Auto News for June 2

Here is the latest on the “Top Gear” hosts in what is becoming a bit of a soap opera. Britain’s “Independent” newspaper speculates that James May and Richard Hammond each has been offered big bucks to return to the show that would feature a different guest host each week. It pointed out that while the two have publically offered their loyalty to the ousted Jeremy Clarkson they have not resigned from the BBC that produces the show.

Fiat Chrysler said sales rose four percent in May for its 62nd consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Jeep sales rose 13 percent last month while Ram truck sales gained 12 percent. Dodge did not do as well with sales off 22 percent while Fiat sales were off 19 percent.

A reminder to check back later for updates on the May auto sales figures that will trickle out as the day rolls along.

Kelley Blue Book said new car prices increased 4.3 percent last month with the estimated average transaction price now at $33,363. It said with the price of gasoline remaining low compared to recent years, “truck and SUV demand remains strong.”

The SYNC 3 home screen features three zones, Navigation, Audio and Phone, as well as a quick access function tray along the bottom making for a more straight-forward user experience.

It has been no secret that Ford’s Sync infotainment system has been roundly criticized from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Now Ford has announced that a new system, Sync 3, will debut on the 2016 Escape and Fiesta. Microsoft is out and Panasonic and QNX are in and the interface is different. The home screen will feature three zones, Navigation, Audio and Phone.

Ford also announced it will shorten its summer shutdown from the traditional two weeks to one week for a majority of North American assembly plants. It said it made the move due to consumer demand for its F-Series trucks, Edge, Escape, and Explorer models. The shorter shutdown will enable the production of close to 40,000 additional units, Ford said.





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