Friday, August 1, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Chicago Auto Show’s all about economy

By
From page C1 | February 10, 2012 |

CHICAGO — High mileage trumped the environment at this year’s Chicago Auto Show.

With gas expected to top $4 a gallon in the coming months, green for most consumers these days is what’s left in their wallets.

And carmakers across the board are responding, promoting a plethora of high-mileage vehicles at the auto show, which opened to the media Wednesday and welcomes the public beginning Friday.

The key to this new high-mileage drive is the ways carmakers expect to do it. They’re using a variety of powertrains and fuels to achieve better mileage.

“In the future, cars will run on a variety of fuels. What works well for Springfield may not work well for Shanghai,” said Yoshi Inaba, president of Toyota Motors North America Inc.

Toyota, which plans to introduce 19 new or updated vehicles this year, intends to focus on hybrid vehicles, including the family of four Prius models, he noted. “Hybrids will remain the core of Toyota,” he said.

Other carmakers, like Volkswagen AG, intend to push diesel vehicles as an efficient alternative to gasoline cars. VW introduced the 2013 Beetle TDI at the show, touting its 39 mpg in highway driving.

“For us, diesels are an important part of our strategy,” said Tim Mahoney, VW’s chief marketing officer .

A proven fuel sipper, often 30 percent more efficient than gasoline engines of the same size, diesels still face the challenge of public acceptance.

But the tide could be turning.

This year, VW expects nearly 30 percent of all of its midsize Passats sold to be diesels. The Passat is one of six diesel models the German automaker offers.

“Diesel is becoming much more accessible, and all of our diesel models remain in high demand,” he said.

Other carmakers may follow VW down that diesel highway. Jeep recently announced it’s going to bring a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee to America next year.

“Diesel is perfect for an SUV,” said Mike Manley, Jeep president. “The way to convince people to buy a diesel vehicle is to get them to drive one.”

Indeed. Today’s diesels are nothing like the ones that were around 20 years ago. Then again, neither are the traditional internal combustion engines that use gasoline.

Hyundai North America debuted two variations of the popular compact Elantra: a coupe and a sportier GT model. The coupe will hit 40 mpg highway when it arrives later this year.

The GT will get 39 mpg highway.

John Krafcik, president of Hyundai North America, cited the high mileage of the Elantra as one of the key selling points for these nicely appointed vehicles.

“Consumers expect high mileage today,” he said.

Even the big vehicles need to produce big mileage numbers for consumer consideration.

With 32 mpg, GMC’s 2013 Acadia crossover should garner more attention from consumers who used to drive SUVs.

“It’s flexible, efficient and offers a segment-leading 32 mpg,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick and GMC marketing.

It makes sense to focus on mileage with everyone waiting to see how high gas prices will go this year. There’s not a better way to hedge a bet than get the most fuel-efficient vehicle possible.

To be honest, there were a few vehicles shown in Chicago that didn’t focus on fuel economy – they were after the most fun per gallon instead. The 650-horsepower 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 convertible provides an answer to a question no one ever knew was there.

Should anyone make a 650-horsepower Mustang convertible? The answer: Of course.

Nissan also seems to be following the high mileage route with the introduction of the NV200 – a work van that will take on the likes of the Ford Transit Connect. The NV200 features a 2-liter, four-cylinder engine. It arrives early next year. No mileage numbers were provided.

The difference between previous auto shows and this one is that high mileage seems to be understood. Gone is the veneer of green that carmakers used to wrap around themselves when they rolled out special edition high-mileage vehicles.

Now, eco-friendly has been transformed into customer-friendly, and high mileage is likely to mean high sales.

And that gets the carmaker’s attention.

————

By Scott Burgess, auto critic, The Detroit News

Comments

comments

New York Times News Service

.

News

What’s the buzz?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Davis Reads book project focuses on veterans

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

Carbahal and Company celebrates 30 years

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

 
UCD chancellor is coming up for five-year review

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

A week of groundwater news in the Year of Groundwater

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Candidate goes homeless to showcase economic gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Increase in health plan costs is slowing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Kashkari’s campaign coffers depleted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Parents can learn all about IEPs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

10 essential herbs are focus of Davisite’s talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Bee beard photo wins award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Businesses can learn about PR strategies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Enjoy films, beer at benefit Friday night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Target hosts National Night Out celebration

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Digital device use is up among school-age children

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
 
Backpacks for Kids launches annual donation drive

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Seniors share homes for savings, companionship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
City of Davis recruits for its advisory commissions

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Farmers Market shoppers can pick up free reusable produce bags

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

It’s not what they thought

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Protect and expand Medicare

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

It’s insurance against extremes

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Political cartoon was offensive

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

Let’s gas up for TAPS

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Railroads, listen up and respond

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

 
Treat children as refugees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Sports

Swimley recalls a budding star in Giants’ Susac

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Nick Watney leads Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stuart named to outstanding placekicker watch list

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Going, going, gone: A’s trade Cespedes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Safety Bethea finding a groove with new 49ers team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
UCD women’s golf tees up tough schedule

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: Droll sci-fi hijinks

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Barnyard Theatre adds ‘Pinky’ performance after sold-out opening night.

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

WOH to hold auditions for ‘Zuccotti Park’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘Tunes on Tuesdays’ come to Freeman Park

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Business

Grand Cherokee: A grand, and long, ride

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Patricia Eileen Hershberger

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
John Vernon McLane Wayland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Don Fife

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Nancy Jane Fife

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Clara Meyerhoff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, August 1, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A6