Browsing Month 'May, 2012'

Used Car Prices Dropping
Brand new cars with turbos and superchargers cost a lot of money, this makes sense.  What’s confusing is how used car prices sky rocketed in the last few years.  It was getting to the point where someone could actually sell a car for more than they paid for it a year down the road.

A few factors led to the price increase of used cars. No one wanted to take out new debt, or they couldn’t qualify for credit to buy a new car.  So, owners held onto their own used cars. Car manufacturers also limited the amount of production during the recession.  Since no one bought cars and car companies didn’t make any cars, a shortage of used cars existed.  Since I was able to stay awake in most of my Econ classes at school, I know that when supply goes down price goes up.

Now that there is some light at the end of the tunnel of the recession and gas prices have leveled off, people are buying new cars again.  Used car demand is going down a bit, and thus so are the prices. The National Auto Dealers Association of America predicts that prices on used cars will continue to fall.  Midsized and compact cars could see a decrease up to 5% in June.

BMW the Most Powerful Auto Brand
BMW constantly tries to make their cars more powerful with turbochargers and diesel injector pumps, but the company just became more powerful in a different way. A recent study conducted by Millward Brown shows that BMW has passed Toyota to become the most powerful automobile brand.  They estimate the BMW brand is worth $24.63 billion. BMW is now the number one luxury car maker in the world, and it also has the most valuable brand.  That’s a pretty good one-two punch.  

Out of the Way Toyota
Toyota falls second to BMW by roughly $3 billion.  Toyota and most other Japanese car companies were hurt by the earthquake and the Fukishima Nuclear accident.  These disasters caused shipment delays, and crippled supply chains.

Figuring out the worth of a brand is a tough job.  Some people say it is even to subjective to gage. However, Millward Brown claims they can do it. To figure out brand worth, Millward Brown conducted over two million surveys in greater than 30 countries.  They also added in the earnings from branded products, and the power the brand has on the company’s bottom line.

Other notable outcomes of the survey are Hyundai being the first Korean car company to make the top ten ranking at number 9, and Ford is the only American company that made the cut at number 7.

       Rankings in Billions

1.       BMW 24.63
2.       Toyota 21.79
3.        Mercedes 16.11
4.       Honda 12.64
5.       Nissan 9.85
6.       VW 8.51
7.       Ford 7.02
8.       Audi 4.70
9.       Hyundai 3.59
10.   Lexus 3.39

See pictures from the FNC car show that was held in Bradenton Florida. Discover what separated this event from other hot Florida car shows.

We learn as Technician’s that the first step in a successful repair is to be able to “Duplicate the Vehicle’s Problem”.   This is very true, as we all know how difficult those “intermittent” problems can be to properly diagnose.So, I often…

My iPad has a Giant Cadillac Case

Cadillac is about to launch its new XTS, and it is not the center console screen or the navigation unit that people are talking  about. The feature getting all the buzz is a little well known gadget known as the iPad. Every XTS sold will come with a brand new Apple Tablet.  Each iPad will be preprogrammed with apps designed to enhance the driver’s experience.  The most important app is the one that educates the car owner on how to use Cadillac’s new Cadillac User Experience, CUE for short.  CUE is a tablet-like infotainment unit system in the cars dash.  When a customer buys an XTS they will get a tutorial on how to operate the CUE but some people take a little longer to learn, thus the iPad is there for help. It has 12 videos explaining how to use CUE to its fullest.

Besides helping the not so tech savvy learn how to use CUE, the iPad also comes preloaded with an app called MyCadillac and OnStar.  MyCadillac offers parking and maintenance assistance.  With the OnStar app the owner can check gas levels and unlock doors.

Cadillac is not only providing the iPad to help customers learn about how to operate their new vehicle, they are offering an iPad to become more luxurious.  They plan not to just use the iPad from Apple but also borrow Apple’s customer service.  They want to have the car equivalent of the Apple Genius Bar.  GM has sent 25 experts around the country in support of CUE, and every Cadillac dealership will have two technology.  

Find out why if you type auto repair manuals into your favorite search engine you will find results that are of low quality in my opinion.

Best of the Beijing Auto Show

If your big gas guzzler has been having diesel fuel pump or diesel injector problems and you are in the mood to get rid of the big vehicle and downsize to something sporty than the Beijing Auto Show was the place for you. The show has come and gone, and it brought some great new sporty cars. The vehicles in the show were either geared towards improved fuel economy or edgy designs. 

The biggest head turner at the show was the Lamborghini Urus.  Executives at Lamborghini expect the Urus to more than double all Lambo sales.  The car may be named after an extinct cow, but it surely will move more like a cheetah with an estimated 600 hp under the hood. The Urus won Autoweeks top honors at the show.

BMW’s i8 Concept Spyder was also a show stopper.  This topless two door is actually a plug-in.  Looks like Tesla has a competitor for high class plug-in.  You’ll be able to go 0 to 62 mile per hour in 5.0 seconds while still getting 75 miles per gallon.

One of my favorite looking cars from the show was from a Chinese car manufacturer, Jianghuai Automobile Company.  The JAC Heyue SC Coupe has styling that is classic but not too overdone.  The one area the car is lacking is in its guts. It only has a 162 hp 2.4L engine.