10 Tiny Bits of Automotive News – December 18, 2012

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1. The cops in Kansas don’t appear to have a sense of holiday spirit OR humor. They ticketed David Hill of Wichita for having 856 Christmas lights on his Ford F150.

2. George W. Bush’s Ford F-150 to be auctionated at this year’s Barrett-Jackson next month with the proceeds of the sale going to the Fisher House Foundation.

3. YouTube is very popular and so are auto ads. Eight of the top 20 most watched YouTube videos were from automotive manufacturers. The Bark Spot was the most popular of all auto ads.

4. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued arecall for 2012 Lamborghini Aventadors sold in the USA. The cars have headlights that don’t conform to US federal motor vehicle safety standards. The lamps can be aimed horizontally but not vertically.

5. The answer to the age-old question is now known. According to Motor Trend, the 2013 Corvette CR1 is faster than the new 2013 SRT Viper GTS. And cheaper too.

6. According to a Bloomberg report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has upgraded an investigation into complaints of unintended acceleration lodged against Ford vehicles.

7. The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is opening its vault to the public for the first time December 15 to January 6. No photos will be allowed so I am not going.

8. General Motors has idled the primary assembly plant that makes the Chevrolet Malibu for nearly three weeks amid swollen inventories of the mid-sized sedan.

9. Chrysler Group wants to invest nearly $162 million in an Indiana plant finished in 2008 but never occupied because of a failed joint venture and Chrysler’s bankruptcy.

10. Despite rumors of its demise, VW said it will resume Routan production in 2013. The car is a joint venture with Chrysler Group.

10 Tiny Bits of Automotive News – December 11, 2012

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1. People like Hyundai cars. At least the sales numbers say so. The company has broken monthly sales records in every month so far this year excluding June and October.

2. Honda says it will export more American-built vehicles than it imports from Japan by 2014.

3. The 2013 Chrysler Ram Truck (1500) won the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award.

4. The 2013 Ford Fusion has been around a few mere weeks but has already been recalled twice. The latest recall is caused by faulty headlights.

5. American car companies aren’t the only ones getting help from the Italians. Aston Martin announced it received an investment from an Italian private equity firm. The investment represents a 37.5% stake in Aston Martin.

6. All-electric Coda Sedan earned just two stars in frontal crash test. The car did better in other tests including five stars for side crash and rollover tests.

7. Porsche fans will be interested to know that the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars will now be based on the new 991 body style. The cars are built on the same assembly line as the stock and trade 911s.

8. There’s a new Popemobile and it’s powered by Mercedes Benz. It’s based on the M-Class.

9. The Environmental Protection Agency has is looking at data from Consumer Reports claiming the 2013 Ford C-Max and Fusion hybrids don’t achieve anything close to their fuel economy estimates of 47 miles per gallon.

10. The number of people who died in vehicle crashes on U.S. highways hit a 62-year low in 2011, according to NHTSA data released Monday. 32,367 people died last year in vehicle crashes.

10 Tiny Bits of Automotive News – December 4, 2012


1. Ford announced a recall of 89,153 vehicles equipped with 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engines over the possibility of fires.

2. Buick’s Verano received a Five-Star safety rating from NHTSA.

3. Fisker founder and Chairman Henrik Fisker says the company is looking for a financial partner. The company has struggled with finances since the day it was announced. Adding to the company’s problems, Fisker announced a delay in Karma production because of a battery shortage. The company that makes Fisker’s batteries filed for Bankruptcy protection.

4. If you’ve ever wanted to own the REAL Batmobile, now is your chance. George Barris is putting the car up for auction at the Barret-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ, on January 19, 2013.

5. Chrysler Group LLC Reports November 2012 U.S. Sales Increased 14 Percent; Best November Sales in Five Years. General Motors reported its highest November sales in the United States since 2007, with deliveries up 3 percent versus a year ago. Honda scored well too with the 2012 Honda Civic. Sales of the Civic were up 75.5 percent to 30,075 units. Subaru reported sales up nearly 60 percent to 28,206 units, while BMW saw a 45-percent to 21,213 units.

6. The Mazda CX-5 was named Japan Car of the Year. The Subaru BRZ won the “Special Award” akin to runner up.

7. New car prices are up. Transaction prices – the figure the typical motorist actually pays after adding in options and deducting givebacks – at highest levels in a year,$30,832.

8. Stuttgart is ready to let loose the GT3. Sources in Germany say the new 911 GT3 will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013.

9. Aston Martin/(The Racers Group) signed an agreement to bring the famous British sports car to a North American racing series starting next season at the Grand American Rolex Series and Pirelli World Challenge Series.

10. AAA has released a statement urging government regulators to postpone the sale of E15 gasoline until more consumers can be educated on the fuel. AAA says most people don’t know that the fuel is 15% ethanol and many cars cannot operate properly with that much of the corn-based additive.

10 Tiny Bits of Automotive News – November 20, 2012

1. Hurricane Sandy is still impacting the automobile business. Used car prices are expected to rise because destruction caused by the storm has led to a shortage of late-model used cars.

2. 36-year-old drag racer Antron Brown has become the first African American to win a major auto racing title in the United States. He also won the 2012 NHRZ Top Fuel season. Mr. Brown is a heck of a nice guy and last year gave me a 45 minute tour of his car and its trailer during the NHRA Nationals in 2011.

3. If you can’t find a Ford SVT Raptor at your local dealer it’s probably because the truck was shipped to China. Rumors have it that Raptors are going for 300% of their MSRP on the Chinese black market.

4. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, General Motors is recalling certain 2012 Buick Verano, Chevrolet Cruze and Sonic models due to a defect in the driver’s airbag system.

5. General Motors is recalling 12,626 XTS models built between October 12, 2011 and August 30, 2012 over Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 202, which pertains to head restraints.

6. Toyota is recalling a total of 2.77 million vehicles worldwide for a variety of issues including water pumps (Prius) and other models related to a steering system issue.

7. In the automotive version of World Wrestling Federation, NASCAR fined wannabe race car driver Jeff Gordon $100k, and docked 25 points from his season total for crashing into another NASCAR thug, Clint Boyer.

8. The first ever Austin Grand Prix was a whopping success marking the return of F1 to the USA for the first time in five years. An estimated one million people watched the event on television and 120,000 attended the event in Austin.

9. Ferrari auctioned an F12 Berlinetta to raise $1.5 million for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The auction was part of the F1 event in Austin, TX. The funds will go to the Red Cross for dispersement.

10. Japan’s automakers are gearing up for the biggest wave of North American production expansion in a decade. Mazda, Nissan, Honda, Subaru and Mitsubishi are all gearing up production in North America with Subaru and Mitsubishi adding capacity in the USA.

10 Tiny Bits of Automotive News – October 30, 2012


Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

1. According to Automotive News Europe, Ford is closing two more plants in Europe, cutting 6,200 jobs.

2. So far this year, VW has sold 323,089 cars, marking a 37-percent increase over last year and making Volkswagen the second-fastest growing brand in the US by volume after Chrysler. Projected sales totals for 2012 are currently 430,000 units which is almost half of the 800,000 annual sales that VW hopes to accomplish by 2018.

3. Think GM isn’t serious about improving IT? Then read this. The company is hiring 3,000 HP workers to open innovation centers in several states.

4. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupes are being recalled for bad curtain airbagsthe stitching on the “right side window curtain airbag” – the passenger side – which may cause the bag to not deploy properly.

5. Despite Mitt Romney’s claim that Jeep is moving all production jobs to China, in fact, the company is adding almost 2000 jobs, 1100 in Ohio and an additional 900 in China. The Chinese jobs are for people building Jeeps sold in China. The additional revenue from such sales helped Jeep add more US jobs.

6. Who says the economy is bad? Neiman Marcus sold through a dozen special edition McLaren 12C Spiders in less than two hours Wednesday. At $354,000 each!

7. Randy Bernard stepped down as IndyCar’s CEO. Rumors circulating in racing circles say the resignation was in response to a coup by some team owners against the group that controls IndyCar, Hulman & Co. In addition to the race series, the group also owns Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

8. NHTSA is probing 2000-2003 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable models over a throttle issue and may issue a mandatory recall.

9. It’s a bit early but Toyota claims that the Camry is the best-selling car in the US for the 11th straight year.

10. SEMA – the biggest car show in the world officially gets underway today in Las Vegas. Miles of car porn line the Las Vegas Convention Center. CarLoves.com is on the scene and will bring you updated coverage all week long.