пятница, 31 марта 2017 г.

Is the new car market still healthy?

Is the new car market still healthy?What’s the most important US economic data which will get revealed next week? Of course that’s U.S. auto sales for the third month of the this year. That’s how we will release what really consumers are up to, and if the stock market had a rough ride in 2017. What do we expect?

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Specialists say we must wait for another solid month of sales of 17 million new cars at a seasonally adjusted rate for March, but nothing like those 18.4 million we got in December. The number would however point to a third consecutive decline on a 12-month rolling basis. With sales peaking and prices set to drop, the secondary effects are expected to be felt beyond car makers and dealers. Lease and used-vehicle prices are expected to fall sharply this year, which cited its estimate earlier this month when it lowered its 2017 profit forecast.

March U.S. auto sales: trucks lead the way

March U.S. auto sales are expected to approach a record for the month, and account for the first year-over-year increase in monthly sales so far in 2017. New-vehicle sales in March should top 1.6 million, the highest for the month of March since 2000. The forecast is based on online auto shopping behavior through the first part of March. Automakers in the U.S. market are scheduled to announce March and first-quarter sales on Monday, April 3. Forecasters said the March increase should mean that U.S. auto sales for the first quarter would be about even with the first quarter of 2016.
February 2017 sales were about 1.3 million, down 1.1 percent from a year ago. January sales were about 1.1 million cars and trucks, down 1.9 percent. A strong trend towards trucks and away from cars has also continued this year. The catchall “light-truck” category includes pickup trucks, sport-utilities, minivans and crossovers – that is, carlike trucks or truck-like cars, depending on your definition. In 2016, truck sales gained 7 percent while car sales fell 9 percent. Read more 

Seven Fast and Furious movies equal over $500 million of damage

We guess that most of you like “The Fast and the Furious” movies. As fun as they are, we should be glad that the events of the films never took place. The reason is simple: because they would be extraordinarily expensive. One of British websites went through all seven current films and calculated an estimate for the damage to both cars and buildings that ensued in the films. The total was £419,446,914, or $523,222,275 at current exchange rates.
The website also broke down the damage by movie, types of damage, and damage by character. By far the film with the most damage and highest cost was Furious 7. In the film, characters caused enough damage to have cost over $250,000,000. That’s roughly half of the damage cost for all seven movies. By contrast, the first five movies all caused less than $25,000,000 worth of damage individually. If you’re looking to watch the most car friendly Fast and Furious films, we would recommend the first one, that had the lowest levels of cosmetic, “serious,” and “special vehicle” damageFurious 7 had the most “special vehicle” and “serious” damage to cars, and 2 Fast 2 Furious had the most cosmetic damage. Read more 

четверг, 30 марта 2017 г.

First A4 from the long-awaited Audi quartet gets revealed

First A4 from the long-awaited Audi quartet gets revealedYou might have heard of the quartet of Audi A4 models which need to be revealed by the automaker within this year, and you probably are just as curious about what special features they might have, just like we are.

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The A4 Premium Plus is the middle child of the standard A4 line, fitting between the entry-level Premium and the top level Prestige. Stepping up to the Premium Plus adds 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, an S Line body kit, Bang & Olufsen sound system, parking sensors, aluminum window trim, and heated power seats with memory. This model from Audi has a number of upgrades that bring it quite close to the Prestige trim level. Most notable is the Technology package, which adds the Audi Virtual Cockpit instrument panel, which replaces the physical gauges with a big LCD screen. It also comes with rear cross traffic alert.
Read moreirst one of them

The long way of PEV sales in U.S.

The long way of PEV sales in U.S.When you ask people about their feelings for electric cars, you will get 2 answers, they either love them or either hate. There’s no one person who would be careless about the PEV market. Instead of just relying on opinions, especially at a time when everyone seems to have one, we decided to bring you some true PEV sales information from last year, putting together a handy infographic.

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What is this info based on? Among that we’ve got PEV density by state last year, the best-selling PEVs for 2016, and monthly sales compared to 2015. First off, if you look at the monthly sales breakdown, it’s clear that for each month in 2016, more PEVs were bought than during those same months in 2015. For example, in December of last year, 19,133 PEVs were purchased, versus only 12,632 for all of December 2015. Based on that info, you might say more people are adopting plug-in technology. Note, though, that for some months the gap is much smaller.

Plateau in US auto sales heightens risk for lenders

As U.S. auto sales have peaked, competition to finance car loans is set to intensify and drive increased credit risk for auto lenders. Analysts say that that the combination of plateauing auto sales, growing negative equity from consumers and lenders’ willingness to offer flexible loan terms is a significant credit risk for lenders. Motor vehicle sales have boomed in the years since the Great Recession. U.S. sales of new cars and trucks hit a record annual high of 17.55 million units in 2016.
It is expected that U.S. new vehicle sales will decline slightly to 17.4 million units in 2017.That would mean lenders will be chasing fewer loans, which could cause them to further loosen loan terms and loan to value criteria. Over the past several years, lenders have supported automotive credit growth with “accommodative financing,” including longer loan terms. With every successive year, lenders’ profitability is getting thinner and thinner, and their credit losses have been growing. In the first nine months of 2016, around 32 percent of U.S. vehicle trade-ins carried outstanding loans larger than the worth of the cars, a record high. Read more 

The legendary Toyota FJ40 is back under another name

The legendary Toyota FJ40 is back under another nameIf you love the legendary Toyota FJ40 than you’ll love reading this news, one of the first Toyota cars gets a potential successor next month at the New York Auto Show. Toyota promised to bring something called FT4X concept to the popular car show, and dropped a key statement that made us realize where it’s going to "Four Wheeling. Scene Stealing”, what else do we need to guess what the automaker is up to?!

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What does that mean? An FJ40 off-road-themed successor makes the most sense, though Toyota didn't specify what kind of vehicle the FT-4X concept is. The automaker also released an image of an off-road wheel measuring 225/55R18 set in Goodyear rubber.Toyota built the retro FJ Cruiser – a successor to the FJ40 – from 2006-2016, with US sales ending in 2014. With a new Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco in the works and sport utility sales remaining hot, adding a dedicated off-roader could be a savvy move for Toyota.

Even foreign automakers think of opening new plants in US

Even foreign automakers think of opening new plants in USWe knew that Donald Trump is somehow pressing U.S. automakers to build new factories and offer more jobs, but he may have to settle for plant overhauls and incremental job expansions such as Ford Motor Co.’s planned $1.2 billion investment in three Michigan factories that’s expected to create at least 100 jobs.

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Trump pushed automakers during a roundtable in Ypsilanti Township earlier this month for more U.S. plants, and in a speech to autoworkers the same day he said plants are coming back — other plants that were expected to be built in other countries are not being built. Analysts and even automakers say it’s doubtful auto companies will spend the $1 billion or more needed to construct new plants: U.S. auto industry sales appear to be at a peak, and most companies simply don’t need more production capacity. While Trump repeatedly has urged the auto industry to deliver, industry experts are skeptical that automakers will meet the president’s costly demand for modern U.S. manufacturing plants.

Daimler to spend $11 billion on 10 new EV models by 2022

Last week we found out that Daimler was among the most ambitious legacy automakers when it comes to the electrification of their vehicle lineup with plans for 10 new all-electric models and 15 to 25% of all their production being electric by 2025. Yesterday at Daimler’s Annual Shareholder‘s Meeting in Berlin, the company announced an acceleration of those plans. They are now aiming to get those new electric vehicles in production by 2022, that is 3 years sooner than previously announced.
The announcement comes as Daimler confirmed that it failed to reduce average fleet emissions in Europe for the first time since 2007. It was also announced that last year the average fuel emissions remained at 123 grams for Mercedes-Benz Cars, the same level as in 2015. It is the first time since 2007 that it has failed to cut average pollution levels despite the introduction of more fuel efficient engines throughout its range. This means they are falling behind their goal for 100 grams by 2020, which would explain the acceleration of their electric vehicles plansRead more 

среда, 29 марта 2017 г.

The U.S. auto sales bubble could soon burst?

May be we have been living in the auto industry bubble, but it’s time to look at things from a fresh perspective amid some worrying rounds of new data. The cars are getting way more expensive in light of the increased horsepower and amenities. Unsurprisingly, this rising level of auto luxury has come alongside a surge in the stock market that has buyers willingly plunking down their credit card or some cold hard cash to get a new toy.
The same thing could be applied to non-luxury cars, say mid-size sedans from FordToyotaand General Motors. They are receiving hosts of new features that have caused buyers to reach deeper into their pocketbooks. Meanwhile, it’s also causing people to trade in their cars more often than they would have in the past, in order to stay up to date. A Ford Focus has turned into nothing more than an Apple iPhone that has to be upgraded every few years. But all this activity has triggered several dangerous trends underneath the glitz and glamour that always surrounds the auto industry. And with the Federal Reserve possibly on track to raise interest rates four times this year, it’s time investors pay closer attention to the realities of the auto spaceRead more 

Novitec Maserati Levante coming up with an upgrade kit

Novitec Maserati Levante coming up with an upgrade kitThe exquisite Novitec Maserati Levante is now here with a subtle aero kit, classy wheels, even better exhaust noise, and more power for the new Levante.

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Let’s begin with power where Novitec Maserati Levante gets a software mod as well as exhaust upgrade for its twin-turbo V-6 gasoline engine, so that it can generate 494 horsepower and 660 Nm of torque. The diesel motor also gets a boost to 322 horsepower and 680 Nm of torque, but what you want is the petrol as it can accelerate from 0 to 100 kmh in 4.8 seconds. The sound is enhanced as well thanks to the NOVITEC Active Sound Systemwith Sport button which engages the valves.

Ford invests $1.2 billion in US, after Trump's pressure

Ford invests $1.2 billion in US, after Trump's pressureFord is again ready to invest in its three Michigan facilities approximately $1.2 billion, and this time it is coming with another 130 jobs for Americans. We don’t know how did the automaker make this decision, whether it was pressured by Donald Trump who wants USA automakers to invest in the country more, or it was just a decision took on their own.

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The investments were in the works well before Trump took office, however. Ford announced plans to upgrade some of its Michigan plants in November 2015 as part of a new contract with the United auto Workers unionFord Americas President Joe Hinrichs said the company told the White House about the investments Tuesday morning. Hinrichs said it's not unusual for the company to reach out to state and national political leaders before such an announcement. Hinrichs said Tuesday's announcement was timed to a state meeting where officials approved nearly $31 million in grants and 15-year tax exemptions for Ford. Ford will spend $850 million to upgrade the Michigan Assembly Plant next year to build the Ford Ranger midsize pickup and Ford Bronco SUV. Ford plans to build the Ranger starting at the end of 2018 and the Bronco starting in 2020.

вторник, 28 марта 2017 г.

Bugatti Chiron's First Drive Will Make You Think You Drive a Plane

Bugatti Chiron's First Drive Will Make You Think You Drive a PlaneWhat can we tell you about the Bugatti Chiron, well that’s not one of those cars you can easily take your eyes from. It looks perfect from head to tow, and that’s one thing we are sure about. It has a peak spead of 377 km/h (do the math, and that's 234 mph), with the quad-turbocharged W16 squeezing a max of 1,466 horsepower at 6,691 rpm.You’ll get the felling that you’re driving a plane and not a car.

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For the 500 wealthy souls who will take delivery, the $2,998,000 Chiron is most certainly an emotional purchase. But it's backed by a battery of left-brain thinking aimed at making it a quicker, smoother, more involving car than its famously controversial predecessor. For starters, only five percent of the engine's parts are retained from the Veyron, the bulk of the new parts getting strengthened, lightened, and re-engineered to better cope with the thermal demands of the heightened output. The four turbochargers are 68 percent larger and now work sequentially so the first set can facilitate a torque plateau between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm. The larger, second set of turbos extend the flat line to 6,600 rpm. The seven-speed gearbox manufactured by Ricardo, which is essentially the only dry-sump dual-clutch on the production car market, has been strengthened and reinforced to withstand the engine's thumping 1,180 pound-feet of torque. The immense drivetrain is housed by a carbon-fiber chassis by Dallara that requires 1,500 hours to build.

U.S. March car sales go up about 1.9%

U.S. March car sales go up about 1.9%March U.S. new vehicle sales will be about 1.62 million units, that’s up about 1.9% from 1.59 million units a year earlier. The forecast was base on the first 16 selling days of the month. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate for the month will be 17.3 million vehicles, up from 16.8 million a year earlier.

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Retail sales to consumers, which do not include multiple fleet sales to rental agencies, businesses and government, were set to increase 1 percent in March. Highlighting "policy uncertainty" over whether Republican U.S. President Donald Trump will press ahead with plans for a "border tax" on imported vehicles, we are maintaining that 2017 sales forecast of 17.6 million vehicles, an increase of 0.2 percent from 2016.

понедельник, 27 марта 2017 г.

California opposes Trump and moves forward on emissions rules

California environmental regulators, taking a defiant stand against President Donald Trump on climate change, reaffirmed their commitment Thursday to tough standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars. The California Air Resources Board voted unanimously to move ahead with progressively stricter tailpipe emissions regulations, along with a separate mandate that requires automakers to sell more zero-emissions vehicles.
The vote on greenhouse gas restrictions suggests a potentially bruising legal battle with the White House could be coming. Trump last week ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review the greenhouse gas regulations, which were launched in California years ago and adopted as the nationwide standard by former President Barack Obama. Amid complaints from auto executives that the rules are too stringent, Trump hinted he will weaken the regulations and told autoworkers in Michigan he’s acting to “defend your jobs, your factories.” A final decision from the EPA is expected in about a year. Read more 

The 2017 Toyota Yaris iA – a lovely little car?

You may think that the 2017 Toyota Yaris iA is too cheap to be reliable enough, but it’s not true. It’s a car that definitely deserves your appreciation. Let’s start with honesty, and it begins from the minute you start equipping the car – the 2017 iA is a “what you see is what you get” proposition. You see, the iA moniker isn’t the only holdover from the Scion era. The ToyotaYaris iA retains its “monospec” configuration, which means it comes with only one option: the transmission. Customers can choose from either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic which costs $1,100.
Everything else is standard, and “everything” includes some choice features. You get alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, USB and Bluetooth integration, a rear-view camera, tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, and keyless entry with push-button start. The little 1.5-liter four-cylinder under the hood isn’t particularly potent with 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque. But with a Miata-like 2,385-pound curb weight and our car’s manual transmission, it manages to feel fairly sprightly, and never has any trouble dicing it up with traffic. Read more 

Mazda MX-5 gets an all-exclusive droptop

Mazda MX-5 gets an all-exclusive droptopMazda Mx-5 cup global racing-car has been an old-fashioned, open-top competition machine but now after 3 years of road races, the issue has got solved with the availability of a bespoke hardtop exclusively designed for the racing car.

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The new removable Mazda MX-5 Cup hardtop is a track-only factory option and it is a pricey one: $4,420. They don’t offer it for the road going model because that would probably mess with the MX-5 RF market. At any rate, now you can enter your beloved MX-5 Cup into a whole range of new competition series and enjoy its unique blend of handling and driving fun. These roofs are sold exclusively through Mazda Motorsports.

Online car shoppers fighting for leads with traditional dealerships

Online car shoppers fighting for leads with traditional dealershipsShopping sites become platforms for car purchasing? Dealership groups embrace the concept of consumers buying vehicles online. Some use shopping portals from tech companies have developed their buying sites in-house.

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Meanwhile, third-party stalwarts are considering a future where they could go beyond their current roles as inventory hubs and gateways to dealership sites. This evolution would allow consumers to browse listings, settle on vehicles and then close deals using buying tools on third-party sites, without necessarily visiting a dealership's site. Such a move would require third-party platforms to redo their plumbing and form new partnerships with players such as finance companies, which would be needed to handle the credit-approval process for consumers. And they would have to get dealers to agree to sell vehicles on these sites in the first place.

пятница, 24 марта 2017 г.

Orange County car sales hold steady in February

Orange County new vehicle sales mostly held steady in February, slipping a mere 0.3 percent in yet another sign the hot auto industry is at a plateau. Auto sales peaked in 2015 with a 8.7 percent gain overall compared with 2014, then leveled off in 2016 after six years of growth. Last year, local dealerships reported a sales decline of less than 1 percent, according to the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association, which tracks new vehicle registrations.
In January, post-holiday auto sales in the county decreased 4.2 percent. The group expects 2017 auto sale numbers to be similar to those seen in 2016. John Sackrison, OCADA’s executive director, claims that it’s a strong market. Sales have likely plateaued but plateaued at a healthy level. In February, cars saw a 7.4 percent decrease in sales while light trucks saw a 8.4 percent increase. Read more

The best and the worst cars for safety complaints

We all complain about something. It even happens, that we complain about our cars. Analysts decided to analyze a half-million complaints about safety issues made to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for the model years 2005-2016, regarding 400 car models
The overall average was 26.8 complaints per 10,000 cars sold. Domestics were eight of the 10 vehicles with highest complaint rates – but there’s at least one surprise on that list. Seven of the least-complained-about cars are imports, and that list has a couple of surprises at the top. Read more 

2017 Porsche 911 Carrera

2017 Porsche 911 CarreraEvery next generation of the well-known Porsche 911 Carrera gets better and better each time they arrive on the car market. The power of these models edges further and further with every new update. It’s gotten to the point where the current ‘991.2’ Carrera S produces about the same power as the full-fat 911 Turbo from a couple of generations ago, and now, it’s been given another boost.

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It’s all part of a range of new options Porsche has added to the 911 range. This includes new colours and upgraded connectivity, but - obviously - the extra poke is of greatest interest to us. An extra 30bhp can be added via a kit which includes larger turbochargers, modified brake cooling, a sports exhaust and the Sport Chrono pack with dynamic engine mounts.

Online car shopping is a new dealership model?

Online car shopping is a new dealership model?Now that startups have tried and failed to beat the car salesman, many are taking a different route: catering to them. There are many car web-sites who stumbled in their attempts to bring more Amazon-like e-commerce to car shopping, a new wave of auto finance upstarts has emerged. Rather than fight a dispersed and politically-connected dealer industry, they’re bringing the country’s 17,000 new-car dealers into the digital age, meaning consumers aren’t going to be bypassing the dealership to buy new rides anytime soon.

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The market is so big that there’s nothing preventing someone from creating a new dealership model. Almost 20 years after the internet brought price transparency to the U.S.’s almost $1 trillion-a-year new car sales market, several steps of the shopping process have migrated online. But as buyers turn to auto websites like RepoKar.com for price comparisons and Consumer Reports for model reviews, they remain unable to finish the car-buying process without a visit to the dealer. The average consumer visited about 2.8 dealerships before buying a car in 2016, compared to 3.5 in 2012.

четверг, 23 марта 2017 г.

The very first sketch of McLaren BP23

The very first sketch of McLaren BP23:Ladies and gentlemen, here’s a first sketch of the new McLaren Hyper GT car BP23. The F1 successor seems to be absolutely awesome but at the same time completely pointless. Well, at least there are already 106 people who will buy them.

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So yes, we are teasing you with a car you cannot buy, and even if you could you most likely could not afford. Who cares, then, is McLaren Hyper GT BP23 is going to be the most powerful and most aerodynamic road-going McLaren ever produced? Or that it is a stand-alone McLaren Special Operations (MSO)? This teaser only serves to make the buyers of the BP23 more giddy as they wait for their futuristic hyper car to arrive some time in 2019.