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(DETROIT) -- The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is proud to continue to work closely with its neighbors across the Detroit River as the event has renewed its partnership with the City of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  As a part of the enhanced relationship in 2014, Canadian fans will once again be able to experience an easy, safe and cost-effective way to cross the international border and enjoy the world-class auto racing, exciting off-track activities and family fun during the Grand Prix, May 30 – June 1 at beautiful Belle Isle Park.

Through this unique partnership, Canadian fans will be able to purchase a special Grand Prix ticket and transportation package through the City of Windsor. 

The Canadian ticket package includes a reserved seat in the Canadian section of Grandstand 1, located at the start/finish line on the Raceway at Belle Isle Park road course.  Also included is a round-trip ticket to and from Belle Isle on a dedicated Transit Windsor bus and free access to the fan activity areas including the Meijer Fan Zone as well as concerts on the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage all weekend long at the Grand Prix. Single-day tickets start at $56 CAD per person (HST included) for the lower rows and $76 CAD per person (HST included) for the upper rows of the grandstand.

 

“We appreciate the continued support of the City of Windsor and Mayor Eddie Francis,” said Bud Denker, Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “Canadians are very passionate about racing and we know the great fans across the border are excited to visit Belle Isle and experience the Grand Prix every year. Thanks to the City of Windsor, we are happy to once again offer a premiere package for fans to start their summer right, with us on Belle Isle.”

 

Fans can visit www.cityofwindsor.ca for more information. To pre-order tickets in advance call 311 or submit a request online at www.311online.ca. Fans can also visit the Windsor International Transit Terminal and five select Customer Care Centres throughout Windsor to purchase the Canadian Grandstand ticket day packages available for pick-up beginning April 21. Cash, debit cards, Visa and MasterCard are all accepted to purchase the Canadian Grandstand package.

 

“The City of Windsor is proud to support the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix again this year,” said Mayor Eddie Francis.  “I encourage everyone to pack the Canadian Grandstand section, and to that end, we are pleased to offer ticket and transportation packages to what has become one of the most anticipated events of the summer.”

As part of the partnership, the City of Windsor will once again sponsor the official event media center on Belle Isle during race weekend, as it did in 2008 and 2013. With over 600 credentialed media members expected to cover the Grand Prix in 2014, the City of Windsor International Media Center, housed in the historic Belle Isle Casino, will host journalists from around the world. Services and amenities at the media center will be jointly hosted by staff members from Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island and the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau as they showcase the “two-nation destination” of Windsor and Detroit.

(DETROIT) -- Fans have 45 chances to win the nearly $10,000 in prizes available in the "Start Your Summer Sweepstakes" leading up to the 2014 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, May 30-June 1. With assistance from some of its premiere partners, the Grand Prix is offering some unique prizing and experiences through the sweepstakes as the weekend full of world-class racing, entertainment and fun returns to the Motor City to wave the green flag on summer.

Fans that buy tickets to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix are automatically entered into the "Start Your Summer Sweepstakes," and the chance to win the ultimate grand prize package - a unique experience for two at the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on August 30. Included in the grand prize package is round-trip airfare for two, two-night hotel stay, rental car for the trip and two tickets to the championship race.

The "Start Your Summer Sweepstakes" features three phases with different prizes available to win during each phase, so the earlier fans enter, the more chances they have to win. The first phase, which runs through March 19, includes prizes from Tim Hortons, the Grand Prix, the Detroit Pistons and a grand prize experience from MotorCity Casino Hotel. The second phase of the sweepstakes runs from March 20 through April 16 and includes prizing from Meijer, Made in Detroit, the Detroit Red Wings and a special Grand Prix grand prize package that includes a "hot lap" ride with a Grand Prix driver on the Belle Isle race circuit. The final phase of the sweepstakes will take place from April 17 through May 14 with prizes available from Andiamo, the Thunder Over Michigan Air Show and a Grand Prix VIP experience that includes passes to the Chairman's Chalet, on-island parking on race weekend, a pace car ride on track and special stage seating for the live concerts on the Motor City Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage.

"We want to thank our great partners for supporting the 'Start Your Summer Sweepstakes,'" said Bud Denker, Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. "With all of these terrific prizes available, including a dream trip to the Verizon IndyCar Series finale in California, our fans will be the real winners."

Each fan can have up to four entries into the sweepstakes and all non-winning entries will carry over to the next phase drawings. The ultimate grand prize will be selected from among all of the entries. Prizes are limited to one per household and no purchase is necessary to win, claim or receive a prize. For more details on all of the prizes, and for more information on the sweepstakes, please visit www.DetroitGP.com/summersweepstakes

(DETROIT) -- David L. Schutt, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, SAE International spoke during the Automotive Press Association's luncheon Tuesday, March 18 at the Detroit Athletic Club. SAE International's biggest automotive event is only weeks away. The SAE World Congress will be held April 8-10 in Detroit and will feature some of the top innovations and technologies in the industry today. During that week, many of SAE's technical committees will meet as they continue to advance standards that help ensure the safety, quality, and effectiveness of products and services across the mobility engineering industry. Schutt discussed SAE's mission and how the organization works to advance self-propelled vehicle and system knowledge in a neutral forum for the benefit of society.

PICTURED: David L. Schutt, PhD, Chief Executive Officer SAE International
ROBERT BENKO

DETROIT (AP) - General Motors has named a 40-year engineer as its new safety chief, placing a single person in charge of recalls and other safety issues as it deals with a huge compact car recall that has damaged the company's reputation. The move, announced Tuesday by CEO Mary Barra, comes after revelations that GM knew about a deadly ignition switch problem in 1.6 million compact cars at least 11 years ago, but failed to recall them until last month. The problem has been linked to more than a dozen deaths in the Chevrolet Cobalt and five other models.
 
Barra on Tuesday named engineer Jeff Boyer to the new global post. She says it gives GM a single safety leader with access to senior managers and the board. Boyer is responsible for development of safety systems, vehicle testing, and safety of cars after they are sold, including recalls. "If there are any obstacles in his way, Jeff has the authority to clear them," Barra said in a statement. "If he needs any additional resources, he will get them."
 
Two congressional committees and the Justice Department are investigating GM's behavior in the ignition switch case. The company has admitted knowing as early as 2003 that the switches can unexpectedly shut down car engines and cause drivers to lose control. Despite multiple company investigations, the cars were not recalled until last month. In one of the investigations that didn't lead to a recall, GM failed to consider four fatal accidents in one of the models.
 
"Something went wrong with our process in this instance, and terrible things happened," Barra said Monday in a video posted on GM's media website.
 
On Feb. 13, GM announced the recall of more than 780,000 Cobalts and Pontiac G5s (model years 2005-2007). Two weeks later it added 842,000 Ion compacts (2003-2007), and Chevrolet HHR SUVs and Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars (2006-2007). All of the recalled cars have the same ignition switches. 
 
The company said the ignition switches can wear from heavy, dangling keys. If the key chains are bumped or people drive on rough surfaces, the switches can suddenly change from the "run" position to "accessory" or "off." That cuts off power-assisted steering and brakes and could cause drivers to lose control.  Also, the air bags may not inflate in a crash and protect the driver and passengers. 
 
The company is urging people not to put anything on their key rings until the switches are replaced. 
 
The recall crisis quickly ended Barra's honeymoon as CEO. She took over the top job on Jan. 15, becoming the first woman to lead a major global automaker.
 
Since 2011, Boyer had been executive director of engineering operations and systems development. Before that, he headed global interior engineering and safety performance. In that post, he was responsible for certifying GM vehicle safety and crashworthiness, the company said. 
 
Boyer started with GM in 1974 as a college student at Kettering University in Flint. He has an electrical engineering degree from Kettering and a master of business administration degree from Michigan State University.
 
On Monday, GM issued new recalls of 1.5 million vehicles, part of an effort to assure buyers that it's moving faster to fix safety defects in its cars and trucks.

DETROIT (AP) - General Motors is recalling nearly 1.2 million SUVs for defective side air bags. GM also announced smaller recalls Monday of commercial vans and Cadillac sedans amounting to about 364,000 vehicles for separate problems. The new recall comes as GM is facing multiple investigations over its handling of a recall of more than 1.6 million small cars for defective ignition switches. The company says it expects to spend approximately $300 million in the first quarter to repair the vehicles in the new recalls as well as the vehicles in the ignition recall. The company said Monday it's recalling the SUVs, including the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia, because their side air bags might not deploy.

(DETROIT) -- U.S. auto sales of light vehicles in February 2014 indicated decreases by most of the U.S. automobile companies.

GM sold 222,104 with a decrease of 1% from 2013
Ford sold 183,349 with a decrease of 6.1% from 2013
Toyota sold 159,284 with a decrease of 4.3% from 2013
Honda sold 100,405 with a decrease of 7% from 2013
Chrysler sold 151,401 with an increase of 11.4% from 2013
Hyundai sold 49,003 with a decrease of 6.3% from 2013
Nissan sold 115,360 with an increase of 15.8% from 2013

All car sales in February 2014 were the same as 2013 with total sales of 1.19 million vehicles. The weather played a roll in the decreased sales. The prediction for 2014 is an increase of at least 1.5% for all domestic automakers for a total of 15.2 million vehicles.

G.B.V & J.B.

Chrysler is recalling more than 49,000 Dodge Charger muscle cars because a connector can overheat and knock out low-beam headlights. The recall affects 2011 and 2012 Chargers equipped with halogen headlamps. Dealers will inspect and replace for free the headlight wiring, bulbs and assemblies if necessary. Canadian safety regulators say the problem could compromise driver visibility and lead to a crash. But Chrysler says it knows of no crashes or injuries. The problem is similar to one that led to a 2012 recall of Charger police cars. The new recall covers 43,450 Chargers in the U.S., 2,850 in Canada, 375 in Mexico and 2,700 outside North America. Customers with concerns can call Chrysler at (800) 853-1403.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014 09:38

2014 Autorama at Cobo

(DETROIT) -- The 2014 Autorama event was held last weekend in Detroit. The semi- jet truck flame thrower was in front of Cobo Center performing a live demonstration for the 62nd Annual Hot-Rod and Custom-Car Show on Friday for the hundreds of fans who were attending the Autorama. The owner of the jet propelled Kenworth semi is Robert Motz of Akron, Ohio. There were up to 1,000 exhibits that featured all types of custom vehicles and suspension systems. The love of cars was definitely displayed at this year's Autorama.

ROBERT BENKO