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July 2013

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Car refinance a smart move for many with high interest rates, payments
Refinance is an idea we’re accustomed to hearing in connection with a home mortgage – especially in recent months with interest rates at historic lows. But consumers may not be as familiar with refinancing in connection with a car loans. Still, refinancing a car can be a smart move for the same reason someone would refinance a house – reducing the monthly payments and freeing up income for other uses. “Say you bought a new car two years ago and there were a few dings on your credit. You might have been charged 9 percent on a five-year loan for… Read More

Consumer Reports ratings: 2014 Chevrolet Impala rises to top
With a phoenix-like turnaround, the revamped 2014 Chevrolet Impala has changed the landscape of Consumer Reports ratings by earning the top spot overall for all sedans — and taking a position that has been held by Japanese and European models for at least the last 20 years. The redesigned Chrysler 300, Ford Escape and Fusion, and Jeep Grand Cherokee also were cited by CR. The Impala has gone from the bottom of its class in Consumer Reports ratings, with a mediocre test score of 63 — too low to be CR “Recommended” — to… Read More

U.S. automakers on road to strongest new car sales since July 2006
U.S. automakers should record their strongest July retail sales of new cars and trucks in eight years, said a forecast by, a source of car shopping and automotive information. predicts sales of more than 1.3 million new cars and trucks by end of July. The projected sales will be a 5.3 percent decrease from June 2013, but a 15.2 percent increase from July 2012, according to The website anticipates that this month will be the biggest July performance since 2006, when automakers sold 1,489,359 vehicles. “Overall sales are undoubtedly… Read More

Spotting the ‘hottest,’ ‘most anticipated’ new cars for 2014 – Part 2
If you read our blog yesterday, you undoubtedly are on pins and needles waiting to see the five additional cars in Part 2. (If you didn’t read it, you can go back here to catch up.) We referenced eight online compilations of the “hottest,” “most anticipated,” “most significant” vehicles for 2014, providing links to the five most useful lists. Yesterday’s list comprised the BMW i3;Cadillac ELR; Chevrolet Impala, Silverado and Corvette Stingray, and the Ford B-Max. These, along with the five below, have excited the imaginations of industry-watchers. While the lists aren’t all the same, about a dozen vehicles rate mentions… Read More

Spotting the ‘hottest,’ ‘most anticipated’ new cars for 2014 – Part 1
The “hottest” new cars for 2014, proclaimed. and and others list their “most anticipated” vehicles; offers its 15 “most significant new cars,” and Car and Driver names “25 cars worth waiting for.” No matter how you characterize them, some new cars and trucks coming for 2014 from late this summer through the beginning of the year excite the imaginations of industry-watchers. And while the lists aren’t all the same, about a dozen vehicles rate mentions on two or more compilations. Those are the cars and trucks on which we focused when we went looking the top… Read More

Surge in leases shifting new car market, says
A surge in car leases is helping to boost the popularity of new cars, reports, a premier resource for car shopping and automotive information. New cars account for about 29 percent of all sales through May of 2013, according to an analysis of vehicle registrations from Polk. That puts the year on pace to top last year’s rate of 27.6 percent, the highest penetration of new cars in at least five years. Helping to drive this trend toward new cars is a sustained push in leasing. found that 25 percent of new cars sold this year were… Read More

Buying a certified pre-owned (used) vehicle
Many car purchases start with one question: New or used? There is nothing like a new car smell! When you buy a new car, truck or SUV, you can select from a wide variety of vehicles, colors and just the right features/benefits you desire. The manufacturer may offer cash rebates, incentives or lower interest rates to qualifying customers. You may even want to consider leasing a new vehicle to help you get a lower payment. For a used car, there are many benefits as well. These include the possibility of a lower car payment versus a new car; the hit of… Read More

Prius sales surpass three million worldwide since launch
Everywhere I turn in traffic, a Prius seems to be there, too. Apparently, it isn’t my imagination. The iconic gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, the first mass-produced hybrid passenger car, which also has been around for 16 years in one form or another, recently surpassed the three million mark in cumulative worldwide sales, reported Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC). “Such a figure puts the Prius' own success into perspective. While Toyota now produces a wide range of hybrid vehicles, it's the core line which still sells in the greatest numbers, and in certain locales – California being a prime example – it counts… Read More

Pickup trucks top targets of thieves, research says
Pickup truck drivers beware. Your vehicle may be on thieves’ list of favorite targets. Research released by the Highway Data Loss Institute, based on insurance theft claims during the period 2010 to 2012. The research showed pickups were the first five vehicles on the list of those most often targeted by thieves – whether that’s to steal the truck or its contents. The most targeted truck of all is the Ford F-250 pickup, a heavy-duty version of the top-selling F-150, according to the institute. Besides the F-250, the top five comprises the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab and Avalanche 1500, the… Read More

‘Dealers love trade-ins’ as profit center, says ‘GreenLight Remarketing’ magazine
After starving for inventory during the Great Recession, automobile dealers have turned to trade-ins as a reliable profit center, reports Karen Jones in the current edition of GreenLight Remarketing magazine. “Dealers love trade-ins,” says Ricky Beggs, vice president and managing editor of Black Book USA, in Jones’ story. “It’s another piece of inventory they have an opportunity to recon­dition, remarket and create a profit for their store.” As new car sales continue their climb back toward pre-recession levels, trade-ins are com­ing back in higher numbers with greater value, Jones writes in her article, “Trading Up.” “Because most cars on the road are… Read More