Google and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), the utility serving Northern California, recently displayed its six Toyota Prius and Ford Escape hybrids that partly run on electricity provided by the power grid in order to achieve up to 75 mpg, according to a recent article by The New York Times. One of these vehicles was also modified to give back power to the power company while the vehicle is not in use.
Dealerships around the nation are receiving a growing number of Alternative Fuel Automobiles (AFA), claims a survey by R.L. Polk & Co. The continual rise in these vehicle configurations might signal a widespread acceptance of hybrids, diesels and other forms of energy.
Small-business owners showed neither excitement nor anxiety over the state of the economy in May, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Their outlook, as measured by the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, edged up four-tenths of a point from April to 97.2 (1986=100). The good news is that the NFIB says that there is no recession signal—its Index has been consistent in anticipating the approach of recessions throughout the organization's 34-year history.
June North American output will be unimpressive but give way to a major rebound in July, according to a recent WardsAuto.com article. June will finish with an estimated production of 1,425,251 cars and trucks, falling 6.3% short of 1,521,101 units last year. That means second-quarter 2007 will wrap up with a total production of 4,162,319 vehicles, which is a decline of 2.6% from last year's 4,274,339. First-half 2007 should finish near 8,099,673 vehicles, down 5.4% from the 8,561,519 built during the second half of 2006.
According to a recent WardsAuto.com article, the Hummer H2 and Chevrolet and GMC light-duty pickups built after 2009 will come available with an all-new 4.5L V8 Duramax turbodiesel. The new powerplant will be produced at General Motors Corp.'s Tonawanda, New York, plant.
According to Kelley Blue Book's 'Driving Performance' portion of its consumer automotive perceptions research study Brand Watch, Toyota and BMW each claimed two number-one spots for best driving performance. Toyota took the top spot in both the minivan and non-luxury SUV segments, while BMW was singled out for top honors among luxury SUVs and luxury sedans, according to its latest results.
Imagine a fullsize street diesel pickup running a quarter-mile drag race in 10 seconds while achieving speeds of around 130 mph, or pulling a 36,000-pound "sled" on a 300-foot clay dirt track in 13 seconds. Next, imagine the same guy who owns that diesel pickup driving it home and using it for everyday driving. This scenario describes a growing segment of die-hard diesel enthusiasts who are using their diesel-powered pickups for more than just everyday hauling and towing.
SEMA members now have exclusive access to the 2007 Trends and Forecasts Quarterly Update - Q1, the latest update to the popular Trends and Forecasts series of reports, as an additional benefit to being a SEMA member. This most recent edition provides an industry overview of relevant developments and trends in the automotive industry during the first three months of 2007. In this report, which can be downloaded on www.sema.org/research, you will find:
* New-vehicle sales data
* The latest consumer buying trends
SEMA-members companies have posted several new listings for job opportunities at www.sema.org/classifieds. Working for a SEMA-member company has many advantages. In addition to working for a company that supports and contributes to the success of the overall industry, being employed by a SEMA-member company enable the employee to participate in webinars, access free market research, join SEMA committees and more. The newest classified listings posted under Positions Available include: