Archive for September, 2010

Ford expects Fiesta sales to top 1 million mark in October

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  Ford expects it will be able to sell more than 1.6 million Fiesta subcompact cars and other vehicles from that platform annually by 2014 – a sign, the automaker said today, that the global launch of its Ford Focus will also be successful. The Fiesta, which was redesigned and launched in Europe in 2008, also is sold in China and in the U.S. is among Ford’s key global products. The automaker said it expects sales of the Fiesta will pass the 1 million mark in October, surpassing earlier expectations. The automaker launched the Fiesta in the U.S. in June, and has been capturing both new and younger customers to Ford with the car, Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president of global marketing, sales and service said at a presentation from the Paris Motor Show today. Nearly one-third of Ford’s Fiesta buyers in the …

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Combined sales of new and used cars in Canada are expected to hit a record in 2010

  Canadians are buying new cars at a near-record pace, according to Scotia Economics’ latest Global Auto Report. “New vehicle purchases by Canadian households have jumped by eight per cent so far this year,” said Carlos Gomes, senior economist with Scotia Economics. Sales are likely to total 1.38 million units in 2010, bringing retail volumes to the second-highest annual level on record, behind only the 2008 peak. Gomes said this nearly reverses the nine per cent slide in sales during the 2009 downturn, when many Canadians turned to used vehicles. That year, used car and light trucks reached a record 2.8 million units in 2009, bringing the used-to-new vehicle sales ratio to a high of 1.9-to-1.0 after a decade-long average of 1.4-to-1.0. Combined sales of new and used vehicles in 2010 are expected to hit a record 4.4 million units, up from a previous …

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Luxury car sales are rebounding from the financial crisis

  When U.S. actress Lindsay Lohan stepped out of a black Rolls-Royce Phantom last year, her car wasn’t shining. Lohan’s choice of a matte-finished vehicle from Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s ultra-luxury brand underscored an emerging trend in the luxury auto industry. “Matte cars are cool,” said Sebastian Vettel, the 23- year-old driver for Red Bull’s team who has won seven Formula One races. “They come across as a bit aggressive.” Dull paintjobs will feature at the Paris Motor Show this week as never before, with image-conscious drivers seeking to rise above the glossy masses. Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz will show six matte cars including the 187,425 euro ($254,000) gull- wing SLS in cashmere white, while BMW will present a 69,400-euro M3 sedan in frozen gray. Matte cars, which stand out on city streets by deflecting the glow of animated billboards and flashing …

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Car industry rebound is likely for September

  The U.S. auto industry is likely to see a bit of a sales rebound in September over poor numbers in August, with an uptick in retail sales to individual drivers, a Barclays Capital analyst said on Monday. Analyst Brian Johnson wrote in a note to investors that stronger retail sales would be offset by weaker sales to fleet buyers such as rental car companies. That’s good news for automakers because they make far more money on sales to individuals. But a September increase probably isn’t a sign of an industry rebound. Johnson doesn’t expect any big improvement in auto sales soon. “We continue to expect sales to remain around current levels for the remainder of 2010,” he wrote, adding that he is sticking with his forecast of 12 million in sales for next year. He wrote that the sales rate for September, when projected …

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Auto sales continue to increase, albeit slowly

  Like most sectors of the economy, the auto market appears to be recovering very slowly. U.S. auto sales forecasts for September estimate that the selling pace rose from August levels, but is still stuck in a narrow range between 11 million and 12 million light vehicles on an annual basis. “Nearly all carmakers are indicating sales volume around Labor Day was particularly strong, though the message thereafter seems mixed,” said auto analyst Himanshu Patel at investment bank J.P. Morgan. He estimates the monthly selling pace has risen to 11.9 million cars and light trucks, up from 11.4 million in August. Forecasting firm J.D. Power and Associates and investment firm Bank of America — Merrill Lynch put the September selling rate at 11.8 million light vehicles. Deutsche Bank’s estimate is for a selling pace of 11.6 million, while online auto research firm …

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Chevy Volt may have a 50-mile electric range before its gasoline engine kicks in

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  Chevrolet may market its Volt as having up to a 50-mile electric range before its gasoline engine kicks in, beyond the targeted and publicized 40-mile range, spokesman Rob Peterson said Thursday. General Motors said that the Volt has a 25- to 50-mile battery-powered range. The assertion came in updates to a regulatory filing that registers the automaker’s planned stock offering, tentatively scheduled for mid-November. On battery power, “the Chevrolet Volt has a typical range of 25-50 miles depending on terrain, driving technique, temperature and battery age,” GM said. GM has said the Volt’s four-cylinder engine can power the vehicle about another 300 miles on a full tank of gas. The numbers that show up in marketing will depend on the results of testing sanctioned by the Environmental Protection Agency and the EPA’s upcoming decision on how to label electric vehicles’ fuel economy, Peterson …

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Rules for finding a good used car at a great price

  Shopping for a used car can be a hassle unless you follow some rules on how to find a good used car. The first thing that you should do before you start looking for a used car is to decide how much money you are able to spend. What you want to spend and what you are going to have to spend in order to get a decent car may be two different amounts. If it has been awhile since you shopped for a car, you may be surprised at the prices of used cars. Price is only one thing to consider about before you start looking. Another decision that you need to make is to decide what kind of car are you interested in. Once you have narrowed down your choices to 3 or 4 makes or models, the next …

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2011 Hyundai Equus ultra luxury sedan destined to be a success

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  The Equus, a premium sedan whose price tag could run about $60,000, poses a challenge to the popular conception of Hyundai as a poor man’s Honda. It’s an extremely well-rendered knockoff of its competition. There’s something wrong about a pair of 7-year-olds lounging like sultans in the back of a $60,000 luxury vehicle, downing Go-Gurt from an armrest mini fridge, watching Godzilla on a private screen enhanced with 17-speaker surround sound and bicker-battling over a remote control that commands a rear-seat massage feature. When I was a kid, cars were cars. They weren’t mobile living rooms. But times change. And few things exemplify our changing world more aptly than Hyundai’s new Equus, a premium sedan that poses a challenge to the popular conception of Hyundai as a poor man’s Honda. Upping the ante on the luxury Genesis line the South Korean manufacturer introduced two …

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GM has plans for used Chevy Volt batteries after their usefulness in used cars subsides

  Used-up batteries on the 2011 Chevrolet Volt could find a second-life storing energy for the power grid after their usefulness in consumer cars subsides, General Motors officials said today. The Detroit-based automaker has partnered with ABB Group to explore whether the Volt’s lithium-ion batteries can be used for this purpose, entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Switzerland-based engineering firm, GM officials said. Once removed from the car, the batteries could be recycled to store electricity produced by such renewable sources as wind and solar, which isn’t always continuously generated, GM officials said. They could also help even out power grid loads by storing unused electricity in the off-peak hours and supplying it in times of high demand. The Volt batteries come with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty, according to GM. The Volt, a plug-in electric hybrid with both a gas and electric …

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Used car prices are rising as demand continues to increase

  If you ask Bill Joyce, he will tell you the used car prices at his family-run Mansfield dealership won’t be beat. But if you ask him how those prices compare to last year, he will tell you, in all honesty, some of them are a little higher. That’s because used car prices are rising in north central Ohio and across the country. With the economy putting a pinch on everyone’s budgets, more and more people are looking to buy used instead of new. Since fewer people have been buying and leasing new cars, the supply of late-model used vehicles is also down. The end result is simple economics. “You have fewer used cars available and more people shopping so the prices are going to go up everywhere,” said Joyce, co-owner of Joyce Buick GMC. A study by Edmunds.com, an automotive research website, found the average price …

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