The good news? Automakers are enjoying a sales boom in the United States the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Great Recession brought the hammer down, with June 2014 sales alone surpassing those in July of 2006. Should the boom continue, 2014 will close as the industry’s best year in a long time, with over 16 million vehicles sold when the calendar ticks over to 2015.
The bad news? This year may be the last year U.S. sales ever climb this high.
If the highways appear to be filled with vehicles built during the middle years of Bush II’s first term, your eyes are not deceiving you: IHS Automotive says the average age of a given vehicle on the road has remained at 11.4 years at the end of 2013.
In its annual Your Driving Costs study, AAA says the cost of owning and operating a vehicle has fallen on the back of lower fuel prices, though its findings leave a little to be desired with current fuel costs.
While most states and the United States government offer tax credits to consumers for purchasing an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid, Connecticut instead offers dealers the incentive to sell EVs and PHEVs, a move research group Navigant Research claims could be more effective at bringing about greater adoption of the new technology.
Unlike the average Beltway insider, a report by Interest.com claims the majority of medium-income American households in 24 of 25 cities studied cannot afford the average new-car price of $32,086.
It would appear as though the price of admission to traverse the longest floating bridge in the world on a daily basis has had quite the impact on commuting patterns in Seattle. A study to be issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation this week – barring another tragicomic display by the powers that be, of course – has uncovered that use of the Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge – Evergreen Point (colloquially known as the 520 floating bridge) has gone down by half since tolling began near the end of 2011.
The Toyota case is heading towards hearings in DC and to courts all over the country. Both sides are putting heavy artillery in position. Both sides of the SUA wars commission heavy caliber studies – both with inconclusive results. Toyota funded a study into the electronics in its vehicles. Before that, a group of lawyers had “sponsored” Safety Research and Strategies, a company that makes money by investigating auto-safety for those suing auto makers. Ford, which had been at the receiving end of an SRS fusillade during the Explorer crisis, called the company “supposed safety advocates who are actually just shills for trial attorneys.”
Here are the latest dispatches from the front lines: (Read More…)
A US Department of Transportation study released last month shows that thousands of Americans (documented or otherwise) are injured or killed each year in vehicle-related accidents unrelated to driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “Not in Traffic Surveillance – 2007 Highlights” study reveals that a total of of 1747 fatalities and 841k injuries were attributed to non-traffic crashes and non-crash incidents. The agency compiled the annual estimates to provide the first-ever look at the magnitude of accidents that cannot be resolved with a new law enforced with traffic citations. Among the findings: 168 individuals are killed each year by falling vehicles. Another 88 peg it by falling out of a car. Electric windows reduce the gene pool by five unlucky souls, and three die while locked in the trunk. About 22 percent of injuries are caused while entering or exiting a vehicle. Twenty percent of injuries are caused by car doors. Some 10k end up in ER after getting jiggy with jacks or hoists. The NHTSA compiled the information from a number of sources including police reports, hospital records and an injury database maintained by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.