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

Road Trip: Traveling the ‘Blue Highways’ of Texas
When I was in high school, one of my favorite summer reading assignments was “Blue Highways – A Journey into America,” by William Least Heat-Moon. This non-fiction treasure was so named because of the off-the-interstate “blue” marked highways that appeared in the Rand McNally road atlas. Recently, my family and I embarked on our own blue-highway road trip from Dallas to the Tuscan-like terrain of Texas Hill Country. While we could have made the journey to Kerrville, Texas, on the direct (and boring, and traffic-clogged) route of Interstate-35, we… Read More

Buying a new vehicle? Go for silver, ‘techno-gray’ or white
If you’re seeking a new vehicle to replace your current car, you probably will want to consider purchasing something in a nice silver or silver-gray, maybe white, according to Kelley Blue Book. The report is based on an annual color popularity study conducted by DuPont Automotive. The top three overall colors for new vehicles are silver (23 percent), white (15 percent) and black (12 percent), and silver was the favorite color for every category except SUVs, minivans and light trucks, which represents just over half the new vehicle market. In the SUVs,… Read More

Vehicle financing delinquency avoidable – if you plan ahead
Don’t be a delinquent. That sometimes is easier said than done when you’re trying to pay off a new car, SUV or truck on limited income to banks and finance companies. The time to think about the potential for a payment delinquency is before it happens – when you may be able to do something about it – not after it has occurred. Unfortunately, after the fact is precisely when a lot of people begin to think about a delinquency. Preventing delinquency, which could forestall a significant damage to your credit score or rating, should begin when you start thinking… Read More

Positive signs for Chrysler Capital, auto finance industry
Two months after launching Chrysler Capital, signs are that the financial services provider focused on Chrysler Group dealers and customers is off to a strong start in an industry rebounding from a years-long recession. Between its debut and mid-June, Chrysler Capital wrote about 21 percent of consumer loan and lease originations at Chrysler Group's 2,500 dealerships in the United States, the most of any lender. Chrysler Capital, now Chrysler's preferred finance provider, gives the automaker’s dealerships a stronger lineup of loan choices for car shoppers, and that is showing in the results already. “I consider that pretty strong right out… Read More

Road Trip: Where to go for summer vacation, according to AAA survey
Going into the long July 4 weekend, the very definition of summer for many folks, it is the perfect time to think about summer road trips – whether that’s a long weekend or a couple weeks. The kids are out of school and you have vacation time available. But then comes the most important question: Where will you go for that summer road trip. What will you tell the kids when they ask, “Are we there yet?” Where IS there? Well, “there” can be a lot of different places, so we looked to AAA to help identify the best destinations.… Read More

What to know about green cars, other vehicles as more hit American roads [Infographic]
When green cars, SUVs and trucks hit the road, everyone seems to notice. More and more – total vehicle numbers and models – are doing just that. About one in 250 vehicles now on the road are so-called green vehicles – green cars, SUVs and trucks – that is, not standard gasoline-engine vehicles, according to Grist news and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Considering the segment growth, we thought it would be fun and informative to take a graphic look at green vehicles and their still small, but increasing influence on American motorists and driving. The accompanying infographic, “Green with… Read More

Top Five Formula 1 Teams chase world championship at Silverstone, Nurburgring
Two Santander-sponsored Formula 1 races, Santander British Grand Prix (June 28-30) at Silverstone and Grosser Preis Santander Von Deutschland (July 6-7) at Nurburgring in Germany, will provide the top teams an opportunity to edge closer to the coveted season championship at the season’s midpoint. Those teams include Ferrari with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, sponsored by European-based banking giant, Santander. In addition to the Ferrari racing team, Santander sponsors the McLaren team drivers. Here are the top five teams and points in this year’s competition: Red Bull (201 points) The team made their grand prix debut in 2005. The Red Bull driving… Read More

Road trip: Across the Rocky Mountains in Colorado
I departed from Dallas’ Love Field airport on Friday, June 14, en route to Vail, Colo. (see photo), to coach my summer lacrosse team in a tournament there. The trip was my first encounter with the magnificent Rocky Mountains. The team’s coaches flew to Denver and decided to remain there for the weekend before we went to the tournament, which started on Monday in Vail. While in Denver, which sits at the foot of the Rockies, we went to Red Rocks Park just outside of the city and hiked the trail:… Read More

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