May 2014

BMW to display solar carport with launch of i8 hybrid in L.A.

(May 7, 2014) MUNICH — With the all-electric BMW i3 already on the market and the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car poised for its own launch, the BMW Group portfolio boasts the world’s first premium automobiles purpose-designed for zero-emission mobility.

The international media launch of the BMW i8 in Los Angeles will include the presentation of a solar carport concept developed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA for the use of renewable energy.

Chrysler's five-year plan calls for dropping the Dodge Caravan

(May 7, 2014) The Dodge Caravan minivan and Dodge Avenger mid-sized sedan and the Jeep Patriot and Compass will depart the automotive scene in a new Fiat Chrysler five-year plan announced by CEO Sergio Marchionne Tuesday in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The company that invented the minivan segment in the early '80s will be reduced to one entry in the shrinking segment for the 2017 model year, the Chrysler Town and Country. A hybrid version of the Town and Country is being developed.

Study finds motorcyclist fatalities down 7 percent in 2013

(May 7, 2014) WASHINGTON — For only the second year since 1997, U.S. motorcyclist fatalities are projected to decrease in 2013, according to a new analysis of preliminary state data released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). The latest Spotlight on Highway Safety report also notes that despite the probable 7 percent decrease in rider deaths, motorcyclist safety has not improved in 15 years.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia provided preliminary motorcyclist fatality counts for the first nine months of 2013 and insights into why their numbers increased or decreased.

Cadillac celebrates Teddy Bridgewater and Rose Murphy

(March 7, 2014) NEW YORK — A luxury vehicle like a Cadillac Escalade can often be a reward for achievement. For former University of Louisville star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, about to embark on a pro football career, a new Escalade is even more than that. It’s a Mother’s Day dream come true for his mom, Rose Murphy, a breast cancer survivor.

Most powerful BMW M5 ever sold will be available in very limited quantity

(May 7, 2014) WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — BMW announced today a limited run of 30 copies of the new 30th Anniversary Edition 2015 BMW M5 will be imported to the U.S. and sold here. A total of 300 examples of the special M5 will be produced worldwide.

Nissan's second all-electric vehicle starts global production

(May 6, 2014) BARCELONA — Nissan has started the production of its second all-electric vehicle, the e-NV200, which will soon be available in Europe as both a passenger vehicle and light commercial van.

The Nissan plant in Barcelona will be the global production site for this ground breaking zero-emission vehicle, which will be available as a light commercial van, passenger vehicle and electric taxi in the European market.

Jaguar and BritWeek celebrate British villains in Los Angeles

(May 6, 2014) MAHWAH, N.J. — Jaguar North America and BritWeek partnered to present A Villainous Affair, a rooftop reception celebrating the British villain, including the newest British villain in town, the 2015 Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe, on May 2. Held at the London West Hollywood, the evening included cocktails, canapés and world domination overlooking the Los Angeles cityscape.

'Godzilla Craves Italian' Fiat brand commercial debuts

(May 6, 2014) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Leading up to the May 16 release of Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' hugely anticipated epic action adventure "Godzilla," Fiat Brand North America launched a new commercial across television on May 5.

Chevrolet Impala sees 113 percent year-over-year growth

(May 6, 2014) DETROIT — Chevrolet’s redesigned 2014 Impala sedan has gained nearly 8 percentage points of retail market share since launch – measuring 14.7 percent at the end of the first quarter compared to 6.9 percent a year earlier when the cars first arrived in dealerships.

In addition to the 113 percent year-over-year growth, the Impala was the only vehicle in its class to post a positiv
e gain in average transaction prices, or ATPs, compared to the same period last year.

Oh no, not another one...

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(May 6, 2014) Mercedes calls it a concept SUV, but it is going into production; something to which Mercedes itself alludes in the press material for the Concept Coupe SUV. And though its styling is brutish if not brutal, and the vehicle itself should be called an “SuV” due to its high beltline, fast-sloping roof and marginal utility, Mercedes is late to this niche.