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 |  Jan 17 2012, 4:30 PM

According to a study in the US by leading automotive market intelligence firm Polk, the average age of cars and trucks in operation in the US today is currently some 10.8 years.

Vehicle age has been increasing quite rapidly over the last few years as tough economic times have forced many potential vehicle buyers to hold off on new purchases. Trucks and SUVs in particular, have experienced a faster age rate than passenger cars.

According to Polk statistics, cars showed a bump from 11 to 11.1 years in the period from 2010 to June 2011, while trucks showed an increase from 10.1 to 10.4 years on average.

While the growth in vehicle age might not be seen as necessarily good for auto manufacturers and new car showrooms, on the flipside, it represents more opportunities for aftermarket parts companies, independent garages and dealer service departments, since the longer vehicles are on the road, the more they require servicing and repairs.

“The increasing age of the vehicle fleet, together with the increasing length of ownership, offers significant business growth opportunity for the automotive aftermarket,” declared Mark Seng, global aftermarket practice leader at Polk.

That said, with an improvement in new vehicle sales during 2011, in the coming years, the age rate of vehicles on US roads will likely slow, especially given the current popularity of vehicles such as compacts and mid-size crossovers.

[Source: Polk]

 |  Aug 18 2011, 1:45 PM

Spurred by the recent riots in London, the Germans have taken to the streets—and their target are the Mercedes, BMW, and Audi cars owned by “fat cats” that are ruining their country.

About 138 cars have been torched across Berlin, with 26 just in the past two days. 130 of those have been Benzes; 91 Volkswagens, 60 BMWs, and 43 Audis and Opels comprise the rest. Berlin police are setting up special investigative units to process the cases as political crimes, which carry steeper penalties than mere vandalism. Arsonists usually light up the cars through the tires, placing barbeque charcoals around them. So far, no arrests have been made.

Germany is facing a terrible economic downturn: despite lofty sales figures from its car makers, Germany’s growth has almost completely stopped. This is coming from a country that only last year supported Western Europe’s economy. Many people believe that the protests and arsons aren’t about the financial crisis—they’re aimed against capitalism in general, globalization and gentrification in East Berlin’s former Soviet areas.

It’s common belief that any social injustice eventually devolves into an “us vs. them” mentality—the rich make convenient targets in this economic downturn, and certainly those who are wealthy enough to afford luxury cars are more of a target than London’s humble shopkeepers. And even as the Vancouver protests over the Stanley Cup have shown, cars are the number one target: especially expensive ones. As long as there’s inequality, even a perceived one, anywhere in volatile Europe, cars are going to go up in flames.

[Source: Zero Hedge]

 |  Jun 01 2010, 2:24 PM

Kruse Inc., recognized as one of the pioneers in the field of collector and special interest car auctions, has had its licenses revoked in its home state. The Indiana Auctioneer Commission, recently ruled to take away both Kruse’s auctions that have allowed it to operate in the Hoosier state. To add further insult to injury, the auction house will not be able to re-apply for new licenses for at least another seven years.

Dean Kruse, president of the Auction house, has also  had his own license suspended indefinitely and both he and his company have been fined $70,000.

This comes on the heals of reported financial troubles at Kruse Inc., which were first noticed last year, when a number of consignors (vehicle sellers), reported that they weren’t getting paid and that the buyers weren’t getting the cars they’d purchased. An official statement from Kruse himself last year mentioned that the auction house had been affected by the economic downturn.

Kruse Inc. is perhaps best known for selling the famous William Harrah car collection over the course of three separate auctions which brought over $41 million, including a 1934 Dusenberg which was bought for cool $1 million in cash. However, with the suspension of licenses it’s unclear what the immediate future might bring for the auction house, though it is reported that Dean Kruse is in talks to repay the money owed and apply for re-instatement of licenses, under specific turns and conditions laid out by the Commission.

[Source: Autoweek]