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Chrysler to Add High-Mileage Diesel for Ram 1500

Ford softening its opposition to diesels, as well.

by on Feb.14, 2013

The Ram 1500 will begin offering a 3.0-liter turbodiesel.

Chrysler will add a diesel option for the Ram 1500 pickup, making it the only automaker to offer the high-mileage technology on a half-ton truck. It could be a significant additional inducement the announcement coming barely a month after the Ram 1500 was named North American Truck of the Year.

But Chrysler may not be the only maker to market a diesel standard-duty pickup for long. General Motors is reportedly considering such an option for its newly redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra models, while Toyota and Nissan may add diesels when their redesigned Tundra and Titan models reach market.


Meanwhile, diesels are rapidly gaining ground in other market segments. Chevrolet last week unveiled its new Cruze Diesel, the first passenger car model from General Motors’ largest brand to offer the powertrain technology since 1996. Mazda will add a diesel for its new Mazda6 later this year. And even Ford’s long-standing resistance to diesel power in U.S. passenger cars finally may be crumbling.


As Truck Wars Heat Up Ram Ramps Up Production

Automaker’s Warren Truck plant expects to increase production by more than 70,000 vehicles in 2013.

by on Feb.13, 2013

With a reviving economy expected to increase demand for full-size pickups, Chrysler is sharply boosting production of its big Ram 1500.

Truck sales took a spectacular tumble when the economy crashed but with the housing market showing signs of revival pickups could be one of the year’s hot products — and Chrysler is ready to take advantage of the fact that it was recently named North American Truck of the Year.

The maker’s Ram brand will rapidly ramp up production of the Ram 1500 pickup truck at its Warren, Mich., from 227,000 in 2012 to more than 300,000 vehicles this year.

Keep on Truckin'!

After winning North American Truck of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show last month, Chrysler is hoping to make some inroads in a segment long-dominated by Ford’s F-150 and, to a lesser degree, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups.

(Ram 1500 wins coveted North American Truck of the Year accolade. Click Here for the story.)

But the Detroit automakers aren’t the only ones looking to regain ground in what is traditionally their most profitable segment. Toyota unveiled an updated version of its big Tundra at the Chicago Auto Show last week while Nissan dropped hints about its next-generation Titan.


GM Names New Labor Relations Vice President

He replaces former VP who is moving to global engineering VP role.

by on Feb.05, 2013

Jim Glynn

General Motors named Jim Glynn as vice president of North American labor relations on Monday.

Glynn replaces Cathy Clegg, who was named global manufacturing engineering vice president, replacing the retiring Eric Stevens.

Cross Over with a Free Subscription!

Glynn will be responsible for the automaker’s union-management partnerships and will lead joint programs and negotiations and other key matters involving union-represented workers.


Honda Offers Siri Integration

Automaker is first of several expected to pair Apple's voice assistant with cars.

by on Feb.01, 2013

Honda will offer integration of Apple's Siri as a dealer-installed option in three vehicles starting later this year.

Honda will integrate Apple’s Siri intelligent assistant into its vehicles as an option for customers who own iPhones.

Siri’s is a potentially significant development for an auto industry where carmakers are scrambling to equip vehicles with the next big thing in infotainment systems that can both limit driver distractions while allowing motorists to have access to their media and friends.

Integrated Infotainment!

Ford has said that its Sync voice-activated system has driven sales of its cars. It has also triggered a wave of copycat systems, such as Toyota’s EnForm and Cadillac’s Cue. Analysts are now watching to see if Siri integration in cars will become a prime purchasing factor for buyers.


Toyota, BMW Expected to Sign Fuel Cell Agreement

German automaker would plan to build production version by 2020.

by on Jan.23, 2013

Toyota showed the FCV-R fuel cell vehicle in 2011.

Nearly seven months after announcing an expansion to their alliance, Toyota and BMW appear ready to announce the first fruits of their partnership.

According to published reports, Toyota is close to inking an agreement to license its fuel cell vehicle technology to BMW. Official word on the agreement could come as early as Thursday.

Power! Power! Power!

BMW plans to build a prototype vehicle using the technology by 2015 with production possible by about 2020.

The fuel cell project is just the first fruits of what the automakers plan as a multi-project partnership.


Jaguar Land Rover Investing Big in Products, Technologies

Eight new products or significant technologies planned for this year.

by on Jan.16, 2013

Jaguar Land Rover is excited about the upcoming release of its F-Type sports car.

There’s plenty of good news for Jaguar Land Rover these days. Like most of the industry, sales are up. A raft of products and technologies are expected in the next few years, which should lead to even bigger sales increases. And its Indian owners are allowing the brands to spend the money to develop its new products.

It’s been almost five years since Tata Motors purchased JLR from Ford, effectively putting an end to Ford’s much publicized Premier Automotive Group.


Adrian Hallmark, global brand director and a member of the JLR executive committee, told in an exclusive interview that the automaker is in good shape to fulfill its aggressive goals.

Guangzhou Shows Three Vehicles in Detroit

The Chinese automaker has no plans to sell its vehicles in the U.S., but hopes to raise its profile in the automotive industry.

by on Jan.15, 2013

While Guangzhou Automotive Group has no plans to sell its vehicles in the U.S. it came to the Detroit Auto Show to raise its profile in the industry.

Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group showed off three vehicles, including a hybrid and an electric vehicle, at a press conference at the Detroit Auto Show.

While the company has no plans to sell its vehicles in the U.S. market, it came to the North American International Auto Show to raise the profile of the company and its Trumphchi brand.

Auto Financial News!

Xiu Jihan, a senior engineering engineering executive, said the hybrid vehicle is ready for sale in China but the battery electric vehicle, prepared with the help of  AC Propulsion of California. But the company has no plans to bring cars to the U.S . any time soon, company GAC representative said after the press conference.


Shelby Focus ST and GT500 Wide Body Unveiled

Performance tuner thinks the late founder would have approved.

by on Jan.15, 2013

Shelby American introduced two cars at the Detroit Auto Show: The Shelby GT500 Wide Body and the Shelby Ford Focus ST.During his exile from Ford, Carroll Shelby worked with Dodge on hopped up hatchbacks, like the Dodge Omni GLH-S and the Dodge Shelby Charger.

Now just months after founder Carroll Shelby’s death, the company is carrying on the pocket rocket tradition with a new Shelby Focus ST, unveiled today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Power! Power! Power!

Also at the Detroit Auto Show, Shelby showed its new Wide Body version of the 2013 Shelby GT500 Super Snake.

“I think what you’ll see today are two cars that represent the spirit of Shelby,” Shelby President John Luft said.

Click below for a look at the new creations from the longtime Ford tuner.


Tesla Says it Has the Cash to Fund its Plan

EV maker says it will start building cars with smaller batteries in the coming weeks.

by on Jan.15, 2013

Tesla's George Blankenship told reporters at the Detroit Auto Show that the company is moving head with its sales plan.

Tesla will begin selling the mid-level 230-mile version of its Model S battery-electric sedan within a month and will roll out a lower-priced model by spring.

Tesla, which launched sales of its battery sedan last summer, has struggled to get the Model S project up to speed, raising concerns about its viability. But during an appearance at the Detroit Auto Show, a senior executive said the company now has enough money coming to fund its operation.

The Last Word!

George Blankenship, Tesla’s vice president of Design and Store Development, told at the Detroit Auto Show that the company has changed modes, going from spending a lot of money on things like robots and raw materials and moving to a phase where its revenue will fund operations.

So what challenges does the fledgling automaker face? Click below to find out.


Furia Suggests Toyota’s Future Design Direction

Detroit auto show concept provides a glimpse of next Corolla.

by on Jan.14, 2013

Toyota introduced the Furia Corolla Concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Toyota is hinting at its future design direction for small cars with its Corolla Furia Concept, unveiled at the Detroit auto show.

Toyota calls the concept a styling study that builds on brand’s priority to develop “more dramatic, expressively designed vehicles.” The concept will be on Toyota’s stand at the North American International Auto Show.


“The Corolla Furia Concept is an early indicator of where our compact car design may lead in the future,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division. “It blends a heightened emphasis on dramatic design and modern elements of high technology to generate curb appeal that will surprise a lot of people.”

Toyota calls the theme of the new design language “Iconic Dynamism.”