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Episode 547 – UAW Targets Transplants, Safety Bill Fails, 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

December 23rd, 2010 at 12:08pm

Runtime 9:06

The UAW is beating the war drums again; this time it’s going after foreign transplants in the U.S.  Congress failed to pass legislation that would have overhauled auto-safety laws in the country.  Mercedes-Benz has given us an early Christmas present by showing off its redesigned 2012 C-Class.  All that and more, plus John shares his thoughts on driving Ford’s bodacious Focus RS500.

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Episode 546 – Chrysler Financial Sold, HondaJet Passes First Test, Mercedes B-Class Sleeper

December 22nd, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 9:13

Cerberus is going to recoup close to 90 percent of its investment in Chrysler by selling the automaker’s finance arm. Honda successfully completed the first flight-test of its small business-airplane called the HondaJet. Trainees at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt, Germany have assembled a one-off B-Class with a 5.5-liter V-8 between the front fenders. All that and more, plus a look at how Lotus is making a comeback.

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Episode 545 – Toyota Fined, Again; 2011 Chrysler 300 Revealed; More Ethanol Drama

December 21st, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 7:50

The U.S. federal government socked Toyota with another fine, this time for its tardy handling of recalls and other safety issues.  Chrysler just released pictures of its redesigned 300, which should start arriving at dealerships in the first quarter of next year.  The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is one of four trade groups that’s asking a federal appeals court to overturn a ruling by the U.S. EPA that allows gasoline blends with 15 percent ethanol.  All that and more, plus John shares some of his thoughts on the Ford Focus RS 500 he recently drove.

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Episode 544 – Toyota Turnaround Years Away, Hyundai Plans Fuel Cell Production, Dodge Durango

December 20th, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 8:21

An analysis of Toyota by Goldman Sachs Japan predicts the automaker will lose global market share. Hyundai plans to start commercial production of fuel-cell cars by 2015. Volkswagen says it wants to be No. 1 in electric-vehicle sales in China by 2018. All that and more, plus a look at the new vehicle that shocked everyone by ending up as one of the finalists for the North American Truck of the Year award.

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Episode 543 – Batteries Will Stay Expensive, NACTOY Finalists Announced, GMC Sierra Concept

December 17th, 2010 at 12:41pm

Runtime 10:04

Batteries for hybrids and electric vehicles are going to stay expensive, at least according to the Center for Automotive Research and the National Academy of Sciences.  The finalists for the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards have been announced.  A concept version of the GMC Sierra featuring all kinds of off-road modifications is targeting the Ford Raptor F-150.  All that and more, plus a look at some of the Automotive X PRIZE winners.

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Episode 542 – Metal Prices Soar, The Astronomical Cost of CAFE, Knockout New-Car Smell

December 16th, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 7:25

The prices of aluminum and copper are surging, and there could be a shortage in 2012.  The Center for Automotive Research released a study looking at the proposed 60-mile-per-gallon fuel-economy standard, and the cost of meeting those rules is shocking.  That “new-car smell” probably isn’t the best thing for your lungs, but according to one forensic investigator it could knock you out.  All that and more, plus John takes a swing at your questions and comments in the “You Said It!” segment.

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Episode 541 – German Assembly Lines Humming, China Bumps R&D Spending, Monster Crate Motor

December 15th, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 7:50

German assembly lines are humming even as new-vehicle sales slow down in Europe.  With the exception of the United States, China now spends more money on research and development than any other country in the world.  GM’s performance parts division just introduced the most powerful small-block V-8 it’s ever engineered.  All that and more, plus a look at Lexus’ latest luxury hybrid, the CT 200h.

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Episode 540 – WTO Rejects China’s Complaint, Engineers in Demand, 9th Generation Honda Civic

December 14th, 2010 at 11:52am

Runtime 7:22

The World Trade Organization rejected China’s accusation that the United States violated trade rules when it imposed import tariffs on some Chinese tires. There is a shortage of automotive engineers in North America, not only at the OEMs but also at the suppliers. Honda released a sketch of the 9th generation Civic that will make its official debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month. All that and more, plus a look at the new Pentastar V-6 engine from Chrysler.

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Episode 539 – China Moves the Metal, Volvo Plans Three New Plants, No Pay Raises At GM

December 13th, 2010 at 11:43am

Runtime 6:44

China’s car exports are up 70% for the year even with a drop in passenger car sales in November. Volvo’s new owner Geely plans on building 3 new plants that could make up to 600,000 Volvo’s a year. GM’s salaried workers will not be receiving a raise next year, despite the fact the company is making boatloads of profits. All that and more, plus a look at the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

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Episode 538 – Ford Ties Honda In Loyalty, BMW 1 Series M Coupe, VW to Offer Fender Audio System

December 10th, 2010 at 11:41am

Runtime 7:50

Ford is now tied with Honda for the highest loyalty rates in the American market accordin,g to a study by J.D. Power. BMW shares details on the newest addition to its M family, the 1 Series M Coupe. Volkswagen has partnered with Fender to introduce an all-new premium audio system. All that and more, plus a look at new safety technology from Volvo.

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