Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 10:43AM EST
Last week, fans of The Colbert Report were surely laughing with Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally.
Stephen Colbert, spoofing Fox News pundits, accused Mr. Mulally of being a communist. Mr. Colbert argued he’s a “pinko” because he supported the 2009 government bailouts of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.More »
Friday, Nov. 29, 2013 3:43PM EST
Turbos, turbos everywhere. Car companies are pushing the benefits of turbocharging as a brilliant approach to squeezing out better fuel economy without sacrificing power.
Is that the case? A definite maybe.
Take Ford Motor’s EcoBoost engines. They do offer the potential for fuel savings, while giving drivers access to crisp acceleration. Thus the name EcoBoost – “Eco” for fuel economy and “Boost” for performance.More »
Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 6:45AM EST
Despite suggestions by Toyota and the International New York Times, cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells are not on the cusp of a “Prius moment,” says Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Nissan-Renault Alliance.
“The challenge is mass marketing,” he said, following Toyota’s unveiling of a hydrogen fuel cell car that the world’s biggest auto maker says will go on sale “around 2015.”More »
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 11:54AM EST
General Motors CEO Dan Akerson could step down as early as next year, says a Reuters report, and with his departure we will close the book on what was arguably the most successful industrial bailout in history.
I should caution that Akerson, says Reuters, has not given GM’s board any formal retirement notification. But earlier this year his pay packet changed and that hints at the future. A securities filing shows the CEO was not awarded any restricted stock units last year, “in acknowledgement of the possibility of his retirement before the completion of the three-year vesting period” which, says www.just-auto.com, would be in 2015. At the very latest, Akerson will surely be gone by 2015.More »
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 10:52PM EST
An all-new version of the Chevrolet Colorado small pickup is coming to a dealership near you. Given the “chicken tax,” I’d say that’s something of a miracle.
Chicken tax? Miracle? Finally, something new in pickups that are not monstrously big – too big for urban and suburban parking stalls? Yes, yes, read on.More »
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 3:35PM EDT
Google the phrase “Toyota slammed by Consumer Reports” and you’ll get more than a million results in a quarter of a second. Yes, CR made big news by dropping the Toyota Camry, RAV4 and Prius v from its long list of “recommended” vehicles. Big news.
Despite this embarrassing stumble, there is also good news about these models in CR’s latest, just-released reliability study. The Camry, the study shows, is No. 2 for reliability among mid-size cars, second only to the Subaru Legacy. The RAV is the third-most reliable small SUV and the Prius v is still among the most dependable hybrids or electric vehicles in the marketplace.More »
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 7:00AM EDT
Yes, Toyota took a painful hit this week. Consumer Reports dropped the Camry sedan, RAV4 compact crossover and Prius v hybrid hatchback from its list of recommended vehicles. Ouch.
All three performed poorly in an overlap crash test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. How did Toyota let that happen to the RAV, a very popular, newly-engineered crossover with a good history for being safe and reliable? Embarrassing.More »
Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 12:05PM EDT
In study after study, consumers say that reliability is a top three consideration for new car buyers. But reliability isn’t everything.
Case in point: the Scion xB. Here we have the compact car you can count on most, according to the latest Consumer Reports reliability study released yesterday – No. 1 for reliability. Yet xB sales are down more than 20 per cent this year, and through the end of August, Scion moved just 588 xB hatchbacks out of dealer showrooms. So the xB doesn’t sell and doesn’t break.More »
Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 3:44PM EDT
Ford Motor announced record profits this week and the Ford Focus compact car was the world’s best-selling vehicle nameplate through the first half of this year. So time for a victory party at headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., right?
No. In fact, I think some important parts of Ford’s overall performance are disappointing and I can also argue that Ford of Canada is underachieving.More »
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 12:22PM EDT
Now this has to be a blow to both Lexus and Infiniti, two upscale brands very anxious to find a formula that will allow them to challenge the best premium cars from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Consumer Reports (CR), a magazine that claims more than eight million subscribers, calls the remade-for-2014 Lexus IS 250 “neither sporty or luxurious,” while also suggesting the all-new Infiniti Q50 “has lost its way.” Indeed, rival upscale sedans from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln and Volvo all scored higher than the Infiniti and Lexus. The Lexus and Infiniti both found a place near the bottom of the CR rankings.More »