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RPM Automotive News - September 2014

Posted in News on July 29, 2014
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That’s Interesting
The best-selling cars in the world, early-2014 edition? According to 24/7 Wall St., the Toyota Corolla was it. But then the econobox has been that for forever and a day. The Ford F-series was in Sixth Place. You won’t care about the rest of the list, other than the joy that comes with saying “Wuling Hongguang,” a top-selling minivan out of China.

Looking for a CNG-capable Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra 2500 or 3500 HD? Bifueling is a $9,500 option for the ’15 models. Run either CNG or gasoline. Get it in double cab or crew cab.

Look for the Jeep Grand Cherokee to get a refresher in 2015; ditto the Renegade in 2017. In fact, 2017 is a big year -- we see the all-new Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. The year after that is the new Grand Wagoneer.

Here are two candle scents we can get behind: On Tap, which smells of beer, and Camouflage, a woodsy, barky, leafy scent. It’s like bringing the other parts of wheeling and camping into your home courtesy of Yankee Candle. Get ‘em before year’s end (

There’s now an all-female Palestinian racing team.

Toyota will have a new North American headquarters -- Plano, Texas.

Volkswagen has kicked off a global design contest for students -- the assignment is to design a concept vehicle for a video game. The callout goes to students of interior and exterior design, interface design, graphic design, and color/trim design. The deadline is August 15, and more info can be found at

GM extended its military pricing through June 30 to all active, reserve, retired, and veteran military, which meant more than 21 million U.S. veterans.

In 2017, we should see the all-new Ram 1500; the following year, the HD goes all-new.

Volkswagen of America has redone its website:

Ford sold its 500,000th EcoBoost engine for the F-150.

While on the topic of Ford, the Explorer had its best April sales numbers in 2014 since 2005.

Thanks for the education, Mental Floss: Chrysler’s founder is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. And Cadillac is named after the founder of Detroit.

Chevy is the official truck of the NHRA.

New GM Performance and Racing Center
GM has started building its new race engine and development facility, the GM Performance and Racing Center (cool people shall henceforth refer to it as GMPRC). It will also feature an electric motor lab and gear center. It should be up and running by mid-2015 and officially done by early 2016.

Gee, That Press Release Sounds Naughty:
“Mystik Lubricants Announces Sponsorship of Fintak Brothers Pulling Team.”

Is It True?

Ford is working on the next-generation Raptor? Are we the only ones thrilled that it wasn’t just a limited off-road truck? And will it take advantage of Ford’s new aluminum fascination?

The Chevy Silverado is the cheapest pickup to own? Vincentric, which does data analysis, named it Best Value Truck Brand in America, and thinks that’s due to good depreciation, financing, fuel, insurance, repairs, maintenance, and other factors?

PhotosView Slideshow

Mini has built a secret concept pickup?

Chrysler trademarked the model name Rebel?

The experiment the Netherlands did with having glow-in-the-dark roads failed and won’t ever happen?

Is there going to be a midsize pickup from Ram around the corner? Say, a Ram 1000?

Are semi-trucks going to be forced into having speed governors?

Jeep Concepts
Jeep has brought forth four Chinese-inspired design concepts. Backstory: The Jeep brand is growing like wildfire in China. So, design concepts that infuse Jeeps with culture were the order here.

Zi You Xia
The template was the Renegade. Zi You Xia means rebel (sidebar: See our note elsewhere on these pages about how Jeep has trademarked Rebel? Hint, hint?), and throwing caution to the wind here, meant…feeding off the colors of the National Centre of the Performing Arts in Beijing. Rebellious! Warm Chocolate Gray and Dark Anodized Bronze are what you’re seeing.

The Cherokee arrived in the Chinese market in 2014. This one got inspiration from “historical landmarks and natural sceneries” found in the Shangri-La region, hence the earth tones. One unique feature is the stitching on the seats; it’s traditional Chinese knot design.

You love the nightlife? You love to boogie? Urbane is reaching for the nightlife mixed with fancy pants. Sleekness was the goal for the exterior, while the interior fuses Chinese colors and patterns. There’s a reminder of Chinese calligraphy via the brush stroke patterns on the door applique.

Simply put, it’s a Wranger meets sophistication and fashion. Lots of gold is how we’d sum up this one.

What’s Happening In The Industry
The 2014 Joint Channel Forecast Model, produced by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association and the Auto Care Association, says that the aftermarket will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.4 percent until 2017. The prediction is also that sales will jump from $238.4 billion in 2013 to $273.4 billion in 2017.

Cooper has introduced something called Wear Square on one of its touring tires, which will help people figure out tire wear in stages, including when the rubber has reached 2/32 of an inch, meaning time to replace.

Rancho and the Off-Road Business Association have teamed up. Rancho is sponsoring the org, which protects off-road recreational access and is active in land use.

Random Quotes:
“It doesn’t matter if it’s sweat or gasoline; energy is energy.”
-- SoftWheel CEO Daniel Barel toWired, about expended energy for wheelchair propulsion. SoftWheel uses “symmetric and selective technology” -- a new technology -- to absorb shock in wheelchair wheels. Wheelchairs don’t have suspension; they have rigid wheels. Rumor is automakers are now eyeballing this tech

“Built in Nigeria for Nigerians.”
-- Nissan announcement about the first Patrol coming off the assembly line in Lagos, Nigeria

Four Wheeler App
Go to the Apple store and download our app. Then we can be with you always, much like a stalker who is very informed about the automotive industry.

Your Government At Work
The yellow-legged frog native to the Sierra Nevada is being protected under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Act.

Watch for a police-edition Chevy Silverado.

Technically their government at work: The European Transport Safety Council says driving on European Union and Swiss roads is the safest it has been in more than 10 years.

Minnesota has introduced legislation that would require a vehicle-mileage user fee.

Nice try, Hawaii. A bill attempting to ban most aftermarket exhausts failed.

Random Photos We Dig

What family doesn’t enjoy quality time together visiting with a mechanical heart? This is the Dodrill-GMR Mechanical Heart -- the first mechanical heart pump -- built by GM Research Labs. You’re looking at circa 1952. fw

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