Inside the Industry

Ford takes three categories in Popular Mechanics annual awards

(October 29, 2009) DEARBORN, Mich. — Editors at Popular Mechanics today announced the winners of the magazine’s 2010 Automotive Excellence Awards, and Ford Motor Company set a precedent, winning more categories in a single year than any other automaker in the history of the awards.

Mazda's first-half sales beat target

(October 29, 2009) TOKYO — Mazda lifted its full-year guidance to call for a slightly smaller operating loss, citing better sales and currency rates than it had anticipated.

Mazda, held 13 percent by Ford, had revised its first-half estimates earlier this month when it announced a share sale of about $1 billion, but had left its forecast for the October-March second half unchanged.

Kia Soul one of the winners of Popular Mechanics' 'Automotive Excellence Award'

(October 29, 2009) Already a recipient of numerous accolades including a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, being named to the “Coolest New Cars Under $18,000” list by Kelley Blue Book and “Interior of the Year” list by Ward’s AutoWorld, the 2010 Kia Soul has been honored again with the “2010 Automotive Excellence Award” by Popular Mechanics.

Recognized for its appealing style, fuel efficiency, handling and overall value, Soul is one of only 10 vehicles to be acknowledged on the esteemed list.

GM receives grant for work on capturing engine exhaust and turning it into energy

(October 29, 2009) WARREN, Mich. — The day is coming when the heat from your car’s engine exhaust is captured and converted to mechanical energy capable of powering your vehicle’s stereo, power seats and air conditioning.

General Motors R&D received a $2.7 million federal award Monday that will help build a prototype using Shape Memory Alloy, or SMA, that would generate electricity from the heat in automotive exhaust.

Chinese automaker Geely first in line to purchase Volvo from Ford

(October 29, 2009) Chinese automaker Geely Group Holding Co. Ford's  preferred bidder to purchase Volvo Car Corp, according to news reports.

Ford announced Wednesday that it will start more detailed negotiations with Geely, adding that no final decisions have been made.

"Ford believes Geely has the potential to be a responsible future owner of Volvo and to take the business forward while preserving its core values and the independence of the Swedish brand," Ford Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth said in a statement.

New 2010 Heavy Duty Ram has lower price than 2009 model

(October 28, 2009) Dodge’s redesigned 2010 Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickups all carry lower prices than the old models they’re replacing, Automotive News reports.

The base model 2010 Ram 2500 regular cab 4x2 with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 starts at $28,165, including shipping. That’s $1,970 cheaper than the 2009 model it replaces, according to Dodge numbers — even though the redesigned model has more equipment.

Ford's quarterly sales in Thailand up more than 21 percent

(October 26, 2009) BANGKOK, Thailand — Ford Thailand's new vehicle sales rose more than 21 percent during the third quarter from the previous quarter. September sales rose almost 8 percent from August, representing its best monthly sales this year and marking four consecutive months of increasing sales.  

Nissan recalling 160,000 Rogue models for defective screw in steering gear box

(October 26, 2009) Nissan is recalling 2008 and 2009 Rogue models for a defective screw in the steering gear box that could result in the driver losing all steering control.

More than 160,000 vehicles are affected by A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Campaign. Suspect vehicles were made from March 7, 2007 to July 20, 2009.

The defective part was manufactured in Malaysia by Japanese supplier NSK. Nissan first became aware of the problem in June of 2009 when a report of a steering problem from non-U.S. vehicle was received.

J.D. Powers says compact sales have flourished year to date

(October 24, 2009) Through the first nine months of 2009, cars outnumbered light trucks among the 20 best-selling models in the U.S. market, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM  In September 2009 and year to date, 13 of the 20 top-volume models were cars and only seven were trucks, and these included three crossovers (CUVs).

Lexus LFA supercar makes global debut at Tokyo Motor Show

(October 21, 2009) The highly anticipated LFA supercar, which just made its global debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, will be on display for the first time in North America at two back-to-back premier venues --  the 2009 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas this November and the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show in December.

Next year, Lexus will show the LFA at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Chicago Auto Show, Dallas Auto Show and New York International Auto