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With the recent bail-out, US car companies have re-evaluated their approach to manufacturing, marketing and research. Learn more about the possible changes these manufacturers might implement in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Thinking about trading in the old car that's sitting in your driveway? Maybe you're hoping to pick up a flashy new model just like the one you saw on the showroom floor recently? Who could blame you, really? It sure feels good when you're driving around town in a shiny new car. Or maybe you're beginning to look at your car in a slightly different light: Sure, it needs a new set of tires, a brake job and an oil change...maybe even a tune up...but underneath all of that dust and tree sap is a reliable vehicle. If you put a little effort into it, perhaps you could keep your car on the road just a little while longer. After all, why go through the hassle and added expense of buying a new car when you have reasonably good transportation right at your fingertips?

After a great deal of speculation over the past several years, Tesla Motors has officially announced that it's opening a Midwest Regional Sales & Service Center in Chicago, Ill. Set to open this spring, the Chicago store will be located at 1053 W. Grand Avenue, near the Kennedy Expressway in the River West neighborhood. According to the latest Tesla Motors press release, "The location gives prospective customers the opportunity to experience Tesla's best-in-class performance under a range of driving conditions, including highways and urban streets." To date, Tesla Motors has only two retail locations; both of which are in California -- one in Los Angeles and the other in Menlo Park. The Chicago store is the first of seven new locations in the works for 2009. The other six cities that Tesla is targeting are London, Miami, Seattle, Manhattan, Washington, D.C. and Munich, Germany.

How Car Repossession Works

When a car owner defaults on a car loan, the vehicle can be repossessed and returned to the creditors. Learn more about the techniques and equipment used by repo agents in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

For whatever reason, it seems that we're always intrigued when a retail outlet or warehouse club offers an unusual piece of merchandise. Take for instance the recent Sam's Club Once-in-a-Lifetime Holiday Package that featured an electric "Super Car" from Hybrid Technologies. The electric sports car carried a $100,000 price tag and it sold almost immediately. Of course, these unusual items don't have to be automotive-related to garner attention. Look no further than Costco for another good example. Costco sells caskets. Actually, they sell caskets, urns for human remains, urns for pet remains, keepsakes and sympathy flowers, too. A bit strange at first, but over the past several years the public has seemed to accept the idea that they can buy tires, potato chips and caskets all in one stop. And while it may not sound quite as strange as caskets at Costco, in May of this year, some Best Buy locations will begin selling Brammo Enertia motorcycles.

During a ceremony held yesterday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro was announced as the Pace Car for the 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500. According to a statement made by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Camaro Pace Car will be running completely stock out in front of the 33 competitors on race day: "Powered by the 6.2-liter LS3 all-aluminum Chevy V-8, the all-new 2010 Camaro produces 426 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 420 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm. It features a Tremec six-speed manual transmission and 3.45 axle ratio. No drivetrain or suspension modifications are required to prepare the Camaro for its Pace Car duties. The only modifications to the vehicle include a fully integrated strobe system, including a GM-designed custom light bar utilizing Whelen 500 series linear strobes."

You may have a hard time believing this, but it's true -- Ford Motor Company is giving away cars! It's all part of the Ford "Fiesta Movement" that's currently underway, and if you're not in yet, well, maybe you should consider it. The 2011 Ford Fiesta, a car that Motor Trend called a "Gotta Have" car, is headed to U.S. roads, but not until early 2010. Ford is providing a few individuals (they're calling them "special agents," by the way) with the chance to be the first in the nation to drive the new Fiesta, at no cost to the driver, for six months. The Ford Fiesta Movement Web site says, "As a driver, you'll receive monthly secret assignments from Ford Mission Control that will take you to places you've never been, to meet people you've never met, and to experiences you'll never forget. And you'll bring your friends and followers along for the ride."

How Basic Car Design Works

For the most part, cars have several common design components -- two headlights, for example, or four wheels -- but why is that? Tune in and learn more about the stories and science behind basic car design in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Bentley Motors, part of the Volkswagen Group has just announced the release of the Bentley Continental Supersports -- a car that they're calling, "the fastest and most powerful Bentley ever." That says a lot when you're talking about a company that has a 90-year history...a history that includes a long list of Grand Touring cars, ultra luxury cars and several outright race cars. In the early part of the 20th century, Bentley cars were known for their speed and superior performance. Of course, they remain just as strong today, but they're typically better known as symbols of style and elegance. The new Continental Supersports model is said to offer prospective buyers 621 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque from a 6-liter, twin-turbocharged, W12 engine that rockets the 4,939-pound car from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, according to the Bentley Motors press release.

The start of the 2009 Formula One racing season is about a month away and it's really beginning to look as if Honda's F1 team may not be lining up with the rest of the competition in Melbourne, Australia, at the end of March. In a statement made by Honda Motor Co., on December 5, 2008, Honda made the "extremely difficult decision" to pull out of all Formula One activities. They put their F1 team up for sale citing the "deteriorating operating environment facing the global auto industry, brought on by the sub-prime problem in the United States, the deepening credit crisis and the sudden contraction of the world economies" as the reasoning behind their action. Perhaps this is understandable when you consider that the Honda F1 team is believed to have an operating budget of more than $300 million per year.

What are the world's weirdest car laws?

Every driver knows automobile laws differ from state to state -- but how different have these laws become? Tune in as our car crew takes a look at weird car laws around the world in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Can you picture yourself behind the wheel of some of the world's fastest (and most expensive) exotic cars? Most drivers dream about it, but simply don't have the cash to make it a reality. Is there a way to park a Lamborghini in your driveway for jus ...

Everyone wants improved fuel mileage, right? Even hybrid car owners that routinely get 60+ mpg are looking to squeeze every last mile from each tank of fuel. But what if you could buy a car that gets even better fuel mileage? Is 100+ mpg (or more) po ...

During a recent press conference held at the government headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Maud Olofsson, Sweden's Industry Minister, said that she is "deeply disappointed in General Motors" for requesting $570 million from the Swedish gove ...

Are flying cars a good idea?

Theoretically, every US driver could replace his or her automobile with a flying car -- but is it a good idea? Tune in to learn about the past and future of flying cars in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.

After a great deal of speculation and rumor, General Motors has finally made the official call regarding the fate of its Saturn brand. However, the automaker has a few tough decisions to make about its SAAB and Hummer line of vehicles, too.According ...

How Hypercars Work

Hypercars are vehicles designed to be incredibly efficient, achieving mile-per-gallon ratings far above those of traditional vehicles. Tune in to learn more about hypercars in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.

What's the longest auto race ever?

Auto racing takes a multitude of forms, from the speedy Indy 500 to France's Le Mans 24-hour endurance race. But which race snags the prize for longest ever? Discover the surprising answer in this HowStuffWorks podcast.

How License Plates Work

License plates are so commonplace that we seldom stop to ponder their origins. Were they always metal? Who made them? And what's the deal with vanity plates? Discover the not-so-common story of license plates in this HowStuffWorks podcast.

How the Presidential Limo Works

The presidential limo is designed to protect the president from all possible dangers, so it has to be pretty tricked out. Find out which features make the president's limousine extra safe in this HowStuffWorks podcast.