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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Study: Consumers Want Green Cars, Barely

On: Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 4:45PM | By: Chris Weiss

Study: Consumers Want Green Cars, Barely test 1-1

Consumer Reports recently released the results of a consumer survey on green car buying that unveiled some interesting attitudes. The findings were originally presented at the GridWeek summit held earlier this month, a meeting of the stakeholders and players in the Smart Grid arena. While most consumers did admit to considering the green factor in a new car purchase, it's still not a primary a concern.

Election Day Postpones Monthly Sales Posting for Many Automakers

On: Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 4:20PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Election Day Postpones Monthly Sales Posting for Many Automakers test 1-1

Will automakers postpone monthly reporting for 24 hours when the monthly posting date happens to fall on Election Day? According to automotive news.com “automakers are splitting their ballot.” This year represents the first time the coincidence has happened in 6 years.

Many automotive brands, such as Hyundai, Kia, and Subaru, have decided to stick with Tuesday for posting monthly sales records, which happens to be the same day that the U.S. voters get an opportunity to participate in perhaps the most significant election of the decade. The political party that controls the United States House and Senate (as well as 37 state governorships) will be elected, and automakers fear their earning statements might affect the results.

New Details On 50 LA Show Debuts

On: Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 10:20AM | By: Chris Weiss

New Details On 50 LA Show Debuts  test 1-1

In an effort to gain more prominence in the auto show circuit, the LA Auto Show, which originally took place in early January pushed its dates back several years ago. This move separated it from other major shows like the North American International Auto Show that takes place in mid-January in Detroit, as well as from the holiday season. Beginning with the 2007 show, LA found a new slot in mid-November/early-December of each year.

The move back the calendar is paying off for LA in that more automakers are using the City of Angels as a backdrop for big unveils and North American debuts. In July, the show provided an initial look at some of the 20 world debuts that are coming to the show, and yesterday it issued some more details on what we'll see.

Auto Trader To Buy Kelley Blue Book

On: Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 3:30PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Auto Trader To Buy Kelley Blue Book test 1-1

Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com recently announced that the company plans to purchase Kelley Blue Book, along with its two sister companies, CDMdata and CDM Dealer Services. According to Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of Edmunds.com: "This will be a good thing for Kelley Blue Book." Anwyl stated, "AutoTrader.com started out as a listings service and is still very strong that way, while Kelley Blue Book is strong in used-car pricing." He noted that Kelley has been for sale, on and off, for the last 10 years.

The press release announcing the sale said that Auto Trader would continue to maintain Kelley Blue Book's independent position in the marketplace, with plans to keep its CEO, staff, and headquarters. Kelley Blue Book did not provide executives available for comment. Kelley Blue Book, long known as the “go-to source of automobile valuations,” will operate as a subsidiary of Auto Trader, which will keep its headquarters in Irvine, California.


Recall Notice: Fuel Pump Fiasco For BMW

On: Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 11:34AM | By: John Welch

Recall Notice: Fuel Pump Fiasco For BMW test 1-1

Direct Injection isn't that "new" in terms of physical age, but then neither are dual clutch transmissions, traction control, underbody aerodynamics, or fully electric cars. These things have been in use for decades, but have made it to the civilian market only in the last decade. Direct Injection is especially new and untested, as BMW's latest voluntary recall can attest.

Direct Injection requires some pretty stout ancillaries to properly administer fuel in the combustion chamber. Along with injectors that could take your fingers off, an ultra high-pressure fuel pump is required to get the right amount of fuel in the right spot at the right time. This complicated technology is bound to have a few teething problems, and BMW is one of the first automakers to experience sore gums.

The high-pressure fuel pump installed in cars that feature the N54 twin-turbocharged inline-6 engine is apparently prone to failure. A long, agonizingly grinding engine start could be followed by a "Service Engine Soon" dash marker, and reduced engine performance. BMW plans to access each affected car, and then replace the fuel pump or reflash the ECU, depending on the severity of the issue.

There are low-pressure fuel pump issues with some BMW models as well, though these have nothing to do with Direct Injection. On some 2008 X3 and X5 models, equipped with N52 naturally aspirated inline-6s, may experience engine stalling due to their fuel pumps. Worn fuel pump internals are the culprit; BMW plans to alert owners by mail over the course of the next month. Press releases for both issues can be found inside this post . . .

The New Lincoln MKX Crossover Will Be Marketed for Women

On: Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 9:15AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The New Lincoln MKX Crossover Will Be Marketed for Women test 1-1

A new advertising campaign has been launched to promote the 2011 Ford Luxury MKX crossover, a move designed to expand the brand's efforts to differentiate new Lincoln product in the luxury auto market. The "Touch Me All Over" campaign was designed to show consumers that the Lincoln of today is "sexy and smart."

The new marketing effort will reach out to would-be buyers through television, radio, and print campaign with the main goal of attracting women’s attention, particularly upwardly mobile women in the urban market. TV spots will appear on such outlets as BET, TV-One, The Gospel Music Channel, and CNN.

Nissan Recalls 2.14 Million Vehicles in Japan and the U.S.

On: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 5:13PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Nissan Recalls 2.14 Million Vehicles in Japan and the U.S. test 1-1

Nissan Motor Co. announced that the Japanese automaker plans to recall 2.14 million cars and light trucks, including the Pathfinder SUV and Titan pickup. This is the 3rd biggest recall for Nissan in the company’s history. The problem is with a faulty ignition relay that could potentially cause problems in the engine.

There are 835,000 units being recalled in Japan and 762,000 in the U.S. and Canada, according to Nissan spokesperson, Mitsuru Yonekawa. The models that were affected include 227,000 Titans, 143,000 Pathfinders, 123,000 Frontier units, 106,000 Armada vehicles, 101,000 Xterra units, and 36, 0000 Infiniti QX56 units. Japanese models included in the recall are the Cube and Micra passenger cars.

12 Minutes Of V8 Super Cars That Reaffirms Our Lust For Racing

On: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 11:42AM | By: John Welch

12 Minutes Of V8 Super Cars That Reaffirms Our Lust For Racing test 1-1

We don't cover the Austrailian V8 SuperCar Series that often in the AutoShopperBlog. Like NASCAR and Formula One, this series is well-covered across the interwebs, and doesn't hit close to home like the ALMS or Rolex Grand Am Series. Just like NASCAR and F1, sometimes we just can't ignore the Aussie V8s.

In case you are totally uninitiated, V8 SuperCars are very close to their production brethren, the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon. Though we have not had anything similar to the (completely badass) Ford Falcon on these shores, you may recognize the Commodore as the late, great Pontiac G8. Don't cry for me, Catalina, though we no longer get the G8, it's chassis lives on as several Holdens, and a Vauxhall or two; don't forget Chevrolet-badged versions sold in Saudi Arabia and China. Hilarious how our own government likes to screw us over in the name of "good relations" with these countries, while at the same time General Motors sells the most ‘American’ of vehicles not to Americans, but to our financial "frienemies". Sooo funny. The world just isn't fair.

Political rant stifled, I must now turn your attention to the video inside this post. It comes from last weekend's Gold Coast 600 (600 Kilometers, not miles) and it features a veteran Holden driver, Jamie Whincup, holding off an upstart Ford rookie, Shane Van Ginsbergern. The two drivers are bumper-to-bumper for a long time, the racing action too good to ignore. Sit back in your office chair, watch out for Eye-Hustlers, and let this video rip; it is sure to be the best ten minutes of your stuffed-shirt, cubicle-dwelling day!

The Future of EVs: Wireless Battery Charging

On: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 10:57AM | By: Chris Weiss

The Future of EVs: Wireless Battery Charging  test 1-1

The electric automobile industry faces a large hurdle in developing the infrastructure and technology needed to make charging vehicles both practical and easy. One of the main negatives of electric vehicles is that they require special equipment, time and effort for charging. Another big negative is that unlike gasoline vehicles, which can be filled up by the gas stations that line nearly every route in the country, there simply isn't a sufficient charging infrastructure in place, leading consumers to have justifiable concerns with range anxiety.

One technology that is in development by a new team-up of companies could address these major concerns all at once. Imagine being able to pull up into a parking spot and get a charge without having to connect a single wire. That's the future of wireless EV charging.

Ford Will Add 1,200 Jobs to Produce Fuel Efficient Vehicles

On: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 10:08AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Will Add 1,200 Jobs to Produce Fuel Efficient Vehicles test 1-1

Ford has announced that the it will invest $850 million in order to produce more fuel efficient vehicles, which will add 1,200 jobs in Michigan by the year 2013. Ford’s decision is supported by $400 million in state incentives.

According to Mark Fields, Ford’s president of North America reported that the State of Michigan will contribute $400 million in tax incentives over a 15 year time span. The plan will create 900 hourly jobs and an additional 300 salaried positions in order to complete the engineering and manufacturing operations. Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission plant, Sterling Axle, Livonia Transmission, and Dearborn Truck Plant will all be involved in the expansion plan that will create new jobs.

Honda, Toyota, and Ford Lead Consumer Report Reliability Survey

On: Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 4:37PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Honda, Toyota, and Ford Lead Consumer Report Reliability Survey test 1-1

A recent annual survey compiled by Consumer Report magazine reveals that Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are both at the top of the list for the most reliable vehicles of 2011, with Ford Motor Company at the top of the domestic automakers list and General Motors moving up in the ranks.

Many Chrysler vehicles (as well as European brands) have models that scored below average in reliability tests, according to the magazine.

83% of Chevy models were scored average or better in the reliability category according to the magazine.  That is a 50% better score for Chevrolet than last year’s results.