NWautos: Seattle's local source for new and used autos


May 15, 2011 1:00 AM

New lightweight material, Prius hits million mark, Cruze sales up


Lighter load

It's light, easily formed and getting the attention of several automakers. Nimbus GII, a new material from Federal-Mogul Corporation, is built with two thin corrugated aluminum sheets that are interlocked. Engine-compartment heat shields made from it are approximately 80 percent lighter than steel versions, a weight savings that improves a vehicle's fuel efficiency.

--NWautos staff



Million mark
The Toyota Prius hybrid has passed the million sales milestone in the U.S., helped by brisk sales recently as gasoline prices continue to rise. In the first quarter of this year, Toyota already has sold nearly 43,000, which is 52 percent more than at the same time last year, according to Autodata Corp. Toyota says its total global hybrid vehicle sales passed the 3 million mark in March.

--The Associated Press


(General Motors)

Compact sales
General Motors says consumers are starting to trade in larger vehicles for smaller, more fuel efficient ones, helping to boost sales of the company's compact Chevrolet Cruze. GM says it sold 25,160 of the cars in April, the best month yet for the new vehicle.

--The Associated Press