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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Bueller...Bueller...Honda's Super Bowl Commercial Brings Back Iconic Role

On: Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 12:53PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda's Super Bowl Commercial Brings Back Iconic Role test 2

Car manufacturers are really pulling out the stops for this year's Super Bowl. We've seen big contests, major giveaways, advertisements for advertisements and now the return of a legendary movie character we haven't seen in more than 25 years. One of the greatest movie characters of the 80s is back...to advertise Hondas.

A short teaser clip featuring Matthew Broderick - the actor that played Ferris Bueller for those that aren't up on 80s trivia - hit the Web on Thursday. The YouTube description says simply: "We hate to be such a tease, but on a day like today, we just have to. Stick it out until the Super Bowl, or take a "day off" on Monday and catch the big reveal." The teaser was posted by 'chukachuka2012' as in chuka...cchhhukkaaa with no solid evidence of what it was all about.

Car Tech: Touchscreen Fabric Coming To Car Interiors Of The Future

On: Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 10:05AM | By: Chris Weiss

Car Tech: Touchscreen Fabric Coming To Car Interiors Of The Future test 2

If researchers at Montreal's Polytechnic School and BMW have their way, future cars may incorporate touch-sensitive fabrics that allow drivers to control functions by simply tapping or rubbing the interior fabric. BMW has shown some interest in the experimental technology.

According to New Scientist, researchers at the Institute have developed a soft fiber that hosts electrical properties from the copper wire and conductive and insulative polymers weaved in. The idea is that the fiber would be woven into fabric and could create different electrical signals depending on where it's touched.

It still sounds quite rudimentary and experimental, but if it materializes, people could tap or swipe their fingers and hands across the material to perform different electrically based functions. In a car, this could mean tapping your finger against the door fabric to change the level of air conditioning or perhaps gliding your hand backwards on the seat to move it back.

Chevy Giving Away 20 Vehicles During Super Bowl

On: Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 4:58PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Giving Away 20 Vehicles During Super Bowl test 2

Chevy is really banking on this year's Super Bowl. Not only did it run the Route 66 contest to determine its Super Bowl commercial, now it has a new contest for viewers. Similar to the TweetDrive game that Lexus ran during the playoffs, Chevy's GameTime is a Twitter-based trivia game. Not so similar to the Lexus game, Chevy will give away 20 vehicles to lucky winners.

The GameTime app is available for free download from the App store, Android App Market and over the Web at Chevy.com/gametime. The minute that you download the app, you have the chance to win instantly. You'll also be assigned a license plate number, and if it shows up during Chevy's Super Bowl ad, you'll win one of the 20 vehicles.

Consumer Reports Finds Shrinking Perception Gap

On: Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 3:22PM | By: Chris Salamone

Consumer Reports Survey test 2

Hot off the presses, Consumer Reports has discovered that the gap of automaker brand perception is shrinking. The 2012 Car-Brand Perception Survey, conducted at the Consumer Reports National Research Center, randomly polled 2,045 adults across the country and uncovered some shocking results: specifically that brand leaders no longer stand out like they used to.

And while the nation’s top 10 favorites include an ever-decreasing margin of favor, some folks might also be a bit surprised to see their beloved Jeep as the 8th worst perceived automaker polled.

“Dramatic events in the automotive industry seem to be affecting how consumers view auto brands,” said Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports’ deputy editor for autos online. “It is harder for a single brand to stand out among the competitive field. Many brands are starting to get strong in the qualities we are asking about.”


Chevy Dealers Say 'NO!' To The Volt

On: Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 9:59AM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Dealers Say 'NO!' To The Volt test 2

The Chevy Volt may not have been the biggest product flop of 2011, but it wasn't exactly a runaway success either. GM fell about 2,400 units short of its original 10,000 goal, and the Volt was the subject of some seriously bad publicity in the form of a battery fire and NHTSA investigation. As Chevy moves on to year 2 of the Volt, it has a new problem on its hands: Its own network of dealers don't want to stock it.

According to Automotive News, GM is having trouble distributing Volts to dealers around the country. A GM spokesperson blamed the down orders on the ongoing NHTSA investigation, but some of the admissions from dealers indicate a deeper problem.

Volkswagen Releases 'Bark Side' Super Bowl Teaser

On: Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 3:15PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volkswagen Releases 'Bark Side' Super Bowl Teaser test 2

Super Bowl advertising might just be getting out of hand when we start seeing ads for ads. Commercials are, after all, nothing more than thinly veiled vehicles for picking our pockets by way of manipulating our minds. Should we really be getting this excited about them?

In Volkswagen's case, the excitement is somewhat warranted. Last year's "The Force" commercial was largely hailed as one of the best ads of the big game. So everyone's either rooting for or against VW in its attempt to follow that commercial up this year. So far, VW isn't disappointing, unveiling a creative teaser for this year's Super Bowl ad.

2013 Nissan GT-R Packs More Power, More Price

On: Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 1:52PM | By: Chris Weiss

2013 Nissan GT-R Packs More Power, More Price test 2

The Nissan GT-R has long been a world leader in performance-price ratio. While it remains so in its latest form, the price is slipping ever closer to six figures. Godzilla's appetite for power and performance grows, and consumers pay the price.

The redesigned 2012 GT-R received its first major power increase since the model launched. Power spiked to 530 hp from around 485 hp. Just a year later, Nissan found fit to boost the power once again, this time to 545 hp. Torque also receives a lift from 448 to 463 lb.-ft.

That power boost helps provide some notable improvements to the GT-R's performance. The 2013 model breaks the 3.0-second to 60 mph mark, boasting a 2.7-second time. The 2012 model took 3.1 seconds to reach 60 mph. The 2013 GT-R is also expected to lap the 'Ring a little faster - around 7:20.

Bentley Looking To Lure Maybach's Customers

On: Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 1:53PM | By: Chris Weiss

Bentley  Looking To Lure Maybach's Customers test 2

Last year, a year in which Daimler said that it would be discontinuing the Maybach brand, the ultra-premium brand barely broke 200 sales. Lest you think that economic conditions had something to do with it, Rolls Royce set a yearly sales record with 3,538 models, a 31 percent increase over 2010 sales. Bentley had an equally successful year, experiencing a 37 percent sales increase to 7,003 sales overall. Though Maybach may not have many customers to offer, Rolls Royce and Bentley are hopeful that former Maybach customers will move over to their respective offerings.

In November of last year, Mercedes announced that it would wind Maybach down by 2013. Not surprisingly, that has motivated one of Maybach's main competitors to hit the mailbox and telephones in order to drum up business.

Though Maybach's paltry customer totals don't make for a huge business opportunity, they definitely give Rolls and Bentley an opportunity to advance their footprints. Bentley has been particularly proactive in reaching out to Maybach's customer list. According to Reuters, the Crewe crew has begun contacting Maybach owners to set up VIP tours of Bentley's headquarters.

Hyundai Tops J.D. Power's Customer Loyalty List

On: Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 12:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Hyundai Tops J.D. Power's Customer Loyalty List test 2

Hyundai executives recently said that the automaker is in the midst of an image turnaround from "value brand" to "valuable brand." Its customers are increasingly willing to pay closer to sticker price for Hyundai vehicles, a fact that indicates that customers want Hyundai cars not just a good deal.

If you're still having trouble shaking the old school-Hyundai image of cheap, unreliable junk, you might think that a lot of those customers come to regret their decisions. Not so, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates that puts Hyundai at the very top of the list.

Eco-Mustang? Ford To Introduce Ecoboost Mustang Option

On: Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 9:52AM | By: Chris Weiss

Eco-Mustang? Ford To Introduce Ecoboost Mustang Option test 2

Muscle cars, like supercars, are one of the few automotive categories that remain exempt from environmental friendliness. These cars have a tradition that is based around big, punishing V-6 and V-8 engines. They're large and heavy and don't really think about anything but drag races, smoking tires and bragging rights. They sure as hell don't think about Mother Earth. More forward-thinking individuals might conclude the muscle cars are everything that's wrong with the history of American automotive design all tucked into a nutshell, but these cars have a fervent following and remain important for automakers' sales and images.

While fuel economy and eco-design may not be primary considerations in the build of cars like the Chevy Camaro or Ford Mustang, they're slowly slipping their way into the minds of designers and executives. Boasts like "300 HP" are now being qualified with "...and 30 MPG". Soon, increased fuel economy and decreased CO2 emissions may become central elements of muscle car design rather than asterisks and afterthoughts. And it looks like Ford will lead the way.

Lexus Teases First Super Bowl Commercial Ever

On: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 4:42PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lexus Teases First Super Bowl Commercial Ever test 2

Losing your 11-year title sure has a way of firing you up. After slipping from its stronghold as the number 1 luxury retailer in the US--all the way down to number 3--Lexus is more determined than ever to have a big year. The automaker is planning on growing its US sales by at least 20 percent. It is also kicking off early 2012 with its first-ever Super Bowl commercial.

New products really aren't much good if no one knows they exist. And why not reach out to the country's largest television audience and let them know what's going on at your brand. That appears to be what Lexus will do when it launches its first Super Bowl commercial during Super Bowl XLVI on February 5.