Kamis, 28 April 2011

GM likely to regain top dog status given Toyota

GM was the leading automaker in the world in terms of sales volume from 1932 to 2008.
Toyota was able to surpass GM when the Detroit automaker hit the skids back in 2008/2009 and had to file for bankruptcy.
But now, the Japanese automaker is plagued by production problems in Japan due to the earthquake/tsunami disaster that struck the country in March. The disaster has crippled automobile production in that country, hitting suppliers and disrupting the supply chain.
Toyota simply will not be able to build enough cars to retain the global number one spot Toyota sales have also been affected by a string of recalls over the last couple of years that have hurt the brand's image of quality and reliability. Toyota has had to recall a total of 14 million vehicles over that period.
And GM has enjoyed its own success. It emerged from bankruptcy very quickly and last year came within 30,000 units of Toyota. In 2010, Toyota sold 8.42 million vehicles while GM sold 8.39 million.

Selasa, 29 Maret 2011

Lincoln MKS EcoBoost

Lincoln MKS EcoBoost When the young parking attendant turned the car over to me, he said, “Boy, this Lincoln is a BIG car!” That provided a bit of a chuckle. Sure it’s a rather large vehicle by modern standards, but for those who grew up with the land yachts of the Lincoln brand’s past, it seems like a svelte speedboat.

A 1963 Lincoln had yards of slab sided steel reaching 213-inches from front to back, weighed in at two-and-a-half tons, and rode on a pillowy soft 123-inch wheelbase. One could move the steering wheel 10 degrees on either side of dead center with barely a move of the front wheels. Making a right turn at anything above parade speed would send one’s girlfriend sliding across the bench leather seat and right into the driver’s outstretched right arm – a feature not listed in the sales brochure, but often a valuable benefit to the driver nonetheless.Lincoln MKS EcoBoost But at the time, when no self respecting investment banker, captain of industry, or Mafia Don would be caught dead in a Mercedes Benz or BMW, it was the height of conspicuous luxury consumption.

Selasa, 19 Oktober 2010

Hyundai Equus Gets Priced

Hyundai Equus Gets Priced At $58,000

If the Hyundai Equus doesn’t wake you up to the fact that something has drastically changed at Hyundai, we don’t know what will. The brand has quickly gone from an also-ran to a product leader in the marketplace .

Hyundai has consistently pushed the envelope at a breakneck pace with its rear-wheel drive Genesis sedan and Coupe models. The best example yet of how far Hyundai has progressed comes in the form of the Equus – and its price tag. Hyundai Equus Gets Priced At $58,000

$58,000 – yes you read that right….$58,000 for a Hyundai. 5 or 10 years ago that would have been unthinkable. However, today it is a different story.

The Equus differentiates itself from failed attempts at the luxury segment such as Volkswagen’s Phaeton by its value proposition. While the Phaeton was priced similarly to established competitors, the Equus undercuts them significantly.

Second, development cost and need to recoup investment is much less – the Equus business case made sense selling exclusively in its home market of South Korea. In the United States, selling the $58,000 Equus improves Hyundai’s image and makes selling $20-30K Sonatas all that much easier.

To make things simple, there is two models available: the $58,000 Equus Signature and the $64,500 Equus Ultimate. The Equus Ultimate is primarily concerned with an added luxury experience for the rear passengers.

Ultimate has a luxurious four-passenger configuration with 50/50 split rear seats, passenger-side rear seat leg support and massage system, cooled rear seats and a rear-seat entertainment system with eight-inch monitor.

It doesn’t end there though, there is also a thermoelectric rear center console refrigerator, rear-seat power up/down head restraints with manual tilt, rear-seat, illuminated vanity mirrors, forward-view cornering camera and power trunk lid. What a list!

One of the attractive things about the Equus is the amazing level of service Hyundai has put in place for buyers. The car has maintenance covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles and that includes things such as complimentary oil and filter changes, brake pads and rotors, wiper blades, and car battery.

There is also valet pickup and drop-off of the vehicle at your home for any servicing, with a Genesis or Equus loaner vehicle provided while the car is at the dealership. How is that for pampered luxury service?

Competitors will have to step up their game now, as they aren’t offering that level of service. That could end up being a big selling point for the Equus, as that isn’t expected at the $58,000 level.

Now the question is sales figures – will American luxury buyers respond to a $58,000 Hyundai?

Minggu, 26 September 2010

9 out of 10 say phoning while driving should be illegal

Distracted driver on phone, applying mascara

We all know that driving while talking on the cell phone is a distraction. Even if you say you're a good driver with superior multi-tasking skills, blabbing on a phone while piloting a two-ton automobile is a quick way to show that you are in fact not smarter than a fifth grader. Don't let Jeff Foxworthy and his band of miscreants shame you, though... nearly all of us have done it in a moment of weakness. A recent survey of 1,000 motorists found that 90 percent believe that talking on the phone while driving should be illegal. The flip side is that 51 percent of that same data set admit they have used their phone while out on the road.

The survey, sponsored by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, highlights an interesting paradox in our thinking – the "it won't happen to me" notion. A majority of us agree that doing something is dangerous yet we do it anyway, even when we think it should be illegal. We believe we're somehow better than the folks who get in the distracted-driving car accidents but we're exhibiting similar behavior. We eat food, send texts, read our Kindles, call mom and check e-mail while we should be paying more attention to the road. It's not just about making sure your vehicle is heading where it's supposed to go but to also maintain awareness of what's happening around you – and that's extremely difficult to do when typing out "LOL, OMG-guy nxt 2 me drvng CRZY!!11!"

Check out the official press release after the jump for more details on the survey.

Selasa, 20 Juli 2010

BMW 550i, an AW Drivers Log

I laughed out loud when I saw the price of this thing. It's a nice car, though. It's solid, fast, really well built, good-looking and it checks all the midsize-sedan boxes.

The interior works really well with an iDrive knob, which looks straight out of the 7-series.

Until you get the tach up over 3,500 rpm, it doesn't really feel like 400 hp under the hood. To really hustle the car, you have to work the eight-speed gearbox manually, but it's a smooth shifter so that's not exactly a hardship. The car is heavy but drives like a much smaller, lighter car. The steering is precise, and the adjustable suspension (comfort, normal, sport, sport plus) worked best in normal, in my opinion.

The 535i starts at $50k, which is a sticker that's much easier to swallow.

2011 BMW 550i Sedan

Base Price: $60,575

As-Tested Price: $75,100

Drivetrain: 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8; RWD, eight-speed automatic

Output: 400 hp @ 5,500-6,400 rpm, 450 lb-ft @ 1,750-4,500 rpm

Curb Weight: 4,376 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 20/17.7 mpg

Options: Dynamic handling package including adaptive driver with active roll stabilization, dynamic damping ($2,700); premium package 2 with rearview camera, rear sunshades, heated front seats, iPod and USB adapter, satellite radio with one-year subscription, premium hi-fi system ($2,400); sport package with 19-inch alloy wheels, sports leather steering wheel, multicontour seats ($2,200); driver assistance package with automatic high beams, lane-departure warning, active blind-spot detection, parking assistant ($1,750); convenience package with comfort access keyless entry ($1,700); head-up display ($1,300); cold-weather package with heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, retractable headlight washers ($1,050); side- and top-view cameras ($800); split fold-down rear seat ($475); smartphone integration ($150)

Rabu, 02 Juni 2010

NHTSA claims Toyota unintended acceleration may have claimed

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now estimating that 89 deaths may be attributable to unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles here in the United States between the year 2000 and May of 2009. Previously, it was reported that 52 deaths were possibly related to the throttle defect.

This figure has been extrapolated from NHTSA's database of the roughly 6,200 complaints it has received over that same time period. In addition to the 89 deaths, 57 injuries have also been tallied. Toyota reminds us that these figures are estimates, saying in a statement:
Many complaints in the NHTSA database, for any manufacturer, lack sufficient detail that could help identify the cause of an accident. We will continue to work in close partnership with law enforcement agencies and federal regulators with jurisdiction over accident scenes whenever requested.
According to Toyota, some 1.67 million sticky accelerator pedals and 1.62 million floor mats have so far been fixed under recall, with roughly 120,000 being performed per week on average.

Senin, 12 April 2010

New Renault Wind Coupe-Roadster

Renault's UK division has released pricing and specification details for its Wind CoupĂ©-Roadster. Customer ordering for the Wind, which is offered with the choice of two engines, a 133HP 1.6-liter or a 100HP 1.2-liter turbo, opens in May for first deliveries in July with prices ranging from £15,500 to £18,200.

In addition, the new two-seater model will be available to pre-order later in April in an exclusive, range-topping "Collection" limited edition guise, of which only 200 examples will make their way to Britain.

The standard range is offered in two trim levels. The base Dynamique comes equipped with ABS with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), front and lateral driver and passenger airbags, brake assist, ESC, immobiliser and electric retracting hard top roof as standard

Moving up to the Dynamique S adds 2x35W radio CD MP3 reader with fingertip remote control, 17-inch alloys, auto lights and wipers, alarm system, Bluetooth connectivity and multi-functional TunePoint (USB connection).

Finally, the limited edition Collection includes several more standard goodies such as electrically adjustable and heated chrome effect door mirrors, carbon black leather-faced heated seats, gloss black retractable roof, red and chrome dash inserts, leather sport wheel and gearknob, aluminium pedals, subtle 'Collection' side and boot badges, plus double chrome roof cover cowls.

Full pricing for Wind Coupé-Roadster is outlined below. Insurance groups have yet to be finalised, but are expected to be competitive.



OTR Price


1.2 TCe 100


1.6 VVT 133


Dynamique S

1.2 TCe 100


1.6 VVT 133


Collection limited edition

1.2 TCe 100


1.6 VVT 133


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