Inside the Industry

Rinspeed unveils electric commuter vehicle

(December 16, 2009) Rinspeed, the Swiss creators of crazy concepts for the Geneva auto show, has turned its attention to urban mobility, unveiling on Wednesday the UC electric commuter vehicle.

Aston Martin reveals commuter concept car, the Cygnet

(December 16, 2009) Aston Martin today released the first official images of the ‘Cygnet’ — a new luxury commuter concept car.

The Cygnet concept represents a creative, environmentally conscious solution, being small, yet with presence — and highly fuel efficient, now combined with the prestige of Aston Martin’s luxury brand ownership.

Toyota says plug-in hybrid will be available to consumers by 2011

(December 15, 2009) Toyota showed its new plug-in hybrid Monday, available for leasing this month in Japan, the U.S. and Europe, and promised the green vehicle for sale to regular consumers by 2011 at an "affordable" price.

The plug-in Prius is the first from Toyota Motor Corp. packed with a more powerful lithium-ion battery that's different from the batteries used in Prius hybrids on roads today. A plug-in is even friendlier to the environment than the regular Prius because it travels longer as an electric vehicle.

Toyota to debut a new dedicated hybrid concept in Detroit

(December 15, 2009) Toyota announced today that it will stage the world debut of a new dedicated hybrid concept vehicle during the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The vehicle will be revealed during a news conference held on Monday, Jan. 11, in the Riverview Ballroom at COBO Hall.  News conference schedules are being finalized and exact timing will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Chinese company to purchase Saab technology, tooling

(December 15, 2009) Saab has announced that it had closed on the sale to Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. of certain Saab 9-3, current 9-5 and powertrain technology and tooling.  Saab will assist BAIC to integrate this technology into future BAIC vehicles.

Ford Taurus named Kelly Blue Book's "Best Redesigned Vehicle"

(December 13, 2009) For the second consecutive year, Ford has captured Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com “Best Redesigned Vehicle” award, this time for the hot-selling Taurus sedan. Last year, the honor went to the 2009 Ford F-150.

Ford Flex named most collectible vehicle of the future

(December 14, 2009) From America’s new cars and trucks launched in 2009, the Ford Flex will become the most desired by future car collectors. That is the prediction of the Friends of the National Automotive History Collection (NAHC).

Members of the organization, which supports the world-famous automotive collection at the Detroit Public Library, vote annually to predict the “Collectible Vehicle of the Future” from the year’s new American-built cars and trucks. The Ford Flex was selected from eight all-new vehicles launched in 2009.

Dodge Ram Heavy Duty wins Motor Trend's truck of the year

(December 12, 2009) The 2010 Ram Heavy Duty has been named Motor Trend magazine's truck of the year, beating out contenders from Ford and Toyota in the closely watched competition.

The award is a welcome piece of good news for Chrysler, which has seen its sales continue to lag even as competitors rebound. The Ram Heavy Duty beat out three other competitors — The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, the Ford Transit Connect van and the Toyota Tundra 4.6-liter work truck.

Chevrolet Camaro wins Popular Mechanics design award

(December 13, 2009) Tom Peters, executive director, GM performance cars and full-size trucks, on Dec. 11 accepted a Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Award for the design of the all-new Camaro.

Finally some good news for Toyota — plants are running overtime to meet demand

(December 11, 2009) With all the bad press recently over recalls, Toyota has some good news.

Toyota is running overtime at all its North American plants to keep up with demand and replenish low stocks of vehicles, according to a story in Automotive News.

Toyota's latest boost in North American production comes at its plant in Woodstock, Ontario. Toyota, seizing on strong sales momentum for its small RAV4 crossover, said today that it will “immediately” begin hiring a second shift of 800 workers for the Woodstock plant.