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 |  Jun 15 2012, 11:15 AM

Former GM vice chairman and outspoken Chevrolet Volt advocate Bob Lutz is endorsing Mitt Romney despite his condemnation of the auto industry bailouts.

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 |  Feb 23 2012, 4:32 PM

Election season is upon us and that means one thing, more mudslinging than a figure-eight demolition derby.

The auto industry bailout will certainly near the top of the many contentious issues Republican candidates vying for their party nomination will latch into. That desperate move by the government between 2008 and 2009 is still sparking hot debates and dividing opinion, though overall sentiment is still negative according to a new Gallup poll.

It found that 51 percent of those surveyed still disapprove of the $85 billion rescue effort, with only 44 percent saying they approve of the decision.

As might be expected, that division grows when examined between political parties. Republicans showed 73 percent opposition to the bailout while 63 percent of Democrats supported it.

Sentiments are, however, improving over the general opinion displayed in 2009 when the branding iron was still hot and tax dollars spent on saving big business felt closer and more real.

Three years later, the U.S. treasury could still lose money on the bailout if GM stocks fail to recover, but it seems that some of the public who were quick to cry out have forgotten or become complacent.

Still, the issue around supporting Chrysler and GM is one that the Republicans are likely to leverage against Obama during this year’s race when the number might slide back toward more negative territory.

How do you feel about the bailout? Tell us in the comments section or find us on Twitter.

[Source: The Detroit Bureau]

 |  Feb 21 2012, 6:45 PM

A Chevrolet Volt owner made Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich look pretty silly by posting a video response to the senator’s comment today that you can’t have a gun rack in a Chevrolet Volt.

It turns out that a little bit of PVC pipe, some string string and American ingenuity make darn good rifle toting material in the back of a Volt, or really any sedan. Before getting to deeply into what goes on in the citizen rebulttle, let’s go over what Gingrich said to stir this stuff up.

“You know the Volt is an interesting experimental car. The average family that buys it earns $170,000 a year. This is Obama’s idea of populism and in this new budget he wants to increase the amount given to every Volt buyer to $10,000.” Gingrich said. “Which is an amount which a lot of people would by a decent second-hand car, but it wouldn’t be an ‘Obama’ car.”

“But here’s my point folks: You can’t put a gun rack in a Volt,” he said to much laughter and applause.

Well, it looks like there’s going to be a lot more laughter, though probably not on the Gingrich campaign trail. Perhaps politicians in general should avoid using absolutes, of only to avoid looking silly after saying words like “can’t” or “never.”

Maybe the world should be thanking Gingrich. His rant spurred someone to build a new Volt accessory that Chevrolet certainly wouldn’t hav e thought to market.

You can watch videos of both Gingrich and the gun rack after the jump.

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 |  Feb 21 2011, 8:11 AM

Earlier this month a debate raged on whether the American armed forces should sponsor NASCAR teams, one that had the potential to get ugly. But the House voted 241-148 to ditch the proposal, allowing the Army, Air Force, and National Guard to keep on racin’.

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced the proposal, as an amendment to the House’s 2011 spending bill, by questioning why $7 million was being spent “for a sticker on a NASCAR,” in the words of her chief of staff. She argued that the Army’s NASCAR team did nothing for military readiness, but Army spokesperson Col. Derik Crotts claims that the Army picked up 46,000 potential recruits through its sponsorship efforts in 2010.

The Army has maintained a presence in NASCAR since 2000, through direction from Congress itself. NASCAR, of course, is one of the most popular spectator sports in America, and if the Army wants to attract more people, then—stereotypes aside—there aren’t many better places than stock car racing.

[Sources: Wall Street Journal]

 |  Feb 18 2011, 1:33 PM

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) has been campaigning for the removal of the U.S. Army’s sponsorship of a NASCAR entrant in the Sprint Cup Series, a project that costs the Pentagon about $7 million dollars per year.

While McCollum has fielded irate calls from those who are angry about her proposal, the threat, delivered via fax, was the first of its kind.

For years, the Army has sponsored a NASCAR team as a means of getting the message out about the armed forces, and the career prospects it has to offer. At first glance, it seems like a perfect fit – with NASCAR’s supporters leaning heavily Republican, and supportive of the kind of values that often draws people to the armed forces.

Bill Harper, McCollum’s chief of staff, noted the irony of NASCAR fans, who he assumes to be Republican, and their complaints, when Republican supporters are calling for budget cuts to preserve America’s financial integrity. “We’ve heard innumerable times that the Republicans were elected to send a message from the people that we should stop spending money,” said Harper. “And yet the people who sent that message want us to spend $7 million for a sticker on a NASCAR.”

[Source: Talking Points Memo]