December 10th, 2010 at 11:41am
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.
This is Autoline Daily for Friday, December 10, 2010. And now, the news.
FORD TIES HONDA IN LOYALTY
In yet another sign that American car-buyers now look favorably on American cars, Ford is now tied with Honda for the highest loyalty rates in the U.S. market. Sixty-two percent of Ford and Honda owners say they’ll go buy another one. That’s according to a study by J.D. Power, the Detroit News reports. Ford’s vehicles with the highest loyalty are the Edge, Fusion and F-Series pickup. For Honda, it’s the Accord, the CR-V and the Pilot. What are the most important things that keep customers coming back? Survey says: seating arrangement, styling, safety, deals and incentives, quality, and being fun to drive.
THAILAND SLASHES FLEX-FUEL TARIFF (subscription required)
U.S. automakers make hundreds of thousands of flex-fuel vehicles every year, even though the American public doesn’t seem all that interested in them. Well, maybe they ought to think about exporting some of those E-85 vehicles to Thailand. Ward’s reports that the Thai government is going to cut the import tariff on those vehicles. Today that tariff is 80 percent, they’re going to cut it to 60 percent. It’s also slashing the import tariffs on parts needed to make E-85 vehicles. Thailand wants more flex-fuel vehicles to reduce its dependence on imported oil and to reduce emissions.
APP SLOWS MUSIC WHILE DRIVING
If you get too many tickets for speeding maybe this can help you slow down. According to Engadget, a Belgian safety organization created an app for the iPhone called Slow Down. If you drive too fast it will slow down the music you’re playing in the car. Once you get back to the speed limit the music will play normally. It’s only available in Belgium but it’s free.
BOSCH NAVIGATION APP
And speaking of iPhone apps for your car, Bosch just introduced one for navigation. It shows landmarks in 3D, while less important details are kept in the background, making it easier for drivers to compare the map with their surroundings. The app can also show the driver the most ecological route in order to reduce fuel consumption and it even warns the driver if the car is moving too fast when approaching a curb. It’s available now at your “local” iTunes store.
SUV SALES BOOM IN CHINA
You know, when it comes to cars Chinese and American buyers sure seem to like the same things. We like lots of room in our cars, and we like SUVs. According to Gasgoo, through October of this year, 1 million SUVs were sold in China, double last year’s numbers. And SUVs make up almost half of all imported vehicles. The growth in popularity is impressive considering no foreign or domestic brands have introduced a new SUV since January.
BMW 1 SERIES M COUPE
There’s a new addition to BMW’s M family. The Bavarian automaker’s newest high-performance model is called – surprise, surprise – 1 Series M Coupe. It’s available in three colors: black, white and striking Valencia Orange metallic, an exclusive hue. Ahead of the firewall BMW has fitted the car with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six that delivers 340 brake-horsepower. Fuel consumption is 9.6 liters per 100 clicks, nearly 25 miles per gallon. A six-speed manual transmission sends the power to the rear wheels through a special locking differential. The car launches in Germany next March with a price tag of nearly €51,000, including the country’s 19 percent value-added tax. Details of its North American debut will be announced at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
VW TO OFFER FENDER AUDIO SYSTEM
A few years back Volkswagen gave away Fender guitars with the purchase of new 2007 models. The V-Dub Rocks promotion might have been lost to history along with so many other sales incentives if the company hadn’t teamed up with the instrument maker again. This time, rather than giving away guitars, VW has partnered with Fender to introduce an all-new premium audio system. Among other things, the package features nine speakers, special extended-range tweeters and proprietary Panasonic audio technology. Autoblog reports the system will launch on select 2012 models including the Jetta GLI and the yet-to-be-unveiled new new-Beetle. Sounds good to me.
Coming up next, a look at new safety technology from Volvo that slams on the brakes if you’re about to hit someone.
VOLVO PEDESTRIAN DETECTION
Volvo prides itself on putting safety at the top of its brand image. Even though all automakers offer all kinds of safety technology, Volvo is always trying to top them all. Seamus McElroy reports on the company’s latest safety system.
Last year over 4,000 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. in car crashes and another 59,000 were injured. That’s why Volvo is introducing new technology with its S60 to help prevent pedestrian casualties.
It’s called Pedestrian Detection and as its name indicates, it warns the driver if there is a pedestrian or an object in the road with audible and visual warnings and if the driver doesn’t stop for whatever reason, the system will take over and stop the car by itself if it’s traveling under 22 MPH. And if it’s above that speed the car will slow down as much as possible before impact. It also kicks in if the car is about to hit another vehicle from behind.
So how does it work? Volvo’s Thomas Broberg explains.
Thanks for that report, Seamus. The Pedestrian Detection feature is included in Volvo’s safety package which is a $2,100 upgrade for the S60.
And that brings us to the end of today’s report on the top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, have a great weekend, we’ll see you on Monday.