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October 1, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
U.S. monthly auto sales declined in September for the first time in more than two years, in part because of a calendar quirk that landed Labor Day weekend sales in the August report. Automakers sold a little more than 1.1 million vehicles last month, a 4.2% decrease from September a year ago, according to Autodata Corp., an industry research firm. The single-month decline snapped a 27-month streak of year-over-year gains dating back to June 2011, according to, the car shopping information company.
November 29, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch and David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times
The flurry of new models unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday underscored increasingly fierce industry competition on all fronts, from technology to efficiency to horsepower. The show's opening day featured major debuts including the long-awaited redesign of the Toyota RAV4 sport utility, the new Porsche Cayman and Acura's flagship RLX. Meanwhile, Audi unleashed new diesel versions of four models and Ford offered a Fiesta with a turbo three-cylinder engine small enough to fit in a suitcase.
May 31, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
A bill that would allow self-driving cars on California's roads may improve traffic safety but it does not do enough to protect privacy, a consumer group said. The bill, SB 1298, sponsored by state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), is awaiting Assembly consideration in June. It establishes guidelines for "autonomous vehicles" to be tested and operated in California. So far, it has flown through the Legislature, passing the Senate unanimously in mid-May. Tech giant Google Inc., Caltech and other organizations have been working to develop such vehicles, which use radar, video cameras and lasers to navigate roads and stay safe in traffic without human assistance.
November 17, 2012 | By Pat Benson
Autos writers Jerry Hirsch and David Undercoffler talk about what they are most interested in seeing at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week. The Los Angeles show is second only to the one in Detroit as the most significant auto show in the nation. For full coverage of the auto show go to RELATED: Audi confirms four new diesel models Jaguar previews ultra-rare XFR-S for L.A. Auto Show Porsche confirms world debut of new Cayman at L.A. Auto Show  
December 1, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Add automobiles to the watches, video games, cashmere sweaters and the rest on the list of goods selling briskly in the days following Thanksgiving. It seems car buyers caught Black Friday fever this year. Galpin Ford, the nation's largest Ford dealership, sold 140 new vehicles on the Friday after Thanksgiving, a single-day sales record for the San Fernando Valley franchise. "It was surprising for all of us," said Beau Boeckmann, Galpin's vice president. "I don't think we expected that November would be the biggest car month since 'cash for clunkers' two years ago. Our November sales will be 50% above last year.
November 20, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
Whenever the Los Angeles Auto Show comes to town, there are a wide range of autos that make it to the showroom floor. Some are stunning. Some are innovative.  Some are flat-out bizarre. To many that are here getting a preview of the show, the blue monstrosity dubbed the Youabian Puma can be filed under the bizarre category. LIVE: The latest photos, facts from LA Auto Show The Hummer-size convertible with sweeping curves and  monster truck tires is right by the entrance.
March 6, 1988
The Times' article dealing with the wrongful conversion of several autos by a Newport Beach auto dealer (Feb. 17) brought to light another example of an unconscionable lawyer in action. The owners of the "stolen" autos were told by their attorney, Mark Roseman, to file theft claims that would be denied. Then, he suggested, the owners could file a bad-faith lawsuit against the insurance companies. Bad faith for what? The policy specifically excludes wrongful conversion embezzlement in the same manner that it excludes war, nuclear action, wear and tear.
June 1, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Consumers, tripped up by confusing economic signals, pulled back on auto purchases in May. A confounding set of circumstances, including rising prices, a gas price spike and inventory shortages combined to plague auto sales, said Jeff Schuster, an analyst at J.D. Power & Associates. "They looked at this trifecta of variables that are playing against buying a car right now and put their decision on hold," Schuster said. Ford Motor Co., for example, has raised prices three times since January, including in mid-May.
July 26, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Car buyers are trading down to smaller vehicles and are finding that they are just as satisfied as they had been with larger autos, according to a study by market research firm J.D. Power and Associates. In its 2012 APEAL (Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout) Study, J.D. Power found that 27% of new-vehicle buyers during a four-month period this year replaced an existing vehicle with a smaller new auto. Only 13% went in the opposite direction during that period, while 60% purchased a vehicle in the same size class of the auto they were replacing.
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