Elon Musk has enemies in North Carolina
The North Carolina State Senate unanimously passed a piece of legislation that would make it illegal for Tesla to sell vehicles via their current direct sales method.
This story will no doubt go viral. But this is hardly the first time the greasy palms of North Carolina’s Senate were asked to target a successful business model that threatened a special interest.
Happy days are here again!
April new car sales were up 9% from April 2012; which doesn’t sound like all that much until you realize that the winning brands beat losing brands by a near 5 to 1 margin.
As for used cars sales, they are even better. Official stats for the used car market are always hit or miss. But with large dealer networks such as Sonic Automotive, Carmax, Group One, and Asbury Automotive all recording double digit used car sales growth, it’s safe to say that the overall market for late model vehicles remains healthy.
And for all that good fortune, you can thank one overwhelming force in today’s marketplace.
Sometimes the cheapest vehicle you can buy is one that strongly discourages you from ever becoming a life-long auto enthusiast.
Few cars do a better job with this than the Dodge Dynasty.
Ratings agencies and other players in the finance world are beginning to sound the alarm on auto backed securities. Among the most troubling factors for some investors is the growth of smaller issuers who rely on pools of deep subprime loans. And ratings agencies who are being more conservative with their ratings are missing out on the action.
Doug DeMuro recently discussed both sides of the “investment car” issue, those cars that may actually appreciate in value and those that probably won’t despite their supposed collector status. The problem with this ad on the Detroit area Craigslist for a 1991 Mercury Capri (that’s the little car that Bob Lutz wanted to be the Ghia Barchetta but ended up being a FWD “sports car” imported from Australia), is that it doesn’t even approach the collector status of the cars on Doug’s “don’t invest” list.
Certified pre-owned vehicles are rapidly becoming the favored new car alternative in the marketplace.
Sales for March 2013 are up over 21% from March 2012 to 190,065 units. Sales for the quarter were nearly a half million units to 497,647. Up nearly 10% from a year ago.
“I wouldn’t buy a car at an auction. They’re all junk!”
Bad transmissions. Blown engines. Cars that smoke, drink and hang out with the bad boys thanks to all different types of leaks and spewage. This is the general stereotype that most uninformed consumers have of those cars at an auction.
Most folks look at auction cars as vehicles that are worth more dead than alive. Every malady and defect is assigned to these ‘red light’ vehicles that are sold as/is with no warranty.
But do you know what is the #1 issue of those auctioned off trade-ins here in the Atlanta area?
Somebody Say I look like an old woman?
Yesterday I shared with you dear, reader, one of my favorite games, the $5000 Craigslist Fantasy Challenge and you responded with a lot of great cars. Today I thought I would step it up just one more notch and introduce you to that game’s Japanese cousin – the “Goo Game.” Won’t you come and pray with me?
Hard to believe someone like me would need a rich fantasy life, isn’t it?
If you haven’t guessed it by now, I love cars and like a lot of people I spend a lot of time thinking about the ones I might like to own. My daydreams live in an odd place, they don’t run towards the higher plane of pure fantasy where the Ferrari and Lamborghini live, and, despite the fact I expect to be buying a new minivan or SUV in the next couple of years, they don’t run to the purely practical, either. No, my fantasies live in that middle place. A place where the cars are interesting and, as unlikely as a purchase may be, still attainable.
I bought my first car six months ago, a dark green 2002 Subaru Impreza 2.5 TS. I purchased it from a local dealership for $5,800 with 97,100 miles on the odometer. Stick-shift, Subaru AWD, and sticky studded snows made this a solid candidate for the harsh Vermont winters. And while this past snowy season didn’t turn out to be too frightening, the car did. (Read More…)
When you have 120 dealers looking at the same exact car on a Monday morning, you have three options if you plan on buying a car.
After I saw a 2003 Infiniti FX35 with 220,558 miles sell for $9100 plus the auction fee, I left for good.
I told you that I would report back to the TTAC faithful when something new came up.
Well, for quite a few weeks there has been the usual distribution of dominance when it comes to high mileage cars that are curbed by their owners. 70% to 80% of the vehicles in the Top 25 of trade-ins mileage wise (out of 6000+ a week) were either Ford and Chevy trucks, Honda cars, or Toyota anything.
This week the streak is broken. Thanks to two Saturns which managed to cross the 400k mark.
What makes an owner trade in their car?
This may not be a question for the ages. But the impact this question has on every automaker will very well determine their long-term successes and failures.
After all, manufacturers want you to become an evangelist for their chosen brand. Billions of advertising dollars can be hurled at the general public in an endless cacophony of overt and nuance ridden ways. But in the end, it’s the good graces and big mouths of us current owners that carries the most sway. No clever hamster, truck loving dog, or clueless celebrity can approach the collective influence of the word of mouth.
Your opinion matters most, bar none… and now with the potential of over 300,000 surveys and data sets to tabulate, I may need a bit of help with it all.
Morning phone rings at the car lot…
Random Stranger: Hi there, like, I have this friend you know and he told me that you finance vehicles, and his name is Emmanuel and aahhh, like I was wondering, well, uh, do you have any Toyotas and like, do you, ummm… finance vehicles you know?
Me: I’m sorry. Who is this?
During the next several weeks you are going to be exposed to a lot of pointless hysteria about used cars prices in the Northeast.
Journalists will point out the extremes and the outliers to a media audience that is always easily attracted to the extremes and outliers of our society.
But it won’t be the truth. The real bump in traffic related to Hurricane Sandy won’t be with used cars at all.
It will be with new cars.