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Archived Auto News and Events for June 2009

Flying Car is a True Roadworthy Aircraft Created by MIT Engineers
Able to cruise with a top air speed of 115 mph, the "Transition" roadable aircraft has a ceiling of 10,000 feet and a range of 460 miles. On the road, the amazing vehicle folds up its wings and can turn into a car in just 30 seconds.
Japan's Top Auto Manufacturing Plant Makes Lexus GS, IS, LS460 and 600h
Having workers pass through an air shower to remove dust hints at the rigorous quality control measures which have merited the Tahara plant the status as the top auto manufacturing facility in Japan.
Rental Car Reservations Increase Seen as Positive Sign for Auto Industry
With the effects of the recession missing no segment of the economy, the rental car industry has had its share of rough times; now there is an apparent glimmer of hope on the horizon.
Chevrolet Camaro Bumblebee Buzzes Beijing for Transformers 2 Opening in China
A drive through the streets of Beijing took place by a group of Chevrolet Camaro "Bumblebee" look-alikes recently. The unusual event was organized by fans of the movie "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen" and aficionados of the Chevrolet Camaro.
GM Segway PUMA EV for Clean, Cheap Urban Transportation
After filing for bankruptcy protection recently, GM has turned its efforts toward electric alternatives , including development of its prototype PUMA electric vehicle.
2010 Buick LaCrosse Rolls Out a 4-Cylinder, 30-MPG 4-Door Sedan
Hoping to offer a more fuel efficient choice in its flagship luxury sedan for 2010, Buick predicts that about 25 percent of new LaCrosse buyers will opt for the 182-horsepower 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine.
30 MPG from a 430-hp Corvette in Hypermiling Test
Even the base model Chevrolet Corvette is no shrinking violet in the performance department; with its 430-hp, 0-60 in 4.5 seconds specs. Popular Mechanics recently surprised almost everyone when it ran a fuel efficiency test on the beast, which did better than 30-mpg.
Self-healing Car Paint Repairs Scratches by Itself
After development is completed in a few years, researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi predict they will have a polyurethane coat which can be applied to car finishes which will heal itself of scratches by exposure to ultraviolet light.
Road Rage Best and Worst Cities Survey Has New Winners
A recent survey by the AutoVantage Car Club selected the worst and the best cities for impolite, aggressive, and hostile drivers in America. Tabulated annually, this year's worst city for "road rage" is New York City, New York, while the most polite city this year is Portland, Oregon.
Gas Prices, Slow U.S. Economy Hinder Honda Insight Sales
The tough competition from Toyota's Prius combined with the continued economic slump is causing American Honda Motor Executive Vice President John Mendel to redefine his prediction for sales of the Honda Insight in the U.S.
Buy a New Car Get a Tax Break
Buying a new car just got a little less expensive in states without sales tax. The U.S. Treasury just expanded its policy of allowing a tax break on new car purchases equal to the amount new car buyers pay in sales tax to states without sales tax.
Mini-cars High Repair Costs for Minor Fender-benders
Minor collisions or fender-benders can result in expensive repair costs for a number of the newly-introduced mini-cars, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Chrysler Completes Sale of Assets to Fiat
As the final step in its restructuring, Chrysler LLC issued 20 percent equity interest in its strongest assets to Fiat. The Obama administration has been directing Chrysler's reorganization in which the automaker will jettison its weaker assets by sale or closure.
GM Medium-Duty Trucks Worker Buy-Out, Opening Battery Test Facility
GM, merely one week after filing Chapter 11, is moving rapidly to dump unprofitable assets, including its medium-duty trucks, the Chevy Kodiak and GMC Topkick.
Tata Nano For Sale in U.S. by 2012, Price: $4000
Called "The world's cheapest car," at a price of $2000; the Tata Nano from India was developed to serve the needs of emerging nations. In its current state of economic chaos, the U.S.
GM's Saturn to be Bought by Penske Automotive
As part of its restructuring agreement with bankruptcy officials, GM announced that it has found a buyer for its Saturn brand, Penske Automotive. At an estimated price between $100 and $200 million, Penske plans to offer new contracts to the existing 350 Saturn dealerships, effectively preserving 13,000 jobs.
Toyota to Increase Production Sees Market Rebounding
Toyota plans to boost production by 65,000 more units of its Camry, Corolla, Sienna, RAV4, Tacoma and Tundra models, according to Automotive News. Bob Carter, general manager of Toyota's North American Division expressed optimism at the sales numbers for May, having improved over the month before.
Chinese Firm to Buy Hummer from GM
The closure of so many of GM's production facilities will result in the loss thousands of jobs. One ray of sunlight broke through as China's Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co.
Car Part Suppliers Brace for Plummeting Demand from Automakers
The auto parts supply base is about to be challenged as GM and other carmakers cease production for up to nine weeks this summer and emerge with a strategy of decreased production and decreased need for car parts.
Ford Increases Production of Cars and Trucks
The first meaningful production increase in two years, Ford Motor Company announced today that it will boost production by 10 percent. When gas hit $4.00 per gallon last year, Ford quit production of its venerable F-150, and part of the current production increase will be to meet the continued demand for the pickup truck.
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