Archive for September, 2012
As September winds to a close, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is predicting auto sales will remain relatively on par with annual predictions. This month's seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) comes in at around 14.3 million units, which is about what experts predicted at the beginning of the year. This also places September sales 8 percent ahead of the same month last year. While this is a slight drop from August's SAAR of 14.5 million units, KBB officials believe consumer demand will continue to drive sales.
"The average vehicle on the road today is approximately 11 years old. Those consumers that have delayed their purchase of a new vehicle during the past several years due to economic reasons are finally making the decision to trade up to something new," said Alec Guttierez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for KBB. "As a vehicle ages beyond 10 years old, or has more than 100,000 miles on the odometer, rising maintenance costs and deteriorating reliability can become a serious headache. Drivers of older vehicles are keenly aware of this fact and many are opting to take advantage of the near zero percent finance offers on today's more reliable and fuel-efficient vehicles to achieve peace of mind."
Purchasing a brand new car may not be an option for everyone, and in many cases buying a used car can be the wiser choice. Used models do not depreciate in value as quickly as new vehicles. They are also an excellent option for drivers who are on a budget. Those in the New York/New Jersey area who are considering purchasing a used vehicle can head to NJ State Auto Auction. The dealer carries a wide selection of makes and models. Plus, thanks to partnerships with many major lenders, NJ Auto Auction offers guaranteed credit approval for everyone.
The automotive industry is still recovering from the recession, and as sales pick back up, the muscle car class has been seeing an increasing interest. Total Car Score, an automotive ranking and comparison website, recently found there has been a growing interest surrounding powerful sports cars. The additional demand for these decades-old models has driven up the price. For example, the two most highly sought-after vehicles – 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and 1971 Plymouth Hemi Barracuda – are both worth an estimated $425,000 in good condition.
While a large part of this trend surrounds vintage models from the late 1960s and early 70s, interest in newer vehicles has been growing as well.
"We're seeing a general rise in auction and listing prices of classic muscle cars as market interest in these models picks up," said Karl Brauer, editor-in-chief of Total Car Score. "Rare older models, in original or properly restored condition, are increasing in value even as the general economy continues to struggle. At the same time, the capability of modern muscle cars has skyrocketed over the past 12 years. For value seekers, several models produced between 2000 and 2010 offer excellent performance at a relatively low purchase price."
Some of the newer models include the 2000 Ford Mustang Cobra R, 2010 Chrysler 300 SRT-8, 2004 Mercury Marauder and 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT-8. Drivers who want to own a piece of modern muscle car history can head over to New Jersey State Auto Auction. The dealer has a wide selection of makes and models, and their inventory is constantly changing. With so many options to choose from, motorists should have no trouble finding a powerful ride.
It's not exactly a secret that larger vehicles use more gasoline than smaller ones, and medium-duty trucks are in the gas guzzler group, and despite improvements, customer satisfaction has not improved in the past year. J.D. Power and Associates' 2012 U.S. Medium-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study indicates that driver satisfaction in this vehicle class remained unchanged from 2011 – 757 points out of 1,000. The lack of change in satisfaction is somewhat surprising, as fuel economy across the class averaged 12 percent improvements in the past year. The report indicates this may have a lot to do with increased costs for consumers.
"Even with advances in fuel economy and quality, the cost to manage truck fleets continues to increase, negatively impacting satisfaction," said Brent Gruber, director of the commercial vehicle practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Higher fuel and truck prices have impacted satisfaction, pushing principal maintainers to look at other cost savings options. However, they have concerns regarding new alternative fuel technology."
There continue to be more offerings of medium duty trucks with alternative fuel options such as hybrid, diesel, natural gas and electric technologies. However, they study found consumers are still hesitant to embrace these choices due to concerns about reliability and fueling. Many may prefer to stick with what they know when it comes to trucks, and New Jersey State Auto Auction is a great place to find a good deal on a used pickup. The dealer carries a wide selection of makes and models and every truck on the lot is CARFAX certified. This means truck shoppers will know they're getting behind the wheel of a reliable ride.
Despite slowed economic improvements, the automotive industry continues to fare well.A monthly sales forecast by J.D. Power and Associates indicates September sales are set to remain on target with an 11 percent annual increase predicted earlier this month. Overall vehicle sales should reach an estimated 1,152,700 units by the end of the month. Certain vehicle classes are faring better than others, as J.D. Power predicts subcompact, compact and midsize sedans will all see increases of at least 25 percent over last year. Large trucks, and SUVs will not fare so well, suggesting a consumer push for smaller, more fuel efficient models.
"Retail sales in early September were 15 percent higher than they were a year ago, which is reflective of a healthy market," said John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. "We expect retail sales to level off through the rest of the month, but still remain a strong share of total sales."
There are many different factors influencing vehicle sales, including increased supply as Japan recovers from the 2011 earthquakes. Consumer confidence is another reason more cars are being sold. While the economic recovery is not happening quickly, the improvements are enough to make drivers feel comfortable trading in their current models. For those who are still on a tight budget, New Jersey Auto Auction offers a wide selection of used makes and models at affordable prices. Every vehicle on the lot is CARFAX certified, allowing car shoppers to feel confident that they are getting behind the wheel of a reliable ride.
It's no secret that you can trade in your current vehicle and use the funds toward your next purchase, and the value of your used vehicle may be higher than you think, due to a waning supply of used models coupled with an increased demand. A report by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) indicates trade-in values have been climbing lately.
"Higher trade-in equity on used vehicles will help facilitate the release of pent up demand for a growing number of consumers making the jump off the sidelines and into a vehicle purchase," said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst with NADA Used Car Guide. "The equity position that consumers find themselves in today is better, and in some cases, dramatically better than it was three years ago."
The association provided a few examples to highlight just how much more consumers can get out of their trade-ins. In 2009, a three-year-old Hyundai Elantra had an average trade-in value of about $5,000. This year, the value of a three-year-old Elantra is nearly $8,900 – a 77 percent difference. Not all models saw as drastic of a change. The Honda Accord, for example, only saw a 16 percent jump in trade-in values between 2009 and 2012.
Drivers who have been thinking about trading in their current car for a new ride can take advantage of the added value and put it toward the purchase of a used model. New Jersey Auto Auction accepts trade-ins, and the dealer offers guaranteed credit approval to help fund the rest of your purchase. With a wide selection of makes and models to choose from, you'll have no trouble finding a suitable used ride to replace your former set of wheels.
Teen drivers are four times more likely to get into accidents than older motorists, which is why it is so important that they learn safe driving habits from the start. However, a recent survey conducted by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Liberty Mutual Insurance found that teens' primary role models -their parents – are engaging in risky driving behaviors and this could be influencing new drivers to make bad decisions behind the wheel as well.
The survey included responses of more than 1,700 teens across the U.S., and many reported they have seen their parents speeding (88 percent), texting while driving (59 percent), not wearing seatbelts (47 percent) and even driving under the influence of alcohol (20 percent). Roughly two-thirds of surveyed teens indicated their parents expect their kids to follow the rules of the road even though they don't. As a result, the majority of teen drivers reported they have texted behind the wheel, driven over the speed limit and broken other rules of safe driving.
"The best teacher for a teen driver is a good parental role model," said Stephen Wallace, senior advisor for policy, research and education as SADD. "Parents and teens should have an active and ongoing dialogue about safe driving behavior and take the conversation one step further by signing a Parent/Teen Contract. But parents have to demonstrate good driving behavior from the onset so new drivers understand that safe driving rules apply to everyone equally."
In addition to adopting safe driving practices, parents can also help their teens stay safer on the road by helping them find a reliable used car. New Jersey State Auto Auction is an ideal destination for new drivers looking to buy vehicles. Not only are the many available makes and models affordably priced, each one is also CARFAX certified, so drivers and their parents know the car they buy is reliable.
Kelley Blue Book recently assessed a number of compact crossover SUVs to determine which stood out from the crowd and Honda's CR-V rose to the top. The KBB team performed a series of tests to really get to know each of the vehicles in review, including the Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape, Toyota Rav4 and Mazda CX-5. They examined comfort, cargo space, functionality of infotainment systems, fuel economy and many other aspects of each model.
"In KBB.com's recent comparison test of new compact crossover SUVs, the Honda CR-V emerged as the clear winner and demonstrated why it has become one of the best-selling vehicles in America in recent years," said Jack R. Nerad, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "Car shoppers continue to embrace the growing compact crossover SUV class, finding that their perfect balance of utility and economy delivers just what consumers both need and want in their next new vehicle. The Honda CR-V takes first place for its blend of smooth ride and power, competitive fuel economy, outstanding assembly quality, first-rate materials, quiet operation, exceptional comfort and excellent value story."
Compact crossover SUVs have become an increasingly popular choice among drivers, as they offer the fuel efficiency of smaller vehicles while still providing more cargo space and passenger room. Some models in this class are relatively new to the market, but others, like the RAV4, have been around for many years, making it easy to find a used version at an affordable price. Drivers interested in getting behind the wheel of a compact crossover SUV can head over to New Jersey Auto Auction to check out the wide selection of makes and models and test drive a used CR-V, RAV4 or other small SUV.
When it comes to purchasing a vehicle, some people consider looks while others focus on features. However, it seems that, for many drivers, fuel economy is growing more important, and individuals are willing to shell out more money than they once were in an effort to avoid the pump.
The Detroit Free Press reports a new survey from market research firm Penn Schoen Berland suggests more Americans are not only willing to give up valuable time for the sake of fuel efficiency, but also their money. The study was backed by Ford as it pushes its eco-friendly vehicles.
In the survey, 25 percent of respondents said they would buy a car with hybrid technology if they had $1,000 in discretionary income. Additionally, the same amount of people answered in favor of energy efficient appliances and incorporating solar panels into their lives.
"As American consumers continue to get greener, Ford is rapidly introducing more fuel-saving technologies to expand the power of choice for leading fuel economy across our lineup," Raj Nair, Ford's head of global product development, said in a statement, according to the news provider. "The new Fusion with Auto Start-Stop technology is an affordable way for consumers to enjoy some hybrid benefits including improved urban fuel economy and cleaner air."
According to the Washington Post, the average passenger vehicle should be at 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, thanks to new fuel economy standards. Those who are looking to trade down their gas guzzler in favor of a smaller, more fuel-efficient sedan may want to consider heading to a New Jersey State Auto to find an option that best fits their gas needs.
Actress Amanda Bynes has certainly found herself behind the wheel of controversy recently. After a slew of hit and runs and other driving mistakes, the former child star was asked by a judge to stop driving.
What's more, she's been doing so with a suspended license. People Magazine reports that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Marsha Revel told the actress' attorney she cannot be driving without a valid driver's license.
Bynes' license was suspended after being charged in a DUI case and two counts of hit and run. However, multiple paparazzi have spotted her continuing to make her way around California despite having her license taken away. What's more, even after having her license taken away, she tapped the bumper of a parked car the next night and then drove off.
The Los Angeles Times reports Bynes was charged in two hit and run cases on April 10 and August 4 respectively. In August, the actress rear-ended a Toyota and stopped briefly, before deciding there was no damage and left. The victim said the actress refused to provide any information and left before calling the police, but Bynes said she and the victim agreed there was not enough damage.
Bynes' troubles began on April 6 when she was arrested for a DUI. It was the start of some bizarre behavior from the actress, who hasn't really helped her public image by going on Twitter rants.
"Hey @BarackObama … I don't drink," Bynes tweeted at the president following her arrest. "Please fire the cop who arrested me. I also don't hit and run. The end."
Bynes has been seen driving her BMW around, complete with scratches and dents from her many mishaps.
Those who have similar dings in their vehicles who don't want to pay for repair may want to consider heading to New Jersey State Auto, which offers a variety of vehicles fit for anyone's needs.
Brand loyalty is important to help companies retain their customers as well as attract new ones, and Toyota is leading the race in the automotive industry. Kelley Blue Book recently announced that the Japanese automaker has remained on top when it comes to customer loyalty, a position it has held since the second quarter of 2010. This means more drivers trust Toyota enough to choose the automaker for their next vehicle than for any other brand.
"Toyota's reputation for quality, reliability and strong resale values undoubtedly contribute to the brand's success. New car shoppers on KBB.com continue to prove their love for Toyota, time and time again," said Arthur Henry, manager of market intelligence for Kelley Blue Book. "Recent redesigns of best-selling models like the Camry, and increasing popularity of fuel-sippers like the Prius family, continue to drive interest and traffic to Toyota's new cars on KBB.com. They brand also has very impressive, longstanding shopper loyalty statistics."
Loyal Toyota drivers in the market for their next vehicle don't necessarily need to shop for new models to get a good deal on a reliable model. Many of Toyota's recent vehicles are loaded with entertainment features and safety technology while still being fuel efficient and stylish, making used cars ideal. Even the Prius has been on the market for nearly a decade, so there are often used versions of this green vehicle as well. Car shoppers can head over to the New Jersey State Auto Auction to check out the dealer's selection of Toyota makes and models available now. Every car on the lot is CARFAX certified, so motorists know they'll be driving off the lot with a reliable set of wheels.