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.
President Barack Obama has highlighted government-backed research on car-to-car communication.
Believe it or not the U.S. Department of Homeland Security does more than just waste travelers’ time at airports, confiscating toothpaste and books of matches. The government organization actually has a hand to play in the presidential limo, which is expected to be replaced by the time our next commander in chief takes office in 2017.
President Barack Obama called for a 75 percent boost to the U.S. Department of Energy’s research budget today.
As the 2012 presidential election approaches, candidate Mitt Romney is reiterating his stance on government funding for electric vehicle companies if he’s elected.
Feeling the political pressure from opponents and the always unpopular spike in gas prices President Obama has fired back at Republicans.
“A lot of the folks who are running for a certain office who shall go unnamed, they’ve been talking down new sources of energy,” he said during a speech to students in Maryland. “They dismiss wind power. They dismiss solar power. They make jokes about biofuels. They were against raising fuel standards. I guess they like gas-guzzlers.”
In particular Obama targeted Republican nominee and House Speaker Newt Gingrich who has mocked the President’s support for biofuels, calling him “President Algae”. In the face of rising gas prices that have spiked 15 percent this month, Gingrich has made $2.50 a gallon gasoline part of his campaign, something Obama says simply isn’t within the control of politicians.
Instead, President Obama continues to push on with a mandate for more alternative fuel vehicles as well as more fuel efficient cars and trucks through increase CAFE standards, in search of a 54.5 mpg average by 2025.
In 2008 when President Barack Obama was a senator, he pledged a goal of having 1 million electric vehicles on U.S. streets by 2015. Four years later, that goal seems far away at best.
In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama said “with more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.” Even though there is the capacity to build 1 million EVs by 2015, sales and overall demand for electric vehicles will keep that goal out of reach.
The Chevrolet Volt, for example, hasn’t done as well as anyone hoped, with production stopping at times to help match supply and demand. In fact, the Volt is selling at about 10 percent of the Department of Energy’s projected 120,000 units per year. The Nissan Leaf, despite its selling better than the Volt, won’t meet 100,000 sales until 2014.
Rather than admitting the goal is out of reach, the White House changed the wording in its “Blueprint For A Secure Energy Agenda” from aiming to have 1 million EVs on the streets to saying “by 2015, the United States will be able to produce enough batteries and components to support one million plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.”
Even without the fire fiasco of the Volt, the million EV goal by 2015 would be a challenging one. Electric vehicles will continual to fight an uphill battle until the technology is widely accepted and is convenient.
[Source: Left Lane News]
President Barack Obama has been in the media lately defending the bail out loans given to GM and Chrysler, and his latest promise to eventually buy and drive a Chevy Volt, seems politically on track with his all-American image.
“[The] Secret Service wouldn’t let me drive it. But I liked sitting in it. It was nice. I’ll bet it drives real good. And five years from now when I’m not president anymore, I’ll buy one and drive it myself,” Obama said.
It seems the President feels as good about his decision to uphold the bailout as he does with his chance against the Republicans this year, regardless of who is nominated.
Whether this comment was purely born of his political agenda, or a real attraction to the car, we can’t be sure. The only way to tell will be watching after incumbent’s term ends, either in a year or five, to see if a Volt graces his garage.
President Woodrow Wilson 1916 Cadillac Series 53
Presidents Day is here, so why not talk about presidential rides? Here are ten stories from Cadillac about the presidential luxury cruisers from the past and present.
President Woodrow Wilson rode in a 1916 Cadillac Series 53 , back in 1919 during the World War I Victory Parade. During the War, mass produced V8 Cadillac models were used, and demonstrated incredible power and durability.
Smug journalists across the internet are poking fun at the possibility that President Barack Obama might have referred to the 2013 Shelby GT500 Mustang as “sick” during his visit to the Washington D.C. Auto Show.
True or false, his remarks about the muscle car don’t really matter. What’s slightly more significant is the speech he made to herald General Motors’ return to the throne as the world’s highest volume automaker.
While it isn’t surprising that the President would want to talk about something like that, it is a good chance to point out that GM is doing more than taking the Costco approach to selling cars.
In fact, GM is leading more than just the number of vehicles sold. They’re also the industry’s top innovator, according to The Patent Board. This is actually the fourth consecutive quarter that the Detroit giant can claim that title. An impressive 1,123 U.S. patents were granted to the company in 2011 for global product engineering, global powertrain engineering, global research and development and OnStar organizations.
It’s interesting because we don’t always think of GM when imagining who will come out with the latest breaking tech or engineering feats, yet they emerged victorious over 183 other firms. It seems like most of the automotive wizardry starts overseas in Europe and makes its way to domestic vehicles a little while later.
Blind spot detection is a great example of that. Volvo was the first to introduce it, but companies like GM and Ford are on board with the bandwagon.
Among GM’s recent patents, there is technology for quieter brakes, better OnStar voice recognition and something called eAssist Thermal Management which controls engine shutoff to ensure occupant comfort in extremely hot or cold weather.
That begs the question: what’s next from some of the greatest minds in Michigan?
Would you pay a million bucks to put your butt in the same place as Barack Obama? Yeah, we wouldn’t either.
Nevertheless, Lisa Czibor is holding out hope that someone with an affinity for Obama memorabilia will shell out the big bucks for a Chrysler 300C that the President leased during his time as an Illinois senator.
For those who don’t remember, Obama opted for a more environmentally friendly car during his presidential campaign. It seems that you don’t win votes with V8s these days.
We should really be thanking Czibor for doing the internet a service by offering one of the most laughable Ebay ads since last December’s candy cane car.
The Obama car is still without a bid and if history is any indicator it will remain that way. The auction, which was supposed to end tonight has been extended another week. The reality is, $1 million for a car with an actual value of less than $15,000 is asinine.
What’s more ridiculous is the political nonsense and attempted price justification on the page itself. Some of the examples are simply offensive regardless of political affiliation. For example, the ad insists the price tag isn’t a joke, how could it be? Adolf Hitler’s Mercedes sold for $8 million.
As if that wasn’t ridiculous enough, she cites the price Barry Bonds’ 756th home run ball went for, as if that has anything to do with the car. It’s almost as if the ad is saying “look, other people waste money, you can too!”
Don’t forget to look at the ad yourself, it’s pretty funny.
The British would rather buy a used car from Barack Obama than David Cameron, according to a poll that measures the public’s trust in political leaders.
The YouGov poll, conducted on behalf of Craigslist, asked over 2,000 Britons who they would trust if they were buying a used car from a global leader, and Obama ranked first, with twice as many respondents preferring to buy from him than anyone else. Barack Obama captured 28 percent of the vote, followed by Angela Merkel at 14 percent. Not fairing so well is Silvio Berlusconi – 35 percent of the respondents said he was the world leader they would be least likely to buy a used car from. Other politicians on the list include Vladimir Putin and Nicholas Sarkozy.
“If Obama fails to win reelection next year, he could always launch a used car business in the UK”, says Jim Buckmaster, CEO of craigslist. “But he should clearly avoid partnering with Silvio Berlusconi, or even David Cameron.”
A truck containing a teleprompter and audio gear used by President Barack Obama was stolen in Virginia, prompting questions about security lapses.
The gear, estimated at about $200,000, was parked in a van at a Virginia hotel parking lot ahead of Obama’s visit to the area. The van was said to be carrying audio equipment, podiums and even the Presidential seal, which only Obama is allowed to stand behind. The truck was eventually recovered, but details about the equipment’s status has not been made public.
The truck was said to be unmarked but wearing government tags, and observers are questioning whether this was simply a random vehicle theft that happened to be carrying important cargo, or whether the goods were specifically targeted by thieves.
Stop the presses! President Obama, champion of American jobs and lower taxes, is touring this great nation in a $1.1-million luxury tour bus—built in CANADA!
Obama’s Prevost VIP H3-45, nicknamed “Greyhound One,” is the same model used by touring artists such as Rush, Nickelback, and Loverboy. It comes with all of the armor and accoutrements as befitting the American president: armored doors, teleconferencing equipment, flatscreen televisions tuned to CBC News, big comfy couches, a maple syrup dispenser, and enough storage space for hockey sticks and curling brooms. It is also equipped with Obama’s nuclear launch codes in his “football,” in case the ghost of Diefenbaker attacks us with the last remaining Avro Arrow.
The Secret Service justified the purchase of the coach for security reasons. “There are certain security and communications equipment that we’ll have in there,” said Ed Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman. ”It’s just a better situation for us rather than leasing something and then putting in temporary equipment.”
Those looking to Prevost for the catalyst to a presidential conspiracy can take heart, however: the bus was upgraded by Hemphill Brothers Coach, based in Whites Creek, Tennessee, a town where a Tim Horton’s has yet to open. The government paid $2.2 million to Hemphill Brothers for two coaches, as well as the upgrades—which ran for half the cost.
After Obama’s tour, the Secret Service may make the bus available to other politicians who need the protection—including GOP presidential nominees. Michelle Bachmann might turn to dust if she steps inside, however.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (a non-partisan watchdog group) says the Internal Revenue Service failed to stop millions of dollars of fraudulent claims from being issued to prisoners, the deceased and underage applicants.
The IRS’s system is designed to catch fraudulent claims before sending taxpayer money to criminals. However, a Reuters report explains that the qualified motor vehicle deduction (QMV) program was abused by thousand of individuals with a total cost to taxpayers of over $152 million and over $1 million of those losses were filed by prisoners, deceased and underage applicants.
The QMV program was created by the Obama administration as part of the Stimulus Act, which was intended to offer consumers the ability to write off taxes associated with the purchase of new vehicles weighing less than 8,500 lbs and valued up to $49,500.
According to the report, 4,257 people should have automatically been flagged for being “excessive” according to IRS safeguards, but were not. Additionally, the IRS apparently did not require independent proof that applicants purchased new vehicles, or how much they paid in the taxes they wrote off within the program.
The IRS said they will review the claims found by the watchdog group and take necessary action to recover taxpayer money taken by fraudulent filers.
[Source: Left Lane News]
A statement released today by the White House seemed to take credit for the resurgence of the American auto industry, with President Obama’s bailout plan credited as the driving force behind it.
“When President Obama took office, the American automobile industry was on the brink of collapse,” said the National Economic Council, in a prepared statement. ”Two years later, the American auto industry is mounting a comeback.” The statement comes as the 2012 Presidential election looms closer, and the statement went on to claim that 400,000 jobs in 2008 were lost, and the number could have been closer to 1 million if no action was taken.
The report was released on the two year anniversary of General Motors’ bailout. The Big Three domestic automakers have all reported profits in the first quarter of 2011, but taxpayers are still expected to be on the hook for billions of dollars in losses. The United States treasury is expected to write down as much as 20 percent of the bailout as losses.
[Source: Automotive News]
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, wants the U.S. embassy to cover the costs the president’s motorcade has racked up driving through the city’s downtown core. The U.K. capital has special traffic congestion fines for vehicles caught on the roads without the proper permission, and Obama’s limo (aka “The Beast”) falls in the group, as do the rest of the vehicles in his motorcade.
In addition to these fines, Johnson wants the U.S. embassy to pay up on past fines of this sort, which now total the astronomical sum of $8.7 million.
The U.S embassy claims it is immune to paying the charge because it is technically a tax, which should be reserved for UK residents alone. The mayor spoke to the President during a state banquet at Buckingham Palace explaining that the Presidential fleet would not be receiving special treatment.
“The presidential motorcade is subject to the congestion charge,” said a London transport official in a statement. “Any vehicle, regardless of where it is registered, which is identified within the congestion charging zone during the hours of operation without a valid charge, discount or exemption may be subject to a penalty.”
The U.S. Embassy remains insistent it will not pay the fines, including the fee for ‘The Beast’ and the rest of the President’s motorcade.
[Source: Daily Mail]
The Obama administration will announce today it is buying 116 plug-in electric vehicles and will install charging stations in government buildings in five cities.
Of the 116 vehicles, 101 of them will be extended-range Chevrolet Volts. These vehicles are to be placed with 20 government agencies in five cities including Washington, D.C., Detroit San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The purchase decision was made by the federal government after accepting competitive bids from automakers. The General Services Administration, which has already ordered 35,000 vehicles so far this year, claims there will be an overall average fuel efficiency improvement of 21%. The new cars will save 2.4 million gallons of fuel saving $9 million in spending. The GSA has doubled the number of hybrids in the federal fleet over the last two years.
President Obama has plans to cut oil imports by one-third by 2025 over 2008 levels and also wants to put 1 million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2015.
[Source: Detroit News]
Today, President Barack Obama opened a four-country, 6-day European tour. The President briefly visited the American Embassy in Dublin, where Michelle and Barack encountered an amusing hiccup in their trip. While Cadillac One (aka The Beast) was exiting the embassy driveway, the limo bottomed out and got stuck on a bump crippling the vehicle.
It is unclear whether the limo was a decoy or if Michelle and Barack were even inside the limo at the time but it is quite funny to watch especially with the crowd cheering. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Check out the video after the jump!
President Barrack Obama’s initiative for government fleet vehicles to be able to run on alternative fuels like E85 ethanol, could result in higher gas consumption, rather than reducing it. That means, this project could end up doing the opposite of what it was set out to achieve.
Only 1-percent of gas stations offer E85 in the United States, so only very few government fleet vehicles can take advantage of this fuel. So most fleet drivers end up using regular gas.
And they end up using more of it, because the vehicles they drive, the ones that can run on both regular gas and E85, are not the most fuel-efficient vehicles sold in the country. So while this initiative had its heart in the ‘green’ place, it could ending up increasing green-house gasses.
In order for the President’s plan to work, the infrastructure needs to improve vastly which would increase the availability of alternative fuels.
President Obama recently said that by 2015 he wants to see more fuel-efficient of alternative fueled vehicles to be used in fleets, as part of the plan to reduce dependency on foreign oil. However, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fully electric vehicles aren’t as widely available and cost more to buy. Plus they lack the durability that is required by some government fleets.
In 2009, the first year of the Obama administration, government vehicles increased gasoline use by 3-percent. Figures for 2010 are to be released later this year.
[Source: Automotive News]
Last week President Obama announced his new ‘Green Fleet’ plan that would see all of the government’s 600,000 vehicles be either hybrids, plug-in electrics or flex-fuel models by 2015. There are, however, a few exceptions – most notably ‘The Beast’.
The nickname for the President’s armored Cadillac limousine, also referred to as Cadillac One, it is exempt from the new rules. Secret Service Special Agent Robert Novy confirmed as much to Fox News, commenting that, “certain specialized vehicles with law enforcement and security specifications are not subject to this directive.” Included in that list is ‘The Beast’, which features 5-inch thick reinforced walls, it’s own oxygen system and a blood bank in the trunk is reported to get just 8-mpg.
New offer means some models discounted by as much as $9,000
In a bid to get inventory moving out of showrooms in a hurry, Chrysler has decided to offer a new incentive program that would double the value of the government’s cash-for-clunkers program.
Chrysler will offer $4,500 off (or 0 percent financing for 72 months) on most of its 2009 inventory – excluding the Dodge Challenger, Sprinter, Jeep Wrangler and all SRT products. The $4,500 incentive is even available on vehicles that do not meet the requirements for the cash-for-clunkers program, which was recently signed off on by President Obama.
Cash-for-Clunkers, or CARS (Car Allowance Rebate System) gives a $4,500 rebate on a new car when it gets 10 mpg or more better fuel mileage than the one traded in. The rebate is $3,500 on vehicles that get 4 to 9 mpg better or trucks that get 2 to 4 mpg better.
Chrysler, now under new leadership from Italian automaker Fiat is hoping the incentive will help sales rebound. Chrysler has been hit particularly hard this year with sales down 45.7 percent for the first six months.
When combined, these two offers mean a $17,090, Dodge Caliber SE could leave showrooms for as little as $8,090.
Chrysler’s “Double Ca$h for Your Old Car,” incentive starts tomorrow and runs through August.
[Source: Automotive News]
The Canadian government is currently examining if it will pass a cash-for-clunkers bill that could see consumers get up to $3,500 (CDN) towards a new car when they trade in their older and less fuel-efficient model.
Environment Minister Jim Prentice said a decision on the matter will be made within the next 60 days, as the government continues to be pressured by automakers. The government has also received added pressure after U.S. President Barack Obama signed off on a similar program last month that would see U.S. consumers get as much as $4,500 (USD) towards a new car when they trade in an old one with poor fuel economy.
Automakers are pressuring the government to help out in an effort to boost auto sales. Vehicle sales in Canada, however, are not suffering to the same extent that they are in the U.S. According to the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada (AIAMC), vehicle sales were down just 13.2 percent in June with year to date sales down 18.3 percent. Passenger vehicle sales were down 22.9 percent, while light duty truck sales were actually up 1.5 percent.
[Source: The Vancouver Sun]