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Chevy Gives More Owners a Chance to Track Teen Drivers

New package also limits top speed and radio volume.

by on Aug.23, 2016

Chevy's Teen Driver Technology gives parents a slew of information about how they're young driver handles their time behind the wheel.

No one is more aware of how bad a driver a teenager is than the parent of that teenage driver. The first months and years are often fraught with worry as they back out of the driveway to head to school or meet with friends.

Automakers have been trying to soothe the frazzled nerves of parents for years with a variety of in-car technologies aimed at limiting the parameters of teenage tomfoolery behind the wheel. Last year, Chevy introduced its Teen Driver Report Card option on the 2016 Malibu.

What a Concept!

The report card tells parents how far their young drivers traveled, what their top speed was and, perhaps most importantly, what safety features, if any, were activated during the trip. The idea was to give parents some hard data to use in discussing how to become a better driver. (more…)

Death Toll on US Roads Rising Again

Smarter, safer cars not making a difference.

by on Aug.23, 2016

Motor vehicle deaths are expected to rise 9% for the first six months of 2016: A nearly three-year trend.

The death toll on American roads and highways continues to rise as new estimates show a 9% jump in motor vehicle deaths through the first six months of 2016, according the National Safety Council.

An estimated 19,100 people have been killed and 2.2 million seriously injured compared with the same period in 2015. The figure is 18% higher than 2014 results. The deaths not only extract a toll on the impacted families, but the estimated financial cost is $205 billion.

Safety News!

“Our complacency is killing us,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “One hundred deaths every day should outrage us. Americans should demand change to prioritize safety actions and protect ourselves from one of the leading causes of preventable death.” (more…)

Delphi, Mobileye Partner on Driverless Vehicle Tech

Partners want to have both fully autonomous and driverless vehicles on the road by 2019.

by on Aug.23, 2016

The first of the Delphi autonomous prototypes will be a modified Audi SQ5. Delphi and Mobileye will show off their new system at CES.

In the latest in a burst of announcements aimed at bringing fully autonomous, and even driverless, vehicles to market, automotive mega-supplier Delphi is teaming up with the high-tech Israeli firm Mobileye.

The two tech firms plan to show off their system during a preview at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next January, and expect to have it ready for production as early as 2019. The news comes a week after Ford Motor Co. said it would begin building a fully driverless vehicle for use by car-sharing and delivery services in 2021.

Product News!

“Our partnership with Delphi will accelerate the time to market and enable customers to adopt Level 4/5 automation without the need for huge capital investments, thereby creating a formidable advantage for them,” said Amnon Shashua, chairman and chief technology officer at Mobileye. (more…)

GM Pushes for Dismissal of Texas Ignition Case

Automaker accuses plaintiffs, lawyers of fabricating evidence.

by on Aug.23, 2016

GM asked a Texas judge to dismiss a lawsuit involving its faulty ignition due to fabricated evidence.

General Motors Co. asked a Texas judge to dismiss a lawsuit about a fatal 2011 crash, which has been linked to the faulty ignition switch that already has cost the company more than $2 billion, because of fabricated evidence.

In its motion asking for a dismissal, GM accused the plaintiffs and their lawyers of fabricating evidence about the vehicle’s key during the ongoing trial. Plaintiffs Zachary Stevens, his parents and their lawyers showed jurors in Harris County court a key attached to a chain containing several other items, claiming it was the one used to drive the 2007 Saturn Sky involved in the crash.

News Now!

GM, however, said the key displayed in the courtroom did not in fact belong to that vehicle. The carmaker, which recalled 2.6 million vehicles in 2014 for defective ignition switches, has warned owners that added weight to key chains can cause the switches to slip out of position. (more…)

Nissan Going Rogue with New Star Wars Film

Maker follows FCA lead on Star Wars deals.

by on Aug.22, 2016

Nissan is one of five companies partnering with Lucasfilm's new Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars story.

It would appear Nissan is a part of the rebellion now: it has gone Rogue.

Nissan is one of five companies partnering with Lucasfilm’s new promotional campaign for the first Star Wars spinoff: Rogue One: A Star Wars story. Duracell, General Mills, Gillette and Verizon are part of the campaign.

News Now!

“We are extremely pleased to be working with such a remarkable group of promotional partners for ‘Rogue One,’” said Lynwen Brennan, general manager of Lucasfilm. “This first in a series of Star Wars standalone films represents an exciting new era for both Star Wars and Lucasfilm, and the partners joining us on this exciting journey have each designed a stellar campaign capturing the spirit and camaraderie of ‘Rogue One.’” (more…)

Bugatti Chiron Makes First US Public Appearance

New ultracar not a “carryover” from predecessor.

by on Aug.22, 2016

The new Bugatti Chiron was on full display at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

While it officially debuted at the Geneva Motor Show last spring, Bugatti has been keeping the new Chiron ultracar largely under wraps ever since.

But the Volkswagen AG maker brought the Veyron successor out, appropriately enough, for this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and we finally got the chance to check it out up close – and with the help of Chiron Chief Engineer Willi Netuschil.

Product News!

While the Chiron picks up on key styling cues of the brand’s previous exotic, the Veyron, Netuschil made it clear that it is anything but a carryover. A closer look, he explained, reveals the significant updates made to ensure that Chiron can deliver a whopping 25% more power than the old Bugatti, something that should help it regain a number of world records, including power, torque and top speed. (more…)

Rare Barn Finds Among the Highlights at 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

"It was a part of history."

by on Aug.22, 2016

Best-in-Show, Eric Clapton, the one-time owner of this 1936 Lancia called it the most fun he's ever had off-stage and out of bed.

“I took a mortgage on my home because it was the most expensive car I ever bought. Then I took it home in boxes and pieces,” says Lothar Schuettler, a Darnestown, Maryland, collector, as he shows off his 1937 BMW 328 Roadster.

It took Schuettler six years to put all those pieces back together, the retired executive estimating he did about 80% of the work himself, everything from cutting and shaping the steamed oak pieces that formed the frames for the rear fenders to recreating missing screws and bolts that needed to match the original factory pieces.

Classic Car News!

But, “It needed to be done. It was a part of history,” said Schuettler, standing on the 18th fairway at the tony Pebble Beach golf course. He was one of about 200 collectors participating in the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, generally considered the world’s most elegant and exclusive classic car show.

(more…)

GM Expands Foothold in Promising African Market

Nairobi plant expanded to increase production.

by on Aug.22, 2016

GM is expanding production of its commercial trucks at its plant in Nairobi, Kenya.

In the continuing battle for an edge in global markets, General Motors has quietly staked out a position in East Africa, one of the world’s most promising emerging markets.

GM already holds a leading position in Kenya and recently announced plans to double production at a plant in Nairobi, which is used to re-assemble commercial trucks made by GM and its global partners.

The Leader in Global Automotive News!

It is the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in the East African region and the Nairobi plant assembles a wide range of Isuzu trucks & buses and also retails fully built Chevrolet passenger vehicles and pickup trucks. (more…)

Roadkill Gives Dream Cruise a New Look

New event brings out younger car fans.

by on Aug.22, 2016

Roadkill Nights powered by Dodge attracted more than 20,000 racing fans to see the first-ever legal street racing on Woodward Avenue.

The first legal road races ever held on Woodward Avenue drew a huge crowd during the annual Woodward Dream Cruise as drivers with smoking tires and burned rubber on the pavement in dozens and dozens of two-car races that drew participants from all over the U.S. and an impressive range of vehicles.

“I’m here for the sheer fun of it,” said Tanner Sullivan of Huntington, Indiana, as he prepared to race a 1970 AMC Javelin for an eighth of a mile at the invitation of the “Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge.”

Product News!

“I don’t know if we will ever be able to do this again. It is special,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger cars for FCA, who noted that FCA, Dodge and Roadkill, the YouTube channel created by Motor Trend and Hot Rod magazines. (more…)

Ford Extending New GT Production Run

Supercar could stay on market through 2020.

by on Aug.19, 2016

The move could mean perhaps 500 more Ford GTs will be built by 2020.

If you weren’t quick enough to place an order for the new Ford GT supercar, you may get another chance, the maker announced during a news conference ahead of the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Ford has already received more than 6,000 applications from prospective owners, a rare luxury in the car business, especially considering it was expecting to produce just 500 of the GTs for the 2017 and 2018 model-year. But the maker now plans to extend the production run, likely through at least 2020, and will re-open the order bank two years from now.

The Last Word!

“While we can’t build enough Ford GTs for everyone who has applied, we are going to produce additional vehicles in an effort to satisfy more of our most loyal Ford ambassadors,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “We want to keep Ford GT exclusive, but at the same time we know how vital this customer is to our brand.” (more…)