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2015 Chevy Colorado wins Motor Trend ‘Truck of the Year’

Motor Trend has given the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado its “Truck of the Year” award.

The new mid-size Colorado was introduced as an alternative to the ever-increasing size of pickup trucks.

The Colorado and its GMC sibling, the Canyon, have focused new attention on the dormant mid-size truck segment.

The two GM trucks are large enough to get the job done, but small enough to fit in most garages.

Ford F-150 Named Truck of Texas

The all-new Ford F-150 was named Truck of Texas at the 2014 Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Truck Rodeo.
Sixty auto writers drove 75 vehicles on and off road for two days Oct. 9-10 at the Knibbe Ranch outside San Antonio to choose the Truck of Texas. This year’s Texas Truck Rodeo, which was sponsored by the Steel Market Development Institute, also saw the 2015 Lincoln MKC take the CUV of Texas; the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee capture the SUV of Texas title for an unprecedented fifth straight year; and Ford being named the Truck Line of
Doug Scott, marketing manager of Ford’s truck group, said, “This is a significant honor, one of the three big ones along with the Motor Trend and North American Truck of the year awards. Our entire truck team is proud and
honored to win the Truck of Texas trophy.”
Winning the Compact Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) title was the 2015 Honda CR-V Touring; the 2015 Subaru
Outback 2.5i Premium was named the Mid-size CUV; the 2015 Kia Sedona SX was named Full-size CUV; and the 2015 Lincoln MKC was named Luxury CUV.
The 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk was named Compact Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV); the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4×4 was named Mid-size SUV;
the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD was named Full-size SUV; and the 2015 Range Rover Evoque 5-Door was named Compact Luxury SUV.
The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit EcoDiesel 4×4 was named Mid-size Luxury SUV; and the 2015 GMC Yukon Denali was named Full-size Luxury SUV. The 2015 Jeep Wrangler was named Off-road SUV.
The mid-size Pickup Truck title was won by the 2015 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab; and the full-size Pickup truck was the 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch. Luxury Pickup Truck was the 2015 Ford F-150 Platinum; and Heavy Duty
Pickup Truck was the 2015 Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn. Off-road Pickup Truck was the 2015 Ram Power Wagon.
Commercial Vehicle was the 2015 Ford Transit
250. Other winners in the competition included: Best Connectivity, Chrysler Group’s UConnect Access; Best Powertrain, Chrysler Eco Diesel Engine; and Best
Technology, 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch high- strength military-grade aluminum body.

Five Million Ford F-Series Super Duties sold

The 5 millionth Ford S-Series Super Duty will roll of the assembly line at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant next month.

The F-Series Super Duty, which has models ranging from the F-250 to the F-550, debuted in 1999.

Back in 1999, the F-350 could tow up to 14,600 pounds. Today, the F-450 has a standard tow rating of 31,200 pounds, using the Society of Automotive Engineeers J2807 standards.

Toyota introduces 2015 Tundra Bass Pro Shops off-road edition

Gulf States Toyota introduced a special Bass Pro Shops edition of the 2015 Tundra at the State Fair of Texas. The Bass Pro package includes 20-inch matte black wheels, an all-terrain upgrade, custom Bass Pro floor mats, Bass Pro decals, oval step tubes, a spray-on bedliner, pocketed fender flares and a stainless steel exhaust tip.

The new Tundra will be available only in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

To learn more about the new Bass Pro Shops Tundra, visit

VW enters electric vehicle segment with 2015 e-Golf

egolfVolkswagen enters the electric vehicle segment for 2015 with the e-Golf, a versatile EV with zero tailpipe emissions.
The drivetrain consists of a kWh lithium-ion battery and an electric motor with 199 pound-feet of torque. A 7.2 kW onboard charger is standard.
VW is also offering a roadside assistance plan to help customers with range anxiety, or the fear or running out of charge before arriving home or at a destintation. The e-Golf has a range of 70 to 90 miles in normal operation, and up to 100 miles in an ECO-plus mode. A standard fast charger can charge the battery to 80 percent in just 30 minutes.
The e-Golf goes on sale at participating dealers in November, starting at $35,445 for the fully equipped SEL Premium model.
Volkswagen has a diverse lineup for 2015, including the Jetta, VW’s best selling model. The Jetta is redesigned for 2015 and comes with a gasoline or diesel engine. A hybrid model is in the works.
The Jetta diesel gets up to 46 mpg on the highway with a manual transmission. Diesel Jetta pricing will start at $22,740, while the base gasoline model starts at $16,215.

Cadillac, Jaguar, Lexus, Lincoln named to J.D. Power ‘Customer Champions’ List

Four automakers made the 2014 J.D. Power Customer Champions list, including Cadillac, Jaguar, Lexus and Lincoln. J.D. Power, in conjunction with FORTUNE Custom Publishing, today recognized 50 companies that demonstrate the ability to provide the highest level of customer service based on their most important critics — their customers.
The J.D. Power 2014 Customer Champions were selected based on customer feedback attesting to their service excellence. These companies were the highest performers among more than 600 evaluated brands across nine industries, based on their performance in five key areas identified as the J.D. Power 5 Ps: People, Presentation, Price, Process and Product.
Selection is based on an independent and unbiased evaluation of customer feedback, opinions and perceptions gathered from J.D. Power studies conducted in the United States in 2013. Those recognized as a 2014 Customer Champion represent the highest-performing companies in terms of providing customer service excellence.

The 2014 Customer Champions list includes the following companies:
Amica Mutual
AvMed Health Plans
Bangor Savings Bank
Beneficial Mutual Savings Bank
Boost Mobile
Capital District Physicians
Clark Public Utilities
Clay Electric Cooperative
Drury Hotels
First Citizens Bancorp
Four Seasons
Frost Bank
Good Neighbor Pharmacy
Homewood Suites
Independent Health Association
Jackson EMC
JetBlue Airways
Neiman Marcus
NJM Insurance Co.
Publix (Retail and Pharmacy)
Quicken Loans
The Ritz-Carlton
Saks Fifth Avenue
Sawnee EMC
SECO Energy
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative
Southwest Airlines
Staybridge Suites
Straight Talk
Tennessee Farm Bureau
Texas Farm Bureau
U.S. Cellular
Union First Market Bank
United Community Bank

Subaru reveals 2015 Legacy at Chicago Auto Show

Subaru celebrated the 25th Anniversary of its flagship Legacy mid-size sedan by introducing the 2015 model at the Chicago Auto Show  last week. The 2015 Legacy is the “most stylish and technologically advanced ever” and a “huge step forward” for the brand, said Tom Doll, president and COO of Subaru of America.

The Legacy also remains the only car in its class with standard All-Wheel Drive. The Legacy offers a choice of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder Boxer engines and has a standard CVT transmission. The 4-cylinder Legacy will return mileage estimates of 26 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The 6-cylinder model also sees fuel economy improve by 10 percent, with estimated ratings of 20 mpg city and 28 mpg on the highway.

The new 2015 Legacy begins arriving in dealerships this summer.

Other 2015 offerings at the Chicago show included the new Chevrolet City Express van aimed at small business owners, the Kia Soul electric vehicle, the Kia Optima Hybrid and a diesel-powered Nissan Frontier mid-size truck.

In other news from the Chicago Auto Show, Ford introduced a snow plow option on the new 2015 F-150 pickup truck. The new snow plow option generated interest in Chicago, where the temperature didn’t climb above 10 degrees during the show’s media day.

Chevy begins shipping 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe

Chevrolet today began shipping the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe to dealers across the country.

“It’s an amazing sight to see the transporters filled with Stingrays heading to customers in all corners of the country,” said Dave Tatman, plant manager of General Motors’ Bowling Green Assembly plant.

The Bowling Green Assembly has produced approximately 1,000 Corvette Stingrays for customer deliveries. Most of these vehicles are expected to be delivered to dealers within the next few weeks. To expedite delivery, vehicles may be shipped out of build sequence, which is a normal part of any new vehicle launch.

The Bowling Green facility underwent a $131-million upgrade to support production of the Corvette Stingray, including approximately $52 million for a new body shop to manufacture the car’s all-new aluminum frame in-house for the first time.

The lightweight aluminum frame is the foundation for the most powerful standard Corvette ever, with an SAE-certified 455 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, and 460 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque with the available performance exhaust system. It is also the most capable standard Corvette ever, with Z51-equipped models able to sprint from 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds, run the quarter-mile in 12 seconds at 119 mph, achieve 1.03g in cornering grip and stop from 60 mph in 107 feet.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray is the seventh generation of the Corvette, which has been built exclusively at the Bowling Green plant since June 1981.

Pricing for the 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe starts at $51,995 including destination. The Convertible is priced at $56,995 including destination. Production of the Stingray Convertible will begin by the end of this year.

Ford’s high tech dirt

Ford Motor Company is using high tech cameras to virtually eliminate microscopic dirt that may sneak into the company’s paint chambers.

It’s an industry first dirt detection system that uses high-res cameras to generate a 3D image of every vehicle so Ford can identify and eliminate dirt particles smaller than a grain of salt on vehicle paint surfaces

Ford data show the new automated vision system has led to an 82 percent improvement in combined paint quality and customer satisfaction metrics for surface finish within one year.

The digital imaging system analyzes more than 3,000 images in 15 seconds to identify dirt particles. Previously, paint inspections were based solely on the human eye.

This year, the dirt detection technology launches at three more Ford assembly plants in North America, followed by two additional assembly plants in 2014.

New Ford F-Series models are the latest vehicles to benefit from the new dirt detecting technology.

“This system ensures better paint jobs and surface finishes for Ford customers around the world,” said Tom Dougan, project manager, global paint applications at Ford.

BMW introduces electric car

BMW today introduced the all-new BMW i3 electric car, scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. market in the second quarter of 2014. The i3 starts with a base MSRP of $41,350, before any federal or state incentives.

According to BMW, the i3 will be able to travel 80 to 100 miles on a charge. This can be increased by up to approximately 12 percent in ECO PRO mode and by the same amount again in ECO PRO+ mode. It is able to recharge in 3 hours with the use of a 220V Level 2, 32-amp J1772 charger.  The SAE DC Combo Fast Charging, which charges the BMW i3 up to 80 percent in 20 minutes, and 100 percent in 30, is optional.

In order to reduce range anxiety, a rear-mounted 650cc, 34 hp, two-cylinder, gasoline-powered Range Extender generator is available, which roughly doubles the vehicle’s range. When the battery gets to a certain level, the Range Extender starts and maintains the battery’s current state of charge. The Range Extender never directly drives the vehicle’s wheels. The Range Extender adds roughly 330 lbs. to the vehicle curb weight and has a fuel capacity of 2.4 gallons.

According to a BMW press release, the concept behind the BMW i3 was designed from the outset to incorporate an all-electric drive system.

The car will be comprised of two modules; the Life Module, and the Drive Module. Think of the Life Module as the passenger cabin, or greenhouse. It is the first-ever mass produced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) passenger cell in the automotive business, and is a big factor in the cars efficiency. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic is equally as strong as steel, while being 50 percent lighter, and 30 percent lighter than aluminum. The result is an electric car that weighs about 2,700 lbs.

The aluminum Drive Module consists of the 22-kWh, 450 lb. lithium-ion battery, the electric drive train, MacPherson strut and 5-link rear  suspension system and structural and crash components. The battery is mounted in the rear close to the drive wheels for better performance and traction.

There is no space-consuming transmission tunnel running through the center of the car, which helps give the BMW i3 the interior space of the BMW 3 Series, while only having the footprint of the much smaller BMW 1 Series.

The interior is made using high quality renewable sources and recycled materials.