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Archives for the Category: More Car News

Brands that Dominate North American Car and Truck of the Year Short List

It may not come as a surprise that the these four popular car brands – VW, Ford, GM and Toyota – are dominating the North American Car and Truck of the Year short list.

Volkswagen Group of America has four vehicles in the running for North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.

The 10 cars and 12 trucks on the 57-member jury’s short list also include three each from Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. The list of nominees will be reduced to three cars and three trucks in December, with a winner from each category revealed in January at the Detroit auto show.

No vehicles from the BMW, Cadillac or Kia brands made the short list, despite having multiple eligible nameplates. The awards recognize the best vehicles that are “new or substantially changed” in the past year, according to the program’s website.

GM swept the 2014 awards with the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Silverado. GM also won the 2013 car of the year award, for the Cadillac ATS, but it has no cars on this year’s short list.

Ford last won in 2011 when the Explorer received the truck of the year award. The redesign of Ford’s most important vehicle, the F-150 pickup, to use an aluminum body makes it a favorite to win truck of the year. The F-150 won each of the last three times it was redesigned — 2009, 2004 and 1996. But among its competitors this year are GM’s two new small pickups, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.

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The New and Improved McLaren

McLaren is a internationally known name for any who enjoys fast cars and modern design.  McLaren, Ferrari and Porsche have all come out with their hybrid-powered hypercars, vehicles that boast the bleeding edge of what is possible with today’s road-car technology. The next step, at least in the case of McLaren and Ferrari, is to push that bleeding edge just a hair further, with even faster, more focused versions of the P1 and LaFerrari. At the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, McLaren will be the first to give us a glimpse of that boundary-pushing machine.

The British automaker has announced that the P1 GTR Design Concept will make its global debut smack dab in the middle of Monterey’s legendary car week, with the veil lifting on Friday, August 15 at 6:00 PM EST.

McLaren doesn’t go into many specifics here, simply calling the P1 GTR a track-focused variant of the P1, which we kind of already knew. Based on what we can see from the lone teaser sketch, the new model will have a much more dramatic aerodynamic presence than the street model, with a massive rear wing and a huge rear diffuser. Sandwiched between those two items are a pair of exhaust tips that wouldn’t look out of place on the deck of your average battleship. Carbon fiber should feature prominently, with a few exposed sections of the stuff visible in the teaser image.  Although the concept car is yet to be released, I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us.

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Plainer Looks, Further Mileage: The New Nissan Leaf

The next Nissan Leaf electric car won’t look a little more mainstream, and it will go farther.

Nissan officials opened up recently about how they want to proceed with the next generation of what became a breakthrough modern, mainstream electric car.

Most important will be range. Nissan wants to double it from the current Environmental Protection Agency rating of 84 miles per charge, the News says. That improvement, based on new battery chemistry that Nissan thinks it has in the wings, would dramatically improve the car’s practicality. The improved battery should be ready in 2017.

“The battery chemistry is all about range and energy density. That’s where you see the technology moving very, very fast,” Nissan’s Andy Palmer is quoted as saying last month at the Beijing auto show. “This really is the game-changing technology.”

Then there are its looks. Leaf was designed to look distinctive, much the way Toyota scored by giving the Prius hybrid its own look so that customers can proclaim their environmental consciousness every thing they drive. For the next generation, however, the car will be made to fit more into mainstream of styling out on the streets.

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Linamar Reports Higher Q1 Earnings

Linamar Corp. (TSX:LNR) said Wednesday it earned $48.4 million in its first quarter, up from $38.4 million a year ago, helped by improved margins.

The auto parts maker said the profit amounted to 75 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31, up from 61 cents per share a year ago.

Sales were $846.6 million, up from $839.8 million.

Linamar chief executive Linda Hasenfratz said the results were a new record for the company.

Read the full story here.

Learn About the RIDE Program

Great little article with all the details you need to know about the RIDE program.

Telltale Signs: Toronto RIDE program officers have identified a number of behaviours that give away an impaired driver. Among them: weaving, gum-chewing, driving with open windows in cold weather, failing to turn on headlights, evasive responses to questions, leaning away from the window when questioned, and rolling down the rear window instead of the front when questioned by police.

Read the full story here.

International Auto Recycling Events Scheduled

Professional associations are a great way to network with others in your industry and to talk shop with people who share your passion. Both national and provincial recycler associations hold various meetings for their members around the country. Below are the currently scheduled conventions and meetings for the coming year. A few of the highlights from the 2013 meeting slate include AARDA’s 25th Anniversary Convention this June in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, and the joint OARA – ARA meeting, bringing together Ontario and U.S. recyclers this October in Niagara Falls, New York. The International Roundtable on Auto Recycling returns to North America in 2013, taking place in November immediately following the ARA Convention & Trade Show in Phoenix, Arizona.

Read the full article here.

Is the Car Disappearing?

Baby boomers did everything and went everywhere in cars. Not so the Gen X and Gen Y crowds. They would rather spend their time on Facebook than fight the freeway traffic to see a buddy. They’d prefer to unleash their meager incomes on iPhones, Lululemon and Starbucks than on car parking, maintenance and insurance. In some parts of North America, auto insurance for 18-year-old males costs about the same as a year of community college tuition.

Read the full article here.

The Facts on Electric Cars Exploding

Supporters of electric vehicles are getting charged up in their defense of battery-powered cars, citing the pros of plug-ins and attacking critics for ignoring, misrepresenting or misunderstanding the facts.

General Motors, for instance, is now saying Chevrolet Volt owners collectively have “saved a supertanker of gasoline since the electric car with extended range went on sale.” Volt owners have gone 40 million miles on electricity and avoided using more than 2.1 million gallons of gasoline, says GM in a new release.

“No electric vehicle has ever caught fire, and yet the political right is constantly talking about the flammability, overheating, fire hazards and so forth,” an exasperated Lutz is reported have said. “Folks,” said the former Marine Corp. pilot and noted global warning skeptic, “it’s a pure fiction. Get it out of your heads.”

Lutz himself is no friend of left-wingers and liberals on most issues, but when it comes to EVs he’s almost in bed with the Ralph Naders of the world. For more on his views, have a look at his recent column in Forbes entitled “I Give Up On Correcting The Wrong-Headed Right Over The Volt.”

It’s hard to imagine Lutz penning something with “Wrong-Headed Right” in the headline, but such is the juiced atmosphere in the EV debate.

Read the full article here.

Is Selling Your Old Car Worth It

Brendan Mcaleer has a great article over at the North Shore News.  It touches on some good points when it comes to getting rid of your old car, especially if it is a “1991 Ford Tempo with 300,000 kilometres”.

WE’VE all been through it.

You drag the old clunkbucket into the dealership, only to find that the trade-in value isn’t even a fistful of magic beans. The used car Manager takes one look at your creaking, leaking, sagging hulk and smiles apologetically, “It’s only worth a couple hundred bucks.”

Gadzooks! The thieving scoundrels! Thar’s gold in them thar rusty, faded-paint hills. Why, this car’s been to Hell and back, and never issued a complaint, nor broken down, nor ever needed its oil changed. Er, wait, nobody heard that last part, right?

Well, maybe your car’s not quite that bad, but when you measure the gap between retail and wholesale, it’s always around or above the $2,000 mark, meaning the theoretical tax-savings don’t begin to make financial sense until you’re getting at least $15,000 as a trade-in value. Should your car be worth less than ten thousand bucks as a trade, you’re better off selling it yourself, as long as you have the time and patience. Lots of patience.

Read the full article here.

Big Ford Truck Recall

Ford is recalling up to 1.22 million older pickup trucks due to a problem which could cause fuel leaks and a risk of fire, the company and US car-safety regulators announced on Monday.

“Prolonged exposure to road deicing chemicals may cause severe corrosion of the fuel tank straps which secure the tank to the vehicle,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a recall notice.

That could lead to the tank breaking off and hitting the ground, possibly sparking a fire, the NHTSA said.

As many as 1.1 million vehicles in the United States were affected by the recall, including F-150 and F-250 pickup trucks made from 1997 to 2004 and Lincoln Blackwood luxury pickups made from 2002 to 2003, it said.

An additional 120,000 trucks in Canada would be affected by the recall, Ford said. The overwhelming majority of trucks affected by the recall were in the United States and Canada, a Ford spokesman said.

US owners of the affected trucks were eligible to receive free repairs starting on September 12, the NHTSA said.