Easter is a week away. The first quarter of 2010 has sped by, and spring has arrived. Not only on the calendar, but also in the auto market. The annual “tax season” market spike, is all but over, and so far has been good for most of the dealers I have spoken with. It’s an odd situation, 1/3 of the dealers are breaking all time sales records, 1/3 just seeing normal sales cycles from last year, and the last 1/3 are considering bankruptcy as an alternative business plan. The difference is simple, it’s not the product, the location, or even the facililty of the dealership. It’s the people that work there.
There continues to be fewer used cars in the auction lanes, so prices, as well as sale percentages are still very strong. most dealers think this trend will continue on into the summer. Gas prices are showing signs of life, scaring us a bit, and reminded us of the disaster we faced in the SUV and Truck markets summer 2008. (more…)
Shanghai is in the grips of pre-Expo frenzy. Shanghai’s Finest are closing down all world famous adult entertainment establishments to present a clean Shanghai from May 1 to October 31 – no red rope treatment, except at the show entrance . General Motors, corporate citizen of Shanghai, unveiled a new electric concept car to up its image as a supplier of non-polluting cars tailored to keep the crowded mega-cities of the future green and clean. Did I say “car?” It looks more like an overgrown Segway scooter. Or something that escaped the Sunday Funnies, AD 1968 … (more…)
We first brought you news of KTM’s planned debut of two new electric motorcycle only days ago. It appeared as if the world would have to wait for the Tokyo Motorcycle Show and the official March 26th release date to get its eyes on fully exposed photos.
If you were holding your breath for the unveiling, you can thank German mag Motorrad for breaking the photos early. As we can see now, the supermoto and enduro versions differ quite extensively, despite sharing a frame and power-train. The unique single crown fork protruding from a BMX-like handlebar and headtube combination holding a single headlight certainly set the slick-tired version apart from its knobby clad counterpart. We can’t help but notice the rather dainty tubular steel frame on each model, despite plastic covers that give the illusion of a much beefier unit.
How much will it cost for your very own stick of 30-horsepower, 200-pound, orange-blooded electric dynamite? A proposed price of €10,000, which at current exchange rates is just over $13,500, seems in no way competitive amongst stiff competition from Zero and others already in the market. But it is still way too early to take much of an educated stand regarding KTM’s charge into the electric cycle niche. We won’t know anything concrete until we can put power to the ground aboard a Freeride ourselves.
Volatile gas prices and increasingly stiff emissions standards were supposed to kill the auto industry’s horsepower wars, or so we thought feared. Recent news out of the General Motors and Ford camps appears to prove otherwise. The second act in the battle for power supremacy took a turn for the better last November when The Blue Oval announced that the 2011 Mustang would receive a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 powertrain; a hair more punch than the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro V6’s 304-hp output. But what’s one extra horse between neighbors, right?
The General struck back a couple weeks ago when it announced power figures for the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel available in the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy duty pickups. The new Duramax pumps out 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque, besting Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel that was announced just a few weeks earlier by seven hp and 30 lb-ft. Ford likely isn’t going to take this Super Duty setback lying down, and sources tell our friends over at PickupTrucks.com that the company Henry built is looking to regain the power lead within a year.
PickupTrucks.com reports that the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine is an all-new architecture that likely has plenty of room for more punch, while the 6.6-liter Duramax is an older engine with less room for improvement, so the seesaw battle may not last too long. And sources say Ford engineers could crank the mill beyond 400 ponies and 775 lb-ft; or enough power to tow Florida closer to Texas.
But for now GM’s new fullsize pickups hold the power figure crown while Ford engineers look on with malice in their micrometers. At least Ford has that one pony lead over the Camaro, right? Rumor has it that the Bowtie brand is working on that one, too.