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Tuesday, 02 October 2012 13:28

September Car Sales Coming In Strong

AUBURN HILLS, MI — (WWJ) Chrysler sales were up 12 percent in September, kicking off what's expected to be a day of strong sales reports. "Last month marked our 30th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases and our strongest September in five years," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand and Head of U.S. Sales. "Going forward with our current product line up, record low interest rates and a stable U.S. economy, we remain optimistic about the health of the U.S. new vehicle sales industry and our position in it." September was the Fiat brands best month ever. The Dodge Dart also showing momentum, with a 72 percent sales increase from August to September. The Chrysler sales were higher than analysts were expecting. Ford and GM are also expected to post solid sales reports. Those will be out around 10 AM. Analysts are expecting a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Sales Rate (SAAR) in the mid-14 million range. That could make September the strongest sales month in nearly five years.   http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/10/02/september-car-sales-coming-in-strong/
DETROIT (WWJ) – Some welcome news for drivers today. Gas prices are going down again. AAA Michigan reports that the average price of gas statewide is $3.879 per gallon. The average price dipped 2.2 cents this week, following last week's nearly 11-cent decline, according to the auto club. In metro-Detroit, however, as of this morning, prices were as low as $3.73 a gallon at a station at Six Mile Road and Inkster in Livonia. However, even though prices are down, the statewide average is still 49.7 cents more than last year. AAA surveys 2,800 Michigan gas stations daily. To find the cheapest gas nationwide, click here to be connected to the AAA Fuel Price Finder.   http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/10/01/welcome-news-for-drivers-gas-prices-are-down-again/
Friday, 28 September 2012 09:00

Buying a new car?

LANSING, MI - Michigan car and boat buyers would pay sales tax on the difference between the price of their new or used vehicle and the value of their trade-in under legislation that won overwhelmingly approval from the state House on Thursday. The bill, which passed 106-2, would provide $174 million in tax relief in the first year and up to $220 million in a few years. Its fate is uncertain, though, because of the corresponding hit to the state budget - including K-12 public schools - and resistance from Gov. Rick Snyder. "It's a huge tax credit for working families," said Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, a Republican from Columbus Township in St. Clair County who is sponsoring the bill. "It had large bipartisan support. I do think it was long overdue." Currently in Michigan, people who buy a new or used car pay sales tax on the full price without a credit if they trade in a vehicle. LaFontaine said what she is proposing is done in 44 other states. The Senate approved a similar bill in May on a 37-1 vote, and now it is up to GOP legislative leaders to decide whether to make it a priority -…
Thursday, 27 September 2012 16:44

2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 review notes

SENIOR MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: Excuse me while I try to maneuver my spleen back into its proper position. Certainly, there are few road-legal instruments as capable as the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 of rearranging your internal anatomy. But this is one procedure you don't want to be anesthetized for. Frankly, it wouldn't matter if you were. If this powertrain isn't capable of waking you up, don't worry: You're already dead. When you see the numbers "662" and "631" filling the horsepower and torque boxes of a car's specification sheet, you expect an NHRA-like acceleration curve. This is an interesting car to drive, not least because of its ability to actually slow time down. Without even "trying" to launch the Shelby, a remotely aggressive step on the throttle from a rolling start—don't even worry about dropping the clutch or dialing up launch control—and, hey, wait, what the . . . bang, boom, squawk, whooooooooooosh there went your face. Turn around, pick it up, reattach it and do it all over again. Of course, your acceleration is traction limited in oh, the first two and half gears or so, which means there is skill involved both in exploiting the power…
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 17:57

Four for the Automotive Hall of Fame

Tom Gale, Chuck Jordan, James Couzens, and Albert Kahn are this year's inductees to the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan.Gale is a friend of Motor Trend, as a regular judge on our Car of the Year awards. He joined Chrysler's design staff in 1967 and worked there until his retirement in 2000. The radically redesigned 1971 Plymouth B-body midsize cars marked his first major design. Gale also is credited for the original Dodge Viper concept, the cab-forward 1998 LH sedans, and the 2005 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum/Charger RWD sedans released after his retirement. Concept cars include the Chrysler Atlantic, Chronos, and Portofino, and Plymouth Prowler.Charles "Chuck" Jordan joined Harley Earl's General Motors design studio in 1949, became chief of the special products studio four years later, and was corporate design chief from 1986 to 1992. Jordan's motto was "no dull cars," and his design credits reflect that, including 1959 Cadillac Eldorado, 1963 Buick Riviera, 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, 1988 Buick Reatta, and 1992 Cadillac STS. Jordan died in December 2010 at the age of 83.James Couzens made Henry Ford's third auto company a business success, having served as Ford Motor Company general manager until 1915. Credited for devising…
DETROIT — (WWJ) Employees of Chrysler’s Great Lakes Business Center are now working out of new offices in downtown Detroit.   “We are proud to contribute to the continuing transformation of the Motor City,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand and Head of U.S. Sales, Chrysler Group. “I am thrilled that one of my teams will be embedded in the city that means so much to our company.”   The Chrysler workers—mostly involved in sales and marketing–will occupy the top two floors of what used to be the Dime Building. As part of the deal, the building has been renamed Chrysler House. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will also have an office in that building.   Chrysler spokeswoman Katie Hepler said, while they have manufacturing operations in Detroit, the company felt they had to make more of a commitment.   “It’s really important to us to also have a corporate presence downtown, to feel the energy of our city,” she said. “Hopefully it will contribute to some creativity and innovation that goes forward in our advertising and sales.”   All totaled 70 employees will occupy the 33 thousand square feet of space. Chrysler says the office will include…
Monday, 24 September 2012 21:14

2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 review notes

SENIOR ONLINE EDITOR RORY CARROLL: First, this is the first Chevrolet Camaro since the 2009 reboot that I have found even somewhat good-looking. The body kit and trim, when combined with white paint, were very effective in reducing the Camaro's perceived size, which is my primary sticking point with the design. All non-ZL1 Camaros of the current generation look massive. The interior, both in terms of materials and design, feels special and I think for a car like this, it should. That's not to say it should be over-lux or really novel. It is a Camaro after all. I did have the opportunity to push the Camaro in a closed environment. I will generally echo the sentiments of most of the people who have reviewed it. The car is very fast in a straight line. The steering was well suited to the chassis, and the wide tires provided plenty of grip. It felt like a car that would be very fast on a road-course—which brings me to my next point. Its best performance feature might be its five-mode traction control system. In wet mode, the car felt almost all-wheel-drive stable in heavy rain. In every mode after that, a bit…
TORONTO (WWJ) – Canadian auto workers at Ford say “yes” to the new contract that their union leadership negotiated last week.   The deal passed with an 82 percent ‘yes’ vote, said WWJ’s Auto Beat Reporter Jeff Gilbert.   The CAW union said this will assure that Ford’s facilities in Canada are well positioned for a strong future. Ford said this improves their competitiveness and creates 600 new jobs.   Canadian auto workers will vote on a new deal with GM on Wednesday and Thursday – the union is still negotiating with Chrysler but hopes to have a resolution by the end of the week.   The Ford and GM contacts cut wages for new hires and freezes pay for current workers — but it also gives them lump-sum payments to cover inflation and for ratifying the deal.   http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/09/23/ford-approves-deal-with-canadian-auto-workers-union/
Friday, 21 September 2012 14:53

GM recalls 426,000 sedans

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -General Motors announced a recall Friday of more than 400,000 sedans because of a transmission problem that causes cars to roll when they're supposed to be in park. GM said the recall applies to 426,240 Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn sedans to repair a condition in which the transmission gear position may not match the gear on the shifter. If left unfixed, GM says drivers may think they're still in park, but their vehicles are rolling. The company said this is a potential problem in certain cars with four-speed automatic transmissions built from 2007 to 2010, including Chevrolet Malibus, Saturn Aura and Pontiac G6 models. The transmission problem has results in four crashes, but no injuries, according to GM. Owners of the cars are being asked to bring them to GM dealerships, where mechanics will reinforce the shift cable end fitting to prevent it from fracturing. Earlier this summer, GM recalled more than 400,000 Chevrolet Cruzes for engine trouble. http://www.clickondetroit.com/money/GM-recalls-426-000-sedans/-/1719116/16687826/-/aqoio7z/-/index.html
Thursday, 20 September 2012 14:21

Do you have the top iPhone driving apps?

DETROIT, MI- Technology is continuing to drive the auto industry in more ways than one.   As automakers continue to integrate new technologies into drivetrains and infotainment, software developers are creating an endless amount of driving apps to find everything from a detour to cheap gas.   The integration of mobile devices and automobiles, officials say, will continue to expand as infotainment and smartphones become more main stream and economical to the point that the vehicle adapts to the apps.   “They’re going to be undeniably and inexplicably connected,” said Karl Brauer, Editor in Chief of Total Car Score. “Peoples’ phones are going to kind of be the no. 1 computer in the world because you can take it wherever you want.   “Cars and phones are only going to become more connected.”   In conjunction with the release of the iPhone 5, the editorial team of car comparison and review website compiled a list of the top five categories for iPhone driving apps.   All of the apps in the list, with the exception of MotionX GPS, are free in the App Store. They range from navigation and maps to music and gas prices.   “Beyond the new iPhone…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:57

2013 Ford Fusion: Why is it so important?

DEARBORN, MI- The 2013 Ford Fusion is not only one of Ford Motor Co.’s most fuel-efficient cars ever; it’s also one of its most important.   The aggressively redesigned midsize sedan, which the Dearborn-based automaker launched in five cities this week, is driving into a highly competitive segment that could help make or break Ford this year, according to analysts.   “It’s hugely important for Ford,” said Karl Brauer, editor in chief and CEO of Total Car Score. “They’ve put a lot of energy into the car. They put a lot of energy into the launch preparation.   "And right now, this is it. This is the moment that’s really going to be important.”   Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally, along with other top executives, on Tuesday were stationed across the country for the official launch of the vehicle, which goes on sale this fall starting at $21,700. Events were held in New York’s Time Square, Dearborn, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco.   The Fusion -- Ford's best-selling car since it went on sale in 2005 -- received an EPA-certified 47 miles per gallon city, 47 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined fuel economy rating for its hybrid…
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:09

The 2012 Edge Recall

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration released a recall summary on September 17, for certain 2012 Ford Edge vehicles equipped with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. The report claims that manufacturing defects may result in a crack in the housing of the fuel line pulse damper. The crack may result in fuel odor, weeping, or a leak. With an ignition source, the leak may result in a fire. Ford will notify owners starting on or around Sept. 24, repairing the affected vehicles—manufactured from Sept. 2, 2011 to Oct. 31, 2011—free of charge. For those not interested in waiting, feel free to contact Ford's customer-relationship center at 1-866-436-7332. Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120917/carnews/120919847#ixzz26pZ9Twk0
Monday, 17 September 2012 14:44

Young Americans ditch the car

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- America's young people just aren't buying cars like they used to. The share of new cars purchased by those aged 18-34 dropped 30% in the last five years, according to the car shopping web site Edmunds.com   Some say the economy is mostly to blame -- that the young aren't buying because they've been particularly hard hit by the recession.   But others say the trend could be part of larger social shifts.   One reason is demographic: The re-urbanization of America is giving more people access to public transportation. The advent of Zipcar (ZIP) and other car-on-demand businesses are eliminating the need to own and insure an expensive vehicle that often isn't driven much.   But mostly it's the explosion of social media. Car ownership just may not be as socially important as it used to be.   "What we used to do in cars, young people are now doing online," said one analyst at a recent oil conference.   The ability to meet and interact with people on the Internet is largely replacing the need to hop in a car and cruise down the strip.   Couple that with more recent restrictions on driving…
Friday, 14 September 2012 12:12

Don't ignore tire pressure dashboard alert

(NewsUSA) - Beginning with the 2008 model year, tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are now standard on all new cars in the United States, but many drivers don't know about them. Often, drivers are first introduced to TPMS when the icon on their dashboard illuminates, signaling that the air pressure in one or more tires is low -- potentially dangerously low.   On average, underinflated tires are responsible for nearly 700 vehicle crashes every day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that, when all passenger vehicles are equipped with TPMS, the number of annual motor vehicle crash fatalities will decrease by about 120, and the annual number of injuries due to motor vehicle crashes will decrease by about 8,500.   To help raise awareness about TPMS and the importance of proper tire pressure, Schrader, the pioneer and leading manufacturer of tire pressure monitoring systems, has created TPMSMadeSimple.com. This comprehensive site offers drivers key facts about TPMS, including how it enhances vehicle safety and why it is now mandatory on all U.S. vehicles. In addition to safety information, drivers can also find out how much money they can save with properly inflated tires and how proper inflation helps the environment.…
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