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One of the things that dogs the full comeback of General Motors is the instability of its marketing. We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #323 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments regarding the rest of the week's news via our Q&A module below.
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The sixth edition of the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards have crowned a wide range of winners - in a couple of cases the recipient of the laurels might say more about KBB users than they do about the actual winner. The 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan took quite the toll on the automotive industry in that nation. We last saw the heavily revised 2015 Toyota Camry at the New York Auto Show earlier this year.
Mazda has found both critical and commercial success with its CX-5 small crossover, and seems to be endeavoring to keep the momentum up with an upcoming refresh. When people look back at today's automotive industry, what do you think they'll remember us for? Lawsuits are an unfortunate part of doing business in just about any industry, so the latest complaint filed by a California-based aftermarket firm against Chrysler would seem to be nothing more than business as usual. It has a 355 small block with Brodix Aluminum heads, roller comp cam and lifters, roller rockers, CNC machined heads, Edelbrock intake, 850 Holley carb, 4 bolt main block, callies crank, eagle rods, 11.5-1 SRP pistons. Or, more accurately, the self-anointed Auto Extremist has an issue with what he sees as mismanagement of the legendary sports car by General Motors executives. That part of the automaker got yet another big shakeup today when GM confirmed what I have been tweeting for a few days - strong rumors that the Chevrolet and Cadillac ad accounts are walking to new ad agencies.Cadillac, GM's luxury brand, is going into review from Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis and the indications are that Campbell-Ewald, Chevy's old ad shop, will end up with most or all of it. Not content to lean on that tragedy as excuse for slagging sales, the Japanese automakers are planning on a major production expansion in North America. Now, it's finally time for the best-selling car in the US to hit the roads in late September, and Toyota is announcing how much the updated model actually costs.The basic Camry LE rings up for $22,970 (*not including a $825 delivery, processing and handling fee). New vehicles are covered by a manufacturer's new car warranty and are sold with a window sticker (also known as a “Monroney Sticker”) and a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin.
The Dutch brothers started out doing classic car tours in Europe before they started designed and building their own retro sports cars.
The Japanese brand's midsize offering, the Mazda6, has been named Popular Mechanics' Car of the Year. As you can extrapolate from the obvious lack of the usual camouflage, the company isn't reinventing anything in the very near future of the CX-5, but it does seem as thought some tweaks are in the works.Lighting elements fore and aft appear to have gone under the knife, with the front grille and rear fascia also seemingly to be slightly revised. But this isn't the first time the two companies have sparred over this particular issue.According to a report from Automotive News, the dispute revolves around the Scat Pack name that Chrysler first offered on the Charger, Coronet, Dart and Super Bee starting in 1968. The condition of the exterior, interior and engine can vary depending on the vehicle's history.


In a new editorial on his website, De Lorenzo argues it's time to split Corvette off from Chevrolet to create an all-new brand, complete with a model range with at least three new takes on the sports car. What isn't surprising is that Honda won Most Trusted Brand for the second year running, Best Value Brand for the third year in a row and took Best Overall Brand, which wasn't on last year's list of awards.On our own shores, in the non-luxury categories Chrysler got Most Refined Brand and Buick took Best Value Luxury Brand. These vehicles have been driven only for demonstration purposes and should be in excellent running condition with a pristine interior and exterior. The side mirrors now look slicker and slightly more upscale with their integrated turn signals, as well.In all, expect a look that's a touch fresher, without being a radical departure from the existing visage. And we're sure you could find more similarities between them all, but the common trait we're looking at here is that, while they all come standard in rear-drive form, they're also available with all-wheel drive. Scat Enterprises, a manufacturer of crankshafts and other components for Dodges and other vehicles, sued Chrysler for using its name. Capable of fully leveraging the successes of the Corvette Racing program and brandishing the full might of GM's technical prowess, the Corvette brand would theoretically give Porsche something to sweat over.Sure, that sounds like a party, but given GM's troubled track record when it comes to launching (let alone managing) brands, we say that's slippery slope that could just as easily end with the whole Corvette franchise in the scrap bin. McCann used to be the agency for Buick and GMC, as well as GM's corporate advertising, and has retained some pieces of business over the last few years. Neither one of those marques won anything in last year's Brand Image Awards, while Cadillac, which won Best Interior Design Brand and Best Comfort Brand last year - those awards disappeared this year - went home without a single accolade. As part of this ramp-up, Mazda will open a facility in Salamnca, Mexico before March of 2014.
The rest of the trim levels include the SE for $23,840, sporty new XSE for $26,150 and XLE at $26,150. And it's the transmission in those models that's the subject of the latest recall notice issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.The output shaft on the eight-speed automatic transmission supplied by ZF to Chrysler for the AWD versions of the 300, Charger and Ram 1500 is apparently prone to fracture. A few years later the Scat Pack disappeared from the Dodge catalog.Fast forward to August 2013 when Chrysler applied to register the Scat Pack name anew. Sources have even told us that it was McCann that did a lot of the creative work on Chevy's new ad platform, Find New Roads. Part of that increase in output is 50,000 units of a Toyota-badged compact car, which Mazda will produce.Other Mexican production facilities opening include a Honda plant, which will open in Spring 2014 in Celaya, and a Nissan plant, set to open later this year in Aguascalientes. Opting for the V6 is the XSE and XLE bumps pricing to $31,370.Separately, the Camry Hybrid gets its own LE, SE and XLE trims. But a few years later they started showing designs for a new coupe that called for a straight-six engine under a long bonnet with a fastback roofline, and started taking orders.
All likely scenarios, but so is the blurring of lines between one bodystyle and another, giving rise to hardtop convertible coupes and crossovers of every shape and size. That in the end could leave the vehicle without power and could, according to the NHTSA investigation, increase the chance of a crash. The US Patent and Trademark Office turned down Chrysler's application, but the automaker proceeded anyway, unveiling new Scat Packs for the Challenger, Charger and Dart at last year's SEMA show.


Head over to Auto Extremist to take in the full editorial, and then let us know what you think in Comments. Nissan also said that it will need another plant in North America within the next five years. The LE starts at $26,790 with a standard, power driver's seat and 4.2-inch information display.
Over the past two and a half years we didn't see anything materialize out of the Huet Brothers' plans, but word out of the Netherlands has it that the design is back on the table.According to the Autovisie section of Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Tino and Paul Huet were planning on building their coupe on the base of the MX-5 Miata. But one bodystyle the North American auto industry has stayed largely away from in the past couple of decades is a car nose and chassis with a pickup bed.It's a bodystyle immortalized by the Chevrolet El Camino, but with few exceptions, we haven't seen too many of these automotive platypuses in recent years on our turf. The vehicle could also roll away if even if left in Park without the handbrake applied.That's why Chrysler is calling in 4,194 examples of those three models from the 2013 model year. According to Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn, the company aims to raise its stake in the US market from 8 percent to 10, and adding production will help achieve that goal.
The SE for $27,995 gets an improved interior and the XLE at $29,980 has leather, heated front seats, LED running lights and more. But now that Mazda is preparing to launch an all-new model, the Huets have decided to wait until next year and build their dream car on the new Skyactiv roadster chassis.Rather than trying to shoehorn in a bigger engine (or the subsequent diesel model that was set to follow), the Huets are reportedly prepared to stick with Mazda's four-pot, offering it in stock form and various states of upgraded tune.
Subaru tried with the Baja and the low-volume Honda Ridgeline soldiers along largely unchanged, but the genre's biggest adherents are still Down Under, where ute versions of the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon live. Dealers will be responsible for inspecting the transmissions and, where necessary, replace the entire unit. With a few other examples scattered to the four corners of the earth, that's really about it. Production of the Outlander Sport is currently at 50,000, which Mitsubishi wants to raise to 70,000. But if these spy shots are anything to go by, it looks like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could be working to bring it back.Spied undergoing testing in Michigan, what we appear to be looking at is a heavily disguised Fiat Strada being prepared - like the Fiat Ducato-based Ram ProMaster and the smaller Doblo-based ProMaster City - for Stateside duty as a Ram product. The Strada, for those unfamiliar, is a product of Fiat Automóveis in Brazil and is based on the Palio economy car. The nameplate has been around South America since 1996 and was originally designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro (long before Volkswagen monopolized his talents), and takes a more rugged approach in the form of the Strada Adventure.



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