The Truth About Cars » Marketing http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 04 Aug 2015 18:00:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Marketing http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/marketing/ TrueCar Involved In “Deceptive Business Practices” Says Lawsuit http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/truecar-involved-in-deceptive-business-practices-says-lawsuit/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/truecar-involved-in-deceptive-business-practices-says-lawsuit/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 17:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1131417 A lawsuit brought forward by a group of 100 auto dealerships are alleging car-buying service TrueCar of “deceptive business practices”, reports Automotive News. The lawsuit claims TrueCar’s advertising, which proclaims transparency in vehicle transaction prices for customers, does not disclose the $299 and $399 dollar fees that are paid by dealers for new and used car […]

The post TrueCar Involved In “Deceptive Business Practices” Says Lawsuit appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
truecarprice

A lawsuit brought forward by a group of 100 auto dealerships are alleging car-buying service TrueCar of “deceptive business practices”, reports Automotive News.

The lawsuit claims TrueCar’s advertising, which proclaims transparency in vehicle transaction prices for customers, does not disclose the $299 and $399 dollar fees that are paid by dealers for new and used car sales brokered by TrueCar.

The meaning of “transparency” for TrueCar has been brought to question at TTAC before, as has TrueCar’s use of personal data collected on buyers by participating dealers who must provide said data to TrueCar as a condition of receiving high-quality leads. This data access was reported to be the main reason for a split between TrueCar and dealer group AutoNation.

The group of dealers who’ve launched this latest lawsuit say failure to disclose the fees violates California law as those fees are typically bundled into the final transaction price of the vehicle and passed on to the customer.

The post TrueCar Involved In “Deceptive Business Practices” Says Lawsuit appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/truecar-involved-in-deceptive-business-practices-says-lawsuit/feed/ 10
Don’t Buy a 2015 Buick Regal http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/dont-buy-a-2015-buick-regal/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/dont-buy-a-2015-buick-regal/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 15:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1131353 If you are looking for a new midsize car to add to your driveway and the Buick Regal is on your shortlist, you might want to wait a few months. According to a dealer communique sent out by Buick head Duncan Aldred, the Regal will receive a massive price cut for 2016. Even the top-trim […]

The post Don’t Buy a 2015 Buick Regal appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015BuickRegalGS-6

If you are looking for a new midsize car to add to your driveway and the Buick Regal is on your shortlist, you might want to wait a few months.

According to a dealer communique sent out by Buick head Duncan Aldred, the Regal will receive a massive price cut for 2016. Even the top-trim Regal GS will have its price slashed to make it more competitive as an older offering in a crowded segment.

The letter, sent yesterday, outlines the changes to the Regal as it struggles toward the end of its lifecycle.

The Regal is being simplified and attractively priced to appeal to a broader share of midsize intenders. The 2016 Regal will be available in four trims, with the popular 1SL, 1SP and 1SX all priced dramatically lower than the 2015 trims — with no change in content. Ultimately, we’re giving our customers greater value without sacrificing the features they want.

You’ll find more details in the attached 2016MY Buick Regal Product and Pricing Guide, but a few highlights of the new pricing structure include:

  • Starting price for 2016 Regal GS is $34,990; more than $3,300 lower than the 2015 model
  • 2016 Regal 1SP is priced below the 2015 Regal 1SN (which has been eliminated)
  • 2016 Regal 1SL is now priced below the Nissan Altima SL — yet offers more standard horsepower (+75 hp), more torque (+100 lb-ft) and standard 18-inch wheels

Regal trims will be realigned, eliminating the “Premium I” (1SN) trim and decreasing the “Premium II” (1SP) trim’s price below that of 1SN. GM states there will be no change in equipment. Base price for the Regal will remain unchanged at $27,065 before destination. The biggest cut is to the GS FWD model at $3,320, bringing its price down to $34,065.

In the midsize sedan segment, the Regal only bests the Volkswagen CC and defunct Dodge Avenger in terms of year-to-date sales, having dropped 23.7 percent. June saw sales drop 12.3 percent versus the same month last year.

So, don’t buy a 2015 Buick Regal — unless it’s the base model or a lightly used example traded in by its original owner after less than a year on the road.

The post Don’t Buy a 2015 Buick Regal appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/dont-buy-a-2015-buick-regal/feed/ 43
Whoa, Don’t Get Amped About Your Free Model X Just Yet http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/whoa-dont-get-amped-free-model-x-yet/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/whoa-dont-get-amped-free-model-x-yet/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 20:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1130529 Yesterday, we reported that in a sales call, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced a referral program that could, possibly, maybe net one free Model X for someone who referred 10 new buyers. The qualifications for getting the free car: Refer 10 buyers by Oct. 31 and be the first in your “region” to do so. […]

The post Whoa, Don’t Get Amped About Your Free Model X Just Yet appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Tesla Model S Center Stage

Yesterday, we reported that in a sales call, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced a referral program that could, possibly, maybe net one free Model X for someone who referred 10 new buyers.

The qualifications for getting the free car: Refer 10 buyers by Oct. 31 and be the first in your “region” to do so.

Turns out “region” doesn’t mean what we think it does.

According to a Tesla spokesman, “region” in this case means “country.” As in, apparently, one (1) Model X will be awarded to a single (1) person in the U.S. for referring 10 new Model S buyers.

In case you’re wondering, the U.S. is a larger market for Tesla than the next nine countries combined.

So if you live in Switzerland, it may be a good deal to get your friends to buy a Tesla and score your own for free. If you live in Dallas, however, you should probably line up your friends at the “dealership” today.

Lesson: Elon Musk is really, really good at marketing.

The post Whoa, Don’t Get Amped About Your Free Model X Just Yet appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/whoa-dont-get-amped-free-model-x-yet/feed/ 10
Refer 10 New Tesla X Buyers, Get Your Tesla Model X for Free http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/refer-10-new-tesla-x-buyers-get-tesla-model-x-free/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/refer-10-new-tesla-x-buyers-get-tesla-model-x-free/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 20:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1129465 Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk told press Wednesday that people who refer 10 people to buy the company’s new Model X would get one for free, Mashable is reporting (via Car and Driver). The caveats: You need to be the first in your region to refer 10 people (we have no idea on what “regions” mean, […]

The post Refer 10 New Tesla X Buyers, Get Your Tesla Model X for Free appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
tesladeal

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk told press Wednesday that people who refer 10 people to buy the company’s new Model X would get one for free, Mashable is reporting (via Car and Driver).

The caveats: You need to be the first in your region to refer 10 people (we have no idea on what “regions” mean, we asked) and you’d need to do it by Oct. 31.

Despite how you feel about Tesla, the company is proving that an automaker can be run like a tech startup and not a car company.

The incentive is part of a larger program that Musk detailed in his call.

Any current Model S buyer who refers another new Model S buyer gets $1,000 off the purchase of another Tesla. The new buyer also gets $1,000 off the purchase price of their new car too. Refer five new buyers, and you get a tour of the new Gigafactory. Refer 10 new buyers and get $20,000 knocked off the price of a new Model X.

There isn’t a similar program in place for Tesla’s used cars, but Musk said he’d be open to the possibility.

So, who wants to be a Tesla dealer today?

The post Refer 10 New Tesla X Buyers, Get Your Tesla Model X for Free appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/refer-10-new-tesla-x-buyers-get-tesla-model-x-free/feed/ 8
Nissan To Trump-bashing California Dealer Ad: ‘No Bueno’ [Video] http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-trump-bashing-california-dealer-ad-no-bueno-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-trump-bashing-california-dealer-ad-no-bueno-video/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1127961 Nissan scolded one of its dealers Tuesday for releasing an ad showing the battering of a piñata resembling Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Automotive News is reporting. The ad depicts salesmen repeatedly hitting a Trump-looking piñata and declaring, “At Van Nuys Nissan, Latinos rule.” The ad was made after Trump denounced some undocumented Mexican immigrants […]

The post Nissan To Trump-bashing California Dealer Ad: ‘No Bueno’ [Video] appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Van Nuys Nissan

Nissan scolded one of its dealers Tuesday for releasing an ad showing the battering of a piñata resembling Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Automotive News is reporting.

The ad depicts salesmen repeatedly hitting a Trump-looking piñata and declaring, “At Van Nuys Nissan, Latinos rule.” The ad was made after Trump denounced some undocumented Mexican immigrants as “rapists” in a June political speech.

“We find these advertisements to be neither responsible or respectful, and we do not condone what they represent,” Nissan said in a statement. “We expect our dealers to establish advertising that is responsible and respectful and represents the best interest of the Nissan brand.”

Commenters have blasted Nissan of Van Nuys for airing the ad.

“I’m Hispanic, and I’m embarrassed for you. I’d never go to your dealership based on your crappy reviews. The idiotic piñata thing is the icing on the cake,” one commenter wrote. “Van Nuys Nissan, get your PR crew together and get rid of that racist manager.”

Nissan said it respected the dealer’s right to free speech.

Of course, this is hardly the first dealer to air a controversial ad. Nor is it the most entertainingly profane (link NSFW, obviously).

The post Nissan To Trump-bashing California Dealer Ad: ‘No Bueno’ [Video] appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-trump-bashing-california-dealer-ad-no-bueno-video/feed/ 69
Mazda Replaces First Crashed MX-5 Miata for Unlucky Buyer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mazda-replaces-first-crashed-miata-unlucky-buyer/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mazda-replaces-first-crashed-miata-unlucky-buyer/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 22:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1124281 Feel bad for the guy whose brand-new car gets smashed less than a mile away from the dealership? We do. Apparently, so does Mazda. Jalopnik has a great story about a new 2016 Mazda Miata owner whose car met an all-too-soon end less than a mile away from the dealership. The ends were smashed, the driver and passenger were bruised […]

The post Mazda Replaces First Crashed MX-5 Miata for Unlucky Buyer appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
miata-10

Feel bad for the guy whose brand-new car gets smashed less than a mile away from the dealership? We do. Apparently, so does Mazda.

Jalopnik has a great story about a new 2016 Mazda Miata owner whose car met an all-too-soon end less than a mile away from the dealership. The ends were smashed, the driver and passenger were bruised (but luckily not seriously) and one of the first new Miatas fell victim to an F-150.

You’ll never guess what Mazda did next.

(They replaced the car, I hate it when people do that.)

According to the owner, who posted his tale on a forum, Mazda North America sent a new car on Monday to the unlucky owner. The man says he’ll receive his new car August 15.

According to the owner, his new car was so new (apparently minutes) that legal documentation hadn’t yet been submitted making the process of separating from his car relatively quick. Even still, it’s no easy feat for the dealer, insurance, at-fault driver and Mazda to replace a car.

Jason over at Jalopnik accurately pointed out that as the first Miata crashed in the wild, there’s a lot of useful information Mazda North America can glean from it.

But good on Mazda and the dealer for helping an enthusiast who is obviously excited about his new purchase enough to wait on a list and pick up his car the day it’s made available. In no way are they compelled to do that.

The post Mazda Replaces First Crashed MX-5 Miata for Unlucky Buyer appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mazda-replaces-first-crashed-miata-unlucky-buyer/feed/ 37
J.D. Power Ranks Porsche Most Appealing for 11th-straight Year http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/j-d-power-ranks-porsche-appealing-11th-straight-year/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/j-d-power-ranks-porsche-appealing-11th-straight-year/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1123049 For the 11th-consecutive year, Porsche topped J.D. Power and Associate’s Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study, which measures owners’ satisfaction with their new car. The study surveyed 84,000 new car owners 90 days after their purchase to determine their satisfaction with their purchase. Porsche topped the list, just ahead of Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi […]

The post J.D. Power Ranks Porsche Most Appealing for 11th-straight Year appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Cayenne Turbo S

For the 11th-consecutive year, Porsche topped J.D. Power and Associate’s Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study, which measures owners’ satisfaction with their new car.

The study surveyed 84,000 new car owners 90 days after their purchase to determine their satisfaction with their purchase. Porsche topped the list, just ahead of Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Land Rover.

So in other words, “Owners Pumped About Paying A Lot for Really Nice Cars.”

2015 JD Power APEAL results

Click to enlarge.

The annual study found that added safety technology was a major contributor to overall satisfaction. According to the study, 36 percent of new car buyers added blind-spot monitoring to their cars (up 7 percent from last year), nearly half of new car buyers purchased vehicles with parking assist or backup warnings (up 4 percentage points), and nearly two-thirds of those buyers said they used the safety features every time they drove the car.

One in five buyers reported buying a car with lane-departure warning systems and one in four reported buying a car with collision avoidance systems, up from last year.

According to the study, buyers are willing to pay up to $750 more for cars with added safety features.

The industry average crept up four points over last year and Mini was the highest-ranked non-premium brand on the list. Smart was the lowest-ranked brand in the survey.

Chevrolet had three segment leaders (Corvette, Sonic and Colorado), same with Ford (C-Max, Expedition and F-150). Dodge had two leaders (Challenger and Charger) while overall-winner Porsche had three segment leaders (Cayenne, Cayman and Macan).

The post J.D. Power Ranks Porsche Most Appealing for 11th-straight Year appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/j-d-power-ranks-porsche-appealing-11th-straight-year/feed/ 21
Buick Offering 24-Hour Test Drives To Build Brand, Not Sell Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/buick-offering-24-hour-test-drives-to-build-brand-not-sell-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/buick-offering-24-hour-test-drives-to-build-brand-not-sell-cars/#comments Sun, 19 Jul 2015 18:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1119745 Buick is tossing the keys to prospective customers for sleepovers in their driveways as part of a brand-building exercise the automaker says isn’t meant to sell cars immediately. According to Automotive News, the program — dubbed “24 Hours of Happiness” — gives customers the chance to live with a Buick vehicle for 24 hours starting […]

The post Buick Offering 24-Hour Test Drives To Build Brand, Not Sell Cars appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015-buick-encore

Buick is tossing the keys to prospective customers for sleepovers in their driveways as part of a brand-building exercise the automaker says isn’t meant to sell cars immediately.

According to Automotive News, the program — dubbed “24 Hours of Happiness” — gives customers the chance to live with a Buick vehicle for 24 hours starting this coming Wednesday.

“Customers thought it showed that we have a real confidence in our vehicles,” Duncan Aldred, Buick brand chief, told AN.

“It’s more of an image builder,” he continued. “Some people can’t believe that Buick has the confidence to send them out in a car without a salesperson sitting next to them to tell them how great the car is.”

The post Buick Offering 24-Hour Test Drives To Build Brand, Not Sell Cars appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/buick-offering-24-hour-test-drives-to-build-brand-not-sell-cars/feed/ 88
Ford: Our Incentives Are Still Lower than Overall Segment http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-incentives-still-lower-overall-segment/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-incentives-still-lower-overall-segment/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 20:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1118913 A Ford spokesman said Friday that despite the automaker offering nearly $11,000 on particular F-150 models, their incentives are still under the segment average. “It’s not like every F-150 customer walking into a Ford dealer today — whether they’re in L.A. or New York — is going to get $10,000 off of every single model,” Truck […]

The post Ford: Our Incentives Are Still Lower than Overall Segment appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Ford F-150

A Ford spokesman said Friday that despite the automaker offering nearly $11,000 on particular F-150 models, their incentives are still under the segment average.

“It’s not like every F-150 customer walking into a Ford dealer today — whether they’re in L.A. or New York — is going to get $10,000 off of every single model,” Truck Communications Manager Mike Levine said.

“On average, we’re lower than the segment.”

Levine said the $10,819 we reported on yesterday was a specific truck in a specific area. Those numbers, such as $7,050 off, that Ford publicizes on its website aren’t indicative of every incentive available.

F-150 incentives

“That’s a very specific set of incentives that are all stacked together that gets you to $10,000,” he said.

According to Ford, those incentives include: $3,769 average dealer discount; $500 customer cash; $1,000 XLT customer cash; $300 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost bonus cash; $2,000 302A XLT Luxury Chrome or Sport packages.; $2,500 bonus cash; and $750 Ford Credit Bonus Cash, which requires Ford Credit financing.

Levine said the average incentive offered on a F-150 is $3,354, which is $800 lower than the segment average and lower than the automaker had offered one year ago.

Dealer inventories are down, Levine said, and Ford needs to stay competitive.

“For this particular truck, we’re helping customers get into a better truck. It’s something that we do from time-to-time, and it’s in line with what our competitors do,” he said.

Representatives from Ram and General Motors didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The post Ford: Our Incentives Are Still Lower than Overall Segment appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-incentives-still-lower-overall-segment/feed/ 45
Group Says They Won’t Protest Kid Rock, GM For Now http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/group-says-wont-protest-kid-rock-gm-now/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/group-says-wont-protest-kid-rock-gm-now/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 19:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1118873 The Detroit chapter of the National Action Network says after meeting with officials from General Motors on Thursday they won’t protest the automaker for not cutting ties with singer Kid Rock, the Associated Press is reporting. The group has criticized Kid Rock’s past use of the Confederate battle flag at his concerts and said the singer should publicly condemn […]

The post Group Says They Won’t Protest Kid Rock, GM For Now appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Chevrolet Silverado

The Detroit chapter of the National Action Network says after meeting with officials from General Motors on Thursday they won’t protest the automaker for not cutting ties with singer Kid Rock, the Associated Press is reporting.

The group has criticized Kid Rock’s past use of the Confederate battle flag at his concerts and said the singer should publicly condemn the flag now. According to the singer’s publicist, the country singer hasn’t appeared on stage with the flag since 2011, when the entertainer was honored by the NAACP.

“They’re protesting something he’s not even doing,” Kid Rock’s publicist Nick Stern told the Detroit Free Press.

GM said it would continue to sponsor the summer tour and that the only flag on stage would be the American flag.

Chevrolet has used Kid Rock extensively in advertisements and marketing.

Kid Rock has said in the past that the Confederate flag was a symbol of Southern rock and rebellion. Earlier this month, Kid Rock in an emailed statement to Fox News told protesters to “kiss my (ass).”

“We’re not going to let off of this,” the NAN’s Rev. Charles Williams told the Free Press.

The post Group Says They Won’t Protest Kid Rock, GM For Now appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/group-says-wont-protest-kid-rock-gm-now/feed/ 35
Tesla Dead Last in Dealer Experience, First in PR http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/tesla-dead-last-dealer-experience-first-pr/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/tesla-dead-last-dealer-experience-first-pr/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 13:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1110609 We have opined in these pages before about how for every Tesla sold in America, there are two or three glowing stories written about the electric automaker. There are days when over 50 percent of the pieces on auto industry news feeds are about Tesla, which is not bad for a company capturing 0.1 percent of the U.S. automobile market. Tesla Motors […]

The post Tesla Dead Last in Dealer Experience, First in PR appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Tesla Store

We have opined in these pages before about how for every Tesla sold in America, there are two or three glowing stories written about the electric automaker. There are days when over 50 percent of the pieces on auto industry news feeds are about Tesla, which is not bad for a company capturing 0.1 percent of the U.S. automobile market. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is truly a marketing and public relations genius.

Given that, it is fascinating when a negative story surfaces about Tesla’s way of doing business and the slobbering media is strangely silent. 

A customer study conducted by research firm Pied Piper Management Company revealed that Tesla dealers are dead last in converting prospects into buyers. Labeling Tesla sales representatives as “museum curators,” PPMC calls Tesla out for not asking questions about prospects’ driving habits and how they plan to use their new vehicle, as well as their inability to ask for the sale. PPMC noted that the fact that many Tesla outlets are not able to offer test drives, which also contributed to the poor ranking.

2015 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index

Said PPMC chief Fran O’Hagan:

“Dealerships that sell proactively — think of them as doing everything they can to be helpful to a car-shopper — not only end up selling a lot more vehicles, they also end up with happy shoppers and customers. On the other hand, customers don’t usually mind the ‘museum curator’ dealerships, with courteous salespeople who answer questions but do nothing to proactively sell. The difference is that the ‘museum curator’ dealerships end up much less successful; selling fewer vehicles … “

Say what you want about the current franchised dealer system, but what is wrong with showing interest in the customer, offering a demo drive and asking for the sale? It is not happening at Tesla outlets.

Mercedes-Benz backed up their up recent winning of the J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index award by topping the PPMC survey. I can tell you from firsthand experience that Mercedes-Benz has tirelessly worked the past four years to change the culture of their dealerships’ sales operations and the top ranking shows their efforts are paying off.

The PPMC survey supports what we wrote in 2013: If Tesla wants to succeed in America they need to drop their direct sales strategy and join the traditional franchised dealer network by partnering with an established brand. If not, and their government subsidies dry up, Tesla will be a goner.

(As an aside, it is nice to see PPMC emerge as a potential competitor to long-time customer satisfaction surveying firm J.D. Power and Associates, a company despised by automakers. They complain that J.D. Power is a monopoly and that they charge outrageous fees to advertise winning an award. The sheer number of J.D. Power surveys about the automobile buying and ownership experience is so high that I expect to see this headline someday, “Jeep Wins J.D. Power Award For Customer Satisfaction For Windshield Wiper Stalk Operation During The First 47 Days Of Ownership.”)

The post Tesla Dead Last in Dealer Experience, First in PR appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/tesla-dead-last-dealer-experience-first-pr/feed/ 93
Mercedes Teasing C63 Ahead of Frankfurt Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-teasing-c63-ahead-frankfurt-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-teasing-c63-ahead-frankfurt-debut/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 21:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1113065 Pictures of the next-generation Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe are making the rounds on the Internets after Mercedes teased the coupe previously in a video dubbed “Something Fast Is Coming.” Mercedes revealed the new photos on its Facebook page, which most people believe will be the coupe to be shown at the Frankfurt auto show in September. If […]

The post Mercedes Teasing C63 Ahead of Frankfurt Debut appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
11700531_1000420186648728_108870328903709593_o

Pictures of the next-generation Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe are making the rounds on the Internets after Mercedes teased the coupe previously in a video dubbed “Something Fast Is Coming.”

Mercedes revealed the new photos on its Facebook page, which most people believe will be the coupe to be shown at the Frankfurt auto show in September.

If the C63 Coupe adopts the same engines as the C63 Sedan, the 4.0-liter biturbo under the camouflaged hood should pump 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque in normal guise. The C63 S bumps those specs up to 503 hp and 516 lb-ft. Both engines propel the sedan to 60 mph in 4 seconds or less.

Details are few and far between in the photos. A new nose looks to grace the alleged C63 Coupe along with super quick, wide 255/35 Z-rated 19-inch front tires.

11415477_1000420146648732_527156558340915100_o 11411834_1000420159982064_827229216315352567_o 11731722_1000420193315394_7651451698474764620_o 11700531_1000420186648728_108870328903709593_o 11219545_1000420189982061_282505396351897591_o

The post Mercedes Teasing C63 Ahead of Frankfurt Debut appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-teasing-c63-ahead-frankfurt-debut/feed/ 2
Details of AutoNation, TrueCar Split Coming into View http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/details-autonation-truecar-split-coming-view/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/details-autonation-truecar-split-coming-view/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 19:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1113017 Details between the AutoNation and TrueCar split are becoming clear, Automotive News is reporting. After yesterday’s announcement that the web service and nationwide dealership chain were splitting up — in which AutoNation laid most of the blame on unreasonable demands by TrueCar during contract negotiations — the company’s respective CEOs have been getting nasty. “Our partnership with AutoNation just […]

The post Details of AutoNation, TrueCar Split Coming into View appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
truecar-screen-1

Details between the AutoNation and TrueCar split are becoming clear, Automotive News is reporting.

After yesterday’s announcement that the web service and nationwide dealership chain were splitting up — in which AutoNation laid most of the blame on unreasonable demands by TrueCar during contract negotiations — the company’s respective CEOs have been getting nasty.

“Our partnership with AutoNation just turned into, in a very real sense, a choice for the consumer,” TrueCar CEO Scott Painter told Automotive News. “It really makes them our competition.”

Automotive News details the dust-up between AutoNation and TrueCar as a war fought over customer data. Roughly 3 percent of AutoNation’s sales could be directly attributed to TrueCar leads, AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson told Automotive News. TrueCar asked for data on all of AutoNation’s 550,000 annual car sales.

“It’s none of their business,” Jackson said.

TrueCar may have asked AutoNation to comply with rules it enforces with other dealers.

“This isn’t AutoNation dropping TrueCar,” Painter told Automotive News. “This is a very deliberate step on our part. We went to them and said, ‘You must comply with the rules.’”

The added layers of intrigue come from the quickly intersecting business models by AutoNation and TrueCar. TrueCar is rapidly developing dealer-esque services, and AutoNation announced last year they’d move away from third-party vendors like TrueCar to develop their own web-based lead generation.

TrueCar has been beset with several setbacks in recent years, and its customer data collection has come under fire, as well.

 

The post Details of AutoNation, TrueCar Split Coming into View appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/details-autonation-truecar-split-coming-view/feed/ 9
Smart Decides Cursing Children Are Hilarious, Clever [Video] http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/smart-decides-cursing-children-hilarious-clever/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/smart-decides-cursing-children-hilarious-clever/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 22:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1111105 Ahead of its new Fortwo and Forfour models, Smart is releasing an advertisement destined to live only on the Internet. The ad — titled “Swearing Kids” — is completely self-explanatory and accurate. It is wholly uncensored and mostly funny and full of naughty language that’s definitely Not Smart For Work. Like anyone with children will […]

The post Smart Decides Cursing Children Are Hilarious, Clever [Video] appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Smart advertisement

Ahead of its new Fortwo and Forfour models, Smart is releasing an advertisement destined to live only on the Internet.

The ad — titled “Swearing Kids” — is completely self-explanatory and accurate. It is wholly uncensored and mostly funny and full of naughty language that’s definitely Not Smart For Work.

Like anyone with children will tell you, kids have a habit of picking up foul language from parents and repeating it at the most inopportune times.

George Carlin can’t be too proud, though, as the purveyor of micro cars only covered just two of his seven dirty words.

The post Smart Decides Cursing Children Are Hilarious, Clever [Video] appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/smart-decides-cursing-children-hilarious-clever/feed/ 46
Hyundai New Official Sponsor Of NFL, Official Truck Title Open To Others http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-new-official-sponsor-of-nfl-official-truck-title-open-to-others/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-new-official-sponsor-of-nfl-official-truck-title-open-to-others/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102969 Are you ready for some football? Along with some bulgogi and a pack of Hite? Hyundai is, as it is the new official automotive sponsor of the NFL. According to ESPN, Hyundai will pay $50 million per year for the honor of taking up where General Motors will leave off beginning this season, The Detroit […]

The post Hyundai New Official Sponsor Of NFL, Official Truck Title Open To Others appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Hyundai And The NFL - This Is Football, Oppa Gangham Style

Are you ready for some football? Along with some bulgogi and a pack of Hite? Hyundai is, as it is the new official automotive sponsor of the NFL.

According to ESPN, Hyundai will pay $50 million per year for the honor of taking up where General Motors will leave off beginning this season, The Detroit News reports. However, the deal only covers cars; the NFL can still award an “Official Truck of the NFL” to a sponsor of its choosing, so long as it doesn’t compete with Hyundai. The automaker’s official titles include car, SUV and luxury vehicle of the NFL.

Though GM no longer is the official sponsor — it cancelled its $25 million/year agreement with the league earlier this year, bringing an end to a relationship begun in 2001 — truck brand GMC will still have a presence on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

Hyundai’s sponsorship of the NFL joins other automakers and brands in the game, including Kia’s relationship with the NBA, Chevrolet providing trucks with “technology and stuff” to Major League Baseball, Honda skating to where the puck will be for the NHL, and Audi shooting the winning goal into the back of the net for Major League Soccer.

The first instance of Hyundai’s new relationship will appear September 10, where the automaker will have a major presence during NFL Kickoff festivities.

(Photo credit: Hyundai)

The post Hyundai New Official Sponsor Of NFL, Official Truck Title Open To Others appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-new-official-sponsor-of-nfl-official-truck-title-open-to-others/feed/ 16
Study: Nine Out Of 10 Millennials Consider Car Ownership Important http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/study-nine-out-of-10-millennials-consider-car-ownership-important/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/study-nine-out-of-10-millennials-consider-car-ownership-important/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 18:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102257 Allegedly, Millennials care only about the latest iPhone, and not the i8. Nine out of 10 Millennials would disagree, and consider car ownership important. The statistic comes from a study by rental car company Enterprise Holdings, The Detroit Bureau says, with the indication Millennials are renting cars they might want to buy later, per fleet […]

The post Study: Nine Out Of 10 Millennials Consider Car Ownership Important appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Fashion Bloggers Look Over Mercedes AMG GT S At NYFW AW15

Allegedly, Millennials care only about the latest iPhone, and not the i8. Nine out of 10 Millennials would disagree, and consider car ownership important.

The statistic comes from a study by rental car company Enterprise Holdings, The Detroit Bureau says, with the indication Millennials are renting cars they might want to buy later, per fleet operations boss Kurt Kohler:

When we provide our customers with a great rental experience, it doesn’t just keep them coming back to us – it clearly sends many of them into their local dealer showrooms, as well.

Though studies like Enterprise’s are seen more as marketing tools benefiting the company than the consumer, other studies and reports point to the same conclusion: young adults want to drive, and want to own what they drive. One analysis by J.D. Power found Millennials account for 27 percent of all U.S. new car sales at present, with the cohort overtaking Baby Boomers on the sales floor by the 2020s.

Returning to Enterprise’s study, the company found 92 percent of Boomers and Millennials believe owning a car is important, compared to 73 percent in 2013. The spike is likely the result of improving fortunes among the younger cohort alongside the economy following the end of the Great Recession.

Regarding rental-to-showroom sales, 32 percent of Millennials said a positive renting experience led them down the road to their new vehicle, while 30 percent of Gen-Xers and 23 percent of Boomers though the same. Additionally, 45 percent of those surveyed said renting a car prepared them for the technologies they would find in their own vehicle.

The study is more good news for automakers as they seek to bring in more potential customers. Rather than build fleet-ready models for the sake of keeping the lights on, automakers could use the opportunity to claim those sales as marketing for the real thing, especially if they decide to add more technology to a base model to show off what they can do when it comes time to turn the renter into a buyer.

(Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz USA/Facebook)

The post Study: Nine Out Of 10 Millennials Consider Car Ownership Important appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/study-nine-out-of-10-millennials-consider-car-ownership-important/feed/ 69
Ford Unveils Carsharing Pilot Program For Select Ford Credit Consumers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/ford-unveils-carsharing-pilot-program-for-select-ford-credit-consumers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/ford-unveils-carsharing-pilot-program-for-select-ford-credit-consumers/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1099089 Financing a Ford and looking to bolster your monthly payments? The automaker has an idea: rent your car to others. Ford owners financing their rides through Ford Credit can rent them out to other drivers through its Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing program, announced Tuesday evening. The pilot program will invite 14,000 and 12,000 owners “in six […]

The post Ford Unveils Carsharing Pilot Program For Select Ford Credit Consumers appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Ford F-150

Financing a Ford and looking to bolster your monthly payments? The automaker has an idea: rent your car to others.

Ford owners financing their rides through Ford Credit can rent them out to other drivers through its Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing program, announced Tuesday evening. The pilot program will invite 14,000 and 12,000 owners “in six U.S. cities and London, respectively” to rent their vehicles to prescreened drivers on a short-term basis, with rental payments going towards paying down the note.

To enable this, Ford partnered with rideshare companies Getaround (U.S. market) and easyCar Club (London), whose respective “Web-based, mobile-friendly software” will handle all transactions.

The six U.S. cities selected to participate in the sharing program are the California cities of Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco, as well as Portland, Chicago and Washington. The program is slated to run through November 2015.

(Photo credit: Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars)

The post Ford Unveils Carsharing Pilot Program For Select Ford Credit Consumers appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/ford-unveils-carsharing-pilot-program-for-select-ford-credit-consumers/feed/ 10
HEMI Engine Family Receiving Upgrades To Fuel Economy, Power http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hemi-engine-family-receiving-upgrades-to-fuel-economy-power/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hemi-engine-family-receiving-upgrades-to-fuel-economy-power/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 20:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097977 Changes are coming to FCA’s HEMI engine family, ranging from increased fuel economy, to higher horsepower. Though details are scant, the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 could receive direct injection to increase its fuel economy, Allpar writes. In turn, the upgrade would be enough to reduce or remove the need for FCA to buy CAFE credits. Meanwhile, […]

The post HEMI Engine Family Receiving Upgrades To Fuel Economy, Power appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine produces 707 ho

Changes are coming to FCA’s HEMI engine family, ranging from increased fuel economy, to higher horsepower.

Though details are scant, the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 could receive direct injection to increase its fuel economy, Allpar writes. In turn, the upgrade would be enough to reduce or remove the need for FCA to buy CAFE credits.

Meanwhile, the Hellcat’s development splits two ways. One modification — for the upcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk — would be tuned for greater refinement to better match the character of both SUV and driver, likely leading towards less horsepower under the bonnet.

The second modification is in response to Ford and Shelby bringing to market an engine said to be more powerful than the Hellcat. Thus, for 2017, FCA are looking to push the Hellcat beyond 707 horsepower against the Blue Oval’s twin-turbo 5.0-liter with direct injection and a potential 740-plus horses pushing the 2017 Shelby GT500 down the highway.

Beyond what is known, no models have been discovered as recipients for the upgrades, while said upgrades may not be ready in time for the 2016 model year’s start.

(Photo credit: Dodge)

The post HEMI Engine Family Receiving Upgrades To Fuel Economy, Power appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hemi-engine-family-receiving-upgrades-to-fuel-economy-power/feed/ 92
Nakamura: ‘Innovative And Exciting’ Second-Gen Nissan Juke In Development http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nakamura-innovative-and-exciting-second-gen-nissan-juke-in-development/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nakamura-innovative-and-exciting-second-gen-nissan-juke-in-development/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 21:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097537 Though the Nissan IDx is still dead, Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura believes a more “innovative and exciting” Juke may make up for the loss. At this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nakamura told evo the IDx, though “very special,” didn’t fit with the automaker’s consistent, “very strong brand expression,” and thus, would not […]

The post Nakamura: ‘Innovative And Exciting’ Second-Gen Nissan Juke In Development appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Nissan IDx Siblings In SoCal Circa February 2014

Though the Nissan IDx is still dead, Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura believes a more “innovative and exciting” Juke may make up for the loss.

At this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nakamura told evo the IDx, though “very special,” didn’t fit with the automaker’s consistent, “very strong brand expression,” and thus, would not be built “at the moment”:

If we have say, 120 degrees of diversity today, maybe I’ll direct it down to 90 degrees. Our cars need to be more clearly identifiable for consumers.

One car Nakamura aims to be “clearly identifiable” is none other than the second-gen Juke, which is said to “inherit the spirit” of the current model, while avoiding a rehashing of said model’s look.

Another redesign in the works involves the GT-R. Nakamura says it won’t likely be inspired by the front-driven GT-R LM Nismo Le Mans prototype, it would carry-over some elements, including the grill, glasshouse and quad tail lights of the current GT-R.

(Photo credit: Nissan)

The post Nakamura: ‘Innovative And Exciting’ Second-Gen Nissan Juke In Development appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nakamura-innovative-and-exciting-second-gen-nissan-juke-in-development/feed/ 20
Volkswagen Expects ‘Limited Growth’ In US Through 2017, Supplier Arrives In Tennessee http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-expects-limited-growth-in-us-through-2017-supplier-arrives-in-tennessee/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-expects-limited-growth-in-us-through-2017-supplier-arrives-in-tennessee/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 18:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097377 Volkswagen USA CEO Michael Horn says the automaker expects “limited growth” until its new SUVs arrive, while one of its suppliers sets up shop in Tennessee. Though parent company Volkswagen AG had once hoped for 800,000 units sold by 2018 in the United States, Horn downplayed the target’s importance, Reuters reports: [The 2018 sales target] […]

The post Volkswagen Expects ‘Limited Growth’ In US Through 2017, Supplier Arrives In Tennessee appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Volkswagen Crossblue Concept Parked In Front Of VW Chattanooga Tennessee Plant

Volkswagen USA CEO Michael Horn says the automaker expects “limited growth” until its new SUVs arrive, while one of its suppliers sets up shop in Tennessee.

Though parent company Volkswagen AG had once hoped for 800,000 units sold by 2018 in the United States, Horn downplayed the target’s importance, Reuters reports:

[The 2018 sales target] is still a relevant objective… but, on the other hand, if you just focus on one year and one number you would do crazy things, so the most important thing is to have a long-term strategy.

For now, Horn states VW will need to defend its position from now through 2017, when the redesigned Tiguan and the Chattanooga, Tenn.-built midsize SUV both hit the showroom floor. Other products, including a $20,000 compact SUV and a large pickup due in 2020 at the earliest, would soon follow.

As for the 2018 target, sales fell from 440,000 in 2012, to 367,000 last year, and have fallen 4 percent since; VW’s U.S. sales peak came in 1970 with 570,000 units. LMC Automotive says the new models in 2017 will help, but would only push sales to a projected 495,000 in 2018.

Meanwhile, Spanish automotive supplier Gestamp is setting up shop near the Chattanooga facility, where it and Volkswagen will unveil a new pressing plant Tuesday. The plant would create 500 jobs, and has been described by the automaker as a “major economic development.”

(Photo credit: Volkswagen)

The post Volkswagen Expects ‘Limited Growth’ In US Through 2017, Supplier Arrives In Tennessee appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-expects-limited-growth-in-us-through-2017-supplier-arrives-in-tennessee/feed/ 21
Mercedes Considering Introducing Convertible SUVs To Lineup http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mercedes-considering-introducing-convertible-suvs-to-lineup/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mercedes-considering-introducing-convertible-suvs-to-lineup/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 15:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1096577 Up until 2013, one could purchase a Mercedes G-Wagen with a droptop. Now, the automaker is thinking of dropping the tops throughout its SUV lineup. Mercedes sports cars and SUVs chief Wolf-Dieter Kurz says it may be possible to bring a convertible SUV to market once the market for them is found, CarAdvice.com.au writes. He […]

The post Mercedes Considering Introducing Convertible SUVs To Lineup appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
mercedes-g500-convertible

Up until 2013, one could purchase a Mercedes G-Wagen with a droptop. Now, the automaker is thinking of dropping the tops throughout its SUV lineup.

Mercedes sports cars and SUVs chief Wolf-Dieter Kurz says it may be possible to bring a convertible SUV to market once the market for them is found, CarAdvice.com.au writes. He says the reason Mercedes stopped producing the G-Wagen Cabriolet after 34 years was due to a combination of volume and production reasons, adding such a vehicle exists in “a very slim niche in terms of the SUV portfolio.”

As for who might go for it, Kurz believes China would be a good start for a GLA or GLC convertible, though sales may be an uphill battle:

… China is not very good these days, or in total, in terms of convertibles, in terms of classical sedan-based coupes, in terms of roadsters. And it’s somewhat also the driving force in the meanwhile for the overall portfolio: can it be successful in China?

He adds there are “lots of discussions” and market research regarding convertible SUVs, but no decisions whether to press forward or not have been made thus far.

(Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz)

The post Mercedes Considering Introducing Convertible SUVs To Lineup appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/mercedes-considering-introducing-convertible-suvs-to-lineup/feed/ 38
Top Gear’s Three Musketeers Set To Return With New Series http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/top-gears-three-musketeers-set-to-return-with-new-series/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/top-gears-three-musketeers-set-to-return-with-new-series/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2015 16:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095953 While “Top Gear” moves forward with new host Chris Evans at the helm, Clarkson, Hammond and May are closer to introducing a new show of their own. Jeremy Clarkson confirmed the news to The Sunday Times, the details of which are still unknown beyond speculation the new show featuring Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May […]

The post Top Gear’s Three Musketeers Set To Return With New Series appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Hammond Clarkson May

While “Top Gear” moves forward with new host Chris Evans at the helm, Clarkson, Hammond and May are closer to introducing a new show of their own.

Jeremy Clarkson confirmed the news to The Sunday Times, the details of which are still unknown beyond speculation the new show featuring Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May will be on Netflix. Said details are projected to come in the next few weeks, with the first episode to debut before “Top Gear” returns after next March.

Meanwhile, May will host a two-episode series called “Building Cars Live” on BBC Two. The 90-minute episodes will be broadcast live from BMW’s MINI factory in Oxford, England, where he and co-presenters Kate Humble and Ant Anstead will follow the process of building a car from raw materials. The series will also air before “Top Gear” returns.

The post Top Gear’s Three Musketeers Set To Return With New Series appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/top-gears-three-musketeers-set-to-return-with-new-series/feed/ 67
Koreans Best Japan In 2015 JD Power Initial Quality Study http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/koreans-best-japan-in-2015-jd-power-initial-quality-study/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/koreans-best-japan-in-2015-jd-power-initial-quality-study/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 20:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095457 Once one of the bests among the rests, Japanese automakers fell below average in the 2015 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study as the Koreans rise in quality. While Porsche took the gold in initial quality for the third consecutive year, Kia took the silver in this year’s study, Detroit Free Press reports, marking the first […]

The post Koreans Best Japan In 2015 JD Power Initial Quality Study appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2016 Kia Sorento SXL

Once one of the bests among the rests, Japanese automakers fell below average in the 2015 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study as the Koreans rise in quality.

While Porsche took the gold in initial quality for the third consecutive year, Kia took the silver in this year’s study, Detroit Free Press reports, marking the first time the brand has led all non-premium makes in the study; Hyundai held onto fourth behind Jaguar in 2015.

Meanwhile, Lexus tied with parent company Toyota for ninth with 104 problems per 100 units, with Infiniti finishing in fifth as the highest-ranked Japanese brand; it had placed 24th in 2014, five spots below the industry average of 116 problems per 100 units. Chevrolet took seventh as the highest-ranked U.S. mainstream brand, while Lincoln took eighth as the highest-ranked U.S. luxury brand.

According to J.D. Power U.S. automotive quality chief Renee Stephens, the shift in quality among the Koreans “was a historic shift” in the 29 years the study has been conducted:

For so long, Japanese brands have been viewed by many as the gold standard in vehicle quality. We’re seeing other brands, most notably Korean makes, really accelerating the rate of improvement. Leading companies are not only stepping up the pace of improvements on existing models, but are also working up front to launch vehicles with higher quality and more intuitive designs.

She adds the Koreans are where they are now due to their holistic approach in improving quality, from the assembly line, to design and the supply chain.

Technology remains the sticking point regarding initial quality, with the top problems being pairing smartphones to the vehicle’s infotainment system, and voice command. There, Stephens says Hyundai and Kia, as well as Chevrolet, benefitted from strong systems, while Ford has worked out the bugs, and Toyota’s system needed improvement:

Smartphones have set high consumer expectations of how well technology should work, and automakers are struggling to match that success in their new vehicles. However, we are seeing some (automakers) make important improvements along the way. What’s clear is that they can’t afford to wait for the next generation of models to launch before making important updates to these systems.

This year’s J.D. Initial Quality Study surveyed over 84,000 who bought or leased a new 2015 model, and covers 215 models and 139 plants.

Photo credit: Kia

The post Koreans Best Japan In 2015 JD Power Initial Quality Study appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/koreans-best-japan-in-2015-jd-power-initial-quality-study/feed/ 77
Nakamura: Next-Gen Nissan Z May Take Inspiration From 240Z http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nakamura-next-gen-nissan-z-may-take-inspiration-from-240z/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nakamura-next-gen-nissan-z-may-take-inspiration-from-240z/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 20:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1094873 Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura revealed the next-generation Nissan Z could take its inspiration from the Datsun 240Z. The proposal would see the new Z head downmarket, reflecting the desire to “do something… more practical and appealing to younger customers” in a market becoming smaller day by day, Autoblog reports. The Z would also reverse […]

The post Nakamura: Next-Gen Nissan Z May Take Inspiration From 240Z appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Datsun 240Z

Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura revealed the next-generation Nissan Z could take its inspiration from the Datsun 240Z.

The proposal would see the new Z head downmarket, reflecting the desire to “do something… more practical and appealing to younger customers” in a market becoming smaller day by day, Autoblog reports. The Z would also reverse a trend where the iconic vehicle continues to grow in performance — and numerical naming schemes — at the expense of what the 240 represented. As Nakamura puts it:

We are questioning ourselves in repeating the 350, 370. We don’t want to create 390Z, right?

As for what the execution of the plan would entail, Nakamura says the new Z wouldn’t “necessarily go into the same category” as either the Mazda MX-5 Miata or the Toyota 86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ, pointing to a photo of the GTR-LM Le Mans prototype as a sign of wanting to do something “unique” with the car. He adds the Z could fill the role recently vacated by the cancellation of the IDx four-passenger sports car, parts of which are expected to live on as part of a FWD offering.

[Photo credit: Alexander Nie/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0]

The post Nakamura: Next-Gen Nissan Z May Take Inspiration From 240Z appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nakamura-next-gen-nissan-z-may-take-inspiration-from-240z/feed/ 41
Hyundai Struggles Against Infrastructure Issues To Meet Global FCV Sales Target http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-struggles-against-infrastructure-issues-to-meet-global-fcv-sales-target/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-struggles-against-infrastructure-issues-to-meet-global-fcv-sales-target/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 17:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1094721 Global sales of Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell haven’t been able to match sales targets since the FCV’s launch in 2013, though not for a lack of trying. Hyundai says it shipped a total of 273 units of the Tucson Fuel Cell to showrooms in its home market and abroad since 2013, Yonhap News Agency reports, […]

The post Hyundai Struggles Against Infrastructure Issues To Meet Global FCV Sales Target appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell

Global sales of Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell haven’t been able to match sales targets since the FCV’s launch in 2013, though not for a lack of trying.

Hyundai says it shipped a total of 273 units of the Tucson Fuel Cell to showrooms in its home market and abroad since 2013, Yonhap News Agency reports, 69 of which were delivered in 2015 thus far. The automaker planned to move 1,000 units by the end of 2015, a goal not likely to occur at this rate.

As for why, the problem comes down to infrastructure. Hyundai Auto Canada representative Chad Heard told TTAC the Canadian subsidiary leased two Tucson Fuel Cells thus far, and received its second shipment for allocation this month.

Heard explained there were more interested consumers than actual product, but doesn’t expect for sales to hit double-digits in 2015 due to infrastructure constraints, adding the company would be able to meet demand in Canada “if there was more access to hydrogen gas.” There is only one filling station available to Tucson Fuel Cell owners, located in Surrey, British Columbia, while the United States and South Korea fare little better with 10 and 11 stations, respectively.

[Photo credit: Hyundai]

The post Hyundai Struggles Against Infrastructure Issues To Meet Global FCV Sales Target appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-struggles-against-infrastructure-issues-to-meet-global-fcv-sales-target/feed/ 15