Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
FIAT launches new ads
“’Immigrants, ’ which was created in partnership with The Richards Group of Dallas, tells the story ’FIAT’s resurgence in America in a manner that is smart, unexpected and stylish while introducing viewers to our product portfolio,” said Olivier Francois, President and Chief Executive Officer - Fiat Brand Worldwide.
“We are proud and thankful to be back in this country and we wanted to capture the viewer’s attention in a way that is impactful, visually-appealing and entertaining, while reinforcing our distinctive Italian origin.”
The commercial was filmed in Italy and New York. The scenes in Italy were shot in Amalfi and Sorrento and features colorful landscapes and key landmarks to give consumers a flavor of the brand’s Italian heritage. As the vehicles arrive to the U.S. the commercial shifts to highlight quintessential areas in New York such as the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, Madison Square Park and surrounding neighborhoods.
“Immigrants” is set to a popular Italian song, ‘Torna a Surriento,’(Come Back to Sorrento) sung by international artist, Arianna and composed by Flavio Ibba. As the vehicles make their way to the shores of New York, the music is remixed from the classic Italian tune to a contemporary sound featuring global superstar, Pitbull, capturing the passion and energy of America. By Joseph Szczesny
Friday, July 27, 2012
GM eyes Wii-Fi to help drivers avoid pedesrians, bicyclists
“This new wireless capability could warn drivers about pedestrians who might be stepping into the roadway from behind a parked vehicle, or bicyclists who are riding in the car’s blind spot,” said Nady Boules, GM Global R&D director of the Electrical and Control Systems Research Lab.
The feature relies on Wi-Fi Direct, the peer-to-peer wireless standard that allows devices like some smartphones to communicate directly with each other rather than through a shared access point like a cell phone tower.
Wi-Fi Direct can be integrated with other sensor-based object detection and driver alert systems already available on production vehicles to help detect pedestrians and bicyclists carrying smartphones equipped with Wi-Fi Direct, according to GM’s research.
The automaker also is looking to develop a complementary app for Wi-Fi Direct-capable smartphones that can be downloaded by frequent road users such as “bike messenger” or “construction worker” that will help Wi-Fi Direct-equipped vehicles identify them.
Wireless pedestrian detection is part of GM’s ongoing development of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems that could provide advance warning about hazards such as slowed or stalled vehicles, slippery roads or intersections and stop signs. By Joseph Szczesn
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Mazda readies big introduction for Moscow
On display in Moscow will be a Russian-specification sedan featuring a SkyActiveG 2 -liter gasoline engine matched with a SkyActiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle also will feature "i-ELOOP," the world's first capacitor-based regenerative braking system. In real-world driving conditions, which involve frequent acceleration and braking, i-ELOOP, a name derived from "Intelligent Energy Loop," will improve fuel economy by up to 10 percent, Mazda officials said. By Joseph Szczesny
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Honda expands Indiana plant
Honda Motor expects to double its exports of finished vehicles from the United States to other parts of the world by the middle of the decade, a senior Honda official said Wednesday.
Rick Schostek, senior vice president of Honda of America Mfg., Inc., said during an appearance the Automotive Press Association honda will export about 100,000 units this year to market in Europe, South America and Asia. “That number will double in the next couple of years,” he said. Last year, Honda’s operations in the U.S. exported 53,000 units beyond North America, he said.
In addition, 2011 was the first year since honda began building cars in North America in 1982 that in actually built more cars more cars in the U.S. than in Japan.
Honda’s production surpassed in the U.S was 823,000 units, compared with 710,000 Japan units where the tsunami had a major impact on production. In 2010, they were nearly even but Japan was slightly higher and Honda is expanding production in U.S. and North America, which is taking on a larger roll in Honda’s production plans.
“Nine of the 10 Honda and Acura vehicles we sell in the U.S. will be built here,” added Shostek, who said the company’s North American operations will also take on a larger role in the development of key models such as the mid-sized Honda Accord
As part of the continuing expansion of capacity in the U.S. and North America, Honda it was investing $40 million to increase annual production capacity by 50,000 units to a total of 250,000 vehicles. The plant will hire approximately 300 new production associates later this year in preparation for the increased production that will start early next year, Shostek said.
As part of the expansion, will add production of the Civic Hybrid, Honda's most popular hybrid model in the United States. Indiana was the first Honda plant in North America to build a hybrid vehicle when it started Acura ILX Hybrid production in April.
These latest announcements follow the start of a second shift of production last fall at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana that added approximately 1,000 jobs.
In addition, Honda announced last spring it planned to build a new assembly plant in central Mexico, which is slated to open in 2014. The expansion in Mexico and Indiana will raise Honda’s total production capacity in North America, including Mexico and Canada, to 1.92 million units by the middle of the decade. By Joseph Szczesny
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Honda tops brand poll
Honda has been recognized as the "Brand of the Year" in the "Full Line Automotive"
category according to the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study.
Honda received the highest numerical Equity Score among full line automotive brands included
in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend study.
"This study offers strong evidence that the Honda brand continues to be well-regarded by American consumers," said Mike Accavitti, vice president of National Marketing Operations for American Honda. "The combination of strong brand equity and a fresh line-up of new models that resonate with customers will drive strong growth for us this year."
Harris Poll EquiTrend is an annual brand health assessment from Harris Interactive that surveys thousands of U.S. consumers online about their brand perceptions, measuring key touchstones including familiarity, quality and purchase consideration. The 2012 survey was based on opinions of 38,529 American consumers ages 15 and over surveyed
online. EquiTrend is an annual brand health assessment from Harris Interactive that surveys thousands of U.S. consumers
about their brand perceptions, measuring key touchstones including familiarity, quality and purchase consideration. By Joseph Szczesny
Thursday, July 5, 2012
C-Max to reach 47 miles per gallon, says Ford
The segment for small hybrids such as the C-MAX Hybrid and Prius accounts for 65 percent of all hybrid sales. Ford expects about half of C-MAX buyers to be conquest customers trading in competitive models.
Ford has simultaneously increased hybrid efficiency and performance while reducing cost. The result is an expected payback period of two years for the hybrid technology premium compared with leading small crossovers. This is about half of the four-year period Ford research shows could trigger more mainstream hybrid sales.
“The C-MAX Hybrid builds on Ford’s 20 years of hybrid innovation and fuel-efficient offerings to take on Prius v with better city fuel economy at 47 mpg and at better value - a great chance for us to shake up the hybrid market,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development. “C-MAX Hybrid delivers 3 mpg more than Prius v with 50 more horsepower and exclusive technologies such as our hands-free liftgate - and the $1,300-lower base price means the payback period will be the smallest in the segment,” he said. By Joseph Szczesny
Monday, July 2, 2012
PSA to take over GM logisitcs across Europe
GM officials noted PSA Peugeot Citroen is an established leader in automotive and industrial logistics in Europe and beyon. “This marks the first step in realizing benefits from the larger Alliance with PSA. This logistics agreement will bring operational efficiency and costs savings to GM and allow us to fully utilize the proven expertise of Gefco,” said Steve Girsky, GM Vice Chairman.
Philippe Varin, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Peugeot Citroen, added: “This agreement is the first step in our long term strategic alliance with GM. It enables Gefco to continue its strategy of broadening its existing client base and growing its global business operations.”
This agreement , whichi goes into effect next year, represents one of the largest logistics agreements in the European automotive industry to date. It allows GM to gain cost savings and focus its internal resources more on GM’s core automotive business.
The agreement will impact the majority of the Opel/Vauxhall, Chevrolet and Cadillac logistics activities in Europe (including Russia) and includes services such as material and component deliveries to manufacturing plants, delivery of finished vehicles to dealerships and the transport of aftersales spare parts to distribution centers.
GM and PSA Peugeot Citroen had announced last February a broad-scale global strategic alliance that will leverage the combined strengths and capabilities of the two companies, contribute to the profitability of both partners and strongly improve their competitiveness in Europe. By Joseph Szczesny