March 2011

'White elephant' tour bus gets the heave-ho in Pennsylvania

(March 30, 2011) HARRISBURG, Pa. (PRNewswire-USNewswire) — Making good on his commitment to reduce the state-owned vehicle fleet, Governor Tom Corbett today sent the "white elephant" of the fleet to the auction block: a 1991 tour bus that has cost Pennsylvania taxpayers more than $66,000 in spite of it being driven less than 26,000 miles in eight years.

Toyota begins rationing parts to its U.S. dealers

(March 30, 2011) The shortage of parts at Toyota because of the March 11 earthquake in Japan may affect your next visit to your local dealer.

Toyota announced on Tuesday that it is rationing some repair parts to its dealers in the U.S.

Roads are far from perfect, and Ford tests for all surfaces

(March 30, 2011) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford engineers know that not all roads are created equal. Some are pockmarked with potholes. Others simply consist of merciless off-road-like tracks. Only a blessed few roads around the world are kind to the vehicles driving over them.

Engineers know that too many drivers speed over four-inch-deep potholes or take turns too fast on cobblestone roads.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S delivers 550 horsepower

(March 30, 2011) ATLANTA —  With its new four-door Panamera Turbo S, Porsche once again raises the bar for sporty four-door luxury cars by delivering ultra high performance and efficiency, sports-car-like driving dynamics and first-class comfort in a purely Porsche package.

Porsche will reveal its most powerful Panamera for the first time in North America on April 20 at the New York International Auto Show.

Shortage of parts affecting manufacturing in the U.S.

(March 29, 2011) The shortage of parts is putting a stranglehold on the Japanese auto industry as it struggles to recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11.

Reports coming out of Japan from the Big Three — Toyota, Nissan and Honda — as well as other automakers have been dire this week.

Demand increasing for natural-gas powered vehicles

(March 29, 2011) DEARBORN, Mich. — Higher fuel prices, increasing government incentives and more fueling stations are spurring interest in compressed natural gas-powered commercial vehicles offered by Ford Motor Company.

Consider Metro Taxi of West Haven, Conn., which soon will take delivery of 20 Transit Connect Taxis powered by CNG.

Cadillacs share spotlight at Vail Film Festival

(March 29, 2011) VAIL, Colo. — With automotive entertainment systems becoming more advanced, Cadillac is out to prove at this week’s Vail Film Festival that some of the best seats in the house could be inside its luxury cars, crossovers and SUVs.

Mercedes-Benz, PGA kick off Golf Performance Center Tour at the Masters

(March 29, 2011) AUGUSTA, Ga. — A host of innovative golf teaching technologies hits the road this year giving golfers a chance to sharpen their skills as The Mercedes-Benz Performance Center, a mobile golf tour powered by The PGA of America, launches in Augusta with the help of two-time Masters Champion Bernhard Langer.

Lack of electricity new challenge for Japanese automakers

(March 28, 2011) TOKYO — Japanese automakers, facing a shortage of parts, may soon face a new challenge — not enough electricity to operate their factories.

With several electric power plants knocked out by Japan's devastating March 11 earthquake, there is a growing gap between the amount of power produced and the amount Japan's industrial base needs, the trade paper Automotive News reported today.

Consumer demand for Lincoln MKZ Hybrid exceeds expectations

(March 28, 2011) DEARBORN, Mich. — Sales of the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid luxury sedan continue to exceed expectations. Ford reports that having launched with a sales mix of approximately 15 percent within the MKZ model range, sales have continued to track at more than 20 percent since January 2011.