March 2012

Study finds new-car buyers becoming more 'practical,' less 'emotional'

(March 21, 2012) ROCHESTER, Mich. — New car buyers in 2011 were less often influenced by "emotional" messages, including style, fun to drive, sporty image and touch of class, and more often influenced by "practical" messages such as discounts, vehicle reviews and competitive comparisons, according to Foresight Research released this week.

AAA survey reveals 'boost' in car seat compliance

(March 21, 2012) WASHINGTON — On the one year anniversary of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) updated car seat recommendations, a AAA survey reveals that outreach efforts are working and parents are getting the message. Over 90 percent of parents with a child under 13 reported being aware of the new guidelines, many having heard of the change from their child's pediatrician.

Auto industry in Europe braces for shake-out as market dips

(March 20, 2012) BROMSGROVE, England — The European auto industry is facing a shake-out as the European car market declines and attention turns to production overcapacity, according to just-auto editor Dave Leggett.

Used compact, hybrid car values on the rise

(March 20, 2012) IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book reports that used compact-car values are on the rise and could reach the same 20 percent gains seen in 2011.  According to Kelley Blue Book's Book Market Report for March, values of used fuel-efficient compacts increased a modest 0.4 percent in February; however, values picked up significant momentum during the last weeks of the month. 

Honda Fit wins seven-car 'Subcompact Shootout'

(March 19, 2012) TORRANCE, Calif. — The 2012 Honda Fit has won the $16,000 Subcompact Shootout. Honda's versatile and fuel-efficient Fit took the top spot in a competition among seven popular subcompact cars that seat at least four, have four doors, get at least 35 mpg on the highway, and can be purchased for less than $16,000.

Edmunds: Chevy Equinox, Audi A3 make greatest strides in fuel economy

(March 19, 2012) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The Audi A3 has made bigger strides in fuel economy since 2008 than any other vehicle on the U.S. market, reports The A3 has increased its fuel economy 38.5 percent, from 21.0 mpg in its 2008 model year, to 29.1 mpg in its 2012 model year. The Chevy Equinox, placed second with a 32 percent growth in fuel economy in the last four years.

Honda CEO says company is stronger than ever

(March 17, 2012) Honda President and CEO Tetsuo Iwamura posted this letter earlier this week emphasizing Honda's complete recovery from the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Customer satisfaction with dealer service facilities outpaces independents

(March 15, 2012) WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Vehicle owners who visit dealer facilities for service are considerably more satisfied with their experience at dealerships than with service from independent facilities, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Customer Service Index Study released today.

Kelley finds fuel-efficient vehicles with less than $30,000 cost of ownership

(March 15, 2012) IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book, reports the most fuel-efficient vehicles available with a five-year Total Cost of Ownership less than $30,000.  Kelley Blue Book's Total Cost of Ownership information reveals depreciation, expected fuel costs, finance and insurance fees, maintenance and repair costs, and state fees for new models for the initial five-year ownership period.

Study finds Saturday St. Patty's Day doubles drinking violations

(March 14, 2012) DENVER — Newly released data on offenders monitored 24/7 for alcohol consumption shows that when St. Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday, drinking violations are more than double what they are for a mid-week holiday. The data is for offenders who know they're being monitored every 30 minutes and that the consequences are often time in jail.