September 2011

General Motors retains Bob Lutz as advisor

(September 2, 2011) DETROIT — General Motors today announced the retention of former Vice Chairman Robert A. "Bob" Lutz to provide counsel to the senior leadership team of the company. 

Lutz will be available to executives on a part-time consultancy basis effective immediately.

The mystery surrounding the Chevrolet bowtie

(September 2, 2011) DETROIT — Globally recognized today, the Chevrolet bowtie logo was introduced by company co-founder William C. Durant in late 1913. But how it came to be synonymous with the brand is open to wide interpretation.

Durant’s version of how the logo came into existence is well known. The long-accepted story, confirmed by Durant himself, was that it was inspired by the wallpaper design in a Parisian hotel.

Tiny single-seat electric commuter car unveiled by Volkswagen

(September 2, 2011) Nils, a single-seat electric concept vehicle that offers a glimpse of a new form of minimalist mobility, has been unveiled by Volkswagen ahead of its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month. 

This concept car — which features an aluminum space frame, wing doors and free-standing wheels — has the dynamic performance of a sports car, yet travels silently, and with zero emissions.

Planet Fiat opens in Miami; stores now number more than 100

(September 2, 2011) Already owning a Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram Truck dealership in Miami, it only seems appropriate that father and son team, Walter and Scott Ritter, add a FIAT studio to their automotive family tree. And that is just what they have done.

Planet FIAT is adjacent to the Ritter's other Chrysler Group brands dealership and is the 12th FIAT studio to open in Florida.

Hot-selling Chevy Cruze one of year's biggest success stories

(September 2, 2011) DETROIT — For the fourth month in a row, the Chevrolet Cruze is the best-selling compact car in the United States, recording 21,807 sales in August. It is also the fifth-consecutive month of Cruze sales exceeding 20,000 units.

Lexus not going down without a fight

(September 2, 2011) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — BMW and Mercedes-Benz are each in position to knock Lexus from the top of the luxury sales standings this year, but Lexus isn't going down without a fight.

According to's monthly analysis of the True Cost of Incentives(TCISM), Lexus upped its average incentive spending 41 percent to $2,667 per vehicle in August, the biggest month-to-month increase by any major automotive brand.

Detroit three post double-digit sales increases in August

(September 1, 2011) Ford, General Motors and Chrysler all reported double-digit sales gains in August despite forecasts of cooling demand for new vehicles.

General Motors posted an 18 percent gain compared to August 2010, Ford was up 11 percent and Chrysler Group was up 28 percent. Chrysler has now had increases of 20 percent or more in six of the last eight months.

BMW recalling 241,000 3-Series cars for light defect

(September 1, 2011) BMW is recalling 241,000 3-Series cars in the U.S. because of a rear- light defect it says may cause crashes. It is one of the German automaker's largest safety-related recalls.

The recall is for model years 2002-2005 of the 325i, 325xi, 330i and 330xi cars, the German automaker said in a posting on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Web site.

Soy is not just for lunch anymore — Ford can explain

(September 1, 2011) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford and Lear Corporation are taking another leap forward in sustainable technology with the introduction of new head restraint foam that has 25 percent of the polyol replaced with soy.

Seventy-five percent of Ford’s North American vehicles feature bio-foam in the head restraints, including the Ford F-150, Taurus, Explorer and Fusion. All Ford Motor Company vehicles built in North America use bio-foam content in the seat cushions and backs.

Chrysler to debut 8-speed transmission in Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300

(September 1, 2011) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The first eight-speed automatic transmission in a domestically produced automobile will mark its debut on both the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger for 2012.

The new eight-speed automatic, introduced and licensed through ZF and often found on high-end luxury cars including Audi, Bentley, BMW, Range Rover and Rolls Royce, will be available on selected models of the 300 and Charger.