Category Archives: News

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Aliquam tristique, metus id rhoncus scelerisque, arcu dolor volutpat est, sed iaculis urna purus et felis. In in lectus placerat diam venenatis auctor a nec ligula. Suspendisse gravida nisl a sapien scelerisque, vitae pharetra nibh facilisis. Duis facilisis tristique lorem vel feugiat. Curabitur egestas mauris at ipsum pulvinar blandit. Cras tempor nunc id massa consequat viverra. Fusce sagittis tempus elit, at sodales leo lobortis non. Aliquam molestie dapibus tellus, non molestie velit elementum ut. Vestibulum vehicula nulla vitae enim dapibus, vel scelerisque elit gravida. Praesent eu dui vitae velit iaculis feugiat nec vel ante.

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America’s Best value cars of 2013

Most savvy car buyers are aware that as soon as a new car gets driven off a dealer’s lot it immediately takes a dip in value. However, not all vehicles depreciate at the same pace over time. Wouldn’t it be great to know which new cars were likely to be worth the most when it’s time to sell? Automotive Lease Guide has been forecasting automotive residual values for more than 50 years, and is considered an industry benchmark for this calculation. For the past 13 years, ALG has been giving Residual Value Awards to vehicles and brands likely to retain the most value after three years of ownership. Let’s take a look at the winners for 2014. Continue reading

31Dec/13
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Significant technology turning points that transform car travel

From music to travel to telecommunications, technology has transformed entire industries and disrupted traditional ways of doing business. Just ask record labels, travel agents and home telephone service providers. And now it’s the car’s turn.

Tech turning points

Tech turning points

Whether it was 4G connectivity and “big data” coming to vehicles or large tech companies making a stake in the connected car space and the move toward autonomous driving, 2013 saw several significant turning points that prove that technology will change driving as we know it. Here’s my take on the top five car tech trends we saw this year.

Connectivity. You can’t have a connected car without connectivity. And with the smartphone and tablet market reaching a saturation point, wireless carriers have set their sights on the car as the next mobile device — and hence a new market for data plans — as drivers increasingly want to stay connected. 2013 kicked off with GM and AT&T announcing a partnership to bring 4G connectivity to cars in 2014, and wrapped up with Audi doing the same at the Los Angeles Auto Show with an unnamed carrier partner.

Autonomous cars. While it’s been three years since Google revealed in late 2010 that it had logged almost 150,000 miles testing its original self-driving Toyota Prius, in 2013 most mainstream automakers revealed their autonomous vehicle ambitions. More than a half dozen major car companies as well as electric vehicle startup Tesla announced automated driving technology, introduced a self-driving research vehicle or both. And Nissan said it will have several self-driving vehicles on the market by 2020.
Over-the-air software updates. Because of the disparate differences in product lead times between the technology and auto industries — 12 to 18 months versus three to four years — cars are always behind the times tech-wise. While manual software updates have been used for several years with systems like Ford Sync, over-the-air updates that occur automatically make it easier for car owners and car companies to keep in-dash electronics current. An example of this is when Audi rolled out a new feature via an OTA update that allows a driver to find, reserve and even pay for a parking spot in advance. Tesla did it too when it added an update to deal with fires issues for the Model S.

24Dec/13
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With mass car market in stress, Hyundai eyes luxury segment

The country’s second-largest carmaker, Hyundai, is studying the growing luxury car market which is today the stronghold of German trio — Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The South Korean carmaker is considering a foray into the segment with its top-of-the-range models like the Equus and Genesis sedans, and the Veloster compact sports car, for which it could set up a separate sales network.

T2014-mazda-3-wallpaper1he strategy to enter the luxury market follows Hyundai’s recent focus of building a more upmarket image for the brand and slowly moving up the chain towards premium vehicles, even as it maintains its hold on the mass market of compact cars. Recent launches in the premium space include the Elantra and Sonata sedans, while a new Santa Fe SUV is expected to follow next year.
“We are studying the luxury space right now, though there is nothing definite yet.

Apart from Equus, there are more luxury models in the Hyundai range. However, we will need a different network to sell these cars. We are gauging customer acceptance of Hyundai’s luxury car range and then we will take a decision,” a Hyundai India official told FE. However, the official did not specify a timeline for launch, or if they will be assembled at Hyundai’s plant near Chennai.

28Jan/13
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Classics flooded by Sandy still waiting for salvage lot saviors

Two months ago, I wrote about the first wave of classic cars caught in superstorm Sandy’s floods totaled by insurance companies and sent to East Coast salvage yards, for those who believe there’s something worth keeping on a forty-year-old machine dunked in brackish waters. A browse through Copart’s online listing this week shows that the crowd of Sandy-damaged classics has grown to number in the hundreds, ranging from old Packards to modern Ferraris. The crusher shouldn’t be their only destination.

Classic Car

Classic Car

With more than 230,000 vehicles damaged by Sandy, the nation’s insurers have been busy for months triaging the damage; many of those vehicles will be crushed, while some will be stripped for salvageable spare parts. A single dip in salt water can provide years of damage to a modern car, sprouting rust throughout the body, mold in all fabrics and corrosion on key electronic parts.

The story’s a little different for classics. Take the ’60s-era Chevy Corvettes in the New York and New Jersey lots; one 1967 Sting Ray valued at $81,000 before the storm suffered an estimated $60,000 in damage. Even without an engine, bidding for its body has reached $23,000. The 1988 Ferrari Testarossa shown above was valued at $50,000, but rebuilding its engine and hard-to-source electronics may be beyond the willpower of even the most ardent Miami Vice fan.

Sandy’s floods didn’t discriminate, claiming MGBs and Pontiac GTOs alike. There’s enough Ford hot-rods and Chevy BelAirs in these lots to restage “American Graffiti,” and of all the cars in the database, the idea of a 1969 Jaguar XKE with little visible water damage getting chopped for parts leaves me sad enough to skim the kids’ college fund. (Salvage cars are sold as-is, and can be a hassle to drive legally even if they’re mechanically copacetic.)

The oldest car in the mix — the 1928 Packard Six coupe, complete with rusty water sloshing in one of its driving lights — might be the one I’m most certain will be saved by a caring collector. It’s simple enough to disassemble and clean; it’s engine likely didn’t suck in any water, and there’s enough Packard enthusiasts across the country to provide the know-how and spare parts to get it running again. There’s a reason some cars survive 85 years.