Posts Tagged ‘Cruze’
As consumers clamor for cars with higher mpg numbers and with rigorous new federal fuel-economy standards on the horizon, carmakers are exploring all their options. This has largely meant improving the gasoline internal combustion engine’s efficiency and offering a few hybrid and electric vehicles. Conspicuously absent from many lineups in the U.S., however, have been vehicles with diesel powerplants. And understandably so: The American public has been reluctant to embrace diesels ever since General Motors and other automakers sold noisy, dirty, and unreliable versions back in the ’80s. But modern diesel systems are clean, powerful, and fuel-efficient.
Recent diesel options in the U.S. have largely been limited to luxury European brands, but Volkswagen‘s years of steady diesel sales show that there is a demand for them in mass-market segments. Now other automakers want in on the action. Three cases in point: the new Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet Cruze, and Mazda6—mainstream debuts this year from automakers not typically known for diesels. In addition, Porsche has introduced a diesel version of the Cayenne, and Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz are all slated to expand their diesel selections. Even the Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster vans are joining the fray. All told there will be more diesel-powered passenger vehicles for sale in 2013 than ever before in the U.S.
This is good news. Because diesel engines operate at a high compression ratio and the fuel has a higher energy density (about 15 percent more than gasoline), fuel economy is high and torque is abundant. With excellent thrust off the line and long cruising ranges, diesels fit the driving style of most Americans. Of course, there’s a catch: Diesel vehicles come at a premium, and in the past two years diesel fuel has cost 10 to 70 cents more per gallon than gasoline. Making up the purchase- price difference in fuel economy takes tens of thousands of miles. Even so, consumers already pay extra for hybrid efficiency. For those seeking an alternative, or for people who just hate stopping to fill up, a diesel vehicle might be the perfect solution.
Reprinted from Popular Mechanics 2/19/2013
With increased automaker emphasis on safety and stricter seatbelt laws, auto accidents are at an all-time low. However, fatal crashes still occur — at a national rate of one every 16 minutes according to 2010 statistics.
Trying to find a vehicle that is safe, fuel efficient and works for your lifestyle is always a challenge. When considering a smaller vehicle, keep in mind that all things being equal, smaller vehicles, due to their lighter weight will usually tend to do worse in a crash than heavier vehicles; so it’s important to really research the safety rating of a small vehicle before buying one.
Fortunately, Forbes.com has provided us with an overview of the 10 Top Safety picks for 2012 in the small car category according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. To qualify, a car must get top scores in front, side, rollover and rear-end crashes, so it’s not easy to earn the top spot. Following are 10 that did:
Along the lines of safety, keep in mind that auto glass tint can even further protect your car in case of a crash. Window film applied to your auto will hold shattered shards of glass together so they won’t injure you or your passengers. Auto tint also protects you and your passengers from over exposure to the sun’s rays, and helps keep your car safe from thieves. For more information go to www.midwestglasstinters.net
It’s been a long time since the American Auto Industry has been seen as strong, but as we move into 2012, it appears to be stronger than it has been in many years.
Restructurings and government-assisted programs have helped domestic automakers, but product improvements for all 3 , that have been in the works for quite some time, are now coming to fruition.
The automaker enjoying the most success is Chrysler, whose ratings for the Dodge Charger, Challenger and Durango all topped their categories in a recent J.D. Power survey of how much new car owners liked their vehicles. Consumer Reports’ car testers have called the new Chrysler 300, “the best Chrysler in decades,” and also praised the Jeep grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. Chrysler’s retail sales were up 45% in 2011 as compared to 2010. Doug Betts, the executive in charge of improving Chrysler’s quality, credits this gain to increased quality initiatives.
Ford and GM have both had quality ups and down, with Ford dealing with dual-clutch transmission problems in the Focus & Fiesta as well as with its entertainment and navigation systems.
GM is struggling with dependability issues, but its new head of vehicle quality, Terry Woychowski, is working hard to improve dependability with new processes and checks. Citing the 25% reduction in warranty claims since its Cruze was relaunched, he says the system is working.
With continued emphasis on quality by all three American automakers, popularity of American cars should continue. “One of the biggest drivers of quality improvements of Detroit automakers will be the introductions of completely new products,” said David Sargent of J.D. Powers and Assoc. Auto quality isn’t just the job of the factory line, but emphasis on quality design and dependability from the start will be what makes the difference going forward.
For the first time in a long time, this year has seen a surge in the purchase of domestic vehicles with 6 of the top 10 best-selling vehicles made by GM, Ford & Chrysler. Some of the shift can be attributed to the natural disasters in Japan affecting imports, but with domestic producers having really stepped up their game, that void was filled by American-made vehicles.
Surprisingly, two past favorites – the Honda Civic and Honda CR-V as well as the Hyundai Sonata dropped from the top 10, nudged by more popular American-made vehicles. According to Forbes.com, Ford’s F-Series pickups and GM’s Chevy Silverado continue to be America’s sales champs, as they have been for the past 3 years. Pushing their way to the top are the Ford Fusion and Escape and the new compact from Chevy – the Cruze.
Based on year-to-date results through October, 2011, following is the list of best-selling vehicles from Forbes.com:
- Ford F-150 Pickup
- Chevy Silverado Pickup
- Toyota Camry
- Nissan Altima
- Ford Escape
- Ford Fusion
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Corolla
- Chevy Cruze
- Ram Pickup
With new models launching, it will be interesting to see what 2012′s best-sellers will be.
In these challening economic times, it’s more important than ever for businesses to keep existing customers, and it’s especially important in the automotive industry. While we tend to think of automakers in the luxury segment as having the most loyal customers, the brands that are enjoying the most customer loyalty recently might surprise you.
Experian Automotive just released a report based on second-quarter 2011 sales, and found the following repeat-purchase results:
- Kia leads the pack with nearly 48% of buyers returning to purchase their next car. Three Kia models ranked in the Top 10 vehicles having the most brand loyalty with Kia Forte compact sedan showing a whopping 68% buyer loyalty.
- Ford comes in second with 46.5% buyer-loyalty
- Chevy, Hyundai, Toyota and Honda all followed with about 40% brand loyalty
- And Subaru followed with 36% buyer-loyalty
In the luxury-car category, the top brans were:
- Mercedes-Benz with 34.8% repeat buyers
- BMW with 31.7 % buyer-loyalty
- Porsche at 23%
- And Jaguar with 16%
Of mainstream domestic brands, the Chevy Cruze lead the pack with 64% brand loyalty, and the remainder were Ford models including the Fiesta subcompact, the Fusion sedan, the Flex crossover SUV, the Taurus full-size sedan and the compact Focus.