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Ford Creates Life-Sized Version of Tonka Dump Truck

Ford Creates Life-Sized Version of Tonka Dump Truck

BUSINESS

  • Truck for demonstration purposes only
  • Vehicle symbolic of customers’ love of the Ford truck series
  • Changes coming to the 2016 F-650 and F-750 trucks

Ford Motor Co. has collaborated with Funrise Toy Corporationto produce a life-sized, working version of the Tonka toy dump truck.

The F-750 dump truck has a 6.7-liter diesel V-8 engine and can haul up to 17,000 pounds.

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February Auto Sales Grow 6% From 2014

February Auto Sales Grow 6% From 2014

BUSINESS

  • Sales higher than 2014 but lower than estimates
  • Ford sees decrease 2%
  • Weather, loans contributed to sales figures

February auto sales were 6% higher than 2014,but still fell below analysts’ forecasts of 9%-10%. Once all automakers have reported, sales may have increased as high as 8% with 1.29 million vehicles sold.

“It’s hard to believe weather wasn’t a factor,” Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at AutoTrader.com, told Bloomberg Business. “The Northeast is a huge small-utility market, so that had to have some impact. I’m not worried that they’re off a couple of percentage points. They’ll probably make it up in March and April.”

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AT&T Integrating Digital Life with AT&T Drive

AT&T Integrating Digital Life with AT&T Drive

BUSINESS

  • Drivers will be able to control home appliances from their vehicles
  • Market expected to increase
  • AT&T hoping to diversify beyond telephones

AT&T Inc., the second-largest wireless carrier in the U.S., is integrating Digital Life, its home security and automation service, with its Drive connected car platform.

Users will be able to control Digital Life from their dashboard using either a control panel or voice commands.

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Fiat Chrysler Recalls 26,000 Cars in North America

Fiat Chrysler Recalls 26,000 Cars in North America

BUSINESS

  • Vehicles have defect in automatic transmission
  • Issue not the first to plague Fiat transmissions
  • Chrysler involved in lawsuit over steering in Dodge Ram

Fiat Chrysler has issued a recall for the 2015 Chrysler 200 with V-6 engines because of a manufacturer’s defect. The recall affects nearly 26,000 cars sold in North America.

A problem with the nine-speed automatic transmission causes the transmission to be unable to shift to park, and the car could roll away unexpectedly. A defect causes sensors to indicate the car is in park when it is not.

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Lexus Named Best Brand in Consumer Reports, J.D. Power Studies

Lexus Named Best Brand in Consumer Reports, J.D. Power Studies

BUSINESS

Lexus took the top spot in Consumer Reports’ annual auto issue and J.D. Power’s 2015 Vehicle Dependability study.

General Motor’s Buick became the first U.S.-based brand to rank in the top 10 brands, placing seventh.

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Fisker Automotive to be Renamed Elux by Chinese Owner Wangxiang

Fisker Automotive to be Renamed Elux by Chinese Owner Wangxiang

BUSINESS

Chinese auto parts manufacturer Wangxiang Group, the owner of California-based Fisker Automotive, plans to rename the automaker, Elux, and will delay the rerelease of the luxury plug-in hybrid Karma sedan until mid-2016, according to Reuters.

Reuters’ source asked not to be named because he is not a company spokesperson. Wangxiang has not confirmed the report.

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Toyota Won’t Offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

Toyota Won’t Offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

BUSINESS

  • Automaker decides to use its own infotainment system
  • Dozens of automakers have committed to the systems
  • Google’s Android Auto to compete against Apple

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Co. has opted not to offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in the foreseeable future, although the systems can be added aftermarket.

Instead the automaker will offer its Entune system. It may offer the other systems at some point, the company said, but did not disclose a date.

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Used-Car Prices in U.S Hits Record $16,800 in 2014

Used-Car Prices in U.S Hits Record $16,800 in 2014

BUSINESS

The average price of a used car in 2014 reached $16,800 in the U.S., a record, according to car buying information service Edmunds.com’s Used Vehicle Market Report.

Last year’s average price was 5.7% higher than 2013 when the average price was $15,900. A one-year-old car sold for an average of $30,000.

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Nissan Displays Glow in the Dark Car for Environmental Awareness

Nissan Displays Glow in the Dark Car for Environmental Awareness

BUSINESS

Nissan Europe is displaying a glow-in-the-dark, all-electric Leaf to increase awareness of solar- panel use.

The paint works by absorbing UV light using strontium aluminate, a odorless as well as chemically and biologically inert powder. It glows for 8-10 hours nightly.

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Entrepreneur: Apple Will Buy Tesla for $75 Billion in the Next 18 Months

Entrepreneur:  Apple Will Buy Tesla for $75 Billion in the Next 18 Months

BUSINESS

  • Companies would complement each other
  • Electric and self-driving vehicles in development
  • 2014 had mixed results for Tesla

Apple Inc. will purchase Tesla Motors Inc. for $75 billion within the next 18 months, entrepreneur andangel investor Jason Calacanis predicts in a blog post.

Calacanis says he has no insider information or proof but has based his prediction on observations.

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