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3 million Minis — Oxford plant hits major manufacturing milestone

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(December 4, 2016) OXFORD, England — Plant Oxford this weekend celebrated the three millionth Mini to roll off the assembly line since production began back in 2001. The three millionth Oxford-built Mini is a John Cooper Works Clubman — the first model to combine the latest John Cooper Works performance enhancements and a new ALL4 all-wheel drive system.

2017 Subaru Outback



PHOENIX — I’ve always thought the Subaru Outback to be the Centaur of vehicles. It didn’t start out that way when it was first introduced back in 1995 and marketed as a Legacy Grand Wagon in Japan. That was long before the crossover utility vehicle craze came on the automotive scene.
Through the years Outback has morphed larger, away from a station wagon and in the direction of a crossover utility vehicle.

2017 Buick Envision



HOUSTON — In our modern driving society, crossovers are the station wagons of the seventies. Fortunately for us, shape, power, and fuel efficiency have all improved since then, and you don’t get the two kids making awkward faces at you from their rear-facing back seat. I only make the station wagon comparison to say, they’re everywhere. People with or without kids, men and women of all ages and demographics, are driving crossovers.

2017 Nissan Rogue



LAKE OCONEE, Ga. — Following three straight years of sales growth since the introduction of the completely redesigned second-generation Nissan Rogue for the 2014 model year, it has been given a mid-cycle refreshing for 2017 to stay competitive in the booming compact crossover market.

Vehicle of the Week

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid — The best of the best



By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

It's the best of times for people shopping mid-sized family sedans. They have a wealth of choices. In fact, it's hard to go wrong when finally reaching a decision with worthy candidates from virtually every manufacturer selling cars in the United States. All of them have numerous redeeming traits. That makes build quality, reliability and resale value even more important, and Honda has excelled with the Accord.

Here's the Thing

Study finds most U.S. drivers leery of auto repair shops

(December 2, 2016) ORLANDO, Fla.— According to a new AAA survey, two out of three U.S. drivers do not trust auto repair shops in general citing overcharges, recommendations for unnecessary services and poor past experiences for their lack of confidence.

New-car transaction prices climb nearly 2-percent year-over-year

(December 1, 2016) IRVINE, Calif. — The analysts at Kelley Blue Book kbb.com, the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both today reported the estimated average transaction price (ATP) for light vehicles in the United States was $34,948 in November. New-car prices have increased by $581 (up 1.7 percent) from November 2015, while dropping $51 (down 0.1 percent) from last month.

"Climbing transaction prices reflect the shift in consumer preference from cars to more expensive trucks and SUVs," said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

National U.S. average gas price continues slide ahead of OPEC meeting

(November 29, 2016) Drivers this year paid the second lowest gas prices for Thanksgiving since 2008, and the national average has steadily dropped days ahead of Wednesday’s OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria. During the meeting, OPEC is expected to carve out the details for a production cut which could potentially result in an increase in global oil prices, though the details of the agreement are still unclear, according to AAA.

Today’s average price of $2.13 per gallon is down one cent per gallon for the week, seven cents over the last month and is only nine cents more compared to a year ago.

Inside the Industry

Cadillac global sales increase 32.8% in November

(December 3, 2016) Cadillac sold 30,849 vehicles globally in November, an increase of 32.8 percent and the sixth consecutive month of double-digit percentage increases for Cadillac, the last five of which have topped 20 percent. Growth in both of the largest markets powered Cadillac’s overall increase.

Sales in the United States grew 14.5 percent in total and 17 percent among retail consumers. In the U.S., Escalade sales grew 24 percent, achieving the best November since 2007, and the all-new XT5 crossover had its best month since its launch earlier this year.

Mecum's Kissimmee auction to feature 3,000 cars in January

(December 2, 2016) WALWORTH, Wis. — Mecum Auctions will offer more than 3,000 classic and collector cars in the Sunshine State Jan. 6-15, when it hosts its biggest auction of the year: Mecum Kissimmee 2017.

This year’s docket is flush with world-class collections of some of the most significant early muscle cars and vintage drag cars ever to be offered publicly, as well as more than 150 Corvettes of varying vintage, over 100 Camaros and Chevelles, 75 Mustangs, more than 50 Porsches and a huge helping of Hemis, to name a few.

U.S. new-vehicle sales rebound in November

(December 2, 2016) U.S. vehicle sales rose 3.6 percent in November  from a year earlier, helped by more generous deals and strong truck demand. It was the first time in three months that sales were up year over year. Ford, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and General Motors posted increases as a rise in incentive spending helped put the industry back on a winning track.

Abandoned Car of the Week

Rusted out old Chevy



This rusted out 1960 Chevrolet station wagon was discovered in eastern North Carolina.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)