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2013 Chevy Spark

friday, January 25, 2013

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• Tenn. Volkswagen plant powers up solar park • Ferrari Looks to Americans Seeking $295,000 La Dolce Vita

Looks eLectric, but runs on gas

By LESLIE MASSEy SPrInGSWHEELS.CoM PHoToS CourTESy of GEnErAL MoT MoTorS

Vehicle Specifications: TYPE: front-wheel-drive, four-passenger, subcompact hatchback. CYLINDERS: Ecotec four cylinder with VVT ENGINE: 1.2-liter, dual overhead cam TRANSMISSION: five speed manual or four speed automatic MILEAGE: 28 mpg (city), 37 mpg (highway) BASIC WARRANTY: Three year/ 36,000 mile BUILT AT: South Korea

These days affordable transportation is the foundation of some of the most successful car models and the Chevy’s new 2013 Spark is one of the least expensive as well as one of the smallest options available. Given that it’s only 12 feet long with a flat and abrupt rear-end, at first glance it appears obvious that the 2013 Chevrolet Spark is another electric car model option. However, there’s no plug and the gas-sipping, internal combustion, four-cylinder engine also has no problem with fueling. While not quite producing the fuel economy of an electric car, the Spark offers an impressive EPA estimate of 32 miles per gallon in the city and 38 miles per gallon on the highway — surpassing of many of its rivals. In addition, Chevy’s only subcompact car comes with the lowest starting price of its brand as well. Also exciting, the Spark can be available with a collection of high-tech features such as smartphone integrated

navigation, Pandora personalized Internet radio, Stitcher Internet news broadcasts and Bluetooth audio streaming.

Chevy’s all new Spark seats four and though they are not clearly visible, there are two rear doors for access to the back seats. These doors are placed

almost seamlessly into the styling and the door handles are positioned in the back-upper part of the windows. Another nice touch, the rear-door ConTInuED on PAGE 2

SPRINGSWHEELS.COM • Director of Advertising: Brad Howard, 719.476.1645, brad.howard@gazette.com • Copyright 2013 The Gazette

2013 Chevy Spark

149 a month

$

MSRP = $12,995, 75mos x $149, $2,300 down payment, 2.35% APR, WAC, Using USAA Rebate

Stock# 537691

Chevrolet VW North

Phone:

(719) 387-5027

Chevrolet South

Phone:

(719) 572-9989

Purchase a 2013 Chevrolet Spark for $149 a month. $2,300 cash down. Stock# 537691. MSRP of $12,995 (Including destination charges. Excludes title, tax, options and dealer fees). 2.35% APR for 75 months. Must qualify for all manufacturer incentives. Must be a USAA Member to qualify for the USAA Rebate. See Al Serra Chevrolet for financing details. WAC.


AUTO 2

❘ the gazette ❘ Friday, January 25, 2013

autodirectory ———————— ACURA ———————— Pikes Peak Acura 655 Automotive Dr. • 633-1500 “We’ve Got Motor City Covered”

Pikes Peak Acura Pre-owned Warehouse 103 Motor City Way • 955-1777 “We’ve Got Motor City Covered”

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test drIve:

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2013 Chevrolet Spark conTinued fRom Page 1

Pikes Peak Acura Truck Superstore 907 Motor City Dr. • 955-1775 “We’ve Got Motor City Covered”

———————— AUDI ———————— Phil Long Audi

CLICK & CLACK:

BY Tom and RaY magliozzi ■ king feaTuRes sYndicaTe

What’s up with car that doesn’t drive well at sea level? Dear Tom and Ray:

550 Automotive Dr. • 575-7830 Colorado Drives Phil Long www.phillong.com

———————— BUICK ———————— Ferguson Buick-Pontiac-GMC

i have a ’93 Toyota pickup with a six-cylinder engine. i live at 6,000 feet, and when i’m there, my truck runs fine. But when i go down to sea level, the truck is very hard to start. it cranks but has a hard time turning over, then when it does finally turn, it runs roughly until i get the truck on the road and the RPms are up. Then it runs fine. Right now i’m staying at a friend’s house that is at about 1,000 feet elevation. i can start the truck fine up here, but as soon as i go down to sea level, it becomes very hard to start, whether the engine is hot or cold. The elevation is the only variable. any ideas?

950 S. Academy • 596-5005

Mike Shaw Buick-GMC 1313 Motor City Dr. • 636-3881

——————— CADILLAC ——————— Red Noland Cadillac 990 Motor City Dr. • 633-4633 www.rednoland.com

—————— CHEVROLET —————— Al Serra Chevrolet North 1570 Auto Mall Loop • 719-387-8456 In Chapel Hills Auto Mall www.alserracolorado.com

Al Serra Chevrolet South 230 N. Academy Blvd. • 719-344-2660 Corner of Academy & Bijou www.alserracolorado.com

Daniel’s Long Chevrolet

– Celina

670 Automotive Drive • 632-5591

——————— CHRYSLER ——————— The Faricy Boys Chrysler, Jeep 4950 New Car Drive • 636-1333 At The New Powers Auto Park

TOM: Well, first you have to tell us how long the “check engine” light has been on, celina. Then we’ll decide how many yards to penalize you for “withholding information.”

Perkins Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram 1205 Motor City Drive • 1-888-809-4936 The Better Way To Go!

———————— DODGE ——————— Colorado Springs Dodge 7455 Austin Bluffs Pkwy At Woodmen 475-8550 • The Dodge Superstore www.coloradospringsdodge.com

Perkins Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram 1205 Motor City Drive • 1-888-809-4936 The Better Way To Go!

———————— FORD ———————— Phil Long Ford North (Chapel Hills) 1656 Auto Mall Loop • 572-2200 In The Chapel Hills Automall Phil Long Ford South (Motor City) 1226 Motor City Dr. • 575-7100 Colorado Drives Phil Long www.phillong.com

———————— GMC ———————— Ferguson GMC-Pontiac-Buick 950 S. Academy • 596-5005

Mike Shaw GMC-Buick 1313 Motor City Dr. • 636-3881

———————— HONDA ——————— Front Range Honda 1001 S. Academy • 597-4500 Your Hometown Honda Store!

——————— HYUNDAI ——————— Phil Long Hyundai Of Chapel Hills 1510 Auto Mall Loop • 867-6767 Your Lifetime 100,000 Mile Warranty

Phil Long Hyundai Of Motor City 170 Motor Way • 575-7600 Your Lifetime 100,000 Mile Warranty www.phillong.com

————————INFINITI ——————— Red Noland Infiniti 565 Automotive Dr. • 444-8881 On The Hillside In Motor City www.rednoland.com

——————— JAGUAR ——————— Jaguar Colorado Springs 565 Automotive Dr. • 636-9199 On The Hillside In Motor City www.rednoland.com

———————— JEEP ———————— The Faricy Boys Chrysler, Jeep 4950 New Car Drive • 636-1333 At The Powers Auto Park • www.faricy.com

Perkins Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram

windows go down nearly all the way. The spark’s interior displays an uncomplicated, clean design with style and color that gives off a tasteful appearance. While the base model is somewhat simple, the higher trim levels present additional electronics and conveniences. standard ls features include 15-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, power windows, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-only steering wheel, a trip computer, onstar telematics and a four-speaker radio with an auxiliary audio jack. if you go for the 1lT trim you’ll get poweradjustable mirrors, cruise control, remote keyless entry, floor mats, the mylink touchscreen interface, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, steeringwheel-mounted audio and phone controls, a sixspeaker audio system with usB/iPod integration, satellite radio and internet radio from integrated smartphones. selecting the 2lT top-trim level will add foglights, roof rails, sporty front and rear fascia treatments, chrome exterior trim, faux leather upholstery, front heated seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The dashboard is broad and the steering column includes a cluster of gauges that move up and down when the steering wheel is adjusted. a nice seven-inch display screen is easy and convenient. sporty gauges add more flair, featuring both a traditional speedometer and a digital multifunction display. mylink touchscreen is available and adds to the modern touch with nice graphics and menus The back seat space is much better than

expected offering a full 37.3 inches of headroom in the back seat and more than 35 inches of legroom. also, unless the front-seat passenger has their seat completely reclined, the back-seat passenger’s knees won’t even touch the front seatbacks cargo space in the spark is 11.4 cubic feet with a roomy 31.2 cubic feet when split rear seatbacks are folded down. The 2013 chevrolet spark is powered by a 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 84 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission. chevrolet estimates a spark with a manual transmission will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 10.5 seconds, while the automatic will require more than 12 seconds. The ePa estimates fuel economy at 32 city/38 highway and 34 mpg combined for the manual and 28/37/32 mpg for the automatic. The spark’s horsepower gives drivers ample acceleration while at the same time road and wind noise are not markedly noticeable. This compact chevy manages to deliver an overall pleasant driving experience. standard safety features on the 2013 chevy spark include four-wheel antilock brakes (front discs, rear drums), hill-hold assist, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags, fulllength side curtain airbags and front-seat knee airbags. onstar is also standard and includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation. ■

RAY: Problems like this rarely occur without the computer setting a check engine code. so if your light is on, you need to have the vehicle scanned for trouble codes. That’ll usually help pinpoint the source of the problem.

TOM: if the check engine light isn’t on yet, perhaps because you spend limited time at sea level, where the problem occurs, then you may have what’s called a “pending code.” That means the computer has detected a problem but it hasn’t happened with enough regularity to set the check engine light yet.

RAY: But a scan still will tell you if there’s a pending code stored. so next time you’re at sea level, while you’re experiencing this problem, take the truck to someone and have it scanned.

TOM: my first guess would be that you have something like a faulty air-flow meter. But we don’t have to guess. Your car’s engine management computer knows what’s wrong. ask it. ■

Get more Click and Clack in their new book, “Ask Click and Clack: Answers from Car Talk.” Got a question about cars? Write to Click and Clack in care of this newspaper, or e-mail them by visiting the Car Talk Web site at www. cartalk.com.

1205 Motor City Drive • 1-888-809-4936 The Better Way To Go!

————————— KIA ———————— Signature Kia 1020 Motor City Dr. • 694-0880 www.phillong.com

—————— LAND ROVER —————— Land Rover Colorado Springs 565 Automotive Dr. • 636-9199 On The Hillside In Motor City www.rednoland.com

———————— LEXUS ———————— Lexus Of Colorado Springs 604 Auto Heights Dr. • 385-0111 “Luxury’s Home In Motor City” www.lexusofcs.com

——————— LINCOLN ——————— Phil Long Ford Lincoln 1212 Motor City Drive • 694-1270 www.phillonglincoln.com

————— MERCEDES-BENZ ————— Mercedes-Benz Of Colorado Springs A Division Of Phil Long 730 Automotive Dr. • 575-7930 Colorado Drives Phil Long www.phillong.com

———————— NISSAN ——————— South Colorado Springs Nissan 175 N. Academy Blvd. Academy & Bijou • 550-3030

Woodmen Nissan 6840 Vincent Drive • 234-1000 I-25 & Woodmen

——————— PONTIAC ——————— Ferguson Pontiac-Buick-GMC 950 S. Academy • 596-5005

———————— SAAB ———————— Red Noland Saab 990 Motor City Dr. • 633-4633 www.rednoland.com

——————— SUBARU ——————— Heuberger Motors 1080 Motor City Dr. • 475-1920 The Road To Quality & Economy www.heubergermotors.com

—————— TOYOTA/SCION—————— Liberty Toyota/Scion 5115 New Car Drive • 598-2222 www.libertytoyotascion.com

——————— Volkswagen —————— Al Serra VW 1580 Auto Mall Loop • 694-0871 In Chapel Hills Auto Mall www.alserravw.com

——————— USED CARS——————— 5995 Bargain Corner 1338 Motor City Dr • 358-3904

5995 Bargain Outlet 8204 Jamboree Circle • 387-8582 www.phillong.com

McCloskey Motors 6710 N. Academy Blvd. • 594-9400 www.bigjoeauto.com

Mike Shaw Buick-GMC 1313 Motor City Dr. • 636-3881

MonumentMotors.com 465 Hwy 105 • Monument, CO • 481-9900 We Specialize In Used, Reconditioned & Current Model Subarus! View Inventory Online: www.monumentmotors.com Phil Long Ford Signature (Chapel Hills) 1540 Auto Mall Loop • 362-5805

Red Noland Pre-Owned 1260 Motor City Dr. • 325-7574

Valuecar North 1510 Auto Mall Loop • 387-8540

Valuecar South 150 W. Motor Way • 694-3454 www.phillong.com

Tenn. pols hope gun bill won’t hurt VW chances BY eRik scHelzig associaTed PRess NASHVILLE, Tenn. — efforts to land the assembly of another Volkswagen model in Tennessee have been kicked into high gear following the german automaker’s unveiling of its crossBlue suV prototype at the north american international auto show in detroit last week. officials hope their chances won’t be undermined by renewed efforts in the state legislature to enact a law to guarantee employees the right to store firearms in vehicles parked at work. Volkswagen began making the midsize Passat sedan at its $1 billion plant in chattanooga in 2011. The facility was designed to be able to accommodate the expansion to double its current size if needed. Volkswagen, which has given largely glowing reviews of its experience in Tennessee, has spoken out against the guns proposal as hurting the company’s security efforts at the plant. Republican gov. Bill Haslam, who has tried to moderate the proposal seeking to allow workers to override employers’ wishes, acknowledged that the measure creates difficulties. “Volkswagen has been up front that that’s a concern of theirs,” Haslam said. “We obviously would like to get that suV.” Haslam has wants to find a better balance between the competing claims of gun and property rights. “There’s a lot of discussions going on right now prior to the legislature formally convening (on Jan. 28) about if we can come up with something that addresses both of those situations,” Haslam said. Haslam was unwilling to say whether the passage of a guns-in-parking-lots measure would hurt the chattanooga plant’s chances of landing the new model. “it all depends what that resolution

In this photo, workers assemble Volkswagen Passat sedans at the German automaker’s plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. State officials are hopeful that a renewed push among state lawmakers to pass a gun bill opposed by VW will not hurt the plant’s chances to produce another model like a new SUV prototype the company unveiled. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

looks like,” he said. spokesmen for Herndon, Va.-based Volkswagen group of america and for the chattanooga plant declined to comment last week. frank fischer, the plant’s chairman and ceo, had strong words about efforts last year to pass the guns measure. “on the whole, the cooperation and mutual understanding has been excellent,” fischer said in an april interview with The associated Press. “The only thing we see critically as a company is the guns law.” “We would not welcome people being able to carry weapons on factory grounds,” he said. Republican senate speaker Ron Ramsey has said he believes Volkswagen can be persuaded to drop

its concerns about the bill. “i think that if you talk to them reasonably about what we’re talking about here one-on-one, they’ll be fine with it,” Ramsey told reporters after Republicans added to their wide majorities in both chambers after last year’s election. “Because i will guarantee you there are gun carry permit holders that have a firearm in their car in their parking lot as we’re sitting here speaking,” he said. “and all we’re doing is making those people legal.” House majority leader gerald mccormick, R-chattanooga, opposed last year’s bill but said he doesn’t expect the fate of the measure to either make or break the state’s chances for VW expansion.

“They’re opposed to guns in parking lots, but they’ve never linked that to where they’re going to put their next plant,” mccormick said. “if we’re competing with mexico, i’d certainly put the safety of workers in Tennessee up against mexico any time. “i think it’s a number of things they look at, including incentives and their ability to export and tariff,” he said. “i don’t think the guns-in-parking-lots issue is going to be a deciding factor.” mccormick said he expects the final version of this year’s bill to include elements that will go against the wishes of both the gun and business lobbies. “if it makes everybody unhappy, it may make for some pretty decent legislation,” he said. ■


Friday, January 25, 2013 ❘ the gazette ❘

AUTO 3

Revamped Pathfinder is best in fuel economy By ANN M. JOB ASSOCIATED PrESS For 2013, the Nissan Pathfinder sport utility vehicle is longer, wider and has a roomier interior than its predecessor. At the same time, this new Pathfinder is 500 pounds lighter. And with a 30 percent boost in fuel economy, it tops all other mid-size crossover SUVs in sipping gasoline. How can a bigger SUV be lighter and more fuel efficient? Nissan engineers built the redesigned, 2013 Pathfinder as a unibody, so the vehicle no longer uses a heavy truck frame. Secondly, all Pathfinders now come with a fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT). And, the V-6 engine is bit smaller, at 3.5 liters instead of 4 liters, while a V-8 no longer is offered. So, while towing capacity has dropped from 7,000 pounds in the 2012 Pathfinder to 5,000 pounds now, the new Pathfinder proudly carries a government fuel economy rating of 20 miles per gallon in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway as a two-wheel drive model. This rating is better than previous mileage standouts in the category — the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer which, like the Pathfinder, have three rows of seats. Another highlight: Starting retail prices for this fourth-generation Pathfinder are lower than that of its predecessor. Specifically, starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $29,495 for a base 2013 Pathfinder S with 260-horsepower V-6 and two-wheel drive. The lowest starting retail price, including destination charge, for a 2013 Pathfinder with all-wheel drive is $31,095. This compares with $30,115 for a base, 2012 Pathfinder with two-wheel drive and $32,115 for a base 2012 Pathfinder with four-wheel drive. Meantime, the 2013 Honda Pilot starts at $30,350 with 250-horsepower V-6 and two-wheel drive and $31,950 with four-wheel drive. The 2013 Ford Explorer starts at $29,995 for a front-wheel drive model with 290-horsepower V-6 and $31,995 with four-wheel drive. The new Pathfinder is restyled, with some people liking the lower-to-theground and mainstream family hauler look on the outside. Minimum ground clearance under the new Pathfinder is 6.5 inches; last year’s Pathfinder, with its body-onframe design, had minimum ground clearance of more than 8.5 inches. So, fans of older Pathfinders, with its rugged and taller appearance, may not be impressed.

The 2013 Pathfinder’s 3.5-liter, double overhead cam V-6 generates 260 horsepower instead of the 266 from last year’s 4-liter V-6. Torque is reduced more, going from 288 foot-pounds at 4,000 rpm to 240 at 4,400 rpm. But the test Pathfinder was responsive when accelerating and didn’t lag, even when it carried a full load of seven passengers. The CVT, which a driver operates like an automatic transmission, worked smoothly and in satisfying fashion, and the characteristic drone sound that was expected wasn’t heard. In fact, nothing much was heard inside the Pathfinder, because the vehicle is so quiet. Passengers in the tester didn’t even notice any wind noise at highway speeds. The interior seemed as quiet as that of a luxury car. Better yet, the tester averaged 21.6 mpg in combined city/highway travel. This is nearly equal to the government’s

combined 22-mpg rating. The average mileage gave the test Pathfinder a 420mile range on a single tank of regular gasoline. The 2013 Pathfinder retains aboveit-all seating positions that give passengers and driver good views out over traffic. And even though the new Pathfinder is shorter in height by 3 inches from its predecessor, it offers improved headroom for passengers, particularly when a moonroof is not installed. In the test vehicle, two 5-foot-2 adults sat comfortably in the third row, thanks to this headroom and expanded legroom. Plus, second-row seats can travel 5.5 inches forward and back, so it’s easy to add more third-row legroom, adjusting space among the rows of seats to accommodate everyone in comfort. It’s also easy to move second-row seats out of the way to allow access to the third row. It takes just the push of

a finger on a lever at the side of a rear seat to get the seatback to fall forward and the seat to slide forward. This leaves a good-sized space on the floor, by the door, for a passenger to put his or her feet while climbing up and into the back row. Cargo room in the Pathfinder has grown, too, to a competitive 79.8 cubic feet when second- and third-row seats are folded down. When all the seats are up and in use, cargo space measures 16 cubic feet, which is about the same as in a Honda Accord sedan trunk. Despite the 500-pound weight loss, the Pathfinder still can feel hefty on the road with less-than-crisp handling and a ride that tends toward comfortable and compliant rather than tightly controlled. Passengers readily can notice body motions as this 16.4-foot-long vehicle travels through curves and on twisty mountain roads. Still, steering response was notably good.

A special touch in the tester was how long the driver seat cushion was. It came to the back of the knees of a 5-foot-4 driver and provided exceptional support. One complaint, however, was the weak illumination provided by the test vehicle’s halogen headlamps. Upscale high-intensity discharge lights are not available. Also, a rearview camera, which is really needed to see what’s behind the Pathfinder while a driver backs up, is standard on SV trim levels and above, but not on the base S. In contrast, Honda includes a standard rearview camera on all Pilots. The 2013 Pathfinder received four out of five stars, overall, in government crash tests, which includes five out of five stars in side crash testing. Standard safety equipment includes electronic stability control, antilock brakes, traction control and six air bags. ■


AUTO 4

❘ the gazette ❘ Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013 ❘ the gazette ❘

AUTO 5

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FORD: #967, 24 month lease, $2499 due at signing, $0 sec.dep. 10,500 mpy, $.20 in excess. Includes qualifying Military Appreciation/College Student and RCL Renewal rebates. #401, 24 month lease. $3612 due at signing. No security deposit required. #413, 39 month lease. $3437 due at signing. No security deposit required. Includes $1000 factory rebate; and qualifying $500 Military Appreciation/College Student rebate and $1000 RCL Renewal rebate. Plus tax. #497, 24 month lease. $2731 due at signing. No security deposit required. Includes qualifying $500 Military Appreciation/College Student rebate. Plus tax. #314, 39 month lease, $3437 due at signing, no security deposit required, Includes $1000 factory rebate; and qualifying $500 Military Appreciation/College Student rebate and $1000 RCL Renewal rebate. Plus tax. #659, $37,685 MSRP, $2000 Factory Rebate, $500 Ford Credit Retail Bonus Cash, $500 Military Appreciation/College Student, $1000 Ranger Owner Loyalty, $4000 Phil Long Discount. Plus tax. A,X, Z, and D Plan buyers are ineligible for advertised offers of double Ford factory rebates. CHEVY: All 36 mo. lease, 12k mpy, .20 mpy excess, 0 Security Deposit # 239 $6995 at signing, #074, #522 $4000 due at signing, #218 $5000 due at signing. HYUNDAI: Prices include the following qualifying rebates: Accent - $500 Military; Elantra & Santa Fe - $500 Military and $750 VOC or COM. AUDI: All are 42 month lease with 10,000 miles per year, $.25 for every mile in excess. Must qualify for owner loyalty. #150, Orig MSRP = $39,460, $6,370.29 Due at Signing. #203, Orig MSRP = $49,360, $9,553.49 Due at Signing. #210, Orig MSRP = $45,570, $8,387.70 Due at Signing. #131, Orig MSRP = $54,010, $8,500.80 Due at Signing. KIA: #028 MSRP - $16565 - $3000 cash or trade equity - $500 military rebate – 2.9% x 69 months. Taxes & D&H not included. WAC. The rest 39-mo. lease, 12k mpy, .20 mpy excess $500 college grad rebate $500 military rebate. #017 & #026, $2499 due at signing. #085, $2999 due at signing. #101, MSRP - $22469.00 - $3000.00 cash or trade equity - $500.00 military rebate, $1000.00 loyalty or competitive rebate, 2.9% x 69 months. Taxes and D&H not included. WAC Offers may not be combined. Phil Long Trade Assist ‘10 or newer. Dealer retains all factory and military rebates and incentives-must qualify. MPG based on EPA Highway estimates. 12 months paid not delayed offer may not be combined and doesn’t qualify for advertised units. See dealer for complete details. Photos for illustration purposes only. Plus tax. W.A.C. Vehicles subject to prior sale. Offers expire 1/31/13. © 2013 Phil Long Dealerships. All rights reserved. 01.24

Will smart machines create a world without work? BY BERNARD CONDON AND PAUL WISEMAN ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — Two years after Google invented one, automated cars could be on their way to a freeway near you. In the U.S., California and other states are rewriting the rules of the road to make way for driverless cars. Just one problem: What happens to the millions of people who make a living driving cars and trucks — jobs that always have seemed sheltered from the onslaught of technology? “All those jobs are going to disappear in the next 25 years,” predicts Moshe Vardi, a computer scientist at Rice University in Houston. If automation can unseat bus drivers, urban deliverymen, long-haul truckers, even cabbies, is any job safe? Vardi poses an equally scary question: “Are we prepared for an economy in which 50 percent of people aren’t working?” An Associated Press analysis of employment data from 20 countries found that millions of midskill, midpay jobs already have disappeared over the past five years, and they are the jobs that form the backbone of the middle class in developed countries. That experience has left a growing number of technologists and economists wondering what lies ahead. Will middleclass jobs return when the global economy recovers, or are they lost forever because of the advance of technology? The answer may not be known for years, perhaps decades: Experts argue among themselves whether the job market will recover, muddle along or get much worse. To understand their arguments, it helps to understand the past. Every time a transformative invention took hold over the past two centuries — whether the steamboat in the 1820s or the locomotive in the 1850s or the telegraph or the telephone — businesses would disappear and workers would lose jobs. But new businesses would emerge that employed even more. “What has always been true is that technology has destroyed jobs but also always created jobs,” says Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University. “You know the old story we tell about (how) the car destroyed blacksmiths and created the auto industry.” The astounding capabilities of computer technology are forcing some mainstream economists to rethink the conventional wisdom about the economic benefits of

This image provided by General Motors shows an illustration of all-around collision warning in a driverless vehicle. (AP Photo/General Motors) technology, however. For the first time, we are seeing machines that can think — or something close to it. So the rise of computer technology poses a threat that previous generations of machines didn’t: The old machines replaced human brawn but created jobs that required human brains. The new machines threaten both. “Technological change is more encompassing and moving faster and making it harder and harder to find things that people have a comparative advantage in” versus machines, says David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has studied the loss of midpay jobs to technology. Here are the three scenarios that economists and technologists offer about jobs in the future: It has always happened before. Europe and the United States endured repeated economic and social upheaval during the 19th and early 20th centuries as their agricultural economies transformed into industrial ones. Columbia’s Stiglitz argues that such pressures led to the collapse of the world economy in 1929 — the cataclysm we call the Great Depression. Worldwide, the mechanization of farming caused agricultural production to soar in the 1920s — and crop and livestock prices to plunge by 50 percent between 1929 and 1932. In the U.S., farmers, who accounted for a fifth of the workforce, lost purchasing power and struggled to pay their mortgages and other loans. As their debts went bad, banks began to collapse, squeezing credit and spreading panic. The economy went into free-fall. Only World War II — and the massive rearmament program it required — restored the U.S. economy to full health. The experience was traumatizing. And today only 2 percent of Americans work on farms. “Economies don’t make these

transitions well,” Stiglitz says. People in the dying parts of the economy can’t afford to invest in the education or retraining they need to find different work. “So you get workers trapped in the wrong sectors or unemployed,” he says. Peter Lindert, an economist at the University of California-Davis, says computers are more disruptive than earlier innovations because they are “generalpurpose technologies” used by all kinds of companies. They upend many industries instead of just a few. The mechanized looms the Luddites hated in England in the early 1800s, for instance, rattled one industry. Information technology touches every business. But Lindert does not believe workers are doomed to unemployment. With the right retraining, he says, they can learn to work with the machines and become productive enough to fend off the automation threat. “There is a period of time that is extremely disruptive,” says Thomas Schneider, CEO of the consultancy Restructuring Associates. “If you’re 55 years old now and lose your job, the odds of you ever getting hired into what you were doing before is as close to zero as you can imagine. If you are a 12-year-old, you have a very bright future. It’s just not doing what your father was doing or your mother was doing.” Some economists worry that the sluggish, lopsided labor market of the past five years is what we’ll be stuck with in the future. Smarter machines and niftier software will continue to replace more and more midpay jobs, making businesses more productive and swelling their profits. The most highly skilled workers — those who can use machines to be more productive but can’t be replaced by them — will continue to prosper. Many low-pay jobs are likely to remain sheltered from the technological offensive: Robots are too clumsy to tidy up hotel rooms or clear dirty

dishes at busy restaurants. “Computers can do calculus better than any human being,” says MIT’s McAfee. But “restaurant bus boy is a very safe job for a long time to come.” Under this scenario, technology could continue to push economic growth — but only a few would enjoy the benefits. More people would be competing for midpay jobs, so pay would shrivel. Many midskill workers would be left unemployed or shunted into low-skill, low-pay jobs. The income gap between the rich and ordinary citizens, already at record levels in many developed countries, would continue to widen. Most economists say that unequal societies don’t prosper; it takes a large and confident middle class to produce the consumer spending that drives healthy economic growth. “In the long run, you could actually see growth stopping,” says economist Maarten Goos at Belgium’s University of Leuven. “If everyone is employed in low-wage service jobs, then, that’s it.” ATMs dislodged bank tellers. Microsoft Outlook manages what secretaries used to do. Expedia is replacing travel agents. E-ZPass is doing away with toll-booth operators. And robots continue to supplant factory workers. But surely some jobs are safe. Truck drivers, perhaps? A machine can’t negotiate a left-hand turn against oncoming traffic without a human behind the wheel, can it? Or so economists Frank Levy of MIT and Richard Murnane of Harvard University reasoned in their book “The New Division of Labor,” way back in 2004. Six years later, Google developed a car that could drive itself, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, circling Lake Tahoe and cruising down Hollywood Boulevard. The gee-whiz driverless car could soon claim victims in the job market. “Twice a week, a truck comes near

my house, and two guys get out and pick up the garbage,” says Vardi, the Rice computer scientist. “This will disappear. There will still be a truck coming, but it will be driven autonomously, and the garbage will be picked up autonomously, and those jobs will be gone.” In the United States alone, 92,000 people are employed as sanitation workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Add all other driving occupations, from long-haul truckers to taxi cab drivers, and the total exceeds 4 million. All those jobs may be in danger. And that’s the future: Other occupations already are disappearing. Add up the jobs that technology can take across dozens of occupations and the result, Vardi and others warn, is unemployment on a scale we haven’t begun to imagine. “The vast majority of people do routine work. The human economy has always demanded routine work,” says software entrepreneur Martin Ford. He now worries that machines will take all those routine jobs, leaving few opportunities for ordinary workers. In his book “The Lights in the Tunnel,” Ford foresees a computer-dominated economy with 75 percent unemployment before the end of this century; the vast majority of workers, he predicts, won’t be able to develop the skills necessary to outrun job-killing computers and robots. “People talk about the future, creating new industries and new businesses,” Ford says. “But there’s every indication that these are not going to be in labor-intensive industries.” Consider the great business successes of the Internet age: Apple employs 80,000 people worldwide, Google, 54,000, Facebook, 4,300. Combined, those three superstar companies employ less than a quarter of the 600,000 people General Motors had in the 1970s. And today, GM employs just 202,000 people, while making more cars than ever. ■

BMW pursues Daimler in making car-sharing operations profitable By CHRIS REITER AND DoRoTHEE TSCHAMPA BlooMBERG NEWS BERLIN – Bayerische Motoren Werke plans to earn the first profit in 2013 from a two-year-old venture that rents cars by the minute, potentially overtaking Daimler in a push to make efforts to woo urban consumers pay off. DriveNow GmbH, BMW’s car-sharing venture with rental company Sixt AG, will limit expansion to focus on making money, Andreas Schaaf, the partnership’s managing director, said yesterday. After setting up in four cities in Germany since its May 2011 start, DriveNow is looking to add a location in the country and another elsewhere in Europe in 2013. “We could expand quicker, but we want to prove that the business can be profitable,” Schaaf said in an interview in Berlin. “We look at profitability from city to city. There’s not a lot of economies of scale.” Daimler and BMW are ramping up city-based services appealing to drivers looking for an alternative to owning a vehicle. Membership in car-sharing services may surge 20-fold to almost 15 million people in Europe by 2020, according to consulting company Frost & Sullivan. That would exceed the 12.5 million cars sold in the region last year. The growth prospects led Parsippany, N.J.based Avis Budget Group to bid $491 million for Zipcar Inc. at the beginning of this month. “The participation of rental companies shows that car- sharing can and should be a profitable business,” said Marc- Rene Tonn, an analyst at Warburg Research in Hamburg. “For the auto companies, it’s about positioning themselves to address changing behavior of urban consumers.” The earnings plan for DriveNow compares with a 2014 break- even target date set by Daimler for its Car2go service, which offers one-way rentals of two-seat Smart models by the minute. Car2go is profitable in three of the 18 cities where it operates, Daimler said yesterday. The Stuttgart, Germany-based maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles started the car-sharing service with a pilot program in Germany in late 2008. “Car2go has clearly moved out of the

experimental stage,” Robert Henrich, head of the carmaker’s newly created Daimler Mobility Services division, told journalists after a press conference Monday in Stuttgart. The new unit, announced Monday, bundles Car2go with services for finding a parking space and comparing urban transport options, and it has a goal of generating 100 million euros ($133 million) a year in revenue by 2014. Car2go’s fleet will almost double to 10,000 Smarts this year from 6,100 at the end of 2012, with the customer base targeted to jump to 500,000 people from 275,000 in the period, Henrich said. Munich-based BMW’s DriveNow, which is also active in San Francisco, has 77,000 customers and plans to serve 1 million drivers by 2020. Daimler acquired a minority stake at the end of 2012 in GottaPark Inc., a San Francisco-based company that allows drivers to book parking places online in nine cities in North America, as part of the mobility division. Daimler plans to start the first European business with GottaPark this year. Another Daimler Mobility offering is Moovel, a smartphone application that allows users in Berlin and Stuttgart to compare the cost and time needed for different methods of travel between two points in those cities. Car-sharing services also offer automakers a market to introduce electric vehicles to the driving public. Car2go has assigned more than 950 battery-powered Smart cars to six cities. BMW’s DriveNow this year will roll out 40 electric-powered Active E models, converted versions of the carmaker’s 1-Series compact, in Berlin and 20 in Munich as part of a test of how customers deal with recharging vehicles. In Berlin, DriveNow users will be asked to drive the car to a recharging station when the battery gets too low and receive a bonus as a result, while in Munich the company’s fleet management will recharge the cars overnight. The tests are to prepare for the introduction of the BMW i3, the manufacturer’s first electric vehicle, into the fleet after its rollout later this year, Schaaf said. ■

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❘ the gazette ❘ Friday, January 25, 2013

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❘ the gazette ❘ Friday, January 25, 2013

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