Media post: What is a Minivan Hybrid Exactly?

A minivan hybrid? Who would have thought? Well apparently, Chrysler not only thought about but made it happen and the 2017 Pacifica Hybrid is a one of a kind and is taking America by storm. The Pacifica Hybrid is an all new model and has replaced the discontinued Town & Country van and moved the concept of minivan right into the verdant future.

This gas-electric plug-in minivan is the first of its kind and like Chrysler products in general, it is moving the automotive industry into areas only dreamed of previously. Since minvans are usually used for short trips and errands around town, the Pacifica Hybrid is perfect for those kinds of duties. The electric range of this roomy transporter is 30 miles, which gives you plenty of latitude to drop the kids off at school, pick up groceries, go out to lunch, pick up the kids and take them to dance class and take a leisurely cruise home without using an ounce of gas.

This hybrid is easy to charge too! Depleted batteries can be charged at home or at a public charging location in about two hours when using a Level 2 (240 Volt) station. You can also charge your Pacifica at home using regular outlets but it just takes a bit longer – up to fourteen hours, which is from dinner time until you leave for work the next morning. That’s just for the electric part of the minivan. When you need to get up and go without the electric motor silently powering your trip, then the robust V6 gas engine kicks in and you’re on your way.

The gas/electric combination gives you 530 miles, which is pretty substantial and the EPA has concluded that with combined driving the Pacifica Hybrid will get 32 mpg overall which out does pretty much all other minivans on the market. Road trips are now cheaper when driving this great van and you can accommodate seven passengers comfortably in the three rows of seats. The ride is smooth and the cabin is quiet, unless, of course, it is full of little people. Over all, this minivan is the best in its class and theoretically, if you only use it around town and if you charge it regularly, you won’t ever have to waste time and money at another gas station again. Stop by Foss Motors and test drive one of these marvels of automotive engineering for your self.

Media post: Ram Continues to Improve While Others Start To Slide

We were looking at trucks the other day when it hit me: we’ve always wanted a Ram truck, so what are we doing wasting our time looking at any other brands? Well, that was a wake up call and we answered it. We went to Marlow Motor Company and walked the lot and the show room and found just what we wanted, a 2017 Ram 2500.

By the way, Marlow Motor Company has plenty of them in stock, so you can go down there and test drive one yourself. When we test drove the Ram 2500 we could hardly believe the incredibly smooth ride we got. It is a truck after all and we sort of expected to get a bumpy truck ride. The people who make that great Ram truck, however, fooled us and they made us feel like were some kind of royalty being driven in a vehicle with an ultra comfortable and very spacious interior as we floated gently and quietly on a cloud toward our destination.

We drove the Ram 2500 with the 6.4-liter V8 engine that pumps out 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. What a ride! There are other engine options such as the 5.7-liter with 383 hp and the diesel, which gives you 385 hp and 900 lb-ft of torque. Stand back with that one – it’s a powerhouse of a motor. There are two other diesels available, one provides 350 hp with 660 lb-ft of torque and the other turns out 370 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque. Any choice is a good one but some are obviously stronger than the others, so just think about what your needs are before making a decision.

After the test drive we asked how the Ram 2500 scored on safety tests. You’re going to love this! The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) awarded the 2017 Ram 2500 crew cab models four stars overall and the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), the other governmental automotive safety tester, hasn’t ran any tests yet on the Ram 2500.

We came out of the showroom with a whole lot of good feelings for this legendary truck. Not only did it drive well and get high marks for safety, but the spacious interior, geared for extreme comfort and functionality, coupled with its user-friendly infotainment system sold us. The Ram 2500 looks great in our garage and it looks even better when we’re driving it out on the highway.

Media post: Dandelion tires

Global warming is affecting many industries and the tire industry is one of them. Here’s the story. As you are undoubtedly aware, rubber is a key component of tires. What you may not know, however, is that there are two types of rubber involved. The first is synthetic rubber, a type of rubber that is made from petroleum. Synthetic rubber comprises about 70% of the rubber in your average tire. The second is natural rubber. Natural rubber is the original old-time rubber compound and it is made from the latex sap harvested from rubber trees. It makes up about 30% of the rubber in today’s tires.

So what’s the global warming issue? Over the last few decades, the fluctuations in the growing cycles of rubber trees in the sub-tropical zone where rubber trees grow have varied significantly. In some seasons the yield is strong and, in others very weak. With these fluctuations in the supply of natural rubber, the laws of supply and demand take over and costs go up and down. This makes the production of tires, indeed all products made from natural rubber, rather difficult to control.

Continental, a leading German tire manufacturing company, decided it was time to look for alternatives. Fortunately, rubber trees are not the only source of natural latex so the search was on. Eventually they came up with an easy to grow alternative to rubber trees: dandelions. That’s right, dandelions. As it turns out, the white fluid that comes out of dandelions is a latex that is similar enough to rubber tree latex that it can be used to make tires.

This was good news for Continental since the industrial use of dandelions offers great advantages. First, they are an undemanding plant that can be cultivated on land not suitable for food production. This means that dandelion latex could possibly be obtained on land not far from production plants. This allows better control of the growing process and eliminates the long and costly journey that rubber latex currently takes from South America or West Africa.

Technically, the rubber that is produced from the dandelion root is called Taraxagum. The name comes from the botanical name for the dandelion: Taraxacum. Especially good news is that not only is Taraxagum a nice alternative to rubber tree compounds, quite usable, it is higher yielding. Continental was able to extract several kilos of dandelion latex from a small pilot system, which would have been double the yield possible from a conventional rubber tree plant under the same circumstances.

But how does it perform? The initial tests run so far with Taraxagum are encouraging. Tires made from Taraxagum perform closely to those made from conventional natural rubber. The scientists at Continental are excited about this but challenges exist in the cultivation of enough dandelions to make industrial-scale production possible. Nonetheless, Continental believes that they will be making tires based on dandelion latex in some 5 years.

Other tire manufacturers are experimenting with rubber alternatives in addition to Continental. According to Reedman Toll Subaru of Downingtown, a local Subaru dealer in Downington, PA, Yokohama (which supplies tires for Subaru) has been looking at several alternatives to rubber tree latex too. Their research isn’t quite as far along but they have been using natural organic plant compounds for other purposes. The most striking is using orange oil, derived from orange peels, is being used in their high-end tires to increase grip. Apparently the results are impressive and Yokohama intends to continue the process for the foreseeable furture.

Media post: Charles Kettering – Automotive Pioneer

Unless you are fond of reading about automotive history, you don’t hear this name very often: Charles Kettering. Yet, Kettering was the genius behind some of the most significant advances in automotive engineering. Inventions such as electrical ignition systems, automotive starter motors and even Freon gas were all attributable to Kettering. He was also the founder of DELCO Corporation, an automotive parts manufacturer that was eventually acquired by General Motors.

The Early Years

Charles was born in Loudonville, Ohio, in 1876. He was the fourth of five children born to Jacob Kettering and Martha Hunter Kettering. Kettering had poor vision and this lead to a childhood that unfortunately was consumed with constant headaches. However, he was a very smart boy and after his secondary school education was completed, he became a teacher. He enjoyed teaching and during this time, he took classes at The College of Wooster. Later he transferred to The Ohio State University (OSU) where he met his future wife, Olive Williams. Kettering eventually graduated from OSU in 1904 with a degree in electrical engineering.

Let the Inventions Begin

Kettering first job out of engineering school was with National Cash Register (NCR.) Here he worked in NCR’s large research laboratory. Kettering was by nature an innovative engineer and it wasn’t long before he achieved his first major invention: an easy credit approval system. This system was essentially a precursor to today’s credit card processing systems. He then put his mind to work on the old fashioned crank cash registers. Soon he developed an electric version which made ringing up sales physically much easier for sales clerks all over the country. During his five years at NCR, from 1904 to 1909, Kettering earned 23 patents.

Automotive Components

In 1907, colleague Edward A. Deeds invited Kettering and another engineer, Harold E. Talbott, to join him working at night on improvements for the nascent automotive industry. Working nights and weekends, in Deed’s barn, their first invention was an electric ignition system designed to eliminate the magneto. This invention was a huge success and in 1909, all three engineers left NCR and founded Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company also known as DELCO.

The First Self-Starting Car

Back in the early 1900s, cars were started by hand crank. It was a technique that required some strength and it was dangerous. Here’s why: If the ignition timing retarded, the crank could kick back and strike whomever was cranking. As the story goes, a good friend of Ketterings was struck by a hand crank and killed. He immediately vowed that no one would ever be killed again attempting to start a car. On February 17, 1911, the first self-starting ignition was first installed in a Cadillac and the automotive industry took a major leap forward.

Freon 

In the late 1800s until 1929, refrigerators used the gases, ammonia, methyl chloride, and sulfur dioxide, as refrigerants. Methyl chloride gas was especially toxic and deaths from leaking systems was becoming more common. In 1928, Thomas Midgley, Jr. and Kettering invented a refrigerant that was safe to use and called it “Freon.” Freon represents several different chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which today are widely used in commerce and industry. Unfortunately, the original Freon, referred to as R-12, has been identified as a major destroyer of the Earth’s ozone layer. Our service consultants at Central Ave. Hyundai of Hartsdale, a local Hyundai dealer in Hartsdale, NY, told us that Hyundai phased out the old R-12 freon in the early 2000s and is now using an environmentally Freon called R-134a. Had Kettering known about the ozone issue, he would have undoubtedly created a R-132a type replacement himself.

Legacy

His inventions, especially the electric automobile starter, made him Kettering wealthy. In 1945, he helped found what became the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center based on the premise that American industrial research techniques could be applied to cancer research.

Kettering died on November 25, 1958. After his death, his body lay in honor at the Engineers Club and then was interred in the mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.

Media post: Ford’s Edsel – a Litany of Failures

During the 1950s (1950 to 1959), Chevrolet was the best-selling car in the World. The total production number for this brand, just one of General Motors 6 brands, stood at 13.5 million vehicles. In second place was Ford, but the entire company sold just 12.5 million cars during the same time frame. This was a major issue for Ford and, after considerable analysis, they boiled down the issue to a single factor: model selection. With just 3 divisions, Ford did not have the breadth of model selection that General Motors did. The three divisions they did have, Lincoln, Mercury and Ford, weren’t enough. They simply needed a larger footprint. Today you can see a similar situation that has played out at Hyundai. Hyundai is an excellent South Korean car manufacturer but it isn’t considered a luxury brand. According to Central Ave. Genesis of Hartsdale, a local Genesis dealer in Hartsdale, NY, this is why the Genesis brand was developed: to give luxury car buyers an alternate instead of jumping to other premium brands.

The Edsel

In the mid 1950s, the company set about identifying a new market segment and they came up with a new name for it that had some family history: Edsel. The Edsel automobile was named after Edsel Bryant Ford, the only son of the company’s founder Henry Ford. Edsel Ford played a pivotal role at Ford during the 1920s and was responsible for modernizing Henry’s Model T line at the time.

The Edsel is Coming

Once designed and ready to sell, Ford developed a unique ad campaign. The first ads to hit the airway simply stated “The Edsel is Coming.” However, you couldn’t see the mystery car. This made people ravenous to see it. As the campaign progressed, viewers were allowed an obscure view of the car’s shadow and a glimpse of the hood ornament. Anyone involved with the Edsel was sworn to secrecy not to say a word about what was being claimed to be a radically new and innovative brand. In fact, dealers were required to store their new Edsels undercover and would be fined (or actually lose their franchise) if they showed the cars before the release date.

First failure

All the hype about the mystery Ford brought a curious public in record numbers to see its unveiling on “E-day” Sept. 4, 1957. And they left without buying. As it turns out, car buyers didn’t purchase the Edsel because it was a bad car. They didn’t buy it because it didn’t live up to the over-hyped expectations that the company created in the prior months with their epic advertising campaign.

Second failure

In addition to the car not living up to the marketing hype, the United States was in a recession and Edsel’s were expensive. Plain and simple, this was a big issue.

Third failure

Ford launched the Edsel as a brand-new division but they didn’t give the car line its own manufacturing facility. Ford employees produced the Edsel cars and they were loyal to the Ford brand. This new brand was seen as an interloper, therefore they took little pride in their work. Not having a dedicated work force to build Edsels would prove to be a big mistake.

Fourth failure

The Edsel actually had some great innovations for its time such as a unique rolling dome speedometer and its “Teletouch” push-button transmission shifting system in the center of the steering wheel. Problem was that in the hurry to get Edsels made, the company went light on the mechanic training. No additional training beside updated service manuals was developed which lead to unfamiliarity with the car’s state-of-the-art technology.

Fifth failure

The firth failure was pure marketing malfunction. The car’s name was terrible. The advertising agency involved in the rollout, provided 18,000 names for Ford executives to pick from. In the end, they ignored every one and named the car after the first child of Ford’s founder Henry. Historical yes it’s just not a name that rolls off the tongue easily. When people tell their friends about their new car, they either want name recognition or at least one that sounds cool.

The final results

Edsel sold only 64,000 units in its first year. Maybe in a different economy, with a good dealer support system, and an real marketing plan, the Edsel would still be around today. As it turns out, the company struggled for 3 years before admitting total defeat and discontinuing the Edsel.

Media post: The Assembly Line Changed Everything

One of the first major consumer goods to be manufactured via assembly line was the automobile. Assembly lines allowed workers to produce high numbers of cars with speed, accuracy and uniformity. What many don’t know, though, is that the assembly line did far more than speed up the production of cars. It improved the efficiency of thousands of consumer products and established the United States as the preeminent source of consumer and industrial goods during the 21st century.

Henry Ford

The Model T was not Henry Ford’s first car. He built his first car, the “Quadricyle,” in 1896. In 1903, and several models later, he officially opened the Ford Motor Company. In 1908, after having built 9 models of cars, he started to build the Model T. It would be the first model which would achieve wide scale popularity. Even today, the Model T remains an icon for the Ford Motor Company.

Making it cheaply

Henry Ford had a goal of making automobiles for the common man. He knew that to achieve this, he needed to make them sturdy and cheap. In an effort to make Model T’s cheaply, Ford cut out all extravagances and extraneous options and buyers had to accept one color: black. The cost of the first Model T was $850, which would be approximately $20,000 in today’s dollars. That was not cheap enough for the masses and Ford wanted to make them cheaper.

Highland Park Plant

In 1910, Ford built a new plant in Highland Park, Michigan. Ford consulted with Frederick Taylor, the creator of the theory of scientific management, to examine the most efficient modes of production. Ford had previously observed the assembly line concept in slaughterhouses in the Midwest and wished to incorporate these ideas in the production of automobiles.

Working with Taylor, one of the first innovations that Ford implemented was the installation of gravity slides that facilitated the movement of parts from one work area to the next. Within the next three years, additional assembly techniques were developed and, on December 1, 1913, the first large-scale assembly line was officially up and running.

How it worked

In total, the manufacturing of the car could be broken down into 84 steps. The key to the process, however, was having consistent, interchangeable parts. These parts were created in mass quantities and then brought directly to the workers who were trained to work efficiently at specific assembly stations.

A key part of the process was to bolt the chassis of the car to a conveyor chain where workers applied specific parts as it rolled by. Other workers brought additional parts to the assemblers; this reduced the amount of time workers spent away from their stations to get parts.

Impact of the assembly line on production

The impact of the assembly line at Ford was revolutionary. The production time for a single car dropped from over 12 hours to just 93 minutes. Ford’s 1914 production rate of 308,162 Model Ts eclipsed the number of cars produced by all other automobile manufacturers combined.

The efficiency of the production line allowed Ford to lower the cost of vehicles to consumers. Ten years later, the cost of the Model T dropped to $260, the equivalent of approximately $3500 today.

Impact on workers

The assembly line also altered the lives of Ford’s workers. The work day was cut from nine hours to eight hours so the three-shift workday could be implemented. Although hours were cut, Ford nearly doubled the existing standard wage and began paying his workers a princely sum of $5 a day. Times were good not only at Ford but in the entire United States.

The assembly line today

Today, the assembly line is the primary mode of manufacturing in industry. However, there have been some tweeks along the way. Honda just recently has been experimenting with an “assembly cell” manufacturing approach. According to Roberts Honda of Downington, a local Honda dealer in Downington, PA, the assembly cell method utilizes 4 person teams performing up to five tasks each, per station. This is a technique seems to be working well and the assemblers seem to prefer it to old single task methods.

Summary

Today we have automobiles, food, furniture, toys, and many more items are efficiently produced via assembly lines. While the average consumer does not think of this fact often, this 100-year-old innovation by a car manufacturer in Michigan changed the way we live and work forever.

Photo Report: Driving a Haval H9 to the middle of nowhere, Australia – Part 4: Tibooburra to Cameron Corner

Stuck.

This is Part 4 of our adventure to the middle of nowhere Australia with a Haval H9, which we baptised Ivanhoe. See Part 1: Melbourne to Mildura herePart 2: Mildura to Broken Hill here and Part 3: Broken Hill to Tibooburra here. We now leave Tibooburra and its gymkhana New Year’s Eve celebrations to try and join Cameron Corner store where we are supposed to spend New Year’s Eve across three time zones. It’s 2pm when we turn the ignition on, which should give us plenty of time to get across the 173 km itinerary. Or so we thought…

Tibooburra-Cameron Corner itinerary – Map by Google Maps

Google maps tells us it will take 6h30 to join Cameron Corner from Tibooburra. It turned out this timing was a little bullish as we had to stop many times along the way…

Ivanohe on the dirt road straight out of Tibooburra: a storm is brewing on the horizon.

As we leave Tibooburra with two bungee straps holding half the underbody protection that dislodged itself in the last post of this series, we can see a storm is brewing on the horizon. We can only hope our itinerary won’t cross its path. It would turn out the storm affected the road we are taking, just not at the same time as us. We need to stop a couple of times over the first 20 km to check on the bungee straps that are getting smashed by the muddy terrain we are crossing. It doesn’t look like they will hold up until Cameron Corner.

Only 96 km to go…It’s muddy out here…
Ivanohe posing and getting a bit of dirt on its sides.

46 km away from Tibooburra, we come to an intersection that leads to Tooney Gate or continues on to Cameron Corner via the aptly-named Cameron Corner Road. Turns out Cameron Corner isn’t 173 km away from Tibooburra but a mere 142. Too easy! Except we are now coping the effects of the storm mentioned above and the track is getting muddier by the minute. We are now in fill mud mode the whole of the time. We stop again to check the bungee straps: one has disappeared and the other one is totally dislocated and destroyed. What to do? Do we retrace our steps and spend the night in Tibooburra or do we push through and hope for the best? We decide to do the latter (but I have a feeling you knew this already).

The flooded clay pan has us thinking twice before continuing.

Feeling somewhat reassured that we won’t worry about the underbody from now on, we start the engine again with an extra bit of motivation. A mere 20 km later though, the track just disappears into a clay pan. Now we are really thinking it’s time to return to Tibooburra. A few pictures were taken to emphasise the incongruous situation, we could bet that a couple of hours ago we would have been able to cross here, but the storm we saw preceding us is the culprit. We would have confirmation of these timings once arrived in Cameron Corner as two other blokes came this very way to reach Cameron Corner and could go through, simply because it was earlier in the day. Thankfully, there is a backup plan…

We have passed the flooded clay pan!

Just before coming to the flooded pan, we had noticed an alternative option in the form of a track seemingly taking a left turn to contour the pan a few hundred metres back. Now this is the real test for Ivanohe our Haval H9. Fresh muddy ruts abound but the car goes through every single one of them with ease. We breathe a sigh of relief when we are able to connect back to the main track as pictured above.

Ivanohe trying to help

We have decided to let nature do its thing and capture our underbody protection. We will need to be extra careful for rocks in order not to damage anything underneath the car. It is now 7:30pm and the sun is setting. Just as we thought we were in for the last straight, we come across a bogged down truck – it would end up being the only vehicle we passed between Tibooburra and Cameron Corner. We must stop to help, as we would expect the same if it was us that were bogged down. We spend the next couple of hours helping, notably by placing dead wood under the wheels, repositioning it at each attempt. We even used Ivanohe to link and give direction to the truck as it was trying to get out of the side of the track, in vain. Note we did not actually try and tow the truck as it was way too heavy for Ivahoe our Haval H9 to pull. We leave the poor bloke for the night as he assures us he’s got everything he needs. It is quite a sizeable truck and he assured us he can sleep in and wait for the muddy track to dry out by tomorrow.

We encountered this little fellow right before reaching Cameron Corner.

Finally, right after 11pm NSW time, we arrive in Cameron Corner Store. Just in time to buy a six pack of beers before the bar closes for New Year’s Eve celebrations…

Stay tuned for the next episode of this series in Cameron Corner.

Media post: American Automotive Service Solutions Provides a Unique Extended Service Contract For Your Vehicles Needs

American Automotive Service Solutions (AASS) is an auto warranty company, but it’s not your regular kind. Unlike most other auto warranty firms, AASS’ goal is to provide long-term satisfaction to its customers, along with great service. The company has different vehicle service contracts on offer, so that all buyers would find a plan that fits into their scheme of things. Not to mention, there’s money back guarantee as well. By the way, how many other auto warranty firms are willing to offer such guarantees?

AASS has seldom been out of news. The company constantly works hard to offer something unique and new to its buyers, which means the company frequently receives press attention. For example, at the end of 2016, the company came up with a unique service concerning extended vehicle warranties. This service apparently replaces unsolicited phone calls and mails with great customer service and a few other options that help with savings on car repairs.

As aforementioned, AASS takes a unique approach to things. One of the ways it differentiates itself from the competition is by earning certifications from prestigious organizations. The majority of extended warranty firms on the market cannot claim to have such certificates. For instance, the company is a Vehicle Protection Association (VPA) member. This means it can access critical information and resources relating to the extended warranty business that non-member firms cannot claim access to. As a result, customers can rest assured their service agreements would have the backings of industry leaders. VPA is a non-profit firm that is committed to offering first-rate auto service contracts to buyers. The organization is essentially a watchdog entity that oversees industry practices and promotes fair business policies and systems.

Generally, most other American Automotive Services Solutions reviews only talk about certificates and do not throw much light on why the company is so unique. However, we would like to state that AASS is not just about its certifications and prestigious memberships. The company has also allied with some of the biggest names in the industry, such as AAS (American Auto Shield) and MBPI (Marathon and Mechanical Breakdown Protection, Inc.), to name a few. These companies have a solid reputation in the industry with a BBB (Business Better Bureau) rating of A or better.

Getting top BBB ratings is not a minor accomplishment. BBB does a lot of research about a company before it delivers its verdict on it. The rating system entails a maximum of 100 points. A company that scores 94 or more happens to get the A grade. If a company manages an A rating or greater, then that speaks volumes about the business’ quality and credibility. It means the company has few customer complaints against it, is transparent with its business practices, and addresses complaints (if any) in a timely manner.

AASS is committed to its customers and therefore associates with firms that are known for similar or greater dedication to consumers. The ultimate objective is to ensure customers get excellent and reliable service anytime and every time they associate with the company. Most companies cannot claim to have the backing that AASS has. In fact, the majority at times fall back to their own resources (for the lack of other resources) whenever a customer files in for a claim. Since most auto warranty companies aren’t self-sufficient enough, the consumers filing in are left stranded, as a result. AASS has the support of some of the biggest names in the car warranty business. This means its customers can be rest assured that their automobile would stay protected at all times.

Media post: The Dodge Ram Truck History

Ram 2500

Don’t you love that Ram logo on Dodge Ram trucks? It really stands fro toughness and it’s a perfect choice for the sturdy and dependable Ram truck. It’s so tough and such a pleasure to drive that it won the coveted Motor Trend Magazine’s Truck of the Year Award five times! That Ram Tough truck has always been on the top of truck buyers’ lists throughout the years.

The Ram pickup has been on people’s minds since 1981. Of course, back then, it was known as the Dodge Ram Pickup. When that first generation of Ram trucks came out the Ram logo and the ram hood ornament was introduced also. Boy, was that popular! Yes, I mean the truck and the hood ornament, both very cool items. Anyway, Dodge had manufactured trucks before the Ram pickup was born so they used the same signifiers such as “D” “B” or “Ram” for the two-wheel drive versions and the “W” or “Power Ram” for the four-wheel drive models.

To make it easier for truck enthusiasts to instantly know what they were looking at, Dodge used the same numbering system that Ford used. That is, 150 was for the half-ton model, 250 meant it was a three-quarter ton version and 350 was simply a one-ton truck. that made it simple and quick and apparently truck owners loved that kind of talk.

The first gen Ram truck was a big success and it was redesigned in 1994 to give it more of a big-rig look and feel. The designers and engineers were right on the money with that look and feel because the second generation Ram truck kicked some…dirt up in the air and tripled the sales of the first generation truck from the previous year. Everyone should be so lucky! Guess what…Sales doubled again in the next two years.

The third generation of 2002 increased sales and popularity again and the fourth gen trucks, which came out in 2009 blew everyone away with all the innovations and practical renovations it had. Mussleman’s Dodge has plenty of 2017 Dodge Ram trucks and they are just waiting to go for a test drive. Come down and see what new innovations this year’s Ram has to offer. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Media post: The Fiat History explained

 

Fiat, anyone? Why not, everyone else is. Yes, the Fiat car brand is enormously popular, that’s for sure! Everywhere you look nowadays, you see a Fiat buzzing by. Those small cars started appearing on our highways just a few years ago after the Fiat Group, the largest Italian carmaker, purchased a big share of the United States car builder, Chrysler.

That purchase brought Fiat back into the States after being absent for almost a quarter of a century. That’s right Fiat had a presence in this country a long time ago. They actually came over here before many of the American car brands we know today ever started building cars. Fiat set up a manufacturing plant in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1908 and built and sold their cars, the Fiat 60 HP and the Fiat 16-20 HP until 1917, when they closed up shop and moved back to Italy.

Fiat came back to the U.S. in the 1950s and introduced the Fiat 500 and several other models. They did okay, but the company felt that they should have done better, sales wise, that is, and went back to Italy once again to re-think and re-tool their cars for the world market. Apparently, they did a great job because the Fiat 500 along with other models have done incredibly well in scores of countries including the United States.

The Fiat 500, in fact, has become one of the most popular small cars on the market today. It is fantastically celebrated and definitely has the “cool” factor. It is a terrific fuel saver and gets between 24 and 31 miles per gallon in the city and 32 and 38 mpg on the highway. It has a very user-friendly infotainment center, more than comfortable interior, responsive handling and braking and it is simply a cool car to drive around town.

This beautifully designed subcompact car has a distinctive and ultra recognizable appearance and seats four passengers comfortably. Driving the Fiat 500 is not only a pleasure but it’s fun. The little people mover gets you through the day’s chores and is easily maneuverable in the tightest of spots. Parking is a breeze as well as keeping up with the flow of traffic. You can test drive one of these great little cars at Alfa Romeo Fiat of Larchmont today!

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