March 2015

Potholes: They're back and they're bad

(March 25, 2015) BETHESDA, Md. — Potholes have returned, and hitting one with your car can do a real number on tires, wheels, steering and suspension, and alignment. Potholes occur when water permeates the pavement — usually through a crack — and softens the soil beneath it, creating a depression in the surface of the street.

Many potholes appear during winter and spring months because of freeze-thaw cycles, which accelerate the process. Potholes can also be prevalent in areas with excessive rainfall and flooding.

Crude oil prices reach six-year low

(March 24, 2015) WASHINGTON — The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil reached a six-year low this past week, keeping downward pressure on the national price of gasoline. This downward pressure has, at least temporarily, offset potential price gains from robust demand, regional refinery maintenance and the seasonal transition to more expensive summer-blend gasoline, according to the AAA.

Data show Nissan Leaf battery failure almost non-existent

(March 23, 2015) ROLLE, Switzerland — Five years and more than 35,000 European sales since the launch of its all-electric Leaf, proprietary data released by Nissan for the first time shows that 99.99 percent of its battery units remain entirely fit for purpose.

The failure rate of the battery power unit is less than 0.01 percent - or just three units in total - a fraction of the equivalent industry-wideꜞ figure for defects affecting traditional combustion engines.

J.D. Power predicts best March new-vehicle sales since 2005

(March 21, 2015) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. —  U.S. total new-vehicle sales in March 2015 are bouncing back from last month and are expected to reach their highest levels for the month in a decade, according to a monthly sales forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

After winter storms stymied sales in February, total new light-vehicle sales in March 2015 are expected to reach 1,539,600 units, a 4 percent increase on a selling-day adjusted basis compared with March 2014 and their highest levels for the month since March 2005 when 1,572,909 new vehicles were sold.

J.D. Power: Jaguar, Buick lead in customer satisfaction at dealerships

(March 20, 2015) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Jaguar ranked highest in satisfaction with dealer service among luxury brands, with a score of 877. Following Jaguar in the luxury ranking are Lexus (870), Audi (865), Lincoln (861) and Cadillac (858), according to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study released this week.

With a CSI score of 836, Buick ranked highest among mass market brands for a second consecutive year. Rounding out the top five mass market brands in the ranking are MINI (834), Volkswagen (818), GMC (811) and Chevrolet (807).

Luxury Car Rental Club ranks top 10 launches from Geneva

(March 19, 2015) GENEVA — The rental of luxury cars is playing a consistently bigger role in the rental car industry each year and it only seems fitting that one of those companies, the Luxury Car Rental Club, had a keen interest in the Geneva Auto Show because of its wide range of exotic car displays and introductions.

Autotrader reveals best certified pre-owned programs

(March 18, 2015) ATLANTA — A certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle can be a great option for car shoppers looking for the amenities of a new car on a used car budget. According to Autotrader's 2014 Certified Pre-Owned study, familiarity with CPO is at an all-time high, with 75 percent of new car shoppers and 45 percent of used car shoppers saying they're familiar with CPO.

In addition, the number of new and used shoppers considering CPO for the first time has doubled in just one year.

AAMCO opens new training center in Georgia

(March 17, 2015) NEWNAN, Ga. — AAMCO, the world's largest chain of transmission specialists, has celebrated the opening of AAMCO University, a state-of-the-art training facility in Newnan, Georgia with a ribbon cutting ceremony and an all-day open house.

In addition to courses at the Newnan headquarters and training complex, AAMCO University currently offers over 300 interactive courses via its online learning management system with many more in development. 

Edmunds names top picks for tech-averse new-car buyers

(March 16, 2015) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — High-tech vehicles aren't for everyone, and while low-tech configurations are becoming more obsolete on the new car market, car buying platform has revealed a list of eight new cars and trucks to meet the needs of shoppers who want minimal or no connectivity in their next new car.

Mazda CX-9 leads TrueCar's best March deals

(March 16, 2015) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Mazda 's CX-9 sport-utility vehicle, which sells at an average of 19 percent off the manufacturer's suggested retail price, tops the list of best savings on new vehicles in March, according to TrueCar, Inc.

March has had the highest average new vehicle sales volume of any month over the past five years. The month marks the fiscal year close for Japan-based automakers and kicks off spring sales events that provide savings for consumers.  Historically, the month's final day has been the best opportunity to get the largest discount.