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Volkswagen to reveal I.D. Vizzion autonomous vehicle in Geneva

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(February 20, 2018) WOLFSBURG, Germany — The I.D. VIZZION supports the Volkswagen claim for future individual mobility. Volkswagen says its electric drive system makes the car clean in road traffic, and its automatic driving control will make it safe and much more comfortable. At the same time, this innovative concept car to be revealed at the Geneva International Motor Show demonstrates how elegant and emotional the design of a vehicle of the future can be.

2019 Jeep Cherokee



MALIBU, Calif. — With 9 million sales worldwide and 2 million in the U.S. alone, the compact crossover utility vehicle is “the largest SUV segment in the world,” says Scott Tallon, director of Jeep Brand. Up against segment leader Nissan Rogue and big sellers like Honda CRV, RAV4 and Ford Escape, the Jeep Cherokee makes up just 9.5 to 10 percent market share in the segment.

2018 Mini Countryman plug-in



MIAMI — The Mini Cooper is not yet at the stage where it needs to be upgraded to the “MAXI” Cooper, but it seems to be moving in that direction. Launched in 1959 as a trend-setting, two-door sub-compact that was 120.25 inches long — not much more than the wheelbase for many large vehicles — and weighed in at just over 1,300 pounds, the Mini now is available as a four-door wagon that is four feet longer and weighs in at twice the original hardtop’s heft.

2018 Nissan Leaf



NAPPA. Calif. — Most news stories regarding battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are about Tesla and the great things Elon Musk is doing…or not. But what’s known but by a few is that the world’s best-selling electric car to date is the Nissan Leaf. At the start of 2016, more than 200,000 have been sold worldwide. The Leaf is the only BEV built in three different manufacturing plants in three different countries, including Smyrna, Tenn.

Vehicle of the Week

2018 Buick Enclave — Second generation



By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

It's been more than a decade since the Buick Enclave was introduced, a luxury-oriented near-full-size crossover that challenged competitors with a stylish design and a library-quiet interior. Since then Enclave has soldiered on with incremental improvements, updated software, and engine and transmission refinements.

Here's the Thing

Gas price averages trending cheaper on the week nationwide

(February 20, 2018) The national gas price average has been steadily decreasing for nearly two weeks dropping from the year-to-date high of $2.61 (on Feb. 5) to today’s national average of $2.53. Motorists in nearly every state are paying less on the week with Midwest and Southern states seeing the largest price drops at the pump. Hawaii (+2 cents) and Indiana (+1 cent) were the only states to see increases, according to statistics compiled by AAA.

New GasBuddy feature provides drivers with vehicle recall notifications

(February 16, 2018) BOSTON — Vehicle recalls in the United States increased 222 percent from 2012 to 2016. Despite tens of millions of vehicle recalls issued every year, more than 25 percent of drivers don’t get their cars repaired, according to the National Highway Safety Administration.

That’s why GasBuddy, a smartphone app connecting more than 70 million drivers with the Perfect Pit Stop, has announced the new Car Profile feature, providing drivers the easiest way to track and be notified of important vehicle recall information.

Buick, Lexus lead 2018 J.D. Power dependability study

(February 15, 2018) Buick has reclaimed the title as the most dependable mass-market brand after three years of vehicle ownership while luxury marque Lexus again topped the industry, according to the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study.

Buick led the mass-market segment with 116 reported problems per 100 vehicles, 10 fewer than last year. That was good for third place overall and its third mass-market win in four years. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus topped the chart as the most dependable brand for the seventh year in a row, followed by Porsche.

Inside the Industry

Nissan global sales driven by momentum in crossover, SUV models

(February 20, 2018) YOKOHAMA, Japan — Nissan's global crossover and SUV sales increased more than 12 percent in 2017 to more than 2 million vehicles, driven by the all-new Nissan Kicks small crossover, the Rogue, X-Trail and Qashqai compact models, a refreshed Armada full-size SUV and the Infiniti QX30 compact luxury crossover.

Nissan's global crossover and SUV models increased nearly 13 percent, while Infiniti luxury crossovers and SUVs were up almost 9 percent in 2017. In total, Nissan increased global crossover and SUV volume by nearly 230,000 vehicles last year.

1941 Buick Sedanette 'Dillinger' wins Custom d'Elegance award

(February 20 2018) SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An extraordinary 1941 Buick Sedanette owned by Clifford Mattis and built by Antioch, Calif.-based Lucky 7 Customs was named as the recipient of the coveted “Custom d’Elegance” award at the 68th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Sacramento Autorama, in a presentation made during closing ceremonies at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds on Sunday.

Ford and Effat University help women make driving history in Saudi Arabia

(February 20, 2018) DUBAI, UAE — Ford is assisting Saudi Arabian women ahead of them gaining the power of mobility by hosting a special four-day Driving Skills for Life program with Effat University. The groundbreaking course — Driving Skills for Life for Her — follows the landmark decision by the Kingdom, as decreed by His Highness, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to lift the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia.

Abandoned Car of the Week

Corvair minus top



This second-generation (1965-1969) Chevrolet Corvair convertible was found sans a top in retirement off Route 66 in New Mexico. The rear engine Corvair was built from 1960-1969. In the first year of the second generation, Corvair sales hit 247,092, but steadily dropped off through the last year of production in 1969 when only 6,000 cars were built.
(Photos by Jim Meachen)