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.
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 8, 2013 |
The Honda Civic was the only small car to earn the top rating in an insurance industry test that seeks to measure damage and injuries from a crash into an immovable object such as a post or a tree. The two- and four-door models of the Civic received a “good” rating in the important new test, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an industry group. The Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and 2014 model Scion tC earned “acceptable” ratings. Six other popular models earned “marginal” or “poor” ratings, including the Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet Cruze, Volkswagen Beetle, Nissan Sentra, Kia Soul and Kia Forte.
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.
February 5, 2013 |
While electric vehicles continue to grab the green-car spotlight, an older technology has quietly emerged as a player in the fuel economy wars: turbocharging. Once the province of performance cars, turbochargers now power economy cars, family sedans and even full-sized trucks. Turbos now account for an estimated 13% of U.S. auto sales, according to Honeywell International Inc., a leading turbo supplier. That's double what it was in 2010. The increase is driven by ever-stricter federal fuel economy standards.
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.
December 2, 2009
L.A. Auto Show THE DETAILS When: Friday, Dec. 4 to Sunday, Dec. 13 Where: Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St. Hours: Weekdays: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sundays: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission: Adults $12, children 12 and under free; senior citizens $8 on weekdays; discount coupons available on the show's website (www.laautoshow .com) and at participating new car dealers.
August 6, 2013 |
In an effort to juice up tepid sales of its 2014 Chevrolet Volt, General Motors Co. will slash the sticker price by $5,000, to $34,995, including shipping. The price cut makes the plug-in hybrid Volt more competitive with other rechargeable cars, including rival plug-in hybrids such as the Toyota Prius and all-electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf. Most of the big car companies have reduced the prices of their rechargeable vehicles this year because consumers have been slow to adopt the technology.