Auto News for Nov. 25

Auto News for Nov. 25

A happy Thanksgiving wish for you all!

Due to the expected lack of news over the holiday, the Auto News column will resume on Monday Nov. 30.

However, the Saturday Road Test feature will appear.

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Heavy mountain snow is forecast today for the western United States and the white stuff may spread to the Central Plains by tomorrow. Yet a Harris Poll shows Americans will log a combined national average of 25 billion miles on the road to visit loved ones and friends during the holiday season. We will spend an estimated $52 billion on travel during that time period. Most will drive about 147 miles, yet 71 percent said they are nervous driving when it’s icy and snow puts 45 percent on edge.  So make sure you car or truck is ready with winter tires, ice scrapers, a shovel, that fluid levels are up to snuff, (the car’s, not yours,) and your windshield wipers are up to the wintertime task.

Imagine you left work and found all your holiday shopping complete and waiting for you in your car? All you have to do is drive the stuff home. Volvo has teamed up with some retailers and a logistics supplier in Sweden to have Christmas toys, gifts, food and drinks delivered to its vehicles. As a result, you will miss crowds of stressed people, the hunt for a parking space, clerks who do not know how to ring up a sale, and all the other less desirable aspects of holiday shopping. Volvo owners just choose the in-car delivery option at the online checkout when they buy their gifts. A digital key is used to gain one-time access to the vehicle, owners receive a notification that the goods have been delivered and just drive home with them. Volvo said the concept may one day spread to the U.S.

There have been predictions in the European press that the Volkswagen diesel pollution matter might spur further development of all-electric cars and spell the demise of the diesel engine. Audi of America President Scott Keogh said by the year 2025 at least 25 percent of its sales will come from electric vehicles. It will launch a plug-in hybrid later this year and a full electric SUV by 2018. And early next year, the redesigned Toyota Prius will hit U.S. showrooms.

 

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