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It’s becoming the latest thing on internal combustion engined vehicles, as automakers aim to boost fuel economy and reduce vehicle emissions, yet stop/start technology isn’t without its issues, as Kia Motors has discovered.
During an evaluation of Kia test vehicles equipped with the ISG (Idle, Stop and Go) technology, members of the press have reported a noticeable “shock” as the engine shuts off and then restarts. Kia also said that extremely cold and hot temperatures also affect the system’s ability to operate and plans to address these problems, meaning introduction of ISG on its Rio and Soul (shown above) models has been delayed until the second quarter of 2012.
Other automakers currently offering the technology include Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, plus Ford is also introducing it this year on the 2013 Fusion mid-size sedan.
In response to the teething troubles concerning ISG, Kia’s US marketing head, Michael Sprague, said, “it is a new technology, (and) we want to make sure it’s giving consumers the experience they would expect.” Indeed.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
As part of it’s response to meet tougher Corporate Average Fuel Economy targets, Audi of America, logically is looking to diesels, at least in the short term to improve its overall fleet mileage.
The US arm of the Ingolstadt automaker plans to bring over oil burning versions of the Q5 SUV and A8 flagship sedan next year, however the A6 diesel has now been pushed back, along with the planned introduction of the A6 an A8 Hybrid models.
In the case of the latter, Audi’s US President, Johann De Nysschen says that the pushing back the A6 and A8 Hybrids was largely done to “minimize complexity” in the lineup, since Audi is already planning to introduce a Q5 Hybrid for 2012.
As to why the A6 diesel has been delayed, no official word so far, but given that the mid-size premium sedan segment is largely a stagnant market in the US and most of Audi’s sales gains (14.1 percent so far this year) have essentially been at the expense of rivals, perhaps the time simply isn’t right to introduce yet another new model. That said, Audi’s German rivals, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are also reporting increased demand (4.1 percent for the E-Class and a whopping 46.4 percent through the first 10 months of this year).
During a recent statement at the LA Auto Show, De Nysschen also said that a diesel A7 Sportback is a possibility for North America, though in reference to rumors of a possible local production facility he said “no official decision has been made.”
[Source: Ward's Auto]
If you just ordered a new Chrysler minivan, you could be waiting some time before you get it. No, it’s not due to a production delay, but instead due to a dispute with their trucking company.
Allied Systems Holdings, the carrier company that is responsible for taking vehicles out of the Windsor factory is in dispute with Chrysler over proposed wage cuts, when Allied workers were asking for a wage increase.
General Motors (GM) is in a similar dispute with Allied, but it has other resources to cover up the slack. Chrysler for the moment is placing vehicles in lots around the city of Windsor to keep the flow of vehicles on the production line. Chrysler currently produces 1500 minivans per-day out of the Windsor factory.
While Allied serves other Chrysler facilities also, this Atlanta-based company mainly serves their Windsor facility. “Chrysler can only move so many cars and park so many cars before they have an issue,” said Rick Laporte, president of Canadian Auto Workers Union Local 444. “If it isn’t resolved within in a certain length of time, I would suggest there is a possibility there to shut the Windsor Assembly plant down.”
Chrysler spokeswoman Katie Hepler wrote in an e-mail; “Allied was one of our carriers, not our only carrier, so the work is being done by others. Vehicles continue to be shipped to dealers, and we do not anticipate any disruptions in production as a result of this change.”
GM while also affected, is resorting to its other carriers and is paying dealers $60 per vehicle if they go pick up vehicles from distribution centers.
Perhaps Chrysler should now also look to explore other options.
[Source: Automotive News]
Well it ever get here? Based on the latest scuttlebutt regarding the U.S. launch of Mahindra’s compact pickup, it’s looking less likely with each passing day. Global Vehicles USA, the licensed distributor for Mahindra vehicles in this country has filed a lawsuit against the Indian manufacturer for repeated delays in bring the trucks over, which is costing Global a pretty penny, since GV has already signed up approximately 350 dealers and spent nearly $35 million in preparation for launching the Mahindra pickup Stateside.
According to Mike Geylin, spokesman for GV USA, Mahindra has repeatedly dragged its feet regarding the launch date and the lawsuit “seeks to compel the Indian company to honor it’s contractual obligations and begin shipping [the vehicles] pursuant to existing and long standing orders placed by Global Vehicles on behalf of its dealers.”
Mahindra spokesman Pawan Goenka stated that “we are going as per (our) original plan for the launch of the pickup truck (December 2010), but can’t say on the actual time of the launch as it will depend on the outcome of the litigation.” The soap opera continues…
[Source: Pickup trucks.com]