Login to your account
Not a member? Register now.
AutoShopperBlog

Subscribe To The Blog:




Follow Us




Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews




The New Car-Based Ford Explorer

On: Thu, May 20, 2010 at 4:12PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


The New Car-Based Ford Explorer test 1-1

The new re-designed Ford Explorer crossover (concept version pictured) is scheduled to arrive at dealerships later this year. Many advocates of the Explorer want to know if the SUV-turned-crossover will have the same level of ruggedness and towing capacity when it gets built on a car chassis instead of a truck.

Ford plans to continue marketing the Explorer as an SUV even after the redesign project. Aaron Bragman, automotive analyst responded: "They can call it whatever they like. It's built on a Taurus platform, so it is actually a crossover."

Analysts believe that the new Explorer (which hasn't even been seen by the public yet) will probably not meet the expectations of Ford's SUV customers.  Some believe that the new Explorer may be competition for other Ford Crossovers such as the Ford Flex, which has not been a great hit for Ford so far.

The present model Explorer has seen a sales increase of 41% and, so far this year, has outsold the Flex (the Flex saw a sales increase of only 16% this year).

Ford is hoping that the new Explorer will be a hit with a different type of consumer, possibly a car buyer with a large family. The new Explorer will be a seven passenger vehicle with three rows of seats, just like the Flex. Ford reports that 70% of current Explorer buyers already select the extra row of seats which indicates to the company that they may be interested in the three row crossover conversion of the Explorer.

"When you see it, you know it's a Ford, you will know it is an SUV, and you will know it's a very modern interpretation of our Explorer," according to Jim Holland, Ford’s engineer in charge of the redesign project.


Nissan Offers Relief to Victims of Flood Zone

On: Thu, May 20, 2010 at 4:12PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Nissan Offers Relief to Victims of Flood Zone test 1-1

On May 4th, 2010, Nissan Motors stepped up to the plate to offer charitable donations after a record-breaking flash flood swooped across the state lines of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky before it reportedly took the lives of at least 30 people and destroyed many communities located in all three states.

The rapidly rising flood waters resulted from severe storms, tornadoes, and torrential rain fall across the affected states this month. Many residential homes, apartment complexes, and other structures, such as nursing homes, were destroyed statewide in all three regions of the country. The flooding was so severe that residents had to be evacuated by rescue boats and helicopters. Hundreds of people lost their homes, cars, and literally all of their possessions, and were left stranded without the basic necessities such as food and a place to sleep, all a direct result of the flash flooding.


Automakers Agree with Minimum Standards for Electric Vehicle Noise

On: Thu, May 20, 2010 at 3:47PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Automakers Agree with Minimum Standards for Electric Vehicle Noise test 1-1

In recent car news, The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers met with the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council for the Blind which resulted in an agreement that electric vehicles should be mandated to a minimum noise standard for safety of pedestrians with visual impairment.

New vehicle sales is projected to be just over 11 million this year, and, although a recent McKinsey report predicts that electric vehicles will capture only a small percentage of total vehicle sales in the future (as little as 3–8%), the all-electric motors are virtually silent. Safety issues concerning the risk of blind pedestrians getting hit by electric vehicles has been a topic of concern within advocate groups for the blind for many years. A recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2009 concluded that electric vehicles are prone to be at higher risk for accidents involving pedestrians than vehicles with regular engine noise, such as combustion engine automobiles.


Recall Fever: Lexus, Volvo, And Nissan

On: Thu, May 20, 2010 at 1:21PM | By: John Welch


2010 Nissan Altima test 2

 

Criminals Beware: 2011 Ford Police Interceptor is a High-Tech Crime-Stopper!

On: Thu, May 20, 2010 at 11:55AM | By: Michael Jon Lazar


2011 Ford Police Interceptor test 2

Police nationwide are offering their salvos to the Dearborn automaker, Ford Motor Corporation, for their newest line of criminal defender vehicles that is already in production for police stations, substations, and facilities nationwide: The 2011 Ford Police Interceptor. There have been some vast improvements made upon this car, even from their last line, the 10’ receptor, and then some! Even better: the newer model ditches the ugly old Crown Victoria model—which is curvy and outdated’and replaces it with a flashier and much more aesthetically pleasing Taurus sedan. But don’t get anything wrong: this is not your average Ford Taurus. Far from it, in fact! 


GM Starting to Show a Profit for First Time in Three Years

On: Thu, May 20, 2010 at 9:50AM | By: Michael Jon Lazar


GM test 2

I am sure that most of you can recall a few years back—during what were perhaps some of the most tumultuous times for our US economy—when the Big Three (well, Chrysler and GM . . . not so much Ford) automakers went belly up. There was a rash of emergency meetings down in Washington, where the bigwigs from the major automakers plead their case for bailout funds to US Congress. They basically were asking for billions of US dollars in aid, from taxpayers and bonds, and some other methods of funding, like short term loans from the government. Many people saw this ‘auto bailout’ as tantamount to the housing market collapse, in the sense that there was much bickering back and forth as to whether we should have  bailed out the automakers, like General Motors, as we did.

But as it turns out, sometimes foresight is worth a few billion dollars or so. According to some recent news reports that have been surfacing and flying all over the web, GM is indeed once again a profitable entity. This has not been an easy task for the once gigantic automaker. They had to negotiate with unions. They had to close down numerous plants. They had to entirely readjust their budget. They had to eliminate some models. And the best part of all: they did these things and are making money again. GM looks to be in the driver seat to get us taxpayers finally paid off over the years to come. Hooray!


Americans Impress At Nurburing 24

On: Wed, May 19, 2010 at 1:51PM | By: John Welch


Farnbacher Ferrari F430 test 2

Too bad we don't have any serious endurance races here in America. Shyeah, Sebring is a rough track, and the race is 12 hours. Right, Petit Le Mans is a thousand kilometers and takes place near crummy 'ole Atlanta, but that really isn't that bad either. There are plenty of amateur 24-hour events, but the Daytona 24 is the only true 'round the clock race . . . even it is contained inside the cushy confines of Daytona International Speedway. Which translates to: almost zero elevation change . . .

No, by "serious endurance race" I mean 24 hours, hundreds of feet of elevation change, 220 participants and thousands of ess-faced Germans trying to scrawl dirty limericks on the actual racing surface with sidewalk chalk . . . while people are racing! And did I mention that this racing surface is nearly 16 miles in length? The Nordschilfe makes Sebring, at a little more then 4 and a half miles, almost seem small! That is the reputation that comes with being the mightiest race track in the world; The Nurburing Nordschilfe.

The annual ADAC Nurburing 24 was held last weekend, and the over-all victory went to a factory BMW very similar to the Rahal/Letterman M3 GT2s campaigned in the American Le Mans Series. More interesting to us, as Americans, are the Grand-Am regulars who scored class victories at the storied event. Leh Keen, driver of the No. 41 Team Seattle/Global Diving/Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 GT in the Grand-Am Series was able to capture first in the SP7 class. His No. 43 Hankook Ferrari F430 GT was the only car able to mount a challenge against the race-winning BMW towards the close end of the event. Shane Lewis, a common sight at Grand-Am races, was able to bring his No. 70 Gotz Motorsport Audi RS4 to the flag, first in the SP 8T class for big-bore touring cars.


BMW Pushes for More Built-To-Order Vehicles

On: Wed, May 19, 2010 at 1:08PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


BMW Pushes for More Built-To-Order Vehicles test 1-1

BMW is working hard to overcome America’s instant gratification tendencies by encouraging buyers to purchase more built-to-order vehicles, saying that it is “worth the wait,"  BMW reports that consumers get higher satisfaction in the buyinbg process when they get to select  the exact features they want in a new custom ordered BMW.

Built-to-order vehicles help manufactures reduce their abundance of costly inventory, but they are not that popular in the U.S., Toyota states that Lexus sells only 2% of its total monthly inventory on pre-built custom orders.  But in Germany however, 50% of all the BMWs sold are customized with features such as moon roofs and iPod adaptors, interior and exterior custom colors and more.  According to Edmunds.com CEO, Jeremy Anwyl, “ordering has not been part of the car buying process in the U.S.” consumers are used to going into a dealership and driving away with a car. We tend to be very impulsive."


How to Avoid Buying a Lemon - Three Easy Tips!

On: Wed, May 19, 2010 at 10:49AM | By: Michael Jon Lazar


Avoid Buying A Lemon! test 2

There are many common used auto pitfalls that many consumers can easily overlook when they are in the process of seeking to purchase a used car. It does not really matter whether you are seeking to get your hands on used cars from a used car dealership, or you have your eyes set on private purchase: lemon cars do exist and there are some easy ways that you can go about assuring that you never purchase one.

First and foremost, what is the definition of a car that is deemed be a lemon?

According to Carlemon.com, “A vehicle that continues to have a defect that substantially impairs its use, value, or safety. Generally, if the car has been repaired 4 or more times for the same Defect within the Warranty Period and the Defect has not been fixed, the car qualifies as a Lemon. All States differ so you should consult the Lemon Law Summary and the State Statutes for your particular State. Note that the warranty period may or may not coincide with the Manufacturer's Warranty.”


GM Seeks Subprime Auto Buyers

On: Wed, May 19, 2010 at 9:39AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Mark Reuss, President of GM North America test 2

Recent Car news from Detroit indicates that General Motors is trying to secure a stake in the subprime auto lending market that comprises as much as 16% of today’s car buyers. GM executive Mark Reuss, under pressure to sell more cars and boost GM's value, stated that a shortage of subprime lending is holding back sales in the U.S.

Being highly motivated to increase sales in order to improve GM’s appeal to the stock buyers may not be enough to put GM back in the driver’s seat so to say, when it comes to auto lending decisions. GM sold its financial arm before filing for bankruptcy, to a company named Ally Financial (formally the notorious GMAC lending institution).  Although the subprime car buying market would be a very lucrative endeavor for GM, Ally has made it clear that they have little interest in lending to high risk borrowers.  Ally is owned in part and financially backed by the federal government.


South Korean Automaker to Build Cars in Hawaii

On: Wed, May 19, 2010 at 9:22AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


South Korean Automaker to Build Cars in Hawaii test 1-1

Hawaii has been a hot topic in car news recently as CT & T, a South Korean automaker, begins to develop plans to build a new manufacturing plant on the island of Oahu in order to build up to 10,000 twin-seat electric vehicles per year. Hawaii has very good reason to exhibit an interest in electric vehicles as all of the gas the state consumes has to be imported which really drives the prices up, subsequently Hawaii’s gas prices are the highest in the U.S.