July 2014

'Crazy charging plan' devised for Tesla in China

(July 12, 2014) GUANGZHOU, China — "When I picked up my Tesla in Beijing, I realized that it's impossible to drive it back to Guangzhou as there are hardly any places to recharge the batteries," said Andrew Zong, the CEO of PHNIX, a manufacturer of heat pumps, and also one of the first Chinese Tesla owners.

As a result, Zong got a crazy plan that by utilizing the power of the Internet and folk strength, he could make the first charging facility network in China to solve the electric vehicles' charging problems.

Acura MDX cements position as America's best-selling 3-row luxury SUV

(July 13, 2014) TORRANCE, Calif. — Record sales in the first six months of 2014 have strengthened the third-generation MDX's position as America's best-selling three-row luxury SUV — not only in 2014, but since it was introduced in 2001, according to Acura.

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: The fastest muscle car ever

(July 12, 2014) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Dodge is giving its Challenger owners full on bragging rights at the drag strip and racing to the front line of the horsepower wars with its new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the fastest muscle car ever with a National Hot Rod Association-certified ¼-mile elapsed time of 11.2 seconds at 125 miles per hour (mph) with stock Pirelli P275/40ZR20 P Zero tires. With drag radials, the run dropped to just 10.8 seconds at 126 mph!

Chrysler recalls nearly 900,000 SUVs over fire concerns

(July 11, 2014) Chrysler said today it is recalling 895,000 SUVs for fire concerns and will reroute wiring for vanity-mirror lights after government regulators upgraded an investigation into the issue.

Chrysler said if a recalled SUV “was involved in a repair related to servicing the vanity mirror and/or headliner, the wiring — located inside the sun visor — may be subject to short-circuit and fire if not appropriately reassembled by the dealer. This condition is not present in vehicles which have not had the headliner or vanity mirror serviced.”

BMW sets six-month sales record for motorcycles

(July 11, 2014) MUNICH — BMW Motorrad has achieved an all-time six-month high in the first half of this year. With worldwide sales of 70,978 motorcycles and maxi scooters compared to 64,941 units in 2013, this amounts to an increase of 9.3%. June sales were down 5.7 percent, however, from 2013 totals with 11,827 units sold.

Ford announces $1 million Alan Mulally scholarship program

(July 11, 2014) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Company today announced the Alan Mulally Leadership in Engineering Scholarship, a $1 million program that honors the company’s former CEO by providing financial assistance to outstanding students pursuing degrees in the field of automotive engineering.

GM recalling 28,789 Saab convertibles over seat belt issue

(July 11, 2014)  General Motors is recalling 28,789 Saab convertibles because the driver’s seat belt retractor can break. The recall involves vehicles from the 2004-2011 model years, according to press reports.

GM says if the retractor breaks, the seat belt will immediately loosen and won’t work properly. That increases the risk of an injury in an accident. The company isn’t aware of any injuries related to the issue. GM will contact owners and dealers will replace the seat belt retractors for free.

Toyota selects company to develop new Texas headquarters

(July 11, 2014) PLANO, Texas — Toyota has announced that it has selected Dallas-based KDC Real Estate Development & Investments (KDC), one of America’s leading commercial real estate development and investment firms, to develop its new North American headquarters campus in the Legacy West development in Plano.
“We are excited to move forward with KDC to develop our new North American headquarters,” said Doug Beebe, corporate manager, Administrative Services at Toyota Motor Sales. 

2015 Hyundai Sonata: No longer relying on flashy clothes

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(July 11, 2014) The last generation Sonata put Hyundai at the forefront of the styling sweepstakes. That car had a bold, prominent spear-like character line that swept across the car’s otherwise slab-sided flanks, and gave it character and presence it otherwise lacked. It also broke the mold that had Sonata styling caught in the box it came in; they were as aerodynamic as a brick.

Ford sales in Europe rise on strength of new vehicles

(July 10, 2014) COLOGNE, Germany — Ford’s European sales rose 6.6 percent in the first half of 2014 on the strength of new vehicle launches and an uptick in industry-wide sales. Ford’s sales volume in its 20 traditional markets in Europe totaled 605,400 vehicles in the first six months of the year — 37,700 vehicles, or 6.6 percent, more than in the same period in 2013.

This compared to a total industry growth in sales of 6.3 percent for the first half of the year. Ford’s market share in Europe was level at 7.9 percent.