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Archive for the ‘Minivans’ Category

Strong Demand, Interest Rates Causing Jump in Used Car Prices

Compact, midsize sedans driving the shift.

by on Oct.08, 2018

Used vehicle prices are on the rise and that's unlikely to change in the near term, especially for compact and midsize sedans.

Car buyers looking for a deal by getting a used car are going to be sorely disappointed — used vehicle prices are on the rise.

According to the latest data from Manheim, used vehicle values set a new record for the third month in a row, which is unusual. The abnormal summer bounce began in mid-June and drove prices higher for 11 straight weeks.

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That changed some with the arrival of September, which saw several weeks of normalizing depreciation. However, it wasn’t enough to offset the overall jump in prices as 3-year-old vehicles are now worth 4.5% more than they would normally be worth had typical depreciation occurred through July and August, according to Manheim. (more…)

NAFTA Gone! United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Takes Over

New deal supplants old one; changes may not help auto industry.

by on Oct.01, 2018

President Donald Trump says the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement means plenty of new jobs for U.S. workers.

This story has been updated with new information.

Talking and hand-wringing has shifted to hand shakes and back slapping as renegotiation of the long-standing trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico is finally complete — with significant changes for the auto industry.

The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaces the $1.2 trillion North American Free Trade Agreement and with it, comes many new jobs, according to its main driver, President Donald Trump. However, the auto industry is taking a wait-and-see attitude.

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“These measures will support many – hundreds of thousands – American jobs,” Trump said in remarks at the White House. “It means far more American jobs, and these are high-quality jobs.”  (more…)

New Vehicle Costs On the Rise as Insurance Premiums Skyrocket

Know what it'll cost to insure your vehicle before you buy.

by on Sep.20, 2018

The Tesla Model S is the most expensive mainstream vehicle to insure, according to a new report.

Car insurance premiums are rising quickly, and when interest rates are also climbing, new vehicle buyers have a lot to consider when determining what kind of car they can afford.

The average monthly car payment is more than $500 now and insurance rates have jumped by more than a third between 2010 and 2016, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Finding ways to cut those burdensome premiums should be a top priority for shoppers.

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How much you pay for car insurance depends on a variety of factors, including age, driving record and location as well as the type of vehicle you want to buy. (more…)

Jackson Stepping Down as AutoNation CEO

Former Mercedes-Benz USA president remains executive chair until 2021.

by on Sep.20, 2018

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson is stepping down from the post next spring.

The auto industry is going to be a little less colorful in the near future as AutoNation’s Mike Jackson is stepping down as Chief Executive Officer next year; however, he will remain executive chairman until 2021.

“AutoNation is the retail automotive industry leader,” Jackson said in a statement. “The company is ready for its next chapter with a strong foundation, a coast to coast brand, a comprehensive Brand Extension strategy, and a transformational digital consumer car buying experience.”

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Jackson is one of the industry’s most outspoken figures, often a go-to executive for reporters looking for an expert perspective on almost any industry topic. He took over as AutoNation CEO in 1999, hired by founder H. Wayne Huizenga from Mercedes-Benz USA where was president. (more…)

Volkswagen Reveals $6B “Electric for All” Plans

German automaker will debut five-door hatchback in 2019.

by on Sep.17, 2018

Thomas Ulbrich, left, and Christian Senger outline Volkswagen's plans for its MEB-based electric vehicles.

Volkswagen AG is readying to kick off its long-expected onslaught of electric vehicles from its MEB platform, revealing an investment of more than $6 billion for plant upgrades to produce more than 10 million EVs by the end of 2025.

The moves are part of what VW dubs its “Electric for All” plan, based off the flexibility of its modular electric drive, or MEB, platform. It’s expected to the base for as many as 27 model between now and 2025.

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“We will make electric vehicles popular and get as many people as possible excited about electric cars,” said Brand Board Member for E-Mobility Thomas Ulbrich. “The MEB is one of the most important projects in the history of Volkswagen – a technological milestone, similar to the transition from the Beetle to the Golf.” (more…)

More than a Third of Teens Texting Behind the Wheel

The younger the driver, the more likely they are to text and drive.

by on Sep.11, 2018

More than a third of teen drivers text while driving, according to a new study.

A new study is recommending tougher laws for texting while driving after it was determined that more than a third of teenage drivers engage in the dangerous – and possibly deadly – activity while behind the wheel.

Researchers surveyed 101,397 teens age 14 and up, from 35 states, who had driven a vehicle in the past 30 days. All but one of the states banned texting by drivers under age 21. However, 38% of the teens said they had texted while driving at least once.

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The results make the case for stronger enforcement of laws on mobile phone use while driving but are also a warning to parents, Motao Zhu, the study’s senior author, told Reuters. (more…)

Simple Car Maintenance Can Avoid Costly Tickets

A little cash now may eliminate a big expense down the road.

by on Sep.07, 2018

Simple repairs can save a driver a lot of money down the road.

Few things are as annoying as that warning light that suddenly pops up on your dashboard. All too often, drivers put off dealing with those potentially costly repairs until it’s too late.

However, in the course of vehicle ownership, there are often maintenance issues that fall into the same category as the “warning light repairs,” but those fixes may cost you more than money — they can mean court time due to the ticket you may be issued.

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“Ignoring certain vehicle repairs may seem to save money in the short term but can lead to extra costs, such as fines or ‘fix-it’ tickets, if these problems are not taken care of when they arise,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.  (more…)

J.D. Power Targets Consumers with New Auto Website

Site will go beyond familiar quality and reliability awards.

by on Sep.07, 2018

JD Power is skipping the journalistic middleman and taking its information straight to the people.

It may be a familiar name to American new car buyers, but until now, J.D. Power and Associates has only reached out to consumers indirectly, largely by relying on traditional media outlets to summarize the results of familiar studies, such as the annual Initial Quality Survey.

Now, however, the California-based company wants to cut out the journalistic middleman, so to speak, by launching its own automotive website, JDPower.com. It will offer a much deeper dive than media coverage of those surveys alone can provide, giving readers access to what Power describes as “3 million verified owner experiences.”

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“J.D. Power is really a data company, and the data we’ve aggregated is truly amazing,” explained Troy Snyder, the vice president of the company’s new Consumer Division, which will publish the website. “The challenge was how to create a website and the tools that let consumers comb through that data as part of their shopping experience.” (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Opens New Sprinter Plant

Amazon now largest buyer of Sprinter vans.

by on Sep.05, 2018

Mercedes-Benz Vans kicked off production of its third-generation Sprinter van at its plant in South Carolina.

Mercedes-Benz Vans is kicking off production of its new 2018 Sprinter van in its new plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, with more than 900 new employees putting together the next-gen model.

The new van is getting a big sales boost from Amazon, which is purchasing 20,000 of the new vans to help deliver packages across the U.S. The Amazon-branded vehicles will help improve delivery capabilities for small businesses.

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Amazon’s new Delivery Service Partner program helps small business owners, who will work with third-party fleet management companies, procure customized vans and get special leases that keep startup costs low. (more…)

August Auto Sales Turn in Better-Than-Expected Results

Positive economic news overwhelms sales deterrents.

by on Sep.04, 2018

Fiat Chrysler sales rose in August, including a 10% jump in Wranglers, and Ram set a new record.

Despite talk of sales slowing, Fiat Chrysler N.V., Nissan, Volkswagen and Audi all reported sales increases for August.

FCA reported sales of 193,718 vehicles, a 10% increase compared with sales in August 2017 of 176,033 units. Overall, FCA US retail sales rose 17% to 164,727 vehicles. Fleet sales, which the company is trying to cut down, accounted for 15% of total sales.

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Sales were led by both the Jeep and Ram brands. Ram posted two new records for the month. (more…)