August 3, 2013 |
Electric cars will probably remain a tiny niche of the auto industry until drivers see a serious expansion of charging stations. But you can't just put one on every corner next to the gas station. The cars can take hours to fully charge, which would create a big parking problem, among other issues. Even if consumers bought electric cars in droves tomorrow, the infrastructure to keep them rolling would look much different. Charging starts at home, with a charging station that can cost drivers $500 to $2,000.
July 23, 2013 |
Bentley, builder of some of the world's largest and most expensive luxury cars, is getting into the SUV business. The British automaker, which is owned by Volkswagen Group, confirmed Tuesday that it would build the yet-unnamed vehicle at its facility in Crewe, England. The vehicle will be the fourth in Bentley's lineup and will go on sale in 2016. "Bentley fans all around the world are looking forward to the brand's first SUV," said Martin Winterkorn, head of the Volkswagen Group.
June 15, 2013 |
Once used mostly to move luxury cars, leasing has reached record levels, helped by easing credit restrictions and a move downmarket. Leases on Jaguars and BMWs remain plentiful, but the most-leased cars in America are now the Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata, according to Experian Automotive, an arm of the consumer credit-rating company. Consumers gravitate to leases - essentially long-term car rentals - mostly because they offer lower payments. Last year, the median lease payment was $361, about 20% lower that the median $434 loan payment on a purchase, according to auto information company Edmunds.com.
May 24, 2013 |
The Toyota Prius hybrid was the bestselling vehicle in California during the first quarter of this year, narrowly outpacing Honda's redesigned Accord sedan. Toyota posted sales of 15,661 of the hybrids, leading the Accord's sales of 15,369 cars. The Honda Civic was third with sales of 14,918, according to data compiled for the California New Car Dealer's Assn. by auto research firm R.L. Polk & Co. The Prius wrested the annual California sales crown from the Civic last year. Nationally, Ford's F-series pickup truck is the top-selling vehicle.
May 9, 2013 |
Riding a wave of increased auto sales, a weakening Japanese yen and a fresh lineup of vehicles, Toyota Motor's profits more than tripled during its most recent fiscal year. The Japanese automaker said earnings for the fiscal year ended March 31 rose to $9.7 billion (962.1 billion yen) from $2.8 billion (283.5 billion yen). It was the largest annual profit in five years. Sales were $223 billion (22 trillion yen), up 18.7%. A declining value of the Japanese yen, which makes foreign transactions more profitable, is helping Toyota's fortunes.
April 12, 2013 |
Easing gas prices haven't put a dent in hybrid sales. Through the first quarter of this year, sales of hybrids rose 19% over the same period a year ago, according to Autodata Corp. The data include both conventional hybrid models and plug-ins, such as the Chevrolet Volt, which are rechargeable and can travel on electricity only for some distance before a gas engine kicks in and extends the car's range. The growth came when sales of all types of autos rose a little more than 6% during the same period.