January 23, 2011

Auto Briefs

Charging stations on Highway 2, OnStar expansion and high Rolls sales

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(The Associated Press)

Charging stations planned for Hwy. 2
Washington state plans to install charging stations along U.S. 2 across the Cascades to allow electric vehicles to travel between western and central Washington. The state Transportation and Commerce departments say they will use federal Recovery Act money to set up two to three fast-charging stations by the end of the year. The locations are still to be determined. A network of chargers also is being set up in the Seattle area, along the Interstate 5 corridor and at Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Stevens Pass.

--The Associated Press


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The OnStar Command Center in Detroit. (General Motors)

OnStar coming soon to non-GM vehicles
General Motors says it will begin selling its OnStar communications service for use in non-GM vehicles and autos already on the road to add to its more than 6 million subscribers. OnStar, a subscription service that provides accident alerts, stolen-vehicle tracking and navigation, will sell for $299 plus installation through retailers including Best Buy. GM has added features to OnStar, such as technology that translates voice to mobile-phone text messages, to compete with Ford's Sync entertainment and navigation system.

--Bloomberg


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(Bentley)

Luxury automakers ask, what recession?
The rich got rolling last year, pushing Rolls-Royce to its highest sales figures since BMW took over the company seven years ago. The luxury automaker announced that it sold 2,711 cars in 2010, up 171 percent over the previous year. The U.S. remained the No. 1 market for the cars, which sell for $310,000 or more. China ranked as the company's second-largest market, followed by Britain, the United Arab Emirates and Japan. Globally, Bentley sold 11 percent more new cars last year. That's 5,117 of the brand's luxury barges. U.S. sales were up 6 percent to 1,531. In the U.S., the Supersports (pictured) is the best seller with the Continental Flying Spur not far behind.

--The Associated Press

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