Inside the Industry

China becomes second best market for Bentley

(May 20, 2011) BEIJING — Bentley Motors this week announced that it had sold a record 396 cars in mainland China in the first four months of 2011. This shattered the previous record — which was set only last year — by 66 percent.

In 2010, Bentley sold just under a thousand cars in China — nearly double the previous year’s performance — making it the third most important single market for Bentley.

Ford to build first transmission plant in China

(May 20, 2011) CHONGQING, China — Ford, together with its partners in China, is building its first transmission plant in China to support Ford's aggressive growth plan in the world's largest auto market.
Ford's passenger vehicle joint venture in China, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Ltd. (CFMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding Thursday for the transmission plant project with the Chongqing Municipal Government.

Honda recalling 2012 Civics over fuel line issue

(May 19, 2011) TORRANCE, Calif. — Honda has already spotted a problem with the all-new 2012 Civic just as they are reaching dealer showrooms.

Honda said today that it will voluntarily recall 1,156 model-year 2012 Civic vehicles in the U.S. to replace the fuel feed line, which could potentially leak a small amount of fuel.

AAA projects slight increase in Memorial Day travelers

(May 19, 2011) AURORA, Ill. (PRNewswire) — AAA projects 34.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a slight increase of 0.2 percent — or 100,000 travelers — from the 34.8 million people who traveled one year ago.

The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30.

TRW introduces roof airbag technology that eliminates instrument panel bags

(May 19, 2011) LIVONIA, Mich. (PRNewswire) — TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. has today unveiled its new "bag in roof" airbag system which replaces passenger airbags typically mounted in the instrument panel.

Chevy Volt plant to close for a month making tight supplies even tighter

(May 19, 2011) DETROIT — General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, home of the Chevrolet Volt, will close for four weeks beginning in June for planned upgrades to prepare for a significant increase in the rate of Volt production, along with assembly of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan.

Already in tight supply, the number of Volts available for delivery to retail customers will be further restricted over the next three months before production resumes and the Volt and the Opel Ampera begin being exported to Europe and China.

Hyundai displays fuel cell vehicle at European Business Summit

(May 18, 2011) BRUSSELS — Hyundai is participating for the first time at the European Business Summit in Brussels, speaking on sustainable mobility and displaying the company’s latest products, including the ix35 Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV).

Stylish Vauxhall people hauler, the Zafira Tourer, to hit showrooms in 2012

(May 18, 2011) Vauxhall has confirmed that the Zafira Tourer concept, previewed at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, will become a production reality in Europe, with first cars in UK showrooms by early 2012.

Called the Zafira Tourer, the new model will sit above the current Zafira model in Vauxhall’s line-up and is set to raise the bar for design, luxury, flexibility and innovation in the MPV sector.

Manipulating fuel pump helps save gas in Chevrolet Cruze

(May 18, 2011) DETROIT — With gasoline topping $4 a gallon, there are many ways to conserve fuel and save money. The Chevrolet Cruze relies on microprocessors in the brain of the compact car’s fuel system to help.

The Electronic Returnless Fuel System on the Cruze increases fuel economy by 2 percent compared to vehicles with a standard fuel system, said Terry Wilton, General Motors’ senior manager for fuel system components.

Yamaha moving majority of ATV manufacturing to U.S.

(May 18, 2011) CYPRESS, Calif. (PRNewswire) — Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., and Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America announced today that the first production run of new all-terrain vehicle (ATV) models transferred to the U.S. from overseas facilities will take place this month at Yamaha's state-of-the-art factory in Newnan, Ga.