Honda is altering its lending policies and setting up a $24-million compensation fund after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau charged that some of its dealers have engaged in discriminatory practices.
Even as some experts predict new car sales could top 16 million in 2014, there could be a storm brewing for maintaining current sales and inventory levels. According to Automotive News, consumers are buying new cars because it's easier to get a loan – even if that loan is for longer terms and to buyers with subprime credit – which, surprisingly, is considered anything below a 680 credit score.
Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is nothing if not cagey. When the CEO out-maneuvered the White House in 2009 to strike a great deal to take-over Chrysler with U.S. government loans, it was considered a forgone conclusion that he would eventually take the company public in an initial-public offering. Now, the CEO says an ipo is merely 50-50.
Automotive News reports a larger number of dealers are scaling back the markup on their finance and insurance products as well as aftermarket service plans in an effort to avoid the ire of regulators. There are no industry numbers on how many dealers use self-imposed caps on how much they can charge their customers for these services, but Automotive News polled dealers in an independent survey. Of those who responded, around two-thirds say they use caps, with two-thirds of those who do attributi
Commercial fleet vehicles typically have longer lifecycles, meaning they drive around for years with less advanced, less eco-friendly powertrains. ALTe (featured on TRANSLOGIC 102) hopes to change that by retrofitting light duty trucks with electric and plugin hybrid-electric technology.
GM Ventures, a division of GM that invests in startups, thinks it may have found a company that could hold the key to unlocking the Volt's value. Newark, California-based Envia Systems claims that they have technology to double the battery electric range of the Volt and reduce the cost of the battery by half.
Green transportation can come in all shapes and sizes. Most of what we've seen from automakers are generally small, svelte, and aerodynamic cars--the largest consumer plug-in to go on sale this year will be the Ford C-Max Energi--but other segments could stand to benefit from a little green power themselves. We're talking heavy-duty, purpose-built work trucks. Enter Auburn Hills-based plug-in hybrid conversion outfitter, ALTe.
As much as it pains me to say this: America needs a $1 a gallon gas tax. And right now would be the perfect time to start. Vote, pass, sign. Please. This gas tax could rebuild America, create jobs, help the auto industry, improve the environment and do something no politician likes to do: Pay as you go.
The Geneva Motor Show is one of the world's most tech-forward auto shows. There are nine separate areas devoted to different types of transportation; everything from concepts and new production debuts to tuners and electric cars make their way to Switzerland's capital every March. Autoblog alone covered almost 90 new vehicles. Here are some of our favorites: