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The House mobilized in less than 24 hours on July 31, with the Obama administration's help, to draft, introduce, and pass a bill on the last day before they break for the usual August recess. House members formerly opposed to the plan, fell in line due to the huge popularity of the program among dealers and consumers.

Ford surprised observers with a second-quarter profit of $2.3 billion on July 23, barely a year after posting the worst loss in company history. The positive number breaks the string of four straight quarterly losses and is the first positive quarter since first quarter 2008. The profit is due to a reduction in debt and associated expenses.

In a nationwide survey conducted the week of July 19, three out of ten dealers report having made a sale involving a "Cash for Clunkers" voucher even though the rules about how the program will be administered won't be issued until Friday, July 24. However, the clarity those rules will provide is still needed: Nearly 90% of dealers said consumers had either low or moderate awareness of the program, and two thirds (66%) said information given to dealers up until this point is "insufficient.

Ford, in its On Target publication, warns that it "does not approve the use of used restraint system modules, safety belts, buckles or retractors from pre-owned, salvage or damaged vehicles. The use of such parts could lead to serious injury." Ford also "recommends replacement of all safety belt assemblies in use at the time a vehicle is involved in an accident."

Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, has sponsored a dealer amendment bill that would restore U.S. dealerships to their status before the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies. The measure would force Chrysler and GM to renew franchise agreements that were killed during bankruptcy proceedings or terminated by automakers. The amendment passed the House Appropriations Committee late July 7.

Wednesday, 08 July 2009 09:39

Plug in Prius will be mass produced in 2012

Toyota plans to launch its new plug-in Prius with lithium-ion batteries this year. Reuters is reporting that Toyota will start mass-producing its plug-in version of its Prius hybrid in 2012, with plans to make 20,000 to 30,000 of the vehicles that year.