Here's the Thing

Edmunds reports car bargains didn't end in December

(February 2, 2011) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — estimated today that the average automotive manufacturer incentive in the U.S. was $2,530 per vehicle sold in January 2011, essentially unchanged from December 2010, but up $177, or — 7.5 percent — from January 2010.

"January incentives were flat compared with December 2010, which means many car buyers didn't actually have to rush to take advantage of heavily advertised 'year end' deals," said Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis for

Buick Regal Turbo attracting new customers to the brand

(February 1, 2011) DETROIT — When 24-year-old Caley Webber of Florida first saw the all-new Buick Regal CXL Turbo she couldn’t believe it was a Buick. The recent college graduate and insurance adjuster said she’d never considered buying a Buick, but the sleek sporty sedan Webber test drove changed her perception.

Let's learn from lessons of the past with CAFE standards

(January 31, 2011) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — In an address last week at the Society of Automotive Engineers' 2011 Government/Industry meeting on policy, the CEO of told attendees that achieving the president's clean air goals should not be made by repeating mistakes of the past.

Data highlight the source of Ford's record profits in 2010

(January 29, 2010) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Ford announced on Friday its biggest profit in a decade in 2010 — and data gathered by confirms that Ford is on an impressive trajectory.

Simple economics provide at least part of the picture for why Ford had such a profitable year.

Customer FAQ for Lexus IS and GS fuel pressure sensor recall

(January 28, 2011) Toyota this week recalled nearly 1.7 million vehicles globally for a variety of fuel system related problems, including 245,000 Lexus IS and Lexus GS sedans in the United States.

Toyota has provided information on the recall through a "frequently asked question" format.

2011 auto sales appear off to a steady start

(January 28, 2011) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — This month's new car sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be approximately 816,000 units, a 17.3 percent increase from January 2010 but a 28.4 percent decrease from December 2010, according to Retail sales are expected to be approximately 661,000 units, down from approximately 947,000 last month.

Mercedes ranks highest in quality in South Africa

(January 27, 2011) JOHANNESBURG — New-vehicle quality in South Africa has improved considerably, with the quality gap between passenger vehicles and pickup trucks narrowing by more than 50 percent in 2010, compared with 2008, according to the J.D. Power and Associates/CAR Magazine 2010 South Africa Initial Quality Study (IQS) released last week.

Mercedes-Benz is the highest-ranking nameplate in quality and a South African Mercedes assembly plant ranks highest among the country's automotive plants.

Ford Focus EcoMode helps drivers achieve more miles per gallon

(January 26, 2011) DEARBORN, Mich. — New Ford Focus owners can learn a thing or two about driving skills that can maximize their miles per gallon — and they can have a little fun in the process. 

EcoMode is a handy software application aimed at helping coach customers in the art of eco-driving — and then rewards those that practice more fuel-efficient driving skills with in-car kudos displayed on the instrument cluster.

Study finds gas prices have definite impact on vehicle choice

(January 24, 2011) IRVINE, Calif. (PRNewswire) — According to the latest Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence survey concerning gas prices, the current economic situation coupled with concern over the potential rise in gas prices has caused new car and used car shoppers to change their vehicle consideration criteria.

Nearly three-quarters (70 percent) of car shoppers say that gas prices have influenced vehicle considerations, or the type of vehicle they are considering.

Recovery for new-vehicle sales continues in January

(January 23, 2011) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — January new-vehicle retail sales are starting the year ahead of expectations, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which gathers real-time transaction data from more than 8,900 retail franchisees throughout the United States.