By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine
● SAAB may not yet be out of the woods. The proposed rescue-financing from China has stalled due to objections by former owner General Motors about the transfer of technology rights. GM will not approve the deal as it stands and the proposed investors won’t release the funding without that approval.
● Researchers at Northwestern University are working on layering silicon and sheets of graphene to develop a quick-charge, high capacity electrode for lithium -ion batteries. They say such a battery could provide ten times today’s EV range and reduce charging time by 90 percent. If all goes well, time to market is estimated at three to five years.
● Noting that it would be “unthinkable to assemble it anywhere else”, FIAT’s Sergio Marchionne recently said that the Jeep Wrangler won’t be produced anywhere but in Toledo, Ohio. The company is also investing nearly $2 billion to develop a new model to replace the Jeep Liberty, also to be built in Toledo.
● “The future is diesel and all-wheel drive.” So said the Executive Director of Volkswagen R, GmbH, the
performance branch of Volkswagen Auto Group. Regarding hybrids, he also noted “You can get the same efficiency by dropping 100 kilos,” but added that the cost of lightweight materials was a hindrance to that.
● The effects of the flooding in Thailand continue. Toyota is still affected by missing parts but is finding ways to compensate. Honda remains severely affected, with one Thai plant still under water. Mazda is recovering and is about to restart making trucks in the country.
● They are not billing it as a hybrid, but the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu will be available early next year in Eco form, complete with General Motors’ “eAssist” battery-electric plus gasoline propulsion system. It will also be one of the first cars on U.S roads with stop-start technology. A straight petrol version follows later.
● Market snapshot—the top five selling vehicles in Canada through October of this year: Ford F-series (also first place in 2010), Dodge Ram (up from 5th place last year), Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Civic (down from 2nd in 2010) and Hyundai Elantra (up from 11th last year and only about 2000 units sold behind the Civic.)
● Porsche Design, purveyor of Porsche watches, clothing and accessories has proposed building a 55-plus story apartment building in Miami Beach with special elevators to allow residents to park their vehicles at their apartment level.
The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!
When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.