facebook twitter feed
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 15:18

Police Cars in 2025

DETROIT, MI- Top automakers at this year's LA Auto Show will compete for the best-designed highway patrol units and vehicles for 2025. Design studios from BMW Group, General Motors Co., Honda Motor Co., Mercedes-Benz and Subaru will compete in the 9th annual LA Auto Show Design Challenge. This year's challenge was to create the ultimate highway patrol vehicle for the year 2025. "From drone technology to observe, pursue and engage from the land and air, to renewable resource-fueled vehicles equipped with topographical scanners, this year's entries are designed with an entirely new set of considerations to effectively navigate dynamic urban environments," according to a statement from the LA Auto Show. Judging will be based upon various factors including: consideration of future needs for advanced technology; speed and agility on future freeway systems; creativity of the solution; meeting a specific region's emission standards; and environmental sensitivity, including maintenance and recyclability. Environmental-friendly vehicles are a main theme of this year's LA Auto Show. Overall, there will be, at least a dozen clean-diesel vehicles and nearly 20 vehicles achieving 40-plus mpg with highly advanced four-cylinder gasoline engines, and two dozen all-electric or plug-in electric models at the show. The winning design will be…
Monday, 19 November 2012 16:56

Health consequences of a long commute

(CNN) -- Like many big cities in America, Atlanta is surrounded by a circular highway that connects with various freeway arteries that go through the downtown area. Weekday mornings and early evenings, no matter which highway you're on, or what direction you're going, you'll likely end up stuck in some hot traffic hell. Dana Jones, 26, used to drive from the south end of the city by the airport to a northern suburb at peak commuting times, right through the daily mess. "There were so many people out," Jones says. "You get road rage because nobody will let you in; nobody will merge right. It's just aggravating." Despite the perils of a long commute, most people in the United States drive to work, according to the American Community Survey (PDF). In fact, more than 75% of Americans make the trek to work alone. The stress of waiting in gridlock can get intense if you're in a hurry, leaving you feeling frustrated and anxious about the traffic. That stress can translate into deeper health hazards. Try to distract yourself with your smartphone, and you can put yourself and other drivers in even more danger. Road rage: An 'emotional spin cycle' LeeAnne…
Thursday, 15 November 2012 15:31

Keselowski, NASCAR Sprint Champ Cup

ROCHESTER HILLS (WWJ) - Rochester Hills native Brad Keselowski has a big opportunity this weekend as he can become the first Michigan born driver to capture NASCAR's Sprint Cup Championship with a 15th or better finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday. As WWJ's Sports Anchor Ryan Wooley reports Keselowski and five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson are the only two drivers in contention for the title and it's truly Brad's to lose as he enters the race with a 20 point lead, which means Johnson could actually win the race but as long as Keselowski finishes in 15th or better, he takes home the title. The Championship would also not only be special to the born and bred Michigander but team owner and Birmingham's own Roger Penske as well, as he has won countless races, including a record 15 Indianapolis 500s, but never a Sprint Cup title in almost 30 years of trying. The closest the state of Michigan has come to having a born and bred champion was the late Benny Parsons who was born born in Wilkes County, N.C., in 1941, but joined his parents after high school at their new home near 7 Mile and Woodward in the…
Tuesday, 13 November 2012 16:58

Tesla Model S - Motor Trend Car of the Year

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Motor Trend magazine has named the Tesla Model S its Car of the Year. The magazine's staff selected the all-electric plug-in luxury car out of a field of 11 finalists that included models such as the Ford Fusion, Porsche 911 and Hyundai Azera. It is the first time the magazine's Car of the Year award has ever gone to an all-electric car. Just being electric wasn't enough to earn the Model S the prize, though. Ed Loh, Motor Trend's editor-in-chief on Monday said that, with eleven finalists, it was a strong field this year. But in the end there was no question about who the winner was. "The vehicles that placed second and third didn't get more than three votes. But it was a unanimous decision for the Tesla Model S." "At its core, the Tesla Model S is simply a damned good car you happen to plug in to refuel," editor-at-large Angus MacKenzie wrote in an article about the award. Motor Trend calls the Model S "as smoothly effortless as a Rolls-Royce" to drive fast while having the cargo and passenger capacity of an SUV. The Model S was one of the most efficient cars…
Monday, 12 November 2012 16:22

Get Ready: LA Auto Show

LOS ANGELES (WWJ) - A rebounding auto industry is going to be on display as the first major auto show of the season gets underway in Los Angeles the week after Thanksgiving. "We're probably going to have at least fifty new vehicle debuts," says LA Auto Show spokesman Brandon Flynn. "That's in addition to the thousands of cars that come to the show." WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert will be in Los Angeles for press preview days on November 28th and 29th. Car Companies aren't yet talking about all of the vehicles that will be unveiled. But, Flynn says any auto show that's just a few miles from Beverly Hills will have a lot of upscale cars and trucks. "We have some really exciting luxury and performance debuts." That includes new vehicles from Porsche, Land Rover and Jaguar, among others. "Mercedes has four debuts," says Flynn. "BMW, they have three debuts including the I-8 Spyder plug-in hybrid. Audi's gonna have four different vehicles they are making announcements on. So the list of luxury and performance vehicles is an exciting one." The three Detroit based carmakers always have a big presence at the LA Show. Chrysler has confirmed that it will…
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 14:25

GM Secrets Stolen?

General Motors Trade Secrets Allegedly Stolen By Married Couple Yu Qin, Shanshan Du There's one couple that may be the Bonnie and Clyde of the 21st century. And no, we're not talking about Jay-Z and Beyonce. Yu Qin and Shanshan Du -- described by prosecutor Michael Martin as "Partners in life, partners in business and partners in crime" -- allegedly stole trade secrets from General Motors in order to sell them to a Chinese competitor, according to Bloomberg. The trial currently underway claims that Du, an engineer at General Motors in Detroit at the time, stole documents and provided them to her husband, Yu Qin, who used them to pursue business and employment opportunities with Chinese competitors. This is only the latest China-related controversy for the auto company. Late last month, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney suggested that General Motors, along with Chrysler, was shipping American jobs to China, a view with which both companies took issue. Over the past few years, the U.S. Labor Department has brought more than a dozen cases alleging defendants of Chinese ancestry have stolen trade secrets from U.S.-based companies, Bloomberg reports. For example, former Motorola employee, Hanjuan Jin was sentenced to four years in…
Monday, 05 November 2012 09:00

U.S. auto industry to recover

U.S. auto industry to recover losses from Superstorm Sandy. DETROIT, MI- Superstorm Sandy resulted in thousands of sales losses for the U.S. automotive industry and an un-measurable amount of damage to dealerships. But industry experts believe the natural disaster, which took away at least three days of sales in one of the U.S. automotive industry's most important markets, could mean increased car and truck sales toward the end of the year, and into 2013. "As much we saw October was impacted, it will be more than offset because now the people who normally would have bought cars in the next three months are going to be joined by people who have to buy cars in the next three months because of the storm," said Karl Brauer, editor in chief and CEO of Total Car Score. U.S. sales last month increased 7 percent to 1.1 million cars and trucks sold, according to Autodata Corp. Most major automakers, including the Detroit Three, reported year-over-year sales gains, as the industry continues on a path to its best post-recession year yet. According to estimates, Sally resulted in a loss of vehicle sales anywhere between 20,000 and hundreds of thousands in October. Ford Motor Co.…
Friday, 02 November 2012 14:29

Honda Launches Pink Car Designed For Women

To add to the never-ending list of ridiculous lady products including Dairy Milk's Crispello sexist chocolate, Bic For Her lady pens and Fujitsu's Floral Kiss, Honda has designed a car especially for women.   It's a version of the manufacturers current model, the Honda 'Fit', but with some girly add-ons to make it nicer to use for the fairer sex.   HuffPost UK Lifestyle hate using those bulky normal cars for fear we'll break a nail, so we're over the moon to get one designed especially for us. *sarcastic face*   Naturally it's pink - the favourite colour of anyone with a uterus - and retails at $17,500. (You'd think they'd have made it cheaper considering we generally earn less than men.)   Unfortunately the car is only available in Japan at present though. Damn.   http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/29/honda-car-women-pink-fit-shes_n_2037611.html?ir=Women&ref=topbar
Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:12

Chrysler Car Sales Best In 5 years

(Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC said Thursday that October car sales were the best in five years. Chrysler, an affiliate of Italy's Fiat SpA and the first of the major automakers to report, said October sales of 126,185 were up 10 percent from 114,512 a year ago. Chrysler said it was the 31st consecutive year-to-year increase in its monthly sales. Four of the company's five brands -- Chrysler, Dodge, Ram Truck and Fiat -- saw sales gains in October. Jeep sales fell 5 percent. U.S. auto sales are expected to show a rise of 11 percent for October, led by Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co , which benefited from increased demand for compact cars, as gasoline prices remained high across the country. The annual sales rate is expected to be 14.9 million vehicles for the second straight month, according to a Reuters poll of economists. "This stability at a higher level is taking the edge off the risk factors for the remainder of 2012 and into 2013, as the U.S. economy wrestles with the European crisis," said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. Rising home prices, attractive vehicle financing options and Americans' growing need…
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 14:13

GM Posts Strong 3Q Earnings

DETROIT (WWJ) – General Motors earned $1.5 billion in the third quarter. That beat analyst expectations. But, it was also 12 percent lower than the same period last year. "We've been able to grow revenue year over year," said GM Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann. "Core profits, year over year, our margins are up, modestly and our cash flow is up. We're profitable in four out of five of our reporting segments." INTERVIEW: WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert talks with GM CFO Dan Ammann about earnings, and about his experience in New York during the storm.Like its domestic competitors, the bulk of GM's earnings came from North America, $1.8 billion. "GM had a solid quarter because customers around the world love our new vehicles and we're also seeing green shoots take hold on tough issues like complexity reduction, pensions and Europe," said Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. "We are going to keep playing offense." GM lost $478 million in Europe, and expects losses in that part of the world to run between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion for the full year. Part of that cost, GM says, will come from the expense of turning around the money losing operations in…
Tuesday, 30 October 2012 15:09

Ford & Chrysler Slip

DETROIT (WWJ) - New technology cost Ford dearly in the latest Consumer Reports reliability study. "Ford really had a bad year this year," said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports. Two years ago, Ford was in the top ten and rising. Now Ford is one rung from the bottom. Most of the complaints are with Ford's "My Ford Touch" information system. Fisher says this comes despite a recent software fix. "It was a step in the right direction, but there are certainly a lot of issues; they didn't go far enough," he said. "The vehicles — they have problems associated with them still. They system doesn't work the way it's supposed to work." Ford says it values customer feedback, and is working to improve its systems. Toyota's three brands: Scion, Toyota and Lexus finished in the top three spots. Cadillac was the top ranked domestic brand. General Motors, for the most part, saw improvement. Chrysler, Fisher says, was hurt by several new product launches. The vehicles received a number of complaints from Consumer Reports readers....even though they did well in the magazines testing. "The Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Chrysler 300, the Dodge Charger — these are excellent…
Monday, 29 October 2012 15:30

Ford Tauruses being investigated

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 2000 - 2003 Ford Tauruses and Mercury Sables for a problem that can cause the engine to keep running as if the gas pedal were pressed even when it's not. According to a document posted on NHTSA's website, an attachment that holds the speed control cable -- which works with the car's cruise control system -- can break, causing the cable to become stuck. The vehicles involved in the investigation are model year 2000 through 2003 Tauruses and Sables -- the two models are essentially identical -- with 4-valve 3.0-liter V6 Duratec engines. An estimated 310,000 cars may be involved.For now, no vehicles are being recalled, but NHTSA is performing a "preliminary investigation," to determine the extent of the problem and its safety implications. By the time the investigation was opened, NHTSA was aware of 50 complaints. The problem has not been seen in other V6-equipped Taurus or Sable cars, according to the document. Model year 2005 and 2006 Ford (F, Fortune 500) Tauruses were also investigated for a similar problem, but that investigation was closed recently with NHTSA finding that the issue in that case did not…
Thursday, 25 October 2012 15:38

Expecting Mayor Sale For Ram 1500 2013

AUBURN HILLS, MI- Mark Ferguson "used to be a Chevy guy." The car porter for Kahlo Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Noblesville, Ind. switched his alliance to Chrysler Group LLC not necessarily because he works with the vehicles, but because of the Auburn Hills-based automaker's Ram trucks. "It's a great truck," he said Wednesday as he secured a new 2013 Ram 1500 to his trailer, which he was about to drive back to Indiana with a Ram 2500. "They drive ... and handle really nice." Kahlo was one of nearly 200 dealerships representatives to gather at the Palace of Auburn Hills Wednesday to drive their first Ram 1500 Big Horn editions into showrooms across Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Chrysler has been doing Ram 1500 "Drive Away" events for dealers, which all receive the same uniform vehicles, for two weeks. The first was in Texas, which nearly 250 dealers participated in, according to officials. Besides the 170 black trucks all lined up in the parking lot of the Palace, something else appeared to be the same. Everyone from dealers and salesman to car porters and mechanics couldn't wait to get the new pickups back to their dealerships. "I think they…
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 14:31

Ford Makes Cuts in Europe

DEARBORN — (WWJ) Ford, which expects to lose a billion dollars in Europe this year, says it's shutting its assembly plant in Genk, Belgium. The plant employs 4300 people directly, and has as many as 5000 subcontractors. "The proposed restructuring of our European manufacturing operations is a fundamental part of our plan to strengthen Ford's business in Europe and to return to profitable growth," said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. The closing is expected to be finalized by 2014. Exact details have to be negotiated with Ford's unions in Europe. "We understand the impact this potential action would have on our work force in Genk, their families, our suppliers and the local communities," said Odell. "We fully recognize and accept our social responsibilities in this difficult situation and, if the restructuring plan is confirmed, we will ensure that we put in place measures and support to lessen the impact for all employees affected." The Genk plant builds the Mondeo mid size car, which is similar to the Fusion in the U.S., as well as several SUV's; The S-MAX, C-MAX and Galaxy. Production will be shifted to Ford plants in Valencia Spain and Saarlouis, Germany. The closing of…
Page 4 of 7