New 3D Printing Shop by Ford Designs Molds of F150’s

Ford has created a first for automotive shops with their new 3D store. Customers are now able to create their own 3D models of the classic F150 trucks. You are able to customize the truck to your desire or choose of the thousand other models already created.

Available 3D-printed Ford models are 1/32nd (one thirty second) scale in plastic and models included in the launch: the new Ford GT, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350R, Focus ST and Fiesta ST. Printed models and digital files for additional Ford vehicles will be available at a later date. The Ford 3D Store is powered by TurboSquid.com, which provides automotive digital imaging and 3D-printable files. I have to say that the F-150 Raptor pickup truck looks pretty tough as a plastic model. When you click on the model within the Ford site, you are immediately taken to the Turbosquid site, which offers more views of the model and pricing. The F-150 Raptor 2017 model starts at $149.

According to a news release the company sent me: “3D printing at home is a growing trend, and it makes sense for us to offer our customers a chance to make their own 3D Ford models,” said Mark Bentley, licensing manager, Ford Global Brand Licensing. “At Ford, we’re using 3D printing every day to rapidly prototype parts, and now we want to share that fun with our fans.” Since I visited the Ford 3D printing lab, in person, last year while on the 3DRV road trip, I can attest to the many ways that the company is using 3D printing and 3D materials science to advance car making. I wrote about their unique metal bending machine and some of their virtual reality work to help engineers move rapidly through product changes. You can read those posts here and here.

According to Juniper research, sales of desktop 3D printers will exceed 1 million units by 2018, from an estimated 44,000 sold annually in 2014. That’s a pretty big increase in new 3D printers soon to be on consumer desks, but one that pales in comparison to the number of people who might try out 3D printing via a service bureau, particularly if you make it easy to customize and click-to-print a model.

To Read More Click Here

Audi strives to be the most sought-after SUV model

Audi will spend 24 billion euros ($26.12 billion) through 2019 in an effort to take over BMW’s position as the world’s largest premium automaker and they plan to do it by winning more customers over with their SUVs.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, 52, is particularly bullish about the automaker’s fast-growing SUV lineup. He explained why in an April interview with Automotive News Europe Editor Luca Ciferri at the Shanghai auto show.

Q: Audi will have 60 models or variants by 2020. Which body style will account for the majority of the lineup?

A: Globally, we will respond proactively to the growing number of customers who enjoy SUVs’ higher driving position and their sense of enhanced safety. We already decided to go smaller with the Q1 and to go bigger with the Q8. Regardless of the size of the SUV, we strive to be the most sought-after model in the segment. For example, the transaction price for a Q7 is very similar to our A8 flagship sedan because our SUVs are not utilitarian off-roaders.

Last year Audi showed the SUV-inspired TT Off-road Concept. Is that Audi’s vision for a sporty compact SUV that may be badged as the TTQ?

The feedback for that concept was very positive, but no decision has been made on whether we will build something like that. If such a model will get the green light, to be at the top of its segment it would need to be underpinned by the next generation of the MQB architecture. That means it would not arrive until after 2020.

Read the full story here.

What To Do If Your Car Knocks, Ticks Or Squeals

Each tick, knock, grind or screech that your car makes is its way of telling you that something is wrong. By ignoring these noises, simple issues can begin to grow. Find out what each sound means so that you can fix it quickly.

 

You hear a high-pitched squeal that stops when you shut off your engine: Readjust or replace the belt. These belts should have about half an inch of play and shouldn’t be frayed, cracked, or glazed on the underside.

 

You hear a continuous high-pitched sound that may continue after the engines shut off: Check the radiator pressure cap. The rubber gasket may be worn.

 

Something ticks rhythmically while your engine idles: Shut off the engine, wait ten minutes for the engine to cool and the oil to settle, and then check the oil level. If you have enough oil, have a mechanic check the valve adjustment.

If you hear a loud tapping or knocking sound in your engine, pull to the side of the road and call for road service. The source may be a loose rocker arm or carbon buildup inside the engine, but if it’s a loose bearing or a faulty piston, it can destroy the engine.

Mild knocking or “pinging” may be the result of using fuel with the wrong octane rating.

 

You hear the engine running after you turn off the ignition: Your engine is dieseling. This condition only happens to cars with carburetors. It is usually caused by an idle speed that’s set too high or excessive carbon in the combustion chamber.

 

To Read More Click Here

Decrease in the Fuel Economy Means Better Prices at Dealerships

The insanely low gas prices seemed like a miracle to everybody this winter, however the gift continues far beyond the gas station. What many drivers don’t realize is that the price of gas, the cost of a new car and the deals you receive with it actually go hand in hand.

Since the price of gas was so low car drivers everywhere are saving on gallons a day, which means they have more money saved to invest in a new car. Car dealerships and makers receive more money per purchase due to the bigger budget, which usually means a bigger and more expensive car and invest that money in better deals, lower discounts and larger incentives on future purchases.

Of course dealers and carmakers do not always put every penny of their new-found riches into the deal-making side of the business. They also look to book healthier profits.

But with more money sloshing around in the system, notes auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, it is fair to expect a new wave of offers and enticements in the Canadian light vehicle marketplace. We are seeing this now.

There’s more to this story, too. Lower pump prices are acting as an economic windfall for the average car owner. DesRosiers estimates that the typical Canadian uses about 1,820 liter18s of fuel a year. A 30-cent drop at the pump puts $546 into the pocket of every driver – and nation-wide amounts to a $13 billion economic stimulus.

What we have here is a country of enriched drivers being chased by an army of dealers and manufacturers with more money to spend on incentives.

Read the full story here.

Volkswagon Redesigns The Minivan With The New Touran

Volkswagon recently revealed the new minivan, the Volkswagon Touran. This model is recently exported from Europe and introduces a seamless connection for your smartphone as well as new activated safety features that you can discover. In addition, there is more room for storage and luggage with the biggest compartment in its category. This allows more options for you while still being comfortable and light, with room to adjust depending on the situation.

The Touran is the first minivan and third VW brand model after the Golf and Passat underpinned by the automaker’s highly flexible MQB architecture. The new platform allowed VW to reduce the Touran’s weight and lengthen its wheelbase to increase interior space, VW said in a statement.

The latest Touran, which will be made in Wolfsburg, will go on sale in Europe in September. It will not be sold in the U.S. but it will also be built in Shanghai for China with a launch scheduled for the end of this year.

VW gave no details on prices for the third-generation minivan but a spokesman said they would not be much different from the base 23,250 euro price tag in Germany of the current model despite new added content.

The Touran will debut at the Geneva auto show on March 3. It will face new competition from another Geneva debut, the BMW 2 series Gran Tourer, an all-new model that BMW hopes will poach new customers for its brand from rivals such as the Touran and Mercedes-Benz B class.

To Read More Click Here

VW Golf Named North American Car of the Year

It seems to happen on a yearly basis. Naming of the North American Car of the Year. Each year a bevy of journalists get together and name the Car of the year. Who took it this year, you might ask? Well let me tell you. Volkswagen, with their brand new 2015 Golf. Beating out the Ford mustang and the Hyundai Genesis. Currently in its seventh generation the Golf offers more selection than most of its competitors. So no wonder why it was chosen as the winner.

That wide range of choices is one of the factors that led us to choose the Golf as our 2015 Best Car To Buy. Volkswagen’s last win was the  North American Car of the Year in 1999, with the New Beetle.

Meanwhile, the 2015 Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck took home 2015 North American Truck of the Year honors.

For the 2015 model year, the F-150 was fully redesigned with several efficiency-focused features such as a lightweight aluminum body and downsized 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine option, joining the previous 3.5-liter version.The F-150 was chosen over the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickup and 2015 Lincoln MKC crossover, giving Ford its eighth Truck of the Year award.

The awards–now in their 22nd year–judge vehicles based on a number of factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction, and value for money.

To read more, click here.

The worst things drivers do to stay awake.

All you need to do is take a break. Especially now that things are getting hectic with all that Christmas shopping, holiday parties and such. This can all take serious toll on the body. New studies suggest that all that fatigue can greatly effect your driving. It’s just a serious as drunk driving and distracted driving. Studies suggest that driving when your tired can account for almost 11.6 percent of all fatal accidents.

The results of the survey showed drivers are far more likely to drink caffeine, open windows, pull over and exercise/stretch, blast loud music and turn up air conditioning — all of which do little to nothing to lessen the effects of sleep deprivation.
The only proven solution is to safely pull over, stop driving, and take a nap for a proper amount of time or switch drivers with someone who isn’t tired. Although drinking a caffeinated beverage can produce a jolt of alertness, the effect wears off quickly, according to experts and contrary to the popular belief, coffee is not a replacement for sleep.

To learn more about this study, click here.

WWII Jeep Buried in Showroom Floor.

The Willys MB Jeep earned its status during World War II in part because of its ruggedness, the ability to go anywhere and the simplicity of the vehicle. After the war it was not long before the vehicles were picked up and used by the public. The brand slowly grew into its internationally known name. A Canadian Chrysler Group is taking things to extreme by making the WWII Jeep a part of its foundation.

Bay King Chrysler in Hamilton, Ontario recently completed its new showroom, and the franchise really wanted to show its dedication to the Jeep brand. Jamie, one of the sales guys said the inspiration for the Jeep installation came from his brother, who became fascinated with a home that had a glass floor looking down into its wine cellar. The company already had the 1943 Willys MB to display, but it had originally planned to build a jungle gym around it for customers’ kids. Now, the classic is literally in the floor as customers enter.

Read more here.

Warren Buffett Now a Car Salesman

Billionaire investor, Warren Buffett, has agreed to buy Van Tuyl Group, America’s fifth-largest auto retailer and plans to buy more dealerships over time.

His Berkshire Hathaway Inc. would acquire an about $8 billion retail business with operations from Florida to California, and use it to snap up family-owned dealerships elsewhere. The retailer, which will be named Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, can leverage Berkshire’s other companies to provide car sales, financing and related services.

The move comes as car-retailing is poised to undergo significant changes that provide greater efficiencies. Dealer profits have been rising as auto makers culled less financially stable businesses during last decade’s financial crisis. Customers also have embraced the Web to shop for cars, cutting dealer overhead costs.

“We’re certainly thinking big and would like to grow the business,” said Jeff Rachor, president of Phoenix-based Van Tuyl Group, which Berkshire agreed to acquire in an all-cash deal. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

Mr. Rachor, who will become Berkshire Hathaway Automotive’s chief executive, said the new company intends to pursue dealer acquisitions in the South and Midwest where Van Tuyl already has stores, relying on its new owner’s deep pockets. He estimated there are about 5,000 dealerships that have the scale that match its acquisition goals.

Van Tuyl, a closely held business that was founded in Kansas City nearly 60 years ago, owns dealerships that now sell about 240,000 vehicles a year. The company has been controlled by Larry Van Tuyl, the founder’s son who will become chairman of the new business.

Read the full story.

Which State is Home to the Rudest Drivers?

Weaving in and out of traffic, laying on the horn, cursing out the window, giving the middle finger – no matter where you are, these gestures are rude! But you’re more likely to encounter this offensive driving behavior in some states more than others.

A survey of 2,000 drivers nationwide by Insure.com reveals the top 10 states with the most roadway rudeness.

10. Utah: The amazing race

Recent Utah resident Matt Stubbs says it appears the state’s motorists are all in a race. “But nobody knows where it ends or how to get to the finish,” he adds.  “So everyone drives 5, 10 or 15 miles per hour over the speed limit.

“They tend not to signal, because they wouldn’t want anyone to know their next move. They don’t let people merge. They just keep looking straight ahead and pretending not to see that car trying to squeeze in next.

“They often blow through yield signs as if they don’t exist. And be careful in that parking lot, or you just might get clipped by someone barreling across the parking lanes to shave 10 seconds off their drive time,” says Stubbs.

Read the full story here.