Monday, April 12, 2010

Pro-gard Products Reaches Exclusive Distribution Agreement with SafeStop International, LLC

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) -- Pro-gard Products, LLC, a leading manufacturer and supplier of law enforcement vehicle equipment, announced today that it has signed an agreement to become the exclusive manufacturer and marketer of SafeStop Vehicle Anti-theft Systems. “This agreement brings a much sought-after product to Pro-gard’s growing lineup of vehicle safety products. Furthermore, the partnership combines two trusted and leading brands in the law enforcement industry to better serve our customers in an evolving market”, states Mike Navarro, General Manager at Pro-gard.

Nationwide, police vehicles are frequently stolen while left running unattended, resulting in dangerous chases, damaged vehicles, fatalities and or stolen weapons. SafeStop eliminates this risk. SafeStop is a patented, plug-and-play vehicle anti-theft system that offers hands-free operation and can be left on 24/7. SafeStop is intended for use in a wide range of vehicles, including those in law enforcement; homeland security; government agencies; utilities; delivery services; fire and rescue; and other such markets in which running vehicles may be left unattended.

SafeStop is a superior solution to competing products. “Other anti-theft devices in the market today can be shut off easily if a perpetrator knows where the hidden actuator is located. SafeStop works without such actuator. With SafeStop, simply remove the keys from your running vehicle and the immobilizer system is activated; re-insert the keys and the vehicle resumes normal operations. SafeStop cannot be bypassed by locating an activation switch.” explains Navarro.

Safestop’s patented system also offers integrated safety features that can help ensure protection of expensive and dangerous equipment, such as weapons. Added safety features can override trunk and weapon lock access in the absence of the ignition key. “As long as the system is activated and the ignition key is removed,” adds Navarro, “this anti-theft system eliminates worries that a weapon can be removed from the vehicle in the officer’s absence.”

For more information about SafeStop vehicle anti-theft devices, please visit or or call 1-800-480-6680.

Pro-gard Products LLC, founded in 1968 and based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a leading manufacturer and supplier of innovative and dependable law enforcement vehicle equipment, including vehicle prisoner partitions, gun racks, ballistic door panels, airbag control switches, ABS seats, cargo cabinets, push bumpers, window armor, organizers, ballistic ticket boards, and skid plates. Its employees take pride in the craftsmanship and quality that goes into making Pro-gard’s products the safest and most reliable in the industry. Pro-gard offers its products throughout the United States and overseas. Pro-gard is capable of providing everything its customers need to protect themselves and their vehicle from the uncertainties that happen each and every day. For more information about Pro-gard, and why more and more law enforcement agencies are turning to the Company each year for protection equipment, please visit or call 1-800-480-6680.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ryder Awarded First-of-Its-Kind Natural Gas Heavy Duty Truck Project Using $19.3 Million in Stimulus Funding

MIAMI, FL, Apr 07, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Ryder System, Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!r/quotes/nls/r (R 41.73, +0.17, +0.41%) , a global leader in transportation and supply chain management solutions, today announced that the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) Board has selected Ryder as its fleet partner in a groundbreaking heavy-duty natural gas truck rental and leasing project in Southern California. Ryder will use $19.3 million in state and federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding secured by SANBAG to implement the project. This is the first time that natural gas trucks will be deployed into a large commercial truck rental and leasing operation.

As part of the project, Ryder will purchase more than 200 heavy-duty natural gas powered trucks. Both liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG and CNG) on-board fuel storage systems will be used depending upon the specific type of truck purchased and the anticipated application. These ultra low-emission trucks will be deployed into Ryder's Southern California operations network, where Ryder's customers will be able to access them through short-term rentals, long-term leases, or through Ryder's dedicated logistics services. To support these trucks, Ryder will construct new natural gas refueling stations within the region and work with its customers to identify and utilize the existing natural gas refueling infrastructure already located throughout Southern California. As part of Ryder's core product offering, the Company will maintain the vehicles at three of its strategically located maintenance shops in Orange, Rancho Dominguez, and Rancho Cucamonga. Each maintenance facility will be properly equipped for the indoor repair of natural gas vehicles. In addition to reducing emissions, with natural gas fuel prices significantly and consistently lower than diesel fuel, Ryder customers who incorporate natural gas vehicles in their fleet have the opportunity to realize additional cost savings.

"Ryder has a longstanding commitment to industry-leading sustainable business practices that improve transportation efficiencies. We were one of the first national fleets to introduce low-emission and fuel-efficient technologies to the truck rental and leasing industry through the launch of our RydeGreen(SM) line of tractors, trailers, and hybrid straight trucks," stated Tony Tegnelia, President of Global Fleet Management Solutions for Ryder. "This SANBAG-sponsored project represents a tremendous opportunity to expand our RydeGreen program to include natural gas vehicles and introduce our 1,200 commercial customers in the region to a new innovative, efficient, and environmentally-sound fleet solution. Our intent is to use this project as a model that we can replicate in other parts of the U.S. where Ryder has a strong presence."

When fully implemented, this project will replace more than 1.51 million gallons of diesel use annually with 100% domestically produced low-carbon liquefied and compressed natural gas. According to SANBAG, preliminary project estimates and analyses indicate the project will contribute to the maintenance and creation of more than 400 U.S. green automotive jobs located in regions of the country that have been the hardest hit from the current economic downturn. Based on estimates using California's Carl Moyer program guidelines, the project is also estimated to reduce more than 9.2 million pounds (4,195 metric tons) of greenhouse gas emissions per year, more than 131 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions annually and completely eliminate 2.65 tons of diesel particulate emissions from local neighborhoods.

"We are extremely pleased to partner with Ryder on this cutting-edge project and to work collaboratively to reduce diesel emissions and improve air quality in the region," commented Paul Eaton, SANBAG Board President and the Mayor from the City of Montclair.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


DEARBORN, Mich., April 7, 2010 – Ford Motor Company, building on its company-wide effort to dramatically reduce water usage, has become the first automaker to join CDP Water Disclosure. This commitment by Ford is part of its broader global sustainability program to reduce its environmental footprint.

The initiative is run by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which established the disclosure and reporting framework used by 2,500 of the world’s largest companies to report carbon emissions. CDP Water Disclosure extends this approach to managing the world’s shrinking water resources, which has become a critical global environmental and quality of life issue. CDP Water Disclosure will serve as a central clearinghouse for Ford and other participating companies to report on water usage, water risks and water management plans of company operations and their supply chains.

“Water scarcity is quickly becoming a critical global issue with significant social and environmental implications and all of us need to be part of the solution,” said Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “For the past decade, Ford has made it a priority to conserve water. Joining CDP Water Disclosure is another important step in our commitment to this issue.”

As a founding responder in CDP Water Disclosure, Ford is helping to shape the Water Disclosure Questionnaire, which will serve as the protocol for water reporting.

Ford’s commitment to water reporting builds on its leadership in greenhouse gas reporting. Ford has reported to the CDP on its successful efforts to reduce its carbon footprint since 2003. During the same period, Ford cut energy use at its global facilities by 34 percent and CO2 emissions by 44 percent. Going forward, Ford has set a goal to reduce new-vehicle greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and Europe by 30 percent by 2020, compared to a 2006 model year baseline.

Ford launched its own voluntary Global Water Management Initiative in 2000, which included water conservation, reuse of storm and process water, and management of water quality. From 2000 to 2008, Ford cut its global water use by 56 percent, or 9.5 billion gallons.

Ford facilities have achieved reductions in water consumption through a broad range of actions, including tracking and minimizing water use during plant downtimes, optimizing cooling tower operations, and investing in advanced technologies. For example, the Chihuahua Engine Plant in Mexico uses a reverse osmosis process to recycle water for use in production processes, thus avoiding the need to use higher quality water that is suitable for human consumption.

In 2008, Ford’s engine plants began implementing an innovative parts washing system that reduces wastewater generation by 95 percent compared to previous systems, while also cutting energy consumption by approximately 60 percent. Ford also developed a new process at its Dearborn Engine Plant’s wastewater treatment plant that reduces the volume of wastewater from 3 million gallons per month to less than 750,000 gallons per month.

The company is also pursuing new technologies such as Minimum Quantity Lubrication, which lubricates cutting tools with a fine spray of oil. Conventional wet machining, by contrast, requires pumping millions of gallons of a mixture of metal-working fluids and water to cool and lubricate the cutting tools.

“We recognize that these environmental issues are increasingly important to our stakeholders, including our customers, investors and business partners,” said Cischke. “Water conservation and greenhouse gas reduction are integral to Ford’s global sustainability strategy. By reporting on them, we support positive social change and reduce the environmental impact of our facilities.”

Increased disclosure key to managing water resources
Water scarcity is becoming an increasingly important strategic issue for global businesses. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development forecasts that 47 percent of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress by 2030 unless new policies are introduced.

According to the CDP, it is through water that the impacts of climate change are most likely to be felt, with changing patterns of precipitation and water runoff affecting the supply of this critical resource. At the same time, population growth, urbanization and rising per capita consumption are expected to result in rapidly increasing demands for water.

“Water related issues will continue to have significant impacts on businesses and much of the impact of climate change will be felt through water scarcity,” said Paul Dickinson, Carbon Disclosure Project CEO. “The CDP system, which has provided key climate change data for the last eight years, can now provide the same system to highlight how companies are planning to operate in a water-constrained world.”


ATLANTA - Three Manheim locations will be honored with a Wells Fargo Auto Finance Auction of the Year Award, to be presented at the financial services firm’s fifth annual auction awards reception on Monday, April 26, 2010.

Manheim Ohio, Manheim Orlando and Manheim Southern California are being recognized by Wells Fargo Auto Finance for offering customers the highest and most consistent levels of service in their respective regions during 2009. The awards are based on specific performance criteria and ratings from a survey distributed to Wells Fargo team members. This marks the second consecutive Wells Fargo Auto Finance Auction of the Year Award for Manheim Southern California and the third consecutive Auction of the Year Award for Manheim Orlando.

“We’re constantly striving to deliver a best-in-class customer experience to our business partners,” said Nick Peluso, senior vice president, customer management, Manheim. “That’s why this special recognition from a valued partner like Wells Fargo Auto Finance is the highest possible compliment.”

Wells Fargo Auto Finance and Manheim have worked together for nearly a decade, providing dealers and consignors with a broad range of vehicle inventory in-lane and online.

“We are pleased to recognize these particular Manheim locations for the heightened and consistent level of service provided on our behalf,” said Howard Segal, vice president/national remarketing manager, Wells Fargo Auto Finance. “We value our partnership with all of the Manheim locations we utilize and the role they each play assisting us in achieving our overall business goals and objectives.”

About Manheim (
Manheim is the world’s leading provider of vehicle remarketing services. Through its 130 worldwide wholesale operating locations, Manheim impacts every stage of a used vehicle’s life cycle, helping commercial sellers and automobile dealers maximize the full value of their vehicles. Drawing from its auction transaction volume, Manheim Consulting publishes the annual Used Car Market Report, the definitive source of data for the used car industry. Manheim Consulting offers a wide range of services including custom analytics, business optimization and macro economic analysis.

Manheim is the online vehicle remarketing leader, connecting buyers and sellers to the world’s largest, most comprehensive wholesale marketplace through its extensive in-lane and online offerings. receives nearly 900,000 visitors each week.

Additionally, Manheim offers services including reconditioning, certification, inspections, dealer financing, title management and marshaling, among others. Through its wide array of services and technologies, industry publications, customer support and educational offerings, Manheim gives its customers maximum control over how they buy and sell vehicles, helping them to conduct business in the most efficient way possible. In 2009, Manheim handled nearly 10 million used vehicles, facilitating transactions worth more than $50 billion in value.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Manheim is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company.


ATLANTA – Manheim’s vice president of international operations Mark Brunn has named Brad Hart vice president of operations for Manheim Canada. The promotion became effective April 1. Hart reports to Brunn.

In his new role, Hart is responsible for implementing Manheim Canada’s business strategies and overseeing Canadian operations. All location General Managers report directly to him. Hart also helps lead the Canadian corporate office and works with the Manheim Canada team to maximize the market potential of all sales activities. He will continue to champion a best-in-class Manheim customer experience and employee engagement initiatives.

“Brad has a genuine love for the business and leads by example,” said Brunn. “By valuing the contribution of every employee and customer, he embodies the Manheim values of teamwork and customer service. His leadership abilities are well-established, and his promotion will benefit both Manheim and its customers.”

Hart has spent nearly his entire career working in the automotive industry. He learned the business from the ground up, first as a car sales professional and then as an employee of Chrysler Canada. He joined Manheim’s Toronto Auto Auction in 1989 and served in various capacities before being named general manager of Manheim Oshawa. Hart returned to the Toronto Auto Auction in June of 1995 as its general manager. He remains active in many professional associations, including key roles with the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA).

About Manheim (
Manheim is the world’s leading provider of vehicle remarketing services. Through its 130 worldwide wholesale operating locations, Manheim impacts every stage of a used vehicle’s life cycle, helping commercial sellers and automobile dealers maximize the full value of their vehicles. Drawing from its auction transaction volume, Manheim Consulting publishes the annual Used Car Market Report, the definitive source of data for the used car industry. Manheim Consulting offers a wide range of services including custom analytics, business optimization and macro economic analysis.

Manheim is the online vehicle remarketing leader, connecting buyers and sellers to the world’s largest, most comprehensive wholesale marketplace through its extensive in-lane and online offerings. receives nearly 900,000 visitors each week.

Additionally, Manheim offers services including reconditioning, certification, inspections, dealer financing, title management and marshaling, among others. Through its wide array of services and technologies, industry publications, customer support and educational offerings, Manheim gives its customers maximum control over how they buy and sell vehicles, helping them to conduct business in the most efficient way possible. In 2009, Manheim handled nearly 10 million used vehicles, facilitating transactions worth more than $50 billion in value.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Manheim is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company.

GPS Angel Unveils Red Light Camera and Speed Camera Warning System with Rechargeable Battery

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – (April 7, 2010) – GPS Angel is proud to announce the new V4 Red Light Camera and Speed Camera warning system with an integrated rechargeable lithium ion battery option. This compact, cordless device uses advanced SiRF Star III GPS satellite technology to map the vehicle's current position against an on-board database of over 6,000 known red light camera and speed camera locations. When approaching one of these high risk intersections, GPS Angel will automatically alert the driver through a series of visual and audible alerts.

Unlike competitive products that charge monthly fees, GPS Angel offers unlimited free access to the database. Simply plug the USB cord into your PC and download the updates from the Internet. Drivers can search and browse this extensive list of camera locations online at In addition to the database, users can set up Personal Location Alerts that warn the driver when they are speeding in areas such as school zones, playgrounds, parks or any other predetermined locations. Unlike radar detectors, the GPS Angel is 100% legal throughout North America. It comes ready to use straight out of the box, with no installation required, and its cordless design integrates seamlessly with your dashboard.

“What a lot of consumers are unaware of is that the red light cameras are strategically placed in high-risk accident areas” said Bryn Jenkins, Chief Operating Officer for GPS Angel. “GPS Angel uses cutting-edge GPS satellite technology to alert users when approaching these intersections to encourage them to exercise extreme caution. Not only will the GPS Angel help you be a better driver but it will also help consumers avoid expensive traffic fines and protect their license.”

Ford's Police Car Of The Future On Display At NAFA's 2010 Institute & Expo

(APRIL 7, 2010 -- DETROIT, MI) – Fleet managers from throughout North America will get the opportunity to view Ford’s new Police Interceptor at NAFA’s 2010 Institute & Expo in Detroit April 24-27. The Police Interceptor, which was first unveiled in March, will exceed the durability, safety, performance, and fuel economy of Ford’s Crown Victoria, the industry standard for nearly three decades. Ford's all-new Police Interceptor sedan will be showcased on the expo floor at NAFA's 2010 Institute & Expo in Detroit.

The new sedan was designed to handle the rigors of police work, including industry-leading powertrain, safety, and technology innovations. It will replace the Crown Victoria when production of the Crown Victoria ends in late 2011.

"Police nationwide asked for a new kind of weapon in the battle for public safety, and Ford is answering the call with a purpose-built vehicle – engineered and built in America – that's as dynamic as it is durable," said Mark Fields, Ford President of The Americas, who will be one of three Keynote Speakers for this year's Institute & Expo.

Along with Fields, the Detroit Three will be represented by Peter Grady, Vice President – Network Development & Fleet of Chrysler Group LLC; and Robert A. Lutz, Vice Chairman of General Motors. Lutz, who is retiring on May 1, will be giving one of his last public speeches in a long, illustrious career in the automotive field.
To develop the all-new Police Interceptor, Ford engineers worked hand-in-hand with Ford's Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals, which provided input on key vehicle attributes such as safety, performance, durability, driver comfort, and functionality. The Board includes several NAFA Members and has had a strong NAFA presence throughout the years.

"Ford remains committed to leading the police vehicle market, and our new Police Interceptor demonstrates how much engineering and innovation we're willing to invest to address the unique needs of those who protect and serve communities throughout America," Fields said.

The 2010 Institute & Expo coincides with the rebirth of the American car industry and marks the first time in more than 20 years that NAFA has held its annual conference in Detroit. Fleet managers from every segment of the industry – public safety, government, and corporate – will be in attendance to take advantage of more than 60 hours of fleet training, education, and workshops. In addition to Ford, the expo floor will be packed with over 200 exhibitors – a literal who’s who of the industry.

About NAFA’s Institute & Expo
Official media sponsors of the 2010 Institute & Expo include: Fleet Owner, International Fleet World, Automotive Fleet, Automotive Digest, Government Fleet, Fleet Financials, Canadian Automotive Fleet, CamAuto, Fleet Digest, Fleets & Fuels, Fleet Maintenance, Naylor, Fleet Focus, and FLEETSolutions. For more information, visit

About NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the world’s premier non-profit association for professionals who manage fleets of sedans, public safety vehicles, trucks, and buses of all types and sizes, and a wide range of military and off-road equipment for organizations across the globe. NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location or fleet composition. NAFA’s Full and Associate Members are responsible for the specification, acquisition, maintenance and repair, fueling, risk management, and remarketing of more than 3.5 million vehicles including in excess of 1.1 million trucks of which 350 thousand are medium- and heavy-duty trucks. For more information visit

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Volkswagen of America Announces 41 Percent Increase for March Sales

HERNDON, Va., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Volkswagen of America, Inc. today reported March 2010 sales of 22,148 total units, for a 40.9% increase over March 2009, and its ninth consecutive month of sales growth. For the year-to-date, Volkswagen's sales have risen 38.4% versus the same timeframe in 2009.

Volkswagen's full line of award-winning TDI® Clean Diesel models, which includes the Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Golf, and Touareg, once again proved popular with customers. The exciting and economical Jetta SportWagen TDI took the lead, accounting for 85.0% of all Jetta SportWagens sold in March.

The sporty Tiguan compact SUV posted strong sales with an increase of 41.8% compared to March 2009. Volkswagen's European-inspired Routan minivan enjoyed a 36.2% rise over the same period last year, finishing the month with a total of 1,402 units sold.

"The strong performance in March of Volkswagen's many new models is further proof that we are continuing to gain positive momentum," said Mark Barnes, Chief Operating Officer, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "Both VW and our dealers are gearing up for greater growth as we prepare for more new product introductions in the months ahead."

DOT, EPA Set Aggressive National Standards for Fuel Economy and First Ever Greenhouse Gas Emission Levels For Passenger Cars and Light Trucks

WASHINGTON - Responding to one of the first major directives of the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today jointly established historic new federal rules that set the first-ever national greenhouse gas emissions standards and will significantly increase the fuel economy of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the United States. The rules could potentially save the average buyer of a 2016 model year car $3,000 over the life of the vehicle and, nationally, will conserve about 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce nearly a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the lives of the vehicles covered.

This action is one important step in fulfilling the Obama Administration’s commitment to moving towards a clean energy, climate friendly economy.

“These historic new standards set ambitious, but achievable, fuel economy requirements for the automotive industry that will also encourage new and emerging technologies,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We will be helping American motorists save money at the pump, while putting less pollution in the air.”

"This is a significant step towards cleaner air and energy efficiency, and an important example of how our economic and environmental priorities go hand-in-hand," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "By working together with industry and capitalizing on our capacity for innovation, we've developed a clean cars program that is a win for automakers and drivers, a win for innovators and entrepreneurs, and a win for our planet."

DOT and EPA received more than 130,000 public comments on the September 2009 proposed rules, with overwhelming support for the strong national policy. Manufacturers will be able to build a single, light-duty national fleet that satisfies all federal requirements as well as the standards of California and other states. The collaboration of federal agencies also allows for clearer rules for all automakers, instead of three standards (DOT, EPA, and a state standard).

Today’s final rules, issued by DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and EPA, establish increasingly stringent fuel economy standards under NHTSA’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy program and greenhouse gas emission standards under the Clean Air Act for 2012 through 2016 model-year vehicles.

Starting with 2012 model year vehicles, the rules together require automakers to improve fleet-wide fuel economy and reduce fleet-wide greenhouse gas emissions by approximately five percent every year. NHTSA has established fuel economy standards that strengthen each year reaching an estimated 34.1 mpg for the combined industry-wide fleet for model year 2016.

Because credits for air-conditioning improvements can be used to meet the EPA standards, but not the NHTSA standards, the EPA standards require that by the 2016 model-year, manufacturers must achieve a combined average vehicle emission level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile. The EPA standard would be equivalent to 35.5 miles per gallon if all reductions came from fuel economy improvements.

Specifically, the new National Program:

* Reduces carbon dioxide emissions by about 960 million metric tons over the lifetime of the vehicles regulated, equivalent to taking 50 million cars and light trucks off the road in 2030.
* Conserves about 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles regulated.
* Enables the average car buyer of a 2016 model year vehicle to enjoy a net savings of $3,000 over the lifetime of the vehicle, as upfront technology costs are offset by lower fuel costs

“We are delivering on our mission and President Obama’s call for a strong and coordinated national policy for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for motor vehicles, and we will do so in a way that does not compromise safety,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

“These are the first national standards ever to address climate change,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Gina McCarthy. “Over the coming years, America will witness an amazing leap forward in vehicle technologies, delivering fuel efficiency that will save us money and protect the environment.”

The joint final regulation achieves the goal set by President Obama to develop a National Program to establish federal standards that meet the needs of the states and the nation as a whole to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. President Obama first announced the effort last May with a broad coalition of automakers, the United Auto Workers, States, and the environmental community.

NHTSA and EPA expect automobile manufacturers will meet these standards by more widespread adoption of conventional technologies that are already in commercial use, such as more efficient engines, transmissions, tires, aerodynamics, and materials, as well as improvements in air conditioning systems. Although the standards can be met with conventional technologies, EPA and NHTSA also expect that some manufacturers may choose to pursue more advanced fuel-saving technologies like hybrid vehicles clean diesel engines, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and electric vehicles.

In conjunction with the United States, Canada is also announcing Light Duty Vehicle GHG-Emissions regulations today. U.S. EPA and NHTSA have worked closely with Environment Canada to ensure a common North American approach.

Climate change is the single greatest long-term global environmental challenge. Cars, SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks are responsible for almost 60 percent of all U.S. transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.

3 Fleet Executive of the Year Award Finalists Announced

TORRANCE, CA - The field has been narrowed down to three finalists competing for the 2010 Fleet Executive of the Year award, to be presented in Detroit April 25 at the NAFA Fleet Management Association Institute & Expo (I&E).

This year's finalists are:
Mike Lahr, director of Logistics at LKQ Corp.

Mike Lisi, AVP, office services division at The Motorists Mutual Insurance Companies;

Fred Turco, senior director, team lead of global fleet at Pfizer.

Finalists for Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year Revealed

TORRANCE, CA - Out of 24 nominees, three finalists are now in the running for the title of 2010 Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year. Sponsored by ARI and Fleet Counselor Services, the annual award recognizes the best in public sector fleet management and will be presented April 25 in Detroit at the NAFA Institute & Expo.

The three finalists are:

John Alley, CAFM
Deputy Director, Fleet Services
City of San Diego, Calif.

Larry Campbell, CPFP
Director of Fleet Management
City of Fort Wayne, Ind.

Sharon Subadan, CAFM, CPFP, CPM
Fleet Director
Hillsborough County, Fla.

3 Finalists for Professional Fleet Manager of the Year Announced

TORRANCE, CA - Out of 11 nominees, three finalists continue on for the title of the 2010 Professional Fleet Manager of the Year. Sponsored by Automotive Fleet, Wheels Inc, and the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA), the winner will be announced April 25 at the NAFA Institute & Expo in Detroit.

The finalists are:

Theresa Belding, Senior Manager - Fleet Services
Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Louise Davis-Lopez, Fleet Manager
Johnson & Johnson

Michael Sims, Fleet Operations Manager
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Montgomery Insurance™ Offers Onboard Advisor™ for Commercial Fleets in Florida

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Montgomery Insurance, a Liberty Mutual Group regional operation, is offering Onboard Advisor for commercial fleets in Florida. Onboard Advisor is a first-of-its-kind fleet management solution that helps companies increase fleet safety and productivity, save on commercial auto insurance premiums, and much more.

Real time vehicle tracking and daily driver reporting capabilities can improve routing and dispatching and help fleet owners reduce expenses on fuel, maintenance, and overtime. Businesses can realize immediate savings with Onboard Advisor. There are no upfront fees for the hardware and installation, and only a low monthly per-unit service fee for the fully-integrated fleet management solution.

“This technology helps companies take an active role in risk management and improve their safety records,” said Michael J. Plavnicky, president and chief executive officer. “Onboard Advisor is the first GPS-based product to harness multiple technologies to yield direct, measurable savings as well as significant insurance discounts.”

How Onboard Advisor Works

Mobile Advisor™ is the GPS-based technology that updates a vehicle’s position in real time. For greater efficiency, fleet managers can map and optimize routes as traffic circumstances warrant. Mobile Advisor can also send email alerts about extreme driving or let managers know if a vehicle is driven outside of its designated territory.

Performance Advisor™ is the marketplace differentiator, providing a suite of functions not currently available on other GPS fleet systems. This safety component gathers in-depth driver and vehicle data and sends analysis to a fleet manager’s desktop dashboard. Performance Advisor uses onboard sensors to identify unsafe driving and inefficient fuel economy and scores each vehicle. Color-coded icons show exactly what driving behaviors contributed to high, medium, or low risks during all vehicle trips. This allows managers to pinpoint driving behavior and improve safety and fuel efficiency.

Onboard Advisor’s Fuel Advisor™ is a fuel management system that helps businesses monitor and control spending. A no-fee fuel card provides up to three cents off every gallon of gas purchased at most major gas stations nationwide. Fuel Advisor monitors expenditures online by capturing driver ID and odometer readings to ensure a company vehicle is being fueled and unapproved purchases are not being made.

David Willbur, commercial insurance manager with Harbor Insurance Agency in Fort Pierce, Florida, sees Onboard Advisor as a great fleet management asset. “The liability exposure for commercial fleets is often as much as fifty percent of a customer’s total premium. Companies can better manage their exposure with Onboard Advisor, and realize significant savings on a per vehicle basis from the first month.”

The Insurance Advisor™ component rewards safe fleet management with an average discount of 15% in the first year with a qualifying commercial auto policy, and a maximum discount of up to 40% based on fleet performance in renewal years.

Training on Onboard Advisor’s web tools and reports is included for new customers. An online dashboard lets companies follow the progress of safety scores, fuel efficiency, and their estimated insurance discounts. Companies interested in learning more about Onboard Advisor and the monthly savings their fleets could realize should call 877-803-5338 or visit


Here is some information about Rudolf Diesel from a news release from

No other engine inventor's name is as closely tied to his engine as Rudolf Diesel's is. But Diesel worked hard to make it that way. Diesel started his education in Paris and spent most of his time in the museum of arts and crafts. The outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War forced him to leave Paris and go to London. He later studied in Munich under the German chemist Carl Von Linde. He invented the refrigeration system used now in many electrical refrigerators. Diesel grew to become a very important engineer and inventor.

He attempted to find better ways to use steam as the working fluid in heat engines. His patents in 1892 and 1893 were not for the engine but for the cycle of an engine employing the compression-ignition technique. In this cycle there were four phases. He did not have one fully rolling until 1897.

Diesel attacked the problem of the compression-ignition engine not as a new concept but as a refinement of the gas engine invented by Nikolaus Otto in 1876. He spent the rest of his life introducing his invention to the world. He had many problems with manufacturing, licensing and financial stability.

On Sept. 29, 1913, Diesel vanished off the Harwich-Antwerp ferry crossing the channel to England and his body was never found. Since his death the diesel engine has been very helpful in manufacturing and transportation.

He originally designed the diesel engine to run on peanut oil. Only later did petroleum become the standard. In a 1912 speech, Diesel said "the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time."

Diesel revised his original model and on Feb. 17, 1894, the new engine ran for more than a minute. It took nearly three years to produce a viable working model. The engine he produced had a mechanical efficiency of more than 75 percent where the steam engines of the time were operating on less than 10 percent.

Car Care Council Launches Spanish Version of Digital Car Care Guide

BETHESDA, MD – In response to requests from repair shops and retail stores for more materials catering to the growing Latino driver population, the Car Care Council has created a Spanish version of its popular digital Car Care Guide that can be easily accessed through the council’s Web site at by clicking on the Spanish option.

“The new version of the digital Car Care Guide serves as a quick, online reference for Spanish-speaking consumers to find preventive maintenance information,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “The digital Car Care Guide has been a huge success since it was first introduced in 2008, so creating a Spanish version was the next step in reaching an even larger audience of vehicle owners.”

The Car Care Guide uses easy-to-understand everyday language, instead of technical automotive jargon. The guide covers the most common preventive maintenance occasions and procedures that need to be performed to keep cars safe, dependable and efficient. It also includes descriptions of 12 major vehicle systems and parts, and a list of questions to ask when maintenance or repair procedures are being done on a car. A Car Care Checklist reminds motorists what vehicle systems need to be maintained and when service or repair should be performed.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a free copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit

DP&C™ Enterprises Unveils DP&C™ SmartFleet, The Next Generation Fleet Management Software Solution

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J., DP&C™ Enterprises, a leading provider of supply chain solutions, has debuted DP&C™ SmartFleet, an innovative, next generation fleet management system that enables transportation and service providers to more effectively manage their mobile resources, while streamlining operational costs and enhancing customer satisfaction.

An easy-to-use, web-based solution, SmartFleet offers real-time management of a company’s mobile assets, improving the communication gap for transportation providers that currently utilize fragmented operating systems. In fact, the installation of SmartFleet provides an immediate return on investment through a specially designed 5-5-10 savings program -- 5% fuel savings, 5% reduced driver hours, and an immediate 10% savings on insurance premiums.

Designed to improve operational efficiencies, SmartFleet effectively monitors vehicles, routes and drivers, and provides real-time “notification alerts,” enabling companies to identify problems, and react in a timely, cost-effective manner. Unlike standard GPS systems, which simply provide a point on a map, SmartFleet delivers real-time information, allowing management to analyze pertinent performance information and make informed decisions to meet business objectives.

SmartFleet is an ideal solution for companies that currently use GPS and/or companies that are considering a GPS system. SmartFleet is easily configured to work with any GPS hardware and can be integrated seamlessly with other customer-based operating systems or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems.

“While cell phones enable management to keep in contact with their drivers, SmartFleet adds a new dimension, and allows management to communicate directly with their mobile assets,” said Keith Spero, President, DP&C Enterprises. “Whether you have a fleet of ten trucks, 300 trucks, or more, SmartFleet is a cost-effective solution that allows management to make informed decisions based on real-time information, ensuring a more efficient operation.”

Spero adds, “At a time when all companies are scrutinizing budgets and looking to streamline costs, the 5-5-10 savings program ensures that the SmartFleet investment will have a positive impact on your bottom line.”

Equally important, this new fleet management system captures data that can be customized to meet each company’s specific business requirements. Essentially, this provides management with the ability to make strategic business decisions based on the breadth of real-time information pertinent to their success. Moreover, this system eliminates the duplication of efforts, providing a one-source solution for the entire supply chain operation.

DP&C™ SmartFleet is configurable to any environment and is available for $45 - $75 per month. SmartFleet is a web-based portal and requires no internal IT staff. For more information visit or call (732) 514-6604.

Bergstrom/Kohler Hybrid Power Idling-Reduction System Collecting Industry Accolades

KOHLER, Wis. and ROCKFORD, Ill. – March 25, 2010 – Kohler Power Systems and Bergstrom Inc. today announced the idle-reduction Hybrid Power System (HPS) offered jointly by both companies has been recognized as a “top product” by both Heavy Duty Aftermarket Journal and Heavy Duty Trucking.

The Bergstrom/Kohler HPS combines the Bergstrom NITE® Plus System with a KOHLER DC Power unit to provide stable power to over-the-road (OTR) drivers, enabling them to efficiently run the HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) system without idling the truck’s main engine. By combining battery power with idle reduction technology, Bergstrom and Kohler have empowered OTR drivers and fleet owners with an alternative climate control solution while simultaneously reducing engine idling, saving fuel, cutting exhaust emissions and reducing engine wear and tear. The Bergstrom/Kohler Hybrid Power System is available from both Bergstrom and Kohler Power Systems distributors and dealers.

Heavy Duty Aftermarket Journal – Top Five Aftermarket Products
As a Heavy Duty Aftermarket Journal – Top Five Aftermarket Product 2009, the Hybrid Power System from Bergstrom and Kohler is recognized for its innovation in keeping OTR drivers comfortable year-round while simultaneously advancing the cause of fuel efficiency. Kohler received its award in January as part of Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) 2010, held this year in Las Vegas. HDAW 2010 is the largest North American gathering of the independent heavy-duty industry.

Heavy Duty Trucking – Top 20 Products
Heavy Duty Trucking editors and a panel of fleet industry veterans selected the Bergstrom/Kohler Hybrid Power System as a Top 20 Product from a pool of hundreds of products and services introduced in 2009. Heavy Duty Trucking Top 20 selections are considered the “best of the best” and are judged on their innovation, ability to make fleets safer, more efficient and more profitable. The “Top 20” will be honored in the March issue of Heavy Duty Trucking magazine.

“Kohler and Bergstrom conceived its Hybrid Power System as an alternative and better way for OTR drivers to enjoy year-round climate-controlled comfort in their trucks sans unnecessary idling, engine wear and fuel consumption,” said Stacy Peshkopia, marketing manager, RV/Mobile Generators, Kohler Power Systems. “Both Heavy Duty Aftermarket Journal and Heavy Duty Trucking have offered compelling third-party validation that the Bergstrom/Kohler Hybrid Power System is an ideal idle-reduction solution that can both reduce costs and extend engine life for OTR drivers and fleet owners.”

About Bergstrom/Kohler Hybrid Power Idling-Reduction System
The Bergstrom/Kohler Hybrid Power System facilitates uninterrupted use of heating and air conditioning units — without idling the truck’s engine — through the use of zero emissions-battery power. When the HPS batteries dip to low voltage levels, the KOHLER DC Power unit automatically activates to recharge the batteries, bypassing the need for engine idling.

Kohler’s DC Power unit features a custom sound-attenuated enclosure for quiet operation, as well as longer maintenance intervals due to running solely for the purpose of recharging the batteries powering Bergstrom's No-Idle Thermal Environment (NITE) system. The Bergstrom/Kohler Hybrid Power System is certified to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 2 emissions regulations and is also California Air Resource Board (CARB) compliant, excluding the minimal time period when the system is in recharge mode.

About Bergstrom Inc.
Bergstrom ( is the leading designer and manufacturer of cab climate systems for heavy duty commercial trucks, off-highway machines and specialty vehicles. By combining progressive engineering talent, lean manufacturing principals and a global footprint, Bergstrom offers a unique blend of commercial vehicle marketplace focus and customer value. For more information, please visit

About Kohler Co.
Within the Kohler Global Power Group, Kohler Co. and its affiliate Lombardini, Srl manufacture gasoline engines from 3.5-40 horsepower, and diesel engines from 6.7-64.4 horsepower marketed worldwide under the brand names KOHLER and LOMBARDINI.

Also within the Kohler Global Power Group are Kohler Power Systems and affiliate SDMO Industries S.A.S, manufacturing generators (marine, residential, industrial and mobile) that are marketed worldwide under the brands KOHLER and SDMO. The group’s Kohler Rental business provides temporary power, climate control and luxury restrooms to the industrial, commercial, disaster recovery and event markets throughout the U.S.

Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin-USA, Kohler Co. is one of the oldest and largest privately-held companies in the United States. Kohler is a global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bath products, engines and power generation systems, cabinetry, tile and home interiors, and international host to award-winning hospitality and world-class golf destinations.

Strong Early Exhibitor Contracts Encouraging for AAPEX 2010

ORLAND PARK, IL – March 29, 2010 -- The number of exhibitors contracted for the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) 2010 to date is up 64 percent compared with the same time last year, indicating greater confidence in the economic recovery and foretelling a strong aftermarket industry footprint in November, according to show owners. Equally as encouraging is a significant increase in booth sales – up 55 percent from March 2009.

AAPEX 2010 is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 2, through Thursday, Nov. 4, at the Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

“Increased exhibitor contracts this early in the process is not only a clear sign of an emboldened aftermarket industry, it’s a testament by manufacturers who see the value of meeting face-to-face with domestic and international buyers annually and leveraging the networking opportunities,” said Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO.

“Many new, innovative features were introduced at AAPEX 2009 – such as the ‘You Are Here’ interactive kiosks and the ‘ AAPEX Theater,’ as a result of direct feedback solicited from past participants,” said Steve Handschuh, president and COO, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). “These attractions and enhancements clearly have breathed new life into AAPEX, as evidenced by the increases in exhibitor contracts and booth sales for 2010. As AAPEX co-owners, we are committed to continuous improvements to the event to increase its value and ROI to all participants.”

AAPEX attendee online registration opens April 1 at

AAPEX is the annual business-to-business trade show representing the global automotive aftermarket and features more than 2,000 exhibitors. AAPEX is jointly sponsored by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the aftermarket affiliate of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). For more information, visit

"NAVIGATION FOR THE PROFESSIONAL" Navigation Guide Invented for Commercial Truckers

PITTSBURGH...The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the for-hire truck transportation market includes 509,000 proprietors, partnerships, and non-employer corporations. As for commercial-truck enthusiasts, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has 126,000 members, and the Mid-West Truckers Association has 2,616 members. These drivers must travel into unknown territory and contend with various zone prohibitions and limited clearances that may impede their route.

"In my truck-driving experience, I've encountered many low overpasses that have forced me to back up and go another way," said the inventor, from Bohemia, N.Y. "Such clearances aren't available on regular maps, so I conceived of my design to provide such information."

NAVIGATION FOR THE PROFESSIONAL enables a truck driver to navigate more easily by providing comprehensive information about roads and routes. This patent-pending design promotes efficiency and avoids wasted time due to poor routing. Though the versatile, easy-to-use guide can be used by non-commercial drivers as well, it is ideal for commercial drivers. In addition, it can help to reduce the incidence of accidents, according to the inventor.

The original design was submitted to the Long Island office of InventHelp. It is currently available for licensing or sale to manufacturers or marketers. For more information, write Dept. 08-LGI-653, InventHelp, 217 Ninth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or call (412) 288-1300 ext. 1368. Learn more about InventHelp's Invention Submission Services at


HOUSTON, TX – March 30, 2010 – Today, Mansfield Oil Company announces the opening of their latest marketing and operations center in Houston, Texas. The Houston office joins Mansfield’s national network of regional centers in Chicago, Denver and Detroit. Mansfield has also recently expanded their renewable fuels operations with expansion of the C&N Companies offices in Minneapolis and Mansfield Renewable Energy in Charlottesville, Va.

The Houston office will lead Mansfield’s Fuel Systems & Services line of business, provide sales and technical support to the DeliveryONE™ distribution network that is currently ramping up for expanded diesel exhaust fluid sales, and serve as the logistics and operations center for refined products sales in the Southwestern U.S.

“Houston becomes the fourth of six planned regional marketing and operations centers that are allowing us to continue to grow our fuel supply and marketing business with regional accounts while providing logistics support for our national accounts that have deep expertise in each regional fuel market,” said Michael F. Mansfield, Chief Executive Officer, Mansfield Oil Company. “As Houston is the center of the energy industry, placing an office here is a great fit for both our corporate and southwest business plans.”

Mansfield Oil Company will celebrate the grand opening of their Houston office with a day of events designed for their executives, customers, vendors and local media. Attendees will have a chance to hear the latest on the company’s current strategy and future direction from company President J. Alexander and Doug Haugh, Executive Vice President.

“We’re starting out with great additions to our team. Terry Tesch is heading up refined fuels marketing, Chet Davis is leading the Fuel Systems business unit and Max Boffa will be running our DeliveryONE™ efforts to grow the diesel exhaust fluid business with our distributors out of the Houston office,” added Doug Haugh. “And because it’s Houston, we’ll likely add ethanol marketing and supply positions over time to bolster the regional efforts of those business units that are headquartered in the Minneapolis and Gainesville offices.”


NEW YORK, March 31, 2010 – Lincoln today introduces its first hybrid – the new 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid – a premium midsize car poised to be the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America.

Ford Motor Company – America's largest domestic hybrid seller – is further broadening its aggressive electrification plan and second generation of hybrid technology with the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. The vehicle is revealed today at the New York International Auto Show.

"Lincoln's hallmarks are design, technology and comfort. Now, Lincoln also delivers the best fuel efficiency of any luxury sedan in America," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas.

Lincoln's first-ever hybrid is expected to deliver at least 41 miles per gallon in the city when it goes on sale this fall.

The new premium midsize sedan hybrid joins Ford Motor Company's growing lineup of hybrids, including the Ford Fusion Hybrid – 2010 North American Car of the Year and America's most fuel-efficient sedan – plus the Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Milan and Mariner Hybrids.

Introduction of the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid also complements Ford's aggressive global electrification plan. Ford is introducing five new electrified vehicles by 2013. They include the Transit Connect Electric in late 2010, the Focus Electric in 2011, a next-generation hybrid electric vehicle and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in 2012, followed by another next-generation hybrid electric vehicle in 2013.

The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid's projected fuel economy tops its nearest competitor – the 2010 Lexus HS 250h – by 6 mpg. It also trumps the Lexus with room for one more passenger and more standard luxury and segment-exclusive safety features.

"Today's luxury customers do not want to make sacrifices. Lincoln has found a way to deliver a luxury sedan with the comforts they expect, the technology they want and the environmental responsibility society demands," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president, Global Product Development.

The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid uses Ford's second-generation hybrid technology – the 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle I-4 hybrid engine, named one of Ward's 2010 "10 Best Engines."

The system combines the best attributes of the gasoline engine and electric battery-driven motors to deliver optimal performance and fuel economy.

Industry-leading fuel economy comes without sacrificing power. The combined gasoline engine and electric motor provide 191 net horsepower. Plus, the pure electric mode on the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid extends to 47 mph – compared with the Lexus HS 250h battery-only mode, which reaches just 25 mph.

More standard luxury
The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid comes standard with features and technologies that are either not offered on the Lexus HS 250h or are available only at an extra cost. They include:

* SmartGauge with EcoGuide – Ford's highly successful interactive technology provides real-time information to help drivers maximize fuel efficiency, and coaches drivers on how to optimize hybrid performance. Lincoln takes SmartGauge to the next level of engagement by giving drivers enhanced positive feedback on long-term fuel efficiency and driving performance through the "growth" of virtual small flowers on the system's right-most screen. Lincoln's white flowers, inspired by apple blossoms, remain permanently unless long-term fuel economy is reset.

* Lincoln SYNC® – The Lincoln-exclusive voice-activated communications and entertainment system provides an omnipresent link to contacts and information. In addition to Bluetooth® phone, audible text and MP3 player capabilities, Lincoln customers also can access Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist™.

* 10-Way Power Passenger Seat – This seat is designed to accommodate a diverse group of passengers. Memory functions enable passengers to fine-tune and recall their positions.

* Power Driver Memory Seat Settings – The driver seat memory feature helps ensure personal seating preferences anytime, with the touch of a button.

* Heated and Cooled Front Seats – This uniquely engineered system delivers exceptional heating and cooling comfort.

* Genuine Wood Trim – In addition to their exquisite appearance, the Swirl Walnut and Olive Ash wood trims offered in the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid are eco-friendly as well. The veneers come from well-managed forests, as defined by strict environmental, social and economic standards, and from other rigorously controlled sources.

* Reverse Sensing System – This system senses what drivers might not see behind them and relays an audible alert if objects are near, which increases in frequency the closer a driver gets.

* Keyless Entry Keypad – This Lincoln-exclusive feature provides secure entry at a driver's fingertips. A personal combination holds a memory for driver preferences. So if an owner is out for a run and doesn't want to take the keys along, the vehicle can be opened with the touch of a few buttons.

* Easy Fuel® Capless Fuel-Filler – This Lincoln-exclusive feature uses an integrated spring-loaded flapper door to eliminate the need for a fuel tank screw cap. That means no more fumbling to remove and tighten the cap and less fuel odor on a driver's hands at the pump.

* Personal Safety System™ – A Lincoln-exclusive suite of seven protection technologies works together as a system to help protect vehicle occupants. The system includes dual-stage front air bags and an occupant classification system to sense whether the passenger seat is occupied. It tailors – or suppresses – air bag deployment to help provide an appropriate level of protection. It also features the Ford Belt-Minder® system to remind front-seat occupants to buckle up.

* MyKey™ – This Lincoln-exclusive feature allows parents to program a key to limit speed and audio volume to encourage teens to drive safer and improve fuel efficiency. It also encourages seat belt usage, provides earlier low-fuel warnings, and can be programmed to sound chimes at 45, 55 and 65 mph.

* Integrated Spotter Mirrors – The traditional side-view mirrors are designed with a secondary convex spotter mirror in the top outer corner, which provides a view of the driver's blind spot. When traffic enters the driver's blind spot on either side of the vehicle, it is visible in the secondary convex mirror, alerting the driver of obstacles.

* Acoustic Laminated Windshield – This windshield features a layer of sound-absorbent vinyl sandwiched between two sheets of glass, which enhances interior quietness.

The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid also includes standard Bridge of Weir leather seats. The world-renowned luxury leather from Scotland is unembossed, allowing the natural beauty and character of the grain to shine through. The leather is milled for up to 12 hours to ensure a soft hand, and Bridge of Weir uses a chromium-free tanning process, which makes it easier to recycle.

Gilbarco expands standard fuel dispenser warranty from E10 to E15

GREENSBORO, N.C. – March 31, 2010 – Gilbarco Veeder-Root has upgraded the warranty on its standard fuel dispensers to cover use of ethanol content up to E15. Gilbarco is the first supplier in the industry to announce this change for fuel dispensers that are under warranty in the field. These dispensers are currently Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved for ethanol up to E10 under the UL 87 standard.

“We are pleased to lead the market with the expansion of our current warranty from E10 to E15, ensuring that our customers are covered if the current E10 standard is broadened to E15,” said Richard Browne, Vice-President Marketing, North America at Gilbarco Veeder-Root. “Our standard fuel dispenser models, currently UL listed to 10% ethanol, will now carry a warranty for up to 15% ethanol. This change is retroactive to Gilbarco® dispensers manufactured or commissioned in North America since April 1, 2008. Models include the Gilbarco Encore® and Legacy® series dispensers, as well as the Gasboy® Atlas® product line.”

“Our customers can be confident that Gilbarco and Gasboy will honor warranty claims and otherwise support the dispensers they have recently purchased or are considering, should the blending standards change to E15,” Browne said.

Gilbarco Veeder-Root is the industry’s leader in alternative fuels dispensing technology with a full range of flexible fuel solutions. Earlier this month, the company obtained UL and National Conference on Weights and Measures approval for 19 Gilbarco Encore flexible fuel dispenser models for use with blends up to E25.


NEW YORK, March 31, 2010 – For decades, the automobile battery was an essentially static technology, but it’s no longer being taken for granted. Battery technology is now in a starring role in the development of a new generation of electrified vehicles.

But today’s batteries are a far cry from the humble lead-acid battery used for a century in the automobile. The 12-volt lead-acid battery used in traditional automotive applications is rapidly giving way to sophisticated, higher energy and power batteries as the automobile industry shifts further toward electrification.

The advent of hybrid electric vehicles spawned a new generation of batteries, making nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) batteries the energy storage technology of choice. The nickel used in these batteries is lighter than lead, helping the battery deliver twice the power output for the weight as lead-acid batteries, but the cost of Ni-MH batteries is high – four times that of lead acid. Automakers already believe they have tapped most of the potential of Ni-MH technology and are moving rapidly toward Lithium-ion technology.

Lithium-ion batteries are commonplace in the world of consumer electronics. They’re lighter and more energy dense than other types of batteries, making them ideal for laptop computers, mobile phones and other portable devices.

That makes lithium-ion technology even better for use in cars of the future, right?

“At Ford, we believe lithium-ion batteries have incredible potential for the next-generation of electrified vehicle, and we’re already using lithium-ion technology in test units for the battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that are part of our new electrification strategy,” said Ted Miller, senior manager, energy storage strategy and research, Ford Motor Company. “But there are technical challenges we are still addressing to make lithium-ion technology work in high-volume automotive applications.”

According to Miller, intensive technical development work is underway in the industry to adapt lithium-ion technology from that used in cell phones today to the far more robust requirements of automobile batteries of the future. The work is promising, Miller said.

“There isn’t just one type of lithium-ion battery and several hold promise for automotive use,” Miller explained. “That’s good because we know that the variant of lithium-ion battery used in laptops and other mobile devices is completely unacceptable for use in cars.”

That’s because automobile batteries have a much harder job than a laptop or phone battery. Cars have to work in huge temperature extremes, stand up to more shocks and vibrations and a much higher energy throughput than consumer electronics goods. And an automobile is expected to have a 10-year lifespan, something most laptop or cell phone owners don’t expect of those devices.

Intensive development work is underway to prove out lithium-ion technology for the auto industry, and Ford is using its extensive experience in BEV and hybrids to test the technology rigorously for its starring role in high-volume electrified vehicles of the future. Ford can already point to the robustness of its hybrid technology with the Ford Escape Hybrid. In New York, some Escape Hybrid taxis have clocked more than 300,000 miles of reliable service.

Ford and other manufacturers are focused on conquering the challenges of lithium-ion for a long, reliable life.

“There is a tremendous amount of effort happening in lithium-ion technology for cars,” Miller said. “The battery industry is really focused now on creating lithium-ion batteries specifically for cars and this is going to result in a great new generation of automotive batteries.”

Networkfleet Low Cost GPS Vehicle Tracking System Now Available With Simple One Plug Installation

SAN DIEGO – March 31, 2010 – Networkfleet, Inc. today announced the availability of simple one plug installation for its Networkfleet 4200 low cost GPS vehicle tracking system. Most GPS tracking systems require wire splicing for installation in light duty vehicles, but the Networkfleet 4200 plugs directly into the OBD-II diagnostic port, making installation quick and easy.

“In keeping with Networkfleet’s goal to provide a low cost, simple to use wireless fleet management system, we are happy to offer this one-plug solution,” said Keith Schneider, president and CEO of Networkfleet. “This gives fleet managers the ability to quickly implement GPS tracking so that they can start experiencing the benefits of improved fleet utilization.”

The Networkfleet 4200 is designed for fleets that need reliable location tracking, but do not require full engine diagnostics offered by the Networkfleet 3500 wireless fleet management system. The Networkfleet 4200 device can be installed in light, medium and heavy vehicles, and is compatible with both 12V and 24V vehicles.

Using a light duty harness cable and an adapter for specific vehicle types, both supplied by Networkfleet, the 4200 device can receive power directly from the OBD-II port. The vehicle adapter connects directly to the light duty harness cable for easy, plug & play installation.

The Networkfleet 4200 gives fleets a vehicle tracking system that includes a rugged, automotive-grade device backed by Networkfleet’s full service and support. Designed by Networkfleet’s experienced telematics engineering group and built in the U.S., the 4200 is tamper evident and hermetically sealed, allowing it to withstand harsh environments.

Old Dominion Recognized As ASE Certified Training Provider

THOMASVILLE, N.C. (March 31, 2010) – Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. (NASDAQ: ODFL) has been recognized as an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) training provider, making it the first less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier to earn such an honor for its instructor-led training program.

The voluntary ASE certification program is offered by Continuing Automotive Service Education (CASE) and administered by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).

ASE – an independent, non-profit organization – has been certifying automotive technicians and other automotive service professionals for nearly 40 years. The organization’s goal is to improve the quality of vehicle repair nationwide.
Old Dominion’s training program provides continuing education to working technicians. As they complete Old Dominion’s maintenance training courses, technicians can receive CASE continuing education credits.

“This certification marks the culmination of a 15-month long process to meet the requirements to become an ASE certified training provider,” said Ed Richardson, vice president of equipment & maintenance. “In addition, it marks the continuation of our ongoing commitment to ensuring we have the safest fleet on the road.”

A team from NATEF toured Old Dominion’s Thomasville corporate facility in late February and performed an on-site evaluation of the company’s materials. Leading up to the certification, Old Dominion documented its training process and materials, making changes as needed to instructional methods to conform to ASE requirements.
For more information, log onto or call (800) 432-6335.

Volkswagen Showcases Second Generation Touareg Featuring Hybrid Powertrain at the 2010 New York International Auto Show

HERNDON, Va., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Volkswagen of America, Inc. today unveiled the second generation Touareg, showcasing the brand's first-ever hybrid at the 2010 New York International Auto Show.

(Photo: )
Taking the Touareg to the forefront of its class are three available engines to suit a variety of different drivers: A V6 FSI® gasoline engine, a V6 TDI® Clean Diesel engine, and a V6 TSI® gasoline hybrid engine.

With the hybrid model, a 3.0-liter supercharged, direct injection V6 gasoline engine is paired with a special electric motor that reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by about 40 percent.

An eight-speed automatic transmission – the first of its kind in an SUV – keeps power always available while helping the Touareg Hybrid achieve approximately 25 and 21 mpg during highway and city driving respectively. A special clutch can disengage the transmission from the engine when the engine is not powering the Touareg, allowing it to coast forward emission free to further aid in fuel savings. The electric motor can also recover kinetic energy during braking to help recharge the nickel metal-hydride battery pack. With the V6 engine and electric motor combined, a total of 375 horsepower and 428 lbs.-ft. of torque are available, allowing for full towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds.

Also available is Volkswagen's 3.0-liter, V6 TDI® Clean Diesel engine, which offers improved fuel economy, reduced emissions, and greater power versus a similarly-sized gasoline engine, and is an excellent complement to the new Touareg's athletic design. A 3.6-liter, V6 FSI® gasoline engine comes standard with the 2011 model, providing smooth acceleration and all around performance. On all Touareg models, Volkswagen's 4MOTION® all-wheel drive system is ready to tackle nearly any driving condition encountered on and off the road.

Matching the new Touareg's refinements under the hood is a fully-revised exterior that embraces the brand's new face and styling cues, created by Volkswagen's chief of design, Walter de'Silva.

At the front is a narrower grille opening that seamlessly connects to the trapezoidal headlight housings that carry U-shaped LED running lights and Bi-Xenon High Intensity Gas-Discharged headlamps. The housings flow into the new fender flares, and a pair of compact fog lamps at the lower portion of the front fascia stand underneath the Touareg's front air intakes.

The hood features a raised portion that runs from the grille back, finishing at the side mirrors and giving a more muscular overall appearance. A chrome accent strip carries from behind the front wheels, and runs along the bottom of the doors to complement the chrome touches bordering the windows.

The back of the Touareg is defined with pronounced curves around the hatch area, LED illuminated taillights with housings to match up front, and a blacked out lower bumper with a set of shaped, chrome exhaust tips.

Compared to its predecessor, the 2011 Touareg is wider and has a shorter overall height for a stronger presence. A longer wheelbase and greater length provide greater stability, and more room inside the cabin, while the use of new materials and other adjustments have removed nearly 450 pounds from the vehicle.
The Touareg's interior has also been refined, making for a better use of space for both the driver and passengers, as well as in the cargo area. The greater use of curves and further attention to details on the door and dash trim coincide with redesigned, full leather seating for five, and cross-stitching on all panels and surfaces. Both the front and rear passengers can enjoy greater legroom with the Touareg's new overall dimensions and fully adjustable seats, while the rear seatback can be folded at the touch of a button in the trunk, for more storage and convenience.

A seven-inch widescreen color display located between the main gauges in the dash provides the driver with the latest vehicle status information, including of the drive system in the hybrid model, turn-by-turn navigation directions, and more.
Volkswagen's new RNS850 touch screen entertainment and navigation system features an 8-inch screen, a 60GB hard drive with 18GB of space available to upload audio, video, and more, and a DVD/CD player with MP3 playback and Satellite/FM/AM stereo. The navigation system can display maps and directions in a 3-D view, and highlights major landmark highlights to further assist when traveling.

Volkswagen Polo Named the 2010 World Car of the Year

NEW YORK, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Volkswagen AG and Volkswagen of America, Inc. are proud to announce that the Polo has been honored as the 2010 World Car of the Year. With 59 of the top automotive journalists from around the globe judging, the Polo surpassed a total of 29 other nominees. Announced this morning at the New York International Auto Show in New York City's Jacob Javits Center, the annual World Car of the Year awards recognize the year's most outstanding vehicles based on merit, value, safety, environmental impact, significance, and emotional appeal.

"We're honored that the Volkswagen Polo was chosen by this distinguished group of jurors," said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG. "After the great triumph of the Golf last year, we are delighted to repeat this success with the new Polo. These automobiles have reaped numerous awards, winning well-nigh every prize the automotive industry has to award. This shows that Volkswagen is on the right track and is offering arguably the best range of products in its history."

The latest generation of the Volkswagen Polo has quickly become a favorite in the brand's lineup to drivers and media alike, with its uncluttered, timeless design, and exceptional versatility and efficiency. More than 230,000 customers worldwide have placed orders for the newest version of Volkswagen's popular subcompact vehicle.

Now in their seventh year, the World Car of the Year awards, have become one of the most credible and significant programs of its kind. The World Car jurors hail from 25 countries, and are appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the basis of their expertise, experience, credibility, and influence. Each juror drives and evaluates new vehicles on a regular basis as part of his ongoing, full-time professional work, and, collectively with all the jurors, reaches millions of consumers and automotive enthusiasts across the globe.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the New Beetle, New Beetle Convertible, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, Passat Wagon, Eos, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. All 2010 Volkswagens come standard-equipped with Electronic Stabilization Program. This is important because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called ESC the most effective new vehicle safety technology since the safety belt. Visit Volkswagen of America online at