April 2016

Infiniti shows new QX Sport Inspiration concept ahead of Beijing show

(April 24, 2016) ROLLE, Switzerland — Infiniti has revealed its new QX Sport Inspiration concept car at a design-themed media preview, two days before the car makes its public world premiere at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show. The QX Sport Inspiration was unveiled at Infiniti’s Design studio in Beijing, one of the company’s four global design studios.

Porsche launches New Vehicle Delivery Program at Atlanta center

(April 23, 2016) ATLANTA — Porsche Cars North America has launched its New Vehicle Delivery program at the Porsche Experience Center (PEC) in Atlanta. The program enables customers to place a factory order for a new vehicle through any authorized Porsche dealer in the U.S. and take delivery directly from the experiential destination, located at One Porsche Drive in Atlanta.

California forensic accountant and attorney Tracy Blumenthal was the first official customer to participate in the program this week when she picked up her new Cayenne S E-Hybrid sport utility vehicle.

Ford recycles enough aluminum to build 30,000 F-150 bodies a month

(April 23, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — The aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 — thanks to advanced materials like high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy and EcoBoost engine technology — is the greenest F-150 in history according to Ford Motor Company.

GM to idle four plants because of Japan quake supply chain disruption

(April 23, 2016) DETROIT — As General Motors continues to assess the potential impact on its supply chain from the recent earthquakes in Japan, it is taking proactive steps to mitigate a part supply issue and is adjusting production schedules at four of its North American assembly facilities.

The manufacturing operations at the following GM North America assembly facilities are currently expected to be down for two weeks beginning April 25: Spring Hill, Tenn.; Oshawa Flex Assembly, Canada; Lordstown, Ohio; and Fairfax, Kan.

FCA recalling 811,586 SUVs and cars to alter transmission shift strategy

(April 23, 2016) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is voluntarily recalling an estimated 811,586 mid-size SUVs and full-size cars in the U.S. to reduce the effect of potential driver error by enhancing  warnings and transmission shift strategy.

Harold likes the new Prius — Just ask him


(April 22, 2016) Never mind that Harold Gunn of the Automotive Reporter didn't particularly like the looks of the last-generation Toyota Prius, the new generation introduced as a 2016 model has caught his fancy. Harold likes the design and he likes the way it drives.

Toyota has refined the Prius with a radically different exterior design, created better driving dynamics, added front leg- and headroom, and increased the array of standard features. At the same time, Toyota did not lose site of its core appeal — outstanding fuel economy.

Shell unveils ultra energy efficient concept city car

(April 22, 2016) Shell today unveiled a concept city car which, if it were ever to go into production, could deliver material reductions in vehicle energy use. The three-seater car is tangible proof of energy efficiency improvements that can be achieved by using cutting edge technology available today through a process of “co-engineering” whereby vehicle body, engine design and lubricants are all created together.

Fiat Chrysler recalling nearly 24,000 vans for electrical problem

(April 22, 2016)  AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — FCA US is voluntarily recalling an estimated 23,879 vans in the U.S. to relocate an electrical connector to further protect it from excessive moisture intrusion.

Snow buildup or inordinate water accumulation near the front of the driver-side seat track may expose a connector to excessive moisture intrusion. Over time, such a condition may cause corrosion and potentially affect signals sent to a vehicle’s transmission control module. Disrupted signals may cause an unrequested shift to neutral when the vehicle is brought to a stop.

Volvo announces new target of one million electrified cars sold by 2025

(April 22, 2016) Volvo Cars has announced that it aims to sell a total of up to one million electrified cars by 2025. The Swedish company plans to achieve this aim by offering at least two hybrid versions of every model in its range and releasing the first all-electric car in 2019.

“It is a deliberately ambitious target,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “It is going to be a challenge, but Volvo wants to be at the forefront of this shift to electrification.”

Building batteries for the Chevrolet Bolt

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(April 22, 2016) There’s a lot of money in the battery business. A lot. And it’s not just in the design and development of new chemistries. Much of the money is tied up in inventory as it takes a minimum of 30 days to go from completed battery cell to one that is capable of being packaged and installed in a car.