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.
I tagged along for a two legs of MINI Takes the States, an epic cross-country road rally that’s put on by the company. I participated in just two sections of this continent-spanning trip, but that was still enough for me to experience four Midwestern states and some 700 miles of America. But there’s much more to than this event than just the sliver I experienced.
The extravaganza known as Ken Block’s Gymkhana videos will see its latest addition on July 9 when Gymkhana Five will be released onto the Internet for all of us to enjoy.
If you live in Portland, Ore., you can make some extra cash renting your car out thanks to the Getaround car sharing program.
After receiving a grant for studying people’s car sharing behaviors, Getaround is offering Portland car owners $300 to add their vehicle to the service and report back regarding their experiences. To get the extra cash, your car is outfitted with a “carkit” that lets prospective renters access the car using a smart phone.
In addition to the $300, you’ll also get the per hour rental fee – not a bad way to make a little extra cash, especially if you’re not using your car all the time. It’s also good for businesses that have fleet cars sitting around collecting dust.
San Francisco and San Diego are also running a Getaround trial. Roughly 100 people have already signed up for the service in Portland. If you’re interesting in this peer-to-peer car sharing program, visit the Getaround website for more info.
Insurance.com has published a report on DUI citations in the nation’s largest US cities with California playing home to three of the top five. San Diego and Los Angeles topped the list at first and second respectively, while Indianapolis, Jacksonville (Florida) and San Francisco rounded off the top five.
It’s worth mentioning though that these cities with a high-percentage of DUI citations doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more drinking and driving occurring. It could also mean that there’s less public transportation or a police force that’s good at doing their job – or really the more densely populated a city is, the more people there are to do stupid things.
Nationwide in 2010, there were 1.4 million DUI arrests according to the FBI. This is also the second year in a row that San Diego has topped the list in the study.
Despite the study supposedly listing the top 20 cities, the website only publishes 19 – see it after the break.
Residents of San Francisco will be happy to hear that the city is getting its public transit system overhauled by BMW.
Boasting the fifth-largest urban train system in the US, the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) is transporting commuters on the oldest fleet in the country. So it’s about time the public transit system got a facelift… and that’s where BMW DesignworksUSA comes into the picture.
Being call the “Fleet of the Future,” BMW Designworks will design an updated version of the BART rail cars – from new interiors and exteriors to updating the controls in the train operator’s cab. It even includes modernizing the PA system used at each of the 44 stations on various routes.
“We are passionate about creating innovative solutions for mobility in increasingly dense urban centers such as the Bay Area, and we are excited as our collaborative partnership with BART gets underway,” said Laurenz Schaffer, President, BMW Group DesignworksUSA.
BMW Designworks has already taken on a simlar project in Warsaw, Poland (the train is pictured above) so San Fran residents can expect to be dropped off at their stops in style.
To celebrate its 50-year milestone, the Gull Wing Group teamed up with Mercedes-Benz to recreate their infamous group photo at Fort Point Park with the Golden Gate Bridge as its backdrop. The Gull Wing Group was originally founded in 1961 by Ernie Spitzer with just eighteen 300 SL Coupe owners. 50 years later, the Gull Wing Group now has over 600 owners, all sharing the same passion for the 300 SL.
On June 10th, 2011, almost 50 years post the original photo’s taking, close to 100 members showed up with a total of 24 Gull Wings and 14 Roadsters to rejuvenate the classic photo. In addition, Mercedes-Benz is showing their support for the Gull Wing Group by donating 125 scholarships to provide children with the opportunity to participate in San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department’s summer educational program.
Mercedes produced 1,400 300 SL Gull Wings between 1954-1957 and is one of the most sought after collectible vehicles in the world. Of course now we have the SLS AMG to pay tribute to the gull wing design, which was inspired by the original 1954 300 SL.
When you think of San Francisco, several things come to mind, like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and a population of politically progressive individuals. And while the residents of the city are considered to be an open-minded bunch, they’re not at all receptive to the idea of owning a domestic vehicle. Evidence of this came at the end of last month when San Francisco Ford Lincoln Mercury suddenly shut its doors. As a result, there isn’t a single domestic car dealership inside San Francisco city limits.
The dealership has been on shaky ground since 2008 when the current franchise owner left, leaving Ford to run the operation. Since then Ford has been looking for a new buyer, and recently a deal to sell to another local Ford dealer fell through.
“San Francisco is not loyal to anything domestic; its allegiance is to anything but domestic,” said Dennis Fitzpatrick, owner of Concord Chevrolet and regional vice president of the California New Car Dealers Association.
Before the San Fran Ford dealer closed its doors, one of the last domestic dealers was Ellis Brooks Chevrolet just down the street on Van Ness Avenue. Now that location is being transformed into one of Nissan’s largest dealerships in America.
[Source: San Francisco Chronicle]
It’s a great day to go shopping in San Francisco. And that’s because the Porsche Design Group just opened a new Porsche Design franchise store.
Located at 100 Grant Avenue (smack-dab in the city’s luxury shopping district, natch), this store offers the complete range of Porsche Design accessories. You’ll find everything from sports apparel to luggage, watches, writing tools and small leather goods. It even comes outfitted with the extended fashion collection for men and women, and just like the cars that bear its name, the clothing is highlighted by high quality, clean lines and classic and sporty design.
“San Francisco is an important location for our brand”, says Dr. Juergen Gessler, CEO of Porsche Design Group. “The Bay Area holds great potential for our luxury brand. The people living here are creative types that support and seek out good design. With our purist, timeless and functional Porsche Design philosophy we do not follow any trends but set our very own accents. The idea behind that lifestyle matches perfectly with the San Franciscans’ lifestyle.”
The San Fran Porsche Design store also marks the company’s first green building store. Doing its part for Mother Nature, the store goes green with LED light boxes that lower power consumption by more then 80 per cent.