Week in Review: The Future of the Industry and Some Blights of Today
Last week's Los Angeles Auto Show has kept us busy, even now. And in about a month, we're going to be doing it again in Detroit. Needless to say, none of us are getting a whole lot of rest these days. This week, we've shifted gears a little, focusing on a little survey we did, Car Confessions, that provides insight on how people treat their cars. We also looked at the future of Lincoln, er, we mean the Lincoln Motor Company, and delved into what makes a truck truly outstanding with our sister publication Motor Trend awarding its annual Truck of the Year award. Below is our recap from the best of this past week. Monday, December 3 When did you get your first car? Did you give it a name? Does your current car have a name? These are just some of the questions we asked 1,000 survey takers in our Car Confessions poll. We all have quirks when it comes to our ownership experience. I, for instance, have named both of the cars I've owned. Nothing too fancy or elaborate—my plastic-bodied Saturn was named, appropriately enough, PlastiCar. But sometimes you wonder if you're the only person who has the same sorts of quirks; you're not. Check our our Car Confessions to get the lowdown on the habits of the driving populace. Tuesday, December 4 Lincoln doesn't want to be the brand of octogenarians and limousines anymore. It wants to get its 65-year-old average buyer age down and reinvent itself in the same way Burberry has—not any sort of automaker. In fact, when our Matt Askari sat down with the new director of Lincoln, Matt vanDyke, he was told, "we’re not going to stick a car on the Nurburgring and try and out-BMW BMW with our products," a not-so-subtle jab at Cadillac with the new ATS sports sedan. Will it work? Can Lincoln make a comeback when its products are all based on other Ford products? Read Askari's story for more insight into the future of the automaker. Wednesday, December 5 Last week, Hyundai was busy showing off its new seven-passenger version of its Santa Fe crossover. But this week has been a different story already. In Korea, pictures of the revised 2014 Hyundai Genesis midsize luxury car emerged; here in the U.S., we caught our first look at the updated Hyundai Equus full-size luxury sedan, though. Seen near Hyundai's headquarters in California, the Equus looks to have revised headlights, front bumper, and fan-blade-style wheels. While not much can be seen underneath the heavy vinyl camouflage, it looks as though the 2014 Equus will have revised styling cues to more closely resemble the "fluidic sculpture" design language currently seen on cars like the Hyundai Elantra GT. Bonus: In case you missed it, here's our first Quick Drive of the 2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0-liter EcoBoost and the BMW 4 Series coupe concept—what used to be called a 3 Series coupe. Thursday, December 6 Back-to-back-to-back, our sister publication Motor Trend awards three of the most prestigious awards in the auto industry. SUV and Car of the Year awards have already gone out, but Truck of the Year finally made its way to light. For 2013, Motor Trend has named the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup truck its TOTY recipient, beating out a short list that also featured the 2013 Ford F-150 EcoBoost and Nissan NV Passenger Van. Unlike cars, trucks gestate for nearly a decade between redesigns, making the field a lot shallower than car and sport utility contests. Still, with an eight-speed automatic transmission, 25 mpg on the highway, and an available air suspension, there's a good chance the Ram would have walked away with its title whether there was a crowded field of competitors or not. Friday, December 7 Ford hasn't had an easy week. After having to recall its EcoBoost 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine in Ford Fusion and Ford Escape models and questioning as to whether its hybrids can actually achieve their advertised 47 mpg fuel economy ratings, Ford suffers yet another setback. Ford is recalling nearly 20,000 Fusions from the 2013 model year for faulty headlights whose low beam projector headlights can become foggy. That could make them ineffective. Being in Ford's Dearborn PR office right now cannot be fun. If it's any consolation, though, at least Ford's vehicles don't have steering issues, which is something BMW has been battling this week.
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