Friday, April 27, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Test of plug-in minivans underway at Chrysler
"The focus now shifts from engineering design and development of this unique technology, to real-world testing and evaluation," said Abdullah Bazzi, senior manager of Chrysler Group's advanced hybrid vehicle project.
The plug-in hybrids will be subjected to "temperature extremes and variations of drive cycles," Bazzi said, adding resulting data will shed light on customer acceptance of the technology and its impact on the grid. Other deployments are in Arizona, North Carolina and Michigan, Bazzi said. By Joseph Szczesny
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Jeep to sponsor USA's Olympic basketball team
"The Jeep brand has always been associated with the American spirit and as a member of the 2012 USA Men's Basketball National Team, I am proud to serve as spokesman for Jeep's partnership with USA Basketball," stated Chris Paul. "'Power Within' is a mantra for our time as it is a reminder that power with purpose is timeless," said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer - Chrysler Group LLC. "From its visual elements to its selected music, the campaign is designed to inspire viewers to do what it takes to find their inner power." Francois said. By Joseph Szczesny
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Honda getts honored for used car values
Honda has once again been honored for the relatively high value of company's vehicle when they are sold or traded in as used vehicles. Honda has captured the 2012 Best Retained Value Award for the second consecutive year from Edmunds.com. Honda was named the top non-luxury brand in the Best Retained Value Awards for maintaining the highest projected residual value after five years of ownership as a percentage of value when new.
"Honda's focus on retail sales has always benefitted our most important client: Honda customers," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. "This valuable award from Edmunds.com is recognition of Honda's unending mission of providing true value to customers - one that extends well beyond the showroom."
"Honda has long had a reputation for dependable used vehicles, and that is reflected in today's booming used car market," said Joe Spina, director of remarketing at Edmunds.com. "Honda's family of vehicles continues to expand the company's status as one of the best values available to car buyers today," Spina said. By Joseph Szczesny
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
EVs can curb greenhouse gas regardless of electricity source
Broken down by category and divided by electric grid regions, the UCS analysis concludes that in every part of the country, EVs outperform most gasoline-powered vehicles when it comes to global warming emissions. The analysis breaks the country into regions that are ‘good,’ ‘better,’ or ‘best’ for an EV.
“This report shows drivers should feel confident that owning an electric vehicle is a good choice for reducing global warming pollution, cutting fuel costs, and slashing oil consumption,” said Don Anair, the report’s author and senior engineer for UCS’s Clean Vehicles Program. “Those in the market for a new car may have been uncertain how the global warming emissions and fuel costs of EVs stack up to gasoline-powered vehicles. Now, drivers can for the first time see just how much driving an electric vehicle in their hometown will lower global warming emissions and save them money on fuel costs.”
Even in regions where coal dominates the electricity grid, EVs are still ‘good’ when it comes to global warming emissions. In parts of the Rocky Mountains region, driving an EV produces global warming emissions equivalent to a gasoline vehicle with a fuel economy rating of 33 mpg, similar to the best non-hybrid compact gasoline vehicles available today – all while cutting our nation’s oil consumption.
“The good news is that as the nation’s electric grids get cleaner, consumers who buy an EV today can expect to see their car’s emissions go down over the lifetime of the vehicle,” said Anair.
Most of Michigan falls in a ‘good‘ region, with the emissions from charging on the regional grid equal to a 38 mpg gasoline vehicle. However, a proposal that may be on the ballot this fall could help change that. It would require that 25 percent of Michigan’s energy come from clean, renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass by 2025, boosting the state’s current standard of 10 percent by 2015 and helping to ensure that the electricity grid, and EV charging, gets cleaner. By Joseph Szczesny
Monday, April 16, 2012
Ford EV to pace NASCAR race
Approximately 35 percent of new car intenders are motorsports fans and 78 percent of them support NASCAR, according to Ford research. Additionally, Ford race fans are 67 percent more likely to consider Ford products than general market consumers.
Field said the race at Richmond will be only the latest in a line of groundbreaking moments for Ford in NASCAR. In addition to being the first manufacturer to compete with a four-door sedan as its flagship model in 1998, Ford was also first to use a hybrid to start a NASCAR event when the Fusion Hybrid served as pace car for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008. By Joseph Szczesny
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
New car buyers looking for efficiency
Gas prices are nearing $4 per gallon nationwide and consumers are getting reluctant to pay any additional money at the pump when buying a new vehicle,” said Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Market Intelligence at TrueCar.com. “Consumer buying behavior has shifted and vehicles today are more fuel-efficient than ever, contributing to significant gains in fuel economy of over three miles per gallon since 2008.” By Joseph Szczesny
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Mercedes-Benz get 'Green Ca' honor
Thomas Weber, Board of Management, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, noted, “.With fuel consumption of only 41.3 miles per gallon. the S250 CDI is the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in the world. Mercedes’ win this year was a repeat performance for their clean diesel technology following the 2007 World Green Car Award to the Mercedes BlueTEC E320. The World Green Car competition factored in tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and use of a major advanced power plant technology aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle’s environmental responsibility. The World Car of the Year experts commented that, “This is the first 4-cylinder S-Class in the 60-year history of the legendary model. Powered by a 204 horse power this S-Class develops ample power from the world’s cleanest diesel, while the incorporation of a start-stop system means that this car produces an outstanding 149g/km of CO2, judges who reviewed the merits of the 22 vehicles in the competition.
This award is made all the more important this year since this clean diesel CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Mercedes beat out an incredible field of 22 contenders of gasoline hybrids and even several all-electric vehicles.
“Not only is this is a great acknowledgment of Mercedes’ long-standing leadership in diesel technology, but it is an important symbolic victory and signal to policymakers and consumers that clean diesel technology is among the very best in advanced fuel efficient technology vehicles for our future, and a key part of any ’all of the above’ energy strategy for fuel savings and lower greenhouse gas emissions,” noted Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, which promotes the use of diesel technology. By Joseph Szczesny
Monday, April 9, 2012
Hybrid don't always bring repeat business
"Having a hybrid in the product lineup can certainly give a brand a competitive edge when it comes to attracting new customers," noted Brad Smith, director of Polk's Loyalty Management Practice. "The repurchase rates of hybrid vehicles are an indication that consumers are continuing to seek alternative solutions to high fuel prices," he added.
Hybrid owners also appear to remain brand loyal when returning to the new car market. Roughly 60 percent of Toyota hybrid owners returned to the market to purchase another Toyota, according to Polk, while 41 percent of them purchased another hybrid from any brand. In the case of Honda hybrid owners, more than 52 percent of them stayed with the Honda brand, while just under 20 percent of this same owner group bought another hybrid vehicle from any brand.
Online cross-shopping data from Edmunds.com indicates that consumers are doing their due diligence to compare hybrids with similar gasoline-powered vehicles. As an example, the Honda Civic is the second most cross-shopped vehicle among both Toyota Prius and Honda Insight shoppers. Overall, hybrid vehicles represent just 2.4 percent of the overall new vehicle market in the U.S., according to Polk, down from a high of 2.9 percent in 2008.
"The lineup of alternate-drive vehicles and their premium price points just aren't appealing enough to consumers to give the segment the momentum it once anticipated, especially given the growing strength of fuel economy among compact and midsize competitors," according to Lacey Plache, Edmunds.com chief economist. "For EVs and PHEVs in particular, certain obstacles -- including consumer unease with unfamiliar technology and the lack of an adequate recharging infrastructure -- will need to be overcome before sales increase."
Polk also found that consumers in traditional eco-friendly markets in the U.S. such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Ore. and Seattle, are no more loyal to hybrid vehicles than the nation at large. By Joseph Szczesny
Friday, April 6, 2012
Ranger Rove wins design award in New York
"We are honored that the Range Rover Evoque has been named 2012 World Design Car of the Year.” said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director said. “This prestigious accolade recognizes the overwhelmingly positive response that we have received to the Range Rover Evoque's bold and dramatic design. It is a car that truly resonates on an emotional level," he said.
The award is testament to the Evoque' unique design and recognizes the fact that the dynamic new Range Rover has created a new segment of the market to world-wide acclaim.” he added.
The Range Rover Evoque was shortlisted from an original 46 nominations and beat off stiff competition from the two other finalists - the Citroen DS5 and the Volkswagen Up! The design of Evoque’s design was foreshadowed by a concept car developed when Range Rover was part of the Ford Motor Co.
Juror Silvia Baruffaldi commented, "True to the concept car it derives from, it is a contemporary automotive design masterpiece. Besides not having equals on the markets, it is able to deliver the Land Rover DNA in a more compact, sporty body style. A premium product without the bad habit of showing off." By Joseph Szczesny
Wednesday, April 4, 2012