Report: Ford making Fusion production moves to challenge Camry on volume

Filed under: Sedan, Plants/Manufacturing, Ford

2013 Ford Fusion

The Ford Fusion may already beat the Toyota Camry in terms of models offered, transaction price and sales increase so far this year, but if the Fusion wants to make a run at the title of best-selling car in the US, Bloomberg reminds us that volume is key. Opening a second production line at the Flat Rock, MI assembly plant will reportedly allow Ford to produce around 350,000 Fusions annually, which compares Toyota’s ability to crank out 475,000 Camrys and Honda’s capacity to build around 450,000 Accords.

For the Fusion, that’s an extra 100,000 units compared to the car’s current pace, and the article adds that the Fusion is “Ford’s best shot” to regain the passenger car sales crown – a title it (or any other US automaker, for that matter) hasn’t held since the mid-1990s. Despite hiccups with recalls and fuel economy numbers, the Ford Fusion is still red hot when it comes to sales. Fusion sales are up 13 percent so far this year (compared to a 0.6 percent decrease for Camry), and its average transaction price of $26,343 is about $2,300 more than its rival from Toyota.

The Fusion’s popularity has helped Ford improve its sales in California; the Dearborn-based automaker has a market share of 18 percent in the state, which is just a fraction of a percentage behind Honda. And this popularity should continue as Ford ups Fusion production and expands the model lineup even further for 2014 with a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine soon to become an option.

Ford making Fusion production moves to challenge Camry on volume originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 26 Aug 2013 18:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Ford making Fusion production moves to challenge Camry on volume”

Video: Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale making music on the hills of Maranello

Filed under: Coupe, Videos, Maserati

maserati granturismo mc stradale

Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale – Click above to watch the video after the jump

The Maserati GranTurismo is one sexy two-door, and the ultimate in Trident-wearing super coupes is the MC Stradale. To give this super GT its bragging rights, Maserati engineers coaxed another 20 horsepower from its 4.3-liter V8 engine, bringing the grand total to 450 powerful ponies. Also tweaked were the chassis and aero, giving the MC Stradale the agility to handle all the extra brute force.

We haven’t had the opportunity to test the GranTurismo MC Stradale for ourselves, but we can at least hear how good this primo coupe sounds on the open road. Hit the jump to watch video of the MC Stradale as it prances through the winding roads of Maranello, Italy.

Continue reading Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale making music on the hills of Maranello

Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale making music on the hills of Maranello originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 May 2011 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale making music on the hills of Maranello”

Why your car might buzz uncontrollably if you are late making your next payment

Filed under: Car Buying, Etc.

Rocky Mountain Tracking logoA company by the name of Rocky Mountain Tracking is out to make sure that car buyers never forget another payment so long as they live. The GPS manufacturer has developed a new device that can be remotely activated to generate a loud buzzing noise should a delinquent consumer forget to make their payment. The appropriately-named Smart Tracker Payment Reminder Buzzer can immediately be deactivated once the borrower is caught back up and on schedule. While the Smart Tracker has been on the market for a while now, the buzzing feature is a new option.

Car dealerships frequently install devices like the Smart Tracker to keep tabs on the location of vehicles sold to high-risk customers. The device can accurately locate the vehicle should a visit from the repo man become necessary, making the dealer’s life considerably easier. In addition, the devices protect both the owner and the dealer in the event of a theft. Head over to Rocky Mountain Tracking to see the rest of the company’s wares and hit the jump for a full press release.

Continue reading Why your car might buzz uncontrollably if you are late making your next payment

Why your car might buzz uncontrollably if you are late making your next payment originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 12 May 2011 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Why your car might buzz uncontrollably if you are late making your next payment”

Audi still supply constrained on many models; making huge inroads into CA

Filed under: Car Buying, Performance, Plants/Manufacturing, Audi, Luxury

2012 audi a6

2012 Audi A6 – Click above for high-res image gallery

When is success a bad thing? If you’re Audi, it’s when you can’t get adequate quantities of new vehicles to U.S. dealerships. Wards Automotive talked supply and demand with Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen, and it’s apparently very difficult to keep Audi dealers stocked. The Audi prez says the luxury brand is down to a 27-day supply of vehicles, adding, “We simply can’t get our inventory up to a 60-day supply.”

But while a short supply of new vehicles typically signals strong demand and minimizes incentives, Audi is faced with a custom order rate that is up to 31 percent. When you are maxed out at factories in Europe and there is that whole matter of shipping the vehicle across an ocean, an order can take months. And if customers face a long wait for what can sometimes be an emotion-driven buying decision, not everybody can be so patient, and Audi risks losing sales as a result. The waiting game hasn’t stopped Audi from turning up the heat in California, though, as the Four-Ringed Automaker’s sales have jumped from 3.5 percent to 10 percent market share.

Beyond supply issues, the German automaker is also struggling to push higher-end products, as de Nysschen says the volume products are the A4 and Q5. Only 15 percent of overall sales come from the A6, a number Audi hopes to stretch to 55 percent. The automaker is hoping the A7 helps solve that problem as well, along with a high mix of diesel-powered Q7 SUVs.

Gallery: 2012 Audi A6: Detroit 2011

2012 Audi A62012 Audi A62012 Audi A62012 Audi A62012 Audi A6

[Source: Wards Automotive]

Audi still supply constrained on many models; making huge inroads into CA originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 17:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Audi still supply constrained on many models; making huge inroads into CA”

For the Love of Cars: An inside look at the making of CARS 2

Filed under: Etc., Celebrities

CARS 2

CARS 2 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Pixar CEO and Cars Director John Lasseter looks tired. For the last eight hours, he’s been engaged in interviews and fielding inane questions from an assortment of entertainment, foreign and automotive press. But as soon as I ask about his inspiration for CARS 2, his eyes light up. “I just love cars,” he starts off, and then begins describing the various locales he visited while doing promotion for the 2006 original, all of which would later influence the sequel.

That’s just one of several clear lines of inspiration between CARS and CARS 2. The original came about after Lasseter and his family took a roadtrip across the U.S. while towing a 1962 Ford Falcon. The kids named the Falcon “Arnold” and the RV “Betty.”

For the sequel – and Lasseter’s overdue return to the director’s chair – he and his team decided to take the crew from Radiator Springs global. That includes stop-offs in Japan, Italy and Great Britain to compete in the fictionalized World Grand Prix, pitting racers of all disciplines against each other on circuits inspired by their countries of origin. Underlying all that racing action is a classic spy caper and, after viewing 26 minutes of footage, a slightly darker side to the world of Cars.

Continue reading For the Love of Cars: An inside look at the making of Cars 2

Fair Warning: We’ll be discussing a few plot points and several characters after the jump, and while there aren’t any serious spoilers, if you want to enter the theater in a blissful state of ignorance, stop here.

Gallery: CARS 2

Gallery: CARS 2 Characters

GremAcerShu TodorokiRaoul ÇaRouleCarla Veloso

Images (C)Disney/Pixar

Continue reading For the Love of Cars: An inside look at the making of CARS 2

For the Love of Cars: An inside look at the making of CARS 2 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 19:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “For the Love of Cars: An inside look at the making of CARS 2

Spy Shots: Porsche 911 Cabriolet, Coupe spotted making the rounds

Filed under: Spy Photos, Convertible, Coupe, Performance, Porsche, Luxury

spy photo porsche 911 cabriolet

Spy Photos: Next Generation Porsche 911 Cabriolet – Click above for high-res image gallery

Spy lenses have once again caught Porsche engineers out testing the next generation 911. Both cabriolet and coupe versions were seen out running on the Nürburgring. The 2012 Porsche 911 is expected to be slightly larger and boast a wider rear track. The boxer engine in the base model is rumored to produce 345 horsepower.

Current intelligence also has it that Porsche plans to unveil the car at the upcoming 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Until then, check out the spy photos in our galleries below.

Gallery: Spy Shots: Next Generation Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Gallery: Spy Shots: Next Generation Porsche 911 Coupe

[Source: CarPix]

Spy Shots: Porsche 911 Cabriolet, Coupe spotted making the rounds originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Spy Shots: Porsche 911 Cabriolet, Coupe spotted making the rounds”

777-horsepower MTM Audi R8 making Geneva debut

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Geneva Motor Show, Europe, Audi, Specialty

2011 MTM Audi R8 BiTurbo

2011 MTM Audi R8 BiTurbo – Click above for high-res image gallery

There’s a strong possibility that German tuning house MTM’s booth at the Geneva Motor Show will be visibile from space. The boys from Wettstetten are bringing their paint-free polished-aluminum Audi R8 BiTurbo to Hall 5 at Geneva. The company is mum on exactly how they removed all that paint, but they do allow that it took 700 hours of polishing to get the car where it is now.

If the gleaming bodywork isn’t enough to snag your gaze, MTM packed its latest R8 with 777 twin-turbocharged horsepower just to let everyone know they weren’t fooling around. The result is good for a claimed top speed of more than 217 mph, making this the fastest R8 on the block.

If the turbo R8 doesn’t whet your appetite, MTM is also hauling its 472-hp, 195-mph Audi TT RS to the show. Full press release after the jump.

Gallery: 2011 MTM Audi R8 BiTurbo

2011 MTM Audi R8 BiTurbo fron three quarter2011 MTM Audi R8 BiTurbo front low2011 MTM Audi R8 BiTurbo rear three quarter2011 MTM Audi R8 BiTurbo, 2011 MTM Audi TTRS

[Source: MTM]

Continue reading 777-horsepower MTM Audi R8 making Geneva debut

777-horsepower MTM Audi R8 making Geneva debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 27 Feb 2011 19:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “777-horsepower MTM Audi R8 making Geneva debut”

Kia making commercial out of Blake Griffin’s weak sauce dunk [w/video]

Filed under: Marketing/Advertising, Kia, Celebrities

blake griffin jumps a 2011 kia optima for a dunk

Blake Griffin posterizes the 2011 Kia Optima – Click above to watch video after the jump

The NBA All-Star Weekend has come and gone. As usual, the big story from basketball’s all-star break comes from the dunk contest. Depending on who you talk to, it was either a showcase of creative new stuff or an overload of weak-sauce prop dunks. Regardless, Kia is surely thrilled with the attention it’s own all-star Optima received. In fact, the automaker is so thrilled that footage of the dunk will be used in an upcoming commercial.

For those readers not following the NBA, Blake Griffin, LA Clipper and jumper extraordinaire, pulled a 2011 Kia Optima on to the court for his final dunk. Hiding in the cabin was Baron Davis, who provided an alley-oop pass through the open sunroof. Griffin lept over the hood, caught the ball and brought the already-standing crowd to a new level of excitement.

Upon intial viewing of the dunk, it seemed pretty amazing. However, upon subsequent review, we find the dunk to be fairly tame. We have a clip of the dunk for you to examine after the jump; sound off on its merits in the Comments.

[Sources: Kia, YouTube | Image: Noel Vasquez/Getty]

Continue reading Kia making commercial out of Blake Griffin’s weak sauce dunk [w/video]

Kia making commercial out of Blake Griffin’s weak sauce dunk [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Feb 2011 12:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Kia making commercial out of Blake Griffin’s weak sauce dunk [w/video]”

Report: Honda slashes board size to speed decision making

Filed under: Etc., Honda

honda emblemIn a move similar to one recently made by Toyota, Honda has announced a plan to reduce the size of its Board of Directors. Downsizing from 20 to 12 board members will allow Honda to streamline its decision making process.

Pending approval at Honda’s upcoming shareholder’s meeting, the changes will be made official in June. Among those being removed from the board is American Honda Motor Company President Tetsuo Iwamura. He will retain his stateside presidential role and his additional position of Senior Managing Director with Honda HQ in Japan. [Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

Report: Honda slashes board size to speed decision making originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Feb 2011 16:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Honda slashes board size to speed decision making”

Video: The making of the Falcon Kestrel

Filed under: Classics, Videos, Motorcycle

Falcon Kestrel video

Building the Falcon Kestrel – Click above to watch video after the jump

We’ve set about ticking off the days of 2011 with a little help from the ever-luscious Bike Exif calendar. Along with some of the best photography on two wheels, we’ve also been treated to a quick history of the featured bike of the month as well as information on the builder.

This month’s machine is none other than the lovely Falcon Kestrel. With over 2,000 man-hours worth of fabrication wrapped up in the Kestrel, there’s little wondering why Falcon took home the Best Custom trophy at the 2010 Quail Motorcycle Gathering.

Now Falcon has been so kind as to release a video showing exactly what went into the Kestrel’s creation. According to Hell For Leather, builder Ian Barry is a sucker for employing some of the lost arts of metal fabrication, including silver brazing, and all of his talents went into bringing this particular bike to life. Check out the video after the jump.

[Source: Hell For Leather – sub. req.]

Continue reading Video: The making of the Falcon Kestrel

Video: The making of the Falcon Kestrel originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Feb 2011 16:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: The making of the Falcon Kestrel”