Here's the Thing

Consumer Reports gives Chrysler 300 top ranking

(October 10, 2011) It seems to be completely out of character for automotive testers at consumer magazine's Consumer Reports. The magazine has given the 2011 Chrysler 300 a thumbs up.

Revamped for 2011, the Chrysler 300C scored an “Excellent” overall road test score of 80 in Consumer Reports’ latest tests of four upscale sedans, up from 64 for the previous model. The 300C now ranks midpack among the 10 upscale sedans that have been tested by CR. Previously, it had been near the bottom of the pack.

Honda Ridgeline demise exaggerated, according to Honda

(October 9, 2011) Rumors that the slow-selling mid-sized Honda Ridgeline pickup truck will soon be history are apparently false, according to Honda.

Industry publication Automotive News fueled the rumor when it wrote that the Ridgeline would be discontinued in 2013. Last week it reiterated the "end of the line" contention in a column headlined, "Why Honda's Ridgeline pickup is driving off into the sunset."

Cars.com announces 'Best Tailgating Vehicles' of the season

(October 7, 2011) CHICAGO — With football season in full swing, Cars.com has compiled a list of the best tailgating vehicles for the 2011-2012 football season.

"Tailgating is one of the best parts of going to a football game and the perfect tailgate can't be a success without the right vehicle," said David Thomas, Cars.com Managing Editor.

TrueCar, Inc. completes acquisition of ALG, Inc.

(Oct. 4, 2011) SANTA MONICA, Calif.-- TrueCar, Inc., the publisher of real-time new (TrueCar.com) and used (ClearBook.com) vehicle pricing data in the U.S. market, has announced that it has completed its acquisition of ALG, Inc. formerly a subsidiary of DealerTrack Holdings, Inc. and the industry source for automotive residual values.
 
In support of this acquisition of ALG, TrueCar has also announced that Larry Dominique will be joining TrueCar as Executive Vice President of the Data Solutions Group.  Dominique comes to TrueCar from Nissan North America where he served as Vice President, of Advanced and Product Planning and Strategy. Dominique brings a unique point-of-view to TrueCar – with extensive experience from the OEM perspective, leveraging pricing data and residual values (future value).

Meet the 45,000 station car radio

(October 4, 2011) NEW YORK — Hammacher Schlemmer has introduced the 45,000 station car radio. It's a device that plays live streams from local or global AM, FM, and Internet-only radio stations.

The unit plugs into a car's 12-volt power socket and connects to an iPhone running a free app that allows you to search music stations by genre or quickly navigate through thousands of talk-radio and news stations.

Japanese brands losing ground due to supply; domestics, Hyundai benefit

(October 4, 2011) IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com today reports that Japanese automotive brands are losing ground due to supply, while the domestics and Hyundai benefit, as covered in the company's Blue Book Market Report for October 2011. The Japanese brands' revenue and volume are at stake as they replenish inventory. 

September inventory figures for Japanese brands improved slightly over August, giving the first indication that the worst may be over. 

Declining engine quality leads to less satisfaction with medium-duty trucks

(October 3, 2011) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — While the quality of medium-duty trucks has improved considerably during the past five years, overall customer satisfaction has declined during the same period, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Medium-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study.

Early strength in September new-vehicle sales holds throughout month

(September 30, 2011) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — September may mark the first time that new-vehicle retail sales have remained strong throughout the month since the vigorous selling rate at the beginning of 2011, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which gathers real-time transaction data from more than 8,900 retail franchisees throughout the United States.

Study: Facebook as effective as auto content providers in driving referrals

(September 30, 2011) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Social networking site Facebook refers nearly as much new-vehicle buyer traffic to automaker websites as do major independent automotive content providers such as Autotrader.com, Cars.com and Edmunds.com, according to the 2011 Website Performance Tools Report, a collaborative effort between J.D. Power and Associates and Compete Inc.

Edmunds forecasts highest monthly SAAR since April

(September 29, 2011) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — An estimated 1,038,052 new cars will be sold in September for a projected Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 12.9 million light vehicles, forecasts Edmunds.com. The sales pace marks the highest monthly SAAR since the 13.2 million light vehicles reported in April. That was the last full month before supply disruptions stemming from the Japanese earthquake had a true impact on sales.