The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry
Ford had a strong profit for the first quarter of 2011, and a strong product portfolio is a big reason why. It's not just new models, but that's one of the biggest factors in Ford's turnaround. Those new models led to higher sales, rising transaction prices, and a stronger performance in Europe.
As we noted yesterday, Ford's product mix is a big reason why the company has done so well in the first quarter, despite high gas prices and other challenges.
Posted In: Car News, Miscellaneous
Tags: Ford, sales, new cars, higher sales, Explorer, Fiesta, automakers, Detroit
Electric vehicles and hybrids have really been one of the biggest stories in the automotive industry for the past year or two. And they've been dominating award shows to prove it.
While the Chevy Volt captured the "World Green Car of the Year," the Nissan Leaf one-upped it with the more general "2011 World Car of the Year" award. Of course, that victory wasn't quite as sweet as it could have been for Nissan because the Chevy Volt wasn't eligible (it will be in the running next year though, after launching overseas later this year).
Posted In: Auto Shows, Car News, Hybrid / Green, Reports
Tags: Nissan, Leaf, EV, electric vehicles, awards, world car of the year
Ford is projecting a large first-quarter profit, perhaps as much as $2.1 billion. That would be the largest first-quarter profit since 1998 for the automaker.
Rising gas prices have actually helped Ford in the short term, as the company's focus on fuel-efficient vehicles appears to be paying off. However, those same high gas prices could hurt sales overall if they remain high.
Supply disruptions caused by the disasters in Japan could also affect the automaker going forward.
Posted In: Car News
Tags: ford, sales, profits, automaker, sales, projections
We've been so caught up in the start of the New York Auto Show that we almost missed two special edition Veyrons that launched across the world at the Shanghai Auto Show, also going on this week. However, special edition, multimillion dollar hypercars have a way of making themselves seen and heard. Loud and clear.
The models include a roadster version of the Veyron and a blacked-out version of the Veyron Super Sport, the world's fastest car.
Posted In: Auto Shows, Special / Limited Edition, Exotics
Tags: Bugatti, veyron, veyron SS, veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, supercars, world's fastest, 2011 Shanghai Auto Show
Boy, I'm getting a little sick of the Chevy Volt. It reminds me of that annoying jock-geek in elementary school/junior high/high school/life—the one that captained the football and baseball teams, was in the top 5 in grade-average percentile, and was basically just a few steps away from being a multi-millionaire with a swimsuit model wife. Puke.
The Volt's already swept major awards like the Motor Trend 2011 Car of the Year and the 2011 North American Car of the Year, and now it's back in the spotlight as the World Green Car of the Year. The award was bestowed last week at the 2011 New York Auto Show.
Posted In: Auto Shows, Car News, Hybrid / Green, Reports
Tags: Chevy, Volt, awards, World Green Car, green, hybrids, 2011 New York Auto Show
Groupon has been one of the more interesting turns in the great Internet road of the past couple of years. If you don't know, the site offers big discounts through deal-of-the-day coupons. The service gets terrestrial by delivering localized coupons that can be redeemed not for Internet goods and services but for brick and mortar services in your local town or city. Each Groupon requires a certain number of people to sign up in order for the deal to go active, thereby guaranteeing a volume of customers to the retailer. If enough people don't sign up, no one cashes in.
While the service has been a blessing for businesses of all kinds, automakers have been one industry that hasn't made much use of it. Being that automakers can't really leverage the power of the Internet in making sales (you don't see automakers selling cars via Google Checkout and you can't send your car to a virtual garage for a tune-up), Groupon seems like a logical way to utilize the Internet in drumming up business at local dealerships.
Well, Hyundai became the first automaker to give it a whirl earlier this month, offering a Groupon for the Chicago area.
Though I’m sure there are more than a few folks out there that would like to spend their 50th birthday with American “actress” Megan Fox, she seems an odd choice for a hallowed English automaker to choose as the upscale “booth-bunny” for an event that celebrated the golden anniversary of its most famous model.
[What, was every English hottie busy that day, guys?]
But choose her they did for the “Jaguar E-Type 50th Anniversary Celebration,” an event that the company held near this year’s New York International Auto Show to remind us that the E-Type was introduced to the “North American media and public” 50 years ago at the 1961 NY show.
Sounds simple enough, right? Get an old Jag, a new Jag, some banners, maybe some cake and, bingo-bongo, you’ve got a party. Which is what they did… Sort of.
Posted In: Classics, Special / Limited Edition
Tags: Jaguar, E-Type, Megan Fox, Jaguar XK-E, birthday, 5oth anniversary
Want to know what the Smart ForTwo coupes and Mercedes’ flagship S550 have in common? [Yes, they’re from the same company. And both have engines and wheels. But this is NOT what I meant.] Forbes.com—in cahoots with Consumer Reports—has named both to its “The Worst Cars on the Road” list.
Nope. Not kidding.
Those are two of the three foreign vehicles on the list—the U.S.-built Nissan Titan truck is the other—of twelve listed, broken down (ha!) into five SUVs, three trucks, three cars, and one minivan.
Chrysler took the biggest hit, with five vehicles named: Chrysler’s Town & Country minivan; Dodge’s Dakota pickup, and Nitro SLT SUV; and Jeep’s Liberty/Liberty Sport and Wrangler Unlimited off-roaders.
The GM contingent is led by Cadillac’s Escalade SUV, though in its “Base” trim level. Chevrolet swept the rest, with its Aveo/Aveo5 economy car, Colorado pickup, and Tahoe Hybrid SUV.
But things aren't as they seem...
Posted In: Car News, Reports, Car Reviews
Tags: Forbes, Consumer Reports, The Worst Cars on the Road, safety, performance, MPG
You may not have an electric vehicle on this fine Earth Day 2011—only 500 people have purchased the only mass-produced EV on the market, after all—but you will soon know where to find electric charging stations in the event you need one. Google, the U.S. Department of Energy, and 80 other partners will collaborate toward creating an intuitive mapping system of electric charging stations around the country. Eventually, this function will undoubtedly be built into EV navigation systems, allowing you access to on-the-fly charging information.
Posted In: Car News, Hybrid / Green, Reports
Tags: Google, department of energy, maps, electric, green, ev, news
And the hits just keep on coming for Toyota, this time to the tune of approximately 308,000 North American RAV4 and Highlander vehicles from the 2007 and 2008 model years which have potentially faulty Curtain Shield Airbag Sensor Assemblies.
According to the company, this "voluntary Safety Recall" involves "certain 2007 through 2008 model year RAV4 and certain 2008 Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles sold in the United States." Approximately 214,000 RAV4s and 94,000 Highlanders and Highlander HVs are covered by this recall.
It's Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. that's taking the hit this go-round as only models sold in the North American market are affected as the "roll sensing curtain shield airbag system" in question does not appear in vehicles sold in any other market.
Lucky us then, yeah?
Posted In: Car News, Recalls, Reports, Safety
Tags: Toyota, recall, RAV4, Toyota Highlander, Airbag System, Toyota Motor Sales
Your humble author spent most of the past week at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, and here's a look back at the proceedings.
The biggest buzz surrounded the Scion FR-S Concept. This front-engine, rear-drive sports coupe will likely reach production, although specs are sparse. Toyota did reveal that there will be a 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed "boxer" engine and six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. The FR-S drew raves both for its looks and for the fact that Toyota is taking a chance on a sporty car (even if it might be branded a Scion).
Tags: 2011 New York Auto Show, nyas, nyias, Concept Cars, debuts, Automakers, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Toyota, Lexus, Jeep