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Reports

Older Drivers More Prevalent; Auto Industry Reacts

You may start noticing more and more slow drivers on local freeways, and it’s not because drivers are illegally talking on their cell phones while monitoring their rear-view mirrors for cops.

The number of Americans age 55 to 74 is projected to nearly double by 2030, and already we’re seeing signs that the Baby Boomer generation is reaching senior-citizen status.

A young 50's woman blowing a bubble

The Baby Boomer’s Influence on the Auto Industry

Not that it’s a bad thing. These folks grew up in a post-World War II era when Americans were so happy about not being in a terrible war that they thrived, had large families and bought suburban homes. Read more

The Cars versus Bikes Battle Drags On

In 2008 it’s bad enough that consumers are punishing carmakers by holding off on new purchases – not the fault of automakers, per se, as oil companies and mortgage bankers carry a good chunk of the blame.

Nonetheless automakers are taking substantial and prolonged hits, perhaps equaling damages sustained by the homebuilding industry.

And when you’re down, look out for antagonists ready to pounce.

Auto Industry is taking A Beating

A bike and a car racingEnvironmentalists, no-growth advocates and bicycle riders alike seem to be relishing the opportunity to kick a dying dog. Everyone who ever hated cars is chipping in. Read more

Too Many Top-Ten Lists for Cars

In the late 1970s and into the 1980s, a book that became a phenomenon was the “Book of Lists,” which included hundreds of lists on arcane subjects such as famous people who died during sex, or people misquoted by Ronald Reagan.

The series was compiled by best-selling author Irving Wallace with two of his children, and while top-ten lists existed previously, Wallace’s book seemed to trigger an onslaught of lists in all forms of media.

A Trend That Caught Hold

David Letterman Top 10 Advertisement

Starting with David Letterman’s “Top Ten List” and continuing with lists by hundreds upon hundreds of bloggers, it’s a phenomenon that doesn’t appear to be fading any time soon. Read more

Fate of the Hummer May Rest in Eastern Hands

In a move that should make American motorists go “Hmmmmm,” Reuters reported in late August 2008 that two separate investors from the Gulf Arab region are showing interest in buying the Hummer brand from General Motors.

The Hummer has become a lightning rod for attention since people started taking global warming seriously, and in light of record-high gas prices.

People Actually Want Hummers

A HummerSo why not sell it to someone from an area that controls oil production and gas prices?

If a sale goes through, the more Hummers sold, the more gas guzzled. Read more

California Department of Motor Vehicles Enters Political Fray

Most adult Americans believe that driving is a right as much as freedom of speech.

This belief is erroneous – driving, as they say, is a privilege and not a right – but the perception is there. Take away our cars, take away our freedom, and you’re itching for a fight.

DMV Employees Take A Stand

An angry womanSo here comes public employees of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, not showing up to work in protest of the state’s inability to pass its annual budget.

They are walking a thin line.

The protest is against elected officials who are playing partisan games and holding out to prevent more taxes, or to protect state services, take your pick. Read more

CarMax, Los Angeles and the Ever-Fluctuating Used Car Sales Market

It’s difficult to believe that it’s now been 15 years since the appearance of the first so-called “auto superstore,” CarMax, in Richmond, Virginia.

The concept, further propagated by the imitating AutoNation, took the auto sales industry into the “big box” era of gigantic retail outlets such as Wal-Mart, Costco, etc. CarMax itself started as a unit of Circuit City, until it was spun off separately in 2002.

Monster Dealership

Monster Dealers

From the began they opened as many “monster lots” as possible throughout America, and even into Canada. The lots carried more than a thousand used cars, minivans and trucks of all makes and models. Read more

Research Proves it – Expensive Cars Really Turn Women On

An insurance company in the UK called Hiscox (yes, really) commissioned an experiment in the hopes of discovering that people really can feel a physical attraction for cars.

A strange topic to invest money in, Hiscox went on to test something Italian car owners knew all along…

The Test

A woman looking arousedThe test is simple, 40 men and women listened to recordings of three exotic Italian sports cars and one mid sized German car rev their engines.

Cars They Tested

  • Maserati
  • Lamborghini
  • Ferrari
  • Volkswagen Polo

After listening to each recording a sample of the test subjects’ saliva was collected and analyzed for testosterone levels. Read more

Luxury Brands Have Changed How They Sell Cars

August 2008, if there ever was a bad time to bet your livelihood on selling luxury items, this is it.

Lately, so much has been written about it and free-fall car sales figures and the economy, why waste time explaining?

A woman with binocularsThe fact of the matter is, after a few years of fat sales and robust revenue figures, those who produce luxury cars are finally being forced to design and market in a brave new world.

Predicting the Future

The automotive world can be like that, designing and producing new models takes a lot of time and money. No one can predict what the market will demand in a month, let alone two years in the future. Read more

New Car Financing Feeling the Pinch

Can buying a new car be impacted by greedy home-lending practices the past two years?

Answer: you betcha, this could be one of the biggest stories nationwide

Recent media reports shed light into how lenders and consumers are reacting to the innumerable home foreclosures since late in 2006.

A Nation of Credit

A woman pinching her sideFor example, Automotive News reported that the average length of a new-car loan is 64 months, a considerable bump up from 2003’s 61-month loan average.

New car sellers are trying to tap into the market of consumers who are “payment driven,” meaning the monthly payment is more important to them than the overall cost of the car. Read more

Cash for Used Cars: When Buying, and Selling

Back in 2003, Steve and Annette Economides started a financial-fitness-type newsletter, the HomeEconomiser, to help direct people to better manage their finances much like they had the previous 20 or so years.

It seems appropriate, considering their family surname name starts with the term “econo.”

America’s Cheapest Family

A car made of moneyToday they call themselves “America’s Cheapest Family,” a couple who paid their first mortgage off in nine years, as they started having children, by paying a bit more than was due every month. Read more