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Rattled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and reminded by smaller quakes that are a daily occurrence in Japan, every large Japanese automaker entered the smart home business. We have seen smart homes from Toyota and from Nissan. Today, we went all the way to Minamiyono in Saitama to visit the smart home from Honda. Read More >
Starting in 2014, cars will require an autobrake system, such as Volvo’s CitySafety technology, to achieve a five-star rating on the NCAP crash test.
Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen told AutoExpress that he expected all new cars sold in Europe to have such a system by 2017. Van Ratingen is hoping to halve the number of deaths resulting from auto accidents by 2020. Lane departure warning systems are also expected to be evaluated in the coming years – with the hopes that the new generation of safety systems will follow in the footsteps of stability control systems and become standard across the board. Hooray.
The Mahindra XUV500 is one of the most hotly spoken about Indian cars after the Tata Nano. Built as a global SUV, the left hand drive version of the XUV500 was recently spotted by me in India, undergoing routine tests. Mahindra plans to launch the XUV500 in Europe (Spain will be the first country to receive it) next year, South Africa and the U.S.A are going to get the XUV by 2014. However it is Australia which will see the XUV500 go on sale next month. Read More >
Automobile magazine reports that BMW is backing away from its ambitious electrically powered i vehicle program. Uncertainty about continued government support, a crazy quilt of state and national policies around the globe, a lack of charging infrastructure and, perhaps most importantly, a continued lack of consumer acceptance are said to have contributed to BMW’s decision.
A Fast Company article on in-car integration of Siri, Apple’s voice activated Artifical Intelligence system, revealed that despite Apple’s usage of their brands, a few manufacturers aren’t even aware of plans to use it on their vehicles, let alone within the 12 month timeframe that Apple had suggested.
Calling Canada “the most expensive place in the world to build a car right now“, Dan Akerson threw his hat into the “hourly wage costs need to come down” ring at GM’s annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday.
After the positive response to Half-Price Bimmer, I’ve asked another guest columnist, whom we shall call “Bark M.”, to detail his recent attempt to buy a high-power American sporting car, complete with drive notes on both the Mustang and Challenger, and an almost convincing rationale for his decision to let his wife drive a Boss before he did. “Bark” is an SCCA National Tour autocrosser and former professional musician. — JB
“Are you still interested in buying a Boss 302? We just got one in stock today.”
That was the e-mail that popped up on my phone while I was sitting in a meeting last Friday morning. But in order to explain this e-mail, I have to take you back a bit.
After taking you on trips to Monaco, the world for an eventful April World Round-up and the Top 100 best-selling models worldwide over the First Quarter of 2012, this week I will take you on a trip through space AND time, going through the cars the French have been buying for the last 60 years.
And the answer is yes: they are all French. Never has a foreign model managed to top the sales charts in France, not even on the podium or in the Top 5…
Enough of the French? I don’t blame you, so you can visit 163 additional countries and territories in my blog, go on, you know you want to!
Back to the French…