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14. Acura ZDX
As 2012 winds to an end, AutoGuide looks back at all the vehicles that received the axe this year, some that will be missed, while others surely won’t be.
Starting it off is the Acura ZDX, a crossover that had a very tough time breaking into the market. Priced at around $51,815 including delivery, the ZDX was hardly a hot seller for the Japanese automaker, and it’s clear that Acura can’t wait to move forward from it.
Danny White of Washington D.C. has a sense of humor. He loves the Redskins, loves his Chevrolet Avalanche, and loves a good joke. Unfortunately, getting a vanity plate that says “NO-TAGS” (hilarious) is proving to be an expensive joke.
Since White’s plate says NO-TAGS on it, every time the city finds a vehicle that has been abandoned or is missing its plates, parking officials enter, well NO-TAGS in place of the normal number-letter combo. That routes the ticket over to White’s Chevy Avalanche. The poor guy said he’s received over $20,000 in tickets – none of which are even his.
Fortunately every few months he’s able to take time off work to go to the courthouse to get the tickets dismissed, but the ones that are made out for a Chevrolet become a tough sell. It’s become so problematic for White however that he can’t even renew his license or registration at the DMV.
An exception to the rule is being made thanks to local media coverage. A notice went out to all the different D.C. agencies that write tickets. The new protocol instructs officers to not write “NO TAGS” or “NONE.” Instead, they record the last six digits of the vehicles VIN and mark the state as “XX.”
White stands by his plate and refuses to change it. Unfortunately DMV director Lucinda Babers is considering recalling any confusing vanity plates altogether.
According to an official release from General Motors, total U.S. sales of vehicles from its four major brands in June 2010, stood at 194,828 units, marking the sixth straight month of increases. Many analysts cite recovering demand in the pickup and SUV markets as a prime factor in the sales increases and according to GM’s Vice President of Sales Operations Don Johnson (no, not that one), combined sales of the popular Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups, as well as the Chevy Avalanche were up 27 percent versus June 2009.
“As companies continue to invest in their business, we expect this segment to continue to recover,” stated Johnson. “We think that the release of some pent-up demand in the pickup market is indicative that a fundamental part of the US economy is strengthening.”
Besides these vehicles, the compact Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain crossover utilities continue to be hot sellers. GM reported 16,093 deliveries of these vehicles for the month of June, which according to the company’s year-to-date findings, represents a 193 percent increase over 2009. Month end total vehicle dealer inventory for June in the U.S., stood at approximately 438,000 units, about 30,000 higher than the previous month, but 144,000 less than the same time last year.
The U.S., along with much of Western Europe is experiencing a slow and somewhat painful economic recovery after the virtual collapse of the banking sector in 2008. Although there are signs that optimism is growing among consumers, many auto manufacturers, including GM are still using major sales incentives to move many models off dealer lots.