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COLLISION NEWS URG Joins Partnership, Announces Support for Recycled Rides Program

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MECHANICAL NEWS SEMA Wins Protection for Collector Cars and Parts House Small Business Committee Reviews Health Care Reform

DEALER NEWS 2009 Concept Vehicle of the Year Award Winners Announced NADA Praises SBA Action to Expand Loan Eligibility

Fisker Karma Delivers Zero Emissions With Zero Compromise Q-DRIVE®, the innovative powertrain exclusive to Fisker automobiles, is a high performance, high efficiency, plug-in hybrid electric system that delivers an allelectric zero emissions range of 50 miles. Developed exclusively by Fisker Automotive partner Quantum Technologies, a unique hardware combination coupled with the innovative Q-DRIVE® computer control system provides a unique driving experience where energy, emissions, power, feel, and economy are optimized to satisfy discerning driver demands.

Q-DRIVE®, which works in conjunction with a regenerative braking system, utilizes a large, powerful lithium-ion battery and a powerful 2-liter direct injected turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine developing 260 hp. The system has a maximum storage capacity of 22.6 kW-hrs and is capable of delivering a peak 200 kW (500 Amps at 400 Volts) of electric power throughout the charge depleting range of operation. Two powerful Karma Please Turn to Page 5

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Karma From Front Cover electric motors deliver a combined 403 hp (300kW) and a peak torque rating of 959 lb-ft (1300Nm) to the input of the differential. The Advanced Lithium Power battery pack, located longitudinally below the floorpan along the vehicle’s centerline, has been designed to withstand the harsh automotive environment. It is a full "plug and play unit" utilizing all advanced vehicle communications software, safe cell chemistry, and multiple software and hardware features to ensure opti-

mal performance at the highest level of safety. Q DRIVE® operating modes i n c l u d e Stealth Mode and Sport Mode, which can be selected at any point while driving. The electric-only Stealth Mode optimizes system performance and efficiency. In Stealth Mode top speed is limited to 95mph (153 km/h) and zero emissions are achieved. For optimal performance, Sport Mode can be selected on demand to deliver peak power and torque, resulting in a top speed of 125 mph (200km/h) and a 0-60mph (0-100 km/h) of 5.8 seconds. “From the moment you first sit in the Karma you will feel the passion and performance that it delivers,” says Fisker

Automotive, Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker. “And once you start driving, you may not want to stop after just 50 miles. It really offers an inspiring drive in both Stealth and Sport Modes.” Fully charged from any 110-, 220or 240 volt outlet at the driver’s side rear quarter panel, the Karma’s Q-DRIVE® powertrain burns no fuel for the first 50 miles of driving in Stealth Mode. Venture further and the car operates as an Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV), with an efficient gasoline engine turning a generator to power the electric motors while in Sport Mode. The Karma also has the world’s largest continuous formed glass solar panel roof. When the car is on, the August 2009

electrical system will use all available solar power. When it is off, the driver has three options to choose from. The default Auto setting will use the solar power for optimal benefit. The Climate setting allows the energy management system to utilize the solar power to ventilate the passenger compartment and reduce the effects of radiant heating. The third is the Charging setting -- the Karma will store as much energy as possible from solar power. Designed to match the unique driving experience of the Fisker Karma’s electric driveline, the suspension system balances attributes of a

Karma Please Turn to Page 6 Southern Automotive Journal

Karma From Page 5 grand touring sedan with the fun-to-drive characteristics of a legitimate sports car. Engineers were able to meet rigorous functional targets competitive with other luxury sports sedans. The design result takes advantage of Karma’s low center of gravity, wide track, and long wheelbase to deliver a unique driving experience with a unique blend of response and comfort. To further enhance the drive, the Karma is controlled at each of four wheels with mono-tube shock absorbers that are specifically tuned to improve the level of roll damping, giv-

Southern Automotive Journal

ing a sense of flat cornering with little body roll. The rear shock absorbers are

load leveling, so the vehicle maintains it

August 2009

showroom stature at any loaded condition. Embodied in the Fisker Karma is a high-performance lightweight aluminum space-frame, which has been developed by the most experienced body structure engineers in the automotive industry -- Norsk Hydro. The strong aluminum spaceframe allows the driver of the Fisker Karma to experience a new level of body rigidity and damping. The resulting steering feel and the driving dynamics will be unmatched in the four-door sports sedan class.n

VW Factory Please Turn to Page 22

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Photos are for illustrative purposes only and are based upon the latest information available. European vehicles or product may be shown. Vehicles may also be pictured with non-US or optional equipment. We make reasonable efforts to provide accurate information but we do not provide a warranty of accuracy. Consult your authorized BMW center or for more information. ©2005 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name and logo are registered trademarks. All rights reserved.

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Consumers Want Their Hummers...? Pontiac and Hummer Take Top Spots on List of GM Brands Auto Consumers Want to Survive

CarGurus(R) (http://www.cargutage -- the 1964 Pontiac GTO is widely best-selling car in the U.S., so I’m not, a leading online automotive credited with starting the muscle-car surprised to see consumers vote to save community, recently this historic brand,” said announced the results Langley Steinert, CEO Survey Results of its latest survey of of CarGurus. “What did 1,693 online automosurprise me, however, Across the CarGurus Network, 1,693 respontive consumers worldwas the relative popudents answered the question: wide. When asked larity of the Hummer which of the four GM brand over that of Saab Which of the brands GM plans to get rid of would brands they want to and Saturn. The Saturn you most like to see survive? (Total Votes = 1,693) survive planned elimiVue, for instance, is a nation, forty-four pertop-50 best-selling car Pontiac - 44% cent of respondents in the United States, Hummer - 27% selected Pontiac, and while Hummer’s bestSaab - 20% 27% chose Hummer. selling model -- the H3 Saturn - 9% Saab was chosen by -- ranks 153rd. I would 20% of respondents, have expected Saturn and Saturn by only to be the other brand 9%. consumers wanted to “Pontiac has a trailblazing hericraze -- and its current G6 is the 20th see survive GM’s reorganization.”n


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August 2009

Engine Parts Group: Professional Engine Rebuilding May Offer a Simpler, Lower Cost Way to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions Than Cash for Clunkers Several plans are currently being debated in the public forum in an attempt to find a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most of these concepts have been debated for years -- setting higher mileage standards, implementing advanced technologies, and passing “cash for clunkers” legislation. The head of one of the country’s largest engine parts distribution groups says one simple, quicker and less costly idea is starting to gain more attention -- professionally rebuilding worn-out and inefficient engines of the millions of older cars and trucks now on the road. The president of Engine Parts Group, Inc., Thomas Hobson, says that the 25,000 independent shops that make up the U.S. engine rebuilding industry have been restoring auto power plants to original specs for decades and are now beginning to be recognized for their “green” contributions. “We hear a lot of talk about various ideas to reduce emissions, but policy makers and the public are starting to realize that the rebuilding of older engines may represent one of the fastest, cheapest and least wasteful ways to reduce automobile emissions.”

Hobson agrees that there is little argument that increasing new vehicle mileage (CAFE) standards would reduce fuel use -- eventually. He points out that those standards have barely budged since the 1980s and there have been very few fuel saving technologies introduced in new vehicles over the last decade. Hobson says, “With more than 250-million vehicles on the road and people holding onto their cars longer, it would take years to have a real impact on the environment. By professionally rebuilding older engines, making them tighter and more efficient, we’d be able to make the vast fleet of older vehicles consume less fuel and emit less pollution very quickly.” Hobson also suggests taking a closer look at the “cash for clunkers” programs that have been getting state and national consideration. “I think it’s a good idea to address the problem of having so many polluting and inefficient vehicles on the road, but replacing them with new cars may not be the answer,” says Hobson. “I’ve seen reports that fully one-third of the total environmental damage caused by automobiles occurs before they are sold and driv-

en.” Car manufacturing consumes huge amounts of energy and raw materials, and generates a lot of waste. Hobson says that rebuilding the engines of vehicles to keep them on the road longer is an environmentally friendlier option compared to replacing them with new vehicles. A 2006 National Highway Transportation Safety Administration report shows that it would take 16 years for 90% of the vehicles currently on the road to be replaced. Restoring older engines to peak efficiency would reduce emissions faster, more cheaply and with almost no waste. The engine block can be reconditioned to like-new standards while worn out engine parts are replaced with new or better replacement parts. The U.S. Department of Energy’s fuel efficiency Web site shows that the simple act of keeping an engine properly tuned can save up to 165 gallons of gas per year. Checking spark plugs, oxygen sensors, air filters, hoses and belts are a few examples of maintenance that can result in potential savings of more than $400. Hobson says a complete professional engine rebuild would save that, and much more by restoring engine efficiency to original specs. n

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Southern Automotive Journal


NADA Praises SBA Action to Expand Loan Eligibility The following is a statement from John McEleney, chairman of the National Automobile Dealer Association, on the expansion of eligibility for a Small Business Administration loan guarantee program designed to help small businesses get access to working capital: “By significantly expanding the SBA 7(a) loan guarantee program, the President along with SBA Administrator Karen Mills and her staff, have taken a significant step toward unlocking the frozen credit markets that are so


Southern Automotive Journal

critical to the success and continued operation of thousands of small, familyowned dealerships across the country. The newly expanded SBA 7(a) program should encourage lenders to assist thousands of additional dealers with the liquidity they need to keep their doors open, make payroll and prevent further layoffs, especially in these difficult economic times. “NADA, which is encouraged that the SBA has expanded their loan-guarantee program, will continue to work

August 2009

with the Obama administration to lift the existing regulatory prohibition on vehicle inventory financing (floorplanning). Removing this constraint would enable lenders to make floorplan loans to those many small dealers currently finding it difficult to secure the funds they need to purchase new vehicle inventory. “The nation’s franchised auto dealers—both domestic and international—applaud the Administration for its actions and its understanding that, unless the dealer credit problem is fixed, any effort to revitalize the auto industry simply will not work.” BACKGROUND : NADA Chairman John McEleney, members of NADA’s executive committee and senior staff, along with leaders from the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD), met several times with SBA since Nov. 2008 to advocate a more inclusive size standard for dealers seeking access to the 7(a) loan program. These meetings led to the SBA action, discussed above. In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), enacted earlier this year, Congress raised the ceiling on 7(a) loan guarantees to 90 percent and reduced or eliminated borrower fees. This has prompted an increase of 25-plus percent in loan volume and sparked the return of hundreds of lenders to the market. Together, the ARRA and the SBA’s new size standard should enable more dealers to obtain working capital under the 7(a) loan program. NADA is continuing to work with lenders to encourage them to make 7(a) loans to dealers and with the Obama administration to allow proceeds from these loans to be used for floorplan financing.n

2009 Concept Vehicle of the Year Award Winners Announced The eighth annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards were announced this evening during a ceremony at the Automotive Hall of Fame. Organized by the South East Automotive Media Organization, the awards recognize those vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry. A jury of more than two dozen North American automotive journalists selected the winners from 23 Concept Vehicles and 11 Production Preview Vehicles that made a North American debut during the 2009 Auto Show season. The Production Preview category is for those vehicles

Fisker Karma Sunset Concept

Volkswagen BlueSport Roadster

with the open-air Concept BlueSport Roadster, winning the 2009 Concept Car of the Year award. Said juror Ashly Knapp, “Who’d have thought a diesel could be fast, economical and clean while powering the fun, little roust-about Volkswagen BlueSport.” Showing that small can still be fun and capable in a personal-use truck, Kia Motors makes its first trip to the podium, with the beachready Soul’ster taking the 2009 award for Concept Truck of the Year. “The Kia Soul’ster shows the playfulness of the designers from the initial design of the Soul,” said juror Lou Ann Hammond. More than ever this year, the Specialty Concept category recognizes those vehicles where the technology, not necessarily the exterior package, is the key story. Bringing GM’s Advanced Powertrain Studio its fifth win in this category, the honor of being named the 2009 Specialty Concept Vehicle of the Year goes to the Cadillac Converj. “Cadillac capitalizes on the growing popularity of coupe styling, but steps up several notches with electric propulsion technology, 2+2 seating, and profile Concept Winners Please Turn to Page 14

based on a model that has already been announced or planned for production. A bellwether for the auto industry’s second century, Fisker Automotive takes the honor of 2009 Production Preview Vehicle of the Year with its Karma Sunset Concept. According to juror Michael Bettencourt, “A company started and run by a designer should have beautiful cars, concepts and prototypes. Henrik Fisker’s firm certainly does – the Fisker Karma Sunset is just drop dead gorgeous.” Out of the eight competitors in the Concept Car category, Volkswagen made its debut at the awards podium

Kia Soul’ster

August 2009

Southern Automotive Journal


SEMA Wins Protection for Collector Cars and Parts The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) persuaded Congress to place a 25-year limit on trade-in cars and expand recycling opportunities under ‘cash for clunkers’ legislation. Under the controversial bill, consumers will receive a voucher to help buy a new car in exchange for scrapping a less fuelefficient vehicle. SEMA was able to mitigate the program’s effects by convincing lawmakers to include a requirement that the trade-in vehicle be a model year 1984 or newer vehicle. The provision helps safeguard older vehicles that may

possess ‘historic or aesthetic value’ and are irreplaceable to hobbyists as a source of restoration parts. The measure also allows all parts to be recycled except the engine. Lawmakers were convinced to permit the drive train to be recycled if the transmission, drive shaft or rear end are sold as separate parts. The vehicle scrappage legislation was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives by a 298-119 vote. President Obama has backed the plan and passage in the Senate is expected in the near future. Proponents claim that

the so-called “Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act (CARS)” may spur an estimated 625,000 vehicle sales. The program will last for one year. “SEMA has consistently supported efforts to spur new car sales, but is disappointed that Congress ignored evidence that vehicle scrappage programs will not achieve claimed environmental benefits,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA’s President & CEO. “However, we are pleased that lawmakers agreed to spare from the crusher older cars and parts that help drive the restoration aftermarket and the passions of many in the automotive hobbyist community.” Under the program, consumers who agree to scrap a tradein car that gets 18 miles per gallon or less (15 mpg or less for heavy pick-ups and vans) will receive a voucher to buy a qualifying Plus $500.00 Second $200.00 Third new car. The voucher will range Weekly giveaways of 100 "OPA BUCKS" which can be used as a from $3,500 to $4,500 based on discount or payment toward a purchase from any OPA member. the new car’s fuel efficiency. The program primarily targets SUVs Drawing Sepember 31, 2009 and pickups since most passenger cars manufactured during the last 25 years get more than the 18 mpg combined city/highway requirement. Vehicle mpg ratings are listed at www.fueleconomy. gov. The $4 billion program will begin when it is signed into law by the president. The car buyer will receive a $3,500 voucher if Direct 678-259-9500 they buy a new passenger car that was rated at 4 mpg higher than Toll 877-622-2871 the older vehicle, or a new pickup truck/SUV that was at least 2 mpg higher than the old truck. They FAX 678-259-9555 will receive a $4,500 if the passenger car was at least 10 mpg higher and the truck/SUV was at least 5 Call Ken McMillan, mpg higher. Your Trusted Name in Acura Parts “SEMA continues to support initiatives that encourage the installation of specialty equipment to reduce emissions and increase fuel economy,” said Kersting. “Looking to the future, SEMA will work with Congress to pursue more efficient and business-friendly environmental approaches.”n


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Southern Automotive Journal

August 2009

2009 Lincoln MKX Delivers More Standard Features, Innovative Technologies Luxury on Demand: Lincoln refines its award-winning Lincoln MKX for 2009 with more innovations including available voice-activated navigation with industry exclusive SIRIUS Travel Link™, standard power liftgate, and important customer conveniences like a front passenger grab handle, cargo compartment hooks and cargo net and a universal garage door opener. The 2009 Lincoln MKX is strength and elegance perfectly blended in a refined yet dynamic design. With features like the six-speed automatic transmission, available all-wheel-drive, standard heated-and-cooled front seats and available heated rear seats, the Lincoln MKX is poised to meet the demands of discriminating customers. Since its debut as a 2007 model, the Lincoln MKX has defined Lincoln’s presence in the fastest-growing premium crossover segment with its elegant exterior design, award-winning interior and third-party recognition for safety, quality and technology. The Lincoln MKX also has helped round out the Lincoln showroom, bringing new customers to Lincoln and helping boost the brand’s share in the competitive premium market. The award-winning Lincoln MKX blends modern Lincoln design with a sporty stance, powerful 3.5-liter engine and quiet interior. It is available in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions. Technological advances on the Lincoln MKX include available panoramic VistaRoof™ and adaptive headlamps that move with the steering wheel. A

suite of standard features including AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™) and solid unibody construction have helped the Lincoln MKX earn a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 2009 Lincoln MKX provides customers even more of what they expect from a luxury crossover with more industry-first innovations plus four special edition packages and a host of new standard features. They include: SYNC - The industry-exclusive, voice-activated, hands-free, in-car communications and entertainment system adds new features for 2009, including 911 Assist, which can directly contact local 911 emergency personnel to dispatch help in the event of an air bag deployment or fuel shut-off. The 911 Assist feature allows calls to be placed directly to a local 911 operator, eliminating the need to go through a call center operator first. There is no additional monthly fee for this feature since, when set up, it uses a customer’s existing mobile phone. Also coming to the upgraded SYNC system will be the Vehicle Health Report (VHR) function, which allows customers to monitor more than two dozen vehicle systems, receive maintenance reports in simple, user-friendly language and, when appropriate, schedule August 2009

service online. Reports can also be printed or emailed as necessary. Voice- activated navigation with SIRIUS® Travel Link™ Lincoln moves in-car connectivity forward with the available next-generation navigation system, available for the first time ever with SIRIUS Travel Link. This offers drivers and passengers access to upto -the -minute information and entertainment content through the vehicle’s navigation system. Working through the standard feature SIRIUS satellite radio network, Travel Link offers, coast-to-coast coverage of real-time traffic data; weather reports (both current and five day forecasts with storm information and even ski resort conditions); fuel options from more than 120,000 stations sorted by price or distance; major league pro and college sports as well as movie listings from more than 4,500 theaters. A six-month introductory subscription to SIRIUS Travel Link and SIRIUS satellite radio are included at no cost. Additional standard features on the Lincoln MKX include power lumbar driver and front passenger seats, easy entry driver’s seat, memory driver’s seat and side mirrors, auto-dimming driver’s side mirror and Reverse Sensing System. Lincoln MKX’s confident exterior and luxurious, quiet interior underscore the direction of Lincoln’s modern design. The high beltline is defined by a stroke of chromed trim that caps broad shoulders, pronounced wheel lips MKX Please Turn to Page 30 Southern Automotive Journal


Audatex Directions Examines the Impact of Asian Vehicles on Repair Costs Audatex North America, Inc. has released the latest quarterly volume of its industry trends publication, Audatex Directions. This issue’s feature article examines the increase in share of Asian vehicles and their impact on average repair costs. The article’s key findings, produced with the company’s busi-

ness intelligence software Audatex Insight(TM), show an average of $75 higher costs to repair Asian vehicles over domestic vehicles. Several reasons for the higher costs are cited, including the fact that Asian vehicles: • Are typically one model year newer and have 12,000 fewer miles

Concept Winners From Page 11 enhancing wheels on the Converj,” said juror Bob Kroupa. From amongst the category winners, the Cadillac Converj was the top-scoring vehicle with a huge lead, earning the accolade as the “Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2009.” No stranger to the winners’ podium, this marks the fifth time in the award program’s


The Audatex data goes deeper to show that Asian vehicles, on average, require 1.8 more labor hours than domestic damaged vehicles.n eight years that a GM concept has earned the top spot, backed up with an equally impressive field of 28 category finalists, and 11 category winners. Additional information and details regarding the nominees, the selection jury and the award winners can be found by visiting www. on the web.n

Cadillac Converj

Southern Automotive Journal

• Have higher Actual Cash Values (AC Vs) • Are 22 percent less likely to be declared a total loss after a collision

August 2009


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FAX Paints Clearer Picture of General Motors er auto industry. Although sales are down, it's not all doom and gloom. This is not to make light of the very serious bankruptcy, but here are a few items that get overlooked in the news: Although filing for bankruptcy protection, General Motors is not going anywhere. There are still cars on dealership lots and still consumers who need cars. Dealerships will still sell cars, and the warranty coverage remains intact allowing current and future owners to take their cars in to the dealership for service. General Motors has more hybrids on the market Call Steve with 30 Years of GM Parts Experience than any other auto manuLocal facturer offering nine (9) 770.274.1131 Toll Free: different models, from the 1.800.727.5920 STEVE Malibu Hybrid sedan to the full-size Silverado Hybrid. GM Exclusise Parts Team GM is actually setting the ! ble a l i benchmark for other autoDirect GM Ava w o makers with a full line of 706-7761 144 N Toll Free hybrids and other alterna866-262-7407 tive-based vehicles. DONALD Fax MANAGER General Motors leads Ext. 706-776-7398 125 the auto industry with the most vehicles that get 30+ mpg. Included in this line-up JIMMY KEN AJ ROGER are: (Chevy) Cobalt Coupe, EXT. EXT. EXT. 126 135 123 Aveo 4, Aveo 5, Malibu, 205-791-0743 Malibu Hybrid, HHR, HHR Direct Conncect Sales for GM - Chrysler -Aftermarket Panel, (Pontiac) Vibe, G5, G6, (Saturn) Astra, Aura, Aura Hybrid, Vue, Vue Hybrid*. (*per KELI CHRIS MATT FRANKLIN General Motors has ANDY LEE DANIEL ARNOLD Local Local Local Local Local Local Local Local more than 3 million E85 Flex 478.971.1379 770.274.1127 770.274.1121 770.274.1130 770.274.1128 770.274.1122 770.274.1123 770.274.1132 Toll Free: Toll Free: Toll Free: Toll Free: Toll Free: Toll Free: Toll Free: Toll Free: Fuel capable vehicles on the 1.800.727.5912 1.800.727.4702 1.800.727.5593 1.866.399.4245 1.800.727.5611 1.800.344.9017 1.800.605.9294 1.800.727.5641 FAX road. 478.971.8248 Customer Support Ford and General Customer Service Team Motors combined for five of the top 10 selling vehicles in May. Trucks - The Ford FCHUCK BRENDA AFTERMARKET MANAGER MARKETING MANAGER Series continues to be KEVIN CLIFF DAN JIM JERRY America's #1 truck. It was the best selling vehicle in America in May with 33,381. The Chevy Silverado was second best with 31,463.n

2009 has marked a significant downturn in the auto industry that is reflective of the greater global economy. Hard-working Americans are losing their jobs, dealerships that have been passed down generation after generation are closing their doors, and the government, as we know it, now owns a major stake in the future of one of America's leading automotive


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brands. Responsible for providing consumers with the most up-to-date and accurate information on the internet regarding new and used, cars, trucks, SUVs, classics, boats, motorcycles and more, the editorial team wanted to share some information it recently uncovered that sheds a slightly different light on the great-

August 2009

2009 Mercury Mariner - Better Fuel Economy, Enhanced Power Drive A new powertrain lineup, with a more powerful and fuel-efficient 2.5liter I-4 engine and a new six-speed automatic transmission, leads the list of enhancements for the 2009 Mercury Mariner. Mercury Mariner, the popular compact SUV, boast better fuel economy, thanks to a combination of the new engine and fuel-saving six-speed transmission. Other f u e l - e f f i ci e n c y measures, such as refined aerodynamics and new low-rollingresistance tires, also enhance fuel economy while contributing to a quieter, more refined cabin environment. Mariner also introduces Easy Fuel™ capless refueling, ambient lighting and standard cruise control. A 3.0-liter V-6 engine with 20 percent more horsepower and a 1 mpg fuel economy improvement also is available. Standard on Mariner models are an anti-lock braking system and Ford’s exclusive AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control). The only available electronic stability control system with two gyroscopic effect sensors, AdvanceTrac with RSC measures vehicle motion about both the yaw and roll axes. Ford Motor Company today has more than 80 patents worldwide for this innovative system, which features roll-rate sensing and stability enhancement capability, offering assistance to the driver in maintaining vehicle control during extreme maneuvers. The system automatically engages counter measures to help the driver maintain maximum control and reduce the risk of rollover. The 2009 Mercury Mariner offers a new, 171-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder

engine with intake variable cam timing (i-VCT) for enhanced fuel economy and performance. The new engine is expected to gain 1 mpg in both city and highway fuel economy when equipped with the

new six-speed tr ansmissio n, as compared to the previous model’s smaller-displacement 2.3-liter engine and four-speed automatic. The new engine offers an 11 percent increase in power output versus the 2.3-liter (153 hp). This gives Mercury Mariner a 1.7-second improvement in 0-60 mph acceleration. “With gas prices rising, we want to offer our customers even more fuelefficient vehicles,” says Ron Razzano, Mariner vehicle engineering manager. “But more fuel efficiency doesn’t need to reduce performance. We tried to give our customers more of both, so there wouldn’t be any compromise with Mariner.” Responsive with its peak 171 lb.-ft. of torque at 4500 rpm, the engine also is refined, with dual-mode crankshaft damping, electronic throttle control and PowerPC engine electronic control. Key new elements of the engine design include intake and exhaust manifolds, August 2009

camshafts, pistons and bore size. The i-VCT technology optimizes the valve timing for performance and efficiency, creating a broad torque curve and delivering increased power and improved fuel efficiency at the same time. The powertrain also incorporates electronic throttle control (ETC). This technology replaces the manual linkage between accelerator and throttle with a control unit that calculates the optimal throttle position from a number of sensors. ETC is a form of the state - of-the art, drive-bywire technology.

Mercury Hybrid also will feature a version of the new engine that uses the fuel-efficient Atkinson Cycle for combustion. The new I-4 engine’s full fuel efficiency potential is enhanced when it is equipped with the optional 6F-midrange six-speed automatic transmission. A five-speed manual transmission is standard equipment. “The introduction of the six-speed is a big enhancement for Mariner,” Razzano said. “A taller top gear reduces engine speed while cruising and shifting at lower rpms in each gear help make the new six-speed 4 to 6 percent more fuel efficient than the four-speed it replaces.” The new six-speed is calibrated for Mariner Please Turn to Page 24 Southern Automotive Journal


Quantum-Jesse James Team Shatters the Land Speed World Record for a Hydrogen Powered Vehicle Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. (Nasdaq: QTWW) today announced that its advanced gaseous fuel injectors, fuel metering components, lightweight fuel storage system and powertrain engineering expertise successfully supported Jesse James in shattering the land speed record for a hydrogen powered vehicle. On June 16, 2009, Jesse James clocked 199.712 mph in the hydrogen ‘Streamliner’ at El Mirage Dry Lake Bed in the Mojave Desert, to beat the world record holder, the BMW H2R, which had attained 186 mph in Germany. This historic event will be shown as the season one finale of “Jesse James Is A Dead Man” premiering on Sunday, August 9 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on Spike TV. “Jessie James approached Quantum for our world-class expertise in hydrogen and advanced pow-

ertrain engineering,” explained Alan P. Niedzwiecki, the President and CEO of Quantum. “This, I honestly believe, is

world-changing,” Jesse James said of the emissions-free race car. “We can’t rely on gasoline forever. I’m paying it forward.” Jesse James’ record setting run was supported by 24 Quantum hydrogen injectors that fuelled an 8-cylinder engine that was optimized to yield 704 HP. Quantum’s patented fuel injector has been designed, tested and validated specifically for precision fuel metering and durable service with cleaner burn-

ing, dry gaseous fuels such as hydrogen and natural gas. With several years of R&D, Quantum’s gaseous fuel injectors are featured in Ford’s hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles and Prius and Escape hydrogen hybrid electric vehicles developed by Quantum. The record-breaking Streamliner was fitted with 3 ultralight weight, advanced carbonfiber composite, polymer-lined 5000 psi Quantum hydrogen storage cylinders to help with vehicle performance and drivability. Quantum has supplied some of the lightest hydrogen cylinders in the world for weight-critical automotive and aerospace applications. Quantum has developed industry-leading 3600 psi natural gas on-board storage cylinders, and 5,000 and 10,000 psi hydrogen storage cylinders and related valves and pressure management systems.n

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House Small Business Committee Reviews Health Care Reform The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business recently held a hearing on "Common Ground: Finding Consensus on Health Reform, the Small Business Perspective." Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, D-N.Y., chairwoman, opened the hearing by emphasizing the necessity of change in the "broken" American health care system, especially for the benefit of small businesses in the United States. She said, "In the case of small business health care, the challenges are significant. Already, the overwhelming majority of America's uninsured are small business employees and their families ... As rates continue to climb, entrepreneurs are facing tough choices - cut health care or cut jobs. According to the National Small Business Association, 10 percent of small firms may drop coverage in the next year. That's not a decision any entrepreneur should have to make. After all, a small-business workforce is a close-knit community. Already, coverage within microfirms - those with 10 employees or fewer - has dipped to 35 percent." Velazquez followed up these statistics with her plan of action. She and Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., ranking member, have introduced the Small Business CHOICE Act of 2009, which would cushion costs and give entrepreneurs better bargaining power in the health care market. Further, the committee's leadership anticipates that Congress will

make significant changes in small business health care in the near future. Witnesses at the hearing were: • Jim Wordsworth, owner, J.R. Goodtimes Inc., McLean, Va., on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; • Joan M. Burkholder, owner, Crist Instrument Co. Inc., Hagerstown, Md., on behalf of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce; • Freddy Castiblanco, owner, Terraza Café, Jackson Heights, N.Y., on behalf of the Main Street Alliance; • John Nicholson, co-owner, Company Flowers & Gifts Too!, North Arlington, Va., and • Bradley L. Thompson II, president, Inland Press, Detroit, on behalf of the Printing Industries of America. Wordsworth testified on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and pointed out congressional efforts that the chamber supports and opposes in regard to health care for small businesses. Wordsworth said, "Congress is currently considering many strategies to combat rising health care costs, to bend the cost curve, to make health care more affordable and to improve its quality ... Some in Congress, however, are advocating short-sighted changes that will lead to an eventual flight of employers from sponsoring health benefits - a change that would profoundly hurt employees." He specified that the chamber applauds such efforts as "proposals to

pay for performance and not just quantity of care, to improve care coordination and explore bundling payments, reduce hospital readmissions and more." He goes on to specify changes that Congress is considering that will immediately benefit small businesses. "Among these is fair regulation of insurance companies through the creation of a national health insurance exchange ('the exchange'). By setting national rules that require health insurers to issue policies to all consumers, preventing drastic variances in the cost of coverage, putting an end to pre-existing condition restrictions, and changing insurers' incentives from avoiding risk to managing health, Congress will make health insurance much more affordable to small businesses," said Wordsworth. Thompson, in his testimony, asked that the Small Business Committee consider some key points while reforming the U.S. health care system. Specifically, he proposed: • Pooling - the idea of small companies pooling together to achieve greater scales of economy. • Provide tax credits to small businesses as an incentive to provide employee health benefits. • Increase competition and products offered in the health care marketplace. To view testimony from the hearing, please visit ASA's legislative Web site at


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URG Joins Partnership, Announces Support for Recycled Rides Program The United Recyclers Group (URG) has announced support for the 'Recycled Rides' program, a community service initiative of the National Auto Body Council (NABC). In Recycled Rides (http://www., all segments of the auto salvage and collision repair industries come together to fix up and donate working automobiles to selected families in need in cities across the nation. The goal for the 2009 program will be to refurbish 140 vehicles, all simultaneously donated to deserving families selected by local human service agencies, on November 23, 2009, the Monday before Thanksgiving. "The United Recyclers Group is proud to join forces with NABC to

support the Recycled Rides program," says Michelle Alexander, URG Executive Director. "What Recycled Rides does by providing restored vehicles for less fortunate families across the nation is outstanding. With this new partnership,URG members will now have the opportunity to get involved in an important way, by donating parts for vehicles being repaired and prepped for donation in their area. We look forward to helping this great program grow." Now in its third year, Recycled Rides began with just seven vehicles repaired and donated in the first year. But the program has experienced twenty-fold growth in just two years, a sure sign that the concept behind it is good and fills a

need. According to Recycled Rides chair Michael Quinn, the long-term goal for the program is 500 vehicles donated per year, and he thinks this is doable sooner rather than later. Quinn is the co-founder and president of 911 Collision Centers (Tucson, AZ). "As this program grows, stakeholders like URG and their members will see the value of getting involved," says Michael Quinn. "We are excited to see a leading organization like URG join ourRecycled Rides partnership. It formalizes the participation of the automotive salvage industry in what we are doing. Recycled Rides is a 'green' program too, because we show the world our commitment to recycling as a group. It also shows what is possible when all facets of the auto salvage, collision repair, and insurance industries come together with a common vision to make a difference in our communities. Even though a few families actually get new rides, we all come out ahead." "It was very emotional and I couldn't stop the tears the first time I witnessed a vehicle being given away to a deserving family at the annual NACE Conference in Las Vegas," says Dwight Howard, URGmember and Business Development Representative for Greenleaf Auto Recyclers. "It was a privilege to be there and see how our industry can make a difference in people's lives." Now a member of the Recycled Rides vendor parts committee, Howard says that, "We're not trying to get parts donated from every single URG member. Not yet, anyway! But getting URG on Recycled Rides Please Turn to Page 27

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Mariner From Page 19 cruising fuel efficiency without sacrificing launch feel and performance feel in lower gears. A wider range of gear ratios is key to the sixspeed transmission’s ability to deliver this combination of performance and fuel economy. Mariner’s new 3.0-liter V-6 engine also improves for 2009, leveraging a new 10.3:1 compression ratio to gain 40 hp compared with the 2008 3.0-liter. The 240-hp V-6 is equipped with i-VCT and ETC along with new cylinder heads, intake and exhaust cams, injectors, intake and exhaust manifolds, and pistons. This engine uses Ford’s new six-speed transmission exclusively in place of the four-speed automatic used previously. The 2009 Mercury Mariner features a series of chassis system upgrades that improve dynamic capability, steering response and ride comfort. The vehicles’ suspension has been revised and retuned, with the addition of a new rear stabilizer bar and revised shock absorber tuning, helping to deliver a balance of enhanced ride comfort and handling confidence. The steering system also has been retuned for better control and tighter cornering capabilities. “When it comes to steering,

it’s about finding the proper balance between tire performance and steering dynamics,” Razzano says. “With Mariner,

we found that balance, giving optimal car-like drivability and increased responsiveness.” The braking system of the Mariner also incorporates improvements.


development team’s efforts focused on enhancing initial braking system responsiveness and making further fine-tuning calibrations for the ABS, resulting in better brake feel and shorter stopping distances. Fresh from its most successful sales year, the Mariner Hybrid for 2009 brings an array of new features and technologies to strengthen its claim as one of America’s most fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly SUVs. For 2009, the Hybrid models will use the new 2.5-liter I-4 designed to run on the Atkinson combustion cycle. A new engine processor enables nearly imperceptible transitions between gas and electric vehicle mode. The hybrid models also feature a new powertrain damping system to reduce vibrations and feedback to the driver and other vehicle occupants. “This vehicle shows that we can combine per formance with sustainability,” said Finnegan. “Customers can be environmentally responsible and still have a vehicle that provides the utility of an SUV and is fun to drive.”n

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Toyota Awards $1 Million in Scholarships to 100 High School Seniors Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., life by dedicating my time to something in somebody’s life,” said Scholar Ethan (TMS) is rewarding 100 high school meaningful - something that makes a Soodak of Silver Spring, Md. seniors with $1 For the 2009 million in college class, their contribuLOCAL 2009 TOYOTA COMMUNITY SCHOLARS scholarships for tions to the global their commitment community are far CITY HIGH SCHOOL to education and ALABAMA reaching and range Wade Ash Atmore Escambia Academy community service. from raising $1.5 milThe 12 nationlion for the eradicaal and 88 regional FLORIDA tion of neurological Alexis Dempsey Wesley Chapel Berkeley Preparatory winners, who make disease, to providing Tura Magley Bradenton Manatee High School up the 13th class of Samuel Morales medical and educaWest Palm Beach Cardinal Newman High School Toyota Community Rohit Thummalapalli Hialeah American Heritage Sch Plantation tional resources for Scholars, were cho- Andrew Zarzeski over 4,000 orphans in Lutz Freedom High School sen from a pool of Southern Asia. more than 8,000 GEORGIA “In these tough Cumming South Forsyth High School students nation- Melissa Adams economic times, it is wide nominated by particularly rewardNORTH CAROLINA their schools. To be Michael Atkins ing to see these stuPikeville Charles Baycock High School eligible, students Julie Crimmins dents having such a Chapel Hill Chapel Hill High School must be proven Milan Kantesaria tremendous impact Fayetteville Fayetteville Academy Raleigh Middle Creek High School leaders both in the John Turner in their communities,” classroom and in said Michael Rouse, SOUTH CAROLINA their communities. TMS vice president Melanie Zhao Florence West Florence High School Based on their of philanthropy and achievements, the TENNESSEE community affairs. 2009 class will con- Tiffany Carpenter “They are stellar Thompsons Station Independence High School tinue helping others John Loehle examples of service Wartrace Tullahoma High School Lauren Lyke Strawberry Plains Jefferson County High School on their journey as and commitment and college students. “I remind us all what’s know that I will only Toyota Scholars Please Turn to Page 28 find happiness and fulfillment in my difference in the world, in mankind, or

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Ford and AAA to Crown Country’s Next Great Young Auto Techs With the economy still running on a low tank, motorists are relying more on skilled auto technicians to keep their cars running rather than opting for new car purchases. Ready to answer that call, the next generation of automotive stars will be on display at the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals in Dearborn, Michigan, June 14-16. A timed, head-tohead skills showdown, the competition gives top automotive students from all 50 states the opportunity to showcase their automotive knowledge and problem-solving capabilities by resolving “real world” repair challenges. The 60th annual competition pits top high school automotive technology students from across the country with each state represented by a team of two students and their high school instructor. Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills enables many of its participants to embark on promising careers in the automotive repair industry with a record-high $10.7 million in scholarships offered this year. Demand for well-trained technicians remains on the rise with 60 percent of the independent auto repair shops reporting sales up last year over the previous year and 76 percent saying they expect more work this year, according to an Automotive Service Association survey. In addition to the scholarships, the winning duo also will receive the opportunity to spend a week working under the hood with the Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion team at its Concord, N.C., race shop and serve as honorary pit crew members during the August 2 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. Additionally, the high schools of the top-15 teams from the National Finals will receive a new Ford Edge, Fusion or Focus for training purposes in their automotive technology departments. Beyond the prizes and scholarships, this “best of the best” competition represents the final face-off and will bring together the best 100 automotive technology student in the country that have spent countless hours of class time and extra preparation in pursuit of the national title. Narrowed down from more than 9,700 students that started the competition back in March, the national finalists represent a variety of backgrounds and have taken several different paths in pursuit of their dreams. Kelsey Petrini of the Montana team (Great Falls High School, Great Falls, 2

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Mont.) is only the second female student places a premium on teamwork, and the since 2005 to make the National Finals. Arkansas team (Jacksonville High School, And Kelsey feels extra pride in being the Jacksonville Ark.) has a natural advanonly female among the 100 national finaltage in this area. Nolan Hildalgo and ists. “I’m looking forward to doing what I Brandon Hildalgo enjoy great team love to do and proving to everyone that chemistry -- they are twin brothers. women can be just as vehicle-smart as This year marks the 25th year that men can.” Kelsey is no stranger to comAAA has been involved with the competipetition against the boys -- the adrenation, serving as a co-sponsor since 1984, line-fueled teen is also an accomplished while Ford Motor Company celebrates its motocross racer. 15th year. More than 9,700 high school From the South Dakota team, juniors and seniors competed in this Taylor Boeckman, of the state champion year’s competition. Following an online Yankton Senior High Team, sacrificed his exam, the highest-scorers advanced to senior year of high school to participate in their states’ hands-on competition, with the program. A year ago, Taylor was living the top teams from each state now headin a Nebraska school district that didn’t ing to Dearborn, Mich., for the National have an automotive technology program. Finals. To qualify for this competition, he and his Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills is family took the unlikely path of renting a nationwide automotive technology a home and moving to Yankton, S.D., competition for high school juniors and which has a reputable program. “Taylor seniors interested in pursuing careers as left behind his classmates and gave up his automotive service technicians. This year normal home life to be a part of our promarks the 60th anniversary of the comgram,” said instructor Robert Evans. “Now petition that tests students’ automotive he is living his dream -- going to Nationals knowledge, workmanship and problemwith a chance to prove again what his solving abilities with a written test as well effort has rewarded him with.” as a race against the clock to diagnose and The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills properly repair intentionally “bugged” competition runs in David Edwards’ famvehicles. Ford and AAA are dedicated to ily. Edwards, a member of the Mississippi the competition as part of their committeam from Clinton High School in Clinton, ment to the future of automotive service Miss., followed in his father and his in America. For information on competbrother’s footsteps by earning the opporing in the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills, tunity, along with his teammate Chase visit Wall, to represent the state of Mississippi in this year’s National Finals. Father Brad Edwards was part of the 1967 Mississippi state champion team and brother Volume 13 Issue No. 8 Daniel representSouthern Automotive Journal Jim Tucker Contributors ed Mississippi in P.O. Box 675097 Publisher Dennis Martin the 2008 National Marietta, Ga 30006-0009 Ami Vonesh (770) 321-9920 Finals. Although Michele Tucker Joyce Ethridge E-Mail Editor school ended on Russ Heaps May 22, Edwards and Wall have Southern Automotive Journal (ISSN: 1092-6321) is published monthly by spent the last Southern Automotive Journal Inc. P.O. Box 675097, Marietta, Ga 30006-0009.SAJ few weeks diliaccepts no responsibility for the opinions, views statements of the authors or gently preparfor claims made by advertisers. Views expressed by writers are not necessarily ing for National those of the publication. Subscription: $12.00 per year. Finals with their No representation is made as to the accuracy or the completeness of the inforinstructor Charlie mation provided by this publication. Entire contents copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Melton. T h e National Finals August 2009

NADA Welcomes Congressional Oversight of Dealership Closures Following his testimony before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, John McEleney, Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and a multi-franchise dealer from Iowa, issued the following statement: “NADA welcomes the engagement of this subcommittee which has a long history of aggressive congressional oversight. Oversight is exactly what is needed due to the lack of transparency and the harsh treatment of dealers during the government-sponsored restructuring of both Chrysler and General Motors. “GM is closing 1,350 dealerships. Chrysler, through the bankruptcy courts, just shuttered 789 franchises. Between them, these closings put more than 100,000 jobs at risk, in communities throughout the country. With unemployment at its highest rate in more than 25 years, eliminating jobs and closing community businesses is not the way to help a struggling economy. “Everyone agrees that both Chrysler and GM need to decrease

costs and increase revenue to survive, but eliminating dealerships does neither. Dealers cost an automaker almost nothing. They are independent entrepreneurs who risk millions of dollars to buy the land, build the buildings and purchase the vehicles and parts from the automaker. Terminating dealerships only cuts into an automakers’ revenue, jeopardizes market share without making either company any stronger. “We learned recently that it was the federal government that required these closures. Ron Bloom of the Automotive Task Force acknowledged to the Senate this week that the Task Force required both Chrysler and GM to be “more aggressive” regarding dealers. “We do not see how cutting dealerships and jobs makes economic sense -not for Chrysler, not for General Motors, not for local communities and certainly not for the struggling U.S. economy. “I would also like to comment on the status of the GM agreements, both the Participation Agreements for those dealers going forward and the “WindDown” Agreements for closing franchises. During the Senate Commerce

Committee hearing last week, NADA voiced serious concerns about the extremely one-sided Participation Agreements delivered to the 4,000 dealers of the new GM. General Motors executives responded to these concerns promptly and, after a very frank discussion, made significant improvements to the Participation Agreement. Additionally, the company has committed to clarify some of the terms of the Wind-Down Agreements for the terminated dealerships. Furthermore, we appreciate GM’s willingness to continue to work with NADA on these crucial matters. “We remain concerned, however, because these government-negotiated bankruptcies continue to threaten dealer rights under state motor vehicle franchise laws. These laws inject balance in the inherently unbalanced economic relationship between a dealer and the manufacturer. To fix this problem, Congress should insist that the franchise laws of the 50 states apply with full force and effect by passing H.R. 2743, the Automobile Dealer Economic Rights Restoration Act of 2009.”n

The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM) applauds the passage of legislation that will boost the sale of fuel efficient vehicles in the U.S., to the benefit of every American consumer. The U.S. House of Representatives today overwhelmingly adopted the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Program introduced by Representative Betty Sutton. “We are pleased that the House of Representatives passed legislation that

we believe will boost the recovery of the U.S. auto market and provide a real shot in the arm of the American economy,” said Michael J. Stanton, President and CEO of AIAM. Similar fleet modernization programs, also known as “cash for clunkers,” have been adopted by many countries and have produced significant increases in automobile sales. At a time when U.S. auto sales have declined by almost 40 percent, the adoption of this program is

critically important. “The nation’s economic recovery will not be complete without the revival of the U.S. auto industry,” added Stanton. “We encourage Congress to quickly pass this legislation and send it to the President for his signature. The sooner we get a program like this up and running, the quicker it will provide much needed help for consumers, auto dealers, suppliers and small businesses in communities all around the country.”n

Recycled Rides From Page 22

themselves in a new relationship with a repair or collision facility they hadn't worked with before. Taking part in recycled rides could result in new business opportunities for all involved." The preferred vehicle for Recycled Rides is a minivan less than eight years old with no more than 100,000 miles, and either a theft recovery or economic total. Families in need of reliable transportation are identified in partnership with local charitable organizations. Insurance companies, paint and parts

vendors, and the auto salvage industry donate their resources to assist collision repair facilities in making this program possible. The NABC slogan says it all: "Changing the image of our industry, one consumer at a time." NABC is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to enhancing the image of the collision industry through various programs. Their ongoing and continued success is a direct result of the efforts and support of sponsoring companies and membership.n

AIAM Applauds Passage of ‘Cash for Clunkers’ Legislation

board is extremely important, because each year the communities we work in will vary, and the number of cars being repaired is growing dramatically. Reaching out across the URG network, we know that many fine people will step up if given the opportunity, and do the right thing." Howard continues: "We are all the better for it. Plus, who knows? A URG member who participates might find

August 2009

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Toyota Scholars From Page 25 really important.” Valued at $20,000 each for national winners, and $10,000 for regional, the scholarships are awarded over four years beginning in the fall of 2009 for study at a four-year college or university. Since the Toyota Community Scholars program began in 1997, TMS has awarded over $14 million in scholarships to 1,300 students across the U.S. Jourdan Urbach, a Toyota Community Scholar from Roslyn Heights, NY, demonstrates the dedica-


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tion to community service by the members of this year’s class. As the founder of Children Helping Children (CHC), Urbach established Concerts for a Cure to utilize his gift as a talented violinist to raise $1.5 million in the fight against neurological disease. CHC funds provide materials for music therapy in pediatric playrooms, medical equipment, home healthcare for patients with advanced disease and grants for cutting edge neurological research. Determined to create a “youthquake” across the globe by putting a face on philanthropy in healthcare, Urbach has encouraged 700 young musicians to get involved in this international move-

August 2009

ment. “I have learned through my years of service that there is no age limit for doing something extraordinary for humanity,” says the scholar. “My dream is to see symphony orchestras and young soloists working together in every city around the world, raising funds and awareness to cure neurological disease through their art.” The national and regional winners were selected by a panel of college and university admissions officials from across the U.S. The Toyota Community Scholars program is administered by Educational Testing Services in Princeton, N.J.n

New-car Shoppers Say Now More Likely to Buy From Bankrupt Auto Brand Kelley Blue Book,, the leading provider of new car and used car information, has announced the results of the latest Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence survey of inmarket new-car shoppers on, detailing consumers' likeliness to buy a car from a bankrupt U.S. auto manufacturer. When asked how likely they would be to buy a car from a U.S. manufacturer if the company were to go bankrupt, in-market new-car shoppers' likelihood improved in May 2009 versus April 2009. In May, 52 percent said they were likely to buy from General Motors if GM were going through bankruptcy versus 47 percent in April. In addition, 31 percent said they were likely to buy from Chrysler if it were going through bankruptcy in May versus 29 percent in April. "The latest Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence data suggests that as consumers have learned more about the special circumstances of the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies, what they have found has reassured them about making such a purchase," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and "While in April new-car shoppers didn't have much information about the bankruptcies of the two companies, by May it was much clearer that the U.S. government would continue to offer aid to the two ailing carmakers, keeping them in operation. This reassured enough buyers to bring a modest improvement in overall likelihood to purchase from Chrysler and GM." The April wave of this Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence study was fielded to 298 in-market new-car shoppers on Kelley Blue Book's from April 3-6, 2009, and the May wave was fielded to 715 in-market new-car shoppers on Kelley Blue Book's kbb. com from May 11-18, 2009.n August 2009

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MKX From Page 13 and short overhangs that give Lincoln MKX its wide, athletic stance. Standard chromed door handles and chromed caps on each side-view mirror add a dramatic finishing touch. Black rocker panels plant the vehicle to the ground, accentuating the standard 18-inch wheels and tires. Customers also can choose 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels for an added touch of upscale flair. Side marker lights cut into the simple, clean fascia and bend around to the side of the vehicle. Chrome-ringed fog lamps integrated into the lower fascia echo the chrometipped dual exhausts. Lincoln’s modern identity is evident in Lincoln MKX’s comfortable, elegant interior, which includes a new allblack and ebony combination for 2009. Lincoln MKX boasts the quietest Lincoln interior yet. In addition to conventional sound-absorbing techniques such as a thick dash pad, laminated windshield and thick side glass, Lincoln MKX blends unique materials to reduce road noise in the acbin. A constrainedlayer barrier is fused to the rear wheelhouses, and sound-deadening material is welded behind exterior trim panels. The interior design is defined by a sweeping instrument panel flowing into a clean, well-organized center stack. Wood and bright nickel accents are carried to the door panels. Interior controls are bathed in Lincoln’s cool-white light for a pleasing nighttime cabin experience. For 2009, a new available ambient interior lighting package offers seven lighting color options to illuminate footwells and cupholders. 30

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Removable dividers in the center console let customers adapt storage space for anything from laptop computers to handbags and CDs. The center con-

sole also features a concealed power point - for a total of four throughout the interior and an MP3 audio jack. Phone and MP3 player cords can be neatly organized, and a slot molded into the console provides power-point access. The interior is surprisingly spacious, defying its sleek exterior shape. Front seats have 10-way power adjustment including power lumbar for both driver and passenger, along with standard heated and cooled features. The second row is sure to make all occupants comfortable with available heated seats, as well as ample headroom and legroom. In addition, the 60/40-split second row features impressive reclining angles of up to 15 degrees. It also folds in one fluid movement, either by the seat-mounted lever or a unique available EasyFold™ remote switch accessible from the liftgate. Lincoln MKX offers 68.7 cubic feet of cargo volume with the rear seats folded. As drivers face more congested roads, Lincoln MKX’s available all-glass Vista Roof™ brings stress relief through its unique outward view and open-air freedom. The Vista Roof™ features a large 27.3-inch by 29.4-inch forward sunroof with a one-touch-open switch for vent and tilt-and-slide operations. Dual power sunshades operate concurrently August 2009

when the driver wants to block out glare. Meanwhile, the fixed 15.75-inch by 31.3-inch rear moon roof gives rearseat viewers an outside view, too. Powered by a 3.5liter DOHC V-6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission, Lincoln MKX is Lincoln’s best example yet of effortless driving performance thanks to its wide stance, four-wheel independent suspension and the brand’s wellhoned driving DNA. Lincoln MKX’s unibody construction provides a strong foundation for the fourwheel independent suspension. The MacPherson-strut front suspension is mounted to an isolated subframe that uses hydro-bushings to reduce unwanted steering wheel vibration. A four-link, independent rear suspension uses stamped steel control blades and monotube shocks for precise suspension tuning. The rear shocks are mounted outboard and behind the wheel center to enhance ride and handling. Lincoln MKX comes standard with four-wheel disc brakes and an anti-lock braking system (ABS). The available intelligent all-wheeldrive (AWD) system is tuned with an emphasis on luxury performance and confident all-weather driving. The system actively and seamlessly delivers torque to all four wheels, even before wheel slippage occurs. An active ondemand coupler delivers the precise amount of torque needed to the rear wheels. Paired with available traction control, intelligent AWD can transfer torque front-to-rear and side-to-side. The advanced six-speed automatic transmission uses a wide 6.04:1 gear ratio, along with multiple clutches for smooth, refined shifts.n

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Southern Automotive Journal  
Southern Automotive Journal  

Southern Automotive Journal provides news trends and perspectives to professionals in the automotive collision industry including, independe...