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

On: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 10:56AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Haunted Highways:  A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly) test 1-1

Although many will point to the 1960’s as the Golden Age of automobiles, when it’s all said and done, the 1990’s may be right up there with the best of automotive times this country has ever seen.  Dozens of exciting mobile masterpieces were available in all shapes and sizes, prices, and power ratings.  The car we have chosen today is one of the more visually impressive models to cruise own any road in America:  The Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4

We are going to focus specifically on the 1994-1999 models, because although the VR-4 was around from 1991, the real fun began with the updated 1994 model.  This techno-beast packed everything but the kitchen sink.  All wheel drive, all wheel steering, electronically tunable mufflers, and “Active Aero” bodywork including a tunable exhaust system and adjustable front and rear spoilers all made the Mitsubishi salesmen’s life very easy.  With 320 horsepower spinning the engine at 6000 rpm (and 315 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm) from it’s twin turbo DOHC 3.0 liter motor, this car could move out in a hurry.

Ford Will Add 1,200 Jobs to Produce Fuel Efficient Vehicles

On: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 10:08AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Ford Will Add 1,200 Jobs to Produce Fuel Efficient Vehicles test 1-1

Ford has announced that the it will invest $850 million in order to produce more fuel efficient vehicles, which will add 1,200 jobs in Michigan by the year 2013. Ford’s decision is supported by $400 million in state incentives.

According to Mark Fields, Ford’s president of North America reported that the State of Michigan will contribute $400 million in tax incentives over a 15 year time span. The plan will create 900 hourly jobs and an additional 300 salaried positions in order to complete the engineering and manufacturing operations. Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission plant, Sterling Axle, Livonia Transmission, and Dearborn Truck Plant will all be involved in the expansion plan that will create new jobs.


Hennessy Venom GT To Appear at SEMA

On: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 9:39AM | By: Chris Weiss


Hennessy Venom GT To Appear at SEMA test 1-1

The SEMA show, which begins next week in Las Vegas, has a reputation for showcasing some of the most outlandish tunes and mods in the world. So it's fitting that the Venom GT, a supercar from tuning firm Hennessey, will appear at the show. The Venom GT may not look that strange when compared to the other cars of the show, but underneath, it's one of the wildest auto creations of modern times: a 1,200-horsepower engine tucked behind the seats of a Lotus Exige two-seater. The car bows at 11:15 a.m. on November 2.


Honda, Toyota, and Ford Lead Consumer Report Reliability Survey

On: Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 4:37PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Honda, Toyota, and Ford Lead Consumer Report Reliability Survey test 1-1

A recent annual survey compiled by Consumer Report magazine reveals that Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are both at the top of the list for the most reliable vehicles of 2011, with Ford Motor Company at the top of the domestic automakers list and General Motors moving up in the ranks.

Many Chrysler vehicles (as well as European brands) have models that scored below average in reliability tests, according to the magazine.

83% of Chevy models were scored average or better in the reliability category according to the magazine.  That is a 50% better score for Chevrolet than last year’s results.


 

Civil War: Bentley Sues Axl Rose

On: Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 4:37PM | By: Chris Weiss


Civil War: Bentley Sues Axl Rose test 1-1

It would seem to me that leasing a $200,000 car to a rock star with a well-documented history of violent and erratic behavior is a bad idea. But for some reason, Bentley had to learn that the hard way. According to news reports, Bentley has a filed a civil lawsuit against Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose for unpaid bills and damage to a leased Flying Spur.


Behind-The-Scenes of the Audi e-Tron Spyder

On: Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 1:39PM | By: Chris Weiss


Behind-The-Scenes of the Audi e-Tron Spyder  test 1-1

The Audi e-tron Spyder debuted last month at the Paris Motor Show. The car featured rather a distinctive look defined by such elements as its wraparound, frameless windows. When it was first unveiled, the e-tron Spyder may have appeared as simple as chopping the top off the R4 e-tron concept from the Detroit Auto Show and adding some conceptual accents, but the process behind the concept was actually far more complex. Audi has released a behind-the-scenes look at the designing of the e-tron Spyder.


Nissan Begins Production On The Leaf

On: Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 1:36PM | By: Chris Weiss


Nissan Begins Production On The Leaf  test 1-1

The Nissan Leaf EV has been one of the biggest ongoing auto stories of the past year as Nissan prepares to bring it to market. One of the final chapters of the story is now underway as production on Nissan's first electric vehicle has officially begun in Japan.

The Leaf is being built at Nissan's Oppama plant, which also builds the Cube and Juke models. The Leaf will be shipping to the U.S. market within about a month or so and arrivals are expected sometime in December. European deliveries will commence early next year.

Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn said of the occassion: “This is a significant milestone, not only for Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, but also for the entire automotive industry. Consumers are clear. They want sustainable and affordable mobility...and the Alliance is leading the way with cars that deliver exactly that, with the reliability, excitement and performance that consumers demand. The high-quality, innovative Nissan LEAF will radically transform what consumers expect from automobile manufacturers worldwide.”


Ford To Post Highest Profit Since Its Inception For Third Quarter 2010

On: Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 1:29PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Ford To Post Highest Profit Since Its Inception For Third Quarter 2010 test 1-1

Ford Motor Company is hoping to post its biggest profit in history when numbers come in for the 3rd quarter. Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally’s lineup overhaul will reveal a huge boost in sales after the launch of many new redesigned Ford cars and trucks.

Financial analysts that were interviewed by Bloomberg News predict that Ford may post $1.37 billion in net income for the 3rd quarter, up from $997 million. This years’ third quarter profits will be a new record setter, beating Ford's all-time high of $1.13 billion in sales that was reported back in 1997. According to Automotive News.com;”estimates for adjusted quarterly profit have risen to 38 cents a share, the average of 12 analysts, from about 34 cents a month ago.”

Ford captured the market for 15.1% light vehicle sales compared to only 13% 2 years ago and according to Autodata Corp., buyers pay more for Ford vehicles since Ford launched the new line-up of vehicles such as the Fiesta subcompact, and high tech features like the Ford Sync and voice activated stereo controls.


Toyota Dealers Dig Deep to Sway New Customers

On: Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 1:20PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Toyota Dealers Dig Deep to Sway New Customers  test 1-1

Although Toyota sales have been affected by recent safety issues and recalls of Toyota vehicles, the Japanese automaker has managed to hold on to a high percentage of its brand loyal customers.  In fact, in recent months, Toyota’s sales records have returned to pre-recall levels.  

But in order for Toyota to promote sales recovery, the company has had to offer much higher incentives and promotions than ever before, causing to dealers to accept lower gross profits. Toyota’s sticker prices on new 2011 models are the lowest of all “mainstream brands,” according to Truecar.com.

Of course some discounts are covered by factory incentives, even so, dealers have had to give up more on bottom line prices.  "We're seeing it; the pressure is definitely on the bottom line, the gross line," said Jack Wilson, president of Toyota of Vallejo, north of San Francisco. "I see no reason other than we're still recovering from the recall situation. It's a factor, and we can't sit and not talk about it."


Federal Report Reveals Dealer Terminations Unjustified

On: Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 2:29PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


 Federal Report Reveals Dealer Terminations Unjustified test 1-1

The chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) announced that the method of terminating dealerships that was handled by Chrysler, General Motors, and the Obama administration were “unjustified.”  The findings were the result of an audit report compiled by federal regulators.  


Honda Recalls the Odyssey

On: Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 1:53PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Honda Recalls the Odyssey test 1-1

Similar to Toyota Motor Company’s recent recall, Honda recalled 528,000 vehicles for problems with the brake-seal that could potentially lead to brake fluid leaks. Honda reports that there is a risk of failure of master brake cylinder seals that could cause brake fluid leaks.  The problem occurs in vehicles in the U.S., most of them are the Honda Odyssey.