Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Posted on: September 27, 2011 | In News
When most people heard that Fiat was stacking a huge claim in Chrysler, they were a bit dubious as to whether this partnership would work. After all, other partnerships of this kind had been attempted by other American car companies in the past, only to have this blow up in their face. However, before everyone starts to plan for the worse, they need to take a detailed look at just what each company can offer one another. It is not Chrysler becoming reliant upon Fiat, the two are partners in what they have to offer, thus one is benefiting just as much as the other company.
When looking at what each company is bringing to the table, they are going to find that they really do cover their bases completely. So what does Fiat bring to the table? They are bringing their technology that they have in terms of valve air technology, their diesel technology know how, dual clutch transmission and their alternative fuels expertise. While Chrysler brings gas engines that are cost effective, their hybrid and electric technology, and their V6 technology that is much more efficient than what Fiat has come up with. Through the sharing of this information it is not uncalled for if the two brands start to reign on the market, if they can offer what the consumers are wanting at affordable prices.
Those that look at the offerings of Fiat and Chrysler are going to find that Chrysler is known for the bigger vehicles, while Fiat is known for their smaller vehicles, though both have tried to make it in the other market. In order to get the most out of their money, Fiat will be dealing with the compact and small cars, while Chrysler takes on the trucks, SUV's and the mid size cars for their lineup. Thus, each company is putting forth their best knowledge for what they do the best, and this is going to be what helps to make this partnership flourish.
So what changes can American's expect with Chrysler? They are going to see the showrooms and things along that nature change, which have already taken affect, and thus far people are pretty impressed with what they are seeing. Fiat is going to become more dominant in Chrysler stores, which gives people more choices, and who doesn't like to have more choices? Though, for many it could mean extra time between making a decision and buying thanks to the numerous choices.
So will this partnership be one that is going to last for the long haul? That is yet to be seen, but so far so good. Chrysler has been able to increase their earning and offer something that more consumers are wanting to have, which is the main goal. While Fiat is also seeing improvements along their line as well. The future is one that cannot be predicted, however, it would probably be safe to say that the two companies are not parting ways any time soon as they still have much to learn from one another in order to make sure that they stay in the race for the best on the market.
Posted on: August 26, 2011 | In News
With the Volt being such a success for General Motors, it makes sense that the automaker would want to put the Volt technology into their other cars that could use some sprucing up. And this is just what GM has said that they are going to do. And the technology is going to be used in a new Cadillac model that has just been called the ELR. So when can people expect to see the ELR on the market?
Most people that are close to the project state that the model would be a 2014 model, thus it would start getting publicity in 2013, not very long of a wait for those that are jumping with joy. So just what is the ELR going to look like? The clearest idea of what the ELR could look like is based off of the Cadillac concept car, the Converj that was a concept car shown in 2009 at the Detroit Auto Show.
This is not the first time that Cadillac has proposed an electric luxury car, in fact the idea is coming around for the third or fourth time. Thus, many people are wondering if the ELR will actually become something that people can buy. It is a fairly good assumption to state that it will, basically due to the higher fuel mileage regulations that are going to be hitting the automakers, and because GM wants to make sure that they stay on top and keep away that coveted first position from Toyota.
However, GM has confirmed that the ELR is something that will hit the market. Though, they are stating that it is strictly aimed at those that are wanting a luxury car and something that is still going to have good performance, as Cadillac has always had. The ELR is definitely something that is going to have spirits high around GM as many people are going to be looking forward to its release.
Posted on: August 22, 2011 | In News
General Motors has long since been known as one of the first automakers, and because of this ,many times they are given the reputation as being out of touch with what people are really wanting. However, there new plan of investing in start up projects that are meant to gather them the attention that is going to make them 'cool' is a new approach by GM to make sure that they are part of the 'it' crowd so to speak.
For example the company is investing around $7.5 million into Sunlogics, which is a company that is working on bringing more use to solar panel and increasing the ways in which normal people can get their hands on this. In fact, they are using the plant that was once the place in which GM housed many of their parts. They are going to be investing this money over a certain period of time, which means that they are minimizing their risks with the investment. Which is something that many people feared they would do if they started to invest into something that was the next big flop.
The main idea that GM is trying to put out is that they are encouraging in outside thinking and taking risks. Which is something that the brand is not known for in the past, and could have been part of the reason that they did experience the bankruptcy and not a very loyal group following. However, GM is proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks, as they are starting to turn out more cars and trucks that are getting better fuel mileage and are something more of what people are wanting. For example, the Chevrolet Volt, a product of the GM family shows their innovation and how far they have come in the recent years. Yet, GM knows that they still have further to go with their innovation and they realize that they must set their sights high in order to achieve greatness.
Posted on: August 21, 2011 | In News
General Motors is in the news and this time it is not for something that is going to benefit the company. In fact, this recent news could tarnish their reputation. The company is maintaining that they are not responsibly for the fault that has been found in many 2007 and 2008 Chevrolet Impalas since that was post bankruptcy time. The lawsuit that is being filed states that due to faulty spindle rods in the rear of the car, most people were finding that their tires were wearing out in about six thousand miles. Which is nothing close to how long tires normally last.
The lawsuit is seeking to be a class action lawsuit with many people stating that this is breaching their warranty, despite the fact that the problem predated the companies bankruptcy. And furthermore, people are stating that on the police cars that were Impala's, they did fix the rods. Why should the common person be given less service if their warranty mandates this is the main problem that people are pointing out.
So how is GM stating that they are not responsible? They are mandating that the warranties are held by Old GM, not the New GM that they have reorganized themselves as now. Basically, they are stating that they are a different company and that this is not their responsibility. This is something that GM is not unfamiliar with, as they faced a similar case against OnStar, which did have courts favoring on the side of OnStar. So who is right?
Most people are very surprised to find that GM is acting as this and that they are not honoring warranties and contracts made by the Old GM. After all, most people are pointing out that the company is the same, just reorganized under a different name. It has made many people stop and think before they buy a predated bankruptcy GM if this is the kind of problems that they are going to have to face later down the road.
Posted on: August 20, 2011 | In News
The Saab automaker has been in hot water for the past several months, as they are struggling to make ends meet. However, the temperature has just risen a few degrees with the news that the Swedish Debt Enforcement Agency is starting to take collections against Saab. This news is coming after Saab neglected to meet the deadline to pay two of their suppliers this past Tuesday. The money that Saab owed was to Kongsberg Automotive AB that is the provider of car seats, while they are also owed Infotiv AB, which is a Swedish based consulting firm. The majority of money that they owed was to Kongsberg Automotive. The total among of money owed is around $633,000 US dollars.
The Debt Agency has said that the investigation started on Wednesday, and right now they are still trying to find out just what Saab has that can be used for collateral in order to get people the money that they owe them. There has been around one hundred claims filed against Saab by many other companies with the debt agency in an effort to get the money that is owed to them. Keep in mind, some companies have made more than one claim against Saab. Saab has said that they are working with the debt agency in order to get the issues resolved.
The debt agency will back off once Saab pays their debtors. And right now Saab is trying to come up with money that would enable them to reopen their plants and to continue to produce cars. However, it is not looking promising. They have sold some stock to other companies, and plan to do the same once again in a few more days in an effort to raise money. Right now though, it seems that the road ahead for Saab is going to be rather bumpy, since the debt agency could take one to three months just to find out where the company is at, and then they could recommend bankruptcy as a last alternative for the company, something that they are wanting to avoid.
Posted on: August 19, 2011 | In News
Most people when they think of General Motors, automatically think of their pick up line that they offer. After all, the trucks that they offer have many times been the main reason that people buy General Motors. However, it seems that GM is trying to go a different route nowadays, and are trying to cut down the supply of trucks that they have on hand. Which as many people know, is the one type of vehicle that GM seems to always have available for consumers .
This revelation comes after news from the Fort Wayne GM plant that has cancelled Saturday shifts for the rest of the year, which was posted on the local UAW's web site. The reason for this is that they are trying to sustain GM off of the truck supply that they have. The plant had been running half shifts on Saturday's, along with a few regular shifts on Saturday's since the beginning of the year to get the stock pile of trucks that they have.
According to analysts, it has been a concern of their's with the supply of trucks that GM has. They seem to usually maintain a 120 day supply of trucks, which is way above the recommended 80 day supply of pick up trucks that is recommended. However, GM has assured everyone that they are not going to be offering big incentives to move the trucks, they are simply going to slow down supply until the demand picks back up. Why is everyone so interested in the supply that GM has? No one wants to see a repeat of past years in which they are basically giving the trucks away and losing money, which led to many companies to declare bankruptcy, GM included.
However, GM has not released what they are going to do about their other plants that are mainly making trucks. They have expressed their ideas as being those that would upgrade the plants to handle more production of newer models or something along that lines to keep the workers having work.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 | In News
To many people's surprise around the world when the economy took a drastic nose dive and the Big Three Automakers rapidly lost business and were sinking into the quagmire of economic loss that swept many of America's largest businesses the Ford Motor Company turned down the bail out money offered by the Government and decided that it would survive on its own or go down fighting. The company has not gone down and, despite stock in the company selling for $ 0.59 cents the company has managed to actually show a small profit in the last couple of years.
They have done this while working on innovative ideas to improve their vehicle safety and create a line of new economy cars to meet the needs of the public. The result is Ford's revolutionary new focus for 2012. This company has created what they call the c-segment series, which is 10 unique cars built on a single platform.
And for those who think that these cars are all similar in appearance you couldn't be more wrong. While some of these cars look like classy sports car models, others are definitely family SUVs. There is even 3 electric car designs to choose from. It is Ford's hope that this design will change the way the world thinks about building small vehicles and that these cars will deliver the kind of choices that today's families want and need. The first four of these unique cars went on sale in 2011.
By the looks of things the 2012 models are even more impressive having all ready gained some excellent overall reviews. Of course there are those who insist that Ford is making a big mistake putting so much on the line with the Ford Focus. These naysayers keep saying that Americans will never purchase smaller cars that they want still want big cars they simply want fuel efficient ones.
However, Ford is betting that these smaller cars will sell well enough around the world to keep their profits growing and help them survive this ongoing economic recession. Only time and the car buying public will tell.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 | In News
While not yet reaching popularity in the United States the French made line of cars known as Aixam is taking Europe by storm. These cars, known as mini cars are also considered to be half frame cars having an alloy frame that results in a light weight frame that allows the car to zip in and out of traffic at a top speed of 60 to 90 miles per hour.
Of course there are Aixam cars that also travel at much slower speeds in fact some Aixam models travel at such slow speeds that you don't even need a license to drive one. The license less models are replacing bicycles and motorcycles as the economy method of travel in parts of Europe. Made with a diesel motor to be more fuel efficient these cars are France's answer to a car industry which for too long made large cars that are both expensive to purchase and expensive to keep fueled up and ready to go.
While some models of this unique car look like miniature vans the scouty is a sportier model that even comes as a convertible. Most versions of these cars hold up to four average size people and cost about ¼ of the cars normally seen in Today's market.
While these cars look a little too small to feel real, they seem to be the wave of the future putting those full size cars to shame with both their size and their fuel efficiency. It is believed that even the United
States that has so long clung to their large cars, SUV's and van's will soon be looking to this make of car and other makes like them as the cars of the future.
However, Americans may find getting used to an Aixam a bit of a challenge as these small cars normally do not get up to the speeds that normal American made cars do and they simply lack the space that most Americans are used to. However, the technology and the innovation of these cars are sound and these cars may easily become the darlings of the retired and those simply looking for something a little different and better on fuel.
One thing is certain with today's economy and the number of people who are trying to trade in their large gas hogging cars for something a little less expensive to drive the Aixam cars are going to hold some appeal.
There is definitely a market for these cars in this country but whether or not they will hold vast appeal to American public remains to be seen.
Posted on: July 4, 2011 | In News
Automakers are under extreme pressure to get their vehicles up to the high standards that are being set by the government. And in order to make this happen, most automakers are cutting the weight of these vehicles in order to give them even more gas mileage. But the thing about this is that they are cutting weight in ways that most consumers are not aware of. And this cutting of the weight in these ways in not something that most people are going to be happy with. So just what are they doing in order to lower the weight of these vehicle?
There is one piece of equipment that is rarely included on vehicles nowadays, and this is the spare tire. However, this is not something that most people know until they are on the side of the road with a flat tire and wondering just where is their spare tire so they canchange their tire. Needless to say, this is not a very pleasant surprise to those that find it out the hard way. However, many automakers are including the spare tire as an extra that people can purchase, which as most people are pointing out is something that they did not pay for years ago.
So what are automakers arguing? They say that not having a spare tire in the vehicle is not necessarily unsafe. They point out that there are tire monitoring sensors in all of the vehicles made since 2006, which will warn people when they are starting to run on low tire pressure. And auto makers also point out that it is very unlikely that people are going to have a blow out in this day and age. However, this is not something that most consumers are willing to deal with since they want that security that comes along with having a spare tire for those times in which there is an emergency.
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Mazda has a new plan in place that they hope is going to boost the loyalty that their consumers seem to lack after buying Mazda. This plan is a prepaid maintenance plan in which those that buy a new or used vehicle that is 2007 and newer, then they are going to get an option that allows people to buy a year of maintenance and up to five years of maintenance at the time that they buy their Mazda. Those close to Mazda state that they are hoping that this will encourage people to keep their Mazda's as well as come back to Mazda to buy a vehicle when they are ready to buy new.
Keeping consumers to the brand has been a problem for Mazda, as they only have an average of thirty-seven percent of consumers coming back to the brand once they are looking for new. This is a bit lower than the average standard that people are doing with other brands of forty-eight percent. Mazda is hoping that this new plan that they are implementing is going to increase the number of consumers that do come back to the brand. Will this work?
It is a plan that is very similar to what some dealerships out there offer, often referred to as the extended warranty and bumper to bumper coverage that people can purchase from one year up to five years. This plan is something that dealerships use in order to attract consumers to their lot. Thus, with that being said, this does seem like it is something that could work for the Mazda brand. However, they are going to have to make sure that they are offering prices that are going to be competitive in the market in order to really get consumers to be loyal to the auto brand. Which is something that they may also have to deal with and tweak in order to succeed.
Posted on: July 3, 2011 | In News
For the first time in twenty years, General Motors has said that their Chevrolet cars are going to out sell their trucks by quite a bit. For June, the sale of Chevrolet cars accounted for a total of fifty percent of their total sales. The sale of these cars also accounted for 47% of total sales for the entire 2011 year. They have said that they expect to see a continued trend in buying the small and mid size Chevrolet cars as more and more people are basing their decision on the miles per gallon that the cars are getting rather than other factors that could affect the sale.
The last time that Chevrolet had their cars out selling their trucks was in 1991, in which for three straight months the cars were selling better than their trucks. And right now the new Cruze and the Chevrolet Malibu is leading the pack in strong sales for Chevrolet. But, will this trend continue for the auto maker? More than likely not, as they note that even in 1991, the second part of the year was when the trucks started to sell even better. They think that this trend will hold true for 2011 as well.
And why is this trend something that auto makers hold to heart? The colder months and harsher weather usually bring about people wanting a more durable truck, especially in the northern states. Which can have a huge effect on sales for the auto brand. So how has this helped GM in the long run with the improved sales of the smaller cars and what does the future hold?
GM has been able to increase their share in the market by quite a bit, which has helped them to regain their status as one of the big auto makers in the world. For the future, they expect that the Chevrolet Sonic is going to really help the sales next year.
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The US Federal Trade Commission is reviewing dealerships and trying to determine if dealerships are taking advantage of military members and their families when they are going to the dealership to buy a vehicle. This is the second stage of the process to determine if this is happening, and it is set to take place August the second and third in San Antonio, Texas. So what all are they going to be looking at?
They are not only looking at the vehicles that are being sold to the military members, but they are looking at the financing options that are given to military, and they are hoping to make sure that these dealerships are practicing fair lending towards military consumers, and giving them the right information that they need in order to make an informed decision.
When the FTC decided that they were going to adopt a new way for dealers to deal with consumers, the Pentagon did weigh in on the behalf of military members and their families and stated that they knew that there were many military members who had been taken advantage of when they go to the lots. The Pentagon included some disturbing statistics on the issue. They have noted that 72% of the counselors on military installations have counseled military members on receiving bad information when they purchased their vehicle and basically being taken advantage of. The Pentagon was hoping that the FTC could do something about this and get these dealerships to stop these malicious practices against military members.
Just what kind of problems are military members reporting? Things such as falsifying their loan applications in order to get them to qualify for a loan, giving loan terms that were increased in order to make more profit, and probably the most damaging is the fact that the dealerships were not paying off the trade in vehicles for the buyer.