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Lexus ranks as highest luxury brand in 2017 J.D Power study

Lexus has been ranked highest in customer satisfaction among luxury brands in the J.D. Power 2017 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, marking the 17th time the brand has claimed the top spot. Overall, Lexus achieved a CSI score of 874 on a 1,000-point scale, 15 points above the segment average and the highest numerical score in the study, regardless of segment.

“At Lexus, we aim to create amazing experiences for our customers by anticipating their needs both at the time of purchase and years down the road,“ said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “Customer service is at the heart of our brand, and we’re proud of the continuous efforts by our dealers to exceed our buyers’ expectations.”

The 2017 CSI Study measures customer satisfaction with service at a franchised dealer or independent service facility for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of 1-to 5-year-old vehicles. The study was fielded between October and December 2016. It is based Lexus previously ranked highest in the J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction with Dealer Service (CSI) Study from 1991-1995, 1997-2001, 2006, and 2009-2013.

-- Press release courtesy of Lexus

 

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The 2018 Audi S4 leads its class in 0-60 speed.

With enhanced performance and benchmark technologies, combined with a more dynamic design, the all-new 2018 Audi S4 offers customers versatility, with seating for up to four and the quickness and competence that is expected from Audi S models.


Performance
New for 2018, the S4 features a 3.0-liter TFSI V6 that has been reengineered to provide more horsepower and torque and a quicker buildup of peak output. With the same 2,995 cc of displacement as the previous engine, power has increased by 21 horsepower, to 354 hp, and by 44 lb-ft of torque, up to 369 lb-ft.

In addition, the broad torque curve now reaches maximum force at a low 1,370-4,500 RPM range. A single turbocharger replaces the supercharger from the previous generation and helps manage exhaust gas flow to the turbine with a twin-scroll housing design.

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The 2018 Audi S5 Sportback is shown. It will soon arrive in showrooms.

Offering a class-leading 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, the 2018 Audi S5 Sportback will arrive in dealerships in spring 2017. Featuring the distinctive Sportback body style, first introduced on the A7 model line, and generous interior space, the five-door coupe offers customers refined design with exceptional functionality.


Performance

The S5 Sportback is equipped with an all-new 3.0-liter TFSI V6 engine which produces 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque from 1,370 to 4,500 rpm. The S5 is also newly equipped with an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.

The new 3.0-liter turbocharged engine accelerates the S5 Sportback to a class leading 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds as well as a top speed of 155 mph when equipped with summer performance tires. Every S5 Sportback is also standard-equipped with quattro all-wheel drive, offering high-precision and dynamic handling through active torque distribution to both axles.

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Volkswagen Golf GTI earns Good Housekeeping honor for best compact car

Volkswagen of America, Inc. is pleased to announce that the Volkswagen Golf GTI has earned Good Housekeeping magazine’s 2017 Best New Car Award in the compact vehicle category. Teaming up with experts at Car and Driver magazine, engineers from the Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI) Lab rated its top picks on value, safety, handling, interior design comfort and onboard technology after driving the vehicles more than 1,200 miles on test tracks and open roads.

“We are extremely proud that Good Housekeeping magazine has honored the Golf GTI with the 2017 Best New Car Award,” said Hendrik Muth, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing & Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “The Golf GTI packs incredible value. Its combination of power, design, space, connectivity, and fun-to-drive nature represents the best of what Volkswagen has to offer.”

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More than 3,500 people were put to work in connection with the 2017 NAIAS this year.

Claude Molinari, general manager of SMG/Cobo Center, has announced that more than 3,500 people were employed during the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Cobo Center.

Included in that total are all of the union employees that come into Cobo Center to work during major events for security, janitorial, food and beverage and the construction of the exhibits and displays.


“We have doubled the annual number of stagehands hired to set up theatrical displays in event exhibits,” said Molinari. “And I had a representative from another union tell me rather recently that for the first time in many years, none of their members had to file for unemployment during the summer because of the work available in Cobo.”

-- Press release courtesy of Cobo Center

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The RAV4 posted a best-ever January with sales of 22,155 units, up 2.8 percent

Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), Inc., today reported its U.S. January 2017 sales of 143,048 vehicles, a decrease of 11.3 percent from January 2016 on a volume basis. With the same number of selling days in January 2017 compared to January 2016, sales were down 11.3 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. 

Toyota division posted January sales of 127,476 units, down 9.2 percent on a volume basis and DSR basis.

“Coming off a record December and year in 2016, the industry in January took a bit of a pause with volume down slightly vs. a year ago,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division.  “Much improved Light Truck availability helped RAV4 and Highlander begin the year with record January sales.”

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Dodge Resurrects the Demon brand for upcoming Challenger model

Dodge shocked the performance world when it launched the most powerful and fastest muscle cars in the world – the Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat. Now, two years later, Dodge is raising the bar again with the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

“Most cars attempt to be everything to everybody. Then there are the rare few that revel in a single objective, rendering them totally irresistible to a subculture," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. "The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is conceived, designed and engineered for a subculture of enthusiasts who know that a tenth is a car and a half second is your reputation."

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FCA US issues response to EPA report on diesel violations

FCA US is disappointed that the EPA has chosen to issue a notice of violation with respect to the emissions control technology employed in the company’s 2014-16 model year light duty 3.0-liter diesel engines.

FCA US intends to work with the incoming administration to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably and to assure the EPA and FCA US customers that the company’s diesel-powered vehicles meet all applicable regulatory requirements.

FCA US diesel engines are equipped with state-of-the-art emission control systems hardware, including selective catalytic reduction (SCR).  Every auto manufacturer must employ various strategies to control tailpipe emissions in order to balance EPA’s regulatory requirements for low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and requirements for engine durability and performance, safety and fuel efficiency. FCA US believes that its emission control systems meet the applicable requirements.

FCA US has spent months providing voluminous information in response to requests from EPA  and other governmental authorities and has sought to explain its emissions control technology to EPA representatives.  FCA US has proposed a number of actions to address EPA’s concerns, including developing extensive software changes to our emissions control strategies that could be implemented in these vehicles immediately to further improve emissions performance.

FCA US looks forward to the opportunity to meet with the EPA’s enforcement division and representatives of the new administration to demonstrate that FCA US’s emissions control strategies are properly justified and thus are not “defeat devices” under applicable regulations and to resolve this matter expeditiously.

-- Press release courtesy of FCA

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