Friday, October 29, 2010

Scion SEMA Preview in Culver City

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Consumer Reports Predicted Reliability: 2011 Models

Out of all the research available to car buyers, this ranks at the top. Even though I've been covering the industry and doing reviews for more than 20 years, when I ask my wife about a car, she always responds: "What does Consumer Reports have to say?"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Green Car of the Year Could Be A Gas Engine Ford Fiesta

Well, it won't be a clean diesel this year as it was the past two years with Audi and VW taking the awards but it could be a non-electric or non-hybrid if the Ford Fiesta, which achieves up to 40 miles per gallon EPA estimated highway fuel economy running on conventional gasoline, is chosen as the winner.

Green Car Journal announced its five finalists for the 2011 Green Car of the Year: 2011 Chevrolet Volt, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and the 2011 Nissan LEAF.  The selection committee is made up of: Carl Pope, chairman of the Sierra Club; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society and Matt Petersen, president of Global Green USA. Also, "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno and automotive icon Carroll Shelby join Green Car Journal editors as part of the 2011 jury.

For the sixth consecutive year, this award will be announced during a press conference at the LA Auto Show Press Days on Nov. 18.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Buick Verano Entry Level Sedan Part Of GM's Move To Smaller Cars

General Motors Buick division introduces the all-new Verano, "a smaller car than Regal" compact sedan to be built at GM's at the Orion Assembly Center 35 miles north of downtown Detroit which last built GM midsize sedans. The Buick Verano will be built along side the next-generation Chevrolet small car as GM is investing $145 million to retool the Orion facility. GM North American President Mark Reuss said the plant will retain 1,550 hourly and salaried jobs along with 120 jobs at Pontiac Metal Center. The total investment for that program is approximately $600 million, which includes the Verano. Over its more than 27-year history, the Orion plant team members have built more than 4 million cars for GM.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Arrives With Remote Online Test Drive

An actual all-new 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is being rigged as a remote control vehicle for the public to drive from the home computers like a video game. Using a combination of remote control software and hardware and a system interface, participants will be able to take the Outlander Sport for a virtual spin on a closed course from their PC. The opportunity for U.S. residents who are 18 years and older with a valid driver’s license to take the World's First Online Test Drive runs from November 1st through November 10th. The sign-up starts on October 15 at the car’s microsite, where you obtain a code that can be used to line up for the live test drive on November 1st.

The online test drive is part of an integrated marketing effort that kicks off October 15th through January and includes television, print, digital and direct mail for the all-new 5-passenger compact crossover 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport which starts at $18,495.

2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe Arrives Dec. 10 For $47,950

The 2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe is the first production vehicle in the new Infiniti Performance Line (IPL), which builds on the foundation of the Infiniti G37 Coupe Journey rear-wheel drive model and adds extensive modifications.  The IPL G Coupe's 348 horsepower VQ37HR 3.7-liter V6 engine produces 18 more horsepower than the G37 Coupe.  In addition, the suspension, steering and exhaust systems have been specially tuned. The IPL G Coupe comes in Graphite Shadow and Malbec Black exterior colors and sits on 19-inch IPL split 7-spoke graphite-finish wheels and low-profile W-rated Bridgestone Potenza RE050A performance tires.

Standard IPL G Coupe interior features include Infiniti Studio on Wheels by Bose® premium audio system, Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, 9.3GB Music Box® Hard Drive, Infiniti Voice Recognition for audio navigation, memory system for driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors, RearView Monitor, Rear Sonar and moonroof.

The IPL G Coupe with the  6-speed manual transmission has an MSRP of $47,950 and the 7-speed automatic goes for $49,850. The new 2011 Infiniti Performance Line G Coupe is set to go on sale December 10th at Infiniti retailers nationwide.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

All-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T Turbo Starts at $24,865

The all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T Turbo starts at $24,145 MSRP for the Sonata SE 2.0T and $27,045 for the Sonata Limited 2.0T plus a destination charge of $720. The 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine produces 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 269 lb-ft of torque from 1750-4500 rpm with regular fuel, while delivering 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. The 2.0T engine will be available on the SE and Limited trim level, with the 2.0T SE adding an upgraded fully automatic temperature control system, and the Limited adding the SE's 18-inch hyper silver alloy wheels, dual exhaust, and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. 

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon At $62,990 Later This Year

The Cadillac CTS-V Wagon will be available later this year starting at $62,990, including destination. Like the CTS-V sedan and CTS-V Coupe, the rear-wheel drive CTS-V Wagon has a supercharged 6.2 liter V-8 engine delivering 556 horsepower (415 kW) and 551 lb.-ft of torque (747 Nm) mated to either a standard six-speed manual, or a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.0 seconds. Standard features include Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo brakes, and 19-inch forged-aluminum wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires.

The CTS-V Wagon can accommodate up to 58 cubic-feet of cargo and features: heated leather-appointed seats, in-dash navigation system with 40-gigabyte hard drive, Xenon HID headlamps with adaptive forward lighting, Bose 5.1 Cabin Surround audio system and the Cadillac Premium Care Maintenance Service for four years / 50,000 miles. Available options include: $3,400 Recaro heated and ventilated, high-performance driver and front-passenger seats, $800 19-inch, polished aluminum wheels, $600 midnight Sapele Wood trim package and a $300 Suede steering wheel and shifter.

The CTS-V Wagon is now available for ordering from Cadillac retailers in limited quantities for 2011. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

September 2010 U.S. Auto Sales Up Versus 2009

General Motors September combined total sales for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac to 172,969,  a 22 percent rise, driven by a combined 39 percent rebound in retail sales compared with last September. Year-to-date through September, GM's four brands have sold 1,626,899 vehicles, up 23.3 percent.

Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales in September totaled 160,873, up 46 percent versus a year ago. Year-to-date sales totaled 1.44 million, up 21 percent. Ford is on track to gain market share for the second year in a row – a result not achieved since 1993. 

Toyota Motor Sales reported September sales of 147,162, up 16.8 percent over the year-ago month. Year-to-date Toyota has sold 1,311,316 vehicles, a 1.6 percent increase from the first nine months of 2009.Toyota Division including Scion (3,562) had September sales of 130,214, an increase of 20.5 percent over last September, Lexus reported September sales of 16,9488, down 5.5 percent from the year-ago month.

Chrysler Group LLC reported U.S. sales of 100,077, a 61 percent increase compared with sales in September 2009. Year-to-date Chrysler has sold 820,220 vehicles, a 15 percent increase over the same nine months a year ago.

American Honda posted September sales of 97,361 vehicles, an increase of 26.1 percent. American Honda year-to-date sales reached 912,436, an increase of 3.7 percent versus last year. Honda Division posted September sales of 86,641, an increase of 23.8 percent versus last year. Acura Division posted September sales of 10,720, an increase of 47.7 percent.

Nissan North America reported September U.S. sales of 74,205, an increase of 34 percent. For all of 2010, NNA sales are 673,701, up 16.1 percent.

Hyundai Motor America announced all-time record September sales of 46,556, up 48 percent versus 2009.  For the year, Hyundai has reported total cumulative sales of 410,047, up 20 percent versus the same period in 2009.

Kia Motors America had sales of 30,071 vehicles in September, a 39 percent increase over the same period last year and an all-time sales record for the month of September. KMA's year-to-date sales of 268,024 is up 12.3 percent over 2009.

The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported September sales of 23,112 vehicles, an increase of 20.5 percent from the 19,175 vehicles sold in September 2009. Year-to-date, the BMW Group also reported a sales volume of 192,052 vehicles, up 7.2 percent from the 179,219 units sold through September 2009.   

Volkswagen of America September sales were 19,943, an increase of 14.9 percent over September 2009.  Year-to-date sales for the entire line of Volkswagen vehicles were 192,690, up 20.6 percent over 2009.
Separately, Audi of America Audi sold 8,151 luxury cars and SUVs in September 2010, topping the previous September record set in 2007 with 8,020 vehicles sold. Year-to-date Audi has sold 73,590, up 23.6 percent from 2009, which is on track to surpass its annual sales record of 93,506 in 2007.

Subaru of America posted its best-ever September sales of 21,432, a 47-percent gain year-over-year.  Year-to-date sales of 193,614 units is a 22-percent gain compared with the same period last year.

Daimler reported U.S. sales of 21,088 Mercedes-Benz and smart vehicles, an improvement of 18.5 percent compared to September 2009. Mercedes-Benz USA reported September sales of 20,666 - 19,862 passenger cars, light truck vehicles and 804 Sprinter vans are included in this total. On a year-to-date basis, the company sold 165,355 new vehicles, an increase of 22.1% over last year.

Mazda North American Operations reported September sales of 18,580, an increase of 30.5 percent compared to last September.  Year-to-date sales through September, 2010, stand at 174,770, and are outpacing last year's sales at this time by 9.1 percent.

Mitsubishi Motors North America had September sales of 4,961, an increase of 5.3 percent compared to September 2009. 

American Suzuki September sales of 1,641 was a 12 percent drop from a year ago, and this year so far Suzuki sales are 16,972, a 49 percent tumble from 2009.

Sales will be updated as manufacturers report.