If you were a fan of the 1980’s TV show “Knight Rider,” you’ll remember actor David Hasselhoff riding around in a modified Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that could talk, fly and even scan other vehicles. It was cutting edge TV sci-fi at the time, but so-called “smart cars” are not that far away (minus the flying, of course).
Fifty years ago today, America’s historic journey with the automobile took an adventurous detour. On April 17, 1964, Detroit’s Ford Motor company unveiled the Mustang at the New York World’s Fair, trading stamps not included.
General Motors has recalled 2.6-million vehicles for ignition switch failures, failures that are linked to at least 13 deaths. Considering the recent $1.2 billion dollar penalty levied against Toyota for that company’s problems related to sudden accelerations, dealing with the ignition switch problem could become very costly to the automaker.
General Motors officials continue efforts to navigate the fallout from its delayed recall of 1.6-million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. The flaw, which has been linked to 31 crashes and 12 deaths, has been traced to vehicles made as long ago as 2001.
Last week, workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee voted down a proposal to join the United Auto Workers union. The UAW had expected to win that vote, and the rejection is seen as a blow to efforts to expand membership by unionizing plants in the south.
Our coverage of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit continues today with a look at the good news the people at the General Motors Grand River Assembly Plant got last year: GM will move production of the Camaro to Lansing from the plant in Oshawa, Ontario.
International sales are crucial to Cadillac’s success. Two popular Cadillac models are built in Lansing at the Grand River Assembly Plant. The ATS won the North American Car of the Year Award last year, and the CTS was a finalist for the award this year.
The 2014 North American International Auto Show is not the greenest, according to journalist and author Jim Motavallo, who focuses on environmental issues and transportation. He’s a contributor to the New York Times, NPR’s Car Talk, the Mother Nature Network and author of the book "High Voltage: The Fast Track to Plug In the Auto Industry".