Ford Hires New Mobility Chief
Last year at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, Ford unveiled its new Ford Smart Mobility plan.
The plan called for the innovative use of connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data to take it to new heights.
The company also said that the purpose of its plan is to create solutions to solve the global transportation crisis.
In order to execute the Ford Smart Mobility plan, the automaker enlisted transformation and growth leader, Rajendra Rao.
Rao has taken on various roles at companies such as iGate Capital, Brunswick Corporation and 3M, and will be joining Ford Smart Mobility, LLC as chief executive officer.
With proven experience in digital transformation, new business cultivation and start up partnerships, Ford believes Rao "Is the right leader to lead the delivery of mobility services globally and bring to life our vision to change the way the world moves.”
As part of Ford's plan, the American automaker will launch 25 mobility experiments worldwide to put breakthrough transportation ideas to the test to develop more modifiable user ship models, social collaboration that rewards customers and a better customer experience.
As an expanded business model, Ford Smart Mobility LLC was designed to be both an auto and a mobility company.
While this new division of Ford is working with other areas of the company, it will actually function as a start-up.
Ford Smart Mobility LLC will be utilizing its own Greenfield Labs business incubation team to design and build mobility services, while collaborating with other start-ups like the recently acquired, app-based, crowd-sourced shuttle company Chariot, as well as Motivate to launch Ford GoBike in San Francisco.
Ford's ultimate goal is to a new model of transportation of transportation within the next 10 years.
“We see a world where vehicles talk to one another, drivers and vehicles communicate with the city infrastructure to relieve congestion, and people routinely share vehicles or multiple forms of transportation for their daily commute,” says Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO.
Those of us here at Pilson Auto believe that Raj Rao is the best person to lead the delivery of American car company's global mobility services.
Rao will work directly under, Ford Smart Mobility LLC chairman, Jim Hackett in the company's Palo Alto office based in California.
There is no doubt that this is good news for the Ford community. If you are looking to be a part of a great brand, we have the ford you are looking for. Stop in to Pilson Auto for many new models and used models.
After more than a decade of research, testing and more research, Ford is set to triple its autonomous vehicle test fleet this year to have the largest of any automaker. The automaker will test fully autonomous vehicles in Michigan, Arizona and California.
The announcement came early in September, when Ford told the media it would launch a fleet of autonomous taxis in at least one city in 2012. There’s a twist though: Ford’s self-driving cars won’t have a steering wheel, gas or brake pedals.
Right now, pretty much every major automaker has committed to rolling out a self-driving car in the next five years but the levels of autonomy vary among them. Most are committing to semi-autonomous systems that allow the car to be completely self-driving in certain driving situations but will still be outfitted with steering wheels so drivers can take back control at any moment.
Ford, in contrast, is going all the way. It wants to make its cars fully autonomous because it sees semi-autonomous systems as a possible liability. Ford’s thinking is that when people begin to trust the in-vehicle system too much, they’ll fail to re-engage control of the vehicle when needed.
“We are not in a race to be the first, but we are in a race to do the right thing, which is why we are building on more than ten years of experience on how to responsibly deliver a ride service that is fully autonomous that does not require a driver to re-engage,” Ken Washington, vice president of advanced research and engineering for Ford, told Business Insider.
“Our research has led us to understand that [re-engagement] is very difficult to do and we don’t know how to enable that, so that is what led us to pursuing a full level four autonomous vehicle and this re-engagement issue goes away,” Washington continued.
Ford isn’t the first to remark on the issue of customers trusting self-driving systems too much. Tesla can attest to that fact quite strongly.
When Tesla first rolled out Autopilot, there were far too many YouTube videos shot by drivers testing the limits of the system by taking their hands completely off the wheel while driving at fast speeds down a highway. One driver even climbed into the back seat and sat there while the car drove itself down a freeway.
Of course, Tesla and other automakers have always maintained that drivers are supposed to monitor the driving situation, keep their hands on the wheel, and not rely solely on the autonomous system. The fact of the matter, though, is that people just don’t listen.
In the beginning, Ford’s fleet of self-driving cars will only operate in geo-fenced areas within an urban setting. The automaker will only offer the service in an area where the sensors on its driverless cars can “operate at their optimum performance” meaning it won’t work in certain weather conditions or geographical locations.
At Pilson Auto, we’re excited to see where the future of autonomous cars will go. Aren’t you?
In the meantime, check out some of our regular new vehicles from Ford and more near Mattoon, IL!
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to spend $1.49 billion to retool its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant so it can build the next-generation Ram 1500 pickup truck there after it stops producing the Chrysler 200.
The investment plans were disclosed in Lansing when the Michigan Strategic Fund board approved a tax break valued at $11.38 million over a 15-year period to help secure the automaker's commitment. The board unanimously approved the request after a mere fifteen-minute discussion.
The automaker's decision to move the Ram to the Sterling Heights plant likely secures its future and thousands of jobs there for years to come. FCA could have moved production to any number of locations in North America.
“This one is going to be an incredible investment,” said Mark Hackel, Macomb County executive, who noted that the plant was on FCA's closure list back in 2009 when the automaker was going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
FCA said earlier this year it planned to cease production of the Chrysler 200 and move production of its Ram 1500 pickup from Warren Truck to Sterling Heights, but the size of investment and the time frame was not revealed until recently.
“This is now the largest one-time corporate investment in the City's history, and once again validates Sterling Heights as an epicenter of economic development activity in the Metro Detroit region," Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor said in a press release.
According to Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool, FCA is also expected to be eligible for a variety of city and county economic incentives worth up to another $7.1 million in site clean-up, property tax breaks and other forms of relief in addition to the state package. They are still awaiting approval.
Staff members of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. recommended approval of the tax break because the automaker could have moved production of the Ram to another state or country.
Indeed, the automaker has decided that it will build the replacement for its Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot at a plant in Mexico after production ends in Belvidere, Ill. Earlier this month, FCA indefinitely laid off about 1,300 workers at the Sterling Heights plant.
"It is expected that production of the Chrysler 200 will cease at the end of 2016. If a new product is not committed at the Sterling Heights facility, the remaining shift would also face indefinite layoff."
Work on the plant is expected begin later this year and should be completed by 2018, she said. Production of the next-generation Ram 1500 is expected to begin in 2018. Keep an eye out for it at Pilson Auto.
Lincoln has always been known for its exceptional attention to customer satisfaction and comfort. That’s why it’s no surprise that the automaker has announced that it will provide free pickup and delivery of service vehicles to new owners starting with 2017 models.
It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. Lincoln will seriously pick up your car at any location, leave behind a Lincoln vehicle of greater or equal value for you to use as a loaner, and then return your car after maintenance on it is finished. The program, called Lincoln Service Valet, will be part of 2017 model year vehicles’ four-year 50,000-mile warranty coverage, which is available throughout the United States.
“It’s the single most important item we’ve done in some time,” said Ed Witt, owner of Witt Lincoln in San Diego. “For customers today, one of the things that they value the most is their time. This is a process by which the Lincoln dealers and the Lincoln Motor Co. can eliminate people’s need to come to the dealer for almost anything.”
Though Lincoln remains in eighth place among the lineup of luxury automakers, behind European and Japanese rivals as well as General Motor’s Cadillac, its new products have helped it grow by 15 percent through May. That means Lincoln is one of the fastest-growing automotive brands around today. So while they may be leading from behind for now, Lincoln is, indeed, a leader.
Lincoln says it’s the first automotive brand to offer pickup and delivery as a standard service across its full product line. If the service catches on and consumer response is strong, the program could be the boost Lincoln needs to push its momentum over the top.
Dane Sullivan, a product analyst for AutoPacific, said that while some brands provide pickup and delivery service for higher-end models or at participating dealers, Lincoln’s service puts it in “uncharted territory.”
“Our dealers view this as a way to differentiate the client experience for Lincoln owners,” Andrew Frick, Lincoln’s North American director of sales and services, said in a press release. “No matter what Lincoln vehicle clients have from our portfolio, they have the peace of mind of getting that vehicle to and from service at a location of their choice with a complimentary Lincoln loaner in order to maintain their busy schedules.”
Several dealerships have already tested out the service to great results. Customers who used it were surveyed and 98 percent said that they would be more likely to receive service from that dealer in the future. In addition, 93 percent said they’d be likely to purchase another Lincoln as a result.
What do you think? At Pilson Auto, we’re always ready to listen to what our customers want.
Coles County Sheriff, Jimmy Rankin, will be running several races this year while dressed in his full sheriff’s uniform. Sheriff Rankin says he just wants to be a positive role model for good mental and physical health, especially for children.
Rankin will be running races this summer and fall in his full uniform. He said he is trying to set a good example for kids by showing up and being ready to run in full uniform. His message is primarily focused on personal wellness.
But why in uniform? Sounds uncomfortable! For Rankin, it's less about comfort and more about Coles County youth. He said that he "wants to set a good example by racing and walking in uniform." Being a positive role model is important for Rankin and he wants to emphasize health and fitness for kids, mentally and physically.
"I've had this commitment for several years and, now, my role provides a more visible platform to help serve others," he said.
Rankin was elected to the sheriff post in 2014 but his commitment to Coles County youth goes back several years. He has been an advocate and a catalyst for youth playgrounds in Humboldt and Ashmore and in 2013, the Ashmore Mentoring Program (AMP) was a Governor's Cup Finalist. This award recognizes volunteer contributions across the state of Illinois.
In 2016, Rankin said he plans to run/walk in several races. The first race on the agenda is on July 2 in Oakland, a Sprint Triathlon fundraising event for local veterans.
Rankin's next race will be at Lake Land College: the Serve to Strengthen race on Aug. 27. This race will directly benefit HOPE (Housing Outreach Prevention and Education) of East Central Illinois, a service that provides help for victims of domestic violence.
On Sept. 9, Rankin will be running in a new event, the 5K Glow Run/Walk at the Coles County Council on Aging LifeSpan Center. The event will be at night and runners/walkers will chase the "cop." Rankin said that he will "initially lead the pack with people chasing after me but I expect to be quickly overtaken, considering that I'll be in full uniform." This event will raise funds for grandparents raising grandchildren.
Lastly, Rankin will be running in the "Paint the Town Pink" event on Oct. 8, sponsored by Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. The funds raised at this event will be directed to help people dealing with and recovering from breast cancer.
Pilson Auto invites you to help cheer on this local role model!
We don’t need to tell you how great the Ford F-150 Raptor is. You already know. But have you heard about the Raptor’s second generation updates?
Since its debut in 2010, the F-150 Raptor has gained a well-deserved reputation for its exceptional off-road performance. When Ford decided to make some changes to the vehicle’s second generation incarnation it only made sense to make them where it would count most to Raptor drivers: the tires.
Working in collaboration with engineers from BFGoodrich, Ford selected the T/A K02 all-terrain tire for the new Raptor. This bespoke version of the world’s most famous all-terrain tire was developed specifically for the latest version of the Raptor, with Ford saying that “the tires [needed] to match the extreme performance expected from the Raptor.”
There really wasn’t any other tire that could deliver quite the stellar experience that the T/A K02 could. Featuring an optimized tread pattern, greater tread area than the tires on the first-generation Raptor, larger sidewall lugs, and steel nylon belts to improve compliance and comfort on-road, the T/A K02 tires have everything necessary to push the Raptor even further above other top-tier pickups.
In a recent press release, Ford revealed that hundreds of hours of testing went into the precise development of the tires and the company’s collaboration with BFGoodrich. Designed specifically with off-roading in mind, Raptor drivers can be assured that the T/A K02 experience will be one worth writing home about whether you’re in the mud, on the trail, or coasting down the open road.
The Raptor’s new bespoke tires are not only ready for anything you can dream up, anywhere you can travel to, they’re also race-proven: Ford uses the same tires on its Best in the Desert race trucks. That intense series is one of the ultimate endurance tests for trucks–or any vehicle–and proves yet again that Ford is dead serious about the new Raptor’s capabilities. At 35-inches, they’re among the largest tires ever offered from the factory on an SUV or pickup truck.
The new Raptor will be the lightest, most powerful and most capable F-150 yet. While enthusiasts may scratch their heads at the transition from large-placement, naturally aspirated V-8 power to turbocharged, EcoBoost V-6 power, the vehicle’s power hasn’t been diminished even a little bit while its efficiency has skyrocketed.
If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of seeing what the new Ford F-150 Raptor can do in person, come see us at Pilson Auto for a test drive today. Even if you’re not sure the Raptor is the truck for you, any gearhead should have the chance to observe its power for themselves–if only to simply say you saw it with your own eyes.
Ford's newest Raptor, driven by veteran stock truck pilots Greg Foutz and Tim Casey and wearing the number 1201, won in the brand new Factory Stock class as part of Best in the Desert. As the only truck in the class running the grueling Mint 400 in Las Vegas last March, it achieved a podium finish.
The Ford Raptor has run in six races so far in 2016 in Arizona and Nevada. The truck is a modified version of the 2017 Raptor, though many of the important bits are the same as the production version, including the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with over 411 hp, the Torsen front differential, dual exhaust, and 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels with BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires mounted.
The Ford Raptor line has been the automaker’s off-road take on the immensely popular F-150, and with the addition of BFGoodrich T/A KO2 all-terrain tires on the 2017 model, Ford believes Raptor drivers won’t just get better off-road performance, but better on-road performance too.
The tires were reportedly developed to the new Raptor’s chassis, meaning the chassis’ evolution was apparently parallel with that of the tire. Ford says at least a dozen different tweaks were tried on the KO2 tires during the testing process, before the companies came up with something just right for the 2017 Raptor.
So what did change with this Raptor? The team added three-inch diameter external-bypass front and rear Fox Racing shocks, race-optimized springs to increase ride height, a custom fabricated roll cage, a five-point harness and window nets, an LED light bar, racing fuel cell, Lowrance GPS unit, a digital dash and a data logger.
The F-150 Raptor is powered by Ford’s second-generation high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that produces more power with greater efficiency than the outgoing 6.2-liter V8, rated at 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque. The new 3.5-liter EcoBoost is a Raptor-exclusive in the F-150 lineup, and paired with an all-new ten-speed transmission for improved efficiency.
A new transfer case, which manages power distribution between the front and rear wheels, combines the best attributes of clutch-driven, on-demand all-wheel drive with durable, mechanical-locking four-wheel drive to send power to the wheels in slippery conditions.
Pioneering off-road driving mode technology has evolved into an all-new Terrain Management System that enables the driver to select modes to optimize driving dynamics to environmental conditions. Six preset modes help the truck power through different terrain and conditions.
Stop by Pilson Auto for more information about the Ford Raptor and other Ford models available today.
Fans of the Lincoln Continental better brace themselves for good news: a new 400-hp twin-turbo Continental is on its way.
The 400-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 will be exclusive to Lincoln (versus previous Lincoln vehicles built atop Ford bones) and will be available with four-wheel drive. The new car will include all the luxury we’ve come to expect and love about the Continental, including adaptive cruise, lane-keeping assist, a 360-degree camera, an automated-parking function, adjustable dampers, and heated, cooled, and a massaging front and outboard rear seats.
As Lincoln drivers and fans well know, the brand always promises quality, luxury and effortless style. The new Continental is no exception. All of the classic Lincoln notes are here, with slightly modern updating that feels sleek and never out of place.
Drivers will be able to choose between three carefully-designed driving modes: comfort, normal, and sport. All of the modes feature continuously controlled damping (CCD) to tune the chassis accordingly. This intuitive conversation between car and road leads to one of the smoothest rides you can get today.
The Continental reaches new heights in seat flexibility, with its optional front perches packing a record 30-way adjustments, including independently adjustable left- and right-thigh boosters that allow for the most asymmetrical bottom cushion in any production car. By the way, those seats are made from deep, soft leather – the same soft, supple leather that is used in first-class international travel. You can rest assured that with the Continental, you’re getting the best in comfort.
Just to pump up the styling volume, a new Continental trim, Black Label, is available in three different themes which are comprised of leather colors and accent finishes. Chalet is a mix of wintry white and creams; Thoroughbred is, of course, a palette blend of tans and browns; and Rhapsody is a swirl of deep, velvety violet blues.
The luxury continues with the inclusion of the Revel Ultima Audio System, a state-of-the-art sound system which includes 19 expertly placed speakers. The system is enjoyable in 3 different listening modes; the precision-milled speakers (which have been seamlessly integrated into the vehicle doors) allow you to enjoy your music in breathtaking, audiophile quality at any volume.
The new Continental will start at $45,485 at the base level and rise to just under $70,000 for the fully-loaded version.
Do we have your attention yet? Visit us today at Pilson Auto to check out the 2017 Lincoln Continental for yourself. To truly appreciate its elegance, sleekness and power, you’ll need to experience it in person. There’s really nothing like sinking into the soft leather seat of a Continental, seeing the glossy wood of the console and hearing the incredible sound of its artisan-level speaker system. Pictures just don’t do it justice.
Each year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles designs a slew of awesome Jeep concepts for their annual Moab Safari. The safari is a bit of a mecca for Jeep owners, giving them the opportunity to take their vehicles out for some seriously fun off-roading. FCA traditionally brings its concepts out to the rocks and trails of Moab as well, to prove that they’re more than just show cars.
“Each year, the Jeep team looks forward to pushing the limits with new, exciting and capable concept vehicles for our most loyal enthusiasts at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, where we receive a tremendous amount of valuable feedback,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand, in a recent press release. “This year is extra special, as together with our biggest fans, we celebrate Jeep’s 75th anniversary, as well as the 50th running of the Jeep Safari. We’re delighted to share seven of the most capable and eye-catching concept Jeep vehicles we’ve ever created at this year’s historic event.”
Here are some of the Jeep concepts we can expect to see at this year’s event:
- Jeep Wrangler Trailcat
This monster features a 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 engine – which packs 707-hp – mated to a 6-speed manual transmission with a custom shifter ball featuring an embossed Hellcat logo. Jeep is referring to this vehicle as “the ultimate off-road machine”.
- Jeep Trailstorm
Based on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, this concept vehicle has been enhanced with 17-inch concept off-road wheels wrapped in 37-inch tires, a 2-inch lift kit with Jeep Performance Parts/Fox shocks, a Jeep Performance Parts Rubicon winch, and Dana 44 front and rear axles.
- Jeep FC 150
Based on the CJ-5, this classic American workhorse keeps vehicle length to a minimum for maneuverability while maintaining a full-length cargo box for utility. The FC 150 heritage vehicle is powered by a 4.0-liter PowerTech I-6 engine and is mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission.
- Jeep Comanche
Based on the Jeep Renegade, the Comanche is a nod to Jeep pickup trucks of years past and takes its styling cues from military and civilian Jeep heritage. The Comanche is powered by a 2.0-liter diesel I-4 engine and is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with Jeep Active Drive Lock, which includes low range and a locking rear differential.
- Jeep Renegade Commander
The Renegade Commander features a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine, a 2-inch lift kit, and 17-inch Rubicon aluminum wheels with 29.5-inch BF-Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires.
- Jeep Shortcut
This simple and functional take on the Jeep CJ-5 combines the classic vehicle with Wrangled-based sensibilities, evoking the spirit of 1950s Americana with its shortened body and toughness.
- Jeep Crew Chief 715
A salute to the legendary Jeep military service vehicles of yesteryear (in particular the Kaiser M715), the Crew Chief 715 is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.
Ford Motor Company has officially opened the application process for anyone interested in purchasing the Ford GT supercar. Via FordGT.com, will-be and wanna-be buyers alike will download a questionnaire designed—through dozens of questions—to prove the depth and breadth of each applicant’s passion for the brand.
Over the two-year production cycle, only 500 GTs will be produced, so Ford is preparing itself for a deluge of demand for the mid-engined sports car, which evokes the legendary Ford GTs of the 1960s. In 1966, three Ford cars finished one-two-three at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in France; four new GTs are now competing on the international racing circuit, hoping to repeat history.
It’s expected to be priced at over $400,000.
“Engineered to keep company with exotics” is how Ford modestly refers to its bombshell 2015 Detroit auto show debut, the GT hypercar. To the carbon-fiber monocoque Ford’s engineers bolted front and rear subframes made from aluminum. The active aerodynamic elements include a multiposition rear wing that mimics the caboose-tamers of the P1 and LaFerrari to help keep Ford’s mid-engine supercar planted at speed. The suspension is active and uses inboard, pushrod-actuated damping, and ride height is adjustable.
Power comes not from a supercharged V-8 as in the previous GT, but rather Ford’s next-generation twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine. We’re promised it will produce “more than 600 horsepower.” We have to imagine that the GT’s EcoBoost six likely shares at least some componentry with the new 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 in the 2017 F-150 Raptor, meaning it should have plenty of torque; we’d wager at least 500 lb-ft. So far as we can tell at this point, there is no hybrid componentry, no complicated electric-boost function, and no kinetic-energy recovery system, just pure, unadulterated horsepower from a beastly gas engine feeding the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Carbon-ceramic brakes haul the prototype down from speed, and 20-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires are tasked with keeping the car stuck to the pavement.
The application is designed to determine a person’s loyalty to the Blue Oval; the company is looking to choose customers who have already owned one of the last Ford GTs; collect any historic Fords and/or Lincolns; are involved in motorsports; and/or if the applicant or applicant’s employer does significant business with Ford. Henry Ford III, who oversees the GT program and is Henry Ford’s great-great-grandson, told Fortune, “We want to find those customers who will use this car—really drive it and be true ambassadors to Ford.”
Senior management at Ford will review the applicant pool and make some hard choices after the May deadline. The lucky few will be guided through the ordering process by a concierge service that will liaise between the local Ford dealer and Ford Performance, the new division that is responsible for developing and building the GT (as well as some of Ford's other more interesting vehicles).
Accepted applicants from around the world will be contacted by the concierge and provided a tailored experience — not only through the ordering and delivery but through years of ownership."
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are working with automakers to ensure automatic emergency braking become a standard feature on all new cars sold in the United States by the year 2022. Rather than the long, bureaucratic process of establishing formal regulations, the government has instead asked automakers to join a formal agreement. The agreement has now been signed by automakers supplying around 99% of the US auto market.
Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo were the first to join the agreement last September. They're now joined by Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, and Subaru.
The DOT says that this sort of "gentleman's agreement" will achieve far-reaching results as much as three years sooner than formal regulations would. After all, who wants to fight an initiative that could potentially save thousands of lives? The efficacy of automatic emergency braking (AEB) has been proven time and time again–NHTSA estimates that standard AEB technology could prevent as many as 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries in just three years.
"It's a win for safety and a win for consumers," said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
AEB appears in many models today as an option, but only Volvo offers AEB standard on all its vehicles. However, more and more mainstream vehicles are offering the technology today–Honda and Subaru, for example, both offer packages which include AEB.
The relatively simple technology–if the car detects it's about to rear-end the car in front of it, it slams on the brakes–does such a great job of preventing accidents and/or decreasing the force of impact that it's gradually making its way into the realm of standard vehicle equipment, like seat belts, airbags and (more recently) backup cameras. The systems use a combination of radar, cameras and lasers to determine distance and relative velocity of vehicles in front. The technology for the sensors is the same used in emerging autonomous/self-driving vehicles.
The new safety standards aren’t limited to just crossover vehicles and sedans – AEB is predicted to be standard on most medium-duty trucks as well by September 2025
The IIHS says that not only will mandated AEB systems make cars safer, they could lower insurance rates too. Having the systems in more vehicles "will allow us to further evaluate the technology's effectiveness and its impact on insurance losses, so that more insurers can explore offering discounts or lower premiums, "said IIHS Board Chairman Jack Salzwedel.
Concerned about safety features? At Pilson Auto your safety is our top priority. We're more than happy to work with you to find the safety feature package and vehicle to suit your needs. Contact us today!
Happy Car Care Month! That’s right, April is National Car Care Month, and we at Pilson Auto want to make sure you’re prepared for the road ahead. As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail!”
80 percent of vehicles need service, a new part and/or repair, according to the non-profit Car Care Council. Some areas with the highest failure rates include: low fluid levels (washer fluid, engine oil, coolant), clogged or dirty air filters, illuminated check engine light, worn belts and needed battery service and wiper blade replacement.
Taking a few minutes now to care for your car can save you lots of time and expense down the road. Most of these you can do at home, but for others you’ll want a professional opinion.
Home Car Care:
- First, check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission fluids, and anti-freeze/coolant. While you’re under the hood, take a look at hoses and belts. While checking to be sure they’re not loose, inspect them closely for signs of cracks, fraying or brittleness.
- Check the battery to be sure connections are tight and watch for signs of corrosion on the connections. If your battery is more than two years old, have a professional do a load test to be sure it’s holding a charge.
- Inspect all your tires, watching for uneven tread wear, which indicates the need for a wheel alignment. Look for bumps or bubbles on the tire walls. Also, check tire pressure to be sure it is at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.
- Check windshield wipers and blades to be sure they clear the window evenly. Refill the washer fluid and keep spare fluid in the car.
- Check all lights including rear and brake lights to be sure all bulbs are working. Wash grime and dust off all the lights to maximize visibility.
Many car owners can do the steps listed above for themselves, but the following safety checks usually require a professional service technician.
- Check the brake system. This should include inspecting brake linings, rotors and drums. Inspect the exhaust system, checking for leaks, loose or broken hangars and supports. A leak in the exhaust system should be repaired immediately, to prevent carbon monoxide from the engine from getting into the passenger cabin, where it can be deadly. Check to be sure the air conditioning is functioning properly.
- The steering and suspension systems should also be checked.
- Springtime is a good time to schedule an overall tune-up to be sure the engine is running smoothly and efficiently. A poorly tuned engine can use more gas and puts more pollutants into the air.
Finally, read your owner’s manual to see what specific steps are recommended for spring care for your specific make or model car. Stop by Pilson Auto today to get your car checked and also check out our new vehicle inventory!
The new, 2016 Chrysler 200S and 300S Alloy Editions have just been revealed, bringing more style to the range.
Chrysler wanted to emphasize on the use of different materials and color combinations inspired outside of the automotive industry. Both new models now offer a unique Dark Bronze finish.
More specifically, the new Chrysler 200S Alloy Edition is offered with select exterior trim painted in the company’s Dark Bronze, like the front upper and lower grille surrounds paired with a set of matching-painted 19-inch wheels. The Dark Bronze theme continues on the rear “200S” badge with bits like the Chrysler wing badge and the dual exhaust tips finished in Titanium.
The cabin can be upholstered in either a combo of black cloth with leather or black full-leather. Each of them feature a unique Caramel accent stitching on the seats, center arm rest and door panels. A black and caramel “S” logo on the front seats and the piano black trim combined with Titanium details on the door panels, center console, outboard air vents and the Chrysler logo on the steering wheel complete the more premium image of the interior.
The Chrysler 200S Alloy Edition also wears a sport-tuned suspension while customer can opt for the factory-installed Mopar exterior package that includes a more aggressive front chin spoiler, fatter side sills with rear side sill extensions and rear valance. The color palette includes five exterior body colors: Gloss Black Clear Coat, Black Forest Green Pearl Coat, Redline Tri-coat Pearl, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat and Bright White Clear Coat.
The new Chrysler 300S Alloy Edition now features a front grille finished in Dark Bronze with a matching surround for the lower part of the front fender. A set of Dark Bronze 20-inch alloy wheels (19-inches for the AWD version) and details finished in Titanium and Dark Bronze complete the exterior differences from lesser models.
The cabin is dressed in an exclusive Black Nappa leather trim with Caramel stitching, including the front heated seats, rear seats, the instrument cluster bezel, the steering wheel and armrests. The Piano Black trim combined with the titanium details is also present while a new instrument panel clock with a dark-colored analog face and Piano Black surround is there to offer a more upmarket and special feel on the interior.
Chrysler will offer a new performance-tuned suspension with increased spring rates, performance-tuned steering and bushings, larger sway bars (when combined with a V8 engine) and a set of Goodyear Eagle F1 Three-season tyres to those seeking a more rewarding driving experience.
Both cars will also be available with an optional AWD system to customers wanting more traction, with the AWD 200S Alloy Edition to be offered only with the 295hp 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine, the same unit that the AWD 300S Alloy Edition uses.
The two new models debuted at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, with the Alloy Edition package priced (MSRP) at $995 and $495 for the 200S and 300S respectively. We’ll let you know when they arrive here at Pilson Auto! Check out our full Chrysler 200 and 300 lineup today!
LG Chem has announced that it has won the bid to supply the 16-kWh battery pack and battery management system for the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivan. The Pacifica (Chrysler's environmentally-friendly answer to the Town & Country) is one of the most hotly awaited cars to debut this year. Chrysler says that the 16-kWh will give the minivan a ~30 mile range and will allow it to hit 80 MPGe. The Pacifica will be the world's first mass-produced hybrid minivan.
The exact terms of the deal with LG Chem haven't been announced yet, but a spokesman for the company did say: "The deal will play a crucial part in our plan to generate 1.2 trillion won in EV battery sales this year."
The Korea Times reports: "With the deal, LG Chem is now in business with all of the so-called "Big Three" clients in the US automobile market, having previously signed contracts with GM and Ford. In 2009, LG Chem was named the exclusive supplier of EV batteries for the GM Volt. The company also signed a deal with Ford in 2010."
Lee Ung-beom, president of LG Chem's energy storage division, confirmed the company's obvious goal to become the go-to manufacturer for EV battery packs in a recent statement. "We are going to push for leadership in the global battery market, backed by a strong alliance with the big three US clients," Ung-beom told the press last month.
The Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries will be manufactured by LG Chem at the LG Chem Michigan (LGCMI) facility in Holland, Michigan. The entire battery back was engineered at the company's Troy, Michigan facility (LGCP) including hardware, software, prototypes, packs and electronics, such as the battery management system.
The Pacifica's battery pack will be stowed under its second row floor and can be fully recharged in as little as two hours using a 240-volt plug-in system. When the battery's energy is depleted, the Pacifica becomes a part-time electric vehicle just like other conventional hybrids. It's equipped with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine – the same engine used in the non-plug-in version but with a lower horsepower (248hp) and 230 lb ft of torque.
Ever since its reveal at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit early this year, people haven't been able to stop talking about the Pacifica. For its part, Chrysler seems confident in the vehicle’s groundbreak qualities.
"Due to its large footprint and multiple daily trip patterns, the minivan is ideally suited for electrification technology," said Bob Lee, Vice President and Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion Systems Engineering for FCA North America. "The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica lives up to this promise and then some, with efficiency, power and refinement."
There were some strong contenders for number one at this year's Detroit Auto Show, but one car totally stole the show: the Chrysler Pacifica.
The media is calling it "the best van on the market" for its technological innovations and modern luxury, but mainly because of its status as the only plug-in hybrid minivan model available today. The buzz in Detroit is now reverberating throughout the country.
Slated to replace Chrysler's classic Town & Country minivan for the 2017 model year, the Pacifica is about more than just good looks (though it's got plenty of those too). The updated minivan is decidedly more modern and fresh, ditching the outdated look of the Town & Country completely. We suspect this is strategic as Chrysler appears aware of the stigma some consumers feel surrounds driving a minivan. The Pacifica makes mini vans seem cool, professional and sophisticated. No doubt it'll win over some buyers who never would've purchased a minivan before.
Families who are growing out of their Prius or Volt should find the Pacifica's eight-passenger seating to be more than accommodating for a growing brood. The Pacifica's 16 kWh battery doesn't even impede the interior space or the cargo room (unfortunately, however, hybrid owners will have to give up their Stow 'n Go second-row seats). Unlike the Prius, the Pacifica Hybrid has a large capacity battery that can be recharged. The port sits conveniently and discreetly on the left front wing, right next to the mirror.
Though the battery's range (30 miles) is a bit on the low end, Chrysler chose it to secure the $7,500 federal tax credit for its drivers. Besides, 29 miles is the average commute anyway. Most people should find the range more than comfortable.
However, you might find yourself a bit too distracted by the Pacifica's speed to pay much attention to the range. The new minivan is definitely not what you'd call a slowpoke; it definitely lacks the sluggishness of former mom-mobiles. The Hybrid version can reach 75mph in electric mode, provided you don't have a lead foot. That's more than many German luxury PHEVs so consider us impressed.
The van comes with two electric motors and a 3.6-liter V6 engine. Michael Duhaime, global director of electrified powertrain at Chrysler, says, “Effectively, one motor is on the engine, and the other is at the wheels. In pure-electric mode, the Pacifica Hybrid performs like an electric car with a very large motor; and then when the battery depletes, one motor is used to start the engine and act as a generator. When it runs as a hybrid, when the engine’s running, we use Motor A to balance the engine and put it in its most optimum range, and in parallel with Motor B we get the ratio, and the torque to the wheels.”
Since it was designed with families in mind, the Pacifica comes ready with training wheels for beginning drivers too: an app integrated into the vehicle's Uconnect system allows parents to set a maximum speed between 65 and 85 mph and switch all safety features to the highest level when teenagers take the Pacifica out.
Of course, you don't have to wait for the 2017 Pacifica to hit dealerships if you're looking for the perfect family car. Pilson Auto has used and new models sure to suit your family's needs. Come see us today for a tour of our top-selling vehicles and a test drive.
After a nearly 14-year hiatus, Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln Continental luxury sedan is back.
First manufactured in 1938, production of the Lincoln Continental stopped in 2002. Ford President and CEO Mark Fields says that will soon change. The revived model is set for release this fall and will be manufactured at Ford's Flat Rock plant near Detroit.
The unveiling of a production model comes nearly a year after Ford hinted at the Lincoln Continental's revival with a March 2015 concept.
The 2017 Lincoln Continental uses a global architecture (which also serves as the basis for the Lincoln MKZ and MKX, and Ford Fusion) as a starting point, but it has a unique wheelbase and width.
The base engine will be a 3.7-liter V6 with standard front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive will be optional. Next up is a 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6, again with front-wheel drive standard and all-wheel drive optional.
The top-level Continental will get a Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing an estimated 400 hp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque—on 93-octane fuel. (The midsized MKZ sedan will also make use of this powerplant.) This top version will come with all-wheel drive and the ability to transfer power between the rear wheels during cornering.
Lincoln Drive Control will be available, giving the driver the ability to alter steering and suspension settings between three modes. Adaptive steering will also be an option.
Fields described the plush leather interior, replete with leather and wood, a "beautiful sanctuary," adding that the customizable seats with "independent thigh extensions" fit passengers "like a fine suit."
Lincoln execs stressed the 2017 Lincoln Continental is all about “quiet luxury,” not necessarily huge horsepower or performance figures. Their goal? That the new car creates a “personal sanctuary” for each buyer.
There’s no question the interior is luxurious, at least in the top-end models on display. Leather abounds and the headliner is covered with a soft, suede-like material. The hugely contoured front seats take center stage, though. Private jets and high-end office furniture inspired the patented design, called Perfect Position. They are 30-way adjustable and feature heating, cooling, and massage, as well as quite possibly the coolest feature in the entire car: individually adjustable thigh support—for each leg.
Lincoln says a goal with the 2017 Lincoln Continental was “Audi A8 levels of spaciousness.” We can verify the rear seat has enormous legroom, with decent but not spectacular headroom. Comfort is excellent, and the rear seats recline. You certainly get a high-end feeling when you sit in the car.
It’s 2016, and the new Chrysler 300 is here. Refined, spacious, and powerful, it’s the full-size sedan you’ve been waiting for.
The 2016 Chrysler 300 offers a more refined and subdued outward appearance than its predecessors. A large grille with a floating Chrysler emblem highlights the front end of the vehicle. LED daytime running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels come standard.
An inspired interior filled with advanced technologies sets the Chrysler 300 apart. It features a spacious and tech-savvy interior, which comes with an 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen system and more than 40 inches of legroom for rear-seat passengers. Moreover, the 300 offers Siri Eyes Free, allows drivers to activate Siri by pressing the voice recognition button on the steering wheel. There’s also a Beats Audio system for serious audiophiles. The instrument panel features a 7-inch customizable Driver Information Display with full-color graphics
The 300 also comes standard with award-winning 3.6L Pentastar® V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission, which pumps out 292 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. If the V6 isn’t powerful enough for you, a legendary 5.7L HEMI® V8 engine with Fuel Saver Technology is also available, which is capable of pulling 363 horsepower and 394 lb-ft or torque. The Class-Exclusive TorqueFlite® eight-speed automatic transmission includes a Class-Exclusive Rotary E-shift.
Fuel economy for the 2016 Chrysler 300 comes down to the consumer’s choice between all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. With RWD and the V6 engine, the 300 yields an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. With AWD and the V6 engine, it yields an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. With the V8 engine, you get an EPA-estimated 16 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Fuel Saver Technology on the V8 uses sensors to detect when full power isn’t necessary (typically during highway cruising) and deactivates four of the eight cylinders for improved efficiency.
The AWD system provides excellent traction and dynamic performance by combining an axle disconnect function, the Electronic Stability Control+system and powertrain controls in real time to seamlessly engage AWD at any speed.
Standard safety features for the new 300 include a rearview camera and anti-lock brakes. A SafetyTec Plus package is also available for every trim except the base version. The SafetyTec Plus package features lane-departure warning and prevention, forward collision warning and mitigation with automatic braking, as well a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.
The 2016 Chrysler 300 is a full-size sedan with a starting MSRP of $32,015. It’s available in five trim levels: 300 Limited, 300 Anniversary Edition, 300S, 300C, and 300C Platinum.
The Chrysler 300 embodies world-class levels of craftsmanship and technology. Stunning designs, engineering innovations and countless accolades have made the Chrysler 300 an automotive icon. You’ve earned this.
Stop into Pilson Auto today to take one of our many new vehicles for a test drive!
“People keep talking about how auto companies will be disrupted by tech companies,” Ford CEO Mark Fields noted in a recent interview. “We want to disrupt ourselves.” Certainly this was an interesting line of thought for one of the higher ups of any automaker to claim; however, Fields and Ford seem to be taking this statement very seriously, and nowhere is this more evident than in their recently launched mobile app, FordPass, which will be available in the Spring of 2016 (for all of us, including those who do not happen to drive a Ford). In the official press release regarding the new FordPass, Ford made even more bold claims. “[T]he free platform,” writes the release, “reimagines the relationship between automaker and consumer, and aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans.”
Now, we are all used to company hyperbole. In fact, it seems like every day one company or the other creates something that they claim will dethrone the current technology in vogue or, in this case, have an affect on a specific market the way a different system affected a different market. And it is always for the positive—nobody wants to do to any industry what the Zune Marketplace did for the music industry. However, at least in the case of FordPass, Ford seems to be making good on their claim and pushing for something that does look to be truly revolutionary with regard to how we see our vehicles and interact with them.
So, what exactly is the FordPass app offering? Well, for starters, those who do happen to drive a Ford will be able to link up with a SYNC Connect system and have access to things like tire pressure readings, vehicle fuel levels, remote start and stop features, and even the ability to lock and unlock the car. And we are not talking about all of this from an expensive, high tech key fob. No, this is all done though the app, which is kind of amazing already. FordPass will also feature 24 hour access to live representatives working with other companies (e.g., ParkWhiz, Parkopedia, etc.) that will assist in your purchasing of a parking spot before you have to leave your house, helping, of course, reduce the amount of time in your day that you spend circling the block waiting for a car to leave so you can take its spot.
Another pretty amazing thing with regard to what FordPass will feature is developing what Ford is calling FordHubs. These act as actual, tangible locations that will serve as dropping points for carpoolers. FordHubs seems to be a bit of a test drive to what will be the inevitable Ford ride-sharing app. Companies like Uber and Lyft have seriously affected the way typical people get from place to place, and it is only a matter of time before larger companies like Ford hop on the trend.
To make sure you'll be able to take advantage of these amazing products, come into Pilson Auto today and take a Ford for a test drive.
In a very competitive market, the Ram Truck brand has always been a stand out, even back in 2009 when the brand launched its truck stand-alone division. Time and time again, new Ram Trucks have delivered a stellar performance, and sales have undoubtedly matched such a performance. Given that, this year marks the second time in three years that the Ram Truck has been named by Automotive Fleet magazine as its Fleet Truck of the year.
The award, which is determined by reader input every year, is not easily won, and the Ram 1500 had to beat out 40 other entrees in its segment in order to take home the Fleet Truck of the Year prize), and certainly is a testament to how well the Ram Trucks Brand is going over with consumers. “There is little doubt, looking at the ballots, that the Ram 1500 is resonating with our readers—commercial fleet managers of the largest fleets in nation,” said Sherb Brown, vice president and group publisher of Automotive Fleet magazine. “Competition in this segment is really tough, but the Ram 1500 edge out the other brands in this year’s voting by delivering the capabilities fleets need for their day-to-day operations.”
Too, the prestige of such an award (as well as what such a thing can do to a brand) has not gone unnoticed by the automaker. “An award from Automotive Fleet magazine is recognition of what we have accomplished as we continue to develop the Ram Commercial brand,” said Bob Hegbloom, head of Ram Brand, FCA—North America. “Receiving an award based on such an experienced audience truly gives Ram Truck more momentum and confirms we are delivering the features most important to business owners.”
As far as powertrains go, the 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 is available with three engines: the 3.0L EcoDiesel, 3.6L, and 5.7L HEMI. All three engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic TorqueFlite transmission. The Ram 1500 also bides well in the fuel economy category, including in the mix a thermal management system, pulse-width modulation (PWM), and active aerodynamics with grille shutters and air suspension, which all combine to work well when it comes to saving the consumer pesky gas prices.
Automotive Fleet magazine—published by the folks at Bobit Business media—has been around since 1961, serving all fleet segments that operate fifteen vehicles or more. For a lot of people involved, it is considered the benchmark of fleet magazines and a reliable go-to when it comes to considering such a thing.
As is always the case, keep checking back in here with us at Pilson Auto for more information with regard to the 2015 Ram 1500. And while you are at it, come in and sign up for a test drive and see why Automotive Fleet magazine named the 2015 Ram 1500 its Fleet Truck of the Year.
The holidays are finally here in Mattoon and we couldn't be more excited about some of the upcoming events we have going on here in town and nearby. Here are some of our favorites:
An Evening With The Wizards of Winter
When: December 18 at 8pm
Where: The Effingham Performance Center
1325 Outer Belt West
Effingham, IL 62401
Tickets: Range from $29 - $45 per person
Come feel the spirit of Christmas in the air as the Wizards of Winter rock out with an entire set of original holiday music. Featuring original members of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the Wizards of Winter are regarded as some of the mid-Atlantic's most talented progressive rock musicians. Their theatrical, family-oriented rock opera experience is completely unique and guaranteed to get you in the mood for Christmas. Not only will they perform original tunes from their recently released Christmas rock opera album, Tales Beneath a Northern Star, they'll also play some of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's greatest hits.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
December 21 at 10am
December 21 at 1pm
December 22 at 10am
December 23 at 10am
December 28 - 31 at 10am
Where: Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place
175 E. Chestnut
Chicago, IL 60611
Tickets: Start at $16
Broadway in Chicago and Emerald City theatre proudly present A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schultz. The Broadway Playhouse will be offering showings of this holiday classic throughout the month. Bring the kids and celebrate the season with your favorite Peanuts pals as they work together to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas.
When: Every day at 5pm until December 27
Where: Peterson Park
500 Broadway Ave.
Mattoon, IL 61938
Tickets: Free! Donations are accepted
Everyone's favorite Mattoon event is back. Enjoy more than 50 beautiful holiday light displays in Peterson Park – some are even animated! Drive through at your leisure any night after 5pm. There's a reason why over 15,000 visitors come to Peterson Park each year to see this magnificent presentation. Don't miss it!
Three Redneck Tenors
When: Thursday, December 31 at 7pm
Where: The Effingham Performance Center
1325 Outer Belt West
Effingham, IL 62401
Tickets: Range from $30 - $46 The Three Redneck Tenors promise to "make us laugh 'till we double over" as they sing and take us on a sidesplitting journey through the backwoods of America. They've delighted audiences for years with their vocal abilities and range of songs and music from every genre, including gospel, country, broadway, pop, and classical. Come out for down home laughs with big time music as three boys from the holler show us city folks how it's done.
Pilson Auto is proud to support these wonderful local events and others. Visit us any time to find out how we can help your and your family get the gift of reliable, safe transportation in 2016. See one of our helpful representatives about financing.
A stunning 1933 Chrysler Custom Imperial Phaeton stole the show – literally – at this year’s Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance event. The annual show (now in its fourteenth year) took place from October 23 through November 1 at the Port Royal Golf Club and the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa in beautiful Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Hundreds of collectible cars and planes descended on the oak-lined roads of South Carolina’s low country for the festival.
The “Best in Show”-winning Imperial belongs to Joseph and Margie Cassini of West Orange, New Jersey and focused the spotlight on Chrysler even further since the automaker was this year’s featured marque. The custom Phaeton features a long louvered hood and a second windshield to protect backseat passengers when the tan soft top is lowered. The undeniably classic car was displayed next to another classic Chrysler: the one-of-a-kind 1937 LeBaron-bodied Imperial created especially for Della Chrysler, the wife of Walter P. Chrysler.
The weekend kicked off with a tour of roughly 30 classic cars. The processional drove around Port Royal Sound to neighboring Parris Island, home of the United States Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Chrysler shined as usual, with John and Lynn Heimerl’s rare 1935 Chrysler Imperial Airflow coupe stealing the limelight. Other cars present included a Judkins-bodied 1932 Duesenberg coupe, several mid-1950s Ford Thunderbirds and the unforgettable Volkswagen Microbus.
The Car Club Showcase was another stand-out festival event, bringing together the best from fifteen Southeastern car clubs. The Motoring Midway event was a crowd favorite as well – the GMC-sponsored “Life in the Suburbs” exhibit was presented with cars including classic hot rods, Cushman motor scooters, a Coca-Cola-themed cab-over truck, and even a Divco milk truck.
The Concours d’Elegance is one of the fastest-growing gatherings of collectors and car enthusiasts in the country. This year, the festival expanded its reach to include an all-new aviation event called The Flights & Fancy Gala and Aero Expo. This year was also the first time Auctions America joined in to present an offering of almost 100 collector vehicles. One of the most desirable vehicles to cross the auction block was a 1967 Ferrari 330GTC, which sold for $638,000. The crowd tittered with excitement again when a 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition showed up and sold for $343,750.
The festival sold out its spots in both the Concours and the Car Club Showcase this year. “We don’t see the momentum slowing down anytime soon and encourage owners to submit as early as possible for next year’s event,” said Carolyn Vanagel, president of the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival. “The world-class hospitality and facilities of the Port Royal Golf Club, along with our yearly attendance records, have resulted in an even higher quality show field than ever before, and this year’s winners truly point to our growth and success.”
Head down to Pilson Auto to pick up a modern classic. We look forward to eventually seeing your car in the processional at the 2115 Concours d’Elegance event!
Come in To Pilson Auto Centers and spend Black Friday with your friends at Pilson Auto. You can win some great prizes and have a delicious breakfast, including biscuits & gravy, fresh fruit, orange juice, and coffee. Everyone that takes a test drive during our Black Friday event will spin the prize wheel for a guaranteed prize! With a test drive, you will also be entered into a drawing for the Grand Prize. The grand prize winner will be drawn at 5pm and will get to choose between a 7-night resort stay or a $500 Cross County Mall or Walmart Shopping Spree!
Breakfast and the spin wheel giveaway will be available at all three Pilson Auto locations. To spin the prize wheel, you must test drive a car - this will also qualify you to be entered into the grand prize drawing. Prizes will be available on a first come, first serve basis, but you do not need to be present to win the grand prize.
Here are the times for the day's events:
Event Time: 8:30am - 5pm
Breakfast: 8:30am - 11am
Grand Prize Drawing: 5pm
We hope to see you then! Happy Shopping!
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk may look like a hulking beast of an SUV but that’s only because it is. Don’t be fooled though–this SUV may come in a big, tough package but it has all the speed of the lithest, zippiest sports cars on the market. With its 707 horsepower Hellcat engine and all-wheel drive capabilities, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk goes from 0 to 60 in just 3.5 seconds.
“The Jeep Grand Cherokee is now the most powerful and quickest SUV,” Mike Manley, head of Jeep brand, said in a recent statement. “The new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk delivers astounding performance numbers … with luxury, refinement and an array of innovative advanced technology.”
The new Trackhawk covers a quarter mile of asphalt in 11.6 seconds, putting it ahead of some of the industry’s most notorious speed demons. Jeep’s new high-performance darling is faster than: the 2016 BMW M2, the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 10 FQ 400, the 2003 Lamborghini Gallardo, the 2010 Porsche 997.2 911 GT3, the 2011 Lexus LFA, the 2017 Aston Martin DB11, and the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat. That’s some undeniably tough competition, but the Trackhawk blows them all out of the water.
To help pull off those insane numbers, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is equipped with some very exciting special features.
The vehicle has a new Brembo braking system, including the largest-ever front brakes on a Jeep vehicle: 15.75-inch, two-piece vented rotors with six-piston calipers. The car’s top-of-the-line Hellcat V8 engine is mated to an upgraded TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission with driveline components that are specially engineered to handle the Trackhawk’s additional torque output. Plus, the vehicle makes use of a new supercharger (similar to the one used in the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon) to give the car an added boost. The supercharger includes a cold-air scoop in the lower front grille to replace the driver’s side fog lamp.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is so advanced, its engine and transmission even come with software that allows the SUV to switch between five different driving modes: automatic, sport, track, tow and snow. To ensure that drivers have the highest level of control possible over the Trackhawk experience, the car also includes a Custom Mode that lets drivers personalize the vehicle’s performance.
Inside, the Trackhawk features the supple, luxurious textiles and advanced tech drivers have come to expect from Jeep. The automaker says that the Trackhawk has a specific, “driver-focused interior” that is geared towards providing both comfort and an engaging rider experience. The vehicle’s black chrome finishes and 7-inch driver information display instrument cluster are sure to please.
Ready to experience the power of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk? Visit your favorite Mattoon Jeep dealer today. Pilson Auto has limited numbers of this amazing vehicle in stock, so hurry in before it’s too late.
Veteran’s Day—the time in which the United States has set aside in order to celebrate those brave men and women who choose to serve our country—is quickly approaching, which means that the annual Mattoon, IL Veteran’s Day Parade is also right around the corner. The parade will be held on Wednesday, November 11th. The line up for the parade will begin at 9:00 a.m., while the parade proper will start an hour later, at 10:00 a.m. This will be followed by a ceremony at Peterson Park at 11:00 a.m.
A little history with regard to Veteran’s Day: The holiday as it is celebrated today coincides with Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are both celebrated in other parts of the world, respectively. Former United States president Woodrow Wilson planted the seeds that would eventually become Veteran’s Day as we know it today on the 11th of November 1919. Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day in his famous speech, stating: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
In 1945, Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran from Birmingham, Alabama, advocated for this Armistice Day (which only celebrated those who tragically died during World War I) to expand in order to celebrate all veterans, and thus a National Veteran’s Day was born. Weeks, thusly, led the very first National Veteran’s Day celebration in Alabama in 1947; he continued to lead the celebration in Alabama until his death in 1985. He was honored at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal by President Ronald Reagan in 1982, where Regan coined Weeks the “Father of Veteran’s Day.”
In 1954, United States Representative Ed Rees presented a bill to Congress which would establish the holiday, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower would sign such a thing into law on May 26th of that year (which happened to be eight and a half years following Weeks’ Armistice Day celebration that included all (not just World War I) veterans. Finally, on June 1, 1954, Congress amended the original bill and replaced the word “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and the rest is history. We have, of course, nationally referred to and celebrated Veteran’s Day ever since.
As is always the case, keep checking back in here with us at Pilson Auto for all your automaker’s needs!
If your Ford has the latest Sync 3.8 update your infotainment center just got a little cooler.
Ford has started updating its vehicles to their latest Sync 3.8 software that since it’s become available. This is for systems that are running the second generation Sync with MyFord Touch. In this updated version is where you’ll find the compatibility for Siri Eyes Free.
Siri Eyes Free is an extension of Apple’s Siri function. This allows users to still use their iPhones, but hands free and eyes free using the link between an IOS device and an a vehicle's in-dash audio system. Drivers can speak to Siri and give her voice commands that not only utilize what she can do, but also can control the vehicle’s infotainment center. Siri Eyes Free also lets you access maps and get directions, send and receive text messages, audibly receive notifications, and even set reminders while never having to (illegally, mind you) handle your phone while driving.
All drivers have to do to activate Siri Eyes Free is hold the voice button for 3 or more seconds.
This update can take about 30 minutes to complete, but when it is all done iPhone pairing is much easier, and devices will automatically reconnect with the handset it was disconnected from. This makes transitioning from getting in and out of the car that much easier.
For more information about this update, and to check for future updates, Ford owners must log into the official ford website (www.ford.com). Here you can also find a plethora of useful, handy information and a very helpful frequently asked questions section that’s sure to solve most of your problems
Although Siri Eyes Free was originally announced and launched back in 2012, Ford wasn’t one of the original partners. Now, however, they are all in.
The new Sync 3 system is no longer supported by Microsoft and is now powered by QNX Software from Blackberry.
Apple’s other more full-featured iPhone based infotainment platform, called CarPlay, will be supported among other updates in Sync 3 software, but that’s as much detail as Ford has released so far.
Siri Eyes Free is just another step in the right direction for Ford to keep drivers safe and distraction free while driving on the road.
For more information or for a test drive visit us at Pilson Auto.
Jeep has gone back to its roots and resurrected the original Jeep Cherokee, only giving it a very new modern face and underpinnings that will keep the ride extremely smooth, yet still allow for that occasional off-road adventure for the family.
The new Jeep Cherokee is a replacement for the Jeep Liberty, which had a long run as a more affordable SUV.
Jeep is pushing the boundaries of design with its swept-back LED daytime running lights situated over the halogen headlamps. The Cherokee interior combines state-of-the-art, high-tech features with the adaptability to take on almost any project or adventure.
Supportive front seats have just enough bolstering on the sides to keep you in place. Folding 60/40 split second-row seats and a fold-flat front passenger seat give maximum flexibility for carrying cargo.Versatility is key with 60/40 split second-row seats with fore/aft functionality. The seat also has a recline function for added comfort. A black leather-like trim frames the dashboard with stitching on top, on the steering wheel and the shifter skirt. The available CommandView dual-pane sunroof offers wide-open viewing day or night.
A Keyless Enter-N-Go system also trigger puddle lamps under each side mirror. The ParkView rear backup camera displays its picture on a big, sharp 8.4-inch touch screen.
The Selec-Terrain System allows the driver to pick the performance category to match the road. The choices are Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock modes. Just spin the dial to match the conditions. Or just leave it in Auto for confident 4x4 performance on any road or in almost any weather condition. Auto is good for everyday driving and better gas mileage, while Sport will noticeably changed the transmission shifts and allow it to rev higher, dramatically improving performance.
Jeep Cherokee raises the bar for efficient 4x4 performance with Trail Rated 4WD capability. Electronic power steering helps reduce engine load to improve mileage and nimbleness with a tight 37.6-foot turning circle.
The Jeep Cherokee features a nine-speed automatic transmission that, when mated to the 2.4L MultiAir II Tigershark I4 engine, achieves up to 489 highway miles on one tank. The powertrain features a Best-in-Class disconnecting rear axle for maximum fuel efficiency while providing superior 4x4 performance.
Front and rear independent suspensions provide outstanding on-road driving dynamics and a fun-to-drive experience. A speed-sensitive electronic power steering system helps improve efficiency and automatically adjusts for sporty handling on the road or limited effort maneuvering during parking.
The 2.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder boasts 184 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. The Latitude’s official MPG is rated at 21 miles per gallon in city driving; 28 mpg highway.
The base price of the Jeep Cherokee Latitude is $27,095. Options included 18-inch black wheels, ParkSense rear park assist, blind spot and cross path detection, power liftgate, remote start, keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, power driver’s seat and Uconnect 8.4-inch touch screen.
The 2015 Jeep Cherokee Latitude is a beautiful update of a timeless classic. Come down to Pilson Auto to test drive one today.
Once a reliable favorite and a longtime torchbearer for compact design at Dodge, the 2015 Dodge Dart is back to continue to breathe some new life into a deserving classic following the model’s reemergence in 2013. The most compact of Dodge’s offerings, especially now that the company has fully assumed its newest role as the performance wing of Fiat Chrysler, the newest Dart has plenty to offer anyone in the mood for a big personality in a decidedly tight package.
Making its first foray from the drawing boards onto American highways in 1960, the Dodge Dart has had something of a storied career, which saw it take on numerous forms in its original production run and serve as the basis for many of Dodge’s more recent mid-size and compact projects. Ending its golden age in 1976, the Dart emerged again in 2013 to pick up right where it left off, and at the close of the 2015 model year, it’s looking safer than ever to assume that there’s still plenty to come.
A decidedly compact sedan built for straightforward simplicity and efficiency with serious style, the 2015 Dodge Dart seems to be finding a particularly warm welcome with young and first-time car buyers. With cozy room for five passengers, the Dart is positioned to provide a lot to work with in a small package for those with an eye for the best of the basics. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower offers plenty of quickness to match the Dart’s sporty styling, and an impressive safety rating does a good job relieving any worry that a compact can’t be as safe as a larger vehicle.
Automotive media have also been widely impressed by Fiat Chrysler’s included UConnect interface system, which seems to be setting some new standards in convenience and user-friendliness in terms of both integrating personal devices and interacting with vehicle systems via voice and touch controls. With UConnect on board, the usual learning curve for technological interaction becomes less of a concern, and more of a benefit, than ever. Finally, the Dart demonstrates its streamlined efficiency as well under the hood as it does outside it, with available mileages reaching as high as 34 combined miles per gallon.
All in all, this is definitely one compact sedan that isn’t taking the competition lightly, and the obvious appeal of the 2015 Dodge Dart to young and first-time buyers is definitely clear. With more to offer than the competition, both in a smaller package and at a better price (with models starting at just under $17k), we think that it goes without saying that the Dart is still holding its own after all these years. After all, experience matters, and when it comes to the best that the long legacy of Dodge experience has to offer, we at Pilson Auto are pleased to stand behind the 2015 Dodge Dart. As always, we’ll be ready if there’s any more info you need, or if you think it’s time to check out a new Dodge in person!
Good news for us here at Pilson Auto Center, and good news as well for fans of Ram trucks. The new Ram 1500 Rebel and the Ram 1500 Laramie Limited will be carried over into the new model year. Not only that, but all 2016 models will be seeing the implementation of a new center console featuring Bluetooth connectivity. Heavy duty models have received some tweaks and upgrades of their own with improvements to both fuel delivery and turbo boost calibrations. It’s always been good to be a Ram truck owner, but for commercial interests, business owners couldn’t ask for a better fleet.
Ram 1500 fans will be happy to know the 3.0 liter EcoDiesel engine will remain an option going forward. This V6 delivers 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. This is possible with a little help from a TorqueFlite eight speed automatic transmission that gets 29 miles to the gallon on the highway and has a towing capability of up to 9,200 pounds. Ram trucks will also be offered with a 3.6 Pentastar V-6 gas engine that delivers 305 hp and just shy of 270 pounds of torque, as well as a 5.7 liter HEMI V-8 for 395 horsepower and 410 pounds per feet of torque.
If that isn’t enough power for you, don’t forget the Ram 2500 and 3500 models have benefited from a joint effort by Ram and Cummin engineers. Increased performance comes courtesy of a new optional Cummin 6.7 liter diesel engine. This increases torque and towing capacity for what were already two powerful heavy duty pickups. These HD vehicles now feature a five-link coil suspension system. The Ram 2500 is available with an air suspension option and the 3500 comes available with the supplemental air bag suspension option making a Ram truck an essential part of any hardworking commercial fleet. Ram trucks are also being offered with better options, such as ParkSense and new front park assistance.
Don’t take our word on how great Ram trucks look, drive and feel, come see for yourself. Visit us at Pilson Auto Center and talk to one of our friendly and professional salespeople today. We are located at 2000 Lake Land Boulevard in Mattoon, IL.
After many criticisms of its predecessor, it’s a possibility that an heir of the Jeep Compass could eventually be making its way to a dealership near you. Jeep believes that it is possible for consumers to accept a small crossover and thinks a new Compass like crossover could be just the ticket. Nothing is provable more than with the Jeep Renegade. It’s easily loveable looks and off road ability the Renegade is showing consumers that a small crossover can win the hearts of Jeep enthusiasts.
With the presence of the Renegade in showrooms today, it is easy to show favoritism of the new guy and forget about past models like the Compass and Patriot. Although both of those models offer consumers many benefits, it’s rumored that Jeep is looking to offer drivers even more. When the Compass first debuted in 2007, its unique styling really strayed from the traditional Jeep fashion. It’s a ventured guess that a new Compass would stick to more traditional lines and design.
With a redesign to the Jeep Compass in play, consumers currently considering compact crossovers like the Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, and Mazda CX-5 would have another choice to consider. The new redesign could possibly make an appearance at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show according to sources from Auto Express. An updated Compass could find a home between the Jeep Renegade and the Jeep Cherokee in the brand’s lineup. A new Compass could possibly be on the road by 2017 and have similar styling to the Grand Cherokee. It is expected that a new Compass would be built on one of the more recently developed small-vehicle platforms available today.
With a new Compass possibly in the works, Jeep enthusiasts will be asking what the future of the Jeep Patriot will look like. At this point it is unclear what the future holds, but here at Pilson Auto, we are confident Jeep will offer consumers the best options available while moving forward with new innovations.
Whether you are looking for the perfect large SUV or a smaller crossover, come and see us today here at Pilson Auto and we’ll help you find the perfect vehicle to fit your needs!
You may be a little surprised to hear about how the tide is turning in the luxury vehicle market these days, toward a very unexpected new territory! In the last few years, a number of industry reports, including some recent in-depth analysis by automotive industry pricing and sales guide TrueCar, have been highlighting the astounding growth of the new ‘luxury pickup’ class. And, naturally, where pickups are making notable strides these days, new Ram trucks are there to be a part of the action.
As the numbers are clearly showing, this new high-end pickup class is making huge waves in the industry by pulling remarkable numbers of traditional luxury sedan buyers toward an entirely new kind of vehicle. As TrueCar reports, four of the country’s top ten best-selling vehicles priced over $50,000 in 2014 were luxury pickups. While the Ford F-series maintains its popularity, Ram came in a close second with the fastest-growing sales for any vehicle on the list, and both came in well ahead of the closest-competing luxury sedans. Altogether last year, these new specialty truck models are making up as much as 33% of sales for some brands.
It’s even more amazing considering how tough life was for pickups not so long ago, when sales plummeted following record sales around 2005. Emerging first in 1999, the luxury pickup segment has been a huge part of the industry’s recent efforts to bounce back, and even though sales are not at the same peak they reached before the recession, increased sales of more high-end models is bringing in as much or more revenue and helping to make up for it all the same. These days, it looks like the American auto industry is only looking increasingly more toward the new practical luxury segment to invest its innovative energy and to keep things growing. “In 2009, only one percent of the Ram pickups sold cost more than $50,000,” Ram president and CEO Bob Hegbloom relates, “and that number is now at sixteen percent and growing.”
When examined logically, it isn’t really all that surprising that the consumers traditionally associated with the luxury sedan market are finding new strengths in luxury pickups like Ram’s own Laramie Limited and Laramie Longhorn editions. Inferring the understandable thought process at work, TrueCar’s Eric Lyman is seeing undeniable evidence that traditional luxury buyers are starting to see that they “can do anything or go anywhere in one, and you just can’t do that with a 3-series BMW.” These buyers are certainly realizing that luxury can exist alongside practicality at an unprecedented level with these trucks, and there’s little reason to ignore a vehicle that is both equally accommodating and more capable.
Here at Pilson Auto, we’re willing to put any luxury driver’s preference to the test, and we’re certainly feeling confident that the new luxury edition Ram trucks stand to make the best possible argument for trading up. As always, we’ll be here for you with all the upcoming details on Ram’s plans to keep on truckin’ with luxury excellence more in their sights than ever before!
Pilson Auto is thrilled to announce that we helped raise over $4,600 for abused and neglected children in Coles County. We were honored to receive this thank you note written by Kristen Bertrand, who is the Executive Director for Coles County CASA:
I am so thankful for you! I was astonished by your Fuel Tip Jar when you walked in on Saturday night. Your smile, your friendliness, your employees and friends, your family, allowing you to be with us from 6-7ish- These are all reasons I am grateful.
Your tip total came to $1,158.00. This amount enabled us to raise over $3,500 that night. Reggie Phillips has contacted us begging or forgiveness as he was a “no show” during your hour, but he has offered to match the Top Tip Getter. That’s you!
This means for my first Tips for CASA the total will be over $4,600! Effingham CASA raised $5,000 their first year. We are coming in close to them! (Okay, now you see my competitive side J).
Thanks again for working for us and with us on behalf of abused and neglected children here in Coles County.
Coles County CASA
The full-size pickup truck market is probably one of the most competitive markets in the automotive industry. All Big Three offerings are top-10 sales leaders year after year. For the automakers in the full-size pickup game, bottom lines often ride on selling many trucks.
Because so much is riding on the backs of these workhorses, awards and accolades go far in the industry. Consumers who aren’t loyal to a brand will meticulously research every tidbit of information available before purchasing a truck.
That’s why Chrysler Group’s Ram pickup truck outscores both Ford and Chevrolet’s full-size truck offerings when equipped with its new diesel engine, according to Consumer Reports magazine.
The Ram 1500 comes with the V-6 EcoDiesel as an available engine choice for consumers. The new diesel engine saves substantially more fuel than similarly equipped models with gas engines between the fenders.
While that is all great and dandy, the Ram also scored better in the magazine’s road tests as well. In Consumer Reports magazine’s scoring, the Ram earned 82 points, one more than a Ram with the gasoline engine that was tested previously.
In overall testing, the EcoDiesel Ram averaged 20 mpg. On the highway, the EcoDiesel achieved 27 mpg. This fuel economy return was well above that of the V-8 equipped Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT.
"These are about the same fuel-economy numbers that we typically see in a midsized SUV," said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports, in a statement. "Ram is currently the only truck to offer turbo-diesel technology. It will be interesting to see what impact it will have on the half-ton truck market."
Even with a slightly higher sale price, the EcoDiesel still came out in the lead after looking at the final scores.
Earning top-spot from Consumer Reports magazine is considered important to all automakers. The magazine is known for its independence, buying all its vehicles from dealerships instead of depending on automakers for loaners for its testing.
The Ram offers a great blend of luxury and capability, while offering a wide range of engine offerings so the consumer can get the truck that is right for them. For more information about the Ram EcoDiesel, contact Pilson Auto Centers, a leading Central Illinois Ram truck dealer, at (217) 717-4517!
Pilson Auto Centers are proud to announce their sponsorship of the 2014 EIU football season. This weekend, one lucky Eastern Illinois Football fan will have a chance to win a new truck from Pilson Auto Centers at the home football game on 9/20.
Pilson Auto Centers have proudly teamed up with EIU Athletics to give a Panther Fan a chance to win a brand new truck. Fans and students may sign up for the giveaway during the school year at one of the Athletic Outreach tables set up on the EIU campus quad.
Also each week of the select home game, fans can register to enter at Pilson Auto Centers the truck giveaway. The fan will be selected the day of the game. In addition to having a chance to win a brand new truck, the lucky Panthers fan will receive four tickets to the next home football game!
Pilson Auto Center will provide the truck to give away for the Family Weekend game on Sept. 20 against Austin Peay. Fans can begin registering to enter at the Pilson dealerships in Mattoon and Charleston on Monday, Sept. 15. ** Fans must be 18 years or older to register and cannot be a professional, collegiate, or high school football, soccer or rugby player or coach in the last five years.
In order to win the prize, the contestant must successfully kick or punt a regulation football from a minimum of 35 yards on the fly and make it come to a rest without bouncing out of the bed of a standard sized pickup truck.
EIU Athletics would like to thank Pilson Auto Center for their support of this promotion during the 2014 EIU football season. For more information, visit http://www.eiupanthers.com/news/2014/8/25/GEN_0825144149.aspx
With Jeep and its parent company (Chrysler) under the new leadership of Sergio Marchionne and Fiat, it has seen nothing short of a sales renaissance. Here at Pilson Auto Center, we have seen 2014 as the year that belongs to Jeep, gaining much traction in the U.S. market.
Fiat sold 392,390 Jeep models in North America from January through July. That is 44-percent more than during the same period last year. This surge in sales was enough to put Jeep ahead of Kia and its own corporate sibling Dodge in the seventh spot, on a ranking by volume sold. Jeep is right behind Hyundai in terms of total vehicles sold so far this year.
Jeep’s closest growing competitor is Mitsubishi, which only saw approximately 32 percent increase in sales year over year. Ram—another Jeep sibling—took the third spot behind Jeep in brand growth.
If the Jeep trend continues, in 2018 Jeep will become the best-selling brand in the North American market. High hopes indeed.
However, growth isn’t expected to continue exponentially. The growth seen this year can be attributed to a slew of new products from the company. The new Jeep Cherokee, which many thought to be polarizing in design, has become quite popular since its October debut, rivaling the popularity of its larger sibling, the Grand Cherokee.
But, Jeep is in a precarious spot. It has billed itself as a niche product, though it can have great flexibility by offering a Jeep pickup or bringing back the Wagoneer, rumors we have been hearing as of late.
A new Jeep in the pipe is the Jeep Renegade, which was revealed this spring in Geneva. While it is being built in Italy on Fiat underpinnings, Jeep understands that it has to offer a level of off-road capability that will be expected of this new Jeep. The Renegade will retain the boxy, Wrangler look and current design cues of the rest of the Jeep lineup.
The Jeep Renegade will make its way into U.S. dealerships by the end of this year. It has many Jeep enthusiasts excited about what the automaker has planned.
For more information on the Jeep Renegade, or other Jeep offerings, please feel free to contact us at Pilson Auto Center.
The mid-size sedan market has traditionally been all about functionality. It’s the type of car that is seen in garages across America. It is the car that has been associated with economical, universal-driver standards. Almost everybody has one or had one in their family. There is something to be said for an average, affordable vehicle that fits the requirements for the every-day American driver.
But now there is a sedan that has turned the market upside down.
The 2015 Chrysler 200 is here and Pilson Auto can’t wait to show you what makes this sedan special. At first glance, we are sure you will notice the unique flare that the 200 has that is seriously lacking with its competitors. It has lines and curves that remind you of high-end sports luxury cars. Those fantastic design details also ensure maximum aerodynamics so your fuel costs are reduced.
The interior is just as impressive as the exterior. Chrysler has stepped up and used higher-end materials to completely redo its flagship car. Those high-priced luxury vehicles are having new competition with the Chrysler 200. Technology options, sinfully soft leather seats, eye-catching details…all these and more at a very low price are what make the Chrysler 200 several steps above the rest.
The sports car lovers will also appreciate the muscle behind the 2015 200. The base models come with Tigershark 2.4-L 4-cylinder engine that gets an impressive 184 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque. That means that you get plenty of power and up to 36 mpg.
The upgrade to the Pentastar 3.6-L V6 will bump up the horsepower to 295 and the torque to 262lb-ft while still having great fuel economy at 32 mpg. Like other new Chrysler vehicles, the 2015 200 will have a brand-exclusive 9-speed transmission and a rotary shifting knob instead of the traditional shifter stick.
Pilson Auto has many models of the 2015 Chrysler 200 in our showroom now. One of our favorites is the Chrysler 200 S in vibrant pearl blue. Come by the dealership at your convenience to take a test drive in the all new 2015 Chrysler 200.
At Pilson Auto Centers, we are committed to giving back to the local community that supports us. We are proud to showcase several of the local organizations we are involved with, and encourage all of our customers to have a look at these great organizations and their websites.
Pilson Auto Center is proud to announce their plans to assist newly elected Illinois State FFA President, Cody Morris of Mattoon with his travel needs during his 2014-15 tenure. Morris, 18, of Mattoon and the Mattoon High School FFA Chapter was elected as 2014-2015 Illinois State FFA President on June 12, 2014. Pilson Auto Centers of Mattoon and Charleston, knowing that Cody would travel more than 30,000 miles during his year of service stepped forward to support Illinois FFA and the travel associated with Cody’s year of service by providing a vehicle for Morris to use during his work as he visits FFA chapters throughout the state, conducts workshops and meetings for FFA members, represents Illinois FFA at meetings and conferences, and promotes agricultural education.
“We were pleased to learn of Cody’s election as state FFA president," said Jamie Pilson, owner of Pilson Auto Center in Mattoon and Charleston. "As a local business, we want to help recognize Cody for his accomplishment as a member of our community, and at the same time support his level of commitment to service.”
The Illinois Association FFA is part of the National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America. More than 17,500 students are in enrolled 326 different FFA chapters in Illinois. FFA is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members -- all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business, and technology of agriculture. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Visit illinoisffa.org for more information.
Gowin Parc is an Alzheimer’s & Dementia Residence and Independent Living Facility. “We studied hundreds of conventional nursing homes, then built the opposite.” Mission Statement: We want our neighbors with dementia and their families to feel comfort as they place their trust in our home to provide care that maximizes independence and stimulates individual abilities. Residents at the Gowin dementia facilities will receive unparalleled care that is tailored to each individual in the program. The staff and programming create the environment that keep dementia patients functioning at their highest levels and maintain independence in everyday living.
Mattoon Area P.A.D.S
Mattoon Area P.A.D.S. or, Public Action to Deliver Shelter offers shelter and food to those in need in the Mattoon area. Doors open at 7pm nightly. A meal is provided along with shower and laundry facilities. Try to arrive before 9pm.PADS has separate sleeping areas for men and women and can accommodate small children and infants. Wake-up time is 6 AM and breakfast is served. Guests can request a sack lunch as well. PADS is a drug and alcohol free facility, as well as an environment that is safe for families. Volunteers to help in the kitchen, or at the desk as well as food and monetary donations are gladly welcome.
Mattoon Area Family YMCA
Our mission at the YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all, while promotig the core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility. Our Promise: We build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities.
We are the support group for Mattoon Green Wave Football Team. Find us on Facebook here!
Mattoon Alumni Letterman’s Club
Pilson Auto Center is proud to announce their upcoming sponsorship of the Mattoon Alumni Lettermen’s Club Banquet Dinner set to take place August 28th, the night before the first home football game at Mattoon High School.
Former presidents and officers of the MHS Letterman’s Club were invited to stop by Pilson Ford Lincoln last Wednesday July 2nd, to vote on this year’s Mattoon Lettermen’s Club Hall of Fame inductees. Mattoon Lettermen who graduated in 2004 or earlier are eligible to be inducted.
The Mattoon Alumni Lettermen’s Club also funds a scholarship each year to help athletes begin their college education. Pilson Auto Center proudly supports Mattoon High School and their athletes! GO GREEN WAVE!
Jeepin’ For a Cure, Jeepin' For the Jugs, + Coon Creek Jeep Club
Come join the fun and help us fight the battle against cancer! Find us on Facebook for our latest events and news.
Our story: Some of our friends and family formed a relay for life team and honored our friend who was fighting breast cancer. We were “Kaye’s Coffee Mates”. We worked hard and raised money via various fundraising methods. However, we often saw needs of people battling cancer in our area that went unmet.
Many of our teammates had jeeps and would often gather and ride on a sunny afternoon. One afternoon we just randomly thought, we should start a jeep club and ride to raise money for local people who were battling cancer. Our first ride included about 20 jeeps. However, it became WAY more popular than we had ever dreamed and it has grown to nearly a hundred jeeps joining us annually in July for a day of jeep riding, sun, fun and fundraising. My friend, Kristi Ryan is the main event planner. She has continued to work hard every year. She took suggestions from other clubs and participants, and has added an auction, and now ends it where there is a band for those who wish to stay later. The club has raised thousands of dollars for cancer patients. The recipients have used the money for transportation, to meet deductibles, for food and bills, and sometimes for short family trips. We have been so blessed to get to see the benefits of our event when we hand the proceeds to the recipients. It is an AMAZING feeling! And it is all possible because local people have huge hearts and are so willing to support one another.
Ray McElroy Football Camp
Our organization has a triad focus on CAMPS, COACHING and COMMUNITY. Through these areas, we are excited to use our talents and resources to positively affect communities worldwide.
Our football camps are provided by The Ray McElroy Pro Football Youth Camps. Our FREE youth football camps were developed to serve marginalized youth with an up close opportunity to see men of character serve as coaches, husbands, fathers and mentors. We integrate expert football field training by former NFL and top collegiate players with off-the-field life skills through partnerships with local business professionals. Our goal is to develop a well-rounded student-athlete.
Our coaching consists of various efforts to make a difference through media, meetings and mentoring. We have a weekly radio segment, where we teach applicable life principles for any individual wanting to grow beyond their career status. We also partner with NFL clergy, schools, universities, churches and business organizations, where we lead chapel services. Lastly, we created a life-plan coaching program called “Life Beyond the Game” to tackle the staggering statistics surrounding professional athletes within two or more years of retirement.
Big Al Golf Classic
Proceeds from the event benefit the Michael Alan Fuller II Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has funded $100,000 in scholarships and has helped over 100 MHS graduates pursue their dreams of higher education. Without your support, this would not be possible and we thank you for your continued dedication and support in keeping Alan’s memory alive.
Philly’s Livin’ the Dream Ride
Pilson Auto Center donated a 7 night vacation package to the Richard “Philly” Philabaum’s, Living the Dream Memorial Ride held Saturday, June 14th. The vacation package was open for bids at the Live Auction will be held during the last stop (6:00 pm) at Custom Smokehouse & Grill. All proceeds went to the Richard Philabaum Memorial Scholarship Fund, which helps pay for the higher education of local teens.
Earlier this month, The Central Illinois Motorcycle Club hosted its annual fundraiser for Camp New Hope, an organization that provides summer camp activities to special needs individuals. 130 bikers attended the event, and the highlight of their 100-mile cruise was their time spent at Camp New Hope giving rides to 27 campers. Camp New Hope is located on 41 rolling acres on the shores of Lake Mattoon, in based in Neoga, IL.
Pilson Auto Centers was a proud partner of the event, and provided a 2014 Jeep Wrangler to be raffled off at the on August 9th, held at the Mattoon American Legion. Josh Schaefer of Villa Grove was the lucky winner of the new Jeep.
Proceeds from raffle ticket sales for the Pilson Jeep Giveaway went straight to Camp New Hope, and this year’s event raised $37,000 with ticket sales and contributions included. Pilson Auto Centers sends a heartfelt thank you to all who participated in the event, and to all who helped make It the most successful fundraiser for Camp New Hope to date!
Here at Pilson Auto, our community is also our family. And when we’re not getting you behind the wheel of a great vehicle, we’re doing what we can to make our area a better place. That’s why we want to keep you up to date on everything we’ve been up to this past month!
Early this month we were part of the 11th Annual Big Al Golf Outing at the Meadowview Golf Course. We donated a Practice Green Sponsorship and Vacation Package. All donations went to help support the Michael Alan Fuller II Memorial Scholarship Fund. Over 90 scholarships totaling $124,000 have been given away in the past 10 years!
We also have shown our support for the local Mattoon sports programs by being an All-American Sponsor at the $1000 level for the Mattoon Green Wave Football Program! The program is great for increasing community spirit in order to provide athletic opportunities that allow each student-athlete grow as a player and person, and to be better equipped to meet challenges on the field and in society. The mission of the Huddle is to unite the community, players, coaches, staff, alumni, and friends of Mattoon High School Football as a team in an organized, supportive effort to promote excellence. You can still support the huddle by buying a membership with levels varying from $25 to $1000. Each member receives exclusive Mattoon Huddle merchandise and are invited to Wednesday Evening Coaches Meeting and Game Day Tailgate Party with the Huddle! More information at: www.MattoonHuddle.com or www.facebook.com/mattoon.huddle
All of these past sponsorships have also helped the Green Wave Football Purchase:
- Over 2200 Away Game Player Meals
- “Paint the Town Green & Gold” Materials, Banners, Decorations and Signs
- Flags for the Stadium
- End of Year Player Awards Banquet
- Player Scholarships for Football Camps
- Team Travel Gear
- End Zone Video System
- Wireless Headsets for Coaches
- 8 Sets of Heavy Ropes
- 6 Man Deluxe Lineman Chute
- 21 Xenith Helmets
- Open Field Tackling Stations
A Ray of Hope on Earth:
Pilson also offered a $1,000 donation to the Ray McElroy Pro Football Youth Camps. These camps are a three day retreat where campers get an up close opportunity to see men of character serve as coaches, husbands, fathers and mentors. We integrate expert football field training by former NFL and top collegiate players with off-the-field life skills through partnerships with local business professionals. Their goal is to develop a well-rounded student-athlete, and participation is on a first come, first served basis. Don’t delay, you can still register today! More information available at http://www.arayofhopeonearth.org/camps/
St. Jude’s Mattoon to Peoria Run:
Pilson also offered a $100.00 donation to the St. Jude’s Mattoon to Peoria run, as well as supplied the use of the Pilson Family RV for a runner’s support vehicle. The St. Jude Mattoon to Peoria Run supports the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and have become one of the foremost charity running events in the nation. The first auxiliary run was added in 1984 and has grown to 33 cities. Runners raise funds and in return, run relay-style from Mattoon, IL to the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate in Peoria, Illinois, where they meet up with Memphis runners and kick off the St. Jude Telethon each year in August. This year the runners raised $147,772.00 surpassing their goal of $147,000.00. Get more information about how you can get involved at http://stjuderuns.org/
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is next in line to receive the Hellcat treatment.
When Dodge released the SRT Challenger and Charger Hellcats earlier this year, it sent car geeks all over the world into a frenzy - suddenly, there were two American cars on the market that offered 707 horsepower for under $65K.
The Hellcat twins started out as a limited production run, but were expanded after Fiat Chrysler sold over 2,200 of the cars in the first three months alone. Now the plan is to build at least another 1,000 cars by the end of the year. The company has the capacity to build as many as 5,000 Hellcats (Challenger and Charger combined) annually - and is projected to sell out the whole lot.
After the release, there was a worldwide push for FCA to put a Hellcat engine in every car in their lineup - never mind that there is no universe in which anyone actually needs or will use all 707 horsepower. This is just car geeks being car geeks for the sake of car geekdom. But the car geeks at FCA heard the call - and they seem to be heeding it.
While early speculation led many to believe the compact Dart would be next in line to receive the Hellcat treatment, the Grand Cherokee makes more sense. It already has a capable performance model in the SRT version and it’s already the best-selling model overall for the brand. Starting at $64,895, the Grand Cherokee SRT currently has a 6.4 liter Hemi V8 good for 475 horsepower, and can go from zero to 60 in 4.8 seconds.
The new Jeep will probably skip the Hellcat title, going instead with Trackhawk, a play on the Grand Cherokee’s off-road Trailhawk model. The SRT’s eight-speed automatic transmission will also probably carry over to the Trackhawk, as it’s already proven that it can handle the supercharged 6.2 liter Hemi engine.
As Autoblog points out, hitting 200 miles per hour in a tall, boxy SUV might not be as safe as it is in the sleek, Charger Hellcat sedan, so FCA may have to give the Trackhawk an electronic limiter at the insistence of attorneys. The current SRT can hit 160, so you can expect a new top speed in the 175-185 range. Finally, the Trackhawk should have one feature that the Hellcat twins don’t: all-wheel drive.
The Trackhawk won’t be at Pilson Auto Centers until 2017 at the earliest, but you can bet plenty of FCA fans are dreaming of it already.
In winter, a lot of attention is focused on getting your car snow-ready, but most of us forget that summer brings its own set of vehicular challenges. Stalling and overheating are just a couple of problems that can strike, especially with older or used cars, but it is important to maintain your new car too. So before you hit the highway for that long-awaited cross-country trip, get your car checked out to prevent any potential problems. The drastic summer weather can mean especially bad news for cars with over 10,000 miles.
AAA suggests motorists have seasonal vehicle checkups. Here’s what you should look out for in summer:
- Check the battery: Drivers should check their batteries and clean any areas of corrosion. Make sure car batteries are properly mounted and secured to decrease vibration.
- Hydrate the engine: Engine coolant should be flushed and replenished periodically because expired coolant has lost protective additives and is rich in contaminants. Never open a radiator cap when the engine is hot because pressurized, boiling coolant can easily cause serious burns. Keep an extra bottle of coolant in your car just in case.
- Check the oil. Oil is the lifeblood of your car. It keeps engine parts clean, smooth, and cool. Most manuals suggest a change of oil and oil filter every 7,500 miles - but most of us do a lot of heavy driving during the summer when an engine is more likely to overheat. So at least check your oil before you head out on that road trip. The oil should look brownish yellow and clean on the stick.
- Summer tires or all-season tires? A summer tire has its best grip when it's warm whereas an all-season uses a compound similar to a summer tire, but it has more elements. All-season tires will give a smoother ride because of the added tread blocks.
- Monitor tire pressure: Check all tire pressures (including the spare) when they are cool to obtain an accurate reading. No one wants a flat in the middle of nowhere!
- Clean the undercarriage of your car after a long winter. The salt that's used to melt snow and ice can get caked on the underside of the car and cause corrosion. Any added layers of grime will also make your engine and transmission run hotter since heat has a harder time escaping through the bottom of the car.
- Check the hoses and belts. The hoses connected to the radiator help pump coolant to and from the engine block, and the belts run the fan that helps cool the system further. Any cracks or loose connections should be addressed immediately. Experts say the risk of belt failure rises dramatically after 36,000 miles.
- Change the air filter. A clogged air filter can really lower fuel efficiency. Depending on how much you drive and the types of surfaces you drive on, most experts agree that changing the air filter every 12,000 miles is fine.
Even the best-maintained cars can still break down, so AAA recommends keeping an emergency kit stored inside the vehicle at all times. An important addition that kits don’t usually include is water and non-perishable food items.
One hundred years ago, Ford was the first car manufacturer to use an assembly line. Today, Ford is continuing its tradition of innovation by becoming one of the first car manufacturers to allow users to download digital images and 3D-printable files of its vehicles. That’s right, folks. You can finally download a Ford.
Theoretically, you could download a full-size car if you had the right materials, a ton of disposable time, and a massive 3D printer. For most, printing the 1/32 scale models available in the new Ford 3D store should suffice though. Downloadable 3D-printer files for the F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350R, Focus ST, and Fiesta ST are currently available with more on the way soon. Users can print models in whatever scale or material they want once the file has been purchased and downloaded. After all, Ford’s credo is all about expanding and rewarding imagination, not limiting it. And if you’re an unfortunate plebe without access to a 3D printer, don’t worry — pre-printed models in PLA plastic are available too!
Ford’s licensing manager Mark Bentley says: “3D printing at home is a growing trend, and it makes sense for us to offer our customers a chance to make their own 3D Ford models. At Ford, we’re using 3D printing every day to rapidly prototype parts, and now we want to share that fun with our fans.”
The 3d.ford.com website will eventually offer a library of over 1,000 unique, licensed digital images of Ford products to choose from. A company called TurboSquid (known for their expertise in 3D modeling for video games) was responsible for building the site for Ford and will handle 3D orders and product delivery. To purchase and download a model or digital image from the site, users only have to register and agree not to use the item commercially. From there, the experience is pretty open-ended.
At the moment, this feels mostly like great marketing for the brand but before long, sites like 3d.ford.com could revolutionize the future of parts buying. Someday soon we’ll be able to buy OEM trim pieces and have them in our hands without ever paying for shipping or stepping inside an AutoZone. Access to downloadable parts will also be huge for people who love collecting and customizing small-scale cars, so we look forward to the imminent explosion in that area of craft as well.
As always, Pilson Auto is excited to celebrate Ford’s latest step forward. We'd love to share it with you as well. Once you're done downloading and printing your Ford Focus ST, come down to your number one car dealership in Mattoon to test drive one of our new Ford models. And bring your newly printed model with you as well — we'd love to see it.
When Dodge unveiled its earth-shattering 707 horsepower Hellcat V8 engine, the thought of ending up with or even considering putting the behemoth inside something like a Jeep Grand Cherokee seemed, to some, like simple school-yard talk. It certainly could happen. That is, it is very probable that it will happen, and in the considerably not too distant future. According to a Car and Driver report, we could very well see a Hellcat V8 engine-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee as early as the 2017 model year, and it may be packing more than the famed 707-horsepower under the hood. Per the aforementioned Car and Driver report, this new Jeep will include the “Trackhawk” title, making it Jeep’s official street performance companion to the company’s off-road ready Trailhawk.
Of course, that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, so to speak, and Jeep certainly is not just playing with smoke and mirrors here: The possibility of what a Hellcat V8 engine-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee can deliver is, without a doubt, incredible. This “Trackhawk” model will be set up to effectively replace the current Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT trim, which will continue to offer up the not at all shabby 475 horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi engine as a standard under its new look. The Hellcat V8 engine, however, will take its place above its less powerful cousin as an option, expecting to bring its calamitous 707 horsepower, 650 pounds lb-ft of torque, and (possibly) even four-wheel-drive to the mix. This, too, means good news for Dodge, as the famous company will now have the exclusive and sole rights to the SRT brand name with regard to the Charger, Challenger, and Viper, respectively.
Of course, to accomplish such a task that is an attempt at putting that much power through a road car’s four-wheel drive system, Jeep’s engineers will probably have to do a considerable amount of upgrading with regard to the Grand Cherokee’s drivetrain. Or, as Car and Driver points out, perhaps be forced to, unfortunately, forgo a four-wheel drive feature altogether.
Nevertheless, all that punch under the hood of something like the Jeep Grand Cherokee could easily give way to an insanely powerful family hauler, a zero to sixty somewhere in the low four second range. As far as pricing goes, the base Trackhawk would more than likely match evenly with the current SRT-branded Jeep Grand Cherokee — which is in the ballpark of $65,000 — while the Hellcat-powered version would certainly carry a premium above its lesser-powered partner.
Keep checking back in here with us at Pilson Auto for more information on the possibility of 2017 bringing us a new, Hellcat V8 engine-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee. While you await the Trackhawk, stop by Pilson Auto and test drive one of our new Jeep models, or any of our Chrysler, Dodge or RAM vehicles as well.
Pilson Auto Centers is proud of their invovlement in Mattoon and the surrounding community and encourages their customers to also give back and lend a helping hand to those in need. Pilson is committed to supporting these organizations and upcoming events.
Neoga Days "is for civic, patriotic, educational and social purposes; for activities related to the organization; and fundraising for Neoga Days activities. It is further intended to promote the preservation of regional customs and traditions and to provide good, wholesome, fun activities and entertainment in a family atmosphere." The event will take place June 18-20 and activities include: tractor drive, parade, kiddie tractor pull, carnival, hula hoop contest, beer garden as well as live entertainment.
Coles County Habitat for Humanity 11th Annual Memorial Golf Scramble
Coles County Habitat for Humanity "seeks to improve the community by eliminating substandard housing in Coles County and making sure safe, affordable housing is a matter of conscience and action." The Saturday, June 20th event has an 8:00 a.m. tee-off and will benefit Habitat for Humanity's efforts to help build 2 homes in Coles County this year for qualified families to purchase homes with no interest loans.
Central Community Church Benefit for Amy Fairbanks
The Central Community Church's mission is "to equip people of all ages to become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ." The event will take place July 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and will help local wife and mother of 3, Amy Fairbanks, and her family with Medical Expenses due to Breast Cancer.
Coles County Fair Queen Program
The Coles County Fair wil host a pageant held on Sunday, July 26 at 7:00 p.m.
Windsor Harvest Picnic
The Windsor County Picnic is in its 118th year and will take place August 13-15 and feature entertainment that includes: The Battlecreek Band, David Frizzell and Lorrie Morgan. Fountain City Amusements provides a carnival atmosphere with plenty of food as well as the Ice Cream Social. There is also a 5K run/walk, a pedal tractor pull, parade, and a raffle drawing. is in its 118th year. Entertainment comes to you in gospel, country and rock. This year's entertainment includes The Battlecreek Band, David Frizzell and Lorrie Morgan. Fountain City Amusements provides a carnival atmosphere with plenty of food as well as the Ice Cream Social. There is also a 5K run/walk, a pedal tractor pull, parade, and a raffle drawing.
Mattoon Knights of Columbus 5K Race
The Mattoon Knights of Columbus 5k Race includes a 1 mile fun run, 5K walk, 5K race, and 10K race and will take place September 20. "For more than 100 years, the Mattoon Knights of Columbus has devoted its energy to passionately advocating for the hungry, needy and people with special needs in our community of all faiths."
Lincoln has dubbed their 2017 Continental sedan concept car the ‘face of forward thinking.’ The Lincoln Continental concept car was recently revealed at the New York Auto Show in a blue exterior which is said to be the default color of the brand.
The luxury vehicle was out in Dearborn, Michigan near Ford’s headquarters after its showcase at the 2015 New York Auto Show, but its speculated they’ve been working on this new model for quite some time. The eye-popping exterior features an extremely wide insert grill and an overall sleek style. The luxurious interior is lined with blue leather and Alcantara suede as well as aluminum throughout the center console and dashboard.
The vehicle’s overexaggerated frame and features make its movement seem effortless in the back wheels although all wheel drive comes standard. If you are familiar with the Ford Fusion or Lincoln MKZ, both have CD4 architecture that should be present in the new Continental. The Continental also (supposedly) shares a similar feature with the new Ford Focus RS’s torque-vectoring abilities.
Similar to the F-150, the Lincoln Continental will have a 3.0 liter twin-turbo charged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. It is speculated that the 2.7-liter engine will be at the base of the engine spectrum with something in addition to the base level 2.7-liter engine.
A four-cylinder engine at the end of the spectrum would help in international markets such as China. Lincoln could decide to launch the Continental using an existing version of their six-speed automatic transmission. However, by the time the Continental will be ready for release, its possible that Ford will release their nine and ten-speed automatics thanks to some help from General Motors.
The Continental turned away from the MKS platform with an intention of becoming even more luxurious than ever before. While its clear the vehicle is supposed to represent the stoic side of the Lincoln luxury brand, the luxury features speak for themselves. With an electochromatic sunroof that changes from clear to opaque to a 30-way seat adjustment, Lincoln thought of it all.
On the outside, the Lincoln Continental 2017 concept car really shines from behind with a quad exhaust and asymmetrical outer tips to accentuate its large frame. The grille and headlamps both say Jaguar, although the headlamps also resemble one of Audi’s LED models.
An improvement from the MKS model is clear, but we can’t be sure exactly what the Continental brings to the table until we see a revised concept or a model out for a test drive. In the meantime, come by Pilson Ford or call us at (217) 234-6461 today to find out what Lincoln models have to offer on the road.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Strayer University have teamed up to offer free college tuition to Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck and Fiat employees. Strayer University has a strong track record of educating students that reaches back more than 120 years.
At 80 different locations across the U.S., the university enrolls about 40,000 students online and on campus. Although, it was founded to make education more accessible to working adults, Strayer University offers associate, graduate, and undergraduate degrees, as well.
Pilson Auto Centers are excited because Strayer has extended that same philosophy to Fiat Chrysler's employees. The university has created the opportunity for thousands of working adults at select Chrysler dealerships in the Southeast to pursue a college degree for free through the Degrees@Work Program.
Enrollment is now open for the summer and fall for participants at dealerships in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Classes are available either online or on campus. Once the program is rolled out to its 356 southern Fiat Chrysler dealerships, the company will begin the second phase, which includes all other locations at the end of the quarter. Nearly 118,000 employees will have access to the program across the U.S.
Some of the available areas of study are accounting, education, and information systems — the complete cost of tuition, books, fees are covered. Employees can earn a certificate, complete an Associate's, Bachelor's or Master's degree or just take one class. The total cost for a Bachelor's degree at Strayer's is about $58,000.
Program participants only need to have been working at a FCA dealership for 30 days. Once they've received their degree, employees are under no obligation to stay with the company — although according to Fiat Chrysler, the idea of Degrees@Work is to retain skilled, knowledgeable people.
"I think it's going to be a huge competitive advantage," says Al Gardner, CEO of the Chrysler brand in North America. "We'll end up with people who are better, more loyal to us, who are better employees and will end up giving a better experience to our customers."
FCA says its dealers have voiced concerns over the availability of talent needed to fill vacant positions. The company plans to ensure that dealers like Pilson Auto Centers are "employers of choice" and this program is one way FCA believes it will experience long-term success. About 2,400 dealers nationwide can decide if they want to opt into the program. They would then pay a flat fee to enroll their employees regardless of how many actually participate.
"A dealer is going to look at this, understand the value proposition and opt in." says Gardner.
The numbers are certainly in, and Fiat Chrysler seems to have nothing but good news with regard to their auto sales for the month of April. The company is riding high on what was essentially their best sales month since 2007. Too, this marks Jeep’s best sales month in quite some time (possibly ever), banking off of the 2015 Jeep Renegade becoming quite the hit right out of the gate.
According to reports from the Detroit News, Fiat Chrysler, as a whole, moved 189,000 vehicles during the month of April; along the same lines, Jeep reportedly moved 71,759 vehicles during the month of April, 4,200 of which were the brand new 2015 Jeep Renegade. This was certainly helped by the usually solid staple that is Jeep’s Cherokee sales, which garnered approximately 19,000 vehicles sold in April. The Jeep Renegade is a brand new unit is not yet widely available, so it is definitely easy to expect those already impressive numbers to jump — and continue to rise — quite a bit in the coming months. This also has a lot to do with the notion that Jeep’s 2015 Renegade is set up quite perfectly to be a huge hit, and we’re honestly seeing quite a great deal of evidence to support this given the impressive sales month the Renegade had essentially right off the bat.
So, what’s at the core, so to speak, of Jeep’s recent surge in popularity, especially with regard to the Renegade? Well, one can attribute quite a few things to this: a continued economic recovery and a stable ground to provide solid economic growth, a more widely available credit, Jeep’s best line up ever to offer new vehicles, and (perhaps quintessential) a continued overall drop with regard to gas prices that has allowed us all to gather ourselves and recapitulate our perpetual love affair with larger trucks and/or crossover SUVs.
That’s not to say that the 2015 Jeep Renegade and the Jeep Cherokee are bad on gas, mind you. Both of these vehicles boast a 31 miles per gallon on the highway. Yet, one cannot deny the influence these changes in gas prices have had on the average American’s decision as to what type of car he or she wants to purchase in 2015. “Lower gas prices are influencing people dramatically,” says Boston-based independent auto analyst and historian, John Wolkonwicz. “Big is what we want. Americans don’t want those little cars.” Wolkonwicz goes on to say, “American consumers have become convinced lower fuel prices are here to stay and they are reverting to the vehicle equivalent of comfort food: roomy SUVs and pickups.”
Stop by our lot here at Pilson Auto and come test drive a new 2015 Jeep Renegade or a new 2015 Jeep Cherokee to see what all the fuss is about. Who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love like the rest of America.
At Pilson Auto Center we had to wait just like everyone else before we could get a glimpse of what the merger of Chrysler and Fiat would produce. Now that the 2015 Jeep Renegade has made its debut, some off-road enthusiasts might scoff at the perceived “soft” design of the new Renegade. After all, without mud flaps and all-terrain tires, the Renegade might not look like your typical mountain climbing Jeep. You wouldn’t be wrong necessarily, but this just means there’s a Jeep for everyone, and as much as Jeep owners might like to picture themselves out on the dirt and mud every weekend conquering boulders, realistically, they are as likely to be cruising to the grocery store or the soccer field. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
That’s not to say that there is anything soft about the 2015 Jeep Renegade Trail Hawk 4x4. On the contrary, this 4x4 can still handle its fair share of rough road and it can handle tough terrain, but that’s just not its only purpose. The Renegade is being rolled out as a replacement to Jeep’s less successful Compass and Patriot models and it is intended primarily for city driving, but the 4x4 still offers the look, feel and some of the off-road capabilities of its rough and tumble siblings in the Jeep family.
Speaking of family, the safety features on the Renegade may be what’s most appealing for many Jeep drivers. With a host of features and safety systems, like Electronic Stability Control and Roll Stability Control as well as side impact beams and plenty of air bags for crash protection, the Renegade makes for a good family cruiser.
There’s also a fair bit of power available in the Trail Hawk 4x4 as well. This model features a 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder Tigershark engine and 9 speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive capabilities. It’s certainly no slouch on the highway or off. So, no matter what you’re in the market for, an off-roading monster or reliable family vehicle, we have something for everyone at Pilson Auto Center. Come see our 2015 Jeep Renegades. We are located at 2000 Lake Land Boulevard in Mattoon, IL.
This time next month, the Fiat 500X crossover hits U.S. markets. As a part of the rapidly-growing small crossover market, Fiat hopes to tap in to the recently consumer response to efficiently designed lifestyle vehicles.
Although the 500X is larger than its predecessor, the 500, the 500X should perform well considering the slowed response to competitors’ crossover vehicles, including the Nissan Juke and Honda HRV.
The 500X has already been compared closely to the Jeep Renegade as they share a distribution center and assembly line in Italy. Fiat hopes to see the 500X take off in the 100 countries where it’ll be released in May. The release of the 500X marks a turnaround for Fiat, a company whose CEO Sergio Marchionne almost gave the brand up to Chrysler during the financial crises.
Marchionne is still skeptical about the success of Fiat in the long term. Although he already plans to retire in 2019, it's speculated that Marchionne might push to merge with another company such as General Motors.
At the very least, the 500X more closely emulates the wants and needs of the American driver. Its been only four years since the release of the 500, although the lineup also includes the 500L, an upsized version of the original.
Fiat recently opened up test driving for the pre-production version of the 500X. Early reviews regard the Fiat’s all-wheel drive system as a “lite” version of real off-roading vehicles or an “upgraded” version of the 500, but insist that the 500X is tougher than its predecessor.
The small hatchback offers the space of a regular SUV while sticking to the Eurocentric style of Fiat on the interior. The driver’s seat holds true to Fiat branding with the logo in front and center on the steering wheel. While the vehicle doesn’t come with many bells and whistles, Chrysler added the Uconnect system in a touchscreen for entertainment and navigation.
Thanks to the slight upsize, the Fiat 500X offers more leg and head room in the front seat to experience the 2.4L 180-horsepower Tigershark MultiAir2 four-cylinder engine. The 500X also offers the option for a Sport mode, which has been marked by a more rapid throttle response, stronger shift and steering. Overall the crossover is expected to get around 30 MPG on the highway.
Fiat also has the option for Blind-spot Monitoring and LaneSense Departure Warning System for added safety. Additionally, Forward Collision Warning and Rear-Cross Path Detection are available.
Pilson Auto is looking forward to this upcoming expansion to the Fiat family of vehicles. Come in today to experience the new Chrysler models before the 500X hits the market, or give us a call at (217) 717-2378 to speak with a representative.
What's bigger than an automobile, smaller than a bus, and capable of being accessed by an app? It's Ford's own "dynamic social shuttle."
Ford is in the developmental stages of creating a vehicle that would offer similar riding-sharing services like Uber or Lyft, and be able accommodate more people in one trip.
Ever since mobile-app based transportation service Uber came on the scene in 2010, it’s spread to 200 cities and 53 countries domestically and internationally. Uber caters to a market that generally includes younger people who are between buying a car and needing a cheaper way to move around other than a cab. Catching a ride with Uber is also more desirable than taking the bus because it's a faster and more personalized service.
Those of us here at Pilson Auto think it's a trend that actually has car makers rethinking the way they do business. Ford is developing its own ride-sharing app because it wants to provide mobility to a market that may need a little more freedom before committing to purchasing a vehicle.
There's also a definite gap between riding the bus and taking a cab nowadays, and Ford is trying to cater to that need, but there are still many questions to address. Should it offer larger vehicles with more seating? Who would determine the routes? Should they be fixed or by request?
Ford's app would be much like Uber's, which would pair a rider with a vehicle that has been requested. So far, the challenge has been to develop technology similar to the competition which uses smart mapping and routing tools to connect drivers and passengers - something that Uber has dedicated several years to perfecting.
Once the app has been established, the question then becomes how many people would this vehicle transport? Ford has in mind something like a commercial cargo van that accommodates similarly to a ride-share vehicle, capable of transporting about 8-15 people.
Other concerns? Offering a ride to a sufficient number of passengers without overcrowding and appropriate pricing. The automaker then has to decide if it will include transit agencies or other entities looking for an alternative to mass transit.
There's also the possibility that a company could utilize a fleet of Ford ride-share shuttles. At this stage, there are more questions than answers.
The streets of London would be the initial testing grounds for Ford’s service, and if that works, the car maker plans to move into other cities like New York. Either way, Pilson Auto agrees that the trend toward services like Uber has car companies considering more ways to enhance mobility, and we applaud Ford for their step into the next direction. But if you're not into sharing a car, you can always come down to Pilson Auto to test drive any of the great new models we have in stock today.
Here at Pilson Auto Centers we want to make sure you have the opportunity to get to know all of our employees. Help us in welcoming the newest members of the team by reading a little bit about them!
Tell us about yourself and your professional background:
I have been working in Sales for Harley-Davidson for the last 2 years, before that I worked in Sales Management and Nightlife Management for the past 7 years.
What is your dream car?
2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock in Black with The AEV JK350 Hemi Pintler Black Custom Package.
Have you ever met a celebrity / who was it?
Yes I have hung out with Darius Rucker for drinks who I ran into after a show and I have surfed with Steve-O in Florida.
What are some of your favorite hobbies, or how do you like to spend you free time?
Riding my Harley is my favorite thing to do, that is how I spend most of my free time, I also enjoy singing Karaoke, spending time with my girlfriend Heidi, and traveling.
What is your favorite part about working for Pilson Auto Centers?
The opportunity to work for such a great company doing a job that I enjoy, and assisting people from my community with their new vehicle solutions, whether it be getting them into a new car or a new-to-them car, or explaining the best possible solution to make that an option in the near future.
Tell us about yourself and your professional background:
I have worked all kinds of different jobs, from a plumber to a waiter. Any job that allows me to talk to people and make them happy has always been my setting.
What is your dream car?
A 66 charger, first car I ever legally drove.
What is your favorite super hero?
Have you ever met a celebrity / who was it?
I have met a band named Dirty Heads and got to hang out with them all night. Pretty nice people.
What are some of your favorite hobbies, or how do you like to spend your free time?
I like playing and watching sports. I love to be outside and active. I also like to host events. I am always having cook outs and friends over.
What is your favorite part about working for Pilson Auto Centers?
The people I get to meet and help. I know 1st hand how it is to have poor credit and no hope. I came to Pilson about a year ago and they where the only people who didn’t laugh me out of their building. Instead they did everything in their power to help me out. Those are the kind of places that I really appreciate. I knew once I had the chance, I wanted to work here. I wanted to help them like they offered to help me. Every time it’s like I’m looking across at myself and when I see them light up I get that feeling all over again.
Tell us about yourself and your professional background:
I have lived in Mattoon all of my life. I have two awesome adult children, Gretchen and John. Most of my life I have worked in the manufacturing field.
What is your dream car?
Mid 60s Nova or Chevelle
What is your favorite super hero?
Have you ever met a celebrity / who was it?
I have a picture of John Force with his arm around me at the Nationals if that counts!
What are some of your favorite hobbies, or how do you like to spend your free time?
Definitely being with my family, and I love working around my house and in my yard.
What is your favorite part about working for Pilson Auto Centers?
I like working with the people and seeing the smile when we make their good day a great one.
Here at Pilson Auto Centers, our community is of number one importance. After all, we’re here for you, to make sure that you have a safe and reliable car to transport your family where you need to go. Each month we do whatever we can to help and sponsor our friends, neighbors, and customers, so here are a few great events for a good cause that we’ll be attending, and we hope to see you there too!
Arcola Rotary Comedy Night
On March 12, the Rotary Clubs of Charleston, Mattoon, Arcola, Tuscola, and Sullivan present the Rotary Comedy Night at the Doudna Fine Arts Center! The event will feature The Chicago All Stars, three local Chicago comedians, and it’s sure to be a great night of fun! Pilson has donated a vacation package to the cause, and all ticket proceeds go towards supporting an endowment for the Athletic Heart Scan Program at Sarah Bush Lincoln.
Cocktail Hour is from 5:45 to 7 pm, and the show starts right after. Tickets are $50 each and are available in the SBL Health Foundation or from Rotarians.
For more information call the Foundation at 258-2511, address of the event is 1860 7th St., Charleston, EIU Campus.
LifeLinks 2nd Annual Casino Night
Pilson is also participating in a sponsor fundraiser for local Illinois Charitable Gaming Event for Mental Health and Wellness Center in Mattoon IL. LifeLinks provides free and reduced mental healthcare to individuals and families in East Central Illinios, and we donated $500 to the cause.
The event is on Saturday, April 25th at the Mattoon Golf and Country Club. The doors open at 6:00 pm and gaming begins at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $25.00 each, and you must be 21 years of age or older to attend. There will be lots of Vegas style games including Roulette, Texas Hold’em, Black Jack, and Bang. You’ll have the chance to win cash, and we are also offering pull tabs and a Lucky Raffle!
For tickets or for more info, call 238-5720, or stop by the office at 750 Broadway Avenue East, Mattoon, IL. The address of the event is 6700 N. Country Club Rd., Mattoon, IL.
Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Foundation
Back in November we were a $600 sponsor of the Fundraiser Festival of Trees for the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Foundation. More than 30 beautifully decorated trees, wreaths and specialty items decorated the Lumpkin Family Center for Health Education, and then the items are then auctioned off and sold at a Gala Event to benefit the foundation.
The Mattoon YMCA
the YMCA has put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all, while promoting the core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility. We support its effort to build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities, and Pilson donates $10,000.00 annually to the organization.
Other Recent Donations and Sponsorships:
Elite Storm Basketball Program - $250 - Scholarship for Player
Mattoon Jr Baseball League Scholarship - $300 - League Sponsorship
Mattoon Babe Ruth Baseball Advertising Sign (Peterson/Lawson Park Signs) - $900 - Sponsor signs in Peterson and Lawson parks advertisement.
Mattoon Youth Wrestling Club Advertisement in Annual Brochure - $225 - Club Sponsorship
Mattoon Babe Ruth Baseball Team Sponsor - $300 - League Sponsorship
Catholic Charities - Vacation Package - Annual Fundraising Benefit
Mattoon Kiwanis Club - $50 - Pancake Breakfast Placemat Ad
Benefit for Chalyssa Yokely - 2 Oil Changes ($50) - Benefit to assist family with burial expenses of a Sullivan student that lost her life in an automobile accident
St. John’s Lutheran School - Vacation Package Donation - 2015 PTL Auction Donation
MS Bags Tourney Benefit - Vacation Package Donation - Benefitting Kelly Boyd and her medical expenses from Multiple Sclerosis
Tolono Spikes Baseball Benefit - Vacation Package Donation - Fundraiser for team travel and equipment
EIU School of Business - $200 - Sponsor of business venture marketing to EIU Students
Mattoon Cobra Softball - $250 - Team sponsorship for team expenses and equipment
Charleston Speedway - $250 - Sponsorship local business – billboard at venue, company announced weekly at events, placed on website.
The MHS Mirror - $63 - Ad in March 2015 Edition
LLC Auto Club Car Show - $150 - Sponsorship of event
Mt. Zion Youth Baseball - $250 - Sponsorship of team for travel and equipment
Jump Rope for Heart - $50 - Sponsor Jace Boyce for participation in fundraiser
Over the past few years with the adaption of uniform grille, many either love or hate the design of Lincoln vehicles. However, for the all-new 2016 Lincoln MKX, everyone is saying only great things about the upgraded Ford Edge-based SUV. Some are even saying it could be the best vehicle Lincoln will offer this year.
When looking around the all-new 2016 Lincoln MKX, curves are seen at every angle. Starting with the front end, the split upper grills flow perfectly into the wide angled headlight, and a large chrome insert located in the lower grille makes the front end seem wider than it appears. Along the sides, a strong body line is placed a few inches above both the front and rear wheels that arches slightly in the back. While the roof line slants slightly just behind the rear passenger seats, the large exhaust outlets emphasize a large footprint.
Inside, luxury awaits in all trim levels, but, based on the 2016 Lincoln MKX shown at the Detroit Auto Show, the MKX 2.7 All-Wheel-Drive will feature beautiful leather seats, soft touch finishes on all surfaces, and an exuberant amount of technology including a 13-speaker audio system designed by Harman’s Revel division and Lincoln’s first “active motion” seats that provide 22-way adjustments.
According to Lincoln, the active motion seats have six adjustable air pockets in the bottom cushion along with five in the seat back that allow for unmatched comfort. There is also a thigh bolster that will automatically deflate to help with getting into and exiting the new MKX.
But if more luxury is desired, Lincoln has announced that the all-new MKX will be available in a Black Label edition at launch. These trim levels, which offer various themes that find inspiration in such things as the glamour of 1920s Paris or horse racing, offer exclusive leather seats, high quality wood trim, and micro suede headliners.
As of now, two motors will be available for the all-new 2016 Lincoln MKX, including the standard 3.7-liter V6 which makes around 300 horsepower or the optional 2.7-liter twin turbocharged EcoBoost V6. Numbers on the EcoBoost motor have not yet been released, however, many are saying it should produce around 300 horsepower and over 370 pound-feet of torque300 horsepower and over 370 pound-feet of torque!
What happens when you take the best Mustangs from the past 50 years, throw in some empty roads, and give cameras to the newly formed Ford Performance division?
One of the greatest videos on the internet.
Ford has been manufacturing high performance Mustangs for 50 years, and to celebrate that in their video, the Ford Performance division hand selected various custom built, high performance ‘Stangs from almost all decades.
The short one minute and 36 second film starts with an early Ford Mustang GT zipping down a desert street. As the video goes on, eight different Mustangs of all years are shown driving aggressively on a closed circuit racetrack. Leading the way through most of the film is Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his 2015 Mustang RTR. While the RTR is not a full spec drift car, Gittin Jr. is an up and coming drift racer who drives a fully custom built 2015 Mustang in the Formula Drift racing series. Other drivers featured in the video are Chris Forsberg and Ryan Tuerck.
The short one minute and 36 second film starts with an early Ford Mustang GT zipping down a desert street. After it slows to a stop at a stop sign, a split screen of two high performance motors appears, one being a custom 5.0 Coyote motor currently found in the new Ford Mustang GT.
The crew, along with director Andrew Luptka and all three drivers, handpicked each model that they wanted to appear in the video. According to Luptka, the generations they chose "not only had to represent the era, but highlight the customization that the Mustang community really embraces."
In order to accomplish this, the crew contacted local mustang clubs and forums to contact owners that would allow their cars to be used in the video. Vaughn even wandered around at the end of SEMA to find the perfect Mustang II only a few days before the shoot. Some of the cars featured were a 1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1, a 1978 Mustang II Evolution, a 1969 Ford RTR-X, and a 2014 RTR, 2014 RTR SPEC 2.
The drivers and owners bonded over the experience, each car getting a nickname, one of the best being the T-Rex due to the constrained driving position.
"We couldn't have gotten these cars together without the Mustang community," Luptka said. "The mass of people that Mustang has brought together over the past 50 years is just unmatchable."
Here at Pilson, one of our favorite cars was the 2015 Mustang RTR “spec 2” edition, featuring custom grills, rear and chin spoilers, and side sills that produce 725 thanks to an RTR-spec Magnaflow exhaust and a supercharger, providing excellent sounds and a few dust or tire smoke rooster tails throughout the video.
In the end, Ford shows off all the Mustangs drifting in formation in an epic star shaped aerial shot, referred to by the crew as the "Starfish Enterprise". It all closes with the very simple caption: “50 years of fun!”
Pilson Auto Centers is all about the fun of Ford, so check out any of our Ford Mustang models in stock and get ready for some fun this spring! Stop by today or check out any of our other great Ford models.
Car infotainment systems have been a point of contention for automakers for some time now. Their effectiveness and user interfaces have been decried and chided over the years as they become more commonplace, and many automakers struggling to strike the right balance between usability and effectiveness.
Ford, one of the first automakers to introduce such a system all the way back in 2007 with Microsoft SYNC—before the introduction of the Apple iPhone—is finally stepping away from Microsoft and moving towards BlackBerry’s QNX system.
The system allows drivers to navigate, listen to music, make phone calls, and even change the car’s climate controls through touch and voice commands. This new system has been dubbed Sync 3.
Improvements brought to future Ford products with Sync 3 include the ability to expand or shrink the display with smartphone-like pinch-to-zoom gestures, which is one of the areas automakers have been struggling with.
With smartphones becoming ever ubiquitous, the use of touchscreens is commonplace. However, car maker’s systems lack the refinement many are used to. This next iteration of infotainment systems will try to bridge the gap between car and phone.
Sync 3 will also better understand common voice commands while integrating with Apple’s iPhone, allowing users to swipe the screen’s display like they would on a smartphone or tablet, as well as have hands free access to Siri.
Sync 3 will become available next year on 2016 cars, though Ford spokesman Alan Hall could not say what percentage of cars will still have the old touch screens. Current owners of Ford products with MyFord touch will not be able to upgrade to the new system, because the new QNX-based system requires new hardware.
For Ford, Sync with MyFord Touch has been a source of customer complaints for some time, negatively affecting satisfaction and quality ratings for Ford vehicles.
The Jeep brand has been engrained in the American lexicon and culture for almost 30 years, but its history goes back even further. Some 650,000 Jeeps were produced for wartime engagement in WWII, including the storming of the beach of Normandy. Thousands of U.S. service men and women reveled at the Jeeps’ durability, dependable reliability, and off-road capability.
They loved them so much infact, those returning began buying them from the government, and after the war, the automaker had a host of owners before being bought by Chrysler in 1987.
When Chrysler bought the company they were so perplexed at its purchasing demographic of mainly city dwellers, that they called on the help of Canadian anthropologist Grant McCracken. McCracken discovered that because of the vehicle’s military roots and go-anywhere abilities, it was seen as "the right car for the mean city streets”.
A few years after Chrysler purchased Jeep, Ford followed suit and introduced the Explorer in 1990, inspired from the loins of Jeep itself, a family-sized vehicle built on a truck chassis.
Not to be outdone, Jeep unveiled the Grand Cherokee.
While automakers at the time were warming up to models from German and Japanese automakers, the sport utility vehicle—SUV—was wholly Detroit’s alone. The Big Three, General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford all introduced more and larger SUV models in the subsequent years. This was the automakers bread and butter, Jeep included, who made wide margins on the vehicles sold.
But in the 2000s fuel prices spiked, causing a countrywide recession and scaring customers away from inefficient, large SUVs. Chrysler, Jeep’s parent company, went through bankruptcy, and the car company that emerged on the other side was leaner and meaner.
Today, Jeep has one of the strongest lineups of any brand, producing stunning SUV after SUV. Jeep’s future is bright and it will soldier on through anything. For more information about Jeep’s latest lineup, or to check out our Jeep inventory, contact Pilson Auto Center today.
Image Credit: Autospies.com
Last month, vehicle manufacturers, customizers, and part suppliers took over the convention centers in Las Vegas to showcase their creations. And while some simply place their parts on any car they can get their hands on, one manufacturer took a right-off-the-showroom-floor Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and transformed it into something truly wild: The Legend.
“I was doing sketches for what I wanted to build,” said Greg Higgs, chief executive and owner of Fab Fours Inc. Higgs decided on a Jeep Wrangler as the vehicle’s base so it could handle 44-inch tires without the use of an aftermarket lift kit. While completing the sketches, Higgs knew the fenders and grille were meant to offer the “over the top” shape and would be inconceivable based on his drawings. However, once the drawings were converted to virtual, computerized renderings, the 85 person crew at Fab Fours was able to manipulate the design to allow for individual pieces that would be fabricated once installed for this legendary build.
Outside of the custom fenders, the shop also fabricated the frame and suspension to allow for ProRock Dana 80 axles. Seeing The Legend, you'll either notice the oversized, red-accented fenders and red-trimmed windows, or the massive, red wheels with matching oversized tires. What did Higgs use for inspiration? Snowmobile googles. A pair of red accented snowmobile googles he recently saw gave him the vision needed to create this monster.
While many vehicles at SEMA are often one-off show cars, Higgs and Fab Fours said they are considering two options for this Wrangler: they can either leave this vehicle as their showcase and develop an aftermarket kit so people can transform their Wrangler into a Legend of their own, or purchase brand new or used Jeeps, do the conversions themselves, and then offer the completed vehicle for sale. This option is much like what Roush and Shelby do for the Ford Mustang.
According to Higgs, the last option most likely, but so far, there's no word on what is actually going to happen, or when.
“While Fab Fours is not known for vehicle builds, we have been on an amazing growth trajectory, which has provided resources to start expanding our offerings. A radical vehicle like The Legend is an opportunity to test some concepts and feedback from the public. If you are looking for ‘more of the same,’ you have come to the wrong place,” Higgs said.
Fab Fours introduced the Legend as “Innovation and taking risks is part of what attracts people to Fab Fours. Sure, this Jeep will not be for everyone, but there is one universal truth to it: Diffferent.”
If The Legend seems too extreme, but you're still looking for a different experience when buying a new or used Jeep, come check out Pilson Auto Centers. With new and used vehicles from Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram, we have a wide selection of all the latest vehicles to express what is important to you. Browse our inventory or come down today.
When the Marine Corps needs the best of the best, they ask the Marine Expeditionary Unit. This unit represents the finest Marines the Corps has to offer. Consisting of aviation, command, ground, and logistic fundamentals, the MEU has the ability to complete any mission anywhere in the world.
From humanitarian efforts to intense combat operations behind enemy lines, these are the first responders of the Marine Corps. While a lot of the individuals who are part of the MEU are young and ready for the challenge, nothing would be possible without extraordinary senior leadership.
One of those leaders is U.S. Marine Sgt. Guy Higgins from Mattoon, Illinois. Higgins, 27, is a sniper with the Force Reconnaissance Detachment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and has been a leader since day one of boot camp. Most recently, Higgins was recognized and awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award. Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System sat down with Higgins at his award celebration and asked him about what it takes to be a respectable leader.
DVIDS: What inspired you to join the Marine Corps?
Sgt. Guy Higgins: Realistically, just to push myself. I wanted to see what I was worth. When I got out of high school I worked odd jobs, but really got bored with everything. I’d do well at the job but then I’d quit. And then finally I realized I needed something more, so I joined.
DVIDS: Have you always been a good leader?
Higgins: I’d say the first time I knew I was a leader was when I got to boot camp. I saw the guide of one of the graduating classes; he was wearing his blues and he had lance corporal chevrons on. Something about that to me; I just knew that I wanted that. So I just put everything I had into [every day]. I left it all on the table so that way I knew I had nothing to regret. That [mindset] actually brought me to where I am today.
DVIDS: What did you do to improve your leadership?
Higgins: I looked at my role models. I picked out who I saw as a good leader and followed them. There are a lot of guys who hit the standard and just stop there. I watch the guys who push beyond it. That’s what kept me going, I would hit a standard, but I’d realize that wasn't not good enough, and I’d try to surpass that.
DVIDS: Are there any specific role models that made a difference in your career?
Higgins: Throughout my career there are two inspiring people that really laid it out for me. One was my former platoon sergeant. He said to us, that as a leader, if you’re not tired at the end of the day, then you didn’t do your job. That really hit home when I became a team leader. The second person was my staff sergeant at Sergeant’s Course who said if you take 100 people at one time and you rate their performance at the end of each day, there’s going to be a number one, and there’s going to be a number 100. It’s where you rate yourself each day, compared to everyone else.
DVIDS: What do you hope your Marines get out of your leadership?
Higgins: I want to set an example. I want to be someone that people want to work for out of respect. Generally, holding myself accountable. If I jack it up, I’m going to hold myself accountable and if they can see that, they know I’m not putting myself on a pedestal even as a team leader or now as a sniper on the force team. I’ll always hold myself accountable and I’m not going to just delegate tasks. I’m always going to do what I can to help them.
DVIDS: What do you think makes a good leader?
Higgins: Being dependable. Being able to know that when the time comes, the guys can depend on you to take care of business and know that you can [also] depend on them.
DVIDS: Why do you think you were selected to receive the Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award?
Higgins: I’d say it came down to that one out of a 100 ratio. I worked really hard, but I didn’t do it for an award. I didn’t even know about it until this year to be honest. But I always try to do everything above that standard. It showed through with my former role as a team leader. It shows my peers and even those who are senior to me that if there’s a task and I don’t fully understand it, I can still ask why. But I’m still going to go out and do it to my best ability.
Pilson Auto Centers couldn’t be more proud of U.S. Marine Sgt. Guy Higgins. Not only is Higgins a prime example of pure leadership, but he is also a hometown hero. We personally want to thank all our service men and women for their dedication.
Photo by Cpl. Anna Albrecht
Pilson Auto Centers is proud to support an upcoming Fundraiser for Sam Spitz, a baby from Mattoon who has spent his entire life, including his first birthday in the hospital due to heart and lung complications he developed before birth. The Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser will be held from 5-8pm on Tues, October 28th at the Downtown Diner located at 1626 Broadway Ave, Mattoon IL.
Pilson Auto centers has donated a 5 night Vacation Package for two that will be available for bidding at the silent auction. All proceeds raised at the event help pay for Sam's medical bills and continued treatment.
Live entertainemnt by "The Great Divide" will take place outside across the street from the Diner. Please bring a chair!
The event will also feature an inflatable bounce house for the kids!
$6 in advance
$7 at the door
Kids under 10 are free!
If you can't make the event, please consider donating to the cause online at: http://www.gofundme.com/makingawayforsam
Check out the Making a Way for Sam Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/makingawayforsam
About Sam Spitz
Sam and his twin brother, Alex, were born at 27 weeks gestation after an emergency C-Section. His parents, Dylan and Taimy, knew at 16 weeks that Sam was having problems in the womb. He was attached to the edge of the placenta, while Alex was attached in the middle. His umbilical cord was formed by one vein and one artery instead of two arteries and one vein, therefore, he wasn't getting enough nutrition. The doctors monitored him very closely, but were very concerned that he would not make it.
Sam was born weighing only 1 pound, 2 ounces and with pulmonary hypertension and chronic lung disease. He is currently at the St. Louis Children's Hospital, where doctors expect a full, but slow recovery with an additional 6-12 months in the hospital. Sam and his family have a long journey ahead of them, but they are confident God is making a way for Sam to recover and come home.
Read the full story about Sam's journey here.
Pilson Auto Centers of Mattoon and Charleston, IL are proud to announce the launch of four new dealership websites, including pilsonauto.com, pilsonford.com, pilsonchryslerdodgejeep.com, and pilsonusedcars.com. The launch of these sites means that car shoppers across central Illinois can now utilize convenient automotive shopping tools from Pilson Auto Centers on the go.
The four websites, designed by Automotive Internet Media, are built with a responsive design and are optimized for flexible compatibility on any device, including mobile smart phones, tablets, and desktop computers. Pilson Auto Centers recognize that the majority of consumers are now relying heavily on digital resources when researching new or used cars. With the launch of these new websites, Pilson Auto Centers have positioned themselves to be a leader in online automotive shopping technology.
“We are excited to launch these new sites, and provide our customers with a completely refreshed car shopping experience. The Pilson brand is all about making it easy and fun to buy a car, and now our customers can experience this on their mobile devices,” said Jamie Pilson, General Manager at Pilson Auto Centers.
Pilsonauto.com is the group site for all three Pilson Auto Center locations. Pilsonauto.com features a complete listing of all new and used vehicles Pilson Auto Group has available, including the latest new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Ford, and Lincoln models, plus a wide variety of used cars in all makes and models. The inventory is updated daily, so consumers will have access to the latest vehicles as they arrive at each Pilson Auto Center location. Additionally, users can schedule a test drive, schedule a service appointment, and submit an inquiry on a new or used car to the dealership with just a few simple clicks. Those interested in a career with Pilson Auto Centers can also learn about the company’s open positions and employee benefits.
Pilsonford.com features all new Ford and Lincoln models available at the Pilson Ford dealership, located at 2000 Lake Land Blvd in Mattoon, IL. Car shoppers can search easily by year, make and model of available Ford and Lincoln vehicles right from the homepage of pilsonford.com. Consumers can also apply for pre-approval financing on a new or used Ford, and submit a request to value their trade-in. Additionally, Pilsonford.com offers resources for customers to schedule a service appointment on their vehicle, order parts, and schedule a test drive in a new or used Ford.
Pilsonchryslerdodgejeep.com is a complete resource for central Illinois car shoppers to browse the latest Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles that Pilson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram has available on their lot, located at 2212 Lake Land Blvd, Mattoon IL. Visitors can also view all used cars in stock from Pilsonchryslerdodgejeep.com, and learn about auto loan financing for a new Chrysler, or even submit a pre-approval finance application in just a few minutes. The site’s online showroom has been enhanced with larger, clearer photos of each vehicle, along with high-quality videos detailing each vehicle’s specifications and equipment.
Pilsonusedcars.com features hundreds of quality used cars for sale at the Pilson Pre-Owned Super Center, located at 1506 18th Street in Charleston, IL. Shoppers can research the details of all pre-owned cars for sale, and quickly submit an inquiry to the Pilson Sales Team on any vehicle they are interested in. Consumers can even click on the “is this a good deal” button to compare Pilson’s price to the NADA Retail Value for the same car. While browsing the details of a vehicle, visitors can also use the site’s payment calculator to estimate their monthly payments, or email a car to a friend with just a few easy clicks.
About Pilson Auto Centers
Pilson Auto Centers proudly serve auto shoppers from Champaign, Springfield, Decatur, Terre Haute Indiana, all of central Illinois, and southwest Indiana, offering the best selection of new and quality pre-owned cars in the area. The Pilson family has been in the automotive industry for over 50 years, and prides themselves on their best price guarantee on all new models in stock. Pilson Auto Centers maintains a policy that they will purchase a customer’s car, even if that customer doesn’t choose to buy one from Pilson Auto Centers. Pilson Auto Centers stands by their promise to help customers get into a new or used car, even when other dealers won’t—regardless of credit. Visit us online today, or stop in for a test drive at any of our three locations in central Illinois.
Having a child spread their proverbial wings and head to college on their own as independent, financially strapped adults makes any parent or guardian’s heart ache with anxiety and sadness. Packing their car full of essentials for the long trip across country would make anyone nervous about their upcoming journey.
Picking the right car for your teen can be a difficult and stressful task. Do a copious amount of research into what vehicle best fits your kids’ needs while being as safe and reliable as possible. Don’t just go buying the first car you come across on the internet—that can spell disaster.
There are criteria you should include in your search that are non-negotiable. When looking for a car for your teen, you should check to see how reliable and safe the car is. Safety ratings and tests and the number of airbags should be at the top of your shopping list when looking for a used car. Thankfully, we here at Pilson Auto Centers have a slew of safe, used cars for sale for almost any budget.
Consumer Reports did a comprehensive study of which used cars are best for teenagers. In their findings, Consumer Reports found the following features the best to have:
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Anti-lock brakes
- Multistage advanced front air bags and side and head protection air bags
Surprisingly, Consumer Reports urged parents to avoid pickup trucks because of their high rollover rate. Given the study’s recommendations, their choices lean towards newer, high-end makes. Sports cars were obviously nixed from being recommended because of their penchant for speeding.
Avoiding three-row SUVs was also a recommendation made by Consumer Reports because they noted that the more passengers a teen has in their car, the more likely an accident is to occur.
“The more passengers in a teen-driven vehicle, the higher the risk of a crash,” Consumer Reports said in their study.
Larger, older sedans were found to not be any safer than newer, smaller models.
Consumer Reports narrowed its search down to five, affordable and safe cars that it would recommend for teen drivers. They are:
1. Ford Focus (2009-2011)
2. Hyundai Elantra (2008 or later)
3. Mazda3 (2011 or later)
4. Mazda6, 4 cylinder (2009-2013)
5. Subaru Impreza, non-turbo (2009 or later)
Here at Pilson Auto Centers, we have a large selection of vehicles between our Mattoon, IL location and Charleston, IL location. Visit Pilson Ford Lincoln and try out the Ford Focus to see if it is the right vehicle for your teen. If you have any questions or concerns about buying a vehicle for your teen, give us a call or stop by! We’d love to show you some options and answer your questions.
Economy cars were in high demand after WWI, prompting Fiat to produce a two-door small car with a sun roof named the Fiat 500.
In 1954, the Fiat was upgraded to a lighter model that took design cues from the Volkswagen Beetle and bore a rear-mounted engine like the flagship model. It was also featured early on in a variant version with a longer wheelbase, full-length sunroof and an engine that laid on its side.
The iconic Nuova 500 rolled off production lines in 1957 with a completely foldable, fabric roof and a 479 cc two-cylinder engine capable of a humble 13 horsepower and suicide doors.
That was 60 years ago.
Since then, the Italian-American automaker has produced 10 versions of the Fiat including the Nuova 500 Sport, the 500 Giardiniera and the 500 America – maintaining a strong market presence oversees and in the U.S from inception.
This year, the legendary post-war brand celebrates its 60th anniversary in style.
Last month, Fiat announced the debut of a special edition 500 convertible that features Dolcevita bi-color paint, chrome mirror covers, 16-inch allow wheels and white diamond finish, a bordeaux vinyl dashboard, retro-inspired ivory leather seats and gear knob, as well as bespoke floor mats and vintage Fiat logos.
The special edition 500 includes a few other enhancements like a burgundy and grey pinstripe on the exterior and burgundy trim lining on the dashboard, plus the classic Fiat logo design on the steering wheel, giving it that 1950’s flare.
While paying homage to the original model, Fiat incorporated contemporary design elements such as a 7-inch display screen and navigation system, automatic climate control, a multi-function steering wheel, seven-inch HD U-connect Radio Live touchscreen system with Bluetooth, rain and dusk sensors, automatic cruise control, fog lights, rear parking sensors, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – all of which come standard.
The Fiat 500’s big reveal happened during the 2017 Geneva Auto Show where the brand also showcased its 124 Spider - Limited Europa model with a throwback-like design. Fiat will also feature upgraded packages adding more of a luxurious feel to some of the its other vehicles.
According to wheels.ca, more than 6 million 500s have been sold worldwide since 1957. The Italian-American automaker also announced that it would be producing 560 units for the anniversary edition and would be taking orders in the European market beginning March 4.
The 2017 Ram 1500 is one of our favorite Dodge Ram models–filled to the brim with fan-favorite components; this pickup continues to surprise even the most devoted Ram driver. One of the most exciting details people have been picking up on is the 2017 Ram 1500’s built-in truck bed lights.
For years, drivers have been asking for specially-designed lights to help illuminate the truck bed of the 1500 and now Ram has finally delivered. The lights are controlled using a switch under the main light switch on the vehicle’s dashboard. If you’re arriving home after a long day of kicking up dust on the work site or on the open road, simply flip the switch and you’ll never need to use a flashlight again.
At Ram, we understand that the details are what separates our vehicles from the rest of the pack. The freshly re-vamped Ram 1500 is a prime example of the automaker’s attention to the small features that make Ram so special.
The Ram 1500 showcases FCA’s famous Uconnect infotainment system, a super easy to use, highly efficient piece of technology that’s accessible through an 8.4-inch touchscreen on the dashboard. The system includes helpful turn-by-turn navigation, touch commands that control components like the truck’s heated and cooled seats, and more. Drivers and passengers can even link up their devices through Uconnect to play music, make hands-free phone calls and access their favorite apps. The Uconnect system is one of the few to earn an “Excellent” rating from Car and Driver.
Drivers who opt for the Ram 1500 Rebel will enjoy automatic dual-zone climate control, remote start, a premium gauge cluster, a backup camera and rear-park assist, a security alarm, and a limited slip differential. If the Laramie Longhorn is more your style, you’ll also get LED bed lighting, keyless entry, auto high-beams and rain-sensing wipers.
The Ram 1500’s most exciting feature might just be the unique package under its hood–the truck is the only full-size pickup that is available with a diesel engine.
The Ram 1500 comes standard with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. Optionally, drivers can switch that out for the 5.7-liter V-8 engine (capable of making 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque) or the top-tier turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6 engine which will get you 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
All of the Ram 1500’s available engine options pair seamlessly with the vehicle’s eight-speed automatic transmission.
To experience the best in performance pickups, visit Pilson Auto and test drive the 2017 Ram 1500 today. We have multiple trim levels available so you can test out all the vehicle’s features and decide which one is your favorite. If you’re looking for another vehicle, we have plenty of new Ram models for sale at your Mattoon dealership.
Critics can't stop raving about the 2017 RAM 1500’s class-leading ride quality, high-end interior design and fuel-efficient engine options.
As one of the most energy efficient, light-duty pickups in the segment, the RAM's turbo-charged diesel V6 sets the bar for other vehicles in its class. The new 1500 offers three separate engines:
The 5.7 liter V8 Hemi offers the greatest performance of each of the powertrains. Capable of 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, the 1500's V8 has a towing capacity of up to 10,640 pounds, delivering ample acceleration and plenty of power a truck in this category. The V8 comes standard on the Sport, Laramie Longhorn and Limited trims.
A 3.0-liter diesel V6 gets achieves 240 horse power and 420 pound-feet of torque. It also gets a nod by Edmunds.com for fuel-efficiency for the 2WD’s 23 mpg (20 city / 28 highway), and the 4WD’s 22 mpg (19 city / 27 highway).
If those specs don’t impress you, consider the HFE EcoDiesel – a 3.0 liter V6 turbo that gets 240 horsepower, 420 pound-feet of torque and 24 mpg (21 city / 29 highway).
Tow numbers for the petrol V6 engine are 7,610, with the V6 diesel maxing out at 9,210 pounds.
Pilson is in agreement with truck lovers when we say that the new 1500 wins the award for best ride quality, hands down. The secret in the fluidity of this pick-up’s drive is its coil-over rear suspension – similar to that used in a car or SUV and what it may be lacking in towing power, it more than makes up in the area of comfort.
Other features that put the 1500 ahead of other small pick-ups in its class is the roomy, comfort of its interior.
The new RAM’s intuitive design features user-friendly controls, a large screen, and high-end materials that according to U.S. News.com “give it a posh feel.”
Also available on the RAM 1500 is a Uconnect infotainment system that comes with both 5 inch and 8.4 inch touchscreen, large buttons, a W-F Fi hotspot, Blue-tooth connectivity, a 10-speaker premium audio system with satellite radio and voice recognition system.
This full-size RAM pick-up seats 6 at a time depending on your cab preference. The base model vehicle is a two-door, 3-seater that’s available in either a 6-foot 4-inch or 8-foot cargo bed. The four-seater Quad Cab, also seats 6, but only comes with a 6-foot 4-inch bed.
There are countless other trim levels available depending your preference, including the Tradesmen, the Express, the HFE, the SLT, the Big Horn, the Sport, the Laramie, the Laramie Longhorn, the Limited and the Rebel.
The first in the segment to take on the commuter truck label, the RAM 1500 rides like an SUV but performs like a pickup. Tons of other features like optimum cargo space, an available spray-in bed liner, roomy interior, and a great price, definitely make this pick-up hard to beat.
You’ve probably heard that Dodge is resurrecting one of its most beloved, sought-after vehicles: the Dodge Demon. The initial announcement was made on January 12 of this year, but Dodge has been rolling out mini announcements with more details on the revival ever since.
Leading up to the reveal of the new Demon at the 2017 New York Auto Show in April, Dodge will release fifteen teaser videos, each with a breadcrumb of information about the hotly-anticipated vehicle. So far, seven videos have been released.
Among the exciting updates to the new Dodge model are: a higher stall speed torque converter, huge new Nitto tires, a supersized supercharger and massive large air intake, and a lightened up body. To help ensure the Dodge Demon can adequately tear up the road, Dodge has worked diligently to make sure the new vehicle comes in at 200 pounds less than the Challenger SRT Hellcat.
The new Demon seems explicitly designed for the driver who secretly wants to be a drag racer. (There are no illusions here–the Demon will come with a “Drag Mode.”) To accommodate those aspirations, the vehicle will be outfitted with four huge 315mm-wide Nitto NT05R tires. With their 12.6-inch wide drag radials and barely-street-legal status, the Nitto tires will offer a 15 percent bigger tire contact patch with twice as much grip on the road as the Hellcat.
Combined with the Demon’s 3.09 rear axle ratio, the vehicle is more than able to handle an absurd amount of torque. That’s why Dodge is installing a higher stall speed torque converter into the new vehicle, changing its mechanical engine torque into hydraulic pressure which is then amplified, shot over to the vehicle’s automatic transmission and injected like fire into the Demon’s rear wheels. The process gives the Demon an 18 percent increase in converter and rear axle torque and a 35 percent higher launch force than the Hellcat.
We think it’s sufficient to say that people will feel and hear you coming before they even see you.
If you’re not excited yet then maybe this will do the trick: the Demon will also come with a personalized Demon crate filled with 18 direct connection performance parts, track tools, spare wheels, and a Demon Track Pack system. Whether you’re headed for the street or the drag strip, this most fiery of Dodge models will be game for it all.
Eager to burn up the road? You may still have a while to wait before the new Dodge Demon hits dealerships, but you can get other fast and furious models at Pilson Auto. With its incredible power, speed and ultra-high performance abilities, the Hellcat might just be the perfect fit for you.
The automotive market in the United States has seen a significant upswing in the last few years. In 2016, the auto market set a new sales record, beating 2015’s record by about 50,000 vehicles. SUVs and pickups were the top sellers, but the luxury market overall fell flat with only about a 1% increase for the whole year.
There was one notable exception, though: Lincoln, Ford’s luxury brand, experienced a surge in sales amounting to a 10% increase. The automaker sold over 112,000 vehicles in 2016, making it a leader in the segment and an example for other auto manufacturers to look to. Lincoln’s exceptional sales performance included a stellar debut for the full-size Continental sedan in a market that is moving away from traditional four-doors.
“The momentum is fantastic,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln, to Business Insider. In December of 2016 alone, sales were up 18% and over 13,000 vehicles made their way off dealer lots and into the garages of American families.
What can we say? Our drivers know quality when they see it.
That momentum shows no signs of decreasing–especially with the introduction of the all-new Lincoln Navigator this year. The vehicle that started the luxury SUV revolution in the late 1990’s is returning to once again shake up our ideas of what luxury can be. The new Navigator is opulent and elegant, with new features including massive gull-wing doors which are sure to make it this year’s splashiest vehicle.
“Navigator is an iconic product–it’s important to us and important to our customers,” Galhotra said. “It’s going to be exciting to launch it in 2017.”
Exciting, indeed. Though undeniably high-end, the new Navigator embodies Lincoln’s current brand mantra: “Quiet Luxury.” The automaker strictly focuses on customer satisfaction these days, and with the new Navigator’s majestic presence, exemplary towing and hauling capacity, and stylish design, it’s sure to satisfy even the toughest customer.
The new Navigator will be powered by a 370-hp 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and a 6-speed transmission with SelectShift. Standard luxury features include a power liftgate, power running boards, heated and cooled front seats, power folding third row seats, THX II audio system, SYNC 3, satellite radio, HID headlights, genuine wood trim and a leather wrapped instrument panel.
Drivers who opt for the Reserve trim will get a two-tone exterior, 22-inch polished alloy wheels and upgraded interior materials. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control with roll control, trailer sway control, tire pressure monitoring, front and rear parking sensors with a rear camera, blind spot detection with cross traffic alert, side-impact air bags and more.
Fiat hopes to widen the appeal of its already lovable little Italian car to offset the decline in 2016 sales experienced by the 500. In order to do that, the auto maker cut the price of the Fiat base model and threw in some attractive options, as well.
Starting at about $16,000, the 500 Pop comes equipped with a standard 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster, 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and chrome exterior accents. Along with a modest drop in price, the Pop offers an optional Beats premium audio system, navigation system and power sunroof.
This spunky little base model is also equipped with a 1.4-liter 101 hp four-cylinder mated to either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
And If you’re in the market for something with a few more horses, the Fiat 500 Turbo as well as the GQ Edition models now come with a 1.4-liter four cylinder that makes 135 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque.
Meanwhile, the turbocharged 500 Abarth has been upgraded to 160 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque matched with a five-speed manual transmission that, from what we know at Pilson, is capable of going from 0 to 60 in about 7.1 seconds.
Don’t be surprised at the level of comfort and roominess this small car offers. Where it’s noticeably shorter than its competitor Mini Cooper, it makes up for in height – standing a full 4 inches taller. This gives the driver and rear seat passengers ample to room to sit comfortably, while easily stretching their legs.
Some of this year’s upgraded packages include the Abarth’s standard 16-inch wheel design and audible rear park assist system. As for the 500 Lounge, a fixed-glass roof panel (hatchback only), automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, iPod/USB audio interface, fog lamps and leather seating, are available for the reduced price of $19,390 – down $2,000 from $21,390.
For the driving enthusiasts, Fiat added the GQ and 1957 vehicles - special edition models with retro cosmetic design touches.
And if you don't mind a little wind whipping through your hair, the Fiat 500C convertible includes the same standard and optional features as the hatchback, plus a price decrease of $3,905 for the Pop to $5,205 for the Abarth.
If you’ve been considering scooping up a new 2017 Fiat, listen up because we have some new information for you that might help tip the scales. Fiat will introduce a new pricing structure in the US next year which will cut the sticker prices of some of its models up to $5,205. The new structure means that Fiat’s cheapest model will have a sticker price under $15,000.
A document circulated to Fiat dealers earlier this month shows the price of the base-level Fiat 500 Pop minicar dropping significantly from $16,995 to $14,995. (That price excludes the current $995 shipping fee but, still, that’s a big change!) The document goes on to explain that future Fiat showrooms will have far fewer trim levels across their four-car lineups and fewer places where prices for similar cars overlap each other.
We first got wind of these new changes in March when Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger car brands for Fiat Chrysler, met with North American Fiat dealers for a special Detroit gathering. Though Kuniskis didn’t reveal any details, he did drop some heavy hints.
Now Kuniskis offers more insight into the pricing structure shift, explaining that the 500L and 500X were “tripping over each other” in terms of pricing and content. It seems that the move was largely motivated by a desire to streamline Fiat’s offerings overall–the reduced trim walk for 2017 will allow dealers to reduce the complexity of their inventory.
“The cannibalization between [the 500L and the 500X] is very evident,” Kuniskis told Automotive News. “We’re not getting any new people in, and all we’re doing is flip-flopping them between these cars.”
“It will just be a lot easier for a guy to stock [the trim line], sell it and understand it, frankly,” Kuniskis said.
The new pricing structure means some pretty considerable changes for Fiat, but it’s just the final piece of the automaker’s strategy to boost sales. Earlier this year, Kuniskis told dealers they could: consolidate operations under a single dealer code, allowing them to avoid duplicate vendor contracts and share advertising costs; apply Fiat sales toward monthly sales goals and incentives; receive direct payments each month in the form of rent assistance if they continued to operate Fiat franchises as stand-alone dealerships; and receive additional incentives to sell Fiat vehicles, such as lucrative stair-step incentives.
All of that means big savings and big boosts in service for customers like you. If you’re in the market for an affordable, reliable, and–above all–fun vehicle then look no further than Fiat’s 2017 model lineup. Come check out the newest options at Pilson Auto today. Our financing specialists can help make sure you get the most car for your dollar.
The last thing Lincoln Navigator lovers might think of having seen the all-new concept SUV last month at the Los Angeles Auto Show, is luxury yachts and sailboats.
What might actually come to mind is the level thought, innovation and detail that went into building what the brand calls a glimpse into the future of the nameplate.
And according to Kumar Galhotra, president, The Lincoln Motor Company, one of the things the brand is most known for is "quiet luxury – vehicles and experiences that are elegant and effortlessly powerful." A phrase many of us here at Pilson Used would agree actually describes the Navigator concept to a tee.
What Lincoln has been able to capture in this design is elegant details, clean, modern lines, smart technology and road efficiency.
In fact, the brand’s out-of-the-box thinking and fresh new ideas have culminated into the 5 door, 8 passenger Navigator concept – proof in and of itself that a historic brand like Lincoln, who many thought would never bounce back from the turbulence of the mid-2000's – could build the kind of cars that win over the staunchest critics and reclaim its former glory.
And despite the storms of the past, the American car maker has managed to usher in a new era of quiet luxury.
Taking design cues from opulent brands like Range Rover and Bentley, the Navigator concept offers an interior that echoes the elegance of its exterior - with teak wood and custom metalwork, six leather captain's chairs offering 30 different degrees of adjustment, a custom wardrobe system, seven entertainment displays, multiple drive modes which include steering, suspension, and noise cancellation settings, Lincoln’s Revel audio system digital instrument cluster extending the width of the vehicle, and a gear shift resembling the keys of a piano.
For safety, the new Navigator offers blind spot monitoring, parking assist, a 3600 degree camera, pre-collision and brake assist with pedestrian detection.
Drivetrain details were leaked by Kumar Galhotra which include a whole new engine – a 3.5 liter twin turbo V6 that boasts more than 400 horsepower will be offered much like the outgoing model.
A steel and aluminum body should help the automaker achieve significant weight reduction, improve performance and offer better fuel economy.
As for specifics on when we can expect the new Navigator to be released, we believe the summer of next year is a feasible prediction.
The thirteenth annual Carspondent.com “Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year” (ALV) awards were held at San Marcos Gold Resort last month and it proved to be a great night for FCA’s brands. A panel of national and local media, including the Phoenix Automotive Press Association (PAPA) and more than 50 athletes and outdoor enthusiasts, spent two days evaluating cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks to see which was the best among them.
Cofounded by Bob Babbitt, a member of the Ironman Hall of Fame, Nina Russin, an auto journalist and distance runner, and Jim Woodman, a journalist, triathlete and founder of Active.com, the Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards are unique among all other competitions. It is the only annual awards program where outdoor enthusiasts, athletes and the automotive media come together to pick the winners. The winners, of course, are evaluated through a process that includes both on-road driving and navigating an off-road course.
This year, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit EcoDiesel won the Green ALV award and the Ram 1500 Rebel won the Best Value Off-Road award.
“Individuals with active lifestyles don’t want the vehicles they drive to limit where they travel, or the amount of gear they can carry,” said Nina Russin, ALV co-founder. “Ram Truck and Jeep proved that their vehicles perform equally well on- and off-road and offer spacious, configurable cargo areas that fill the squares for buyers who like to venture off the grid, carrying their bicycles, kayaks and camping equipment with them.”
Fans of Jeep won’t be surprised at all to hear this news. After all, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is the most awarded SUV of all time. It’s the vehicle people hold up as the example of what a premium SUV should be. The Grand Cherokee Summit model comes with three available 4x4 systems, Jeep’s Quadra-Lift air suspension system, and the class-leading Selec-Terrain traction management system. This all-star SUV also boasts best-in-class towing abilities of up to 7,400 pounds and a crawl ratio of 44.1:1.
The Ram 1500 Rebel is no slouch either. The truck is equipped with 33-inch tires, Bilstein shocks, skid plates, tow hooks and exceptionally stylish interior design. Under the hood, the Rebel blows the competition away with its standard 4x4/3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, delivering 305 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft of torque.
Ram is the longest-lasting line of pickups, boasts best-in-class ride, handling and fuel economy, has the highest snow plow rating and the highest general levels of capability. Whatever you need your Ram to do, it can do it without even breaking a sweat.
Come check out these groundbreaking, award-winning trucks for yourself. Pilson Auto has both the Grand Cherokee and the Ram 1500 Rebel in stock and on the lot. Take one out for a spin and you’ll never want to come back.
All new and completely redesigned for 2017 is the Lincoln Continental.
For at least 30 years, the Continental has been the flagship of the Lincoln brand.
As the American automaker's luxury line, Lincoln has also been synonymous with quiet elegance. The Mark II and MKS were just a few of its well-known predecessors.
Having survived WWII and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Continental has enjoyed a long, rich history as a viable German rival.
It is recognized by the Classic Car of America as one of the last-built cars to be a "Full Classic." Cars considered as “Full Classic” are vehicles built between 1915 and 1948, are considered "fine" or distinctive" automobiles and were limited in production.
By the 80's, the Continental had gone from a full-sized luxury vehicle to a mid-sized sedan in efforts to keep up with fuel standards in the U.S.
But, post-change, was it the same iconic car it had been for the past 50 years?
In 2002, Ford discontinued the signature nameplate, only to reemerge as the Continental concept at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The response was overwhelming.
Ford is investing billions into its flagship luxury car in hopes of restoring the Lincoln Continental back to its legendary status.
We are confident here at Pilson Auto that the all-new 2017 Lincoln is their way of bringing the Continental back to quiet luxury.
In 1940, Fran Lloyd Wright called it "the most beautiful car ever designed."
Today, pundits call the Lincoln Continental "brash," "suave," "luxurious," and "stylish." It’s also been said that the remade American icon has borrowed styling cues from the upscale Bentley and Jaguar.
One thing is certain: the 2017 production version vehicle will offer viable competition for the likes of Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5-Series, Audi A6 and the Cadillac CT6.
Lincoln sheds the huge V12 engine and replaces it with buyer's choice of a 3.7-liter V6, a 2.7-liter V6 or 3.0-liter twin turbo V6.
Lincoln has always harnessed a respectable amount of power under the hood. And under the new changes the Continental sheds the huge V12 engine and replaces it with the buyer's choice of a 3.7-liter V6, a 2.7-liter V6 or 3.0-liter twin turbo V6.
The classic split-wing grille of yesterday takes a backseat to the automaker's new chrome trimmed "plinth" grille.
The headlights and fog lights on this nine generation Lincoln, are designed in an "approach sequence" to fade right after the star in the vehicle's grille. The LED lights in the headlamps then turn on in sequence one after the other.
So many other details like the abundance of chrome on the vehicle's lower body giving off a rich look, an "E-latch" system that releases the doors with just the push of a button, limo-like spacious backseats, rotating center console champagne refrigerator, and 30-way adjustable seats are just a taste of the niceties buyers are in for with the new Continental.
In addition, starting at $44,560 for the base model - the reemergence of an American dream is suddenly well within reach.
What will the future of Ford look like? Fast.
Ford Motor Company executives recently spent a day with journalists and shareholders explaining how the manufacturer will avoid “disruption” and continue to grow amidst a changing automotive landscape ever more populated by self-driving cars. The bulk of their strategy involves a plan to make investments in emerging businesses while boosting the automaker’s four existing “profit pillars” to maximize returns to shareholders over time.
The most obvious of Ford’s profit pillars are trucks and SUVs. Less obvious, however, is its commitment to performance vehicles. CEO Mark Fields says that the company is going to make a big high-performance push over the next few years.
“Performance is a great business for us,” Fields told reporters. “It grows the bottom line in terms of profitability. It builds our brand. It drives excitement. And it creates these brand advocates around the world, which are fantastic. This is a very important part of our business.”
Most of Ford’s performance vehicles are well-optioned, more expensive versions of mainstream Ford models, with the notable exception of the purpose-built GT. They might cost more, but they don’t cost a lot for Ford to develop and produce. That means they have large profit margins, which is a recipe for success for the automaker whose sales of performance vehicles are on an upward trend.
“To put it into perspective, this year alone we will probably sell over 200,000 performance vehicles [around the world],” Fields said. “That’s more than double three years ago.”
It’s only natural that Ford will continue its tradition of developing new performance vehicles, but executives are keeping relatively quiet on the company’s specific plans moving forward. However, they are promising that Ford will introduce 12 new performance cars by 2020. We’re betting that some of those will be things we’ve seen before (like a new high-performance version of the Mustang, perhaps) but others will be variations on existing models–maybe a new Fusion Sport is in the works?
Ford still has some tricks up its sleeve though. The company’s purchasing chief, Hau Thai-Tang, a senior-level engineer, said that Ford would focus some of its efforts on electric vehicles.
“Commercial vehicles, trucks, utilities and performance, these are sectors where we have iconic nameplate brands, tremendous favorable opinion and more pricing power,” he said. “It’s also going to allow our product development and marketing team to take a different approach in terms of how we go to market and start to showcase the full benefits of electrification beyond just fuel efficiency.”
We’re eager to see what’s in store for the next chapter of Ford’s legacy. Secure your place in the future of the company by becoming a Ford owner today. Pilson Auto can help you find the perfect vehicle to suit all your needs.
Ford is set to up the range on the 2017 Focus Electric from 76 miles to 100 miles for the upcoming year.
With the competition that's been nipping at its heels since its 2016 debut, this is a welcome change for the American-made Focus.
From what those of us here at Pilson Auto were told is that this translates into a larger battery with an increased capacity of 33.5 kWh - up 46 percent from 23 kWh.
And that's good news for those buyers who appreciate the refined stylings of the Focus Electric but felt like it hadn't quite reached its fullest potential in terms of range.
The auto company also announced that its only EV would be receiving DC fast charging - a 480-volt source that supports about 125 amps, and is capable of bringing the car’s battery from empty to about 80 percent in 30 minutes or less.
That makes the Focus Electric much more comparable to the Nissan Leaf as well as the Hyundai Ioniq at almost 110 miles of range - hopefully solidifying its position as a practical choice within the vehicle segment .
While Ford's EV is currently considered a "compliance car" it's still a great option if you're looking for
economy in a non-petroleum powered vehicle.
Some of the options on the 2016 model includes Xenon headlights and LED taillights, push-button start, perimeter alarm system, satellite HD radio, nine-speaker Sony stereo system, Ford MyFord Touch infotainment system, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, rear view camera and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Focus technology takes into consideration the range losses experienced in warmer climates by coming up with an active liquid cooled and heated battery pack, which provides more stable battery operation within a greater range of temperatures.
Praised for its plush interior design, the 2016 Focus also comes with heated front seats and an optional leather package. A 60/40 split-folding rear seat is added with adjustable head restraints, 6-way power driver's seat, full-floor center console with storage, available heated mirrors and illuminated entry.
For 2017 we're not expecting a lot to change in terms of styling-and with more range available, this EV should see some pretty decent sales numbers in the near future.
Production on the Focus Electric is slated to begin next year.
Pilson Auto Centers are excited to announce that our very own General Manager, Jamie Pilson will be a Celebrity Bartender at this year's TIPS FOR CASA fundraising event, benefitting Coles County CASA, and hosted by The Brick House Bar and Grill on Saturday September 27th. The fundraising event will kick off at 4:00 pm until 9:00 pm. Come out to meet local celebrities from Charleston and Mattoon, and enjoy great hourly drink specials, dancing, food and fun for a great cause! Jamie Pilson will be bartending head to head against Jay Spoonhour, EIU Men’s Basketball Coach starting at 6:00 pm.
Jamie will be collecting TIPS from 6pm to 7pm. Jamie Pilson is offering a CAR SPA PACKAGE ($200 Value) to be given away during his shift.This is CASA’s first year for the Bartender Challenge. In addition, Brick House Bar and Grill is offering 10% of food sales back to Coles County CASA. Just print and bring in this flier to show your server!
Other Celebrity Bartenders at the event include:
- 4-5 pm Larry Rennels, Charleston Mayor VS Tim Gover, Mattoon Mayor
- 5-6 pm Rance Higgins, First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust VS Jim Littleford, Superintendent of Charleston Schools
- 6-7 pm Jamie Pilson, Pilson Auto Center VS Reggie Phillips, Candidate for State Representative
- 7-8 pm Dr. David Knox, Carle Clinic VS Noelle Cope, ANP, SBL Pediatric Clinic
- 8-9 pm Colleen Stoner, Director of Volunteer Services, SBLHS VS Jay Spoonhour, EIU Men’s Basketball Coach
About The Coles County CASA program
The Coles County CASA program is a not-for-profit corporation that advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children brought into the Coles County Juvenile Court system. Help us serve every child. Contact us to learn more about how you can help ensure abused and neglected children have their rights protected, and their future is bright. Coles County CASA relies primarily on grants, donations and fundraisers to operate. This event and the money raised will help Coles County CASA continue its mission of training volunteers to advocate for the abused and neglected children in our community who have been removed from their homes and now reside in foster care.
We have a proven approach; our only challenge is to scale it. Your financial contribution is a sound investment. All donations are tax-deductible and help us expand programs and recruit and train volunteers.
This is one cause where the actions of a single person mean everything. One volunteer, trained and empowered to ensure that every child can thrive in the safe embrace of a loving home.
Help Jamie win the Bartender Challenge! Here's what you can do to help:
- You may collect TIPS can be collected ANYTIME BEFORE September 27 from friends, family and co-workers.
- Tips may be dropped off at the Pilson Ford location at 2000 Lake Land Blvd, Mattoon IL.
- Once each bartender's shift is over, all monies will be collected and counted and applied to their final total.
CASA will announce the winning bartender in the JG-TC (Journal Gazette – Times Courier). Further information about CASA can be found at http://colescountycasa.org/. Email EDCCCASA@CO.COLES.IL.US for questions, or to get involved!