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Ford scores highest in customer brand loyalty, Experian says
American consumers are more loyal to Ford Motor Company than other major auto manufacturers, such as General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen, says a report from Experian Automotive and posted online by The Car Connection – Blogs and News. “Ford has the competition beat,” said the recent Car Connection online post by Richard Read. “Ford dominated the showrooms in both corporate and brand loyalty during the last three months of 2012.” Corporate loyalty is a consumer's devotion to a particular automaker, regardless of brand, while brand loyalty means, for example, a Ford customer returns to purchase another Ford. Perhaps the best… Read More

March new car sales highest in more than five years, says KBB
New car sales were expected to remain steady at a 15.2 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in March, according to a report in the April 1 edition of Used Car News. Although percentage improvements were slightly slower than the first two months of the year, the expected 1.45 million unit total was on track to be the highest monthly sales total since August 2007. The results would be a 3.2 percent increase from last year, according to Kelley Blue Book. However, after adjusting for selling days in March, sales were expected to improve by more than 7 percent. At the… Read More

2013 Honda, BMW, Toyota win ‘Best Overall’ brand image awards, says Kelley Blue Book
Honda, BMW and Toyota top the 2013 Brand Image Awards for best overall non-luxury, luxury and truck brands, respectively, based on annual car-buyer perception ratings, according to Kelley Blue Book. Besides “Best Overall,” Honda also was recognized as “Most Trusted” brand and “Best Value” brand, with Chrysler, MINI and Ford each also winning a non-luxury category. Among luxury brands, Porsche won two categories, “Best Performance” and “Best Car Styling,” while BMW, Lexus, Buick and Mercedes-Benz each won one category. The Brand Image Awards are based on consumer automotive perception data from KBB’s Market Intelligence Brand Watch study. Brand Watch is… Read More

Chrysler Group scores best February sales in five years
Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC has reported U.S. sales of 139,015 units, a 4 percent increase compared with sales in February 2012 (133,521 units), and the group’s best February sales since 2008. The Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in February compared with the same month last year. The Dodge brand’s 30 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand in February. February was a record-setting month for eight Chrysler Group vehicles. The all-new Dodge Dart compact car continued to build momentum setting an all-time sales record in February… Read More

FindTheBest: 2013 model cars, pickups, SUVs
Readers love lists. We love lists. And lists of top-rated automobiles, whatever the ratings system, are among our favorites. One of the most interesting we spotted recently is “FindTheBest” (FTB) – 2013 model vehicles in this case – at cars.findthebest.com, which promises “unbiased, data-driven, comparisons.” “With 890 [current model] cars to choose from, we can help you find one (to meet your needs),” says the website. “A car is a huge investment, so it's important to get the one that's right for you.” At the top of the FTB listing is the 2013 Subaru BRZ, followed by the BRZ Limited,… Read More

Jeep, Oprah big winners among 2013 Super Bowl car commercials
The results are in on the Super Bowl. No, not those results. We knew the game outcome Sunday evening. We're talking about the Super Bowl of commercials airing during the big game. Of course, we took a special interest in the car commercials. And just like the game itself, there were winners and losers at the end of the day. We surveyed various media reports to see whether there was a consensus on the best and the worst car-related television commercials and found, as you might expect, a fair amount of agreement, but also several stark differences. Among the online… Read More

Innovation drives car buyers to choose most-valued vehicles
Hyundai, Volkswagen-Audi, BMW and Chevrolet may seem about as different as night and day – and day and night – but when American car buyers attach value to those manufacturers’ vehicles, all four can make a compelling case for the most-valued-vehicle  ranking. "Innovation is the strongest single predictor of which cars, brands and corporations are seen as the best value, or Total Value in our study," says Alexander Edwards, President of Strategic Vision. The model with the highest Total Value Index score from 77,153 new car buyers for 2012 is the Hyundai Equus, which leads the Luxury Car category in… Read More

Toyota, Honda, Ford ‘most reliable,’ CarMD says
Four of the most reliable cars on American roads are either recent model Toyotas or Hondas, with a Ford thrown in to spice up a list of the Top 5. That’s according to a “massive study” conducted by automobile repair diagnostics company, CarMD. Most reliable was the 2010 Toyota Corolla, followed by the 2008 Ford Taurus. The 2008 Toyota Yaris (3) and a pair of 2009 Hondas, the Pilot (4) and the Accord (5), also made the list of most reliable. Also among the Top 10 were two 2010 vehicles made by Subaru, the Forester (6) and Outback (10), and… Read More

Who will dominate U.S. auto sales this year?
Japanese automakers will produce six of the top seven vehicles sold in the United States in 2013, according to a projection by a firm that dispenses “insightful analysis and commentary for U.S. and global investors.” The rankings will be dominated by Honda, Toyota and Nissan, represented by the Accord, Civic and CR-V; Camry and Corolla, and Altima, respectively, predicts 24/7 Wall Street and reported by USA Today. The Japanese dominance will be interrupted only by the Ford F-150 pickup, projected to be the second-best seller for 2013, said the financial news website. Two more Fords – Fusion and Escape –… Read More

Which automaker manufactures the highest quality vehicles – VW, Toyota, Chrysler or Ford?
Volkswagen or Toyota. Toyota or Volkswagen. Both manufacturers have their fans and proponents, and there’s evidence to support them. Both automakers can stake a claim to leading important industry measures of quality. VW has the “best total quality” and Toyota the “fewest problems,” according to the 2012 Total Quality Awards compiled by Strategic Vision research group of San Diego, CA. Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Group follow VW in total quality, the research group reports, and Honda with three vehicles atop the ratings in their respective categories. “With near universal acceptance that manufacturers are running the tightest ‘quality race’ ever,… Read More