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Comcast Business Drives Chapman Auto Stores Forward with Fiber Services

For over 50 years, Chapman Auto Stores has served the greater Philadelphia and tristate area with high-quality vehicles from ten different brands including Ford, Lincoln, Chevrolet, Nissan, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, RAM, Volkswagen and Mazda. The company has sales, service and body shops across ten locations and its business is heavily reliant upon dependable internet and network services for all of its operations, which include completing paperwork on new car purchases, servicing vehicles and providing superior customer service.

“If we cannot access the internet or connect to our data management system, our business grinds to a halt. Additionally, we are always looking to stay at the forefront of industry advancements and deliver the best for our customers. Our new network of advanced phone, internet and video enables consistent operations,” said Keane Storey, director of business development, Chapman Auto Stores. “The communications services from Comcast Business allow our employees to focus on delivering the high-quality customer experience that we pride ourselves on, and provide assurance that we’re ready and able to support growth as we continue to expand.”

Chapman Auto Stores implemented an Ethernet Network Service with 30 Megabits-per-second (Mbps) to each of its locations along with a 300 Mbps secure connection to the data center to handle its Microsoft Exchange and data management systems. The company’s headquarters in Horsham has a 25 Mbps Ethernet Dedicated Internet and each location is also serviced by a 150 Mbps Business Class Internet line that handles the majority of internet traffic from customers and staff. Additionally, each body shop, office and dealership is equipped with Comcast PRI phone service, Business Voice as well as Comcast Business TV for entertainment in the customer areas.

“Overall, we have had a substantial drop in the number of challenges with our network since implementing Comcast Business services. Our backup with Comcast Business Ethernet has been reliable. It has been a significant benefit to our business, especially our service department, which requires fast service to download programming updates for cars and repairs,” Storey continued.

“Customer-centric companies, such as Chapman Auto Stores, require dependable services to provide the best customer service, whether it be video options in a waiting area, fast internet service for personal entertainment or phone lines to reach the service or sales departments,” said David Dombroski, vice president for Comcast Business, Freedom Region. “Comcast Business’ suite of services provides Chapman Auto Stores with an enhanced network, resulting in a great experience for its customers.”

About Chapman Auto Stores
The Chapman Auto Stores has served the local community with high quality vehicle sales and service for over a half century and has sold tens of thousands of vehicles, about one vehicle every 10 minutes. With ten locations from Atlantic City to Lancaster County, The Chapman Auto Stores is one of the largest auto groups in the tristate area with the best selection of new vehicles – Ford, Lincoln, Chevrolet, Nissan, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, RAM, Volkswagen and Mazda – as well as certified pre-owned vehicles and experienced accessories departments to serve ALL accessory needs.

About Comcast Business
Comcast Business offers Ethernet, Internet, Wi-Fi, Voice, TV and Managed Enterprise Solutions to help organizations of all sizes transform their business. Powered by an advanced network, and backed by 24/7 customer support, Comcast Business is one of the largest contributors to the growth of Comcast Cable. Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and has emerged as a force in the enterprise market; recognized over the last two years by leading industry associations as one of the fastest growing providers of Ethernet services.

For more information, call 866-429-3085. Follow on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and on other social media networks at

About Comcast Cable
Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed internet and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company. Visit for more information.

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Bel Air Auto Auction opens new Riverside facility

The Bel Air Auto Auction is in its new digs in Riverside, a 185-acre site off Philadelphia Road that gives company officials enough space to have their auction business and corporate headquarters in one location.

“We are thrilled to be on one site,” Michelle Nichols-Neff, vice president of parent company BSC America, said Monday. “It’s much more efficient, so we are really tickled to be here.”

The Nichols family has owned the Bel Air Auto Action, which was founded in 1947, since 1980. Raymond Nichols, the CEO of the BSC America Auction Group, purchased the business with his late wife, Elaine, and two business partners, according to Nichols-Neff.

She and her brother, R. Charles Nichols, became business partners with their father in 1993. Charles Nichols is the president of BSC America.

LotLinx Adds Another Auto Industry Veteran to the Team

CHICAGO, Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — LotLinx, the leading VIN specific digital marketing solution for car dealers, today announced that John Gottschalk has been named Senior Vice President, Client Relationships of LotLinx. Gottschalk was previously SVP of Dealer Relations Business Development at FordDirect, a turnkey digital marketing solution for Ford Motor Company and joint venture between Ford and its franchised dealers. Gottschalk has been brought on to help manage and develop impactful communications with dealers and create new enterprise strategies and solutions for LotLinx.

John Gottschalk

John Gottschalk

An expert in client engagement with nearly 20 years experience in automotive retail and digital marketing, Gottschalk was key to expanding FordDirect’s online initiatives. During his tenure, he oversaw a variety of digital marketing services and helped create a comprehensive web presence for dealers to digitally update their existing practices. At FordDirect John was a strategic leader and member of the Executive Leadership Team focused on building sustainable growth across the enterprise, including Ford Lincoln Dealers, Strategic Vendors and Ford Motor Company partners within all areas of the digital marketing ecosystem. Prior to FordDirect, he spent several years at the family-run McCrackin Ford dealership in Pittsburgh PA, where he led the dealership to be consistently in the Top 20 dealers within the Pittsburgh region.

The newly created position taps into Gottschalk’s deep understanding of how car dealers operate and conduct business in today’s increasingly digital world. His hiring and expertise will complement the LotLinx suite of technology products, which is built on VIN-specific, Omni-Channel campaigns that identify specific shoppers based on previous search habits and buying behavior, and has been the core of many successful dealers’ marketing plans.

“John has a deep understanding of the industry, and a strong track record of delivering innovative solutions which accelerate inventory turn,” said Eric Brown, President of Lotlinx. “John has worked directly with the country’s top dealers, manufacturers, agencies, vendors and is highly respected by all. We’re excited to add someone of his caliber to the team.”

LotLinx continues to add seasoned marketing experts to the team following the recent hire of Mark Conner, formerly of Lithia Motor Group. In addition, LotLinx recently expanded the capabilities of its VIN-specific shopper targeting TURN platform. VINdrop, a new solution that helps dealers boost end-of-month performance and revenue goals, enhances TURN’s ability to maximize consumer engagement and ROI for dealers. LotLinx will be demonstrating its automotive AI technology at Digital Dealer conference in Las Vegas September 18-20. For more visit

About LotLinx:
LotLinx is an award-winning automotive AI company dedicated to empowering automotive dealers and the agencies that work with them, up to the OEM level. The LotLinx TURN platform can transform dealer results, dramatically increasing online engagement and net-new shoppers while eliminating digital advertising waste. Founded in 2012 and based in Chicago, LotLinx works with thousands of dealers around the country to reach over 63 million unique car shoppers per month across more than 500 digital properties.

Press Contact:
Kevin Blomberg
Clarity PR for LotLinx

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Automotive Collision Repair Market Worth $222bn by 2024: Global Market Insights, Inc.

OCEAN VIEW, Delaware, Sep 19, 2017 (PR Newswire Europe via COMTEX) — OCEAN VIEW, Delaware, September 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

The industry statistics report “Automotive Collision Repair Market [ ] Size By Product (Paints Coatings, Adhesives Sealants, Abrasives, Finishing Compounds), By Vehicle (Light-Duty Vehicle, Heavy-Duty Vehicle), By End-Use (New OEM, Aftermarket, Recycled, Remanufactured) Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook (U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, China, India, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa), Application Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share Forecast, 2017 – 2024″ by Global Market Insights, Inc. says Automotive Collision Repair Market is predicted to cross USD 220 billion by 2024.

Increasing demand for the enhancement of damage control, and repair quality will positively impact the automotive collision repair market share over the coming years. Continuous technological advancements in ancillary products coupled with supplementary services such as painting, denting, and body maintenances will further augment the industry demand. Rising intra-city and intercity goods and passenger transportation is likely to stimulate commercial automobiles on the road.

Consumer trends in shared mobility behavior will positively influence the automobile demand. Shared mobility vehicles witness higher wear and tear degree than personal vehicle that is likely to favor industry growth over the forecast timeframe. Rising technical, software, and electronic complexities associated with new generation vehicles will support the investments and expertise. are required for handling the repairs. These factors are limiting the reach of small independent businesses.

Request for a sample of this research report @ [ ]

Rising investment from major industry participants to enhance their services and quality will pave an opportunistic way for the automotive collision repair market. Increasing demand for hybrid and electric vehicle owing to surging fuel prices will increase the product penetration. Advent of nascence technologies such as night vision with pedestrians control, lane departure warning, forward collision repair, connected cars, automatic emergency braking system, and autonomous driving may restrict the industry growth over the coming years.

Finishing compounds are expected to exhibit growth of over 3% over the projected time line. Paints coatings are the most commonly used products in the auto industry. This wide acceptance is credited to the rising road congestion that poses risk of minor dents and small crashes resulting in the need to restore the vehicle’s original color.

Light duty vehicles are expected to dominate the automotive collision repair market till 2024. Technological advancements including 3D stereo photogrammetry for accurate measurement and documentation of the accident damage will contribute in revenue generation. Moreover, associations like NASTF-National Automotive Service Task Force in the U.S. have formed a Collision Repair Committee (CRC) that supports in recognizing, addressing, and resolving the service gaps. It will help auto body shops achieve a complete and safe vehicle restoration.

Browse key industry insights spread across 300 pages with 273 market data tables 60 figures charts from this 2017 report Automotive Collision Repair Market in detail along with the table of contents: [ ]

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) will account for highest revenue share by 2024 owing to the consumer’s high trust level towards the brand manufacturers. Predilection towards warranty offered and customer’s brand loyalty are other factors that will support the OEMs dominance. The original products offer benefits such as better performance, longer product lifecycle, and reliability than the counterparts, will further escalate the OEM’s share in the automotive collision repair market.

Aftermarket is anticipated to exhibit a maximum CAGR of over 4% from 2017 to 2024. Aftermarket parts are developed by the third-party companies specializing in manufacturing of the auto components that may match the original parts quality and specifications. This growth can be primarily attributed to its cost effectiveness as compared to the original manufacturer’s auto parts.

Europe automotive collision repair market is predicted to dominate the industry in terms of revenue share over the forecast timespan. Rising demand of painting coating in Eastern Europe is another factor responsible for catapulting the regional growth till 2024. Increasing replacement of damaged plastics metal parts will significantly contribute in the revenue generation.

The companies operating in the automotive collision repair market includes 3M company, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Honeywell International Inc., Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation, Denso Corporation, Continental Corporation and Bosch and Faurecia. Industry players are investing heavily on modernization of their services and technology used for strengthening their foothold in the highly competitive industry. For instance, ZF Friedrichshafen AG invests over 5% of its sales in RD activities assuring success by means of engineering and design of innovative technologies.

Make an inquiry for purchasing this report @ [ ]

Browse Related Reports:

- Automotive Aftermarket Size By Vehicle Part (Replacement Parts [Belt, Brake, Clutch, Lighting, Electrical, Engine  AC, Exhaust, Filters, Suspension, Transmission, Wiper], Accessories), By Sales Outlet (Professional [Garages  Service Stations, Automobile Dealerships, Government], DIY, OEM), By Region (U.S., Canada, Germany, UK, Russia, China, India, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, GCC), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook, Application Growth Potential, Price Trends  Forecast, 2016 - 2024 - Automotive Robotics Market Size By Product (Articulated, Cartesian, SCARA, Parallel, Cylindrical), By Component (Hardware [Controllers, Arms, End Effector, Drive, And Sensor], Software  Services), By Application (Welding, Assembly, Processing, Handling Operations, Paint  Dispense), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook (U.S., Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa), Application Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share  Forecast, 2017 - 2024 [ e ] 

About Global Market Insights

Global Market Insights, Inc., headquartered in Delaware, U.S., is a global market research and consulting service provider; offering syndicated and custom research reports along with growth consulting services. Our business intelligence and industry research reports offer clients with penetrative insights and actionable market data specially designed and presented to aid strategic decision making. These exhaustive reports are designed via a proprietary research methodology and are available for key industries such as chemicals, advanced materials, technology, renewable energy and biotechnology.

Contact Us: Arun Hegde Corporate Sales, USA Global Market Insights, Inc. Phone: +1-302-846-7766 Toll Free: 1-888-689-0688 Email: sales@gminsights.comWeb:


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Automotive Industry Indonesia: EU’s UNECE to Become Key Reference

Over the weekend, Indonesian Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said Indonesia will harmonize the local standard with the UNECE for several automotive parts including rims, windshields and tires.

However, Hartarto added that the UNECE only serves as a reference for the SNI and therefore the EU standard will not be fully copy-pasted. Moreover, there are other standards – such as the Japan International Standard – that also serve as a reference in Indonesia’s automotive industry.

Last year the Indonesian government already started to prepare for the adaptation of the UNECE standard. Reason being that most automotive parts that were imported from the European Union (EU) carried a too high standard. The standard of these imported parts in fact exceeded the upper limit of the local SNI standard and therefore these products failed to pass the SNI standard.

Meanwhile, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as a whole, are also preparing to adopt the UNECE standard. Both organizations agreed to adopt 51 UNECE regulations with regard to product safety and consumer protection.

I Gusti Putu Suryawirawan, Director General of Metal, Machinery, Transportation Equipment and Electronic Industries at Indonesia’s Industry Ministry, said Indonesia will ratify the UNECE standard this year. However, in this case ratification actually means making the UNECE the primary reference for the local SNI standard.



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Genesis G70 review: Hyundai’s 3-Series and Giulia rival driven

What the devil is a Genesis G70?

Ambitious, that’s what. It’s a small, rear-drive premium saloon car. So that makes it a rival for – deep breath – the BMW 3-Series, Lexus IS, Audi A4, and Mercedes C-Class. You only need ask the upstart Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE how difficult it is to dent that segment.

Oh yeah, the Genesis has to fight those cars too. And, because it’s on sale in Asia and the USA, the likes of Infiniti, plus Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac. See, it’s ambitious. 

I’m still not clear on what a Genesis is, though.

In the beginning, there was Hyundai, and then Hyundai begat a luxury offshoot called Genesis after earlier success building a massive barge called the Equus. It’s just like when Toyota created Lexus and Nissan dreamt up Infiniti.

Genesis, meanwhile, has been working its way down the posh saloon size chart, selling 150,000 cars in three years along the way. First we got a G90 (S-Class and 7-Series rival), then a G80 (E-class and 5-Series rival) and now the G70 has arrived to complete the Genesis triple-threat. 

The marque has set deep roots in its homeland and the US market, and has won big on customer service surveys. So, the G70 is the classic move to snare younger, less wealthy buyers now the bedrock is steady.

Okay, got it. What has the G70 got, well, going for it?

A platform shared with the reasonably talented Kia Stinger for a kick-off, which means short overhangs, a stiff body, either rear- or four-wheel drive and the option of a 3.3-litre V6 ‘Turbo Sport’ version with 367bhp and a top speed of 168mph. That makes it faster than an M3, all out. It’ll knock off 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds along the way.

Like the Stinger GT then, but this isn’t supposed to be a sporty Audi S4 rival. That’s Kia’s job. Genesis is aimed at being far more refined, and techy. Which they might have overdone, a tad.

Really? What’s it packing?

On Korean market versions, everything from a pop-up pedestrian-friendly bonnet and automatic highway driving assistance galore to the best ergonomic gimmick we’ve heard of in ages. Instead of setting the seat and steering wheel positions with different buttons then saving them to a memory button, the G70’s ‘Smart Posture’ function asks only that you tell the car your height.

It’ll then marshal the seat, steering wheel, mirrors and head-up display to a preset position that ought to perfectly match your body shape. Clever, if your G70 is destined for a household or workplace with drivers sized like the Evolution of Man chart.

You want more? How about launch control? No, not just for the Turbo Sport V6. The 248bhp 2.0-litre petrol G70 has getaway mode too. So does the 200bhp 2.2-litre diesel. All versions also score apex-seeking torque-vectoring. And a proper mechanical limited-slip diff. I’m not joking. Can you guess which German race-track the G70’s been putting the hard development yards in around?

So is the G70 much cop to drive?

There’s plenty about the G70 that makes it feel credible and properly sorted, but it’s not the Nürburgring breeding that leaps out at you. It’s the refinement. Besides an Audi A4, no small saloon hushes up wind noise this well, and at a cruise you could fool yourself into thinking it’s electric. The drivetrain is silent. 

If you want it to make noise, it’ll make a good one. The turbo V6 rasps as it revs freely towards 6,500rpm, at which point, like it or not, the eight-speed automatic gearbox will upchange for you. There’s no defined manual mode, but clicking the wheel-mounted paddles gives a temporary override.

Left to its own devices, the transmission is logical and smooth, and quick enough if the G70’s aiming to match the claimed 4.7sec 0-62mph time. It feels properly punchy in the ebb and flow of Seoul freeway traffic. No mean feat, given the all-wheel drive variant weighs a hefty 1,820kg. 

Does it look and feel suitably ‘watch out, Europe’ inside?

Tell you what, someone at Genesis has had a sit in a Bentley Flying Spur recently. They’ve observed the winged steering wheel emblem, the diamond-quilted seats and metal-rimmed switchgear and thought “yes, we’ll do…all of that.” 

The G70’s cabin is tightly put together and it’s laid out with a very Germanic logic. Three guesses why. There’s plenty of plastic doing its best impression of knurled or brushed metal, but the leather is supple and smells more expensive than we’re used to in Korean cars. It’ll struggle as a chauffeur option: there’s little headroom in the back and not enough foot wiggle space if the driver has their seat set low. Odd, for a car that’s about 60mm longer and 40mm wider than a 3-Series. 

Back in the, er, front… the graphics are sharp and there are about four hundred menus and displays to discover. There’s a G-meter and lap timer, for instance.

Is it more luxury saloon than sports saloon, as prescribed?

Definitely. Albert Biermann, the ex-BMW M Division chief who was sensationally poached by Hyundai-Kia to run their performance vehicle programmes, admits that the body control is “perhaps not so good”, but there’s method in the G70’s penchant to wallow when it’s hustled. South Korea is a land of very smooth roads, but also many speed bumps. The locals don’t appear to care about slowing down a great deal for them, so the Korean market G70s we were driving are set up with a dollop of squidge factor in the ride to cope with the sleeping policeman assault course. American market and future European Genesises will have that pitch and wobble tightened up.

And we’ve driven it on circuit. Seriously. Sure, the G70’s no natural track car, but at the technical and undulating Inju Speedium racetrack we were able to try a slightly more focused version. Instead of the AWD G70s we’d driven on the road, a pre-production G70 ‘Dynamic Edition’ was ready to play. Rear-wheel drive, 70kg lighter, with retuned, more direct steering and ride settings much closer to what American customers can expect. 

Sounds promising…

And the G70 Dynamic lived up to that billing. It’s more accelerative, better balanced, more agile and genuinely, hilariously playful. There’s M-car DNA woven through this thing, in how it’ll sit steady on the limit of grip, then lock its diff and slide super progressively with a bout of throttle. The rear end squats less, the steering is reassuring and positive, and it’s palpably faster than the AWD car. Seriously, it’s more fun than an Audi S4 or Mercedes C43 and would ask very difficult questions of a Jaguar XE S. 

All bodes well, doesn’t it? Genesis is plotting a European invasion in 2019, and its products are getting competitive. Meanwhile, the influence and talent of Albert Biermann and his team is at last making Korean drivers’ cars. Here’s hoping it translates into the Hyundai i30 N hot hatch we’re driving very soon…

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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster

Overall Rating:

A perennial feature on our 10Best Cars list and a beloved member of our long-term test fleet, the Porsche 718 Boxster is a summer day turned sheetmetal. It’s one of our favorite cars to drive, with nearly perfect dynamics, timeless design, and a fabric folding top. Yes, the engine note is less virtuosic now that there’s a turbocharged flat-four in the engine compartment instead of Porsche’s classic naturally aspirated flat-six, but time marches on, to linger is to die, et cetera. Not to mention, the new turbo fours are quicker and more powerful than the engines they replace. In short, the years have not dulled the sweet sting of our love for the Boxster, and we don’t think they will any time soon. The only real question is how to afford one.

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Car Review: Hyundai Elantra Sport excites at a nice price

WASHINGTON — The compact sedan is normally a fuel efficient, value buy but driving excitement often has to be compromised.

Recently, some manufacturers have added some more performance-based models to their normal compacts to add some spunk to the class. The only problem with the sporty models is they tend to get pricey if you’re budget conscious.

Luckily, Hyundai is making a big name for itself by selling cars with many features buyers want at a seemingly reasonable price. The compact sports sedan is no exception.

The normal Elantra is a solid compact, but not very quick or sporty to drive, so the Hyundai Elantra Sport steps in to add some spice to the small sedan. Adding power seems to be a good place to start and the Elantra Sport is equipped with 201hp from a small 1.6L turbocharged engine. Power is plentiful for once in an Elantra and there isn’t much turbo lag either.

There are also two transmission choices: a manual or a $1,100 optional dual clutch automatic.

I drove the manual. It’s not the best shifter ever but it does a pretty good job with slightly long throws between gears. The clutch is light and it’s easy to modulate for smooth operation. Handling isn’t VW Golf GTI good but more competent than most of the compact sedans in its class.

The Elantra Sport has bigger brakes than other Elantra models so it stops quicker and more confidently. It treats you nicely in daily driving with a quiet cabin and the tuned suspension that doesn’t beat you up on bumpy roads. It is only slightly more firm than other Elantra models.

Fuel economy was a surprise. I managed 30.3 mpg in a week and 315 miles of mixed driving; better than the 25 mpg of mixed driving on the sticker.

Looks are important for sportier versions of compact cars and Hyundai gave the Elantra Sport a little makeover. It’s not a huge difference from other Elantra models but it’s a little bolder with a unique front grill and lower fascia, which gives it a more aggressive face.

From the side, you notice large 18-inch wheels and blacked- out trim pieces around the door. There are also side sill extensions on the bottom of the car and a diffuser at the rear end to give this a more menacing look from behind. What it doesn’t have is a large rear spoiler and or some crazy color. For someone like me who’s not 24, it seems to make more sense. But I’m not sure it’s flashy enough for some buyers.

The Elantra Sport is easy on the wallet with a starting price under $23,000. For that, you get a nicely equipped car with sunroof and heated leather sport seats — a surprise at this price.

Other nice standard items are push button start and proximity key entry; leave the remote in your pocket and just open the door. The hands-free trunk is nice with full hands. Standing near the trunk for a few seconds will trigger its opening for you. If you want to add things like NAV with 8-inch touch-screen and an Infinity Premium audio system, the price will still be around $25,000, about where other hot compacts start before any options.

Space is good for a compact with room for adults — front and back. I put three kids and their assorted child seats in the back seat without much hassle. The only hassle was the doors not closing all the way, sometimes taking several tries to fully close. It could have been this car because I don’t remember this with other Elantra models.

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport is the value sports compact sedan. A bit of joy can be had on the mundane commute with its peppy turbo engine, improved handling and well-appointed interior. And no one will really know just how little you paid.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2017 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

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Chaotic Scene as St. Louis Cop Backs Through Protest Crowd (Video)

click to enlarge A St. Louis police officer takes a statement from Richard Williams and Johnny Roberts Jr. (far left and left) on Sunday. - PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY

  • A St. Louis police officer takes a statement from Richard Williams and Johnny Roberts Jr. (far left and left) on Sunday.

A tense moment on Sunday outside of police headquarters separated a long afternoon of peaceful marching from another night of broken windows and arrests.

About 7:30 p.m. on the third day of protests following the acquittal of ex-cop Jason Stockley on a murder charge, an officer driving an unmarked patrol car put the blue Impala in reverse and shot through an approaching crowd, narrowly missing protesters who scrambled out the way.

See also: Downtown Swelled with Protesters Sunday (PHOTOS)

People chased the sedan south on 20th for about a block and a half, a few chucking water bottles before protest organizers shouted at them to stop.

The chaotic scene began with a 7 p.m. a traffic stop at 20th and Locust streets, near the northwest corner of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Officers pulled over a minivan and arrested the driver and a passenger. The driver was wanted for first-degree assault and the passenger for making terrorist threats, according to police. Officers confiscated three guns, police say.

Officers arrested a third suspect who threw a rock at them. They put him in the back of the Impala, police say.

The scene took place outside of the view of the majority of protesters, who were around the corner on Olive after an hours-long, peaceful march. At least half of the crowd, which was probably about 1,000 people at one point, had left by then.

See Also: Protesters March Through the Delmar Loop

Richard Williams and Johnny Roberts Jr. say they were on their way out when they walked up the street toward the traffic stop. That’s when officers from the unmarked patrol car grabbed them.

“We was leaving,” Williams says. “I didn’t even know they were getting pulled over.”

One officer threw Roberts up against wall of the station, and another started to take Williams into custody before other officers told them they had the wrong guys, according to Williams.

About the same time, one of the protesters sprinted down the street and around the corner to tell others police were taking people into custody. Several dozen people began hurrying over to 20th to see what was happening.

The two officers hopped into the unmarked patrol car and backed down the street. It wasn’t full speed, but it wasn’t slow either. People screamed as they dodged the fleeing Impala.

The threat of cars driving into crowds has been one of the concerns of demonstrators, who have been protesting in the streets since Friday when Jason Stockley was acquitted of first-degree murder in the 2011 killing of Anthony Lamar Smith. An anti-racist protester was killed last month in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a white supremacist drove a Dodge Challenger into a crowd of demonstrators, and marchers in St. Louis have been leery of approaching cars.

City police say their officer  backed down the street for safety because the crowd “started moving in a threatening manner” toward the car, police said in an email. They also posted a surveillance video clip of the Impala driving away. (See below.)

Williams and Roberts say the officers roughed them up for no reason and then the driver reversed wildly through crowds of people, who could have been injured.

“He needs to get locked up for reckless driving,” Williams says.

The incident happened at the tail end of Sunday’s main march, which began with six minutes of silence meant to symbolize the six years since Stockley killed Smith.

Leaders in the crowd worked to usher protesters away from a police line that formed around the Impala, and then talked with police representatives about what had happened. Officers eventually took statements from Williams and Roberts about their clash up the block with the other officers.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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In Frankfurt, Angela Merkel Lectures Automakers over Dirty-Diesel Fallout

Frankfurt Auto Show 2017

Allegations of cheating on diesel emissions controls were only days old the last time the auto industry gathered for the Frankfurt auto show, and the ensuing headlines overshadowed whatever announcements carmakers had planned. So it was understandable that organizers were eager this year to move beyond that sullied spectacle, preferring to focus on a fresh wave of electrification plans and future mobility efforts.

But German chancellor Angela Merkel was in no mood to put the emissions scandals of her country’s largest automaker in the rearview mirror. With the CEOs of Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW in the audience at the opening ceremony of this year’s Frankfurt show, she admonished industry leaders for their roles in jeopardizing the German economy and urged them to take full account of the diesel scandal before turning attention toward a future filled with autonomous and electric cars.

“Living in the future means learning from our mistakes,” she said. “Companies misused loopholes and not only hurt themselves but cheated the government and consumers. They need to regain trust as quickly as possible.”

For anyone who doesn’t remember, Volkswagen duped regulators by installing software that circumvented testing on millions of vehicles, which, unchecked, then spewed nitrogen-oxide emissions that exceeded permissible levels in the United States by as much as 40 times. That news broke in the midst of the 2015 Frankfurt show.

Approximately 11 million vehicles encompassing the Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche brands were soon ensnared in the scandal worldwide. Volkswagen agreed to a $14.7 billion settlement in the United States in October 2016, but the global fallout continues. In August 2017, German government officials agreed to a software fix for 5.3 million diesel cars still on the country’s roads.

Yet with the automotive industry at the heart of the German economy, employing roughly 800,000 workers and generating about $470 billion per year, it was something of a surprise for Merkel to criticize industry leaders so bluntly at their signature event, only one week before her own re-election campaign concludes. She toed a line between outright hostility and appreciating the economic contributions. She acknowledged engineering efforts that have already made cars more fuel efficient but said they weren’t nearly enough to remove the pall from the scandal or pivot toward a future that involves reducing pollution at all costs.

“Increases in efficiency have been offset by bigger cars and more traffic on the road,” she said via an interpreter at the event. “Industry will have to come up with responses to car sharing, connectivity, and urbanization, which plays a role. Cities are affected by pollution. Only China is phasing out the internal-combustion engine. Germany needs to wake up and meet these global challenges.”

Going forward, she said, the principles behind the Paris climate accord should serve as an overarching guide for whatever steps the auto industry takes on future innovations. She singled out Norway and Finland as aspirational examples and touted financial incentives as a means of encouraging car owners to dump their older diesel vehicles in favor of electrics.

That doesn’t entirely mean she wants engineers to give up on improvements to cars that are still using internal-combustion engines. Noting that such cars will remain on the road for decades to come, Merkel acknowledged that automakers face dual challenges in wringing still more efficiency out of engines while simultaneously turning toward electric and other alternative power sources. Merkel also announced a billion-euro investment in infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists.

“We have to charge toward emission-free mobility,” she said. “For cars, we have to make sure limits are respected and tests are conducted in real driving conditions.”

Merkel wasn’t alone in urging further introspection and a full accounting of the toll these misdeeds have taken on the relationships with customers. Volker Bouffier, minister-president of the central state of Hessen, said the 2017 Frankfurt show will help “regain lost trust” and acknowledged that “the trust we have worked on for years can be easily lost.” Matthias Wissmann, chairman of the IAA, the trade association that runs the show, said, “We are aware we’ve lost some confidence.” Still, the two urged Merkel to avoid outright bans on diesel vehicles.

Outside the convention hall on the morning of Merkel’s visit, Greenpeace organizers staged a protest against gas-guzzling vehicles and the dependency of the country’s 46 million registered vehicles on “big oil.”

Aiming to rebuild trust, show organizers added a New Mobility World exhibit that augments the traditional unveilings of new vehicles. Following her remarks, Merkel toured this portion of the show, stopping at the Qualcomm showcase and asking about the longtime microchip maker’s role in the evolving auto industry.

Since connected and automated technologies will play a central role in future products, Merkel suggested, companies can do right by consumers by better explaining these new technologies.

“When I talk to people about automated driving, they look at me with wide eyes and say, ‘That’s 100 years away,’ ” she said. “You, the industry people, need to change that and help pull them into acceptance of these new technologies.”2017 Frankfurt Auto Show Full Coverage

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