Auto News for Dec. 10

An insurance group is out with its annual list of the safest cars you can buy, and almost 50 of them got a top rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said Toyota leads manufacturers with nine Top Safety Pick+ winners, while Honda picked up eight, Volkswagen/Audi has seven and Subaru six. The Chrysler 200 was the only domestic model to qualify for the top award.

Fiat Chrysler may be facing a $70 million fine from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for its alleged failure to disclose vehicle injury and crash reports. A formal announcement may come today according to Reuters, which first reported the story. Auto makers must report a large amount of data to the NHTSA regarding accidents, according to the Detroit News. You might remember that FCA last summer paid $105 million fine regarding its handling of vehicle recalls.

The 650-hp, 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is one of the most capable vehicles on the market, capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in only 2.95 seconds, achieving 1.2 g in cornering acceleration, and braking from 60-0 mph in just 99.6 feet.

The high performance Corvette Z06 has been a hot seller, so GM is going to invest $44 million in its Bowling Green assembly plant to increase production. GM said the Z06 accounts for nearly one-third of all Corvettes sold. It carries a starting price of $80,395 that can reach close to $100,000, packs a 650 horsepower V8 with 650 lb-ft of torque, and delivered a brisk 0-60 of 3 seconds flat in Car& Driver testing.

Recent reviews of BMW’s have lamented that they have gone a bit soft, falling a bit shy of the more taught performance handling of the past. How that affected sales? Not a whit. Worldwide sales rose nearly 5 percent last month with over 2 million vehicles delivered so far in 2015. The vehicles with the biggest sales gains were the BMW 2 Series and the 4 Series Grand Coupe.

Subaru has hosted a ground breaking ceremony for its new U.S. headquarters in Camden, New Jersey. It will develop a $118 million dollar facility and remain in the state where it has been headquartered for almost 50 years. Suby expects to move into the new digs in 2017.

Eighty-eight percent of consumers polled said if they were to consider a used car, they would be willing to pay more for a “certified pre-owned vehicle,” according to Edmunds.com. The poll comes at a time when pre-owned sales at an all-time high. On average, they are priced at $1,400 more than your typical used vehicle. Most have undergone a minimum 100-point inspection in which any mechanical and body issues have presumably been addressed.

And for all you sports fans, Acura announced it has placed an ad that will appear in the first quarter of the Super Bowl. And Hyundai has signed a sponsorship deal with both the Minnesota Vikings and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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