May 2012

Ford to produce 400,000 additional vehicles this summer

(May 9, 2012) DEARBORN — Ford will produce nearly 40,000 additional vehicles this summer by idling 13 plants, including six assembly plants, for just one week instead of the traditional two.
“We are working most of our North America plants at maximum capacity and we are adding production shifts in three of our assembly plants this month alone,” said Jim Tetreault, vice president of North America Manufacturing.

Ford Focus sales hit 1.5 million in Great Britain

(May 9, 2012) BRENTWOOD, Essex, England — Sales of the Ford Focus reached 1,500,000 in Great Britain this week as Essex batsman Jaik Mickleburgh took delivery of the landmark car — a five-door Titanium X model.

Since launch in 1998, Ford Focus has held the crown of overall sales leader for 10 consecutive years until 2008 when Fiesta took the number one spot.

2011-2012 Chrysler 300s, Dodge Chargers recalled to fix electrical problem

(May 8, 2012) Chrysler is recalling nearly 120,000 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger cars to fix an electrical problem that could cause a crash. The recall covers 119,072 vehicles from the 2011-2012 model years and comes two months after Chrysler said it was recalling the police version of the Dodge Charger for the same issue.

Government reports traffic deaths at record low

(May 8, 2012) Traffic fatalities in 2011 dropped to their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1949, according to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA reported an estimated 32,310 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes last year representing a decline of about 1.7 percent as compared to the 32,885 fatalities that occurred in 2010.

Highway of the future — Electrified trucks

(May 8, 2012) LOS ANGELES — Siemens today announced its 'eHighway of the Future' concept at the 26th Annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. The eHighway concept is the electrification of trucks and select highway lanes via overhead electrified wires similar to how modern day trolleys or streetcars are powered on many city streets.

Behind the scenes of the 2013 Buick Enclave design

(May 8, 2012) DETROIT — In the design world, improving a successful product can be a bigger challenge than starting with a clean sheet. The Buick Enclave, the industry’s top-selling three-row luxury crossover, also carries the weight of being the originator of the brand’s current design philosophy.

For the new 2013 Enclave, designers evolved the vehicle’s exterior by refining details while preserving the overall identity.

New Cadillac ATS compact luxury sedan to start at $33,990

(May 7, 2012) DETROIT — The all-new, rear-wheel-drive Cadillac ATS compact luxury sport sedan with a fuel-efficient 2.5L engine and next-generation six-speed transmission will be priced starting at $33,990, including destination charges. Highway fuel economy will be well over 30 mpg.

Nissan sales in Brazil up 142 percent in April

(May 7, 2012) Nissan of Brazil registered 8,614 units in April, growth of 142% compared to the same period in 2011, when the company sold 3,542 units. Registering 3.5% of market share, NBA surpassed its goal for the period and remained, for the fourth consecutive month, as the sixth best-selling automotive company and first best-selling Asiatic brand in the country.

Harley-Davidson ranks highest in motorcycle dealership study

(May 7, 2012) MONTEREY, Calif. — Harley-Davidson dealerships returned to the top ranking in the newly released 2012 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) U.S. Motorcycle Industry Benchmarking Study, which measures dealership treatment of motorcycle shoppers. 

BMW and Ducati finished in a tie for second, followed by Triumph and the Victory and Indian brands from Polaris Industries, in a three-way tie for fourth.  Industry-wide performance improved substantially from 2011 to 2012, with only three of sixteen motorcycle brands failing to achieve higher scores.

Ford celebrates grand opening of new plant in Thailand

(May 7, 2012) BANGKOK, Thailand — Ford last week celebrated the official grand opening of Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) — a new $450 million, state-of-the-art passenger vehicle manufacturing plant in Rayong, Thailand.