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Hyundai Increases Production of Tucson to Meet High Demand
Feb18

Hyundai Increases Production of Tucson to Meet High Demand

New crossover is a big hit right from the start

By Brendan Moore

02.18.2010

Hyundai logoHyundai introduced the all-new Tucson crossover in December of last year, showing off a sleeker design and improved powertrain in an effort to bring in new buyers and that effort seems to be paying off.

Sales in the US have jumped, and the Korean automaker now is cranking up production volume in the Ulsan, South Korea factory that produces the Tucson.

Hyundai dealers nationwide have been reporting shortages of the new Tucson since deliveries first started and Hyundai now believes they have a solid hit on their hands.

John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai North America, when talking about the Tucson, predicted a huge jump in unit sales for the model. He commented that that the Ulsan factory would start pushing up production in March, and said, “We’ll ramp it up as long as necessary to satisfy market demand.”

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2010 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost Review
Feb17

2010 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost Review

By Chris Haak

02.17.2010

2010 Lincoln MKS with EcoBoostAfter having just spent a week in a Taurus SHO, and finding that car to be expensive, somewhat cramped, but fast as heck, I was looking forward to investigating its luxury-car cousin, the Lincoln MKS EcoBoost.  Would the Lincoln flagship sedan – which shares a platform, powertrain, and many other parts with the SHO – be a more-luxurious SHO?  More importantly, would it be a credible luxury offering, and would its substantial price premium over the SHO be justified?  I was champing at the bit to find out.

The MKS is an attractive-enough car.  It doesn’t have proper luxury car proportions thanks to the limitations of its front wheel drive-based architecture (all wheel drive is optional on the MKS, and standard on the MKS EcoBoost model that I tested).  The car’s front overhang is unfashionably long, but at least the car’s grille and headlights are (to my eyes) the most tasteful and successful implementation of the new Lincoln family face first seen on the lovely MKR concept of a few years ago.  The MKT crossover, in contrast, has a similar front-end design but doesn’t pull it off as gracefully as the MKS does.

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GM Wants More Ethanol Stations in US
Feb17

GM Wants More Ethanol Stations in US

But, is this the answer to a question that no one is asking anymore?

By Brendan Moore

02.17.2010

E85 logoFor most of you, the excitement over ethanol is probably sort of a hazy memory; you remember when all the fuss was being made over ethanol fuel, but you also remember that it was rather quickly shown that making ethanol from corn was not a good deal from an environmental and energy standpoint.

So, it just sort of went away, right? Didn’t we move on to hybrids and electric vehicles?

The public moved on, but not the federal government. In those heady days (2007) of optimism about ethanol, the brave talk about the American Midwest being the new energy capitol of the world, and our sturdy corn farmers saving America from the clutches of Middle Eastern oil despots, Congress passed energy legislation that actually set mandatory targets for fuel blending each year.

That’s right. Is this all coming back to you now?

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Hyundai’s 2010 Goal in the US is 500,000 sales and 4.5% Market Share
Feb16

Hyundai’s 2010 Goal in the US is 500,000 sales and 4.5% Market Share

Korean automaker has seven new model launches in 2010, plans aggressive marketing campaigns this year, and, although this wasn’t in the plan, is also benefiting from Toyota’s troubles

By Brendan Moore

02.16.2010

Hyundai logoHyundai sales went up in a decidedly down US market in 2009, and the company sees blue skies in an improving market in 2010. Their sunny prediction is that Hyundai will go from 4.2% percent market share last year to 4.5% this year. To do so, the Korean manufacturer will need to hit 500,000 unit sales.

Hyundai sales in the US jumped 8% last year, going to 435,064 units in a market that crashed downward 21% overall. The company jumped an amazing 1.2% in market share, going from 3% to 4.2% in a single year.

Company officials are quick to say that they don’t think they can match that sort of market share growth this year, but that they feel that there is a “really good chance” that they will hit 500,000 sales this year for the first time ever, according to Dave Zuchowski, US sales chief of Hyundai.

Zuchowski went on to say that, “The 500,000 number is a magical number for us.”

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Marchionne Says Alfa Romeo Return to US Probable in 2012
Feb15

Marchionne Says Alfa Romeo Return to US Probable in 2012

No, really…

By Brendan Moore

02.15.2010

Alfa Romeo logoFiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has told reporters in Toronto that he sees the Alfa Romeo brand returning to the United States in 2012. He made the remarks last Friday, but there was some confusion about just what was said over the weekend until a Chrysler Media Relations spokesman confirmed Marchionne’s statement earlier today.

According to those present, the Fiat CEO said, when asked about Alfa showing up in North America again, “I’m a lot more confident now that Alfa Romeo will reconstitute a product offering that is acceptable globally, and more in particular in the United States and Canada. There is a strong likelihood that the brand will be back here within the next 24 months.”

Alfa had an ignominious departure from the United States in 1995, after struggling to convince American consumers that a warmed-over Spyder and the expensive 164 sedan were worth passing up those German performance offerings when it came time to put something new in the garage.

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