Flexibility is a benefit enjoyed often by small companies, but rarely by large ones. Like a small boat, businesses still in early stages can maneuver quickly; they can alter business plans, tweak messaging, and otherwise pivot without having to worry about re-orienting a large workforce or undermining the public’s understanding of the brand. By contrast, large businesses operate more similarly to a container ship. Every move requires extensive planning, communication, and extreme foresight. Fine-tuning a product can take months, and changing direction entirely can take years. Continue reading >>>
While they’re far from obsolete, sedans are still old news. Today, crossovers are king; after the requisite Ford F-Series, Chevy Silverado, and Ram Pickups, the best-selling vehicle in America is the Nissan Rogue, dusting the Honda Civic by nearly 12,000 units through February 2017. Continue reading >>>
Maybe Toyota didn’t realize it at the time, but when it first debuted the Prius it also launched an entirely new segment of vehicles. While the Prius inspired competing automakers to get into the world of hybrids, the Toyota easily outsold them all and remained king for nearly two decades.
The Prius, which debuted in the U.S. in 2001, has evolved from a basic transportation appliance into an entirely different beast. It’s filled with new technology, improved performance, and increased efficiency. The latest iteration also has something it’s never had to deal with before:
Real competition. Continue reading >>>
I’ve heard from more car shoppers than I can count over the years asking for advice on purchasing a new car. Yesterday a question was asked that no one had previously brought up to me.
The shopper is in the market for a new 2017 hybrid or plug-in hybrid SUV. She drives a lot, lives in an area known for epic snowfall, and has had her share of scary incidents while on the road. Naturally, she wants something safe and reliable that goes at least a few miles on electric power to save a few bucks on gas.
Considering the close calls she’s had while driving, she asked me if rescue workers are able to use the Jaws of Life on hybrid and electric vehicles. She’d heard a rumor that first responders won’t extract people stuck in such vehicles due to risks of electrocution from cutting into high-voltage lines.
Could that rumor be true? Continue reading >>>
When the 2017 Pacifica was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last year, Chrysler restarted its minivan team’s engine and started down the road toward family-moving domination. The advanced dual-monitor rear-seat entertainment system. The built-in Ridgid vacuum cleaner. The hybrid drivetrain. With the Dodge Caravan crumbling, the Pacifica managed to surge past the competition, and this morning was awarded the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.
People get all bent out of shape when reading about their beloved Mustang going hybrid.
“I need my V8,” they say.
“A Mustang can’t be electric,” they say.
Part of the reason for the anti-hybrid sentiment is the legacy of the Prius. The slow, emotionless Toyota has branded hybrids as unexciting and something for the performance-minded to avoid altogether.
So the idea of a hybrid Mustang, the epitome of tire-smoking V8 power, has folks, well, up in smoke.
For the past 23 years, WardsAuto has published a list of the 10 best engines available for the upcoming model year. In an industry where reviews are more and more dominated by instrument tests, where cars are differentiated by tenths (if not hundredths) of a second on a drag strip and by tenths (if not hundredths) of a g-force on a skid pad, Ward’s list is based on objective, but also delightfully subjective, data.
Concerns about America’s future have run rampant since the night of November 8th, 2016. Suddenly, we’ve come to see our own social-media-driven bubbles, the emergence and impact of fake news, and how easy it is to accept what we already believe while adopting blinders for anything else. Questions have arisen regarding how the American government will amend laws surrounding health care, taxation, and even the auto industry.
Gas may be cheap these days, but untethering from the local Citgo is still an attractive idea. For many, electricity is the obvious choice when opting out of gas cars. Tesla continues to be the dominant and popular choice in this realm, although Chevrolet is preparing to launch the all-electric Bolt (and its 200-mile range) before the end of 2016, and the Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul EV, and Ford Focus Electric, among others, are currently available at more reasonable prices than the higher-end Tesla cars.
What comes to mind when you hear the term “car battery”? Fifteen years ago, the answer would have been quite obvious. But lately the idea of what a car battery entails has shifted away from that essential-but-oft-forgotten black box under the hood to state-of-the-art propulsion systems of the near future. When talking about batteries, we focus less on volts and more on kilowatt-hours and MPGe. We’ve mentioned batteries a lot lately, specifically in regards to the Chevrolet Bolt, GM’s potentially game-changing affordable all-electric vehicle. But when we talk about the Bolt’s 238 miles of battery range, how is that different from talking about the battery at the end of your jumper cables?