During the Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit, the final six finalists were named for the 2014 North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.
A jury of 48 automotive journalists selected the Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and the Mazda3 for Car of the Year, as well as the Acura MDX, Chevrolet Silverado and Jeep Cherokee for Truck/Utility vehicle of the Year.
All of the vehicles tested had to be new or redesigned for at the least the 2013 year to be in consideration. After a second round of judging, four American vehicles are still in contention with three of them being from General Motors.
Last year’s awards went to a General Motors product as well, the Cadillac ATS; while the Ram 1500 came away with the truck award.
The winners will be announced on January 13th on press day at the North American International Auto Show.
It’s been a big day for General Motors with a changing of the guard announcement at the top of the food chain. It was announced that the Chairman and CEO of General Motors, Dan Akerson was stepping down to be replaced by Mary Barra, the executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.
The switch will occur on January 15th, 2014, making Barra the first female CEO in the global automotive industry.
Since taking over on September 1st, 2010, Akerson, 65 led General Motors to a record $7.6-billion in profit off of $150.3-billion in sales. It was a big turnaround for the Detroit-based automaker who beforehand dealt with the economic downtown in the industry and the recall crisis.
Akerson sped up his departure after his wife was recently diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer.
“I will leave with great satisfaction in what we have accomplished, great optimism over what is ahead and great pride that we are restoring General Motors as America’s standard bearer in the global auto industry,” said Akerson.
Barra, 51 has some big shoes to fill, but with 33 years of experience at General Motors, she’s up for the task.
“With an amazing portfolio of cars and trucks and the strongest financial performance in our recent history, this is an exciting time at today’s GM,” said Barra. “I’m honored to lead the best team in the business and to keep our momentum at full speed.”
Barra’s career began as an intern on the factory floor, but quickly rose up the ranks to head product development and quality. Her three decades of experience in the manufacturing, engineering and management makes her a worthy candidate to succeed Akerson.
The newest Lexus F model will debut at the January 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Engineered from scratch, one performance layer at a time, the newest F model promises a bold, gritty, experience synonymous with the famed Lexus F heritage.
The Lexus press conference will be shown live online at www.lexus-int.com.
DETROIT, MI - The top-selling car in America will soon get an update.
Toyota says it's a couple of weeks away from unveiling changes to the midsize Camry sedan, which has only seen a modest sales gain this year.
Bill Fay, head of the Toyota division in the U.S., says the update includes making the front-end stronger to pass a new crash test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Fay isn't disclosing when the revamped Camry might go on sale. He says engineers are still working on the car.
Through November, Camry sales grew only 1.3 per cent to nearly 379,000. Sales for its main rival, the Honda Accord, are up almost 11 per cent to over 324,000.
Fay says the changes will help Camry in the most competitive segment in the U.S.
On April 17th, the Ford Mustang turns 50 and to celebrate that accomplishment, Ford has unveiled its new sixth-generation milestone edition. As part of their “One Ford” plan, Ford simultaneously unveiled the Mustang globally in six different cities including Barcelona, Dearborn, Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai and Sydney.
“From day one, we knew if we were going to build a new Mustang, we had to do it right,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “We built a new Mustang from the ground up that is quicker, better-looking, more refined and more efficient, without losing any of the raw appeal that people have associated with Mustang for decades.”
And that they did making the new 2015 Mustang lower, wider, sleeker and more modernized than the outgoing model. You can argue that it was made smaller to cater to the global market and you would be right, but the Mustang still boasts plenty of power that made it the American icon that it is today.
To acknowledge the Mustang’s history and tradition, each 2015 model will have a badge on the instrument panel that shows a galloping Mustang with the words “Mustang – Since 1964.”
When the Mustang becomes available, customers will be able to choose between three engine choices: the 5.0-litre V-8 (more than 420 hp and 396 lb.-ft. of torque), the 3.7-litre V-6 (more than 305 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque) and the all-new 2.3-litre EcoBoost (numbers to still come). The V-8 and V-6 are what you would expect to be offered, but a lot of buzz and intrigue will surround the combination of a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine with the powerful American muscle car.
“This EcoBoost engine delivers where a Mustang driver expects it to with a broad, flat torque curve that pours out when you stand on it for easy passing or hustling down a twisty road,” said Pericak.
Ford is featuring an all-new integral-link independent rear suspension for the first time to go with an all-new front suspension. Everything in the suspension has been modified for a combination of high-performance and handling improvement leading to a more refined ride.
Catering to new markets in Europe and Asia, the Mustang had its roof lowered 1.5-inches, the hood 1.3-inches and the dashboard by more than 2.5-inches. These reductions along with the return of Mustang fastback create a smaller, sleeker look to cater to a global marketplace.
The new rear suspension even contributes to more shoulder and hip room for passengers, as well more practicality in its trunk that can now accommodate at least two golf bags.
From what we see and hear, large improvements have been made to the interior. Many new technologies have been added that have never been in previous Mustangs including Push Button Start, SYNC, MyKey, a new Shaker Pro audio system, adaptive cruise control and collision warning and some Track Apps.
There’s been a long wait for this sixth-generation Ford Mustang and we will have to wait a little longer until it gets to the showroom level. There’s hasn’t been an exact announcement when, but we’re estimating that it will go on sale in the later part of next year.
It took an extra five weeks, but the AJAC “Best New” winners were announced today at a news conference at the Toronto Congress Centre in Toronto. The twelve new winners were released and now they’ve all been entered to win the 2014 Canadian Car of the Year and Utility Vehicle of the Year.
Before we announce the winners, let’s get down to how they were scored. Close to 80 Canadian journalists came to 'TestFest' in Niagara Falls, Ontario to test and score vehicles in their assigned groups. These tests were conducted through back-to-back ride routes of the vehicles in their respective groups. Scoring was based on styling, occupant environment, performance and vehicle dynamics. Once the scores were inputted, the international accounting firm KPMG tabulated them through a scoring system that takes account the price of each vehicle.
Now on to the 2014 winners:
BEST NEW SMALL CAR (under $21K) – Mazda3
BEST NEW SMALL CAR (over $21K) – Mazda3 Sport
BEST NEW FAMILY CAR (under $30K) – Kia Soul
BEST NEW FAMILY CAR (over $30K) – Mazda6
BEST NEW LUXURY CAR (under $50K) – Lexus IS 350 RWD
BEST NEW LUXURY CAR (over $50K) – Infiniti Q50 Hybrid
BEST NEW SPORTS/PERFORMANCE (over $50K) – Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
BEST NEW PRESTIGE CAR (over $75K) – Mercedes-Benz S-Class
BEST NEW SUV/CUV (under $35k) – Jeep Cherokee
BEST NEW SUV/CUV ($35k-$60k) – Kia Sorento
BEST NEW SUV/CUV (over $60k) – Acura MDX
BEST PICKUP – GMC Sierra
It was a great showing for Mazda that won in all three categories it entered in. While Kia won in 50 per cent of its categories entered in taking home two AJAC awards. General Motors was the only other automaker to scoop up multiple awards from their Chevrolet and GMC brands. Rounding out the other winners were Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Jeep and Acura. It was nice to see Infiniti, Jeep and GMC take home some prizes as all three have not had a winner in over a decade.
It was a victorious day for many automakers, especially Mazda, but now the tide shifts to February 13th when the Car of the Year winners are finally announced at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto. For the past three years a vehicle worth under $30K has won the Canadian Car of the Year, so we will see if that pattern changes.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fans of "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker erected a makeshift memorial near the site of his fatal automobile crash, as investigators worked to determine the cause of the fiery weekend wreck that also claimed the life of his friend.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said speed was a factor in Saturday's one-car crash, though it will take time to determine how fast the car was going.
Roger Rodas, Walker's friend and financial, also died, according to Walker's publicist, Ame Van Iden. She said Walker was a passenger in the 2005 red Porsche Carrera GT when they drove away from a fundraiser in the community of Valencia, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Sheriff's deputies found the car engulfed in flames when they arrived at the site of the crash, near the fundraiser at Rodas' sport car dealership. Officials have not identified either person found in the car.
Because Walker is so closely associated with the underground culture of street racing portrayed in the popular film franchise, the accident had an eerie quality — a tragic end for a Hollywood hero of speed.
On Sunday, fans of Walker, 40, gathered to leave flowers, candles and memorabilia from the action movies. His "Fast & Furious" co-star Tyrese Gibson broke down when he visited the crash site.
"Paul is the heartbeat of this franchise and we're gonna see to it that his energy and presence lives on forever," Gibson later posted on his Instagram account.
Sheriff's deputy Peter Gomez said investigators were trying to determine how fast the car was traveling and what caused it to go out of control, including whether the driver was distracted or something in the road prompted him to swerve.
After the Porsche crashed into a light pole and tree, it burst into flames. The downed light pole had a speed limit sign of 45 mph.
Walker rode the "Fast & Furious" franchise to fame, starring in all but one of the six action blockbusters, beginning with the first film in 2001. He had been on break from shooting the seventh installment; production began in September and while much of the film has been shot, it's incomplete.
Universal Pictures has not said what it plans to do with "Fast & Furious 7," which currently is slated for release in July.
Walker and Rodas had thrown a fundraiser benefiting victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines. The event was held by Reach Out Worldwide, a charity Walker founded in 2010 to aid victims of natural disasters.
The fundraiser and toy drive took place at Rodas' custom car shop, Always Evolving, in an area of warehouses and office parks. Rodas, 38, and Walker co-owned an auto racing team. Rodas competed in 10 Pirelli World Challenge GTS races this year, the racing organization said in a statement.
Attendees rushed to the crash, which was nearby but out of sight, to try to put out the flames with fire extinguishers.
One attendee of the event, Jim Torp, said he heard the loud sound of a car's engine revving and then an explosion. Walker and Rodas planned a quick ride, Torp said.
"The last words Paul said to anybody were, 'Hey, I'll be back in five minutes. All right?' And that was it," according to Torp.
Torp said Rodas had a young son, whom he tried to stop from running to the accident scene, but could not catch him in time.
Walker left behind two completed films. He stars in the upcoming Hurricane Katrina drama "Hours," which Lionsgate's Pantelion Films is to release Dec. 13. He also stars in "Brick Mansions," a remake of the French action film "District B13" that Relativity plans to release next year.
He is survived by his 15-year-old daughter.
You shouldn’t just be picking any winter tire, but one that will last throughout these tough Canadian winters. A good option is to go to your local tire store and seek what specials they have, but an alternative would be to go the classified route.
A popular classified choice is Kijiji, who can provide you with options from new, previously owned or gently used tires. Kijiji has more than 30,000 tire listings online, so they must be doing something right. As for winter tires, those ads have increased by 33 per cent from 2011 to 2012.
So before you run out and buy a set of winter tires, Kijiji has put together some key tips including how to get safe and durable tires at a good price without compromising road safety:
Check for wear and tear. It is recommended to check the general wear and tear of tires. Check the entire circumference of your tire’s tread and note if there are any unusual wear patterns at extremities (tire lacking air), in the middle (tire too inflated) or on a side (which could indicate a problem of permutation or alignment).
Check if tires are at the end of their life cycle. There are three ways to do this:
1. The traditional way – Using a quarter, it is possible to determine if your tires are still in shape for another season, which represents approximately 10,000 km. Insert the quarter in the tire grooves. If the tip of the caribou’s muzzle is not visible, then the tires are still good to go.
2. Indication from the manufacturer – All tires have a wear indicator. The latter is a small rubber square elevation located inside of the main grooves. When the main grooves are worn to the point of being the same height as the indicator (1.6 mm or 2/32 of an inch), it is the time to change those tires.
3. Using a Tire Groove Depth Gage – The tire groove depth gauge is a small tool to measure the groove’s thickness in 1/32 inches or in millimeters. It is also the most accurate way to determine whether or not it is the time to buy new tires. It is strongly recommended to change tires when the groove is less than 4millimetres high (5/32 inch), but the law allows them to be kept until the groove reaches 1.6 mm (2/32 inch).
Check the tires’ date of production. Even if the tire grooves remain deep enough for operational use in winter conditions, when your tires are older than 6 years, their life cycle is over. If you have any doubts on the status of a tire, please consult a specialist or your dealer for professional advice tailored to your needs.
For more information on tire listings currently on Kijiji, visit Kijiji.ca.
The answer is yes, no and maybe! Your credit score has for many years been used by traditional lenders such as banks to put you into a category of risk. This risk category has come to be numbers driven, especially in the age of the internet when car loan applications are delivered online and approvals spit out according to a lender’s algorithm. What this means is that those lenders that only use a numerically based credit scoring approach, consistently will refuse your application for a car loan if you have a low credit score.
There is a solution to being refused for a car loan by a traditional lender. Bank alternative lenders or sub prime lenders have filled the gap for consumers who do not fit into the traditional lender criteria. These lenders have developed programs for auto loan financing that do not base lending decisions strictly on a credit score. Bank alternative lenders focus less on a credit score and more on an applicant’s current credit status. They look at current bill payment history, employment and housing history. For some clients, the requirement for a down payment or security deposit may also be a condition of the lending agreement. Bank alternative lenders assess their lending risk on a customer’s ability to repay the loan, rather than just their credit score.
Benefits of Obtaining a Bank Alternative Car Loan and Your Credit Score
Obtaining a bank alternative auto loan has its benefits. The approved loan enables a consumer to re-build their credit by making on time and regular payments. Bank alternative lenders have an obligation to the consumer to report their payment history to credit bureau reporting agencies. By keeping their loan obligation, consumers can develop a favourable payment history that will be reported to their credit bureau and assist in raising their credit score.
A bank alternative loan approval will also improve a person’s credit score by limiting the number of inquiries into their credit history.Each time a consumer applies for credit, the potential lender of the financing will pull a credit bureau report against them. If consumers plan on shopping around for a vehicle, a pre-approval commitment will prevent the need to pull a credit bureau report every time they find a vehicle they like. Credit inquiries are kept on a credit bureau for a minimum of two years, and the more inquiries made on a consumer’s credit report, the greater the negative impact on their credit history report. Multiple inquiries can leave lenders with the conclusion that a consumer is shopping for credit and continues the process because they’re being declined.
There are bank alternative lenders such as TREND Financial that provide auto loan financing to consumers across Ontario. TREND Financial will work with consumers to improve their credit history by providing loans that are manageable and if maintained, will help in the credit re-building process. TREND Financial has an obligation to its clients to report the credit payment history to the credit bureau reporting agencies. Where in Canada, there are two agencies that record credit history, Equifax and TransUnion. Re-building a credit score can take time but with an auto loan designed for a low credit score, a bank alternative approval can be the first step in the credit score re-building process.