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Automotive and Insurance Industry News


Americans Need to Clean Up Their Act 

CHICAGO, Feb. 26 / -- Americans say love their cars, but five of six owners also say they’re ashamed when their autos don't look -- or smell -- their best.

A survey done by the International Carwash Association found that owners' most embarrassing moments occur when trash and odors permeate their car's interior, and nearly 50 percent say noticeable dirt on their car's exterior triggers embarrassment, followed by salt build-up (33 percent) and bug grime (30 percent). Twenty-three percent of respondents -- representing nearly 32 million U.S. car owners -- report that "Wash Me" has been scribbled on their cars at least once.


Ford Launches New Program: 'Smart' Vehicles Transmit Where & How They Are 

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 26/ -- Ford and the Minnesota DOT have announced a partnership to construct an intelligent transportation system where cars will talk to the highway, and to each other, to keep passengers out of traffic jams and bad weather, using state-of-the-art technology.

Initially, state police cars, ambulances and state-owned cars and trucks will be outfitted with sensing devices that will collect traffic-related data from each vehicle, including vehicle speed, location and heading. Weather-related data will also be obtained, including windshield wiper operation, lights on or off, outside temperature and traction control system status.


Toyota Worried That 1989 Camry Ranks At Top of NICB Most Stolen Vehicles List   

DETROIT, Feb. 26/ -- In an effort to offset the dubious achievement of manufacturing the top-ranked most stolen vehicle, the 1989 Toyota Camry, Toyota Motor Sales USA issued a statement urging consumers to keep in mind that the Camry “has been a best-seller for many years, there are more of them on the road than most other makes.  We believe that the percentage of thefts relative to the number of an individual model on the road is more telling.  When measured by those criteria, the Camry's rate of theft and insurance loss claims are comparable to the average for all vehicle brands.


Ricardo's 'HyTrans' to Help Improve Delivery Vehicle Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emissions

SHOREHAM-BY-SEA, West Sussex, England, Feb. 26/ -- Ricardo has formally launched its 1.2 million pounds sterling HyTrans project to be carried out in partnership with Ford Motor Company, Valeo SA and the Gates Corporation.  The project is designed to demonstrate technologies for an affordable and production-feasible micro-hybrid diesel delivery vehicle based on the existing Ford Transit. 

In what will be Europe's first micro-hybrid delivery van, the partners expect to achieve a 15-25 percent improvement in fuel consumption over typical door-to-door, real world local delivery cycles.




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