The Truth About Cars » Industry http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 04 Jul 2015 15:51:01 +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 » Industry http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/industry/ After Clearing Legal Hurdles, Taxi of Tomorrow Now Taxi of Today http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/clearing-legal-hurdles-taxi-tomorrow-now-taxi-today/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/clearing-legal-hurdles-taxi-tomorrow-now-taxi-today/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 18:30:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1107321 The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission finally cleared its last hurdle in making the Nissan NV200 the new official taxi for NYC, Car and Driver reports. The commission installed the NV200 as the new official taxi back in 2011, but legal challenges have delayed that process until now. The city licenses more than 13,000 cabs. The […]

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Nissan NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission finally cleared its last hurdle in making the Nissan NV200 the new official taxi for NYC, Car and Driver reports.

The commission installed the NV200 as the new official taxi back in 2011, but legal challenges have delayed that process until now. The city licenses more than 13,000 cabs.

The challenge stemmed from a group of taxi owners taking exception to the commission dwindling the number of acceptable cab models from 47 down to just one. However, the C&D report points out, owners can choose from a slightly larger list of acceptable hybrids (by larger, we mean three: Lexus 450h, Prius V and Toyota Highlander Hybrid) instead of the gas-powered NV200.

Nissan won a $1 billion bid to become the supplier of the new taxi four years ago beating out Ford and Turkish automaker Karsan.

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FCA Awaits NHTSA’s Wrath After Recall Hearings http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/fca-awaits-nhtsas-wrath-recall-hearings/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/fca-awaits-nhtsas-wrath-recall-hearings/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 17:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1107233 Yesterday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took the unusual step of hauling a single automaker to the Capitol to scold Fiat Chrysler for delays in recalls and repairs. The hearing is ahead of anticipated fines NHTSA may deal later this month, possibly as high as $700 million. Attention was focused on Jeep Liberties and Grand […]

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1999 Grand Cherokee Launch-12

Yesterday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took the unusual step of hauling a single automaker to the Capitol to scold Fiat Chrysler for delays in recalls and repairs. The hearing is ahead of anticipated fines NHTSA may deal later this month, possibly as high as $700 million.

Attention was focused on Jeep Liberties and Grand Cherokees with rear-mounted gas tanks that could leak fuel if struck in a high-speed rear collision and potentially catch fire. Also of importance is the rate at which Jeep notified its owners of the recall.

FCA’s Senior Vice President for Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance Scott Kunselman said at the hearing that FCA “could have done better in carrying out the campaigns.”


Owners of Grand Cherokees and Liberty SUVs had trailer hitches installed on their cars that could protect in low- to moderate-speed impact collisions. Eric Mayne, a spokesman for FCA, said that NHTSA tested the trailer hitches and found them to perform similarly to their peers.

A Massachusetts father testified at the hearing, saying his 17-year-old son was killed when the Grand Cherokee he was driving was struck and ignited. The issue has been linked to more than 50 deaths.

A second recall was recently issued for faulty wiring that could disable airbags.

NHTSA “tentatively concluded” FCA didn’t address the recalls in time, or adequately. Despite issuing a recall in June 2013, NHTSA said only 23 percent of the cars had been fixed by the end of April. FCA said that figure is now around 33 percent.

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Honda Making English Its Official Language by 2020 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/honda-making-english-official-language-2020/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/honda-making-english-official-language-2020/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 16:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1107121 In its 104-page annual sustainability report, Honda announced it would make English its official language by 2020, requiring all interregional communication be conducted in English. Similarly, English-language proficiency would be a requirement for promotion to management. The new mandate appears on Page 70 of the report. Despite burying the lede, it’s a seismic change for the Japanese […]

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Takanobu Ito

In its 104-page annual sustainability report, Honda announced it would make English its official language by 2020, requiring all interregional communication be conducted in English. Similarly, English-language proficiency would be a requirement for promotion to management. The new mandate appears on Page 70 of the report.

Despite burying the lede, it’s a seismic change for the Japanese company. According to Automotive News, five years ago then-boss Takanobu Ito said — possibly in Japanese — that making English the official language of Honda was “stupid.” Five years from now, presumably all of Honda’s workforce, which includes more than 200,000 people — nearly three-quarters of it outside of North America — will be speaking the language.

Honda’s official stance on English isn’t wholly surprising, or new.

According to a report by The Economist in February 2014, Honda was keen on adopting “Corporate English” throughout the company and following suit with many other global manufacturers. Chinese tech giant Lenovo made English its lingua franca. Same goes for Nokia, Renault and Samsung.

Only one quarter of Honda’s workforce is in North America, but accounted for nearly one third of its new hires for 2015. Honda’s move to English is emblematic of its reality: 40 percent of Honda’s sales are in North America and 81 percent of its vehicles are assembled outside of Japan.

Included in the report is an outlook for the future of Honda’s manufacturing in North America.

The U.S. will add more than 3.4 million manufacturing jobs in the next 10 years, the report states, but will have only 1.4 million people to fill those jobs. Honda says they will implement a program in Ohio — where Honda builds cars — to teach middle- and high-school students how to fill those jobs with video games, or by directly funding STEM programs in some schools.

There’s been no word on whether Buick will be making the switch to Mandarin.

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Julie Hamp No. 10 in PR Week’s “Power List”, No. 1 in Badly Timed Awards http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ex-top-toyota-pr-rep-no-10-pr-list-no-1-badly-timed-awards/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ex-top-toyota-pr-rep-no-10-pr-list-no-1-badly-timed-awards/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1107009 Resigned Toyota PR chief Julie Hamp was named to PR Week’s “Power List” two weeks after being busted for allegedly importing illegal prescription painkillers into Japan last month. Hamp allegedly received 57 pills of Oxycodone in a box labeled “necklaces” at Narita Airport in Tokyo. The list, which ranks her No. 10, was released the same day Hamp resigned her position […]

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Julie Hamp Not In BlackResigned Toyota PR chief Julie Hamp was named to PR Week’s “Power List” two weeks after being busted for allegedly importing illegal prescription painkillers into Japan last month. Hamp allegedly received 57 pills of Oxycodone in a box labeled “necklaces” at Narita Airport in Tokyo.

The list, which ranks her No. 10, was released the same day Hamp resigned her position and included an editor’s note at the top explaining the awkward timing.

The author of Hamp’s listing, Senior Vice President of Global Communications for General Motors Tony Cervone, noted Hamp’s ascendance as a woman in a field typically dominated by men:

“Julie understands the need for consistency, but allows it to be expressed naturally and authentically, with special sensitivity to cultural nuances. She understands discipline, but doesn’t drive bureaucracy. In short, Julie provides a great balance. And she fully deserves to be “the first” in so many ways.”

Hamp is reportedly in jail awaiting charges in Japan. According to the Wall Street Journal, her trial in Japan could last anywhere from six months to a year, if it even goes that far.

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Record Sales Pace Partially Fueled by Record Incentives http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/record-sales-pace-partially-fueled-record-incentives/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/record-sales-pace-partially-fueled-record-incentives/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1106289 The Detroit Bureau is reporting that even though June was a record sales month for many automakers, many of those sales were partly fueled with record incentives from the manufacturer. Buyers could get up to $8,000 knocked of the price of a Kia K900 or up to $7,000 off of Ford hybrids or electric cars — […]

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Insane People at the Stock Photo Dealership

The Detroit Bureau is reporting that even though June was a record sales month for many automakers, many of those sales were partly fueled with record incentives from the manufacturer.

Buyers could get up to $8,000 knocked of the price of a Kia K900 or up to $7,000 off of Ford hybrids or electric cars — even $8,000 for the 2015 Ford C-Max Energi.

Despite the higher-than-normal incentives, the Detroit Bureau reported that the Average Transaction Price for a new car in June was $31,848, up around 1 percent over last year.

Two automakers increased spending on their incentives by more than 30 percent over the same time last year — Nissan and Hyundai. As a percentage of incentives offered to ATP, Kia (11.7 percent), Hyundai (10.5 percent), Nissan (10.3 percent), GM (10.2 percent) and FCA (10.2 percent) were the biggest spenders last month.

As expected, many of the heavily incentivized cars were slow-moving models or cars with narrow appeal, which automakers could immediately offset by selling massive amounts of huge crossovers with equally huge margins.

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Nissan, Toyota, Honda Team to Build Fuel-Cell Infrastructure in Japan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-toyota-honda-team-build-fuel-cell-infrastructure-japan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-toyota-honda-team-build-fuel-cell-infrastructure-japan/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1106169 According to Toyota, three Japanese automakers — Honda, Toyota and Nissan — are working together to build hydrogen fuel stations around for future fuel-cell cars. The program, which will subsidize fueling stations up to 11 million yen ($89,500) per year for each station, is meant to boost the nation’s infrastructure for hydrogen-powered cars. The agreement […]

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20150701_02_03

According to Toyota, three Japanese automakers — Honda, Toyota and Nissan — are working together to build hydrogen fuel stations around for future fuel-cell cars.

The program, which will subsidize fueling stations up to 11 million yen ($89,500) per year for each station, is meant to boost the nation’s infrastructure for hydrogen-powered cars.

The agreement was formed in February between the large automakers, but began accepting applications July 1.

The program also boosts “awareness” of the FCVs by offering incentives for stations to stay open longer and offer more services.

A similar alliance between automakers in the U.S. could boost FCV participation rates, but maybe we can’t have nice things.

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Robot Kills Man in Germany VW Plant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/robot-kills-man-germany-vw-plant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/robot-kills-man-germany-vw-plant/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:35:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1106193 According to report from German-language HNA, a robot has killed a contractor in a Volkswagen plant in Germany, near Frankfurt. The 22-year-old man, whose name has not released, was crushed against a metal plate by the machine. According to officials, operator error may have caused the man’s death. The plant is located in Baunatal, which is […]

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Robots

According to report from German-language HNA, a robot has killed a contractor in a Volkswagen plant in Germany, near Frankfurt.

The 22-year-old man, whose name has not released, was crushed against a metal plate by the machine. According to officials, operator error may have caused the man’s death.

The plant is located in Baunatal, which is roughly 60 miles from Frankfurt, and doesn’t assemble vehicles, but is one of VW’s largest component producers.

Reports say the man was assembling the machine in the plant and was not a VW employee. No charges in the death have been filed though investigators are still trying to determine if any are applicable.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Chart Of The Day: 2015 Will Be Ford Fiesta’s Seventh Consecutive Year As UK’s Best-Selling Car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day-2015-will-ford-fiestas-seventh-consecutive-year-uks-best-selling-car/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day-2015-will-ford-fiestas-seventh-consecutive-year-uks-best-selling-car/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 13:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095769 The Ford Fiesta is on track in 2015 to celebrate a seventh consecutive year as the best-selling vehicle in the United Kingdom. A streak which began in 2009 – following the Focus’s own tenure atop the leaderboard – appears completely secure now that the Fiesta has outsold its nearest rival by 19,000 units over the […]

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UK best-selling autos market share chart

The Ford Fiesta is on track in 2015 to celebrate a seventh consecutive year as the best-selling vehicle in the United Kingdom. A streak which began in 2009 – following the Focus’s own tenure atop the leaderboard – appears completely secure now that the Fiesta has outsold its nearest rival by 19,000 units over the course of just five months.

The Fiesta is not a popular car by the standards with which Americans identify popularity. On this side of the pond, for example, the Ford F-Series is America’s best-selling line of vehicles, but the F-Series accounts for 4.3% of the overall auto industry’s volume. The Fiesta generates 5.3% of UK auto industry volume.

The Fiesta also outsells the second-ranked Vauxhall Corsa to the tune of nearly 1.5-to-1. The F-Series, on the flip side, isn’t even outselling the combined efforts of its nearest rival, the Chevrolet Silverado and its identical GMC Sierra twin so far this year in the U.S.

Then consider the fact the Fiesta is absurdly popular despite the fact that the third-best-selling car in the UK – and the Fiesta’s predecessor among top sellers – is sold right alongside the Fiesta on dealer forecourts.

The Fiesta is also on the rise. Although the UK auto market is up 6% this year, Fiesta sales are up just 1%. But the Fiesta is old, and the growth it has achieved through the first five months of 2015 comes after annual year-over-year increases in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

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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Marchionne Not Yet Ready For GM, Fields Not Interested In Any Merger http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/marchionne-not-yet-ready-for-gm-fields-not-interested-in-any-merger/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/marchionne-not-yet-ready-for-gm-fields-not-interested-in-any-merger/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100777 FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne says he’s not ready to court General Motors’ shareholders for a merger, while Ford’s Mark Fields prefers no mergers at all. Though Marchionne was said to be gathering allies in the finance field to help persuade GM’s investors to consider consolidation — having been rebuffed already by CEO Mary Barra — […]

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Fiat 500 At Tuscany Wedding Circa April 2014

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne says he’s not ready to court General Motors’ shareholders for a merger, while Ford’s Mark Fields prefers no mergers at all.

Though Marchionne was said to be gathering allies in the finance field to help persuade GM’s investors to consider consolidation — having been rebuffed already by CEO Mary BarraReuters says he stated the following while on the sidelines at Wednesday’s unveiling of the Alfa Romeo Guilia:

We are very far removed from any of those scenarios today. None of my staff has spoken to them, I haven’t spoken to them, nobody is under instruction to speak to them.

When asked about the possibility of going hostile in his ongoing need for industry consolidation, Marchionne’s reply was to proclaim those who “kept wasting capital” were the ones meting out the hostility.

One such individual would likely be Fields. Per The Detroit Bureau, the Ford CEO told reporters attending the annual Further With Ford conference mergers with any automaker, let alone FCA, were out of the question:

We have no interest or plan other than accelerating the One Ford Plan; delivering product excellence and driving innovation in every part of our business. We are never going to take our eye off of being a great developer of cars, trucks and utility vehicles.

Fields added he would consider ways to improve his company’s overall business model, stating it was important for Ford “to open up that lens” in order to lead the industry towards betterment.

(Photo credit: Monica Arellano-Ongpin/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

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Honda’s LMP2 Prototype Withdrawn From 2015 Pikes Peak Hill Climb http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hondas-lmp2-prototype-withdrawn-from-2015-pikes-peak-hill-climb/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hondas-lmp2-prototype-withdrawn-from-2015-pikes-peak-hill-climb/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 18:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100713 Honda’s HPD ARX-04b LMP2 prototype set to climb Pikes Peak this weekend has withdrawn from the annual event. The ARX’s withdrawal comes after a turbocharger failure created extensive damage to the prototype’s engine, GTSpirit reports, preventing it and IndyCar driver Justin Wilson from practicing Tuesday and Wednesday. As the practice sessions were necessary in order […]

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Honda HPD ARX-04b Circa Spa 6Hr 2015

Honda’s HPD ARX-04b LMP2 prototype set to climb Pikes Peak this weekend has withdrawn from the annual event.

The ARX’s withdrawal comes after a turbocharger failure created extensive damage to the prototype’s engine, GTSpirit reports, preventing it and IndyCar driver Justin Wilson from practicing Tuesday and Wednesday. As the practice sessions were necessary in order to compete, there was no other option but to pull out of this year’s field.

According to HPD CEO Art St. Cyr, entering the ARX was done as “an exploratory exercise” meant to gather information for further improvements to the prototype’s V6 engine and chassis, a goal achieved in spite of the mechanical failures experienced. St. Cyr aims to return to Pikes Peak in 2016 with the ARX.

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Autoleaks: Scion iM Pricing Revealed Ahead Of Embargo’s End http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/autoleaks-scion-im-pricing-revealed-ahead-of-embargos-end/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/autoleaks-scion-im-pricing-revealed-ahead-of-embargos-end/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 17:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100657 Via a poster on Scion iM Forum, pricing for the rebadged Toyota Auris has escaped onto the Internet for all to consider. Those who seek the six-speed manual version will pay a base price of $19,255, while those opting to let the CVT handle shifting duties on their way to Starbucks will cut a check […]

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2016-Scion-iM-4

Via a poster on Scion iM Forum, pricing for the rebadged Toyota Auris has escaped onto the Internet for all to consider.

Those who seek the six-speed manual version will pay a base price of $19,255, while those opting to let the CVT handle shifting duties on their way to Starbucks will cut a check for $19,995. AutoGuide says with the $770 destination charge, the figures rises to $20,025 and $20,765, respectively.

Pricing for the iM was revealed by Scion iM Forum member bicepeak, who later explained the information came from a since-deleted tweet by Autoweek‘s Mark Vaughn; Vaughn was attending a Scion School event involving the hatchback and iA sedan. A following photo from iMTaylor — possibly from Vaughn’s Twitter account, as well — noted pricing was to be embargoed until one minute past midnight Eastern June 29, along with driving impressions.

For the price of admission, one receives an iM powered by a 1.8-liter four-pot good for 137 horses, which are then fed through the front via either six-speed manual or the seven predefined ratios found in the CVT version. Other features include heated power-folding side mirrors, dual-zone climate control, 17-inch wheels, and optional navigation.

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Takata’s Shigehisa Takada Sees Dramatic Pay Cut For 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/takatas-shigehisa-takada-sees-dramatic-pay-cut-for-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/takatas-shigehisa-takada-sees-dramatic-pay-cut-for-2014/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 16:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100577 While some Japanese CEOs are doing well for themselves in compensation, Takata’s Shigehisa Takada took a dramatic cut in pay for 2014. Shown Friday, the supplier’s regulatory filing found Takada took home less than ¥100 million ($810,373 USD) in 2014, Reuters notes. The figure pales to his compensation during FY 2013, when he was given […]

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Shigehisa-Takada-circa-June-2015

While some Japanese CEOs are doing well for themselves in compensation, Takata’s Shigehisa Takada took a dramatic cut in pay for 2014.

Shown Friday, the supplier’s regulatory filing found Takada took home less than ¥100 million ($810,373 USD) in 2014, Reuters notes. The figure pales to his compensation during FY 2013, when he was given ¥206 million ($1.67 million).

The exact amount paid in FY 2014 wasn’t disclosed, however; the Japanese government only requires full disclosure of compensation above ¥100 million.

Takada’s pay cut — and those of Takata’s other five directors — is in part over the failings over the handling of the airbag recall crisis affecting several million vehicles and 10 automakers. Takada issued an apology over the matter Thursday following the company’s annual shareholders meeting, and said he and the directors would give back part of their pay as a result.

Per a representative, Takada would see a reduction of 25 percent for the year ending this March, while the five directors would give back 20 percent of their compensation.

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Lowrider Magazine Founder Sonny Madrid Dead At 70 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/lowrider-magazine-founder-sonny-madrid-dead-at-70/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/lowrider-magazine-founder-sonny-madrid-dead-at-70/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 20:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100041 The founder of Lowrider magazine, Sonny Madrid, died Monday at 70. The San Jose, Calif. native founded the iconic magazine during the mid-1970s, Hemmings Daily reports, when two events linked to his previous magazines — published as a student at San Jose State University — provided the seed capital needed to launch the first issue […]

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Sonny MadridThe founder of Lowrider magazine, Sonny Madrid, died Monday at 70.

The San Jose, Calif. native founded the iconic magazine during the mid-1970s, Hemmings Daily reports, when two events linked to his previous magazines — published as a student at San Jose State University — provided the seed capital needed to launch the first issue in January 1977.

From there, Madrid and his staff sought to connect every last independent lowrider community as they could, with Madrid leaving the Bay Area in his 1954 Chevrolet sedan delivery to promote the magazine in locales like East Los Angeles — where lowriders began — New Mexico and Texas; the staff expanded outreach further east.

Madrid was also key in the decision to add pin-ups to the front of every issue of Lowrider, beginning with the November 1979 issue. Despite the initial outcry from both male and female readers, magazine sales climbed 15 percent to 20 percent, per figures reported in Charles M. Tatum’s book, “Lowriders in Chicano Culture: From Low to Slow to Show.”

Overall, Madrid’s Lowrider not only covered and helped to grow the lowrider scene, but also promoted the music, fashion and culture surrounding it. However, the original magazine would fold after the December 1985 issue over financial difficulties. The resurrected Lowrider returned in 1988 after former staffer Alberto Lopez bought the magazine from Madrid; Lopez later sold the magazine to publisher McMullen Argus in the late 1990s.

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2016 Ford Focus RS Delivers 345 HP With ‘Specially Engineered’ EcoBoost Mill http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-ford-focus-rs-delivers-345-hp-with-specially-engineered-ecoboost-mill/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-ford-focus-rs-delivers-345-hp-with-specially-engineered-ecoboost-mill/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 17:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1099817 Ahead of its arrival at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England, the 2016 Ford Focus RS’ horsepower figures were officially revealed. Ford says the hot hatch’s “specially engineered 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine” is good for 345 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque to all four corners. The turbo-four shares the basics with […]

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2016 Ford Focus RS

Ahead of its arrival at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England, the 2016 Ford Focus RS’ horsepower figures were officially revealed.

Ford says the hot hatch’s “specially engineered 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine” is good for 345 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque to all four corners. The turbo-four shares the basics with the all-aluminum mill found on the Mustang, with upgrades including: a “low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with larger compressor”; “less restrictive intake design” for more breathing capability; larger intercooler and radiator for increased cooling; high-temp-resistant cylinder heads and high-tensile cast iron cylinder liners; and “a large-bore high performance exhaust system with an electronically controlled valve in the tailpipe that helps optimise the balance of back pressure and noise output.”

Other features linked to the powertrain include Ford’s Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring system, launch control, and a handful of driving modes, including an “industry-first” drift mode so one can drift in Formula D without first yanking out the front differential.

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