October 2010

Electric car haloes not plugged into reality 

By Karl Greenberg

(October 29, 2010) The next 12 months are looking good for the electric car if one judges by media buzz and advertising.

Nissan's new advertising platform puts a lot of attention on the Leaf plug-in electric and Chevrolet's new "Chevy Goes Deep" campaign also brings its Volt to the fore. These are just two of several automakers, large and small, launching plug-in vehicles in the U.S. over the next several months.

Most people 'smart shoppers,' but hate to haggle

(October 26, 2010) A majority of people think of themselves as smart car-shoppers but not good negotiators, according to a survey by CarMax, the used car superstore. The poll of 1,000 people found that while 59 percent of respondents thought they were smart shoppers, only 13 percent thought of themselves as good "hagglers."

October new-vehicle sales building on September strength

(October 25, 2010) New-vehicle retail sales in October are building upon the strength from September and exhibiting signs of a more pronounced recovery trend, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which gathers real-time transaction data from more than 8,900 retail franchisees throughout the United States.

Compact CUV demand up in 2010

(October 23, 2010) Demand for compact crossovers (CUVs) outpaced the industry in September 2010 and through the first nine months of the year, according to Power Information Network (PIN) retail transaction data and analysis by the Automotive Forecasting Division at J.D. Power and Associates.

In fact, during the first nine months of 2010, more than one of every 10 new vehicles purchased or leased was a small crossover (10.06% share of industry sales vs. 9.64% in 2009).

Used car prices up significantly over last 12 months

(October 22, 2010) Edmunds.com has estimated  that the average price paid in the U.S. for a used three-year-old vehicle in September 2010 was $18,832, up $1,471, or 8.5 percent, from September 2009.

IIHS shows how cars stack up on insurance losses

(October 21, 2010) In addition to choosing a car based on price, features and the ineffable cool factor, there's another set of data you might want to factor into your calculations: Insurance loss history.

Five technologies that will change driving forever

(October 20, 2010) SANTA MONICA, Calif. —Edmunds' InsideLine.com has posted the story Five Car Technologies That Will Change How You Drive.  An interesting perspective on the drive ahead.

The advanced car technologies highlighted in the article include:

The debate: Is the Volt an EV or a hybrid?

(October 19, 2010) In recent media reports, there has been ongoing debate over whether the Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle (EV) or a hybrid. Discussion focuses on the fact that at high speeds, or when the battery runs low, the Volt relies on the gasoline engine for power.

Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain, Automotive Forecasting Division at J.D. Power and Associates, provides insight about the Volt’s powertrain:

Federal tax credit not just for electric vehicles

(October 18, 2010) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Edmunds.com points out that the $7,500 federal tax credit  known as the "New Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit," is not just for electric vehicles, but rather is for any vehicle with a battery of a qualifying size.

Does what we drive affect how we drive?

(October 16, 2010) Drivers of Mercedes-Benz  SL-Class convertibles are the most likely to receive traffic tickets and are cited about four times as often as the average U.S. motorist, according to Verisk Analytics Inc., a company that validates policyholder information for auto insurers.