Chevy Camaro designer quits, set to work for Volkswagen in 2010

Sangyou Lee, the designer of the highly celebrated Chevy Camaro, has announced that he has resigned his position with General Motors to take a role with Volkswagen/Audi as their chief designer of exterior, which may increase the visibility of used Chevrolet models in New Jersey.

Lee, who worked for GM for over a decade, is credited with bringing the Chevy Camaro back to national prominence after he redesigned the muscle car in 2005, according to CarDesignNews.com.

The Korean-born designer’s concept debuted so successfully at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show GM decided to begin production immediately.

“The [2006] muscular Camaro concept is pure ’69 updated, with the kind of subtle detailing that makes it look up-to-the-minute,” said AutomobileMag.com after the car’s original showing. “The interior is very glitzy, and pays homage to the original, even down to the GM seat belt insignia and the twin instrument pods.”

Chevy’s ’06 Camaro is a “retro-styled” two-door coupe with a 6.0 liter, 400 horsepower V-8 engine powered through a six-speed manual transmission. The show model contains Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation equipment, a fuel-saving technology that results in a highway fuel economy of 30 mpg or better, according to RSportsCars.com.

Before he unveiled the 2006 Camaro, Lee worked on a joint project between Bertone and GM in which he created the 2004 Buick Velite concept. He also contributed to the exterior design of the 50th anniversary Stingray.

Lee is expected to begin working for VW in mid-2010 in their California design facility. He is one of several designers to move on from the major U.S. automakers in the last 12 months. Pat Schiavone, Ford Motor Company’s chief truck designer, announced last week that he will be resigning from the company in early 2010 to join the appliance manufacturer Whirlpool.

The departure of Chevy’s award-winning exterior designer may increase the popularity in used Chevy models in New Jersey.

Ford agrees in principle to sell Volvo to China’s Geely Auto

Officials at Ford Motor Company have recently announced that they expect to sell the Volvo car brand to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group by the first quarter of 2010, which may attract attention to used Volvo models in New Jersey.

The value of the deal is expected to be estimated at $1.8 billion, which pales in comparison to the $6.45 billion that Ford paid to purchase Volvo in 1999, according to Reuters.

In a statement, authorities at Ford said that the sale “would ensure Volvo has the resources, including the capital investment, necessary to further strengthen the business and build its global franchise, while enabling Ford to continue to focus on and implement its core ONE Ford strategy,” according to AutoWeek.com.

Ford, the only U.S. automaker to avoid bankruptcy and a government bailout, may use the money to accelerate debt repayment in an effort to return to profitability by 2011.

Meanwhile, Li Shufu, the founder of the Zhejiang Holding Group, has announced that the Swedish auto brand will be left intact if the sale is finalized.

“If the deal succeeds, nothing will change for Volvo, except the boss turns to Li Shufu,” Li told the official Xinhua news agency, quoted by Reuters. “Volvo and Geely will be two independently-managed brands.”

Ford has said that there is still a significant amount of work to be done before the sale is finalized, including Geely securing financing and having the Chinese government sign off on the deal. Ford does not plan on retaining a shareholding in Volvo after the deal is finalized.

The possibility of the Swedish automaker changing hands may increase the appeal of used Volvo models in New Jersey.

Jon Gosselin attempts to trade-in his BMW for a used Subaru

The popularity of used Subaru models in New York may be on the rise following the scene at a car lot where reality television star Jon Gosselin tried to trade-in his current vehicle for a used Subaru STI.

According to the celebrity gossip website TMZ.com, the former star of Jon and Kate Plus 8 was looking to trade his 2005 BMW M3 for a more recent Subaru model as well as $4,000 in cash. Unfortunately for Gosselin, his current vehicle was not worth quite as much as he thought, forcing him to leave the lot without making a trade.

The TV reality dad has been all over the news lately due to his much publicized divorce with his wife Kate and a lawsuit with his former employer, The Learning Channel, who is suing Gosselin for making public appearances which violated his contract. Examiner.com reports that the ex-reality star is “desperate for money” and is “now trying to look for other alternative ways to bring in cash.”

Ironically, one of his alleged former flings, Stephanie Santoro, used to work at the car dealership that Gosselin visited.

Used Subaru models in New York may be more appealing to car buyers after Jon Gosselin’s attempted trade-in at a local car lot.

Man lifts car off of trapped first-grader

An Ottawa, Kansas man has been hailed as a hero after lifting a car off of a trapped young girl, which may benefit used Mercury models in New Jersey.

Ashlyn Hough, age 6, was walking down her street on the way to school when she was hit by a neighbor who was backing out of their driveway. Ashlyn was pushed out into the street and was pinned under the car.

Nick Harris, who was dropping his 8-year-old daughter off at school, saw the incident and rushed over the help.

“I didn’t even think,” he said, quoted by the Associated Press. “I ran over there as fast as I could, grabbed the rear end of the car and lifted and pushed as hard as I could to get the tire off the child.”

Harris carried Ashlyn over to the sidewalk and was going back to get his cell phone from his car to dial 911, but the first-grader asked him to stay with her. He told onlookers to get the child’s mother who lives just down the street.

Ashlyn was sent to the hospital, but was later released after suffering a concussion and some minor bumps and bruises.

Harris, who is 5-foot-7 and 185 pounds, said he has no idea how he was able to lift the Mercury sedan off of the girl.

“I’ve tried four or five times since then, [and] I can’t do it, it’s impossible,” Harris said, quoted by CourierMail.com. “Christmas miracle, I guess.”

Ashlyn’s family, who happen to be neighbors with Harris, have praised him as a hero.

“I don’t consider myself a hero at all,” Harris said. “To me, it was payment enough when she gave me that huge hug and said, ‘Thanks, Superman.'”

Nick Harris’ amazing story of heroism may attract more attention to used Mercury models in New Jersey.

Ford Focus wins overall used car of the decade award

The Ford Focus Hatchback has been named the used car of the decade by the car valuation expert CAP, which may attract additional attention to used Ford models in New Jersey.

Judges explained that the Ford Focus won the prestigious award because of its versatile nature and its outstanding value.

‘The Focus shook up a conservative sector in which the only truly desirable car had for a long time been the Volkswagen Golf,” said CAP judging panel chairman Mark Norman, quoted by the Ayrshire Post. “It was a truly brave move by Ford, which created a new vehicle from scratch.”

“As a used car, it has satisfied every [criterion] for the demanding consumer who requires a true five-seat family car with quality, comfort, performance, durability, reliability, safety, economy, practicality and style,” he added.

The American car manufacturer took home several awards in the competition, including the Ford Ka’s receipt of the best secondhand model award in the small car section, the highest award given to a vehicle used solely for personal transport. Judges stated that the Ka won the award due to its affordability, low running costs and reliable engineering.

Interest in used Ford models in New Jersey may increase following the news of Ford winning such prominent awards.

Ford’s lead truck designer to resign, changes industries

Used Ford models in New York may receive additional attention after Pat Schiavone, Ford Motor Company’s chief truck designer, announced that he will be resigning from the company in early 2010.

Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans confirmed Shiavone’s resignation on Monday, stating that he was leaving the organization for an opportunity within a different industry.

According to PickupTrucks.com, Ford’s North American Truck and SUV design director will be leaving the company to take on a new position with the appliance manufacturer Whirlpool.

Schiavone has worked for the company for the past 21 years and was responsible for the designing the 2002 F-350 Tonka Truck and the F-150 Lightning Rod, among others. He is also credited with re-designing the 1994 Mustang, Autonews.com reports.

Shiavone continues the trend of recent departures from Ford’s senior design team. Earlier in the year, GT designer Camilo Pardo left the company after 24 years of service. Peter Horbury, executive director of Ford Americas, recently announced his return to lead vehicle design at Volvo.

Interest in used Ford models in New York may grow following the news of another key employee moving on from the company.

New Jersey modifies inspection rules on used cars

Used cars in New Jersey should attract significant attention following a recent announcement by the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC).

Effective January 1 2010, used vehicles will no longer require a full inspection until they are at least four years old.

Acting MVC chief administrator Shawn Sheekey said that the motivation behind the change was to reduce the volume at inspection facilities and to save time for motorists, NJ.com reports.

“This is a common sense decision to move to a four-year inspection for these types of vehicles,” said Sheekey. “The change only effects used vehicles that are in the first four years of their lifespan so the owners of these late model cars and trucks will now have one less item to take care of after their purchase.”

For car buyers who purchase a used vehicle with a valid, up-to-date sticker, no inspection will be required until the sticker expires. If the vehicle does not have a valid inspection sticker, the buyer will be given a form during the registration process and must go to a certified inspection facility to conclude the process.

The popularity of used cars in New Jersey should grow in light of the MVC’s recent announcement.

Passengers in used Lincoln survive wreck

Used Lincoln models in New Jersey could appear to be even safer after Eric Patterson, mayor of Leeds, Alabama, crashed his 2001 Lincoln into a tree and survived.

Patterson had just concluded a long day at the office when he picked up his son John to take him to a friend’s birthday party, according to the St. Claire Times.

On route, Patterson lost control of his vehicle and skidded off an embankment directly into a tree, splitting it in half.

While the official police report stated that there were no drugs or alcohol involved, Patterson was “apparently asleep” when he lost control of the vehicle.

“We really don’t know what happened, if I got off the edge of the road or dozed off. I’d been sick for a week – just coming down…over the mountain and ran into a ditch and hit a tree.”

Patterson broke his right leg, but his son, who was wearing a seatbelt, was left virtually unharmed.

“It puts your life in perspective, I can guarantee that,” the mayor said later in the week. “I just consider myself fortunate.”

Used Lincoln models in New Jersey might become more sought after following Eric Patterson’s harrowing accident.

A sad so long to Saab

Soon, there will be only used Saab models in New York and elsewhere, as General Motors has decided to end the brand.

American opinions of GM haven’t been especially high recently, as the automaker’s flair for failure and flop do little to inspire confidence in or empathy for the blue badge. Rather, decades of models incapable of putting six digits on the odometer have left many motorists with a feeling of hopelessness. But now, in Saab’s wake, even the despair is gone for some and only apathy remains.

“GM is abandoning the smoldering hulk of a perfectly fine car company it bought for all the wrong reasons,” wrote one MarketWatch journalist named Jim Jelter. “Saab was a trophy acquisition, funded by an era of cheap gasoline and booming SUV sales back home that lined GM’s pockets and gave it a reckless sense of entitlement.”

Starting today, Jelter and thousands of other Saab fans, will likely begin appreciating every 900, 9000, 9-3, 9-5 and even every 9-2X they see at least a little bit more.

Of all these models, the 900 is the car that most motorists consider to be Saab’s flagship. It was made for exactly a decade and was redesigned only once. The first 900 rolled out of Trollhattan in 1978, marking its territory as Saab’s newest fastback. But the car’s body wasn’t its only distinguishing feature. Saab, the first manufacturer to have ever successfully applied a turbocharger to a street-legal automobile, made sure some of its 900s would come with a little bit of boost.

In addition to the high-end muscle, another 900 feature most first-time drivers no doubt noticed was the fact that their keys couldn’t be inserted into the steering column since Saab decided igniting the motor would be more fun if you could do it without awkwardly leaning over the wheel with your face on the glass. So the Swedes put the keyhole between the gearshift and the handbrake for easier access.

The 900 was redesigned in 1994, which is when some purists think the end began, although GM already owned half of the company by 1989. Unlike the first generation 900, the ’94 didn’t have a memorable shape. Although the car became a bit more stylish when it evolved into the 9-3, the original 900 would always be Saab’s biggest charmer. Indeed, some used Saab models in New York and elsewhere will certainly start getting the appreciation they deserve when more Americans learn the grinning griffin is no more.

Audi A3 named executive used car of the decade

Used Audi models in New York have continued to attract attention after the Audi A3 was named the Executive Used Car of the Decade by vehicle valuation specialist CAP.

Mark Norman of CAP described the A3 as a “genuine pioneer” that allowed consumers to accept the idea that a compact car can be as prestigious and luxurious as larger vehicles in the same class, according to EasierCar.com.

Norman stated that the A3 “has brought the prospect of the highest engineering and build quality standards to those who would previously have ruled out choosing a prestige brand on the grounds that it would mean running a larger car than they needed.”

He went on to say that, while the A3 is not the cheapest used car on the market, the benefits of low depreciation will be realized at trade-in time.

Meanwhile, the Audi A3 TDI recently won the Green Car of the Year award at the L.A Auto Show.

The Associated Press reports that the A3 TDI gets 42 miles per gallon on the highway, which is a 50 percent better fuel efficiency rating than a gasoline-powered A3.

The A3’s recent praise should come as good news for those in the market for used Audi models in New York.