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.
The car-buying process is a frustrating chore; it’s stressful, takes hours of precious time and once you finally seal the deal you’re never certain if you got screwed like a box of Phillips-head fasteners. But before you sign your life away, is it better to finance a vehicular purchase or pay cash? Not surprisingly the answer is a clear as a jar of peanut butter.
California motorists that spend a lot of time on the road could be in for a shock. The state’s legislature is considering a bill that would explore a tax based on vehicle miles traveled or VMT for short.
Johnson Controls, the sole American bidder to U.S. battery maker A123, is appealing the company’s sale to Chinese firm Wanxiang Group.
A year riddled with controversy for electric cars is winding down, but not without at least one more flare up — Chinese firm Wanxiang Group won the bidding war for A123 Systems.
No matter what you race on, be it snow, ice, water or pavement, Champion will sponsor 15 winning speed demons, the most significant of which will be a $50,000 prize.
Here’s a question: how do millions of dollars in gold-colored coins and tons of candy end up spilled on a highway? No, nobody tried to hijack the Lucky Charms Leprechaun.
Instead, a serious crash occurred North of the border in Canada. A Brink’s tractor-trailer carrying millions of dollars in loonies and toonies (that’s what Canadians call their one- and two-dollar coins) somehow crashed on a highway this morning, spilling its loot.
The crash also blocked what must have been a slippery road because it wasn’t long before another semi collided with the first, this time sending candy cascading all over the scattered money.
Including the originally-crashed truck, three tractor-trailers and a minivan ended up in the collision. We’re guessing the candy will be written off, but Police had to stand by while a magnetic crane gathered the scattered coins.
It’s probably far from a legitimate gold rush, but people hoping for a lucrative camping trip this summer might try pitching a tent in the Ontario North along the Trans Canada Highway near Bastion Street. No doubt the local Canucks will have picked it dry shortly after the police disperse, but how often can you put coin hunting on your camping to-do list?
Unfortunately this story isn’t all sugar and money, as the two Brink’s truck passengers suffered life-threatening injuries and are currently in hospital. All joking aside, we wish them a swift and full recovery.
[Photo credit: CBC]
Ramciotti was lured out of retirement to head up the project, which aims for a common design language for the two brands. “We are trying to find an international language, which could have a place both here in Italy and in the U.S.,” said Ramaciotti in an interview with Bloomberg. “If you put all the models into the showroom, they must fit together. It’s a delicate problem.”
Sergio Machionne, Chief Executive Officer of Fiat and Chrysler, hopes sharing designs will boost both Chrysler and floundering Italian sister company Lancia, a weak link for Fiat. The carmaker loses an estimated $1.08 billion annually in Europe. If all goes as planned, the new Chrysler-Lancia line will boost group sales 64 percent by 2014.
Sharing vehicles between manufacturers is a quick way to cut costs, but it can have a high price.
“It’s extremely difficult to succeed in a strategy of globalizing design,” said Roberto Verganti, a management professor at Milan Polytechnic. “The risk is making international cars with no personality. When you buy a Lancia, you are looking for a piece of Italy, and when you choose a Chrysler, you are getting a slice of America.”
Despite the plan to marry models between Chrysler and Lancia, Fiat doesn’t plan to do the same for other brands including Dodge, Jeep, Maserati and Alfa Romeo, all of which will retain their respective identities.
Currently, Chrysler provides re-badged Grand Voyagers and 300s to Lancia, with Lancia calling them the Voyager and Thema respectively. For now, the cars are attracting attention in showrooms, but they haven’t been hot sellers in the depressed Italian economy. “Reactions are good. The Thema is pretty, design is attractive for Italians, too, but no one is buying these kinds of cars now,” said Roberto Ferrari, who owns a Lancia dealer outside Milan.
Overall, Chrysler only sold 37,000 cars in Europe last year, including Jeep and Dodge. That number is down by almost 38 percent since 2007 when they peaked at 120,000 units.
The news isn’t all bad for Fiat’s rebranded American cars though. Since June, the company enjoyed 18,000 orders for their rebranded version of the Dodge Journey minivan, more than double their total sales for 2009.