Automotive Industry and Car Reviews

Old automotive pages from 2007 and Before

VW “Dodges” Minivan Market

From the company whose microbus became legendary among travelers and hippies comes the 2009 Routan, Volkswagen’s first honest-to-goodness “garden variety” minivan.


By Jim Bray - Monday, January 19, 2009 - Full Story

Lexus unveils the ultimate advanced driving experience, all-new 2010 RX 350 and RX 450h

Lexus has unveiled the most advanced generation of its trend-setting RX luxury crossover vehicles for 2010, the V6-powered RX 350 and the hybrid RX 450h, at the 2009 Montreal International Auto Show. More than one million Lexus RX models have been sold worldwide, making it the most successful luxury crossover vehicle. Both new models may have distinctive powertrains, but they both set a new benchmark in advanced performance, fuel efficiency, new intuitive technologies and design and class-leading safety.

By Guest Column - Thursday, January 15, 2009 - Full Story

New Sedan Ups Mazda’s “6 Appeal”

It’s the Mazda6 , which the company says is all new from stem to stern and top to bottom – and which surely looks and feels that way. In fact, so far as its looks are concerned, I think this is one of the best-looking sedans on the road today, sporty and modern and lovely to behold. And that’s saying something; I thought the previous 6 was one of the nicest styling jobs around, yet park it next to the fresh 6 and the previous generation looks positively frumpy.

By Jim Bray - Monday, January 12, 2009 - Full Story

Toyota maintains pace, broadens scope of advanced environmental technologies

First of 500 Plug-ins Arrive Late ‘09 to Global Lease-Fleet Customers

As Many As 10 New Gas-Electric Hybrids by early 2010s
Toyota today announced that it will display the Toyota FT-EV concept on opening Media Day at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), confirming its plan to launch an urban commuter battery-electric vehicle (BEV) by 2012. This announcement, coupled with its compressed natural gas powered Camry Hybrid concept display at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, signal Toyota’s intention to broaden the scope of its advanced alternative-fuel vehicle development.

By Guest Column - Monday, January 12, 2009 - Full Story

Subaru Canada sales up 20.5 percent in 2008

Subaru Canada, Inc. (SCI) is delighted to announce that it set a new annual sales record in 2008, retailing 19,892 vehicles. That’s a 20.5 percent increase over the 16,504 vehicles sold the previous year and a 15.4 percent increase over the last annual record of 17,236 units set in 2002. It was also a record December for SCI, with Canadian customers buying 1,529 Subaru vehicles during the month, 16.0 percent more
than last December’s record sales of 1,318.

By Guest Column - Tuesday, January 6, 2009 - Full Story

Canadian-built models drive Toyota Canada Inc. to all-time record year in 2008

In 2008, Canadian drivers purchased with a strong focus on vehicle quality, safety and fuel efficiency, while not sacrificing on the performance and amenities that Toyota and Lexus offer. Canadians made it
possible for Toyota Canada Inc. to achieve a best ever year of sales in 2008, driving away in 224,158 Toyota and Lexus vehicles in 2008, up 11.3% from 2007 to set the second straight year of sales over 200,000.

By Guest Column - Tuesday, January 6, 2009 - Full Story

Toyota to suspend production for 11 days in Japan

TOKYO – Toyota is suspending production at all 12 of its Japan plants for 11 days over February and March, a stoppage of unprecedented scale for the nation’s top automaker as it grapples with shrinking global demand.

By News on the Net - Tuesday, January 6, 2009 - Full Story

Ontario’s New Car Dealers seek Tax Breaks for Consumers

TORONTO, Dec. 21 /CNW/ - Ontario’s new car dealers are calling on the Federal & Provincial governments to offer three or six month tax rebates to drive up sales of domestic and foreign vehicles. The dealers, members of the Ontario Automobile Dealer Association (OADA), say the tax break will dramatically increase the number of customers visiting showrooms and help stimulate sales of new vehicles.

By Guest Column - Monday, December 22, 2008 - Full Story

Ford of Canada Responds to Government Announcement

NOTE TO EDITOR: Following the announcement by the US government, the Canadian and Ontario governments today confirmed the granting of emergency loans to GM Canada and Chrysler Canada. The following statements can be attributed to David Mondragon, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited.

By Guest Column - Monday, December 22, 2008 - Full Story

Auto Industry Supporters Grateful for What They Got

With several inches of fresh snow on the ground and with President Bush approving a $17.4 billion auto industry bailout, it was beginning to look a lot more like Christmas in Michigan on Friday. But it was more like the kind of Christmas where you found an orange in your stocking instead of that Wii game you really, really wanted.

By Guest Column - Saturday, December 20, 2008 - Full Story

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S – Power Player

What would you do if you had 550 horses at your beck and call?  I don’t know what you’d do, but I drooled. I mean, such power! And to come wrapped in the 2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, the top line model of Porsche’s great SUV, well, for what more could anyone ask?

By Jim Bray - Friday, December 19, 2008 - Full Story

Chrysler, GM Reopen Merger Talks

General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC have reopened merger talks, as Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital Management LP has signaled its willingness to give away part of its ownership in the auto maker, say people familiar with the discussions.

By Guest Column - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - Full Story

Suzuki Vitara a Grand SUV

Suzuki’s new Grand Vitara could be the perfect SUV for many consumers looking for a vehicle in the “cute ute” class.

By Jim Bray - Monday, December 15, 2008 - Full Story

Ford of Canada Statement

“The Canadian and Ontario governments have demonstrated strong leadership in the decision to support the country’s auto sector. At Ford of Canada, we are well on our way to transforming our company and do not need immediate access to government loans. Instead, we have asked the government for a “stand-by” line of credit to be used only if the current economic crisis worsens.

By Guest Column - Friday, December 12, 2008 - Full Story

GM board hired advisers to consider bankruptcy

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp hired outside advisers to weigh bankruptcy, but the board determined that a filing was not an option for the struggling automaker, a GM spokesman said on Thursday.

By Guest Column - Friday, December 12, 2008 - Full Story

Looking for a Minivan?

It may not be the most glamorous segment of the car biz, but minivans are still popular items with people who need the room and flexibility.

And in this niche, the Honda Odyssey is a fine entry, one of if not the best available.

I took a 2008 Odyssey for a week near the end of its life, the last writer to get it before retirement (the van, not me, alas). And as it turns out, when I was finished with it, it truly was ready for the automotive equivalent of the old folks home which, if it were actually to exist (and other than the difference in brand name), should by all rights be called “the old Volks home”. I’ll tell you about that later.

By Jim Bray - Monday, December 8, 2008 - Full Story