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By Ryan Beene and Hans Griemel, Automotive News

By AutoWeek Sep 7, 2010 12:33PM

The Mitsubishi ASX, seen here at this year's Geneva motor show, will go on sale in the United States this fall as the Outlander Sport. (Photo courtesy of AutoWeek.)




Major updates to Mitsubishi's products are on the back burner as the company concentrates on developing small cars that can be sold around the world.


That means the future is uncertain for the Galant, Endeavor and Eclipse and Eclipse Spyder, which Mitsubishi builds in the United States.


A top priority is a global small car expected to go on sale here by the end of 2012. Until that debut, a source said, Mitsubishi plans no model changes or additions other than what has been announced: the Outlander Sport, which arrives this fall, and the i-MiEV electric vehicle, expected in late 2011.


Plans for Mitsubishi's existing U.S. lineup are unclear. In July, Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

President Osamu Masuko told Automotive News that the company would decide by year end what to build in the future at its Normal, Ill., plant. The factory now produces the Galant, Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder and Endeavor--all based on the aging PS platform.


Here are the highlights of Mitsubishi's plans:

 

Navteq's 'natural guidance' system.

By Joshua Condon Sep 7, 2010 11:24AM
I've used a bunch of different GPS units, and the basic setup ("in 300 yards, turn left," etc.) is straightforward and plenty easy to use -- though the folks at Navteq don't think so. They've rolled out something called a "natural guidance" system, which aims to mimic the way people give directions to one another. So, for example, the GPS unit will say something like "take a right after the blue building."

Compiling that amount of data seems impossible, but according to the company, it already has enough verbal cues for 10 cities.

I get that GPS companies need to find a way to stand out, but this seems foolhardy to me: As soon as a building changes the color of its awning, or does away with it altogether, one direction has already become obsolete. It doesn't seem as if they could possibly keep up with an ever-changing landscape well enough to ensure that the directions are always correct -- which defeats the whole purpose of a GPS unit.

Check out a commercial for Navteq's natural guidance system after the jump. 

By Ryan Beene, Automotive News

By AutoWeek Sep 7, 2010 9:42AM

The redesigned Mazda 5, with the Nagare design language, will have an updated interior and a more fuel-efficient engine. (Photo courtesy of Mazda.)




The big news at Mazda is a new family of direct-injection gasoline and diesel engines that will start to arrive in 2011.


Mazda will make significant changes to vehicle platforms to accommodate the Sky engines, which will be more powerful and fuel-efficient at lower displacements than the company's current engines.


The first Sky gasoline engine is expected to debut in the United States in 2011. A direct-injection Sky diesel is to appear in 2012.


Mazda won't say which vehicles will get the Sky powertrains first, but the entire lineup will have the updated powertrains by the 2014 or 2015 model year, a source said.

 

Post-Clunkers, auto sales are battered

By Lawrence Ulrich Sep 7, 2010 7:26AM

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata. (Photo courtesy of Hyundai.)The "Cash for Clunkers" program stuck a bandage on a mortally wounded auto industry last summer. Now the bandage is off, but the boo-boo underneath still looks pretty nasty.

 

August car sales showed that until middle-class Americans really get back to work and feel good about their prospects, any return to the good old days of booming car sales -- fueled in part by runaway home values and easy credit -- is wishful thinking.


Auto manufacturers saw August sales fall 21 percent, compared with the same month last year. That’s when dealers were getting carpal tunnel syndrome from writing Cash for Clunkers paperwork as old Explorers and Grand Cherokees guzzled their last, replaced by shiny, high-mileage Civics, Corollas and Focuses. After that new-car blowout, everyone expected a hangover during the same time frame this year -- but no one expected it to be nearly this bad.

 

First images of the Chevy Cruze hatchback.

By Joshua Condon Sep 3, 2010 3:40PM
The hatchback version of the Chevy Cruze. Hey, speaking of the Chevy Cruze (see the post below this one), today saw the release of the first images of the hatchback version, and we have to say -- not bad at all.

Volvo, can you please take note on the properly executed rear end for your C30? I want so much to love that car even more than I do now, but man did you guys make an ugly back view. It's all saggy and dumpy and flat at the same time, while the rest of the car boasts a deceptively sleek, sculpted front and profile. It's like walking past Elin Nordegren, then turning to check her out and seeing Christopher Walken's backside in running shorts.

Anyway, one more shot after the jump. 

GQ interviews GM President Mark Reuss.

By Joshua Condon Sep 3, 2010 1:00PM
Dennis Tang over at GQ has a quick but interesting interview with GM President Mark Reuss. The Chevy Cruze is the jump-off point, though Reuss makes some interesting points covering a wider range of topics, including a possible resurgence of Oldsmobile and Pontiac, American's love -- or lack thereof -- for smaller cars, and the direction of GM. You can read the whole piece here; it's short, but for those looking to get out the door early and enjoy their holiday weekend, here's a rundown of some of Reuss' more interesting observations.
  • Despite Reuss' assertion that GM needs to focus on the new base of core brands Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC, he notes that the models in Pontiac's and Saturn's stables at the time of their shuttering -- Saturn's especially -- were the cars that should have been produced all along.
 

By Izzi Bendall

By AutoWeek Sep 3, 2010 11:25AM

Saying goodbye to summer doesn't have to be stressful. Travel apps like BePut and BeWeather will give you peace of mind this Labor Day weekend. (Photo by Joakim Buchwald.)




Traditional vacation protocol tells us that unplugging from technology is essential for a relaxing holiday.


We beg to differ.


About 31.3 million Americans will be sharing the road this Labor Day Weekend according to AAA--and your smart phone may be just what it takes to save your sanity.

 

Reports say MINI may enter the same 2-door off-road category as Land Rover's Evoque.

By Joshua Condon Sep 3, 2010 10:20AM
The 2011 MINI Countryman. (Photo by Mark Elias/Bloomberg News.)As we reported yesterday, Land Rover will roll out its Range Rover Evoque 2-door SUV in fall of next year -- and it looks like MINI might be planning a competitor the form of a Countryman off-road coupe.

The first version of the 4-wheel-drive Countryman, of course, isn't slated to hit until Sept. 18, and then only in Europe. (We should see models stateside in February). Third-generation MINIs, expected in about three years, are slated to share a BMW platform for small front-wheel-drive cars with 4-cylinder engines. 

Contributors

  • Cliff Atiyeh

    Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
    In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)

  • Doug Newcomb

    Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
    In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V

  • James Tate

    James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
    In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5

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