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Driving to Thanksgiving Dinner? It’ll Cost More and Take Longer

Gas prices hitting five-year high, drivers up 4.8%.

by on Nov.09, 2018

During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, drivers can expect to spend as much as four times longer getting to their destination.

For the past few years, more and more Americans have been racking up miles on their cars, trucks, minivans, etc., setting new records for miles traveled. That’s also been the case for big holidays and it’s expected to continue for Thanksgiving this year.

AAA predicts that more than 54 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles for Turkey Day later this month. That is a 4.8% increase over last year’s total.

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The 2018 holiday weekend – defined as Nov. 21–25 – will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume in more than a dozen years (since 2005), with 2.5 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year.  (more…)

Used Vehicle Prices Rising, Pushing Buyers to Look at Leasing

Rising interest rates hastening trend.

by on Nov.09, 2018

Used car shoppers are finding higher prices than ever for vehicles.

New vehicle prices have reached all-time highs this year and now used vehicles, the haven for car buyers looking for a deal, have now joined new cars, setting a new pricing benchmark.

The average price of a used vehicle is now $20,084, the highest since 2005 and a 3.5% increase year over year, Edmunds notes, adding that increase is rising as it jumped to 5% in Q3. American preferences for expensive new trucks and utility vehicles pushed new vehicle prices over the $36,000 mark, according to Cox Automotive.

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In short, buyers are paying more for a vehicle and with interest rates rising, the options for cutting down that monthly payment are getting tougher. (more…)

Nissan Profits Fall 8% in First Half of Fiscal Year

Sales hit in North American while China grows.

by on Nov.08, 2018

Nissan CFO Hiroshi Karube reported the company's profits fell 8% overall due to falling sales in North America and Europe.

Nissan Motor Co. reported an 8% drop in quarterly profits due to declining sales in its biggest markets, North America and Europe, as well as hits on raw material costs.

The Japanese automaker reported quarterly profits of 130.4 billion yen, or $1.1 billion, on Thursday, down from 141.6 billion yen the same period a year earlier. The automaker noted that quarterly sales fell nearly 3% to 2.82 trillion yen, or $24.8 billion.

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However, this dip in profits wasn’t enough for Nissan to revise its forecast for the fiscal year through March for a 500 billion yen, or $4.4 billion, profit on 12 trillion yen, or $106 billion, sales. (more…)

GM Adds Silverado ZH2 to Military-Ready Line-up

Company continues its work with the U.S. Army.

by on Nov.07, 2018

GM's defense team is developing a Silverado version of the ZH2 in concert with the U.S. Army.

General Motors defense group continues to develop new urban warfare vehicles for the U.S. military to consider. The latest under development is the new Chevrolet Silverado ZH2.

The military-grade version of the Silverado is mirrored off the Colorado ZH2 the company produced in 2016. Developed in concert with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center, the Silverado ZH2 is powered by a next-gen hydrogen fuel cell and advanced battery systems.

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It features a heavy-duty strength design, a “race proven multimatic dynamic suspension” and a range of more than 400 miles, according to Autoblog.com. (more…)

Millennials Spending Big on Cars — With Auto Loans to Match

Everything's bigger in Texas, including auto loans.

by on Nov.07, 2018

Texas millennials have higher auto debt than anywhere else in the country, largely because they purchase trucks.

The adage says everything is bigger in Texas. Well, when it comes to car loans, it’s true.

A new survey by Lending Tree reveals that millennials in the Lone Star State are spending big on new vehicles – trucks – and have the large car loans to prove it. Texas is the nation’s largest consumer of new trucks, which are typically not cheap.

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More than 25% of all registered vehicles in Texas in December 2017 were privately owned, non-fleet trucks. Ford F-Series trucks sold at a national average transaction price of $46,600 per truck in September. Texans prefer trucks to the point that six manufacturers — GMC, Ram, Ford, Nissan, Chevy and Toyota — have Texas-edition trucks in their line-up. (more…)

U.S. Regulators May Force GM to Expand Wiper Recall

Initial action taken in 2013 covered about 370,000 vehicles.

by on Nov.06, 2018

GM may be forced to recall an additional 1.7 million SUVs due to a faulty windshield wiper.

General Motors is under investigation by U.S. safety regulators that are considering forcing the company to expand a windshield wiper recall to cover 1.7 million additional sport-utility vehicles.

The company recalled 368,000 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain SUVs for the 2013 model year. The government is mulling having the expand the action to include vehicles from 2010 through 2016, according to multiple reports.

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GM issued the initial recall of the SUVs in August 2016 because the wipers could fail. Water and other debris could get into the wiper assembly ball joints, leading to wear and eventual joint failure. (more…)

Where is a Vehicle Most Likely to be Stolen? Depends on Where You Live

It's less likely to be nabbed in a large downtown than you think.

by on Nov.06, 2018

The Honda Civic is the most stolen vehicle in America, but where you live is a big determiner of how likely it is to be stolen.

After a 7% spike in auto thefts in 2016, the number remained flat in 2017 when 773,139 cars, trucks, SUVs and crossovers of all types were stolen.

There are a variety of reasons why a vehicle may get stolen: the ease with which it can be gotten, popularity of the vehicle, and more.

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Everyday drivers like the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Chevrolet and Ford pickup trucks are by far the most stolen vehicles in America. This is especially true of older models without modern security features. (more…)

Subaru Profits to be Hit by Inspection Scandal, Recalls

Japanese maker struggling to get inspection issue resolved.

by on Nov.05, 2018

Subaru plants in Japan are still struggling with false inspections, which will impact its yearly earnings.

Subaru continues to struggle with recall issues, saying it would recall more vehicles sold in the Japanese market due to newly found instances of inspection cheating. Coupled with its recent engine recall and other actions and the company’s profits are expected to be cut by about 25%.

The company plans to recall about 100,000 vehicles, including its popular Impreza sedan, after it was found the final tests for components including brakes were not conducted properly. Vehicles sold overseas will not be affected. 

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“It’s unforgivable that these inspection-related issues are continuing,” CEO Tomomi Nakamura said. According to Reuters, he repeatedly added he believed that the latest recall would be the last related to testing misconduct.  (more…)

Tesla’s Musk Says Pickup Truck Design is “Futuristic-like Cyberpunk”

He added if it doesn't sell, a more conventional-looking truck may come.

by on Nov.05, 2018

Tesla's Elon Musk said the product he's most excited about is the company's pickup truck.

Now that the Model 3 is launched, Tesla fans want to know what’s on the horizon and a truck has been an oft-mentioned possibility after the Model Y. With those thoughts come possibilities: full-sizes, midsize … compact? Nope.

Cyberpunk.

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“It’s gonna be like a really futuristic-like cyberpunk, ‘Blade Runner’ pickup truck,” Musk said during the Recode Decode podcast. “It’s gonna be awesome, it’s gonna be amazing. This will be heart-stopping. It stops my heart.” (more…)

Tesla Expects to Spend as Much as $6B in Next Two Years

Money to be used for product development, China plant.

by on Nov.02, 2018

Tesla's move to build a new plan in China will include up to $3 billion to for a new plant and other expenditures.

Already plagued by rumors of needing to raise additional money, Tesla officials expect to spend between $5 billion and $6 billion in the next two years to expand production.

The company, which revealed the plan in its quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is making big moves with the money.

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Tesla will spend between $2.5 billion and $3 billion in capital expenditures readying the business for increased Model 3 production, development on its next vehicle, the Model Y, the second-generation Roadster and other projects, according to the filing. (more…)