Ford Cools Down The Temperature To Test Winter Driving

Posted by jg on August 23rd, 2015 in Category Car Humor, Car News, Charity News, Go Green, News from Canada, News from the USA, Odd News, Site News, Uncategorized (no responses)

Fall is just around the corner and winter testing for cars is already here.

It’s a steamy 35 C in this small city on the Florida panhandle. Meanwhile, I am inside a giant chamber, suited up in full winter gear and watching snowflakes fall from the ceiling onto a line of vehicles below.

It’s -28 C inside the McKinley Climatic Laboratory on the Eglin Air Force Base, and Ford is showing me how it tests its cars and trucks for winter compatibility.

“One of the things we’re looking at is cold starts,” says Rich Shimon, technical expert on gasoline powertrain calibration for Ford. “When drivers get into the vehicle, they expect it to start right away and have a comfortable idle speed. Our job is to make sure our vehicles do that under any conceivable condition and with any conceivable fuel, and now we’re doing the extreme cold-weather testing.”

Accurate testing depends on stable conditions, which is why McKinley was constructed in the first place. Many fighter planes wouldn’t start in the cold during the Second World War, and since it couldn’t count on consistent weather outside, the U.S. government commissioned the facility for testing during equipment development. It was finished in 1947, and following a major renovation that wrapped up in 1997, it was then opened up to outside companies. It runs 24 hours a day and is fully booked for the next three years.

Its five chambers can reproduce any type of weather, except tornadoes and lightning strikes. It’s the largest in the world at 5,110 square metres, can go from a high of 48 C to a low of -65 C overnight, and can replicate hurricanes, fog, freezing rain and sandstorms.

Depending on the chamber used and the type of weather requested, rental costs range from $8,000 to $30,000 (U.S.) per day.

Ford uses the big chamber for three weeks each year, primarily because of its capacity. “We’re able to get 72 vehicles and 54 engineers into the chamber,” Shimon says. Back in Michigan, his team has to share Ford’s four smaller test chambers with other departments, and it would take months to do what he can achieve in Florida in three weeks.

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Car Sales New Technique Is To Focus On Tech

Posted by jg on July 30th, 2015 in Category Car Humor, Car News, Charity News, Donations, Go Green, News from Canada, News from the USA, Odd News, Site News, Uncategorized (no responses)

The new generations of car buyers love their social media, smart phone and tablets and having a car with compatible technologies is right up their ally.

Targeting techies is an important marketing strategy for automakers, according to a study released today by J.D. Power.

The company’s 2015 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report — Summer edition found that 30 percent of new-vehicle drivers cited their vehicle’s latest technology as a reason for purchasing.

 

J.D. Power has released the report twice a year since 1987, but this is the first time respondents were asked about technology features as a reason for purchase.

 

Among luxury-brand new-vehicle drivers, 43 percent said cutting-edge technology features influenced their purchase. Lincoln, Infiniti, Cadillac and Audi drivers had the highest proportions of respondents who cited technology features as a reason for purchasing.

 

Among non luxury-brand new-vehicle drivers, 28 percent were looking for the latest technology. Mazda, Buick and Chrysler drivers were the most interested in technology when deciding on a vehicle.

 

“Targeting these technology seekers with the right messaging is critical to using marketing dollars effectively to reach consumers who will actually buy new vehicles because of technology,” Arianne Walker, J.D. Power’s senior director of automotive media and marketing, said in a statement today.

 

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Classic Cars Brought Back To Life

Posted by jg on June 20th, 2015 in Category Car News, News from Canada, News from the USA, Odd News, Site News, Uncategorized (no responses)

Students participated in the opportunity of a lifetime. Together they restored many well-known automotives, such as town cars, sports cars, even classics. They all had one goal, for the automotives to not only look good but to once again run.

Toner’s instructor lifted the hood to adjust the choke linkage. A few tense moments later, the 1916 Scripps-Booth Model D roared to life, allowing Toner, a 24-year-old auto restoration student from the Philadelphia suburb of Quakertown, to pull out of his spot and begin a triumphant circuit around the show grounds.

You have to expect some car trouble when your ride is a one-of-a-kind classic like the Scripps, which, after all, hadn’t been driven since 1959 – until students at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport took it out of mothballs this spring and got it back on the road.

I can’t say enough about our students’ passion,” said restoration instructor Roy Klinger.

Passion is what the hobby desperately needs from young people right now.

When Penn College revved up its vintage vehicle restoration major in 2012, it became one of just a handful of degree programs around the country teaching young people how to help refurbish and maintain North America’s fleet of more than 10 million classic cars.

“We have a huge void,” said Earl Mowrey, who heads youth development at the Antique Automobile Club of America. “There’s been a generation or a generation and a half of missed opportunity.”

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Young Canadian Drivers Rewarded for Good Driving

Posted by jg on March 25th, 2015 in Category Car News, News from Canada, News from the USA, Site News, Uncategorized (no responses)

Should auto insurance be based on age or driving record?

New to Canada is a company called Ingenie. It’s an Aviva Insurance company that is now offering better insurance to younger drivers.

Normally insurance payments are steep until drivers reach 25. However, with this new UK based company operating in Canada, drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 have the chance to prove they are good drivers and receive lower rates.

How this is done is through an internet operated device that will review, record, and evaluate driving habits. This is a first in North America, as most drivers must wait until they reach 50 for the possibility of low rates because they are safe drivers, now we can reward them for their success earlier in their lifetime.

Read the full story here.

Apple Technology’s New Development Into the Automotive World

Posted by jg on February 18th, 2015 in Category Car News, News from Canada, Odd News, Site News, Uncategorized (no responses)

Apple, well known for the highly addictive handheld devices enters a new division of technology after the loss of workers to Tesla Motors. Apple has reportedly been recruiting talent in the automotive industry from companies like Mercedes-Benz. With top talent coming together at a location in Silicon Valley, the possibilities are endless.

Among those hires is Johann Jungwirth, who until very recently was President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America. His arrival, plus talk of other automotive engineers joining the ranks more quietly, has a lot of people speculating that Apple’s next one more thing will be a car.

I won’t rule out Apple rolling out something on wheels sometime down the road, but for now, the most likely applications of this vehicular know-how are a lot more subtle — but potentially a lot more interesting.

Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, or MBRDNA as it’s more tersely known, is the Silicon Valley epicenter for M-B’s fancy thinking. I toured the facility when it opened in late 2013, and it is quite a place. Big and open and full of glass and brushed metal and, indeed, feeling very Apple-like.

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Veloster gets a facelift

Posted by jg on January 21st, 2015 in Category Car News (no responses)

After getting its mid-life face lift in its home market in South Korea the Hyundai Veloster. It’s as what we thought it would be; minor improvements, same engine, not much new. If you expected the facelift of this car to be more potent to its competitor the Volkswagen Golf, you might just be a little disappointed.

As the 1.6-liter four-pot cranks out the same 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Fortunately, there is a bit of important news in the drivetrain department, in the form of a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox. The unit that debuted on the i30 in 2014 replaces the previous six-speed automatic to provide quicker shifts coupled with slightly better performance and fuel economy numbers.

To read more, click here.

Fun Driving Facts.

Posted by jg on December 30th, 2014 in Category Car Humor, Car News, News from Canada (no responses)

Sometimes you hear stories about how a boarder guard asked a friend of a friend if they’ve ever smoke a joint. Then they were forced to turn around if they said yes. We all hear them and we all pay no attention to them, because as if they’d ever happen to us. Fat chance right? Here’s the thing, there are some interested driving fact that are out there, that you wouldn’t believe.

For starters here’s some ones that I thought were interesting

1) You can get charged for leaving your older kids in the car

2) You can get a ticket if someone takes a video of you texting and driving

For more interesting facts click here.

Canadian Auto Makers Show Support for Movember

Posted by jg on November 10th, 2014 in Category Charity News, News from Canada (no responses)

Movember madness is in full effect and Canadian car makers are facing off to fight prostate cancer.

Inside the Chrysler assembly plant, a wall is lined with 134 plaques bearing the name of an employee who passed away before retirement.

“We also have a wall for our retirees,” said Wayne North, union lead at the plant, “but not everybody makes that wall.”

The issue of men’s health hits home for North in a number of ways. Aside from the “scares” his brother-in-law has had with prostate cancer, North spends his days working in a factory of 3,000 people, average age 47. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, one in 38 men are diagnosed with the disease between the ages of 40 and 59 , and North says it’s not uncommon to encounter co-workers going through scares of their own.

North himself was “stubborn” about getting tested before he got involved with the Movember campaign five years ago. Now he spends the month encouraging his co-workers to get a checkup as part of captaining the Chrysler Brampton Assembly Plant’s Movember team. As with many men around the world, he’ll be growing a mustache in November as part of the campaign to promote men’s health issues.

Last year, he and his co-workers raised $7,500, finishing third in the Great Canadian Auto Challenge, a network of 2,292 participants spanning every brand, dealership, manufacturing plant and service centre in Canada’s automotive industry.

Canada has been a major contributor to the international Movember fundraising campaign since its launch here in 2007, finishing top among all countries the past three years (excluding funds matched by other governments). Movember Canada raised a combined total of $33.9-million in the 2013 campaign..

“The Great Canadian Auto Challenge officially started last year, and it was a result of seeing so many companies reaching out to us, so much enthusiasm within that industry, and a few leaders … wanting to showcase the greater industry’s effort through a challenge,” said Jeff Lohnes, business engagement manager of Movember Canada.

In its first year competing, the auto sector finished third behind the oil and gas industry and the financial services community by raising $401,022.

“It’s just a hyper-competitive environment, and I think Movember likes to see the hyper-competitiveness put toward a good cause such as prostate cancer awareness,” said Steve Kisic, an after-sales operations co-ordinator for Mercedes Benz Canada, and captain of the “Mo’cedes Benz Canada” team. Kisic led his dealership to victory last year by raising $15,000, which was matched by Mercedes Benz Canada. Honda workers at dealerships and plants raised close to $14,000.

“Movember made a trophy for the automotive competition, which we have right now in our trophy case, and we really want to keep it this year,” Kisic said. “There are a few members of our team who have been affected one way or another – maybe their father or brother or husband – and they really spearheaded the competition.”

The Brampton Assembly Plant has set an optimistic goal of $10,000 this year.

Read the full story here.

New Car Seat Finder Tool Helps Parents Select Right Car Seats for their Children

Posted by jg on September 24th, 2014 in Category Car News, News from the USA (no responses)

A new federal push to reduce childhood injuries and deaths on the roads came from the stark and unfortunate facts that every 34 seconds, a child under the age of 13 is involved in a crash and more than a third of children killed in crashes were not in car seats or wearing seat belts. As part of the initiative, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched safety tools and a registration campaign to increase car seat safety.

The launch of these tools corresponded with Child Passenger Safety Week (September 14 – 20).

The new Car Seat Finder Tool not only helps parents and caregivers  select the right car seat or booster seat, based on age and size of child, but the ability to easily look up recalls. The “Don’t Delay. Register Your Car Seat Today” campaign, the agency said, encourages parents and caregivers to register their child’s car seat so manufacturers know how to notify them of a recall and how to receive the free fix.

“Parents and caregivers are the first line of defense by ensuring they are selecting the right car seat, registering it, and using it correctly for every trip,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

The agency noted that in 2014 it pushed manufacturers to recall seats with defective buckles and to ensure that owners received a replacement buckle at no cost. The agency’s efforts, it said, led to the recall of more than 7.4 million car seats, but on average only 40 percent of people get their car seat fixed.

“That’s in comparison to an average of 75 percent for light vehicles, for which registration is required by law,” NHTSA said.

“Regardless of age or the length of the trip, children should always be properly restrained in a car seat, booster or seat belt that is installed correctly and free from safety defects,” David Friedman, the agency’s deputy administrator said in a statement. “The first step for a parent is finding the right seat and our new Car Seat Finder Tool helps sort through the numerous options in car seats to ensure they’re making the best choices for their child passengers.”

Read the full story here.

The Next Generation of Volt is Here

Posted by jg on August 7th, 2014 in Category Car News, Go Green (no responses)

GM’s Volt was a smash success on the auto market, so much so that they decided to make the next generation.  General Motors will show the next-generation Chevrolet Volt plug-in at the Detroit auto show in January, Chevy’s top marketer said today.

Tim Mahoney, Chevy’s global chief marketing officer, disclosed the plans at the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich. He also revealed a teaser photo that showed the redesigned 2016 Volt’s rear badge and a more sculpted decklid.

The next-gen Volt is expected to arrive in showrooms sometime in late 2015. GM will add a third seat in the rear and downsize to a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine, from the current 1.4-liter four-cylinder, sources have told Automotive News.

GM has sold more than 65,000 Volts since it went on sale in December 2010, making it the top selling U.S. plug-in car, GM said in a statement today.

Still, sales volumes have fallen short of the company’s initial expectations. Former CEO Dan Akerson had initially projected production of 60,000 Volts in 2012 alone.

This year through July, GM sold 10,635 Volts, down 9 percent from a year earlier. Sales dipped 2 percent last year, to 23,094.

GM said nearly 70 percent of buyers who trade in another vehicle for a Volt are coming out of non-GM brands, which is a high conquest rate. The majority of those trade-ins are Toyota Prius hybrids, GM said.

The Volt is powered by energy from its 435-pound battery pack for an estimated range of 38 miles. Once the charge is depleted, the gasoline-powered engine kicks on to power the electric drivetrain.  The Volt was one of the top cars in its market last year and will continue to stay on top with this new generation.

Read full article here