January 2012

NADA questions government's estimated cost of new fuel economy rules

(January 18, 2012) DETROIT, Mich. (Jan. 17, 2012) — At a public hearing Jan. 17 on proposed fuel economy rules for model year 2017-2025 passenger cars and light-duty trucks, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) urged federal agencies to properly consider the rising consumer cost of new vehicles, citing a NADA study to be released next month that predicts the cost of a new vehicle could go up by as much as $5,000.

Survey: U.S. consumers don't support banning use of hands-free devices

(January 17, 2012) FARMINGTON HILLS — Despite concerns over distracted drivers on American roads, a majority of U.S.-based consumers do not feel there should be a ban on the use of hands-free communications devices while driving, according to the December 2011 Morpace Omnibus.

In late 2011 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended a ban be put in place on hands-free communication devices that are not completely built-in to a vehicle, to help reduce the number of serious automotive accidents.

Toyota regains top spot in Kelley Blue Book's brand loyalty study

(January 18, 2012) IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book's www.kbb.com reported today that Toyota redeemed its No. 1 spot for brand loyalty on kbb.com for fourth quarter 2011. Toyota last appeared in the top position in the third quarter of 2010. For the fourth quarter of 2011, Toyota's brand shopping loyalty was at 50.6 percent, a 2.7 percentage point jump from the third quarter, with Hyundai close behind at 50.2 percent.

Distracted driving, teen driver safety top AAA's legislative priorities for 2012

(January 17, 2012) WASHINGTON — Recent public attention to distracted driving will likely spur additional legislative activity as states convene their 2012 sessions, according to AAA. Laws that ban texting while driving and that improve teen driver safety again top AAA's nationwide legislative agenda to improve highway safety. 

Expert advice — Used car shoppers should buy sooner rather than later

(January 17, 2012) IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com today reported that buyers in the market for a used car should purchase sooner rather than later, as Kelley Blue Book anticipates used-car values to increase 3 to 5 percent in the first quarter of 2012, with gains continuing into the second quarter.

Values have been flat through the first two weeks of January; although, a handful of segments have started to increase earlier than originally anticipated. 

Courts increasingly rely on breathalyzers installed in vehicles for DUI offenders

(January 16, 2012) LOS ANGELES — Imagine that you are out on a date and have a casual glass of wine with dinner. As you get into your car, you face the humiliation and embarrassment of having to blow into a tube connected to your car's ignition system just to get the car started.

The subsequent explanation can't be anything that remotely resembles a pleasant conversation you wish to have on a date. Welcome to the relatively new world of breathalyzers or ignition interlock devices (IID's) installed in certain vehicles, which have been mandated by many states and local jursidictions.

Dodge Charger wins Edmunds' 2012 Breakthrough Technology Award

(January 15, 2012) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The Dodge Charger has won the 2012 Breakthrough Technology Award. Edmunds.com issues the award each year to a vehicle that sets the standard for intuitive, practical and affordable automotive technology that enhances safety and convenience for drivers and passengers.

Nissan product planner offers his thoughts on Detroit auto show

(January 14, 2012) Nissan Americas product planning chief, Pierre Loing was struck by the changing face of the Detroit auto show. Loing says it’s a “new type of American Dream.”

Smaller engines, smaller vehicles, less fuel consumption, global platforms. These were the trends noted by Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan Americas, during his walk around the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall in Detroit.

Hits and misses from the Detroit auto show

(January 14, 2012) DETROIT — The Automotive News has picked the hits and misses from the Detroit auto show. And the industry trade publication found that design, not recovery from the economic downturn, was the hot topic.

The Detroit auto show was not the kind of gloom-fest that has marked several international auto shows in the past three years. Cobo Center was crammed with introductions — including the ogle-worthy Acura NSX and the Aston-like Ford Fusion — that brought fun and fantasy back into the old building.

Ford Fusion named Best in Show by AutoWeek

(January 12, 2012) DETROIT — Just days after being revealed to the world, the new Ford Fusion is already bringing home awards. The Autoweek editorial staff has chosen Fusion for its Best in Show award at the North American International Auto Show.

The selection is based on one compelling measurement — the car people will remember most five years from now.