Inside the Industry

Lutz speaks — ad agencies safe (for now), leasing at GM will resume

(July 2009) General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz is back in the news. This week he has discussed leasing and advertising.

With the uproar over the Buick LaCrosse ad featuring the trendy West Coast director, Lutz — who now has the final say in advertising for GM — has left the ad agency people responsible for the ad quaking in their boots.

Honda to sell natural gas Civic in Utah

(July 2009) TORRANCE, Calif. — Honda today announced that dealers in Utah will have the option of selling the natural gas-powered Honda Civic GX to customers on a retail basis, beginning today.

Jaguar joins Bentley, Porsche using Monterey as launch platform for new vehicles

(July 2009) The Monterey, California Peninsula's Classic Car Week (August 9-16) that includes the Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, the Monterey Historics and the famed Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance will be the backdrop for introductions by three European brands, themselves historic in their own right.

Nissan and JATCO develop next-generation CVT

(July 2009) Most of Nissan's American lineup operates with CVTs or continually variable transmissions — transmissions that have an infinite number of gear ratios.

Ford Focus, Volvo C30 win top side-impact safety ratings from IIHS

(July 2009) The Ford Focus and the Volvo C30 two-door models got top ratings for side impact crashes by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it was announced on July 21. To evaluate the extent to which automakers are extending crashworthiness improvements to two-door cars, the Institute conducted front, side, and rear tests of 2009 coupes including the Chevrolet Cobalt, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, and Scion tC, all small mode

OnStar adds feature to foil car thieves

(July 2009) If you thought General Motors' OnStar system was mainly for getting directions or asking for help when stranded on the side of the road, think again.

The in-vehicle safety and communications system has launched a new service to keep car thieves from starting a vehicle that has been reported stolen, according to a report by Automotive News.

It's called "remote ignition block."

Survey finds Ford could benefit from Pontiac demise

(July 2009) Ford Motor Company, the only major U.S. automaker to avoid bankruptcy, may be able to snag buyers as General Motors Co. ends production of the Pontiac brand this month, according to a survey, reported.

Acura ZDX, a 'four-door sports coupe,' will reach showrooms this winter

(July 2009) TORRANCE, Calif. — The all-new 2010 ZDX four-door sports coupe will arrive at Acura dealerships thiis winter with "dramatic styling, outstanding performance and the latest in advanced technology."

Subaru event sets a Guinness world record

(July 2009) It looked like a giant rolling Subaru used car lot July 11 in the Village of Itasca, Ill.

Subaru of America's Great Lakes Region organized a parade that drew 339 cars setting a Guiness World Record for the "Longest Parade of Subaru Cars."

Honda to begin production of CR-Z for Japanese market

(July 2009) We can only hope the space-age looking Honda CR-Z two-seat hybrid sports coupe will make it to the United States. Honda isn't saying at this point.