Volkswagen to End Production of Iconic Beetle in 2019

by Paul Riegler
Volkswagen to End Production of Iconic Beetle in 2019

After three generations and seven decades, Volkswagen will end production of the Beetle come next year.
To commemorate the final year of production, Volkswagen will add two commemorative models, the Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL.
Earlier this year, Volkswagen announced it would not replace the current Beetle with an updated …

Alaska Air to Expand Use of Sustainable Jet Fuel

by Anna Breuer
Alaska Air to Expand Use of Sustainable Jet Fuel

Alaska Airlines announced plans to work with Neste, a supplier of renewable fuel products, in a partnership that will further their adoption in the aviation industry.
The Espoo, Finland-based company said it will help meet Alaska’s goal to “fly greener,” said Kaisa Hietala, its executive vice president for renewable products.
Alaska sees …

Uber to Fire Low-Rated Customers in Some Countries

by Anna Breuer
Uber to Fire Low-Rated Customers in Some Countries

Ride-hailing service Uber said it plans to block low-rated customers in Australia and New Zealand from using the service.
Riders who are rated four (out of five) stars or lower will be banned from using the service for six months. Passengers receive a rating from their Uber driver after each journey.
The …

Toyota to Recall Over 1 Million Prius and C-HR Hybrid Vehicles

by Anna Breuer
Toyota to Recall Over 1 Million Prius and C-HR Hybrid Vehicles

Toyota announced the recall of over one million hybrid-powered vehicles.
The recall includes over 192,000 Prii (“Prii” is the plural form of Prius) in the United States and over half a million cars sold in Japan. The world-wide recall covers the Prius plug-in hybrid and the hybrid C-HR built in Japan …

Review and Test Drive: 2018 Lexus LC 500h Hybrid Luxury Coupe

by Jonathan Spira
Review and Test Drive:  2018 Lexus LC 500h Hybrid Luxury Coupe

The striking LF-LC Concept – LF-LC stands for Lexus Future Luxury Coupe – made its debut at the North American International Auto Show in 2012 to thunderous applause although few believed it would ever make it into production relatively unchanged. It defied the odds, however, and was introduced as the …

BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant to Debut in 2019 Models

by Paul Riegler
BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant to Debut in 2019 Models

BMW announced plans to introduce the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant with the 2019 model year.
The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will be an on-call platform accessible by a wake phrase, “Hey BMW,” similar to saying “Hey Siri,” “Hey Google,” or “Alexa” on the Apple, Android, and Amazon platforms. It will engage …

YourDrive Texas Introduces Toyota New Vehicle Subscription Service

by Paul Riegler
YourDrive Texas Introduces Toyota New Vehicle Subscription Service

Purdy Mobility Subscriptions announced YourDrive Texas, a new-vehicle subscription program for the Dallas area.
A monthly fee gives subscribers access to a variety of Toyota vehicles with three vehicle exchanges permitted per month. The subscription fee includes maintenance, tax, insurance, and cleaning.
The service has three tiers. The Trendsetting Tier includes basic …

Hertz to Bring Its Brands to Taiwan

by Anna Breuer
Hertz to Bring Its Brands to Taiwan

Hertz announced a partnership with Taiwanese car rental company Chailease Auto Rental that will bring its brands to the island formerly known as Formosa.
“Our new partnership will bring convenient, high quality rental solutions to Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty customers travelling to Taiwan,” said Eoin MacNeill, Hertz’ vice president for the …

Toyota to Invest $500 Million in Autonomous Vehicle Pact

by Anna Breuer
Toyota to Invest $500 Million in Autonomous Vehicle Pact

Toyota announced plans to invest $500 million in Uber and to partner with the ride-hailing company in a joint effort in autonomous vehicles.
Uber, which lost $659 million in its last quarter, would be valued at $72 billion in the deal, a significant increase over its most recent stated value of …

Sixt Opens Rental Car Office in San Francisco’s Union Square

by Anna Breuer
Sixt Opens Rental Car Office in San Francisco’s Union Square

Sixt Rent-a-Car announced the opening of its new location in San Francisco’s Union Square. The opening is the company’s seventh in 2018.
The Bay Area “is a gathering place of some of today’s brightest thinkers, and with frequent travel to and from the city, expanding our presence is a great way …

Review and Test Drive: 2018 Lexus RX 350

by Jonathan Spira
Review and Test Drive:  2018 Lexus RX 350

Introduced some 20 years ago, the Lexus RX 350 is now in its fourth iteration. RX stands for Radiant Crossover and the RX was a pioneer in the luxury crossover segment. The updated RX (unveiled in 2015 at the New York International Auto Show) builds on this foundation, sporting a …

Toyota Widens Support for Apple CarPlay

by Paul Riegler
Toyota Widens Support for Apple CarPlay

Toyota announced it will add Apple CarPlay support to multiple vehicles for 2019.
The Japanese automaker first announced plans to support CarPlay in January starting with the mid-size Avalon model.  It quickly added the Toyota Corolla to the list and now says it will include CarPlay on all 2019 Sienna models …