April 2013

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act funding cut 70% in proposed budget

(April 11, 2013) The proposed 70 percent reduction in funding for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) in the Obama Administration’s 2014 budget “will nearly decimate one of the nation’s most successful clean air programs,” according to Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

Edmunds 'Debt-Free Car Project' — straining driver peace of mind

(April 11, 2013) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Car buyers can avoid expensive financing charges by purchasing a low-priced used car outright, but they should be aware that there will likely be maintenance and repair speed bumps along the way. That's the key takeaway from Edmunds.com following its year-long "Debt-Free Car Project," which tested the theory that shoppers can find a reliable used car for under $5,000 without the burden of monthly payments.

Average fuel economy sets third straight monthly record

(April 11, 2013) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — TrueCar today announced  fuel economy numbers from March light vehicle auto sales indicate TrueMPG increased to 23.7 mpg, the third consecutive month fuel economy records have been achieved by the industry. 

Jockeying for supremacy — Audi pursues its own definition of being 'no. 1'

(April 9, 2013) In the jockeying for world luxury-brand supremacy in the auto business, Audi is unique because it measures success in this endeavor by more than relative sales volume and even profitability comparisons alone. The first and foremost objective for Audi is to create the world’s most premium mainstream-luxury car brand.

CarMD study reveals first jump in car repair costs in six years

(April 9, 2013) IRVINE, Calif. — CarMD.com today released its 2013 CarMD Vehicle Health Index ranking of check engine-related car repairs and costs for model year 1996 to 2012 vehicles. For the first time in six years, car repair costs jumped 10% nationwide to $367.84 on average per repair.

Study: Vehicle parts suppliers largest employer of manufacturing jobs

(April 8, 2013) WASHINGTON — A new economic impact study confirms that the motor vehicle parts manufacturers industry — made up of the original equipment, aftermarket, heavy duty and remanufacturing sectors — is the largest employer of manufacturing jobs in the United States. 

The industry directly employs more than 734,000 American workers and generates nearly $355 billion in GDP contribution, or 2.3 percent of the total U.S. GDP.

BMW 3-Series wins Cars.com/USA Today Sport Sedan Challenge

(April 8, 2013) CHICAGO — Cars.com has named the BMW 3-Series sedan the winner of the Cars.com/USA Today/MotorWeek Sport Sedan Challenge. The challenge pitted six of the most popular sport sedans against each other in a series of tests. Cars tested, all priced at or below $46,000, included the Acura TL, Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Cadillac ATS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volvo S60.

Analog trumps digital in the reality stakes

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(April 7, 2013) This is the first of a couple of Nissan videos I stumbled across, and know you’ll enjoy. It shows Hiroshi Kato and Naoki Maekawa sculpting the new Nissan Note clay model. Note the Sumo sculpture in the foreground made of modeling clay in the picture below.

Car-buying company to offer virtual selling experience through FaceTime

(April 4, 2013) CARMEL, Ind. — CarBuyCo, a national car-buying company that purchases consumer vehicles through an Internet-based mobile buying service, is the first in its field to offer a fully virtual car selling experience using FaceTime. This new service is available to consumers across the country looking for a fast, easy and guaranteed way to sell their used car.

The Virtual Driver pits '13 Ford Fusion SE against '13 Toyota Camry XLE

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(April 3, 2013) I’ll state it up front: This isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. The Toyota Camry is a top of the line XLE, while the Fusion is the mid-grade SE model. Had they both been top of the line models comparably equipped, the Toyota would have carried a significant price advantage; an advantage that would be considerably smaller if the comparison was SE to SE.