Last night kicked off the 2017 New England International Auto Show, held right here in Boston, Massachusetts. While the big event in Detroit earns the majority of attention around this time of year, New England’s exhibition this year is all about cars you can actually find for sale on dealer lots—cars you and I could actually go out and purchase, rather than a slew of concepts and debuting vehicles unavailable for months to come. Continue reading >>>
Sharing nuggets of wisdom is part of fatherhood. How to pronounce “February” (that “r” is in there for a reason). How to tie your shoes (there’s nothing wrong with the bunny-ears approach). How to shave your face (you know, growing a beard isn’t a bad idea). We learn so much from our dads, and driving and maintaining a car stands as a hallmark of any father-child relationship. From learning to parallel park to changing the oil, and from heel-toe shifting to understanding the physics behind oversteer and the inherent superiority of rear-wheel drive, many of us wouldn’t have made it to “Guru” status without a little fatherly guidance.
Sales of new vehicles, from nearly all brands, fell a combined 6 percent last month, but one brand defied the trend and set a new sales record.
Jeep managed to move more than 90,000 vehicles in May, a new record and an increase of nearly 14 percent over the same month last year. Even more remarkable is that May 2016 was two days shorter than May 2015.
Ford sales were down 6.6 percent, GMC went down 14.3 percent, and Chevrolet fell 18.6 percent. FCA’s other brands didn’t fare as well as Jeep, with Chrysler falling 18.5 percent and Fiat down 18.9 percent. Ram sales were flat.
All these percentages can be translated into one very interesting fact: Americans have fallen in love with Jeep.
In the category of things that are long overdue, let’s place this:
While speaking at the Chrysler Belvidere Assembly Plant, Marchionne said the Compass will continue to be built at the facility through August 2014, at which point it will be replaced by a new model. He also said the Grand Caravan will be the automaker’s only minivan moving forward. Marchionne also let slip his company’s intent on the development of a Dodge Dart SRT model, saying the performance-oriented vehicle is coming just as soon as they figure out how big an engine to put in it.
For all the talk about guys and their cars, the truth is it’s the girls who make most of the buying decisions. Women account for about half of all auto purchases, but influence up to 80 percent of all automobile transactions in the U.S.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that women tend to go for practicality in cars, while guys lean toward style and power. So now that the top 10 cars that women bought in 2011 have been announced, what can we expect to see on the list? Minivans, Miatas and Jettas? Not even close!
In the past, Chrysler designers could draw up a vehicle of questionable design, get it signed off by management, see it hit the production lines and then watch it languish on dealer lots.
The fact that the cars sold only to retirees and rental companies was a job for the marketing department, not the designers.
Thankfully for everyone, those days are ending, thanks to a harsh CEO who expects nothing less than greatness and won’t accept another sub-par design.