One of the
best worst things about the Internet is how many “experts” there are on every single subject under the sun. Among the easiest subjects for anybody to obtain indisputable guru-like status on, based on what I see around the web, is finance.
And, boy, do they love to share their expertise, solicited or not.
Today, I’m here to tackle one of the most insidious lies in the auto business: the notion that “there are no bad news cars on sale today.” But I’m not here to dump on the usual easy, safe targets like the Mitsubishi Mirage or the Smart Fortwo. Because, the low end, mainstream cars on sale today are actually pretty good. These days, the real crap has risen to the top.
Courtesy of our own Tim Cain. The fain green line represents gas prices, starting from the peak price of crude oil in 2014. Elsewhere, we see market share figures for passenger cars, SUVs/CUVs and pickup trucks. We’ll be keeping an eye on this as the months roll on. Crude oil dipped below $70 a barrel today – truly a black Friday for world oil markets. Let’s see how consumers respond in terms of new vehicle choices.
Well, my Grandma has found a car! Despite looking at the Fit, Accent and other subcompacts, she’s decided to go with a 2014 Jaguar XK-RS convertible. Thanks for your help everyone! In unrelated news, I will no longer be getting my inheritance.
Jack Baruth has a very thoughtful post on selling his green stick, apparently an Audi. (See No Fixed Above: Stick it to ‘em.) Here I delve into his logic as a devil’s advocate.
A key observation throughout his post is that most (newish) used cars move through dealerships, and for many there is an auction through a Mannheim or Adesa in between the trade-in and the used car lot. The same is true in Japan: the graphic above is of a car auction in Osaka, though on-site buyers sit at computers with a huge display of the two virtual “lanes” with no audible action. (For more see my post on a June 2014 visit at Auto Auctions, Japanese Style.)
Most car advertisements tout the abundance of features that the car offers: big engines, advanced electronics and sexy styling. Not this one.
Steve L., just a short note to thank you for your TTAC articles. They are my favorite at TTAC and I look forward to a new article each week.
Quick question: I noted in your last article you like some of the newer Mazdas. Can you tell me what new Mazda you would consider keeping for your own personal vehicle?
regards, Steve T.
The Other Steve Says:
What you’re looking at is a four-wheeled ATM for Fiat Chrysler. The Jeep Renegade is a unibody crossover based on a Fiat car platform. To satisfy the Jeep faithful, it has an available all-wheel drive system with a 20:1 crawl ratio, 8.7 inches of ground clearance and a rock crawling mode as well as a 2,000 lb towing capability with the 2.4L 4-cylinder (Euro-spec diesels get as much as 3,300 lbs). None of that matters as much as the fact that it’s an entrant for Jeep in one of the automotive world’s fastest growing segments.
Subaru, Nissan and Chrysler were the big winners this month, with GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai-Kia blaming poor weather for their decline in sales for February. Subaru, up 24 percent, seemed unfazed by the cold snap.
N.B: You can now access the full table at Automotive News. Tim Cain will continue with his full segment of sales segment analysis pieces.
Winter can be stern and humorless. Into the frozen fray trundled a visitor from California. I told the 2014 Kia Soul that it was out of place. Then a whole bunch of snow fell. The Soul’s chipper personality replied “no worries, brah.” With only all-season tires, I was worried, though. Without winter tires, any-wheel drive may be inadequate, proper equipment really does matter. The California license plate peeked out as if to say “Let’s crush some dendrites.”