Archive for August, 2010

Used car buyers can expect to pay a premium

  A lot of people are searching for value when they decide to buy a car. But those good deals on used cars are taking longer to find. In many cases, buyers can expect to pay a premium on used. Troy Peterson doesn’t have too much time to test drive. His car broke down, and he needs a replacement ride fast. Peterson said, “It doesn’t necessarily have to be everything I want… but what I can afford.” Affordability is the main reason why Peterson and so many others want to buy used. But the cars and the deals are difficult to find. Auto Luxe in Golden Valley specializes in late model used cars. Lately, filling the showroom is a challenge. Ric Fohrman said in his fifty years in the car business, he’s never seen this kind of slim supply. Demand is high, and …

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Used car prices continue to climb as used vehicle supply remains low

  Used car prices are climbing and the pool of available models is drying up one year after the federal “cash for clunkers” program spurred consumers to scrap old cars for new ones. Used cars are selling for the highest average price in at least seven years, according to Edmunds.com, an online auto consumer guide. Last month, the average price of a three-year-old vehicle spiked 10.3 percent, to $19,248, compared to July 2009. It’s a question of supply and demand. Supply is down because “cash for clunkers” required old vehicles to be destroyed, rather than allowing them to be resold. In addition, fewer leased vehicles are being turned in and available for sale because automakers all but abandoned leasing during the industry collapse of 2008 and 2009. Demand, meanwhile, is up as some cautious consumers choose to buy used cars, rather than expensive new ones. “People …

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Tesla Motors to open new downtown dealership

  A luxury car dealership and service station is on its way to downtown Washington, but don’t expect to get your oil changed there. Luxury electric carmaker Tesla Motors is nearing a deal to lease space for its first D.C. store on K Street, in what would add to the Washington area’s status as a testing ground for the nascent electric car industry. Founded in 2003, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla raised more than $200 million at its initial public offering in June. Its sporty, battery-powered cars, of which it has sold about 1,200 worldwide, can be plugged into most electrical outlets, charged overnight and driven 245 miles without needing a recharge. Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes confirmed that the company is nearing a deal to bring a Tesla store to 1050 K St. NW, a downtown office building owned by the Lenkin …

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Students back-to-school used car shopping advice

  For some parents, the back-to-shopping trip ends at a local car dealer. “We always have people buy cars for kids heading back to school,” said Leonard Hodge, a used-car sales consultant at Gary Yeomans Ford in Daytona Beach. However, choosing the right car can be difficult since the two sides are often at odds on what the student needs versus what he really wants. Parents, generally, are more concerned about reliability, gas mileage and safety features, Hodge said. But students have their own minds. Performance, style and room for friends often are at the top of their list. “Students want all of the bells and buzzers,” said Eric Frechetter, sales manager at Daytona Nissan. The good news is there are plenty of cars out there that can please both parties, according to officials at Kelley Blue Book, a California-based firm that provides auto information, including …

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Teen driver miraculously survives 100mph car crash – caught on video

  Despite the 1985 Pontiac Firebird shooting through the air at over 100 miles per hour and smashing into bits and pieces, the 19-year-old driver survived. Even the overpass support column that was hit was undamaged. The crash happened at 7:15 am on Interstate 675 near Dayton, Ohio, no other vehicles were involved. The video begins with footage of a highway in Ohio from the in-car camera of a police cruiser. But then the sports car screams past on the left-hand side, tears up the grass median and is then catapulted by the guardrail and slams into the pillar of the overpass before breaking up. The State Highway Patrol said the 19-year-old driver Brennan Eden was thrown clear of the Firebird and that he was alert and conscious after the crash, despite the fact that the car had completely disintegrated. The southbound I-675 highway …

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Chrysler prepares strategy to sell the Fiat 500 in North America

  As Chrysler Group LLC prepares to lay out its strategy for selling a subcompact car from partner Fiat SpA, the move is raising concerns among some dealers struggling to sell the vehicles already on their lots. The launch of the Fiat 500 would introduce a fifth brand into the Chrysler family, alongside the Chryslers, Dodges, Jeeps and Ram trucks most dealers carry now. Chrysler and Fiat hope the tiny Fiat 500 becomes a sales and pop-culture hit along the lines of the Mini Cooper. But the new nameplate comes to the U.S. as the company’s rivals are paring down the number of brands they offer, not adding to them, to contend with a shrunken car market. General Motors Co. now fields only four makes—down from eight—while Ford Motor Co. will have just two after it shutters its Mercury division by year end. …

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Car dealers are optimistic that they’re entering a period of stability

  In the past 18 months, the U.S. auto industry has looked into the abyss. It experienced dozens of shuttered factories, thousands of jobs eliminated, massive recalls amid safety concerns, brands vanishing, dealerships closing, and government bailouts for companies and car buyers. On top of all that, 2009 was one of its worst sales years in history. But today, one year after a sales boost from the much-debated federal Cash for Clunkers incentive program, area auto dealers see solid signs that the worst is over. They’re optimistic that they’re entering a period of stability and improving business. Analysts and dealers say it’s too early to declare an end to the great automotive slump that really started in 2006 and peaked with the bankruptcy filings of General Motors and Chrysler Group last year. After all, the industry expects to sell less than 12 million …

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Used-car prices have jumped over 30% for some models

  Used-car prices have jumped, with costs of buying big vehicles like Cadillac Escalades or Dodge Grand Caravans rising more than 30%, Edmunds.com reports. Still, the prices of used cars aren’t as bad as they were in the spring. The average price paid in the U.S. for a used three- year-old vehicle last month was $19,248, up $1,800, or 10.3%, from the same month last year, the auto buying website says. “Consumers are generally paying considerably more for used cars this year compared to 2009,” stated Joe Spina, a senior analyst for Edmunds.com. “A lack of confidence in the economy is driving more people to used cars, putting upward pricing pressure on a limited supply of vehicles.” Spina said that sales of trucks and large SUVs are increasing; however, the inventory is low due to the current shortage of lease returns and trade-ins of this …

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Lincoln destined to be a more robust luxury brand

  The chairman of Ford Motor Co. vowed Friday that the auto maker will cut its heavy debt load and said a stock offering by rival General Motors Co. could divert demand for Ford shares. William C. Ford Jr. told reporters that the company is going to continue to pay off its debt “as fast as we can.” Ford has $27.3 billion in automotive debt. GM has only $8.1 billion after shedding much of its debt in a bankruptcy reorganization last year. Mr. Ford said his company expects investment funds “will be rebalanced to GM” in the wake of an initial public offering by the auto maker, which filed for an IPO on Wednesday. That could move money out of Ford shares, as funds may be subject to a limit on their auto-sector holdings, he said. Mr. Ford said the Dearborn, Mich., company is hiring …

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Used car sales are up, especially “certified used” and “pre-owned”

  That new car smell is sweet but the price of a used car smells sweeter. Eileen Krall and her husband Greg, just bought a “pre owned” 2006 Ford F-150 for less than $20,000 from local dealer, Smith Chevrolet Outlet. They didn’t see why buying a used car was any less special than a new car. “The price of a brand new truck is just simply something we don’t want to pay anymore, you know we’re older, we can actually remember purchasing a house for what you can buy a truck for now, a brand new vehicle, we’ve decided we just we’ll probably never buy a brand new truck again,” says, Eileen Krall. Nationwide used car sales are up, especially “certified used” and pre-owned” because those are only sold from new car dealers, pass a rigorous inspection, and are backed by the original …

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