Memorial Day Sales: Zero Glitz and Big Deals says Edmunds.com

BY GERRY MILES

We’re used to lots of balloons, clowns and the big, tall 12-foot single color thing that waves all over the place to attract the attention of would-be car shoppers are dealerships.

Over this coming Memorial Day Weekend, there should be ZERO GLITZ AND GLITTER, according to Edmunds.com analysts and plenty of bargains all around from many of the automakers.

0% Financing Galore:

0% financing is huge this month. Edmunds.com analysts estimate that about 1/3 of all new vehicles have some sort of 0% promotion happening – and that’s even true for some of the small SUVs that are the hottest vehicle segment on the market right now.

Here are some examples:

  • Most Ford vehicles (including Escape Focus, Fusion, and outgoing non-aluminum F-150)
  • Many Nissan vehicles including Rogue and Versa
  • Most Toyota vehicles (including Camry, Corolla, RAV4)
  • Many Green vehicles including Volt, Leaf, Prius

$199 Leases:

There are a ton of these available, including on Buick, Chevy, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Subaru and VW models. More info here:

http://www.edmunds.com/car-leasing/monthly-199-lease-deals.html

Crazy EV Lease:

Chevrolet Spark EV has a $139 Lease with $0 Due at Signing. This is an EV car payment that may be less than your cell phone bill!

http://www.chevrolet.com/spark-ev-electric-vehicle.html

Interested in getting one of these great deals but now sure how to do all your research in time? The consumer advice experts at Edmunds.com offer a simple three-day shopping plan that makes it easy for you to do all your homework and bring home a new car before the deals run out:

http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/three-day-shopping-plan-for-holiday-weekends.html

Top stolen cars in America

BY GERRY MILES

Did you know that cars are stolen every 44 seconds in the U.S. of A?

Consider yourself forewarned if you drive a Honda Accord, Honda Civic, full-sized Chevy or Ford pickup, Toyota Camry or Dodge Caravan, according to CoverHound Insurance.

Their great graphic follows and shows what is taken and provides theft-prevention steps as well. Stay safe.

CoverHound-Stolen-Cars-72

 

 

Toyota Camry sales top 10 Million

1987 Camry sedan

1987 Camry sedan

About 1 in 5 Toyota Vehicles Sold Is a Camry

BY GERRY MILES

The top-selling car in the United State for the past 11 years, has been a Toyota Camry, the company proudly reported after noting it has sold 10 million copies of the sedan. Toyota claims that one in every five of its sales is a Camry, resulting in 20 percent of the vehicle volume sold by Toyota.

“We couldn’t be more excited about Camry’s 10 millionth sale in the U.S.,” said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.  “With the support of so many loyal customers, Camry has truly become part of the country’s fiber.  For seven generations, Toyota dealers have also been instrumental in getting Americans behind the wheel of a Camry. Camry is definitely helping Toyota Go Places.”

Toyota’s first generation Camry was introduced to the U.S. market in 1983, selling 52,651 vehicles. Three decades later, 773 of those Camrys are still in operation.

Camry began production in Georgetown, Ky. in May of 1988. It added production of the Camry hybrid in October 2006.

J.D. Power and Associates underscored Camry’s value by ranking it number one in the midsize passenger car segment in its 2013 Initial Quality Study (IQS).

According to a NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) study, the foreign nameplate Camry is the most American made car with 75 percent of its content sourced domestically.

GM nabs 8 awards – 5 for Chevy in JD Power 2013 Initial Quality Study

Porsche Ranks Highest Among Nameplates; Most problems customers face in the first 90 days are design-realted and can be fixed at the dealership.
BY GERRY MILES

In some welcome initial quality study information, GM received 5 awards in just announced JD Power initial quality ratings, with Chevy’s Avalanche (tie), Camaro (tie), ImpalaSilverado HD and Tahoe receiving kudos.

According to the study, the majority of problems owners experience with their new vehicle in the first 90 days of ownership are design-related rather than manufacturing defects. These design problems are far less likely to be successfully resolved at the dealership than are defects, according to the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) released today at an Automotive Press Association luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club.

The J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, which serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality, has been redesigned for 2013. The study has been enhanced to better measure the quality of today’s vehicles, particularly problems related to new technologies and features now being offered. In addition, the study, now in its 27th year, allows for more detailed feedback from new-vehicle owners.

Nearly two-thirds of the problems experienced in the first 90 days of ownership are related to the vehicle’s design, as opposed to components that malfunction. For example, the component may be working as designed, but owners deem it a problem because it may be difficult to understand or operate.

Because design problems are not the result of a breakdown or malfunction, just 9 percent of these problems are taken to a dealership within the first 90 days of ownership. When owners take their vehicle to a dealership for a design-related issue, the problem is fixed only 13 percent of the time. In contrast, 28 percent of owners who experience a defect or malfunction with their vehicle within the first 90 days of ownership take it to a dealership, and 42 percent of the time the dealership is able to fix the problem.

“Automakers are investing billions of dollars into designing and building vehicles and adding technologies that consumers desire and demand, but the risk is that the vehicle design, or the technology within the vehicle, in some cases may not meet customer needs,” said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “Keep in mind that automakers are trying to design vehicles that appeal to a broad array of consumers, and what works for the majority may not work for all. The successful companies will be those automakers that find a way to give customers the technology they want while at the same time making it sufficiently intuitive so all customers find it easy to use.”

Overall initial quality for the industry averages 113 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100).1 The study finds that many of the problems owners have with their vehicle relate to the driver interface, which includes voice recognition or hands-free technology, Bluetooth pairing for mobile phones, and the navigation system, among others.

Features that are difficult for owners to operate, hard to understand, or inconveniently located in the vehicle likely will remain a problem for the life of the vehicle.

“Owners desire, and in some cases are demanding, more content in their new vehicles, especially technology-related features, and automakers are trying to provide it,” said Sargent. “The majority of owners don’t experience problems, but those who do are frustrated. That’s understandable, especially when owners often keep their new vehicle for five years or more. In contrast, when consumers have a problem with their smartphone, they are likely to replace the phone much sooner.”

GM, Porsche atop 2013 IQS Rankings
Porsche ranks highest among nameplates included in the study, averaging 80 PP100. GMC ranks second with 90 PP100, and Lexus ranks third with 94 PP100. Infiniti (95 PP100) and Chevrolet (97 PP100) round out the five highest-ranked positions.

Among the 26 model-level segment awards:

  • Chevrolet received 5
  • Honda received 2
  • Kia received 2
  • Mazda received 2
  • Porsche received 2

Chevrolet models receiving an award are the Avalanche (tie), Camaro (tie), ImpalaSilverado HD and Tahoe.

Honda receives awards for the Civic and CR-V; Kia for the Soul and Sportage(tie).

Mazda for the MAZDA2 and MX-5 Miata.

Porsche for the Boxster and911.

The Lexus LS ranks highest in the Large Premium Car segment and achieves 59 PP100, the lowest average problem level among all models in the study.

Also receiving segment awards are Acura TLBuick Encore (tie); Cadillac EscaladeChrysler Town & CountryFord Mustang (tie); GMC Sierra LD (tie);Hyundai Genesis SedanInfiniti FXMercedes-Benz GLK-ClassNissan Muranosmart fortwo; and Toyota Camry.

JDPower2013IntQuality

Top Three Models Per Segment: CUV, MPV, Van, Pickups

Top Three Models Per Segment: CUV, MPV, Van, Pickups

Top Three Models Per Segment:

Top Three Models Per Segment:

Plant Assembly Line Quality Awards
Toyota Motor Corporation’s Lafayette B Plant (SIA) in Indiana, which produces the Toyota Camry, receives the Platinum Plant Assembly Line Quality Award for producing models that yield the fewest defects or malfunctions. Plant awards are based solely on average levels of defects and malfunctions and exclude design-related problems.

Among plants in the Asia Pacific region, the Toyota Motor Corporation Yoshiwara, Japan, (TABC) plant, which produces the Lexus LX and Toyota Land Cruiser, receives a Gold Plant Assembly Line Quality Award.

In the Europe and Africa region, Audi AG receives a Gold Plant Assembly Line Quality Award for its Neckarsulm, Germany, plant, which produces the Audi A4, A5, A6, A7 and A8.

The 2013 U.S. Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 83,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2013 model-year cars, trucks and multi-activity vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is based on a 233-question battery designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate identification of problems and drive product improvement. The study was fielded between February and May 2013.

The study is used by manufacturers worldwide to improve quality and by consumers to help them make more informed purchasing decisions. Throughout the years, initial quality has been shown to be a leading indicator of long-term durability, which directly impacts customer loyalty and purchase decisions.

JDPowerPlants

Find the best used cars for all budgets: Consumer Reports

BY GERRY MILES

The people’s public opinion provider, Consumer Reports, has found a way for the public to help locate the best used cars – sedans, SUVs, and small cars from $10,000 or less and up to $25,000 on a budget in its Annual Auto Issue that’s available now.

Consumer Reports compiled a Best & Worst Used Cars list for model years 2003 – 2012.

Each vehicle had above average CR reliability scores and all came with electronic stability control as standard equipment.

“With so many choices, shopping for a used car can be overwhelming. Our report provides a much-needed cheat sheet that Americans can refer to for help getting the best and most reliable used car that fits their budget,” said Rik Paul, auto editor, Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports worst used cars list includes 2003 to 2012 models that have had multiple years of much-worse-than-average overall reliability, according to CR’s Annual Auto Survey. Among the twenty models that made the list are the BMW 7 Series, the Ford Explorer (V6, 4WD), the Kia Sorento (V-6), and the Mini Cooper S.

Most gas/electric hybrid cars have shown superior reliability in the past decade. However, the Honda Civic Hybrid is an exception, according to Consumer Reports’ latest Annual Auto Survey. Almost one in five owners of the 2009 model year Civic Hybrid needed a replacement battery in CR’s 12-month survey period.

In the $15,000-$20,000 price range the following cars made Consumer Reports’ list of best used cars:

SMALL CARS: 2010-11 Toyota Prius and 2011-12 Hyundai Elantra (sedan)
At 44 mpg overall, the Prius delivers the best gas mileage of any non-plug-in, five-passenger vehicle. The 2010 redesign brought more room, better   brakes,  and sound but not agile handling.  For a more enjoyable driving experience, look for a Hyundai Elantra sedan.

SEDANS: 2011-12 Toyota Camry (4-cyl.) and 2006-07 Infiniti M
Expect impressive 26 to 27 mpg overall with the four-cylinder Camry in addition to a roomy cabin and superb reliability. If a powerful engine and luxurious interior are your passion, opt for the Infiniti M with the V-6.

SUVs: 2007-08 Honda Pilot and 2009 Mazda CX-9
The Pilot combines a roomy cabin, good driving dynamics, seating for eight, and respectable fuel    economy in a package that isn’t too big to fit in your garage. But road noise is a bit pronounced. The Mazda CX-9 is a more agile alternative with an even roomier third-row seat.