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QUALITY PROGRAMS—WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?

You may be asking yourself how a quality system can be beneficial to you. Any company will benefit from greater consistency (repeatability) in its processes, identifying potential mistakes before they become an unwanted expense or result in the loss of a customer. A key component of a quality system is the concept of continual improvement. Continual improvement includes a corrective action plan that serves to remedy the current problem and changes the system (if needed) to prevent the mistake from reoccurring.

HOW FAST CAN A FUEL CELL GO?

Ford Motor Company is planning to take its 10 years of hydrogen research expertise to the Bonneville Salt Flats this August. The company will attempt to set the world land-speed record in a hydrogen fuel-cell-powered Ford Fusion.

WILL TECHNOLOGY KILL OUR LOVE OF CARS?

According to Trends Magazine, the information highway will have a major impact on the automotive industry as we know it today. 

Last May, Avis began offering wireless Internet in vehicles it rents at locations in four major cities with plans to expand the service to seven other cities in the near future.

This past January, Ford announced a partnership with Microsoft to provide an in-car communications and entertainment system. They called it “Sync,” and it is based on the “Microsoft Auto” operating system.

CHRYSLER CONFIRMS CHALLENGER SRT-8

According to Ward’s Auto, Chrysler Group has confirmed that it will build a high-performance version of the Dodge Challenger. It is expected to launch sometime after the 2009-model base car rolls out. The SRT-8 Challenger will be based on the next-generation LX platform, the LY.

FORD'S V8 POWER WITH V6 FUEL ECONOMY

Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press believes that Ford’s recovery plan will gain some momentum from several new engine and transmission technologies that will dramatically improve the power and fuel economy of Ford vehicles. Combined, the systems could actually boost fuel economy by 20% or more and produce V6 engines with more power than some of the current V8s.

ON-TRACK RECORD TRANSLATES TO INCREASED SALES

Audi AG has been experiencing some increased sales, as well as increased transaction prices, due to the success on the racetrack, according to Ward’s Auto. For the past seven years, Audi has won the Le Mans and has “been the overwhelming factor in the ALMS since it entered the series in 2001.”

ETHANOL MAY CREATE MORE PROBLEMS THAN ONCE THOUGHT

As the automotive industry continues the debate regarding which alternative fuel should replace gasoline, some scientists have been studying the effects and environmental impacts of those alternatives in question. As Neil Winton of Detroit News Online states, “evidence continues to mount that car manufacturers are barking up the wrong tree with their push to convince motorists that ethanol-powered cars are a great way to pursue a green agenda.”

MITSUBISHI INTRODUCES TWIN-CLUTCH TRANSMISSION

According to Ward’s Auto and Automotive News, the next-generation Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution sport sedan will feature a dual clutch automatic transmission system. The Lancer Evo will go on sale in fall 2007 in Japan, and early 2008 in the United States.

MERCEDES-BENZ ANNOUNCES C-CLASS PRICING

Mercedes-Benz just announced pricing for its C class models, according to AutoWeek. The automaker actually cut the cost of the upper trim levels of the 2008 C class, but increased the base price by $1,500. The new C class will be available on August 7 in sport and luxury trim levels that feature suspension tuning and distinctive front ends, wheels and interior trim.

WHAT'S NEW FOR LINCOLN IN 2008?

According to The Car Connection, here is what's new for Lincoln in 2008:

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