10 Tiny Bits of Automotive News – January 2, 2012

1. The Detroit News reports that Ford has already reached 100,000 F-150 EcoBoost sales in 2011, just as the automaker promised it would.

2. GM is idling some of its truck plants to retool for 2013 models. The company has stockpiled 90 days worth of trucks to keep inventory up while the plants retool.

3. More than 1000 brand new Honda cars were damaged in the horrible flooding to hit Thailand recently. Honda is protecting its brand and its consumers by destroying these cars before black marketeers can get their hands on them. The cars will be demolished.

4. Chrysler is hoping to tempt luxury buyers with their new 300 Luxury series featuring leather and wood usually found in Maseratis. The prices start in the 40k range, well below what many other luxury makers charge. Of course you still have to deal with the usual 1960s-style car salesman at a Chrysler dealership and THAT will bring back visions of Ricardo Montalban and the horrible 1975 Cordoba.

5. According to Ward’s Auto – Toyota launched a total of 13 recall campaigns in 2011 covering over 3.5 million vehicles. Those figures put the Japanese automaker at the top of the most-recalled list for the third year in a row.

6. In other recall news, Chevy is recalling about 5000 Sonics for brake issues.

7. GM, upset that it’s far too easy to steal an Escalade, has introduced new theft protection for the 2012 models including a locking steering column, shock sensors, wheel locks, inclination sensors and a PASS Key +3 ignition system. They may have gone a tiny bit over the edge here. Now nobody will steal these things and we won’t hear any more news about Escalades.

8. More people were killed last year due to poisoning than in car crashes. I am just saying…

9. If you can’t wait to get your hands on the super-powerful, super cool 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 be sure to hit the Barrett-Jackson in Arizona January 15-22. BJ Scottsdale will feature the first ever copy of the new car in its auction.

10. Audi intends to recruit some 1,200 specialists in 2012. From 2012 through 2016 the Audi Group is planning to invest a total of $13 billion, mainly in new products and technologies.