Car Blog

A blog covering the auto industry with test drives and commentary on articles from other sites

Ford Expects Best-Selling Brand Repeat in United States for Fourth Straight Year

With more than 2.4 million vehicles sold, Ford expects to retain its title as best-selling vehicle brand in North America in 2013, and has widened its lead over Toyota.

“The great news is that we are not overly reliant on any one segment – we’re seeing double-digit sales growth in cars, trucks and utilities,” said John Felice, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. “The Ford brand has had more retail share growth than any other brand in the country, with our most significant gains coming from import-dominated coastal markets. With 16 launches next year, we’re looking to keep our sales momentum going.”

For the full year in 2012, the Ford brand lead over Toyota totaled 329,677 vehicles. While December sales are not finalized, Ford expects that number to grow substantially. Through November, Ford’s lead over Toyota has widened to 396,041 vehicles.

Retail sales
Ford brand retail sales are up 15 percent through November of this year, compared to 12 percent for the brand overall. The strongest retail sales growth is coming from the traditionally import-dominated western and southeastern regions of the country. Ford retail sales are up 23 percent in the West, while Southeast region sales are up 18 percent.

Ford brand retail sales are expected to surpass 1.7 million vehicles in 2013, which makes this the company’s best retail sales performance in six years. Passenger car retail sales will surpass 600,000 vehicles – the highest volume since 2000. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 things many parents don’t know about teen driving

The most significant threat facing teens is the vehicle sitting in their parents’ driveways. Yet, many parents remain under-educated about teen driving safety and the risks new drivers face. In observance of National Teen Driver Safety Week Oct. 20-26, the National Safety Council released a comprehensive list of things many parents do not – but need to – know about teen driver safety:

  1. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S.
  2. Most dangerous time of a teen driver’s life is the first 12 months after receiving a license
  3. A teen driver’s crash risk is three times that of drivers ages 20 and older
  4. Teens crash most often because they are inexperienced – not because they take more risks behind the wheel.
  5. Teen passengers are one of the biggest distractions for teen drivers. Just one teen passenger raises a teen driver’s fatal crash risk 44 percent. Two passengers doubles fatal crash risk. Three or more quadruples crash risk. Read the rest of this entry »

The Subaru Forester Scores Second MOTOR TREND SUV of the Year Win

Subaru Canada announce that the Subaru Forester won MOTOR TREND‘s Sport/Utility of the Year for 2014, making Subaru the only three-time winner of this award with the most wins in the Sport/Utility category. This is a repeat performance as Subaru has had three winners in the past six years of competition: the 2014 Forester, 2010 Outback and 2009 Forester. The 2013 XV Crosstrek also ranked as a finalist in 2012.

“The 2014 Subaru Forester beat a highly competitive field of SUVs because it met our award’s six criteria,” said MOTOR TREND editor-in-chief Ed Loh. “Smart design, thoughtful engineering, and a compelling performance on road and off were the keys to the Forester’s win. Our editors were particularly impressed by the powerful yet efficient turbocharged engines, the intelligent and sporty CVT transmission, and the excellent visibility and interior package found within the Forester. Practical, affordable, efficient and fun to drive – Forester truly ticked every box.”

In addition to the Subaru Forester, the 2014 MOTOR TREND Sport/Utility of the Year competition included twelve other all-new or significantly updated SUVs:

Acura MDX Jeep Grand Cherokee
Audi Q5 Kia Sorento
BMW X1 Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Buick Encore Mini Paceman S ALL4
Dodge Durango Mitsubishi Outlander
Hyundai Santa Fe Toyota RAV4

“This true SUV in the compact SUV segment has been breaking sales records across Canada since it first appeared in dealerships this spring,” said Shiro Ohta, president and CEO of Subaru Canada, Inc. “Winning MOTOR TREND’s 2014 SUV of the Year is another feather in the cap of Subaru’s award-winning lineup. We anticipate more and more Canadians will put Subaru on their shopping list.” Read the rest of this entry »

LA Auto Show Confirms 22 World Debuts For 2013 Show

The Los Angeles Auto Show confirmed that it will host 22 world debuts during its Press Days, making for a total of 56 vehicle debuts overall, to be unveiled in front of a global audience, November 19, 20 and 21, 2013. November 19 will focus specifically on technology announcements held in the Connected Car Expo area of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

World debuts include the NISMO JUKE RS and a NISMO Concept from Nissan, as well as four models from Mercedes-Benz, which will be unveiled alongside the brand’s North American introductions of the GLA 250 and the S63. Porsche has added two new world debuts to its lineup, in addition to the previously announced Macan, the manufacturer’s highly anticipated SUV crossover vehicle. BMW, Chevrolet, Ford Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, MINI, Subaru and Toyota round out the list, all with global introductions planned for the show.

In addition to the roster of global premieres, a variety of North American debuts will be unveiled in Los Angeles, including the 4 Series Coupe, 4 Series Hybrid, i8, i3, 5 Series Sedan and 5 Series Gran Turismo from BMW. U.S. auto show introductions will also include the Jaguar C-X17, Cadillac Escalade, a high performance model from Nissan, three vehicles from Volkswagen, including the e-Golf and five from Audi, among others.

Los Angeles’ debut lineup underscores rising trends in green technology, luxury vehicles and groundbreaking concept cars. More than two dozen green vehicles will be featured at the show, including models from Acura, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen, ranging from alternative fuel models to brand new plug-ins. Read the rest of this entry »

Mitsubishi Motors Reports September Sales

Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) reported September sales of 4,001, down 16.7 percent compared to September 2012.

The decrease is partially due to two fewer sales days last month compared to a year ago, because Labor Day sales this year were recorded in August and last year were reported as a part of September.

Sales of the all-new 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander showed a year-over-year gain of 64 percent in September.  Overall Outlander sales are up 45 percent year-to-date.

“We are looking forward to reviving our positive momentum in October,” said MMNA President & CEO Yoichi Yokozawa. “We have just begun delivery to our dealers in the United States of the all-new 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage 5-door sub-compact – the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered, non-hybrid vehicle in America.  We believe Mirage will contribute to sales increases going forward.”

Yokozawa added, “We will also launch new television advertising for Outlander and the U.S.-built Outlander Sport, highlighting their status as “America’s Safest CUV Line-up.”  Both vehicles have received the IIHS Top Safety Pick + rating.

Highlights of MMNA year-to-date sales (January thru September 2013 compared to the same period in 2012): Read the rest of this entry »

Infiniti U.S. Reports September 2013 Sales

Infiniti reported U.S. sales of 9,040 units for September, a decrease of 4.3 percent versus 9,445 units a year earlier.

September marked the first full month of sales for the all-new 2014 Infiniti Q50, with the luxury sports sedan having sales of 2,367 units. Since it went on sale in early August, the Q50 has had 4,801 deliveries.

Sales of Infiniti sports sedans, which include the Infiniti G37, rose 47.6 percent in September to a total of 4,144, bringing the automaker’s sales of luxury passenger cars up 28.3 percent for the month.

Sales momentum for the all-new Infiniti Q50 ­­– featuring world’s first technologies such as available Direct Adaptive Steering™, which provides quicker input and allows more driver personalization than a conventional system, and Predictive Forward Collision Warning™ that can alert the driver of a vehicle braking two vehicles in front – is expected to continue into October as inventories continue to arrive at Infiniti retailers nationwide. Read the rest of this entry »