July 2020

How to prepare for a road trip during the pandemic

(July 31, 2020) After months of lockdown, everyone is itching to explore. As the weather warms up and states re-open, the American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that 97% of summer travel in the United States will be done by car — totaling an estimated 683 million road trips from July to September.

“Most people want to get away while trying to stay safe and distant from others. When you drive, you can travel at your own comfort level,” said Jeanette Casselano, director of Public Relations at AAA. “You decide where you are going, what you are doing, and who you are with.”

Kelley Blue Book experts reveal 10 Tips for Buying a Used Car

(July 29, 2020) IRVINE, Calif. — The used-car market is a great place for shoppers who want a dependable and practical vehicle, without the new-car price tag. Today, used car quality is better than ever, but the buying process can still be daunting. Luckily, the experts at Kelley Blue Book have made it simpler by sharing their insider tips on How to Buy a Used Car. From budgeting to signing the paperwork, these 10 pointers will make purchasing your perfect used car easy, and maybe even fun.

Alfa Romeo continues to refine Stelvio, but it's the performance that counts

By Paul Borden

(July 29, 2020) In just its third year, Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio already has established itself as a go-to vehicle for someone seeking a functional, fun-to-drive SUV in a distinctive, stylish package. With a best-in-class 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque produced by a 2.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, the Stelvio — it is named for a mountain pass in the easter Alps in northern Italy  — is based on the Alfa Romeo’s popular Giulia sport sedan and delivers breathtaking performance numbers.

Gas prices decline slightly as demand remains low

(July 28, 2020) As COVID-19 case numbers surpass 4 million, demand for gasoline is weakening across the country. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) demand reading measures at 8.5 million barrels a day, which is about 11% less than a year ago. The lower demand contributed to a cheaper national average on the week — down one penny to $2.18. This is the first time since late April that the national average has declined.

Cars.com finds pandemic has spurred new ways to buy, sell digitally

(July 27, 2020) CHICAGO — Cars.com has  identified six automotive trends for the second half of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has served as an accelerant for automotive, igniting the rapid digital transformation of the industry. Cars.com believes the digital shift will advance the industry and change car buying and selling for the better. 

"The current climate drove dealerships across the country to quickly adapt to meet the changing needs of American car buyers," said Alex Vetter, president and CEO of Cars.com Inc. "It has been incredible to witness an industry as large and established as automotive respond with new technology and adopt new processes to ensure a safe and frictionless car-buying experience.

How the pandemic has changed the auto industry — and made EVs more inevitable

Volkswagen commentary
By Richard Fischer

(July 25, 2020) As much as people talk about “the new normal” of a pandemic, what such a state looks like exactly changes almost minute by minute. For automakers like Volkswagen, that can mean weighing a host of short and long-term factors, from helping customers who’ve suffered job losses to planning for an electric future.

Auto options need a rethink — What do customers want?

By Patrick Min
Senior director, global automotive consulting, J.D. Power

(July 24, 2020) As the economy works to return to a semblance of normalcy, strategic planners will be expected to better target vehicle content to meet specific consumer demands more efficiently. This will be critical to addressing consumer affordability and industry profitability in the new normal.

Dodge leads J.D. Power APEAL study; most owners satisfied with their vehicles

(July 23, 2020) When it comes to driving sales, as well as generating brand loyalty and advocacy, vehicles that create joy for their owners often overcome any negatives caused by problems they experience. This phenomenon is most effectively seen in the J.D. Power 2020 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, released this week.

Motor vehicle fatality rates rise 23.5% in May despite quarantines

(July 22, 2020) ITASCA, Ill. — Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council based on May data from all 50 states indicate that for the third month in a row, road users in the U.S. were at a higher risk of dying from a motor vehicle crash. As reported in Injury Facts, the fatality rate per miles driven in May — when most of the country was deep in quarantine from the pandemic — jumped a staggering 23.5% compared to the previous year, despite far less traffic on the roads.

Gas price volatility low across the country; national average holds steady

(July 21, 2020) The national gas price average held steady on the week at $2.19 as one-third of states saw gas prices decrease and only 10 states saw gas prices increase by two to four cents. State averages saw minimal fluctuation as demand roughly held steady over the last four weeks.

“During the last month, demand has averaged about 8.6 million barrels a day while, gasoline stocks have steadily declined,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Week by week, we are seeing mostly regional fluctuation at the pump based on gasoline supply and demand.”