Archive for April, 2011

GM pushes up start date for Malibu

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

In an unusual move, General Motors has announced that it will be pushing up the scheduled production of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, meaning buyers may see the car four months ahead of schedule.

The car was originally slated to begin production in May 2012, but a perceived "hole" in GM's release lineup prompted the company to push the production up sooner to January, according to the Detroit News. Reportedly, new CEO Dan Akerson felt that the company did not have enough guaranteed top sellers being released between now and then, so he asked that changes to the schedule be made to accommodate the Malibu.

"Since Mr. Akerson came aboard, he's challenging us to move faster and this is the latest example," GM spokesman Dave Darovitz told the news provider.

As Chevrolet's midsize sedan contender, the Malibu is one of the top sellers for the company, moving nearly 200,000 units last year alone. A redesign generally tends to boost those numbers even higher.

Chevrolet will unveil the new car next week at the Shanghai Auto Show, with the event simulcast on the company's Facebook page. The car will also be at the upcoming New York Auto Show.

Drivers interested in the new model will still have to wait a bit for the release, so they may want to spring for a used Chevy Malibu from New Jersey State Auto Auction in the meantime. 

Camaro’s power boost to push it past Mustang

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Throughout the history of the automobile industry, one of the top rivalries has always been the Chevrolet Camaro vs. the Ford Mustang. These two pony cars have gone toe-to-toe since the late sixties, and it doesn't appear the war will be over anytime soon.

Chevrolet revealed today that the new 2012 Camaro will be getting an 11-horsepower upgrade on the V6 model in order to increase its power past that of its rival, the Ford Mustang. However, the Camaro won't sacrifice any fuel economy to do so – still achieving 30 mpgs on the highway. The current version of the Camaro is already outselling the Mustang, so this announcement will likely have the engineers at Ford scrambling to increase the power on their model.

In addition to the performance boost, Chevrolet will also offer a "45th anniversary" edition of the car this summer. This trim level will be mostly cosmetic, with unique badges, a red and silver racing stripe, a black interior with white dashboard and more. Besides this, Chevrolet has redesigned the steering wheel and added an option rear camera.

Drivers interested in a Camaro or Mustang should realize that these cars can be a bit expensive. It might be better to search for a used model from New Jersey State Auto Auction than buy new.

Ford goes green with recycled carpets

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Drivers who want to go green may consider purchasing a hybrid, or a fuel-efficient hatchback that gets good gas mileage. Or they might just look for a company that uses environmentally-friendly practices when building their vehicles.

Ford recently revealed an innovative idea that has helped them cut down on the carbon footprint that normally comes with building a vehicle. The automaker has revealed that in 2010, they used nearly 4.1 million pounds of recycled carpet – 154 football fields – to make the cylinder heads for vehicles such as the Escape, Fusion and Mustang.

Perhaps best for Ford, the automaker reportedly didn't incur any abnormal costs in using the material.

"We didn’t have to make compromises for this application," said engine sealing supervisor Roy Ford. "With a fixed raw material cost that delivers cost savings compared to oil, along with the green benefit, this application adds to the ways Ford is minimizing our impact on the environment."

The carpet recycling program wasn't the first green practice for Ford, which also uses soy foam seat cushions and recycled blue jeans for sound dampening material.

Drivers interested in a used Ford or any other vehicle may want to consider New Jersey State Auto Auction, which offers a wide range of cars for sale.

Toyota warns dealers of possible shortages

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Automakers and dealers continue to deal with the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Japan, and the latest word is that car dealers may be facing some seriously short supplies come summertime.

Up to this point, most of the news revealed by automakers has been with regards to temporary plant closings and stoppages in production. While not a good sign, these announcements did not directly confirm that dealers could expect a shortage of vehicles for the coming months. However, Toyota has released a memo that speaks to exactly that fact.

"Toyota will be producing new vehicles at significantly reduced levels," Bob Carter, group vice president of U.S. sales, wrote in a memo to dealers. "What we don’t know are vehicle production levels for May through July. The potential exists that supply of new vehicles could be significantly impacted this summer."

The memo does it make clear whether the issues are only affecting Toyota or all automakers. Toyota will lose production of at least 35,000 cars and trucks at its North American factories due to stoppages in March and April. It's unclear how many cars will be lost because of production stoppages in Japan.

Drivers interested in a used Toyota or any other vehicle may want to head to New Jersey State Auto Auction soon, before the model that they have their eye on ends up becoming tough to find.

Chevy to recall Cruze for steering wheel issue

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

It seems like something out of a cartoon – a steering wheel coming off in the driver's hands while the car is still moving. Yet that's exactly what happened to one unfortunate Chevrolet Cruze driver – leading General Motors to issue a recall.

The affected driver was reportedly able to get over to the side of the road safely without getting into an accident, but the incident prompted Chevrolet to look into the matter. The automaker found that on a select number of models made at a certain factory, the wrong steering wheel had been initially attached. This issue was later corrected, but the correct steering wheel was not properly fastened in some cases.

GM claims that the recall affects approximately 2,100 vehicles, a relatively small number compared to the size of many recent recalls. However, the problem is serious enough that drivers should take notice. The recall has already begun and drivers have been notified. Dealership service staff will check the wheel and ensure that it is correctly attached to the steering column.

Keeping appraised of the latest recall and safety news can help buyers make a decision between several different models. Once they're ready to test out some vehicles, they should consider New Jersey State Auto Auction, which has a wide variety of cars for sale.

Auto loan spending up in February

Friday, April 8th, 2011

The monthly report from the Federal Reserve indicates that more Americans are borrowing for "big-ticket" items via boat, education and car loans, while simultaneously decreasing their amount of credit card related debt.

The Federal Reserve's recently released figures, which tracked spending throughout February, are broken down into "non-revolving" and "revolving" debt. In simple terms, revolving debt is anything that's put on a credit card, while non-revolving are long-term loans other than mortgages (typically boat, education, vacation and car loans).

Non-revolving debt saw a big upswing in February, as it increased by more than $10 billion dollars. That was coupled with an $8 billion increase in January. Analysts are pointing to the brisk sales at auto dealerships as one of the primary causes, as Americans are financing their new purchases with auto loans.

On the other hand, credit card debt shrunk by more than $2 billion in February, suggesting that consumers are being careful with their finances. With the two figures combined, debt increased by 3.8 percent, the biggest swing since June 2008.

Drivers who need a car but are still being careful with their financial budgeting may want to come down to New Jersey State Auto Auction. There are a wide variety of models to choose from, and drivers can get car loan financing for the vehicle of their choice with terms that won't break the bank. 

Mercedes A-Class coming to America?

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

With small cars selling like hotcakes due to high gas prices, many industry analysts are wondering if Mercedes-Benz will release a model to compete with small luxury cars like the Audi A3, Volkswagen GTI and BMW 1-Series. Now that the company has released the first images of its revamped A-Class, the answer just may be here.

The current version of the A-Class isn't available in the U.S., and Mercedes has not made an official announcement regarding the car's future availability in America. However, with the concept version of the vehicle slated to be shown off at the upcoming New York Auto Show, it's a safe bet that the German automaker is at the very least considering releasing the model in the U.S.

As with most concepts, the current design has some exaggerations that won't be present on the final model. Perhaps most notably, the grille is made up of silver hexagons that the automaker says evokes "a star-filled sky." That said, the concept is different enough from the current version of the A-Class that analysts are expecting a major exterior redesign for the model. Mercedes has also confirmed that the vehicle will be powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 210 horsepower, which puts it right inline with the aforementioned rivals.

Drivers in the market for a small luxury car might be interested in the used Audis and BMWs available at New Jersey State Auto Auction, as the A-Class is likely still a year or more away from showrooms.

Error at Experian causes artificially low credit scores

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

A computer error at major credit bureau Experian led to many consumers' credit scores being temporarily lowered over the weekend, as they were thought to have overcharged their cards when they really hadn't.

According to MSNBC, data related to the credit limits on several thousand cards issued by HSBC was entered incorrectly, causing scores to plummet. The last two digits of the actual credit limit were apparently left off, meaning that a card with a $2,000 limit was instead reported as having a $20 limit. Obviously, this meant that a vast majority of the users were seen to be well above their limit, a situation that can have dire repercussions for credit scores.

The error occurred on Friday, April 1st, and was apparently not fixed until Monday, April 4th. Users found out about the issue due to credit monitoring agencies, which track scores for any major activity and send out alerts when major changes occur. According to the bureau, the scores should be back to normal now, although those whose reports were requested over the weekend may have been affected.

Drivers who are in need of a car loan should be sure to check their credit report for any inaccuracies before heading down to the dealership. Once they're sure that their score is accurate, New Jersey State Auto Auction can provide assistance with many forms of auto financing.

AutoNation posts strong March, urges caution

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Massive car dealership chain AutoNation has posted its sales totals for the month of March, and while cars have been moving quickly throughout the first few months of the year, the company believes that supply shortages due to the Japanese earthquake could slow momentum in the coming months.

AutoNation reported a 19 percent increase in new sales year-on-year, along with a 23 percent uptick in sales overall. While the month was obviously successful and in-line with the strong sales many automakers reported, CEO Mike Jackson urged caution for the next few months as the full impact of the earthquake on production is being ascertained.

"We expect production disruptions will significantly impact product availability from Japanese auto manufacturers in the second and third quarters of 2011," said Jackson.

Still, Jackson said that the aftermath of the quake was "still developing," and it's impossible to predict any hard numbers when it comes to vehicle availability

AutoNation may be one of the bigger dealership chains in the country, but drivers who want really great deals should head to New Jersey State Auto Auction. Those considering a purchase may want to make their move sooner rather than later, as it appears the issues resulting from the earthquake could soon come to fruition and kick off a supply shortage.

AAA: Cost of driving up compared to last year

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

A new study released by AAA has revealed that the cost of driving has risen in the past year, as drivers are now paying more for fuel and tires.

The annual study, entitled "Your Driving Costs" found that the overall price of owning and operating a vehicle increased by 3.4 percent in 2011. Although the cost for maintenance work and insurance was down, prices for fuel and tires were up. In addition, vehicles began to depreciate at a faster rate – a cost that the organization says many drivers overlook.

"The 2011 rise in costs is due to relatively large increases in fuel, tire and depreciation costs as well as more moderate increases in other areas," said John Nielsen, national director for AAA.

Specifically, fuel costs were up 8.6 percent, despite a rise in fuel economy for the most popular vehicles. Tire prices increased a whopping 15.7 percent, and drivers lost nearly 5 percent more due to depreciation.

Drivers who want to keep their costs down may want to consider purchasing a used car from New Jersey State Auto Auction. These vehicles won't depreciate nearly as fast and will also cost a lot less than buying new. 

Mercedes-Benz to recall M-Class SUVs

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Mercedes-Benz has announced a massive recall on its M-Class SUVs, due to a potentially scary issue with cruise control that could cause it to remain engaged.

The recall applies mainly to used cars, as the German automaker announced that it will primarily be M-Class vehicles from 2000-2002 that are affected by the issue. A small number of vehicles made between 2002 and 2004 under the AMG high-performance line are also included. In total, 136,751 vehicles are included for the U.S.

Cruise control allows drivers to maintain a certain speed without having to use the gas pedal. Normally, tapping the brakes allows a driver to disengage cruise control. However, Mercedes found that in a rare number of cases a malfunction with a brake-lamp switch could mean that tapping the brakes wouldn't be enough to disengage the system, potentially leading to a panicked moment where the car would be accelerating with no way to stop it.

Mercedes says that the cruise control doesn't completely become locked. Drivers can still turn off cruise control using the "stalk" located on the steering wheel, according to the company. Harder braking will also cause the system to become disengaged.

Drivers in the market for a used auto should keep up with the latest recall news to ensure that their vehicle isn't included. Once they've narrowed the choices down, they can head to New Jersey State Auto Auction to compare models.

Car rivalries heating up in early months of 2011

Monday, April 4th, 2011

It's baseball season again, but the biggest rivalry in the country may not be between the Yankees and Red Sox. If the early sales numbers are any indication, the real competition people should be watching is between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.

The rivalry dates all the way back to the sixties, and the current incarnations of the vehicles are so close in price and statistics that it's easy to say General Motors and Ford take the competition very seriously. March was a good month for Ford, as the automaker was able to outsell GM for just the second time since 1998. Yet it couldn't surpass the Camaro, according to USA Today, which sold 8,964 units to the Mustang's 8,557. Chevrolet also easily won January and February thanks to some nice incentives, making the overall score so far 19,972 to 15,419.

In more modern rivalries, Ford is doing a bit better. Its Fiesta subcompact is thrashing the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris, selling 9,787 vehicles in March alone. Of the two other cars, the Fit was closest, with 6,955 cars sold.

The closest race, however, is between minivans. The Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna are very similar cars, and Honda only eked out the win by about 100 vehicles, selling 10,586 compared to Toyota's 10,449.

Drivers interested in any of these vehicles should consider New Jersey State Auto Auction, which offers both new and used versions of these popular models.

Toyota unveils Scion FR-S

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Toyota has released new images of its Scion FR-S rear-wheel drive sports car, while confirming that the vehicle will be coming to the U.S. in 2012.

First known as the FT-86 Concept, the car originally appeared at an auto show in 2009, with no timetable for production. The car is the result of a joint venture between Toyota and Subaru to develop a 2 + 2 coupe to fill a hole in their lineups. Toyota's version of the vehicle has an aggressive, swooping front end and sleek styling, inline with the youth-oriented Scion brand. No performance information has been released, but it will reportedly be priced at $25,000 to compete with models like the Camaro and Mustang.

Subaru has not yet unveiled its production version of the vehicle, only showing off the chassis at the recent Geneva Auto Show with a translucent body that is unlikely to be seen in the final design. According to Edmunds, it may only be available in Europe.

Waiting for Toyota to release this new coupe will likely take some time, but if drivers are sold on this sleek-looking vehicle already, they might want to consider purchasing a used car in the meantime. New Jersey State Auto Auction offers a wide range of cars for sale at low prices that can easily tide drivers over until the FT-86 hits.

Ford officially outsells GM

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Many analysts predicted it in the middle of March, but the final sales totals for the month are in and Ford has officially outsold its crosstown rival, General Motors.

This marks only the second time since 1998 that Ford has been able to accomplish this feat. The previous time was in February of 2010, when Ford was momentarily the top brand in the country after Toyota's sales fell due to a recall and GM stumbled after the economic collapse. Even then, Ford only eked out a win by 470 units.

This time the difference was much larger, with Ford beating GM by 5,675 cars sold. Ford improved over the same period in 2010 by more than 16 percent. The key factors for the jump included record sales for the Fusion and Escape, a 56 percent increase in Fiesta sales compared to February, and a 21 percent jump in truck sales – which surprised analysts, given the high gas prices.

Still, General Motors has little to complain about. Sales increased by 17 percent year-on-year for the automaker, and the company absolutely cleaned up in January and February due to major incentives offered on its vehicles. In fact, many attribute the stumble in March due to the fact that GM retracted these offers on vehicles, rather than any type of quality flaw.

Whether you're interested in a Ford or a Chevrolet, New Jersey State Auto Auction has a wide range of cars for sale at affordable prices.

Ford, Nissan announce production changes

Friday, April 1st, 2011

As part of the continuing fallout from the Japanese earthquake, both Ford and Nissan have announced changes to production at some of their major plants

Ford has announced that it will be halting production at its Louisville, Kentucky, manufacturing plant, which primarily builds "Super Duty" pickup trucks, as well as the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. The automaker said it was partially tied to supply chain issues due to the earthquake in Japan, but it declined to state which parts it was waiting on. A sales analyst for Ford told Reuters that the decision wasn't solely tied to the disaster, however. With rising gas prices, large SUVs and pickup trucks are in less demand and Ford anticipates that it won't need as many as originally thought.

Nissan, meanwhile, is addressing the issue by adjusting its schedule. The automaker assigns "non-production" days to factories every year. Rather than take those days later on in the year, they have been moved into the present. This way, Nissan can make up the production at a later date if need be.

With less new vehicles out on the market, demand could spike in the coming month. Fortunately, the used car market is unaffected by these developments, so those who shop New Jersey State Auto Auction will still be able to find great deals as always.

Top cars for the month of March

Friday, April 1st, 2011

The month of March is in the books, and most of the major automakers have reported their sales totals. So which cars were the best sellers throughout the month?

Despite all the talk of drivers switching to smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles thanks to the higher gas prices, Americans still love their pickup trucks. The Ford F-Series was easily the best seller for a month that also saw Ford as the best selling brand. In fact, the F-Series outpaced the second-place vehicle, the Honda Accord, by nearly 20,000 units. Sales for the pickup were up 23 percent year-on-year. Although it is a truck, Ford's new powertrains for the vehicle give it a significant boost in fuel economy, which may have helped it outsell the Chevrolet Silverado, the third best-selling car for March.

The Hyundai Sonata was able to get on the list in the tenth spot, selling a whopping 64 percent more than the previous year. Mainstays like the Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and Honda Civic took up most of the middle slots.

In many cases, these are vehicles that have not seen significant improvements in recent years. That means drivers can essentially be getting the same vehicle for a lot less money by shopping used car dealerships like New Jersey State Auto Auction.