This was originally published on 10/15/2015, but with the news that the Viper has officially ended production, we thought you might want to read it. The story appears as it was originally published. - Ed.This is the way the Viper's world could end: not with the bang of obsolescence or defeat at the hands of its megabuck Eurotrash competitors, but with the whimper of a union contract that just happens to close one small-scale manufacturing facility. The supposed end of the Conner Avenue plant in 2017 would also be the end of the Viper. There's just no case to be made for restarting production somewhere else. It might impact FCA's ability to turn out more crossovers or something like that. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below There's still time for you to go out and buy a Dodge Viper. There's still time for me to go out and buy a Dodge Viper. Still time for all of us to save our pennies for a down payment. So we cannot say that we weren't given plenty of notice, plenty of warning. … [Read more...] about The Dodge Viper Is the Last Great American Car
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Ford has swept clean the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards, which was just announced at the Detroit show. Responsible for the wins are the Ford Fusion Hybrid (car) and the Ford Transit Connect (truck). It is only the third time in 17 years that one manufacturer has won both awards. The Mexico-built Fusion Hybrid, which edged out the Buick LaCrosse and Volkswagen Golf to win, is America’s most fuel-efficient midsize sedan with an EPA-estimated 14.5 km/l rating in the city and 12.7 km/l on the highway, which beats the Toyota Camry Hybrid’s figures. This is the jewel in the crown award for the Fusion, which has won many awards in the US including Motor Trend’s Car of the Year gong. The Transit Connect meanwhile, is an commercial van that edged out the Chevrolet Equinox and Subaru Outback to win the truck title. Last year, Ford won this title with the F-150. … [Read more...] about Detroit 2010: Ford wins both North American Car and Truck of the Year awards
Ford has achieved a momentous feat with the Focus announced as the best selling car in the whole world in 2012. The total number of Focus units sold were 7,37,856 till September this last year. Along with this, a total of three cars from Ford ended up in the world’s best selling top 10 cars list. The Focus coming first, the Ford F-series pickup was fourth and the Fiesta grabbed the fifth place on the list. With global sales slightly on the decline this is quite an achievement from the legendary American car manufacturer. Ford also announced that in 2012, their net sales were over 2.2 million units in the United States of America. This is the second consecutive year Ford has sold more than 2 million cars in the US and is the only car company to do so after 2007. The Ford Fiesta also secured its place as the world’s best selling B-segment car with sales of 5,60,061 units till September 2012. All this data has been provided by the research firm POLK. Ford is very proud of this … [Read more...] about Ford Fiesta Is Fifth Most Selling Car Of 2012
Fiat in planning to make their plant at Ranjangaon, Pune, centre for manufacturing cars to be exported to many right hand drive markets. Fiat said that the plant is currently producing only half number of units as opposed to a capacity of 1.35 lakh units per year. So the additional capacity can be used for manufacturing cars for other right hand drive markets. The intended right hand drive markets are UK, Japan, Australia and some African countries. Fiat said that India is expected to become the third largest automobile manufacturer in the whole world, only behind China and USA. With high localization and inexpensive manufacturing, India is perfect for export manufacturing. Many new products are being specifically developed for manufacturing in India which will be introduced in the country and then in other markets eventually. When Fiat adopts this strategy, Fiat said that the capacity at Ranjangaon Plant can be expanded to 1.8 lakh units per annum. This expansion will come in very … [Read more...] about Fiat To Export Cars Manufactured At Pune Plant
USA Today reports that two average-sized adults and their weekend luggage put a Corvette or MX-5 over its certified weight capacity. Pile your teenage son and five of his football teammates in your Grand Caravan and you're good to go– provided they each weigh less than 165 pounds and leave the gear at home. That's because their manufacturers use a federally-mandated maximum loading formula that sets a minimum average weight of 150 pounds per passenger. While manufacturers are free to increase that figure as they deem appropriate, many don't. It's a CYA tactic in the aftermath of the Firestone tire fiasco, where overloading was "considered a factor" in tire failure and subsequent accidents (and lawsuits). Honda spokesman Sage Marie says if you exceed their vehicles' limit, "we can't be responsible for the vehicle's dynamic characteristics." According to GM's energy and drive quality director, "when we put a label on a vehicle, we need to be conservative." … [Read more...] about Americans Cars: Overweight, Overburdened and Over Here?
Forget about Europeans complaining about missing parts. Over in America, there is an acute car shortage. Dealers blame who they always blame: The manufacturers. “They’ve cut back production so much that we’ve run out of cars,” Boston dealer magnate Herb Chambers tells his hometown paper, the Boston Herald. He says he had to “beg, borrow and steal” Cadillacs from dealers in other parts of the country. Down at the South Shore, dealer Dan Quirk loses 60 to 90 sales a month. “The Big Three just don’t have enough manufacturing capacity any more,” kvetches Quirk. “Some of the automakers, particularly General Motors, closed a lot of their plants when the meltdown hit.” Supposedly it’s not just a Bostonian phenomenon. Supposedly. At closer look, it might be a fire breathing, rip-snorting chimera.“The average U.S. dealer had just a 75-day inventory of domestic cars and light trucks on hand during October, down from a … [Read more...] about OMG! American Dealers Run Out Of American Cars!
You may not have heard the name Roy Lunn, but undoubtedly you’ve heard about the cars that he guided into being. You think that’s an exaggeration? Well, you’ve heard about the Ford GT40 haven’t you? How about the original XJ Jeep Cherokee? Lunn headed the team at Ford that developed the LeMans winning GT40. Later as head of engineering for Jeep (and ultimately VP of engineering for AMC) he was responsible for the almost unkillable Cherokee, Jeep’s first unibody vehicle, a car that remained in production for over two decades with few structural changes and could be said to be the first modern SUV. In addition to those two landmark vehicles, Lunn also was in charge of the engineering for two other influential cars, the original two-seat midengine Mustang I concept and the 4X4 AMC Eagle. If that’s not an impressive enough CV for a car guy, before Ford, he designed the Aston Martin DB2 and won an international rally. After he retired from AMC, he … [Read more...] about Car Guys & Gals You Should Know About – Roy Lunn’s Resume: Ford GT40, Boss 429 Mustang, Jeep XJ Cherokee, AMC Eagle 4X4 and More!
Overall contentment among domestic vehicle owners dropped slightly in this year’s American Customer Satisfaction Index. Meanwhile, enjoyment from European and Asian automakers stayed roughly the same. However, that information might not be quite so useful until you begin comparing individual brands (and even other industries).Domestic automakers averaged 80 out of a possible 100 points in the ACSI scale, with General Motors as the only American manufacturer seeing an improvement from 2016. For the sake of comparison, let’s see how other industries are doing on either end of the spectrum: Cable companies, which everyone hates, averaged 64 points and television sets, which everyone loves, scored 87 points.By and large, that doesn’t place automakers in the doghouse. But it does highlight a modest shift in the perception of specific domestic brands while longtime satisfaction leaders, like Toyota and Lexus, hold pole position. General Motors made some … [Read more...] about American Car Buyers Less Satisfied With Domestics, Toyota Perpetually Fine: Study
While there are some who still proudly use the old slogan “Buy American,” the concept is only loosely applicable to automobiles. While you can certainly support American brands, every automobile on the road is an amalgamation of parts from all over the world — and has been for quite some time.This year, the automotive research website Cars.com, which began ranking the country’s “most-American” vehicles in 2006, was forced to change its criteria after only three models qualified under the old system of measurement.For 2017, Cars.com has added country of engine origin, country of transmission origin, and U.S. factory employment relative to a company’s sales to its previous criteria of American parts content and final assembly location. It was also forced to lower the overall percentage of domestic parts a car needs to qualify by a full fifteen percent — from 75 to 60 percent. “Even if a car is from a … [Read more...] about Irrelevant ‘Most-American Car’ Ranking Changes Criteria, If Only to Flesh Out Results
You’re car shopping for your dream car. You test drive it. It’s perfect. Everything in its place. The power … breathtaking. You look at the window sticker and there are a few numbers after a dollar sign. You can afford it — just.Next year, your dream car will have no discernible differences from the one you are driving today. Everything will still be perfect, in its place, and the power will be just as intoxicating. Except next year the price will go down $5,000 thanks to a “Made in China” stamp on the doorjamb.Whether toothless threat or real risk, the global automotive markets are so integrated now that GM can say they’ll build more Buicks in China and it’s a real possibility. GM does make vehicles in China these days. Shipping rates are incredibly low thanks to bigger and bigger ships making the journey across the Pacific more efficient.Fifteen years ago, if a company pulled the China card, the UAW would laugh them off … [Read more...] about QOTD Bonus: Would You Buy A Chinese-built American Car?