Which Vehicles Do Men Own?
The people over at insideline.com compiled a list of vehicles with the highest proportion of male buyers in 2011, based on data from Polk. In the 8th position was the GMC Sierra, with an 87.5 percentage of male buyers, followed by the Ford F-Series, with 87 percent.
VW Concept Diesel Alltrack
The VW Alltrack: It has an off-road theme coupled with a diesel. Not touting the title SUV (and readily being called a “car” in press materials), the 2.0L turbocharged TDI, as well as the six-speed, dual-clutch auto transmission, oil pan, and exhaust, is shielded via a solid steel-plate underbody guard. They’re calling it an all-wheel-drive with an off-road driving system, aka the 4Motion setup, coupled with an electronic diff and hill descent assist. Plus, it has extra ground clearance. We’re a bit confused by what exactly this thing is, but that’s often the concept behind a concept anyway.
Win Welding Stuff
How does $60,000 in Miller Electric products sound to you? We mean having those products in your hands, that is. Now it sounds good, right? Miller is hosting the Job Weld Done Giveaway till December 31 and will be awarding loads of cool items like a stick welder, a MIG gun, and, come January, grand prizes that include a custom chopper and trip to NASCAR races. Enter (every month!) at millerwelds.com/win.
Rumor of the Moment:
The ’13 diesel-powered Porsche Cayenne SUV’s base price will start at about $56,000.
Are you a jobseeker or just a fan of Cummins technology? If you happen to be both, it’s your lucky day. There’s a new Cummins app from the Apple App Store and Android Marketplace that allows someone looking for a job to look for a new gig at the company, as well as explore 3D versions of Cummins engines.
Diesel Returns To Ford Vans
When the next-generation Ford Transit van arrives next year in North America, it will be the return of a diesel engine. While the engine may be branded Power Stroke—there won’t be a 6.7L under the hood. Initial reports suggest the diesel-powered Transit will get 25 percent better fuel economy than the last 6.0L-powered E-series van Ford built.
Biodiesel for Kids
Wait, that title didn’t come out quite right. What we meant was, the University of Idaho’s Biodiesel Education Program now has 4-H curriculum for 4-H clubs, allowing kids 8 to 12, or really, anyone in elementary school, to learn about renewable energy, how veggie oil and animal fat can be harvested for energy, what exactly biodiesel is, and much more. Come to think of it, the materials might be suited for ages 4 to infinity. You can learn more at uiweb.uidaho.edu.
Bosch and the 75th Million Common-Rail
Hey, we think we just found the name of our new hair band, Bosch and the 75th Million Common-Rail. Anyway, 75 seems to be the number most associated with Bosch these days—it was recently the 75th anniversary of the Bosch diesel system in passenger vehicles, and now it’s the 75th common-rail diesel system being made. This was first used in vehicles 14 years ago, and the company says the first customers for common-rail in 1997 were Alfa Romeo and Mercedes-Benz.
“We had a lot of effort going into diesel engine components, and we were not focused on gasoline. We changed that strategy and decided to be market leaders in gasoline as well as diesel.”
—Former Federal-Mogul CEO Jose Maria Alapont, to Automotive News about taking over when the company was in bankruptcy protection, when his strategies included closing unprofitable plants and putting more energy into engine parts
Best Headline of the Year (so far)
“Mazda CX-5 ‘Clean Diesel’ Reverses Diesel’s Decline in Japan”
—by way of Integrity Exports
“Ford and PSA Peugeot Citroën today provided an update on their diesel engine cooperation, which has enabled the production of more than 20 million engines in two displacement families (1.4L to 1.6L, and 2.0L and larger) over the past 12 years. Concerning the second engine family, the two companies have decided to independently develop and manufacture their larger diesel engines (2.0L and larger) to meet their future needs as well as new regulations. This decision has no impact on the current production of the existing jointly developed engines, or the derivatives planned for Euro 6 emissions legislation which comes into effect from 2014.”
—A statement released by Ford, in case you were wondering
Brand Image Awards
Kelley Blue Book has named the winners of the 2012 Brand Image awards, based on consumer perceptions about auto brands. Those with the highest perception in their category win the win. Yup, pretty straightforward. So, when it came to best interior design, non-luxury? Ford. Best exterior design, non-luxury? Ford. Most rugged truck brand? Ford. For best performance brand, Porsche came out ahead, as well as for coolest brand. Most prestigious? Mercedes-Benz.
How Volvo Will Unveil the First Diesel Plug-In Hybrid Car
The Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid is officially available for order, but as with all things these days, it has to go viral first. The “unboxing webisodes” can be seen at youtube.com/volvocarsnews. The focus is on what happens to people when they “unbox” hip electronics technology. Sure, it sounds a little yawn-worthy, but Volvo promises the five webisodes are “witty.” There’s also entertainment related to the actual car.
The diesel VW Beetle will go convertible.
The new Mopar off-road division will offer parts for Jeeps under the name Jeep Authentic Parts and Accessories.
Kelley Blue Book looked at its crystal ball—or Magic 8 ball or a pinball machine…we can’t be certain—and suspected in advance that new-vehicle sales in March of 2012 would be the highest for any March since 2007.
U-Haul’s report, “The 2011 Top 50 U.S. Destination Cities,” showed that with the top five, Houston ranked number one, followed by Orlando, Florida, Las Vegas, Chicago, and San Antonio.