Auto News for April 3 – Tesla’s Record & a Mini That Cooks!

 Welcome back baseball. This is Auto News because your author is a baseball fan and lots of people drive to the park! Plus it is a welcome sign of spring even if some fields had to be shoveled out.

 Tesla delivered just over 25,000 vehicles in the first quarter, and that is a record. That breaks down to 11,550 Model X and 13,450 Model S vehicles approximately. Tesla now turns its attention to the lower priced Model 3. Production will begin in July if current schedules hold.

 Up early this morning was Honda. It reported total March sales of 137,227 vehicles, down a fraction from one year earlier. Honda itself sold 1.8 percent more vehicles, but Acura sales fell 21.2 percent to drag down the total. Hot sellers were the Honda CR-V and the smaller HR-V.

 On average, consumers paid $34,342 for their new ride last month, a gain of $587 from March 2016. Compared to February, prices paid fell 0.4 percent, according to Kelly Blue Book.  “While numbers for automakers are mostly flat to slightly positive, there are signs of weakness in some popular vehicle segments. Perhaps most notably, the full-size truck segment is down 2 percent year-over-year, a rare occurrence for this category, which has seen large price improvements over the last few years. Also, transaction prices for subcompact SUVs, one of last year’s hottest segments, are down 3 percent as demand for the small utility vehicles appears to be leveling off,” said Tim Fleming, a KBB analyst.

 Fiat Chrysler will begin full production of the Pacifica Hybrid on April 7th with shipping to dealers starting on April 17. “We are taking great care to ensure that the Pacifica Hybrid comes off the line with the highest quality possible. We will only introduce a vehicle when we are fully satisfied the vehicle meets or exceeds customer expectations,” FCA said.

 Called “America’s First-Ever Hybrid Minivan” it is said to have a range of 33 miles in full electric mode, and a driving range of 566 miles. The lithium-ion battery can be fully charged in two hours with the available 24-volt charger.

 You probably have heard about the John Cooper Works Mini, but soon buyers of the convertible model will be able to add a John Cooker package. As you can see in the picture this turns the little car into a mobile street vendor. With a solid oak food sales and preparation surface along with an induction cooker with hood. Getting into the business will cost you $1,959 for the Cooker package. I read through the entire press release, and saw no mention that this is kind of a left over April Fool’s joke. Nope. This is for real.  



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