G.M.’s Electric Lemon

LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 08: A Chevrolet Volt electric hybrid vehicle is displayed at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 8, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology tradeshow, runs through January 10 and is expected to feature 2,500 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 110,000 attendees. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

There has been a lot of fanfare surrounding the GM/Chevrolet/Chevy Volt recently and I must say the press has mostly been pretty darn good. I’ve been sitting back trying to learn as much as possible about the Volt while keeping an open mind. Then the NY Times has an opinion piece that doesn’t read to well for the new GM product. Matter of fact the piece pretty much rips the new car for the lackluster styling compared to the 2007 concept we were shown and the heavy price tag of $41,000! Must say that many valid points were made here and one has to wonder how well (profit wise and branding) this car will turn out to be for the New GM? If the price scares away customers and the competition gets stronger (ie..,Nissan Leaf) the Volt could turn into a blown circuit for The General.

From the New York Times:

GENERAL MOTORS introduced America to the Chevrolet Volt at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show as a low-slung concept car that would someday be the future of motorized transportation. It would go 40 miles on battery power alone, promised G.M., after which it would create its own electricity with a gas engine. Three and a half years — and one government-assisted bankruptcy later — G.M. is bringing a Volt to market that makes good on those two promises. The problem is, well, everything else.

For starters, G.M.’s vision turned into a car that costs $41,000 before relevant tax breaks … but after billions of dollars of government loans and grants for the Volt’s development and production. And instead of the sleek coupe of 2007, it looks suspiciously similar to a Toyota Prius. It also requires premium gasoline, seats only four people (the battery runs down the center of the car, preventing a rear bench) and has less head and leg room than the $17,000 Chevrolet Cruze, which is more or less the non-electric version of the Volt.

Read the full article here.

Porsche’s $650,000 Spyder supercar is a go

Just when you thought a car couldn’t get any faster or sportier Porsche goes all out with the $650,000 Spyder supercar. It is being reported that Porsche’s Board has “approved production of the 918 Spyder hybrid sports car, a model that soars to 100 kilometers an hour in 3.2 seconds and may top the Carrera GT as the manufacturer’s costliest vehicle”. Translated to “this is one bad ass machine!!”

From AutoNews.com:

null(Bloomberg) — Porsche AG’s supervisory board approved production of the 918 Spyder hybrid sports car, a model that soars to 100 kilometers an hour in 3.2 seconds and may top the Carrera GT as the manufacturer’s costliest vehicle.

Porsche plans to develop the vehicle at a research facility near Stuttgart, Germany, where the carmaker is based, the company said today. The car will be built at the main plant in Zuffenhausen.

The 918 Spyder, one of three hybrid models Porsche presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March, has attracted at least 2,000 non-binding submissions of interest, people familiar with the matter said. Porsche needs at least 1,000 sales pledges to sign off on building the car, development chief Wolfgang Duerheimer said in April.

Read the full article here.

The 2011 Ford Explorer Unveiled

Ford finally unveiled the 2011 Ford Explorer and this one could be a game changer “Again”! From the sleek and well placed all new interior to the ecoboost engine that could produce upwards of 25mpg highway this vehicle has appeal. The 2011 Explorer is such a departure from the current offering that it is the same in name only. Since it’s based off the same platform as the Taurus and Flex, similarities are easy to see.

The 2011 Explorer is a departure from the old days in so many ways including styling, a car based platform and a new 4 cylinder with ecoboost that we predict will win over more and more buyers as time as sales move forward.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Before Ford unveiled its 2011 Explorer, I doubted the new SUV would be anything special. After all, Ford has been tweaking the truck for 20 years, so what new things could be left to try?

Turns out this could be one of those rare redesigns that is more like a rebirth, mainly because of what Ford has done with the interior. The Explorer’s cabin, from the smooth feel of the door handles to the attractive colors and sharp graphics on its central display screen, shows attention to detail found in some luxury cars, but never in a Ford truck.

Read the full article here.

(Photo from the Detroit Free Press)

Report: Ford’s profit the biggest in 12 years

NEW YORK - JULY 26: Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally smiles during the unveiling of the 2011 Ford Explorer SUV at a press event in Herald Square July 26, 2010 in New York City. The new Explorer SUV touts a sleek newly designed look that the company hopes will attract new buyers to the venerable SUV line. Ford Motor Co. showed a stronger than expected quarterly profit of $2.6 billion while it's in a rebuilding phase in the slowly recovering economy. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Ford Rolls!

From the Detroit News:

Ford Motor Co. earned $2.6 billion on higher car and truck sales in the second quarter, its biggest quarterly profit in 12 years, and repaid some of the debt that it took on to ride out the industry downturn.

“We’re ahead of where we thought we’d be after this excellent first half, and we expect even better results in 2011,” Ford President and Chief Executive Alan Mulally said.

“It appears to us we’re going to be able to improve the balance sheet and reduce the debt,” he told analysts and reporters Friday.

Read the full article here.

Ford Explorer – no longer a gas guzzler?

377012 02: FILE PHOTO: A Ford Explorer sits outside a Firestone tire store August 25, 2000 in West Roxbury, MA. Firestone is in the midst of a massive tire recall, mainly those used on sport utility vehicles. Twenty-nine additional deaths have been reported December 6, 2000 in the government's investigation into the safety of Firestone tires. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the latest numbers at 148 deaths that involved tread separations due to Firestone tires, an increase from 119 deaths reported as of October 17. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Newsmakers)

Back in the 90′s the Ford Explorer was king as it kept two auto plants cranking out the best selling SUV in North America. Those days are long gone and they really seem like so long ago. The new 2011 Explorer is making it’s premiere this Monday and so far Ford has only put out sneak peaks. We do know that fuel economy will increase by approx. 30% and that in itself will get Ford plenty of attention. We’ll write more once the cover has been lifted!

From the Detroit Free Press:

When Ford lifts the curtain on its 2011 Ford Explorer — in a multi-city reveal next Monday — it also will kick off an effort to convince would-be drivers that the all-new version of its well-known SUV is a gas guzzler no more.

The public got its first look at the polished, urban Explorer America concept at the 2008 Detroit auto show, but the new Explorer, which is to arrive in dealerships late this year, isn’t expected to look much like that concept. So far, Ford has released only teaser photos of the new Explorer that show small parts of the vehicle or its new car-based silhouette. The outgoing Explorer was built on a truck platform.

Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president of global marketing, said Tuesday that the company’s marketing team will be aggressive in convincing consumers that the new Explorer is fuel-efficient.

Read the full article here.

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