Distracted driving debates, Porsche’s record profits and Jeremy Lin kicks Volvo’s tires in the Dash
Carmakers to feds: Target all electronic devices [Detroit News] It's one thing for the government to urge drivers to pay less attention to electronics and more to the road for safety. It's quite another to write rules or guidelines that might force such changes, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is finding out. While NHTSA wants to issue voluntary limits on in-car electronics, automakers warn they'll produce no safety benefit — and could make distracted driving worse — if they simply push drivers to use handheld devices instead.
Porsche earns $2.6 billion in 2011 [Porsche] Germany's top maker of sporty SUVs with a sideline in rear-engined sports cars reported a blistering profit for 2011 of $2.6 billion, as sales worldwide rose 21 percent to 116,978. Porsche has set a goal of selling 200,000 vehicles a year by 2018, mainly through the addition of the Macan SUV below the Cayenne and roughly 4,200 variations of every other model. (I'm not joking about the SUV sales bit: Porsche sold as many Cayennes as it did all of its car models combined).
Jeremy Lin in talks to endorse Volvo in China [Bloomberg] New York Knicks supernova Jeremy Lin appears to be close to helping Volvo, owned by Chinese automaker Geely, bolster its Chinese market sales with an endorsement contract. Lin should move fast, given that the Knicks have dropped their last six games and could get bounced from the playoffs.
Lotus freezes model work after share sales [Evo] Whatever possibility Lotus chief Dany Bahar has of producing future Lotus models took a hit this week when Lotus was forced to halt all research and development work. The reason: The sale of its parent Malaysian company requires a three-month "lockdown" under Malaysian law that freezes most non-essential business activity. Bahar tells Evo magazine he's now flying from Britain to Kuala Lumpur once a week to explain Lotus' future plans to the new owners — who may rather decide to simply sell the company as well.
Top shot: Next year's Nascar Dodge Charger, redesigned to resemble those actually on the road, unveiled this weekend in Las Vegas.