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GM’s Mary Barra Takes Crown on Most Powerful Women List

Magazine picks two other GM execs for top five spots.

by on Nov.27, 2013

GM EVP Mary Barra topped Fortune's list of the Most Powerful Women in the auto industry this year.

With Christmas around the corner, putting together lists becomes a priority for some and when it comes to the most powerful women in the automotive industry, there’s a list for that too: General Motors’ Mary Barra tops it.

Barra, executive vice president of global product development and global purchasing and supply chain, captured the No. 1 position on Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women in the auto industry list. Barra is considered a potential successor to GM CEO Dan Akerson.

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While being considered for the top dog spot at GM certainly gave her plenty of cache, the remainder of the list is a mix of engineers, communications and marketing executives with a CEO of a supplier and a race car driver mixed in for good measure. (more…)

Ford Putting the “Stock” Back into Stock Cars

But do new NASCAR models really represent much of a difference?

by on Feb.20, 2013

Ford wants its NASCAR entry to look at least a little bit more like a real Fusion sedan.

What is today one of the most popular sporting events in America has some humble roots, NASCAR tracing back to the days when moonshiners would tune up their cars to outrun the “revenuers” and then give each a challenge to see who was fastest.

But the days when the familiar sporting event could claim to field “stock cars” is long past. When NASCAR organizers began ordering the switch to the so-called “Car of the Future,” a few years back, the design may have been safer and better on track, but about the only thing it had in common with the cars of today were decals designed to make it look, sort of, like the Fords, Chevrolets and Toyotas you’d find in a showroom.

That triggered a backlash from fans, something that was measurable in both race attendance and TV viewership, and it has forced NASCAR and its teams to do a little soul-searching – as Ford is demonstrating with its latest stock car entry which actual shares at least a few body panels with an actual Fusion sedan.

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This is a day so many of us at Ford and Ford fans have been waiting for,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “When we first unveiled the 2013 NASCAR Fusion in Charlotte in January 2012, we said we wanted to help return the ‘stock car back to NASCAR.’ Without question, with this car, we have.”

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Chevy Gets First Rear-Drive Performance Sedan in Nearly Two Decades

New 2014 Chevrolet SS gets big send-off as Danica Patrick takes pole at Daytona.

by on Feb.18, 2013

The 2014 SS is Chevy's first performance sedan since the old Impala SS.

It was a big weekend for Chevrolet as the maker continues its push to restore it performance reputation.

With Danica Patrick providing headlines as she became the first woman to ever win pole position for the upcoming Daytona 500 in her GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, the Detroit maker used the Daytona speedway as a backdrop for the unveiling of its new 2014 Chevy SS model – the maker’s first rear-drive performance sedan since 1997.

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“The Chevrolet brand was largely built on the strength of rear-drive performance sedans, yet it’s been 17 years since we’ve offered one,” said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, during a preview at an airport hangar near the Daytone International Speedway. “The all-new Chevrolet SS fills that void and fills it better than any other vehicle in the brand’s rich history. The comfort, convenience, spaciousness and V-8 power make the SS a total performance package unlike any other on the road today.”

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Gender Gap Now Favors Women Drivers

For 1st time, more women now hold driver's licenses in U.S.

by on Nov.13, 2012

Want to crack a joke about this woman driver? Danica Patrick made the big jump to the typically good-ol'-boy NASCAR circuit.

As this month’s presidential election clearly demonstrated, there’s a significant demographic shift taking place in America – and you don’t have to check the voter rolls to confirm that. Simply look around you on the highway.

While women drivers may still be a subject that comedians feed upon, the fact is that the joke is now on men.  More woman than men now have driver’s licenses, according to a new study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, or UMTRI.

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The gap is expected to only continue widening, with the study showing that the number of Americans with a driver’s license has been shrinking over the past 15 years, the rate of decline for men among 25 to 29 year olds has been twice as large as for women.

“The changing gender demographics will have major implications on the extent and nature of vehicle demand, energy consumption, and road safety,” forecast Michael Sivak, co-author of the study.

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Study Shows Men Don’t Like The Way Women Drive

Complaints include a lack of attention to driving, poor lane control.

by on Jul.22, 2010

Are you man enough to tell Danica Patrick to move over and let you drive?

Here’s a shocker: Men don’t like the way the women in their lives drive. In other news, a federal agency announced a study that determined that water is wet and fire is hot.

As many as one in three men are so “frightened” by the driving of their distaff partner they don’t feel safe, finds a study conducted by OnePoll.com, a British-based online market research firm. But a survey official suggests that “women’s driving can’t be as bad as men believe.”

And hard data suggests there may be a significant gap between perception and reality.

The survey was based on the response of 3,000 British men, but while OnePoll doesn’t provide the sort of statistical qualifications that validate the scientific accuracy of the study, it clearly suggests modern males continue to hold the same sort of antagonistic views of women drivers that helped keep ‘50s TV shows like “I Love Lucy” stocked with jokes.

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Drive, She Said!

Some findings from the survey:

• 20 percent of men say they can never relax when their significant other is driving;
• The top complaint was that women lack concentration when driving. Men said that women are too distracted by children, scenery or other motorists;
• One in 10 men feels it necessary to ask their wife to pull over so they can drive.

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