May 2011

GM to invest $88 million in Grand River plant

(May 31, 2011) LANSING, Mich. – General Motors will invest $88 million for a future product at the Lansing Grand River assembly plant, home of the Cadillac CTS models.

The investment will be used for equipment and tooling for a new model.

Honda Civic plant to add 1,000 workers

(May 31, 2011) Honda reported today that it will add 1,000 jobs at its Greenburg, Ind., plant by the end of the year by adding a second shift.

The plant makes the  Honda Civic sedan and the Honda Civic GX natural gas vehicle. Civics are also made at plants in Ohio and Ontario. Demand has been rising for the Civic and other small cars as gasoline prices hit $4 a gallon in the U.S.

Auto insurance rates continue slow climb

(May 31, 2011) LOS ANGELES (PRNewswire) -- Policy prices continued their slow ascent, two states signed "no pay, no play" proposals into law, the Kansas government banned crash taxes statewide, Allstate finalized plans for a $1 billion acquisition and a report indicated that 37 million quotes were generated through online auto coverage sites in 2010.

Renault appoints Nissan executive as COO

(May 30, 2011) Renault SA has appointed Carlos Tavares, Nissan's top executive for the Americas since 2009, as its new chief operating officer. Tavares will fully assume his new duties by July 1, Renault said in a statement today. The development of French production sites will be "a priority," the carmaker said.

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said Tavares' "talent and experience will be key strengths for Renault and for all its employees as we go into the first year of our Renault 2016 -- Drive the Change program." Tavares replaces Patrick Pelata, who stepped down in April over his role in a botched industrial espionage investigation.

Finding the perfect spot for the charge port location

(May 30, 2011) DEARBORN, Mich. — When owners of the upcoming Ford Focus Electric or C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid charge up their cars, they’ll find a natural, instinctive fit. That’s not by chance — it’s by design, and it’s because Ford engineers did their homework in ensuring customers had the perfect place to “fuel” up.

Mercedes unveils 571-horsepower SLS AMG Roadster

(May 30, 2011) The performance brand within Mercedes-Benz Cars has revealed a new dream-car: the SLS AMG Roadster. Mercedes says this super sports car thrills with a perfect synthesis of open-top driving pleasure, outstanding driving dynamics and systematic lightweight construction. The overall visual appearance of the new two-seater is marked by its purist design.

Porsche marks 10 years in China with special edition 911

(May 30, 2011) To celebrate its 10th anniversary in China, Porsche has released a special Gold Bronze Metallic 911 Turbo S for the Chinese market. The unique model is limited to just 10 units with no pricing announced, but it will surely be a big increase from the standard car’s already steep $160,700  price tag.

VW may build Tiguan in North America

(May 30, 2011) Volkswagen last week celebrated the opening of a North American plant in Tennessee and now word has it that the German company wants to add the compact Tiguan crossover vehicle to the mix.

If theTiguan is built in North America it would help  to trim costs, a German magazine reported, citing management sources.

Ford develops seat that can monitor heartbeat

(May 29, 2011) AACHEN, Germany — Ford engineers have developed a car seat that can monitor a driver’s heartbeat, opening the door to a wealth of health, convenience and even life-saving potential.

A joint project undertaken by experts from Ford’s European Research and Innovation Center in Aachen, Germany, and Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen University, the seat uses six special embedded sensors to detect electrical impulses generated by the heart.

Hyundai hits five million sales in Europe

(May 29, 2011) Hyundai has sold five million vehicles in Europe since the first Hyundai Pony was imported in 1977. The five millionth vehicle was an i30, which was launched in 2007 and has subsequently sold just over 320,000 units across the European dealer network.

Hyundai’s sales momentum in Europe has increased steadily since 1977, culminating more recently in a significant rise in demand for the brand’s cars that saw the last one million sales achieved in just three years.