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Autoline On Autoblog With John McElroy

The US auto market is on pace for record sales this year. But the percentage of the population buying new cars is declining. Why? Stagnant wages.

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Autoline On Autoblog With John McElroy

Last year Porsche sold 47,000 vehicles in the US market, with seven different models. Corvette sold 35,000 cars with one. Imagine what Corvette could do as a standalone brand with more models in its lineup.

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Scion introduced the new iA, its first four-door sedan, to the hordes of journalists at the Javits Center. And yes, the grille really is that questionable.

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The recent history of AMG is turning out amped-up versions of Mercedes-Benz offerings that would hardly ever be mistaken for their sedate counterparts. Sure, you'd need to pay attention to pick a G-Class from the G63 AMG, but dual side-pipes are a quick giveaway. The Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG is not only a new era in Affalterbach's attention on smaller cars, it is probably also the most subtle transformation we can think of in the line-up.

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Honda has indeed been promoting its new Earth Dreams family of fuel efficient engines, and with good reason. The next generation of the Japanese automaker's powerplants are said to deliver more power with less consumption. You can't go wrong there.

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The cinema world has lost one of its greats, as director Tony Scott was found dead yesterday in an apparent suicide. The 68-year-old director left notes in his car and office before jumping off the Vincent Thomas Bridge, which is located in San Pedro, CA. The bridge, which connects San Pedro to Terminal Island, spans Los Angeles Harbor and is 365 feet at its highest point, while State Route 47 is roughly 185 feet above water. Authorities have said evidence points to no other explanation than sui

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If you weren't aware already, the Woodward Dream Cruise is set to rumble through Detroit this Saturday. Our friends from Autoline have already made their way over to the famed stretch of road, and are bringing their Autoline After Hours show to you live from the street.

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A Quick Spin In A Chinese EV Raises Eyebrows And Expectations

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Ever since automobiles first appeared over 100 years ago, every automaker has tried to make them go faster. And they succeeded. Nearly every year, cars became more powerful with higher top-end speeds. But then, in the mid-1950s, we hit a plateau. The national speed limit was set at 70 miles per hour, and we've been stuck at that rate ever since. As a result, the automobile has made absolutely no progress as a transportation device in over half a century.

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It took ten months. It involved the best brains in the nation. They conducted exhaustive tests. And Lord knows what it all cost. But when it was over, the results were totally predictable. The U.S. Department of Transportation could find nothing wrong with Toyota vehicles that would cause them to suddenly accelerate out of control.

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Making Stronger Steel As Light As Aluminum

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The crew from Autoline are broadcasting live from the Detroit Auto Show today and tomorrow. The stream kicks off at noon EST and runs through 2:30 PM each day, with interviews, discussions and impressions from the show floor. Hit the jump for the live stream and keep your eyes peeled for an Autoblog staffer running by in the background.

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Test driving an electric car at an automaker's media event is one thing. Taking one home and living with it is a completely different experience. Nissan just loaned me a Leaf for several days and I came away with a new appreciation for the potential pitfalls and rewards of owning an EV.

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Signs To Watch For As The Cycle Repeats

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Autoline on Autoblog with John McElroy

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While every other major automaker in the world is pouring billions of dollars into research for electric vehicles, Fiat doesn't seem to be all that interested in electric cars. Instead, it's putting its efforts into producing cars that can run on compressed natural gas. Even more importantly, it's offering what it calls bi-fuel cars, which can run on both gasoline and CNG.

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Last year, when the federal government set Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards at roughly 35 miles per gallon by 2015, automakers squirmed uncomfortably. Though that should be an achievable target, it won't be easy. It means Americans will have to buy several million more small cars a year, they'll have to buy fewer trucks and SUVs, and they'll have to pay thousands of dollars more for the technology needed to meet those standards.

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Have you've been watching car prices lately? They seem to go up every month. Forget everything you've been reading about sales incentives, bargain leases or low-cost financing. They just mask the fact that automakers are quietly bumping up MSRP's every chance they get.

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Back when I was a UAW member many moons ago, earning my college tuition by busting my ass in the factories, the union was an incredibly powerful labor organization. With nearly 1.3 million members, it had enormous political clout in Washington, D.C. And thanks to a monopoly on automotive labor, it could bring the entire American auto industry to a grinding halt by merely snapping its fingers. But then the world changed.

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