Mitsubishi transported a group of journalists to central Oregon for the introduction of the 2014 Outlander, a seven-passenger crossover utility vehicle. The location in Redmond, Oregon--with wide-open roads, gentle hills and vistas to swoon over--was the kind of place the Outlander fits right in.
Noted. Facebook works for everything from keeping up with friends, keeping track of trends, to learning about great deals on cowboy boots.
Facebook also works for philanthropic outreach. Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good, a Facebook initiative, launched in 2011 and repeated in 2012, awarded 100 cars to 100 nonprofits over the period of 100 days to charitable organizations. In 2012, you helped Toyota give 100 vehicles to nonprofits. Daily winners were determined by popular vote on 100carsforgood.com. Now those vehicles are on the road and helping those in need.
Toyota is currently in discussions about how to repeat the plan for 2013. A representative from Toyota just this week explained that "the program will be placed on hold until further notice due to internal changes. We're pleased that the program has helped many organizations and will continue to build on the program’s success while supporting nonprofit organizations. "
Five nonprofits were profiled each day at www.100carsforgood.com. Facebook users voted for the cause they feel would do the most good with a new vehicle. At the end of each day, the winner received a new vehicle and the four runners-up will receive a $1,000 cash grant from Toyota.
“The average person doesn’t think about a non-profit needing a vehicle to get its work done,” remarked Michael Rouse, Vice President of Diversity, Philanthropy and Community Affairs for Toyota Motor Sales USA.
Rouse explained that the idea for 100 Cars for Good – a Facebook site for voting–was the result of a brainstorming meeting at the end of 2010. “We looked at what was going on in social media with non-profits and realized that, while we didn’t have a dollar budget to contribute, we do have cars and trucks. This program puts our products as the star of the show to help keep non-profits going.”
“Over the past 20 years, Toyota has contributed more than half a billion dollars to non-profits throughout the United States. 100 Cars for Good allows us to build on that commitment in new ways, putting the public in the ‘driver’s seat’ as we work to help community organizations make an even bigger impact,” offered Jim Lentz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Motor Sales.
In the past, local causes included Central Vermont Humane Society, A Child’s Place of Charlotte (helps local homeless children with school work, socialization and more), All Hands Volunteers (aids communities struck by natural disasters), Special Olympics Illinois, and Abby’s House (provides women and children across Central Massachusetts with shelter, housing and advocacy).
“In year one, when we announced that we were giving away 100 cars, perhaps people didn’t realize it was the real deal. Now everybody knows that it’s a legitimate program,” explained Rouse.
To learn more visit: www.100carsforgood.com. You can also see a short film at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjjeHoJbv1Y&feature=youtu.be
“It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hat- boxes and supper boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of wind-shields that mirrored a dozen suns. Sitting down behind many layers of glass in a sort of green leather conservatory, we started to town.”
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The year was 1922 and it was nine o’clock in the morning when Gatsby drove up to Nick Carraway’s bungalow in his Rolls Royce. At this particular time in history, Bentley had not yet come across the pond. But, most certainly, if it had been available in the US, Gatsby would have owned one.
In fact, nearly a decade later, in 1931, Rolls Royce acquired Bentley. The companies eventually parted ways in 2002. (It is said that Bentley aficionados refer to these six decades as "the blackest of all.")
Several years ago when I visited the Body Assembly Hall in Crewe, England, the factory where Bentleys are handcrafted, my guide Slim proudly explained, “Bentley Motor Cars, in operation since 1919, started off with the 1920 2 Litre, a vehicle which went on to win the Le Mans in 1924. Bentleys have been making beautiful history ever since.”
Everyone from royalty to Ian Fleming, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Kobe Bryant have owned Bentleys. And even if these vehicles do not assume the same bloodlines as the Rolls-Royce, it is fair to say that driving in a Bentley evokes the same kind of sentiment as Fitzgerald’s poignant quote from The Great Gatsby.
General Motors says that today’s pickup truck buyers don’t just use their trucks from 9-5, but also from 5-9, too! They want trucks that have the DNA or core technology of toughness for work, carrying payload, and hauling trailers, but also comfort and room for taking their kids to ball games and ferrying their family around town, as well as connectivity and good gas mileage. Listening to their customers, who are also buying more extended cab models, GM has just taken the wraps off of its next generation Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 that have been updated and renovated for 2014.
Scheduled to go on sale later this year, the stablemates have a refreshed exterior, a completely redesigned interior and upgraded powertrains for more power—but also improved fuel economy. We took a ‘first look’ at the new models recently in Detroit; pricing has not been announced.
While General Motors played it safe with this model year update, and kept some familiar exterior design cues and, in some areas made modest changes, there are also some significant improvements, particularly with some technology features – the improvements offer a welcome change and are clearly a sign of many new and good things to come from The General.
Although southern California is celebrated as a sports car mecca, sport utility vehicles of every size and type were among the biggest hits at the
2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show. More than 40 different brands parked their new models and concept renditions on the ‘red carpet’ at the Los Angeles Convention Center, as 50 new vehicles made their premier entrance or global debut. The LAIAS is among the most significant shows in annual big-city show season in the U.S. and the home of the Greater Los Angeles Auto Dealers Association (GLANCDA), the umbrella organization for local and regional dealers. The LAIAS is followed by 2013 auto shows in Detroit (January), Chicago (February), New York (April) and other cities across the nation.
People need to move—and carry things. Adding some all-new and updated game-changing, people-and-cargo-movers to its line-up, Ford has recently expanded its truck brand in the U.S., with new models that go on sale later this year. The Blue Oval is already the best-selling truck maker in North America and now adds two new vehicles for 2014-an updated Transit Connect Van and an all-new Transit Connect Wagon.
We recently took a look and climbed aboard the two new vehicles in Detroit, with Ford’s designers, engineers and marketers on hand to educate us about the new models. First, let’s take a closer look at the van, which came to the U.S. in 2010 as a creative solution for small business owners and others that had the need or desire to own a somewhat utilitarian, compact panel van.
If you’re not familiar with the first-generation version that came stateside from its popular run in Europe for close to a decade, you might think of a bulky, rectangular box with four wheels and the “Airport Shuttle” image, or the name of your electrician painted on the side of a van. You might even think back to the velour swivel seats and dastardly fuel economy of vans in the 1970s and 1980s.
Calistoga, California: Nissan’s fourth-generation Pathfinder is completely new—and different in ways that will appeal to more women and families. The SUV weighs less, has more room and gets better fuel efficiency than the model it replaces. What’s also appealing is some clever cargo features and technology capabilities that you can’t find anywhere else in the mid-sized SUV segment. The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is available in 2WD and 4WD versions and starts at a base MSRP of $28,270, while top-of-the-line Platinum versions start at $40,770. Its competitors are the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot/Passport, Toyota Highlander/4Runner, and the Chevy Traverse/Trailblazer.
Nissan brought a group of automotive testers to the Solage Calistoga Hotel and Spa to cool our heels at night in quiet luxury, and spend our days motoring on the Calistoga Wine Trail, along twisty and scenic coastal routes. We also drove the 4WD version of the Pathfinder on the dirt track of a nearby ranch, and used the SUV to tow a trailer to assess its pulling prowess.
Just as many modern SUVs have evolved, the Pathfinder’s looks have changed to give it a more car-like, crossover appearance. The new model is lighter by some 500 pounds, more aerodynamic, and has changed from body-on-frame architecture to a unibody build; this makes it ride less like a truck and more like a minivan.
Pathfinder’s front end is distinguished by an attractive curved grille, dominated by a large Nissan badge and backed by a black honeycomb design; it stretches like a pair of wings across the entire front end. Large halogen headlamps wrap around to the sides. Optional fog lamps are mounted in the lower part of the grille.
The roofline slants downward from the shoulders to the tail end, giving the Pathfinder a more coupe-like stature despite its longer, three-row size. Character lines scoop out the middle section like a waist, and the rear liftback has an integrated spoiler. Standard wheels are 18-inch alloys, with bold 20-inch wheels available on the highest-end models.
Inside, Pathfinder is bigger than the previous generation version by 8.4 cubic feet overall, and there is ample room for seven passengers in the three rows of seats.
2013 Nissan Sentra:
With a sleeker profile, lighter footprint and a more upscale interior, the 2013 Nissan Sentra has been completely redesigned for this model year – and it could give dominant players in this category a run for their money. Boasting up to 40 mpg on the highway, this compact sedan also answers the continued demand for fuel efficiency in an era of continually-rising gas prices. On sale now, starting at $15,990, this is Nissan’s seventh generation of this popular, value-priced model.
A gleaming chrome-framed grille defines the front end, which is capped by arrow-point headlamps accented with LED bulbs lined up dot-to-dot under the larger lights. A lowered beltline and more aerodynamically shaped roofline cut a sophisticated profile; the rear end is a bit chunky and low-slung, with wraparound taillamps and a liftgate with an integrated spoiler (on some trims). Chrome also accents the door handles and windows.
Compared to the previous version, the 2013 Sentra has a longer wheelbase but shorter front overhang (and longer rear overhang), for a modern sports sedan look; it is five percent lighter and its drag coefficient is 0.29, down from 0.34 last year. Sixteen-inch wheels and tires are standard; 17-inch wheels are available, as are a few other exterior premium features, such as integrated rearview mirror turn signals.
The 2013 Lexus LS: Lexus has given its flagship sedan a complete redesign and added a new sport version to the lineup. The all-new 2013 Lexus LS 460 is unapologetically big, smooth and sumptuous-both inside and out. Plus, there’s an updated version of its LS 600 hybrid that brings increased fuel efficiency and added plushness. Since it came to the market in 1989, its designers and engineers have set the tone for the Lexus brand by endowing its top-of-the-line model with a high level of craftsmanship, technology and refinement. The newest LS has a more bold exterior; an interior that has been updated with a higher level of quality and technology; there is improved safety and upgraded driving dynamics—along with more than 3,000 new parts! The base LS 460 rear wheel drive version starts at $71, 990 and the LS600 hybrid starts at $119,910.
We came to Tucson, known as “The Real Southwest” and parked overnight at the sumptuous Ritz Carlton Hotel, with accommodations befitting this updated opulent auto. Lexus isn’t shy about its achievements and wants its success to be recognized, so has tailored its ride and drives and media campaign to heighten the prestige of the LS. For its first introduction this summer, Lexus revealed the new model as the centerpiece to an international photo exhibit in San Francisco called the “Lexus Laws of Attraction”, at an L.A. Food and Wine event and at the legendary Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance, in Monterrey, California. The new LS F Sport model was unveiled by renowned designers Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan to a global audience during a live webcast on Lexas.com and Facebook.
Looking at the exterior of the new iconic LS, you’ll notice it has an aerodynamic sweep of a profile, with short overhangs front and rear and a relatively long midsection.
The Car Care Council Women’s Board is comprised of professional men and women from the automotive aftermarket who are dedicated to providing career leadership to women in the automotive aftermarket, providing car care information to female audiences and encouraging youngpeople to investigate opportunities in the automotive aftermarket. For more information, visit http://women.carcare.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organized by the Car Care Council Women’s Board, the annual awards and a reception are sponsored by a variety of aftermarket companies and organizations. The 2012 sponsors include: Robert Bosch LLC, SKF Automotive Division, Tenneco, The Timken Company, Automotive Communication Council (ACC), N.A. Williams Company, Maximum Marketing Services, Mobile Air ConditioningSociety (MACS), MOTOR Information Systems and Snap-on, Inc.
Jody DeVere CEO AskPatty.com was honored as the she was named the ninth annual Aftermarket Woman of the Year by the Car Care Council Women's Board.
Amy Mattinat, owner of Auto Craftsmen in Vermont and one of the top expert automotive women advisors for AskPatty.com was honored as The Car Care Council’s Female Service Shop Owner of the Year.
Andrea Schultz was selected as the first-ever Woman of Promise by the Car Care Council Women's Board.
Each year, the SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN) recognizes the top individuals for their contributions to women in industry. The winners of these awards were recognized at the 2012 SEMA Speed Networking Breakfast Powered by SBN.
Lauren Fix was the recipient of the “Woman of the Year “ Award from the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Businesswomen’s Network and The Car Care Council’s “Automotive Communications Award” for public relations efforts. “This is such a great honor, said Lauren Fix, "I was so surprised to receive this honor from my peers. SEMA Business Womens Network has been an important part of my career and we are blessed to be among the best women in the business."
Karen Gietzen-Stewart Ford North America Advanced Planning and Innovation Manager accepted the award for Ford Motor Company, who was the recipient of the Athena Award for their support of the SEMA Mustang Build Powered By Women, better known as "High Gear," was unveiled at 2012 SEMA Show in the Ford booth. TheSBN launched the project to showcase 40 women designers and engineers of the automotive industry. With SEMA and Ford Motor Co. teaming up forthe build, an additional 40-plus SEMA member companies, donated products and services, which includes custom paint,customized wheels, a custom leather interior,high performance suspension, and a new supercharger autographed by industry legend Vic Edelbrock. More information can be found on http://www.SEMA.org/SEMAMustangBuild
Doug Evans, Executive Vice President, Performance Automotive Group for Source Interlink Media, LLC was recipeint of the Mentor of the Year Award which was created to acknowledge and honor an individual for their wisdom,encouragement, and willingness to "help others along" as a foundation for growth within and for our industry. "Advocating for women in the automotive industry is something I am dedicated to so to be recognized by this group of businesswomen is particularly gratifying," Evans said.
More Rocking Women!
Amy Faulk, founder of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). The SBN
will mark its 20th anniversary in 2013, and no conversation about
Rockin' Automotive Women would be complete without the inspirational Amy
Faulk, founder of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). Faulk grew up
around cars, starting her racing career in 1978 when her husband Kenny,
a mechanic and race car builder, fired his driver and put his wife in
the driver’s seat of the modified Volkswagon he’d built. Faulk went on
to become the first woman to win a national event in an alcohol
dragster. She was also the first woman to win an NHRA division
championship, one of the first to work in the performance auto-parts
industry and to be elected to the SEMA Board of Directors. She also
created the MPMC Media Trade Conference.
accomplishments include 1979 NHRA Super Stock World Champion, the 1980
Car Craft Magazine Driver of the Year, 2002 SEMA Hall of Fame, 2003 NHRA
Division 2 Sportsman Hall of Fame Award (first woman recipient), the
first recipient and the inspiration of the NHRA Appreciation Award, SEMA
Person of the Year and 2009 NHRA Hall of Fame Recipient.
1993, Faulk saw a need for a committee that fit the needs of women in
the industry, and the SBN was created. She is currently the CEO of
Hypertech and is still drag racing in the Stock Eliminator category,
striving to be the only person—male or female—to win national events in
The first and only all female team in Hot Rodders of Tomorrow. One of the biggest crowds at SEMA gathered to watch teams of young engine builders compete in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow challenge. The competition started Monday afternoon as 13 teams from around the country showed off their skills and teamwork.
The Gear Up Girls Event at the SEMA Show! — with Bogi Lateiner, Camee Edelbrock, Sara Morosan, Theresa Contreras, Christina Kwan, Jamie Apodaca Eriksen, Marla Moore, Julia Johnson, Luanne F Brown, Susan Roba Carpenter, JoAnn Bortles and Rose Kawasaki.
The Gear Up Girl Networking event is an incredible opportunity to connect with---and encourage female students who have an interest in working in our industry. I met the Heart Wrenchers women who started a club for the women enrolled in the Automotive Technology programs at Skyline College. Skyline's Auto Techprogram has had two female graduates in THE LAST TEN YEARS. They hope to change that! They now have eight outstanding women enrolled and they are well on their way to careers in the automotive industry.
Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenger: Alexis DeJoria began her first full season of Nitro Funny Car racing with Kalitta Motorsports in2012 after joining the team for four races late in the 2011 campaign. DeJoria qualified at three of the four Nitro races she entered in 2011. She also made it to the Finals in Bristol, TN earlier this year, an incredible feat for a rookie driver.DeJoria competed in Top Alcohol Funny Car competition for five seasons. She is one of just two women ever to win an NHRA Alcohol Funny Car event. She began drag racing in the Super Gas category and also campaigned a Super Comp dragster. Alexis' career best run is a 4.040 @ 313.66 mph at the 2012 Toyota Supernationals at Englishtown, New Jersey.