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Shifting Gears: Peugeot 308 named European car of the year

The Peugeot 308 was named the car of the Year for 2014 at the 84th Geneva Motor Show. French auto maker Peugeot's compact beat six other finalists including a pair of electric sports cars, the Tesla S and BMW i3 and a premium Mercedes S Class.

ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS

In Detroit, the Corvette Stingray took home the hardware. In Toronto, it was the Mazda6. Last week, at the inaugural U.K. Car of the Year awards, the BMW i3 was top dog. And, on Monday, the Peugeot 308 was named European Car of the Year at the Geneva International Motor Show.

The voting committee – featuring 58 automotive journalists from 22 European countries – picked the Peugeot 308, a family hatchback, ahead of six other finalists: BMW i3, Citroen C4 Picasso, Mazda3, Mercedes S-Class, Skoda Octavia and Tesla Model S. These seven were pared down from the 30 new models launched on the market during 2013 that sold a minimum of 5,000 vehicles during the year.

MAC ATTACK

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Apple announced Monday at the Geneva show that Volvo, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz vehicles will be the first to feature CarPlay, its new integrated in-car infotainment system. The interface works with the iPad, iPhone or iPod to allow drivers to access Apple-owned technologies – Siri, iTunes, Maps, for example – to make phone calls, navigate, crank up the tunes or access messages via touch or voice. Additionally, the following manufacturers have signed on with Apple to use CarPlay down the road: BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.

TESTY TESLA

Tesla Motors will invest $2-billion in a large-scale factory to produce cheaper batteries for a mass-market electric car within three years, The New York Times reports. The all-electric luxury auto maker didn't specify where the factory would be located other than in the American Southwest. Additional partners will invest up to another $3-billion in the project but Tesla won't reveal who those are, either. "With this facility, we feel highly confident of being able to create a compelling and affordable electric car in approximately three years," Elon Musk, Tesla's chief executive, and Deepak Ahuja, its chief financial officer, wrote in a recent report. The company's Model S sedan costs more than $70,000 (U.S.) and sales have suffered because of battery shortages. Its planned electric sedan is expected to sell for less than $40,000 when it eventually rolls into production.

QUICK HITS

Exactly 299,527 people took in the 10-day Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, down 2 per cent from last year. Officials cite the Sochi Olympics and poor weather for the slight decline. … Nissan Canada has priced its love-it-or-hate-it 2014 Juke Nismo RS at $28,298 for the base model.

SNOW KIDDING

It's been a nasty, snow-filled winter throughout most of North America – and Philadelphia has been no different. However, police there are using a Twitter hash-tag warning – #NoSavesies – to crack down on the common practice of using furniture, toilets and other stuff to save cleared out parking spots. "Shovelling a spot from a public street does not make it yours," Sergeant Eric Gripp, who runs the Philadelphia Police Department's Twitter account, told Reuters.

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About the Author
Deputy Editor at Globe Drive

Darren McGee is an editor and writer for Globe Drive. More

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