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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.
Several months back we posted an epic Top 10 list highlighting some of the priciest, most opulent and downright ludicrous pickups available on the market. Vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade EXT and Harley-Davidson F-150 are but a couple of the high-brow haulers we featured. Those vehicles – and we hesitate to call them trucks – are so over the top they spill into luxury-car territory.
10. Hyundai Elantra - 24,445 Units
The sales numbers are in for April 2013, and we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best-selling cars for last month.
Kicking off the list is the Hyundai Elantra with a starting MSRP of $16,965. The compact model from the Korean automaker saw 45.2 percent more sales this year than last in the month of April, and has sold 78,991 units so far this year. It’s worth noting that 25 percent of Elantra sales come from the Coupe and Elantra GT hatchback models, which weren’t available last year.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Review
Bland Like Unsalted Popcorn
Are you self-conscious? Don’t like to stand out in a crowd? Would you rather blend into the background than be the center of attention? Well, when it comes to the automotive world, you are in luck. Some vehicles seem to have skipped class when it came time for their styling lesson. This is not to say they are ugly, but more that they lack any style whatsoever.
We’ve all heard the clichés to describe these anonymously styled cars; plain vanilla, beige, white bread, etc. We like to think of them as stylistically-challenged. Regardless, if you don’t want to draw any undue attention towards yourself, here are ten vehicles that are guaranteed to blend into the landscape.
10. Ford Escape - 261,008 Units Sold
2012 was the best-selling year for automakers since 2007, marking the third year in a row that sales have increased. So now is a great time to look back at the best-selling vehicles from last year.
Coming in 10th place with 261,008 units sold is the Ford Escape which was updated for the 2013 model year. Earlier last year, AutoGuide.com had the opportunity to review the 2013 Ford Escape and we came away surprised by its sleek new look, engine selection, and its great handling. It wasn’t without its cons, but overall the crossover delivered a vastly improved driving experience.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Ford Escape Review – Video
Things are looking up for automakers in the United States. All told sales topped 1.1 million new cars and trucks in November. That’s nearly a 15 percent increase compared to the same month in 2011. Year-to-date sales eclipsed 13 million units, an improvement of almost 14 percent compared to the same time period last year.
10. Lincoln Navigator Ultimate $109.76
Gas prices might not have hit the budget-busting $5/gallon yet, but drivers are already feeling the pinch. Consumer Reports has exposed a list of the top 10 most expensive vehicles to fill up. All prices are based on the average fuel price in the United States.
First on our top 10 is the Lincoln Navigator Ultimate. The massive V8 in this thing gets a combined 15mpg according to fueleconomy.gov. That gives it a range of around 504 miles on a tank. Filling up this SUV costs almost $110, which surprisingly is far from the costliest fill up on this list.
“Segments like the midsize car, where we need to make a big noise against Honda and Toyota, are much better places for Ford to make strong gains, but where we already have a strong presence and people are holding onto their trucks longer than ever before, we’re likely to continue giving customers what they want,” Eric Merkle said at the Motor Press Guild monthly meeting at the Ford Design studio in Irvine, Calif.
That doesn’t mean Ford fans will have to deal with dated drivetrain tech. Merkle was clear in telling the Chicago Tribune that updates will still happen, though cosmetic changes will be minimal. Instead, major changes will be focused on powertrain updates.
Those updates will probably include smaller, more efficient engines given that the company is talking about doing the same with the Mustang, which probably comes the closest to rivaling the pickup truck community’s V8 fanaticism.
There’s another budding branch in the Ford family tree of pickup trucks, one that we reported in August of last year.
“You know we announced the partnership with Toyota,” Merkle said, “to explore the idea of a hybrid pickup truck. … I think it would be kind of cool to use whatever electric generator that might include to run a bunch of power tools or set up a well-stocked campsite,” Merkle said.
Despite what the hardcore truck community might think, there are changes on the horizon for all gas-thirsty vehicles, pickups included. For now, the loyal old school can take comfort in Merkle’s prediction that the F-150 will stay true for the coming years.
GALLERY: 2012 Ford F-150
[Source: Chicago Tribune]
Chevrolet and GMC have announced the debut of new bi-fuel Silverado and Sierra 2500 HD pickup trucks for 2013, both of which are powered by a Vortec 6.0-liter V8 that can seamlessly transition between standard gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG).
The bi-fuel technology allows the trucks to have a range of more than 650 miles. Both pickups are available as standard bed or long-boxes with either two- or four-wheel drive. GM is currently the only manufacturer that offers a single-source option for its gaseous fuel vehicles. The bi-fuel Silverado and Sierra are built with the specially-designed 6.0-liter V8 and the fuel system is installed by General Motors’ Tier One supplier.
“The bi-fuel Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra provide customers with choices in advanced propulsion technology, and because CNG is a clean-burning, domestically produced fuel, it has wide appeal,” said Ed Peper, general manager, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “The addition of a full-size bi-fuel pickup truck to GM’s fleet portfolio is another milestone in putting the customer first in everything we do – by offering great products, innovative solutions and a great customer experience.”
Cautious buyers will be pleased to hear that the bi-fuel trucks will come with GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile warranty and a five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and vehicle emissions warranty. GM said it’s the most extensive warranty offered by any automaker on their commercial products.
Both fleet and retail consumers may place orders in April, although pricing details aren’t available yet.
GALLERY: 2013 Bi-Fuel Chevrolet Silverado HD
Things just got mighty interesting with the Super Bowl ads, with Ford sending a cease-and-desist over to both General Motors and NBC in hopes that the Chevrolet Silverado apocalypse ad won’t air during the big game.
It’s probably too little, too late considering the commercial has already been seen several million times on the Internet, but the impact it could have being played during the big game clearly still worries Ford. The American automaker has asked NBC to pull the $7-million, one-minute ad from the Super Bowl but it appears that NBC will not be respecting that request. At the time of this writing, the ad will still be played and we can’t imagine NBC pulling it at this point in time.
GM Global Chief Marketing Officer, Joel Ewanick, is clearly finding the situation a little on the lighter side, releasing this in a statement: ”We can wait until the world ends, and if we need to, we will apologize,” Ewanick said. “In the meantime, people who are really worried about the Mayan calendar coming true should buy a Silverado right away.”
Ford spokesman Mike Levine has confirmed that Ford did send a letter to Chevy in regards to the ad and that Ford has a gripe with the durability claims that GM is putting out about their products.
In case you’ve missed the ad, check it out after the break.
[Source: Yahoo! Autos]
Shoving small block engines into short bed, half-ton trucks is nothing new. But a supercharged LS9 from a Corvette ZR1 into a Chevrolet Silverado pickup? Now that’s something worth checking out.
Aside from the side exit exhaust on the truck – which is a pretty common modification on Silverados – absolutely nothing else has been done to it on the exterior, giving no hint as to what waits underneath the hood. The video shows off the acceleration of the truck as well as a dyno pull, whipping down 510-hp and 504 lb-ft of torque. That’s at least 205-hp and 169 lb-ft of torque over the most powerful factory powerplant Chevy offers in their four-wheel-drive Silverado.
Check out the video after the break.
[Source: Bang Shift]
Scheduled to hit dealer lots next year as a 2014 model year is GM’s newly redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, but it appears that those two trucks will just be the tip of the iceberg. Now it’s a possibility that GM may be considering extensively redesigning all of their upcoming pickups.
It’s believed that the new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will not only offer better fuel economy, but a new chassis is also expected with the exterior and interior of the pickups entirely changed. In addition, improved aerodynamics will go along with engine improvements, a lightened load and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Such an overhaul is no surprise as GM has been investing heavily into new technology to improve fuel economy. And with the success of the Ford F-150 EcoBoost, GM knows what they can get away with in the pickup market.
Next year we should be seeing the redesigned 1500 pickups but it’s expected that revamped 2500 and 3500 variants will make an appearance a year later. Expect a ton of engineering improvements to occur across all of GM’s pickups in the next few years.
[Source: Automotive News]
Men in the U.S. went big, brawny and sporty in 2011 – that is, when it came to the kind of vehicles they bought this past year.
According to J.D. Power’s Power Information Network (PIN) real-time transaction data, men leaned towards sports cars and pickup trucks in the first 11 months of 2011. In fact, out of the top 10 new-model vehicles that men bought or leased, six of them were large pickup trucks or vans. Topping the list of model pickups and vans were the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado. The data shows that these vehicles were purchased for commercial uses, not necessarily for dropping kids off at soccer practice.
Also in the top 10 models were three cool sports cars – BMW M3 , the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette. The M3 had highest number of male car buyers in the sports category, with most of these buyers falling into the 16- to 35-year-old demographic. The Porsche 911 was the second top pick, followed closely by the Corvette.
Also making the 2011 list is the GMC Sierra, the Audi A8/S8, the Ford Econoline and the Chevrolet Express. One of the new entries on the list this year is the Chevrolet Volt, although it didn’t crack the top 10.
[Source: J.D. Power and Associates]
12. Toyota Camry
While automakers and outside research firms publish sales figures and earnings reports on a regular basis, one metric we rarely get a glimpse of is how profitable each vehicle is. In an era of re-badging and platform sharing, one would think that the most profitable vehicles are those with a large number of derivatives to spread the cost around. But a new report from Bernstein Research suggests that two factors – price point and volume – are the keys to making big bucks off vehicles. And judging by the list, longevity seems to help as well.
Number 12 on the list is the Toyota Camry, and for good reason. The Camry has a number of factors in its favor – massive volumes, an accessible price point and its made in America (currency fluctuations, particularly a rise in the euro or yen, can make exports unprofitable). Bernstein’s report notes that high volume cars at a medium price point are one of the keys to profitability, and the Camry might be the textbook definition of this formula. The Camry’s twin, the Lexus ES350, was absent from the list, but no doubt earns its keep, as a gilded version of the Camry.
You’ve probably heard of Costco members getting incentives to buy new vehicles at dealers on your local radio. However, one automaker; General Motors is taking things a step further, teaming up with the wholesale giant to sell select Chevy/GMC pickups and SUVs through a number of authorized retailers for a no haggle “preferred price.”
In addition, eligible buyers will also receive a $500 Costco Cash Card for further savings on the price of a new truck. As part of the program, GM will display vehicles at Costco outlets across the country, which according to a company spokesman for the General; Jim Cain, enables the automaker to “reach people in a unique setting outside of a dealership.”
The “preferred” price actually varies from vehicle to vehicle, though according to Cain, will be similar to incentives offered to employees of GM suppliers, who currently receive discounts on new cars and trucks.
Eligible vehicles in the Costco program include the 2011/2012 Chevy Silverado, Tahoe and Surburan as well as the Traverse, plus their GMC equivalents, Sierra; Yukon, Yukon XL and Acadia.
In order to participate, Costco members have to register online with the Costco Auto Program or call a special phone number. They must also complete surveys and redemption forms after purchasing a vehicle in order to receive the $500 Cash Card.
[Source: Automotive News]
General Motors will idle its Fort Wayne, Indiana plant for one week in November to help bring pickup truck production in line with slowing demand.
The plant will be idled for the week of November 7th, and no Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra pickups will be produced at that time. GM has reported a 108 day supply of full-size pickups for the month of August, while an 80-day supply is considered a normal figure. GM said that sales of the Silverado and Sierra are up 7 and 18 percent respectively.
[Source: Automotive News]
The first half of 2011 is officially over, and the Ford F-Series and Toyota Camry are still the top selling truck and car in America. While the F-Series has traditionally been the best selling vehicle in America since time immemorial, the Camry has often traded places with the Ford Taurus and Honda Accord, and our sales tally also lumps in sales of the Solara coupe as well, similar to the Corolla and Matrix, which are grouped together for second place in the passenger car standings.
The Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram take second and third place in the truck standings, while the Corolla/Matrix, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion round out the car category.
Other strong performers include the Hyundai Elantra and Sonata and the Volkswagen Jetta. All three are relative newcomers to the top of the sales charts, but have managed to gain significant market share amid recent re-designs.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]
GM is recalling 10,000 trucks and SUVs that have been impacted by two safety issues worldwide. The majority of the recalls are for the 2011 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon (9,215 combined) that could roll away when shifted into park due to a faulty part manufactured in China. The recall will be officially issued out on July 19th, and GM will install new automatic transmission adjustment clips. This recall impacts 6,700 vehicles sold in the United States.
Fortunately this recall (and the other one) doesn’t involve any crashes. The Colorado and Canyon recall was discovered when a vehicle failed to start while at a GM assembly plant. The other recall is being issued out to 891 SUVs and trucks for steering problems. 739 of the vehicles impacted are in the United States. Those impacted will have their intermediate steering shaft bolts properly tightened to ensure no loss of steering can occur. Those letters will be sent out on July 13th.
The 891 SUVs and trucks affected by that recall include the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Sierra all from the 2011 model year.