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October 6, 2010 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Federal safety officials unveiled a more comprehensive crash rating system for vehicles that for the first time evaluates how women fare in accidents by using female crash dummies and takes into account side pole crashes and crash-prevention technology such as electronic stability control. The Transportation Department and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it would now issue an "overall vehicle score" that combines the results of a frontal crash test, side crash tests and rollover resistance tests.
November 20, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
Whenever the Los Angeles Auto Show comes to town, there are a wide range of autos that make it to the showroom floor. Some are stunning. Some are innovative.  Some are flat-out bizarre. To many that are here getting a preview of the show, the blue monstrosity dubbed the Youabian Puma can be filed under the bizarre category. LIVE: The latest photos, facts from LA Auto Show The Hummer-size convertible with sweeping curves and  monster truck tires is right by the entrance.
October 2, 2010 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
The auto industry continued along its road to recovery from its worst year in nearly three decades as General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group reported selling more vehicles in September than a year earlier. GM, the nation's largest automaker, saw its new vehicle sales in the U.S. increase 12% to 173,031. Ford saw its sales jump 46% to 160,375, and Chrysler sold 100,077 vehicles, up 61%. The rise was expected because auto sales fell sharply in September 2009 with the end of the popular "cash for clunkers" program that had driven up sales in the prior months.
July 27, 2011 | By Salvador Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Although the reliability of new and redesigned automobiles fell, consumers generally found them more appealing, according to an annual survey. New launches and revamped models paid off for carmakers across the board as they appealed more to consumers than carryover vehicles, the 2011 JD Power & Associates Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout study found. While kinks in the new launches hurt reliability ratings — many got lower scores in last month's JD Power reliability study — the fresh looks of and new technologies in those same models were found to be highly appealing to consumers.
November 12, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Auto Show is the first major North American auto show of the new model year. It is known for automakers introducing hybrid, fuel-efficient and electric vehicles that grab the attention of California's eco-conscious drivers. It's also the place for big, splashy debuts of sports cars, the kind of vehicles that people fantasize driving on Pacific Coast Highway. This year's show, which opens to the public Friday, will have plenty of both. Audi plans the American debut of its S line of sports coupes.
July 27, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
In an example of how prices for new and used cars have soared this year, the nation's largest chain of auto dealerships posted a huge gain in profit even though the number of cars it sold rose only slightly. AutoNation Inc., which operates 254 new vehicle franchises in 15 states, said net income rose 52% to $71.9 million in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 8% to $3.3 billion. The price spike is a result of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March, which upended auto production internationally by slashing the supply of auto parts needed to manufacture cars and shuttering factories.
September 24, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Despite the European debt crisis, the lack of job growth in the U.S. and other generally depressing economic news, auto sales continue to tick along. The retail sales rate for new vehicles in the U.S. this month looks "much stronger than in August," according to J.D. Power & Associates, which gathers sales data from about 8,900 dealers. That's about half of all the dealers selling cars nationally. "Coming off a solid Labor Day sale, retail sales exhibited unexpected strength in the second week of September, as the recovering inventory levels have helped to bring buyers back into the market," said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power.
June 23, 2011 | By Salvador Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Touch screens and voice commands didn't go over too well with new-car buyers. A key auto quality study found that new or redesigned 2011 models were less reliable than the previous year's line, much of it because of new high-tech navigation systems that didn't work properly. Domestic nameplates, which have been pushing the new technologies, were hurt the most, allowing imports to regain their lead in reliability after losing that distinction for the first time last year, according to the J.D. Power & Associates annual U.S. Initial Quality Study.
September 2, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
After being buffeted by wild stock market gyrations, unsettling economic news and Hurricane Irene, automakers are looking for some relief this Labor Day weekend — and that could mean good deals for consumers. The industry believes sales will quicken in September, bolstered by growing inventories of cars that were in short supply for much of the summer, bigger discounts and an economy that looks less likely to fall back into recession. "Marketing and incentive focus has already shifted to September with the upcoming Labor Day weekend, so with improved inventory, the sales pace could show marked improvement," said Jeff Schuster, an analyst with J.D. Power and Associates.
July 29, 2011 | By Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times
Set against the stalemate of the debt-ceiling debate, President Obama on Friday hailed agreement on an ambitious increase in auto fuel-economy standards as evidence that compromise and progress are still possible. The agreement, which Obama called "the single-most important step we've ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil," was hammered out in weeks of negotiations involving automakers, environmentalists, unions, White House officials and the state of California.
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