It’s raining mulla in Hollywood for this week’s auto industry news. Nearly two weeks ago, the Fate of the Furious became the 30th movie in history, and the second in the Fast and Furious franchise, to join the billionaires’ club. Love it or hate it, the movies command attention and have earned mega status.
“At the center of that universe is the character Dominic Toretto, which is played by Vin Diesel. Now, Dodge is taking advantage of Diesel’s Fast and Furious stardom by featuring him in its newest ad campaign,” reported Motor Authority. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] announced that Dodge will marry the two prominent concepts strewn throughout the series: family and muscle cars. The campaign is wittingly titled “Brotherhood of Muscle.” Enough oopmh to capture consumer attention? Yah, we think so.
Celebration of industry milestones continues with production of the 1 millionth Porsche 911. It was a staggering 54 years in the making. And now the sports car is headed for its own “Fast and Furious” stardom at the Porsche Museum. If that number impresses you, then Chevrolet is about to blow your mind. Carlisle confirmed that the 5 millionth Camaro will appear on display alongside the very first ever produced.
“Automotive history on display at a Carlisle Events car show is a given, but this year’s Carlisle Chevrolet Nationals is taking the unique to a whole new level. Earlier this year, the event planning team announced that the first-ever Camaro would be part of the show. Fast forward a few months and Carlisle Events can now proudly announce the inclusion of a Camaro made 4,999,999 cars later. That’s right, Camaro #5,000,000 will be on display for all to see June 23-25 at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds,” said the Carlisle events team.
Meanwhile, 4×4 fanatics are thinking, “Your ass may be able to go fast, but mine can go anywhere.” Catch a glimpse of the new JL interior? The upcoming Wrangler has nothing on this… Meet the Russian-built Wamah Avtoros Shaman 8×8 nine-passenger amphibious all-terrain vehicle (ATV); it’s ready to float, roll and climb. Just be prepared to take and keep it off-road, as this beast is definitely not street approved.
The Shaman-ater measures 20.7 feet long, 8.2 feet wide and 8.9 feet high. That’s two feet longer, 1.5 feet wider and a crazy 2.5 feet taller than the Chevy Suburban. But it’s not simply behemoth size that hails the Shaman with off-road distinction. “All eight wheels are equipped with low-pressure tires and each wheel is a drive wheel, with its own independent suspension. There are several drive modes including Crab Mode and Thruster Mode. The latter drive setup will follow twisty, windy paths or trails nicely. In Thruster Mode, the front four and rear four wheels are turned in opposite directions,” said Yahoo Tech.
And check out the underside, featuring a waterproof hermetic boat-formed frame. To err on the side of caution, high-performance pumps can remove up to 53 gallons of H2O if necessary. A standard configuration clocks land speed at 44 mph, with upwards of 4.3 mph submerged in water. Owners of this vehicle are likely not concerned about fuel economy, “but the 146-horsepower Iveco diesel engine is rated at approximately 9.4 miles to the gallon. With the Shaman’s 69-gallon fuel tank, the maximum range is about 650 miles between fill-ups,” continued Yahoo Tech.
It’s nice to know the OEM’s aren’t the only part of the industry experiencing growth. Aftermarket News reported the strength and vitality of the U.S. automotive aftermarket as booming. Companies, including large-scale industry events, continue to grow and make investments in a bright future. My Mama always said, “Sometimes you gotta spend money in order to make money.” And by the looks of it, the aftermarket is gearing up for additional expansion.
- Go Rhino expanded its Texas warehouse operations and manufacturing to better meet consumer demand of truck and Jeep accessories.
- Valvoline just dropped a jaw-dropping $35 million. On what, you ask? A brand new, state-of-the-art, 162,400-square-foot world headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. If that doesn’t say commitment to the Good Ole US of A then not sure what does.
- The AAPEX show represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry. Recently, it was named one of the Top 25 fastest-growing shows in attendance by Trade Show News Network (TSNN).
- And Honeywell Engineering recently rebranded itself as Honeywell Garrett “in an effort to better convey the full capability and promise of its differentiated technology. Honeywell Garrett serves the independent aftermarket with OE replacement turbochargers, as well specialized performance turbochargers for tuners and grassroots customers and professional motorsports teams,” said Aftermarket News.
Michelin Man Award
Arguably, nothing says growth like formal recognition. Michelin Group announced some big news. It was selected by Forbes magazine as one of America’s Best Employers for 2017. “On this year’s list, Michelin Group ranks No. 1 in the Automotive Industry and 34th overall out of 500 large employers. This recognition highlights Michelin’s commitment to building a culture that enables every employee to leverage their unique talents to serve its diverse customers across the United States, and around the globe,” said Aftermarket News.
Also noteworthy, aftermarket manufacturer Raybestos received a silver award from the Automotive Content Professionals Network (ACPN) for its new eCatalog. Judges evaluated all web catalog entries based on design, navigation, catalog content, technology, interactivity and innovation. Sounds riveting, right? Sure, it’s not as exciting as the world’s tiniest hot rod, but the Raybestos eCatalog contains key features such as competitor interchanges, enhanced sorting and filtering, buyer’s guides and search history. It also includes product specifications, attributes, images and product comparisons, with the ability to see up to four at a time. This means retailers and installers have access to more comprehensive data to help you, the consumer, make a more informed decision. Win-win, folks.