As gas prices continue to climb, automakers are touting their fuel efficient offerings. Chevrolet in particular has been touting their lineup of high-mileage models, but the automaker also points out that drivers can adopt helpful habits for saving money at the pump.
“Although Chevrolet vehicles are engineered with efficient, fuel-saving technologies, it still takes maintenance to ensure your vehicle performs as efficiently as it did when it left the factory,” said Roger Clark, General Motors Energy Center senior manager. “Drivers can improve their own fuel economy for free by making some very minor behavior changes.”
Americans have begun snapping up Toyota Prius, Honda Fit and other fuel-efficient models made only in Japan almost the way shoppers denude bread and milk shelves in a supermarket when a storm is predicted.
The intensity first spurred by rising gas prices has been amplified by predicted shortages of many models as the Japanese auto industry remains disrupted by the March 11 earthquake and its aftermath.
"We've gone from 60 (Priuses) in stock to 16" over the last two months, says Buzz Rodland at Rodland Toyota in Everett, Wash. A dozen are coming, "but we are told they are going to dwindle" quickly after that.
Indicating the shortages may not be brief, Honda has told dealers it's not taking orders for any vehicles made in Japan in May. March and April orders already were delayed.
Topsham, Maine, dealer Adam Lee says the only Priuses left that dealers can get their hands on in New England tend to be the fully equipped, costlier models, which could have the effect of pushing up prices even more if buyers get past their usual resistance to the higher-price versions.
In what now seems like a stroke of genius, he says, the family's Toyota store bought 15 used Priuses at a wholesale auction, then went back and got 15 more — at higher prices. Wholesale prices on used Priuses are up about $1,500 just in the last month, he says.
Remember that famous line from Henry Ford about how customers can order a Model T in any color they want as long as it's black? Well, Ford Motor is telling dealers not to order cars in "tuxedo black" or three shades of red. Reason: the pigment may be unavailable because of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami crisis, Bloomberg News reports.
The colors in question are found on the Ford F-150 and Super Duty pickups, the Explorer, Expedition and Lincoln Navigator sport-utility vehicles and the Taurus, Focus and Lincoln MKS sedans, Todd Nissen, a spokesman, said in an interview with Bloomberg.
"There's a potential we could see some shortages of this pigment," Nissen said. "At this point, we have adequate inventory on the ground to meet customer demand. We're working to find alternative suppliers."
Via: USA Today
In today’s highly competitive U.S. auto market, says the editors at U.S. News & World Report, “Shoppers want value, which means giving buyers more bang for their buck” in vehicles that “add value to their owner’s lives” throughout the entire ownership experience. That’s clearly an excellent description of the Chevrolet lineup, as proven by the fact that Chevy recently had four vehicles named to the publication’s Best Car for the Money Awards 2011—more than any other brand.
The Chevrolet Malibu was the top-rated entry in the Midsize Car class, noted for its well-balanced ride, bold style, and roomy and supportive front seats. The bottom line here: The Malibu “is an excellent family car” that “stands out for its two-tone interior design.”
How popular are the completely redesigned 2011 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups? General Motors recently announced it would add a third shift at its Flint (Mich.) Assembly plant just to keep up with demand. And not only will this boost availability for two of the toughest trucks on the market, but it also means an additional 750 jobs for the state of Michigan.
“Adding a third shift is a response to customer demand for heavy-duty pickups, which most people use to tow, haul and plow,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, and customers can do plenty of each with GM’s HD trucks.
If you've been following the hype online over the next Camaro, you know we've been brewing up something special for a while now. And if you haven't been, then boy are you in for a surprise. We've taken Camaro to a new level -- enough to rival the road course performance of any other world-class sports car. Introducing Camaro ZL1 -- the most powerful, high performance Camaro ever built. Coming early 2012.
As gas prices hit an average $3.51 a gallon nationwide on Monday, automakers and dealers are starting to see an uptick in sales of their most-fuel-efficient vehicles, including hybrids and electrics.
Toyota's Prius, which has a commanding lead in market share among hybrids, saw a 69.9% sales increase in February compared with February last year, Autodata reported.
Dealers say they believe customers are starting to take notice of gas prices in making their buying decisions, though numbers still are small.
"It's just starting," says Adam Lee, chairman of 20-dealership Lee Auto Malls in Maine. "We are not seeing a dramatic increase in sales (of hybrids and small cars), but we will."
The number of potential car buyers researching hybrids at the Edmunds.com information site nearly doubled to 400,000 from November to the end of January, in tandem with the gas price run-up.
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Incentives, new models and cabin fever sent new-car buyers hustling into showrooms last month. And they walked out with what they've always favored — trucks, SUVs and midsize cars — despite a jump in fuel prices late in the month.
Automakers sold 27.3% more new cars and trucks in February than a year ago. The annualized pace was 13.4 million, the highest since 14.2 million in August 2009, when the federal cash-for-clunkers program ignited sales during the recession.
Part of the pull: The average per-vehicle incentive rose 5% in February from January, to $2,708, according to TrueCar, an auto research website.
Car companies cheered the fact that retail sales to individual buyers were up, because those sales tend to be more profitable than discounted, multiple-vehicle fleet sales. It was taken as a harbinger of economic recovery and consumer optimism.
2011 Chevy Equinox
As reported in USA TODAY, the new "family car" star of the auto showroom is technically not a car. It's a compact crossover SUV.
Sales are booming for small-to-midsize vehicles that have the space of a truck but the driving ease and lighter weight of a car. They are roomy but not gargantuan. Engines are peppy but not guzzlers.
"Small crossovers are becoming the new family car," says Alexander Edwards, president of consulting firm Strategic Vision. "With strong styling cues and added innovative features ... it is definitely a segment of vehicles here to stay and one that will continue to grow."
That's why we picked the segment for our latest family-focused vehicle showdown: the $29,000 SUV Shootout, sponsored by auto information site Cars.com, USA TODAY and PBS' MotorWeek automotive magazine program.
The testing by experts and a family aimed to see which compact crossover offers the best value — the best package of convenience, features and performance at a price within reach of middle-class families of no more than $29,000.
That's a higher window sticker than a typical midsize sedan, but families seem to be voting with their wallets for the added space and features.
The scoring was tight, but the top scorer was the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox, followed by the Dodge Journey, Kia Sportage, Subaru Forester, Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4.
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