June 5th, 2012 at 11:40am
Infiniti just announced Johan de Nysschen is moving to its brand new headquarters in Hong Kong to take over that brand for Nissan. If you were looking to buy a Fiat 500 Abarth you’re going to have to wait. The EU will present a report to automakers tomorrow proposing lighter carbon-dioxide standards. All that and more, plus a review of the 2012 Subaru Legacy.
Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. Today is June 5, I’m John McElroy, and here’s the news.
TO INFINITI AND BEYOND . . .
On yesterday’s show we reported that Johan de Nysschen was leaving as president of Audi of America, and I said he probably would end up in a top position at some other automaker. Well Infiniti just announced that de Nysschen is moving to its brand new headquarters in Hong Kong to take over that brand for Nissan, with the official title of senior vice president.
FIAT 500 ABARTH SOLD OUT
If you were looking to buy a Fiat 500 Abarth you’re going to have to wait. According to The Detroit News, the company is no longer taking orders for the car from dealers in the U.S. Fiat originally planned to sell around a thousand when it launched in April, then quickly increased production to 3,000 units based on demand. But now the sporty subcompact is just about sold out. Customers who place an order will have to wait for the 2013 model.
RENT ‘EM BY THE HOUR
U.S. rental car company Enterprise will start renting cars by the hour this year. According to Bloomberg, the company has acquired several small hourly rental companies and plans to consolidate them to increase its fleet. Renting cars by the hour was started by Zipcar over a decade ago. Hertz entered the market a few years back and by next year it plans to offer its entire fleet for hourly rental. Hourly rentals have grown into a $1.8 billion industry in the U.S. and could jump to over $3 billion by 2016.
REFRESHED PRINCE OF BELAIR DEARBORN
2011 was a banner year for the Ford F-150. This popular pickup received a groundbreaking lineup of new powertrains, including a segment-leading base engine as well as a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6. To keep things fresh, the company is making a few tweaks for 2013. The truck gets a mildly restyled front end with available HID headlamps. There are three new exterior color options and some fresh wheel designs. Hill-descent control is offered as is an electronically locking rear end. For better or for worse MyFord Touch has finally made it to the lineup. It will be interesting to see how this pickup compares to the redesigned GM models which are due early next year.
CRANK UP THE CARBON
Is the European Union’s commitment to reducing global warming starting to fade? According to Bloomberg, the EU will present a report to automakers tomorrow proposing lighter carbon-dioxide standards. It sure sounds like the economic downturn and debt crisis have European governments worried about burdening the auto industry with too much regulation.
TERRIBLY NAMED ENGINE GOES RACING
Following Audi and Peugeot, Mazda is the latest manufacturer to go racing with diesel engines. It will campaign its Skyactiv-D engine in the 2013 Grand-Am series, in the GX class, which is reserved for advanced drivetrain technologies. The 2.2-liter engine will redline at 5,200 RPM and is fed by a two-stage turbocharger. The engine’s compression ratio is quite low for a diesel at 14-to-1. Mazda has not yet released what the engine’s output will be, or which model it will be raced in.
Coming up next, a look at the limited edition of the Subaru Legacy.
2012 SUBARU LEGACY
(This feature is only available in the video version of today’s program.)
Sales of the Legacy are running strong, but just to put it in perspective, so far this year sales of the Legacy stand at about 20,000 cars in the American market. That’s about what the Toyota Camry sells in one month!
Before we go today here’s a heads up about some unique programming. This Friday, June 8, we’ll be broadcasting a special Hall vs. Hall edition of RoundAbout. Jim Hall will grapple with twin brother Bob Hall in all things automotive, so tune in for that at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time THIS Friday. But, we also want topics for the Hall brothers to debate — you know, what’s the best “this”? Who built the worst “that”? E-mail all your ideas to RoundAboutShow@gmail.com. Once again, that’s RoundAboutShow@gmail.com.
And that wraps up today’s report, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.