Toyota halts Lexus GX 460 SUV sales after safety warning

You know things aren’t going your way when your marquee brand starts taking serious hits! Toyota is reportedly going to halt Lexus GX 460 sales after a recent safety warning. This appears to be the right thing to do and fix them before they head out the door. The rollover issue is more structural so this could take awhile.

From AutoNews.com:

TOKYO/DETROIT (Reuters) — Toyota Motor Corp. suspended sales of the 2010 Lexus GX 460 on Tuesday after influential magazine Consumer Reports urged car shoppers not to buy the SUV, calling it a “safety risk” that could roll over.

Toyota said its engineers were “vigorously testing” the luxury model to identify the risk cited by Consumer Reports, which said the vehicle was prone to slide when driven in sweeping turns and gave it a “not acceptable” rating.

The rare safety warning from the magazine, which is seen as an objective voice on auto safety and quality in North America, comes at a time when Toyota is battling to repair damage to its reputation from a series of recalls.

Read the full article here.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

  

Ford gains U.S. market share as fast as in ’77

It’s 1977 all over again and Mark Fields is considering letting his hair grow longer to prove it! All kidding aside Ford keeps the petal to the metal (staying with the 70’s theme here) and let’s the competition know their cruising for a bruising. Serious market share gains of 2.7% is no joking matter as that keeps two assembly plants running.

From the Detroit Free Press:

The last time Ford was gaining U.S. market share as fast as it is now, Mark Fields, the company’s president of the Americas, was learning to drive.

Fields, 49, said Tuesday that the company’s market share rose 2.7 percentage points from January through March, Ford’s sharpest increase in a three-month period since the fourth quarter of 1977.

Back then, the Ford Grenada was popular and the company had just launched a redesigned Ford Thunderbird. For the family, Ford offered the Ford LTD II and the wood-paneled Ford Country Squire.

Read the full article here.


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Jaguar hoping new XJ will boost sales

Do you like the new XJ ? Jaguar sure hopes so as they are gunning for a 50% increase is sales. This is a sharp and elegant vehicle but competition is tight so the 2011 Jaguar XJ better make’m smile!

From AutoGuide.com:

From the very first moment we laid eyes on the new 2011 Jaguar XJ it was obvious was the British automaker was planning – to take on “mainstream” competitors like Lexus and Mercedes with a more forward-thinking luxury saloon. Why would Jaguar want to build a luxury sedan to rival those other two? Simple: sales.

Until the debut of the 2010 model, it was hard to tell a 10 year old XJ apart from a brand new one – which is as much of an insult as it is a credit to the timelessness of the car’s design. But now the XJ looks like something younger buyers would want, with an appeal that speaks to more than just the old-money type.

According to a report by Automotive News, Jaguar will launch the new XJ next month and is hoping the car will drive up XJ sales by as much as 50 percent. With broader appeal and a fresh new design that shouldn’t be too hard. Jaguar should also be helped out by the improving economic forecast and that fact that last year’s sales were down 21 percent compared to the year before (which is a better representation of normal Jaguar sales). In total, last year Jag moved just 51,885 and the automaker is looking for closer to 75,000 units moving forward.

Read the full article here.

  

Ford says it is cautiously open to partnerships

Ford is on the move and in the middle of a major comeback and a major partnership does not look to be part of the plan. After unloading the failed Premier Automotive Group that sucked the life out of that company for the past 15 years or so you can see why Bill Ford is skeptical. I say keep rebuilding the Ford brand globally and if they succeed at home it will most likely put them in a position to keep growing and making money elsewhere.

From AutoNews.com:

LAGUNA NIGUEL, California (Reuters) — Ford Motor Co is open to partnerships in green car technology but will be cautious in committing to any alliance, Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said.

Ford is treading carefully on tie-ups after global rivals Renault, Nissan and Daimler announced a deal last week that will see them swap stakes and on electric cars, passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

“We are always open to it but I think we will be careful before we jump,” Bill Ford said in an interview Monday on the sidelines of Fortune Brainstorm Green conference.

“You always go into the joint venture with the premise that you will save money and save manpower, and our experience often has been that it does neither.”

Read the full article here.

  

The Worst Cars Ever

We’ve all driven some bad (like really bad) cars through the years and now MSN has put together “The Worst Cars Ever”. There are some obvious ones on the list and a few surprises. Yes, You have the Ford Pinto and Yugo but the Pontiac Fiero?? Check it out and let us know what you think!

Quality is in serious question these days. A rash of recent recalls, most notably the uproar over Toyota’s failure to recognize problems with faulty accelerators and brakes in multiple models, has rocked the public’s confidence in the auto industry’s ability to build quality transportation. In their defense, automakers are building better machines today than they have at any other time in history. However, there are still problems, calling to mind a time when car manufacturing wasn’t so good — a time when engines exploded, rust was rampant and cars might simply split in half. To celebrate the best of the worst, we’ve compiled a list of the most hideous looking, poorly designed, horrendously built and, in some cases, most dangerous cars of the past 50 years. It’s a train wreck of riches.

Read the full article here.

  

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