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June 2013 RPM Automotive News

Posted in News on June 1, 2013 Comment (0)
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June 2013 RPM Automotive News
Photographers: The Manufacturers

That’s Interesting
The National Insurance Crime Bureau took a look at data from January 1, 2008 to June 30, 2012 and learned that 2,438 SUVs were stolen from around the New York metro area, scoring it first place in the competition, “Who Had the Most SUVs Stolen from January 1, 2008 to June 30, 2012?” And 725 were never found. Least recovered were the Chevy Tahoe and Jeep Wrangler.

Hey, it’s those guys again: The National Insurance Crime Bureau also looked into tailgate theft data for the first time ever and learned that thievery has increased since 2009, and that Texas was the hot spot, followed by California and Arizona, with Florida and Nevada rounding out the top five. The make and model with the most tailgate theft from January 1, 2006 to September 30, 2012 (the same period as the hot-spot list) showed the ’08 Ford F-250 ranking first, followed by the ’10 F-150, then the ’07 Chevy Silverado. Cities with the highest theft included Houston and Phoenix.

”Honoring Our Veterans” is the new license plate you can buy in Pennsylvania, which has an American flag and bald eagle. And $15 from the sale of each plate (priced at $35) will go to the Veterans Trust Fund.

The J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study focuses on problems experienced in the previous 12 months by original owners of 3-year-old vehicles (intro’d for the 2010 model year). So, like, dependability. Lexus ranked highest in vehicle dependability, with Porsche, Toyota, and Mercedes-Benz being among the top five. The Ram brand showed the best year-over-year improvement.

Kelley Blue Book has named the winners of its 2013 5-Year Cost to Own awards, which includes the Ford Explorer for fullsize SUV/crossover, Chevy Silverado 1500 for fullsize pickup, Toyota Tacoma Double Cab for midsize pickup, and Jeep Patriot for compact SUV/crossover. They are among the best deals to be had when it comes to five years of ownership.

Did you know there’s a Lighting Research Center? Now you do. Oh, but there’s bigger news than that: The center and Penn State researchers have figured out some connections between visibility and safety from roadway lighting, according to a published paper. A connection? Hard to believe, right? OK, it was bigger than that: It was to learn about driver habits at rural and urban intersections with and without lighting. OK, it wasn’t bigger after all.

Ram 1500 Gets a Diesel—Finally
The same V-6 diesel that’s been stuffed into the new Jeep Grand Cherokee is making its way into the ’14 Ram 1500. The 3.0L EcoDiesel will be matched to the TorqueFlite eight-speed auto transmission. This will be the only half-ton available with a small-displacement diesel. Power figures are coming soon.

New Mitsubishi Concept Truck
Meet Concept GR-HEV. It’s a hybrid from Mitsubishi with a diesel engine and electric motors, full-time four-wheel drive, and…that’s about it. It’s an exploration of electric hybrids and the global automotive market.

“The biggest concern is the Wrangler. The factory can’t keep up. It’s a pretty good problem to have.”
—Bob Ralph, general manager of Ingram Park Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in San Antonio, to AOL Autos

Is It True?
The Wrangler will get the EcoDiesel V-6 engine that’s in the Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500? And this time all signs point to go?

If you use your phone while driving, you’re more than likely the type who is going to do other stupid things like drive without a seatbelt, while sleepy, or speed? A survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that out?

Carfax’s database of vehicle history is more than 11 billion records?

Jeep production in China will start with at least 100,000 vehicles when things get going in 2014?

Your average household fuel expense in the U.S. in 2012 was $2,912, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration?

Fullsize or Compact Pickup?
If you could own only one truck for the rest of your life, what would it be, a fullsize or a downsize pickup? Eliminate the consideration of fuel and maintenance; which better suits your lifestyle? Come on over to Four Wheeler’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fourwheelermag) and tell us! These are ours:

Brubaker: This is like asking if I want the soup and salad lunch or the all-you-can-eat buffet. To me, a compact truck is like the soup and salad lunch. It’ll do the job and it’s not that expensive, but in the end I always want more. I see a fullsize truck like a buffet with beef done 12 different ways, and it seriously does the job. (I need to stop writing these things when I’ve only had soup and salad for lunch.) If I could only own one truck for the rest of my life, I’d want a work-ready, tow-happy, rugged, diesel-powered, fullsize truck. The bigger, the better. A Cummins-powered Ram 2500 Mega Cab would be just dandy.

Cappa: OK, first of all, if I kept any single truck the remainder of my life it would be unbelievably hammered and likely undriveable long before I died. But assuming the truck in question would be magically maintained (by elves, gremlins, or whatever) and fueled despite my best efforts to use it to eleven-tenths of its capability, I would choose a Ford F-150 6.2L Raptor SVT Extended Cab. It can haul ass across the deserts I love and tow way more than it’s rated, all while chewing through my magic, free fuel in the single-digit mpg.

Mansour: I would take a fullsize diesel so I could always have a tow/haul rig. It wouldn’t be my wheeler, but rather a well-kept workhorse that was only used as needed. I’ve owned a ’00 7.3L Powerstroke F-250 and ’06 5.9L Cummins Ram, and currently have a ’12 Chevy Duramax. All have been great trucks, and could be lifers.

Your Government At Work
More than 90 percent of the auto bailout money has been paid back through repayments or other income. And now the U.S. Department of Treasury intends to bail on its investment in GM in the next 12-15 months.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2012, manufacturers filed more than 650 safety recalls that affected more than 17.8 million vehicles, child seats, and equipment. NHTSA says it was a key player when it came to the recall of more than 9 million vehicles.

What’s Happening In The Industry
The largest rebate in Bestop’s history is upon them—and therefore upon us. The 2013 Rebate Rush, as it’s being called, can net you up to $100 cash back on various Jeep and truck accessories through June 30. Check out www.bestop.com/rebate for the scoop.

Hey, more rebate news: Skyjacker is offering a $35 rebate on HYDRO H7000 Series and NITRO N8000 Series shocks or a $55 rebate on M95 monotube shocks. It’s through May 31. Get the skinny at www.skyjacker.com/shockrebate.

GM has thrown $200 mil into its Global Powertrain Engineering headquarters for building a new test wing, where engineers will work on advanced powertrains. It’s part of the GM Powertrain Development Center.

Mopar’s top-selling accessories in 2012 in North America? Side steps and running boards, as well as Wrangler tops, floor mats, and trailer hitches. Mopar’s most-accessorized vehicles in 2012 in North America? Ram 1500, followed by the Wrangler. The Grand Cherokee also made the top five. The Wrangler and Grand were in the one and two positions in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as the Asia Pacific, which also had the Jeep Compass and Patriot in its top five.

Sears is bringing back RoadHandler tires. Does that mean an old off-road tire with a similar-sounding name could be coming back, too?

Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. Did you know it was founded by not only Mickey, but also his friend, Gene McMannis? We’re guessing no. Things started with a new open-wheel racing tire. Shortly after, it became the first tire company to offer 50-, 60- and 70-series Indy Profile tires.

Win a Jeep and an RV? Sure, we’re down with that. You can head to www.outdoorgiveaway.com to learn how to score the customized ’13 Wrangler Rubicon and ’13 Berkshire RV (and other things, like bikes and a kayak) through the Outdoor Adventure Dream Giveaway, sponsored by the National Association of Christian Churches. It’s for a good cause: victims of natural disasters.

Cooper Tire will soon have 26 more sizes of its Discoverer S/T Maxx off-road tire.

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