May 2015

Remembering Denise McCluggage (1927-2015)

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(May 8, 2015) It came as something of a surprise that Denise McCluggage passed away Wednesday, March 6, at the age of 88. Not because she was immortal or even ever-present; like McArthur’s old soldier she had faded away over the past decade, and was not present on many new car launches. It was, in fact, her absence that caused each of us in this business to file her away in our memories only to dredge them up when someone would mention that they had seen or talked to her.


A mid-1980s Ford F-150 pickup rests nose-to-nose with a late 1970s Lincoln Continental. Both are in the process of being overrun by trees and underbrush. (Photo by Ralph Gable)

Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang raises the bar for handling

(May 7, 2015) DEARBORN, Mich. — The all-new Ford Shelby GT350 builds on Carroll Shelby’s original idea — transform Mustang from a great everyday car into a dominant road racer, elevating it to a new level. Shelby GT350 raises the bar significantly over the already very capable 2015 Mustang GT performance pack, combining the best technologies and most thoroughly engineered components to create the most athletic Mustang ever built.

Mercedes-Benz sets new worldwide April sales record

(May 7, 2015) STUTTGART — Mercedes-Benz has been setting new sales records month over month for more than two years. That trend continued in April when the company sold 148,072 new vehicles, an 11.3 percent increase over April 2014.

"We began the second quarter with double-digit sales growth," said Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales.

Georgia Power rolls out new 32-car fleet of Chevy Volts

(May 7, 2015) ATLANTA — As the early summer sun rose on the parking lot of Georgia Power headquarters in Atlanta Wednesday morning, hundreds of Georgia Power employees, community and business leaders gathered for a special event around a glistening new fleet of plug-in electric hybrid Chevy Volts.

Georgia Power Chairman, President & CEO Paul Bowers was joined by Commissioner Tim Echols of the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) and Michael Beinenson of the EV Club of the South to mark the addition of 32 new electric vehicles (EVs) to the company's fleet.

Eight California Toyota dealers announced for Mirai hydrogen car

(May 7, 2015) TORRANCE, Calif. — Want a Mirai? All those in favor, say aye! California trailblazers waiting to get behind the wheel of Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, the Mirai, now have a destination for pick up and pre-order. In October 2015, Mirai will roll into select Toyota dealerships in the Golden State.

Dazzling the one percenters: All-new Fiat 500X goes to Beverly Hills

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(May 7, 2015) I'm not the kind of guy who spends a lot of time wandering the boulevards of Beverly Hills. In fact, I don't think I had ever been there before the recent Fiat media event introducing the all-new 2016 500X crossover. I may have skirted this community on some previous carmaker ride and drive, but if so, I don't remember it. But then my memory isn't all that it used to be.

What’s next? GM predicts jobs of the future

(May 6, 2015) DETROIT — As smartphones get more sophisticated, watches connect us to the world and our homes grow more automated, cars will advance in ways customers cannot imagine. Already, people are developing and bringing products to the mainstream that we don’t even know we want.

What will be the jobs that bring the technology that improves our lives to market?

Two classic Ferraris to be sold at auction later this year

(May 6, 2015) LONDN — H&H Classics, one of Britain’s oldest classic car auction houses, will hold a sale of two multi-million-dollar Ferraris from the Richard Colton collection in a legacy left to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The sale will take place at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire — Europe’s largest historic aviation center — on Oct. 14 and the funds raised will go towards the RNLI’s lifesaving work around the coast of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

Freightliner autonomous truck unveiled at Hoover Dam ceremony

(May 6, 2015) LAS VEGAS — In a spectacular evening ceremony at Hoover Dam, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) unveiled the Freightliner Inspiration Truck to several hundred international news media, trucking industry analysts and officials.

The Freightliner Inspiration Truck is the first licensed autonomous commercial truck to operate on an open public highway in the United States. Developed by engineers at DTNA, it promises to unlock autonomous vehicle advancements that reduce accidents, improve fuel consumption, cut highway congestion, and safeguard the environment.