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Spotting the ‘hottest,’ ‘most anticipated’ new cars for 2014 – Part 1
The “hottest” new cars for 2014, Forbes.com proclaimed. Automedia.com and Zimbio.com and others list their “most anticipated” vehicles; Autotrader.com 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 Edmunds.com
A surge in car leases is helping to boost the popularity of new cars, reports Edmunds.com, 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 Edmunds.com 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. Edmunds.com 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

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 KBB.com 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

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