April 2010

Analysis: Ford on track to be second in 2010 U.S. sales

(April 2010) Data from Edmunds.com suggests that Ford could return to being the number two automaker in the U.S.

"Ford has demonstrated that the key to a turnaround is product, product, product — while pushing costs down," commented Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs who covers the subject in more detail at AutoObserver.com. "The company's market share for 2010 is over 17 percent for the first time since 2006, and Fords are selling at a higher relative price and with lower incentives."

Zero-percent finance deals hit record high in March

(April 2010) A record number of new vehicles were purchased with zero-percent financing in March, according to Edmunds.com.

In March, more than 22 percent of financed new cars were purchased with zero-percent finance deals. Last March the total was just 13 percent. The prior high was 21 percent in July 2006.

Remarkably, 71 percent of new Toyotas financed in March had a zero-percent APR — nearly twice the previous Toyota record of 39 percent in August 2009.

Average car loan interest rate drops to 4.4 percent

(April 2010) Edmunds.com reports that the average automobile finance rate dropped to 4.4 percent in March, its lowest since 2002 when Edmunds.com began to track finance records. In March 2009, the average interest rate for the industry was 5.8 percent.

Of all brands, Toyota had the lowest average finance rate, 1.9 percent. Mazda's average finance rate was next lowest at 2.5 percent and Mercury was third at 3.3 percent. On the other end of the spectrum, Kia had the highest average interest rate in March, 7.1 percent.

White House taken to task for new 'Cash for Clunkers' analysis

(April 2010) Today, the White House unexpectedly presented its latest defense of last summer's "Cash for Clunkers" program. In the process, it took issue with Edmunds.com, whose analysis of the program was widely adopted and supported by independent economists and media.

"One has to wonder why the White House continues to feel the need to defend a program that is no longer being debated," observed Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. "Trying to add a spin to old news seems pointless when there are more pressing issues for the government to address."

Others' woes open door wider for Hyundai, analysis shows

(April 2010) Hyundai got another strong showing when sales figures were posted for March.

An analysis by Edmunds.com shows that three Hyundai models — the Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Tucson and Hyundai Genesis — have in short order charged into the top 10 "most shopped vehicles" on Edmunds.com.

Automotive analysts say Ford, Chevrolet stand to gain from Toyota's problems

(March 2010) Ford stands to gain from Toyota's problems, at least in the short term -- as does Chevrolet. So says the automotive group of Hachette-Filipacchi-owned firm Jumpstart, whose results and predictions are based on surveys and car shopping behavior across sites like Vehix, Car and Driver and Consumer Guide Automotive.

Jumpstart says Toyota's problems have led 51% of shoppers who would have normally considered a Toyota to remove the brand from their consideration set. The firm says it will take Toyota two to three years to recover.

Don't give up on the internal combustion engine just yet

(March 2010) In a time when hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) grab the lion's share of automotive tech headlines, at last one organization still believes there's a good deal more fuel efficiency to be extracted from today's modern internal combustion engines — something in the neighborhood of 50-75 percent more.

Don't waste money on outdated advice — debunking long-standing myths

(March 2010) DEARBORN, Mich. — They’ve been around awhile — a snippet of advice here, an old adage there. They’re the guidelines that are supposed to help keep cars running in top condition. Problem is, most of them aren’t based in fact – or they’re just plain outdated. Ford Motor Co. decided to debunk a few of the most popular maintenance myths, including the following:

Toyota incentives trigger bounce in industry sales

(March 2010) Edmunds.com has evaluated early March car sales and determined that so far this month, sales industrywide are stronger than they've been in nearly a year.

Unintended acceleration issue requires attention

(February 2010) Despite all of the questions asked during this week's Congressional hearings on Toyota's recalls, the point is being glossed over: There is a level of complaints for unintended acceleration that is not covered by any current recall: What is the cause?