AutoGuide News Blog
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.
Best Seller for a Reason
The 2007 model year saw the introduction of the sixth generation Toyota Camry. Styling was a departure from previous Camrys, but Toyota continued to sell this car in large numbers.
The American Petroleum Institute has reported that total petroleum deliveries fell by 0.5 percent in July, compared to the same month one year ago. This was the first time deliveries have decreased for any month this year. As well, gasoline demand hit a ten-year low for the month of July.
John Felmy, API chief economist, said, “The numbers, though mixed, confirm continuing weakness in the economy. Consumers aren’t spending, and jobless claims have increased, so it isn’t surprising gasoline demand was down and overall demand slipped a bit”. It was also interesting that U.S refinery production of gas decreased for the first time in 2011, down by 2.3 percent from July 2010. However, on a year-to-date basis, gasoline production remains on par to set a record.
In 2010, the world’s vehicle population hit one billion which works out to be roughly one car for every seven people. Reports conclude that China fueled half of the global growth, as it passed Japan for the world’s second largest vehicle population, with 28 million cars on the road.
India’s vehicle population has increased by nearly nine percent, pushing its total to 21 million cars on the road. The United States is still the country of cars, despite a lingering downturn in vehicle sales. The total vehicle population of 240 million cars, works out to be one car for every 1.2 persons.
[Source: Inside Line]
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has upgraded their investigation into consumer complaints that the 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan vehicles are affected by wheel stud fractures that cause the wheels to come off.
The initial investigation of 317,315 Ford mid-sized sedans has been upgraded to an engineering analysis after more than 29 complaints and 128 warranty related claims were filed because of these fractures. ”We’ll fully cooperate with the government as they review this matter,” Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood said. “We are not aware at this point of any allegations of injuries related to this matter.” The current engineering analysis investigation does not always lead to recalls, but that situation has not yet been ruled out.
[Source: Automotive News]
Despite higher gas prices and panic over Japan’s earthquake, and its subsequent effect on auto production, March 2011 was a positive month for the industry, with sales up 17 percent compared to the previous year.
Among the Big 3, Ford managed to outsell General Motors for the first time in a year, with a 16 percent gain, while Chrysler was up 31 percent. Toyota was the only major auto maker to lose ground, with sales falling 6 percent, while Kia and Honda posted gains of 45 percent and 25 percent respectively. Nissan recorded a record month with 121,141 total units sold, a 28 percent increase from the previous year.
Among premium brands, MINI recorded a 69 percent bump and BMW was up 12 percent. Mercedes saw sales up 37 percent while Smart sales dropped by 37 percent. Lexus posted modest gains of 2 percent despite Toyota’s downward trend, and Audi recorded a 14 percent increase while parent company Volkswagen saw sales rise 20 percent.
[Source: Automotive News]
With 20.3 million vehicles recalled last year, 2010 was a record year for voluntary recalls, according to data released by the National Highway Traffic Saftey Association.
While nearly 31 million vehicles were recalled in 2004 (the peak year on record), 2009 only saw 16.6 million cars recalled. In addition, 3 out of 5 vehicles recalled in 2010 were Japanese, a reversal from the common logic that holds them as being steadfastly reliable. Toyota, General Motors, Honda, Nissan and Chrysler took the top 5 spots respectively. Ford, which is currently mired in a recall of its Windstar minivan, placed 6th.
[Source: New York Times]
After a dismal 2009 , American automakers look set to gain market share in 2010, despite fewer brands, a drastically reduced dealer network. The last time the Big 3 gained market share was in 1995.
The strong profitability of the domestic automakers has been linked to lower manufacturing costs, a reduced debt load and careful use of incentives. Import brands like Hyundai and Subaru also fared well, while stalwarts like Toyota ended up losing market share. Analysts expect overall U.S. sales volume to hit 11.5 million vehicles in 2010, an improvement of 1.1 million over 2009. Projections for 2011 were not available at this time, but the Big Three are expected to gain even more momentum as all-new product finally hits the market.
[Source: Detroit News]
Now if you were just begging for a reason to head over to Las Vegas next week for the SEMA Show, and just really couldn’t find yourself one, we understand. Maybe modified versions of the Honda CR-Z, Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustangs and Hyundai Equus, are just not your thing. If you’re going to have to spend your hard-earned vacation days to check out some cars, you want to make sure it’s worth it. Well, now it is. Hennessey’s wickedly sick, fast, powerful and beautiful Venom GT will be hitting American soil to be seen by the public at this year’s SEMA show.
The $1 million dollar supercar (based on the Lotus Exige chassis and sporting a 1,200-hp twin-turbo V8) hasn’t really seen the public daylight, having been shipped straight from the production facility in England to UAE, home of its new owner. But it looks like it’s back in the United States for some fine tuning and will be heading to Las Vegas for all of our benefit.
For those that intend on heading to SEMA to check this bad boy out, we highly recommend sticking around whatever booth it is in on the last day. In any hopes they won’t push it out and onto a trailer, but actually fire it up to take it outside. We can only hope.
GALLERY: Hennessey Venom GT
Video of the car idling after the break.
Between sticking accelerator pedals and rollover-prone SUVs, this year has not been kind to Toyota. However the Japanese automaker is poised to return a handsome $532 million profit, despite expectations to the contrary.
Toyota had initially forecasted a loss of $213, but a weak yen and a series of cost-cutting measures meant that Toyota is likely to beat expectations. On the other hand, Toyotas sales were down 5 percent, or about 7.2 million vehicles. All in all, Toyota’s earnings are admirable in a year where the Japanese auto giant was forced to recall some 10 million vehicles, forced to testify before Congress and endure a series of devastating quality control problems. Toyota will report its earnings on May 11th.
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]
Volkswagen has released three images of the 2010 Polo GTI, which will be introduced at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show in March.
The 2010 Polo GTI will be powered by a 1.4 liter TSI engine, claiming 178 bhp, and a seven-speed DSG transmission. The GTI version stands 0.6 inches lower and uses stiffer suspension than the regular Polo. The Polo GTI will also use Volkswagen’s XDS electronic cross-axle traction control system for improved handling.
Inside, the Polo GTI features tartan cloth seats and flat-bottomed steering wheel.
AutoGuide.com will have more when the 2010 Volkswagen Polo GTI makes its debut at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show.
Gallery: 2010 Volkswagen Polo GTI