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Some of the most famous cars in the history of the auto industry were some of the cheapest ones. The Ford Model T, the Volkswagen Beetle, the Citroen 2CV and the BMC Mini were so successful mainly because they were so affordable.

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Every single year, for almost 40 years, politicians and regulators have written piles of laws and regulations to control the automobile. And yet, there's no end in sight. Right now they're working on regulations that will take us out to 2025 and beyond. Will it ever end?

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No one wants to touch it. Not Toyota, not NHTSA, not any politician. But the issue has to be raised. Driver error is most likely at the root of these sudden unintended acceleration incidents.

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With all the attention being lavished on electric cars, you'd think the salvation of the planet is nigh at hand. But don't be duped by all the EV hype. It's going to take decades before they catch on – if ever.

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One of the more intriguing tidbits that dribbled out of Chrysler's grueling 8-hour press conference on Wednesday is that the company is considering getting back into the heavy truck business. They're not talking about heavy duty pick-ups, they're talking about 18-wheelers.

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Join John McElroy and his journalist colleagues for an all-new LIVE webcast discussion with Tom Stephens, GM Vice Chairman of Global Product Development. First, you'll get to see a LIVE taping of Autoline Detroit starting at 10AM EST, then we will hand the mic over to the audience, and Tom Stephens will answer your questions coming through the website and our hotline 1-620-288-6546 (1-620-AUTOLIN).

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In a shocking development Toyota faces a lawsuit filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission that seeks to ban the import of all hybrids to the American market. Toyota is being sued by Paice LLC for patent infringement on its hybrid system.

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In this week's episode of Autoline After Hours, John McElroy, newly minted Christian publishing mogul Jason Vines and Peter "The Autoextremist" DeLorenzo gather for another unusually frank discussion about the motoring industry's ups and downs.

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The future looks so bright for the used car market that I'm almost tempted to try and get into that business myself. Even though car dealers are going through tough times trying to sell new vehicles, they are going to more than make up for that on their used car lots.

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There are all kinds of ways to boost the fuel efficiency of a vehicle. Hybrids are becoming more and more popular. Clean diesels seemed poised to make major inroads in the market. And even though they're a ways down the road, hydrogen fuel cells sure look promising.

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Every single day, the United States ships $600,000,000 out of the country. That's what it costs us to pay for the oil we buy from other countries at $50 a barrel. It is the single biggest cause of our massive trade deficit.

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I just experienced one of the most amazing sound systems that that I ever heard in a car. What makes it so amazing is that it doesn't use a power booster, or equalizer, or better speakers, or anything like that. Instead, it's all done with software.

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There's no question that the Detroit-based auto industry needs a lot of help. There's a 100-year history of how it got into the problems it's in, and some of those problems are beyond management's control.

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Nobody reading this blog needs to be told how much trouble Detroit is in. Whether it's the Detroit Three, the city of Detroit, or the greater Detroit area, the story's the same: we're in trouble!

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When Toyota's Prius first hit Japanese showrooms in 1997, I was highly skeptical that hybrids would catch on. Not only was the technology really expensive, I thought the nickel-metal hydride batteries would prove to be the Achilles Heel in the system. Sooner or later you'd be facing an expensive replacement bill, right?

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Today at 12:00PM EST, John McElroy of Autoline Daily is hosting a special live webcast with guest Ford Motor Co. Chief Economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick. She and John will be discussing her forecast for the American economy and outlook on the automotive market. We've embedded the live webcast after the jump, as viewers will be able to participate in the discussion, submitting comments and questions throughout the hour-long chat. Follow the jump to join the discussion.

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Earlier this week President Obama instructed the EPA to determine whether it should grant California a waiver to set its own CO2 standards for cars. It's a hugely controversial issue, and one that's fraught with major problems for the auto industry.

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In all this debate about whether we should provide the Big Three with a bridge loan, not enough attention has been devoted to their impact on our national defense. I'd hate to see this country ever get involved in a total global war again, but I especially shudder to think it might happen without the manufacturing capability that General Motors, Ford and Chrysler provide to the United States.

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To hear Ford's CTO tell it, all these painful layoffs and budget cuts going on at the company can actually be beneficial. "It gets you really focused on what's really necessary," says Gerhard Schmidt, the Chief Technology Officer at Ford.

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