield of the United Autoworkers Union said yesterday in an interview;  "it was not just within Chrysler but the Big Three.” Holiefield also said, “Bob King has got to get his arms around it.”

Before GM and Chrysler filed bankruptcy last year, the union made concessions in the middle of the contract period. One such concession was to discontinue pay for workers who had been laid off. The UAW’s current 4-year labor agreements expire Sept. 14, 2011. 


Fiat May Sell Methane Powered Cars To U.S. Market

On: Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 10:56AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Fiat May Sell Methane Powered Cars To U.S. Market test 1-1

The topic of fully electric automobiles is becoming more and more popular today, as various manufacturing companies have started marketing new electric vehicle products. While hybrids and EVs are becoming more prevalent in the marketplace, the use of natural gas to propel vehicles is relatively unheard of. This is something Fiat is determined to change.


2010 Tampa International Auto Show: The Best from Japan And Europe

On: Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 10:20AM | By: John Welch


2011 Toyota Sienna test 2

Thursday morning brings us more images from the 2010 Tampa International Auto Show. Today we feature various Toyotas', Hondas', Acuras', Subarus', BMWs', Volvos' and Mercedes-Benzeses. The shape and lay out of the Tampa Convention Center compromises picture taking, but we have done our best for you. Check out the fantastic corral of Infiniti's, possibly our most pleasant surprise. Not much to report from Honda. The updated Accord Coupe is more interesting then its CR-Z stablemate, even though the CR-Z is brand new, and all gee-whiz hybridized. This is a car that needs an immediate reboot- it does not live up to the hype.

Mercedes, BMW and MINI were all crammed into floor space that was woefully inadequate, limiting our ability to get good shots. Not much was missed here, as none of these brands presented anything especially new or exciting. Same with Subaru. We raved about the then-new Legacy last year, but it has not aged well. The cartoony styling is bulbous in all the wrong places; the Leggy's attractive interior might not be enough to overcome its unfortunate outer skin. Good thing it packs a turbo flat-four, a manual option, and All Wheel Drive. Who honestly cares what it looks like from behind the wheel? I for one, it's embarrassingly unattractive.

Venture inside the post to see just what I'm on about (sic)  . . .


 

Six-Wheeled Supercar Gets Real

On: Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 3:10PM | By: Chris Weiss


Six-Wheeled Supercar Gets Real test 1-1

Yes, six wheels. No typo. The Covini C6W isn't exactly a stranger to supercar circles. It's been in development for the past 32 years and is based upon a race car from the 1970s—the 1976 Tyrell P34 race car. However, between its odd, six-wheel stance and its three decades worth of slogging through development, we would have thought the Covini would never move past the prototype stages. Only it has. Finally. After a variety of delayed production launches, Covini is finally ready to give the world what it [doesn't] desires: a 430-hp, six-wheeled supercar.


UAW Demonstrates Over Hyundai's Treatment of Temporary Workers

On: Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 3:04PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


UAW Demonstrates Over Hyundai's Treatment of Temporary Workers test 1-1

The UAW said in a statement this week that it supports the rights of workers who are on strike in Korea against Hyundai, and it plans to hold a rally for those workers at the Hyundai America Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

UAW President Bob King plans to travel to South Korea this week. King reports that a recent strike at a Hyundai auto parts plant has cost the company $173 million in lost vehicle production.


Aston Martin One-77 Selling Just Fine

On: Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 11:47AM | By: Chris Weiss


Aston Martin One-77 Selling Just Fine test 1-1

One might think that introducing a near-$2-million car in the middle of down economy might prove to be a bad idea. But so far, it's been working famously for Aston Martin. Aston Martin recently said that it has sold 60 of the 77 examples that it plans to build of its One-77. The price of that model: $1.87 million.

By far Aston's most expensive car, the One-77 has been moving along right on schedule. Not only have 60 buyers committed to the $1.87 million car, but many have also ordered or expressed interest in the Aston Martin Cygnet, a Toyota iQ-based subcompact that Aston introduced last year. After all, you can't drive a 750-hp, $2-million supercar all day every day, why not have a matching commuter for more practical affairs?


Lincoln Hires Cadillac Designer to Help Improve Quality

On: Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 10:14AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Lincoln Hires Cadillac Designer to Help Improve Quality test 1-1

In the minds of many automotive consumers Cadillac is the epitome of luxury automotive design and engineering. The Lincoln brand is Ford Motor Company’s attempt to compete with the General Motors-owned Cadillac. It makes perfect sense for Ford to bring a former Cadillac designer on board to help the company compete with its formidable rival.

This was recently the case when Ford hired Max Wolff to fill the newly created position of design director for Lincoln. Mr. Wolff is a native Australian, who “comes in the wake of Ford’s pledge to deliver seven new or significantly improved vehicles to its sole luxury brand in the next four years."


2010 Tampa International Auto Show: Ford and Chrysler

On: Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 4:33PM | By: John Welch


2011 Ford Focus test 2

The second installment of our MT Auto Show coverage shines the spot light on Ford and Chrysler. Both companies are enjoying a rebirth of sorts, Chrysler with its much improved interior design and Ford with its, well, everything. Alan Mullay has been crapping golden eggs for two years now, and by the looks of Ford's 2011 product line, his uncomfortable bathroom situation isn't going to get better anytime soon.

The new Ford Focus is as advertised: stylishly European with utility to match. The sedan is more attractive then its Cruze competitor, and the interior quality is neck and neck with the Chevy. If anything, the surprise here is that the Chevy is so good, Euro Focus customers have enjoyed upmarket interiors for six years now. This was our first opportunity to get intimate with a Fiesta, and the news is good here as well. Roomy and ergonomic, the Fiesta is a lovely car for the money. Volkswagen has some serious competition coming from this pair of reinvigorated Ford hatches.

To say that Chrysler's design department has woken from a looong slumber recently would be putting it lightly. The beleaguered automaker has found a new direction with its interiors, utilizing soft plastics and foam trim in ways you wouldn't expect. The New Charger's interior still looks, cheap, but it is a different sort of cheap from its predecessor. Instead of looking like a toy, the Charger dash now has more of a real-car feel too it. Chrysler has also turned up the wick on the Jeep Grand Cherokee passenger compartment. The big Jeep has tasteful wood and pleasing shapes for days. Still not wehat i would call world class, but significantly improved. It's ok if Chrysler is proud of these two models, because elsewhere in the Chrysler booth things were still pretty bleak. What, no Fiat?!

Check inside the post for an image gallery of the most important products from Ford and Chrysler for 2011.


2010 Tampa International Auto Show: GM And Korea

On: Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 12:25PM | By: John Welch


2011 Buick LaCrosse test 2

The AutoShopperBlog spent Sunday perusing the Tampa International Auto Show, presented by Motor Trend. Not expecting grandeur on the scale of a Geneva or Detroit show, we were none the less disappointed at the glaring absences from the Tampa show. No Audi, no Porsche, no Ferrari. More surprisingly there was no Fiat. You would think that the Tampa/St. Pete area would be a hot-bed of Cinquecento activity, that Chrysler/Fiat might expect to sell more than a few of the little hatchbacks in our area. Apparently they don't see it that way.

The automakers who did show up brought their best and brightest. In this post we cover three important brands from everybody's favorite bankruptcy survivor, General Motors, as well as the best from Korea. There are some interesting vehicles showcased here, from the Chevy Cruze and Hyundai Elantra, to the Hyundai Equus and Cadillac CTS-V Coupe. I can tell you, with unabashed certainty, that the Buick Regal and Kia Optima are both excellent candidates for that second mortgage. Both cars are similar in tactile feel and interior quality. The Regal, under the sheetmetal, is a German car, so it should be this nice. The Kia is such a good car it is shocking that it isn't Germanic. The steering wheel could have come straight out of a Volkswagen GTi; the dash is raked toward the driver at an alarming angle. The sight lines are perfect, the buttons and knobs click and whir in satisfying fashion. Consult the image gallery to find out what we though of the rest of the best from General Motors and Korea . . .


Lamborghini Sedan May Make It to Production After All

On: Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 10:45AM | By: Chris Weiss


Lamborghini Sedan May Make It to Production After All test 1-1

There's no roller coaster quite like the high-end supercar market. And we're not talking the Formula Rossa at the newly opened Ferrari World. We're talking supercar rumors, speculation, and executive sound bites. It seems that as soon as one report on a speculated model is gaining steam, a new one comes out that totally negates it.

In this case, the latest report that Lamborghini would still like to build a four-door sports car ala the Estoque concept negates a report that such a car was stomped by the flared-nostriled Bull. It seems that CEO Stephan Winkelmann (kind of an important voice over there in Sant'Agata Bolognese) would like Lamborghini to pursue the model.