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Carmakers worry about market turmoil in China

Automotive / Automotive News /

A decade ago, Chinese drivers bought just 6 million cars annually, less than a tenth of the vehicles sold worldwide.

By last year, after an explosion of wealth for the middle and upper classes there, they bought almost 24 million vehicles -- accounting for more than a quarter of global sales and a huge share of profits for major automakers. ...Read more

Fiat hopes new 500X pulls brand out of sales slump

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Five years after Fiat was reintroduced in America the brand is still struggling to find its footing among American consumers.

What's wrong? Well, for starters, the lovable, stylish Italian brand has run headfirst into two industry trends: Americans are enjoying the lowest gas prices in years and that is accelerating a movement away ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: Car ran out of gas. Could this really cost $1,100 to fix?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I had my 5-year-old Saab towed after it ran out of gas. I was told the car now needs a new fuel pump, which will cost $1,100, because that's what happens to the Saabs when they run out of gas! Sound crazy to you? GM offered $2,500 off a new GM car. Suggestions?

A: The significant question is this: Did the car actually run out of gas or did ...Read more

Keeping up with automakers a challenge for suppliers

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Good times are not easy in the auto industry.

They are most welcome, but strong car sales put pressure on the supply base to provide the volume of parts needed to keep assembly plants working around the clock. So far the chain is holding strong in the face of the challenge to be more global, develop more technology, keep costs in ...Read more

Under the Hood: Hitting the brakes makes car shake

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: I was driving recently and needed to stop quickly. I became startled when the car shuddered as I pressed hard on the brake. I tried this again several times in a safe place and found the same thing happened. If I press the brake more gradually, there is only a very slight pulsation or none at all. I hadn't noticed this until just recently. ...Read more

Auto review: CanAm Spyder: Newbies may dig it, serious bikers, not so much

Automotive / Automotive News /

The CanAm Spyder is one of the most eye-catching vehicles on the road, a Batmobike that elicits squeals of delight from people who don't ride motorcycles and sneers of disdain from people who do.

Non-bikers like its futuristic, forward-leaning looks; its wide, stable stance; and its ease of operation. Motorcyclists dislike it for the same ...Read more

Larry Printz: Nissan 370Z's price is a small one to pay for a trip back in time

Automotive / Automotive News /

The 2016 Nissan 370Z will not go quietly. But then again, it is not a quiet vehicle.

Nothing about it slips silently into the night, for this is the iconic Asian muscle car, benefitting from more than four decades of development. Yet for all of its sophistication, its character is not unlike that of a college grad who spent his entire career ...Read more

Auto review: Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS: Fast, fun and surprisingly comfortable

Automotive / Automotive News /

Porsche doesn't make any bad cars, even any mediocre cars. It's only a matter of good, better or best.

And the 911 Targa 4 GTS is assuredly among the best all-around cars Porsche makes. Sporty, stylish and super-fast, it handles like a dream and is as competent in a sharp switchback as it is comfortable on a long-haul drive.

The 2016 Targa 4 ...Read more

Tesla CEO Musk plans Model X deliveries this month, Model 3 orders in March

Automotive / Automotive News /

Tesla Motors plans to deliver the first Model X electric crossovers to customers near the end of this month at its auto factory in Fremont, Calif.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Wednesday on Twitter that the first production cars would be handed over on Sept 29. The X is a closely related sibling to Tesla's Model S electric sedan. Including the ...Read more

Toledo will keep Wrangler but lose Cherokee

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has found a way to keep production of the iconic Jeep Wrangler in Toledo, Ohio, but it involves moving production of the next-generation Jeep Cherokee.

The automaker plans to move production of the Wrangler to the north side of its Toledo Assembly Complex, where the Cherokee is made, and launch the Wrangler ...Read more

Chrysler, Ford sales up; GM down

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Tuesday its U.S. sales increased 1.7 percent in August. Ford was up 5.4 percent, but General Motors said its sales dropped 0.7 percent as the overall industry was expected to report a sales decline of about 2.5 percent -- mostly because of a quirk in the calendar and one fewer "selling day" in August ...Read more

Auto Word: Ford's Re-Engineered Midsize Crossover Is Right-Sized and Refined

Automotive / Mark Maynard /

The midsize crossover is the family car of the 21st century and the 2015 Ford Edge is an innovative example, with qualified competition from the Hyundai Santa Fe and new Nissan Murano.

The Edge has evolved steadily since it debuted in 2006 and the completely re-engineered 2015 model is slightly longer and taller with a longer wheelbase and more...Read more

Fiat Chrysler CEO fans flames of GM merger

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said the profits and savings that would result from a merger with General Motors are too big for the rival automaker to ignore.

Marchionne, in a story published Sunday evening by Automotive News, asserts that a merger between the two automakers could generate up to $30 billion ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2015 Nissan Sentra

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

Sedans are becoming the red-headed stepchildren of the new car market. They're losing ground to the rising tide of crossovers - which are the same basic thing except they ride higher and have hatchbacks rather than trunks - and so usually have much more room for stuff. People seem to really like crossovers.

I was thinking these thoughts as I ...Read more

Eric's Autos: Best Car Commercials Ever

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

By Eric Peters For immediate release

Here are some of the most memorable car commercials of the past 30 years.

* Volkswagen "Little GTI" -

If you were around in the mid-1980s, you probably know the song, even if you don't know any German. Some exceptionally clever ad men took the 1960s hit single, Little GTO by Ronnie and the Daytonas - "...Read more

Eric's Autos: The Wheel Grinds Finer

Automotive / Eric's Autos /

The work-to-reward ratio has been in steady decline for decades, but may have shifted decisively and perhaps irreversibly since the bottom fell out in 2008.

It's bad enough (but still tolerable) when they take 35 percent of your income in taxes, but the remainder is still sufficient to provide for the necessities plus some extras. When you can...Read more

Larry Printz: You don't need to spend a lot to get a great ride

Automotive / Automotive News /

You know the drill. You're out to buy a new car or truck, just aching for that new ride, but then you check your finances. Sigh. Looks like you might have to bike to work.

But don't despair. There is an answer.

Any buyer can get the essence of a high-priced ride without the price tag if he knows which vehicles to consider. Some spendier rides ...Read more

'Spy car' worries raised by new Allstate patent

Automotive / Automotive News /

CHICAGO -- If, while driving, you were also chowing down food, yakking on your phone or getting distracted by Bella the Labrador retriever, would your insurance company know?

A patent issued in August to Allstate mentions using sensors and cameras to record "potential sources of driver distraction within the vehicle (e.g. pets, phone usage, ...Read more

More new vehicles get forward-crash prevention systems

Automotive / Automotive News /

More cars are coming equipped with robotic functions that protect drivers from front-end crashes with other vehicles or objects, which could result in fewer crashes and lower insurance rates for drivers.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said 52 percent of the 784 new vehicle models come with technology that alerts a driver to a ...Read more

Auto review: Design elevates 2016 Lincoln MKX 2.7-liter AWD

Automotive / Automotive News /

A stunning interior elevates the 2016 Lincoln MKX Black Label SUV (I give it three out of four stars), the latest step in Lincoln's long march back toward relevance in the luxury-car market.

The new MKX has a roomy and luxurious interior, especially in Black Label livery, Lincoln's new premium trim designation. It's also comfortable and fuel ...Read more