January 19th, 2009 at 12:00pm
Lexus is recalling nearly 215,000, MY2006-2008 GS, IS, and LS vehicles. Volkswagen may supply engines to the IRL once Honda’s contract expires. GM is pulling tooling from suppliers that are not meeting the terms of their agreements. All that and more, plus a look at Honda’s brand new 2010 Insight Hybrid.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
Here are today’s top headlines. Lexus faces a major recall. Volkswagen may race at Indy. And GM is pulling tooling from suppliers.
Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.
This is Autoline Daily for Monday, January 19, 2009. And now, the news.
Volkswagen may supply engines to the Indianapolis Racing League teams once Honda’s contract runs out after 2010. According to Autoblog, the IRL wants to become more relevant in open wheel racing and Volkswagen is looking to use the series to market high performance low-displacement forced induction engines.
Lexus is recalling nearly 215,000 vehicles due to possible fuel pipe corrosion caused by using gasoline with ethanol in it. The alcohol in the fuel can absorb water and cause the pipes to corrode. The recall affects certain 2006-2008 GS, IS, and LS vehicles. No other Toyota vehicles are involved.
Over in China, Dongfeng will be coming out with a passenger car of its own design. The parent company has joint ventures with Nissan, Honda and PSA, but this car will not use any of their resources. Gasgoo reports that Dongfeng is working on three different platforms and two different engines. The new car will be the same size as a Buick Excelle or Hyundai Elantra. It will debut at the Shanghai auto show in April
Peugeot just came out with what it calls a combination of an SUV, an MPV or multi-purpose vehicle, and a compact sedan. Called the 3008 it offers equipment not expected in a compact car, like a heads-up display and stability control. It comes with either a 1.6-liter or 2.0-liter diesel engine, or a 1.6-liter gas engine. It will also become Peugeot’s first hybrid vehicle sometime before 2011, with a battery-powered electric motor that drives the rear wheels, which also turns this into a four-wheel-drive car.
Over the Christmas break General Motors pulled more than 700 sets of tools from about 15 of its suppliers (subscription required). Ward’s reports those companies were having trouble meeting the terms of their agreements, but not all of them are in bankruptcy. One of the most visible is Cadence Innovation, the company that supplies instrument panels for GM’s large crossovers.
As the industry starts to shift from internal combustion to electric power, more and more automakers are racing to develop batteries and EVs, except one. In a report from the Detroit News, Mazda is NOT developing any electric vehicles and it has no plans to. The company’s North American President Jim O’Sullivan says it will not enter vehicle segments unless it can offer “Zoom, Zoom.” For now, the company will concentrate on gasoline and hydrogen technologies.
Coming up in our feature story, a look at Honda’s brand new 2010 Insight Hybrid. We’ll be back right after this.
The 2009 Detroit Auto Show saw the introduction and reintroduction of two important production hybrids.
The first car is the standard bearer of that particular category for the last few years, Toyota’s Prius, while the other is a revival of the original North American hybrid car that’s been on hiatus, and that is the 2010 Honda Insight.
Honda brought the Insight back as a part of its series of alternatively-fueled vehicles. But where the hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity and the natural gas Civic GX realize only a handful of actual road vehicles, Honda sees the Insight along with its larger cousin the Civic Hybrid challenging Toyota’s stable of hybrid cars and trucks.
Of course with the Prius the hybrid sales leader that it is, Honda knows the competition is going to be tough…especially in these times. But it believes they have both the car and the plan to put them in the game. Tomorrow we’ll hear how they’re going to market the car, to who and how successful they think it will be.
And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. But don’t forget, you can get podcasts, transcripts and a whole lot more on our website, AutolineDaily.com. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.