February 2012

Ford Focus demand grows in high-volume California market

(February 7, 2012) DEARBORN, Mich. — Customer demand for the 2012 Ford Focus is on the rise, most notably in the high-volume California market.
“Focus is making new friends for the Blue Oval out west,” said Paul Russell, Ford Focus Marketing Manager. “Ford dealers are seeing more small car activity, and that tells us Focus is getting on to more shopping lists.”

TL leads solid increase in Acura car sales

(February 7, 2012) TORRANCE, Calif. — Acura announced last week that its January sales of 8,381 represented an increase of 5.3 percent compared to January 2011. But the big story is the mid-sized TL.

The TL was refreshed during the 2011 model year, toning down a design that has received considerable criticism, and might have turned off some prospective buyers. In the styling update, Acura revised the grille (the subject of most of the ridicule) and reworked the rear end.

New seventh-generation Porsche 911 reaches showrooms

(February 6, 2012) ATLANTA — Porsche Cars North America today announced that the new Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S models have arrived in Porsche showrooms around the country. The latest generation of the iconic Porsche 911 is on-sale now.

Following its media introduction last fall, journalists world-wide have titled this latest 911 as the best yet. All early indicators point to it remaining every bit the icon it has been since its 1964 debut.

Juke-sized Nissan Invitation concept to be shown in Geneva

(February 6, 2012) Nissan has revealed the first details of a head-turning hatchback concept which previews the company’s next mainstream B-segment contender, to be sold alongside the Juke crossover.

Called Invitation, the dynamic concept — which will be unveiled at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show — shows some of the innovation and excitement promised for the new model, which is due to be launched in the UK and other European countries in 2013.

Used car prices will continue to rise, NADA says

(February 6, 2012) LAS VEGAS — Increasing demand and a drop in the supply of used cars and trucks will lead to higher used vehicle prices in 2012, says Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Used Car Guide.

"Consumers shopping for either a new or used vehicle will benefit this year from higher trade-in values along with loosening credit," Banks said at a press briefing during the NADA Convention and Expo in Las Vegas. "For dealers, reliance on customer trade-ins will increase as they strive to meet the challenges of growing demand in a supply-constrained market."

Once Upon a Car — The fall and resurrection of Detroit's Big Three

A Book Review
By Al Vinikour


The old adage that “Truth is stranger than fiction” has never been more appropriately proven than through the pages of Bill Vlasic’s new book Once Upon A Car. If Tom Clancy or Lee Child were to write a non-fiction thriller they would still not measure up to Vlasic’s skills.

More luxury heaped onto Ram Laramie Longhorn

(February 4, 2012) Can you really ever have too much of a good thing? Well, candy, maybe … or seconds on mashed potatoes. The Ram brand, on the other hand, says “no way” with another heaping helping of top-of-the-line luxury added to the lineup.

Joining the popular Ram Laramie Longhorn in setting a new standard for pickup truck capability and elegance — the 2012 Ram Laramie Limited makes its debut at the Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 8, with an approach to life that’s more refined luxury, compared to Longhorn’s southwestern theme.

Mercedes to introduce new small delivery van in Europe

(February 4, 2012) The small delivery van market in the U.S. is still a niche segment currently dominated by the Ford Transit Connect. It's big business in Europe where around 700,000 units are sold annually. So it stands to reason that luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz would seek a slice of the pie.

Nissan official upbeat over automaker's outlook for 2012

(February 3, 2012) In a year that begins the launch of 20 new products in 24 months in the U.S. market, Brian Carolin, Nissan North America’s senior vice president for sales and marketing, spoke with the Media Center about January results. Carolin’s team produced a 10.4 percent increase over last January sales; leading the effort were the Nissan Versa, Altima, Rogue and Frontier.

Chevy Silverado survives end of world in Super Bowl ad (watch video)

(February 3, 2012) DETROIT — The Chevrolet Silverado, the longest-lasting, most-dependable full-size pickup on the road, shows off how reliable it really is in a 60-second ad that will air during the first quarter of Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday.