October 20, 2011 |
Electric vehicles are giving automakers a boost — in marketing appeal. Although sales haven't exactly been electrifying, the vehicles are helping auto companies draw more shoppers to their showrooms, something that would not have happened without the curiosity over the new autos. "There is such a halo effect," said Oliver Hazimeh, an automotive industry consultant at PwC's PRTM Management Consulting. "These cars appeal to the cool tech-savvy consumer segment. " Just having those vehicles in the showroom can translate into sales of other models, Hazimeh said.
May 6, 2010 |
Remember the "This isn't your father's Oldsmobile" advertising campaign? It was such a flop, General Motors Co. couldn't save the brand. The automaker's history is riddled with dead brands that couldn't attract enough younger buyers to stay alive. Pontiac was once GM's sporty performance division. But the last Pontiac rolled off the assembly line in November. Saturn, the division designed to win over a younger generation of buyers, sputtered and is shutting down this year. So why are GM executives so excited about Buick — the brand most likely to be left behind when mom and dad move to the senior living center?
November 18, 2010
2011 Chevrolet Cruze Base price: $16,995 Price as tested: $18,995 Powertrain: 1.4-liter, turbocharged, DOHC, inline four, four valves per cylinder, double continuously variable cam phase intake and exhaust, sequential multiport fuel injection Horsepower: 138 at 4,900 rpm Torque: 148 pound-feet at 1,850 rpm Curb weight: 3,102 pounds Fuel economy : 24 mpg highway/36 city Final thoughts:...
June 22, 2012 |
Concerns that Chevrolet Cruzes could catch fire has caused General Motors to recall more than 475,000 of the popular compact sedans, the automaker said Friday. The recall includes 413,418 vehicles in the U.S., more than 60,000 cars in Canada and several hundred in Israel. Vehicles from the 2011 and 2012 model years made in GM's Lordstown, Ohio, factory are affected. Fluids, primarily oil being changed, could spill onto the hot engine shield and other surfaces and potentially ignite, GM said.
December 2, 2009 |
Forget the supercars and green machines. At this year's Los Angeles Auto Show, the emphasis is on affordable small cars and minivans. The auto industry, trying to climb out of its worst sales slump in decades, wants the spotlight on vehicles it can sell -- now. Last month's tepid U.S. car sales only underscored the industry's need to focus on getting consumers to buy cars, instead of trying to impress the auto critics. So the big global debut at this year's L.A. show, which begins Friday and runs through Dec. 13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, is a redesigned Toyota minivan.
September 26, 2008 |
General Motors Corp. said it would build a new factory in Flint, Mich., to make four-cylinder engines for the Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car and other models. GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said the new plant would build a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that would extend the range of the Volt, and a turbocharged version that would power the Chevrolet Cruze, a new compact car to be built in Lordstown, Ohio. Production at the new $370-million plant will begin in 2010, and both cars are slated to go on sale in the same year.
May 31, 2012 |
The special “eco” versions of small cars such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and Honda Civic don't improve fuel economy enough to be worth the extra money, according to an analysis by Consumer Reports. The magazine said it could take as long as 38 years for the extra cost to be worthwhile, depending on the vehicle. The cars, which come equipped with special low rolling resistance tires and aerodynamic features, generally cost $500 to $800 more than fuel-efficient siblings that don't carry the “eco” label.
June 20, 2011 |
That spare tire in your trunk may be going the way of the typewriter and transistor radio. Automakers are selling more cars without an extra wheel to trim weight, boost gas mileage and shave a few bucks off their costs. What happens if you get a flat? Some manufacturers equip cars with run-flat tires, while others are putting flat repair kits in the trunk. Both alternatives have drawbacks, and many motorists say the trend is unsettling. "I like the security of having a spare.
August 1, 2012 |
Cars with manual transmissions are making a modest comeback, but with tens of millions of drivers lacking the ability to operate a stick shift, analysts don't expect a big jump. Auto information company Edmunds.com says that vehicles equipped with manual transmissions accounted for 7% of auto sales so far this year. That compares with 3.9% in all of 2011. If the trend holds, the manual transmission share of auto sales will be the highest since 2006. "A combination of factors — from the growing age of vehicle trade-ins bringing more manual drivers back to market, to a greater proportion of smaller cars on the road — is creating a small spike for stick shifts," said Ivan Drury, an Edmunds analyst.
December 9, 2011 |
Toyota Motor Corp.'s recovery is proving tougher than anticipated. Already poised to lose its crown as the world's largest carmaker this year, Toyota cut its profit forecast by more than half after Thailand's worst floods in almost 70 years disrupted output of Camry and Prius vehicles. Thailand's floods exacerbated Japan-based Toyota's struggles with the effects of Japan's earthquake and tsunami in March and the surging yen. The reduced forecasts follow Ford Motor Co. on Thursday declaring its first quarterly dividend since 2006 and precede the likely concession of its three-year reign as the world's biggest carmaker to General Motors Co. "It's acts of God after other acts of God," Jody Lurie, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia, said Friday.