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Archives for the Category: More Car News

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.

Read the full article here.

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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.

Careful When Working on your Car

Every once in a while it is good to take a fresh look at safety when working on your car at home. A 20-year-old man was tragically crushed to death beneath the weight of a car he was working on in the city’s west end.

The man was in the garage of his family’s home on Princess Margaret Blvd., near Kipling and Eglinton Ave., when the vehicle crashed down on him just after 6 p.m. Tuesday, Toronto Police say.

“The car was up on a hoist and he was under the engine doing some work,” Const. Tony Vella said Wednesday.

The hoist apparently let go, dropping the Honda on top of the young man.

But Vella said it was not immediately clear what caused the car to fall.

A family member is believed to have called 911 for help.

Making matters worse, the ambulance that was dispatched was involved in a head-on crash before near Royal York Rd. and Eglinton Ave. W. while en route to the scene.

The two paramedics and the lone occupant of the other car were treated for minor injuries.

A second ambulance transported the mortally wounded man to the trauma centre at Sunnybrook hospital.

Vella said the victim was pronounced dead at the hospital,

The dead man’s family comforted each other at their home Wednesday, but were too grief-stricken to talk about their loss.  What a terrible, unnecessary accident!

Not Many of these in the Junk Yard – Porsche

Porsche has sold a Cayenne diesel in Europe since early 2009 and it may be coming to Canada, too. “We are definitely thinking about diesels,” says Porsche Canada spokesman Laurance Yap in an e-mail. “Canada would love to have the Cayenne diesel (it could probably add a couple hundred units quite easily), but U.S. would have to take it. Sounds like they want it now, too.”

Yap says Porsche Canada is likely to have a diesel Cayenne “in about two years.” A diesel version of the Panamera sedan is also a very strong possibility. Last year, the company introduced a Cayenne gasoline-electric hybrid in Europe and North America.

Yap says Porsche is still studying the viability of the Panamera diesel. But he notes that Mercedes-Benz and Audi both plan to offer diesel versions of their biggest sedans – the S-Class and the A8, respectively. A diesel Panamera, says Yap, “would be a small volume car if it came, but if the States takes it, we will too (in Canada).”  Porsche sold a record 2,036 vehicles in Canada. The Panamera has much to do with that success. Indeed, Porsche’s model mix is changing and will continue to evolve. The Panamera, a fourth Porsche model launched at the end of 2009, accounted for 23 per cent of Porsche’s total sales in 2010. Cayenne SUV sales accounted for 40 per cent. Sports car? Barely a third of Porsche sales (37 per cent) were 911 and Boxster/Cayman sports cars.

Porsche is clearly no longer a sports car company. With that in mind, it seems diesel SUVs and luxury saloons are surely in the pipeline for Canadians and Americans. I just can’t get used to an SUV Porche myself.