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Honoring Penske at the 2012 WAS

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On Thursday, January 26 President of GM North America Mark Reuss, and Chairman of Crain Communications Keith Crain, will take the stage at the 2012 Washington Auto Show to present Roger Penske with the Keith Crain Automotive News Lifetime Achievement Award.

Automotive News reports, “The award is given annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the auto industry.” One look at Roger Penske’s accomplishments and it is clear to see that his contributions to the automotive industry have been nothing short of just that… significant.

Roger Penske’s passion for cars and the automotive industry started at a young age. The son of a car dealer, Penske spent his teenage years as a “lot boy” for a dealership while he honed his ability to build lasting and meaningful relationships with anyone he came into contact with. This quality is reflected in the words of his colleagues. Keith Crain had this to say about the Automotive News Lifetime Achievement Award recipient: “For his ingenuity as an entrepreneur and his passion for speed and the art of design, Roger Penske is a visionary in the automotive industry.”

The Penske Corporation oversees operations at more than 1,800 locations employing more than 36,000 people worldwide. The Penske Truck Leasing company, which provides customers with everything from complete fleet management to residential moving trucks, is comprised of over 1000 locations worldwide. The Penske retail automotive business has grown to over 325 franchises including the largest Toyota dealership in the United States. However, Roger Penske’s accomplishments are not confined to the automotive sales and leasing industry, Penske is also the recipient of the Sports Illustrated SCCA Driver of the Year Award.

The Penske Racing Team captured their first Championship Car victory in the Pocono 500 on July 3, 1971. Since then, they have stacked up 340 major race victories, over 400 pole positions and 23 National Championships. In addition to those staggering numbers, the Penske Racing Team has dominated the Indianapolis 500 by taking home 15 checkered flags over the last 4 years. The closest competitor has achieved this feat only 5 times in the history of the race.

The Washington Auto Show is the largest public show in the capital. Held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Northwest D.C., the event will feature more than 700 new makes and models from over 42 manufacturers. The Keith Crain Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented upon commencement of the 2012 Washington Auto Show on January 26 and it will be followed by a dinner reception at 7:00PM. For more information about how you can be a part of this celebratory award ceremony visit the Washington Auto Show website at http://www.washingtonautoshow.com

Information in this article courtesy of http://www.washingtonautoshow.com/

Picture Courtesy of http://www.trucktrend.com/

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Audi & Daimler Introduce Revolutionary Technology at CES 2012

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For years, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada has attracted the attention of tech enthusiasts everywhere. Since its inception in 1967, CES has been the birthplace for devices like the videocassette recorder (VCR), the compact disc (CD), and the Nintendo Entertainment System. This year, a record setting 153,000 people attended the event to get the first look at the future of technology.

This year, the automotive industry had more of a presence at CES then in previous years. Car manufacturers including Audi, Kia, Ford, Mercedes, Daimler, and many more made an appearance at the show despite the fact that the Detroit Auto Show was underway at the same time. Each manufacturer had different technology products on display. However; one of the most talked about presentations at the show was Daimler’s introduction of their new infotainment system.

The EE Times reports, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, spoke in depth about the “connected car” and about how users of the interactive infotainment system will have unlimited access to information, “everywhere and at all times”. Mobile applications such as Google Local, Street View, and Facebook are already available to Daimler customers in Europe. However, Daimler wasn’t the only manufacturer rolling out an automobile infotainment system at this year’s CES.

Audi also announced their infotainment system. Audi’s infotainment system features integration of the Audi Phone Box. The Audi Phone Box is an intelligent compartment in the center console that passes the signal of your mobile device to an external antenna on the outside of the car. This genius invention will increase call signal and allow users to download data at faster speeds. In addition to the Audi Phone Box, the infotainment system features integration of mobile applications like Google Voice. Bringing cloud-based applications to Audi’s infotainment system is just one of features that Audi buyers have to look forward to in the near future.

Attendees agree that the technological advancements introduced by companies like Audi and Daimler point to an exciting future for the “connected car” and the connected car driver. For more information about CES 2012 and the products featured at the show visit the CES web site at http://www.cesweb.org/.

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Penske acquires Northern Ireland dealer group

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The Isaac Agnew Group of Northern Ireland is the most recent addition to the Penske Automotive family. The group, which sold 7,000 new units last year, is comprised of Volkswagen, Volvo, Porsche, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW/Mini franchises.

Chairman Roger Penske had this to say about the new acquisition, “This collection of dealerships has a strong legacy. The outstanding premium/luxury brand mix and leading market position of these dealerships provide an attractive entry point into this new market and complement our existing operations in the United Kingdom.”

The Isaac Agnew Group joins the 170 Penske Automotive franchises owned and operated outside the U.S. However, while expanding their reach to the UK, Penske Automotive has remained the second-largest automotive retailer in the United States.

Source: AutoNews.com

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2011 Penske Racing Recap: Anticipation builds for a Great and Successful Year!

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There will be plenty of changes heading into the 2012 Sprint Cup season that begins next month with the Daytona 500, especially for Penske Racing.

Todd Gordon of Penske Racing will take over as the crew chief of the number 22 Dodge after a stellar Nationwide series performance in which his car had 6 wins and 6 poles. Roger Penske, perhaps the most revered name in auto racing, likes to develop and promote from within and he believes that Gordon is ready for this next big step, which is the equivalent of being a head football coach in the NFL. Driving the No. 22 will be AJ Allmendinger who is coming off a good season as he finished 15th in the standings.

Penske stayed in the news with the announcement that Kurt Busch will leave the organization after six highly contentious but overall successful years together. Penske said that the decision was mutual and that he was disappointed that Busch would no longer be racing for his organization. Busch won a total of 16 races for Penske.

The addition of Allmendinger in place of Busch for Penske Racing should be a long term positive for the organization as Allmendinger is a class driver and someone the organization can be proud of.

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Your Classic MINI Christmas Calendar

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MINI wants to make your holidays a little bit more cheerful. Since Monday, MINI has been celebrating the holiday season with their Classic MINI Christmas Calendars giveaway. Today is the last day for your chance to win – so make sure you enter your name!

Three random winners will be selected to receive a free MINI Christmas Calendar, courtesy of MINI Clubs International Office. Send your name to competitions@minispace.com. The calendar will be delivered to the winners’ homes.

If you don’t want to chance the odds, and want to make sure you get one, MINI Spaces can always purchase one for about €9.99, or about $13.50. Just email historisches.medienarchiv@bmwgroup.com with your MINI Space username. Shipping costs are not included, and shipping time will vary based on your location.

It may seem a little early to be getting ready for Christmas (although the department stores would tell us otherwise). However, you’ll need the calendar in time for December 1, when you can start consuming the chocolate that comes with the calendar. Yes, behind each window there is a bit of chocolate to help you count down the days until Christmas.

The Christmas Calendar is a German tradition, so its no wonder BMW-owned brand is giving away a Christmas calendar. Typically, the calendar is given to children to count down the days until Christmas, but all ages can enjoy the festive spirit—especially if chocolate is involved.

 

 

If you want a special MINI Christmas Calendar, you better hurry! There’s just one day left for the giveaway.

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Civic Si Coupe HFP Concept

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This week, Honda has used SEMA to demonstrate several interpretations of the new Civic Si Coupe. They also took advantage of the opportunity to announce news about the ninth-generation model and debut a prototype Accord with a supercharger.

Of the factory interpretations, Honda showed off the Civic Si Coupe with an HFP package. This dealer-installed kit has a new HPF sport suspension, and thus a lower ride height and stiffer springs. It also comes with 18-inch HFP wheels. This is the first collaboration between HFP and Honda Performance Development, and Honda looks forward to continued collaboration.

The package will cost about $4,244, and features LED ambient lighting on the inside and a front lip spoiler, side sills, and rear bumper underbody spoiler on the outside.

If the HFP package is too tame for some, they also showed off the sportier Compass360 Racing HPD Civic SI Coupe Racecar. The Civic coupe will be available in body-in-white for $3,500.

The Civic wasn’t the only model on the display. Honda also featured an Accord Coupe V6 Concept. Outfitted with the HFP package, the Accord Coupe also got an upgraded suspension, body kit, and rims, and an HPD-tuned supercharger. The upgraded Coupe is expected to get 333hp and 385 lb-ft of torque.

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The Secrets of Penske Power

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Penske Automotive Group, Inc. reported sharply higher earnings as the dealership group sold more cars at higher prices throughout the quarter. Penske announced Wednesday that its net income rose to 61 cents per share from 33 cents per share a year earlier, a jump of 85 percent.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $2.95 billion from $2.67 billion. The results included an income tax benefit of 12 cents per share. Excluding that benefit and a loss of 1 cent per share from discontinued operations, the company earned 50 cents per share, an increase of 31 percent compared with adjusted earnings from last year’s third quarter. Analysts expected the company to earn 42 cents per share, after removing the effects of special items, on revenue of $3.04 billion. Separately, the company announced Wednesday it will raise its dividend to 9 cents per share, an increase of 12.5 percent. The dividend is payable Dec. 1 to shareholders of record on Nov. 10.

Penske owns 170 auto dealer franchises in 17 U.S. states and Puerto Rico and 155 dealer franchises abroad, mostly in the United Kingdom. The company sold 72,204 cars in the quarter, up from 67,994 in the same quarter last year. In a statement, Penske Automotive Group Chairman Roger Penske said the company’s new car sales where held back because Japanese automakers are still not able to return to normal production after the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

On another note, used car volumes rose 16 percent. Used car prices rose 2 percent to $26,404 per car. Gross profit per used car rose 3 percent to $1,978. Revenue at dealerships open at least a year rose 6.4 percent. This measure is considered a key gauge of a retailer’s performance.

Uncut- Local 4 Interviews Roger Penske

Source: Click On Detroit

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6 Tips for Driving in the Rain

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Tis the season for rain and weather so we thought it would be helpful to post some safety tips for driving in the rain.  Decreased visibility and slippery roads increase the chances of being in an accident while raining.  Stay alert and follow these tips to stay safe in the rain.

1. Leave Earlier

Traffic will move slower in the rain, so it will take longer for you to get to your destination. Plus, you don’t want to be in a hurry or rushing to get somewhere when the roads are slick. Give yourself extra time, and leaver earlier.

2. Brake Sooner

Sudden braking can cause you to hydroplane and lose control of the car. Brake earlier than you would typically, and use less force on the brakes.

3. Turn On Your Headlights

Even if its day time, turning on your headlights will not only help you see better, but it helps other drivers see you. However, avoid using your high beams; the light will reflect off of the water droplets in the air and make it even more difficult to see.

4. Watch for Pedestrians

A pedestrian might be too distracted fiddling with his umbrella to notice you, so it’s up to you to keep your eye out for someone crossing the road. With decreased visibility, they may be harder to see, so stay alert and keep an eye out for them.

5. Avoid Puddles

Stay close to the middle of the road. Puddles tend to form on the shoulder and the sides of the road, so hug the yellow line. Don’t try to cross large puddles in the road if you can’t tell how deep they are – your car could get stuck. Try to find a different way around.

6. Know how to handle Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is when your car skids on the surface of the water, and could cause you to lose control of the car. If your car starts to hydroplane, do not brake suddenly or turn the wheel – this could cause you to lose control of the vehicle. Instead, slowly take your foot off the gas and steer straight. If necessary, tap the brake gently.


Forecasts predict scattered showers until Wednesday. A flood watch is in place through the evening, so please stay safe on the roads!

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