Thursday, 30 June 2016

Drivers 50 and up want more car safety tech

In the quest to be able to keep driving in the coming years, more drivers 50 and up are eager to try the latest in car-safety tech that might help them stay behind the wheel, a new study finds.
Some 76% of drivers in that age group surveyed   say they would look for a car with the latest safety features, finds the online survey by insurer The Hartford.
"Our findings indicate that some drivers, age 50-plus, would be more willing to drive in certain situations if they had particular technologies," said Jodi Olshevski, a gerontologist who is executive director of The Hartford Center for Mature Marketing Excellence. They study suggests "they associate advanced technologies with enhanced safety,"
They are looking for advanced safety features like blind-spot warning, crash mitigation, lane-departure warnings and advanced headlights.
Some of new technologies pave the way toward self-driving cars, which are still a few years away. The study found only about one in four older drivers is opposed to going driverless. Some 35% are willing to give it a try, and 42% don't know enough yet to say.
In order to be willing to back driverless cars, 56% said they need to know they would be as safe as driving themselves. Some 48% would use them if their health prevented them from driving, 27% would use them if they helped them stay connected to friends, 27% if they were cheaper than a regular car; and 17% if they were recommended by someone they trust.
The survey was conducted online from 2,015 responses in March with a 2.2% margin of error, The Hartford says.


Drivers 50 and Up Want  More Car Saftey Tech............................

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Surprise! Non-luxury car brand now tops quality study

Kia, the upstart South Korean brand that spent years trying to overcome a reputation for shoddy cars, placed first Wednesday in one of the auto industry's most closely watched quality surveys.
It marked the first time in 27 years that a non-luxury brand has come in first in the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study, which rates brands by the number of flaws found by owners in their cars in the first 90 days of ownership. Mainstream brands collectively had a cumulative higher quality score than all the luxury brands for the first time since 2006.
In placing first out of 33 brands, Kia owners reported 83 problems per 100 cars, beating the industry average of 105. In winning, Kia moves up from second in the study last year.
Kia executives in the U.S. expressed elation.
"Ranking number one in the entire industry for initial quality is the result of Kia's decade-long focus on craftsmanship and continuous improvement, and reflects the voice of our customers, which is the ultimate affirmation," said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer for Kia Motors America, in a statement. "As the highest ranked brand in the industry, there is no doubt Kia is a world-class automaker."
In the 2016 survey, Kia's corporate cousin in the U.S., Hyundai, came in third behind Porsche, last year's winner. Toyota and BMW round out the Top 5, J.D. Power said.
Overall, the annual survey points to big gains in the overall quality of vehicles. Some 21 of the 33 brands in the study showed an improvement over their 2016 scores in the study.
"Manufacturers are current making some of the highest-quality products that we've ever seen," says Renee Stephens, vice president of automotive quality at J.D. Power. "It has become clear that automakers are listening to the customer, identifying 'pain points' and are focused on continuous improvement."
Among the most encouraging signs in the survey: For only the second time in study's 30-year history, Detroit's Big 3 brands collectively had fewer problems than their import-brand counterparts. They had 103 flaws per 100 vehicles, compared to an average of 106 for foreign brands.
Chrysler and Jeep were the most improved brands. Both had 28 fewer reported problems than a year ago, though both are still worse than the industry average.
Power says the study matters because owners who perceive their new models are high quality are likely to stay with brand when they buy their next car. Those who didn't find a single problem in the first 90 days of ownership were, by a 54% margin, likely to stay with the brand the next time they buy a new car. That number falls to 50% among those who reported a single problem.
Among worst car brands, Mercedes-Benz Smart unit far outdistanced the others. It had 216 problems per 100 cars with Fiat coming in second to last with 174 and Volvo with 132.
Here is Power's ranking and the number of flaws reported per 100 cars:
Kia  83
Porsche 84
Hyundai  92
Toyota  93
BMW  94
Chevrolet  95
Buick  96 (tie)
Lexus  96 (tie)
Lincoln   96 (tie)
Nissan 101
Ford  102
GMC  103 (tie)
Infiniti  103 (tie)
Volkswagen  104
Audi  110
Mercedes-Benz  111
Cadillac  112
Jeep  113
Ram  114
Chrysler  115
Mitsubishi 116
Dodge  117
Subaru  118
Honda  119
Acura  122
Scion  123
Jaguar  127 (tie)
Mazda  127 (tie)
Mini  127 (tie)
Land Rover  132
Volvo  152
Fiat  174
Smart  216
Top Three Models Per Segment
City Car: Chevrolet Spark
Small Car: Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Sonic, Kia Rio
Small Premium Car: Lexus CT, BMW 2 Series, Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
Compact Car: Toyota Corolla, Kia Forte, Hyundai Elantra
Compact Sporty Car: Buick Cascada (tie), Scion tC (tie), Hyundai Veloster
Compact MPV: Kia Soul
Compact Premium Car: Lincoln MKZ, Lexus ES, BMW 3 Series
Compact Premium Sporty Car: Audi TT, Porsche Boxster, Porsche Cayman
Midsize Car: Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord
Midsize Sporty Car: Dodge Challenger
Minivan: Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan
Midsize Premium Car: Lexus GS, Audi A7, Hyundai Genesis
Midsize Premium Sporty Car: Porsche 911
Large Car: Hyundai Azera, Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala
Small SUV: Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Buick Encore
Small Premium SUV: Audi Q3, BMW X1
Compact SUV: Chevrolet Equinox (tie), GMC Terrain (tie), Ford Escape
Compact Premium SUV: Porsche Macan, Lincoln MKC, BMW X3
Midsize SUV: Toyota Highlander, Kia Sorento, Nissan Murano
Midsize Premium SUV: BMW X5, BMW X6, Lexus RX
Midsize Pickup: Nissan Frontier, GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Colorado
Large SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe, Toyota Sequoia, Ford Expedition
Large Premium SUV: Lincoln Navigator, Infiniti QX80, Land Rover Range Rover
Large Light Duty Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado LD, GMC Sierra LD
Large Heavy Duty Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD, Ford Super Duty, GMC Sierra HD


Surprise! Non Luxury Car Brand Now Tops Quality Study.....................

Friday, 17 June 2016

Ontario government invests in Pacifica hybrid

TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says a government grant of up to $85.8 million to Fiat Chrysler to support production of a plug-in hybrid electric minivan is not "corporate welfare."
Wynne made the announcement today at the Fiat Chrysler Automotive Research and Development Centre in Windsor.
The government says the investment for the Chrysler Pacifica will safeguard the Windsor assembly plant, where Chrysler added 1,200 new jobs on top of 4,000 existing positions to produce the minivan.
Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid says Chrysler will have to submit invoices to the provinces of investments they have made in order to get the grant money.
Wynne says her government made the decision to "partner" with the auto industry, a critical sector in Ontario, but that doesn't make it "corporate welfare."
Ontario's Liberal government has a long history of providing money to automakers, and teamed up with the federal government in 2009 to contribute $10.6 billion to Chrysler Canada and GM Canada to keep them afloat during the recession.
When Ontario sold its GM and Chrysler shares, it gained about $1.1 billion on its original $4.8-billion bailout package to the two automakers.
Wynne is set to meet later Wednesday in Detroit with Ford Motor Company executive vice president Joseph Hinrichs and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

Ontario Government Invests in Pacifica Hybrid.................................................

Friday, 10 June 2016

Hatchback Demand on the Rise, Sedans Not so Much

Hatchback sales are predicted to significantly increase over the next few years, while demand for sedans will likely slide.The prediction comes from IHS Automotive, which says hatchbacks will be the fastest growing body style in the U.S., with a 37-percent jump in sales from now to 2020. That means hatchbacks should account for about 1.1 million units in 2020, approximately 6.6 percent of total vehicle sales in the U.S. (compared to 4.8 percent in 2015).
Up to now, only a handful of automakers have consistently offered hatchbacks in the U.S. The VW Golf is one, and the Ford Focus is another. But that is about to change with the introduction of the Chevrolet Cruz and the Honda Civic hatch. In an interview with Automotive News, Honda's general manager Jeff Conrad spoke about the Civic hatch and said "there is a growing market for that, so we want to be on the forefront." Conrad said many consumers told the automaker they want something that "can carry my stuff."
Meanwhile, sedans are headed for a different trajectory. According to IHS Automotive, sedans accounted for 33.1 percent of total U.S. car sales in 2015. That number is expected to drop to 29.3 percent in 2020.
SUVs and crossovers, however, will continue to dominate sales through 2020. SUVs were responsible for 36.8 percent of vehicles sales last year and IHS Automotive says that figure should increase to 39.8 percent in 2020.

Hatchback Demand on the Rise, Sedans not So Much.........................

Friday, 3 June 2016

Single Women Get Credit for Booming SUV Demand

Nora Patey knew what she wanted when she went car shopping over Presidents Day weekend: a small SUV, with a backup camera, high carriage and a reasonable monthly lease payment. Even so, many of the salesmen made their pitches to her boyfriend.
"He would have to say, 'It's not my car, don't talk to me, talk to her,'" the 24-year-old recalled. "Even though I would initiate the introduction and say that I was looking for the car, and I was buying it, a lot of the conversation would frequently get directed to him."
Like Patey, who eventually bought a 2016 Mazda CX-5, a growing number of women are shifting the gender demographics of vehicle sales and challenging automakers' long-held assumptions about who drives their cars. In particular, single women are buying more SUVs, fueling a surge in demand that has 2016 on pace to top last year's record 17.5 million light-vehicle sales in the U.S.
From 2010 to 2015, mainstream small SUV sales to women rose 34 percent, compared to a 22 percent rise for men, according to MaritzCX, a customer-experience software and research company. In the same period, premium small SUVs, though smaller in raw numbers, saw 177 percent growth in sales to women. And among female carbuyers overall, a full 40 percent aren't married.
"There's a group of single, professional females out there that need vehicles, and you need to be attentive to them," said James Mulcrone, director of research services in MaritzCX's Michigan office, who has studied trends among female car buyers. "They're going to make money, they're going to make their own decisions, and they can be very loyal consumers."
Increasing income and education as well as a general delay in marriage and child-bearing combine to create a growing number of single women buying cars, Mulcrone said. More than two-thirds of female buyers reported their 2015 purchase decision as "entirely up to me," and the appeal of SUVs, with ample cargo room and improving fuel economy, is widespread.
Those trends are compelling to automakers, whose SUVs and other light trucks are outstripping sedan and coupe sales even as May deliveries announced Wednesday are projected to decline for all of the largest names, attributable to having one fewer weekend compared with last May, according to a Bloomberg survey. On average, analysts see the annualized selling rate, adjusted for seasonal trends, slipping to 17.4 million amid concern that demand is waning. As they roll into the summer sales season, automakers tend to bank on Memorial Day weekend for a sizable portion of the month's business.
"It's too soon to say for sure that auto sales are leveling off," said Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis at, in a note with estimates. "The summer months will flush out more incentives from automakers and the urgency that shoppers show in responding to these incentives will give the industry a much better sense of how the market is trending."
After a 14 percent sales decline seen for Volkswagen AG's VW and Audi brands, General Motors Co. will suffer the steepest drop among the largest automakers, 13 percent, analysts estimate, as it reduces deliveries to rental fleets and caters more to retail consumers. Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to sell 8 percent fewer vehicles amid supply-related disruptions from recent earthquakes, along with a 6.1 percent decline for combined sales from Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is projected to report a small drop, its first in more than six years.One way to woo women like Patey is to put more women on the other side of the counter as well, says Celeste Briggs, director of the Women's Retail Network at GM. "Dealerships that welcome and invest in women have the opportunity to create a strategic advantage," she says on the website for the initiative.
About 60 percent of women who leave a dealership without buying never return, according to, a car-dealer review service. What's more, Briggs says, women tend to be loyal customers.
"If you treat her right, she'll stay," said Briggs in a telephone interview. "And she'll also tell a few friends."


Single Women Get Credit for Booming SUV Demand.................................