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Study Shows Customers Still Value People Over Social Media In Car Buying

On: Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 12:49PM | By: Chris Weiss

Study Shows Customers Still Value People Over Social Media In Car Buying test 2

We've seen social media climb in importance in the automotive industry over the past few years. Social media now sometimes serves in place of auto shows when it comes to new model reveals and announcements. It's a tool for advertising campaigns and contests. It sometimes even serves as the design department. According to a new study, however, it isn't yet a top resource affecting auto buying behavior.

In what it calls the largest automotive study in North America, consumer research firm Maritz Research finds that close to 22 percent of auto buyers report that the good old fashioned salesperson is still the most influential source of information. In fact, the salesperson took a big leap in 2011, surging higher than the previous five years.

GM Recalls 249,000 SUVs

On: Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 11:02AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Chevrolet Trailblazer test 2

Hot off the heels of a 9,000 unit van recall, General Motors has issued another recall for nearly a quarter of a million vehicles. Five GM-related SUV models are included in this new recall: the Buick Rainier, Chevy Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender, and Saab 9-7X. Once again, it seems that northeastern/north central states (states that experience four full seasons) are proving to be a trouble area for some GM vehicles.

According to the report, fluid (read:  rain and/or melted snow) can get inside the driver's door module and short out the power lock and window switches, which could cause the components to malfunction, melt, and or catch fire. GM has not established a plan as of this writing, but owners may contact dealers to find out more information.

Read on for the full report and contact information for individual company contact numbers.

GM Recalls 9,000 Vans

On: Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 5:20PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

GM Recalls 9,000 Vans test 2

GM has issued a recall of 9,389 Chevy Express and GMC Savanna vans. It seems that cars that were registered in most states in the north east and northern central parts of the United States have been found to be prone to having debris collect in the fuel filler pipe cover. Various forms of debris built up over the years can lead to corrosion of the pipe, and consequently fuel leaking out of the pipe. Obviously, leaking fuel while refueling can lead to hazards abound, not the least of which is a fire.

GM will replace the pipe free of charge, but has not established a timeline for the fix as of this writing. Read on for the full report, and to see if your state is one of the areas in question.

Quartet Of Classic Ferraris Coming To Pebble Beach Auction

On: Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 3:03PM | By: Chris Weiss

Quartet Of Classic Ferraris Coming To Pebble Beach Auction test 2

Each summer, the auto shows that fill out the rest of the calendar year take a vacation, and Concours d'Elegance events take over as the place for auto exhibition and excitement. The events showcase exotic and classic cars and include auction elements for those looking to add something exotic, classic or rare to their collections. This year, the Concours Pebble Beach event brings the opportunity to own four rare Ferraris from generations gone by.

The 2012 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction will include four Prancing Horse classics expected to pull in a combined $20 million. The cars are all part of the collection of the late Sherman M. Wolf.


Ferrari F12 Berlinetta To Make North American Debut at Pebble Beach

On: Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 5:16PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta To Make North American Debut at Pebble Beach test 2

Europeans have gotten to see plenty of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta on the show floor and prancing around the street. North Americans, on the other hand, haven't gotten a real, live glimpse - unless, of course, they spied it while visiting Europe. Luckily, we won't have to wait much longer. Ferrari has announced that it will debut the F12 at this week's Concours d'Elegance event, adding one more exciting car to a show already packed full of them.

Pebble Beach is shaping up to be quite a show. In addition to all the classics that'll be there, we can now add the world premiere of a new BMW Zagato model, a rumored sneak-peak of the new McLaren F1 and the Ferrari F12 - that's a lotta' high fashion motoring.

Chrysler Infotainment System To Connect Without Smartphone

On: Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 2:36PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chrysler Infotainment System To Connect Without Smartphone test 2

Chrysler and Sprint announced a new partnership that will make in-vehicle infotainment a little more streamlined. The latest version of Chrysler's Uconnect system, Uconnect Access, will connect to the Internet without a smartphone. The new system will allow drivers to use Internet features like music streaming while passengers connect laptop or tablet computers via the wireless hot spot.

Many vehicle infotainment systems leverage smartphones for their Internet connectivity. With the help of Sprint, the new Uconnect will turn the car itself into a rolling Wi-Fi hot spot thanks to embedded wireless hardware.

New BMW Zagato Model Coming To Pebble Beach

On: Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 11:25AM | By: Chris Weiss

New BMW Zagato Model Coming To Pebble Beach test 2

It was just a few months ago that BMW and Zagato teamed up to wow the crowds at the Concorso d'Eleganza Ville d'Este. The BMW Zagato Coupe was a sharp, curvy fastback that may or may not make it to production. And it may or may not be joined in production by a second BMW-Zagato collaboration. The partners have another vehicle to show, and it's coming later this week.

"Making its world debut late in the week will be a new BMW Zagato concept, the second collaboration between these two legendary car companies," BMW says in an announcement previewing its appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance event.

Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 10:09AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Ferrari F355 test 2

So rarely does a car come along that actually makes a significant change in its parent company. Sure, if you believe the commercials, every single new car is some big, grandiose example of how the company is transforming and evolving into something bigger and better. But the truth is, a lot of those cars are just "filler" cars, and really don't do much except affect the bottom line. But the ones that truly make a difference are the ones we remember, especially when that company is one that doesn't create cars, it creates dreams. The F355 was not only a dream come true for teenagers and millionaires everywhere, it was also helped revitalize the Prancing Horse back to international automotive supremacy.

In the mid-1990's, Ferrari was in the midst of a bit of a slump. The emotional high the F40 left in its wake had faded and the few cars Ferrari had like the 348 and the 512 TR began to seem almost a bit antiquated compared to some of their German, Italian, and even Japanese rivals. Ferrari needed ... something, and in May of 1994 they got just what they were looking for and then some. The F355 Berlinetta  and the targa-topped GTS were the first introduction of what would go on to be one of the most popular Ferrari models ever built. The Pininfarina design was a direct descendant of the 348-308 lineage, and although you can see the resemblance if you look hard enough, the F355 didn't just replace those cars, it leapt a light year ahead of them.

Domino's Teams With Local Motors For Ultimate Pizza Delivery Vehicle

On: Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 11:27AM | By: Chris Weiss

Domino's Teams With Local Motors For Ultimate Pizza Delivery Vehicle test 2

Sometimes it takes the sordid mind of the great collective to come up with truly inspiring designs. Local Motors knows this better than most. With its crowd-sourced design model, Local Motors came out with the truly unique Rally Fighter.

Domino's has decided to team up with Local Motors to see what the collective can come up with in terms of the "Ultimate Delivery Vehicle." Help ensure your pie is delivered in style by designing the perfect transport vehicle.

Toyota Plans Fuel Cell Launch Within Three Years

On: Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 11:47AM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota Plans Fuel Cell Launch Within Three Years test 2

Despite the fact that only a handful of hydrogen fuel stations exist in the United States, automakers are slowly moving forward with fuel cell vehicles. Toyota has reiterated plans to launch a fuel cell vehicle in 2015.

Sort of a split between an electric vehicle and fuel vehicle, fuel cell models use an electrochemical reaction to create electricity for powering the motor from hydrogen. The hydrogen is purchased at fueling stations, similar to gas, and fuel cell vehicles can get several hundred miles per fill-up. Hydrogen and oxygen combine to create the electricity, and the only emissions come in the form of water vapor.

Consumer Reports' Five Cars To Avoid

On: Mon, Aug 13, 2012 at 12:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda Civic test 2

Consumer Reports has released a list of five cars to avoid. The list includes some well-known names, as well as some cars you're probably avoiding anyway.

"The five models here may be on a lot of buyers' shopping lists, but we suggest you steer clear," Consumer Reports explains. "They didn't perform well in our testing or they suffer from subpar reliability. Either way, there are better choices."

The two picks that we find most interesting are the Honda Civic and Toyota Prius C.