Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

05 Mar 2012 20:34


Tech: Chevy halts production of its prize-winning hybrid, the Volt

  • 60K number of Volts Chevrolet expected to sell in 2012
  • 1,626 number of Volts the company has actually sold so far source
  • » But hey, it’s still a winner! Really. The Volt received some bad press since its debut, so it hasn’t sold as many cars as it could have sold. If only sold as many cars as it won awards; it just won the 2012 European Car of the Year — but the car also won the 2011 North American Car of the Year, the World Green Car of the Year and was named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. Now Chevy just needs to sell more cars, and the Volt can earn its recognition on the roads.

16 Feb 2012 18:39


Biz: Still think Detroit’s going bankrupt? Check out GM’s killer numbers

  • $4.7 billion General Motors’ posted earnings for the 2010 fiscal year
  • $7.6 billion General Motors’ posted earnings for the 2011 fiscal year source
  • » What a record to break! One year removed from bankruptcy, American automaker General Motors posted record-setting earnings for the 2011 fiscal year. In recent weeks/months many investors worried that GM’s overseas operations would drag down the company’s year-end totals. GM lost a total of $747 million in European markets, with $562 million of the losses occurring in the fourth quarter alone. In South America, where the company reported $818 million in earnings for 2010, GM reported a net loss of $122 million. However, not only did the company defy global expectations, GM managed to break its former $6.7 billion earnings record, set in 1996.

26 Jan 2012 23:41


U.S.: California’s new “Clean Car” regulations: Necessary or too costly?

  • We can’t afford to wait. We have to act on these issues now. Our projections show continued growth in population and vehicle miles traveled, which will affect air quality for years to come.
  • Mary Nichols, the chairman of the California Air Resources Board • Discussing why new ‘Clean Car’ regulations are necessary. California’s new bill, which would require vehicles to cut down on pollutants by 75 percent, would start in 2015, and the rules would tighten further by 2025. This could be a step in the right direction for such a smog-ridden state, but opponents say that it would hurt consumers and car manufacturers, claiming it raises the price of a new vehicle by $3,200. The new standards could inspire other states to follow suit. source

09 Jan 2012 11:18


Biz: Auto industry recovery: Detroit Auto Show reflects a reversal of fortunes

  • 4-9% expected increase in U.S. auto sales in 2012 source
  • » Pulling out the big guns: This week’s Detroit Auto Show is a giant coming-out party for an auto industry that was struggling to keep the engine running just a couple of years ago. But, while those times are certainly not gone entirely, they’ve certainly improved in recent years, which reflects in the boldness of this year’s models. In fact Chrysler, the weakest of the the three auto companies, is actually looking like a bright spot for Fiat, whose Chief Executive, Sergio Marchionne, invested in the company at its weakest point. “He entered Chrysler at rock bottom and will now capitalize on a U.S. recovery — the timing was perfect,” said automotive analyst Philippe Barrier. But maybe you’re like us and you don’t care about the specifics of the recovery and just want to see cool new cars. Well, the Detroit Free Press has you covered.

23 Jun 2011 12:48


Culture: “Cars 2” currently has a “Rotten” score on Rotten Tomatoes

  • 44% well, that’s not what usually happens with Pixar flicks source
  • » This is not a common occurrence: The last time a Pixar movie scored below 95 percent on the Tomatometer was back in 2006 … with “Cars,” which still had a relatively solid 74 percent. It’s also Pixar’s first “Rotten” movie … ever. Is it because the franchise is more for the kids — and the massive merch sales that come with kids movies — than the adults?

01 Jun 2011 17:55


Biz: U.S. auto companies beat foreign competitors in May, with a caveat

  • USA! USA! May was the first month in five years that Detroit’s Big Three automakers beat their foreign competition in total sales, likely welcome news to those who rely on the domestic auto market to make their livings.
  • easy there The Big Three’s big win came on the backs of a terrible month for foreign competition — Toyota was down 33%, and Honda 23%. This allowed U.S. auto companies to take the lead, despite actually seeing a drop in sales. source

01 Mar 2011 21:49


U.S.: Fuel efficiency, gas prices on buyers’ minds as car sales go way up

  • 46.4% increase in February’s overall car sales source
  • » Give rising gas prices the credit: More people on the market for vehicles were looking for fuel-efficient models in part because gas is getting ever the more expensive. In case you’re looking for a reason to credit the unrest in the middle east on this, this person quoted in the L.A. Times does the job for you: “With everything happening in the world, gas is only going to go up,” said Cynthia Hibbard who recently bought a Ford Fiesta. “I have filled it up just once, on Monday, since the car was purchased. I put just nine gallons of gas in the car but that was still $35.” One other fun fact: Last month was the best-selling month ever for the Toyota Prius.

24 Feb 2011 21:34


Biz: General Motors’ good year: Their first full-year profit since ’04

  • $100 billion the amount GM lost between 2005 and 2009, when they had to be bailed out by the feds
  • $4.7 billion the amount they earned in 2010 – they’re doing the Dougie in the boardroom today source
  • » It’s not all up-and-up, though: At $510 million, the company’s fourth-quarter numbers, while still profitable, paled in comparison to the rest of the year. Still though, the fact that it’s a profit is definitely Dougie-worthy, no matter how you look at it.

08 Feb 2011 14:40


Biz: Toyota’s cars don’t have computers with minds of their own

  • yes Mechanical defects in the Toyota vehicles, which have already been addressed by the company, were behind the sudden acceleration problem their cars had.
  • no After a long check, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the electronics were OK and the computer wasn’t at fault. source

16 Dec 2010 22:32


U.S.: Congress passes bill requiring hybrids to be louder

  • The trend toward putting more environmentally friendly, quiet vehicles on the road has unintentionally jeopardized the safety and independence of the blind and other pedestrians.
  • Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y) • Regarding the House’s recent passage of a new bill requiring auto regulators to set minimum decibel levels for hybrid vehicles. Because hybrids are so quiet, pedestrians sometimes don’t hear ’em coming, and so they get hit. It’s a particularly big issue for the visually impaired, who often rely on a car’s noise to warn them of its presence. The bill has already passed the Senate and is on its way to becoming law. source