What you missed on 9.15.14

What you missed on 9.15.14

September 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , SUV , Government/Legal , Crossover , GM , Lincoln , Toyota , Earnings/Financials , Luxury Review: 2015 Lincoln Navigator We take the heavily refreshed 2015 Lincoln Navigator for a spin and find that there’s plenty to like about the brand’s truckish ‘ute. Still, while it boasts a ton of room inside and stunning power from its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, it’s far from perfect. Read our full review for all the details. At least 19 deaths confirmed for GM compensation Kenneth Feinberg, the man who has been put in charge of the fund General Motors is drawing from to offer compensation to victims of its faulty ignition switches, has said at least 19 deaths have so far been confirmed resulting from the heavily publicized failure and recalls, and there are many more claims still left to process. Toyota teases C-HR crossover concept Toyota has a big reveal slated for the rapidly approaching Paris Motor Show in the form of the C-HR crossover concept that you can see in silhouette to the right. We don’t know much more, other than the fact that it will boast a hybrid powertrain and that it looks to be much more stylish than the brand’s current crop of crossovers. Stay tuned. Top Stories World’s quickest street-legal vehicle is… 1998 Chevy S-10 pickup 2015 Mazda3 finally pairs 6-speed manual with larger engine Audi Q7 plug-in hybrid spied, Porsche powertrain possible What you missed on 9.15.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Fewest vehicles ever found eligible for Most American survey

Fewest vehicles ever found eligible for Most American survey

July 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Chevrolet , Chrysler , Dodge , GM , Honda , Toyota , SRT Once again, the most American car on the market is from an American brand. The Ford F-150 retained its number one spot in Cars.com ‘s annual survey of the most American vehicles, trumping the Toyota Camry , which remains at number two. Ford taking the top spot is small consolation, though, as the Detroit Three aren’t too well represented here. General Motors scored a win at number seven, with the Chevrolet Corvette , while Chrysler squeaked in at number ten, with the Dodge Viper . Outside of those three vehicles, Toyota and Honda dominate the top ten. What’s most remarkable, though, is that there were so few cars available for this year’s list. “Only ten cars were eligible for the American-Made Index this year. That’s the fewest in the study’s nine-year history. In 2013, 14 cars met the threshold, 20 in 2012 and 30 cars the year before that,” said Patrick Olsen, Editor-In-Chief of Cars.com . “This consistent decline points to global nature of cars these days.

Minivan market not what it used to be, but margins make up for it

Minivan market not what it used to be, but margins make up for it

June 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Minivan/Van , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Honda , Hyundai , Kia , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Residual values for last year’s minivans are higher than they were in 2000. Much like the station wagon was the shuttle of Baby Boomer generation, the minivan has been the primary means of transport for Generations X and Y. Just as the boomers abandoned the Country Squire, though, those kids that were toted around in Grand Caravans and Windstars are adults, and they certainly don’t want to be seen in the cars their parents drove. So why, then, are there still some brands holding out in the minivan market? Chrysler has already announced that a new Town & Country will arrive in the next few years, the Kia Sedona has just been given a massive redesign and both the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey remain strong products despite being in the middle of crossover-heavy lineups. The simple answer? It’s all about the money. “They’re good moneymakers,” George Girjel, owner of Toyota of Cool Springs in Tennessee, told Automotive News . “And the more loaded they are, the faster they sell. The Sienna Limited retails for about $49,000, and we can’t keep any in stock.

General Motors became second-largest US advertiser in 2013

General Motors became second-largest US advertiser in 2013

March 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Marketing/Advertising , GM , Toyota General Motors might be mired in several recalls , as well as the ongoing investigations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Congress into the automaker’s response to those recalls. However, the company can celebrate taking the title of the US’ second-largest advertiser in 2013. According to Ad Week examining a recently released study, total advertising spending in the US posted its fourth consecutive year of rising expenditures with 0.9-percent growth to $140.2 billion. Of that, the auto industry spent $15.2 billion to promote its goods in 2013, up 3.8 percent. The country’s biggest advertiser was Procter and Gamble, which dropped $3.17 billion in 2013, an increase of 11.8 percent. GM became the nation’s second largest promoter with $1.794 billion in spending, up 10 percent. The biggest proportion of that money went to sell Cadillac and GMC . AT&T barely lost out with $1.793 billion in advertising, 15.2 percent growth. The 10 businesses with the highest ad investments spent a cumulative $15.9 billion during the year, 6.6 percent higher than 2012. Toyota came in eighth place making it the only other automaker to rank in the top 10.

Legal approach in $1.2 billion Toyota settlement could impact handling of GM recall cases

Legal approach in $1.2 billion Toyota settlement could impact handling of GM recall cases

March 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , GM , Toyota In the past, if an automaker did something wrong, they were usually prosecuted by the US government through something called the TREAD Act. Short for Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act, it basically requires automakers to report recalls in other countries, along with any and all serious injuries or deaths, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration . Failing to report or attempting to conceal anything when there’s been a death or serious injury constitutes a criminal liability. The idea is that this setup puts the onus on manufacturers to keep NHTSA apprised of safety related issues before they become a problem in the US, thereby allowing the regulator to better protect consumers. In theory, it sounds like a relatively airtight set of rules for dealing with misbehaving automakers. That didn’t stop the US Department of Justice from ignoring TREAD in its prosecution of Toyota’s handling of the unintended acceleration recall, though. The result of this new approach, which charged Toyota with wire fraud, was a $1.2 billion settlement . Now, the wire-fraud approach could be used for the expected case between the US government and General Motors , based on the statements of Attorney General Eric Holder , who specifically mentioned “similarly situated companies” when discussing Toyota. In order to make wire fraud stick, US prosecutors would need to prove criminal intent. As explained by Reuters , that means there needs to be evidence that GM actively misled either regulators like NHTSA, or the general public, all in a bid to maintain sales.

European car sales up 8% in February

European car sales up 8% in February

March 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Europe , BMW , Ford , GM , Mercedes-Benz , Toyota , Volkswagen , Renault , Peugeot , Citro

2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum 4×4

2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum 4×4

February 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Truck , Toyota , New Car Reviews The Toyota Tundra is the automotive version of off-brand Cheerios: it doesn’t dominate the market, and it’s not the first model people think of when they hear the term “pickup truck.” Ford , General Motors and Ram dominate the segment with vehicles that offer ridiculous levels of towing and payload capacities and models loaded with luxury items and primed with tech-rich engines. The off-brands, meanwhile, are led by the Tundra, which while still accounting for six-figure sales (112,732 units in 2013, up from 101,621 in 2012), sits well behind the F-150s and Silverados of the world. After our first drive of the revamped 2014 Tundra , we came away thinking this truck is a total underachiever, aimed at placating Toyota loyalists and doing little to win over new customers. But everybody deserves a second chance, and we thought a week’s drive in a different environment might lead to a different – or at least a more fully realized – opinion. While the Tundra might not be an industry leader, it still makes it on many truck buyers’ shopping lists. So, should you consider this off-brand pickup truck? To find out, we borrowed a top-of-the-line Tundra Platinum for a week. Read on to see what we found. Continue reading 2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum 4×4 2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum 4×4 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Mazda ad showing Facebook updates while driving criticized by Senate committee [w/video]

Mazda ad showing Facebook updates while driving criticized by Senate committee [w/video]

February 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Videos , GM , Toyota Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, held an all-day summit on Thursday to discuss the dangers of using modern technology while driving, during which an ad that Mazda aired during the Super Bowl was used as an example of the worrisome future towards which we’re headed. While seemingly innocuous at first glance, the ad, which can be seen below , shows a brief glimpse of a driver using the Mazda Connect infotainment system in a Mazda3 to check/update his Facebook page while driving down the road. Officials from major communications companies like Samsung, Google and Apple attended the summit, as well as representatives from automakers including General Motors and Toyota . A representative from Mazda was not present despite the company’s own currently available technology being used as the poster child for the issues being discussed. According to Automotive News , Senator Rockefeller warned the automaker and communication execs on hand that he will propose legislation to regulate the use of technology while driving if they don’t work together to implement their own standards more quickly. Michael Robinson, GM’s vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs, argued that his company has had distracted driving guidelines in place for 15 years since the advent of its OnStar system, noting that the technology in question has also helped the automaker save lives through automatic crash detection and calls to 911. Continue reading Mazda ad showing Facebook updates while driving criticized by Senate committee [w/video] Mazda ad showing Facebook updates while driving criticized by Senate committee [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 08 Feb 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota nears $40B cash reserve as calls grow for new investment, payouts

Toyota nears $40B cash reserve as calls grow for new investment, payouts

February 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: China , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Earnings/Financials With the April 15 tax deadline just a few months away, our US readers will be faced with a decision should they get a refund: save or spend? It seems this issue is one many of us face whenever there’s a windfall, trying to decide whether we should set the money aside in an account of some sort or use it as a down payment on a new car or a trip to the Apple store. Unsurprisingly, major corporations face a similar, albeit more complex, issue. Take Toyota , for example. With President Akio Toyoda at the helm, the Japanese manufacturer has gracefully weathered recalls and natural disasters, all while turning beaucoup profits. Last quarter, profits quintupled to 434.4-billion yen ($4.3-billion USD), according to Bloomberg . Toyota also upped its forecast for the end of fiscal year 2013 (which ends on March 31 for Japan), to a record 1.9-trillion yen (about $18.8 billion). Now, the Japanese brand is reportedly sitting on a cash pile of nearly $40 billion, leaving Toyoda-san in an envious predicament – what should the company do with all that money? Some think Toyota should be doing something, anything with that big stack of cash. Some think Toyota (and Toyoda) should be doing something, anything with that big stack of cash.

Lexus, Mazda win KBB 5-Year Cost To Own Awards

Lexus, Mazda win KBB 5-Year Cost To Own Awards

February 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , GM , Lexus , Mazda , Toyota We focus a lot on what new cars are like to drive, but it’s difficult on a one-week loan to really get a sense of what a car is like to live with. Sure, we try to recreate that sense with our long-term vehicles, but even after a year, it’s impossible to know fully learn about a car, particularly in terms of reliability and cost of repairs. For 2014 model year vehicles, Kelley Blue Book has put together a list of the most affordable vehicles over a five-year period. At the tippy top of the list are Mazda and Lexus , with the Zoom-Zoom automaker winning the award for best non-luxury brand. Lexus, meanwhile, was the most affordable luxury marque over a five-year period. It’s interesting to note, though, that not a single Mazda won its segment in this year’s awards. General Motors did quite well, taking eight segments, including both the subcompact and plug-in segments, with the gas-powered Chevrolet Spark and Spark EV . The Chevy Camaro SS and ZL1 took the high-performance car award. Toyota was well represented, with five winners split between the main brand ( Corolla , Prius C and Tacoma ) and Lexus ( LS and RX ). KBB’s five-year cost-to-own analysis takes into account depreciation and fuel costs (the two biggest hits to a driver’s wallet), as well as finance and insurance costs, as well as repairs, maintenance and state fees that come with a new model.

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