GM may be planning a revival of the El Camino and Nomad models, as earlier this year, GM applied for trademarks on both with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. A GM spokesman explained the move:
“Chevrolet benefits from a rich history of iconic names and monikers. We trademark these names as needed to protect them as a matter of practice.”
Or GM is considering updating and manufacturing the two models again.
The Chevy Nomad debuted in 1955 and lasted through 1972 on the assembly line. From 1955 to 1957, the Nomad was produced as a two-door station wagon, catering to the freewheeling bachelor simply interested in a “little more leg room” in the back seat:
New York “Gotcha” Cameras Allegedly Ripping Off Honest Drivers
There are 540 communities in the U.S. with red-light camera programs in place; all have varying levels of enforcement and fines. New Jersey just shelved its ENTIRE program in June, as 63 of the state’s 85 cameras gave drivers too little time to make it through a yellow light before determining the driver was “running the red” and then sending them a citation.
New York City has a similar problem. In October, engineers discovered that some intersections had yellow lights that were burning too fast; drivers are supposed to be allotted three seconds of yellow before the light turns red in a typical 30mph intersection. Manhattan drivers were only getting two and a half, and now a class action lawsuit is trying to recoup the $47 million the red-light program earned for New York last year on the assumption that the cameras were unfairly ticketing people unaware of the shorter duration (and subsequently gunning it through the intersection).
Summary: Consumer Reports releases annual owner-satisfaction ranking
Consumer Reports: Chevrolet’s Volt is Loved the Most
“Considering all factors – price, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, et cetera – would you get this car if you had it to do all over again?”
Consumer Reports asked this question of 350,000 owners with vehicles canvassing the 2010-2013 model years. Scores for the 240 different models were based on the percentage of respondents who answered “definitely yes” to the question above. (“Do you love it, honey?” “I do, I do, I SO DO!”)
For the second consecutive year, the Chevrolet Volt is top cat. A convincing 92% of Volt owners would jump up from their seats and offer a resounding, “yes, yes, YES!” if propositioned again. The Volt wasn’t the only fuel-efficient model to score highly; Toyota’s Camry Hybrid, Prius, and Prius C received favorable responses, along with Nissan’s electric Leaf, providing further evidence that the greening of the auto industry is firmly at hand.
The Chevy Corvette, the Porsche 911, the V8 Dodge Challenger and the Ford (rawr) Mustang all nailed high marks for sports cars. For the luxury types, the Audi A7 and A6 and Lexus’ GS scored well.
Just what about cars that DIDN’T get good ratings? Those unlucky car schleps include:
- The Nissan Versa. Less than half of Versa owners said they’d buy this car again. Who can blame them? It looks crappy. And like it’s from 1998. No one likes cars from 1998.
November U.S. Auto Sales Continue Impressive Trend
New car sales once again made boards and conference rooms happy at the major automobile manufacturers in November, as 1.14 million new cars were purchased, representing a 15% increase from October.
The annualized selling rate now stands at 15.56 million, which is the highest rate since the cold of January in 2008. In November 2011, the annualized rate was only 13.6 million.
U.S. sales are expected to reach 14.4 million for the year and jump over 15 million in 2013. What does all this mean? That the auto industry is very well; while companies are struggling (Suzuki has announced it will be leaving the U.S., Aston Martin and Rolls Royce are experiencing difficulties, and Europe is still a mess), many are approaching sales levels and rates from before the recession.
Some highlights in November:
- BMW Group posted a 39% increase in November sales
- Volkswagen’s sales rose 29%, the 15th consecutive month of gains of 22% or more
- The Toyota Corolla set a November sales record of 22,616
- Porsche reported a 71% increase in sales volume
Pent-up demand, low financing rates, and a bevy of new and versatile cars are helping to re-establish the auto industry as one of America’s strongest.
Automakers Investigate the Use of Biometrics
We are only a few short steps away from our cars becoming comprehensive triage units.
Audi Expands Diesel Offerings and Women Pack a Mini (Or How the Auto Industry is Like Thanksgiving)
Fiat 500, Though Tiny, Shows Signs of Complexity
You know what they say about the Fiat 500, right? “Born in Italy, manufactured for the millionth time in Poland.”
Record Seat Belt Usage; Is it Due to a Catchy Phrase?
Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep.
Sandy’s Effect on Cars in Her Path, and a Boss is Retired (But not THE Boss)
You’re a beautiful human being, Bruce Springsteen. He was last seen railing and wailing for President Obama during the President re-elect’s final campaign push, but Springsteen’s echoes are reverberating through the automobile industry.
A Child Seat Recall and Suzuki Calls it a Day
First, the (kind of) odd. Britax is an elite company that makes car seats, strollers, travel systems and baby carriers. They’ve been around for more than 70 years, and are the leading retailer for child car seats in the U.S. and Europe (where the company is based). Which isn’t all that odd. What IS odd, however, is the recall that extends to the Boulevard 70-G3, Pavilion 70-G3, and the Advocate 70-G3 child restraints.
American Car Buying at a Fuel Efficient High
The University of Michigan puts out a monthly Eco-Driving Index as part of an initiative to promote sustainable worldwide transportation. The Index calculates the average sales-weighted fuel economy of all new vehicles purchased in the U.S. by tallying all new cars bought in a month, and then utilizes the combined city/highway fuel-economy ratings published in the EPA Fuel Economy Guide to determine the average MPG of these new purchases.