Report: Toyota to drop regular-cab Tacoma as small pickups take another hit

Filed under: Car Buying, Truck, Toyota

2013 Toyota Tacoma regular cab - white - front three-quarter view

Even as General Motors prepares to redesign its midsize pickups, the market for sub-fullsize trucks continues to shrink. The remaining competitors in the segment are the well-aged Nissan Frontier, Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma, and now Truck Trend is reporting that the latter will be dropping its regular cab model due to poor sales.

According to the article, the available configurations for the Tacoma lineup will be whittled down in 2015, which apparently spells the end for the two-door Taco. The Tacoma is currently the last truck in its class to be offered in a regular cab configuration, with the Frontier no longer offering a standard cab model and spy shots of the next-gen Chevrolet Colorado not revealing any glimpse of a short cab, either.

Toyota to drop regular-cab Tacoma as small pickups take another hit originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 02 Aug 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Study: Worldwide auto production could drop 30% due to quake in Japan

Filed under: Japan, Plants/Manufacturing

Auto production in Japan

You’ve likely seen plenty of news lately about how Japanese automakers have been affected by the March 11 earthquake in Japan, but what about the rest of the industry? The Detroit News reports that research firm IHS Automotive thinks that global auto production could drop by 30 percent, and nearly every major automaker will be affected.

The key to that dire prediction will be the speed with which Japanese suppliers can get back to making parts for the industry. IHS Vice President Michael Robinet reportedly told DetNews that if suppliers aren’t online within six weeks, global vehicle production could drop by 100,000 units per day. With average total production sitting at 280,000 to 300,000 units per day, 100,000 represents about 30 percent of all vehicles built. Robinet adds that if parts don’t start coming online quickly, automakers will begin feeling the pinch by mid-April.

IHS points to electronics and transmission components as the most likely to run dry. And that 30-percent figure could morph into 40 percent if automakers can’t get replacement parts within eight weeks.

Sobering statistics, indeed. We’re thinking automakers are hoping Japan can rebuild factories as quickly (and miraculously) as it can rebuild highways.

[Source: The Detroit News]

Study: Worldwide auto production could drop 30% due to quake in Japan originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Mar 2011 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Fiat 500 Cabrio to drop its top in New York

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Convertible, Fiat

fiat 500c

Fiat 500C – Click above for high-res image gallery

Fiat is getting ready to bring 500 Cabrio to the States. According to fresh reports, the top will drop on the 500C at the upcoming 2011 New York Auto Show. Shortly after making its U.S. debut, the Fiat 500C will head to dealer showrooms in time for spring to actually appear (nevermind what the calendar says).

Click through the gallery below for a glimpse of what we can expect to see on stage at the 2011 NYIAS. After that, be sure to check out the Abarth version for what we hope will eventually come over.

Gallery: Fiat 500C

[Source: Kicking Tires]

Report: Fiat 500 Cabrio to drop its top in New York originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Geneva 2011: Bentley Supersports ICR Convertible is a classy drop-top rocketship

Filed under: Motorsports, Convertible, Performance, Geneva Motor Show, Bentley, Luxury

Bentley SuperSports ICR Convertible - Geneva debut

Bentley Supersports ICR Convertible – Click above for high-res image gallery

This question is for all of our Bentley buying readers in attendance today: Do you prefer the Flying B in your driveway to be of the limited-edition variety? If you answered “Harrumph! Of course I do, you peasant!”, then we’ve just gotten up close with your next purchase. It’s called the Bentley Continental Supersports Ice Speed Record Convertible and just 100 examples will be produced.

The Bentley ICR Convertible was created to commemorate the achievements of Juha Kankkunen. Last month, Kankkunen took a lightly-modified (tires, aero bits and roll-cage) out to a long stretch of sea-turned-ice. Once there, he fired up the twelve-cylinder engine and set a new ice speed record by hitting 205.48 miles per hour.

Bentley is producing 100 examples of the Supersports ICR and each will boast standout features that make them stand out from non-ICR versions. Just three exterior color choices will be available to compliment the Dark Grey Metallic top; Beluga, Quartzite and Arctica White. Inside, carbon fiber has fitted on the dashboard and center console, while the familiar Breitling dashboard clock gets red accents.

The Bentley Continental Supersports Ice Record Convertible is the most powerful Bentley ever (going by horsepower alone). Its 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine produces 631-horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque – enough to push the hefty two-door from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed 202 miles per hour.

Check out both the actual record-setting car (shown above) and the special production model it inspired in our galleries below, then click past the jump to check out the official press release.

Gallery: Bentley Supersports ICR Convertible: Geneva 2011

Gallery: 2011 Bentley Continental Supersports Ice Speed Record Convertible

Bentley Ice Speed Record front BelugaBentley Ice Speed Record front QuartziteBentley Ice Speed Record frontBentley Continental Ice Speed Record rearBentley Ice Speed Record side

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

Continue reading Geneva 2011: Bentley Supersports ICR Convertible is a classy drop-top rocketship

Geneva 2011: Bentley Supersports ICR Convertible is a classy drop-top rocketship originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Mar 2011 18:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Barrett-Jackson 2011: Chevrolet offers up a drop-top Camaro set to lead the Indy 500 field *Update: w/video

Filed under: Convertible, Auctions, Videos, Chevrolet, GM

2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car at Barrett-Jackson 2011

2011 Chevy Camaro Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car at Barrett-Jackson – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chevrolet is taking to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale stage to auction off a special drop-top. The first of 50 limited-edition cars, this 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car will cross the stage before heading to lead the field at the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

The orange and white color combination matches that of the Indy-fied 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, which has since become a collectors item of its own. As far as we know, the Camaro ‘Vert will be a 2012 model, but everything here at Barrett-Jackson is listing this as a 2011.

Proceeds from the sale of this limited-edition Camaro will go the David Foster Foundation, which supports families with children in need of live-saving organ transplants. Charity cars have gone through the roof at the 2011 Barrett-Jackson auction and we would expect nothing different from this one.

The Camaro Convertible doesn’t have an official listing page, as it was something of a surprise for bidders, but you can watch Speed’s live online coverage here. Are you playing Speed’s Online Fantasy Bid Game? If not, test your auction pricing mettle by guessing what a series of featured vehicles will end up bringing at the auction block – you could end up winning a prize, like an Apple iPad. Enjoy!

*Update: The final gavel price? $225,000. Click past the jump to watch this Camaro cross the auction block.

Gallery: Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car at Barrett-Jackson 2011

Photos copyright 2011 Jeff Glucker and Jeremy Korzeniewski/AOL

Continue reading Barrett-Jackson 2011: Chevrolet offers up a drop-top Camaro set to lead the Indy 500 field *Update: w/video

Barrett-Jackson 2011: Chevrolet offers up a drop-top Camaro set to lead the Indy 500 field *Update: w/video originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Jan 2011 20:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New study says road deaths drop precipitously – but why?

Filed under: Etc., Safety

Toyota Rollover accident

Automotive fatalities continue to drop year-over-year, which is perhaps not surprising in and of itself. What is surprising, however, is a study that notes a massive falloff in the number of motoring deaths. According to The Wall Street Journal, the total number of road fatalities in 2009 was 33,963 compared to 43,510 in 2005 – a 22 percent decline. That is the steepest rate of decline since automobiles entered mass production in the beginning part of the 20th century. So what gives?

According to a new study by a pair of University of Michigan researchers, it’s certainly not the invasion of handheld technology, which the story says has created a rise in fatalities due to inattentive driving. Keeping our eyes on an incoming text message or email has resulted in a 42 percent rise in distracted-driving fatalities from 2005 to 2008. However, those accidents only account for a small portion of the total number of fatalities, and it’s likely that with increased awareness that more deaths are being classified in this way.

Safety technology continues to improve, and new technologies continue to filtering down into more affordable vehicles. Deaths from side-impact crashes have declined more quickly than the decline rate for overall deaths, meaning that more people are surviving these types of accidents.

Another, more interesting, statistic is the drop in fatal accidents during rush hour driving periods. Why has that number fallen in recent years compared to 2005? According to the WSJ’s theorizing, it’s the economy. More folks out of work means fewer people on the road during rush hour. You just might not notice it when you are stuck in traffic screaming at the car in front of you that just cut you off to make its exit.

Regardless of why overall traffic fatalities are down, it’s great to hear that this number is falling. However, as the economy picks back up, it’s expected that traffic fatalities will as well.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal | Image:Chip Somodevilla/Getty]

New study says road deaths drop precipitously – but why? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Dec 2010 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Drop Top Customs creates Chevrolet Camaro T-Top

Filed under: Aftermarket, SEMA Show, Coupe, Etc., Chevrolet, GM

Drop Top T-Top Camaro

Drop Top Customs, an aftermarket customizer which typically creates convertibles, has created a T-Top kit for the Chevrolet Camaro. The Drop Top T-Top Camaro will make its debut at SEMA show this November and the company says most of its creations will come equipped with a supercharger, but Drop Top assures us that chassis flex isn’t an issue. Sales begin shortly after its debut in Vegas next month and carry a sticker of $6,500.

[Source: Drop Top Customs via Inside Line]

Drop Top Customs creates Chevrolet Camaro T-Top originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Oct 2010 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Infiniti FX models see price drop for 2011

Filed under: Performance, Crossover, Infiniti, Luxury

2011 Infiniti FX

2011 Infiniti FX – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 Infiniti FX has just received that rare gift of a price cut, with $2,600 coming off the FX50’s MSRP and $1,250 in savings for the FX35. Looking at Infiniti’s numbers for 2010, the division has been outperforming 2009 by anywhere from 10 to nearly 50 percent since February 2010, but the picture comes into focus when you separate the FX from the herd.

Despite good divisional performance, the swoopy FX is off 12.4 percent calendar year to date, according to the Nissan North America sales report for August 2010. It’s not like 2009 was a banner year, of course, so to help spur FX sales, Infiniti has lowered the base MSRPs on its FX models to $41,600 for the rear-wheel-drive FX35, $43,050 for the FX35 with all-wheel drive and $56,400 for the V8-powered FX50. To sweeten the pot, Infiniti is also throwing in a standard power liftgate, too. We’ll know soon enough whether the pricing gambit has worked. Official press release posted after the jump. Hat tip to Zach!

Gallery: 2011 Infiniti FX

[Source: Infiniti]

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Infiniti FX models see price drop for 2011 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 23 Sep 2010 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Drop Top Customs to unveil convertible Cadillac CTS at SEMA

Filed under: Aftermarket, SEMA Show, Convertible, Coupe, Cadillac, Luxury

DTC Convertible Cadillac CTS – Click above for image gallery

The shop behind the beautiful convertible Dodge Challenger that stole the spotlight at last year’s SEMA show is at it again. Drop Top Customs has announced that it will set about creating a topless version of the ever-sexy Cadillac CTS Coupe for this year’s aftermarket shindig. We’re not entirely sold on the thought of hacking the razor-sharp roof line from the coupe and replacing it with a folding soft top, but we’ll reserve judgment until after we see the final product in the flesh, er, sheetmetal.

DTC has been cranking out convertible versions of production hardtops for around 30 years, so the company knows what it’s doing when it sets to taking the plasma cutter to an otherwise unsullied vehicle. Last year, that infamous convertible Challenger actually walked away from SEMA with a design award from Chrysler itself, so chances are the new drophead CTS will have the fit and finish of a factory effort. Still, we’ve got to wonder just how many people are clamoring for a convertible Caddy these days. After all, there didn’t seem to be much pent-up demand for the XLR…

Gallery: DTC Convertible Cadillac CTS

[Source: Automobile Magazine]

Drop Top Customs to unveil convertible Cadillac CTS at SEMA originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 Aug 2010 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Teen car sales drop as jobs remain scarce

Filed under: Car Buying

We all remember our first car. There’s nothing quite like the memory of seeing your parents hand you the keys to a vehicle you can call your own, and the experience has historically happened somewhere between a child’s 16th and 18th year. Right?

Perhaps not. It seems that the time-honored act of buying your first new-to-you car in your teenage years is waning in popularity. And the same is also true of vehicles purchased from well-meaning parents for their children. According to CNW Marketing Research, in calendar year 2005, there were 7.5 million vehicles purchased by or for teens. In 2010, that number is expected to dwindle all the way down to 4.2 million.

Tellingly, this statistic is falling right alongside the flickering teen job market. CNW reports that 27 percent of all American teens have not worked full- or part-time so far this year, which is up dramatically from 2005. Not surprisingly, only 16 percent of teenagers that do happen to have their own set of wheels pay the full monthly payment themselves (that’s down from 21 percent).

Transaction prices are also down, which has led to another intriguing bullet point: 57 percent of cars purchased by or for teens are from domestic automakers, due largely to the fact that American cars tend to be less expensive on the used market.

[CNW Marketing Research | Image: Getty]

Report: Teen car sales drop as jobs remain scarce originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Jul 2010 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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