Ten Tiny Bits Of Automotive News – October 2, 2012


1. The Detroit News is reporting that U.S. traffic deaths rose by nine percent in the first half of 2012 – the largest increase since 1975 when the NHTSA started keeping records.

2. Hamilton in, Schumacher out at Mercedes F1. Hamilton has left McLaren for the Mercedes-Benz factory team in a three-year deal that could be worth as much as $100 million.

3. TrueCar is forecasting a 10.5-percent increase in sales for September to 1,163,000 units, which translates to a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) of 14.6 million new car sales for the year, up from 13.1 million last September and 14.5 million in August 2012.

4. Long-time iconic motorsports journalist and racing commentator, Chris Economaki, died late on Thursday evening at the age of 91. In my opinion, Chris the greatest motorsports journalist of all time. He will be missed.

5. Raechel and Jacqueline Houck were sisters who died in 2004 in a rented Chrysler PT Cruiser that had been previously recalled for problems with the steering column. Bowing to pressure from consumer groups and the girls’ family, major car rental companies have agreed not to rent or sell recalled vehicles.

6. Sad news for VW van fans. VW board member Ulrich Hackenberg has gone on record saying that the Bulli concept van, as shown at the last Geneva Motor Show, is not currently planned for production.

7. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Honda is recalling over 625,762 Accord and Acura TL models. The Accord models in question were all built for the 2003 to 2007 model years and are all equipped with V6 engines, while the affected Acura TL sedans are from the 2007 and 2008 model years.

8. Ford executives tell Bloomberg that dealers for brands across the EU are buying their own cars, boosting new-car sales figures by as much as 30 percent.

9. 2013 Jaguar F-Type prices have been announced at between $69,000 and $92,000 with a range of engines that include a 3-liter supercharged V6 all the way up to a 5-liter supercharged V8.

10. In 2004, Volkswagen took umbrage with Suzuki being granted permission to use the nameplate “SWIFT GTi” VW sued. Now, VW has finally dropped its claim against Suzuki. That was special.

Ten Tiny Bits Of Automotive News – September 25, 2012

1. Nissan drivers confirm heat taking toll on Leaf batteries. If you live in a very warm climate (like the Las Vegas area) you might want to take this into account when considering buying an electric car.

2. Entire inventory of Weiner’s Microcar Museum in Madison, Georgia is to be auctioned by RM Auctions February 15,16 2013.

3. Wards Auto that found the D-segment (midsize and utility vehicles) will account for the majority of new or redesigned cars over the next three years.

4. I’m known as a freak about keeping my cars clean but this is over the top. A Minnesota woman allegedly made her 11-year-old nephew ride in the truck of her Lexus after he got wet at a waterside attraction. Wow.

5. I’ve been wondering what to do with that spare one million dollars in the bank. It appears I can go to Singapore and get a shiny new McLaren MP4-12C Fire Black SGP edition if I hurry.

6. General Motors is recalling 426,240 sedans that may have a faulty transmission shift cable, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report. Impacted models include the Saturn Aura, Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G6s.

7. Goodyear has developed a new self-inflating tire for commercial vehicles. The Air Maintenance Technology system uses an internal pressure regulator to determine when the tire is low. When pressure falls below a certain parameter, the regulator opens to allow air into a pumping tube.

8. Reuters reports that Stefan Jacoby, CEO of Volvo, suffered a mild stroke last week, and although Jacoby says he’s already begun improving.

9. In a rather depressing note: The American Journal of Public Health says car crashes are no longer the leading cause of injury and death. Suicide has risen to the number one spot.

10. The Detroit Free Press says Ford’s Canadian employees have ratified their union contract, leaving Chrysler as the only automaker without an agreement with its Canadian workforce.

Ten Tiny Bits Of Automotive News – September 18, 2012

1. The new Cadillac ATS is the 2012 Esquire Car of the Year. Cadillac’s new sport sedan is just now arriving in U.S. dealerships.

2. Lamborghini Gallardo recalled for possible power steering fluid leak – models impacted were built between 2004 and 2006.

3. Honda announced a pair of recalls that impact 5,216 Element crossovers from the 2007 to 2011 model years, and 17 Ridgeline pickup trucks from the 2012 model year.

4. Apple announced the iPhone 5 last week. One of the phone’s new features is turn-by-turn navigation with voice prompts from Siri. It will act like most in-car navigation systems, as you approach a turn, a 3D view appears to better show the user where to turn.

5. he National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that 5,499 Edge models are being recalled due to a fuel line issue.

6. The National Corvette Museum is planning to build a motorsports park and has already hired Steve Crawford, the architect behind Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, California, and The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington.

7. Reuters is reporting That Honda, Mazda and Nissan have been forced to stop production in China after a series of anti-Japan protests erupted over a territorial dispute between the two countries.

8. Ford and the CAW have reached a 4 year collective agreement to Sept 2016. Under the proposed terms of the agreement, the CAW will make some concessions.

9. President Obama filed a case with the WTO claiming the subsidies claiming that China’s low wages, high investment rate and other advantages along with government subsidies give China an unfair trade advantage.

10. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the USA is currently $3.88 per gallon.

Ten Tiny Bits Of Automotive News – September 11, 2012

1. Lots of people are excited about Alfa Romeo’s US relaunch. But unfortunately, for the third time, it looks like that plan is on hold since the brand is in talks with VW who may want to purchase it from Fiat.

2. The oldest surviving motor car, a 1903 Ford Model A is up for sale. The car has been sold several times recently and may command a record price.

3. More rumors are circulating about Dodge’s plans to revive the Barracuda. It will be based on the Challenger and is slated for 2015.

4. Want to buy what most would call the “smart man’s” Bentley? Future models are expected to be built on Porsche platforms such as the Panamera.

5. Speaking of Bentley – Bentley has announced that it will be moving its U.S. corporate headquarters from Boston, Massachusetts to Herndon, Virginia.

6. GM says they are extending their OnStar service to Mexico. The company also offers the service in the USA and China.

7. Ford will start officially shipping the Mustang to Europe.

8. Think gas is expensive in the USA? Try nearly $10 a gallon in Italy due to the European debt crisis.

9. TrueCar.com says actual fuel economy numbers from August light vehicle auto sales increased to 23.3 mpg in August 2012 compared to 21.7 mpg in August 2011, and increased from July 2012 at 23.1 mpg.

10. Got a sports car? Might want to go to Texas. The Texas Transportation Commission has approved a new 85-mile-per-hour speed limit for a stretch of highway in the Lone Star State. The new high-speed section of highway is a 41-mile stretch of State Highway 130 that is several miles east of Interstate 35

Ten Tiny Bits Of Automotive News – September 4, 2012

1. New CAFE rules officially finalized; 54.5 mpg. When cars achieve this new standard it will make the effective cost of fuel lower.

2. Nissan’s CEO says a new version of the GT-R will show up in 2018. Before that, a significant refresh will bow in 2013 as a 2014 model.

3. GM says that its all-new 2013 Buick Encore subcompact crossover gets 25 miles per gallon city and 33 mpg on the highway (28 mpg combined) using front-wheel drive.

Buick points to the combination of a body architecture that is 60 percent high-strength steel and a 1.4-liter turbocharged four backed by a six-speed automatic as the foundation of a lightweight, fuel-efficient vehicle.

4. Now you have no choice. If you were a fan of low-cost rental car companies like Dollar and Thrifty – forget about it. They have been scooped up by Hertz for $2.3 billion. Expect rental rates to rise with less competition.

5. GM has cancelled their next-generation hybrid truck and SUV program due to poor fuel savings and sales.

6. According to a recent study, nearly a third of American 19-year-olds haven’t bothered to get their driver’s licenses yet. Three decades ago, it was just one in eight who skipped that right of passage, according to Michael Sivak, of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, or UMTRI. Among those 20 to 24, meanwhile, only 81 percent had gotten their licenses in 2010, down from 92 percent in 1983.

7. The Guardian reports that Bentley is contemplating the creation of a division that would build “armour-plated” versions of its cars. BMW already has such a division.

8. GM will sell 2,500 Chevy Volts in August, the most ever.

9. Chrysler Group LLC reports August 2012 U.S. sales increased 14 percent; Best August sales for the company in five years.

10. The grandson of the co-creator of Red Bull has been arrested in Bangkok, Thailand and is accused of killing a policeman with his Ferrari. Vorajuth Yoovidhaya is the 27-year-old grandson of the late Chaleo Yoovidhaya, who created Red Bull.