Login to your account
Not a member? Register now.

Subscribe To The Blog:

Follow Us

Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

Volkswagen Delays Merger With Porsche due to Legal and Tax Issues

On: Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 2:57PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Volkswagen Delays Merger With Porsche due to Legal and Tax Issues test 1-1

Volkswagen may decide to put a merger with Porsche Automobile Holding SE on the shelf until legal disputes and tax issues can be resolved, according to VW CEO Martin Winterkorn. “The legal proceedings may drag on for some time to come until a final decision is reached. For that reason, the planned merger could possibly be delayed,” Winterkorn, also CEO of Porsche's holding company, said Tuesday. “We're still facing a tax-related hurdle and several legal obstacles.”

The VW originally agreed to the merger with Porsche in 2009 as a result of the sports car maker racking up debt, to the tune of $14 billion. VW has since purchased 49.9% of Porsche AG, for 3.9 billion Euros which “set the stage for a merger in 2011,” according to automotive news.com. The lawsuits involve claims against Porsche by U.S. short sellers of VW stock who say that Porsche cost VW over $1 billion in losses after “secretly cornering the market on VW shares.”

The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival: Hot Rods And Muscle Cars

On: Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 12:12PM | By: John Welch

The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival: Hot Rods And Muscle Cars test 1-1

Every type of car you could imagine attended the Lake Mirror Classic this year; there were more show classes at the LMC than some shows have cars in general! Not only that, the 2010 edition of the Lake Mirror Classic was attended by more spectators than ever. Good thing, the weather was too good to waste! Because we took so many pictures and have only a limited amount of space, we have divided our images into our own, loosely defined categories. Today we feature Hot Rods and Muscle Cars.

What denotes a Hot Rod? A Muscle Car? Is there a certain era that these cars must fit into? A certain motiff? This is an argument that could go on for decades so we just pulled any car that was missing fenders or powered by a V8 or  . . . shiny. Here we have standout American Muscle from Modern to Pre-Mustang; there is a car or 'Rod here for everyone. These images were taken by Drew Christy, bright and early Saturday morning. Tomorrow: The Classic's Classics.

Is Facebook A Good Marketing Strategy for The Automotive Industry?

On: Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 9:33AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Is Facebook A Good Marketing Strategy for The Automotive Industry? test 1-1

A dealership technology panel was recently formed by the Rainbow-PUSH coalition in Detroit. The panel gathered at an automotive conference in order to evaluate whether advertising on Facebook is really effective for the auto industry.

National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers representative Damon Lester says that many members are interested in setting up Facebook pages for their dealerships. The concern is that the social media site may be a way for employees to waste vital work time on the internet.

Other concerns dealers voiced was that Facebook could be a vehicle for bad public relations if disgruntled employees or customers decide to use the media site to “bad-mouth” the dealership. Auto dealers are also concerned that once negative statements are live online, there is nothing that can be done to remove them or reverse the effects.

SUPERcar: The Hennessy Venom GT

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 5:00PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

SUPERcar: The Hennessy Venom GT test 1-1

Growing up, I read comic books all the time. I had an account at the local store and a ‘mailbox’ of sorts that allowed me to pick up my subscriptions every week. I read, read, and read some more, but always the same types of comics. I was more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan, only because outside of Batman and Superman, DC characters seemed to lack a certain … Edge. But aside from that, I focused on the strong, fierce characters, Wolverine (before the stupid movies and Hugh Jackman made him a pop culture icon), Gambit, Cable, Bishop, Venom, Colossus, and the list goes on and on. The reason I liked these certain characters slightly more than others was simple:  They looked, and in most cases were bigger, stronger, and/or faster than most of the other superheros, who were already bigger stronger and faster than any human on the planet. They were the elite of the elite.  

The same feeling transcended my affinity for automobiles. Sure, I like most fast cars. I might prefer one company over the other, but for the most part I pick and choose what my favorites are based on their individual abilities. I like Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, the occasional Maserati, and most things that have a prefix or suffix of AMG or M. But, there is a special place in my automotive heart for those extra special supercars that play in the rarified air of 200 miles per hour and up. These are the cars that put up 0-100 numbers that usually are impressive 0-60 numbers for your average fast car.


New Ford Ranger will be Launched In 180 Countries; U.S. Not One Of Them

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 12:44PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

New Ford Ranger will be Launched In 180 Countries; U.S. Not One Of Them test 1-1

The good news: Ford’s new Ranger pickup is here; the bad news: although the Ranger will be sold in as many as 180 countries, the U.S. will NOT be one of them.

The refreshed Ranger pickup offers some great features such as the rear-view camera, adaptive load control, as well as trailer sway control. At the end of 2011 when the Ranger goes out of production in St. Paul, Minnesota, it will not be replaced. This will be the first time in 30 years that Ford will not offer a compact pickup. The new 5th generation Ranger, manufactured by Ford and Mazda, made its debut at the Australian International Motor show in Sydney. The Ranger is assembled on a new “global platform” with plans for assembly in South Africa, Thailand, and Argentina.

BMW and Mercedes Add iPad Mount Option

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 12:37PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW and Mercedes Add iPad Mount Option  test 1-1

The iPad has got to be the official electronics accessory of the year. It's also kind of a trendy status symbol, so it's no surprise that some people might want to mount it prominently in their vehicles to show how hip they are. And two luxury automakers, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, will be giving their customers just that opportunity. Both companies announced their own customized iPad mounts.

A tad short of the completely Apple-overed Mercedes S Class iBusiness announced by tuning firm Brabus earlier this year, but still a way of getting your daily dose of "i" in your car, the new mounts basically let you replace the headrest LCD displays that are so five years ago.

Tesla Received $ 60 Million for RAV4 Production

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 12:37PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Tesla Received $ 60 Million for RAV4 Production test 1-1

Tesla recently negotiated a $60 million dollar contract with Toyota to develop the drive-train and other parts of an all-electric version of the Toyota RAV 4 SUV. Tesla plans to modify its lithium-ion battery packs, motors, power electronics, software, and gearbox in order to adapt to Toyota’s RAV 4 compact sport utility vehicle.

According to Tesla, the California-based automaker: “The terms of the deal, initially announced in July, were completed Oct. 6."

"Its initial investment in Tesla shows Toyota has decided electric cars aren't going to be fringe vehicles,” said James Bell, executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, California. “Companies like Nissan and GM are heavily committed to electric car programs, and it looks like Toyota has decided to step up its efforts.”

Rich Man's Rage: BMW Drivers Are The Angriest In Britain

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 12:32PM | By: Chris Weiss

Rich Man's Rage: BMW Drivers Are The Angriest In Britain  test 1-1

No offense to all the good, decent folk that drive BMWs, but I've always gotten the idea that BMW drivers as a greater group are some of the douchiest on the road. This may be an unfair stereotype, but it seems to me that all too many 6 Series and X5 drivers are the type of newly-made yuppies that just need to make a point about their freshly garnered socioeconomic status. And the quickest ticket to do that for someone that really doesn't care that much about cars is to buy a BMW. While there are certainly BMW models that convey a sense of taste and automotive connoisseurship, the average BMW has always struck me as the status symbol for those that don't really take cars seriously. Get a kidney grille to show your wealth and forget it.

Long story short, the type of people that consider a car a status symbol are exactly the entitled types I'd expect to see acting like reckless jackbags that own the road and flipping people off just for driving more pedestrian vehicles like Corollas and Malibus.  In fact, to get an idea of just the type of uber-tool I'm thinking of, take a look at the asshat Bimmer driver in the video below.

A recent survey in Britain found that maybe there's more than just unfair stereotyping there. The survey conducted by GoCompare, a Wales-based insurance research company, found that BMW drivers were the most reckless, angriest, dreaded drivers on the left side of the road.

Odd Justice: Philly Suburb Considers Issuing Fines For Not Locking Cars

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 10:37AM | By: Chris Weiss

Odd Justice: Philly Suburb Considers Issuing Fines For Not Locking Cars  test 1-1

In a rather odd attempt to quell a recent spate of personal property theft, Upper Moreland Township, a Pennsylvania town north of Philadelphia, is currently considering fining people for leaving their car doors unlocked in public parking areas. The reasoning behind the move is understandable: according to city numbers, 75 percent of all theft reported since 2008 has been the result of unlocked car doors. Clearly, leaving a car unlocked in the township is a problem. But is spot-checking and fining owners the solution?

The town's proposal isn't quite as bad as it sounds: a first offense would result in a warning. Under the plan, police officers would be tasked with checking car doors at random to ensure they were locked. Police officers would also lock unlocked doors. After the first offense, officers would issue 'offenders' a citation and $25 fine.

News reports indicate that there isn't a lot of crime in the township, which is part of the reason that people feel safe enough to leave their cars open. So it would seem that the police have plenty of spare time on their hands and are looking for something to keep themselves busy.

GM Workers Strike Against Low Wages at Orion Plant

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 10:30AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 GM Workers Strike Against Low Wages at Orion Plant test 1-1

Union workers at General Motors have gathered outside the UAW headquarters in Detroit to stage a new protest. The picketers comprise a group of approximately 100 retirees and union employees demonstrating against low wages that General Motors is paying for the assembly of a new compact car, the Aveo.

Just a few days after GM signed a contract to produce a new subcompact car for Chevrolet and the Buick Verano at Orion Township plant, the protest began when workers were told that they had to accept wages that were 50% less than union members had been making. Production is planned to begin in August and General Motors plans to employ over 1,300 workers at the “now-shuttered assembly plant.”

The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival, 2010

On: Sun, Oct 17, 2010 at 1:59PM | By: John Welch

The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival, 2010 test 1-1

Yesterday's Lake Mirror Auto Festival was a great success. 600 pristine vehicles from all over the world converged on Lake Mirror and downtown Lakeland to celebrate all things automotive. Here we have a 20-shot gallery of the proceedings, featuring interiors, tailights, exhaust pipes, wheels, owners, pontential owners, palm trees, bad angle sunlight, canvas chairs, traffic cones, very shiny body panels, a red Delorean, and, of course, hood ornaments.

We had cameras everywhere; tomorrow's posts will cover everything from Honorary Chairperson Lyn St. James to this morning's Road Tour and Luncheon. The Road Tour participants ranged from Ferraris to Sunbeams to Merc SLs—it was interesting to see many of the older vehicles from the show not only moving under their own power but, in some cases, displaying said power. Posts with images from Drew's camera and others will appear all week; be sure to keep the AutoShopperBlog fresh in your browser's History . . .