March 2012

Yet another opinion: Best family cars for road trip

(March 14, 2012) LOS ANGELES — With the spring and summer travel seasons just around the corner, Total Car Score has announced its top cars for family travel. The best minivans, midsize sedans and SUV crossover vehicles were considered, and the newly redesigned 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid led the pack.

Majority of tax refund shoppers would consider American-made vehicle

(March 14, 2012) ATLANTA — Tax time means big refunds for some, and the availability of these extra funds often results in a boost for automotive shopping behavior in March and April. The average tax refund in 2011 was $2,913 — enough to put a 10 percent down payment on a new car worth almost $30,000.

One year later, Japanese automakers back to pre-earthquake levels

(March 10, 2012) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — One year after the March 11, 2011 earthquakes that sent ripples across the auto industry, Japanese car manufacturers are finally back on track in the United States, reports reports that the market share for Japan's top automakers — most notably Toyota and Honda — are back to pre-earthquake levels following a year of supply shortages and increased pricesfor some of the most popular vehicles.

$100,000 Fisker Karma dies in Consumer Reports testing

(March 9, 2012) What's the worst public relations nightmare for a new automobile? Perhaps its breaking down while being tested by consumer watchdog magazine Consumer Reports. That's what happened to a $100,000 Fisker Karma.

The luxury extended-range electric car died during Consumer Reports speed testing for reasons that are still unknown, leaving the struggling electric car startup company with another blow to its image.

Study finds dealership service profits threatened by aging customer base

(March 8, 2012) DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A new study by DMEautomotive has found that two "forces of graying" are significantly favoring aftermarket chains' service profits while threatening those of new car dealerships. Data in the report indicates that the dealership service center is becoming a "senior center," as younger consumer segments are significantly gravitating towards aftermarket chains.

Low incentives spending suggests big first quarter for automakers

(March 7, 2012) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — February's incentives spending on new car sales increased month-over-month but still came in at the lowest of any February since 2003, according to an analysis of's True Cost of Incentives (TCISM). reports that the average TCISM per vehicle in February was $2,193, up 2.4 percent over January, but down 14.5 percent from February of last year.

Automakers preserve tradition of luxury at Geneva Auto Show

(March 6, 2012) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — A prime selection of luxury and concept vehicles will again take center stage at this year's Geneva Auto Show, reports Edmunds' Visitors to this year's show can expect to be greeted by a roster of slick, futuristic vehicles of the kind that has helped build Geneva's reputation as one of the most glamorous events on the auto show circuit.

Chevrolet dealers earn top spot among automakers in 'customer experience'

(March 4, 2012) WABAN, Mass. — The nation's automotive dealers did not fare well in a new research report, Temkin Group's 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings, which rates the customer experience of 206 large companies across 18 industries.

Sleep Foundation poll finds sleepy pilots, train operators and truck drivers

(March 3, 2012) The people we trust to take us or our loved ones from place to place struggle with sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation's (NSF) 2012 Sleep in America poll.  It is the first poll to ask transportation professionals, including pilots, train operators, and truck, bus, taxi and limo drivers about their sleep habits and work performance.

Pilots and train operators are most likely to report sleep-related job performance and safety problems.

Subaru gains top spot on Consumer Reports' 2012 report card

(March 1, 2012) YONKERS, N.Y. — Riding a wave of impressive redesigned models in the last few years, Subaru for the first time has earned the top score in Consumer Reports automaker report cards for 2012. Subaru's score of 75, two points higher than last year, reflects better test scores for such redesigned models as the Impreza, Legacy, and Outback over the last few years.