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Cayenne and Panamera Lead Porsche With 34 Percent Sales Increase

On: Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 2:19PM | By: Chris Weiss

Cayenne and Panamera Lead Porsche With 34 Percent Sales Increase test 1-1

You can argue about the styling of the Porsche Cayenne and Panamera until you're blue in the face, but there's no arguing about their success. According to new numbers, Porsche enjoyed a 34 percent year-over-year sales increase in the month of January, thanks largely to its biggest vehicles.

Porsche was quick to talk up its achievement. Bernhard Maier, Porsche's board member for sales and marketing, said in a statement: "We are experiencing a welcome upward trend in the U.S. with the Porsche brand enjoying double-digit growth. This is particularly noticeable in the Cayenne and Panamera models."

Ally Financial Selects 4 Banks For Stock Offering

On: Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 1:32PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ally Financial Selects 4 Banks For Stock Offering test 1-1

Deciding who the most popular kids on the block are has been a time-honored tradition among high school students. Sadly, many of those popularity cliques live on well beyond the high school years. In the world of high finance, there are still variations of the “pick me!” type of games being played. The latest involves Ally Financial Incorporated, which is an auto and mortgage lender. Just like General Motors and Chysler, a marjority of the company is owned by the U.S. government. Ally has finally picked four “dates for the prom” in the form of the banks that will lead a planned initial public offering. The lucky winners are Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley. What’s at stake for these banks? An IPO worth $5 billion. Clearly, that’s a game everyone wants to play.

Mercedes Pumps $1.4 Billion Into Dealership Makeovers

On: Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 1:02PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Mercedes Pumps  $1.4 Billion  Into Dealership Makeovers test 1-1

Every week, millions of TV viewers tune into “Extreme Make-over: Home Edition” to see old homes demolished and new homes rise from the rubble. Although not as drastic as that show, Mercedes-Benz has caught the makeover bug. The company is pumping around $1.6 billion into refurbishing its American dealerships in the hopes of bringing in younger buyers.

There are around 300 Mercedes dealerships that are updating showrooms. This comes on the eve of the delivery of the refreshed C-Class Sedan. In the world of luxury sedans, Mercedes and BMW have managed to take home only the silver and bronze medals against Toyota’s Lexus. Now that sales gap is closing and Mercedes is sprucing up to get ready.

Alfa Romeo To Introduce Small, Sporty "4C GTA" in Geneva

On: Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 8:07PM | By: Chris Weiss

Alfa Romeo To Introduce Small, Sporty "4C GTA" in Geneva test 1-1

The 450-hp 8C Competizione was a truly beautiful, exotic car. But with a limited, 500-model production, it didn't exactly help keep Alfa's head above water during its production run in 2007/2008. Alfa wasn't earning a profit then and it's not earning a profit now. And in the midst of constant sale rumors, the Italian automaker needs a new game plan.

Rumors indicate that part of Alfa's new game plan will look a lot like the 8C, only smaller and much less expensive. The Italian marquee is reportedly planning on bringing a 4C GTA concept to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.


Lotus Evora To Get Fast-Tracked Makeover

On: Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 7:03PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Evora test 2

With six new concept cars previewing production models presented at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, Lotus already had its hands full. But new reports indicate that the carmaker may have one more project, and it's taking precedence over the other cars. According to Autocar, Lotus has fast-tracked a new Evora, which will get a more hardened look with angular nose. The new Evora is expected to launch this year, preceding the raft of new models that will debut starting in 2013.

The Ford GT May Be Back, Baby! And It's a Hybrid!

On: Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 5:23PM | By: Chris Weiss

The Ford GT May Be Back, Baby! And It's a Hybrid! test 1-1

America is slowly becoming the new Italy. The boot may have Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Pagani, but we have SSC, TranStar Racing, a new Dodge Viper, and now...a new Ford GT. Allegedly. Yes, I'd rather have the former three, but those four ain't bad. According to a recent report on Auto Express, Ford is deep in the works on an all-new GT supercar that will pack more power and performance than ever. And it will pack it in a hybrid powertrain.

According to the rumor, the new mid-engined car will have a hybrid powertrain similar in design to the Porsche 918 Spyder. A supercharged V8 around 600-hp will provide primary motivation, but will get an extra power boost from a front-mounted electric motor when needed for acceleration.

Volkswagen Planning 7-Concept Blitz In Geneva?

On: Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 5:17PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volkswagen Planning 7-Concept Blitz In Geneva? test 1-1

It seems that the sheer volume of concept cars presented at any given motor show has become a measure of oneupmanship. Lotus set the bar at the Paris Motor Show last fall, fleshing out a new direction with six concept cars. Late last year, word came that a rather nominal player--Russian supercar manufacturer Marussia--will overshadow that Paris appearance with a seven-concept dais at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show this fall. And now it appears that Volkswagen has seven-concept show plans of its own, and it will beat Marussia to the punch, unveiling its concepts at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Of course the comparison between Volkswagen and Marussia or Lotus isn't exactly a fair one, as the former relates to an entire auto group--one of the world's largest. Rather than single-brand concepts, VW's debuts will be spread across its portfolio of brands with only two expected from Volkswagen itself. Still, though, seven concepts is an impressive tally.

BMW's New Try-Before-You-Buy Program

On: Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 12:13PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

BMW's New Try-Before-You-Buy Program test 1-1

Grocery stores stumbled upon a very smart marketing campaign: offer customers free samples. BMW has seized upon that concept for the roll out of its Megacity Vehicle electric car. The German automaker plans to offer the Megacity Vehicle through its successful car-sharing program that is all the rage in Europe. Technically, these aren’t going to be free samples, but it is certainly a proactive way to give folks a taste of the new car design and perhaps most importantly, the luxury car driving experience.

Automakers Go All Out For Super Bowl Spots

On: Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 12:49PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Automakers Go All Out For Super Bowl Spots test 1-1

What does it take to get 100 million people to focus? That’s simple: a football game. But not just any football game. We’re talking Super Bowl. Last year, 106 million viewers tuned into the Super Bowl. This year’s grudge match between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers promises to be a record breaker in terms of viewership. Companies began lining up for coveted ad spots back in October way before the teams were even picked. How much for a thirty-second spot? Try a cool $3 million. Automakers such as BMW, Volkswagen, GM, Audi and, for the first time, Mercedes are among some of the major auto brands that will be showing off new cars. Apparently, $3 million for 30 seconds is a bargain.

CEC Lexus LFA Tuned Edition

On: Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 12:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

CEC Lexus LFA Tuned Edition test 1-1

The $375,000, 500-model Lexus LFA supercar just got even more exclusive. A lot more exclusive. That is if you don't mind paying a tuner to pimp out the interior and exterior without any performance upgrades.

American tuner Claus Ettensberger Corporation announced the highly uncreatively named LFA "Tuner Edition" this week. It will offer the package on just three of the 500 LFAs that Lexus plans to build, making it an ultra-exclusive, if not entirely exciting, tuner package.

Ford Recalls F-150 For Faulty Door Handles

On: Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 11:43AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Recalls F-150 For Faulty Door Handles test 1-1

Don’t know what to get your significant other for Valentine’s Day? Well, the Ford Motor Company has a special treat in store for owners of their popular selling F-150 pickup trucks. Starting on Valentine’s Day, 281,000 of those trucks will be invited back to the dealership in a country-wide recall to fix a problem with its door handles. Perhaps this isn’t the most romantic Valentine’s Day present, but it may be the safest one!