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November 2, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
This week's East Coast storm destroyed tens of thousands of vehicles - an unfortunate fate for car owners but one that may give automakers a sales boost in the coming months. For those who returned to their storm-damaged neighborhoods to find their cars flooded out or buried, General Motors Co. and the Nissan and Infiniti brands are offering special incentives and discounts on new vehicles. GM, for example, is offering $500 toward a purchase or lease, on top of existing incentives, to people living in a federally designated disaster area.
November 16, 2010 | Michael Hiltzik
If you regard the annual L.A. Auto Show that opens to the public Friday as a key signpost of where the auto industry is heading ? and why not? ? then the declaration by its organizers that the event marks "the official arrival of the electric car era" raises the following question. Isn't this the same industry that told us a few years ago that there was no market for electric cars? I know: Times change. But the apparent enthusiasm with which the automakers are jumping into a technology that they once suggested might not be ready for prime time within our lifetimes should be scoured for hidden lessons.
March 31, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Toyota Motor Corp. is raising prices on six models starting with vehicles produced in May. Depending on the model, the increase of $90 to $250 represents a hike of 0.3% to 1.5%. The models receiving price increases include the 2012 Toyota Prius v, Camry and Camry Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, Tacoma pickup truck and the 2013 Scion tC. They are all fuel-efficient vehicles, which so far this year have been the hottest segment of the U.S. auto market, a reflection of how higher gas prices have shifted consumer preferences.
February 17, 2012 | Ian Duncan
The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to employ technology against technology in its campaign against distracted driving. Cars should be designed to refuse to send text, tweets or Facebook messages while they are moving, according to draft regulations. Other tasks, such as pulling up a saved address in a GPS system, would be allowed. But they should be performed in two-second glances away from the road and with fewer than seven button pushes, according to the draft rules. The proposed DOT regulations are voluntary recommendations for automobile manufacturers.
January 11, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda said Monday that the Japanese automaker needed to add more excitement to the styling of its vehicles. Speaking to reporters at the North American International Auto Show ? his first visit to an American auto show ? Toyoda said, "I think cars need to be better looking. We are going to come up with better-looking, nicer cars. " One way Toyota plans to improve the design of its vehicles is by giving more authority to its design studios in the locations where the vehicles will be sold and produced, he said.
April 27, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Although the technology is just in its infancy, 1 in 5 drivers expresses interest in cars that drive themselves, reports research firm J.D. Power and Associates. Tech giant Google Inc., Caltech and other organizations have been working to develop such "autonomous" vehicles, which use radar, video cameras and lasers to navigate roads and stay safe in traffic without human assistance. Google has said that computer-controlled cars should eventually drive more safely than humans, who, after all, get sleepy and distracted and can't see in every direction at once.
January 31, 1988
It would also help if Americans would "Buy American"--those items which are still made here. Just for starters, American autos are getting better and better. W. SPANGENBERG Hawthorne
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