Less car buyers consider switching to electric cars

Just 200,000 plug-in electric cars were sold in the U.S. last year. Although that’s the highest number yet, it’s still just a little more than 1 percent of the market. Nowadays the general car-buying public at large is aware that EVs exist, but most of them consider that electric cars are not viable and practical.

According to the recent data from California, the state’s buyers are no more aware of electric vehicles than they were three years ago, when far fewer of them were available. This makes electric-car advocates worry that growing electric-car sales will arrive only through “regulatory forcing” rather than genuine consumer demand. Green Car Reports asked their Twitter followers what it would take to get more mass-market U.S. buyers to consider plug-in electric cars for future vehicle purchases. Four options were offered in their Twitter poll. Read more

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Improper inspections lead Nissan to low profits

It seems like Nissan isn’t doing as great as we thought. Its sales went down due to high costs from improper final inspection procedures at home and higher discounts in the U.S.. Nissan’s quarterly operating profit was 82.4 billion yen ($752 million) between October and December, down from 163.51 billion a year earlier.

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The automaker took a 39.6 billion yen hit in the quarter due to costs related to improper procedures for final inspections on vehicles produced at its Japan plants, while U.S. marketing and sales expenses, which include incentives, cost the automaker 41.8 billion yen. Nissan admitted the inspection issue late last year, which resulted in the recall of around 1.2 million vehicles.

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‘Grid girls’ will no longer be used by Formula 1

‘Grid girls’ who conducted certain promotional tasks, usually wearing clothing that bears the name of a sponsor, will no longer be used by Formula 1. Their use has become the subject of debate as social attitudes have changed, and some races have begun to experiment with alternatives, such as using male models instead of female, or children as mascots.

F1 commercial chief Sean Bratches claims they feel this custom does not resonate with their brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms. The use of female models, even if not as scantily-clad as in the past, has been increasingly criticized in a sport that is now under U.S.-based ownership following Liberty Media’s takeover last year. Several players criticised the move and a petition from fans for the PDC to change its mind was signed by more than 30,000 people. Read more

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance tops VW in global sales race

The Renault-Nissan alliance emerged as the world’s biggest seller of light vehicles in 2017, bumping Volkswagen off the top spot, after the inclusion of Mitsubishi‘s numbers boosted its final tally. The group sold vehicles in nearly 200 countries under 10 brands, led by China, the U.S., France and Japan.

Nissan sales hit a record high of 5.82 million, while French carmaker Renault has reported sales of 3.76 million. Mitsubishi’s sales came in at 1.03 million, bringing total 2017 sales for the group to around 10.61 million light vehicles. Together, the three carmakers beat record sales of around 10.53 million light vehicles at Volkswagen, 2016’s top seller which also includes the Audi, Skoda, Seat and Porsche brands. Read more

8 vehicles to prove that Ford has the finest performance cars

Over the years, Ford has put out no shortage of impressive performance cars. It seems that its performance lineup has a vehicle for everyone, whether you want a pickup truck, a hot hatch or even a supercar.

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Ford managed to get together eight of its high-performance cars at the Motorland race circuit in Aragon, Spain, along with eight drivers from the Chip Ganassi Racing crew that competes in the World Endurance Championship, NASCAR, and more. The eight cars are the outgoing Ford Fiesta ST, the F-150 Raptor, the Ford Mustang GT, the new Ford Fiesta ST, the Ford Focus RS, the Shelby GT350, the Ford GT and the GT LM GTE-Pro race car. Read more

Hotel valet gives Ferrari 458 Spider keys to the wrong man

Florida attorney James Fowler, 73, filed a lawsuit against Marriott International for negligence because he alleges a hotel valet gave the keys to his $300,000 yellow 2014 Ferrari 458 Italia Spider to a couple later found in possession of marijuana and cocaine.

The valet attendant told police things got very busy. At some point, a man, identified as Levi Miles, 28, asked for keys to the Ferrari. Then he got in the car with Chloe Rimmer, 24, a woman he met at the hotel that night. The police report says the man “seemed to be impatient”. The pair sat in the car for “quite a while.” The valet told police he stopped paying attention when he “figured he was not getting a tip,” and eventually the Ferrari drove off. About 12:30 a.m., the couple’s joyride came to an abrupt end when a police officer noticed the Ferrari‘s taillights were out and pulled the vehicle over. Read more