September 2014

GM truck sales climb 18 percent in August

(September 3, 2014) DETROIT — General Motors dealers delivered 272,423 vehicles in the United States in August, led by an 18 percent increase in truck sales compared to a year ago, a 10 percent increase in GMC deliveries and a 30 percent increase in commercial sales.

Total deliveries were down 1 percent compared with last August, which was GM’s best sales month of 2013. Retail deliveries, which are sales to individual consumers, declined 4 percent. Fleet deliveries were up 9 percent compared with a year ago.

Toyota rolls out new Camry with design updates for 2015

(September 3, 2014) When redesigning the Camry for 2015, Toyota went bumper to bumper and floor to roof, changing or re-engineering nearly 2,000 parts. Only the roof remains unchanged, and it caps off what Toyota describes as the boldest Camry body ever. That provides an idea of the scope of the transformation that also endows the new Camry with a stiffer body structure, enhanced aerodynamics and its quietest ride ever.

Chrysler reports August sales increase 20 percent over 2013

(September 3, 2014) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Chrysler Group today reported U.S. sales of 198,379 units, a 20 percent increase compared with sales in August 2013 when 165,552 units were sold, and the group’s best August sales since 2002. The Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram Truck brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in August compared with the same month a year ago.

Land Rover unveils 2015 Discovery Sport and launches contest for space trip

(September 3, 2014) MAHWAH, N.J. — Today Land Rover unveiled the 2015 Discovery Sport, the brand’s new premium compact SUV and first of the new Discovery family of vehicles, in a video hosted on

The new Discovery Sport debut video, shot at Spaceport America, N. M., was released in conjunction with the announcement of the Land Rover “Galactic Discovery” competition, offering groups of aspiring astronauts a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to space with three friends for the ultimate adventure.

Ford reaffirms its 'best-in-class' tow rating with 2015 F-450

(September 2, 2014) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford said it has reaffirmed its heavy-duty towing leadership of the 2015 Ford F-450 Super Duty Class 3 pickup at 31,200 pounds after testing using the Society of Automotive Engineers J2807 standard.

SAE J2807 establishes tow vehicle performance requirements against certain performance criteria to determine a truck’s maximum trailer tow rating. Ford is a founding member of the J2807 committee, which includes other truck and trailer manufacturers.

Rolls-Royce unveils Ghost Series II at auto show in China

(September 2, 2014) CHENGDU, China — Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has unveiled the eagerly anticipated Ghost Series II to the Chinese market at the 2014 Chengdu Motor Show. Ghost Series II delivers the latest industry-leading technology from Rolls-Royce clad in a subtle re-design. 

Kia to add 17 DC fast chargers in California in advance of Soul EV

(September 2, 2014) IRVINE,  Calif. — Kia Motors America (KMA) is kicking off the implementation of a robust charging network in advance of the Soul EV going on sale in California during the third quarter of this year. With Kia's addition of 17 new DC fast chargers to California's already-existing network of 198, charger availability will be increased nearly nine percent statewide by year-end.

Chevrolet Equinox sales still growing in its fifth year

(September 2, 2014) DETROIT — Greg Stahl, president of Bob Johnson Chevrolet in Rochester, N.Y., has a pleasant problem. He cannot keep the Equinox compact SUV in stock. While this could be true for any hot new car or truck, the Equinox is in its fifth year of production.

 With sales rising every year since introduction in 2009 as a 2010 model, the Equinox joins those rare vehicles – think Toyota Camry and Honda Accord – that report sustained sales month after month and year after year.

Yamaha releases entertaining English version of 'RevTranslator' app

(September 1, 2014) IWATA, Japan — Yamaha Motor Co. has announced the release of the English-language version of RevTranslator, a smartphone app that analyzes sounds and operating environments to enable engines to "speak" to their owners.

The Lotus recipe for unmitigated disaster

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(September 1, 2014) The Malaysian automotive website is reporting that new Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales has told the Proton Cars board of directors that Lotus will have two new vehicles around which it will build its future: a D segment performance sedan and an SUV. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is what many believe to be the playbook that led Porsche to become fabulously profitable in the early part of this century.