2007 Lincoln MKX
2009 Acura RL
2007 Audi A8 4.2 TDI quattro
2007 Volvo S80
2010 Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe
2007 Infiniti G35 Coupe
2008 Lexus RX 350
2007 Lincoln DTS
2007 BMW X3
2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
on 06.27.2012 13:40
Got your eye on a pre-owned Acura RL, Audi A8, Lincoln MKZ or another luxury car with a few years behind it? You may want to act now, because dwindling supply could lead to increase costs for used vehicles.
That’s according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), which in its newest Used Car Guide predicts that the availability of used luxury cars up to five years old will decrease by 13-percent this year – causing prices of used luxury cars to rise by about 1.9-percent, after rising by a whopping 9-percent in 2011. The cost of all total used cars could rise as much as 2.9-percent.
"The falling used supply will raise used-vehicle luxury prices again this year, but overall appreciation will be mild by recent standards," said NADA senior analyst Jonathan Banks. More...
on 06.25.2012 15:18
Getting a handle on used car prices is a bit like trying to catch a greased pig. Just when you think you have a grip, the rambunctious little porker wriggles free, scurrying off in a new and unanticipated direction.
In the case of cars, fuel price is the motivational force. Between January and May 2012, according to the NADA Used Car Guide (issued by the National Automobile Dealers Association), average prices rose by percentages in the double digits. June brought a turnaround, heading back downward. Fuel-efficient models are dropping faster yet.
Why? Because gas prices have been falling. “Many popular compact and midsize cars are expected to drop up to 5 percent in June,” says NADA senior analyst Jonathan Banks. Used compact/midsize cars are falling by an average of 2.4 percent. “The trend of rising prices ... will reverse course in June because of declining gasoline prices combined with a normal seasonal slowdown in consumer demand.”
Hybrids are skidding especially fast. The value of a 2011 Toyota Prius is expected to drop $900 (4 percent) in June, after rising by $2,350 through the first five months of 2012. “Rapid depreciation for hybrid vehicles is not uncommon after surging gasoline prices reach a peak,” Banks explains, “and then begin to quickly fall.” More...
Many dealerships offer a final price, with little or no room for negotiating.
Nearly 92 percent of new car shoppers do online research.
New car shoppers are better informed prior to visiting a dealership.
Model and trim availability is key to closing a sale.
on 04.30.2012 15:52
“What would it take for you to buy this car today?” That’s the kind of question car salesmen have been tossing at auto shoppers for decades. Why? To see if the customer was a serious prospect. In the old days, the salesperson could control the process because most new car shoppers were ill-informed. They didn’t know much about the car they were investigating, and even less about how much it should cost—whether new or used.
Some salespeople still operate in the traditional way. But for modern dealerships, transparency has become the keyword.
Traditionally, salespeople relied on the “if I could, would you” type of approach, says Bill Reidy, director of sales for vAuto. Speaking at a recent used car sales webinar, Reidy noted that in the past, the seller controlled the information. Today, it’s just the opposite. Largely because of Internet information sites, buyers know the facts about a vehicle they’re contemplating, and likely know the dealership’s inventory better than its employees.
Some 92 percent of car buyers do online research, Reidy explained, spending an average of 9 hours on the project. By the time they show up at a dealership, they’re already part way through the process, without even laying eyes upon a salesperson. More...
on 03.26.2012 03:14
Just a few years ago, when gas prices shot upward to record levels, used car buyers began to shift their tastes toward smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The shift was gradual at first then escalated when people realized that fuel prices just might stay high for a while—or even leap higher yet. Quite a few motorists cut down on driving during that period, and some even stored their gas-guzzlers for the duration.
Prices on the used car market dropped sharply for big cars and trucks. At the other end of the scale, some late-model secondhand subcompacts and compacts started selling for almost as much as they’d cost when new. In some cases, they even brought more dollars than they cost originally.
Buyers are fickle, though—subject to the whims of the marketplace. That shift to more sensible, cost-effective purchases didn’t last long. Shortly after reaching a U.S. average of $4.12 per gallon during July 2008, gasoline prices began to ease back downward again. By December of that year, the average dipped to $1.74, and got even lower before beginning to rise gradually during 2009. More...
Ford Speed Limiter
VW Vs. Suzuki Over GTI Name
Gas Prices Up, Used Truck Prices Down
Nissan DeltaWing Le Mans Racecar
on 03.22.2012 19:18
Ford has introduced an adjustable speed limiter in Europe to help drivers deal with the proliferation of speed cameras there. More than 220,000 Fords were equipped with the limiter last year, more than any other driver-assistance feature in the Ford range. Breaking the speed limit results in hefty fines or loss of license in many European countries. (Source)
Suzuki and Volkswagen have been embroiled in a lawsuit over the use of the model designation GTi. VW had complained that Suzuki stole the GTi name when Suzuki introduced the Swift GTi. Suzuki renamed it the Swift Sport, but then took VW to court over the dispute. Showing a flair for common sense that should serve as an example for U.S. courts, the European Court of Justice ruled there was no way anyone could mistake a Suzuki for a Volkswagen even if both are wearing a GTi badge. The court further ruled that GTi stood for Grand Turismo Injection and applied to any sporty, fuel-injected car, leaving Suzuki—and pretty much any other carmaker—free to use the name. (Source)
Breathes there the man with soul so dead who never to himself hath said, “Exactly how many cars can do donuts at the same, and where can they do it?” Here’s the answer: 75, and Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. As for why they’d want to, well, you’re on your own for that one. From the video, it looks as if they easily beat the last official Guinness World Record of 57 cars, but final verification from Guinness waits. (Source)
Kit-car owners take note. Mercedes-Benz went to court to fight the unauthorized production of a replica body based on its classic 300SL, claiming the design was copyrighted and trademarked. German courts agreed, and M-B confiscated the fiberglass body and crushed it. The chassis, stripped of bodywork, presumably awaits a new body that looks sort of, but not too much, like a 300SL. (Source) More...
FIAT 500 America
Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition
on 02.24.2012 12:49
Anywhere But Here: The FIAT 500 America, making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, features outside rear-view mirrors with an American flag motif, and can be ordered in “America blue.” But the 500 America won’t be sold in the country it’s named after. Wait, it gets weirder, because FIAT says— and we’re not making this up— "The new FIAT 500 America is celebrating the country where the model was sold in 2011 and where its collaboration with the American pop singer Jennifer Lopez started.”
Hang On: The economy isn’t the only thing holding back new-car sales. Americans are keeping their old cars longer because they were built better to begin with, and because fewer drivers want to go in debt in uncertain economic times. R. L. Polk found drivers keep their new vehicles an average of six years, the longest since Polk first tracked the numbers eight years ago.
Ready For Prime Time: Given that the Mazda MX-5 Miata is the most popular racecar in the U.S., it’s odd that so few of the races are shown on TV. But this year the new Velocity network will be showing "The Mazda Motorsports Hour," a Mazda-centric series, with an emphasis on the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup, the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear, and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. More...