By Lauren Abdel-Razzaq, Automotive News
General Motors Co. says that Powermat USA will design cordless charging systems for use inside future GM vehicles.
Also, the automaker's venture capital subsidiary, GM Ventures, will invest $5 million in the wireless charging technology startup to accelerate development and help the business expand globally.
Powermat CEO Ran Poliakine declined to comment on how large a stake GM is taking in his company but said it is more of a symbolic investment.
“The commercial agreement, which is not specified, is clearly a much larger number,” Poliakine said. “This is an agreement under which Powermat technology will be embedded in the design of GM cars, enabling wireless charging for the driver.”
Blue Link to come standard on Sonata, available on all models in 2013.
Hyundai's Sonata sedan and the upcoming production version of its Veloster will sport a new infotainment system called Blue Link, the Korean automaker announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Hyundai's news follows up on Toyota's launch of the Entune infotainment system and General Motors' announcement that its OnStar system will be available to other makes and models via the new OnStar Anywhere.
According to Automotive News: "More than 30 features will be available on Blue Link, Hyundai said in a statement released today. Among those will be remote start, door lock and unlock controls and remote climate control." Also, "Turn-by-turn navigation, vehicle health reporting and voice texting also are part of the system, according to a Hyundai statement."
Blue Link will come standard on the Sonata, and will be available on all of Hyundai's 2013 models.
By Brad Constant
TomTom’s Go 2505 M Live navigation system debuted on Wednesday at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The new system will be the first to offer TomTom’s HD traffic service, which provides drivers with accurate information for all major roads in real time and which updates every two minutes.
Ford paces Toyota for positive perception in the eyes of the consumer -- and wins out in the key categories
Every year, Consumer Reports' Car Brand Perception Survey aims to gauge how well, or poorly, actual and potential customers view certain carmakers. Coming from the No. 2 spot in last year's survey, Ford this year jumped to a statistical dead heat with perennial No. 1 Toyota, leaving last year's No. 3 manufacturer, Honda, in the same spot. While officially tied, Ford leads Toyota in perceptions of safety, value, performance, and design -- the major decision-making factors for most consumers, according to the survey.
Ford is riding a two-year climb of 35 percent points in the survey, while Toyota's positive brand perception dropped a whopping 46 percentage points in the same time frame. Honda's numbers have dropped by 28 percent since 2008.
The survey numbers, according to Consumer Reports, "reflect how consumers perceive each brand in seven categories: safety, quality, value, performance, design/style, technology/innovation, and environmentally friendly/green." Furthermore, measuring across those specified categories "provides the total brand perception and does not directly represent the actual qualities of any brand's vehicles."
Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, Jeep Grand Cherokee
Several decades have passed since we handed out an award whereby AutoWeek editors picked the best new vehicles in a given model year. We've dabbled in things such as "America's Best," when we've asked you--our faithful, opinionated and knowledgeable followers--to vote on the best vehicle in certain categories.
We drive hundreds of vehicles each year (including all of the newest hardware), report the cold, hard facts and give you our opinions about which vehicles are worth your consideration when the time comes to make one of life's biggest purchases. Some are standouts, some not so much.
But beginning with 2011, we're going to let you know which new car and truck we consider to be the best among the new crop of vehicles. The name of our award says it all: AutoWeek Best of the Best/Car and Best of the Best/Truck.
Ford will unveil its all-electric car at the Consumer Electronics Show rather than at next week's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
In other car-CES mash-up news, General Motors will debut OnStar Anywhere, an extension of the popular onboard safety and navigation system.
By Lauren Abdel-Razzaq and David Phillips
By David Phillips, Automotive News
Fueled by holiday and year-end discounts, as well as the introduction of new models, automakers finished 2010 on a high note by posting the year’s best monthly sales in December.
U.S. light vehicle demand climbed 11 percent last month to 1.1 million units--the best month of the year on a unit basis. Still, it was one of the weaker percentage increases of the year because of a tough comparison to December 2009, one of that year’s strongest months.
Most every automaker gained sales in December, a month highlighted by a 37 percent surge for Hyundai-Kia and a 28 percent advance at Nissan North America. Toyota Motor Corp. was the only company to record a decline, down 6 percent.
Overall, U.S. light vehicle sales rose 11 percent to 11.59 million units last year from 10.43 million in 2009--when demand fell to the lowest point in 27 years. It was the industry’s first annual U.S. sales gain since 2005.
Explore New Cars
More on MSN Autos
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 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 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
About Exhaust Notes
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at firstname.lastname@example.org.