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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Japanese Brands Score Big In Conumser Perception, Ford And Hyundai On The Right Track

On: Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 9:36AM | By: Chris Weiss

Japanese Brands Score Big In Conumser Perception, Ford And Hyundai On The R test 2

Auto industry research and analysis firm ALG recently released the results of its spring 2012 Perceived Quality Study. The semiannual study polls consumers in regards to how they view the quality of automotive brands. Japanese brands like Honda and Toyota lead the way, while Ford and Hyundai are most improved.

"Perception is a powerful force in consumer buying behavior. Consumers often base their beliefs about quality on the emotional connection they have with a brand, regardless of the actual quality. Alternatively, a brand that experiences an instance of bad publicity may take years to shake off the negative effects, even if the actual quality is good," ALG describes.

Click It Or Ticket Goes Canine In New Jersey

On: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 3:51PM | By: Chris Weiss

Click It Or Ticket Goes Canine In New Jersey test 2

The image of a golden retreiver's mangy furr fluttering carelessly in the 55-mph wind on the other side of a car window is nearly as timeless as the automobile itself. Yet, that image will soon be no more in one state. New Jersey has instituted new fines, ranging from $250 to $1,000, for drivers that don't buckle their pets up. Another weird but true law hits the books.

NJ police officers, as well as officers of the NJ Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, can now pull over drivers for traveling with their pets unrestrained and issue fines of up to $1,000. Drivers are also vulnerable to disorderly person charges for animal cruelty.

Focus ST Overboosts Initial Impressions

On: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 2:14PM | By: Chris Salamone

Ford Focus ST test 2

The only thing new age car junkies like more than hatchbacks are hot hatchbacks. With that said, the market for sub $30,000 tire-shredding utility boxes is pretty limited. Amidst a worn grouping, including VW GTIs and sluggish Subaru Imprezas, Ford has decided to once again prey upon its limping competition with the second coming of the company’s Focus ST. For months now, we’ve heard lots of good things. And Ford isn’t letting up anytime soon.

In short, the Focus ST continues to impress – especially now that we know an ‘overboost’ feature will be assimilated into the vehicle’s turbocharged engine. Please, oh pretty please, can we also get a Men in Black-type little red button?

Apple Extends Siri To 'Eyes Free' Vehicle System

On: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 1:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

Apple Extends Siri To 'Eyes Free' Vehicle System test 2

Whether you're an Apple owner or not, you're probably familiar with Siri, the tinny, feminine voice inside the latest iPhone. It's difficult to turn on the television without seeing one of those Siri-celeb commercials that paints Siri out as a sort of robo-butler-extraordinaire. Turns out, this butler will be able to chaffeur you around as well as help you navigate the Web and create reminders.

At its World Wide Developers Conference this week, Apple introduced what it calls Eyes Free. The system integrates Siri technology into a variety of vehicles.


World's Fastest Man Teams Up With One Of Its Quickest Cars

On: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 12:01PM | By: Chris Weiss

World's Fastest Man Teams Up With One Of Its Quickest Cars test 2

Nissan has teamed up with Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt in a new campaign it calls "WHAT IF_". With anticipation building for the London Summer Games, Nissan hopes to use the "world's fastest man" in spreading awareness of its GT-R supercar.

Celebrity endorsements don't always make a whole lot of sense (Olympic snowboarder Shaun White's line of Target homewares, anyone?), but pairing the electrifyingly fast Usain Bolt with the one of the world's quickest cars seems like a natural fit. At less than a tenth of the cost of a Bugatti Veyron, the GT-R sprints to 62 mph just three-tenths of a second slower at 2.8 seconds. Bolt may not be able to run that fast, but his 9.58-second 100-meter time is the more impressive feat of the two, considering it captured the world record.

Sound The Keyed Fiddle's Dirge, V40 Not For US

On: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 11:03AM | By: Chris Salamone

2013 Volvo V40 test 2

Since first glimpsing the Volvo V40 on a snowy sojourn in December of 2011, it was love at first sight. My second car was a Volvo and the company will always hold a warm spot in the dark and often confusing recesses of my blood pump. But the V40 is more than just your average, run of the mill, Volvo. This is a vehicle which harks back to the days of yore, when Volvos were safe, practical, and surprisingly fun.

Unfortunately, though, no matter how much we adore the V40, Volvo is playing hard to get. The V40 is not bound for US soil – so far.

Scion FR-S May Have Some Technical Problems

On: Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 2:46PM | By: Chris Weiss

Scion FR-S May Have Some Technical Problems test 2

Ordinarily we'd hold off on reporting about any vehicular technical issues until a more official recall or statement by the automaker. However, when a car like the Scion FR-S - one of the most publicized cars of the year - starts developing alleged problems a week after launching, it's worth taking note of.

According to Jalopnik, Toyota issued two 'tech tip' warnings to its dealers last month about the FR-S. The first tips says that some FR-S models "exhibit a condition where the rear combination lamps appear to have moisture on the inside of the plastic lens." Cutting through the polite PR-speak, we're left with: "the taillamps aren't sealed properly and will fog with condensation." The other tip is the car "may exhibit a condition where body panel fitting may not meet customer expectations," which we'll translate to "body panels may pop off."

No Price Change On 2013 Chevy Volt

On: Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 12:50PM | By: Chris Weiss

No Price Change On 2013 Chevy Volt test 2

Chevy is doing a lot of talking about the 2013 Volt. We already saw that Volt buyers will get a little more efficiency with the new model. Of course, that left us wondering: How much will that increased range (and other updates) cost? The answer is - nothing. Chevy says that pricing on the 2013 Volt will remain steady.

According to Inside Line, GM confirmed that pricing on the 2013 Volt won't increase. Of course, it also said that pricing won't decrease, so there won't be a drop like the one between 2011 and 2012 models. The price will sit at the same $39,995 mark as the 2012 Volt.

Ford Rivals P.T. Barnum's Marketing Prowess, Via F-150 SSV Package

On: Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 5:14PM | By: Chris Salamone

Ford F-150 Fire Rescue test 2

References to mid-19th Century circus advocates aside, Ford is a company known for relentless self-promotion. Perhaps surprisingly then, in many cases Ford’s colorful advertising is backed by products which command the respect and credibility so boldly called for. But, on the flip side, the company’s crackshot public relations team occasionally over fires the marketing cannon. Ford’s recent F-150 Special Services Vehicle Package press release falls into category two.

Pictured in the press release are two images of Ford F-150s, presumably equipped with the Special Service Vehicle Package, themed appropriately for Fire Rescue and Police. And a quick scan of the release’s headlines suggests that the optional package will come at “no-charge” to fleet customers.

Of course that doesn’t mean fleet customers will get Fire Rescue or Police equipped vehicles at no charge. That would make far too much sense. In this instance, what you see…is not what you get.

Chevy Volt Selling Out In California

On: Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 1:35PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Volt Selling Out In California test 2

The Chevy Volt hasn't exactly been GM's bestseller since hitting dealerships in December 2010. The plug-in hybrid found its way to fewer than 7,700 homes last year, well short of the 10,000 that GM had aimed for. While consumers may be warming to the car, it's selling slowly enough that GM stopped production several times and plans another stoppage in the summer.

Overall US sales may be slow, but residents of the country's leader in all things eco-vehicle (that's California) have been quite eager to get their hands on the Volt.  A few in-state advantages have combined to make the Chevy Volt quite attractive to Californians.

Say Goodbye To The Durango: More Model Shake-up News At Chrysler

On: Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 12:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Say Goodbye To The Durango: More Model Shake-up News At Chrysler test 2

Last month, we heard some word about outgoing and incoming models at Chrysler from Sergio Marchionne. It turns out, Chrysler's model shake-up won't be limited to the Town & Country and new crossover. A new report indicates that one classic Chrysler-group SUV will be heading into the sunset while an old name from the past will be making a return.

According to Automobile magazine, the Dodge Durango will join the Chrysler Town & Country on the chopping block. It will disappear from Dodge's line in 2016.