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Archived Auto News and Events for August 2008

Toyota Lowers Sales Forecast
Although Toyota , is locked in a showdown with General Motors to become the largest automaker in the world, the company has proved unable to escape the consequences of global economic shifting.
GM Expands Operations in India
On Thursday, August 27, General Motors was set to sign an agreement with the western Indian state of Maharashtra to open an engine and transmission plant to be located in Talegaon.
Gas Prices Continue Steady Retreat
Since July, the per gallon price of gasoline, as surveyed by AAA, has fallen 44.7 cents and now sits at $3.667 for regular unleaded.

The data, compiled by AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, indicates a 10 percent pull back in price levels since the July 17th record of $4.114.
BMW Announces Second Price Hike
Today BMW of North America LLC announced a 2.1 percent price increase across its entire 2009 model line in the United States, the second such sticker hike since a 1 percent boost on the 2008s in June.
Cadillac to Bring Four-Cylinder Sedan to U.S.
Cadillac , has announced plans to introduce a small, RWD sedan with a four-cylinder engine for late 2010 as a 2011 model, but the company remains undecided about including a V-6 version.
Federal Loans Help US Automakers Retool To Build More Small Cars
Federal Loans that are available to automakers thanks to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and more recent legislation, are a hot item lately, with the auto industry's need to quickly retool to increase the manufacture of smaller economy cars.
Plug-In Hybrids Promise 80 MPG Fuel Efficiency For City Driving
The US Energy Department is offering automakers incentives to develop plug-in technology for hybrids , allowing them to run up to 40 miles on electric power before needing to run on their gasoline engines.
Small Crossover SUVs Improve In IIHS Crash Tests
IIHS crash test results recently released show strides being made by some small crossover SUVs in crash tests. The Ford Escape , Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue and Volkswagen Tiguan all achieved a rating of "Top Safety Pick", the best ranking.
Gas Prices at $3.73 a Gallon Nationwide
The national per gallon price for regular gasoline, according to figures compiled by AAA, now stands at $3.730 down from $3.741 yesterday (August 18). One month ago the level stood at $4.077.
Toyota Keeps Employees at Idled Plants at Considerable Cost
Although some 4,500 Toyota , employees now work at idled facilities, they will not lose their jobs, an action the company describes as putting into action the ethics it has long espoused.
New Fuel Efficient Jeep Coming From Chrysler
Two new pieces of truck news, and a hint about a new subcompact car, have come from Chrysler , today.

First, the Michigan-based company has announced that the next generation of their Jeep Grand Cherokee (to be released for the 2010 model year) will feature a fuel-efficient V6 engine and unibody construction.
Ford Begins Production of New Fiesta
On Thursday, August 14, Ford began production of the new Fiesta, a small car destined for global sales and meant to serve as a blueprint for future product development.
Honda Plans Hybrid-Only for North America
In a bid to go head-to-head with the popular Toyota Prius , Honda Motor Co. plans to introduce a five-door hybrid, priced under the Prius to the North American market in 2009.
GM to Extend XFE to Trucks, SUVs
For the 2009 model year, General Motors will extend the fuel-economy improvements seen in the Cobalt XFE to the Chevy Silverado and Tahoe, and GMC Sierra and Yukon.
Toyota May Export Trucks and SUVs Made in the U.S.
As North American sales for trucks and SUVs continue to decline, Toyota Motor Corp. is considering making the U.S. its export base for overseas shipments of the Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV.
J.D. Power Says Vehicles More Dependable for 2008
According to a study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates the dependability of vehicles across the industry improved 4.6 percent in 2008.

The survey looked at 38 brands, which averaged 206 problems per 100 units during the third year of ownership, down 10 problems from 2007.
Toyota Reports First Quarter Losses
Joining the ranks of automakers stung by high gasoline prices and changing consumer preferences, Toyota , Motor Corp. reported a 38.9 percent drop in operating profit on Thursday, Aug.
Gasoline Prices Continue to Fall
For the 20th day, gasoline prices fell, standing at $3.862 per gallon nationwide for regular, a welcome 25 cent relief from the July 16 record of $4.114.
Oil Falls Below $120 with Gas at $3.871
On Tuesday, August 5 oil prices dipped below $120 a barrel in anticipation of an afternoon decision by the Federal Reserve on key interest rates.

The Federal Reserve will likely leave the rate at 2 percent, an indication of continued economic problems for the United States and a further decline in the overall demand for crude products.
Chrysler Hard Hit in July
Chrysler LLC's July financial report placed it at the head of a grim list of big losses for the automotive industry with a decline of 28.8 percent to only 98,109 vehicles sold.
GM Posts Fifth Quarterly Loss in a Row
Feeling the effect of the high price of gasoline and rapid changes in consumer preferences, General Motors posted a massive second quarter loss of $15.5 billion on Friday, August 1.
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