July 2019

Another bites the dust — VW ending production of its station wagons

By Paul Borden

(August 1, 2019) Station wagons long ago ceded the role of the favorite family transportation mode to minivans and SUVs, and now two more are being relegated to the scrap heap. Volkswagen recently announced that it was ending production of its popular Golf Sportwagen and Alltrack wagons with the 2019 model year.

Everyday moon landings with Infiniti-computer strength

(July 30, 2019) HONG KONG — Fifty years ago the Apollo 11 moon landing was made possible by technology, with the legendary space craft’s computing power unlike anything else the world had ever seen. Since then, strides in technological development have led to the computerization of objects we take for granted every day, each with a level of processing power that eclipses that of the Eagle landing module.

Pump prices push lower for another week

(July 30, 2019) Today’s national average gas price at the pump is $2.73. While this is two cents more expensive than on the same day last month, it is three cents cheaper than last week and 12-cents less expensive than a year ago, according to weekly statistics prepared by AAA,

“Gas prices this month are on average a dime less expensive than in July 2018. These less expensive gas prices have encouraged summer road trips as evidenced by robust demand numbers since May,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Right now, pump prices are poised to push even cheaper going into August.”

Study finds infotainment systems especially distracting to older drivers

(July 28, 2019) WASHINGTON, D.C. — New in-vehicle infotainment technology has the potential to increase comfort and extend mobility for older drivers, but first it has to stop distracting them. On average, older drivers (ages 55-75) removed their eyes and attention from the road for more than eight seconds longer than younger drivers (ages 21-36) when performing simple tasks like programming navigation or tuning the radio using in-vehicle infotainment technology, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Highest volume of convenience store visits between lunch and dinner

(July 27, 2019) BOSTON  — GasBuddy has released its second quarterly study examining foot traffic in the $654 billion fuel and convenience retailing industry across the United States. This analysis examined more than 24 million consumer visits between April 1 - June 30, 2019.

The report separates fuel and convenience brands into four segments based on their number of locations. Brands who received the highest average foot traffic per station in their respective categories include Ohio-based Speedway (1000+ locations), Washington-based Costco (250 – 999 locations), Kentucky-based Thorntons (50 – 249 locations) and Texas-based Buc-ee’s (30 – 49 locations).

Extra selling day to give auto sales a boost in July, Edmunds says

(July 26, 2019) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The car shopping experts at Edmunds forecast that 1,380,771 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in July for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 16.5 million. This reflects a 9.3% decrease in sales from June 2019, but a 0.5% increase from July 2018.

July is expected to be the first month in 2019 to show a boost in monthly auto sales compared to 2018; however, Edmunds experts caution this is not the first sign of a turnaround.

Porsche regains top spot in annual J.D. Power new-vehicle appeal study

(July 25, 2019) COSTA MESA, Calif.  — Porsche regained the top spot in J.D. Power's annual study of new-vehicle appeal, edging past BMW and 2018 leader Genesis, while Ram led mass-market brands and was the most improved marque from last year.  Last year Genesis snapped Porsche's 13-year streak at the top.

Tech and tools to keep your 
new driver safe behind the wheel

By Jim Prueter

(July 25, 2019) As a parent, handing over the keys to your teen driver, watching them back out of the driveway, and head out on their own for the first time is more than scary. And, with good reason. Statistics show that teen drivers have the highest crash risk of any age group.

Gas price increases slowing across the country

(July 23, 2019) On the week, all but eight states saw gas price averages push cheaper or remain stable. At $2.76, the national gas price average is three cents less expensive than last Monday. This is the first time in four weeks that the national average has seen a weekly decline, according to statistics compiled by AAA.

GasBuddy reveals how quickly gas stations run out of fuel during a hurricane

(July 23, 2019) BOSTON — Hurricane Barry was the first storm to strike the U.S. coast this year, bringing extensive rain and flooding to Louisiana and the region. With hurricane season in full effect, GasBuddy offers information on fuel outages and fuel replenishment efforts during major hurricanes in the past three years based on millions of real-time fuel outage reports provided by consumers and gas stations on GasBuddy’s fuel outage tracker.