Here's the Thing

New car incentives slip in October

(November 3, 2010) estimated today that the average car incentive  in the U.S. was $2,498 per vehicle sold in October 2010, down $61, or 2.4 percent, from September 2010, and down $172, or 6.4 percent, from October 2009.

SEMA brings back customized cars, trucks

Karl Greenberg

(November 2, 2010) SEMA, it seems, is back. The Specialty Equipment Market Association's yearly automotive love-in in Las Vegas — where what happens will hopefully not stay in Vegas — shows that marketers are ready to joy ride again, after a more sparsely attended 2009 show.

Electric car haloes not plugged into reality 

By Karl Greenberg

(October 29, 2010) The next 12 months are looking good for the electric car if one judges by media buzz and advertising.

Nissan's new advertising platform puts a lot of attention on the Leaf plug-in electric and Chevrolet's new "Chevy Goes Deep" campaign also brings its Volt to the fore. These are just two of several automakers, large and small, launching plug-in vehicles in the U.S. over the next several months.

Most people 'smart shoppers,' but hate to haggle

(October 26, 2010) A majority of people think of themselves as smart car-shoppers but not good negotiators, according to a survey by CarMax, the used car superstore. The poll of 1,000 people found that while 59 percent of respondents thought they were smart shoppers, only 13 percent thought of themselves as good "hagglers."

October new-vehicle sales building on September strength

(October 25, 2010) New-vehicle retail sales in October are building upon the strength from September and exhibiting signs of a more pronounced recovery trend, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which gathers real-time transaction data from more than 8,900 retail franchisees throughout the United States.

Compact CUV demand up in 2010

(October 23, 2010) Demand for compact crossovers (CUVs) outpaced the industry in September 2010 and through the first nine months of the year, according to Power Information Network (PIN) retail transaction data and analysis by the Automotive Forecasting Division at J.D. Power and Associates.

In fact, during the first nine months of 2010, more than one of every 10 new vehicles purchased or leased was a small crossover (10.06% share of industry sales vs. 9.64% in 2009).

Used car prices up significantly over last 12 months

(October 22, 2010) has estimated  that the average price paid in the U.S. for a used three-year-old vehicle in September 2010 was $18,832, up $1,471, or 8.5 percent, from September 2009.

IIHS shows how cars stack up on insurance losses

(October 21, 2010) In addition to choosing a car based on price, features and the ineffable cool factor, there's another set of data you might want to factor into your calculations: Insurance loss history.

Five technologies that will change driving forever

(October 20, 2010) SANTA MONICA, Calif. —Edmunds' has posted the story Five Car Technologies That Will Change How You Drive.  An interesting perspective on the drive ahead.

The advanced car technologies highlighted in the article include:

The debate: Is the Volt an EV or a hybrid?

(October 19, 2010) In recent media reports, there has been ongoing debate over whether the Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle (EV) or a hybrid. Discussion focuses on the fact that at high speeds, or when the battery runs low, the Volt relies on the gasoline engine for power.

Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain, Automotive Forecasting Division at J.D. Power and Associates, provides insight about the Volt’s powertrain: