Wednesday, January 19, 2011


OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL, January 6, 2011 -- NationaLease, one of the largest full service truck leasing organizations in North America, has selected its 2011 Board of Directors to serve a two-year term.  Bill Hicks of FirstLease Inc., a NationaLease Member, Norcross, GA, serves as Chairman of the Board.

New to the Board are Bobbie Sue Beasley, President and COO of Carco NationaLease, Fort Smith, AR; Matthew Cummings, President of Cummings Leasing, Inc., a NationaLease Member, Pompano Beach, FL; and David Renz, President of Northview Consulting, who is serving as Director-at-large on the Board.

Also currently serving are Doug Clark, CEO of NationaLease, Oakbrook Terrace, IL; Fred Bentley of Bentley Truck Services, Inc., a NationaLease Member, Philadelphia, PA serving as Treasurer; Tom Bylenga of Star Truck Rentals, a NationaLease Member, Grand Rapids, MI; Paul DeCarolis of DeCarolis Truck Rental, Inc., Rochester, NY; Tom Keefer of Kris-Way Truck Leasing, Inc., a NationaLease Member, South Portland, MA; William Ilett, an industry consultant and Director-at-large; and Justin Johnston of Suppose U Drive NationaLease, Glendale, CA, who serves as Vice Chairman of the Board.

About NationaLease
NationaLease is one of the largest full service truck leasing organizations in North America, with more than 600 service locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, a combined customer fleet of 125,000 tractors, trucks, and trailers, and annual revenue in excess of $4 billion. The company provides comprehensive services for private fleets and transportation service providers and now comprises 175 independent businesses employing 22,000 people.  Member companies boast a customer retention rate in excess of 98%.  The Website is

Alternative Fuel Workshop Advocates Profitability, Sustainability

WASHINGTON (January 6, 2011) — The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and the other members of the Alternative Fuels Trade Alliance will kick off its 2011 nationwide training program on alternative fuels at a workshop for fleet managers January 13 in San Diego.

This free workshop, at San Diego Miramar College, is part of a nationwide series of 14 training seminars made possible by a $1.6 million grant from the Energy Department. The workshops address alternative fuel quality, infrastructure, available vehicles, safety, the latest technologies, and the environmental impact of propane autogas, ethanol, biodiesel, and compressed natural gas.

“There are many reliable green vehicle options available to fleet managers,” said Brian Feehan, vice president of PERC. “Customers are increasingly leaning toward eco-friendly businesses for their commerce decisions. This is definitely the time to learn more about the alternative fuel options available to fleets and how these fuels provide cost savings measures for businesses.”

At the workshop’s ride-and-drive session, fleet managers also will have the opportunity to get inside vehicles that run on alternative fuels. A CleanFuel USA-equipped GM G-4500 cutaway van fueled by propane autogas and owned by Expo Propane will be available for test-driving at this event.

The Alternative Fuels Trade Alliance comprises PERC, the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Biodiesel Foundation, and the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation.

Each of the full-day collaborative workshops involves a site in the Energy Department’s Clean Cities program, which uses local coalitions to promote the use of alternative fuels such as propane autogas. The San Diego Clean Fuels Coalition will host the January 13 workshop. Additional workshop sites for 2011 include Seattle; Orlando, Fla.; and Kansas City, Mo.

Propane autogas, the term for on-road vehicles, is the most widely used alternative fuel nationwide and worldwide. Vehicles fueled by propane autogas include trucks, vans, school buses, and shuttles. Off-road equipment fueled by propane includes forklifts and commercial mowers.

To register for the San Diego workshop or another upcoming workshop, or to view an archived webcast, visit For more information on PERC and its propane autogas programs, visit

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Global Consumer Telematics Penetration in New Cars to Reach 62% by 2016

The percentage of new passenger cars globally shipping with factory-installed telematics will increase from less than 10% in 2010 to 62% in 2016.

ABI Research practice director Dominique Bonte comments: "Several factors are driving the uptake of OEM telematics, the most important being an automotive industry that is emerging from a painful recession and finding renewed dynamism.

"At the same time soaring interest levels in the adoption of open platforms and the integration of smartphones and telematics applications into vehicles represents nothing less than a renaissance of both the consumer and commercial telematics markets, borrowing the hugely successful application store paradigm from the mobile industry to improve time-to-market and industry innovation, and most importantly to reduce the costs of telematics services for end-users. Initiatives such as the open source GENIVI infotainment platform and Nokia's Terminal Mode standard are creating high expectations and result in industry wide cooperation."

However, concerns still remain as to the long-term viability of a still highly fragmented telematics ecosystem, with traditional players such as Telematics Service Providers (TSPs) and automotive Tier 1 suppliers threatened with being squeezed out of the value chain by a new breed of connected navigation and software developer challengers.

Other market barriers include stalling telematics legislation with both the EU's eCall and Brazil's SVT stolen vehicle tracking projects continuing to suffer from delays and indecisiveness. Finally, despite the many benefits offered by telematics smartphone applications, they also bring new safety risks through increased driver distraction which in turn could lead to legislation limiting the use of portable devices in vehicles.

Audi shatters all-time U.S. sales record in 2010; brand expects momentum to continue into 2011

Audi announced all-time record U.S. sales of 101,629 vehicles sold in 2010, surpassing the prior record of 93,506 vehicles sold in 2007. Due to strong and continued consumer demand for Audi premium vehicles, 2010 marked the best year Audi has ever enjoyed in the U.S. market. The new Audi record resulted from record performances in all three U.S. regions.

In December 2010, Audi reported sales of 10,546 vehicles, a 16.8% increase over the 9,030 vehicles sold in December 2009. For the full year of 2010, Audi new sales rose nearly 23% versus its prior full-year total of 82,716 vehicles sold in 2009.

Last year marked the expansion of the Audi lineup to more than 10 models and nearly 20 variants. It was also distinguished by the strong sales debut of the redesigned 2011 Audi A8 flagship model – the most technologically advanced vehicle Audi has ever produced. Audi A8 sales (since the vehicle’s release in November 2010) totaled 812 units in 2010, comprising over 53% of CY 2010 A8 sales.

One of Audi’s hottest selling models included the Audi Q5 crossover, with sales jumping 44% in December 2010 when compared to December 2009, and 70.5% for the full year of 2010 when compared to 2009. Additionally, clean diesel sales continued to reflect the surging demand for fuel-efficient models as the Audi A3 TDI accounted for nearly 53% of vehicles sold in the Audi A3 line.

“For Audi, 2010 was a groundbreaking year,” said Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen. “Audi is one of the best performing franchises in the business today. Consumers respond favorably to superior engineering, efficient performance, and differentiated styling, and that’s what they see in Audi.”

The setting of an all-time U.S. sales record in 2010 clearly signals that Audi’s powerful brand momentum will build throughout 2011. The strength of the Audi portfolio will continue to be on display with its fourth consecutive commercial appearance in next month’s Super Bowl XLV game.

Over the next few years, Audi will sustain its long-term investment strategy. AUDI AG plans to invest more than $15 billion by 2015 in fixed assets for sustained and profitable growth. With the recent launch of the new Audi A8 in November 2010 and the expected unveiling of the all-new Audi A7 in Spring 2011, Audi is poised to have the newest, most technologically advanced offerings at the top of the luxury car market.

Pete and Annie Kornafel Issue Matching Grant Challenge For First Time GAAS Scholarship Donors and Event Sponsors

Pete Kornafel, chair of the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) Scholarship Committee, along with his wife, Annie, have issued a matching grant challenge to the automotive aftermarket.  Called "The Kornafel Matching Challenge," the couple will match, dollar for dollar, the contributions of first-time donors to the GAAS Scholarship Fund and first-time sponsors of the 2011 GAAS event. The Kornafel Matching Challenge is capped at a total aggregate of $15,000.

"We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Pete and Annie for this wonderful cause of educating future leaders in our industry," said Dave Caracci, Chairman of GAAS. "I'm hopeful that many individuals and companies who have never contributed to the GAAS Scholarship Fund or sponsored our event, will step forward to meet this challenge."

The 2011 edition of GAAS will focus on the theme "Aftermarket Fast Forward: What You Need to Know to Stay Ahead” when it convenes Wednesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 19 at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare near Chicago. GAAS 2011 marks the 16th anniversary of the event that annually gathers the leaders of the automotive aftermarket for education and networking opportunities.

Events at GAAS 2011 still available for sponsorship include a lunch, two breakfast sessions, interactive handheld devices, and advertising in the onsite program. A brochure outlining all 2011 GAAS sponsorship opportunities is available for download at the GAAS website under the "Sponsorship" tab or contact Barbara Clark at (703) 727-7505 or e-mail:

Applications are now being accepted online for the 2011 Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) scholarship, awarded to students planning automotive aftermarket careers. The application process is now entirely electronic through the GAAS scholarship Web site, The deadline to apply is Thursday, March 31, 2011.
By completing a single online application at the GAAS Web site, students will be considered for GAAS scholarships, plus scholarships from a number of industry partners. In 2010, a total of 136 students were awarded 155 scholarships by the GAAS Scholarship fund, its contributors and other groups collaborating with the GAAS Scholarship Web site,

Contributions can be made to the GAAS Scholarship Fund, c/o Susan Medick at AAIA, at (301) 654-6664, or For more information on GAAS 2011, visit or phone (301) 654-6664.

Airbiquity and Hitachi Automotive Systems Announce Availability of Global Connected Vehicle Services for Nissan LEAF

Airbiquity Inc. and Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. have announced the first commercial implementation of the companies' connected services platform for Electric Vehicles (EVs), now available in the Nissan LEAF.

"Airbiquity is proud to be an essential supplier selected to contribute to the Nissan LEAF's sophisticated IT system"
The jointly-developed solution provides the infrastructure for Nissan's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Nissan LEAF. With the ICT system, Nissan LEAF owners are connected at all times to the data and information they need to optimize their EV experience. Nissan LEAF owners and drivers will be able to track battery charging and use, and activate remote services and locate charging stations, among other essential EV activities. The system can be accessed in the vehicle, by a dedicated website for Nissan LEAF owners, via mobile phones, and smartphones, to manage energy usage.

Today's announcement demonstrates both the realization of the partnership to meet growing global EV programs, and the unique and compelling capabilities of the partnership's connected vehicle service portfolio.

"Airbiquity is proud to be an essential supplier selected to contribute to the Nissan LEAF's sophisticated IT system," said Kamyar Moinzadeh, president and CEO for Airbiquity. "The Nissan LEAF is a critical first step in establishing the era of zero-emission mobility. Working with Hitachi Automotive Systems, we have enabled state-of-the-art connectivity features that will play a vital role in global transportation for decades to come."

"Hitachi Automotive Systems is committed to providing its customers with intelligent, advanced connectivity solutions," said Masamori Kashiyama, general manager of the Next-Generation Telematics Center of Hitachi Automotive Systems' CIS Division. "Working with Airbiquity, our joint solution enables Nissan to offer LEAF connectivity on a global scale, advancing the company's eco-friendly technologies that both increase efficiency and reduce emissions."

The Nissan LEAF is available for purchase in Japan and the U.S., and is scheduled for availability in Europe and Canada in 2011.

FTA Announces $182.4 Million in Funds for Seven Major Transit Projects Underway Across U.S.

WASHINGTON – The Federal Transit Administration today announced that is advancing a total of $182.4 million in New Starts funding for seven transit projects already under construction in New York, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Northern Virginia.

"By making these payments now, we're not only fulfilling the federal government's commitment to these projects sooner, but we're also giving a well-timed boost to communities that have made an important investment in their transportation infrastructure," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We want to keep the projects moving and people working with these early investments, which will save these cities money over the long haul."

The grants being awarded today will not increase the federal government's overall share in the projects. Rather, a portion of the federal share for each project is being paid earlier than expected because of unallocated funds in FTA's Fiscal Year 2010 budget for new construction.

"The advance payments being announced today will free up local funds that can now be used for other transit projects that will make it easier for families to get to work, to school, and to other important destinations," said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. "These advances will also result in the savings of financing costs that local sponsors would have otherwise incurred."

These projects—which include subway, light rail, and commuter rail—have already been given "full funding grant agreements," documents that establish the federal government's share of funding as well as annual payment schedules.

In recent years, the FTA has provided between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion annually toward new public transportation projects through its New Starts Program, the primary source of federal assistance for local sponsors of transit construction. A summary of projects receiving advance payments can be found here:

FMCSA Issues Proposed Rule on Hours-of-Service Requirements for Commercial Truck Drivers

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today issued a regulatory proposal that would revise hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for commercial truck drivers.

"A fatigued driver has no place behind the wheel of a large commercial truck," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We are committed to an hours-of-service rule that will help create an environment where commercial truck drivers are rested, alert and focused on safety while on the job."

The publication of this proposed rule coincides with the timeframe established in a court settlement agreement that requires FMCSA to publish a final HOS rule by July 26, 2011.

This new HOS proposal would retain the "34-hour restart" provision allowing drivers to restart the clock on their weekly 60 or 70 hours by taking at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty. However, the restart period would have to include two consecutive off-duty periods from midnight to 6:00 a.m. Drivers would be allowed to use this restart only once during a seven-day period.

Additionally the proposal would require commercial truck drivers to complete all driving within a 14-hour workday, and to complete all on-duty work-related activities within 13 hours to allow for at least a one hour break. It also leaves open for comment whether drivers should be limited to 10 or 11 hours of daily driving time, although FMCSA currently favors a 10-hour limit.

"In January, we began this rulemaking process by hosting five public listening sessions with stakeholders across the country," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "This proposed rule provides another opportunity for the public to weigh in on a safety issue that impacts everyone on our roadways."

Driving hours are regulated by federal HOS rules, which are designed to prevent commercial vehicle-related crashes and fatalities by prescribing on-duty and rest periods for drivers.

Commercial truck drivers who violate this proposed rule would face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense. Trucking companies that allow their drivers to violate the proposal's driving limits would face penalties of up to $11,000 for each offense.

Other key provisions include the option of extending a driver's daily shift to 16 hours twice a week to accommodate for issues such as loading and unloading at terminals or ports, and allowing drivers to count some time spent parked in their trucks toward off-duty hours.

A copy of the rulemaking proposal is available on FMCSA's Web site at The rulemaking will be published in the Federal Register on December 29 and the public will then have 60 days to comment. Information on how to submit comments and evidentiary material is available at

23,867 Volkswagen Vehicles Sold in December; Best December Sales Month Since 2005

HERNDON, Va., January 4, 2011 -- Volkswagen of America, Inc. today reported that December 2010 marked a 17 percent increase over prior year sales for the entire line of vehicles. In addition, 2010 achieved a 20 percent increase over 2009 total year sales. Increased sales numbers resulted in best annual sales since 2003 and best December sales since 2005.

With the growing popularity of Volkswagen's SUV models, the Tiguan achieved its best month ever, selling 2,551 vehicles, a 42 percent increase from the same month last year. Bolstered by the all-new model, the Volkswagen Touareg ended the year positively with a 68 percent increase compared to 2009. Other top selling vehicles included the Jetta with a 34 percent increase, Golf with a 72 percent increase and Routan with a 50 percent increase compared to December 2009.  The all-new Jetta, Touareg and Tiguan along with the Jetta SportWagen, Golf and GTI are the 6 Volkswagen models that earned the prestigious Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) TOP SAFETY PICK award for 2011, the highest rating possible from the non-profit safety research organization.

Volkswagen's impressive line-up of TDI Clean Diesels fared well again in December with Golf selling 56 percent of its models as TDI and the all-new Touareg selling 35 percent as TDI. Overall, 22 percent of Volkswagen models were sold with TDI Clean Diesel engines.

"The Volkswagen team is proud to end 2010 on a positive note, receiving the great IIHS news and achieving record sales numbers not only for specific models but for the best total year sales since 2003," said Mark Barnes, Chief Operating Officer, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "As we saw last month, our minivan and SUVs continue to be popular among U.S. consumers as does the all-new Jetta with its long-list of standard features and attractive price. As we move into the 2011, we look forward to continuing this positive sales trend with the introduction of some of the best Volkswagen models ever, including the New Midsize Sedan to be built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the all-new 2012 Beetle."

Chrysler Canada Celebrates 26 Per Cent Sales Growth in 2010

Chrysler Canada today announced its highest level of sales growth in 2010 of any year in its history, as sales grew 26 per cent compared with 2009.  The company reported sales of 204,955 for full-year 2010, an increase of 41,773 units over the previous year and the highest year-over-year volume increase ever.   For the month of December, Chrysler Canada sold 14,407 units, an increase of four per cent compared with December 2009, for its thirteenth consecutive month of sales growth.

"The dramatically improved quality and fuel efficiency of our products paid dividends for Chrysler in 2010 by making us solidly the No. 1 market share gainer in the country," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO of Chrysler Canada. "In addition, we set all-time sales records for our Ram pickup truck, Dodge Journey and Dodge Grand Caravan. In fact during 2010 almost eight out of every 10 minivans sold in Canada belonged to Chrysler Canada.  Not even the Canadian World Junior Hockey Team dominates the competition as much as the Grand Caravan."

Two Chrysler Canada vehicles made the list of the top five selling vehicles in Canada, and also reported their all-time highest annual sales in 2010.  Full-year sales of the Ram pickup reached 53,386 units, up 74 per cent over 2009.  For the month of December, Ram sales grew 58 per cent on sales of 4,045 units.  The Windsor, Ontario-built Dodge Grand Caravan also recorded an outstanding year with sales for the 12-month period soaring to 55,306 units, up 37 per cent compared with 2009.

The Dodge Journey retained its position as Canada's best-selling crossover, with full-year sales of 23,785 units, up 54 per cent over 2009 and the vehicle's highest sales year since launch.

On the strength of the all-new Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Jeep Brand sales increased 24 per cent in 2010.  Jeep Grand Cherokee sales rose 26 per cent in December (1,001 units for the month) for a full year total of 7,255 units.  Sales of the iconic Jeep Wrangler grew 52 per cent in 2010 on 11,062 units.  The Jeep Patriot recorded full-year 2010 sales of 10,753 units, an increase of 34 per cent over 2009.

OnStar Expands Beyond GM Cars

Las Vegas, Jan. 4, 2011- OnStar today announced that it is responding to repeated consumer requests by offering its industry leading safety, security and connectivity services for non-GM and older GM vehicles already on the road. A standalone rearview mirror packing all of OnStar's core technology will be available this spring through consumer electronics retailers, and is compatible with most top-selling vehicles from major manufacturers.

The OnStar retail product offers the key features that have made OnStar's "blue button" an icon, including Automatic Crash Response, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, one-button access to emergency and roadside services, and hands-free calling, including Bluetooth connectivity.

"For years, thousands of drivers have asked us to get OnStar in vehicles that didn't feature it as standard," said Chris Preuss, OnStar president. "With the retail product that we've introduced today they certainly can. This move in to the consumer electronics space represents the biggest development in our business model since introducing OnStar as standard across all GM products several years ago.  It represents a quantum leap forward in our plans to grow our business and provide a strong new revenue base for GM and OnStar from which we can further develop our core offerings in the factory-equipped market."

OnStar will offer the mirror in the United States through Best Buy, its first strategic retail partner, beginning in spring 2011. The product will also be available through other selected consumer electronics retailers. The mirror will be priced at $299, plus installation (expected to cost between $75 and $100). A range of service plans will be available, starting at $18.95 a month or $199 a year.

"We're proud to be OnStar's first strategic retail partner for this innovative offering, which is one more way Best Buy can help our customers stay connected whenever and wherever they want,"  said Lisa Farrell, senior vice president and general manager portable electronics customer solutions group at Best Buy. "We provide a one-stop solution for consumers. In addition to purchasing the device at Best Buy, we offer our customers the convenience of having it installed by our Geek Squad Auto Techs – all at one location."

Ingram Micro will serve as the key distributor of this product and is the main contact for interested retail outlets.

Currently, the OnStar mirror is certified to work on 99 percent of the top 20 selling non-GM vehicles over the last 10 years, or approximately 55 million cars and trucks. OnStar expects to certify additional models in the months ahead.

Key features of the OnStar mirror include:

·         Automatic Crash Response. An accelerometer built into OnStar the mirror detects the sudden shock of an impact from the front, side, or rear of the vehicle and automatically calls an OnStar advisor. If the driver doesn't respond, or responds to say there has been a crash, an OnStar advisor will direct emergency responders to the exact GPS location of the vehicle.

·         Link to Emergency Services. By pressing OnStar's red emergency button, drivers are immediately connected to a specially trained emergency advisor for assistance in situations occurring inside or outside of their vehicle.

·         Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance. If the vehicle is reported stolen to local law enforcement, OnStar subscribers can call 1-888-4-OnStar (1-888-466-7827) from any phone. OnStar advisors, available 24/7, can attempt to locate the vehicle through the mirror's internal GPS and provide the location to law enforcement.

·         Turn-by-Turn Navigation. With OnStar's most popular service, drivers can press OnStar's blue button and ask OnStar advisors for directions to a specific location or ask the advisor to find a point of interest such as a gas station or nearby restaurant. The directions are then downloaded to the OnStar system, which provides spoken turn-by-turn directions for reaching the destination.

·         Roadside Assistance. In non-emergency situations, drivers can push the blue button or call 1-888-4-ONSTAR for help with problems such as keys locked in the vehicle, a flat tire, or running out of gas.

·         Hands-Free Calling. OnStar allows drivers to make hands-free, voice-activated calls either through a Bluetooth connection to the driver's mobile phone or through prepaid packages of minutes purchased through OnStar.

All these services are available directly through the OnStar mirror, without requiring the driver to bring along a mobile phone or even own a mobile phone. In the event of an accident, emergency services are alerted even if there is no mobile phone in the vehicle, the phone is damaged in a crash or the driver is unable to use a phone.

OnStar is now in its ninth generation of technology. The first-generation OnStar product in 1996 was comprised of 38 individual components and could take up to four days to install. Now all of the technology required to deliver the OnStar experience fits inside a rearview mirror weighing only 23 ounces, and professional installation is expected to take less than an hour. This requires removing the vehicle's current rearview mirror, replacing it with the OnStar product and running an electric power source to the new mirror.

For more information on OnStar's innovation, the new OnStar mirror and a list of the compatible vehicles at launch, visit

2011 Chevy Volt Builds on Earlier GM Electrification Efforts

WARREN, Mich.  – The Chevrolet Volts now being delivered to enthusiastic retail customers would not have been possible without the lessons learned from previous General Motors electrification efforts.

Many of the technologies resulting from the development of the ground-breaking EV1 in the 1990s, the Two-Mode hybrid SUVs and pickup trucks and the fuel cell Chevrolet Equinox used for the Project Driveway program are part of the Volt. 

"The band is back together - only this time there are fans," said former EV1 chief engineer Jon Bereisa.

Regardless of whether a vehicle uses a hydrogen-powered fuel cell, a battery charged from the grid or just recovered kinetic energy from a hybrid drive system, the electric propulsion systems feature many common components and sub-systems. Traction motors and generators, power electronics and battery management systems work in much the same way for each. Improving one type can benefit all.  Each alternative drive vehicle also relies on systems like electric power assisted steering, electronic brake control and electric climate control.

While earlier vehicles were not built in mass-production numbers, many of the engineers that created them also contributed to the Volt development, including chief engineer Andrew Farah.

"By adapting sub-systems such as the EV1-descended motors developed for the front-wheel drive hybrid system and electronically controlled brakes from the fuel cell Equinox, the engineers were able to focus more resources on the new lithium ion battery and overall vehicle integration," said Farah. The hardware engineers weren't the only ones to benefit from the earlier programs. "A new drive system like this involves a lot of complex control software such as the regenerative brake blending which benefited from the Two-Mode hybrid development."

As the transportation ecosystem moves from a dependence on petroleum over the coming decades, electrification will allow vehicle engineers to separate the propulsion and energy storage systems.

"In the future, vehicles will likely combine different energy systems including batteries, ultra capacitors and hydrogen fuel cells with common and scalable electric drives systems depending on regional and application needs," said Daniel O'Connell, director of fuel cell commercialization.

And the advancements will pay off in future generations of the Volt and other electric and hybrid vehicles coming to market.  Even traditional internal combustion vehicles like the new Chevrolet Cruze and the 2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist consume and pollute less thanks to the use of more energy efficient systems developed for electrified vehicles.

"Throughout GM's first century, internal combustion engines were the heart of the company's products. GM engineers are now using the lessons learned over the past two decades to make electric propulsion and energy storage systems a core competency for the next century," said Jamie Hresko, vice president of Global Powertrain Engineering.

Volkswagen Recruits Top Comedic Talent for "Inside the VW Academy" Series of Digital Only Webisodes

HERNDON, Va., January 3, 2011 — Volkswagen of America, Inc. has created a series of humorous and informative webisodes starring Saturday Night Live comedian, Bill Hader paired with trained Volkswagen product specialist, Danielle Gumro, and SNL writer John Mulaney. The series titled, "Inside the VW Academy," shows the duo weaving together useful and hard-hitting product features in a compelling and entertaining way. The videos will be featured on the official Volkswagen YouTube channel ( and on its completely redesigned website ( The series is made up of eighteen videos in total, the first nine branded entertainment clips debuting January 5th.

"There was a real collaboration between Volkswagen and Bill Hader on the set of ‘Inside the VW Academy' and the unscripted comedy resulted in a unique and interesting format to engage consumers," said Tim Ellis, Vice President of Marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "This high quality online entertainment highlights our superior German engineering in a new way and underscores all the value you get when buying a Volkswagen."

"I was excited to get to work with the elusive Danielle Gumro. But I was bummed I couldn't keep my wardrobe from the shoot," added actor Bill Hader.

The first nine videos feature the all-new 2011 Jetta, 2011 Tiguan and the 2011 Touareg. Each model will be featured in three videos that highlight key features, safety, performance and technology, and each video shows a competitive comparison. The content will provide factual details interspersed with humorous dialog and comedic improv. Consumers will also be able to post the videos via YouTube and Facebook. Additional videos will launch in March.

66 winners of 2011 Top Safety Pick award; automakers quickly improve roofs to boost rollover protection

ARLINGTON, VA — Sixty-six vehicles earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick award for 2011, including 40 cars, 25 SUVs, and a minivan. Top Safety Pick recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rollover, and rear crashes based on good ratings in Institute tests. Winners also must have available electronic stability control, a crash avoidance feature that significantly reduces crash risk. The ratings help consumers pick vehicles that offer a higher level of protection than federal safety standards require.

Last year the Institute toughened criteria for Top Safety Pick by adding a requirement that all qualifiers must earn a good rating for performance in a roof strength test to assess protection in a rollover crash. The move sharply narrowed the initial field of 2010 winners. At the beginning of the 2010 model year, only 27 vehicles qualified for the award, but the number grew to 58 as auto manufacturers reworked existing designs and introduced new models. Now another 10 vehicles join the winners' list for 2011. Two discontinued models drop off.

"In just a year, automakers have more than doubled the number of vehicles that meet the criteria for Top Safety Pick," says Adrian Lund, the Institute's president. "That gives consumers shopping for a safer new car or SUV — from economy to luxury models — plenty of choices to consider in most dealer showrooms. In fact, every major automaker has at least one winning model this year."

Front-runners: Hyundai/Kia and Volkswagen/Audi each have 9 winners for 2011. Next in line with 8 awards apiece are General Motors, Ford/Lincoln, and Toyota/Lexus/Scion. Subaru is the only manufacturer with a winner in all the vehicle classes in which it competes. Subaru earns 5 awards for 2011.

"Safety is a priority among this crop of winners," Lund says. "From the start these manufacturers set out to design vehicles that would earn Top Safety Pick, even though we've made it harder to win."

One of them is Ford. For 2011, the automaker is rolling out a new design for its popular Explorer midsize SUV, which until now had never earned Top Safety Pick. Ford also upgraded the roofs of 2 other midsize SUVs, the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT, along with the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ, 2 midsize cars that missed the initial round of 2010 winners because they lacked the required roof strength. The all-new Ford Fiesta rounds out Ford's winners and is the only minicar to earn Top Safety Pick this year.

General Motors' new Chevrolet Cruze broadens the number of award-winning options for consumers looking to buy a fuel-efficient small car. GM built the Cruze, which has 10 standard airbags, including ones for the knees, to outperform the government's minimum roof strength requirements and touts the achievement as a selling point.

The redesigned Volkswagen Touareg is the only large SUV to earn Top Safety Pick for 2011. The Institute doesn't normally evaluate SUVs this large, but Volkswagen requested crash tests to demonstrate the Touareg's crashworthiness.

None of the small pickups the Institute has evaluated qualified for this year's award, and large pickups haven't yet been tested.

The Institute awarded the first Top Safety Pick to 2006 models and then raised the bar the next year by requiring good rear test results and electronic stability control as either standard or optional equipment. With last year's addition of new criteria for roof crush the Institute's crash test ratings now cover all 4 of the most common kinds of crashes.

More than 12,000 people died in frontal crashes of passenger vehicles in 2009 in the United States, more than 6,000 died in side impacts, and more than 8,000 died in rollovers, many of which also involved a front or side impact. Rear-end crashes usually aren't fatal but result in a large proportion of injuries. Neck sprain or strain is the most commonly reported injury in two-thirds of insurance claims for injuries in all kinds of crashes.

Vehicles rated good for rollover crash protection have roofs more than twice as strong as the current federal standard requires. The Institute estimates that such roofs reduce the risk of serious and fatal injury in single-vehicle rollovers by about 50 percent compared with roofs meeting the minimum requirement.

Quick strides in occupant protection: When the first roof crush results were released in March 2009, only a third of the SUVs tested had good roofs. Since then about 113 vehicles have been tested, and the majority are rated good for roof strength.

Hyundai is a case in point. The Tucson and the small SUV's twin, the Kia Sportage, earned a poor rating for roof strength in 2009, with the weakest roof among all of the small SUVs evaluated that year. A redesign helped the 2011 models secure a good rating and Top Safety Pick. Hyundai also improved the roof on another SUV, the midsize Santa Fe, and redesigned the Sonata, a midsize car that had earned a marginal roof rating the first time around.

The outlook for side-impact protection has brightened, too, Lund notes. Many cars failed the side test the Institute began conducting in 2003, but now most vehicles ace the test thanks to stronger side structures and standard side airbags that protect the head and torso. It's an important improvement because new Institute research shows that the risk of dying in a crash is sharply lower for people in vehicles that earn good ratings in the Institute's side test.

Chrysler added torso airbags to the redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee to bolster side crash protection and earn a good side rating. The previous design relied on head curtain airbags to cushion occupants in side crashes and only rated marginal for side protection.

Safety equipment is increasingly standard. Ninety-two percent of 2011 model cars, 94 percent of SUVs, and 56 percent of pickups have standard head and torso side airbags. Electronic stability control is standard on 92 percent of cars, 100 percent of SUVs, and 72 percent of pickups.

"Automakers deserve credit for quickly rising to meet the more-challenging criteria for Top Safety Pick," Lund says. "Several already have requested tests for new models due to ship early next year, so we expect to add even more winners to the 2011 list."

The Institute groups Top Safety Pick winners according to vehicle type and size. Lund advises consumers to keep in mind that size and weight influence crashworthiness. Larger, heavier vehicles generally afford better occupant protection in serious crashes than smaller, lighter ones. Even with a Top Safety Pick, a small car isn't as crashworthy as a bigger one.

How vehicles are evaluated: The Institute's frontal crashworthiness evaluations are based on results of 40 mph frontal offset crash tests. Each vehicle's overall evaluation is based on measurements of intrusion into the occupant compartment, injury measures recorded on a 50th percentile male Hybrid III dummy in the driver seat, and analysis of slow-motion film to assess how well the restraint system controlled dummy movement during the test.

Side evaluations are based on performance in a crash test in which the side of a vehicle is struck by a barrier moving at 31 mph. The barrier represents the front end of a pickup or SUV. Ratings reflect injury measures recorded on 2 instrumented SID-IIs dummies representing a 5th percentile woman, assessment of head protection countermeasures, and the vehicle's structural performance during the impact.

In the roof strength test, a metal plate is pushed against 1 side of a roof at a displacement rate of 0.2 inch per second. To earn a good rating for rollover protection, the roof must withstand a force of 4 times the vehicle's weight before reaching 5 inches of crush. This is called a strength-to-weight ratio.

Rear crash protection is rated according to a two-step procedure. Starting points for the ratings are measurements of head restraint geometry — the height of a restraint and its horizontal distance behind the back of the head of an average-size man.

Seat/head restraints with good or acceptable geometry are tested dynamically using a dummy that measures forces on the neck. This test simulates a collision in which a stationary vehicle is struck in the rear at 20 mph. Seats without good or acceptable geometry are rated poor overall because they can't be positioned to protect many people.

ALL 66 WINNERS (red indicates newly-announced winners for 2011)

Large cars
Buick LaCrosse
Buick Regal
BMW 5 series (except 4-wheel drive and V8)
Cadillac CTS sedan
Ford Taurus
Hyundai Genesis
Infiniti M37/M56 (except M56x 4-wheel drive)
Lincoln MKS
Mercedes E class coupe
Mercedes E class sedan
Toyota Avalon
Volvo S80

Midsize cars
Audi A3
Audi A4 sedan
Chevrolet Malibu
Chrysler 200 4-door
Dodge Avenger
Ford Fusion
Hyundai Sonata
Kia Optima
Lincoln MKZ
Mercedes C class
Subaru Legacy
Subaru Outback
Volkswagen Jetta sedan
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
Volvo C30

Small cars
Chevrolet Cruze
Honda Civic 4-door models (except Si) with optional electronic stability control
Kia Forte sedan
Kia Soul
Mitsubishi Lancer sedan (except 4-wheel drive)
Nissan Cube
Scion tC
Scion xB
Subaru Impreza sedan and hatchback (except WRX)
Toyota Corolla
Volkswagen Golf 4-door
Volkswagen GTI 4-door

Ford Fiesta sedan and hatchback built after July 2010

Toyota Sienna

Large SUV
Volkswagen Touareg

Midsize SUVs
Audi Q5
Cadillac SRX
Chevrolet Equinox
Dodge Journey
Ford Explorer
Ford Flex
GMC Terrain
Hyundai Santa Fe
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Kia Sorento built after March 2010
Lexus RX
Lincoln MKT
Mercedes GLK
Subaru Tribeca
Toyota Highlander
Toyota Venza
Volvo XC60
Volvo XC90

Small SUVs
Honda Element
Hyundai Tucson
Jeep Patriot with optional side torso airbags
Kia Sportage
Subaru Forester
Volkswagen Tiguan

William Nowicke joins THINK as Vice President Global Operations

William Nowicke has joined the THINK senior leadership team as Vice President, Global Operations, effective immediately. He comes to THINK's headquarters in Oslo with a background of over 15 years in senior auto industry executive leadership and turn-around assignments.

Prior to joining THINK this month, William was a Vice President at the global turn-around, restructuring, and business advisory firm, AlixPartners LLP headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, USA. His responsibilities included the re-structuring and turn-around of several manufacturing operations within the automotive, consumer products, aerospace and defence industries. Nowicke has also held several senior level executive positions within manufacturing and manufacturing engineering operations across Chrysler Corporation in the US.

At THINK, he will be responsible for developing the company's fast expanding global operations. THINK recently commenced production in the US with a new assembly facility in Elkhart County, Indiana, which completed its first vehicles this month. The company also manufactures vehicles for Europe with production partner Valmet Automotive in Finland, and operations in Asia are being developed with THINK's strategic partner in Japan, Itochu. State of the art new product development and engineering facilities at the company's headquarters in Oslo will also be opened in 2011.

"William joins us at a time of great operational growth at THINK," said CEO, Barry Engle. "We are doubling our manufacturing capabilities across two continents. We're also growing our engineering facilities to capitalise on business-to-business opportunities resulting from new generations of THINK EV drive-train technology coming to market. His experience in global automotive operations and development will prove invaluable in these very busy and exciting times."

Nowicke added: "This is a new industry presenting new challenges all of its own, and I am delighted to be joining a company at the very heart of this fascinating sector. THINK is a leader in its field, particularly from a technical perspective, and this is what I look forward to developing even further, starting from our well established Europe base and expanding into new EV territories around the world."

William is married with two children and will divide his time between THINK's bases in Norway and the US.


Internationally known transportation researcher Johanna Zmud has been named director of the RAND Transportation, Space and Technology program, officials from the RAND Corporation announced today.

"Johanna Zmud's vision, experience and energy will help expand RAND's reach and help us improve transportation, space and technology policy in the United States and around the world," said Debra Knopman, vice president of the RAND Infrastructure, Safety and Environment division, which includes the Transportation, Space and Technology program.

Zmud has 25 years of experience measuring and analyzing travel behavior. She has international credentials in travel behavior survey science and national credentials in passenger travel and road pricing, freight and commodity flows, transportation data programs, and the intersection of transportation and information/communication technologies.

Zmud is the incoming chair of the Policy and Organization Group of the National Academies' Transportation Research Board and currently serves as co-chair of the Board's Special Task Force on Data for Decisions and Performance Measures. Prior to joining RAND as a senior policy researcher in August 2010, she was founding owner and president of NuStats, a company specializing in complex social research studies of transportation, mobility and other quality-of-life issues.

Zmud succeeds Martin Wachs, who will continue part-time as a RAND researcher and will teach at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

The RAND Infrastructure, Safety and Environment division supports the development, management and protection of society's essential built and natural assets, as well as related social assets such as safety and security. The division conducts research and analysis in homeland security, critical infrastructure protection, public and occupational safety, transportation and transportation safety, the environment, energy, economic development, space, and telecommunications.

L-3 MPRI Announces Sales of FireSim Driving Simulators to Waco Fire Department and Texas A&M University System

ALEXANDRIA, Va., January 5, 2011 – L-3 MPRI, a global provider of integrated training solutions, including simulation-based training systems, today announced two Texas-based sales of its mobile FireSim Driving Simulator – one to the Waco Fire Department and the other to Texas A&M University System's Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). Driving collisions are the second leading cause of death in the fire service, and the FireSim's lifelike driving environment is designed to train safe decision-making and behavior skills to help save firefighters' lives.

"We are committed to providing training devices for our nation's firefighters who bravely and unselfishly serve the public in dangerous situations," said Dennis Corrigan, senior vice president and general manager of L-3 MPRI's Training Systems Group. "These everyday heroes deserve state-of-the-art training that helps them respond to emergencies safely by teaching techniques for vehicle handling and making sound judgment calls."

Designed by L-3 MPRI's learning systems experts, the FireSim features a high-fidelity replication of the driver's section of the truck and comes with a wide range of actual scenarios that emergency vehicle operators face, including navigating their fire trucks among drivers who fail to heed lights and sirens, correctly positioning equipment at a fire scene, and operating in inclement weather, among many others. Practiced in an environmentally friendly and risk-free environment, each scenario is designed to enhance the driver's reaction time and build good decision-making processes for real-life situations. In addition, these simulators include metrics to measure driver performance.

With 14 fire stations staffed by 195 firefighters, the Waco Fire Department introduced simulator-based training in July 2010 to supplement ongoing classroom lessons. The FireSim's mobile platform enables Waco to conduct training at each of its stations, keeping firefighters on-site and available to respond to emergencies as needed. The department has already trained its entire emergency operations division on the FireSim and is expanding the ways in which it utilizes the simulator in its curriculum.

TEEX will administer statewide training on the FireSim beginning in early 2011. Considered one of the best in the nation, the school's fire program delivers training courses and technical assistance to fire departments across Texas, coordination for more than 70 area fire schools, and field courses for the National Fire Academy. Employing this alternate form of active training for students and departments will cost less than the use of actual fire apparatus.

L-3 MPRI's newly upgraded FireSim features three 50-inch, high-resolution plasma displays that provide a 205-degree view of the driving environment as well as a truck cab equipped with a glass dashboard, seat, steering wheel, brake, and clutch and accelerator pedals for a true-to-life experience. Instructors control the training process from the SimCommander, an easy-to-use touch screen environment, where they can monitor performance and provide real-time feedback. The mobile simulators are contained within custom-built trailers for easy transport to train firefighters anytime and anywhere they need it.

About L-3 MPRI
Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., L-3 MPRI is a recognized global leader in the development of a broad spectrum of training services and devices for national security, law enforcement, the environment, international development and public health programs – both domestically and abroad. All of MPRI's products, people and programs are governed by the division's commitment to quality and ethics. For further information, please visit the company's website at

About L-3 Communications
Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications employs approximately 65,000 people worldwide and is a prime contractor in C3ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems, aircraft modernization and maintenance, and government services. L-3 is also a leading provider of a broad range of electronic systems used on military and commercial platforms. The company reported 2009 sales of $15.6 billion. To learn more about L-3, please visit the company's website at


DETROIT, Jan. 5, 2011 – AutoWeek editors announced their 2011 "Best of the Best/Car" and "Best of the Best/Truck" awards today. Recipients are the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

"The AutoWeek staff annually drives hundreds of vehicles, supplying an insider's opinion about which cars and trucks are worth considering when making one of life's biggest purchases," says AutoWeek Editor Wes Raynal.  "We wanted to use this knowledge to establish an annual standard to determine the ultimate 'Best of the Best.'"

The AutoWeek grading criteria, ranking vehicles on a scale of one to five, focused on drivetrain, ride quality, handling, exterior and interior design and fun factor. The Cars category included sedans, coupes, convertibles, hatchbacks and wagons. Trucks included pickups, crossovers, minivans and SUVs. 

According to Raynal, a unique feature of this selection process was that no outside influences affected the outcome. As has been known to happen with other awards, "Automakers couldn't sway our vote with lobbying or specially prepped test vehicles."

AutoWeek's Jan. 10 Best of the Best issue describes the CTS-V Coupe as having "the best interior General Motors has ever made." One AutoWeek editor said, "It's the best Cadillac ever." The Rest of the Best were the Audi A8, the BMW 5-series, the Mercedes-Benz SLS and the Ford Fiesta rounding out the top 5 contenders.

The Grand Cherokee was described as "the most well-rounded, handsome and brutally capable Jeep in years." Editors said it is a possible "harbinger of things to come from the new Chrysler."  The Rest of the Best top five were the Ford F-150, the Chevrolet Silverado, the Porsche Cayenne and the Honda Odyssey.

AutoWeek, launched in 1958, based in Detroit, Mich., and published by Crain Communications, Inc., is a fortnightly magazine of consumer car news, information and insight. It's also delivered via the Internet ( and the iPad, over the radio and video airwaves and through social media. includes Daily Drive, an e-mail newsletter sent to more than 40,000 registrants; Car Life, a social community; and AutoWeek TV, a daily video newscast. The AutoWeek iPhone app Car News & Reviews is the first free app built for serious enthusiasts

Chip Miller Charitable Foundation Auctions Off 1973 Corvette Stingray

CARLISLE, PA – (January 4, 2011) -- Can lightening strike twice? The Chip Miller Charitable Foundation (CMCF) hopes so! The charity is running a Corvette through Barrett-Jackson's 40th Anniversary 2011 Auction in Scottsdale, AZ for the second year in a row. A beautiful 1973 Corvette Stingray will cross the block on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 as lot #413 at approximately 7:00 p.m. Arizona time.

The CMCF ran a 1974 Corvette through the 2010 Barrett-Jackson Auction that raised a strong $47,000 for the Foundation. The Foundation is hoping another bidder will generously step up and become a part of automotive history in purchasing the 1973 Stingray. All proceeds from the auction of this Corvette will go toward amyloidosis research.

Chip Miller was co-founder of Corvettes at Carlisle and Carlisle Events in Pennsylvania. Chip was very well-known and loved in the Corvette community worldwide and in March 2004, he passed away from a little-known disease called amyloidosis. The Chip Miller Charitable Foundation (CMCF) was formed to help spread awareness of this disease and raise money for educational and research purposes.

The Foundation's goal is for earlier diagnosis to affect better treatment outcomes. If Chip and his doctors were aware of the symptoms of amyloidosis when they first presented, he might still be with us today. The mission of the CMCF is to empower people with the knowledge and understanding of amyloidosis for earlier detection, ensuring a better quality of life for those afflicted with the disease and to help science find the cures.

The 1973 Corvette Stingray was generously donated again by San Diego Classic and Muscle Cars of Escondido CA. It is being auctioned at no reserve at Barrett-Jackson and is Mille Miglia Red with a black interior and T-Top with bags. It features a matching numbers original L48 350cid V8 with an automatic transmission, factory air-conditioning, power windows, steering and brakes, tilt and telescoping wheel. The car was recently serviced when new brake calipers and tires were added and given a thorough detail. This model Corvette features the first year GM added a steel bumper covered by deformable urethane plastic that was matched to the body cover to meet the new five-mile-per-hour front-impact protection rule. The original owner's books also come with the car.

The car will include a goodie bag from the sponsors including new custom floor mats and the 2nd edition of the Corvette Bible written by Mike Yager from Mid America Motorworks. And the new owner will also get the ultimate Corvette experience including two passes to the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, four passes to the National Corvette Museum and a season pass to Carlisle Events – all donated to the Foundation for this effort. 

During the 2010 Auction, the "auction experience" featured the first-ever wedding at Barrett-Jackson (click here to read more). The newly married couple, Donna and Joe Miller (no relation to Chip Miller) drove the Corvette onto the block at auction time. "I'm not sure we can top that," said Lance Miller, Chip's son, "but we're sure hoping this car does well to help us fight the terrible disease that took my father too soon."

Tune in to Speed TV to watch the action - the car is lot number 413 and is scheduled to roll across the block at approximately 7:00 pm Arizona time on January 19, 2011.

Old Dominion Freight Line Announces Passing of John B. Yowell, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

THOMASVILLE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. (NASDAQ: ODFL) regrets to announce the passing of John B. Yowell, the Company's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, on December 30, 2010. A 27-year employee of Old Dominion, Mr. Yowell had served in his current position since January 2008 and as Executive Vice President since May 1997. During his career, he also held senior positions in a number of functional areas within Old Dominion, including Corporate Services, Operations and Information Technology.

David S. Congdon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Old Dominion, said, "We are saddened to announce the unexpected passing of John Yowell, an integral member of the OD Family. John served Old Dominion with distinction in positions of increasing responsibility spanning almost three decades. He was a substantial contributor to the growth in the Company's value from approximately $100 million at its initial public offering in 1991 to nearly $1.8 billion today.

"For many years at Old Dominion, we have spoken of the OD Family Spirit, and John Yowell truly exemplified the OD Family Spirit in every aspect of his life. He was a special member of the OD family who served as an industry leader, a mentor and a role model for many within the Company. Although he will be missed, he will not be forgotten as his legacy will live on in those he has prepared for the future. We mourn his passing and will miss his dedication, his expertise and the bond of friendship he had with each of our employees. Our thoughts and prayers are with John's family."

Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. is a less-than-truckload multi-regional motor carrier providing one-to-five day service among six regions in the United States and next-day and second-day service within these regions. Through its four product groups, OD-Domestic, OD-Expedited, OD-Global and OD-Technology, the Company offers an array of innovative products and services that provide direct service to 48 states within the Southeast, Gulf Coast, Northeast, Midwest, Central and West regions of the country. In addition to domestic less-than-truckload services, the Company offers assembly and distribution services as well as container delivery services to and from all of North America, Central America, South America and the Far East. The Company also offers a broad range of expedited and logistical services for both its domestic and global markets.

AmeriQuest Transportation Services Among New Jersey's Fastest-Growing Companies

CHERRY HILL, NJ, JANUARY 4, 2011 - AmeriQuest Transportation Services in Cherry Hill has been ranked as New Jersey's 18th fastest-growing company.  NJBIZ, a statewide business newspaper, cited 50 businesses that demonstrated significant revenue and percentage growth over a four-year period.

AmeriQuest, the privately owned corporation formed by Doug Clark in 1997, has been a leading provider of comprehensive fleet management services to companies that own, operate, or outsource trucking and logistics operations in the U.S. and Canada.  Sales revenue in 2009 was reported at $359 million.

  "Being ranked at No. 18 proves that the services we provide are highly valued," Clark said.  He pointed to the fact that AmeriQuest continued to grow in 2010 in both the number of employees and the breadth of services, including the acquisition of CURE Leasing & Maintenance, a provider of financing and maintenance services to companies using independent contractors as part of their transportation programs.
In order to be eligible for nomination, companies needed to show revenue of at least $500,000 in each of the fiscal years ending 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 and show revenue growth in 2009, as compared to 2006 (a four-year period). Eligible companies were to be for-profit entities headquartered in New Jersey.

Presenting sponsor, Rothstein Kass, calculated the nominations and then ranked the companies according to revenue growth over the four-year period of 2006-2009. Both dollar and percentage increases were taken into consideration. This ranking formula led to recognition of the 2010 New Jersey's Fifty Fastest Growing Companies consisting of both large and small companies. 

About AmeriQuest Transportation Services
AmeriQuest, headquartered in Cherry Hill, NJ, is a leading provider of comprehensive fleet management services. By leveraging the strength of more than 700,000 vehicles, AmeriQuest delivers savings, expertise, and opportunities to its private fleet and truckload carrier members. AmeriQuest provides supply management services, asset management services, material handling services, financing, technology products, and outsourced transportation management services such as full service leasing, integrated logistics, and contract maintenance. More information can be found at


OAKVILLE, Ontario, January 4, 2011 – As the only major automaker to increase car sales in 2010, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited finishes the year as best-selling manufacturer in the industry -- the first time in more than 50 years. Ford continues its streak as the F-Series marks 45 consecutive years as the top-selling pickup truck in Canada. With 97,913 units sold in 2010, the F-Series is also the best-selling vehicle ever in a single year in Canadian history.

In 2010, car sales were up 20 per cent, truck sales increased 19 per cent and total vehicle sales rose 19 per cent. Results were driven by strong performance across the entire lineup including the Ford Focus, Fusion, Mustang, Taurus, Transit Connect, Escape, Edge, Lincoln MKX and MKT, which all saw year-over-year sales gains.
For December, car sales increased 17 per cent, truck sales increased 7 per cent and overall sales increased 9 per cent. The month also marks the best December sales in more than a decade.

"Sales titles are nice to have but we remain focused on building long-term, sustainable, profitable growth," said David Mondragon, president and CEO, Ford of Canada. "We expect the Canadian market to grow moderately this year, by about 2 per cent. Ford is well-positioned to build on its sales success by offering a balanced product portfolio of cars, CUVs, SUVs and trucks."

In the next few months, several new high-volume products hit showrooms across Canada including the all-new Ford Focus; a key vehicle that shows Ford's global platform approach, and Explorer; which has been reinvented for the 21st Century with the best fuel economy and safety in its class. And the F-Series legacy continues to strengthen with all-new F-150 powertrains, including a 3.7 litre V-6 offering 12.8 L/100 km in the city and 8.9 L/100 km on the highway and the fuel-sipping EcoBoost engine.

"With fuel prices rising at the pump, history shows consumers will begin migrating from trucks to cars in 2011," Mondragon said. "With our strong focus on fuel-efficient cars, Ford can take advantage of this shift in buying behaviour. Canadian consumers can find world-class quality, leading technology as well as best-in-class fuel economy at their local Ford dealership."