Accelerating Up to Speed with the Latest in the Auto Industry

Often Automotive Think Tanks will stay within their boundaries – The Auto Industry when doing there thinking. The Online Think Tank takes auto issues very seriously and yet we do not only talk about automobiles, however we are hard core when it comes to that industry and we read all their Online Newsletters, Industry Trade Journals and stay up on all the DOT issues and government regulations as well.

So, today we talked about the Auto Industry in our Online Think Tank for a good 10 hours. What were the topics? Well, we talked about many things, but below is a sample of some of the issues we discussed and are definitely of interest for those who follow the industry, because what is good for our cars, is important to our quality of life and mobility – Freedom:

1. The Bashed the US Auto Makers on Ecology and Now EU Auto Makers Speak Up.

The US Auto Industry lobbied hard against the newest fuel standards, while Toyota and Honda are already there, the US auto industry fought hard to limit the excessive fuel standards. Meanwhile the EU is trying to help their own manufacturers while getting regulations put in place against the US manufacturers, which is hard to do without hurting their own.

“The EU wants to limit CO2 to 120 grams per kilometer by 2015.”

The head of several companies said that the deadline was not possible, which is interesting as the EU is using the Global Warming issues to promote its businesses over other industrialized nations, like the US and China. Of course the Germans make many models of large cars, still the Italians and French who make smaller cars still seem to believe they cannot do it, that is to say limit the CO2 that much, but Volkswagon thinks it can, yet still joined the others in lobbying against the tightened emissions.

2. “The 100 MPG Car and the Volkswagon – Can Do Attitude!” Industry Week Reports:

Germany’s big automaker Volkswagen said it is planning to make a curiously designed car that will use just one liter (a quarter of a gallon) of fuel per 100 kilometer (62 miles).”We want to put ‘one-liter car’ on the market by 2010,” the group’s supervisory board chairman, Ferdinand Piech, told the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung at Frankfurt’s’ International Auto Show.

The vehicle is not the most pretty in the world, and its engine only has one-cylinder and is a diesel, but 100 mpg, is attainable they say. Volkswagon says it wants to sell the car for under $5,000 and I bet people in the US right about now would love to have one too. Meanwhile the Chinese are getting ready to flood the US market with new Chinese made automobiles, the first dealership opens in 2008 in New Jersey. The Chinese will have fuel efficient cars, will they sell, probably so.

3. Meanwhile the Chinese Counterfeit Tires then Try to Promote Luxury Bentley Level Car?

Here is an excerpt of an article in a popular Online AutoSpies newsletter:

It appears Chinese companies are just as happy to clone tire designs as they are cars, with Continental the latest manufacturer to suffer lost sales due to fake Chinese imports. However, unlike BMW and Mercedes-Smart, which have yet to take serious action against China’s Shuanghuan Auto and its clone-cars, Continental has shown that it’s possible to defeat counterfeiters by winning a case against several tire resellers in Germany selling the counterfeit stock. Though only affecting a couple of commercial truck brands, the counterfeiting is still of major concern because customers were buying inferior products that weren’t as safe as the originals.

4. President Bush has asked a committee panel to study the US fuel efficiency laws to make sure that the regulations for future fuel economy is actually an attainable number.

This from the White House Website:

The Bush administration will launch a new study next week to estimate what kind of technology automakers will need to raise fuel efficiency over the next 15 years, updating and expanding a 2002 report that’s been a benchmark in this summer’s energy debate. The National Academy of Sciences panel, which includes environmentalists, independent experts and automotive engineers, will spend the next year working on the report. The panel will hear testimony from federal officials and auto industry executives during its first public meeting in Washington on Monday. With Congress moving toward passing some kind of increase in fuel-economy standards and President George W. Bush ordering his administration to set its own increases by the end of next year, the updated report will act as a road map for many future decisions by federal regulators. The 2002 edition concluded … that the industry could raise the efficiency of its cars by up to 27 percent and its trucks by 42 percent over a decade — to roughly 30 miles per gallon — with no changes in weight, size or performance. U.S. cars and trucks are expected to average 26.4 m.p.g. in the 2007 model year, the highest level ever, according to federal estimates. But automakers have long objected to the 2002 report, saying it overstated the benefits of new technologies and understated the costs and engineering work needed to put them into vehicles.

5. Chrysler Ramps up Fuel Efficient Competition Car and Industry Week states;

That they have an advanced propulsion electric drive vehicle ready to launch, an advancement from their new ENVI Concept Cars from their CTC – Chrysler Technology Center. Mercedes is angry that the Smart Car is being copied by China, BMW and the Toyota Rav 4 copies are also a concern. Germany’s Chancellor, is making a complaint to the WTO on China, there are significant problems with these infringements. But spying is not only in the passenger car sector. Auto Racing Spies Get Dusted by Competition – We found this interesting piece in the UK Register:

Formula One team McLaren must pay a $100m fine and has been kicked out of the constructors’ championship for spying on rival team Ferrari. The decision by the governing body of the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) means McLaren is out of the constructors’ championship this year but drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso can continue to compete in the drivers’ competition. McLaren did not accept the verdict. In a statement Ron Dennis said: “Having been at the hearing today I do not accept that we deserved to be penalised in this way.”

6. The DOT has stated that Bike Lanes take monies away that could be used to make bridge infrastructure stronger.

Bicycles VS Cars, well we know who will win on the street in an accident, and most likely in the courtroom of public opinion, as we do not wish anymore bridges to be collapsed and yet, we need more bike lanes. Bicycle and car accidents kill way too many people each year and Americans are way too fat, they need to exercise too. The Department of Transportation – DOT stated this because they do not consider bicycles a real form of transportation, as very few people use them in that way, most of the bike riding is for recreation and staying in shape. True, but if you never put in bike lanes then no one will ever use them, so it is a self-fulfilling prophesy either way. Well those were all the automotive thoughts from today. Sincerely, Lance.

GEICO Car Insurance Company Review – GEICO Auto Insurance Guide

What do a talking gecko and cavemen have in common? Both have become household names, representing just how easy it is to get great auto coverage with GEICO car insurance company. What started in the mid-1930s, the Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO), has become one of the most well-known and highly respected companies in the nation.

With all the auto insurance companies out there, what makes GEICO so special? Well, other than their spokes-gecko-man, they really do have a lot to offer their customers. Leo Goodwin, founder of GEICO, and his wife Lillian worked hard at bringing low costs to specific target groups, while still being able to make a profit. Today, GEICO car insurance company’s policyholders still receive excellent coverage, low prices and outstanding customer service, due to the options and services GEICO offers.

Attention

Unlike some insurance companies that close during certain hours of the week, GEICO auto insurance company provides 24-hour service, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This means, there will always be a representative there to help you no matter what time of the day your accident occurs. Even if you’re just in need of some answers, one of GEICO’s highly trained representatives will be there to put any of your questions to rest, so you can have peace of mind about your auto or property coverage.

Multi-Coverage

Not only does GEICO car insurance company give your car protection, it gives protection to your motorcycle, ATV, boat, home, mobile home and apartment. Other great bonuses they offer are flood and life insurance, as well as umbrella protection. What umbrella protection does is add an additional layer of protection on top of the liability that comes with your standard policies.

Moving overseas or just going on vacation? GEICO will also take care of getting whatever you need insured. International Insurance Underwriters Inc, a subsidiary of GEICO, will make sure you have everything needed for crossing the border.

Financial Strength

In all reality, when an insurance company isn’t financially stable, they will not be able to cover payment of your claim. Not only does that cause you unnecessary frustration, but it also causes you to pay out of pocket. With GEICO auto insurance company, your mind can be at ease. GEICO has received some of the highest ratings from Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and A. M. Best. The American Customer Satisfaction Index even rated GEICO as the number one property casualty insurer in the nation.

Discounts

The discounts GEICO offer vary, from vehicle discounts to individual discounts. GEICO auto insurance company offers special discounts for students, seniors, federal workers and people serving in the military.

Privileges Plan and Other Programs

Signing up for the GEICO Privileges allows you to save money at certain brand-name retailers for your home, automobile, shopping, entertainment and travel needs.

Some retailers you can start saving with thanks to GEICO Privileges Program are:

  • AutoSport
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Alamo
  • Target.com
  • Direct TV
  • 1-800-flowers.com
  • JC Penney Portraits

To find more participating retailers, visit the GEICO website.

Other programs GEICO car insurance offer, are the Military Program and Federal Program.

Working hard to “serve those who serve,” GEICO has a created the Military Assistance Team (MAT), staffed with individuals who have served our country. These individuals are dedicated to helping those that serve in all branches of the military find the best fit when it comes to insurance.

Originally created to insure federal employees, GEICO has worked over the past 60 years and strengthening that relationship. Today, their federal program participates in the following organization and programs.

  • GEICO Public Service Awards (GPSA)
  • GEICO Federal Leave Record Cards
  • Health and Safety Fairs
  • Combined Federal Campaigns
  • Child Seats
  • Public Employee’s Roundtable
  • Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund

Compare Quotes From GEICO with Quotes From Other Insurers

With all the auto insurance companies out there, it can be very tedious picking the one that works best for you and your needs. Due to its high ratings and excellent customer service, GEICO car insurance company is definitely worth checking out.

Los Angeles Auto Show 2009 Concept Cars Capture Attention

The Los Angeles Auto Show 2009 is featuring 11 concept cars which either have a space age design, a green theme or both. Concept cars from Audi, BMW, Honda, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo offer a glimpse at what the vehicles of tomorrow may look like.

This group of concept cars include:

o Audi e-tron
o BMW Vision EfficientDynamics
o Honda Personal-Neo Urban Transport
o Lexus LF-Ch Premium Compact Hybrid
o BMW MINI Coupe
o BMW MINI Roadster
o Mitsubishi PX-MiEV
o Subaru Hybrid Tourer
o Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
o Volkswagen Up! Lite
o Volvo S60 Concept

In regard to space age design, the Audi e-tron, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics and Honda Personal-Neo Urban Transport blow away their respective competition. And of this group, the Honda Personal-Neo Urban Transport (or P-NUT as they are calling it) has the most futuristic design.

The P-NUT is a small urban vehicle meant to tool around big cities and fit into tight spaces. It has a small internal combustion engine coupled with a hybrid battery pack that makes it a green vehicle.

On the P-NUT, the windshield and sunroof merge into one as the swoop of the overhead design lends itself to this feature. Now, let’s face it, next to the space age vehicle, the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) isn’t very sexy.

It looks basically like a Prius. But what is sexy is that unlike many other concept vehicles, this one is expected to make it to market next year. Not only that, the Prius PHEV will compete head-on with the GM Volt PHEV.

While GM is making grandiose claims about the performance of the Volt (which is still a work in progress) setting up extreme expectations, Toyota is downplaying expectations of the Prius PHEV – for now.

One can look forward to next year and the years beyond and see the Toyota concept car of today, being one of the highest selling vehicles in tomorrow’s marketplace. And, that’s a pretty good concept, now isn’t it?