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The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention state that in 2011, 2,650 kids in the US were killed in car accidents and 292,000 were sent to the emergency room. The most important thing we can do is teach young drivers how to drive properly.

Kia Motors, fresh off the New York auto show debut of its new Optima show, will continue to partner with BRAKES (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) teen driving school in 2015 to offer free training for new drivers. The program is expanding to San Francisco and Boston, which join a selection of other cities, listed below.

Kia is the official vehicle and presenting sponsor of the BRAKES teen driving school.

According to some scary reports, at any given time, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving and drivers under 20 have the largest proportion of fatal accidents involving distracted driving. Even for folks who don’t take the course, Kia and BRAKES want to raise awareness.

The BRAKES curriculum covers five main topics:

Accident Avoidance/Slalom is a two-part course that simulates an animal jumping out in front of a car. Students have to make an evasive lane change, focusing on weight transfer and hand positioning. We call it the moose test.

Distracted Driving demonstrates the dangers that cell phones, texting and other behaviors can pose while driving.

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The life of a new graduate is expensive. There are student loans, rent, food and cell phone bills to pay for. Graduation is a transition for students from the comfortable life of class to working full-time. A cost effective car to get them to work and back while being stylish is important for new grads.

Moving up is an ideal time to move on and scrap the old clunker that may have sufficed for a student, but just seems shabby for an up and coming mover and/or shaker. Fortunately, the range of models in today’s new-car market is so broad, those entering a new-car dealer’s showroom for the first time can choose from an ample selection of affordable makes and models that can stir the soul and be kind to the pocketbook while transporting an owner from the proverbial Point A to Point B.

How affordable? The personal finance website GOBankingRates recently compiled a compelling list of 30 cars from the 2015 model year that can be purchased and financed for under $300 a month. Actually, most of the models on the list can be had for a monthly nut of less than $250, with a few – including the Nissan Versa, Chevrolet Spark and Mitsubishi Mirage coming in with payments under $200. That’s a new car for what is essentially the cost of stopping at Starbucks each day on the way to the office.

We’re featuring 30 2015/2016 cars GOBankingRates determined can be financed for less than $300 a month (at least in their base versions) in the accompanying slide show, with estimated payments noted for each.

These models run the gamut from the small and economical (Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio and Ford Fiesta) to the expressive (Dodge Dart, Kia Soul and Fiat 500) and the downright aggressive (Jeep Renegade, Nissan Frontier and Hyundai Veloster). The selection even includes a fuel-saving gas/electric-powered hybrid car, the Toyota Prius c.

Of course one doesn’t have to be a recent graduate to appreciate a new car at an affordable price, so each of these models possesses broad appeal for the budget minded of all ages.

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Lamborghini, Ferrari and Bugatti are some brands that create the most coveted and wanted cars in North America, however only a select few drivers can afford these types of cars. The Joneses set a high standard to follow when it comes to these select few.

Maybe a Hennessey Venom GT, for a suggested retail price of $1.2 million, would represent a step ahead of the Joneses. Hennessey says its 1,244-hp Venom GT set a Guinness World Book-sanctioned record time of 13.63 seconds from zero to 300 kilometers per hour, or 186 mph, in January 2013. However, anyone who wants to buy one better move fast, pun intended. The company plans to build a total of only 29 units, and 11 have already been sold, including just five in the United States.

No. 1 on our list of the 10 Most Expensive Cars for 2014 is the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, which retails for $4.5 million — if you can get one. Lamborghini says it plans to build only nine of them in 2014.

Next year could be a good one for the exotic automobile industry. Wall Street bonuses could be 5% to 10% higher than last year when they are handed out in early 2014, according to Johnson Associates, and that’s a prime source of buyers for high-end automobiles. Exotic-car dealers keep close track of the stock markets, since that’s where many of their customers get their disposable income, whether those customers are shareholders or captains of industry.

The automotive upper-upper crust also includes traditional brands whose names ring a bell like Bugatti and Ferrari. British brands Rolls-Royce and Bentley are also traditional choices, although they are not in the business of hair-raising performance at all costs.

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The self-driving car looks to be the future of safer driving. Accidents due to road rage, speeding and distracted driving could drop drastically thanks to this new technology.

Self-driving cars could generate billions of dollars a year in revenue from mobile Internet services and products, even if occupants spend only a fraction of their free time on the web, according to a new study by McKinsey & Company.

The study, released Thursday, also projects that widespread adoption of self-driving cars could lead to a 90 percent reduction in U.S. vehicle crashes, with a potential savings of nearly $200 billion a year from significantly fewer injuries and deaths.

In addition, the McKinsey study warns of several risks to established companies, including vehicle manufacturers, dealers and even insurance companies.

McKinsey projects that future owners of self-driving cars could save up to 50 minutes a day, some of which is likely to be spent surfing the web.

The consulting firm estimates the additional free time in the car could generate about $5.6 billion a year in digital revenue for each additional minute that vehicle occupants spend on the internet – as much as $140 billion if half their free time in the car, or roughly 25 minutes, is devoted to daily web surfing and shopping.

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Kumar Galhotra is now the new Lincoln President.  Ford Motor Co.’s top engineer, was named president of the Lincoln brand today, a new position that reports directly to CEO Mark Fields, in another management change designed to jumpstart sales at the luxury brand.

Jim Farley, executive vice president of global sales, service and marketing, has directed Lincoln since 2012, and will continue to oversee Ford’s sales, service and marketing operations, but will also have a role in Lincoln’s marketing and product plans, Ford said today.

“Now is the right time to have a dedicated global leader for the brand,” Ford spokeswoman Susan Krusel said today.

She said it was Farley who recommended to Ford’s board of directors that Lincoln get a “totally dedicated leader.”

Galhotra, 48, has been Ford’s vice president of engineering since August 2013. He will oversee all Lincoln operations worldwide, including product development; marketing, sales and service; and all team members under the Lincoln brand.

The change is effective Sept. 1.  Fields, who took the reins at Ford on July 1 after the retirement of Alan Mulally, said the move makes clear the company is “serious about Lincoln.”

“Now is the right time for the next chapter in accelerating Lincoln as a world-class luxury brand,” Fields said in a statement. “Kumar has more than 25 years of global product and business experience, including leading engineering for all of our Lincoln vehicles today. Being our dedicated senior Lincoln leader will serve our clients, employees and dealers extremely well going forward.”  How will this new leadership affect the brand?


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GM announced today that they are recalling more then 500,000 cars sold in the United States.  This includes the iconic Camaro.

The Camaro recall was prompted by an ignition switch problem similar to the one that bedeviled models such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion, but GM said the switch meets all engineering specifications and is unrelated to the ignition system used in the cars included in the previous recall of 2.6 million vehicles.

The Camaro recall affects 464,712 vehicles sold in the United States from the 2010-14 model years, and another 46,816 sold in foreign markets such as Canada and Mexico.

GM said that a driver’s knee can bump the key fob and knock the ignition switch out of the “run” position, cutting power to the engine. The company said it knows of three crashes, resulting in four minor injuries, that may have been caused by this condition.

GM said it discovered the key’s potential to be knocked out of position during internal testing this year after the Cobalt controversy began.

The automaker will make the key and fob independent from each other. The current design conceals the key within the fob; the key is released from the fob with the press of a button.

“Discovering and acting on this issue quickly is an example of the new norm for product safety at GM,” Jeff Boyer, the company’s newly appointed vice president of global safety, said in a statement.

The latest round of recalls brings GM’s total for the year to 38 actions affecting 16.5 million vehicles, including 14.4 million vehicles sold in the United States.  Reports confirm that many consumers are losing trust in this automotive powerhouse, they will need to regain that trust my next quarter in order to increase their market share.

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This week Mazda released the details on their newly released Mazda Miata.  This Miata is to commemorate the 25th anniversary.    $32,205. That’s how much you’ll pay for the Mazda Miata 25th Anniversary Edition in America, if you’re one of the scant 100 buyers who wishes to spring for the most expensive, most exclusive Miata yet.

What do you get for the expense? You get a soul red Miata that’s top-of-the-line, with tan leather seats and a hand-painted dashboard. You get an MZR engine whose parts have been handpicked for a boost in performance. You get a numbered plaque and the tantalizing possibility of collector value. You get exclusive aluminum pedals. (Aluminum!) And you get a sweet wristwatch.

In addition to the car, Anniversary Edition buyers will receive a Tourneau watch, the in-house brand of the luxury watch retailer. A Swiss-made watch with Miata and 25th Anniversary logos, it is powered by a 25-jewel ETA 2824-2 movement, ETA’s most common automatic, and includes a clear caseback to show off the damaskeening detail. The 42mm diameter watch is also held together by an Italian leather strap with red stitching. A winding box is included with the automatic watch to avoid the ignobility of setting it yourself.

This is the second time Mazda has included a watch with a very special Miata: back in 1999 the 10th Anniversary Miata came with his-and-hers Seikos, and the gift sets still pop up on eBay from time to time.

Back then, that 10th Anniversary went for the highest MSRP ever asked for a Miata: $26,875. Many of the 7,500 languished on dealer lots. With just 100 brought to America this time, Mazda might have learned its lesson in scarcity while still getting away with a suitably lofty MSRP. Or perhaps its the watch that everyone is after not the car?


To read the full article go to : www.autoweek.com

AT&T reports it has made car-connected software to an undisclosed automaker.

AT&T Inc., the largest U.S. phone company, said it reached a deal with a global automaker to add to its ranks of customers looking to bring connectivity to cars.

The carmaker, based outside Asia, will have vehicles using AT&T’s wireless services in markets including China in a matter of weeks, said Joe Mosele, an AT&T vice president for devices including connected autos. He declined to name the automaker.

Automakers are competing for drivers looking to be connected while in their vehicles. Technology to do that is the top selling point for 39 percent of auto buyers, more than twice the 14 percent who say their first consideration is traditional performance measures such as power and speed, according to a study consulting firm Accenture released in December.

AT&T said last year that all Tesla cars would come equipped with its network chips, which allow two-way connections for services such as roadside assistance and stolen-vehicle location. The Tesla service also would include Internet access, navigation and entertainment on a 17-inch touch screen. Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.

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It is Valentines Day in Italy.

Some Fiat employees at two Italian factories got a surprise last week: their foreign-made cars from brands such as Volkswagen and Peugeot had been “wrapped up” in a giant plastic bag, with a Valentine heart on top. The message in Italian translated into: “Seeing you with someone else breaks my heart. But we’re still thinking of you anyways.” The message was printed on top of a red heart with a crack running from top to bottom.

No, it wasn’t a jilted lover. It was a promotional campaign created by Fiat’s marketing office, along with public relations agency So Simple, to try to entice employees at its in factories in Mirafiori, near Turin, and Pomigliano, near Naples, to take advantage of a special discount on new Fiats.

As the puzzled employees pulled the plastic from their cars, they were approached by members of the agency’s staff who handed them brochures outlining a 1,000-euro discount that is now being offered in addition to Fiat’s standard employee discount, which is 12 percent to 26 percent depending on the model.

Automakers around the world offer their employees generous discounts on new cars, and frown on seeing cars from rival brands in their parking lots. But few automakers have gone as far to try to woo their own workers.

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Follow the tips below to learn how to play the game and win.

Yes friends, the end-of-summer auto clearances are beginning in earnest as dealerships across the nation fight to “move metal,” making way for the 2014 model year. Dealers are dropping prices and manufacturers are ramping up a new batch of 0% financing deals on many current models.

There’s a whole lot of money floating in that new car smell and tucked tidily in the seats. Never forget, in the world of automobiles, the dealer wins by netting as much of your money as possible. Every deal point needs to be carefully thought out and vigorously negotiated. You win by knowing the rules of the sport and making them fight for every dollar.

While it’s true that getting a good price is a big part of the hunt, the biggest, most important, super-secret strategy to turn the stealth hunter (them) into the prey: stand tough and fight to maximize your dollar throughout the process.

Read the full article here: