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Teens Improving Some Areas of Distracted Driving, Studies Reveal

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

by on Apr.18, 2018

Teen drivers are still texting and driving at alarming rates, but those rates are coming down slightly.

If there is a “symbol” for distracted driving, it’s the texting-while-driving teenager barreling down the road. While crashes remain the single largest cause of death for teens, things are improving in some areas.

A recent American Automobile Association poll revealed that 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, while 35% of those polled admitted to still committing the act. That’s an improvement in terms of cutting down on that behavior.

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. Distracted driving is the cause of a quarter of all crashes, but that number jumps to 58% when teenagers are involved. It takes only three seconds for a driver’s attention to be diverted for a crash to occur – an issue that is exacerbated in teens who don’t have years of driving experience. (more…)

Toyota Continues to Count on Cars

Last year's Camry gets support from new Avalon, Corolla hatchback.

by on Apr.18, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Avalon is the latest sign that the future is bright for cars at Toyota.

Unlike some of its major rivals, Toyota isn’t ready to give up on the passenger car market. If anything they are getting new models ready that are expected to build on the company strong position in car side of the business, Toyota officials said this week as they showed off two new models during a press preview in Southern California this week.

“We’re still very, very bullish on the passenger cars,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president of marketing for the Toyota Division during the preview, which highlighted the 2019 Toyota Avalon and 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. The Avalon goes on sales later this spring and the Corolla hatchback will appear later this year.

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Last week, General Motors announced it was takings its big passenger-car plant in Lordstown, Ohio, down to one shift at the end of June because of the falling demand for compact cars. (more…)

Gas Prices on the Rise as Temps Do the Same

Summer driving season a month away, but prices on the move.

by on Apr.18, 2018

Gas prices continue to rise as the summer driving season creeps ever closer.

Gasoline continues to get more expensive across the U.S. even though the beginning of the summer driving season is still more than a month away, according to the survey of prices at the pump by AAA.

With the price of gasoline averaging $2.71 per gallon, prices are at their highest point in nearly three years. On the week, the national average increased a nickel.

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“Expensive crude oil prices, unrest in the Middle East, strong domestic demand, record production rates and global oil supply surplus have created the perfect storm to drive spring gas prices toward new heights,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.  (more…)

Model 3 Production Halt Raises New Worries About Tesla

Automaker wants to “improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks.”

by on Apr.17, 2018

Tesla is shutting down its plant temporarily to resolve production problems that have delayed Model 3 production.

Tesla is temporarily idling its troubled Fremont, California assembly plant for as long as five days, the automaker has confirmed, in order to “improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks.”

The factory, originally built by General Motors, is Tesla’s only automotive manufacturing facility and currently produces the company’s three battery-electric vehicles, the Models S, X and 3. The latter EV is Tesla’s first “affordable,” long-range vehicle and is meant to push the company into the mainstream – and its balance sheet into the black.

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But the factory has been in what CEO Elon Musk calls “production hell” since the first Model 3 rolled off the line last July, running up unexpected deficits and leading some to question the company’s very survival. (more…)

Geely’s Li Shufu Says Partnerships Key to Auto Success

Team up or get swallowed up.

by on Apr.17, 2018

Geely Chairman Li Khufu purchased 9.7% of Daimler AG for $9.2 billion.

Geely owner Li Shufu urged Daimler AG, in which he recently became one of the largest shareholders, to consider further strategic partnerships.

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Li Shufu, who is also the owner of Volvo, recently became a major shareholder of Daimler after acquiring a 9.69 % stake in the Stuttgart-based company. (more…)

Summer Driving Season Calls for Automotive Check Up

AAA recommends a BET on your vehicle.

by on Apr.17, 2018

AAA suggests getting your vehicle looked at before taking any summer trips.

The summer driving season is getting closer, although a look out one’s window may contradict that statement, and that means more driving and, more than likely, some sort of long-distance family trip.

While most folks start preparing for the inevitable rise in gas prices that will add costs to a trip, AAA warns that the majority of travelers should expect some sort of car trouble or breakdown while traveling the U.S.

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A new analysis of AAA roadside data shows that vehicles 10 years and older are twice as likely to end up stranded on the side of the road compared to newer vehicles and on top of that, the odds of needing a tow quadruples. (more…)

Mustang: World’s Best-Selling Sports Car for Third Year in a Row

Exports to Asia and Europe pushing pony car to the top.

by on Apr.17, 2018

The Ford Mustang is the world's best-selling sports car three years running.

When the Ford Mustang turned 50, the automaker decided it was time to see just how popular the pony car was, and it began selling one of America’s first muscle cars globally.

Turned out to be a fine idea.

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Now that the Mustang is about to turn the big Five-Four, it is also celebrating its third consecutive year as the best-selling sports car in the world, according to IHS Markit. Global Mustang registrations in 2017 totaled 125,809 cars, according to Ford. (more…)

Toyota, Lexus Adding V2X Tech to Vehicles Starting 2021

Brands hope to accelerate development of technology.

by on Apr.16, 2018

Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America, said the company plans to equip Toyota and Lexus vehicles with V2X tech in 2021.

Though some vehicles already utilize V2X communication, Toyota and Lexus plan to advance the technology further by introducing it into their lineups beginning in 2021 and rolling out across their portfolios by the mid-2020s.

The company announced today that its Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) systems will use the technology to talk to other vehicles (V2V) and infrastructure (V2I) in hopes of cutting down on collisions, injuries and fatalities.

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“By allowing vehicles’ intelligent systems to collaborate more broadly and effectively through DSRC technology, we can help drivers realize a future with zero fatalities from crashes, better traffic flow and less congestion,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), in a statement. (more…)

Sagging Diesel Sales Pushes Jaguar Land Rover to Lay Off 1K Workers

Company cutting production at two plants in England.

by on Apr.16, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover plans to lay off about 1,000 workers this year as diesel sales have declined.

Many tout the rise of the electric vehicle as a way to create new opportunities and new jobs, but one would be hard pressed to convince the 1,000 employees that Jaguar Land Rover plans to lay off due to the decline of diesel.

JLR, which is owned by parent company Tata Motors, is not only cutting jobs, but is also reducing production at two of its English factories as demand for diesel cars slumps due to higher taxes and regulatory changes related to Britain’s exit from the European Union.

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British new car registrations have been falling during the past year which the industry has blamed, in part, on weakening consumer confidence in the wake of the Brexit vote, after record demand in 2015 and 2016. (more…)

Caddy Triggers Battle of the Behemoths with $10,000 Escalade Discounts

Fighting off the new Lincoln Navigator.

by on Apr.16, 2018

A Cadillac Escalade Platinum can top $100,000.

If you’re looking for one of the biggest, baddest luxury utes on the market, Cadillac is hoping to lure you into one of its U.S. showrooms. Aiming to shore itself up against an assault by Lincoln’s newly updated Navigator SUV, Caddy is firing back with discounts of up to $10,000 on its own Escalade model.

GM has traditionally dominated the full-size SUV segment, both mainstream and luxury, and it gained significant traction when it introduced an all-new version of the ‘Slade for the 2014 model-year. But that’s a lifetime ago in today’s hotly competitive market and Lincoln has been building momentum fast with the all-new version of the Navigator it launched last year.

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While the two models don’t generate a lot of volume they serve up substantial profits for their respective manufacturers, providing plenty of room to load up the incentives. The question is whether Lincoln will now fire back with big givebacks of its own.

(more…)