Auto News for Aug. 22

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Matthew McConaughey has signed up to act as pitchman for the new Lincoln MKC, the luxury version of the Ford Escape. Far more fun is the return of the Kia Hamsters to promote the new all electric Soul. The 60 second ad debuts on the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday and is set to Maroon 5’s “Animals” that should get you up and moving in seconds.  But don’t wait for the show. See it now at:

http://www.kia.com/us/en/content/landing-pages/kia-soul-hamster-dance

Kia said the electric Soul is good for 80-100 miles on a full charge with a 28 kWh lithium ion polymer battery powering an 81 kw electric motor.

Ford is recalling Focus ST and Escape models from 2013-14 to repair a wiring problem that could cause the engine to hesitate or stall. Ford is also recalling more than 600 Focus and C-Max hybrids from the model year 2014 to replace the steering gear. Officials said none of the affected cars have been sold to customers.

Have Cadillac officials been listening to the “Lullaby of Broadway”? New Brand Chief Johan de Nysschen is said by Reuters to be considering opening up some offices in Manhattan to give the brand some distance from what can be, in the car world, a rather insular Detroit culture.

LMC Automotive says Ford will be out with a Prius challenger in model year 2019 that will help the Blue Oval meet ever increasing fuel economy standards. LMC said this could be expanded into a whole new lineup of cars. Ford said only that it does not comment on future models.

If you could not make it to the Woodward Dream Cruise you can still savor more than 200 pictures of the wonderful cars that were there. Check out the Detroit News web site for details on its new e-book for Kindle and Apple devices for just $2.99.

The 2015 Honda Fit did not do well in a test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This is the so-called offset front end collision where a corner of the front end strikes an object such as a utility pole. Engineers went to work making changes to the front bumper structure, paid for a retest, and the little Fit earned the second to the top rating from the insurance group. Honda will install the upgrades on all 2015 Fits for free.

J.D. Power and LMC predict that demand for new vehicles will hit a yearly high when August sales figures are released. Total light vehicle sales are expected to reach nearly 1.5 million, a three percent gain year over year. The company said consumer spending on new vehicles will approach $39 billion “the highest level on record for the month of August.” The average sales price is predicted to be $29,300.

A 1921 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Saloon used in the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” will be auctioned off on Labor Day weekend. The car will hit the block at the Auctions America annual event in Indiana, a holiday weekend tradition that dates back four decades.

 

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