July 2011

Fiat takes majority ownership of Chrysler; government exits investment

(July 22, 2011) Italian automaker Fiat is now the majority owner of Chrysler Group — with a 53.5 percent stake — as both the U.S. and Canadian governments exited the automaker.

The U.S. Treasury completed the sale of its 6 percent stake in Chrysler to Fiat for $500 million. Fiat also acquired a 1.5 percent stake from the Canadian government for $125 million, Chrysler said in a filing Thursday.

Chrysler makes special offers on Fiat 500

(July 21, 2011) Chrysler says its tiny Fiat 500 coupe is doing well in the U.S. But in an effort to keep demand at a high level, Chrysler it has announced special lease deal, and reduced financing for those who want to buy rather than lease.

The lease deal — $199 a month for 39 months with $1,999 do at signing for the entry-level Pop with a five-speed manual transmission. The base Pop model sells for $15,995 including destination charge. 

Taxi of Tomorrow, Taxi of Today — what gives in New York?

(July 21, 2011) The announcement was made early in May — the Nissan NV200 will be the New York Yellow Cab "Taxi of Tomorrow."

Today comes an announcement from Ford that the company's Transit Connect is now the New York "Taxi of Today." The same New York Taxi and Limousine Commission approved both the "today" taxi and the "tomorrow" taxi.

Production officially begins for 2012 VW Beetle

(July 21, 2011) Volkswagen has officially started production of the new Beetle in Puebla, Mexico.  On this occasion Dr. Guido Westerwelle, the Federal Foreign Minister, Felipe Calderón, the Mexican President, and Hubert Waltl, , visited the Volkswagen plant in Mexico.

“The Beetle is a strong symbol of our brand. It combines the emotional heritage of the original Beetle with the future of Volkswagen,” Hubert Waltl, board member for Production and Logistics at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand said in Puebla. 

Daimler investing $2 billion in Alabama Mercedes plant

(July 21, 2011) TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (PRNewswire) — Daimler AG on Wednesday announced a more than $2 billion investment in its Tuscaloosa plant that has just started producing the new M-Class crossover vehicle. Daimler announced that it will also build the successor generations the the GL-Class and the C-Class at the plant.

Ford recalls trucks over defective switch

(July 21, 2011) Ford is recalling 20,450 Ranger and F-Series pickups and Excursion SUVs to replace a defective switch that can cause the turn signal, taillights and brake lights to fail.

Trucks involved at 2004-2011 Rangers, 2002-2005 Excursion SUVs and 2002-2007 F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 trucks.

Chevrolet sets six-month sales record — 2.35 million

(July 21, 2011) DETROIT — Chevrolet sold 2.35 million vehicles globally in the first six months of 2011, the best half-year performance in Chevrolet’s 100-year history.

Chevrolet sold 286,499 more vehicles in the first half of 2011 than the same time period of 2010, a 14-percent increase year over year. In addition, Chevrolet set record first-half sales in many countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, South Africa, and Turkey.

100 Rolls-Royce cars celebrate 100 years of Spirit of Ecstasy

(July 20, 2011) Rolls-Royce Motor Cars celebrated the centenary of the Spirit of Ecstasy with an historic event on July 15. One hundred Rolls-Royce motor cars, from 1911 until the present day, were displayed in the Courtyard at the Home of the super luxury car manufacturer in Goodwood, West Sussex, UK.

The cars were presented by members of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club, who joined VIPs, media representatives and neighbors from the three local parishes for a day of celebrations.

Scion introduces 'world's smallest four-seater,' the iQ

(July 20, 2011) SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Scion announced today that its 2012 iQ premium micro-subcompact, the world's smallest four-seater, will begin arriving in West Coast dealerships this October. The Scion iQ is only 10 feet long yet can seat four people.

“Scion prides itself on being an innovative brand with a lineup of iconic vehicles that set automotive trends,” said Jack Hollis, vice president of Scion.

Volkswagen Touareg TDI sets Pan-American Highway endurance record

(July 20, 2011) DEADHORSE, Alaska (PRNewswire) — On July 13, after 11 days, 17 hours and 22 minutes of non-stop driving, renowned adventurer and off-road driver Rainer Zietlow and his team set a new world record certified by Tuv Nord Mobility for driving the length of the Pan-American Highway as they crossed the road's end in Deadhorse, Alaska.