Nissan introduces new 2014 Versa Note

Nissan has been a leader in the compact car segment with the Versa as it can offer the four-door sedan along with a hatchback. With the 2014 Versa Note we’re finally seeing the promised redesign for this vehicle, which looks much different that the four-door sedan.

As you can see the vehicle looks stylish, but it’s not overly quirky or funky. Nissan is much more focused on practicality and fuel economy with this vehicle, targeting mostly couples without children.

You can see a video review below, and here are reviews from Edmonds, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and Bullz-Eye.com.

  

Onto the Cruze!

This spanking new offering from GM appears to be the right car at the right time. This is the car that could put GM back in the minds and wallets of those looking for efficiency, fuel economy and some styling to go with a small car. There has been a lot of hype around the partially electric Volt but the Cruze is the car that can make or break GM with a new generation entering the market for vehicles.

Even though I’m not sold on the styling yet, at 40m.p.g. on the highway and more trunk space than it’s competitors the Cruze has a real chance to be a top seller for the new GM.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Chevrolet has built a better mousetrap. The 2011 Cruze sedan gets better fuel economy than most subcompacts and offers the passenger and luggage space of a midsize sedan.

Those achievements will mean nothing unless Chevrolet convinces customers to check out the Cruze before they buy a better-known model like the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla. Years of reliability and fuel-efficiency give those models credibility with small-car buyers.

Chevy can’t match that history. The mousetrap needs cheese.

“Our job is to tell buyers why they have to look at the Cruze: fuel economy, safety, refinement and quality,” said Margaret Brooks, Chevrolet director of small-car marketing.

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.

  

Chrysler will double “cash for clunkers” deal

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The incentives keep flying as the automakers try to move metal in this tough market.

Chrysler Group LLC, looking to clear out sales of 2009 models, will double the federal government’s cash-for-clunkers program that will launch Thursday.

Chrysler will offer up to $4,500 cash or 0% financing for 72 months through GMAC Financial Services on most 2009 model vehicles. These incentives are valid through Aug. 31, 2009.

The incentive program, designed to improve the fuel economy of the nation’s fleet, provides a voucher of either $3,500 or $4,500 for trading in a vehicle that averages less than 18 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving and is not more than 25 years old. The amount of the credit is determined based on the incremental fuel-economy improvement between the old and new vehicles.

The Chrysler incentives will apply to any buyer regardless of the age and fuel economy of the trade-in vehicle, said Steven Beahm, Chrysler vice president of sales operations.

Ford announced that they will not match the incentives, which isn’t surprising given’s Ford’s recent success in the marketplace.

  

Judge clears the way for GM to emerge from bankruptcy

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They did it. Most of the experts said the government could reorganize GM through bankruptcy in such a short time, but now a judge has cleared the way and the “new GM’ will emerge as a new company.

The path is now clear for General Motors to leave bankruptcy protection in record time as a leaner company that is better equipped to compete in a brutal global auto market.

On Thursday, a judge’s order allowing GM to sell most of its assets to a new company went into effect, despite a last-minute appeal by plaintiffs in a product liability case.

GM spokeswoman Julie Gibson said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber’s order became effective at 12 p.m. EDT. GM lawyers are working on paperwork to close the sale as quickly as possible, after which GM would leave bankruptcy protection.

GM CEO Fritz Henderson will hold a news conference in Detroit Friday morning to explain executive cuts, management changes and the company’s plan to make money by emphasizing quality and fuel economy. He will be joined by Edward Whitacre Jr., who will lead the board of GM.

Once the world’s largest and most powerful automaker, the “new GM” will become government-owned, but leaner and greener, cleansed of debts and burdensome contracts that nearly dragged it into liquidation. But the new company faces tough international competition and the worst auto sales market in more than 25 years.

John Pottow, a University of Michigan Law School professor who specializes in bankruptcy, said opponents of the sale had little legal recourse to block it because their issues were shot down by higher courts in Chrysler’s bankruptcy case.

“It’s done,” Pottow said. “I knew they were dead as soon as the Chrysler case was decided.”

He expects GM to close the deal and emerge from bankruptcy on Thursday in 39 days, a record for a company its size, he said. GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said he could not give a time frame for when the sale will close.

The “old GM” will wind down all the assets that won’t be going over to the new company. It will be interesting to see what happens to all the old GM brands.

  

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