80 Million Vehicles Built Globally Last Year–A New Record

80 Million Vehicles Built Globally Last Year–A New Record

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Despite the lingering effects of economic recession, the world’s auto industry built more vehicles in 2011 than ever in history: 80 million, in fact.

That’s a new record, and the number is 3 percent higher than the 2010 total. The data comes from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, or OICA.

China built 18.4 million, more than the next two countries–the U.S. at 8.6 million and Japan at 8.4 million–added together. You can see the group’s complete summary chart here.

The 2011 total supports the idea that a surging Chinese middle class will drive global vehicle production well past 100 million a year, certainly by 2020 and perhaps considerably sooner.

So the question becomes: How many vehicles will we have on the planet in the decades to come–and what will their impact on the environment be?

Sometime early in 2010, we crossed 1 billion vehicles on the planet, according to calculations by Ward’s Auto.

That total includes passenger cars and light-duty trucks, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and buses, but not heavy construction or any off-road vehicles.

And it took essentially 125 years, from the first motor vehicle invented in 1886 until about two years ago.

Despite scrappage rates in the developed world–the U.S., a saturated market, has actually scrapped more cars than it’s sold for three years now–surging carpurchases in China, India, Brazil, Russia and other countries seem likely to grow the total dramatically in quite short order.

Which leads us to think that the second billion could come within a couple of decades.

How autonomous cars are about to change our future

New Technology Aims To Take Your Hands Off The Steering Wheel.

autonomous car

Most car enthusiasts hate the idea of cars that can drive themselves. But autonomous cars will get here faster than most people realize. Slowly but surely, automobiles are doing more of our driving for us. It’s only a matter of time before they take over completely.

Just look at how much control we’ve already ceded to the computers under the hood. Anti-lock brakes, which are consistently better at threshold braking than mere mortals, are pretty much standard equipment. So are traction control and stability control. We now have blind spot detection, lane departure warning, active lane control, and even self-parking.

Now comes the next step. Mercedes-Benz and Audi recently demonstrated Traffic Jam Assist, which uses adaptive cruise control and automatic steering to completely take control of a car up to 60 kilometers an hour (about 37 mph). Google has racked up tens of thousands of miles on its fleet of fully autonomous Toyota Prius hybrids on California roads. The technology will be showroom ready before the end of the decade.

The biggest hurdles will be legal, not technical. For example, who’s at fault when one of these cars gets in an accident? And how will the police pull over an autonomous car if they need to? But we’ll resolve those issues, and when we do, autonomous cars will have a bigger impact on society than when the first horseless carriages appeared over a century ago.

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The List: 10 Models with the Highest Proportion of Female Buyers

What do women look for in a new car? It can be a perplexing thing to try and determine. Of course, generally speaking, they want the same things that men want — a vehicle that’s a match for their budget and lifestyle. But in practice, there are certain models that seem to appeal primarily to members of the fairer sex.

The 10 models listed below are hits with the ladies; these are the vehicles with the highest proportion of female buyers. Though the top spot is held by the Volvo S40, an attractive sport sedan made by a company renowned for its attention to safety, the list is dominated by compact crossovers, with models like the Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Juke making appearances.

The Volkswagen Beetle also makes the list, though it should be said that this model has been steadily gaining male buyers in the wake of its recent redesign — a makeover that has eliminated cutesy details like that flowerpot on the dash and given the car a more aggressive edge. This makeover plus the accompanying ad campaign (in one TV ad, a guy driving a Beetle is seen getting a high-five from a gorgeous woman and an approving fist-bump from a macho biker) has helped the Beetle add more guys to its buying audience. The model’s proportion of male buyers has risen, from around 36 percent in 2010 to about 45 percent in 2011.

Our data comes to us courtesy of Polk, a company that specializes in the research of all things automotive, and information reflects total purchases made in 2011.

Top ten 2011 models with the highest proportion of female buyers

  1. Volvo S40 – 57.9%
  2. Nissan Rogue – 56.9%
  3. Volkswagen Eos – 56.4%
  4. Volkswagen New Beetle – 54.6
  5. Toyota Matrix – 54.1%
  6. Hyundai Tucson - 54%
  7. Honda CR-V - 53.4%
  8. Toyota RAV4 - 54%
  9. Nissan Juke - 52.7% (tie)
  10. Jeep Compass - 52.7% (tie)

 

News Source: Inside Line

Subaru recall

http://www.insideline.com/subaru/forester/2009-12-subaru-forester-recalled.html

  • Subaru is recalling 275,000 2009-’12 Subaru Foresters because of a rear seatbelt problem that may not permit proper installation of a child safety seat, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Subaru dealers will replace the rear center seatbelt assembly.
  • The recall is expected to begin on April 13.