October 2017

Yes, a muscle car can have four doors

By Paul Borden

(October 31, 2017) Muscle Car aficionados and automotive purists may have been unhappy when Dodge resurrected the Charger as a four-door sedan instead of the two-door coupe from the 1960s and ’70s, but a little over a decade later, it seems to have worked out just fine.

Spooky sighting — Halloween pumpkin caught at the wheel of a BMW X2

(October 31, 2017) MUNICH, Germany — Things are starting to get a little weird. Following its two camouflaged outings through the urban jungle and at Milan Fashion Week, the new BMW X2 is now the protagonist in yet another mystery sighting, this time for Halloween.

Conjured up from nowhere and piloted as if by magic, the latest Sports “Paranormal” Activity Coupe apparition provides an intriguing preview of an automotive newcomer that will manifest itself very shortly.

Halloween night poses hidden traffic safety hazards

(October 31, 2017) ITASCA, Ill. — In 2016, 107 people died on the roads the night of Oct. 31, and 21 percent of those killed were pedestrians. October is the second deadliest month on the roads, according to NSC Injury Facts. With crowds of trick-or-treaters expected in neighborhoods around the country, caution is urged for all out on the roads during the upcoming Halloween holiday.

Most crash-related fatalities for pedestrians occur when it is dark, according to NHTSA, and pedestrian fatalities spike during Halloween night in particular.

Building the autonomous door

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(October 29, 2017) Over its 160-year history, Germany’s Kiekert has produced nearly two billion vehicle latches, and taken 35 percent of the market in Europe and 25 percent in the NAFTA region., which makes it the number one locking system supplier in each market. From 66 million latches produced in 2015 to 70 million in 2017, Kiekert continues to grow.

Report: Automated vehicles spell doom for taxis and buses

(October 27, 2017) VAUGHAN, Ontario — If you thought Uber was a disruptor, wait until automated vehicles (AVs) backed by smartphone apps for "mobility on demand" begin to eat into taxi and public bus services in the early 2020s, then begin to disrupt car ownership in the late 2020s. So says a report published today called "Ontario Must Prepare for Vehicle Automation: How Skilled Governance Can Influence its Outcome."

Kelley predicts new car sales to be off 2 percent in October

(October 26, 2017) IRVINE, Calif. — New-vehicle sales are expected to decline 2 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.34 million units in October, resulting in an estimated 17.9 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book.

"Although the headline shows a small decline in sales, October looks relatively strong for the industry, as evidenced by the nearly 18 million SAAR," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

Texas Truck Rodeo: Choosing the 2018 Truck of Texas

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(October 26, 2017) I'm not the kind of guy who wastes a lot of time. Well, at least I don't waste it doing stuff I don't want to do. Every time I gaze into a mirror — something to be avoided whenever possible — I come face to face with my mortality. I just don't want to squander any of the precious time I have remaining doing some stupid damn thing that I really don't want to do.

GasBuddy reveals five major convenience store trends

(October 25, 2017) BOSTON — GasBuddy has unveiled five major trends it identified from the recent National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) annual conference in Chicago. The list was compiled by Frank Beard, GasBuddy’s analyst/evangelist of convenience store and retail trends, and a key member of GasBuddy’s Retailer Services group.

Thinking pink? Volkswagen certainly did with the 2017 Beetle

By Paul Borden

(October 24, 2017)It was a few years ago that I was delivered a New Beetle Convertible for the week and was stumped by what was stuck on the dash. It was a plastic cylindrical tube that seemed to serve no real purpose other than to distract me.

Was it a place to store coins for tolls? No, because it was too thin for anything but a dime, and even back then the toll collectors were demanding more than 10 cents a pop. Not to mention it would be tough to get even a dime out of it, let alone a quarter.

Edmunds: Car buyers are ready to embrace autonomous vehicles

(October 24, 2017) SANTA MONICA, Calif.  — Car shoppers are more ready for autonomous vehicles than they may realize, according to a new report from Edmunds. Thanks to the rapid adoption of active safety features, more than 60 percent of new vehicle models today can be purchased at Level 1 or Level 2 autonomy, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers.