Here's the Thing

Four easy steps for hassle-free Labor Day weekend driving

(August 25, 2011) BETHESDA, Md. (PRNewswire-USNewswire) — To avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down miles away from home, a simple driveway inspection before hitting the road will help ensure a hassle-free Labor Day weekend, according to the Car Care Council. 

Hotwire launches new monthly Travel Savings Indicator

(August 25, 2011) SAN FRANCISCO (PRNewswire) — Hotwire.com, a discount travel site, has released a new monthly Hotwire Travel Savings Indicator, which features the top five cities in North America where hotel, air and car rental rates have dropped the most.

Study finds U.S. market will be tough for Chinese, Indian automakers

(August 25, 2011) NEW YORK (PRNewswire) — As a wave of new models from Chinese and Indian auto manufacturers, including BYD, Mahindra and Tata, are poised to debut in the United States in the coming months, researchers from GfK Automotive found that significant barriers exist for these automakers to gain market share among American consumers. 

GfK's Barometer of Automotive Awareness and Imagery Study found that Chinese and Indian automakers could face a similar purchase consideration curve to Korean vehicles when they launched in the US.

No strong recovery, but new vehicle retail selling rate edging up

(August 24, 2011) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — New-vehicle retail sales for August have yet to spark a stronger recovery, but the selling pace continues to increase slowly from its low point in May, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which gathers real-time transaction data from more than 8,900 retail franchisees throughout the United States.

August new-vehicle retail sales are projected to come in at 898,000 units, which represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 9.9 million units.

Racing go karts not just for amusement parks anymore

(August 24, 2011) GAINESVILLE, Fla. (PRNewswire) — There's more to racing go karts than a short spurt around an arcade track every now and then. It's gaining speed as one of the most up and coming sports for children, teenagers and even adults.

More than 80,000 people between the ages of 22 and 35 are actively involved in the karting industry, according to the industry publication National Kart News, and there are no signs of it slowing.

Consumer Reports likes Fiat 500 — but not quite enough

(August 23, 2011) YONKERS, N.Y. (PRNewswire-USNewswire) — After Fiat's being out of the U.S. car market for nearly 30 years, Consumer Reports' tests of the Fiat 500 revealed it to be a fun-to-drive car in tests of fuel-efficient vehicles in the magazine's October issue.

Although it couldn't avoid enough shortcomings to score high enough in the magazine's tests to be Recommended, including a tight rear seat and cargo area, testers found it to be a likable urban car.

Auto Nation spends on the future today

(August 22, 2011) ENCINO, Calif. — Land Rover of Encino, an Auto Nation, Inc. owned dealership in this northwestern suburb of Los Angeles may be the poster child of the company’s decision to spend a ton of money on getting bigger and being better. Smart money investing today when saving money on labor rates and materials is possible while still creating jobs is having a positive effect on a number of communities including this little corner of Los Angeles.

New iPhone apps improve car service record keeping

(August 22, 2011) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — A growing number of iPhone apps are helping drivers keep better track of service and maintenance records for their cars, according to Edmunds.com.

"These new smartphone apps are offering a convenient alternative to the clutter of oil-stained paperwork that drivers packed into their gloveboxes for so many years," says Doug Newcomb, senior technology editor at Edmunds.com.

Headrest issues leading seat problem for new-vehicle owners

(August 21, 2011) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — While relatively few new-vehicle owners indicate having experienced a problem with their vehicle seats, those who do most often cite headrest adjustment controls as the source of the problem, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Seat Quality and Satisfaction Study released last week.

Only 6.2 percent of new-vehicle owners report problems with their vehicle seats. Among the seat-related problems experienced, headrest issues—specifically, headrest adjustment controls that are difficult to understand or use—are the most-frequently cited seat-related problem for a third consecutive year.

What's stopping you? Check your brakes during Brake Safety Awareness Week

(August 20, 2011) BETHESDA, Md. (PRNewswire-USNewswire) — Brake Safety Awareness Week is Aug. 20-28, and there is no better time to stop and get your brake system checked by a professional service technician, according to the Car Care Council.

With many families gearing up for car pool season, checking your brakes before the school year starts and the weather changes will help ensure safe vehicle operation under a variety of conditions.