Penske Automotive Group

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Roger Penske Inducted into The Automotive Hall of Fame


Roger Penske, Founder and Chairman of Penske Corporation, was recently inducted into The Automotive Hall of Fame along with automaker Elwood Haynes, former Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, and industrialist Ratan N. Tata.

“To me, it’s a real honor (to be inducted),” Mr. Penske told Mike Brudenell from The Detroit Free Press. … “But, most of all, it’s about the people who have supported me — my family, my business partners and all my employees. I think that is the most important thing.”

Mr. Penske was inducted for his accomplishments in building a leading international transportation services organization that includes: Penske Automotive Group, Penske Truck Leasing, Penske Logistics, and Team Penske, one of the most successful automotive sports teams in history.

Story Credits:
Video: The Automotive Hall of Fame | Article: Penske Truck Leasing | Quote: Detroit Free Press

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GeneralIndustry News

Audi Shows Off New Variants of A3, R S7 in New York

Audi recently premiered two new model variants at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

The Audi A3 TDI Sportback, an enthusiast favorite, and the exclusive RS 7 dynamic edition, which showcases the German automaker’s personalization program, were on display at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from April 18-27, 2014. The Penske Automotive Group social team was also there to capture the event as the public laid eyes on the two new model variants for the first time.

The decision to bring the Audi A3 TDI Sportback clean diesel to the U.S. market came thanks to the support of many car enthusiasts. The fuel-efficient compact hatchback will arrive in the U.S. in summer 2015 for the 2016 model year and join Audi’s push to expand the compact luxury segment and its TDI models.

The A3 TDI Sportback will be powered by a 150-horsepower 2.0 TDI clean diesel engine mated to the standard six-speed S tronic transmission. The TDI Sportback will feature the advanced technology of the recently launched A3 and is a variant of A3 family that is being introduced over the next 18 months: the Audi A3 Sedan, Audi A3 Cabriolet, A3 TDI Clean Diesel Sedan, the high-performance S3 Sedan and the A3 Sportback e-tron gasoline electric hybrid (PHEV). It will also join the five 2014 TDI models available, including the A6, A7, A8 L, Q5 and Q7.

The Audi exclusive RS 7 dynamic edition will arrive at dealerships in early summer. In addition to the 560-horsepower engine found in the RS 7, the dynamic edition will include elements of an exclusive customization program: tornado red brake calipers with the RS 7 logo, 21-inch gloss black wheels, a carbon fiber splitter, diffuser, and a carbon fiber engine cover.

The interior of the RS 7 dynamic edition will feature black valcona leather seats with the RS-specific honeycomb stitch in crimson red that is also on the dashboard, gear shifter boot, center and door armrests, and along the center console. The safety belts match the crimson red accents, which are combined with the carbon fiber inlays.

Under the hood of the five-door coupe, the 560-horsepower comes from a twin-turbo 4.0-liter turbo fuel stratified injection (TFSI) V8 engine that allows the RS 7 to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. The vehicle’s cylinder-on-demand technology allows the RS 7 to deactivate four cylinders at low engine speeds to improve fuel economy by 15 percent.

Stay tuned to for more photos, video and information about the Audi A3 TDI Sportback and the RS 7 dynamic edition.

[Source: Audi of America]

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How to Drive Through Winter Weather

How to Drive Through Winter Weather_700_325

Snow, sleet, ice and slush make the roads a mess during the winter months. When a winter drive is necessary, here are some tips to stay safe.

Prepare Your Car
There are several ways to prepare a vehicle for winter driving. Installing snow tires provides a car with extra traction on messy roads. Snow tires have deep treads that can grab snow and slush and provide a vehicle with greater stability. Putting chains on standard tires can work as well.

In addition to specialized tires, windshield washer fluid designed for winter precipitation can help improve visibility while driving. Winter washer fluid can break through the slush and ice that builds up on a windshield, allowing drivers to see the road ahead.

Slow Down
Knowing how to drive in inclement conditions is another key to staying safe on winter roads. Icy conditions mean that a car likely needs more time to come to a stop. Slamming on the brakes on an ice-covered road will make a car skid. In bumper-to-bumper traffic, leaving extra space between vehicles provides the car with the additional room it needs to come to a complete stop. Driving more slowly allows drivers the chance to brake gently, which decreases the risk of skidding out on slick roads.

Know How to Adjust
If a skid occurs, it is important to know how to handle it. In a rear skid, which is often called “fish tailing,” a driver should take his foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction of the rear skid. If the car starts to skid the other direction, turn the wheel gently to match the move. If the vehicle has anti-lock brakes (ABS), apply steady pressure to slow the vehicles. With standard breaks, pump the breaks to slow the car.

In a front-end skid, a driver should remove her foot from the accelerator and switch the car into neutral. Let the car skid; the car will achieve traction, at which time a driver can steer. Put the car in drive and proceed slowly.

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New $4 Million Roger Penske Detroit Fund To Help City’s Homeless


Two vehicles staffed with people and the resources to help downtown Detroit’s homeless residents will be able to continue to cruise city streets because of the creation of the $4 million Roger Penske Detroit Fund.

The program, called 2-1-1 On the Go!, is operated jointly by the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the United Way of Southeast Michigan, Strategic Staffing Solutions Inc. and Roger Penske.

DDP Chair Cynthia Pasky, founder, president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions, said the endowment initially was funded by $2 million from a charitable foundation attached to the now-defunct Collins & Aikman Corp.

That amount will now be matched by $2 million in private contributions. The source of funding was not disclosed.

The fund will be administered by the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan.

Two 2-1-1 On the Go! teams patrol downtown streets looking to help homeless individuals. The vehicles, donated by Penske, are equipped with wireless Internet access that allows them to provide eligible homeless Detroiters with tools to overcome the barriers to employment and permanent housing.

The services are part of the United Way’s existing 2-1-1 program that connects people with job training, substance-abuse treatment, assistance with heating, food, housing, utilities and mental health counseling.

Penske serves on the DDP board as vice chair, but stepped down as chair earlier this fall after almost five years. The 2-1-1 program was created three years ago during his chairmanship.

During those three years, 2-1-1 On the Go! served more than 1,600 homeless people and enrolled nearly 250 of them in a program to help them. More than 100 homeless found full-time jobs and 75 are in permanent housing.

Pasky said the new fund is a perfect way to honor Penske’s contributions to Detroit.

“For all the things that he does — the billion dollar companies, the racing victories and all of his other accomplishments — I think the most important thing he has done is allow something to happen that has probably saved the lives of at least 100 people in the last three years,” she said in a press release.

Correction: An earlier version of this story omitted the names of two of the supporters of the 2-1-1 On the Go! program. This version adds those names.

[Source: crainsdetroit]

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Team Penske Signs Shell and Izod


For more than 20 years, most of the Indy race cars fielded by Roger Penske and his formidable team were painted Day-Glo orange and white and carried the Marlboro logo, a brand made by the team’s primary sponsor, Phillip Morris USA. The cars were one of the most easily recognizable in motorsports, in part because Team Penske drivers won the Indianapolis 500 several times in Marlboro colors.

But Phillip Morris dropped its sponsorship at the beginning of last season, and, like other teams, Penske has needed to piece together sponsorships to keep fielding a full three-car team. Within the last week, Penske has announced three deals that, along with Verizon’s continuing primary sponsorship of Will Power, the up-and-coming Australian driver, could benefit his team enormously.

Team Penske said Monday that Izod, which is also the title sponsor of the IndyCar series, would be the primary sponsor of the car driven by Ryan Briscoe in several races in 2011, including the Indy 500. The car driven by Helio Castroneves at Indy and in other races will be sponsored by Shell, Penske said Friday. Meijer, a retail chain in the Midwest, will be an associate sponsor of all three cars.

Izod had been the sponsor of the Andretti Autosport car driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay, another rising star. Tony Kanaan, another longtime driver on the team owned by Michael Andretti, lost 7-Eleven as his sponsor and his ride with Andretti at the end of the season. Meijer had been an associate sponsor for Marco Andretti, Michael’s son.

Sponsorship dollars, which are even more vital to success in auto racing than horsepower, have moved decidedly in Team Penske’s direction. Further, there is the strong possibility that Sam Hornish Jr., the 2006 Indy 500 champion, who has not had much success racing stock cars in the last three years, could race in the 2011 Indy 500 for Penske.

“He’s always had an open invitation to run the Indy 500 with us. Nothing’s changed,” Tim Cindric, the president of Penske Racing, said in a teleconference on Monday.

Referring to Hornish’s status as a Sprint Cup driver, Cindric added, “I think what’s changed is the fact we haven’t been able to secure a full‑time Cup ride for him. And that makes things a bit more obvious. But he’s always had an open invitation with us to run Indy.”

Although the series has been energized by signing on at least three manufacturers for a new car program for the 2012 season, the imbalance in sponsorship dollars could be seen as a step back for parity in the series. The top five in last year’s standings drove either for Chip Ganassi or Penske. (Dario Franchitti, the series champion, drove for Ganassi.)

Danica Patrick finished 10th in the standings last year driving a car for Michael Andretti. Kanaan was sixth, Hunter-Reay was seventh and Marco Andretti was eighth. Mike Kelly, executive vice president of marketing for Izod’s parent company, Phillips-VanHeusen, said his company simply thought sponsoring Penske’s team was a better business opportunity.

“There’s no question he’s a contender out on the track,” Kelly said of Hunter-Reay.

[Source: The New York Times]

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Penske Automotive Group Celebrates Grand Opening of New Showroom


Penske Automotive Group recently celebrated the Grand Opening of its new Mercedes-Benz of Fairfield’s Showroom, located on 165 Commerce Drive. Mercedes-Benz is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, trucks and coaches. It is currently a division of its parent company, Daimler AG, (formerly DaimlerChrysler AG), after previously being owned by Daimler Benz.  Mercedes Benz has its origins in Karl Benz’s creation of the first petrol-powered car, the Benz patent motorwagen, patented in January 1886, and by Gottlieb Daimler and engineer Wilhelm Maybachs conversion of a stagecoach by the addition of a petrol engine, later that year.

The Mercedes Automobile was first marketed in 1901 and the first brand named vehicles were produced in 1926. Mercedes-Benz is one of the most well-known and established automotive brands in the world and is also one of the world’s oldest automotive brands, still in existence today.  MBUSA, LLC, a Daimler Company founded in 1965, is responsible for the distribution and marketing of Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States.

The Penske Automotive Group bought the Mercedes dealership on Commerce Drive ten years ago (October 16th). This location has recently been completely renovated, specific to and compliant with, Mercedes Benz Auto Haus Design. The new showroom boasts nearly 16,000 square feet with high ceilings and a bright open feeling, and is able to accommodate thirty vehicles within.  In addition, the Group has doubled its land footprint, from one acre to two full acres, giving them one hundred and twenty additional parking spaces. One hundred and fifty cars will be on display outdoors, including both new and pre-owned vehicles.  Nearly three hundred people attended this Grand Opening celebration, enjoying caviar delectables along with champagne and live music.

Roger Penske the Chairman of the Penske Automotive Group brought two Mercedes from his own personal collection into the showroom, to be enjoyed by all.  A red 1955 Gullwing 300 SL, the iconic Mercedes (adorned with ivory embellishments) topped the A-list, along with his black 2010 Gullwing. “It was a phenomenal event, celebrating with our customers, our team (employees) and Mercedes Senior Management, it was a great time,” said Randall Seymore, Area Vice President for the Penske Automotive Group. “Mercedes Benz speaks for itself. They continually come out with the best quality and best performing vehicle out there.  Business has been good; we’re up 29 percent  year to date.  We realize how we are treating our client is going to be #1, and from a management side, how we’re treating our employees transfers through to how we are treating our clients.  We’ve put a lot of focus on that.”  In addition to the new showroom, MB renovated their repair shop (450 Scofield Avenue) in July 2005, increasing its size to an impressive 100,000 square feet. The Smart Dealership is also owned by the Daimler Company. Amongst the cars displayed in the opening celebration, was a fully electric (smart car) vehicle, a full production car that has a 90 mile range. “We’ve made quite an investment here on Commerce Drive (we own the Porsche – Audi dealerships on Commerce Drive as well). We’re excited about this end of town and about the new train station opening. The town has been wonderful, Mark Barnhart’s been a great partner from the Economic Development side, the P & Z boards have been great, the town’s been a huge supporter, it’s mutually beneficial to clean up Commerce Drive.

At the end of the day, however, this is a by product of our team, our employees and customers who have been loyal to us, so those are the big winners,” continued Seymore. Subsequent to this grand opening celebration, Mercedes Benz is conducting a month long sale throughout the month of October. A portion of sales will benefit the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.

The full line of new and certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz automobiles is on display for viewing Monday – Saturday. For more information please visit or call 203-368-6725.


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Penske Teams Up With NBC “Today” Show’s Annual Lend a Hand Charity Effort


Penske Truck Rental will again team up with NBC’s “Today” Show for its annual Lend a Hand charitable outreach series that will be held this coming June 21-25. This is the sixth consecutive year Penske has donated its rental trucks, staff and logistics support to assist in delivering much needed donated goods to worthy charities across the U.S. for the program.

Each year, Emmy award winning broadcaster Al Roker visits U.S. cities and delivers live on-air much-needed items to select charities. The cities and organizations selected by the show will be revealed to the nation live on-air each day.

“In these tough economic times, charities need more help than ever to assist people in need,” stated Penske’s Jim Feenstra, Senior Vice President – Marketing. “We’re glad to be able to team up with Al Roker and the ‘Today’ Show in giving back to our communities.”

Penske Truck Rental is a service of Penske Truck Leasing. With one of the newest fleets, Penske provides do-it-yourself movers with clean, safe and reliable trucks as well as moving equipment, packing supplies and accessories.

[Source: Penske Truck Leasing]

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Constructors: Team Penske

Construction Team Penske

An aluminum salesman, Roger Penske began racing in the late 1950s and enjoyed considerable success as a sports car driver in the United States. He did the occasional single-seater race, including a couple of United States Grands Prix before he turned his hand to NASCAR. He retired from the sport in 1964 to concentrate on building up a network of car dealerships and as these began to flourish he established Team Penske in 1966 with Mark Donohue as the driver/engineer. The team enjoyed rapid success in CanAm and TransAm and won the classic Daytona 24 Hours in 1969, Donohue becoming Rookie of the Year at Indianapolis on the team’s first appearance at the 500. Successes followed in Championship racing, TransAm and Formula 5000. The 1972 season marked a high point for the operation as Donohue won the Indianapolis 500 and the team won the CanAm title with George Follmer driving a Porsche 917. Further successes were added in NASCAR and USAC and at the end of 1974 Roger Penske decided to enter a team in Formula 1.

The team was sponsored by First National City and a factory was established in Poole, England. The first car – the Penske PC1 – appeared at the Canadian Grand Prix in 1974 where Mark Donohue finished 12th. The following year Donohue persevered with the car but it was not very competitive and at midseason Penske decided to switch to the March 751. Three races later Donohue died after a practice accident at the Osterreichring. The team regrouped and ran John Watson in the final race of the season at Watkins Glen. The following year Watson was signed up to drive a new Penske PC3 but this was not as good as had been hoped and in the midseason Penske produced a new PC4. This was much better and at the Austrian GP, a year after Donohue’s death, Watson gave the team its first victory.

At the end of the year Penske announced that the team would not be continuing in 1977. The cars were sold to Gunther Schmid’s ATS team and the Penske factory in Poole began producing Indycar chassis.

The first Penske-built Indycar – the PC5 – appeared in the summer of 1977 and was a replica of the McLarenM24. Driving a McLaren (with which he won at Texas and Pocono) and then the PC5, Tom Sneva won the USAC title in 1977 and in 1978 followed up with another title in the Penske PC6. In 1979 Rick Mears gave the team its third consecutive title.

In the 1980s Penske remained the force to be reckoned with in CART while also expanding into NASCAR and into track ownership but he never returned to F1 – despite regular rumors that he was planning to do so.


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