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Mercedes-Benz announces plans to launch its first pickup truck

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(March 28, 2015) Before the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz will expand its product range into a promising segment by launching the first pickup from a premium manufacturer. Thanks to their versatility, all-round utility, and payload of around one metric ton, pickups are popular across the world and thus have good sales potential.

2015 Toyota Yaris



DETROIT — This is a funny little car. Though a mechanical carry over, the refreshed styling has given the Yaris a cheeky look that is youthful and —from the front — a bit avant-garde. You either love it or hate it, and I found it stopped just short of going over the top. Being a Toyota, reliability isn’t a problem, though — by the same token — it’s also not very likely to have much of a personality or be terribly fun to drive.

2015 BMW X5 Diesel



HOUSTON — The BMW X5 is the luxury SUV with the soul of a performance sedan. That was true when it first rolled out at the turn of the century, and it remains true today. It just so happens that it maintains its all-weather, all-capable, cargo-hauling soul as well. Powered by a diesel-fueled 6 cylinder engine, it also manages a highly respectable 27 mpg, making the X5 a luxury leader in every sense.

2015 Chevy Suburban, Tahoe



SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. — There's a reason the Chevrolet Suburban has the distinction of being the longest continuous automotive nameplate in the world. Since the first model rolled into showrooms in 1934 as a 1935 model it has met the needs of Americans who desired a large station-wagon-like vehicle capable not only of hauling large families and their cargo, but doing it in a go-anywhere sport utility vehicle truck.

Vehicle of the Week

2015 Ford F-150 — More than aluminum



By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

By the time you read this most with even a passing interest in the automotive industry will have learned that the new 2015 Ford F-150 comes with an aluminum body, the first mass-produced vehicle to forsake sheetmetal for the lighter-weight and presumably more fuel-efficient material.

Here's the Thing

Study: Millennials claim they're better car shoppers than their parents

(March 28, 2015) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — When it comes to car shopping, it's not uncommon for young adults to turn to their parents for experienced tips and advice. But a new study from car buying platform Edmunds.com suggests that the younger, tech-savvy generation is quickly becoming a more educated and self-sufficient group of buyers due to their prolific use of mobile devices during the car shopping process.

Distraction and teen crashes: Even worse than we thought

(March 27, 2015) WASHINGTON, D.C. — The most comprehensive research ever conducted into crash videos of teen drivers has found significant evidence that distracted driving is likely much more serious a problem than previously known, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Compact SUVs expected to conquest March auto sales says Edmunds

(March 27, 2015) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Edmunds.com forecasts that 1,522,881 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in March for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 16.9 million. The projected sales will be a 21.3 percent increase from February, but a 0.8 percent decrease from March 2014.

"In March, car shoppers were quite drawn to compact SUVs, continuing a recent trend," says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell, whose team focused on this in a new Key Insights report entitled "Conquesting the Market."

Inside the Industry

Wienermobile hits the track at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

(March 28, 2015) MONTEREY, Calif. — Better to be lucky than good In motorsports was truly the case for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and its Facebook account this past Wednesday when the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile drove two laps on the iconic circuit.
 

Updated smart fortwo to make U.S. debut at New York Auto Show

(March 27, 2015) NEW YORK — The revolution enters the next round — Mercedes-Benz officials say the all-new smart fortwo has undergone improvements in virtually all areas and is markedly more comfortable. Drive power is supplied by a three-cylinder engine rated at 89 horsepower, mated to a five-speed manual transmission or the twinamic automatic dual clutch transmission.

New Mercedes GLE will be unveiled in N.Y. after a trip up from Alabama

(March 27, 2015) Mercedes-Benz has thoroughly revised the GLE, its best-seller in the Mid-sized SUV segment. The highlights of the new GLE — the new name for the M-Class — include considerably more appealing front and tail ends and extensive measures which make new benchmarks with regard to emissions and drive system possible.

Abandoned Car of the Week

Flying A still proudly flies



Flying A gasoline became the primary brand of Tidewater Oil Company in 1936 and was used on the  East Coast through 1970 when it was permanently discontinued. Phillips Petroleum purchased Tidewater's western refining, distribution and retailing network in 1966 and dropped the brand name on the West Coast. The Flying A continued to be used on the East Coast until 1970 when it was discontinued by Getty Oil Company, which in 1966 merged with Tidewater. This remnant of days gone by was photographed near Bailey, N.C.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)