For Sale By:Owner
Engine:289 cu in
Drive Type: 4 Speed
Wyandotte, Michigan, United States
The sixth edition of the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards have crowned a wide range of winners - in a couple of cases the recipient of the laurels might say more about KBB users than they do about the actual winner. Compiled from the responses of more than 12,000 shoppers on KBB.com over the past year, there are 13 categories broken into non-luxury, luxury and truck segments "representing the combined wisdom of the American car-buying public."
The award categories have been revamped this year, with some dropping off, some new ones appearing and at least one other given a new term. What isn't surprising is that Honda won Most Trusted Brand for the second year running, Best Value Brand for the third year in a row and took Best Overall Brand, which wasn't on last year's list of awards.
On our own shores, in the non-luxury categories Chrysler got Most Refined Brand and Buick took Best Value Luxury Brand. Neither one of those marques won anything in last year's Brand Image Awards, while Cadillac, which won Best Interior Design Brand and Best Comfort Brand last year - those awards disappeared this year - went home without a single accolade.
Aluminum is the new buzzword in the automotive industry. The latest Range Rover and Range Rover Sport both take advantage of the lightweight material to shave huge amounts of body fat (only it's called "aluminium" over there). Audi and Jaguar have been using the stuff for years in their A8 and XJ, respectively, and now, aluminum is going mainstream, arriving on the 2015 Ford F-150.
While we're excited to see aluminum make an impact outside the premium market, its widespread adoption apparently won't come without some problems, notably in terms of supply. "There isn't an automotive manufacturer that makes vehicles in North America that we're not talking to," Tom Boney, of Novelis, the largest global supplier of aluminum sheetmetal, told The Detroit News.
According to Boney, Ford's use of aluminum on such a large scale has forced auto manufacturers in "every boardroom" to reconsider their plans following the F-150's unveiling, for one simple reason: there's not exactly enough aluminum to go around, at least in the short term. The auto industry presently only accounts for six percent of the aluminum sheet produced, but as the material is adopted by more and more brands, that figure is expected to swell to 25 percent within the next six years.
It was only a matter of time before law enforcement agencies would realize the potential of driver-assist technology for use in their Ford Police Interceptors, and, now that they have, those back-up cameras and radar systems won't be used just for parking, but for security, as well.
The surveillance mode system works when the camera or radar detects movement from behind the vehicle, and if it does when it's activated, an alarm will alert the officer inside the car, the driver's side window will roll up and the doors will lock, protecting the officer from an unwanted intrusion. The officer, of course, has the option to turn surveillance mode off, mainly in urban areas where pedestrians would constantly set the alarm off, and it can only be activated when the police car is in park.
Randy Freiburger, Ford's police and ambulance fleet supervisor, came up with the patent-pending idea when researching the needs of police officers and riding along with them, during which time he realized officers would be safer with an extra set of eyes watching the area behind their cars, especially at night or when they're completing paperwork, using the in-car computer or handling a radar gun. "Unfortunately, there are people with bad intentions who sneak up on police officers," he says.