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The Newsletter of the Napleton Fleet Group

Editor: Rick Nicoletti

November 5, 2012

In This Issue: 

Blink and it's 2014


How could the 2013 model year be over when it's not even 2013?

It seems like we've just begun the 2013 model year and we're already looking at final fleet order dates and 2014 model year vehicles. This year seems to have more early buildouts than any previous year I can remember. You can keep up to date with final fleet order dates at our website.


Whenever we have these early build outs the question always arises as to what are the changes for the next model year. Listed below are some of the early buildout vehicles by manufacturer and an idea of the changes to their 2014 models.


Chrysler Group LLC

2013 Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot - Final Fleet Order Date 11/30/12

The big change for the 2014 models is the replacement of the CVT transmission with a 6 speed automatic. The Compass will receive interior upgrades; looks as though the Patriot will carry on with the current interior.


2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Final Fleet Order Date 10/31/12

The 2014 Grand Cherokee will receive exterior sheet metal changes. The big news will be the addition of an 8 speed automatic transmission, an optional diesel and a redesigned interior allowing the use of the 8.4 inch UConnect radio. Look for the first vehicles to become available in the Spring.


Ford Motor Company

2013 Ford Fiesta - Final Fleet Order Date 11/23/12

The 2014 Ford Fiesta will get substantial exterior changes and interior changes. The big news will be the availability of the 1.0 liter 3 cylinder EcoBoost engine.


2013 Ford Mustang - Final Fleet Order Date 10/26/12

The 2014 Mustang will have a mild refreshing - some new colors and packages. Could an EcoBoost 4 cylinder engine be available for 2014? We'll have to wait and see. Rumor has it that 2015 will be the big change for Mustang. 2015 will be the 50th anniversary of the pony car.


General Motors Company

2013 Chevrolet Corvette - Final Fleet Order Date 10/25/02

The 2014 Corvette will be all-new. We know that the seventh generation (C7) of America' sports car will include an all-new 6.2 liter small block V8 (LT1). Beyond that there is a lot of speculation and spy shots of the car. Look for the car to be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show this January.


2013 Chevrolet Impala - Final Fleet Order Date ??

The all-new Chevrolet Impala will be available in early 2013. Look for the availability of direct injection 4 cylinder and V6 engines along with a 4 cylinder e-assist powerplant. Take a peek at the 2014 Chevrolet Impala at the GM Media website.


2013 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra Pickup - Final Fleet Order Date - Various Dates

GM will be introducing all-new 2014 Silverado and Sierra pickups in the coming months. Look for staggered final fleet order dates based upon models (regular cab, extended cab and crew cab). The official unveiling of the Silverado and Sierra 1500 pickups will be at the Detroit Auto Show in January. As more information becomes available about these all-new trucks, we will pass it on to you.


Nissan North America

2013 Nissan Pathfinder

This is a late introduction of the all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder. The all-new 4th generation Pathfinder provides increased capability with comfortable seating for seven, intuitive 4WD and 5000-pound standard towing capacity.


2014 Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo Van

Production will begin in Mexico for this all-new compact cargo van in January. Look for the first vehicles to arrive at dealers in April. This van will compete directly with the Ford Transit Connect and Dodge Ram C/V. You can check it out at Nissan's Commercial Vehicles site.


Subaru of America

2013 Subaru Forester - Final Fleet Order Date 09/14/12

The 2014 Forester arrives with either a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine that produces 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque or a 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine that will make 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The Forester will debut a new six-speed manual transmission and a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission. The 2014 Forester will be officially unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.


Fleeting Tidbits

Ford has announced the Continuation of the Fusion Rapid Order Fulfillment Program. The program is for eligible Fleet accounts for the 2013 Model Year and provides an ongoing inventory of Fusion units built at the Hermosillo Assembly Plant for dealer and Fleet Management Company use in meeting emergency or special needs of fleet customers. These units contain a variety of trim levels and color selections for fast delivery (average target delivery timing of 25 days, depending on geographic location).


There has been some confusion over whether the 2013 Malibu 1FL is available with Bluetooth and a compact spare. The answer is yes! Bluetooth (UPF) is included with OnStar (UE1) and the compact spare (P77) is available as a stand-alone option.



Ford and University of Michigan Researchers Team Up to Fight Microbes in New Cars and Trucks

  • Operating in a wide array of conditions, cars and trucks can become a breeding ground for a variety of microorganisms that cause odors and discoloration of vehicle surfaces
  • Americans spend approximately $2.3 billion annually on air fresheners
  • Researchers from Ford and the University of Michigan studied vehicle interiors to learn where microbes grow and evaluated antimicrobial additives for coatings
  • Adding silver-ion-based Agion to paints may significantly inhibit microbe growth

We can't see them, but we are surrounded by tiny microorganisms that can have undesirable effects on the surfaces around us. In cars and trucks, these microscopic organisms including mold and mildew can quickly take hold and spread over a variety of surfaces leading to discoloration, and even unpleasant odors.

"Vehicle cabins are exposed to a wide variety of environmental conditions that can make them microbial breeding grounds," said Cindy Peters, Ford Motor Company technical expert. "Based on growing consumer desire for health and wellness solutions, we decided to take a look at the interiors in Ford vehicles with the goal of creating a cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing environment for our customers."

Market research firm Mintel reports Americans spend approximately $2.3 billion annually on air fresheners including aerosols, plug-ins, slow-release and hanger products found dangling from car mirrors.

Many consumers are sensitive to chemicals or simply don't like the artificial scents of many air fresheners, so a solution that proactively reduces the source of odors for the life of the vehicle might be appreciated.

Engineers from the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn have been collaborating with a team from the University of Michigan (U-M) led by microbial ecologist Dr. Blaise Boles to evaluate the concentration and growth of microbes in vehicles.

Peters and her colleagues collected samples from a variety of company and employee-owned vehicles. The samples were then cultured and analyzed at a U-M laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The team took swabs from 10 locations in the vehicle interior including the steering wheel, radio buttons, door handles, window switches and gear shift knobs. The U-M researchers found significant bacteria growth at most of the test locations with the highest concentrations on the steering wheel and the area around the cupholders.

"Our findings suggest car interiors are complex ecosystems that house trillions of diverse microorganisms interacting with each other, with humans, and with their environment," said Boles, assistant professor in the U-M Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. "The long-term goal is to define the microbial ecology of the car interior and to optimize the design of car interiors to promote comfort and environmental sustainability."

"We weren't surprised to find microbial hot spots on the steering wheel, since that is where a driver's hands are most of the time," added Peters. "The console area near the cupholders is a common location for spilled drinks, so it provides an ideal feeding ground for microbes."

Americans also spend more than $1 billion annually on a variety of products including lotions, wipes and sprays to fight microbial growth. Having identified the source of the microbes in the vehicle cabin, Peters and technical leader Mark Nichols went to work with interior coatings supplier Red Spot Paint and additive supplier Sciessent LLC to develop and test coating formulations that could resist and potentially even reverse microbial growth.

The team focused their attention on three commonly used and EPA-approved antimicrobial additives including silver-ion, ammonium salt and polyolefin wax with a nano-silver coating. Panels painted with four different formulations were then evaluated back at the U-M lab to assess the growth rates of microorganisms.

Parts coated with paint infused with the silver-ion additive sold under the trade name Agion, contained lower microbe growth than the control parts with the current production paint. Agion, based on elemental ions, works by starving, sterilizing and suffocating the microbes to prevent them from growing and reproducing.

Cars and trucks generally have a much longer life span than most antimicrobial-treated products, and they operate in a wider range of environmental conditions. Drivers expect features to continue working and surfaces to remain intact even after the vehicle has been on the road for many years. Peters and Nichols subjected the specially coated test panels to an accelerated aging process to evaluate their microbe-controlling properties after the equivalent of years of exposure to sun and heat.

Even after simulating many years of use, the microbe growth of the Agion-infused coating changed very little. The additive also had little impact on the gloss and color change of the surfaces over the test period. Parts with the antimicrobial-treated coating are now undergoing real-world testing in a number of Ford development vehicles, and the coating is being evaluated for potential use in future Ford vehicle programs.

"We can't control everything that contributes to stains and odors in our cars and trucks," said Peters. "But we're doing our part to maintain a pleasant cabin environment for our customers over the long haul."

Source: Ford Motor Company




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