Here's the Thing

Cash for Clunkers hangover taking its toll on auto sales, reports Edmunds

(August 2009) The Cash for Clunkers party is over, and now the auto industry is likely to experience a painful hangover. Edmunds.com anticipates a steep decline in sales in the coming weeks based upon a significant drop in "purchase intent" behavior of its Web site visitors.

"Current purchase intent is down 50 percent from the Cash for Clunkers peak, and down 11 percent from the June average," noted Edmunds.com Senior Analyst David Tompkins. "Day by day, intent is slipping: Sunday activity was down 21 percent from Saturday, then Tuesday activity was down 16 percent from Monday."

We don't understand 230 mpg, but we are anxiously awaiting a good explanation

(August 2009) It's early yet. Ample time for explaining how the Chevrolet Volt, a sophisticated plug-in hybrid that will supposedly be able to travel 40 miles on its batteries alone before needing help from a gas engine — or some type of additional propulsion — will achieve 230 miles per gallon.

We don't understand how the 230 mpg has been derived. And so far no auto guru, writer or industry expert has offered any kind of explanation. Perhaps it will be some EPA hocus-pocus.

Unexpected Clunker fallout — Chrysler, Ford suddenly face vehicle shortage

(August 2009) The success of the short-lived Cash for Clunkers program has created a new problem for Ford and Chrysler — a shortage of some vehicles.
Chrysler is particularly hard hit because of long factory shutdowns earlier this summer.

Vehicles that Chrysler had a hard time moving just two weeks ago are now hard to find. For instance there is only a seven-day supply of Jeep Patriots and a 15-day supply of the Jeep Compass. A 60-day supply is considered normal.

Automotive thoughts on a Monday morning

By Jim Meachen
MotorwayAmerica Editor

(August 2009) In our current state of automotive angst there's just no predicting what kind of automotive news you might wake up to on the tube, on the internet or in your morning paper — for those of you who still actually have to wash newsprint off your hands.

Cash for Clunkers' program provides windfall for some, high prices for all

(August 2009)  Edmunds.com warns consumers that car prices are climbing as the "Cash for Clunkers" frenzy is influencing the marketplace.

"Since the program launched, we've seen that shoppers are getting less of a discount off sticker price for new cars," notes Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs in her report on Edmunds' AutoObserver.com. "In some cases, they are choosing less expensive trim levels and option packages than had been typical in recent months, but paying more for them."

The New GM shoots down Pontiac G8 and Bob Lutz

By Jim Meachen
MotorwayAmerica Editor

(August 2009) Bob Lutz, who just postponed his retirement from General Motors to become the marketing chief, announced a week ago that the Pontiac G8 could live on as a Chevrolet Caprice. We applauded that decision because we believe the G8, especially in V-8 trim, is the best Pontiac in decades.

Thoughts about the new, old GM — be thankful for government intervention

By Ted Biederman
MotorwayAmerica Editor

(August 2009) I fully concur with the decision of Judge Robert Gerber, there was little choice considering the roll down consequences of total liquidation of GM. Gerber noted in his opinion from the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan that the sale of the good assets would "prevent the death of the patient on the operating table."

Toyota inaction on headlight problem creates ill will

By Jim Meachen
MotowayAmerica Editor

(July 2009) A search of the Internet has uncovered a problem faced by owners of late-model Toyota Prius hybrid cars. Evidently this is not new, but a long-running concern, and has proven expensive for a considerable number of people. It came to light for many thousands of people on June 30 when Advertising Age released a story headlined, "Prius Headlamp Troubles Could Dim Toyota Brand's Rep."

Here's the thing.

A gut feeling

By Ted Biederman
MotorwayAmerica Editor

(August 2009) I read comment after comment regarding the auto industry and GM specifically.

On the mass media online sites I see lots of anger, people who don’t understand the big picture, and a lot of vulgarity from folks who seem to like to bastardize the English language. There are some insightful people on the web such as those commenting about the “re-invented” GM TV spot, at Ad Age. But they too, for the most part, tend to look at things with a jaundice eye.

Customer service got us where we are today

By Al Vinikour
MotorwayAmerica

(July 2009) With news that thousands of auto dealers will be closing their doors it reminds me of the sage words when industrial jobs started being shipped overseas: “Some day the United States will be one big service industry.” With America’s shabby record of customer service I grieve for our future.