Archive for February, 2008

Tata Motors to reduce prices of small cars & commercial vehicles

  Mumbai – Tata Motors will reduce the prices of its small cars and commercial vehicles (including buses, bus chassis and bus body), in view of the reduction of excise duties announced in the Union Budget. The new applicable prices will be announced in the next few days, after the company has studied the details of the policy changes. Click Here to View Original Article

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Consumer Reports’ Top Picks 2008

  This year’s Top Picks in 10 categories include four new models. For the first time since 2005, a U.S. model, the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado, made the list as our choice in pickup trucks. And for the first time ever, a South Korean automaker is represented: The Hyundai Elantra SE and Santa Fe are our top small sedan and midsized SUV, respectively. The fourth new entry is the Lexus LS 460L, the highest-scoring vehicle we’ve tested and best among luxury sedans.Choosing the Top Picks Our Top Picks are the most well-rounded models in their categories. Each must meet these stringent requirements: Road tests: Each Top Pick scores at or near the top of its category among more than 260 vehicles we’ve recently tested at our Auto Test Center. Reliability: Each has an average or better predicted-reliability Rating, based on the problems subscribers reported on …

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Life Mobility

  News. Here’s the latest news from Life Mobility and the world of transportation: Fuel Efficient Automobile Technology. An open letter to the U.S. Congress. (20071207fr1006) Review of Easton Flatboy Platform Pedals by Gregory Johnson (20070627we0118) Review of New Balance 767 Shoes by Gregory Johnson. (20070627we0117) Interview with Bruce Wood of ePowerSynergies.com electric car company. (20070616sa1334) Photos of the GEM Vehicle by Global Electric Motorcars. (20070613we0031) The Reason You’re Broke by Liz Pulliam Weston. “If you’re constantly broke and can’t figure out why, the answer may be sitting in your driveway. Americans are spending more on their vehicles than ever before — more than $8,000 a year on average — and it’s driving some to the breaking point. Credit counselor Bill Thompson of Jacksonville, Fla., estimates that one out of every four clients his agency sees has overspent — sometimes dramatically — on a car. ‘They may …

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January car figure streaks to record

   New figures show that the number of new cars licensed in January was up 12.6% on the same month last year. The Central Statistics Office said the total of 32,961 new cars was the highest number for any month on record. The increase was much bigger than the 4% rise reported by the industry body SIMI. The SIMI figures cover cars registered for Vehicle Registration Tax, while the CSO figures calculate the number of new cars taxed for the first time. A spokesman for SIMI said the figures are usually different at the start of the year because of the time lag between the two taxes. The second-hand rise was a more modest 1.1%, while new goods vehicles fell 10.8%. There had been expectations among some that car sales would slow ahead of new rules on VRT and motor tax due to come into force …

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Tooling Up For Tomorrow’s Clever Cars

  ScienceDaily (Feb. 29, 2008) — Cars are becoming more complex, with a range of advanced features we could hardly have imagined a few years ago made possible by sophisticated software-driven electronics. The downside is, with more to go wrong, more is going wrong, but European researchers have developed an antidote: a new computer language. The average new car coming off the production line today has the same amount of electronic systems as a commercial airliner did two decades ago. Hard to accept perhaps, but true if auto-makers are to be believed. Growth in automotive embedded systems (software and electronics) has been exponential since the early 1990s and the trend is predicted to continue. In 2002, electronic parts comprised 25 percent of a vehicle’s value – by 2015, car manufacturers predict this will hit 40 percent. But the more electronic systems are added, the …

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Ten Cars That Lose Value Fast

  Some cars just don’t age well. Even a great value buy in the new-car market can bomb in the used-car market with low resale values. Vehicles like the Kia Sedona minivan and Lincoln Town Car look good, perform well and often are purchased new at bargain prices. But take a closer look at them three years later, and their value has decreased at an accelerated rate. By the time a car owner is ready to unload one of these vehicles, the owner is often surprised to learn that the car has lost more than 50% of its value. The shock doesn’t end there. After the fifth year, when most vehicles have lost 65% of their value, these vehicles have lost 74% or more. The owners of value-losing vehicles learn that the cost of ownership, which includes depreciation, financing, insurance, repair, maintenance, fuel, …

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2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Porsche’s new design delivers more power and technology

  When Porsche first announced their intent to step onto the SUV playing field, purist “Porsche-philes,” for the most part, reacted negatively. The independent German automaker has long won acclaim for building one of the finest examples of production sports cars from day one – it’s what they do best and what they are revered for – so, the big question is “Why would they enter into a market segment that was so hotly contested, and purported by soothsayers, to be dwindling?” The answer from Porsche, quite simply put at the time, was to bring in additional revenue (they hoped to be able double sales figures over the ensuing years), allowing them sufficient funds in their coffers to remain independent and to continue the focused pursuit of producing superior sports cars for a very high-end consumer group, albeit a limited and …

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Ottawa drops eco-car rebates

  Automakers yesterday called on the Harper government to scrap an excise tax on the most fuel-inefficient vehicles for sale in Canada, saying it is “unconscionable” for Ottawa to keep in place a levy that is hurting families and business owners. The so-called “green levy,” introduced last year as part of the ecoAUTO program to promote the purchase of more environmentally friendly vehicles, slapped penalties of up to $4,000 on manufacturers of the most fuel-thirsty cars and trucks. As part of the same initiative, the government started a program that paid rebates of up to $2,000 to buyers of the most fuel-efficient vehicles, such as the Toyota Yaris and Ford Escape hybrid. While documents released as part of the federal budget on Tuesday said Ottawa would wrap up the rebate portion of the program by April, 2009, they did not mention the levies. Auto-industry representatives …

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GM Turnaround Collides With Dismal U.S. Car Demand: Doron Levin

  Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) — General Motors Corp. may look like a victim of bad luck, its turnaround plan undermined by a collapsing U.S. economy just as GM cars and trucks are starting to compete. Don’t be fooled. That interpretation of GM’s latest woes ignores years and years of dallying and denial. The No. 1 U.S. automaker delayed drastic action, hoping that growing automotive revenue might be enough to outstrip ballooning costs. GM has known at least since the early 1990s that its business model in the U.S. was defunct. The formula that once produced profits for GM, Ford Motor Co. and what was then the Chrysler Corp. — as well as high wages for union workers — was rendered obsolete after Japanese automakers broke Detroit’s oligopoly. Instead of changing their approach, GM and the other U.S. automakers made a feint, designing more and …

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Feds Warn Some Ford Trucks and Cars Can Erupt in Flames

  After years of disastrous fires involving Ford vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is strongly warning Ford, Lincoln and Mercury owners of fire hazards involving the faulty cruise control switches in recalled Ford Motor Company vehicles that have not been repaired. ConsumerAffairs.com has been reporting on the problem for years, chronicling fires in vehicles parked outside homes, in garages and even at fire stations. In a highly usual statement, NHTSA urged owners of the recalled vehicles to go to a Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealer as soon as possible and have the cruise control system disconnected. The unrepaired Ford, Lincoln and Mercury SUVs, pickup trucks, vans and certain passenger cars contain a safety defect that could cause the vehicle to erupt into flames, according to the NHTSA statement. “Failure to have the switch disconnected could lead to a vehicle fire at any …

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