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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Feb 04 2010, 4:29 PM

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Toyota’s recent recall issues may cost the company an estimated $2 billion.

Along with the company’s third quarter report, Toyota estimated the costs of the global recall at 180 billion yen (US$2 billion), including 100 billion yen (US$1.1 billion) for repair costs and another 70-80 billion yen ($787-899 million) in lost sales. Toyota predicts a reduction of 100,000 vehicle sales as its recent troubles erode public confidence in the brand.

To make matters worse, these figures don’t include the costs of the just-announced Prius recall.

See more Toyota recall news at the AutoGuide.com Toyota Recall News Hub.

[Source: The Associated Press via Wheels.ca]

http://www.wheels.ca/article/784205
 |  Feb 04 2010, 3:04 PM

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Finally some good news for Toyota. At least, for the time being.

Toyota announced a profit of 153.2 billion yen (US$1.7 billion) in the third quarter ending Dec. 31, 2009. That’s an increase from the 164.7 billion yen (US$1.8 billion) loss over the same quarter in 2008.

Vehicle sales reached 2.07 million units over the quarter, an increase of 227,000 units from 2008.

Toyota won’t be celebrating those positive results too much however as they don’t include the expected fallout from the recent recall and the sales stoppage of some of Toyota’s top models. We’re going to go out on a limb here and say Toyota’s fourth quarter results won’t be as rosy.

See more Toyota recall news at the AutoGuide.com Toyota Recall News Hub.

 |  Feb 03 2010, 12:10 PM

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Jim Lentz, Toytoa president of U.S. sales, denied his company is covering up problems related to unintended acceleration.

On a media blitz to contain the damage after a nine million vehicle recall, Lentz denied Toyota was hiding anything after government documents revealed the company first received reports of “runaway Toyotas” in March 2007.

“There is no cover-up,” Lentz said to ABC News.

A document dated Jan. 21 submitted by Toyota to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  states Toyota received field reports in March 2007 of accelerator pedals  on the Tundra having “rough operation or being slow to return to the idle position”.

Toyota received further reports in from December 2008 to August 2009 about related issues in other models. An investigation was started in March 2009. Additional reports came in October and the manufacturer announced a recall in January 2010.

“It’s a lot of detail that goes into this,” said Lentz. “We’ve been upfront. We’re taking care of customers right now. What’s most important is that our customers know there is a fix. They’re going to be able to get their cars repaired this week.”

Lentz also denied the problem with unintended acceleration was an electronic issue.

[Source: ABCNews]

 |  Feb 03 2010, 11:30 AM

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Your company is going through a PR nightmare with nine million vehicles being recalled, worldwide. The government is investigating whether the issue is worse than you claim. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is on your tail. Consumer confidence in your product is waning. What do you do if you’re Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda?

Offer a public apology.

What don’t you do?

Be seen leaving in an Audi.

But that’s what happened after Toyoda apologized to his customers in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

To be fair, it’s unlikely Toyoda arranged to be picked up by the black Audi in Davos. Audi is the official vehicle supplier for the World Economic Forum, so every executive at the event would likely have been chauffeured in an Audi.

But still, Toyota just can’t seem to catch a break lately.

[Source: ABCNews]

 |  Feb 03 2010, 11:10 AM

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Toyota has offered to test Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s Prius after he claimed the vehicle’s electronics can cause it accelerate unintentionally.

Wozniak’s claims made headlines when he claimed his 2010 Prius’ accelerator “goes wild” under certain conditions. He says he can repeat the acceleration issue and suspected the Prius’ software as the culprit.

Toyota has long maintained is the acceleration problem is not a electronics-related issue. The Prius is not included in the company’s recent recall, however, so if Wozniak’s suspicions prove true, Toyota’s problems can only get worse.

Toyota, already under a storm for its trouble with unintended acceleration, is trying to contain the PR damage by offering to have a dealer borrow and test Wozniak’s Prius for a week. Toyota is trying to get Wozniak in touch with U.S. sales president Jim Lentz to help make arrangements.

[Source: Jalopnik]

 |  Jan 21 2010, 1:36 PM

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Buick has announced pricing for its 2011 Regal. The Regal will first be available some time in the second quarter 2010 with a 2.4L engine with a sticker price of $26,995. A turbo-charged 2.0L version will come in the late summer at $29,495.

The Regal will initially offered only in the premium CXL trim, with a CX trim coming as a 2012 model, likely after production shifts from Russelsheim, Germany to the Oshawa Car Assembly Plant early in 2011.

The standard Regal CXL will be powered by a 2.4L Ecotec direct injection engine claiming 182-hp while the turbo-charged version will be powered by a 220-hp 2.0L Ecotec direct injection engine. Both engines are paired to six-speed automatic transmissions with Driver Shift Control. According to Buick, the 2.4L version gets an estimated 30 mpg on the highway while the 2.0L turbo engine takes a slight dip with a fuel efficiency of 29 mpg.

“The Regal is the next chapter in Buick’s transformation and we’re excited to bring this Buick sport sedan to market,” said Craig Bierley, Buick Marketing Director. “The dynamic driving experience and intuitive, personal technologies offer customers a premium sport sedan for great value.”

Gallery: 2011 Buick Regal

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Jan 20 2010, 5:48 PM

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It hasn’t been a good week for BMW when it comes to keeping a lid on things. Yesterday, pictures of BMW-owned MINI’s new Countryman crossover were leaked onto the Internet. And now, images of the 2011 BMW 335is have also surfaced on the Interwebs.

In the case of the Countryman, MINI responded by officially releasing pictures and details overnight. It wouldn’t surprise us then if BMW makes an official announcement about the 335is in the next few days.

Documents labeled “BMW Canada Sales Update”, also leaked earlier this week, say a cabriolet version of the 335is will begin production in March with the 335is coupe starting in May.

The BMW 335is will also reportedly be powered by a twin-turbo engine claiming 322-hp and 332 ft-lb. of torque (369 ft-lb. with over-boost). A seven-speed double-clutch transmission will be available as an option. Expect an M Sport package, blacked-out grille and glossy black mirror caps as well.

Gallery: 2011 BMW 335is Leaked Images

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[Source: e90post.com]

 |  Jan 20 2010, 2:37 PM

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General Motors’ vice chairman of global product operations is so strong a believer in his company’s product he’s willing to prove it in a tug-of-war between the GMC Heavy Duty and the Ford F-Series Super Duty.

Vice Chairman Tom Stephens made the bold statement in an interview with PickupTrucks.com about the new Duramax engines powering the 2011 Chevrolet and GMC Heavy Duty. The site’s editor was surprised by the statement, he asked Stephens three times if he was serious, but Stephens remained adamant.

“You’re going to love our new diesel Duramax engine in the new Heavy Duty,” Stephens told PickupTrucks.com. “You know what I want to do to prove it? I want to take our truck and Ford’s [new Super Duty] and chain them together back -to-back. Then I want to have them pull against each other. I know our truck will beat theirs.”

PickupTrucks.com passed the challenge on to Ford but has yet to get a response. We’re not sure if Ford is willing to take the bait, but this is one challenge we would love to see.

[Source: PickupTrucks.com]

 |  Jan 20 2010, 11:38 AM

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A day after pictures of its new crossover were leaked out to the web, MINI has officially released details and photographs of the 2011 MINI Countryman. Originally scheduled to be unveiled at next month’s Geneva Auto Show, the Countryman was originally supposed appear at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show but was unfortunately delayed. It is a little ironic then that MINI was forced to move ahead with its announcement after yesterday’s leak.

The 2011 MINI Countryman (the car may take on other names in other markets) becomes the fourth model in the MINI family, the first with four doors and a widened rear door. Despite the foray into the crossover segment, the Countryman retains signature MINI design elements, only on a larger vehicle. Key characteristics such as the roofline, grille and wheel arches remind us the Countryman is still very much a MINI.

The MINI Countryman will come standard with four seats arranged around a front-to-back center rail. An optional three-seat bench available at no additional cost. Depending on how the seats are adjusted, MINI says the Countrymanhas a storage capacity of 12.2 to 41.0 cubic feet.

MINI’s ALL4 all-wheel drive system will be available as an option on both the Cooper S and Cooper D Countryman. The ALL4 system provides half of the engine’s power to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions but when needed, can transfer 100% of the power to the rear for added traction.

MINI will offer three gasoline and two diesel engine options, though only the gasoline engines are likely to make it over to North America. The base MINI One D Countryman will have a 90 hp four-cylinder turbodiesel engine while the top-level MINI Cooper S Countryman option will have a 1.6L turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection and fully variable valve arrangement, claiming 184 hp. All models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission while the gasoline engine models will be available with a Steptronic six-speed automatic transmission.

We’ll bring you more on the all-new MINI Countryman with live coverage of the Geneva Auto Show starting March 1st.

Click here for AutoGuide’s live 2010 Geneva Auto Show coverage starting Monday, March 1st.

Gallery: 2011 MINI Countryman

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Jan 12 2010, 2:36 PM

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Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels program donated $50,000 to the Detroit Medical Center Children’s Hopsital of Michigan. The Hyundai Hope on Wheels Tour traveled across the nation and raised more than $1.3 million for pediatric cancer research, and the DMC Children’s Hospital as the final stop.

The $50,000 donation will fund research by the hospital’s pediactric neuro-oncologist Dr. Maxim Y. Yankelevich in developing new immunotherapy programs for children with brain tumors.

“Hyundai and its dealers have been committed to supporting the children, families and doctors battling childhood cancer for more than ten years,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “Even in the face of tough economic times for our industry, we will not waver in our commitment to supporting the medical research and training that will produce better treatments, therapies, and one day, a cure.”

Cancer patients from the Children’s Hospital of Michigan had their handprints added to the Hyundai Hope on Wheels Santa Fe, joining the colorful handprints of children from across the country. Once the handprints were added, the car was moved to Hyundai’s display at the North American International Auto Show.

For more information on the Hyundai Hope on Wheels program, visit: www.hyundaihopeonwheels.org.

Gallery: Hyundai Hope on Wheels Santa Fe

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Jan 12 2010, 1:35 PM

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Kia displayed one of its two race-prepped Forte Koups entered in the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Challenge Series at the Detroit Auto Show.

The #10 Infinity Kia Forte Koup will compete in the Street Tuner (ST) class with drivers Nic Jonsson and Andy Lally. Kia will enter a second  car, the #12 Forte Koup, with drivers Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood.

Take a look at the photo gallery to see details including the carbon fiber dash, chase cam and steering wheel controls.

Gallery: Kia Forte Koup GRAND-AM Continental Tire Challenge Series Race Car

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 |  Jan 12 2010, 12:39 PM

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Chinese manufacturer BYD (Build Your Dreams) presented its e6 electric crossover at the Detroit Auto Show and announced plans to bring it to America later this year.

Powered by BYD’s Fe battery, the e6 boasts a range of 205 miles on a single charge in cruising mode, less than the 249 miles from previous reports but still pretty impressive. BYD says the e6 has a top speed of 87 mph and can go from 0 to 60 in under 14 seconds.

As a purely electric vehicle, the e6 produces zero emissions. BYD has also taken the extra step of making its Fe battery recyclable so there’s no worry about batteries leaking harmful chemicals in landfills.

The battery can be recharged through an ordinary household outlet or with BYD’s charging cabinets. In a video presentation, BYD showed its vision of charging stations using wind and solar power. We were a little disappointed BYD did not mention how long it would take to charge the battery to full however.

Gallery: 2010 BYD e6

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 |  Jan 12 2010, 11:50 AM

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Kia introduced a new special edition Soul dubbed the “Shadow Dragon” at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

From afar, the Shadow Dragon gives off a sinister impression with its black paint, but Kia kept its usual sense of fun at the car’s unveiling at the Detroit Auto Show. Kia’s press unveiling was presented like an infomercial, emcee’d by TV pitchman Anthony “Sully” Sullivan. With Sully calling the shots, models pulled the wrapping off the Shadow Dragon Soul, revealing a giant stuffed hamster sitting in the driver’s seat.

Featuring a matte black dragon design on the hood and rear, the Shadow Dragon Soul is based on the Soul+ like the other special editions the Denim and Ignation.

The black motif extends to the interior with black leather trimmed seats, the first leather seats on any Soul model.

The special edition Shadow Dragon Soul is now available in dealerships, priced at $18,195.

Gallery: 2010 Kia Shadow Dragon Soul

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Official release after the jump:

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Detroit 2010: 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe Mild Update Includes Big Changes

More efficient range-topping V6 plus all-new four-cylinder

 |  Jan 11 2010, 6:31 PM

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Hyundai officially introduced the 2010 Santa Fe with two new engine options, a more efficient 3.5L v6 and a 2.4L inline-four.

Mated with a six-speed automatic “Shiftronic” transmission, the four-cylinder claims better fuel economy than the 2009 2.7L V6 Santa Fe. With 175 hp and 169 ft-lbs of torque, less power than the old 2.7L, Hyundai says the new engine provides quicker 0 to 60 acceleration than its predecessor.

The new 3.5L V6 replaces last year’s 3.3L V6. According to Hyundai, the new engine provides 276 hp (compared to the 3.3L’s 242 hp) and 248 ft-lb. of torque (versus 226 ft-lb.) The new engine is also more fuel efficient, rating 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway.

The 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe will be available in three trim levels, the GLS, SE and Limited.

The GLS model comes with the four-cylinder engine, six-speed manual transmission (automatic is optional) and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The sportier SE version comes with the V6 and a six-speed automatic transmission and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

The Santa Fe Limited (seen in the photo above) offers a choice of the I4 and the V6. It also offers features from the SE plus leather seating, heated front seats, chrome accents, metal scuff plates and the SE’s optional power tilt-and-slide sunroof .

Gallery: 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe

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More efficient range-topping V6 plus all-new four-cylinder
 |  Jan 11 2010, 1:56 PM

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Buick introduced a high-tech, higher-spec version of the new Regal at the Detroit Auto Show.

Dubbed the Buick Regal GS, paying homage to Buick’s Gran Sport heritage while showing the potential of the company’s new sedan.

“We designed the Regal GS to explore the appeal of a high-performance variant of the Regal,” said Craig Bierley, product marketing director for Buick. “Like the Regal, the Regal GS is based on the award-winning Opel Insignia, and we believe it will reinvigorate Buick’s storied Gran Sport legacy.”

The Regal GS has a lower body than the regular Regal and features two additional vertical front air intakes, forged aluminum 20-inch wheels, performance tires and racing-inspired steering wheel and pedals.

Powered by a Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged engine with six-speed manual transmission, the Regal GS claims 255 horses and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission directs that torque to an adaptive all-wheel drive system for improved performance. Buick estimates a 0 to 60 time of 6.0 seconds.

The Regal GS uses the Interactive Drive Control System chassis technology found in 2.0L turbo versions of the Regal CXL. The IDCS provides different driving options that adjust suspension, throttle response and steering sensitivity. While the Regal CXL has “normal” and “sport” riding modes, the concept car has a third “GS” mode that further enhances performance.

Gallery: Buick Regal GS Concept

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Jan 11 2010, 1:16 PM

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BMW introduced its 1-Series Coupe-based Active E electric vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Powered by newly developed lithium-ion batteries, the Active E has a claimed power output of 170 hp with 184.4 ft-lb. of torque.

As per BMW tradition, the Active E is rear-wheel drive, testing an early version of the electric powertrain system which will eventually be used in BMW’s upcoming Megacity Vehicle (MCV).

The Active E will also use BMW’s ConnectedDrive system, using newly developed features including the ability to check the car’s battery level via cell phone, and using mobile devices as a remote control for heating and air conditioning.

BMW will produce  a trial fleet of the Active E in 2011, providing further real-world data following the MINI-E trial currently underway.

Gallery: BMW Concept Active E

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 |  Jan 11 2010, 9:09 AM

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The Ford Fusion Hybrid has been named North American Car of the Year, beating out the other two finalists, the Buick LaCrosse and the Volkswagen Golf.

The announcement kicked off the festivities at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Ford Fusion received the nod from a panel of 49 journalists from the United States and Canada.

The Ford Fusion Hybrid boasts an EPA-estimated 41 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, numbers which Ford says make it America’s most fuel efficient mid-sized sedan.

The victory marked just the second time Ford has won the North American Car of the Year Award. FoMoCo last won the award in 2000 with the Ford Focus.

Domestic automakers have now won North American Car of the Year nine times in 17 years. The Ford Fusion Hybrid is also the fourth hybrid to receive the award, and the second Ford hybrid, following the Ford Escape Hybrid in 2005.

The Ford Transit Connect also won North American Truck of the Year, marking the third time a manufacturer swept both awards in a single year.

“Winning both of these prestigious awards is confirmation that the ONE Ford plan is working, delivering industry-leading products for our customers,” said Mark Fields, president of The Americas.

The Hyundai Genesis Sedan received the honor at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.

Gallery: Ford Fusion Hybrid, North American Car of the Year

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 |  Jan 11 2010, 8:58 AM

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The Ford Transit Connect has been named North American Truck of the Year, beating out the other two finalists, the Chevrolet Equinox and the Subaru Outback.

The announcement kicked off the festivities at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Ford Transit Connect was selected by a panel of 49 journalists from the United States and Canada.

Designed to fill the needs of small businesses owners and entrepreneurs, the Ford Transit Connect is powered by a 2.0L inline-four engine with four-speed automatic transmission. Ford claims the Transit Connect gets double the fuel economy of full-sized vans with 22 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

The Ford Transit Connect has a cargo payload of 1,600 lb. and features an in-dash computer with high-speed Internet, Tool Link radio-frequency identification tracking and Crew Chief fleet tracking and diagnostic system.

Ford trucks have now won the award six times, most recently in 2009 with the Ford F-150. The Ford Fusion Hybrid also won North American Car of the Year, marking the third time a manufacturer swept both awards in a single year.

“Winning both of these prestigious awards is confirmation that the ONE Ford plan is working, delivering industry-leading products for our customers,” said Mark Fields, president of The Americas.

Domestic automakers have now won North American Truck of the Year 11 times in 17 years.

Gallery: Ford Transit Connect, North American Truck of the Year

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 |  Jan 06 2010, 4:51 PM

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Pirates captured a vessel carrying a shipment of 2,405 cars including 2,388 units from Hyundai and its subsidiary, Kia, on New Year’s Day.

The shipment was on board a car ship named the Asian Glory while on its way to Saudi Arabia from Ulsan, South Korea, when it was seized, 620 miles off the coast of Somalia. The Asian Glory is owned by Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd., a London-based international shipping company.

Hyundai does not expect any financial losses from the hijacking, as the cars were already both paid for and insured, but Hyundai and Kia have asked through Zodiac for the safe return of the 25 crew members of the Asian Glory which remains anchored off the coast of Somalia. Zodiac has received confirmation the Asian Glory’s crew members are unharmed.

According to the European Union Naval Force, Somali pirates currently hold at least 12 ships.

[Source: Bloomberg]

 |  Jan 06 2010, 3:57 PM

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Ford ended 2009 with its highest sales month since May 2008 while gaining its first year-end market share gain since 1995.

Sales were up in every product category in December 2009 as Ford recorded a 33 percent sales increase compared to the same month in 2008.

Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 179,017 in December. Full-year sales totaled 1.62 million, down 15 percent, but Ford estimates it still managed to increase its U.S. market share by a percentage point to 15 percent, representing Ford’s first full-year market share gain since 1995.

“Ford’s plan is working,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing Sales and Service. “Customer consideration continues to grow for our high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles. In 2010, we will introduce an even higher number of new products, giving customers more reasons to Drive One.”

The Ford Fusion, recently named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, set a new full-year sales record at 180,671 units. Sales for the Ford Escape reached 173,044 units in 2009 for the crossover’s second-best year, including a 75 percent increase in December compared to 2008.

Ford’s F-Series truck had its best sales month since March 2008 with 48,209 units moving in December. The year-end tally of 413,625 units made the F-Series America’s best selling truck for the 33rd straight year, and top-selling vehicle, car or truck, for a 28th consecutive year.

Official release after the jump:

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 |  Jan 06 2010, 3:13 PM

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OnStar has produced a new smartphone application providing Chevrolet Volt owners 24/7 connection to their cars.

Compatible with Apple’s iPhone, RIM’s Blackberry Storm and Motorola’s Droid smartphones, the app provides real-time data connection and control over vehicle functions such as programming charge times.

The OnStar Mobile Application retrieves information from the Volt such as battery charge level, odometer readings, miles per gallon and electric-only mileage, and displays them in real time on a smartphone.

Volt owners can receive text or email notifications for charge reminders, power interruptions and when the battery is fully recharged. Owners can also manually program the Volt to recharge at off-peak power usage times to take advantage of lower electricity rates.

Traditional OnStar features such as remote door lock, unlock, horn and light controls, typically available only by calling OnStar’s control center, will also be available for Volt owners through the application.

Volt owners with internet-ready phones other than the iPhone, Storm and Droid will be able to access the application through a mobile browser.

The OnStar Mobile Application will be available for the Volt’s launch. Online demonstrations for the Motorola Droid and Blackberry Storm are available at OnStarMobileDemo.com, while an iPhone demo app is available through the iTunes store.

Gallery: OnStar Chevrolet Volt App

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Dec 18 2009, 2:02 PM

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GMC is expanding its luxury Denali line with the announcement of the 2011 Acadia Denali crossover.

The brand’s first crossover, the Acadia gets signature Denali design cues including monotone paint, unique lower front and rear fascias, high-intensity discharge headlights, chrome accents and the Denali honeycomb grille.

Inside, the Acadia Denali receives a number of luxury upgrades including a premium entertainment system, perforated leather trim and a mahogany wood steering wheel.

The Acadia Denali will be available in five color options: Quicksilver Metallic, Summit White, Carbon Black, Red Jewel Tintcoat and White Diamond Tricoat. Pricing has not been announced, but the Acadia Denali will be covered by GM’s five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Gallery: 2011 GMC Acadia Denali

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Official release after the jump:

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 |  Dec 18 2009, 12:21 PM

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General Motors has announced it will close down Saab after discussions to sell the brand fell through.

“Despite the best efforts of all involved, it has become very clear that the due diligence required to complete this complex transaction could not be executed in a reasonable time,” said Nick Reilly, president of GM Europe. “In order to maintain operations, Saab needed a quick resolution.”

GM had been in discussions to sell Saab to Spyker Cars but was unable to resolve some issues with the Dutch manufacturer. Last month, Koenigsegg also had interest in acquiring Saab before backing out.

Reilly says Saab will continue to honor warranties and provide service and parts to current owners.

Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings’ purchase of some Saab property, notably 9-3 and 9-5 powertrain technology, is not expected to be impacted by today’s annoucement.

Official release after the jump:

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 |  Dec 18 2009, 11:18 AM

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***See AutoGuide’s LIVE 2010 Detroit Auto Show Coverage Here***

Volvo will present a battery-powered  electric C30 at the Detroit Auto Show in January, with plans to build a test fleet of 50 vehicles for real-world testing in 2011.

The model being shown in Detroit will be further along the development process than the prototype previously presented in September at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

“The first prototype helped us identify the main technological challenges, such as battery packaging and safety issues. We have addressed these challenges without compromising the C30′s cool and fun-to-drive personality. I am very happy with the result. The electric C30 in Detroit is a much more complete product,” says Lennart Stegland, Director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles.

Volvo will begin building the test fleet in 2010 before handing the keys over to selected users for a two-year trial.

Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the electric C30 can reach a top speed of /81 mph and a range of 94 miles. Volvo says the electric C30 can go from 0 to 60 in 11 seconds.

The battery can be charged through a regular household power outlet with eight hours needed for a full charge.

Gallery: Electric Volvo C30

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Official release after the jump:

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