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Most readers are aware of my unbridled enthusiasm for base model cars. Sure, there are a few luxury models that spring to mind where it’s imperative buyers select the top trim, lest they run the risk of an arch nemesis pulling alongside them in an Escalade Platinum when they are piloting a lowly Escalade Luxury.
Thing is, it behooves the frugal customer to pay attention before they sign the note on a set of base wheels. For years, commercials told us “America Runs on Dunkin” when we all know that America Runs on Monthly Payments. Most shoppers have a monthly or biweekly figure in mind and, examined through that lens, base cars aren’t always the best deal.
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First it was Hyundai flinging special discounts in the direction of imminently carless Volkswagen diesel owners. Now Volvo has added its name to the list of automakers attempting to woo this unique crop of vehicular nomads.
The approval of Volkswagen’s massive settlement deal with U.S. owners and environmental regulators on Tuesday is apparently a sales opportunity not to be missed, but Volvo is approaching it from a different direction than Hyundai. Read More >
Feeling burned by your former suitor? Want to get even with the German who caused you so much trouble and heartache?
Hyundai wants disenfranchised Volkswagen diesel owners to run into the warm arms of their caring South Korean friend and has a tailor-made deal ready to rope them in.
Commence operation “V-Plan.” Read More >
It’s increasingly looking like 2015 will be a high-water mark for U.S. auto sales, with September sales stats showing a cool-down in the new car market.
Faced with a long-predicted slump — the duration of which is still anyone’s guess — and growing competition over remaining market share, automakers have boosted incentive spending to its highest level since the depths of the recession. Read More >
It’ll be easier to get into a Fiat 500 next year, but the question is: does anyone want to?
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has cut prices and reduced the number of trim lines of the 2017 500 as the tiny runabout’s popularity wanes, Bloomberg reports. Read More >
Just north of the Vermont border, you’ll find 3,712 very disappointed would-be Nissan Leaf owners.
A Montreal-based group seeking a low-priced bulk buy of Nissan’s electric car has had their dreams dashed by Nissan Canada, after the automaker seemed to grow wary of the group’s size, Quebec’s La Presse reports. Read More >
One- to three-year-old-vehicles are pouring back onto dealer lots, but the predicted drop in used vehicle prices hasn’t happened yet.
Consumer choices (meaning: trucks, trucks, trucks) and the high value of returning vehicles are keeping used prices near record levels, but analysts still expect a drop later this year, Automotive News reports. Read More >
Nissan is closing in on its goal of owning 10 percent of the North American market, but it opened itself up to plenty of risk along the way.
The surging automaker beat rival Honda in sales during the first half of this year, but only because of boosted incentives and increased fleet sales, Bloomberg reports. Big volume doesn’t always mean big profits. Read More >
After riding the sales roller coaster to dizzying, record-breaking heights, it’s only natural that consumers will bring automakers back down to reality.
This year will be a high water mark for new vehicle sales in the U.S., according to a new study by consulting firm AlixPartners (via Automotive News). Sales are forecasted to hit 17.8 million vehicles this year, but a downturn is on the way, and the industry won’t start to see a rebound until the coming decade. Read More >
The Cadillac ATS has a fever, and the only cure — according to Cadillac — is more value.
Hoping to reverse a sales slide that’s plagued the automaker’s smallest sedan since its debut, Cadillac plans to simplify the model’s configurations and pack each trim level with more goodies, according to a report in Automotive News. Read More >
Have you been considering a new BMW but only have enough coin to buy one of Bavaria’s finest? At least one BMW dealer in the U.S. might have a solution.
If you don’t mind buying a new BMW that’s been languishing on the lot for a year, Century West BMW will throw in a lease on a BMW i3 on the house.
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A major automotive supplier plans to build a production facility in the Detroit area and make it the base for its U.S. operations.
Tremec Corp., best known for its high-performance transmissions, plans to invest $54 million in a multi-purpose facility in Wixom, Michigan, according to Crain’s Detroit Business. Besides production of transmissions and powertrain components, the facility will host Tremec’s sales and technical operations, and serve as its American headquarters. Read More >
It’s D-Day, so what better time to dish details on Cadillac’s secretive Project Pinnacle?
The luxury automaker plans to completely revamp how its dealers interact with customers — a strategy that even changes how its salespeople dress, according to a draft document obtained by Automotive News.
Under Project Pinnacle — the brainchild of brand president Johan de Nysschen — U.S. dealers will be grouped into five tiers based on expected sales. When the operation kicks off on October 1, car shoppers can expect a higher-end experience at their local Caddy dealership. Get ready to be coddled. Read More >
Summer’s here, and it’s never been a better time to please, please buy one of our cars, General Motors wants buyers to know.
The automaker plans to roll out a host of incentives during the month of June, Automotive News reports, to make up for a month that saw combined sales at all of its divisions sink 18 percent year-over-year. Read More >
Decades of feel-good corporate outreach and a hug-worthy relationships with buyers didn’t stop potential customers and veedub diehards from fleeing Volkswagen after the diesel stink bomb went off in Wolfsburg.
Like a husband of 50 years caught cheating with his wife’s sister, the intentional deception behind the diesel emissions scandal shattered the hard-earned trust between the company and its consumers. Thanks to that, Volkswagen’s sales trajectory now mimics that of a very leaky submarine.
Could Volkswagen have managed the scandal better, and can the company rebuild that lost trust?
According to the consumer opinion-tracking Reputation Institute, the answers to those questions are “you bet” and “yeah … it’s gonna take a loooong time.” Read More >