Archive for August, 2007

Toyota, Replacing GM for Olympic Sponsorship?

August 25, 2007

Toyota has recently replaced General Motors as the world’s largest automaker. And now, will Toyota make another leap over GM?

GM’s refusal of being the official automotive sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team had given the Japanese automaker an open track.

“Toyota has an obsession with becoming America’s car company,” says Peter De Lorenzo, author of the forthcoming book “The United States of Toyota.”

“After NASCAR, grabbing the Olympics would be the next logical step.”

After 24 years of Olympic support, GM (parent company of Saab, factory manufacturer of Saab ignition coil) has refused to continue being the sponsor of the American Team in the World competition after the Beijing Olympics next summer. GM says that there are also other more productive ways of spending their billion dollars marketing money then Olympics support. They are considering ways such as the internet, and utilizing the cash for developing new models. GM had lost nearly $13 billion in the last two years and will not sign another $10 billion sponsorship for ten years.

“We do feel the high cost of entry to be an official Olympic sponsor is not the most efficient way to spend our marketing dollars,” says GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney.

As of now, the Olympics is gold for Toyota. The Japanese auto maker made a record of $13.7 billion last year and expects to make more next year.

“Toyota should make it their biggest promotion of the year and they would sell a lot of cars” said Ryndee Carney, GM spokeswoman.

According to Toyota Marketers, they are not going after the Olympics but they are definitely not ruling it out. Toyota had already been in the sponsoring arena for the USA swimming and American Olympic swimmers like Kaitlin Sandeno and Aaron Peirsol.

“We advertise a lot on NBC, and we do a lot of sports sponsorships,” says Cindy Knight, Toyota spokeswoman. “You could logically draw a line” to the Olympics.

Toyota had been well loved by the Americans. The Lexus is the American luxury vehicle, the Prius as the favorite hybrid and the Camry is America’s No.1 family car. GM had already paved the way for them, and maybe its time for Toyota to return the favor to the American people.

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Lindsay Lohan Now Sued for her July Car Chase

August 20, 2007

Tracie Rice, the passenger of the car chased by Lindsay Lohan last July 24 filed a law suit against the Hollywood actress last Tuesday for assault and negligence. She claimed that the run after caused by the Freaky Friday star could have lead to severe damages and even death.  The car chase in the streets of Santa Monica eventually led to the arrest of Lohan for misdemeanor driving, felony cocaine possession and suspended license.

During the chase, Tracie Rice called a Santa Monica Police dispatcher shortly after 1:30 am Tuesday while driving along Wilshire Boulevard and described the details of the car chase incident. She did not realize that the 21 year old actress was in the white GMC (with built in GMC lift kit) following her.

“We were just about to park our car. We are turning home and out of nowhere a huge white GMC came up,” the woman said to the dispatcher.

“We’re being followed by a GMC … the gentleman jumped out of the car,” she said a few seconds later. “Oh my God, sir, they’re following us. We need help.”

The dispatcher repeatedly asked the woman for her location. The woman eventually said she was heading for the police station. The arrest of the actress followed.

Ms. Rice was the passenger of Michelle Peck, the mother of Lindsay’s personal assistant who quitted hours before the incident.

“What Miss Lohan did that night was extremely dangerous and reprehensible. Someone could easily have been killed or seriously hurt because of her irresponsible decisions,” Rice said in the law suit released by her Los Angeles attorneys.

Tracie Rice in her law suit is seeking for unspecified damages, medical payments and other expenses for the assault and infliction of emotional distress Lohan.

The three men who were Lindsay’s passengers already released a press conference that they are also considering filing a law suit against the star.

Fuel Efficient Car Seekers, Here are ten tips for you!

August 14, 2007

A car that offers great deal in fuel economy will absolutely have an edge to car owner wannabes. A car is a vast investment, so for those who need to tighten their budget belts after the investment, critical thinking will be so necessary for you before garaging any vehicle. Fuel efficient cars aren’t hard to find these days. Auto engineers with the help of rocket science have already offered the masses growing numbers of cars that use less fuel but also offer optimum drive quality.

So if you are one of those in search of a car that will not hurt your pockets that much, here are some car-shopping tips:

1. Analyze your needs
Before fancying yourself with a brand or model, you can first ask yourself the reason why you want to drive? Are you a busy person that needs a great deal of travel because of work? Or you are avoiding the hassle from riding passenger vehicles and want a comfortable ride from work to home and vice versa? How many are your potential passengers? A car must meet but should not exceed your driving needs.

2. Choose the Right size of vehicle
Cars vary in sizes and at the same time their fuel needs. Vehicle size or commonly known as the segment ranges from an SUV, minivan, Pick-up truck, Crossover/Wagon, Midsize Sedan, Compact or Subcompact. The larger the vehicle, the heavier it is and will mean more fuel set backs than the smaller ones.

3. Choose a Right sized Engine
Too much of the outside size, let’s now look under the hood. The smaller the engine, the greater fuel efficiency it offers. Four cylinders and V6 engines are preferable than 6-cylinders and V8.

4. Research the MPG ratings of your preferred model
The MPG rating is issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA numbers are likely to be inflated than the real-world mileage. When you are in the show room, compare the MPG ratings of the vehicles in your list.

5. Consider a Hybrid
Hybrids use both electricity and fuel to run the automobile. When it is electrically powered, your fuel is not used.

6. Consider Diesel
A gallon of diesel contains ten percent more power than a gallon of gasoline.

7. Avoid Gas-Guzzling Vehicle Options
If you are choosing from a two wheel drive and a four wheel drive, go for the two wheel drive. The weight of your vehicle is also equal to the fuel set back. Additional weights like rooftop luggage racks, kayak holders and ski-racks also means greater fuel set backs.

8. New Beats Used
Second hand cars might be great options. But remember that the older the car gets, its ability to squeeze more miles out of a gallon of fuel also diminish. If your budget permits, get a new one.

9. Plan your shift to Low Resistance Cars
Low resistance tires help economize fuel. Also, bear in mind that properly inflated tires help too. For every three pounds below recommended pressure, fuel economy is lessened by at least one percent.

10. Maintain your Investment with good driving habits
Drive as needed. Avoid unnecessary speed and take good care of your precious investment.

Wild Car Crash in Michigan International Speedway Sends Cars flying in the air

August 10, 2007

Tony Kanaan emerged the victor in the recent Firestone Indy 400 racing competition, beating Green Racing teammate Marco Andretti and Scott Sharp. Dario Franchitti however, still leads the series on 494 points, Dixon 470 and Kanaan on 413.

The race was more exciting than the usual, what with a spectacular seven car crash in the Michigan International Speedway that sent race cars flying to the air. The accident started on lap 144 of a scheduled 200 on the 2 mile oval after the wheels of Dario Franchitti and Dan Wheldon’s wheels touched each other on the backstretch at about 350 kmh (218 mph). Seconds later Wheldon’s car was seen flying in the air, while Franchitti’s car side flipped.

After Franchitti’s car flipped upside down, New Zealand’s Scott Dixon Dixon drove into and under the Scotsman’s flying car, almost getting hit. Thank goodness somebody invented the helmet. Dixon was supposedly on his way to his fourth victory.

Aside from the three famous racers, news also reported the involvement of A.J. Foyt IV, grandson of four–time Indy winner A.J. Fort Jr., three–time series champion Sam Hornish Jr., and former Michigan winner Thomas Scheckter.

“I had a very fast car today and I was just trying to stay ahead of Dan,” Franchitti was quoted as saying, “All of a sudden I found myself up in the air, backwards about 30 feet (about 10 metres) in the air. I was just hoping it wasn’t going to hurt when I came down.  I was just thinking, ‘Hang on tight.’ You’ve got the belts and the HANS (head and neck restraint) device and you’ve just got to hope they do their job. I’m a lucky guy.”

His mother, father and sister all came fast to the hospital to check if he was okay. He also said that he had called his wife actress Ashley Judd to tell her he wasn’t injured.

“Man, we were really lucky,” Foyt said.

Lucky guys indeed, because spectacular as the seven car crash was, no racer was injured.

Suzuki was Called for Recalls

August 7, 2007

Ford Motor Corporation is not the only car maker to have millions of cars to recall this year. The Japanese car maker Suzuki is also on the run to recall several car models

Suzuki Motor Corporation is the second largest small car maker in Japan. And this time, they are set to recall it 2006 and 2007 Forenza and Reno sedans with noted problems on front seat belts which can be dangerous during a front crash.

The Japanese auto maker will be recalling 75,697 vehicles in North America and few are also found on Puerto Rico. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls for the recall. You can have the complete comprehensive report about this matter on their official website. According to NHTSA, these Suzuki cars are difficult to latch into the buckle and can pop up if under strain. This might be a cause of huge injury during a crash.

The dealers of Suzuki will be the one to handle the recalls. The letter from NHTSA was delivered to Suzuki Motor Corporation last July 23 to the dealers by Masatoshi Ichikawa, the general manager of the Suzuki production in Hamamatsu City, Japan. American Suzuki Motor Corporation did not answer back the letter. The office of Suzuki is based in

The Japanese car maker will be replacing all the front seat belts without asking payments from its customers. All the cars made by the GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Corporation will be sent to its dealership for recalls. GM owned 50.9% of Suzuki.  

According to the latest sales report released by the Autodata Corporation in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, Suzuki was able to sell 48,579 units of 2006 Forenza and Reno in the US and about 17% increase from 2005 car sales. Now that’s a huge amount of cars to recall.