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Minivan May be Best for Families, but Not Dogs

Four-legged friends need certain amenities.

by on Sep.02, 2014

The best vehicles for dog all have a large rear lift gate to make it easy for them to get in and out.

When it comes to hauling around your kids, soccer gear, groceries and other family accoutrements, it’s hard to beat the classic minivan. But what if you’re adding a dog into the mix?

That’s a question a lot of folks face with 78.2 million people Americans owning dogs, according to The Humane Society. And for those with canines coming along for the ride, the choice isn’t as simple as it might seem.

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Autotrader.com said 55% of visitors to its website seek out cars and trucks that can accommodate their dogs, and that 75% of its shoppers who have a dog take their pet in the car at least once a month. (more…)

Fiat Shareholders Avoid Scrap with Marchionne

Stock owners decide to ride it out with merged company.

by on Sep.02, 2014

Sergio Marchionne is certainly all smiles after Fiat shareholders gave their stamp of approval for the merger of Fiat and Chrysler.

Clearing what could be the last hurdle, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is preparing move on to the next steps in its evolution.

Those steps include readying to list the newly merged company on the New York Stock Exchange in the middle of October and other details like formally changing the company’s named to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

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The company survived its first test after garnering enough support among the company’s Italian or European shareholders to complete the merger of the Italian and American companies into one corporate and financial entity. (more…)

Corvette Museum Filling in Car-Swallowing Sinkhole

Phenomenon drove attendance spike.

by on Sep.02, 2014

Attendance at the National Corvette Museum jumped 66% after a sinkhole opened up under the site.

Practicality won out over history as the National Corvette Museum’s board elected to fill in the sinkhole that gobbled up eight vehicles, but also more than doubled attendance at the facility.

The museum contemplated keeping the sinkhole as a permanent display – attendance has risen 66% and revenue 71% since it formed in February – but when the costs for the project soared the board put the project to rest.

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“We really wanted to preserve a portion of the hole so that guests for years to come could see a little bit of what it was like, but after receiving more detailed pricing, the cost outweighs the benefit,” said Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode in a statement. (more…)

Privately Owned Cars Could Vanish Under Ambitious Helsinki Plan

Proposal emphasizes carsharing, bikes, mass transit.

by on Aug.29, 2014

Helsinki is considering a plan that would severely limit private ownership of cars, but allow greater flexibility in its public transportation in the city limits.

With traffic congestion getting worse by the year, amidst growing concerns about the automobile and the environment, a number of cities around the world are taking steps to reduce, or at least limit the growth in, the number of privately owned vehicles on the road.

Helsinki, Finland, is considering what is being described as a “truly transformative” plan that could all but do away with private car ownership entirely, in favor of carsharing, bikes and public transport. Perhaps the most significant piece of the plan would let residents pay a flat fee that would cover any and all of their urban transportation needs.

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“The major innovation that makes this work will be an integrated payment system,” according to a new study by Navigant Research. “This part of the scheme may prove the most complicated to implement, but it is the final piece of the puzzle that makes this scheme truly transformative.” (more…)

Women Taking to Haggling Over New Car Price

Survey shows women enjoy process more than men.

by on Aug.29, 2014

Women, according to a new survey, enjoy haggling over the price of a new car more than men.

The stereotype of a woman being unwilling to haggle with a dealership salesperson thus relying on her husband or some other man to handle the negotiations is going by the wayside.

The comfort level of women when it comes to rolling up their sleeves and getting the best deal on a new car is rising, according to a recent survey by Swapalease.com. In fact, women are more likely than men to duke it out: 33.3% of women said “it makes it a fun process” compared with just 25.1% of men.

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Morn Cremeens, who recently picked up a 2014 Ram Laramie Longhorn pickup with the RamBox Cargo Management System, said much of her negotiating was done before walking in the door to the dealership via email. That said, once on site, the price came down some more. (more…)

Is GM Playing Shell Game with New Production Plans?

Maker moves Cadillac SRX to Spring Hill, but moves Equinox out.

by on Aug.29, 2014

GM is moving Cadillac SRX production to Spring Hill, Tennessee from Mexico. It failed to mention it's shifting Equinox production from Spring Hill to Mexico.

Everyone’s familiar with the shell game, right? It’s a game commonly associated with the streets of New York City and now possibly General Motors.

In the game, a small ball is place under one of three cups which are then quickly shuffled around. For a few bucks, someone is invited to guess what cup the ball is under; however, it seems GM may be playing the same game with vehicle production moving to the U.S.

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With some fanfare, the Detroit-based maker on Wednesday announced it was moving production of its Cadillac SRX crossover from its plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, to the former Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. (more…)

VW Employees Dealing with New Union Tussle

Anti-UAW forces trying to set up new union for workers in Tennessee.

by on Aug.28, 2014

An anti-UAW worker at VW's plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is hoping to set up a competing union called the American Council of Employees.

The ongoing saga of the possible union representation of workers at Volkswagen’s assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, took another turn recently as one employee is attempting to form his own union at the plant.

Mike Burton, an hourly employee and an outspoken critic of the UAW, is collecting signatures to certify the American Council of Employees as the union to represent workers on the Works Council for the plant.

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Burton claims if the group can collect 500 signatures, it would be able to call for an election at the plant. He says 108 workers had signed up on the first day. If certified, it would be the first chapter of the union. (more…)

Ford Plant Readies to Meet Global Demand for Mustang

Maker gives nod to original pony car in 2015 model.

by on Aug.28, 2014

Ford's Flat Rock, Michigan, plant is ready to start churning out the 2015 Mustang. The company is celebrating 50 years of Mustang production.

One of the biggest launches in Ford Motor Co.’s recent history is getting underway as the all-new, sixth generation Ford Mustang rolls off the line for the first time at the company’s assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, this week.

“Mustang is and will continue to be an automotive icon,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Expanding its availability globally affords our customers around the world the opportunity to have a true firsthand Mustang experience – one unlike any other.”

Crossing Generations!

In April, Ford celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original Mustang. To commemorate the event, each 2015 model will be adorned with a badge on the instrument panel that includes the galloping pony logo and the words “Mustang – Since 1964.” (more…)

Cadillac to Reveal New ATS-V at LA Auto Show

New performance model will be first from Caddy to go with a V-6.

by on Aug.28, 2014

The ATS is going high performance with a V-Series option that will be on display at the LA Auto Show in November and in showrooms in early 2015.

Cadillac will introduce an all-new performance model at the L.A. Auto Show in November, the new ATS-V sedan expected to target the formidable compact luxury segment benchmark the BMW M3.

It will be the first new V-Series model introduced in several years, and precedes the next-generation CTS-V model that Cadillac is also developing. That model is expected to debut early next year as one of several key new offerings the maker is currently working on, including an all-new flagship sedan.

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The new ATS-V will be powered, according to several Cadillac sources who have spoken to TheDetroitBureau.com, by a version of the twin-turbo V-6 that was launched recently for the new CTS V-Sport, and is expected to match or slightly exceed the power of the latest BMW M3, which also uses a twin-turbo V-6 powerplant. (more…)

Colorado Drivers Proclaimed Best in America

Allstate claims Fort Collins, Colorado has best drivers.

by on Aug.28, 2014

If you live in Fort Collins, Colorado, this is a scene that is much less familiar than if you live in Worcester, Massachusetts.

With Americans buying new vehicles at a frenzied pace this year, knowing that Fort Collins, Colorado, is the safest place to drive that new car or truck might be useful information.

Allstate Insurance Co. released its 10th annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report,” which is based on Allstate claims data, ranks America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers.

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It marks the fourth time in the 10-year history of the report the city known for being the home of Colorado State University, took the honor of being “America’s Safest Driving City.” Fort Collins has placed in the top ten every year since the report’s inception. (more…)