Archive for December, 2007

1,000 MB C-Class Units Please

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Who could possibly defy the magnificence of Mercedes-Benz cars? I think there’s none. Anyone? The hotness of these rides especially the C-Class models are totally radical. Talk about luxury, sophistication and style – the C-Class is truly as hot as the overnight radiators, that’s why the demand for this vehicle is rapidly increasing.

According to the Auto Channel, after the imported C class was launched in China, Daimler’s first-class Mercedes-Benz obtained orders of C-class sedans tallying up to 1,000 units within a month. The MB C-series sedan was introduced in China on November 10, 2007. After that, the feedbacks from latest reports revealed affirmative response from customers.

The all-new, fresh “off the grille” Benz C-series will present C200K and C280 editions and prices will range between 398,000 yuan ($53,467) and 497,000 yuan ($66,767). The well-known car manufacturer also has a plan to locally manufacture the model starting next year in China.

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Volvo Recalls 125,000 Trucks

December 28, 2007 Leave a comment

Every car maker should ensure that every car part and accessory they install on the vehicles they make is built to be quality ones just like the durability of the Acura CL steering rack. However, sometimes because of technical problems, these auto makers failed to check the function of these car parts. This is why there are still faulty car parts in the cars running through streets.

Car makers had to recall these car parts in order to prevent accidents and other fatal incidents.

In recent news, the luxury car line Volvo, a Ford Motor Company subsidiary and also a part of the Premiere Automotive Group, recently reported a recall of 125,000 trucks in the United States. Reuters revealed that these trucks were found to have faulty electrical components which may lead to possible accidents. This is why Volvo had to recall these trucks. The world’s number two truck maker said the problem was related to the main circuit-breaker in the lighting system.

Volvo spokesman Tommy Kohle said, “We have had reports of incidents. Exactly what that entails, I don’t know, but we have decided it is serious.” He failed to reveal the cost of the total recall however he confirms that the cost of the recall won’t affect the total firm’s share price.

It will be expensive to have a recall especially for luxury car brands. I just wish Ford won’t be affected that much by this recall.

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Honda Eyes 2008 Gains

December 14, 2007 Leave a comment
Honda Motor Co. is pleased to announce its growing sales…

Earlier, the Japanese automaker’s American unit reported that its sales increased by 3% or more next year even as the overall market for new vehicles slumps in line with a slowing economy and increased consumer caution, a senior executive said on Thursday.

John Mendel, executive vice president in charge of Honda’s American operations, said he expected industry-wide sales to slip to between 15.5 million and 16 million vehicles in the U.S. next year. The event would etch a dive from an industry total near 16.1 million vehicles this year, the lowest tally since 1998.

“It’s going to continue to slow,” Mendel told Reuters. “I just don’t know that we’re going to get the big whack that doomsayers would predict.”

Analysts and exes in the industry are troubled in recent weeks about the risk that a housing downturn combined with a spike in mortgage defaults could undermine U.S. vehicle sales in 2008.

But Mendel said he expected both the vehicle market and the broader U.S. economy would both start to improve in the second half of next year, “short of some cataclysmic shock that no one has predicted.” The automaker eyes sales to increase by 3% to 4.

“I think next year is probably on target for that,” he added. “Honda could even benefit if American consumers turn more cautious because its vehicle line-up leads in overall fuel economy and in maintaining resale values, key considerations for shoppers who are looking to economize. It seems to me that if you look back at our history we’ve tended to prosper more than the rest when times were tough.”

“Honda is an interesting place. I have yet to sit in on a business planning session where market share comes up,” said Mendel, who joined Honda in 2004 from Mazda Motor Corp. “Market share is an outcome for us. It’s not something we drive for.”

Honda’s sales growth this year has come from gains in its mainstay sedans, the redesigned Accord and the smaller Civic, combined with momentum that has made its CR-V the best-selling SUV in the U.S. market, according to Guardian Unlimited.

Honda’s weak link, by far, is its Acura luxury brand, where U.S. sales have plummeted more than 10% through November.

Mendel said upcoming Acura product launches, including a revamped TL sedan, would show Honda’s commitment to making Acura fully competitive with the best luxury offerings. The automaker’s upcoming offering is expected to haul sales as efficient as performance pulleys.

“Starting next fall, you’ll start to see a new direction and a new course in terms of Acura,” Mendel concluded. “This year has been kind of a transition year. We’ve addressed both of those in this minor model change, but it won’t be until the full model change where you see where we’re going with the brand. That decision had cost the brand some ‘cachet’ and could be reviewed in the future. We always evaluating, especially with Acura, where the brand is going.”

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Comparison Of Video Sharing Sites

December 14, 2007 Leave a comment

The Internet is currently playing a key role in the car shopping needs of consumers. It has been reported that majority of auto buyers spend most of their time on the web when it comes to researching for a new car to buy. The advantages of using the World Wide Web includes being able to see different specs of different vehicles at the comfort of a consumer’s own home. With the Internet, they would not have to visit a dealership one by one just to compare vehicles.

Recently, J.D. Power and Associates conducted a study to see which video sharing sites are effective when it comes to reaching car buyers. The Auto Channel reported that smaller video-sharing sites are more effective in targeting buyers of specific segments than larger sites.

Arianne Walker, director of marketing and media research at J.D. Power and Associates said: “A relatively small number of adults — roughly 6 percent of the population — purchase a new vehicle each year, so it is particularly important to carefully target automotive advertising to mediums that will provide the best balance of audience reach and penetration. More new-vehicle buyers are viewing video on the Web, and advertisers could benefit from staying on top of this growing trend.”

“Finding ways to closely and efficiently target consumers can be extremely beneficial to automakers, particularly when vehicle segments experiencing considerable growth in sales are pinpointed,” continued Walker. “In this instance, smaller video-sharing sites attract a higher concentration of compact CUV buyers, which can make such sites more effective in targeting these buyers with relevant automotive advertising.”

Walker explained further: “As an example, YouTube’s and MSN Video’s visitor target demographics are nearly identical. However, when segment reach is examined more closely, it becomes apparent that MSN Video has the propensity to deliver a higher proportion of target compact CUV buyers, compared with YouTube.”

This only shows the potential that the Internet has for reaching car buyers. Through the Web, consumers can also find auto parts such as radiators for Nissan vehicles for sale.

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Holiday Carols To Save Teen Drivers This Season

December 11, 2007 Leave a comment

Believe it or not, car crashes are the scariest nightmares for teen drivers! Almost 6,000 lives were already taken and the most shocking thing about this is that the Christmas season is the deadliest time for young adult drivers… sad but true!

However, a group of dedicated teenagers didn’t let any barriers or a defective ignition coil block them from spreading joyful cheers with several smart driving tips and messages. According to The Auto Channel, during one of the first contests of its category created “Holiday Holla,” Danny Luebke and Carl Turner, both 18 from New Prague, Minnesota, won $15,000 and were acknowledged for their originality in being smart driving supporters. The award was given courtesy of The Allstate Foundation.

“It’s still so unreal,” said Turner. “We’re really excited about this – performing was crazy, there were thousands of people there. Danny and I are so happy to have learned about Keep the Drive and The Allstate Foundation; we hope our all the other teens out there will check our song out on and drive smarter as a result.”

Danny Luebke and Carl Turner and the four other groups of finalists from all over the US presented at the Mall of America last December 8. The pair earned the admiration of the crowds and panel of judges with their piece “Make a Difference,” a cheerful acoustic adaptation of the holiday cheer “Good King Wenceslaus.”

“Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens,” said Swift. “That’s a scary fact, but something we as young drivers have the power to change. It’s great for me to have this forum to reach out to my fellow teen drivers to promote smart driving in a fun way, especially during the holidays. Hopefully teens will start to think twice before doing something dangerous like text messaging while driving.”

Other winners are Nick Bates, 15, Fred Kreider, 15, and Lucas Wiggins, 14, all of Minneapolis, Minnesota. They performed “Christmas Eve,” a punk rock version of “We Three Kings.” They won second place and the $3,000 runners-up prize. Lauren Lindstrom, 17, of Santa Cruz, Calif, Zoe Novic, 16, of Ben Lomond, Calif, and Eli Zinman, 16 of Santa Cruz, Calif, grabbed $1,500 in the third place.

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Small Packages From Volkswagen

December 8, 2007 Leave a comment

Three of the newest concept cars from Volkswagen belong to VW’s small car family. Presenting the Up! two-door city expert car providing extra space and excitement for four, the Space Up! four-door microvan with the greatest changeability and the Space Up! Blue with zero emissions.

According to the Auto Spectator, the three VW cute concept cars had its world tour for 14 weeks before they were placed on display together with their hot radiators at the 2007 Bologna Motor Show.

“For both my team and for me, it was a dream to design these concept vehicles because these cars embody the emergence of a new era. Anyone looking at the New Small Family will immediately see how friendly and neat these Volkswagens are. Cars of this sort are fun. No explanation is needed – they speak for themselves,” confirmed Walter de Silva, the Chief Designer of Volkswagen Group, at the start of the press conference.

Volkswagen launched the New Small Family on a tour around the world before their shared a debut in Bologna. The tour started back in September at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt with the two-door Up!.

“That was perhaps also because every Up! also demonstrates commitment to protecting our environment. After all, extremely clean petrol and diesel engines and electric motors will be working in the backs of these cars,” says Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, a Board Member with the responsibility for Technical Development at Volkswagen.

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GreenRoad Selected For Modern Teen Driver Safety Study By AAA Colorado

December 6, 2007 Leave a comment

Teen drivers are one of the major concerns in road safety today – talk about broken tailgates due to drag racing and overspeeding! That’s why another pioneering technology will be introduced for teen driver safety. The GreenRoad Technologies, Inc., one of the leading groups in driver safety technologies, has been chosen to perform the study on how to help develop teen driver safety. The GreenRoad Safety Center was proclaimed as the major pick of AAA Colorado yesterday.

According to The Auto Channel, the study will carry on within six months wherein a Safety Center will be set up in 200 AAA Colorado member teen drivers’ cars. The goal of the study is to classify and lessen dangerous driving behavior from teen drivers. AAA Colorado’s objective is to encourage driving safety between parents and teens by presenting a device that is able to illustrate how teens are doing behind the wheel. But they are going to do this without invading their privacy or supervise where they are going.

“AAA Colorado offers programs to ensure that new teen drivers are operating their vehicles as safely as possible. Through our partnership with GreenRoad, we hope to change teen driving behavior and ultimately reduce teen road accidents and fatalities,” says AAA spokesperson Eric Escudero.

“Statistics show that car accidents are the leading cause of deaths for teens in the United States,” said Dan Steere, the GreenRoad CEO. “Now technology is making it possible for us to see risky driving behavior and change it before an accident occurs. GreenRoad’s mission, in partnership with AAA, is to help teens and parents take action that can ultimately save lives.”

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Aussie’s Best Cars Of The Year

December 5, 2007 Leave a comment
Are you an Aussie? I suppose you know the best cars in your nation. But if you don’t, it’s time to hit your refresh button.

The stylish European Ford Mondeo leads 5 new entries in the ranks of Australia’s best cars, as the country’s auto clubs vote for their honor roll for this year, reports said. The Mondeo, which is one of the 50 consumer-focused fresh arrivals for this year, epitomizes the changing face of Aussie new-cars showrooms. The car is joined by VW Golf R32, BMW M3, Nissan X-Trail and BMW X5 diesel on the Best Cars honor roll.

“The Mondeo reflects all the shifts in the market in one car,” said the chief judge of the Australia’s Best Cars contest, Ernest Litera of the RACV. “This is a vehicle that has the space and comfort we’ve traditionally found in a large car, and it is available with a diesel engine. The market is shifting to quality mid-size cars.”

“These awards are not about the automotive industry – they are about the consumer,” the executive director of the Australian Automobile Association, Mike Harris, said yesterday. “AAA and Australia’s automotive clubs represent more than 6.5 million members and these awards provide them – and all motorists – with an independent program.”

There were 7 repeat champions but the longest-running by far is the Honda Odyssey. This time around, the vehicle is defending its crown this time against the new family-focused Toyota Kluger. “The Odyssey has won for the fourth time, and that’s because it is a purpose-built people mover,” Litera said. “A good car is not just a good car for 12 months. A winner will often run back-to-back, because it takes the competition a couple of years to get on top.”

Honda, the affiliate of the luxury maker of Acura CL engine parts, could’ve been very jubilant to hear the news.

Australia’s Best Cars

Small car: Volkswagen Polo TDI

Mid-size car under $28,000: Honda Civic VTi

Mid-size car over $28,000: Ford Mondeo TDCi

Large car: Toyota Aurion AT-X

People mover: Honda Odyssey Luxury

Sports car: Volkswagen Golf R32

Luxury sports car: BMW M3

Prestige car: Lexus IS250

Luxury car: Lexus GS450h

Recreational 4WD: Nissan X-Trail ST

Luxury 4WD: BMX X5 Diesel

All-terrain 4WD: Land Rover Discovery 3 SE TDV6

Apart from the 12 winners, the Best Cars results offer a wide-scope auto shopper’s guide that allows buyers to choose the features they want. “While we have an overall winner in each category, you can also use the tables to find what you want. And it’s not subjective,” Litera noted.

[credit: Melbourne Herald Sun]

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