Inside the Industry

2010 Toyota Prius leads industry fuel economy ratings

(October 16, 2009) Toyota's 2010 hybrid Prius leads the industry in fuel economy at 48 miles per gallon/city and 51 mpg/highway, while Ford boasts four vehicles on a U.S. government list released on Thursday of the most-efficient models.

Japanese manufacturers again dominated the annual rankings issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), placing eight gasoline/electric hybrid models in the top ten.

Lutz says only one GM customer has returned a car

(October 15, 2010) Since launching its money-back-guarantee program, General Motors has had just one customer returnd a vehicle. Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman, said GM has sold about 150,000 vehicles since the program began. Of that, just over 100 customers have opted to take a 60-day money-back guarantee, Lutz said. The rest turned down that option and instead took a $500 cash incentive.

Regal name dusted off for Buick's next sports sedan

(October 14, 2009) As part of Buick's strategy to engage and listen to its dealers, more than 1,000 dealers this week will be the first to learn the name of Buick’s next mid-size sport sedan will be the Buick Regal. The announcement was made at the Buick/GMC dealer business meeting.

Nissan/Infiniti recalling vehicles to fix tire-pressure monitoring system

(October 14, 2009) Nissan plans to recall as many as 143,000 cars to replace a nut in the tire-pressure monitoring system that may corrode and crack in areas with heavy concentrations of road salt, the government said Monday.

A cracked nut could cause it to fall out of the sensor-transmitter that it secures, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a report on its Web site.

Ford continues record growth in China, sales up 32 percent in 2009

(October 14, 2010) Ford Motor Company continued its record growth in China in the third quarter, with sales of its joint-ventures and wholly-owned entities increasing 79 percent over the same period last year, to 119,338 units. Through the first nine months of the year, its sales rose 32 percent to 316,639 units.

General Motors to invest $230 million in four Michigan plants

(October 14, 2009) DETROIT — Good news for Michigan workers. General Motors said on Tuesday that it will invest more than $230 million in four plants around Flint, Mich., to help build the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze compact and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid sedan.

The move will restore about 500 jobs, GM said in a statement.

Ford posts best September share in European market since 2001

(October 12, 2009) Ford achieved a 10.1 per cent market share in September 2009 in its 19 European main markets — the best share for any month since September 2001 and a 0.8 percentage point increase on the same month 2008.

A total of 51,400 new Ford Fiestas were registered in Europe last month — the best September for Fiesta since 1994.

Honda Element goes to the dogs for 2010

(October 10, 2009) TORRANCE, Calif.  — The Honda Element lineup expands for the 2010 model year with an all-new "Dog Friendly" pet accommodation system designed to improve safety, comfort and convenience for dogs and their owners alike, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today. The 2010 Honda Element arrives at dealerships nationwide by mid-October. The Dog Friendly Element is set to become available on Nov. 16.

General Motors completes deal with Chinese company for Hummer brand

(October 9, 2009) General Motors has completed a deal to sell the Hummer SUV brand to China's Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co.

The companies did not disclose financial terms in announcing the deal today. News reports said Thursday that Sichuan Tengzhong would pay $150 million for the U.S. brand.

Tengzhong is purchasing Hummer through an investment entity, in which it will hold an 80 percent stake. Entrepreneur Suolang Duoji, whose holdings include Chinese chemical maker Lumena, will control the other 20 percent.

Infiniti to get first hybrid, a 2012 M35, on sale during spring 2011

(October 9, 2009) Infiniti has confirmed that its first production hybrid vehicle will be part of the recently announced line of 2011 Infiniti M luxury performance sedans, which are scheduled to go on sale in spring 2010 at Infiniti dealers nationwide. The Infiniti M35 hybrid is expected to arrive about 12 months later as a 2012 model. It is Infiniti’s first hybrid in its 20-year existence, as well as the cleanest and most economical car in Infiniti’s history.