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Cash For Clunkers Program

Car Allowance Rebate System = Cash For Clunkers Program

Car Allowance Rebate SystemCash for clunkers may or may not be the correct terminology for this Federal Program, depending on what you are bringing to the dealership.  However, having the opportunity to receive some Federal financial assistance to purchase a replacement vehicle has motivated many customers to come into dealerships.

What Is The Effect

Cash For Clunkers BannerUS auto sales totaled 4.8 million units in the first half of the year which calculates to about 800,000 vehicles per month.  With the CARS program in place sales jumped to 1M vehicles in July.  Going from 800k to 1M represents a 25% increase in sales for the month.

$3500 to $4500

CARS Program information is pretty well explained explained and HERE is the Simple Explanation.  Or, if you want to review the complete US Department of Transportation Code of Federal Regulations then HERE is the 136 page Detailed Explanation.

… Continue Reading

You Can Communicate With GM

You Can Communicate Directly With GM

Henderson GM Web SiteGM has set up a web site link where you can actually communicate with CEO Fritz Henderson.  This web site provides a “Corporate View” for GM at www.GM.com and drilling into the site gets to Mr. Henderson’s direct link and includes contemporary videos with his message, vehicles coming on-line now, and a very significant video with the pilot build for the Volt.

Is This Significant?  Yes!

Auto manufacturers are elusive.  Communication of any type to the auto manufacturer is always filtered, diverted, re-routed, and potentially a waste of time.  However, one good thing that has come out of the Structured Bankruptcy is that GM is now more transparent. 

Spend a few minutes with this site.  You will see an openness that has never been in place before.  Will this last?  Is this just a bunch of “smoke and mirrors”.  Who knows???  But, for now there appears to be a realistic effort for communication.

As a follower of the Tribune if you have some success or failure of the GM Link let us know.

Bob Lutz Has A New Role

GM’s “Car Guy” Will Not Retire

Bob Lutz will continue to have an active role in the New GM.  This is important news 

The Lee Iacocca Model

GM because Lutz is the one guy that absolutely delivers and his new role will be to Deliver GM to the customer!

What exactly will Bob Lutz new role be … well that seems to be unclear.  However, what is clear is that A) his strong character type and B) USA’s need to be comfortable with GM.  Putting together A & B results in a classic Lee Iacocca that can be the voice of the New GM.

If you can find a better car then buy it … in the best of Lee Iacocca.

GM and America need Bob Lutz.  He is the one leader that can deliver comfortability and quality assurance for GM.  We will all be watching for the media update.

Revenge Of The Electric Car

June 13, 2009 Auto Manufacturer Comments Off on Revenge Of The Electric Car

A New Electric Car Film, Information & Technical Updates

EV1 at the Henry Ford Museum

EV1 at the Henry Ford Museum

Much is happening on the electric car front.  The Chevy Volt final design has been finalized and GM is moving to have the car in dealerships in 2010.  Chevrolet has permitted a few journalists to drive the Volt and the reviews are all very positive.  There will be much more hype over this car as it comes to production.  However, the good thing is that this car appears to be carefully engineered and provides good driving and performance characteristics as addressed in Chelsea Sextons Road Test.  Much depends on the success of the Volt for mainstream electric cars.  It is clear that GM Current Product Engineering will be very involved with the Volt. 

Revenge Of The Electric Car

Who Killed The Electric Car DVD CoverChris Payne and P.G. Morgan were Director and Producer of Who Killed The Electric Car? and have teamed up for a new film Revenge Of The Electric Car which will debut in 2010.  A web site and blog have been setup to chronicle developments associated with the film and related technologies.  An intertesting and informative road test article on the Chevy Volt has been prepared by Chelsea Sexton.

2010 GM Volt Update

LG Chem of Korea got the contract to provide lithium-ion batteries for the Volt.  GM will incorporate the batteries into  their proprietary battery pack design and software control so that they will be able to manage continued battery development and provide the battery packs to other customers.

Nano Engineered Batteries

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to see a presentation about nano-engineered battery developments.  To say that nano engineering is a hot topic is an understatement.  In a fundamental way a base definition for nano engineering a battery would be to increase the energy density of the battery. 

Asking an automotive battery pack quesitons went like this: if an electric car battery pack weighing 1,000 lb were to be replaced by a nano-engineered battery what would the weight of the nano-engineered battery be?  Answer — 10 lb.

One thing is for sure, if the nano-engineered battery is anywhere close on performance and packaging then the entirety of the electric car will be light weight and spectacular.  Basically the car would represent a rolling chassis with minimum weight for the powertrain.  Such a real-world vehicle could have a curb weight of around 2,000 lb.

Bite of the Viper

Bitten By The Viper

viper_3Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli has potentially opened a proverbial Hornet’s Nest by saying that there were no serious interested parties for the Dodge Viper and inaccurately stating the offers for Viper.  In Washington on June 4th it came out that a Michigan-based investor group had offered $35 million for the Viper car line.  However, Chrysler reported in their bankruptcy filing that the best offer that came along was $5.5 million.

This Looks Like A Major Error

His statement may be valid, although at this time it is has become public that the higher offer was made.  This mis-communication may be an honest error on the part of Mr. Nardelli.  Unfortunately for Chrysler and Mr. Nardelli, Washington, D.C. Congressmen and Senators will likely take this topic and turn it into a media show that will not be good for Chrysler.

Chrysler Smoke In Washington

For now the smoke is rising on this matter and it has been said that where there is smoke there is fire.

The Real Money

Viper value is a “drop in the bucket” of money associated with Chrysler.  This money is almost totally negligible when keeping Chrysler alive.  Although, if there is an error in reporting the information then everything that Chrysler brings forward will be suspect.  That outcome would certainly make future negotiations between Chrysler and the Government much more challenging.

GM Bankruptcy Filing For A New Start

GM Files Bankruptcy June 1, 2009

The Automotive Tribune has chronicled the evolution of this saga for some time with focus into selected or unique issues associated with the auto maker.  All car guys have some level of concern whether or not you like GM because problems with one manufacturer o supplier affects teh entire industry.  GM’s formal bankruptcy filing on June 1st in Manhattan is historic. … Continue Reading

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Richard Kubis Explains Solar Thermal Hybrid Automobile