If you think back, GM developed the 2 Mode Hybrid system in collaboration with BMW and Daimler-Chrysler. Chrysler had about a two month run of Durango and Aspen hybrids. If you see one on the road you might consider it to be an exotic due to how rare it is. BMW has a hybrid system in their X6, but it is for performance more than fuel economy. Daimler has a RWD hybrid system in the Mercedes-Benz S Class, but the fuel economy hasn’t been anything to make headlines with. While not being much of a success for any party involved in that collaboration, one GM engineer described the 2 Mode hybrid system to me as a [...]
The evergreen RAV4 achieves the highest ranking among Mid-Size XSUVs based on owner ratings in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Research. As winner of its class, RAV4 owners want little significant changed with the notable exception that 35% want more infotainment technology. This is confirmation that, even as you move down in vehicle classes, buyers today want all the bells and whistles available in more expensive vehicles. Slightly over 20% of RAV4 owners want better interior lighting, better safety features, better visibility and more roominess. About 15% of RAV4 owners want a softer ride. RAV4 owners most like its seat comfort. RAV4 nosed out the even-older Mazda Tribute to win its class.
The Sequoia is the top ranked Large SUV based on ratings by its owners in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Research. Sequoia owners identify little significant that needs to be changed, but 30% want more infotainment technology, 25% want more cargo room, and 20% want better visibility and more daring styling. Sequoia owners most like seat comfort, ride comfort and size. Sequoia noses out the Ford Expedition for top spot.
Two new, completely different high efficiency cars entered the American car market earlier this year, and AutoPacific set out to find out how different the owners of those cars were from owners of hybrids.
Automotive product planners (VLMs) work with engineering, design, finance and marketing departments in an effort to make a vehicle attractive. Whether that attraction comes in the form of capability, styling, lease rates or message they are ultimately charged with helping sell the product. Sometimes the decisions to change a vehicle makes perfect sense and help improve the desirability or attractiveness of a vehicle – especially a vehicle that has to sell well over the course of a long production run (like 8 years or more!). We’ve noticed one of the ways Toyota freshens up their Tacoma ‘s is with a new front grille. In fact, in the last 4 years Toyota has installed 3 different factory front grilles into the Tacoma – from the black 2-bar to argent 2-bar to a black single bar (2011). 2011-
Think Audi A3, BMW 1-Series and Volvo C30 and you can better understand the competitive set Lexus is targeting with its all new CT200h 5-door hatchback to be launched in February 2011. Also think of the CT200h as a product really designed for the European market where it is right-sized and right-styled.
The competitive set in the USA sells less than 1,500 units per month now - or about 18,000 per year - small potatoes in a 12,000,000 unit industry. Lexus is going after 1,000 units per month - immediately intending capturing 40% of this small segment. Can they do it?
PickupTucks.com and AutoPacific have taken a look at all the new trucks sold in the past 10 years and made their picks for the most significant trucks of the decade. The trucks that made the list introduced cutting edge technologies and pushed the segment into new territory.