AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
It's an Automotive Vanity Extravaganza
The folks at Kelley Blue Book have released their annual Brand Image Awards. The study, now in its seventh year, honors automakers for excelling in certain areas. Categories include things like best performance brand, most refined brand and most trusted brand. Overall there are 13 winners and the results may surprise or even appall you. You’ll need to read on to find out.
But first, according to KBB this isn’t some shady survey conducted by annoying telephone marketers; awards are actually the result of “extensive research gathered throughout the year.” Shoppers using the company’s website contribute to the results; in fact more than 12,000 of them participated, and here’s what the people have to say.
A new survey has revealed that young adults not only want to own vehicles but are using car rentals as extended test drives.
Depending on which state you live in, the plate or plates plastered to your vehicle might be little more than a slid color.
Electric vehicles face many hurdles compared to their conventional, internal-combustion-powered counterparts. Consumers are generally unfamiliar with them plus they have range-related issues, but that’s not all; pricing is also a problem for new-vehicle shoppers.
Roughly one-in-five drivers admit to texting, emailing, or using social media while behind the wheel of a car, according to a new study by Ipsos.
Fuel economy and environmental concerns are pushing 31 percent of new car shoppers to consider diesel-powered cars, a survey recently found.
Since its founding in 1936, Consumer Reports has become the go-to source for shoppers. From new refrigerators to bottles of wine, Blue-ray players to homeowner’s insurance, if it’s on the market it’s likely the non-profit organization has scientifically tested it. Of course the consumer watchdog is probably most famous for its vehicle reliability ratings.
According to a recent survey conducted online, car owners trust independent repair shops over dealerships for auto repairs by a margin of two to one.
User satisfaction with factory-installed navigation systems is on the decline while the number of drivers turning to their smartphone for directions is rising.
A report from the Mineta Transportation Institute seems to indicate that some Americans are willing to support the federal transportation revenues though paying higher taxes.
The United States Department of Transportation just released data suggesting an overwhelming majority of drivers who experience connected vehicle technology respond to it favorably and perceive it as an important safety measure.
Social media is a great way to keep in contact with friends, family and share baby photos with one another, but it can also be used for finding a favorable car dealership. Thats according to a new study released just on the eve of Facebook’s IPO.
It’s another tough season for gas prices. How are you coping with the rising prices? According to a survey by CouponCabin.com one third of Americans have to give up some personal amenities in order to keep their cars on the road.
The survey conducted over two days in March, was answered by 2,254 Americans, and revealed that many Americans will have to make personal lifestyle changes in order to accommodate the higher gas prices.
Seventy per cent of respondents said they would dine out less, making it the most common luxury to get cut from American’s spending habits.
The next casualty of high gas prices is entertainment spending. Sixty Four per cent of Americans stated they would stop spending money on movies, concerts and other entertainment related activities.
Thirty Seven per cent asked in the survey responded that they are looking to save money to pay for gas by postponing their seasonal clothes shopping.
Its interesting to see how much one would cut from their budget in order to pay for gas. Some mentioned that they would cancel their Internet service (5%) or TV service (15%)
Not only are consumers planning to modify their budget to cope with the rising gas prices, but three-in-four are also changing their driving habits. Sixty one per cent answered the survey stating they’d drive less, and others mentioned using more carpools, public transit, or buying a hybrid or more fuel efficient vehicle.
In order to alleviate the pains of gas prices, CouponCabin.com is launching a gas giveaway, with a grand prize of $1,500 worth of gas awarded to the winner. That certainly could help, even if you’re not hurting from the gas prices yet.
Gas prices affect a lot of decisions in the automotive industry. Earlier reports had car buyers paying more attention to fuel economy, and the car industry looking for more fuel efficient solutions for vehicles. However, new reports are surfacing that show how higher gas prices could affect the driving habits of different age groups.
BIGinsights’ annual American Pulse survey found that the majority of participants felt that gas prices could hit $5/Gallon by memorial day. Many used the word “Ridiculous” or “Outrageous” to describe the idea of gas getting to the $5/gallon price point.
Between the different age groups surveyed, at least 73.3% said they regularly drove a car. Of those surveyed, very many of them stated that they would consider an alternate form of transportation when gas prices reached $5/gallon.
Generation Y led all other age groups in planning to adapt to the high fuel prices. Many from the young generation stated that they would take to carpooling, bicycling, walking, or public transportation.
In fact the report found that Gen Y is 13% more likely than the average population to drive less as pump prices rise.
Additionally about 30.6% of Americans pay more for gas per month, than their car payments.
The most interesting areas of the report show the contrasts between different age groups. While the younger Generation Y seems ready to adopt alternate methods of transportation, Generation X is the least likely to jump ship and change their ways, opting to keep on driving and pay the price.
Lastly, in an effort to save prices at the pump, drivers are buying groceries in bulk in order to reduce trips. Only 13.8% of those asked said they do not buy in bulk at all.
Over 4,000 Americans were surveyed, and the topics didn’t just cover driving habits. Many felt like the rising gas prices were interfering with vacation plans, and travel budgets.
When probed as to what was thought to be the most effective method to bring gas prices down; the age groups all agreed that the government should open up oil reserves for drilling. The younger generations were also heavy proponents of driving hybrids and more fuel efficient vehicles.
[Source: American Pulse]
Shopping for a car has always been harder for a woman. You’re always concerned you’re going to be taken advantage of or talked down to, just because you’re female. Bringing a male friend or husband to a dealership is standard practice – and when you think about it, it’s just plain unfortunate that women still feel the need to do this.
But ladies, you’ll be happy to know that times they are a-changin’. Thanks to auto manufacturers, retail trade groups and fed up women, the word is getting out as to which dealerships are more inclined to treat women like intelligent consumers. Using social media and word-of-mouth, women are talking about which dealerships to shop at and which ones to avoid.
The proof comes from a study published by WomenCertified that says that women account for 51 percent of the cars purchased in the U.S. and influence 96 percent of sales. The study focuses on what women car buyers want when shopping for a new vehicle, and the results found that just as important as buying experience is the way women are treated during the process. It turns out that during the service experience is when women face the harshest treatment.
So what makes a dealership “women friendly?” According to WomenCertified, the best dealers show “a genuine concern for the customer,” and offer a “nuance of hospitality” in everything they do. These dealers listen to women and understand the specific needs of the customer.
As well, the survey found that women are more likely to return to the dealership if they are happy. They will not only come back the next time they need a new car, but also to take care of service and other car needs.
You can see the list of the top woman-friendly dealerships after the jump.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
Why get an electric car when new gas powered vehicles are getting such high marks for fuel efficiency? According to a survey by KPMG, the rising standard of efficient gas engines is going to lead to minimal sales of electric vehicles.
KPMG’s 13th annual Global Automotive Executive Survey found that, although electric engines are a major long term strategy, the optimization of internal combustion engines will be key in the next five years.
Peter Hatges, KPMG’s Lead of automotive practice says, “The need for new electric propulsion technology is still top of mind for auto executives around the world given the demand that will be felt in the emerging markets.” However, the survey points out that electric car sales will not exceed 15% of new car sales world wide, by 2025. Automotive Executives expect even less in the short term at about 6-10% adoption.
Another key factor in the future is the role that manufacturers of electric components will have. There will be a huge competition in this space, and 40% of respondants believe that original equipment manufacturers will lead in that area, in addition to traditional powertrains.
Still, electric cars are at a crossroad. Hatges says “Electromobility is a colossal issue for the industry, the key automotive players should have a clearer vision on this, even though how and when fully electric cars will be a reality is dependent on a variety of complex and interrelated factors.”
Interestingly, the survey makes no significant mention of the role of Hybrid cars moving forward, even though it seems that many new cars will have a gas-electric hybrid option.
Want to win $500 towards a set of tires? You could be the lucky winner of a Discount Tire voucher for 500 big ones just be filling out a survey being put on by AutoGuide.com and J.D. Power.
The AutoGuide Audience Survey will ask questions regarding how social media and other online tools help influence your decision with respect to buying a car. The short survey can be filled out here and the data will be analyzed by J.D. Power as a means of helping discover what social media tools are used most by vehicle buyers. One participant will be randomly selected to win $500 towards a set of tires from Discount Tire.
It looks like mom can put her feet up and enjoy a quiet house for a couple of minutes – dads are getting more involved in kid carpooling duties, although they are more likely to drop the kids off at school in a utility vehicle rather than a minivan.
A new survey by Chevrolet shows that men are taking a much more active roll when it comes to dropping off and picking up the kids from school. The survey takes its results from an online survey conducted by Harris Interactive. The results show that 80 percent of American fathers with children aged 17 or younger enjoy an active daily family life and more than 70 percent drive their kids to school, daycare or extracurricular activities.
“According to recent Census data, there are 154,000 stay-at-home dads and more than 25 million dads who have kids under 17. The trend is shifting and men are becoming more involved with family-driving duties. We’re seeing the rise of the ‘Dadmobile,’” said James Bell, head of General Motors Consumer Affairs.
But according to these fathers, they’d much rather pull dad-duty in a utility vehicle. Moms still love their minivans (58 percent really dig them, thanks to features such as sliding doors), but dads think minivans aren’t manly enough. The survey also asked dads how cool their family vehicles were, and they came up with a 6.4 rating on a 10-point scale.
The dads surveyed in the poll went with SUVs and crossovers as their preferred family vehicle, citing they could accomplish all their daily activities in them, whether it be work or personal. Dads want to do everything in their vehicles – from holiday travel (94 percent) to work commutes (63 percent) to household do-it-yourself projects (54 percent). Less than one quarter of those surveyed said they prefer a minivan for these tasks.
The study showed that on the top of fathers’ family vehicle must-have list is a safe, fuel-efficient vehicle. And since they are “kidpooling,” passenger capacity is pretty important to nearly 40 percent of fathers, along with functionality, ample cargo space and comfort. The survey also noted that two of the most stressful things dads had to deal with regarding travel are high fuel prices and traffic jams.
So who performs most of the school drop off and pick up duties in your household? Leave us your two cents in the comments section below.
Would it surprise you to learn that about 70 percent of American men said they find it easier to care for their cars than their personal health? Yep, it wasn’t a big shock to use either.
Here’s another interesting fact that the poll unearthed – 40 percent of men asked said they would be more likely to address issues with their car than their health. Conducted by the Men’s Health Network and the drug company Abbott Laboratories, this survey polled 501 men, aged 45 to 65, as well as their partners or spouses. They learned that 28 percent of men skip a regular visit to the doctor. This fact worries 40 percent of the women who were asked if they worried about their husband’s or partner’s health (we guess the other 60 percent weren’t that concerned or had better things to worry about).