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August 27, 2008

Ask Patty's Female Friendly Blog Carnival: August 27, 2008

Welcome to the AskPatty Blog Carnival, where we provide a refreshing assortment of female friendly news and interesting automotive tidbits from around the blogosphere. Whether it's informative stories about eco-friendly people and cars, adventures, roadtrips, or safety, exciting reports about women in the automotive industry, or female friendly car reviews, we've got something here for everyone. Have you got something to share? Email Ask Patty at or use the form at the end to include your own blog bits in next week's carnival!

Gm_logo General Motors will invest 445 million dollars to build a new diesel engine plant and to upgrade an existing assembly plant in Thailand, said chief executive Rick Wagoner recently. According to this article at Yahoo! News, the investment is part of GM's global strategy, which includes growth in emerging markets such as Thailand; GM will also be opening a new Indian assembly plant outside Mumbai next month. Unfortunately, the steady loss of its US market share - evidenced in July auto sales which plunged 26.7 percent from one year ago -- has forced the company to take drastic measures. Read more about it at Yahoo! News.

Ford_motor_company_logo_2 On another note, Ford Motor Company expects to improve the profitability of its small vehicles by sharing parts from cars sold in Europe and North America, says this article at Yahoo! news. Ford is restructuring its operations in the face of a sharp drop in sales in its home market amid high gasoline prices and stiff competition from Asian automakers; as part of its vision to build "world cars" the manufacturer plans to introduce six smaller vehicles already selling well in Europe by 2012 to the North American market, which is experiencing a dramatic shift away from trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Electric_bikes_flickr_comphotosqili The surging cost of gasoline and a desire for a greener commute are turning more people to electric bikes as an unconventional form of transportation. They function like a typical two-wheeler but with a battery-powered assist -- and bike dealers, riders, and experts say they are flying off the racks. Official sales figures are hard to pin down, but the Gluskin-Townley Group, which does market research for the National Bicycle Dealers Association, estimates 10,000 electric bikes were sold in the U.S. in 2007, up from 6,000 in 2006. Read more about this low-tech, low-budget, HIGHLY GREEN travel alternative at

Messy_car_flickr_comphotosbarefootb An article at Traveller's advice  says 95 percent of women notice their date's car--and the number one thing they are most likely to pay attention to is the vehicle's cleanliness both inside and out, according to The Ford Fusion "Life in Drive" Dating Survey conducted by Ford Motor Co. More than 420 single adults aged 25 to 40 nationwide revealed that it's not just your car, but the state of your car that can make an impression on your date, with 58 percent saying that the condition of their date's vehicle would at least somewhat impact their attraction to the person. Read the complete article to find out some other fun facts about dating, love, and cars.

Wikipediadrivethrunight The blogger at Scheiss Weekly  wants to know why the concept of the drive-through is so difficult for some people to comprehend? He doesn't care whether it's a fast-food drive-through, the bank's drive-through, or a bill-paying drive-through. Even those little islands at the post office where you drive up and drop your mail through the slot counts as a drive-through. Need a refresher course on drive-through etiquette? Don't miss these tips meant to speed drivers on their way through the line.

Kathleen_ligocki Auto industry veteran Kathleen Ligocki has been appointed to be CEO of GS Motors, a Grupo Salinas transportation company that will market, distribute, and eventually build Chinese FAW cars for sale in Mexico and Central America. The Detroit Free Press says  First Automobile Works Group (FAW) is one of the largest automobile groups in China and a partner of Volkswagen/Audi, Toyota and Mazda. Ligocki, a former Ford executive, has three decades of experience in the automobile industry. You go, Girl!

Art_horsley_hood_from_cnn Larry Horsley loves that he doesn't buy much gas, even though he drives his '95 Chevy S-10 back and forth to work each day. Larry yanked out his pickup's gas-guzzling engine and replaced it with a zero-emission electric motor powered by 20 six-volt batteries, the same kind used in golf carts, with a range of a little under 40 miles. Learn more about his unusual electric conversion at

Ofelia_lacaro Even before she separated from her husband four months ago, Ofelia Lacaro did not even have her own car. The 29-year-old mother struggled to take her two children to school and soccer practice, and now in the process of a divorce, it continues to be a daily difficulty. Her life recently became a little easier thanks to The Center for Women in Transition,  who helped arrange a gift of a black 2001 Dodge Intrepid as part of the 1-800-Charity Cars program. Interested in donating a car of your own? Call  1-800 Charity Cars (800-242-7489), extension 2. Owners of the cars that are selected for the program will receive a tax voucher.

Campaign_to_stop_red_light_running Traffic crashes are the single most significant cause of preventable death and injury in North America. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2006 as many as 171,000 crashes, 144,000 injuries, and 887 fatalities in the United States were attributed to red light running.  The leading excuse given for red light running was neither frustration nor road rage; it was "being in a hurry." Do you think red light cameras are a good solution?

Picasso_car This week's pink car isn't pink at all: it's a Picasso! Andy Saunders, a cubist car nut spent six months turning a Citroen Deux Chevaux car into a bizarre work of art - inspired by Picasso's Portrait of Dora Maar. The tiny French motorcar is now an artistic masterpiece after receiving multi-colored makeover and abstract alterations  The owner says the Picasso car is legally roadworthy for daytime use only, as it does not need traditional headlights or indicators because signals can be made with the hands. He added: "I made all the new parts and have distorted the whole car so the more you look at it the more peculiar it becomes." Peculiar? Yes! But we still like it!

Toyota_yaris As consumers turn toward fuel-efficient vehicles, it pays to know which ones are thriftiest—and which aren't as economical as they might appear. Largely ignored by most car buyers for years, fuel economy has become a top selling point following the rapid hike in gasoline prices. Gas mileage is only one item in the cost of ownership, though. Purchase price, resale value, and likely maintenance costs also need to be considered. offers some smart car buying tips to help you pass up the gas pump.

And that's it for this week's AskPatty Cars Around the World Blog Carnival! Make sure to submit your article for next week's "Automotive Advice for Women Blog Carnival" using the online form or by emailing Ask Patty at

By Brandy Schaffels Editor

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