Here's the Thing

GM touts new, improved dealerships

(December 8, 2010) DETROIT — It has often been said that the first rule of good business is take care of your customers, or someone else will. And the second rule is you can’t take care of your customers if you haven’t taken care of yourself first. Buick and GMC dealers know you can’t do one without the other, and the customer survey results show it.

Chrysler, GM each lead two categories in vehicle ownership satisfaction study in Mexico

(December 6, 2010) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — New-vehicle appeal and dealer service performance are greater differentiators among automotive brands in Mexico than are initial quality or cost of ownership, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Mexico Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study released last week.

Honda says Civic is alive and well

(December 5, 2010) Our colleagues overseas at Honda Motor Co. recently announced that the Civic will no longer be sold in Japan. We've seen that spur some online conversation and wanted to set the record straight as it relates to the U.S. and American Honda.

Some new car tax benefits expire at year end

(December 4, 2010) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — There are a number of current new car tax credits expiring at the end of December. encourages would-be buyers to consider this timing when making purchase decisions.

"Credits are expiring once and for all on a huge swath of new cars, unless there's a successful lame-duck effort in Congress to extend them," noted Features Editor Carroll Lachnit.

New-car incentives down nearly 10 percent since November 2009

(December 2, 2010) estimated today that the average automotive manufacturer incentive in the U.S. was $2,470 per vehicle sold in November 2010, up $31, or 1.3 percent, from October 2010, but down $255, or 9.4 percent, from November 2009.

Study finds medium-duty truck satisfaction tied to fuel-efficient engines

(November 30, 2010) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — While fuel economy levels vary widely among truck engine manufacturers, fleets with the most fuel-efficient engines may benefit from significant cost savings and higher satisfaction, particularly after a year-over-year increase in gas and diesel prices, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Medium-Duty Truck Engine and Transmission Customer Satisfaction Study.

Consumers can lower car payments by trading in for a new car, Edmunds advises

(November 29, 2010) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Consumers driving three-year-old cars have the opportunity to get a lower monthly car payment by buying a new car, thanks to a downward trend in interest rates and an increase in used car values.

According to the analysts at trade-in values for three-year-old cars were up 10.3 percent in October 2010 compared to October 2007, while interest rates on 60-month auto loans have declined from an average of 7.4 percent in October 2007 to 4.7 percent in October 2010.

Expected November sales to keep SAAR flat at 12.2 million

(November 26, 2010) This month's new car sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be approximately 865,500 units, a 17.0 percent increase from November 2009 but a 8.1 percent decrease from October 2010, according to Retail sales are expected to be approximately 700,000 units, down from approximately 778,000 last month.

GM's 230 mpg claim for the Volt was extremely wishful thinking

(November 25, 2010) It's far from the 230 miles per gallon General Motors claimed last year for the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt compact sedan.

In 2009 GM proclaimed to great fanfare at a press conference that the Volt would realize the almost unbelievable 230 mpg. GM didn't explain how the Volt, that gets a boost from a small 1.4-liter gas engine, was going to achieve this astounding number.

On Wednesday we discovered just how much hype was involved in GM's proclamation.

Study finds drivers use portable navigation systems even if car is equipped with NAV

(November 23, 2010) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — A considerable proportion of owners of factory-installed navigation systems also use portable navigation devices and smartphone navigation, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Navigation Usage and Satisfaction Study.