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Government Mandate on Fuel Economy May Increase Auto Prices

On: Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 10:44AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Government Mandate on Fuel Economy May Increase Auto Prices test 1-1

Experts have reported that although there will be savings at the gas pump, the cost of automobiles will rise significantly. It is estimated that consumers will pay approximately $434 more for each vehicle they purchase in the year 2012, and by model year 2016 that number will go up to $926.

According to the Transportation Department and the EPA, consumers would actually save over $3000 on fuel expense in the lifetime of their vehicles.

The new mandate will cost the auto industry somewhere around $52 billion, but the government reports that the program will provide $240 billion in savings to consumers, who will realize the savings through lower fuel consumption.

Hyundai Plans to Launch New Products

On: Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 9:51AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Hyundai Plans to Launch New Products  test 1-1

Hyundai Motor India, India's second largest automaker, has been known as a budget car of sorts; its lower price tag is definitely a big selling point. But, according to Hyundai, all that is about to change as the company plans to launch a new line of products. According to Chang-Hwan Han, Hyundai Motor senior vice president, America's regional division, "By launching these new models, our brand image in the U.S. will be enhanced. The purchasing pattern will be changed."

Elon Musk Plans To Raise $178 Million From Tesla ISO

On: Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 3:02PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Elon Musk Plans To Raise $178 Million From Tesla ISO test 1-1

Tesla Motors is getting ready for public offering, and founder, Elon Musk, who was voted 2007 Entrepeneur of the Year, says he plans to raise $178 million dollars from the IPO. The company filed its stock registration on January 29th and the expectation was initially to collect proceeds of only $100 million.

The company, which has not yet posted a profit, will sell 11.1 million shares which equates to 12% of the company at $14-$16 each. Tesla Motors has been valued at about $1.5 billion, according to Renaissance Capital. Musk plans to re-coop a portion of his initial investment taking about $21 million from the sale.

After the IPO offering, Toyota will subsequently purchase $50 million in shares and Tesla will then turn around and pay Toyota $42 million for the Nummi factory in California that is currently closed. The Nummi factory, which was a previous a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors, will be the future location where Tesla will build its second automobile, the Model S Sedan. Tesla’s first model, the Roadster, sold over 1,000 models (including cars sold to Brad Pitt and George Clooney) for $109,000 each, yet the company still endured a total loss of around $290 million.

Toyota Forced To Recall Lexus HS Hybrid For Fuel System Issues

On: Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 1:59PM | By: John Welch

Toyota Forced To Recall Lexus HS Hybrid For Fuel System Issues test 1-1

It is a pointless car, the HS. A more expensive, tarted-up Prius that is slower than a Prius, and just as miniscule? Not an easy sell I would think. At least the interior is fancy. My opinions aside, the HS really hasn't been all that difficult to sell, and Lexus has done a good job of it in the few months it has been on the market. Whether you appreciate this tiny luxury yacht for what it is—a smaller ES that is as well furnished as a car this size could possibly be—or not, you can't ignore one design detail that matters to everyone, the integrity of the fuel lines. The HS has an issue that involves fuel lines leaking after hard collisions. This fuel could make its way to hot exhaust or engine parts, causing a fire. Not good.

The HS may be a fine auto, may serve its purpose well for its owners, but it just can't have leaking fuel lines. The entire NHTSA post inside . . . this . . . post . . ..


Tickets Still Available For 100th DP Race, NASCAR Thrown In As A Bonus

On: Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 10:14AM | By: John Welch

Tickets Still Available For 100th DP Race, NASCAR Thrown In As A Bonus test 1-1

Well, okay, technically it's probably the other way around. The Brumos Porsche 250 will be held at noon on Saturday, July 3rd. After the Rolex Series sprint race, the Daytona International Speedway crews will set about blocking off the road course and readiying the track for the Coke Zero 400. Formerly the Pepsi 400 . . . formerly the FireCracker 400. Sigh. I can't help it, I miss cigarette sponsorships and races named after a certain region or holiday. How are Jack Daniels and Coke Zero any better than Winston and The Southern 500? They aren't, but I digress . . .

So, anyway, you buy a NASCAR ticket and you get a historic Grand Am race as well. Genius marketing on the one hand, but really unavoidable on the other. Think about the logistics of clearing the entire Daytona facility out in between races, cleaning everything, setting up the track and then opeing the ticket counters again . . . instead of a green flag at seven p.m. we wouldn't see stock cars until midnight!

For anyone wanting to experience live racing but who have no idea what sort of racing they would like to see, this is the best of both worlds. In the morning you are treated to a hard-fought, prototype-filled road race, and in the balmy July evening you get brash, brutally exciting stock cars crammed into every input receptor on your face. The AutoShopper will be there, and you still have time to join us:

Brumos Porsche 250 (and some NASCAR something or other,) Tickets

Look inside the post for videos and other Grand Am goodies . . .

Ford Develops New Eco-Friendly Material for Seat Cushions

On: Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 11:56AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Develops New Eco-Friendly Material for Seat Cushions test 1-1

Ford has done it again! The Detroit automaker, known for changing with the times, is now adding more eco-friendly materials to their automobiles. For example, the new 2011 Ford Explorer will offer a new bio-based polyurethane foam made from soy in seat cushions and seatbacks, as well as a 25% increase in fuel economy over the 2010 model.

Ford was the first automaker to discover that soy-based foams could be used for automotive purposes, revolutionizing its use in seats as far back as 2008 in the Ford Mustang. Now Ford plans to continue developing the use of soy-based foam in the interior of nearly all of its 2011 line-up as part of a project to start utilizing more recyclable and renewable resources in designing all of its automobiles.

Already there are over two million Ford vehicles that have the bio foam used to construct interior seat cushions; Ford reports that the implementation of the innovative material has helped the company reduce the use of petroleum oil by three million lbs every year as well as reducing greenhouse gas emission by 11 million lbs. Those are very impressive numbers evolving from simply substituting one substance for another.

Ford, the First Automaker to Use Soy Based Eco Friendly Material for Seat Cushions
Prnewswire                               http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ford-adds-soy-foam-seat-cushions-to-ford-explorer-expands-use-of-eco-friendly-material-across-lineup-96996819.html
Ford has done it again!  The automaker has been known to change with the times is now adding more eco-friendly materials to their automobiles.  For example, the new 2011 Ford Explorer will offer a new bio-based polyurethane foam made from soy in seat cushions and seatbacks as well as 25% increase in fuel economy over the 2010 model. 

Pleading The Fifth

On: Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 1:37PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Pleading The Fifth test 1-1


In the court of public opinion it seems that the previous generation M5 (designated E60 inside BMW) was indicted on charges of impersonating a super sedan for the American public. It seemed the jury found the chassis too stiff, the sequential auto shift too difficult to use for everyday driving, the engine too… well… too racy. The Formula One-inspired, naturally aspirated V-10 produced 500hp from its five liters (100hp per liter is such a high benchmark that it is reserved mostly for those that use turbochargers or superchargers). Despite its 8000rpm shriek, it managed a peak of ‘only’ 383lb-ft of torque at a very lofty 6100 rpm. The race-inspired V-10 also had the thirst of a track car averaging only around 11/city and 17mpg on the highway.  

Add to that condemnation a haughty as- tested price of entry at around 90k and a competitor from Cadillac in the form of the mighty LS6 and the even more potent LS9-powered CTS-V, that had more torque, more horsepower, and an entry price almost 30 grand less and you have a case mounting against the German hot rod. GM all but threw the book at the E60 with a very impressive run around the Nurburgring Nordschleife (a 12.9 mile track that sports 33 left hand turns and 40 right hand turns) in the CTS-V, making the Cadillac currently the fastest sedan in the world. At the end of that trial you have a car in the M5 that is guilty of asking too much for just not enough.  

The Bavarians are not known for sitting on their laurels, however, and they quickly bailed out their V10 super car. They have been working with the M5, and began its rehab program in the hopes it will be vindicated of the defamation it suffered at the hands of critics and Cadillacs alike. Though still a year or so away it doesn’t look like a full pardon is going to be a problem.  

Stock 2011 V6 Mustang Travels Over 533 Miles On One Tank!

On: Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 3:16PM | By: John Welch

Stock 2011 V6 Mustang Travels Over 533 Miles On One Tank! test 1-1

Plenty of companies have come up with plenty of hairbrained hypermiler cars in the past. Oddities mostly. Not all that useful or relevant. High strung diesel engines bolted into single-seat, bob-sled sized cars don't really appeal to the average US consumer. A base-engined Ford Mustang, on the other hand, that is a little more palatable. Being proud of their new six-pot steed, Ford engineers decided to see just how many laps of Bristol Motor Speedway their baby could finish on one tank of gas. The goal was 1,000 rotations around the Bristol, TN,. bull ring, and they met that mark with flying colors.

“This is beyond our wildest dreams,” said Tom Barnes, the lead engineer for the Ford Mustang 1,000 Lap Challenge. “There have been a lot of people who have done a lot of things in preparing this 2011 Mustang V-6 to run the Mustang 1,000 Lap Challenge and have the success we have had today. It was great when we went past the 1,000 lap mark with David, but nobody could ever imagine that we still had five hours ahead of us. This is a fantastic feeling and it shows again what a great car the 2011 Mustang V-6 is.”

J.D. Power Deems Ford Brand Number One in Quality While Toyota Falls Precipitously

On: Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 12:08PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

J.D. Power Deems Ford Brand Number One in Quality While Toyota Falls Precipitously test 1-1

The 2010 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS) shows that Ford is considered the top non-luxury brand in the industry with the highest quality level. The Taurus, Mustang, and Focus were three of the most popular of Ford’s line-up that were considered the vehicles of most distinction.

Ford moved from last year’s eighth place position to fifth place, which is the highest that the Ford brand has ever ranked. Fourth place and above, performers were dominated by vehicles in the luxury car group: Porsche AG’s namesake vehicles, Honda Motor Co.’s Acura, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota’s Lexus, according to the market-research firm.

Lincoln also saw improvement in its ranking this year and is now listed among the top 10 brands. Lincoln was ranked 26th last year and moved up to eighth position.

Toyota, on the other hand, fell from sixth place all the way to the Japanese automaker’s lowest ever ranking (since the inception of J.D. Powers quality studies) of 21st place. According to David Sargent, J.D. Power’s VP of global vehicle research in a Bloomberg Newsweek interview; “Toyota’s problems were directly related to the recalls. This will certainly hurt their image a bit.” Sargent also stated, "For Ford, this is the culmination of nine years of improvement.” Ford has gradually moved up the rankings for the past nine years in a row.

The Hungarian Prototype That Can Split Into 2 Cars

On: Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 11:24AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The Hungarian Prototype That Can Split Into 2 Cars  test 1-1

You may have heard of the Yugo from Central Europe it was known as “the worst car in the world.”  Many people think of the Yugo when automakers from countries such as Hungary come to mind, but things have changed recently and some European car enthusiasts are supporting the design of new environmentally clean vehicles manufactured in their own country.

One example is the car manufacturer named Antro in Hungary that has been developing a brand new concept in a prototype with financial backing from local sponsors. The company has invested 1.5 million Euros in designing a prototype of a car that can split into two smaller vehicles. The car is called the Antro Solo and plans are being developed to bring it to market by the year 2012.

The Solo incorporates a Hybrid drive system, it has a very sleek looking design with a center driver’s seat, doors that pivot, and a roof loaded with solar panels. It definitely looks like something in a futuristic movie setting.

The Launch of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

On: Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 9:57AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The Launch of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee test 1-1

Everyone knows that Chrysler Corporation has had no picnic recently; in the past three years, the company has seen three different owners. The Chrysler line-up has become outdated and there has been very little activity, as far as announcements of new products, until now.

The 2011 Grand Cherokee is about to change all of that with new models that will soon be filling the show rooms. Initial development of the Grand Cherokee started as far back as 2006, when Chrysler was still tied up with Daimler-Benz (the parent company of Mercedes-Benz). So, although the new owner of Chrysler is now the Italian Fiat Company, the newest Jeep shares many features with the Mercedes-Benz ML.

The styling is purely Jeep. "It's our other icon," says Mark Allen, head of Jeep design, referring to the difference between the Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler. The 2011 model keeps the familiar Grand Cherokee appearance on the exterior, but it has been described as having “a more athletic sculpting and softer edges, the new Grand Cherokee is better dressed to mingle with the soft-roader crossovers in the suburbs.”