1st Gear: Saab Loses One Metric Börk-load Of Money
Saab's owner, Swedish Automobile NV, says its losses widened further in the second quarter and that it still hasn't secured the funding needed to keep the ailing car brand afloat. Swedish Automobile — previously known as Spyker — on Wednesday reported a second-quarter loss of nearly $220 million compared with a loss of $86 million in the same period last year. Revenues shrank to $147 million from $283 million in the second quarter of 2010. Well, we guess that happens when you're not building cars. What this means is that Saab's losing significantly more money than it's bringing in annually — and is not a good sign for the long-term prospects for the Swedish automaker's survival.
2nd Gear: Ford To Supply Zipcars To Colleges
Bloomberg reports that Ford reached a two-year agreement establishing it as Zipcar's largest supplier of cars for the college market. Zipcar will add as many as 650 Fords, mostly Focus compacts and Escape small sport-utility vehicles, to its lineup during this academic year and as many as 1,000 vehicles during the agreement. The short-term rental-car company will discount its $35 annual membership fee by $10 for 100,000 new university student members as part of the accord. The program exposes new drivers to Ford models "while helping them reduce their cost of living and help relieve congestion on campus," Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement.
3rd Gear: Kia And Hyundai Continue Korean Plans For World Domination
Kia Motors Corp.'s August sales rose 27% to 191,232 vehicles. Domestic sales fell 5.2% from a year ago, while overseas sales climbed 38%, according to a regulatory filing. Hyundai Motor Co. sold 307,320 vehicles in August, up 5.1% from a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing today. Overseas sales increased 5.3% and domestic sales rose 4%.
4th Gear: BMW To Recall 1 And 5 Series Diesels
BMW will recall 120,000 diesel 1 and 5 Series worldwide over a potential filter defect. The defect could cause the filter heater to continue to run after the engine is switched off, company spokeswoman Susanne Spatz said in an interview today. In a worst-case scenario, the defect, which BWM detected on its own, could eventually lead to owners dying in a fiery death.
5th Gear: Chrysler To Row Eight Gears For You
Chrysler Group will put eight-speed automatic transmissions on some 2012 cars, making it the first automaker to use the gearboxes on mainstream vehicles. It announced today that V-6 models of its 2012 Dodge Charger (and it's mechanically similar brother, the Chrysler 300) will have the eight-speeds. The full-size sedans had five-speed automatics for 2011. Hemi V8 models will continue to have five-speeds.
6th Gear: We Still Love Laura Soave, Even If Michael D'Antonio Does Too
MediaBistro's AgencySpy is reporting that Fiat USA has officially fired Impatto, the Southfield, MI-based shop that was handpicked last year by the automotive brand's U.S. CEO Laura Soave to serve as its lead AOR. If our sources are spot-on, from the looks of it, the situation hasn't been pretty over the last couple of weeks at Impatto. And now, Impatto employees are apparently jumping into the comments to attack Soave and Impatto CEO Michael D'Antonio (as well as . The comments — especially this one and this one — are priceless, whether or not they're true.
⏎ The Formula 1 United States Grand Prix is officially coming to the "Circuit of The Americas" on November 18th, 2012. [The Austin Chronicle]
⏎ After Irene: How You Can Help Vermont. [Seven Days]
⏎ Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel Concept: 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. [MotorAuthority]
⏎ When picking a new minivan, utility's in the driver's seat. [Detroit News]
⏎ People Mover likely to cut back on service as money dries up. [Detroit Free Press]
⏎ Bike Riding NYPD Officer Says Cops Don't Hate Cyclists, But... [Gothamist]
⏎ Brian Dickerson: If Dick Cheney had prevailed, the Detroit 3 would be toast. [Detroit Free Press]
⏎ With 1.8 million fans on Facebook, the Chevy Camaro is now the most popular car model on the social media service. [Facebook]
⏎ First official pictures of the Smart Forvision concept. [Car Magazine]
Today in Automotive History:
On September 1, 1998, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 finally goes into effect. The law required that all cars and light trucks sold in the United States have air bags on both sides of the front seat. [History]
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