Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hyundai Plans to Sell 500 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars in 2012

In brief: Hyundai has made a surprise announcement on plans to sell hydrogen fuel cell cars beginning in 2012 - three years before Toyota, Honda, and the rest of the competition.

Hyundai plans to beat Toyota's announced $50,000 price tag and deliver the world's first series production fuel cell vehicle in 2012, with 500 FCVs coming off the line that year and more afterwards. Production is planned to ramp up to 10,000 units by 2015, the year when most other automakers will just be getting started on their FCVs. The first five hundred will likely be leased and will probably go mainly to fleets and similar buyers. Production will increase to at least 1,000 units in 2013, following customer demand. so What Coy... There is a reason most major automakers are working on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. They are a more than viable option for zero-emissions vehicles. Photo credits: Hyundai

Chrylser Hopes to Bring Fiat 500 Electric

In brief: Both Chrysler and their new owners, Fiat, have previously announced the Fiat 500 (both gasoline and electric) is coming to America. Now they have to convince dealerships to carry them.
The gasoline version of the Fiat 500 (sort of the Italian version of the German-made Mini Cooper) will be in the U.S. at the end of this year. A convertible version will come out in 2011 and the all-electric will enter the market in 2012. The electric version (pictured as a model) will have 100 miles of range and sell for around $32,000 (likely after incentives). Now Fiat and Chrysler have to convince dealerships to carry the Fiat brand. For most, this would mean investment in a new showroom and a dedicated sales team - a tough sell in today's economy. This for what amounts to only one car in three versions, as Fiat has made no plans to move other models to the U.S. Fiat must convince 200 dealerships to go along with the plan by September 22nd or face not having enough franchises to sell the car. At that point, it's been made clear that the company plans to go outside of the current Chrysler network.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Eldredge (automobile)

The Eldredge was an American automobile manufactured from 1903 until 1906. A product of the National Sewing Machine Company of Belvidere, Illinois, it was a light, two-seater runabout with left-hand drive or two-row tonneau. The 1904 Eldredge Runabout was a runabout model. It could seat 2 passengers and sold for US$750. The horizontal-mounted flat-2, situated at the center of the car, produced 8 hp (6 kW). A 3-speed transmission was fitted. The armored wood-framed car weighed 1150 lb (522 kg) and used platform springs. The 1904 Eldredge Tonneau was a tonneau model. It could seat 5 passengers and sold for US$2000. The horizontal-mounted flat-4, situated at the front of the car, produced 16 hp (11.9 kW). The angle steel-framed car weighed 2300 lb (1043 kg). It was a modern touring car design with a cellular radiator (with fan), and semi-elliptic springs, but sold for far less than competing models.

De Dietrich

De Dietrich Grand Duc (1898)
De Dietrich is a holding company based in France, but this part of France was originally part of Germany, which traces its history back to the early 17th century. It was active in the automobile, railway and industrial machines industry. It sold it holding stake in De Dietrich Ferroviaire to Alstom in 1990. It currently has interests in heating equipments for chemical industry, and from 2004 merged with the Dutch company Remeha to from the Apeldoorn head quartered De Dietrich Remeha.


Automobiles Darracq S.A. was a French motor vehicle manufacturing company founded in 1896 by Alexandre Darracq. Using part of the substantial profit he had made from selling his Gladiator bicycle factory, Alexandre Darracq began operating from a plant in the Parisian suburb of Suresnes. The company started by building electric motor carriages until 1900 when they produced their first vehicle with an internal combustion engine. The Darracq automobile company prospered and the 1904 "Flying Fifteen" was a production model of exceptional quality that helped the company capture a ten percent share of the French auto market.
Darracq 6½ HP 1901
In 1902, Alexandre Darracq signed a contract with Adam Opel to jointly produce vehicles in the German Empire under the brand name "Opel Darracq." Three years later, the company expanded to the Britain, incorporating the A. Darracq Company (1905) Limited with a capitalization of £650,000. In 1906 the company expanded to Portello, a Milan suburb in Italy. They established Società Italiana Automobili Darracq (SIAD) through a licensing with Cavaliere Ugo Stella, an aristocrat from Milan. The business did not do well and Darracq shut it down in 1909 but a new partnership called Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (A.L.F.A.) acquired the business which a few years later was called Alfa Romeo. In 1907, Darracq formed Sociedad Anonima Espanola de Automoviles Darracq in Vitoria, Spain with a capitalization of 1,000,000 pesetas.
The company began competing in auto racing as a way of gaining publicity for its products. Paul Baras drove a Darracq to a new Land speed record of 104.53 mph (168.22 km/h) at Ostend, Belgium, on November 13, 1904. Another new world record was set by a factory built Darraq special on December 30, 1905 when Victor Hémery drove his V8 Special to a speed of 109.65 mph (176.46 km/h) at Arles, France. The V8 was shipped to Ormonde Beach Daytona where it was timed at 122.45 mph (197.06 km/h) in 1906 to win the title "1906 Speed of King". On return to Europe the car was sold to Algenon Lee Guinness who set many records over the next few years until the car was retired in 1909 with a broken piston. This V8 Special(see full story at [1]) was rebuilt in 2005 using its original engine which had survived mostly intact. Darracq vehicles won the 1905 and 1906 Vanderbilt Cup at Long Island, New York in the United States and the Cuban race at Havana. Notable drivers who raced Darracqs were Louis Chevrolet, Victor Hémery Louis Wagner and Vincenzo Florio, who later founded the Targa Florio.
In 1913 Alexandre Darracq sold out to British financial interests led by Owen Clegg who relocated to the Paris headquarters to take over as the Managing Director of the company. During World War I, the Darracq factory were converted to the production of various war materials. The War ended in 1918 and in 1919, Darracq took over British Talbot and Talbot models were then marketed as Talbot-Darracqs. In 1920, the operation was reorganised as part of the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq (STD) conglomerate and in 1935, the company was purchased by the Rootes Group. In 1953, a British film directed by Henry Cornelius and titled Genevieve, featured a 1904 Darracq as its centerpiece. The highly successful film sparked a huge increase in vintage automobile collecting and restoration.

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