Lamborghini Hybrid?

The word on the automotive scene is that Lamborghini is in the process of coming out with a Hybrid. Different sources have different answers to the question. They all seem to agree on one thing, Lamborghini will put the new hybrid into production by 2010 and will be on the market by 2015.

Some of the rumors say the new hybrid will go by the name “Estoque” the meaning refers to the matador’s sword. The Estoque is said to be a four door sedan model, the first since the 1987 Frankfurt auto show when the Portofino was shown.

The CEO of Lamborghini, Stephan Winkelmann has confirmed that an operational prototype of the Estoque is in development. The prototype is said to have a retuned 5.3 liter V-10 that puts out 500hp. The Research and Development Director of Technology Maruzio Reggiani has hinted that the production model would use parent company Audi’s Hybrid Technology. Reggiani also said the use of aluminum and carbon fiber chassis on the Estoque.

Winkelmann also stated that Lamborghini is coming out with a hybrid model of the Gallardo sports car. He also suggested that the hybrid model would be available in two and four wheel drive. The Gallardo hybrid will still have the high performance V-10 or V-12 engine with the addition of electric motor. The electric motor would be in use at slow speeds and normal acceleration. The gasoline engine would be in use at higher speeds or when there is the need for quicker acceleration.

Toyota Hikes Vehicle Output By 3 Percent

Amidst an environment where U.S. automakers are struggling to survive by administering deep cuts across corporate levels, closing manufacturing plants, eliminating entire brands and drastically reducing production, Toyota Motor Corporation is tentatively edging toward growth. The Japanese automaker is planning to raise its global annual vehicle output by 3 percent between now and March 2010.

This 3 percent increase in production translates into 6.5 million additional Toyota vehicles. The move will enable the world’s largest automaker to hang on to its title. The output expansion signals Toyota’s health despite difficult economic times. The corporation has benefited from and capitalized on incentive programs offered by governments — many linked to encouraging the transition to greater fuel efficiency — worldwide to reduce an aging, sluggish inventory. If sales of these new vehicles sell as Toyota hopes, the automaker could be poised to grab an even larger portion of the global market share and make it increasingly difficult for flailing automakers to regain a solid footing in the world.

The news of the 3 percent increase came less than a week after Toyota reported it was able to slice a whopping one billion dollars off its operating costs. Again, striking while others are reporting a greater operating loss than expected is an enviable coup. Although corporate spokespersons were not commenting on the production increases, industry experts agreed that this was all good news for Toyota. Others hope this is a glimmer of hope for the beginnings of an economic recovery, not just in the auto industry, but across consumer sectors worldwide.

Car Sales Pickup After Cash for Clunkers Program

With the dwindling economy causing more people to cut back on spending, many industries had slowed down. Car sales took a downward spiral and the industry seemed to be on the verge of doom. However with the recent car stimulus act, which includes the “cash for clunkers” program, things are moving in a different direction. The program works by letting car buyers trade in their old cars. In return, they receive a rebate for use towards the purchase of newer cars that are more environmentally friendly.

Car buyers have bitten into the cash for clunkers program and car sales are picking up as a result. Vehicle owners are taking advantage by disposing of their gas guzzling older models and taking home more fuel efficient vehicles. While it means a lot of paperwork for the parties involved, it also means the turnover of car inventory.

The cash for clunkers program has injected life into the car industry while benefiting the buyers. Besides saving on car costs in the long run, car owners are afforded more driving comfort with less pollution. The dealerships are seeing more customers walk in the door. And regardless of whether they are walking in to make the actual trade-in transaction or inquire about the deals they can get, either way business is being generated. More cars are being driven off the sales lots. As for the car makers, they are working to increase their output for newer fuel efficient car models to meet the demand this program has created.

VW Closes Sales Gap To Toyota And GM

Volkswagen moved closer to No.1 Toyota’s sales figures by over 1 million units in the first six months of 2009. Volkswagen was able to limit their decline from the previous year by 5.1 percent, as reported by Automotive News Data Center. Volkswagen fell behind Toyota by a margin of 463,805 vehicles sold in the first six months of the year, as opposed to being outsold by Toyota by 1.55 million vehicles during the same period last year. Volkswagen sales came in behind No.2 General Motors by 823,503 vehicles.

As far as global car sales go, Volkswagen came in third place during the first six months of 2009. Toyota, General Motors, and Volkswagen, the top three sellers in the first six months of 2009 all faced declining auto sales. Toyota experienced a decline of 26.0 percent with sales of 3,564,105, General Motors a decline of 21.8 percent with sales of 3,552,722, and Volkswagen experienced the least decline of the three with a decline of 5.1 percent with sales of 3,100,300. Having the least decline in sales enabled Volkswagen to move closer to rivals Toyota, and General Motors.

Rounding out the list of the top ten auto companies in global sales in the first six months of 2009 are:
No.4- Hyundia-Kia with sales of 2,153,000.
No.5-Ford Motor Company with sales of 2,145,000.
No.6-PSA Peugeot-Citroen with sales 1,586,900.
No.7-Honda Motor Company with sales of 1,586,000.
No.8-Nissan Motor Company with sales of 1,545,976.
No.9-Suzuki Motor Corporation with sales of 1,152,000.
No.10-Renault SA with sales of 1,106,989.

Chevrolet to limit early production of Volt to 200-400 cars

On Tuesday morning, Chevrolet sent a jolt of electricity through the automotive world with news that its new range-extended electric car the Volt would get a 230 mpg city rating, exciting many drivers who were looking forward to a truly revolutionary electric car.
However, Chevrolet quickly punctured the hopes of many who were interested in a more eco-friendly driving experience by announcing that the car would have a price tag in the $40,000 range. And today came more news that is sure to put a damper on the spirits of potential Volt buyers, as the company stated that the car will be available in extremely limited supplies upon its launch in 2010 – and perhaps for some time after as well.
According to Automotive News, General Motors will only be producing between 200 to 400 Volts in November and December 2010 before ramping up production very slowly in 2011. By the start of 2012, GM hopes to have sold 12,000 Volts, a significant number for a primarily electric car but one that might be significantly below market demand.

What’s the reason for this? Certainly Chevrolet wants to make sure that they avoid overproduction and having their flagship “green” model sitting on dealer lots. But underproducing Volts also creates the impression of high demand, priming people for future sales once the cars become more commercially available.

BMW Pulls Out Of Formula One

The July announcement from BMW that the German company would cease participation in Formula One after the 2009 season was not necessarily unexpected. Following the nosedive of car sales around the world and Honda’s similar announcement only eight months prior, the question is not why BMW pulled out. The real question is how many more auto companies will follow their example.

Though Ferrari is unlikely to detach itself from Formula One racing, auto companies with a slightly less racy image may not stand to gain as much from their association with the top racing series across Europe and Asia. As car sales plummet, profits drop, and manufacturers look for ways to slash costs, teams and fans alike wonder if Mercedes Benz, Toyota, and Renault are next to withdraw their names and funding.

Besides concerns over cash flow, BMW’s less than stellar racing results also contributed to its pull out. BMW had hoped to win the Formula One championship within three years but achieved no higher than its second-place finish in 2007. Results continued to slip after that, and the BMW teams were unable to stage a rebound.

Another pivotal factor in their decision appears to have been concern for the environment and improving their image as a greener and more earth-friendly car manufacturer. The company plans to invest money formerly spent on Formula One into its vehicles’ “sustainability and environmental compatibility.” Formula One’s high speeds and huge fuel use did not exactly go hand in hand with that environmental sustainability.

Tesla Finally Makes A Profit

Innovative electric car company Tesla Motors, founded in 2003, has reported a profit in July 2009. This is a milestone for the small independent car company that has pushed innovation, to provide the general public with a long range, high performance electric sports car. The main factor pushing Tesla Motors out of the red is a reduction in both the manufacturing costs and retail price of the Tesla roadster.

A current model Tesla roadster has been reduced in price by nearly 19,000 dollars, which has re-energized car sales and made the car affordable to a broader range of buyers and with more government incentives and tax breaks, an electric car is sure to appeal to a greater audience. The Tesla motor company may very well post profits more often, but not likely anytime soon.

With the current amount of money being allocated to the expansion of the company and the soon to be introduced first ever mass-produced electric car, the Model S sedan, Tesla Motors is unlikely to post another profitable month this year. This is not to say that the company will flounder anytime soon.

To push forward the innovative concepts of the company, the government has allotted a 465 million dollar loan to Tesla Motors to further develop the drivetrain of the Model S sedan. When the Model S sedan begins to hit the market in 2011 it will move Tesla Motors towards a bright future as the first electric car company to serve the general public, which will make a profit report from the company an everyday event.

Renault Suffer Massive Losses During The First Half of 2009

Renault, the French automaker has taken a massive loss of over 2.71 billion euros during the first half of this year. Overall sales have decreased 23.7 percent compared to the same period last year to a total of just over 15.99 billion euros. The company believes the current global economic crisis is the primary cause for deliveries to decrease and buyers choosing models that are cheaper and thereby less profitable for the french marqee.

The loss in the first half for Renault was largely due to losses that were made at Renault’s associate companies: Nissan taking a loss of 1.22 billion euros, AB Volvo losing another 196 million euros and Russia’s Autovaz with a 182 million euro loss. Automakers all over the world are struggling to save money by running down their inventories and cutting costs as they battle to the collapse in large purchases and the swict to more fuel efficient smaller vehicles during this economic crisis.

In a press statement, The company stated that the outlook was getting better and the market should improve during the second half of the year where they expect to show an overall decrease of only 8 percent. As part of its cost cutting measure the company has cut their inventory by 16 percent to 4.4 billion euros during the first half of the year. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault, has said the company has been preparing for the period after this crisis with mass marketing for their zero-emission automobiles from 2010.

Where to Shop When Buying a Car On The Internet

Technology is a never ending process that continues to evolve and provide new opportunities for wise consumers, and one such opportunity is buying a car on the internet. Although shoppers over the last decade have frequently turned to the web for vehicle research, there is now an increasing popularity in actually purchasing a car on the internet. There are many different sources to find vehicles for sale online, and the most common will be outlined in this article.

Ebay Motors provides an online auction site in which individuals can both buy and sell vehicles, but the result is typically a purchase completed sight unseen. Both private parties and licensed dealers can place cars for sale, and they can either be in standard auction format or be bought for a set price using the Buy It Now function. Ebay provides a virtual marketplace that typically has as many as 50,000+ automobiles, trucks, and suvs.

Craigslist is an online classified site that usually, depending on the location, doesn’t cost any money to post an advertisement. Both dealers and private parties utilize this tool, and the result is a wide selection of vehicles that are close to home.

Vehix provides a car dealer search engine to consumers, who can shop entirely online. The database allows individual options to be selected, and negotiations can be started once a match is found. Most individuals unfamiliar with buying a car on the internet prefer such a method, and the vehicles can typically be picked up at a trusted local dealership.

The internet has provided many different opportunities to buy a car online, and it’s increasing in popularity as people truly seek other alternatives to car dealerships. As with any offline purchase, a wise consumer will know exactly who they are doing business with and will complete all due diligence. It’s come a long way since simply searching local newspapers for cars, and new exciting sources are constantly surfacing even when purchasing expensive sports cars.