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BMW Will Launch Car Sharing Program… Again

April 12th, 2016

bmwi3

Why own when you can borrow?

The average payment for a new car in the United States is $479 per month. Insurance can cost an additional hundred bucks or more, so let’s figure it costs somewhere around $600 per month to own a new car. Factor in monthly fuel costs, parking fees, and general maintenance, and costs can get close to $1,000.

It’s no wonder some people choose to forgo car ownership in favor of public transportation or car sharing.

Car sharing has found pockets of success in the U.S., but BMW hopes that the new service it’s starting in Seattle will eventually benefit car sharers nationwide.

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Ford’s Mexico Announcement Sparks Controversy

April 11th, 2016

Ford_Fiesta_ST

Ford is moving to Mexico.

Well, not really, but you’d think so based on the reaction of some politicians after Ford announced plans to expand and build more vehicles in Mexico.

The Detroit automaker said it will invest $1.6 billion in a new Mexican facility and create 2,800 jobs by 2020, with construction expected to begin this summer. The plant will build small cars for export to the United States.

This is probably a good development for American car buyers because it means more affordable vehicles on dealer lots. Not everyone sees it that way, though.

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Double Your Money to Get a Much Better Used Car

April 7th, 2016

2011 Toyota Camry LE

Are you in the market for a used car? Think you want to spend $7,500 on some good basic transportation? Don’t. What you really want to do is buy a $15,000 used car. It’s fast becoming the automotive sweet point for buying a used vehicle.

Why’s that? You’re going to be in for an overall better buying and ownership experience. Some may say less is more, but in this case, more is more when it comes to buying a used car.

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Car Punching: The Auto Industry’s Dirty Little Secret

April 7th, 2016

service loaners

When I first heard the term “car punching,” I imagined groups of rambunctious teenagers vandalizing cars on dealer lots.

It turns out car punching isn’t quite as scandalous, but still isn’t an ideal practice. The term is in reference to car dealers that artificially increase sales, which can pad the bottom line and give automakers an edge when reporting sales numbers.

Carmakers are constantly battling for the sales crown, and car punching could be the dirty little secret that pushes one company over the edge.

How does it work?

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IIHS Study Shows Your Headlights May Be Doing a Poor Job

March 31st, 2016

IIHS headlight study

Headlights are not something most people think about when buying a new car. But considering half of all accidents take place at night, you might want to pay attention to what the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has to say in its ranking of headlights.

The bad news, according to the IIHS, is that the Toyota Prius v is the only midsize car out of 31 tested that receives a good rating. Throw in the various trim levels among those 31 cars, and the Prius v is the only midsize car of 82 variants to get the rating.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Safety, Car Shopping, General Chat, Hybrid Cars, New Cars ,

If a Chicken Screams in New York City, Does Anyone Notice?

March 31st, 2016

Trans Am Worldwide's Bandit Edition 7T7 Trans Am

In a low, good-ole-boy grumble, the representative for Trans Am Worldwide told me that the Bandit Edition 7T7 Trans Am on display at the New York International Auto Show was already sold to a customer in Dubai. “You know, all of those guys have Ferraris and Lamborghinis. If you want to get noticed, you drive something like this. Our cars are popular there.”

Signed personally by Burt Reynolds, star of the iconic “Smokey & the Bandit” trilogy, the Bandit Edition 7T7 Trans Am starts life the same way every vehicle built by Trans Am Worldwide does. With a fifth-generation Chevy Camaro SS. Officially licensed to build the cars, the company undertakes a significant styling conversion and offers the 7T7 Trans Am in a variety of color combinations as well as with varying degrees of equipment and performance.

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Dyson, the Vacuum Company, Could Develop an Electric Car

March 30th, 2016
What would a Dyson car look like?

What would a Dyson car look like?

An electric car that doesn’t suck.

It’s a horrible cliche but when a vacuum company is rumored to be developing an electric car, there’s a certain responsibility to dive into the realm of predictable jokes, get them out of the way, and then move on to the bigger news.

In this case the news is that Dyson, the company famous for selling expensive vacuums and the hand dryers found in public restrooms, could be working on an electric car.

The joke potential here is huge, but I will refrain and instead comment on what matters: Another company from outside the car industry is reportedly building a car.

If true, this is big.

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Supercars at the 2016 New York International Auto Show

March 29th, 2016

Koenigsegg Regera

The funny thing about being at a major auto show is that you tend to get tunnel vision. You can be running around the show floor taking notes on crossovers and minivans and not acknowledge that you’re standing amidst some of the most impressive supercars on the planet. Thankfully, that was not a problem for us at the 2016 New York International Auto Show.

Fresh from appearances at the Geneva Motor Show, the New York show is the first time some of these supercars have been seen on North American shores, and they represent various corners of the high-end ultra-performance marketplace.

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Day Two at the Javits Center: The New York International Auto Show

March 25th, 2016

Honda Civic Hatchback Concept

Day Two began with the World Car Awards. Backed by a surprisingly loud, club-ish soundtrack and some odd song choices (maybe intended to help attendees wake up after a very long Day One?), the Toyota Mirai fuel-cell vehicle got the World Green Car Award, the Audi R8 Coupe took the World Performance Car Award, and the BMW 7 Series won the World Luxury Car Award. Mazda managed to take two trophies, as 2016 World Car Design of the Year and World Car of the Year, with its MX-5 Miata, and having driven the car ourselves, we heartily applaud the WCA jurors’ decision.

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The ETV: What to Do with Your Old Chevy Aveo

March 24th, 2016

The ETV

To be frank, the Chevrolet Aveo was never an aspirational car. It was transportation selected more for its practicality than its passion.

Nor is it a car that would normally turn heads at a venue like the New York International Auto Show (running now through April 3). However, it’s a different story when its platform is the donor for the ETV, a car made by Mike Vetter’s Car Factory in Micco, Florida. In that case, it stops foot traffic among a typically jaded automotive media, with auto journalists stopping to wonder, “What is that?” It’s the first of eight in existence, and it’s a great-looking vehicle (even it does look like an over-stuffed ballet slipper from the side).

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