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New Vehicles Costing Americans Additional $706 a Month

AAA study shows pickups have highest costs.

by on Aug.23, 2017

A new AAA study shows that pickup trucks have the highest level of additional costs.

More and more often new vehicle buyers are shopping for a specific payment, whether that’s a through a lease or a loan. However, owners can add more than another $700 monthly to the costs of their vehicles, according to a new study.

AAA’s Your Driving Costs report reveals that is costs an average of $706 each month, or $8,469 annually, to operate a new vehicle in 2017.

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Small sedans are the least expensive vehicles to drive at $6,354 annually, however, small SUVs ($7,606), hybrids ($7,687) and electric vehicles ($8,439) all offer lower-than-average driving costs to U.S. drivers. Read the rest of this entry »

No More California Dreaming; Portofino is New Ferrari Entry Model

Hardtop Convertible to feature 592 hp V-8.

by on Aug.23, 2017

Ferrari is ready to show off its new entry-level model, the Portofino, at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

Dreaming about getting into a Ferrari? Forget the California. The automaker is offering a new entry model, the Portofino, which will make its formal debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

Like the California, it will feature a hard convertible top that will be able to open or close while the vehicle is moving, albeit nowhere near its rated top speed of more than 200 miles per hour. And to push it to that sort of number, the Ferrari Portofino will feature a more powerful, 3.9-liter V-8 capable of punching out 592 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque.

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“The Ferrari Portofino is the new V8 GT set to dominate its segment thanks to a perfect combination of sportiness, elegance and on board comfort,” the automaker said as it announced the upcoming launch of the Portofino. Read the rest of this entry »

Ford Signs Deal to Jointly Develop EVs in China

Plan calls for new 50/50 joint venture.

by on Aug.23, 2017

Jin Zheyong, left, and Peter Fleet are all smiles after signing a deal to jointly develop, produce, sell and service EVs in China.

Looking to take advantage of the fastest growing market in the world for electric vehicles, Ford Motor Co. inked a development deal with Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. Ltd., a maker of zero-emission all-electric vehicles in China.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding “explore the creation of a joint venture” for the development, production, marketing and servicing of battery-electric passenger vehicles in China.

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“The potential to launch a new line of all-electric vehicles in the world’s largest auto market is an exciting next step for Ford in China,” said Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific, in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

Porsche, Ford Rated “Ideal” by Owners in New Study

Survey encompasses 54,000 vehicle owners.

by on Aug.23, 2017

Porsche was not only top brand but also had three segments winner with products like the 911.

Live with someone long enough and you’re sure to find some things you’d like to change. The same is true with a car, truck or crossover. Yet, some vehicles seem to come closer to the mark right from the moment they’re driven off the dealer lot.

Which ones? That’s what research firm AutoPacific Inc. set out to determine with this year’s Ideal Vehicle Awards. It’s based on a survey of 54,000 motorists who own 2016 and 2017 vehicles who were asked what changes they would make to those products. And Porsche and Ford were the brands that came closest to getting it right, right from the start.

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“Even the most satisfied owner would change something about their vehicle if given the opportunity,” said the research firm’s President George Peterson. “AutoPacific’s IVAs identify vehicles whose owners want the least amount of change – those that are truly hitting the mark with owners.”

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NAFTA Renegotiations Bound to Fail, Warns Trump

Automakers push back against plan that could sharply raise car prices.

by on Aug.23, 2017

Pres. Trump is now warning he may abandon NAFTA entirely if renegotiation efforts fail.

Barely a week after U.S., Canadian and Mexican trade representatives set out to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Donald Trump warned an audience in Phoenix Tuesday night that the effort is bound to fail.

That wouldn’t necessarily come as a disappointment to the auto industry, however. Automakers, including Detroit’s Big Three, have warned that the demands laid out by the Trump Administration could lead to sharp increases in the cost of new vehicles – even those assembled in the U.S. In turn, that could actually backfire on the president, worsening the current downturn in vehicle sales, costing U.S. jobs.

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Trump reiterated his long-held stand during his Phoenix speech, alleging that bad trade deals had cost the U.S. thousands of jobs. He described NAFTA as the “worst.” And the president also said he was prepared to discard the 23-year-old trade agreement if negotiators don’t work out changes that Trump believes could bring jobs back to the U.S.

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Driver Assistance Tech Saving Lives, Preventing Crashes

Study finds big benefits from Lane Warning, Blind Spot Detection.

by on Aug.23, 2017

Cars using Lane Departure Warning typically use cameras to spot lane markers.

New, high-tech driver assistance systems like Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Detection, or LDW and BLIS, are helping sharply reduce the number of crashes on U.S. roadways, in the process curbing injuries and reducing deaths.

Those and other technologies, including forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, are becoming increasingly common on today’s new vehicles and two new studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggest they may have been a factor in the recent decline in U.S. automotive fatalities.

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Some safety experts believe that what are collectively known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, or ADAS, are critical in offsetting an epidemic of distracted driving crashes, though there are also concerns that motorists might come to rely too heavily on the technologies and not be as vigilant as possible.

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Hyundai Set to Bring First Pickup to Market by 2021

Production version of Santa Cruz concept could be offered with electrified drivetrain.

by on Aug.22, 2017

Hyundai could sorely use a production version of the wildly popular Santa Cruz concept first shown in 2015.

Hyundai has reconfirmed plans to put into production a version of the wildly popular Santa Cruz concept truck that was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January 2015.

But Hyundai officials are hesitating to use the term, “pickup” to describe the compact model, preferring to think of it as an “open bed” vehicle aimed at Millennials and other urbanites who “might need to occasionally toss their sports gear in the back or help move a friend’s dresser,” a well-placed source told

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Expect the production model – which many expect to retain the Santa Cruz name – to reach the U.S. market by the 2020 or 2021 model-years. And while some key details are still being finalized, the Korean carmaker is giving strong consideration to offering an electrified powertrain option which could range from a conventional hybrid to a full battery-electric system, sources confided.

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Great Wall May Not Seek Jeep Takeover After All

“Big uncertainties,” says Chinese carmaker.

by on Aug.22, 2017

Great Wall Motors has been hoping to sell vehicles, such as the Hover H7, in the U.S.

Just a day after reports surfaced that China’s leading SUV maker, Great Wall Motor Co., was considering the acquisition of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep brand, it is signaling it may not be ready to make a bid, after all.

On Monday, news reports quoted several Great Wall officials indicating their interest in Jeep, an icon of the sport-utility market. But a day later, the Chinese manufacturer is signaling there are “big uncertainties” as to whether it will move forward, the Bloomberg news service reported Tuesday. For its part, FCA officials have said they have not been approached by the Chinese company.

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Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has long been expressing an interest in finding a partner, though he has been rejected by a number of Western competitors, including General Motors and Volkswagen. A month ago, Marchionne raised speculation further when he responded, “Yes,” when an automotive analyst asked if FCA might be willing to just sell off its Jeep or Ram brands.

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Will Your Next Car Be Made of Wood, or Even Sugar Beets?

Researchers in Europe, Asia look for alternatives to steel, aluminum.

by on Aug.22, 2017

Dubbed Lina, this four-seat battery car is made almost entirely out of organic materials.

In their push to make cars lighter and more fuel-efficient, automotive researchers have been looking for green – and affordable — alternatives to the steel used to make most of today’s vehicles.

A growing number of products are being assembled out of lighter aluminum and even super-strong carbon fiber, though cost and manufacturing challenges have largely limited the use of those materials to luxury and high-performance vehicles.

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But some researchers are taking a tip from industry pioneer Henry Ford who, in the early years of the Model T often used recycled wood for part of his legendary Model T. Ford also experimented with replacing model body stampings with panels made of organic materials, notably the soy he grew on his estate just outside of Detroit.

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Honda, Chevy, Subaru Offer Best Cars for Teens

Annual report unveils best cars, crossovers and utes for teen drivers.

by on Aug.22, 2017

The 2017 Toyota Corolla was named the best car for teens under $20,000.

As teenagers ready to head back to school this fall, they’ll be looking for school supplies, new clothes and, in some cases, a car to get back and forth each day and to ferry them to afterschool activities as well.

For a select few, that first vehicle will also be their first new vehicle, but what is the best choice among new vehicles? How big an engine should a newly minted driver be trusted with? Small car or large SUV?

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Fortunately for those making that big decision, U.S. News & World Report has put together its annual best new vehicles for teens list sorted by classification and price with important features in mind for young drivers. Read the rest of this entry »