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 

McLaren Announces P1 GTR To be Displayed in August

Posted by jg on July 28th, 2014 in Category Car News, Uncategorized (no responses)

If you have ever played any racing game, you know how incredible the McLaren is.  McLaren, Ferrari and Porsche have all come out with their hybrid-powered hypercars, vehicles that boast the bleeding edge of what is possible with today’s road-car technology. The next step, at least in the case of McLaren and Ferrari, is to push that bleeding edge just a hair further, with even faster, more focused versions of the P1 and LaFerrari. At the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, McLaren will be the first to give us a glimpse of that boundary-pushing machine.

The British automaker has announced that the P1 GTR Design Concept will make its global debut smack dab in the middle of Monterey’s legendary car week, with the veil lifting on Friday, August 15 at 6:00 PM EST.

McLaren doesn’t go into many specifics here, simply calling the P1 GTR a track-focused variant of the P1, which we kind of already knew. Based on what we can see from the lone teaser sketch, the new model will have a much more dramatic aerodynamic presence than the street model, with a massive rear wing and a huge rear diffuser. Sandwiched between those two items are a pair of exhaust tips that wouldn’t look out of place on the deck of your average battleship. Carbon fiber should feature prominently, with a few exposed sections of the stuff visible in the teaser image.  This beautiful concept car won’t be out for a few years, but just the thought gets everyone who loves fast cars excited.

Read full article here

Aging Population of America’s Cars

Posted by jg on June 10th, 2014 in Category Car News (no responses)

Cars in America aren’t getting any younger. The average age has remained over 10 years old.

The combined average age of all light vehicles on the road in the U.S. was 11.4 years as of Jan. 1, same as the year before, says IHS Automotive and its Polk subsidiary. That’s still at the highest levels since Polk started tracking it

For another year, that’s a record level — and now trucks have hit the same level as cars.

“In our history of tracking, we have seen a gradual increase in the average age of vehicles on the road,” says Mark Seng, director of aftermarket solutions at IHS Automotive, in a statement. “This year, we’re seeing somewhat of a plateau in the market, and expect it to remain over the next few years.”

The nation’s cars and trucks are collectively aging even as auto sales have blossomed to levels that haven’t been seen in almost a decade.

Read the full article here.

Fuel Economy Slowly Improving

Posted by jg on May 8th, 2014 in Category Car News (no responses)

Good news for SUV drivers, their vehicles are getting better fuel economy than ever before, according to a study released at the end of April.

Over half of the vehicles sold this year deliver over 23 mpg, with one in nine topping 30 mpg, the study showed.

Even some traditional gas guzzlers are now yielding mileage once considered a stretch for small cars, industry and government data reveals, though automakers still face a stretch achieving the 54.5 mpg target facing them in 2025, observers warn.

“This has been remarkable,” said Mark Cooper, research director for the Consumer Federation of America, which has been tracking fuel economy trends for over a decade. After years of relatively stagnant mileage, the increased federal fuel economy rules passed in 2005 have been paying off, he said, calling it a “great example” of how industry can respond to mandates backed by public support.

Observers expect to see increased use of alternative fuels and propulsion systems, including battery power, hydrogen fuel-cells and diesels, as well as advanced gas engines, more efficient transmissions, improved aerodynamics and vehicle “lightweighting” and downsizing.

Read the full article here.

Humans Replace Robots at Toyota

Posted by jg on April 15th, 2014 in Category Car News (no responses)

For decades, Toyota has been a leader in implementing new technology on the plant floor
But now the automotive company has decided to take a step back from robotics.

It’s happening at Toyota’s plants across Japan, reports Bloomberg News, and the idea behind it is as innovative as the move 30 years ago to replace humans with robots:

The only way to improve processes and promote more thinking about efficiency is to put people back in charge of making things. The goal is to create a more efficient car production line.

“We need to become more solid and get back to basics, to sharpen our manual skills and further develop them,” Mitsuru Kawai, a decades-long Toyota employee tapped to promote craftsmanship tells Bloomberg. “When I was a novice, experienced masters used to be called gods, and they could make anything.”

The notion of putting people back in charge of making things is counterintuitive because robots have become so effective at doing repetitive tasks with absolute precision. Most auto assembly plants, like many manufacturing facilities in general these days, are dominated by them. But while they are great at doing things, they can’t think. They can’t suggest or find ways of improvement. Without a human hand to guide them, machines simply aren’t capable of keeping up.

Read the whole article here.

Charity Bike Ride Halted by Theft

Posted by jg on August 1st, 2013 in Category Charity News, News from Canada (no responses)

News like this is really sad and frustrating! A man riding his bicycle across Canada for a charity has received a surly welcome in Winnipeg. His bicycle was stolen on Wednesday night in the 800 block of Leila Avenue.

Winnipeg police said the bike is a dark blue touring bike with silver accents and the word ‘Napoli’ written on the frame. There were two black/grey saddle bags on the rear of the bike and one on the front.

Bike owner Anas Cheema was travelling through Winnipeg on his fundraising ride for SOS Children’s Villages charity, an international charity helping orphaned and abandoned children. Cheema said he has served as a volunteer with the organization in Pakistan. His trip started in Victoria, B.C., on June 14 and was expected to conclude in St. John’s, Nfld.

Read the full story here.

Band Focuses on Charity and Music

Posted by jg on July 11th, 2013 in Category Charity News (no responses)

We love seeing local bands support charity and this is the perfect mix. The band Rhino Halo has organized a diabetes fund raiser to support two of its members who are affected by diabetes. The evening will include a series of musical sets, a bit of comedy between each one, and a silent auction — all to support the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Read the full story here.

Local NHL Stars Supporting Charity

Posted by jg on June 17th, 2013 in Category Charity News (no responses)

Hockey fans who just can’t get enough hockey in June might want to make the trip to the CIH (Canadian International Hockey) Arena in Rockland Sunday afternoon to see, and mingle with, many of the top area pros in the second annual Kevin Lalande Foundation Hockey Classic.

Lalande, the former Belleville Bulls netminder and Calgary Flames draft (fifth round, 2005), has played the last three seasons in the KHL in Russia, the last two with Minsk Dynamo.

Fundraising Directory School Coming Up in May

Posted by jg on May 9th, 2013 in Category Charity News, Donations (no responses)

Many people know that I try to help fund-raising peers who are skilled and passionate, get ahead in career and life.

But there comes a point, where you hit a wall. Because you can’t learn more, or don’t know what you need to learn. Or no one will let you be more where you are. AFP Fundraising Day in Toronto is coming up. Many people will get a chance to reconnect with mentors at this important event, maybe you’ll meet a new mentor there….

Read the complete story here.

Winnipeg Jets Plates Raise $800k for Charity

Posted by jg on April 4th, 2013 in Category Charity News, News from Canada (no responses)

The sale of special Winnipeg Jets license plates has raised more than $800,000 so far for children’s charities.

Premier Greg Selinger said on Friday that 27,000 of the specialty plates have been sold in the last year by more than 300 Autopac agents. The plates cost $70 and $30 of that goes to the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation.

That money is then passed on to programs that provide opportunities for disadvantaged kids.

Read the full story here.