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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

Honda Takes Home Award For Best Value Retention

On: Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 1:51PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda Takes Home Award For Best Value Retention test 2

In its second annual Best Retained Value Awards, Edmunds.com finds that Honda has the best value retention among car brands. Runner up? Acura, Honda's luxury brand.

In a pretty strong performance, Honda scores 47.9 percent and Acura scores 44.6, giving Honda Motor Co. the non-luxury and luxury awards. The awards recognize the brands whose cars have the highest projected residual value after five years. The score is based upon the projected five-year value of 2012 models that launched before the end of 2011.

Closed Refineries May Jack Eastern Gas Prices

On: Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 10:34AM | By: Chris Weiss

Closed Refineries May Jack Eastern Gas Prices test 2

Given the record-high-scraping cost of gas, you might be under the impression that the entire oil industry is floating on 100-dollar-bill rafts in the middle of large infiniti pools of refined oil. But that impression would be false. Oil companies are actually shutting down refineries, and it may cause regional gas prices to soar even higher than they are likely to anyway.

According to a report on CNN, older refineries in the northeast are being shut down because they can't effectively process the cheaper, heavier types of oil currently being imported from the Middle East, Venezuela and other regions. The refineries are only capable of efficiently processing light, sweet oil, which costs an extra $20 per barrel.

Sunoco, which says that it has been losing a million dollars a day for three years on its refining business, has closed one refinery near Philadelphia and is trying to sell another in the area. ConocoPhillips also closed a Philadelphia-area refinery last fall.

Festivals Of Speed Returns To Central Florida

On: Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 3:39PM | By: David Walter

Motorsports Gathering & Luxury Lifestyle Display test 2

Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Porsche, Fisker, Aston-Martin, BMW, Mercedes, McLaren, fine wines, delicous foods, robust cigars, smooth jazz. Now that I've got your attention, find all these things and more May 5th and 6th in Howey-in-the-Hills, FL (30 minutes northwest of Orlando). Come enjoy the finer things at the Motorsports Gathering & Luxury Lifestyle Display (part of the Festivals of Speed event series) located at the Mission Inn Resort and Club.

We've had the pleasure of attending other FoS events in the past. If you're interested in attending the event, continue reading to find the official press release.

Ford And Yahoo! Team Up On Video Series

On: Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 3:07PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford And Yahoo! Team Up On Video Series test 2

It must be nice to be a big corporation. Because you can go to other big corporations and say, "Hey I want to promote my new product; how about we go in on it together and both win!" That's what Ford and Yahoo! are up to in a new video series called Plugged In.

You see, Ford has its first electric vehicle to advertise (and given the car's high price, it will need all the help it can get), and Yahoo! has a new (launched last fall) video site called Screen. Ford needs to get out there and Yahoo wants content to drive traffic - a big, corporate win-win.


Barf! Government Vehicles Found Sitting Pretty

On: Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 12:18PM | By: Chris Salamone

Miami-Dade County cars test 2

What do twelve Ford F-250s, at least fifteen minivans, five Toyota Prii, and a hodgepodge of barely used government-purchased vehicles have in common? They make up a portion of the 100 or so Miami-Dade County cars which sit idly at the Earlington Heights Metrorail garage, totaling about $965,000.00 in dormant assets.

Since 2006 and 2007, Miami-Dade County has left the vehicles parked, out of service, and lying in wait. And, as we all know, unused cars don’t exactly remain maintenance or cost free – tires, batteries, fluids…and let’s not forget insurance. So why, in the name of all things holy, does Miami-Dade have 100+ cars collecting dust?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is anything but satisfying. The County decided to purchase these vehicles just before the Great Recession unfolded. Shortly after buying, the economy tanked and Miami-Dade had to trim their workforce and – you guessed it – number of cars on the road.

Land Rover DC100 May Become Entry Level 'Leisure' Model

On: Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 10:38AM | By: Chris Weiss

Land Rover DC100 May Become Entry Level 'Leisure' Model test 2

We've been saying since the day we saw it that the Land Rover DC100 concept just doesn't look hard or strong enough to become the next Defender. An entry level leisure model below the Evoque? That we could buy. And apparently Land Rover is starting to agree.

According to Autocar, Land Rover is considering using the DC100 as an all-new leisure model to take on the role of its cheapest model. That we understand. What we don't understand is the reason - apparently Land Rover has received such a strong positive reaction to the model that they want to make it available to the welcoming masses, instead of parking it into the niche the Defender appeals to.

Toyota Reveals 2013 Avalon

On: Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 3:25PM | By: Chris Weiss

2013 Toyota Avalon test 2

The Toyota Avalon isn't exactly the type of car that people get excited about, but the newest version is a marked enough departure to cause a small stir. The Toyota sedan gets a much updated look that practically begs for a new model name.

As we saw from the teaser picture, Toyota wasn't just looking for a slight evolution, it was looking to change the Avalon's image. The 2012 Avalon is a sedan that could get lost - even in Toyota's line of quality but forgettable sedan designs. But the 2013 Avalon is enough to have people asking: 'What's that car'.

Next Nissan Leaf To Get More Range, New Looks

On: Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 10:31AM | By: Chris Weiss

Next Nissan Leaf To Get More Range, New Looks test 2

If there's one complaint about the Nissan Leaf, it's that it offers less than 75 miles of driving per charge. Given the courtesy of two complaints, we might have to point out the Nissan's unimpressive, pug-nosed looks. Let's face it: You drive the Leaf if you want to save money on gas and be a little greener, not if you want to look good driving. Nissan might just fix both those problems in the next generation Leaf.

Then again it might not. A new Automotive News Europe report says that Nissan plans to redesign the next Leaf, giving it a more European look. We're not sure exactly what that means, but we do know Europe has its fair share of tiny, unattractive hatchbacks, which makes us wonder if the next generation Leaf will look all that much better. Then again, Europe is also home to some of the world's most beautiful cars and most renowned luxury and exotic car makers, so let's hope that's the European influence Nissan is thinking about.

Fisker Lays Off A Dozen More Workers At Delaware Factory

On: Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 12:12PM | By: David Walter

Fisker Atlantic test 2

I remember first hearing that Fisker (maker of the innovative, high-performance $100,000 Karma) would be building their hybrid-luxury-sports cars at the former General Motors plant in Wilmington, Delaware. For a car enthusiast born and raised in the second smallest state in the nation, this was exciting news – and not because of the size and obscurity of the "Diamond State" (well, maybe a little).

Growing up there, everyone knew someone who worked in the auto industry – either at the GM plant in Newport or the Chrysler plant in Newark. My grandfather, two uncles, an aunt, and various friends and neighbors worked most of their lives at the Newark Chrysler plant. However, in 2008, the plant (where the Durango had been built since 1997) closed due to a slowing economy and demand for gas-guzzling SUVs.

Similarly, GM closed its factory in Newport/Wilmington in 2009 after building cars for decades.

So, you can see why car manufacturing’s return to Delaware came as such as an exciting surprise – and why recent news about Fisker is equally disappointing.

Next-Gen Mustang May Ditch Retro Look

On: Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 10:41AM | By: Chris Salamone

Ford Evos Concept test 2

Just yesterday Michael Ramsey of The Wall Street Journal posted an interesting article regarding the future of Ford’s ultimate pony car. Instead of continuing the retro trend, Ramsey speculated that Ford would dramatically shift the direction of the Mustang brand. Citing “people familiar with Ford’s plans,” the article fervently declared that the next-generation Ford Mustang will likely retain a few currently recognizable features – shark-nosed grille and roundish headlights – but will ultimately look more like the current Ford Fusion over our beloved, but aging Mustang.

The change in focus has everything to do with Generation Y buyers – born 1980 to 1990. Gen Y is just entering the car buying arena and Ford wants Mustang to remain relevant. Apparently cars channeling the bygone era of sex, drugs, and rock & roll are considered less sellable to the emerging youth-buyer market.

Carolla Takes Cake At Long Beach Grand Prix

On: Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 3:52PM | By: Chris Salamone

Adam Corolla test 2

We’ve seen Adam Carolla do movies, standup comedy, pseudo-journalistic auto enthusiast TV shows, and celebreality. We’ve also seen him pick up a healthy appetite for vintage racing. Somehow though, despite frequent at bats, Mr. Carolla has struggled to achieve automotive stardom – following the burnt rubber of industry giants like Steve McQueen or Jay Leno.

But no longer: as of Saturday’s 36th Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Grand Prix at Long Beach, Adam Carolla has entered the annals of driving greatness by achieving victory despite nearby accidents and a late-stage challenger.