Here's the Thing

Car incentives falling as inventory dwindles

(June 2010) estimated today that the average automotive manufacturer incentive in the U.S. was $2,603 per vehicle sold in May 2010, down $28, or 1.1 percent, from April 2010, and down $340, or 11.6 percent, from May 2009.

"Inventory levels are relatively low, so many automakers have cut back on incentives," stated Jessica Caldwell, Director of Industry Analysis for

One year after bankruptcy, GM's unexpected success story

(June 2010) The bankruptcy of General Motors may turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to the company, according to

"With the company much leaner and more focused it is making a profit even in today's tough market," stated CEO Jeremy Anwyl. "This bodes well for GM's profit potential for when the market fully rebounds."

Ford's future looks a lot like Toyota's past

By Phil LeBeau

(June 2010) Remember when Ford CEO Alan Mulally took the top job at America's number two automaker in 2006?

Remember how he talked about his admiration of Toyota and how he planned to replicate that success at Ford?

Why is Toyota waffling about new sport coupe?

By Bill Visnic,

(May 2010) After a report from Japanese publication Best Car said Toyota Motor Corp. is delaying the launch of its FT-86 sport coupe by two years, to 2013, the internet was alive with speculation about Toyota's ultimate dedication to the coupe jointly developed with Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.'s Subaru.

Family sedans sell while sports cars stumble

(May 2010) Would you rather drive a sports car or a family sedan? Edmunds' reports that cautious car buyers re-entering the market are largely gravitating to mid-sized sedans while most sports cars are barely moving off the dealership lots.

Audi, Cadillac, Lexus buyer demographics exhibit most changes

(May 2010) Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Cadillac and Lexus gained the most market share in the United States among all premium brands during the first four months of 2010 vs. the same period in 2009.

Mercedes was the best-selling premium brand, followed by Lexus, based on total sales (retail and fleet) data in the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report. These four premium brands also exhibited interesting differences in their buyer demographics in the first four months, based on Power Information Network (PIN) retail transaction data from J.D. Power and Associates. A few differences are highlighted:

Time to refinance your car loan — and save thousands in interest

(May 2010) Refinancing is one of the best-kept secrets of the auto industry, according to Many people don't realize how easy it is to do. Plus, they don't realize that there are no prepayment penalties for canceling your existing loan and no fees getting a new one at a lower interest rate. Exactly how much money can you save by taking an hour or two to get a new car loan?

Should auto dealers avoid new regulation?

Time Magazine

(May 2010) When Brandon Moushey and Anna Kreutz bought a Suzuki motorcycle three years ago, the young husband and wife asked for an installment loan that would allow them to pay off the $15,000 bike purchase in five years. Instead, a salesperson at Quinsey Powersports El Cajon in San Diego, Calif. got Moushey and Kruetz to finance the purchase on a private-label credit card, according to a lawsuit the couple has filed against Quinsey and bank HSBC.

OnStar/Google vs. Ford Sync

By Doug Newcomb

(May 2010) In one of the worst-kept secrets from last week, OnStar has announced that it's partnering with Google to use the search giant's Android operating system and mobile devices to connect owners to the Chevy Volt.

Earlier this year, OnStar unveiled a demonstration-only app for specific smartphones that will allow users to remotely check the charging status of the Volt plug-in hybrid, among other things. As part of its new partnership with Google, OnStar will unveil new features of the Android app at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco this week. But here's what we know for now.

Is it too early to declare the auto recession over?

By Jim Hossack, AutoPacific

(May 2010) TUSTIN, Calif. — AutoPacific, an authoritative automotive research and insight company, regularly tracks the impact of fuel prices on the type of vehicles Americans will consider buying. The results for the just completed Fuel Price Impact Survey show some surprising results, and are summarized below.


While there are many indications that the recession is ending, at least in terms of new vehicle sales it may be too early to declare victory, as expressed intent to purchase a new car or truck in the next two years has slightly declined over the January to March period.