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A BELOVED AMERICAN PONY GETS A LITTLE GREENER

Ford Motor Company and Lear Corporation will mark an automotive milestone in August when production of soy-based foam for seats begins in the 2008 model year Ford Mustang.

America’s beloved pony car will use the industry’s first soy-based flexible foam in the seat backs and seat cushions beginning in August at the Auto Alliance International factory in Flat Rock, Michigan, home of the Ford Mustang.

HOW TO GET YOUR PROMOTIONAL MESSAGES TO YOUR AUDIENCE

Whether you contact your prospects via direct mail, print advertising, e-mail, sales calls, podcasts...no matter how you contact them, it’s important that you contact them frequently, according to a recent article by Larry Merserearu—small business consultant, speaker and author in the field of marketing and promotion.

AUTOMOTIVE ELECTRONICS TO REACH $52 BILLION, SAYS LATEST REPORT

The world automotive electrical products market is projected to grow at a compounded annual rate (CAR) of 3.9% during the analysis period 2001–2010 and reach about $52 billion by 2010, according to Global Industry Analysts. According to the company’s latest report on the automotive market, Europe, accounting for an estimated share of 27.83% in 2006, constitutes the largest market, while, in terms of growth rate, Asia-Pacific and Latin America are forecast to surpass all other regions.

STUDY SHOWS MORE CONSUMERS CONSIDER CLEAN DIESEL

As consumers become more realistic about the fuel-efficiency capabilities of hybrid vehicles, the percentage of new-vehicle shoppers who are considering a hybrid has declined, according to recently released J.D. Power and Associates' 2007 Alternative Powertrain Study. Their study examines the percentage of consumers that are considering purchasing either hybrid or clean-diesel powertrains.

HYBRID SUPRA WINS ENDURANCE RACE CONVINCINGLY

Team Toyota’s Denso-backed SARD Supra HV-R scored an impressive victory at the Tokachi 24-hour endurance race in Japan on July 15 and 16. News has already started circulating about the achievement as this feat marks the first time a hybrid car has won such a contest. Even more notable was the convincing fashion in which it dominated: 19 laps ahead of its nearest competitor. Starting from the pole position the car accumulated 1,960 miles and 616 laps without yielding its front-running slot.

THE FUTURE OF AUTOMOTIVE FEATURES, SAYS ICONOCULTURE

Mobile consumers are quickly moving beyond traditional surprise-and-delight automotive features and asking themselves, “Why aren’t cars better equipped to accommodate today’s mobile technology?” A recent article by Rob Tregenza, vice president of consumer strategist, transportation/travel/leisure and sports/fitness for Iconoculture, discusses why consumer demands for access to personal media are set to reshape the future of automotive features.

VM MOTORI TO PRODUCE NEW V6 TURBO DIESEL

General Motors recently announced that it has reached a joint venture agreement with Penske Corporation to purchase 50% equity of VM Motori S.p.A, a designer and manufacturer of diesel engines based in Cento, Italy.

This investment builds on GM’s existing relationship with VM Motori, GM’s diesel expertise worldwide, and its strong relationship with Isuzu. 

WHAT CARS ARE BUYERS MOST INTERESTED IN? CLICK HERE

Kelley Blue Book recently revealed the most-researched new cars on its website during the first half of 2007. Information was collected among more than 70 million unique visitors to www.kbb.com.  Consumers typically turn to Internet sites to research products, in this case new cars, prior to making their purchases. Highly researched vehicles, therefore, typically translate into top-selling vehicles.

 

MAZDA INTRODUCES PERSONAL SHOPPER

As the Internet becomes an even more integral part of the car-buying experience, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has introduced a tool that will help consumers purchase a Mazda easier than ever before. According to PRNewswire, the Mazda Shopping Assistant program will be “the first in the industry to provide potential buyers with an actual quote—from the customer’s choice of dealer—for the vehicle they have chosen.”

CONVERTIBLE ADDED TO ROLLS-ROYCE LINEUP

According to Ward’s Auto, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unveiled its new Phantom Drophead Convertible in France. It will be handcrafted at the automaker’s headquarters in Goodwood, United Kingdom. The first vehicles are expected to be delivered in late summer.

The Drophead will be a two-door, four-passenger vehicle, measuring 220.8 inches in length and 78.2 inches in width, with a wheelbase of 130.7 inches. It’s powered by a 48-valve V12 engine, putting out 453 hp and 531 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,350 rpm. 

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