Auto News for July 28

Chrysler Group LLC Fiat 500L-VansChrysler Group LLC Fiat 500L-Vans

Fiat is showing off what it calls the 500L-Van design concept. It makes one wonder if this could be the modern day VW flower van if Fiat ever decides to add it to the lineup. After all, this rather unique Fiat made its debut at the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California. That thing on the roof is a basket and double decker surfboard carrier.

The first known national ad about a car appeared at the end of July 1898 in the Scientific American magazine. It was an ad for the Winton Motor Carriage and carried a headline that said, “Dispense with a horse.” That little morsel comes from the Census Bureau.

Friday will be a big day for automakers and a happy one. They will release what virtually all forecasters believe will be robust July sales figures. Sales are expected to hit more than 16 million on yearly basis and Kelley Blue Book predicts they could be up 11.6 percent from a year earlier. Among the Detroit three, Chrysler sales may post the biggest gain – about 22 percent higher.

It was a strong first quarter for Nissan with sales up 10 percent worldwide and a net profit that exceeded analyst expectations. Strong demand here in the states for the redesigned Rogue and the Altima helped the old bottom line.

FYI, Kelley Blue also claims that auto companies who advertised during World Cup broadcasts saw a sharp upturn in consumer interest. KBB said Kia, VW, Hyundai and Nissan saw a spike in consumer inquires on its site.

The 2015 Volks GTI was named the winner of the “Cheap Speed Challenge” – a comparison of under $30,000 performance cars. Cars.com said the GTI outperformed most cars in just about every test it conducted and they called it “seriously fun-to-drive.” Most would agree.

 

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