DEARBORN, MI – Ford, the most fuel-efficient full-line manufacturer, introduces the first seven-passenger people mover expected to break the 30 mpg-plus highway barrier with the all-new Transit Connect Wagon, which drives like a car, has the flexibility of a utility and can haul the payload of a full-size pickup.
“Transit Connect Wagon gives young families and people on the go the fun-to-drive and efficient vehicle they’ve been looking for,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s President of The Americas. “It’s an all-new, smaller seven-seater that has better mileage than larger vans and creates a segment of its own. Customers also will love the unique combination of style, adaptability and affordability this wagon brings.”
Transit Connect Wagon is offered in five- and seven-passenger configurations, and in XL, XLT and Titanium series levels. No other wagon in the market today offers the convenience of fold-flat seating, at least a 1,200-pound (540 kilograms) payload and more than 100 cubic feet (2800 litres) of cargo space.
When properly equipped, this versatile wagon is approved to tow up to 2,000 pounds (908 kilograms), 500 pounds (227 kilograms) more than a four-cylinder Toyota Highlander SUV.
Have it your way
Transit Connect Wagon offers customers a choice between two fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines – a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and an optional 1.6-litre EcoBoost® that is estimated to deliver 30 mpg-plus on the highway. This powertrain makes Transit Connect Wagon the gas mileage leader among seven-passenger vehicles.
Both engines come mated to a convenient six-speed automatic transmission, geared for around-town responsiveness and low-rpm highway cruising.
Transit Connect Wagon is available in a wide variety of configurations and series levels, offering unexpected features in a high-value package with low operating costs.
This stylish, contemporary design is offered with a choice of five- or seven-passenger seating arrangements, and offers meaningful options like a full-glass panoramic roof, rear view camera, 6.5-inch touch screen display with navigation, and SYNC® with MyFord Touch® – Ford’s highly acclaimed voice-activated communications and entertainment system.
Transit Connect Wagon’s global design includes premium cues throughout such as available full body-color exterior accents with jewel-like chrome trim and high-gloss interior trim pieces. A range of seating surfaces, from luxurious leather, comfortable cloth and heavy-duty vinyl, is available to suit the specific needs of a wide variety of potential customers.
Commercial-strength DNA in a family versatility vehicle
Transit Connect Wagon’s work-hard/play-hard nature is reflected in cargo-carrying capacity and room for up to seven comfortably seated passengers, wrapped in a high-strength body engineered to rigorous global commercial vehicle durability standards.
The all-new Transit Connect Wagon builds on the foundation of reliability and durability established by the current Transit Connect compact van. Introduced in North America in 2009, Transit Connect has become the must-have vehicle for small business proprietors, thanks to its unmatched combination of payload and cargo capacities, adaptability, fuel efficiency, maneuverability and overall ease of driving.
Transit Connect was recognized as an innovative “white space” vehicle – literally carving out a new category in the market – by the automotive industry press corps when it was named North American Truck of the Year in January 2010 at the North American International Auto Show.
Transit Connect has become a favorite of small businesses, corporate fleets, taxi operators and a few individualistic owners who find its combination of a car-like ride and the cargo capacity of a van just right for their personal use.
“The all-new Transit Connect Wagon will expand the personal-use audience for this versatile nameplate by offering up to seven-passenger capacity across three rows of seating in a fully trimmed interior,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford vice president of Global Engineering, Global Product Development. “It has an extensive selection of comfort, convenience and connectivity options, and a full complement of safety features – making it a modern, family-friendly alternative to oversized minivans.”
All Transit Connect Wagon models feature first-row frontal, pelvis and side airbags, with first-, second- and third-row side curtain airbags.
Ford’s award-winning MyKey® programmable ignition key enables restricting maximum vehicle speed and audio system volume, bringing additional peace of mind to both parents and fleet administrators alike.
Transit Connect Wagon even offers a child observation mirror so parents can keep track of children safely belted in second- and third-row seats.
Inside, the Transit Connect Wagon package is a rolling showcase for adaptability in hauling both people and cargo.
From its 60/40 three-passenger second-row bench seat through fold-flat second- and third-row seating with third-row independent fore-and-aft sliding capability, Transit Connect Wagon quickly adapts to accommodate multiple combinations of people and cargo.
Also available is an electric windshield defroster, making short work of icy windshields in winter conditions.
The versatile Transit Connect Wagon offers far better fuel efficiency than traditional minivans, compact-car-like maneuverability and handling, combined with unprecedented payload and cargo capabilities.
Look for Transit Connect Wagon to appear in North American Ford dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2013. Consumers can get more information and learn more about the Transit Connect Wagon at http://ford.com/transitconnectwagon.
DETROIT, MI - Chrysler is recalling more than 919,000 older-model Jeep SUVs worldwide, including more than 49,000 in Canada, because the air bags can inflate while people are driving.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday that the recall affects Jeep Grand Cherokees from the 2002 through 2004 model years. Also covered are Jeep Libertys from model years 2002 and 2003.
Chrysler Canada says the 49,430 vehicles involved in the recall in Canada are evenly divided between the two models.
In addition to Canada, the recall involves 745,000 SUVs in the U.S. and 22,000 in Mexico. The rest are outside North America.
A part can fail in the air bag control computer, and the front and side air bags can inflate while the SUVs are being driven. An investigation by the safety agency found that the air bags went off 215 times, causing 81 minor injuries.
No crashes were reported.
Chrysler says dashboard warning lights normally come on before the air bags are inflated. If that happens, the driver should contact a Jeep dealer.
Chrysler, which makes Jeeps, will install an electrical harness to fix the problem. The company will begin notifying owners of the recall in January.
In a separate statement on the recall, Chrysler said the fix is aimed at addressing the potential for both inadvertent air bag and pretensioner deployment. Pretensioners tighten seatbelts before an impact.
"Affected vehicles will be fitted with a filter that restores the control module’s intended function — to accommodate proper deployment of air bags and pretensioners," Chrysler said.
The repair will be made at no cost to customers.
TORONTO, ON - Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) announced that Mazda's plant in Mexico, currently under construction, will produce a Toyota-brand vehicle for sale mainly in North America. The sub-compact Toyota-brand vehicle, to be based on the Mazda2, is to start production around the summer of 2015 at a pace of 50,000 units per year and will be sold through Toyota dealerships.
Mazda's plant in Mexico is scheduled to start production within the fiscal year ending March 2014, with Toyota investing an appropriate portion of production equipment costs and development costs related to the Toyota vehicle and also an appropriate portion of costs related to the plant's production-capacity increase.
Through the agreement, TMC aims to strengthen its North American vehicle lineup, while Mazda aims to increase production efficiency and contribute to its profitability.
Mazda Mexico Plant Outline (as of June 17, 2011 Mazda announcement)
Company nameMazda Motor Manufacturing de Mexico S.A. de C.V.
LocationSalamanca city, Guanajuato state, Mexico
Annual production capacity140,000 units
Richmond Hill, ON – Suzuki Canada Inc. announced today that, despite the announcement earlier today by its affiliate, American Suzuki Motor Corp., of its decision to focus its operations on the long-term growth of its motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and marine divisions by winding down and discontinuing new automobile sales in the continental U.S., Suzuki Canada has no current plans to discontinue new automobile sales in Canada.
While American Suzuki’s realignment of its operations will be achieved through a restructuring of its operations under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, Suzuki Canada is not contemplating any form of court-supervised restructuring in Canada.
“Suzuki’s customers can confidently continue to purchase new vehicles, obtain service, parts and accessories and take full advantage of Suzuki Canada’s warranty program,” said Bill Porter, Senior Vice President, Automobile Sales & Marketing, Suzuki Canada. “Suzuki Canada, including its Automotive Division, remains fully open for business in Canada, and will be honouring all customer commitments.”
“While Suzuki Canada will continue to monitor market conditions in light of the U.S. filing, we have no current plans to change Suzuki Canada’s operations as a result of the events in the U.S.,” Mr. Porter said. “Suzuki Canada remains proud of the upcoming 2013 model year for new automobiles, which will continue uninterrupted as planned”.
Suzuki Canada’s customer service, distribution and supply chain will continue with no disruption:
· Suzuki Canada Customers – The Company’s warranties and other service commitments remain in full effect.
· Suzuki Canada Employees – Employees will continue to report to work as scheduled. Wages and benefits will continue without interruption.
· Suzuki Distribution – Suzuki Canada expects to continue to distribute high quality Suzuki vehicles, parts and accessories into the foreseeable future.
· Suzuki Suppliers – Suzuki Canada’s suppliers will continue to be paid for the delivery of products and services, and supply will continue without interruption.
· Suzuki Dealers – Suzuki Canada expects that its dealers will continue to sell and service Suzuki’s valued customers.
MISSISSAUGA, ON - Subaru Canada, Inc. (SCI) today released the first official photos of the all-new 2014 Forester, which will make its public debut in Japan on November 13, followed by its North American premiere at the Los Angeles auto show in late November and Canadian introduction at the Montreal auto show in January. The new Subaru Forester will maintain its true SUV characteristics with a bolder profile than before, while offering a roomier interior with increased rear-seat legroom and an enlarged cargo area with virtually the same dimensional footprint as the outgoing model.
The all-new Subaru Forester is the fourth generation to feature Subaru's celebrated symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive system. Subaru's popular Forester will also continue to offer its 2.5-litre naturally aspirated SUBARU BOXER engine as well as a new 2.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged version, producing 250 horsepower. Fuel economy improves across the lineup with the introduction of a new six-speed manual transmission and available Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission).
The all-new five-passenger 2014 Subaru Forester preserves the optimal blend of capability and spirited handling that have made it one of Subaru's best-selling models for the past 15 years. Refined suspension delivers sharper handling as well as comfortable ride quality, helping the Forester out-handle ordinary SUVs. A generous 220 millimetres of ground clearance enhances off-pavement driving capability.
Along with its exceptionally roomy interior, the 2014 Subaru Forester will include convenience and entertainment features including smartphone integration, navigation, rear-view camera and harman/kardon premium audio amplifier and speakers.
Look for the 2014 Subaru Forester to be available in early 2013.
Winning Entries from 2012 Competition to Be Displayed at Milan Design Week 2013
Lexus announces the launch of the Lexus Design Award, an international design competition targeting innovators around the world.
The Lexus Design Award is aimed to provide an opportunity for young innovators to work with a world-famous designer as a mentor to create prototypes of their designs. Targeting entries from those 30 years old or younger, through this initiative, Lexus hopes to contribute to nurturing and supporting youthful creators.
“There is a new brand spirit at Lexus, one that is re-imagined, re-invigorated and re-invented in everything from design, to performance, to new levels of luxury,” said Cyril Dimitris, Director, Lexus Canada. “This is a truly unique competition and we excited to encourage Canadian design talent to participate.”
The theme of the Lexus Design Award 2012 is motion—a word and concept directly connected to people’s everyday lives. Under this theme, Lexus welcomes innovators and calls for works that display a deep understanding of Lexus design, uniquely interpret concepts and provide original perspectives on and solutions to various issues of daily life. Lexus welcomes designers from all fields, such as architecture, product design and fashion.
The application period starts today and runs through December 31. The winners will be announced and their works exhibited during Milan Design Week in April 2013. The award will be officially launched at the Lexus booth during TOKYO DESIGNERS WEEK.
DETROIT, MI - General Motors says production is set to begin late next year on a luxury version of its Chevrolet Volt hybrid.
The automaker said Tuesday the Cadillac ELR will be assembled at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant. That plant makes the Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera and Holden Volt.
The Cadillac will run on electricity and carry a four-cylinder gasoline engine to generate power when the batteries run out of juice. It's based on the Cadillac Converj, a concept car unveiled in 2009 at the Detroit auto show.
GM North America President Mark Reuss said in a statement that the car is "further proof of our commitment to electric vehicles and advanced technology."
The company will invest $35 million at the plant, which hasn't produced a two-door car since the 1999 Cadillac Eldorado.
Most items come with a fixed price tag that you can't argue about - they're practically written in stone. Besides coupons or the occasional promotional offer, there are very few ways to save. Big purchases, however, are, somewhat strangely, an exception to the rule. Any veteran car buyer will understand that bargaining is an important part of buying a car, and, depending on your personality, often the most fun or stressful part. Negotiations make some people feel uncomfortable, but for others it is their calling in life. So if you are in the market for a new car, but are fairly new to the game and haven't yet honed your negotiation skills, here are some simple tips for bartering down the price for any car.
1) Be Willing to Walk Away
Car dealers are trained to gauge how much a potential buyer wants the car. It's simple: by demonstrating your willingness to leave and find another seller, you improve your chances of receiving a better offer. And don't feel like there is some sort of deadline - there isn't. Dealers are used to long negotiations, so if their final offer is still not low enough, threaten to leave and, most importantly, follow through if necessary. Remember that you can always come back later to resume your negotiations. Make sure to leave your number so that the dealer can contact you with a better price. Remain polite throughout the whole process, let them know that you are going to buy a car and encourage them to call you if they can make a better offer.
2) Get to Know the Car
Learn everything you can about the car you are trying to purchase. Dealers look for potential buyers who are not car experts, so by thoroughly researching the car you want to buy, you can demonstrate that you won't be easily suckered into a deal that represents poor value for money. If you want to buy a Toyota Corolla, get to know what models are available, what features come as standard, what added extras are possible, the car's horsepower and how its value is expected to depreciate over time. Car salesmen are adept at making a car look and sound better than it is in order to secure a higher sales price, so be prepared to rebut any misinformation you may encounter. Remember that buying a car is a major financial commitment, and research accordingly.
3) Investigate the Competition
Just like any other industry, car dealers have to compete with each other for customers - and the competition can be fierce. Use this to your advantage. By visiting a few car dealers and getting a feel on what they charge, you can use this as leverage. Even if you have to drive to a nearby town, make sure that you have quotes from multiple dealers. One tactic you might want to consider is to get a written offer from a dealer to take to a rival. By using this as a starting point for negotiation, you may be able to incite a bidding war. Remind dealers on occasion that you have other options and are willing to use them. Note that it is often beneficial to shop for cars near the end of the month when sales staff are under pressure to hit their targets and may therefore be more malleable in terms of their pricing.
4) Negotiate for Upgrades
After careful negotiations, a car dealer might simply be unwilling to lower the price any further. While they may be bluffing, there's usually a point when they will simply refuse to drop the price. This does not have to end your negotiations with them. If you are buying a van, for example, offer to pay their price but only if they install a towing hitch to the vehicle. Dealers have been known to take offers like this in exchange for finalizing the deal.
5) Talk to Contacts on the Phone
One technique car dealers use is to leave the room and talk to a boss or coworker. In doing so, they try to intimidate buyers into thinking that they simply cannot lower the price any further. Adopt this technique while negotiating. Find someone you know and trust who is knowledgeable about cars and then call them and ask for their input if you are unsure how to proceed. Since they are not in the room negotiating, they may be better able to assess the deal on the table. This may also lead the dealer to realize that their standard tactics are unlikely to be effective with you.
Buying a car doesn't have to be intimidating - it is exciting! The negotiation process is, whether you like it or not, a necessary part of buying any car. By preparing yourself for the process, you can often get the car you want for much less. Remind yourself of the money you can save, and use it to motivate you towards negotiating as effectively as possible.
· World’s fastest man to help develop “Bolt-performance” GT-R
· Olympic champion extends brand ambassador role as “Director of Excitement”
· Unique Gold GT-R, inspired by medal-winner, to be auctioned for Usain Bolt Foundation
YOKOHAMA, Japan – Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man and champion Olympic sprinter, is targeting another record-breaking performance by offering his passion and performance instincts to the Nissan team developing a special “Bolt” version GT-R.
Following his world records and medal-horde at the London Olympiad, Bolt today signed a special deal with Nissan Motor Co, Ltd, to extend his role as brand ambassador for the 196-mph GT-R and to become honorary “Director of Excitement” for the company’s ambitious global marketing drive.
Bolt, appearing at Nissan’s world headquarters, said: “Racing is my inspiration, and I want to help Nissan become an even more exciting brand for everyone.”
Toshiyuki Shiga, Chief Operating Officer, welcomed Bolt’s endorsement and deepening ties with Nissan – where he became a brand spokesman on the eve of the London Games. “Nissan shares the spirit of excitement that captivated worldwide audiences at the Olympics. There is no-one better qualified than Usain Bolt to help us translate that spirit into great experiences,” said Shiga.
In recognition of Bolt’s contribution to sports and his automotive enthusiasm, Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer unveiled a unique gold-painted GT-R, which will be auctioned to benefit the Usain Bolt Foundation (http://usainbolt.com/foundation/).
Proceeds from the online auction, details which will be announced later in October, will help the foundation’s work creating educational and cultural opportunities for children and young people in the Olympic Champion’s home country of Jamaica.
The one-off GT-R, to be auctioned on the eBay online auction platform, will be embossed with Bolt’s signature and bespoke interior fittings finished in real gold.
News of the deepening Nissan relationship coincides with Bolt’s pledge to defend his titles at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
As part of Bolt’s partnership with Nissan, the sprinter today test-drove various GT-R models at the car company’s proving ground near Oppama, Japan, where his reaction times, acceleration and other handling capabilities will be used in developing a special “Bolt GT-R” for his personal use.
Additionally, Bolt will start work with Nissan product specialists on a limited-edition version which can be ordered in markets where GT-R is available. Details of this project will be announced at a later stage.
Bolt, who was collected from Tokyo’s Narita Airport in a GT-R driven by F1 racer Mark Webber, is expected to contribute further to Nissan’s “WHAT IF_” global brand campaign.
The campaign, featuring Nissan’s iconic products and breakthrough technologies in billboards at airports around the world, forms part of the company’s Power 88 mid-term business plan – aimed at capturing 8 per cent market share and 8 per cent operating margins.
To continue building brand momentum at Nissan, TV commercials featuring the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, called “What if you could drive the future, today?”, will also be aired via six major international TV networks starting in October 2012.
Earlier this year, Interbrand reported Nissan’s rise in its latest report of the world’s Top 100 brands: ‘2012 Best Global Brands’. In the ranking, Nissan rose 13 places on the prior-year report to rank 73rd in global brand value.
TOKYO, JAPAN - Toyota Motor Corp. announced the industry's biggest single automotive recall since 1996, saying it will pull back 7.43 million vehicles worldwide -- including 2.47 million in the United States -- to fix power window switches.
The U.S. action covers various 2007 through 2009 models of the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Yaris, RAV4, Tundra, Scion xD, Scion xA, Sequoia, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, Corolla and Matrix. About 240,000 vehicles in Canada are also affected.
The recall comes as President Akio Toyoda pushes to rebuild the company's reputation for quality. Toyota recalled more than 10 million units in 2009 and 2010 for defects associated with unintended acceleration.
Toyota didn't provide estimates on the cost of the recall. The power window switches can be repaired in about an hour depending on the dealer's work schedule, the company said in a statement.
"The process to repair (the power window switch) is not an extensive one," spokeswoman Monika Saito said.
The automaker said driver's-side switches are prone to having a "notchy" or "sticky" feel. If commercial lubricants are applied to address the issue, the switch assembly could melt or emit smoke and in some cases cause a fire.
The company said it's conducting the recall to inspect the vehicles and apply special fluorine grease to the switch.
Toyota said it hasn't received any reports of injuries or accidents because of the issue. The first time the problem was reported was in September 2008 in the United States, Saito said.
About 1.4 million vehicles in China and 1.39 million in Europe are also affected, said Joichi Tachikawa, a Tokyo-based spokesman.
The firm is also recalling 650,000 vehicles in Australia and Asia, 490,000 in the Near and Middle East, and 330,000 elsewhere, said Shino Yamada, another spokeswoman for Toyota.
Koichi Sugimoto, senior analyst at BNP Paribas Securities in Tokyo, said: "Of course, 7 million vehicles is a huge number, but it's probably not going to be like last time when customers in the United States avoided buying Toyota cars. This sounds like a completely different scale from then."
Another securities analyst, Satoru Takada of Toward the Infinite World Inc., said: "Even if you calculate the cost in a very simple way, it's going to be significant. What comes with standardizing platforms and parts is that these recalls become immense."
The move comes a day after Toyota reported that its sales fell 49 percent year-on-year in China in September. Japanese car brands have suffered as a result of an outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment in China in response to a territorial dispute between the two countries.
In 1996, Ford Motor Co. pulled back 8 million vehicles to replace defective ignition switches linked to engine fires.