Saturday, January 12, 2013

Autoblog Car Buying

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">/></meta>Autoblog Car BuyingAutoblog<body id="readabilityBody" readability="678.51632181085">> Autoblog Car Buying en-us Copyright 2013 Weblogs, Inc. The contents of this feed are available for non-commercial use only. Blogsmith Chris Shunk, Dan Roth, Zach Bowman and Chris PaukertThe podcast by the people who obsessively cover the auto industry.
Filed under: Car Buying, SUV, Chrysler, Jeep, Off-Road

2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Last year was good to Jeep. Chrysler has announced its trail-rated brand set an all-time global sales record in 2012 by moving 701,626 units. That number easily surpasses the previous record set in 1999 when Jeep sold 675,494 models. All told, the brand saw a 19-percent sales increase worldwide over 2011, and much of that swell can be traced directly to the Wrangler. While the Grand Cherokee led Jeep sales, the Wrangler posted record numbers both globally and within the US, moving 194,142 and 141,669 units in each market, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Compass beat its previous global sales record with 103,321 units rolling off of dealer lots. In the US, Jeep sold 62,010 Patriot units, breaking that model's previous record as well. Jeep's impressive performance in 2012 marks the second year in a row the brand has seen double-digit percentage sales increases. Check out the full press release below.

Continue reading Jeep sets all-time sales record in 2012

Jeep sets all-time sales record in 2012 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 Jan 2013 11:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
chryslercompassgrand cherokeejeepjeep compassjeep grand cherokeejeep patriotjeep record salesjeep sales recordjeep wranglerpatriotwrangler

Wed, 09 Jan 2013 11:33:00 EST 20423304
Filed under: Car Buying

Despite 2012 being the best year of auto sales this country has seen since 2007, not every vehicle got an equally large share of the sales pie. Some barely got a sliver, as evidenced by this year's list of the top 10 worst-selling vehicles of 2012.

We've dug through sales data from every automaker to come up with this year's list and, like last year, we've set some parameters to ensure it includes legitimately bad-selling vehicles.

The first parameter is a starting MSRP under $100,000, which automatically excludes what's parked in most one-percenters' garages. We're also excluding vehicles cancelled in 2012, even if they garnered sales through the end of the year while dealerships sold off remaining inventory. This includes models like the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Mercedes-Benz R-Class and last year's worst-seller, the Acura RL. Next, vehicles are considered as they are reported by the automaker, which means that, while sales of the Murano CrossCabriolet were probably low enough to make the list, because Nissan reports only one number for all Murano sales, it was excluded. Cadillac, however, reports sales of the Escalade EXT separately from the Escalade, hence its repeat appearance.

Finally, there was the question of whether or not eligibility should be given to Suzuki vehicles, as the brand announced in November that it would end sales in the US as soon as its current inventory ran out. We decided Suzuki vehicles should be included as the brand was offering 2013 models at the time of the announcement, and as far as we can tell, inventory levels remained high enough to satisfy demand through the end of the year.

Without further ado, below are the top 10 worst-selling vehicles of 2012.

Continue reading These are your top 10 worst-selling vehicles of 2012

These are your top 10 worst-selling vehicles of 2012 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Jan 2013 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
2012acuraappsaudibmwc30equatorescaladeescalade extgt-rgtrgtr nurburgring timeilancerlancer sportbackmitsubishinissansubarutribecattvolvoworst selling carsworst-selling vehiclesworst-selling vehicles of 2012z4zdx

Mon, 07 Jan 2013 15:01:00 EST 20417056
Filed under: Car Buying, Earnings/Financials

The holiday season saw Santa leave some nice gifts for the industry.

Pop the champagne, don't spare the caviar. The New Year has begun with a bang. Or, more precisely, the old year ended with one, December car sales delivering a much-needed boost to an auto industry still feeling the cold chill of its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

And the last-minute push past partisan gridlock that avoided an economic meltdown (can we all now abandon last year's tired cliché, "fiscal cliff"?) suggests that 2013 will maintain momentum. By most estimates, we'll see new vehicle sales surge somewhere into the low to mid-15 million range this year, and a new forecast by RL Polk predicts we could be looking at volumes of 16 million by mid-decade.

That's great news. At least it should be if you work for an automotive company or supplier or have some auto shares in your stock portfolio. If you're a car buyer, well, the story might not be so bright. Here's why it all depends on where you are in the consumer food chain.

Let's look at it from the industry perspective for a moment. The holiday season saw Santa leave some nice gifts for the industry. A long line of brands, including Nissan, Audi, Porsche, Subaru, Hyundai and Jeep, set all-time records last year. Bankrupt barely three years earlier, Chrysler Group wrapped up a string of 33 consecutive monthly sales gains.

While Toyota could claim Camry as the best-selling passenger car in the US, Ford could counter with the world's number one seller in the form of the Ford Focus, while the F-Series again topped the overall US sales chart. And Ford's Blue Oval was the only brand to top the 2 million mark in the US last year.

Paul EisensteinPaul A. Eisenstein is Publisher of and a 30-year veteran of the automotive beat. His editorials bring his unique perspective and deep understanding of the auto world to Autoblog readers on a regular basis.

Continue reading The good news and the bad news about December car sales

The good news and the bad news about December car sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 06 Jan 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
auto productionauto salescar salesdecemberdecember car sales

Sun, 06 Jan 2013 15:00:00 EST 20417399
Filed under: Car Buying, Government/Legal, Tesla

Tesla has been facing resistance from dealer associations with its factory-owned dealerships since the start-up automaker first started selling cars, but it won another big case in Massachusetts when a judge dismissed a lawsuit brought on by the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association (MSADA). According to Automotive News, the case was dismissed after the judge said the association "lacked standing to sue" despite the fact that MSADA executive vice president quotes the state law as saying, "A factory cannot own a store."

The latest lawsuit follows a similar suit from back in October where the MSADA attempted to prevent Tesla from opening a store in a suburban Boston mall; the electric car maker received approval to open another store in Natick, MA, which brought on this second lawsuit. It's unlikely this is the last we've heard about this issue in Massachusetts and in other states, but Tesla seems to be coming out victorious in each case so far. While laws pertaining to dealerships vary state to state, factory-owned dealers are usually noncompliant with state law - a lesson Chrysler learned back in 2011.

Dealers' suit against Tesla dismissed in MA court originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Jan 2013 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
factory owned car dealershipmassachusetts state automobile dealers associationmsadastate franchise lawsteslatesla dealership

Fri, 04 Jan 2013 15:44:00 EST 20416918
Filed under: Car Buying, Ford

The best-selling vehicle in all the land last year was, of course, the Ford F-Series pickup. If our math is correct, that makes its string of sales crowns 31-years long. While last year's performance of 645,316 units sold is far from the 900,000+ sold in 2001, 2004 and 2005, it was still enough to best the F-150's main competitor and second-best-selling vehicle of 2012, the Chevrolet Silverado, plus that truck's twin, the GMC Sierra, combined.

This year's list of the top 10 best-selling vehicles in the US doesn't hold a lot of surprises, but there are a few items to note. Look closely and you'll see that the Toyota Camry, long America's best-selling car, nearly overtook the Silverado for the list's second spot. Last year was probably the Camry's best shot, as an all-new Silverado and Sierra will go on sale soon and likely put first runner-up honors out of reach.

There were two vehicles bumped from the list year: the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Cruze. The Cruze made its first and only appearance on the list in 2011, but strong competition from redesigned competitors like the Honda Civic, which reappears on the list for 2012, kept its sales flat. The Fusion's absence is also likely due to its fiercely competitive segment. Redesigned for 2012 and with more production capacity than ever before, however, could see it on next year's list.

Scroll down to see the rest of this past year's best-selling vehicles.

Continue reading These are your top 10 best-selling vehicles of 2012

These are your top 10 best-selling vehicles of 2012 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Jan 2013 15:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
2012best-sellingbest-selling vehicles of 2012f-150ford

Fri, 04 Jan 2013 15:02:00 EST 20417241
Filed under: Car Buying, Etc., Safety Overview of airport filled with Hurricane Sandy flooded cars

The damage from a major natural disaster can be harrowing - loss to life and limb combined with property damage, environmental, economic and psychological impact make picking up the pieces difficult. But long after the crisis ebbs, the damage lingers, becoming ever more pernicious and difficult to discern. Mold inside walls, unseen weakened structures... they all get covered up with fresh coats of paint. So, too, it is with the automobiles affected.

We first told you about these cars yesterday, but now professional photographer Doug Kuntz has agreed to share his incredible aerial images with Autoblog so we can pass them on to you, the reader. Going one better, Kuntz has given us more than twice as many images than what you saw on the link yesterday.

The runways full of cars seen above are the four-wheeled remnants of Hurricane Sandy - but they aren't all headed to the scrap heap. These vehicles are but part of the over $63 billion in damage brought by the late October storm, but insurers are hoping to recover some of their own damages by auctioning some of them off, parting others out, and scrapping the rest. The runways of Calverton Executive Airport on Long Island shown above are now home to 15,000 such vehicles - a sliver of an estimated 230,000 cars and trucks damaged or written-off by Sandy.

Some of the cars shown in these images will join thousands of others that will filter their way back into the used car market in some form or another. New York law dictates that complete vehicles must have their titles stamped as "flood" to alert buyers, but it's not uncommon for that to not happen, whether born of intent to deceive or simple neglect.

Snapper Kuntz urged Autoblog to warn you, the reader, of the danger of purchasing flood-damaged cars like these, including damaged electrical and safety systems. In Sandy's case, he didn't just see these vehicles from the air:

"I saw some of these cars parked on the streets of Rockaway with the bags deployed. I talked with tow truck drivers and mechanics who moved these cars, and have worked on Katrina wrecked cars. The tow truck drivers confirmed the airbag deployments, and the mechanics agreed about the problems taking time to show, and be very expensive to fix, and in some cases, not worth the cost."

Kuntz, who referred to such vehicles as "ticking time bombs," believes strongly that all the affected vehicles should be scrapped, and he agreed to share these images with us as long as we relayed his valuable warning. We join him in urging caution when wading into the used car market at all times, but particularly following major disasters like Sandy. It can take weeks, months or even years for flood-damaged cars to reveal themselves, so get your prospective buys properly inspected. And if there's any doubt in your mind, well, just check out the gallery above for 15,000 good reasons why walking away is usually the smart move.

Even more images of the airport full of 15,000 flood-damaged Sandy cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Jan 2013 12:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
calverton executive airportcar insuranceflood carsflood damageflood-damagedhurricane sandyinsuranceinsurance fraudsandysuperstorm sandy

Fri, 04 Jan 2013 12:44:00 EST 20417023
Filed under: Car Buying, By the NumbersBest Year Since 2007, F-Series And Camry Remain Top-Sellers

Most automakers probably wish the party that was 2012 would keep right on going into 2013, because the past year was was very good for the auto industry in terms of sales. With December sales now reported, the final seasonally adjusted sales rate of the year is 15.38 million vehicles. Automotive News reports that 14.49 million light vehicles were sold in all, which is up 13 percent compared to 2011 and marks the third straight year of growth over 10 percent.

Of the major brands, Chrysler was the biggest winner with a 39.13-percent rise in sales compared to 2011, followed closely by Volkswagen with a gain of 35.06 percent. Of the big, big brands, however, Toyota led all with a rise of 27.12 percent on sales of 1,838,338 units. Honda followed with a gain of 12.69 percent on 1,266,569 sales. Both Japanese automakers can now be said to have fully recovered from both natural disasters that disrupted their production and supply lines, as well as recalls from previous years that had damaged both their brand images and reputations for sterling quality.

Perhaps it would be quicker to talk about the brands that didn't perform well, as that group is much smaller. Coming in under a red flag were Cadillac (-1.71 percent), Jaguar (-2.16 percent) and Lincoln (-4.08 percent) - all luxury brands and each missing out on reporting a sales gain by relatively small margins. At the bottom of the barrel, however, is Mitsubishi, which found itself with sales falling 28.09 percent compared to 2011. Suzuki was also down, 4.73 percent to be exact, despite some speculating the fire sale of its remaining inventory would lead to an improvement in sales for the brand, which announced it was exiting the US market back in November.

Lastly, let's go over some particular stats to give you a better picture of last year's winners.

  • Best-Selling Brand: Ford (2,168,015)

  • Best-Selling Luxury Brand: Mercedes-Benz (295,063 *includes Sprinter)

  • Best-Selling Vehicle: Ford F-Series (645,316)

  • Best-Selling Car: Toyota Camry (404,886)

  • Best-Selling CUV: Honda CR-V (281,652)

  • Best-Selling Minivan: Dodge Caravan (141,468)

  • Battle of the Pony Cars: Chevrolet Camaro (84,391, -4.4%) beat Ford Mustang (82,995, +17.8%)

  • Top Five Midsize Sedans: Toyota Camry (404,886), Honda Accord (331,872), Nissan Altima (302,934), Ford Fusion (241,263), Hyundai Sonata (230,605)

  • Top Five Minivans: Dodge Caravan (141,468), Honda Odyssey (125,980), Toyota Sienna (114,725), Chrysler Town & Country (111,744), Nissan Quest (18,275)

*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 307 selling days in 2012 and 307 selling days in 2011, so there is no difference between the change in yearly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.

2012 - Don't Call It A Comeback Edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Jan 2013 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
20122012 auto sales2012 yearly auto salesby the numbers

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 19:58:00 EST 20416385
Filed under: Car Buying, By the NumbersVolkswagen, BMW, Honda End Year On High Notes

Let's get right to it since you're probably still nursing a hangover from New Year's Eve and what you really want to know are not sales results for the month of December, but sales results for the whole of 2012. Patience; that post is coming next, but first you have to sit through this one that focuses just on the twelfth and final month of 2012.

December was actually short on surprises with the likely brands staying near the top of our table. Volkswagen capped the year with a strong 35-percent gain in sales compared to the same month last year, as did BMW, which reported a gain of 39 percent. The gain that Honda reported of nearly 27 percent was perhaps most impressive of the bunch though, considering its much larger volume.

Many of the big mainstream brands reported minor sales gains in the single-digit range, brands like Toyota with 7.04 percent, Chrysler with 6.42 percent, Chevrolet with 3.68 percent and Ford with 2.53 percent.

If there were any surprises in December 2012's sales numbers, it was a few of the brands we found in the red. Nissan just missed out on a positive performance with a small decline in sales volume of 3.64 percent (though its daily average sales rate was a positive 0.07 percent). Jeep was also down 8.5 percent, and Kia, a consistently strong performer both in 2011 and 2012, reported sales down 9.71 percent.

Okay, okay, enough with December. We'll get back to finishing up our By the Numbers report on 2012 sales as a whole, so stay tuned.

*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 26 selling days in December 2012 and 27 selling days in December 2011, so there is a difference between the change in monthly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.

December 2012 - New Year's Rockin' Eve Edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Jan 2013 16:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
by the numbersdecember 2012december 2012 auto salesdecember auto sales

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 16:59:00 EST 20416346
Filed under: Car Buying, Sedan, Mazda 2014 Mazda6 - maroon - front three-quarter dynamic view

The 2014 Mazda6 starts at $20,880 - *excluding a $795 destination fee - and will offer buyers up to 37 mpg highway in base form. That money will fetch buyers a 2.5-liter four-cylinder paired to a six-speed manual - a setup packing 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. The Skyactiv powertrain is good, Mazda says, for 25 miles per gallon in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. Stepping up to the six-speed automatic gearbox will yield an additional 1 mpg in city and highway driving for up to 38 mpg highway. Despite offering more equipment, the base 2014 model carries a modest $155 price increase over its 2013 predecessor.

Available trims include i Sport starting at $22,495 and i Touring at $24,495 (*both excluding destination charges). The latter swaps the standard car's 17-inch wheels for 19-inch rollers and includes dual-zone automatic climate control and leatherette sport seats among other niceties. Buyers can snap up a tech package that includes TomTom navigation and an 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint sound system for $2,000. Keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers and the company's Smart City Brake Support are all part of that kit as well. Check out the full press release below for more information, and look for more details on the diesel-powered 2014 Mazda6 as we get closer to that vehicle's launch.

Continue reading 2014 Mazda6 gets up to 38 mpg, priced from $20,880*

2014 Mazda6 gets up to 38 mpg, priced from $20,880* originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Jan 2013 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
2014 mazda mazda6mazdamazda6mazda6 fuel economymazda6 mpgmazda6 pricingskyactiv

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 13:28:00 EST 20416075
Filed under: Car Buying, Earnings/Financials Chevy Cruze Eco badge

Factory fuel economy packages, the special trims or option groups bundled with efficiency improving items such as low-rolling-resistance tires, aerodynamic tweaks and electric power steering, cost the consumer a few hundred dollars (or more) at the time of purchase but don't seem to add any resale value down the road, says a recent report from

Consumers are lured to the packages by the promise of an extra mile or two per gallon. While that does deliver minor savings on the monthly fuel bill (about five bucks, for the typical 12,000-mile annual driver), it is often nearly a decade before the initial investment pays for itself. Plus, experts say owners shouldn't expect to benefit from any price premium on their eco-equipped models when it comes time to sell.

As it turns out, calculating precise resale values on these special models is complicated. Not only are they low volume, but few are sold as separate trims (exceptions include models such as Honda's Civic HF and the Chevrolet Cruze Eco, pictured above). This means they aren't always differentiated on resale projections. Even when they are, the news isn't always good. In one resale study, the 2010 Kia Forte with the fuel-economy package was listing for $238 less than its standard sibling.

Further reducing the appeal of the high-efficiency trims is advancing technology. In most cases, redesigned vehicles deliver better fuel economy than their predecessors. Experts suggest that consumers consider fuel economy packages like upgraded audio components and navigation systems - expensive in the showroom, but obsolete and of little additional value down the road.

How high-efficiency trims can actually reduce your car's resale value originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Jan 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
eco modelsefficiency trimsfuel economy packagesfuel efficienthigh mileageresale value

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 11:30:00 EST 20415029
Filed under: Car Buying, Sedan, Safety, Acura, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Kia, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Volkswagen, Volvo 2013 Honda Accord V6 Coupe - red - front three-quarter view

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has revealed its annual list of Top Safety Picks, an award that highlights automobiles it says offer "superior crash protection." A new and still more significant award, the Top Safety Pick+ honor, is given to those vehicles that earn good ratings for occupant protection in four out of five areas of measure. And while some 117 vehicles were given the TSP seal of approval for 2013, just 13 passed muster for TSP+.

To be fair, IIHS only evaluated 29 vehicles with its new testing procedures for TSP+ (we'd expect that the number of qualified cars will rise substantially for 2014). Luxury and Near Luxury midsize cars were the first groups evaluated, followed by midsizers in the Moderately Priced Cars category - unsurprisingly, it's only midsize cars that you'll find among the class this year.

Only two luxury sedans made the list of 13 for 2013: the Acura TL and Volvo S60. The other 11 cars on the list included entries from domestic, Japanese and German car makers: Dodge Avenger, Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord (sedan and coupe), Kia Optima (but not its close kin, the Hyundai Sonata, strangely), Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy and Outback, Suzuki Kizashi and the Volkswagen Passat all made the grade.

Scroll down below for the full IIHS press release, and some more information about the methodology behind the institute's new Top Safety Pick+ testing.

Continue reading IIHS says these are the safest cars of 2013

IIHS says these are the safest cars of 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Jan 2013 19:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
2002013 iihs top safety pickaccordaccord coupeacuraaltimaauto safetyavengerchryslerdodgefordfusionhondaiihsinsurance institute for highway safetykiakizashilegacynissaoptimaoutbackpassats60subarusuzukitltop safety picktop safety pick+volkswagenvolvo

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 19:15:00 EST 20414992
Filed under: Car Buying, Etc.

Google is always trying new things, and everyone knows that new things don't always work out. But the search engine company's location on the Internet roadmap is a natural lure to its hundreds of millions visitors, so even when not-so-popular Google projects don't work out - like Wave and Buzz, for instance - or get entirely reworked, like Google Sync, it can affect a lot of people and businesses.

In August 2012, Google's social media portal Google+ (think of it as Google's version of Facebook) purged thousands of reviews left on the Google+ pages of car dealerships and changed the algorithm for how reviews are rated. According to Automotive News, one dealer saw 300 published reviews drop to just 11, another lost 145 reviews, yet another dealer had 400 reviews go "poof" over the course of two days. Google never truly explained its actions, noting that its efforts to remove all "spammy" reviews, like those solicited from customers and written at the dealership, for instance, would mean perfectly legitimate reviews might also be eliminated. That sent hundreds of dealers - especially those who had gone from positive to negative overall ratings - immediately on the hunt for another way to get reviews.

Five months later, dealers are still searching, with sites like,, among the top destinations. The key to finding a supplement to Google+ is ensuring that third-party-site reviews get the prominence they need. A dealership's Google+ page will show reviews from other sites and it's possible to get them to show up in Google search results, but it's more complex than when everything was in one place, and right now, there's still the need to rebuild the goodwill that the purged positive reviews were creating. The power of positive reviews is continually evident in the amount of increased traffic online and in the store, so it's something dealers can't walk away from. Which takes us back to Google's location on the Internet road map: It means dealers could have a long walk ahead.

Why upset car dealers are trying to find a way around Google originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Jan 2013 18:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
auto salescar dealerscar salesdealer ratingsdealerrater.comdealershipgooglegoogle plusgoogle+reviewreview sitesreviews

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 18:27:00 EST 20414473
Filed under: Car Buying, Etc., Volvo, Earnings/Financials 2013 Volvo S60 T5 AWD - white - front three-quarter view

Experian, the US credit reporting agency, recently concluded a study into the financing and credit scores of US car buyers. One of the prime findings was that Volvo buyers enjoy the strongest credit scores among new car shoppers from all brands (nota bene, these are Experian's own numbers and can differ from other agencies). Unlike the Forbes report on the same story, though, we don't find that surprising at all, nor do we think it necessarily helps Volvo's upscale brand aspirations. The Gothenburg-based carmaker has sold its wares on tank-like safety for decades, so it seems natural that its buyers would be just as safe with and attentive to their credit scores as they are with their choice of vehicle.

Audi was ranked fourth by consumer credit score, Porsche seventh and Mercedes-Benz ninth, yet the fact that Volvo outranks them in this metric is probably a plus to its bottom line but not necessarily its image. It's not unfair to say more people desire those other luxury brands - Volvo itself has admitted as much - and people in the throes of desire have been known to be a little more let-it-ride about things like credit scores. The differences aren't huge, though: compared to Volvo's 818, Audi shoppers scored at 813, Mercedes shoppers 802. Lexus and Acura intenders took the other two steps on the top-credit-scores podium.

Mitsubishi took the honors at the other end of the charts, Experian finding that its potential customers, with an average of 604, had the lowest scores. Mitsubishi was followed by Suzuki and Dodge. On the other side of the financing table, Toyota led the way in how many of its vehicles were bought with bank assistance, followed closely by Ford, Chevrolet taking third place. Also of note, and for whatever it's worth, not one automaker made both the 'top ten by financing' and 'top ten by credit score' lists, but four made both the financing and 'bottom ten by credit score' lists: Chevrolet, Nissan, Kia and Dodge.

Other interesting findings? The average amount that consumers financed in the third quarter of 2012 for a new vehicle purchase was $25,963 - up from $25,873 a quarter ago. On the used car side of the equation, the average amount financed was $17,577 - up from $17,359 a year ago.

You'll find a lot of other interesting car financing tidbits in the official press release by scrolling down.

Continue reading Volvo buyers have best credit scores among all auto shoppers

Volvo buyers have best credit scores among all auto shoppers originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Jan 2013 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
car buyingcreditcredit scoreexperianexperian automotivefinancingvolvo

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 14:15:00 EST 20414474
Filed under: Car Buying, Ford

Ford won't be snagging the best-selling-car title away from Toyota just yet, but in addition to what should be another runaway best-selling-truck title, it can also boast being the top-selling brand in the US last year. While year-end sales totals aren't even in yet, Ford has already confirmed that it hit a big milestone by selling more than two million sales in the US for the year.

Following the November numbers that were up 5.4 percent year-over-year and were only about a month's worth of Escape sales short of the two-million-sales mark (1,961,177) to begin with, this didn't come as a huge surprise, but what is noteworthy is that Ford is the only brand to eclipse this mark since 2007 (and it has done so two years in a row). Chevrolet and Toyota are the closest competitors to Ford having sold 1,684,555 and 1,674,802 units, respectively, through November, but this doesn't include sales from other brands. Looking at automakers as a whole, General Motors should have top sales with almost 2.4 million units tallied at the end of November while Ford and Lincoln combined just barely passed two million sales during this same period.

Putting things in a bigger scale, Ford also says that, as of September, the Focus, F-Series and Fiesta models were three of the top five in global sales based on data provided by Polk. We should have our By The Numbers post up soon with a full breakdown of December and 2012 sales, but until then, check out some of Ford's press release posted after the jump.

Continue reading Ford tops 2 million US sales in 2012

Ford tops 2 million US sales in 2012 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Jan 2013 11:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
fordford 2 million salesford 2012 salesford salesus car sales

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 11:32:00 EST 20414478
Filed under: Car Buying, Hybrid, Technology, Chevrolet, Earnings/Financials

Automotive dealerships are accustomed to training sales and service professionals when new models arrive, but the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt - and its pricey additional tool and equipment costs - is frustrating some low-volume retailers to the point of dropping the model from the showroom. A recent report says that a few discontented dealers have stopped carrying the innovative sedan because General Motors is requiring a more significant investment in the near future, and the specialized costs (in excess of $5,000) aren't offset by the model's slow sales at those establishments.

This time last year, Chevrolet had 2,614 stores certified to sell its Volt (out of 3,079 dealerships). A full 70 percent of the sales were generated by the 300 highest-volume dealers - leaving 2,314 dealerships to fight for the remaining 30 percent. Some of those non-metro stores, like Jim Barnard Chevrolet in Churchville, NY, have sold just five units in the past two years (they are understandably opting out).

Yet some dealerships, like John Holt Chevrolet-Cadillac in Chickasha, OK, are soldiering forward. Even though they have sold only five Volts since its introduction, the owners have chosen to make the investment as sales are on the upswing (Volt sales have more than tripled this year) and GM is introducing other plug-in hybrids with similar technology ( Cadillac ELR) in the near future. "I figured I'd be foolish not to buy the damn $5,100 tool," said owner Holt.

Some Chevy dealers ceasing Volt sales due to costly tools originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Jan 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
chevroletchevrolet volt salesretailerstool investmentvolt

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 11:00:00 EST 20414135
Filed under: Car Buying, Hybrid, Sedan, Japan, Toyota, Luxury 2013 Toyota Crown Athlete - front three-quarter studio shot

The 58-year-old Toyota Crown line has entered its 14th generation with the unveil of the 2013 Crown Athlete and Crown Royal sedans for the Japanese market, both of which can be had with hybrid power. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter V6 with 200 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque, while the hybrid uses the 2.5-liter four-cylinder from the Camry mated to an electric motor for 176 hp and 163 lb-ft. The Athlete (shown above) gets a third choice, a 3.5-liter V6 with 311 hp and 278 lb-ft.

There are two transmissions in the mix, the base engine in either sedan shifting through a six-speed automatic, while the more potent V6 in the Crown Athlete gets an eight-speed auto. Depending on which model is chosen, either the rear or all four wheels will be driven.

Outside, the sedan - less than an inch longer than our Lexus ES - gets a stiffer body thanks to more spot welding and a new can't-miss-it grille reminiscent of a crown. On the Royal model, the opening is filled with horizontal bars, while the Athlete trim gets mesh filler. Inside is the Toyota Multi-Touch Operation unit that allows touchscreen control of various functions, new wood grain patterns and gold stitching. Driving and safety tech includes an Adaptive High Beam System, Panoramic View Monitor, Pre-collision System and Intelligent Clearance Sonar.

Prices for the Crown Royal series start at 3,530,000 yen ($40,983 US) and go up to 5,360,000 ($62,225 US) for the hybrid Royal Saloon G. The Crown Athlete starts at 3,570,000 ($41,438 US) and goes up to 5,430,000 ($63,028 US) for the hybrid Athlete G. Toyota hopes to shift a not-insubstantial 4,000 Crowns per month in its home market. Scroll down to see a press release below with more details on both models.

Continue reading Toyota launches redesigned Crown flagship in Japan

Toyota launches redesigned Crown flagship in Japan originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 01 Jan 2013 16:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
2013 toyota crown2013 toyota crown royal2013 toyotal crown athletecrowncrown athletecrown royaltoyota

Tue, 01 Jan 2013 16:43:00 EST 20413710
Filed under: Car Buying, China, GM, Volkswagen Volkswagen China

Automotive News reports General Motors and Volkswagen will vie for the the sales title in China next year. Buyers in the country have been keen to snap up Audi sedans, and the cars' popularity amongst Chinese bureaucrats has helped bolster Volkswagen in the region. Next year, analysts project the German automaker will sell 2.7 million vehicles in China through 2013, thanks in part to new or revised versions of the Volkswagen Santana and Golf as well as the Skoda Octavia and Audi Q3.

Meanwhile, analysts project GM will move some 2.7 million units in China next year. The automaker plans to roll out the all-new Cadillac XTS as well as three new Opel models. Overall, China may see passenger vehicle sales jump by as much as 10 percent in 2013, pushed by a rebounding economy and better consumer confidence.

And what about Toyota? We've already heard the Japanese automaker will likely take the global sales crown next year, but analysts predict the company won't be at the top of the food chain in China. Toyota and other Japanese automakers are still suffering from consumer resentment spurred by a territorial dispute between China and Japan, and those woes will likely carry over into next year.

GM, Volkswagen face off for China sales title in 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 30 Dec 2012 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink |  Email this |  Comments]]>
chinageneral motorsgmtoyotavolkswagen

Sun, 30 Dec 2012 15:01:00 EST 20411946


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More