The Truth About Cars » News Blog http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 01 Jul 2015 22:30:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » News Blog http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/ Neighbors: Corvette Museum Motorsport Park is Too Damn Loud http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/neighbors-corvette-museum-motorsport-park-is-too-damn-loud/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/neighbors-corvette-museum-motorsport-park-is-too-damn-loud/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 21:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1105049 On Monday, officials served the administrators of the Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky with notice that the neighbors around the track think the fledgling raceway is too damn loud. According to Bowling Green Daily News (via Hemmings), neighbors complained about the track’s noise, although no specific decibel limit was specifically outlined in the track’s permit to operate. According […]

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1984vette

On Monday, officials served the administrators of the Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky with notice that the neighbors around the track think the fledgling raceway is too damn loud.

According to Bowling Green Daily News (via Hemmings), neighbors complained about the track’s noise, although no specific decibel limit was specifically outlined in the track’s permit to operate.

According to Mitch Wright, general manager for the motorsports park, track officials met with the city-county’s planning commission today. The track held a meeting Monday night with neighbors and local officials to discuss noise coming from the track.

“This is about us coming together and coming up with meaningful solutions,” Wright said.

The track has operated since last fall, although this is the first official violation they’ve received from neighbors. Wright said in the past neighbors would complain — or not complain — about noise from the track depending on the type of cars or wind conditions from the day. He also stated the motorsports park is building “significant” structures at the track to help mitigate sound escaping, including a 30-foot garage to shield neighbors from the noise.

The track, which is part of the National Corvette Museum complex is a significant tourism draw (read: free tax money.)

“Obviously there’s a number of businesses and industry in this area. From a tourism standpoint, we have a pretty serious effect,” Wright said.

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Chart Of The Day: U.S. Automaker Market Share In America – June 2015 YTD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/chart-day-u-s-automaker-market-share-america-june-2015-ytd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/chart-day-u-s-automaker-market-share-america-june-2015-ytd/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1104993 General Motors generated 17.7% of the U.S. auto industry’s new vehicle sales in the first-half of 2015, a slight decline from the 17.8% market share earned by GM in the same period one year ago. GM, the top-selling automobile manufacturer in the United States, posted a 3.4% year-over-year sales improvement through the first six months […]

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TTAC June 2015 YTD auto brand market share chart

General Motors generated 17.7% of the U.S. auto industry’s new vehicle sales in the first-half of 2015, a slight decline from the 17.8% market share earned by GM in the same period one year ago.

GM, the top-selling automobile manufacturer in the United States, posted a 3.4% year-over-year sales improvement through the first six months of 2015, but that was a full percentage point off the pace set by the industry as a whole.

Similarly, Ford Motor Company, American Honda, Hyundai-Kia, and the Volkswagen Group all failed to grow their sales at the rate of the steadily growing American auto industry. The overall auto industry is beginning to appear capable of selling 17 million vehicles for the first time since 2001, when sales slipped 1.3% from the massive achievement of 2000.

On the other side of the coin, Toyota (including Lexus and Scion) have improved their market share from 14.3% in the first six months of 2014 to 14.4% this year. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, meanwhile, now owns 12.8% of the U.S. new vehicle market, up from 12.6% at this point last year.

America’s top-selling vehicle in the month of June was Ford’s F-Series, but it was roundly outsold by the twins from General Motors, Chevrolet’s Silverado and the GMC Sierra. The Toyota Camry led all cars for the fifth consecutive month. The Honda CR-V likewise expanded its lead in the SUV/crossover sales race. Total June auto sales were up 4% to just under 1.48 million units.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Jeep Points to Map of India, Says Let’s Print More Money Here http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/jeep-points-to-map-of-india-says-lets-print-more-money-here/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/jeep-points-to-map-of-india-says-lets-print-more-money-here/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1104881 More and more automakers are looking at exotic locales to produce their wares (us Canadians can consider Mexico exotic thanks to its ice-free beaches) as they expand their brands and explore in-roads to untapped markets. For Jeep, that means investing in a shared money-printing press with an unlikely partner: Tata, the parent company of Land Rover. FCA […]

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2015 Jeep Renegade

More and more automakers are looking at exotic locales to produce their wares (us Canadians can consider Mexico exotic thanks to its ice-free beaches) as they expand their brands and explore in-roads to untapped markets.

For Jeep, that means investing in a shared money-printing press with an unlikely partner: Tata, the parent company of Land Rover. FCA will put $280 million USD into joint venture Fiat India Automobiles Private Limited which, since 2007, has solely produced Fiat models.

The investment will “support the production of a new Jeep vehicle and is expected to begin production in the second quarter of 2017,” according to statement released today by FCA. Jeep did not give further details on the new model.

With Sergio Marchionne’s hunger for consolidation, this could be seen as a sign of interest in a more formal arrangement between FCA and India’s Tata, especially when you consider the FCA executive’s desire for a Range Rover-esque model.

“We are pleased that this investment will strengthen FCA presence in India and are confident in the ability of the joint venture to produce world class products like those carrying the legendary Jeep nameplate,” Marchionne said.

This announcement is part of a wider expansion by Jeep into new markets. From The Detroit News:

FCA plans to produce 1.9 million Jeeps by 2018 at 10 plants in six countries: the U.S., Italy, China, Brazil, India and one other yet-to-be-announced country. Two years ago, only 798,000 rolled out of four plants in the United States.

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Silent but Violent: Watch Rhys Millen’s All-Electric Run Up Pikes Peak http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/silent-but-violent-watch-rhys-millens-record-run-up-pikes-peak/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/silent-but-violent-watch-rhys-millens-record-run-up-pikes-peak/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 18:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1104865 All-around fast driver and New Zealander Rhys Millen had roughly 20 miles of experience behind the wheel of his Latvian-made eO electric race car before Sunday’s race. That apparently didn’t matter as he piloted the first electric car to an overall win at the 93rd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday. Millen’s […]

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All-around fast driver and New Zealander Rhys Millen had roughly 20 miles of experience behind the wheel of his Latvian-made eO electric race car before Sunday’s race.

That apparently didn’t matter as he piloted the first electric car to an overall win at the 93rd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday.

Millen’s 9:07.222 final mark was a long ways from Sebastian Loeb’s incredible, insane and probably-never-coming-down 8:13.878, but it’s interesting to note that Millen’s qualifying time was some 30 seconds off of Loeb’s pace, and his electron-powered 1,368 horsepower car should only get faster toward the top.

Millen said during qualifying that there was “20 percent” in the car that he wasn’t using, and adjusting to the car’s pace would ultimately be the deciding factor on how quickly he could run up to the finish line at more than 14,000 feet.

Awful conditions at the top hampered this year’s race and underscored that the road to the top, which covers nearly 13 miles and more than 4,000 feet of elevation change, is a constantly changing racetrack.

It can’t be missed that this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was tragically marked by the death of 39-year-old motorcyclist Carl Sorensen during Thursday’s practice session.

Japanese veteran racer Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima — who is 64 years old and infinitely cooler than most people his age — finished second in his Rimac E-Runner.

IMG_1321

Electric cars taking the top two positions is significant for motorsports, better for the automotive industry and could signal an era that the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the new ‘Ring. 

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Used Tesla Values Could Be a Bubble Waiting to Burst http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/used-tesla-values-could-be-a-bubble-waiting-to-burst/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/used-tesla-values-could-be-a-bubble-waiting-to-burst/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1104801 The National Automobile Dealers Association new electric vehicle retention list released last week has a tasty little tidbit in its roundup of value retention rates. Tesla’s Model S, which topped the 3-year value retention rate list for EVs in the new list, also sported a better value rate for most cars on a similar list released last year for all […]

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Tesla Model S Center Stage

The National Automobile Dealers Association new electric vehicle retention list released last week has a tasty little tidbit in its roundup of value retention rates.

Tesla’s Model S, which topped the 3-year value retention rate list for EVs in the new list, also sported a better value rate for most cars on a similar list released last year for all segments, including mid-size luxury cars. That includes BMW.

But the news may not be all good, all the time.

According to the most recent NADA study, Tesla’s Model S retains 57.2 percent of its original value after three years based on dealer trade-in values. That figure is tops among mid-size luxury sedans, including BMW’s 5-series, in a study conducted last year.

Also noted in the 2015 study, there is a significant cliff after three years when most EV manufacturers’ powertrain warranties expire, meaning there’s good chance that the Model S’s value plummets after that.

The 2014 study by NADA (which examined all segments – including EVs) was comprised of only the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf — the only two cars that had been on the market for three years by the time the study was conducted. The Volt and Leaf retained 41.6 percent and 38.2 percent of their values respectively, due partly to price drops from their manufacturers and increasing competition in the segment. The 2015 study had worse news for Volts and Leafs on trade-in: those values dropped to 31.3 and 25.3 percent respectively.

As Tesla prepares to release their Model X, there’s no doubt quite a few Model S owners will be looking to replace their sedans. This could trigger a market saturated with Model S’s (or is it “Models S”?) at or nearing the end of their warranty lives — and it’ll likely have legitimate competition in the near future as well, further driving down retained values.

Tesla Model X Teaser

It’s no secret that Tesla has no significant cash flow, hasn’t turned a profit for more than one fiscal quarter in five years, and probably won’t have a cash-positive year until 2020.

That all could mean the bottom falling out for Tesla Model S values soon. Or not.

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Yamamoto: This MX-5 Is All You’re Getting, Take It or Leave It http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/yamamoto-this-mx-5-is-all-youre-getting-take-it-or-leave-it/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/yamamoto-this-mx-5-is-all-youre-getting-take-it-or-leave-it/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1104809 First it was the Toyobaru triplets. Now it’s the MX-5. Nobuhiro Yamamoto, program manager for the Mazda MX-5 Miata, has crushed the dreams of those looking for more factory horsepower from the fourth-generation roadster. In short, if you want to “get hung up on numbers,” look elsewhere. Speaking with the folks at TopGear.com, Yamamoto has […]

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2016 Mazda MX-5

First it was the Toyobaru triplets. Now it’s the MX-5.

Nobuhiro Yamamoto, program manager for the Mazda MX-5 Miata, has crushed the dreams of those looking for more factory horsepower from the fourth-generation roadster. In short, if you want to “get hung up on numbers,” look elsewhere.

Speaking with the folks at TopGear.com, Yamamoto has plainly stated there won’t be a high-output special in the same vein as the NB Mazdaspeed MX-5.

From TopGear.com:

“It’s important not to get hung up on numbers,” Yamamoto-san told us. “Not on power, or torque. No, what is more important is the feeling. The driving experience and feeling is more important than power.

“In my mind it just has to be fun to drive,” he added.

To put it plainly, there will be no additional powerplants, no superchargers and no turbochargers. The most horsepower you’ll be able to buy on the showroom floor will be 155 from the 2.0L four-cylinder engine, take it or leave it.

While a vocal minority will cry foul at the thought of the MX-5 having less power than the outgoing model, we should commend Yamamoto and Mazda on this line-in-the-sand decision, especially when you consider the reasons why.

“It’s got to be affordable. Faster MX-5s means more money,” he added.

But, with the prevalence of turbocharged engines in today’s market, adding one to the MX-5 likely wouldn’t cost much more. According to Yamamoto, though, a turbo would ruin the Miata.

“I never considered using a turbo,” he said, “because naturally aspirated engines are just nice, especially for this kind of car.

“What’s very important to me is the feeling, and that you are happy driving it. I don’t want any more power or torque for the MX-5, but the sensation is important.”

[Photo credit: AutoGuide/Adam Wood]

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TVR Begins Taking Money, Presumably for Future TVR Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/tvr-to-begin-taking-money-presumably-for-future-tvr-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/tvr-to-begin-taking-money-presumably-for-future-tvr-cars/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1104681 British automaker TVR reportedly has a pulse. According to Pistonheads, the small automaker will begin accepting deposits next week for its new car — due in 2017. For £5,000 ($7,826) you can reserve your Gordon Murray-designed sports car July 7. TVR has laid out ambitious plans for a range of cars from the Guilford-based company, including four […]

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tvr-sagaris-wallpaper-1

British automaker TVR reportedly has a pulse. According to Pistonheads, the small automaker will begin accepting deposits next week for its new car — due in 2017.

For £5,000 ($7,826) you can reserve your Gordon Murray-designed sports car July 7. TVR has laid out ambitious plans for a range of cars from the Guilford-based company, including four Cosworth-powered V8 models on the road starting in 2017.

Current TVR Car Club members can reportedly reserve their cars for £2,500, although no official final price has been set for the new car.

After taking over the struggling automaker in 2013 from Nikolai Smolensky, progress has been slow for new TVR Chairman Les Edgar. Edgar said in 2013 that models could be on the road by 2015, although that date appears to be solidly 2017 now.

“We are a well-funded, well-supported organisation and boast a vastly experienced management team. We are here to stay and we have a fully evolved ten year plan for product and business development, and are committed to deliver on all the targets we have set ourselves – as we have done to date,” Edgar said in an official statement in June. “Despite very deliberately maintaining a low profile since completing the acquisition of TVR two years ago, we have had an enormous amount of unsolicited interest from businesses, individuals and investors internationally.”

It’s likely that TVR will stay on the British Isles for now, with no plans to send cars overseas.

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Hamp Vacates Toyota CCO Role as Drug Investigation Continues http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/hamp-vacates-toyota-cco-role-as-drug-investigation-continues/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/hamp-vacates-toyota-cco-role-as-drug-investigation-continues/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1104641 The first female senior executive to ever hold a managing officer role with Toyota has resigned. The uncharged Julie Hamp remains in custody in Japan after being accused of attempting to import Oxycodone from the United States. Japanese prosecutors have 20 days to charge Hamp. That window expires on July 8. Toyota issued a statement today: […]

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Julie HampThe first female senior executive to ever hold a managing officer role with Toyota has resigned.

The uncharged Julie Hamp remains in custody in Japan after being accused of attempting to import Oxycodone from the United States. Japanese prosecutors have 20 days to charge Hamp. That window expires on July 8.

Toyota issued a statement today:

On June 30, 2015, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) received notification from Ms. Julie Hamp of her intent to resign her position of Managing Officer. TMC has accepted her resignation after considering the concerns and inconvenience that recent events have caused our stakeholders.

Senior Managing Officer Shigeru Hayakawa will act as Hamp’s interim replacement.

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My Sun Sets To Rise Again http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/my-sun-sets-to-rise-again/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/my-sun-sets-to-rise-again/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1099601 Over three years ago, I contacted Jack via private message on Facebook with a question: Would my skills as a fashion blogger be of any interest to TTAC? A few months had passed since I was let go (with everyone else) from my previous – and only – full-time job, and I wanted to take […]

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Cold Sunset Over Italy Circa March 2015 LQ

Over three years ago, I contacted Jack via private message on Facebook with a question:

Would my skills as a fashion blogger be of any interest to TTAC?

A few months had passed since I was let go (with everyone else) from my previous – and only – full-time job, and I wanted to take my writing to the next level by breaking into journalism, one way or another. Jack brought me aboard, and my journey began in April of 2012.

Nearly two years ago – just after Jack and Derek took over TTAC from ousted editor-in-chief Bertel Schmitt – Jack asked if I was in a place in life where I could start writing again; I disappeared during the summer of 2012, though I did keep busy in the interim. He also informed me I would be paid to write for the blog if I came back. Thus, with “Posse On Broadway” booming from the trunk, I returned in October of 2013.

Alas, all good things must come to an end.

The long version of the story?

* * * * * * * * *
As of July 1, you will have a new news editor joining this blog, whose duties will include what has been – until now – my duty in presenting daily news summaries from around the industry.

I don’t know who my replacement is or what they’ve done in the past – I didn’t ask – but I do know they have something I don’t: a driver’s license.

Seeking the most bang for their buck, VerticalScope decided they needed someone who could drive as well as handle the news, something I could not give my client when they were interviewing for the news editor position earlier this month.

This is what happens when I don’t finish what I start, circumstances be damned.

So, where will you find me now? My portfolio is a good place to start, especially if I can be of service to you and/or your organization. I will be writing for other publications, as well, particularly those where the only skills I need to bring to the table are clean copy, accuracy, and quick delivery.

And of course, I will finish what I started here regarding my license. After all, how else would I contribute more original writing to TTAC down the road if I’m still unable to drive?

* * * * * * * * *
Some of you will no doubt protest, perhaps to the point of firing off angry emails, Facebook posts, and tweets to my editor and/or the powers that be. While I appreciate the sentiment, you needn’t bother. Trust me on this.

I won’t miss waking up early/staying up late to scour the Internet for — and pitch to my editors — five articles per day, five times a week, wondering how well or poorly I reinterpreted what I read, or if the source in question was legit or meant to deceive. Nor will I miss the concept of citing someone else’s work in reporting the news; I would much prefer such content to come directly to TTAC, one way or another.

But I will miss you. I will miss you, dearest B&B, whether you gave me grief over how I wrote a given piece and/or headline, were pleased to see an original piece from me instead of the robotic/PR-ish/copypasta retellings, or gotten to know me through the comments while at your worst, and at your best.

And I will miss you, dearest TTAC Zaibatsu. You took a chance on a fashion blogger with a love of cars over three years ago, and for that alone, I thank you. And though I only met one of you in person the entire time I was here, I’ve enjoyed getting to know as many of you as possible, and watched you go places I can only hope to visit someday.

It has been an honor to serve you all. I will never forget you.

My sun sets to rise again.

(Photo credit: Giorgio Galeotti/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Hyundai New Official Sponsor Of NFL, Official Truck Title Open To Others http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-new-official-sponsor-of-nfl-official-truck-title-open-to-others/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-new-official-sponsor-of-nfl-official-truck-title-open-to-others/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102969 Are you ready for some football? Along with some bulgogi and a pack of Hite? Hyundai is, as it is the new official automotive sponsor of the NFL. According to ESPN, Hyundai will pay $50 million per year for the honor of taking up where General Motors will leave off beginning this season, The Detroit […]

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Hyundai And The NFL - This Is Football, Oppa Gangham Style

Are you ready for some football? Along with some bulgogi and a pack of Hite? Hyundai is, as it is the new official automotive sponsor of the NFL.

According to ESPN, Hyundai will pay $50 million per year for the honor of taking up where General Motors will leave off beginning this season, The Detroit News reports. However, the deal only covers cars; the NFL can still award an “Official Truck of the NFL” to a sponsor of its choosing, so long as it doesn’t compete with Hyundai. The automaker’s official titles include car, SUV and luxury vehicle of the NFL.

Though GM no longer is the official sponsor — it cancelled its $25 million/year agreement with the league earlier this year, bringing an end to a relationship begun in 2001 — truck brand GMC will still have a presence on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

Hyundai’s sponsorship of the NFL joins other automakers and brands in the game, including Kia’s relationship with the NBA, Chevrolet providing trucks with “technology and stuff” to Major League Baseball, Honda skating to where the puck will be for the NHL, and Audi shooting the winning goal into the back of the net for Major League Soccer.

The first instance of Hyundai’s new relationship will appear September 10, where the automaker will have a major presence during NFL Kickoff festivities.

(Photo credit: Hyundai)

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General Motors Shareholder Lawsuit Dismissed In Delaware http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-shareholder-lawsuit-dismissed-in-delaware/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/general-motors-shareholder-lawsuit-dismissed-in-delaware/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102945 A group of General Motors shareholders found their lawsuit over the February 2014 recall dismissed in Delaware Monday due to lack of evidence. The lawsuit — one of four linked to shareholders; the others are in Michigan — alleged GM’s directors acted in bad faith over the handling of the February 2014 ignition switch recall […]

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GM First Day as a Public Company Celebration

A group of General Motors shareholders found their lawsuit over the February 2014 recall dismissed in Delaware Monday due to lack of evidence.

The lawsuit — one of four linked to shareholders; the others are in Michigan — alleged GM’s directors acted in bad faith over the handling of the February 2014 ignition switch recall affecting 2.66 million vehicles, Detroit Free Press reports.

In his dismissal of the suit, Delaware Chancery Court Judge Sam Glasscock found the board “did not consciously fail to monitor” the company’s operations, thus was unable to find “substantial likelihood of personal liability on the part of a majority of the board.”

GM praised Glasscock’s ruling, especially in light of the various lawsuits still on the table, among other legal actions:

The Delaware Court properly dismissed the complaint because GM’s board of directors did its job in exercising oversight over the company. The other shareholder derivative actions pending against the board make the same allegations, so we hope the courts will dismiss those as well.

The Michigan-based lawsuits, two of which are in federal court, were held pending the Delaware decision. Spokesman Jim Cain hopes said decision leads to the trio’s dismissal.

(Photo credit: General Motors)

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Mahindra-Pininfarina Deal Rejected By Creditors http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mahindra-pininfarina-deal-rejected-by-creditors/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mahindra-pininfarina-deal-rejected-by-creditors/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102857 Mahindra’s attempt to buy Italian design firm Pininfarina collapsed over the weekend due to opposition by the latter’s creditors. According to Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, three or four banks holding Pininfarina’s €87 million ($97 million USD) debt rejected a deal by the Indian company to buy the design house with the idea of writing off […]

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Mahindra XUV 500 W6 2013

Mahindra’s attempt to buy Italian design firm Pininfarina collapsed over the weekend due to opposition by the latter’s creditors.

According to Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, three or four banks holding Pininfarina’s €87 million ($97 million USD) debt rejected a deal by the Indian company to buy the design house with the idea of writing off half of said debt, Reuters reports; Mahindra and Pininfarina had worked on SUVs and concepts in the past. Pininfarina will now seek a new debt restructuring agreement.

Had Mahindra’s deal been approved, the company would be the latest to acquire ownership of an Italian company in a series of foreign takeovers, such as ChemChina’s purchase of tire manufacturer Pirelli earlier this year, amid Italy sorting itself and its economy out.

(Photo credit: RL GNZLZ/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Suzuki CEO Appoints Toshihiro Suzuki To President, COO Roles http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/suzuki-ceo-appoints-toshihiro-suzuki-to-president-coo-roles/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/suzuki-ceo-appoints-toshihiro-suzuki-to-president-coo-roles/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102817 Suzuki chairman and CEO Osamu Suzuki announced Tuesday the appointment of his son and likely successor, Toshihiro Suzuki, to the role of president. Toshihiro’s appointment is part of Osamu’s plan of bringing aboard a younger management team over the next five years to guide the company, Automotive News reports, with Osamu overseeing the changeover: We […]

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Osamu and Toshihiro Suzuki

Suzuki chairman and CEO Osamu Suzuki announced Tuesday the appointment of his son and likely successor, Toshihiro Suzuki, to the role of president.

Toshihiro’s appointment is part of Osamu’s plan of bringing aboard a younger management team over the next five years to guide the company, Automotive News reports, with Osamu overseeing the changeover:

We thought we needed to rejuvenate ourselves, and in that case it would be best if I left first. But I am so full of conceit that I cannot do that.

Osamu took on the mantle of president and chief operations officer following Hiroshi Tsuda’ 2008 resignation over poor health. His son, who observers see as his successor since the 2007 passing of son-in-law Hirotaka Ono, will take the mantle July 1.

Toshihiro headed the company’s Iwata factory west of Tokyo and managed mini and compact car production at Kosai early in his career, after which he acted as the company’s liaison at General Motors beginning in 2001. There, he helped facilitate exchanges of technology between the two companies, including those surrounding a jointly developed FCV. GM would divest itself of its 20 percent of Suzuki by 2008, a decade after first agreeing to a joint venture with the company.

Whether Toshihiro or another ultimately takes the helm of Suzuki, Osamu’s successor will have much to carry upon their shoulders, such as defending its stronghold in India while pursuing newer markets, and acquiring financing via new partnerships for new, greener powertrain technologies. They will also have the burden of handling the fallout from the dissolution of the company’s partnership with Volkswagen; the case recently finished arbitration, with both parties awaiting a ruling.

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Piston Slap: The Lambda V6 Half Life? (Part II) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/piston-slap-lambda-v6-half-life-part-ii/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/piston-slap-lambda-v6-half-life-part-ii/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 12:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100897   Dennis writes: You kindly responded last year to me in regards to an inquiry I made about my 2006 Sonata with the V6. I am still in love with my old beastie. She is approaching 93,000 miles and I just had new plugs and upper front control arms put into the ol’ gal. I read […]

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002966_engine

Riddle me this, Gordan Freeman. (photo courtesy: allhyundaiisuzuparts.com)

Dennis writes:

You kindly responded last year to me in regards to an inquiry I made about my 2006 Sonata with the V6. I am still in love with my old beastie. She is approaching 93,000 miles and I just had new plugs and upper front control arms put into the ol’ gal.

I read some forums that go on and on about this model year’s engine having problems with the Timing Chain Tensioner. I took her to the dealer to have it checked….they did not hear any odd noises to warrant my concerns. However, in my extreme car paranoia, I swear on cold mornings I hear a rattle coming from the engine. My question?

Since I plan on driving this car another 4-5 years, do I do a pre-emptive strike and get the tensioner replaced now? I guess it was made of a plastic that tends to self destruct causing all kinds of horror to occur with the Timing chain?

Your advice is always appreciated.

Sajeev answers:

Are you telling me you didn’t even consider my LS4-FTW swap advice? Come on, Son!

Now, according to the Interwebs (and my gut feeling), timing chain rattle upon start up isn’t the end of the world. Hell, my Lincoln Mark VIII’s chain rattles for 1-2 seconds almost every time the 180,000+ mile V8 fires up. I stopped worrying when I met local Lincoln nuts that are seriously competitive bracket racers. One had 300,000+ miles on his rattling timing chain.

If the chain rattles for longer on start up, say, maybe 5 seconds or more, then yes, by all means replace it as preventative maintenance.

I rarely believe in pre-emptive strikes, unless it saves you time, stress and money in the future. Case in point? Since I mentioned my car…

Some great fanboi he is…

My dumb ass wrecked my beloved Mark VIII back in February. A normal person (if normal people own 20-year-old cars) woulda scrapped it, but not this Lincoln-Mercury Fanboi. Since the rest of the body was looking pretty tired, I went for a full respray. The pre-emptive strike part comes via saving time and money on all the labor involved in stripping a body in order to paint it right. I installed most of these for essentially zero dollars:

  • New HID bulbs and (sorely needed) headlight relays to ease the burden on the inadequate Ford wiring harness.
  • New delayed entry switches in the door latches and a new passenger side window lift motor.
  • A new grille, as the flexible indium plating was looking a bit cruddy.
  • Fix that stupid, enlarged roof hole under the passenger side visor: a gift from the hamfisted jerk that installed the Webasto moonroof back in ’95.
  • Scrape overspray off the weatherstrip from a previous partial body respray.
  • New quarter windows to replace the rubber trim destroyed by an orbital buffer(?).
  • Install a new HVAC head unit since mine quit illuminating a few buttons.
  • New emblems as the chrome was getting pitted.
  • Numerous minor upgrades, which discussing would go even more off-topic.

I’m not suggesting the dichotomy between your Sonata and my Mark VIII means only one of us is justified in their pre-emptive strike. Just that yours can wait until the rattle gets worse.

Wait for more timing chain rattle, enjoy the time before it becomes a bigger problem. I sure as hell did.

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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Chart Of The Day: NX Boosting Lexus In The Time Of The RX’s Need http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day-nx-boosting-lexus-time-rxs-need/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day-nx-boosting-lexus-time-rxs-need/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 11:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095825 Conventionally pretty, it is not. But the Lexus NX is a hit. The NX200t and NX300h combined to generate 4,014 U.S. sales in May 2015, the best month yet for the six-month-old NX line. Year-to-date, 16,546 copies of the NX have been sold in America. Since the end of November, 19,473 NXs have found their […]

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USA Lexus sales chart May 2015 YTD

Conventionally pretty, it is not. But the Lexus NX is a hit.

The NX200t and NX300h combined to generate 4,014 U.S. sales in May 2015, the best month yet for the six-month-old NX line. Year-to-date, 16,546 copies of the NX have been sold in America. Since the end of November, 19,473 NXs have found their way into driveways across America.

Lexus, of course, has a tradition of building wildly popular premium crossovers. The RX is perennially America’s top-selling premium utility vehicle.

As Lexus prepares to replace the current RX with an all-new, already revealed model for 2016, sales of the current RX have fallen 5% this year. It’s still far more popular than any other premium brand utility vehicle in America.

In the meantime, with the NX added to the fleet, SUVs and crossovers accounted for 49% of all Lexus volume in the U.S. over the first five months of 2015, up from 43% in the same period one year ago, before the NX. Rather inconsequentially, sales of the high-end LX are faltering, but the GX460 is up 13% year-to-date, a gain of 1108 units.

As for the NX’s standing in its own category, only the Acura RDX and Audi Q5 are currently selling more often. The fourth-ranked Mercedes-Benz GLK, down 24% this year, is 5,260 sales back of the Lexus. BMW’s X3, down 44% this year, is 5,564 sales abaft. The Volvo XC60, Lincoln MKC lead the peloton but are well back of the better-selling contestants.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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Mitsubishi Will Soon Sell the Least Powerful V6 in America http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mitsubishi-will-soon-sell-the-least-powerful-v6-in-america/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mitsubishi-will-soon-sell-the-least-powerful-v6-in-america/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:37:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102433 With the Lexus IS finally ditching its dated and overripe 2.5L V6 in favor of the new Atkinson/Otto-cycle 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder, the vehicle above will have the least powerful V6 engine in America: the 224 hp, 3.0L V6-powered Mitsubishi Outlander. Making matters worse, it requires premium fuel … and that’s not the worst part. It’s been a […]

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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

With the Lexus IS finally ditching its dated and overripe 2.5L V6 in favor of the new Atkinson/Otto-cycle 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder, the vehicle above will have the least powerful V6 engine in America: the 224 hp, 3.0L V6-powered Mitsubishi Outlander.

Making matters worse, it requires premium fuel … and that’s not the worst part.

It’s been a long time coming, but Lexus fans will likely welcome the new force-fed four-pot that ups the base output of its entry sedan to “241 horsepower and up to 258 lb-ft of torque” according to the Canadian Lexus release. While Lexus in the U.S. has not yet confirmed the new engine for the IS, it seems all but inevitable at this point.

Sadly, that puts Mitsubishi squarely in the crosshairs again for having a product that doesn’t match up to the competition. Even V6 turbodiesels on the market are producing 240 horsepower and above along with much, much more torque.

However, the worst of it comes when you put Mitsubishi’s V6 in context. It can only be had in the very top GT S-AWC trim, portraying the 3.0L V6 as the “premium” option, which starts at $30,995. It only drinks premium fuel. And, to top it all off, Mitsubishi is looking forward to being in this position for the next three to four years as the 2016 model year brings with it a refreshed Outlander. That refresh didn’t include any upgrades to the V6.

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OFFICIAL: 2017 Audi A4 Goes Bigger, Lighter With Predictable Styling http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/official-2017-audi-a4-goes-bigger-lighter-with-predictable-styling/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/official-2017-audi-a4-goes-bigger-lighter-with-predictable-styling/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1101577 After giving the Audi A6 and A7 a refresh last year, the Ingolstadt-based automaker has rolled out the red carpet for their latest A4 in sedan and Avant flavors. The newest compact model promises to be lighter, more efficient, and chock full of technology as Audi tries to claim the premium segment crown. If you expected […]

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2017 Audi A4 Sedan and Avant

After giving the Audi A6 and A7 a refresh last year, the Ingolstadt-based automaker has rolled out the red carpet for their latest A4 in sedan and Avant flavors.

The newest compact model promises to be lighter, more efficient, and chock full of technology as Audi tries to claim the premium segment crown.

If you expected the new A4 to look like anything other than what’s shown in these shots, you may want to crawl out from under that rock. Just like other refreshed models in the Audi range, front and rear lighting gets a sharper look with a more furrowed brow. The Singleframe grille also ditches the rounded corners for a more angular look as Audi attempts to communicate their technology through design.

Thanks to slightly larger proportions, the all-new interior of the A4 features more space for occupants and technology, yet still manages to weigh over 250 lbs less than the outgoing car thanks to a combination of lighter chassis, body and driveline parts.

Though no North American specific engine details were released, the A4 will be available with a laundry list of seven engines for Europe, all of the four- and six-cylinder variety. Three TFSI gasoline engines – a 1.4L I4, all-new 2.0L “ultra” I4 and 2.0L g-tron TFSI that can burn compressed natural gas or Audi e-gas – and four TDI engines – 2.0L TDI, 2.0L “ultra” TDI and 3.0L TDI V6 in two different tunes – will be available at launch. The tiptronic automatic eight-speed will continue along with a manual box, while a new dual-clutch S tronic replaces the outgoing CVT.

Expect the new Audi A4 to arrive in the United States in April of next year.

2017 Audi A4 Sedan and Avant 2017 Audi A4 Sedan and Avant 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Sedan 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Avant 2017 Audi A4 Interior Front 2017 Audi A4 Rear Seats 2017 Audi A4 Sedan Driver's POV 2017 Audi A4 Interior Front 2017 Audi A4 Quattro Drivetrain with Sport Rear Differential 2017 Audi A4 Quattro Drivetrain 2017 Audi A4 Interior 2017 Audi A4 Quattro Drivetrain 2017 Audi A4 Bang & Olufsen Sound System 2017 Audi A4 Drivetrain 2017 Audi A4 Underside Aero 2017 Audi A4 Structure with hang on parts 2017 Audi A4 Structure 2017 Audi A4 Five Link Rear Suspension 2017 Audi A4 Five Link Rear Suspension Quattro with Sport Differential 2017 Audi A4 Five Link Rear Suspension Quattro 2017 Audi A4 Five Link Front Suspension 2017 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI 2017 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI Power/Torque Curve 2017 Audi A4 Dimensions

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Study: Nine Out Of 10 Millennials Consider Car Ownership Important http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/study-nine-out-of-10-millennials-consider-car-ownership-important/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/study-nine-out-of-10-millennials-consider-car-ownership-important/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 18:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102257 Allegedly, Millennials care only about the latest iPhone, and not the i8. Nine out of 10 Millennials would disagree, and consider car ownership important. The statistic comes from a study by rental car company Enterprise Holdings, The Detroit Bureau says, with the indication Millennials are renting cars they might want to buy later, per fleet […]

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Fashion Bloggers Look Over Mercedes AMG GT S At NYFW AW15

Allegedly, Millennials care only about the latest iPhone, and not the i8. Nine out of 10 Millennials would disagree, and consider car ownership important.

The statistic comes from a study by rental car company Enterprise Holdings, The Detroit Bureau says, with the indication Millennials are renting cars they might want to buy later, per fleet operations boss Kurt Kohler:

When we provide our customers with a great rental experience, it doesn’t just keep them coming back to us – it clearly sends many of them into their local dealer showrooms, as well.

Though studies like Enterprise’s are seen more as marketing tools benefiting the company than the consumer, other studies and reports point to the same conclusion: young adults want to drive, and want to own what they drive. One analysis by J.D. Power found Millennials account for 27 percent of all U.S. new car sales at present, with the cohort overtaking Baby Boomers on the sales floor by the 2020s.

Returning to Enterprise’s study, the company found 92 percent of Boomers and Millennials believe owning a car is important, compared to 73 percent in 2013. The spike is likely the result of improving fortunes among the younger cohort alongside the economy following the end of the Great Recession.

Regarding rental-to-showroom sales, 32 percent of Millennials said a positive renting experience led them down the road to their new vehicle, while 30 percent of Gen-Xers and 23 percent of Boomers though the same. Additionally, 45 percent of those surveyed said renting a car prepared them for the technologies they would find in their own vehicle.

The study is more good news for automakers as they seek to bring in more potential customers. Rather than build fleet-ready models for the sake of keeping the lights on, automakers could use the opportunity to claim those sales as marketing for the real thing, especially if they decide to add more technology to a base model to show off what they can do when it comes time to turn the renter into a buyer.

(Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz USA/Facebook)

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Mass Transit In Greece Free This Week Due To Economic Crisis http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mass-transit-in-greece-free-this-week-due-to-economic-crisis/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mass-transit-in-greece-free-this-week-due-to-economic-crisis/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 17:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102009 Some transit authorities offer free service to encourage ridership. Greece is offering free service this week because no one has money. As a result of Greece’s banks shutting their doors and ATMs for the entire week in order to prevent potential bank runs at the expense of their customers — in turn the result of […]

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Electric Bus In Athens, Greece

Some transit authorities offer free service to encourage ridership. Greece is offering free service this week because no one has money.

As a result of Greece’s banks shutting their doors and ATMs for the entire week in order to prevent potential bank runs at the expense of their customers — in turn the result of the failing bailout of the nation’s economy — transportation minister Christos Spirtzis declared transit service in Athens would be free to all until next week, Business Insider says.

The move would affect only those in the greater Athens metro area, where 40 percent of the nation’s population call home; the next-largest city, Thessaloniki, can’t waive its fares because its system isn’t fully run by the Grecian government. Meanwhile, Greece stands to lose €4 million ($4.44 million USD) as a result of the declaration; typical fares are around €1.20 ($1.33).

(Photo credit: hans-johnson/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Chicken Tax Ready For The Fryer, Hilux Et Al Not Ready For US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chicken-tax-ready-for-the-fryer-hilux-et-al-not-ready-for-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chicken-tax-ready-for-the-fryer-hilux-et-al-not-ready-for-us-market/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 16:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1101561 As key free trade agreements near signing, the chicken tax may soon become a bucket of Kentucky fried goodness. Just don’t hold your breath for a Hilux. The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreements would dismantle the 25 percent tariff on light-duty trucks like the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok, […]

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Seventh-Generation Toyota Hilux

As key free trade agreements near signing, the chicken tax may soon become a bucket of Kentucky fried goodness. Just don’t hold your breath for a Hilux.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreements would dismantle the 25 percent tariff on light-duty trucks like the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok, Automotive News reports. The latter agreement would align vehicle regulations between the United States and European Union, as well.

However, even if the tariff were to come down like the Berlin Wall, imports of the aforementioned trucks — and others like them — won’t be forthcoming in the near term for a few other reasons, starting with how many of the 39 total nations involved in their respective trade agreements have pickup truck plants ready to send their wares to the U.S. There, Thailand — which isn’t among those signing at this time — produces most of the world’s mid-size trucks. However, the nation’s government has expressed interest in joining the TPP after its enactment, leading to potential U.S.-bound production.

Another reason for the delay comes down to the dismantling of the tariff itself, which is set to take years, if not decades, with Japan taking the longest at 25 years; the Japanese rollback is part of a bilateral U.S.-Japan side deal concurrent of the TPP.

Safety figures into this, as well, as trucks made for the global market aren’t made for the U.S.’ special needs. Meanwhile, differences in how trucks are packaged — big blingmobiles for American consumers, spartan utility for everyone else — are likely to stem importation for a while.

Finally, some automakers have concerns their products wouldn’t fare well in the U.S., ranging from product overlap and right-sizing, to brand identity.

In time, however, the trucks some have wanted will board container ships bound for ports on both coasts as automakers would come to see how much profit they could reap with the chicken tax tossed in the fryer, leading to more competition in the USDM truck game down the road.

(Photo credit: Toyota)

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Volkswagen Introducing ‘Budget-Car Family’ By 2018 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-introducing-budget-car-family-by-2018/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-introducing-budget-car-family-by-2018/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1101537 Once upon a time, Volkswagen lived up to its name by providing a low-cost car for the people. Now, the automaker has plans to do so once more. CEO Martin Winterkorn told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag Sunday his company would bring “a budget-car family to market in 2018, with an SUV, saloon and hatchback,” […]

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Volkswagen Beetles in Paphos Circa March 2015

Once upon a time, Volkswagen lived up to its name by providing a low-cost car for the people. Now, the automaker has plans to do so once more.

CEO Martin Winterkorn told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag Sunday his company would bring “a budget-car family to market in 2018, with an SUV, saloon and hatchback,” Reuters reports. Winterkorn added the cars — to cost between €8,000 and €11,000 ($8,932 and $12,225 USD) — would be assembled in China; the original target was between €6,000 and €8,000 ($6,670 and $8,932).

Though the low-cost vehicles are aimed for markets in Southeast Asia, Winterkorn says his company would determine “if this is something of interest for other markets as well.” Whether North America is among them, only he and his senior execs know for certain.

(Photo credit: Chris Parker/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

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2016 Scion iA, iM Pricing Officially Announced http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-scion-ia-im-pricing-officially-announced/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-scion-ia-im-pricing-officially-announced/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1101497 The embargo is over for the 2016 Scion iA and iM, as pricing and other features have been officially announced. As reported earlier, pricing for the iM begins at $18,460 MSRP for the six-speed manual model, $19,200 for the CVTi-S version. What wasn’t mentioned was the iA’s pricing, officially set for $15,700 for the six-speed […]

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Scion_Family_003_4AB709D5DBABBF25B44E03A3E5D9FA9108BD4CF4

The embargo is over for the 2016 Scion iA and iM, as pricing and other features have been officially announced.

As reported earlier, pricing for the iM begins at $18,460 MSRP for the six-speed manual model, $19,200 for the CVTi-S version. What wasn’t mentioned was the iA’s pricing, officially set for $15,700 for the six-speed manual sedan, $16,800 for the six-speed auto variant. Both sets of prices do not include the $795 delivery charge, and thanks to Scion’s Pure Price policy, the MSRP reported will be what consumers pay on the showroom floor.

Power for the iM comes from a 1.8-liter CVVT four-cylinder good for 137 horses sent to the front through either transmission, netting the hatch EPA mileage ratings of 28 city/37 highway/32 combined with the CVT, 27/36/32 with the manual. Other features for the hatch include: 17-inch alloys; double-wishbone rear suspension; dual-zone AC; hill start; aero; LED daytime running lights; 60/40 split rear seating; and back-up camera.

Meanwhile, the iA gets a 1.5-liter four-pot capable of 106 horses, all of which hit the road through the front pair of 16-inch alloys. EPA mileage comes to 33/42/37 for the six-speed automatic, 31/41/35 for the six-speed manual. Keyless entry with push-button start, 60/40 rear seating, MacPherson struts and torsion beams, and 7-inch touchscreen are some of the features available on the sedan.

Each come with their own range of colors, and are both covered by a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty, as well as five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Scion Service Boost adds complementary servicing for two years or 25,000 miles, as well as two years of 24-hour roadside assistance.

Both Scion iA and iM will arrive in showrooms September 1.

(Photo credit: Scion)

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The Warren Buffet Way To Buy And Sell Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/warren-buffet-way-buy-sell-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/warren-buffet-way-buy-sell-cars/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097681 The august founder of TTAC, Robert Farago, asked me to shop around for a Lexus IS F nearly seven years ago. Those were bad old days. The “Fall of 2008″ was a brutal, hopeless, and downright dire time in the American retail car market. Nobody was buying $50,000+ sports cars like this Lexus, and the few […]

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The august founder of TTAC, Robert Farago, asked me to shop around for a Lexus IS F nearly seven years ago.

Those were bad old days. The “Fall of 2008″ was a brutal, hopeless, and downright dire time in the American retail car market. Nobody was buying $50,000+ sports cars like this Lexus, and the few that could afford to were too busy watching their stock values sink like stones and their home values dive straight into the ass end of a 20 year time warp.

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My hometown of Powder Springs, Georgia and nearly every other American city and small town were getting neutron bombed by man-made financial WMDs known as CDOs – collateralized debt obligations. Where people had once occupied new homes and burgeoning small businesses, now all that was left in much of America were empty buildings and unfathomable levels of debt.

The American people, yet again, had been scammed by an elite that relied on passing the fraudulent buck to whomever was willing to hold the empty bag. The Wall Street margin calls of the 1920s had transformed into the main street liar loans of the 2000s. But this time, millions of businesses throughout the world would feel the unforeseen effects of these complex financial implosions. Credit soon became scarce even for the well-connected, and the American economy would become a borderline bankrupt marketplace.

What did Robert do? The same exact thing Warren Buffet did at that time. He went shopping!

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High-end niche models like the Lexus IS F were especially tough to sell. Back then, I couldn’t quite figure out why Robert wanted this car when the Audi RS4, Cadillac CTS-V and BMW M3 were considered to be the better choices by the brunt of the automotive press. I had recently driven the RS4 thanks to a friend from Texas who picked up a brand new one that was languishing at an Audi dealership in North Georgia. I negotiated that deal on his behalf and, as a surprise thank you, I also wound up with my very first experience with a brand new high-end sports car.

I may need to wait about 7 more years before I get to relive that experience – but I definitely want to do it again. The question most of us have is when does it make the most sense to buy on the right side of the automotive bell curve?

There is always a sweet spot where you can enjoy the fruits of an automaker’s labor and not have to pay the ridiculous price premiums usually attached to such a ride. On conventional cars here in the south, the depreciation curve tends to plateau around the nine to eleven year mark. The more popular cars hit it right around years 12 thru 15. Keep in mind I rarely get to see the tin-worm that is rust out here, so those of you who have to deal with 50 shades of brown may find that these points hit a few years newer for you.

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Then there is the “buy low / sell high” method which for the keepers among us can also be termed “buy low / sell nigh.”

There are the usual suspects, such as buying SUVs and trucks if gas prices are high or gas sippers when the gas prices are low, but gas really doesn’t have an enduring impact on the deal simply because it fluctuates all the time.

What does have an impact are three things:

  1. Asymmetric information
  2. The seller
  3. The car’s condition

Asymmetric information simply means you know something about that particular vehicle that the seller does not. How to fix a repair issue. The rarity of a particular trim. Sometimes, such as the auctions I attend, you may find out that the car in question has a lot of expensive modifications, or that a pricey repair has already been performed. Auto auctions are a rolling paradise for these things, but Craigslist and Autotrader can also offer a few eyebrow raising surprises.

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The seller and the car’s condition always go hand in hand. As we all know, you’re not buying a used car so much as you’re buying the prior owner’s driving style and maintenance habits. A walking turd of a car owner often drives in a rolling turd of a car. Great cars are usually owned by folks who understand that machines need to be tuned and maintained – and garaged if at all possible.

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I have enjoyed some beautiful rides over the years that hit all of these sweet spots: the right time to buy, the right seller, and – most importantly – knowing a little important something beforehand that made all the difference. Toyota Celica All-Tracs, Ford Mustang Police Interceptors, and several Mazda RX-8s have been in and out of my hands simply because I was able to find the right ingredients for the car buying recipe. The 2005 Mazda RX-8 cost me all of $2,300 last year because it had a flooding issue that was easy to figure out. I had a blast with it for three months and sold it for $4,500.

How about you? Have you ever been able to buy the right car with the right history at the right time?

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Chart Of The Day: Like Horsepower, Corvette Interest Grows Over Time http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095801 After averaging fewer than 1,200 monthly spring sales in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, the launch of the C7 presented Chevrolet with more than 3,000 sales in March and in April and in May 2014. Surely that’s all because of pent-up demand, right? After the C6 battled quite respectably through a recession, the craziness of […]

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Corvette sales chart

After averaging fewer than 1,200 monthly spring sales in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, the launch of the C7 presented Chevrolet with more than 3,000 sales in March and in April and in May 2014.

Surely that’s all because of pent-up demand, right? After the C6 battled quite respectably through a recession, the craziness of the C7 was bound to generate a great deal of initial demand.

And yet one year later, long since its launch, the Corvette is selling just as well. Better, in fact.

March sales rose 9% to 3,785 units, the second-highest monthly U.S. sales total since the C7 arrived in the latter portion of 2013. April volume was down 1%, a scant 45 units, but remained well above 3,000 units. May sales jumped 6%, significantly faster than the rate of growth in the industry as a whole. Year-to-date, Corvette volume is up 3% to 15,500 sales through five months.

That’s more than 5,000 units better than any individual Cadillac passenger car.

Credit goes to the fact there are more versions of the Corvette now available, including a Z06 Convertible and Z06s with automatic transmissions.

It’s also an all-American sports car in America – combined sales of the Porsche Boxster, Cayman, and 911 aren’t half as strong.

But these factors don’t alter the fact that, for a premium-priced two-seater, the Corvette is ridiculously successful. At the current pace, 2015 is set to be the best year since 2006’s 36,518-unit total. GM has already sold more Corvettes in America in 2015 than in all of 2009, 2010, 2011, or 2012.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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QOTD: What’s the Uncoolest Choice For a 2015 Teenager’s First Vehicle? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/question-day-whats-uncoolest-possible-choice-2015-teenagers-first-vehicle/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/question-day-whats-uncoolest-possible-choice-2015-teenagers-first-vehicle/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1098633 I just took my chopped, Carson-top-equipped, heavily-customized 1969 Toyota Corona coupe to a local car show and won a trophy without even washing the thing. All but the most tradition-bound angry old coots think the Kustom Korona is pretty cool, but that got me thinking about the reason I’d spent so many years wanting a […]

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QOTD-Uncoolest_Teenage_Car

I just took my chopped, Carson-top-equipped, heavily-customized 1969 Toyota Corona coupe to a local car show and won a trophy without even washing the thing. All but the most tradition-bound angry old coots think the Kustom Korona is pretty cool, but that got me thinking about the reason I’d spent so many years wanting a cool Corona: my very first car was a 1969 Toyota Corona sedan. A beige Corona sedan, which cost 50 bucks at the corner gas station and had a clattery pushrod four-banger at a time when my peers and I lusted after Detroit muscle cars with tunnel-rammed V8s with Centerline wheels. This was pretty much the uncoolest car possible for a 16-year-old to drive in the East Bay in 1982.

So what’s the 2015 equivalent to that hooptiefied, unidentifiable, squat little Japanese sedan?
82_Toyota_Corona

Naturally, such a car would have to be old enough to be sort of battered and depressing, yet not old enough to be interesting in a nostalgia-inspiring way. These days, I think that would be somewhere in the 1990-2005 range, although vehicles outside that range — say, a salvage-title ex-rental ’08 Chevy Aveo or a 600,000-mile white ’88 Sentra sedan — probably qualify. It can’t be anything with distinctive styling or the slightest hint of sportiness and/or luxury, so we can rule out Saabs, Quad-4-engined GM products, and anything made by any of the Japanese luxury marques. Ideally, it would be something that most teenagers can’t identify at a glance, so that the long-suffering owner must answer the sneering “What is this POS?” question over and over and over. And, of course, it must be a car that you can buy for next to nothing.

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My vote is for the joyless, generic Daewoo Lanos. Any teenager driving a Lanos now is going to be buried beneath a gigantic heap of Korean-GM uncoolness. What’s your choice?


This Korean-market Lanos ad just makes the car even more uncool, by reminding Lanos owners exactly how little their cars resemble a black panther stalking the streets of Seoul.

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