June 15, 2013 |
Once used mostly to move luxury cars, leasing has reached record levels, helped by easing credit restrictions and a move downmarket. Leases on Jaguars and BMWs remain plentiful, but the most-leased cars in America are now the Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata, according to Experian Automotive, an arm of the consumer credit-rating company. Consumers gravitate to leases - essentially long-term car rentals - mostly because they offer lower payments. Last year, the median lease payment was $361, about 20% lower that the median $434 loan payment on a purchase, according to auto information company Edmunds.com.
September 4, 2011 |
Vortech Engineering Inc. has built a business helping drivers satisfy their need for speed. The Oxnard company manufactures superchargers that force more air into an automotive engine, providing a boost of additional horsepower. The firm has built a loyal following among young gear heads and professional racers who love giving their rides some extra muscle. "It makes a little engine behave like a big engine," said Vortech's founder and president, Jim Middlebrook. To some aficionados, the sound of the supercharger spooling up "is what you hear first.
August 1, 2013 |
Automakers reported strong July sales as consumers replacing aging cars and businesses buying trucks pushed the industry to levels not seen since before the recession. All of the top automakers reported double-digit gains over the same month a year ago. Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group said it was their best July since 2006. "If we were ever looking for an indication that the industry is back, this is the month," said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with auto information company Edmunds.com.
June 7, 2013 |
Subaru, long the bastion of all-wheel drive and rugged practicality, is an automaker on a hot streak. And the all-new 2014 Forester crossover shows every sign of becoming another sales hit. Subaru's profits have hit record highs this year, and May was the best sales month in the automaker's history. Over the last decade, the brand's market share has more than doubled, according to auto information company Edmunds.com. Subaru has been pushing to become a truly national company, said Thomas Doll, president of Subaru of America.
October 30, 2012 |
Japanese automakers continue to sell the most reliable cars in the U.S., according to Consumer Reports' latest survey. The top seven spots in this year's reliability report were all Japanese brands - with Toyota's Scion, Toyota and Lexus nameplates sweeping the top spots, Consumer Reports said Monday. With the exception of Cadillac, domestic brands - most notably Ford Motor Co. vehicles - were well below average. German brands were the best cars coming out of Europe. Of Toyota's 27 models, 16 earned the highest rating.
November 29, 2012 |
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 |
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.
April 1, 2012 |
The gig: Rosemary Shahan is the founder and president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS). The Sacramento organization has been the driver of some of the most important advances in auto-related safety and financial protection regulation on the books today. Shahan, 62, championed the nation's first lemon law in California, which has since been copied in every state. She was a major force behind the federal air bag mandate and laws protecting military service members from abusive car loans.
December 1, 2011 |
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 17, 2012 |
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 http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/ 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