Ford, Toyota To Lead US Plug-in Sales Through 2020

Written By Thomas Ponco on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 | 10:29 PM

Published November 1, 2012

By Philippe Crowe


Assembly lines in Japan and the United States produced during 2011 more than 20,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) – which include battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) – an all-time record these modes of transportation.

But optimism about the electrified market has gradually been replaced with a better understanding of, shall we say, the practical challenges of launching new models and expanding PEV sales to mainstream consumers unfamiliar with the technology.

Nonetheless, according to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, sales of PEVs in the United States will – as others have also said – climb steadily over the remainder of this decade.

The 80-page study predicts Ford and Toyota will lead the PEV market in terms of total vehicles sold in the U.S. from 2012 to 2020.

“Despite the early introduction of the Leaf, from Nissan, and the significant marketing push behind it, we expect Nissan to trail Toyota, Ford, and General Motors by a significant margin through the end of the decade,” says research director John Gartner. “Although Ford has been relatively slower than some competitors to enter the passenger PEV market, its future plans are ambitious, and it will be the only automaker to surpass 400,000 PEVs sold in the United States through 2020.”

As per the report, PEV sales in the United States should reach nearly 48,000 units in 2012, making the United States the country with the highest number of PEV sales.

The report expects the U.S. will maintain this leading position at least through 2020 – and beyond. Worldwide sales of PEVs are expected to surpass 1 million units in 2017, after 7 years in the market – about half the time it took hybrid electric vehicles to reach that level.

As battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are purchased in greater numbers over the next few years, Pike Research’s analysis indicates that significant regional differences in adoption patterns will emerge. For example, while PHEVs will outsell BEVs in North America, the converse is true in Europe and Asia.

Meanwhile, auto manufacturer strategies continue to evolve. The lion’s share of OEMs making PEVs are doing so at a very measured pace, carefully vetting new technologies and consumer preferences with a sharp focus on regional differences in demand. All are optimistic about the long-term prospects for the PEV sector, but the industry remains cautiously focused on growing at the pace of market demand.

The report, “ Plug-in Electric Vehicles”, examines the global market landscape for PHEVs and BEVs, including a detailed analysis of market drivers and barriers, technology issues, policy and regulatory factors, and the competitive landscape of original equipment manufacturers and key suppliers. Detailed market forecasts are provided through 2020, segmented by world region and vehicle category.

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Legacy Power Wagon Conversion is three tons of vintage American iron

Related Gallery Legacy Power Wagon Conversion: SEMA 2012

Image Credit: Copyright 2012 Drew Phillips / AOL

Category: Aftermarket, SEMA Show, Truck, Dodge, Military, Specialty, Off-Road

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Bisimoto Hyundai Elantra GT Concept makes monster power for a family hatch

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Production-ready Lingenfelter LTA Camaro debuts in Vegas

Related Gallery Lingenfelter LTA: SEMA 2012

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DECATUR, Ind. - Lingenfelter Performance Engineering (LPE) has turned their LTA concept car into reality by debuting the first production Lingenfelter LTA at the 2012 SEMA Show.

Lingenfelter announces they will build a limited quantity of Lingenfelter LTA vehicles for eager customers to purchase starting this year. Initially developed to evoke the muscle car styling from the past combined with Lingenfelter's latest technologies, the Lingenfelter LTA has been a hit in collector car circles and enthusiast crowds across the country.

"Due to overwhelming response after displaying conceptual versions of the LTA at previous SEMA Shows and other events, Lingenfelter has decided to take the car to production," said Ken Lingenfelter, owner of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering. "As a long-time admirer of the Firebird Super Duty, I initially wanted to build this car to celebrate and improve upon that special brand. After gauging the reactions of interested customers, we learned many enthusiasts share our passion for these eye-catching performance vehicles. And after thousands of inquiries, Lingenfelter determined we had to build limited quantities of the Lingenfelter LTA."

Lingenfelter went on to explain the many differences between their concept LTA and the production version.

"We've taken the time to re-design this car, to re-create factory features and enhance each aspect of the vehicle, from new taillights to a re-designed deck lid and wheels," he explained. "We aren't selling individual parts and components for our customers to create this car on their own; we're delivering a complete, finished vehicle that's been re-done inside and out."

The Lingenfelter LTA begins as a 2010-2013 model year Chevrolet Camaro, which Lingenfelter then enhances with high performance products and body-modifying accessories.

It will be available in three levels to suit customers' tastes, with the Level 3 LTA containing Lingenfelter's impressive 455 cubic inch LS engine that delivers a powerful 655 horses. The Level 3 LTA also features LPE/Kooks Headers with high flow converters, an LPE/CORSA Performance cat-back exhaust, Brembo Brakes, 20x9.5 and 20x11 Honeycomb Wheels with powder coated centers, a custom interior and more. Lingenfelter badges, indicating the vehicle's authenticity as a certified Lingenfelter creation, adorn the interior and exterior.

For more than 34 years, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering has created a matchless heritage of bringing astounding new capabilities to the world's most sought-after sports cars. This legendary record of precision engineering continues today, as the highly skilled Lingenfelter production team continues to target design excellence in engine packages, superchargers and high-performance aftermarket components that refine power, speed and control. For more information, visit, contact Lingenfelter Performance Engineering at 1557 Winchester Road, Decatur, IN 46733, or call 260.724.2552.

News Source: Lingenfelter

Image Credit: Copyright 2012 Drew Phillips / AOL

Category: Aftermarket, SEMA Show, Convertible, Performance, Chevrolet

Tags: camaro, chevrolet, convertible, featured, lingenfelter, lingenfelter lta, lta, sema, sema 2012

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Buick dealers hot for Encore

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CNG Would End US Reliance on Foreign Oil, Says Sergio Marchionne

Published October 31, 2012

By Bertel Schmitt


While Chrysler has a few plug-in vehicle experiments ongoing, it is not particularly known to be strong in the electrified sector, and now its CEO has come out in favor of CNG as an effective end for America’s reliance on foreign oil.

Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said that it is “most shocking” that the U.S. auto industry is not throwing its might behind natural gas, which has been found in abundance in the United States.

“A rapid adoption of CNG as a fuel source for automotive applications would almost instantly kill the reliance on foreign oil, and it would bring about a substantial reduction in emissions," said Marchionne. "Those are opportunities that need to be grabbed and they need to be industrialized. Especially with large vehicles like pickups and large SUVs, we could probably accommodate the installation of CNG tanks within the next 24 to 36 months.”

As we see also, on Monday Chrysler's Ram brand has just launched a bi-fuel, CNG-capable light-duty production truck.

Marchionne gave his views of CNG on the sidelines of an industry convention in Shanghai, China, over the weekend, but for the most part it was not reported. Instead reporters chased down answers to politicized questions as to whether Jeep production would be outsourced to China.

Concerns by reporters focused on whether production priorities would cost jobs in the U.S., or Italy. Both of which Marchionne answered for the umpteenth time with a no.

Poor reporting by unscrupulous bloggers has been partially blamed for the rumor that Jeep production would be outsourced from Toledo, Ohio, to China. Actually an original story on Oct. 22 by Bloomberg had the facts straight, but others overstated the purported sell-out to the Chinese story to the point that even Mitt Romney got it wrong.

This in turn was a setback for Romney as he used the incorrect info in an Ohio ad to strike at Obama for selling Chrysler to the Italians who planned to move Jeep production to China. That miscue led to him being quickly censured in the media, including by Bill Clinton who has been quoted as saying Romney's assertion is "the biggest load of bull in the world."

But while reporters were chasing the seeds of that false Jeep-to-China report with Marchionne in Shanghai, they missed a true story on his considered views on how to cure U.S. dependence on foreign oil and to curb global warming.

And while he is at it, Marchionne says he doesn’t think ethanol has much future in the U.S. He said alcohol works as a fuel for Brazil where, “from a global standpoint, producing ethanol probably is the most efficient use of their sugarcane.” It was tried in Africa, and it failed. And, said Marchionne, he is “making no comments on the U.S. side of ethanol production which relies on grains.” We take it, Sergio doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

Asked to explain the cause for why alternative fuels aren’t adopted in wholesale fashion the world over, Marchionne started to say “the dominance of oil ...” Then he checked himself, took a big breath, and said “I am not pointing fingers on big oil being responsible for anything.”

Instead, he continued on more benignly, saying the existence of oil production as a big business with established refinery capacity in most developed countries is a force to be reckoned with.

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Lightning GT

Electric / 400 PS / range: 150 - 225 miles (240 - 360 km) / 0 - 62 mph (100 km/h): 5,0 s / Vmax: 125 mph (200 km/h)

(click images for a larger view)

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2013 SRT Viper with Mopar accessories shines at SEMA

Related Gallery 2013 SRT Viper with Mopar accessories: SEMA 2012

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Mopar Announces Top Performance Parts and Accessories for All-new 2013 SRT Viper

- Production of all-new 2013 SRT Viper begins next month

- Mopar performance parts and accessories available at

October 31, 2012 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Owners of the heart-pounding all-new SRT Viper will have more than 50 Mopar performance parts and accessories from which to choose.

"By itself, our all-new SRT Viper stands out from the crowd," said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand. "For those owners who want to take the next step in customization and personalization, Mopar stands ready with more than 50 quality-tested performance parts and accessories."

Following are select Mopar performance parts and accessories for the all-new 2013 SRT Viper:

Performance Cross Car X-Brace

With single-piece carbon fiber construction, this hand-made brace has more than 30 layers of carbon fiber optimally aligned to manage driving loads. Brace features topology optimized structurally efficient design, aerospace-grade stainless steel attachment bushings, and significant weight savings over production aluminum engine brace. Polished, exposed carbon fiber weave complements hood inner finish. Front, carbon-fiber cross-car brace.

MSRP: $3,175, part number 82213416

Carbon Fiber Coil Covers

Stamped stainless steel layered with a generous amount of carbon fiber has these engine covers screaming for attention. These covers definitely hold their own, or may be paired with the Mopar Cross Car X-Brace to form a venomous combination.

MSRP: $880, part number 82213419.

Industry-first Wireless Charging Pad

Professionally installed within easy reach, the ultra-convenient wireless charging pad simultaneously powers multiple devices. Just equip your smartphone or player with a flexible cover that integrates wire-free charging technology (sold separately), place anywhere on the charging pad and you're good to go. No tangled wires, no deciding which device to charge first.

MSRP: $275, part number 82213712

Performance Cat-back Exhaust System

This growl means business. The deeper tone you get from adding this stainless steel exhaust system communicates impressive horsepower and torque gains – and the added perk of improved fuel economy. The system includes two mufflers, mandrel-bent tubing, right and left turn-out assemblies, and four 2.5-inch clamps.

MSRP: $668, part number P4510608

Bulkhead Satchel

Carbon fiber wraps the bulkhead satchel and is designed to be a direct replacement for both the SRT and GTS bulkhead compartments. This feature includes a universal integrated quick-release camera mount. Owners may track their on-track action with the security and convenience of a mounted camera inside of the vehicle.

MSRP: TBD, part number 82213434.

Pedal Kit

A sand-blasted aluminum finish gives the pedal additional stopping power. Features unique race-inspired contoured design and Stryker-engraved footrest pedal. Alloy construction stands up when you step on it. Accelerator, brake and clutch with Viper logo.

MSRP: $255, part number 82213410

Billet Shift Knob

Industrial design cues reflect the heavy-duty inner workings of the machined G5 Billet aluminum shifter. A carbon fiber shift top features gunmetal pattern under a smooth satin clear finish.

MSRP: $163, part number 82213426

Black Leather Shift Knob

Gives a real feel for Viper's shorter shift throw, the leather-wrapped shift knob is enhanced with a satin chrome and gunmetal cap.

MSRP: $158, part number 82213425

Door Sill Guards

Bright, polished chromed door sill guards emblazoned with the bold Viper logo keep this collector's car collectible by protecting the vehicle's entry points from small dings and scratches.

MSRP: $205, part number 82208805AB

Six-point Safety Harness

Keeping up with 640 horses requires a little extra equipment. This race-ready belt system anticipates the Viper's g forces from every angle and keeps the driver in optimal position to take the beast through its paces.

MSRP: TBD, part number 82213431.

Katzkin Leather Interiors

Katzkin offers a range of seating accessories that let you take the Viper interior to the next level. Premium leather trim packages include embroideries, piping, two-tones, suede and a range of colors. Fully custom leather seats, or four established designs from which to choose.

MSRP: TBD, part number LRZD0131TI

Stage 3 Coilover Suspension Kit

With lightweight aluminum construction, this suspension system is three-way adjustable for compression rebound and ride height. It bridges the gap between street systems and full race systems.

MSRP: $5,995, part number 82213435

Brake Rotors

Keep those 640 horses in check with StopTech® two-piece slotted lightweight rotors that combine with the Viper's Brembo® calipers to reduce rotating inertia and unsprung mass. A patented curved-fin design contributes to improved brake cooling and significantly reduces fade, even under extreme conditions. The StopTech brake rotors, tires, and lightweight wheels combine to reduce 60 pounds of unsprung, rotating mass. Two-piece front set.

MSRP $1,445, part number P5155125 (front).

MSRP: $1,445, part number P5155126 (rear).

Racing Exhaust System

A low back pressure exhaust system specifically tuned for Mopar race headers (P5155828). Features a pressure drop equal to that of a straight pipe. The four-tube perforated design reduces exhaust noise with minimal size and weight. MSRP: $1,005 , part number P5155831

Performance Headers With J-Pipe

These race headers are constructed of heavy-duty stainless steel and are equipped with a five-tube flange that allows easy installation without removal of the engine. With a primary tube diameter of 1.75 inches, its 5-into-1 collector allows for maximum torque and horsepower gain. The "J" pipe connects race headers to the race exhaust. It may be used when customizing the exhaust system or by itself depending on vehicle tuning requirements.

MSRP: $3,495, part number P5155828

Vehicle covers

For the ultimate in indoor protection, SATIN STRETCH™ Lycra fibers optimally stretch to show off Viper's curves. The special stitching methods, invisible seams and auto-show quality fit make this the cover of choice. Its inner-liner pampers Viper with fleece. The cover comes in a unique Viper storage case.

Black with Silver Stripes, MSRP: $352, part number 82213248

Red with White Stripes, MSRP: $352, Part Number: 82213240

Blue with White Stripes, MSRP: $352, Part Number: 82213347

About the All-new 2013 SRT Viper

Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand's flagship performance machine returns with more power and performance, superior craftsmanship, new technologies and creature comforts. The fifth generation of the iconic two-seat, American-built supercar features an all-aluminum, mid-front 8.4-liter V-10 engine that delivers 640 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque- the most torque of any naturally aspirated sports car engine in the world.

About SRT

The Chrysler Group's Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand uses a successful product development formula featuring five proven hallmarks: awe-inspiring powertrains; outstanding ride, handling and capability; benchmark braking; aggressive and functional exteriors and race-inspired and high-performance interiors to remain true to its performance roots.

The SRT lineup in the 2013 model year features five vehicles that are world-class performance contenders and bring the latest in safety technologies and creature comforts. The Chrysler 300 SRT8, Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, Dodge Charger SRT8 and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 are joined by the SRT flagship Viper and Viper GTS models which are making their highly anticipated return to the high-performance sports car market.

Mopar-First Features

Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:

- Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers

- Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format and first to offer complete vehicle-information kits in Spanish

- Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot

- Wireless charging: first to introduce in-vehicle wireless charging for portable devices

- Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters

- 2011 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car

- Brand-specific customer care telephone lines: first to offer Sunday service hours for customers

- WiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network

About the Mopar Brand

Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand and distributes 280,000 parts and accessories. With the creation of the Chrysler Group and Fiat SpA partnership, Mopar is extending its global reach, integrating service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Combined with Fiat SpA, Mopar's global portfolio includes more than 500,000 parts and accessories that are distributed in more than 120 countries. Mopar is the source for all genuine parts and accessories for Chrysler Group and Fiat SpA brands.

Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler Group and Fiat SpA vehicles - a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at

75 Years of Mopar

Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for antifreeze product in 1937. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s - the muscle-car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth "package cars" equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of "special parts" for super-stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use. The brand has expanded to include technical service and customer support.

Image Credit: Copyright 2012 Drew Phillips / AOL

Category: Aftermarket, SEMA Show, Coupe, Performance, SRT

Tags: 2013 srt viper, accessories, mopar, sema, sema 2012, srt, viper

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Why Hurricane Sandy fallout will hit luxury carmakers particularly hard

News Source: Bloomberg, Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Andrew Burton / Getty

Category: Car Buying, Etc., Earnings/Financials

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Tesla Produces 1000th Completed Model S Body

Written By Thomas Ponco on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 | 11:59 PM

Published October 31, 2012

By Jeff Cobb


Tesla’s Model S was launched June 22, and a bit more than three-and-a-half months later, CEO Elon Musk announced over the weekend via Twitter that body number 1000 had been built.

“V[ery] proud of Tesla team for completing 1000th Model S body. More cars made this month than entire rest of year,” tweeted Musk on Sunday.

So the company is speeding up its production capability, as it had said it would. On Oct. 3, Musk had said during the first quarter Tesla had produced 359 complete Model S sedans, and the company was at the steepest portion of its production ramp.

“If the calendar were simply shifted a few weeks to the right,” Musk said at the time, “Tesla would have exceeded the 500 vehicle delivery target for the third quarter.”

An early projection was that Tesla would produce 5,000 units from launch through Dec. 31, but this was later trimmed back. More recently it said it would turn out 2,500-3,500 units in the fourth quarter, and 20,000 for 2013.

Musk also said Oct. 3 that by the end of November, he expects Tesla Motors to be cashflow positive.

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Prices And Specs Announced For Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Published October 31, 2012

By Philippe Crowe


As production for the 2013 model year begins, Toyota has released prices for its flagship sedan, the Avalon, including the newly available version with Hybrid Synergy Drive.

Both the V6 Avalon and Avalon Hybrid arrive in dealerships at the beginning of December and will come with a new exterior design, improved dynamic performance, a higher degree of refinement and technology.

The Avalon Hybrid’s Hybrid Synergy Drivetrain is similar to the one powering the Camry Hybrid that includes a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle, four cylinder engine, an electronic CVT that contains two electric motors and a 244.8-volt battery that help produce an overall system output of 200 horsepower.

Itis EPA-rated at a combined 40 mpg (40 mpg city/39 mpg hwy) and the five-seater is available in four trim levels: XLE, XLE Premium, XLE Touring and Limited. These three upper ones are offered with the hybrid system.

The XLE, only available in gas model includes power adjustable heated front leather seats, alloy wheels, touch screen display audio, smart key, heated outer mirrors, outer mirror turn signals as standard equipment.

The first level of equipment for the Avalon hybrid, the XLE Premium Hybrid model, is $35,555 and includes features such as backup camera and moonroof. This trim level is priced $2,360 more than its equivalent gas-only Avalon XLE Premium.

The XLE Touring hybrid model is $37,250 and comes with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, display audio with entune and navigation, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert and paddle shifters.

The Limited hybrid model is $41,400 and includes premium standard features such as premium perforated leather with heated and ventilated front seats, JBL/Premium HDD audio, safety connect, rear seat heater, rear sunshade, 3-zone HVAC, puddle lamps, HID headlamps and LED DRLs.


The technology package optional on the Limited includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision system and automatic high beams.

The price difference between gasoline and hybrid models for the XLE Touring and the Limited is $1,750. Toyota says this is the smallest difference between hybrid and gas models its entire line-up.

Coincidentally, Toyota celebrated the 25 millionth vehicle manufactured in North America yesterday at a ceremony at its Georgetown, Ky., plant. This event was timed with the start of production for the all-new 2013 Avalon.

The milestone vehicle – a Classic Silver Hybrid Avalon – represents according to Toyota 26 years of manufacturing, a direct investment of nearly $24 billion in North American operations and 365,000 jobs created in the United States.

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Kelderman Ford F-250 Super Duty laughs at lesser trucks

Related Gallery Kelderman Ford F-250 Super Duty: SEMA 2012

Image Credit: Copyright 2012 Drew Phillips / AOL

Category: Aftermarket, SEMA Show, Truck, Ford, Off-Road

Tags: f-250, f-series super duty, ford, kelderman air suspension systems, sema, sema 2012, super duty, tim nicolau designs

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