Archive for July, 2010

More shoppers plan to buy used cars than new cars over the next six months

  More shoppers plan to buy used cars than new cars over the next six months, even though in some cases new cars are cheaper. About 67 percent of car shoppers surveyed by Kelley Blue Book plan to buy a used car, while only 33 percent plan to buy a new car. In short, the used car business is back in business. “We just finished up a quarter in May and our sales were up 9 percent over last year,” Carmax Raleigh Sales Manager David Brown said. Sales aren’t the only thing that’s going up. The average price of a used car on the Carmax lot is $1500 more expensive than this same time last year, Brown said. Three-year-old car prices are up 11.1 percent over last year, according to the car site Edmunds.com. In fact an Edmunds study lists more than 50 new cars that are cheaper …

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July auto sales expected to be the strong

  As President Barack Obama rallied the nation’s auto workers in Detroit Friday, industry analysts were polishing forecasts for what they widely expect to be a big month for auto sales. July car sales, set to roll out Tuesday, are likely to show the strongest month for car makers since the government’s “cash for clunkers” program jumpstarted sales last summer. Obama said his administration’s $60 billion bailout of the industry is beginning to pay off. “There’s no doubt the auto industry is growing stronger,” Obama said Friday at a Chrysler Group LLC assembly plant in Detroit. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales for July is pegged to grow to 11.8 million, up 4% from July 2009, according to estimates from Truecar.com and Edmunds.com. Surprisingly, consumers are heading to dealerships despite the lack of incentives from auto makers. Based on Truecar.com research, …

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Top used cars to buy and which used vehicles to avoid

  Used car shopping used to be a scary maze of breakdown-prone models, but reliability has gained sharply. Auto manufacturing quality and dependability studies have shown steady gains this decade. But exceptions do exist and if you’re in the market for a used car, you want to steer clear of them. So CBS MoneyWatch.com has compiled a list of used cars to avoid in five categories, focusing on 2007 models-the year from the latest J.D. Power and Associates dependability study. Buying a three-year-old car also lets you shop after the bulk of depreciation has taken place. If you’re considering a more recent model used car, study the comparisons in Flash: New Cars Cost Less than Used Cars which take into account new car financing deals vs. one-year old certified used cars. To make our list of used-car rejects, a model had to score …

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The number of teen drivers buying their first car is down

  Work hard all summer, save up and buy your first car. Generations of teens have followed that formula to gain the freedom that comes from getting behind the wheel. But in this recession-troubled year, the ranks of new teen motorists appears to be shrinking dramatically. Five years ago, 7.5 million used cars were sold for use by teenagers. This year, the market has shrunk to 4.2 million, according to CNW Research. It’s not just because fewer used cars are being sold overall: In 2005, 17.4% of used cars were destined for teens. Now it’s 10.9%. “Reflecting the jobs market, there has been a serious decline in the number of teens who make a full payment for their vehicle to parents — down from 21% to 16% while parents are paying the full price in 44% of the cases vs. 43.5%,” CNW states. …

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GM releases pricing information on 2011 Chevy Volt

  The forthcoming electric car the Chevrolet Volt will cost $41,000, General Motors announced Tuesday, leaving consumers to decide whether its environmental appeal is worth a price far above those of similarly sized conventional autos. Although electric car technology has been around for years, one of the main obstacles to producing the cars for the mass market has been the cost of making the large batteries that power them. The price announcements for the Volt and its electric rival, the Nissan Leaf, have been highly anticipated. Nissan, the only other major manufacturer expected to bring such a vehicle to market this year, said the Leaf will cost $32,780. At those prices, the cars are considerably more expensive than comparably sized cars that run on gas, such as the Honda Civic or the Ford Focus, each of which costs under $20,000. The …

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Ford Motors introduces completely redesigned 2011 Explorer

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  The SUV that sparked a revolution is lighter and more fuel efficient. Also, like much of its modern competition, it’s no longer built on the base of a truck. Long before SUVs drove like cars and appeared in nearly every driveway, the vehicles were built like trucks and used by people who plied the backcountry. Then Ford Motor Co. rolled out its Explorer and forever altered the U.S. auto market. Although it could still handle rough terrain, the Explorer came with many of the creature comforts of a sedan — including designer themes such as the Eddie Bauer edition — and the interior space of a minivan. Despite a safety scare involving Firestone tires the vehicles came equipped with, it turned into a sales behemoth and spawned the SUV revolution. But a bevy of new competitors and rising gas prices whittled Explorer sales …

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Used car sales are up 35 percent from one year ago

  Currie Motors Drivers Edge is helping fund a study to help bring economic development to Olympia Fields. The used-car dealership at 21000 S. Western Ave., just north of U.S. 30, has given the village $10,000 to augment a $30,000 grant from the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, village manager David Mekarski said. “They’ve been working with the village, not only to strengthen their store, but with redevelopment of the whole corridor,” Mekarski said. Developer Joe Salamone, who bought the vacant Harold Motors site around the corner, also donated $10,000, Mekarski said. “That pushed the funding up to $50,000 which allows us to do some strong analysis toward redevelopment possibilities,” Mekarski said. It’s an investment in the future and the village, Currie Motors president Steve Jankelow said. He’s hoping that the study results in new economic development for Olympia Fields, which, of course, could bring more …

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Auto sales approach pre-recession numbers

  Golden State auto dealerships continued to claw their way back toward pre-recession sales numbers in the second quarter. The Sacramento-based California New Car Dealers Association’s quarterly report, released Friday, reported 323,762 new-vehicle registrations in the second quarter, up 26 percent from 257,031 in the year-ago period. Registrations include fleet transactions. Through six months, there were 603,910 new-vehicle registrations, up 23 percent from 490,861 in the first half of last year. CNCDA expects sales to slow during the second half of the year, but the long-range forecast is promising. “We have seen the bottom, and folks are returning to the showroom” said Tom Hoffman, CNCDA chairman and owner of Puente Hills Chevrolet in Los Angeles County. “We expect slow but steady growth over the next couple of years.” CNCDA’s analysis showed a strong surge in passenger car sales in Northern California in the first …

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Ford reports $2.6 billion second-quarter profit

  In two years, the Ford Motor Company has gone from losing the most money in its history to earning $26 million a day. Ford on Friday reported a $2.6 billion second-quarter profit and said it expected to have more cash than debt by the end of 2011. It was the fifth consecutive quarterly profit and best earnings report since 2004 for Ford, whose turnaround has been picking up steam, with the company increasing sales and market share in the United States even as the market remains sluggish. Through the first six months of this year, Ford has earned an profit of $4.7 billion, and executives projected further improvement in 2011 as sales improved and new models hit their stride. “They have been making all the right moves. It’s been impressive,” Rebecca Lindland, an automotive analyst with the research firm IHS Global …

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Luxury cars are selling better than expected in 2010

  Germany’s carmakers struggled in last year’s global downturn, which didn’t spare luxury brands any more than it did mainstream segments. But this year is turning out better for them than anyone anticipated. With premium car sales rebounding in most regions, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz Cars, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG’s Audi and other upscale brands are benefitting from deep cuts in staff and other costs in 2009. In addition to the economic recovery boosting the overall auto industry, Germany’s carmakers are profiting from strong demand for premium cars in China and other emerging markets, a recovery in credit availability, and favorable currency trends. In China, premium car sales are growing at twice the market’s rate, estimated at 20 percent this year. Meanwhile, in Europe, the slide in the euro triggered by the Greek debt crisis is making German-made exports more competitive globally. …

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