June 2010

Ford reducing its debt by $4 billion

(June 30, 2010) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford today is reducing its debt by more than $4 billion — primarily by retiring debt owed to the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust ahead of schedule.

The company said it is taking the action to further strengthen its balance sheet as it gains momentum on its One Ford plan and remains on track to deliver solid profits and positive automotive operating-related cash flow this year.

Tesla stock surges as broader market plummets

(June 30, 2010)  NEW YORK — Stock in Tesla Motors Inc., the first U.S. carmaker to launch a public stock offering in 54 years, surged almost 41 percent in its first day of trading even as broader markets were plummeting.

Tesla finished the day with a gain of $6.89, to $23.89 a share. Tesla, the electric car company that counts Daimler and Toyota among its shareholders, raised $226 million selling shares Monday above its forecast price range.

Safety features are most desired until price is revealed

(June 2010) Two safety features — Blind spot detection and Active cornering headlight system — receive the highest levels of pre-price interest among the 22 primary technologies examined in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study.

Automakers offer charging stations to early buyers of EVs

(June 30, 2010) Recently, automakers announced they will be offering free home charging stations to early buyers of new plug-in electric vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, Ford Transit Connect, and Smart Fortwo.

General Motors has said it would offer the first 4,400 buyers of its new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid the chance to have a free 240-volt charging station installed in their home garage. The cost of the charging stations will be covered by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Pikes Peak 2010: Ducati takes top honors in the 'big boy' class

(June 30, 2010) When it comes to proving a point on a motorcycle, there are two good ways to get it done. The first thing to do is keep your mouth shut and let your results speak for themselves. The second is to repeat the process as often as possible.

Sale of GM stock will leave government with minority stake

(June 29, 2010) DETROIT — General Motors' planned public stock sale is likely to leave the U.S. government with a minority stake while also raising new funds for the automaker, people briefed on the still-developing plans said, news service Reuters reported.

The U.S. Treasury, which owns 60.8 percent of GM stock as a result of its $50 billion bailout last year, aims to sell about 20 percent of its holdings as part of the stock sale, two sources with knowledge of the preparations said.

'Monster' Tajima races special Suzuki SX4 to Pike's Peak Hill Climb win

(June 28, 2010) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It was Monster’s day. Driving his modified 2010 Monster Sport (Suzuki) SX4 Hill Climb Special, Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima solidified his race to the clouds reputation with a finish time of 10:11.490 and his fifth consecutive overall win at the 88th edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday.

Kia considering going to alphanumeric names

(June 28, 2010) Kia Motors is considering changing its U.S. lineup nomenclature from product names to alphanumerics, Automotive News reported today.

The move is being considered at the highest levels of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. In a recent interview, Hyundai Motor Co. Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun said the company is considering the change.

Ford introduces new safety system — Curve Control

(June 28, 2010) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford today introduced a new innovation — Curve Control — designed to help drivers maintain control of their vehicles when taking a curve too quickly.

Curve Control debuts as standard equipment on the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer going into production later this year, and will be offered on 90 percent of the company’s North American crossovers, sport utilities, trucks and vans by 2015.

Interactive USB will tell new Ford Fiesta owners about car

(June 28, 2010) When 2011 Ford Fiesta owners pick up their new car, they’ll enjoy learning about it in a whole new way through the use of an interactive USB. Ford created the new delivery program for the Fiesta to make the initial owner experience as unique as the owners themselves, and is the first automaker to create such a program.

As part of the Ford Retail Movement, a dealer-readiness program, Ford has been working with targeted dealers, focusing on three key areas – preparing the sales force, engaging the customer, and creating a distinct new car delivery experience.