July 2012

Mazda to double annual production capacity of SKYACTIV engines

(July 3, 2012) HIROSHIMA, Japan — Mazda today announced it will double production capacity at its engine plant in Hiroshima. Production volume will increase from 400,000 units to 800,000 units per year in October. The plant produces SKYACTIV-D diesel engines and SKYACTIV-G gasoline engines.

Nissan Leaf is fastest car to cover a mile — in reverse

(July 3, 2012) ROLLE, Switzerland — The multiple award-winning Nissan Leaf rewrote the record books this weekend as the fastest car over a measured mile in reverse.

Driven by professional stunt driver Terry Grant, the Nissan Leaf raced backwards up the famous Goodwood hill climb course at the weekend's Festival of Speed, covering the distance in 1 minute, 37.2 seconds at an average speed of 55 mph.

Land Rover creation Luey the Lion to join roving sculptures

(July 2, 2012) NORTHAMPTON, England — Land Rover and Born Free Foundation are once again collaborating in the name of art, this time for "Go Safari Northampton," a UK-based public arts event that will see a plethora of safari wildlife sculptures prowling along the streets of Northampton.

Kia introduces luxury Optima starting at 35 grand

(July 2, 2012) IRVINE, Calif. — A $35,000 Kia? That would have been laughable just a few years ago for the South Korean brand that disseminated low-priced family transportation.

But the times have changed. Meet the 2013 Kia Optima SX Limited, which is the new top-tier trim level of the ultra-popular midsize Optima sedan line, now arriving in dealerships with a starting price of around $35,000.  First introduced at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, the upscale Optima Limited went into production at Kia's U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia in early June.

Ford introducing all-new Fusion with 'transmedia campaign'

(July 2, 2012) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford has announced a new social consumer program for the all-new Ford Fusion, “Random Acts of Fusion.” Ford officials say the transmedia marketing initiative promises to be as groundbreaking as the all-new Fusion — "a vehicle poised to dramatically change the face of the midsize car segment, delivering an entertaining and experiential introduction for the new sedan."

Mercedes introduces a new stylish way to haul people, cargo

(July 1, 2012) STUTTGART — With the new 2013 CLS Shooting Brake — revealed last week at the Goodwood Festival of Speed — Mercedes-Benz is once again setting an example when it comes to creativity of design.

The idea of the "four-door coupé"— successfully introduced in 2004 with the first CLS and long imitated in the meantime — has now been taken to new heights and to innovative effect, Mercedes proclaims.

Tiny Chevy Spark being readied for U.S. market

(July 1, 2012) DETROIT — The Chevrolet Spark, a mini-car currently sold in 100 markets worldwide, will debut in the U.S. later this year with new features specifically targeted to appeal to the urban millennial market.     

“We listened to what young people said they wanted in a car. Our engineers tuned and equipped the Chevrolet Spark specifically for first-time buyers and city dwellers in North America,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Global Marketing. “Spark is the perfect urban car because we’ve made it easy to drive, easy to park and easy to own.”

Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition tribute to U.S. military members

(July 1, 2012) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — More than 70 years ago, the U.S. government informed automakers that it was looking for a “light reconnaissance vehicle” for military use. Willys-Overland quickly created the Willys Quad — which became the Willys MA and MB — but the Army, and the world, came to know the vehicle that would help win a world war as the Jeep.