Category: Transmissions

Tesla Crosses One Thing Off Their List Of Many

Posted by Guest Post on April 16th, 2016 in Category Car News, Site News, Transmissions, Uncategorized, Used Auto Parts (no responses)

The car industry can be hit and miss and Tesla may have just hit one out of the park.

The incredible response to Tesla’s Model 3 is great news for the company. The company has more than doubled the 115,000 pre-orders it had received before unveiling the car last night, with CEO Elon Musk reporting more than 232,000 orders as of late Friday. For a company with just $1.2 billion on its balance sheet, $1,000 deposits on those vehicles represents nearly a quarter billion dollars — a significant boost to working capital. But that’s not the best part of what has happened for Tesla over the past two days.

Most importantly for the company, Tesla has — without spending more than a token amount on an intro event and some extra staffing in its retail stores — found buyers for what likely amounts to the first two years of production for the Model 3. And given that the car won’t ship until the end of 2017 at the earliest, it’s possible the vehicle will be sold out through sometime in 2020 before the first owner receives a set of keys.

Big steps, small footprint

As I wrote 2 years ago, Tesla’s relatively small footprint of dealerships puts it at a major disadvantage versus other luxury automakers like BMW and Mercedes. Musk made a nod to this at the Model 3 event, saying Tesla would expand from 215 showrooms to 441 by the end of next year. But even with that growth it will have far fewer locations than competitors to go see a car, talk to an expert about it, and get comfortable with making a purchase. Thanks to those Model 3 reservations, Tesla now has a lot more breathing room to build out its footprint of dealerships. It also might find a solution to the legal woes that make it unable to sell directly to consumers in a handful of states (e.g. Texas) and restrict the number of stores it can have in several others (including New York.)

Tesla won’t close every sale from those deposits, of course. They are fully refundable and the long lead time will lead to some cancellations. A few would-be buyers will also be disappointed to learn they won’t be receiving the $7,500 federal tax credit for buying a Model 3 as Tesla will cross over the threshold of selling 200,000 cars sometime very soon after the first deliveries occur (More on this in an upcoming post). But it wouldn’t be surprising to find most of those deposits converting into orders.

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Cars Are Not The Only Self Driving Vehicles Out There

Posted by Guest Post on March 18th, 2016 in Category Car News, Engines, Site News, Transmissions, Uncategorized (no responses)

One day it won’t only be cars that are driving themselves, and we are about to take one more step forward towards the possibility of other autonomous vehicles. In a move that could pave the way for self-driving commercial trucks, the U.S. Army plans a highway test this summer of driverless convoy technology. The experiment will examine how the vehicles communicate with one another, with nonmilitary vehicles and with the roadway infrastructure through radio links. The trucks, for example, will send their speed and location to roadside transponders that will reply with data such as lane closures and speed limits.

The test will take place in June with at least four vehicles on a stretch of Interstate 69 in Michigan.

For now, drivers will keep control of the trucks, but the Army plans tests on the interstate of driverless capability — robotic control of the vehicles, said Douglas Halleaux, an Army spokesman.

“It won’t be in June, but it won’t be long,” Halleaux said.

The autonomous vehicles have been tested in self-driving mode before but not on public roads.

“We’re very sensitive to the safety of our engineers and our neighbors on the roadways,” Halleaux said.

The Army is “taking this extra step with the radios before we make the big plunge to give our engineers and the public confidence in the trucks’ capabilities,” he said.

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Don’t Let The Drive Stop You From Getting Things Done

Posted by Guest Post on January 7th, 2016 in Category Car News, Site News, Transmissions, Uncategorized, Used Auto Parts (no responses)

There is so much more that needs to be done in a day, so how are we supposed to get it done, Microsoft has the answer.

Microsoft is moving closer to putting your living room on wheels, introducing several features that will make your drive more productive and entertaining.

On Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft announced four partnerships that will usher the next generation of cars into the cloud. “The industry is going through a digital transformation,” said Sanjay Ravi, Microsoft Worldwide Managing Director of Manufacturing. “The automotive companies want to be digital companies.”

In other words, say “connect to conference call,” and your car will connect you to your officemates. Say “Skype with Mom,” and the line will soon be ringing. Say “find a gas station,” and you won’t have to worry about running on empty.

“Think of the car of the future as your living room on wheels,” Ravi said. “Or your office on wheels.”

Nissan, for example, will use the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform to allow the all-electric Leaf and certain vehicles from its luxury Infiniti brand to tap into the benefits of cloud-based connectivity. Moving telematics information from Nissan’s own global data center to the cloud will increase the network’s storage space, which means drivers can perform functions such as finding places of interest and monitoring the car’s battery capacity faster.

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Federal Department Of Transportation Changes Views Of Autonomous Driving

Posted by Guest Post on December 5th, 2015 in Category Car News, Site News, Transmissions, Uncategorized, Used Auto Parts (no responses)

LOS ANGELES – Cars that drive themselves have changed the rules of driving quite a bit, al the way to figuring out who would be at fault for accidents that happen. This is why the government has had trouble deciding where they stand on this matter.

Federal transportation officials are rethinking their position on self-driving cars with an eye toward getting the emerging technology into the public’s hands.

Just two years ago, the U.S. Department of Transportation struck a cautious tone. Its official policy statement, published in May 2013, says cars should be limited to testing and not “authorized for use by members of the public for general driving purposes.”

For several years, Google and several traditional automakers have been running prototypes equipped with a suite of sensors and cameras around public streets and highways, mostly in California.

Those cars must have someone behind the wheel, ready to take over. Some have gotten into collisions, though the companies say a person in another car caused the accident in each case.

Google has advocated spreading self-driving cars into the public, once the tech titan concludes the technology is safe.

While states have taken the lead on regulating self-driving cars, policymakers in Washington hold some sway over states’ decision-making. California’s Department of Motor Vehicles in particular has asked for federal guidance as it struggles with how to move the cars safely from small-scale road tests to broader adoption.

In a written statement Monday, U.S. Department of Transportation spokeswoman Suzanne Emmerling said that with rapid development of the technology, federal policy is being updated.

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More Electric Cars Then Plugs In LA

Posted by Guest Post on October 12th, 2015 in Category Car News, Engines, Site News, Transmissions, Uncategorized, Used Auto Parts (no responses)

SAN FRANCISCO —Electric Cars have been becoming more popular over the years throughout the states but, the continuing growth may run into an issue.

Of all the states, California has set the most ambitious targets for cutting emissions in coming decades, and an important pillar of its plan to reach those goals is encouraging the spread of electric vehicles.

But the push to make the state greener is creating an unintended side effect: It is making some people meaner.

The bad moods stem from the challenges drivers face finding recharging spots for their battery-powered cars. Unlike gas stations, charging stations are not yet in great supply, and that has led to sharp-elbowed competition. Electric owners are unplugging one another’s cars, trading insults, and creating black markets and side deals to trade spots in corporate parking lots. The too-few-outlets problem is a familiar one in crowded cafes and airports, where people want to charge their phones or laptops. But the need can be more acute with cars — will their owners have enough juice to make it home? — and manners often go out the window.

In the moments after Don Han plugged in his Nissan Leaf at a public charging station near his Silicon Valley office one day this summer, he noticed another Leaf pull up as he was walking away. The driver got out and pulled the charger out of Mr. Han’s car and started to plug it into his own. Mr. Han stormed back.

“I said, ‘Hey, buddy, what do you think you’re doing?’ And he said, ‘Well, your car is done charging,’ ” Mr. Han recalled. He told him that was not the case, put the charger back in his own car and left “after saying a couple of curse words, of course.”

Such incidents are not uncommon, according to interviews with drivers and electric vehicle advocates, as well as posts from people sharing frustrations on social media. Tensions over getting a spot are “growing and growing,” said Maureen Blanc, the director of Charge Across Town, a San Francisco nonprofit that works to spread the adoption of electric vehicles. She owns an electric BMW and recently had a testy run-in over a charging station with a Tesla driver.

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The Older Demographic Is Majorly Profitable To Automakers

Posted by Guest Post on August 13th, 2015 in Category Car News, Engines, Site News, Transmissions, Uncategorized, Used Auto Parts (no responses)

Usually retirees are the demographic that purchases a luxury vehicle, more often than not because that is when they can actually afford it.

Richard Emmons, 83, likes to spend his weekends cruising around in a 1995 Jaguar convertible with a big 12-cylinder engine. His weekday drive is either a 2009 Volkswagen Eos or the $82,000 Audi A8 sedan he bought in November. After all, this octogenarian needs something reliable for his 10-mile commute to the Pratt & Whitney plant in Windsor, Conn., where he works full-time as a jet engineer. “I’m bad at retiring,” Emmons says. “I don’t really have a lot of hobbies anymore. I just like cars and investing.”

American seniors have never been healthier or wealthier. At the same time, cars have never been crammed with more features to safeguard drivers with fuzzier vision, slower reactions, and stiffer necks. Those forces have created a powerful economic engine for car manufacturers. This might just be the first time ever that one of the most promising demographics for the auto industry is represented by Social Security recipients.

“Honestly,” says Harley-Davidson Chief Marketing Officer Mark Hans-Richer, “we sell new bikes to guys in their 80s all the time.”

The roads in America are going gray. From 2003 to 2013, the number of licensed drivers over the age of 65 surged by 8.2 million, a 29 percent increase, according to U.S. Census data. The very old were particularly stubborn about pulling over for good. There are now about 3.5 million U.S. drivers over 84, a staggering 43 percent increase over a decade ago.

On the other end of the age spectrum, teenagers no longer have the income or inclination to own a car. Over that same 10- year period, the ranks of drivers under age 20 declined by 3 percent.

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Is Your Car Older Than The Average Age?

Posted by Guest Post on July 29th, 2015 in Category Car News, Engines, Fun and Humor, Site News, Transmissions, Uncategorized, Used Auto Parts (no responses)

The money invested in a car to keep the engine running can increase as it begins to age, the care and maintenance will depend on how long the car lasts on the road.

The average age of vehicles on the road in the U.S. is rising, even as consumers snap up more new ones — a paradox attributable to substantial increases in reliability.

The typical car on the road in the U.S. is a record-high 11.5 years old, according to a new IHS Automotive survey.

Yet Americans are buying cars at an annualized rate of more than 17 million vehicles, marking a high not seen since before the Great Recession. In fact, U.S. vehicle owners bought 42% more cars than they scrapped in 2014, according to IHS. The number of light vehicles registered in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 257.9 million units.

How are vehicles getting older, while Americans are buying newer cars, too?

Simple: They’re either keeping the old ones along with the new ones — know anyone who bought a new car and kept their old one in the driveway? — or the vehicle made its way into the used-car market, where someone else bought it.

“Vehicles are simply lasting longer than ever before,” Mark Seng, global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive, told USA TODAY. “The consumer is hanging onto their vehicle longer than ever before.”

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What Makes A Car Ugly Or Beautiful

Posted by Guest Post on June 20th, 2015 in Category Car News, Engines, Fun and Humor, Site News, Transmissions, Uncategorized, Used Auto Parts (no responses)

Everyone has seen that car, the one that makes you turn your head, now this can be because it looks amazing, but also because you were wondering what the manufacturer was thinking when making that car

Bringing a new car to market costs more than $1 billion. Thousands of engineers sweat the details on everything from engine design to aerodynamics to how many kilojoules of energy the crumple zones can absorb in a crash.

But none of this will matter if you make an ugly car.

If you get it right, you end up with a classic Porsche 911 or the original Ford Mustang. Get it wrong, and you produce an AMC Pacer or a Ford Edsel – cars that have gone down in history as sales flops and aesthetic disasters.

The history of automotive design offers no shortage of lessons on how to create a bad design. One proven path to failure is design by committee, which was the undoing of the legendary Pontiac Aztek.

The Aztek was commissioned in the mid-1990s by then-GM chairman John G. Smale, a former Proctor & Gamble CEO who was convinced that GM needed an edgy, unusual vehicle that would turn heads. GM spent a fortune on focus groups, and the Aztek’s design was vetted by an endless series of committees.

No single vision was allowed to prevail as the Aztek’s shape and details were tweaked and altered. Then the bean counters threw a curve ball: to keep costs down, GM accountants decreed that the Aztek must be built on an existing minivan platform. Unfortunately, the minivan was too short to work with the Aztek, forcing designers to revamp the tail, producing a hunchbacked monstrosity.

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The Most Extravagant and Expensive Cars of 2014

Posted by Guest Post on April 8th, 2015 in Category Car News, Engines, Fun and Humor, Site News, Transmissions, Uncategorized (no responses)

Lamborghini, Ferrari and Bugatti are some brands that create the most coveted and wanted cars in North America, however only a select few drivers can afford these types of cars. The Joneses set a high standard to follow when it comes to these select few.

Maybe a Hennessey Venom GT, for a suggested retail price of $1.2 million, would represent a step ahead of the Joneses. Hennessey says its 1,244-hp Venom GT set a Guinness World Book-sanctioned record time of 13.63 seconds from zero to 300 kilometers per hour, or 186 mph, in January 2013.

However, anyone who wants to buy one better move fast, pun intended. The company plans to build a total of only 29 units, and 11 have already been sold, including just five in the United States.

No. 1 on our list of the 10 Most Expensive Cars for 2014 is the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, which retails for $4.5 million — if you can get one. Lamborghini says it plans to build only nine of them in 2014.

Next year could be a good one for the exotic automobile industry. Wall Street bonuses could be 5% to 10% higher than last year when they are handed out in early 2014, according to Johnson Associates and that’s a prime source of buyers for high-end automobiles. Exotic-car dealers keep close track of the stock markets, since that’s where many of their customers get their disposable income, whether those customers are shareholders or captains of industry.

The automotive upper-upper crust also includes traditional brands whose names ring a bell like Bugatti and Ferrari. British brands Rolls-Royce and Bentley are also traditional choices, although they are not in the business of hair-raising performance at all costs.

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Luxury Car Brands Reach Larger Market

Posted by Guest Post on March 6th, 2015 in Category Car News, Engines, Fun and Humor, Site News, Transmissions, Uncategorized, Used Auto Parts (no responses)

Lexus, Audi, Lincoln and Infiniti are all high-class brands that we one-day wish to dive. However, these cars are usually only reachable when you are an Executive and give you yet another reason to get there one day. Unfortunately, once you start climbing the corporate ladder and also getting married and having kids, who have sports, clubs and extracurricular, as well as school, vacations and everyday allowances, those days of driving a luxury car can start to seem further and further away.

Therefore, premium car brands have decided to enter a new demographic and target younger affluent business people before and as they grow their family with premium entry level cars. This is the chance for you to have a high car brand like a BMW with their brand on the hood, while paying the cost of a nice Honda.

“The reason you want market expansion is to bring in a new buyer to the brand, a younger buyer,” says Robert Karwel of J.D. Power and Associates. “You capture them at that point when they’re much earlier in their lifetime buying cycle and hopefully you’ll have a repeat customer who will buy a more expensive vehicle as their demographic changes. They increase in income and come back for feature automotive purchases.”

Porsche also offers entry vehicles, though, at more than $50,000, the Macan S and Boxster are hardly mainstream affordable. But they get people into the brand; consumers can have a car with the same badge as the 911.

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