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In The News

 

News Flash – French TFI Television

French TFI Television

They were taking video footage for an upcoming segment on their network.
There certainly was a mixture of French and English dialogue and a good time was had by all.  Attached is a photo of the TFI team.

Yugo – A “National Class” Car

Bob McElroy and Dejan Dramicanin

Yugo production at Zastava

Yugo production at Zastava

With a license from Fiat and based on the Fiat 128 the first Yugo was built in 1978 by Zastava which is located about 115 miles from Belgrade, Serbia.  In performing research for this article it appears that Zastava  is looking for partners interested in buying or investing in our factory.  The link is the first one to come up if you google Zastava Yugo.  In the event you do not want to buy the company, it is definitely interesting to follow this story as it unfolds for your Automotive Tribune Editor.  The last Yugo was built November 20 2008.

Zastava badging on a Yugo in Belgrade

Zastava badging on a Yugo in Belgrade

In November 2008 I took a business trip to Belgrade, Serbia to meet with an engineering company concerning functional and test parameters for an advanced EDR.  It did not take me long to recognize that there were a lot of Yugo cars on the road as I travelled the streets of Belgrade with Mr. Dejan Dramicanin, CEO of Bitgear Design Services.  In fact there were lots of models and I was continually looking for major and minor differences with the various models.  Dejan, knew his Yugo’s and I did ask some challenging, or was that dumb, questions. … Continue Reading

Who Killed The Electric Car? — A Movie Review

March 21, 2009 Automotive Topics 2 Comments
DVD Cover

DVD Cover

This movie details the life cycle of the EV1 built by General Motors. It is an activist film. I almost expected to see Michael Moore doing a follow-up interview at the GM building in Detroit. To the automotive enthusiast, this film is absolutely alarming because there is a viable in-production at 4 units per day vehicle that was killed on multiple fronts at the same time. In 1996 the EV1 went into production. About 1,000 were built. I never had an opportunity to ride in or drive the EV1. However, I did have the opportunity to speak with a lady that had one in a Florida lease. She absolutely loved the car and I did have the opportunity to see her driving it on city streets and the interstate. EV1’s had an aluminum frame that was sophisticated and optimized for a sleek two passenger car. I remember seeing just an aluminum EV1 frame hanging up somewhere … unfortunately I just cannot remember where at the time this review is being written. As someone who has particular appreciation for drivable space frame technologies, this frame clearly incorporated suspension loading, occupant ergonomics, and collision dynamics. Yes, the EV1 was killed off and most of the cars were crushed and then shredded. There are a few non-drivable cars left including those at the National Museum of American History, a part of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.  … Continue Reading

Timely Automotive Tribune News

There are some important items in the world of automotive news that will be of interest to Tribune readers.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500

Dodge Ram truck sales are up significantly

was reported in the March 16th edition of Automotive News .  Ram 1500’s share of the full-sized pickup segment rose to 13.5 percent in February from 10.7 percent in January and 8.2 percent in December.  This momentum, general excitement, and life signs were observed  and expressed in the Tribune’s recent acticle on the Dodge Ram.

 

Tata Nano

Tata Nano to start production

was an article in today’s Wall Street Journal .  It is reported that the 10.2′ foot long car will cost dealers just under $2,000.  This car has been in limited availability in India because the new almost-completed production facility had to be relocated because of violent problems with a political party and local residents over disputed land.  During a business trip to Paris in late 2008 I discussed the Nano with an executive from India.  You will find the Tata Nano official website of interest as it countsdown till Monday’s official launch.  There are absolutely no plans for the Nano to come to North America!  This car represents a focused effort to provide a very low cost global entry vehicle for developing nations.

 

2010 Camaro RS2010 Camaro went into produciton on March 16th

You will be able to see the arrival of the Camaro at your local Chevrolet dealer in April.  Currently, GM reports that they have 14,000 vehicles on order.  Here is the link to the All New Camaro web site.   A base car in LS trim with IRS and a 304 HP V6 has a starting price of $22,995.  However, after spending some time with the Build Your Own feature, the Tribune is of the opinion that the full featured 2LT which comes in around $30k with the RS package will be the sales leader.  A fully optioned 2SS with either of the big ticket tire & wheel packages ($4,680 or $4,865) brings the total to just short of $42k for the 426 HP V8.

A Visit to Daytona Dodge Chrysler

2009 Dodge Ram 1500 -- Click Photo For Full Size

2009 Dodge Ram 1500 -- Click Photo For Full Size

Today, I did one of those things that really is a car guy thing, by going to the car dealership and looking around.  Stopping in at Daytona Dodge Chrysler and being shown around by Mr. Straiten.

For hard core Chrysler Product fans the term Mopar is about as close to the core as you get because of Motor Parts Corporation or Dodge/Chrysler parts division.  All future references to Mopar in the Automotive Tribune will be addressed with the full respect and homage associated with the rights, honors, and privileges thereto appertaining.
… Continue Reading

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Richard Kubis Explains Solar Thermal Hybrid Automobile