Archive for January, 2008

Lock cars and take keys, warn police after break-ins

  NOBLESVILLE — Police are warning Noblesville residents to lock their cars and take their keys with them, even when the vehicle is parked at their home. “It’s so important to lock your vehicle,” said Noblesville Police Lt. Bruce Barnes. “Take anything with you of any value, or put it in the trunk or hide it under your seat.” Tuesday morning, officers took reports about three vehicles — two that were unlocked — that were stolen from driveways in the Waterman Farms, Howe Place and Arbor Grove subdivisions sometime late Monday night through early Tuesday morning. Both subdivisions are located on Greenfield Avenue between Cumberland and Marilyn roads. At 5:36 a.m. Tuesday, officers were called to the 14800 block of Alysheba Drive in Waterman Farms on a report of a missing 2004 Dodge Intrepid, valued at $10,000. Barnes said the owner reported that the …

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Isuzu to stop passenger car sales in U.S.

  DETROIT, Jan. 31 (UPI) — Japanese automaker Isuzu Motors Ltd. Thursday announced it will no longer sell passenger cars and light trucks in the United States after January 2009. Isuzu had $910 million in sales in the fiscal year ending March 2007, but has seen steady declines in U.S. automobile sales, especially sport utility vehicles, in recent years. Last year, out of 16.1 million U.S. automobile sales, Isuzu sold just 7,098 passenger vehicles, the Los Angeles Times reported. The company pioneered SUV sales in the United States in 1981, making its mark with the Trooper and with ads featuring Joe Isuzu, a smarmy salesman, who made outrageous claims. In one ad, Joe Isuzu claimed the Trooper was faster than a speeding bullet. After a car zipped by behind him, Joe Isuzu was seen catching a bullet between his teeth. The company sold 127,630 …

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ZAP Says its $30K Electric Sports Car Is Coming in 2009

  So you want an electric sports car but don’t have $98,000 to drop on a Tesla Roadster? Never fear, the ZAP Alias is here. Almost. ZAP says it will begin producing the, um, unusual three-wheeler by the middle next of year. That seems optimistic – one auto industry expert said it’s unrealistic – given the company only recently invited suppliers to design components for the $30,000 car, but ZAP says it’s a viable timeline. “Looking at our initial project development plan and our discussion with a number of key engineering and technology partners, I believe we can go into production by the second quarter of 2009,” Albert Lam, former CEO of Lotus Engineering and chairman of the joint venture developing the Alias, said in a statement. Lotus Engineering helped develop the Tesla Roadster, and the car it’s designing with ZAP looks good – …

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Canada’s car dealers taking advantage of loonie’s strength

  When the Canadian dollar pushed toward parity with the U.S. greenback last summer, TV and newspaper reports brought you the story of Joe Blow, the frustrated Canadian car buyer who headed south in search of a better deal on a new or used vehicle and saved thousands of dollars. But industry players insist it’s now really Joe Blow Corp., the mainstream Canadian auto retailer, doing most of the cross-border car buying. And one of the country’s largest retailers says this year will be much busier than last. “What people are kind of missing is that dealers are bringing the majority of those cars up, it’s not really the consumer,” said Patrick Priestner, chief executive of AutoCanada Income Fund, Canada’s only publicly-traded auto-dealership group. “This year we’re going to do a lot of it.” For Edmonton-based AutoCanada, buying cars in the United States and …

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Alternative-Energy Vehicles Added Spark To Detroit Auto Show; About 75 Models Showcased; Many Pluses, But Still A Lot Of Minuses, For The Growing Supply Of Green Cars, Trucks

  When the North American International Auto Show opened in January 2000, a dozen alternative fuel cars were on display. This year, the big Detroit show featured some 75 such cars and trucks. And dozens more are close to being road ready, says the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group whose members include BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford Motor, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen. Still, cars that run on something other than gasoline remain a small portion of the market. While consumer research firm J.D. Power estimates that 77% of car shoppers ask about alternative fuel vehicles, fewer than 2% of them actually buy one. Fewer than 400,000 alternative vehicles are on the road, about the same number of cars that cross New York’s Brooklyn Bridge every day. Vehicles that operate on alternative fuels are a tough sell, says Brett …

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Russia to Become Europe’s Top Car Market, Ghosn Says

  Renault SA Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn said Russia will surpass Germany to become Europe’s biggest car market within two years as economic growth stokes an unprecedented consumer boom.The Russian car market, powered by an economy in its 10th consecutive year of growth, had sales of more than 2.3 million vehicles last year, compared with 3.15 million in Germany. As demand increases, Renault, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG have started production in Russia or are building plants. “In the next two years, Russia will become the largest car market in Europe,” Ghosn said at a conference in Moscow today organized by investment bank Troika Dialog. “Russians love cars and it shows in statistics.” Russians spent a record $53.4 billion on cars last year, 67 percent more than in 2006, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said this month. The …

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Alternative-Energy Vehicles Added Spark To Detroit Auto Show

  When the North American International Auto Show opened in January 2000, a dozen alternative fuel cars were on display. This year, the big Detroit show featured some 75 such cars and trucks. And dozens more are close to being road ready, says the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group whose members include BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford Motor (NYSE:F PRS) (NYSE:F PRA) (NYSE:F) F, General Motors GM, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota TM and Volkswagen VLKAY. Still, cars that run on something other than gasoline remain a small portion of the market. While consumer research firm J.D. Power estimates that 77% of car shoppers ask about alternative fuel vehicles, fewer than 2% of them actually buy one. Fewer than 400,000 alternative vehicles are on the road, about the same number of cars that cross New York’s Brooklyn Bridge every day. Vehicles that operate …

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Device Keeps Tabs on Your Car’s Health

  Executives get around by using most every mode of transporation, including cars, planes, boats and trains. Here are some devices to help them go from place to place. Here’s a gadget to consider if you spend a lot time behind the wheel. It’s called CarMD and it’s a small, hand-held device that can be used to monitor your car, truck, minivan or SUV (as long as it’s no older than a 1996 model). To operate the CarMD, turn your car on and then insert the device into the standardized 16-pin Data Link Connector (DLC) on your car (all vehicles made after 1996 have DLC). Depending on the make and model of your car. It is usually located under the dashboard on the driver’s side, but may be in another location. If you are driving an Asian or European import the DLC …

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Honda Raises Forecast; Fuel-Saving Cars Lift Net

  TOKYO — Amid slowing U.S. auto demand, Honda Motor Co. said fiscal-third-quarter profit rose 38%, helped by sales of its fuel-efficient cars in China, Europe and North America. Honda, Japan’s No. 2 auto maker by sales volume after Toyota Motor Corp,. raised its full-year profit forecast, pushing aside fears of a recession in the U.S., where it sells about 40% of its vehicles. The company is benefiting from U.S. demand for fuel-efficient cars such as its new Accord sedan and popular Civic, as drivers turn away from SUVs because of high gas prices. Strong sales in emerging markets and cost-cutting also helped lift the car maker’s quarterly profit. Net income in the quarter ended in December rose to 200 billion yen ($1.87 billion) from the same period a year earlier, Honda said. Group sales rose 10% to 3.04 trillion yen. The company sold 481,000 …

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How to beat car thieves

  Police across Monmouthshire and Torfaen are urging motorists to be extra vigilant when leaving their cars unattended. Officers are launching a campaign today to ensure that members of the public are given the best advice to keep their vehicles safe and not make them an easy target for opportunist thieves. Divisional statistics show that theft from vehicles has reduced by 12% in the last year. This equates to 105 fewer victims across Monmouthshire and Torfaen. However, members of the public should not become complacent and are encouraged to continue to take extra measures to keep their vehicles secure. Marc Budden, Community Safety Inspector for Monmouthshire and Torfaen offers the following advice: If you have a driveway or garage, use it If you have to park on the street always park in a well-lit, designated or busy area If you are visiting a town or city, use …

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