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AUTOS
January 15, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch and David Undercoffler
Of the scores of new models on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we've culled the herd down to five you definitely need to check out. Each represents either an automotive breakthrough or a big improvement over the previous generation of the same car. We also popped in one model that is a miss. It will be a competent car but it failed to live up to our expectations. Here are our choices: Ford F-150 Forget Tesla's niche luxury electric sedan, Ford's new F-150 pickup truck is simply the most important vehicle to come along in at least a decade.
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AUTOS
January 13, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch, This post has been updated as indicated below.
While designing the next-generation F-150 truck, Ford Motor Co. secretly substituted the steel body on some of its current pickups with an aluminum shell and delivered them to business customers. The automaker was looking to test how lightweight aluminum alloys would hold up on the job, at a gold mine, an energy utility and a construction firm. So it lent out the trucks in a test program - without telling the companies what was being tested. What Ford learned from 300,000 total miles convinced the world's biggest seller of full-size pickups to make wholesale changes to the F-Series.
AUTOS
January 13, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
On the day Ford launched its new-generation aluminum body F-150 pickup truck, arch-rival Chevrolet won the 2014 North American truck of the year award with its new Silverado at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It was a full sweep for the flagship division of General Motors.  The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray won North American car of the year.  This was the first time Chevrolet has won both awards in the same year. The Silverado was last named truck of the year in 2007 and the Corvette was last named car of the year in 1998.
AUTOS
January 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Continuing to diversify its truck portfolio, General Motors on Sunday showed off the second of its smaller trucks, the GMC Canyon, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. GM is convinced that America's love affair with pickup trucks is enduring. But consumers also want smaller vehicles that provide the same utility with less fuel. “They are looking for something that is easier to live with, to park and maybe at a lower purchase price,” said Roger McCormack, director of Buick/GMC marketing for GM. DETROIT AUTO SHOW: Big trucks, fast cars and more GM is targeting the truck directly at the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- The driver of a stolen truck trying to evade arrest was shot by a San Diego police officer and a Border Patrol agent after ramming three vehicles with the truck, police said. The driver suffered a gunshot wound to his leg and was taken to a local hospital. The officer and agent were not hurt. The shooting, which occurred Thursday night, shut down traffic at the border for hours. The incident began about 6:30 p.m. when police were alerted about a stolen 2007 Chevy pickup heading south on Interstate 15. The driver, at speeds approaching 100 mph, tried to outrun police, driving on I-15, several surface streets, and then Interstate 5, police said.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2014 | By Shan Li
Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens thinks his long bet on natural gas is finally paying off. The legendary oilman has long declared it his mission to wean America off its addiction to foreign oil. He co-founded an Orange County company that builds natural gas stations around the country and sank billions into wind turbines. Pickens' gambles have not always paid off. He lost an estimated $150 million of his personal fortune in wind farming, and admits that he was a couple of decades early into natural gas. But he thinks the time has come for natural gas to shake up the energy industry.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 2013 | By Jeremiah Dobruck
An Orange County Superior Court judge this month refused to hold Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger in contempt of court for revealing evidence that someone put him under surveillance, court records show. On Dec. 13, Judge David Hoffer denied the contempt motion by the Costa Mesa Police Officers' Assn. asserting that Mensinger and his attorneys violated a court order by publicizing confidential allegations that a GPS tracking device had been placed on Mensinger's truck during the 2012 election season.
WORLD
December 27, 2013 | By David Zucchino
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Faced with an epidemic of deadly roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. military officials ordered up a fleet of V-hulled 16-ton armored behemoths in 2007 to help protect American soldiers and Marines. At a cost of $1 million each, the ugly tan beasts known as MRAPS have saved countless lives and absorbed or deflected thousands of insurgent bomb blasts in teeming cities, desert flats and rutted mountain roadways. The lumbering vehicles are so beloved that soldiers have scrawled notes of thanks on their armor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 24, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
Guillermina Villa is famous for the seafood she prepares at El Pescadito Tacos y Mariscos, a lunch truck that has been serving customers for more than 25 years near the intersection of Compton Avenue and 62nd Street in South L.A.'s Florence-Firestone neighborhood. Customers who grew up in the largely industrial area travel great distances - from as far as North Hollywood, Rancho Cucamonga and Oxnard - to treat themselves to favorites like shrimp tacos and empanadas. But these days a new sign on Villa's truck advertises a smattering of new menu items such as quesadillas made with whole wheat tortillas and ceviche served with a side of plain yogurt and fruit.
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