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BUSINESS
February 27, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard
Nearly 10% of bank customers switched to another financial institution last year, with a third saying onerous fees prompted the move, a J.D. Power & Associates study found. The 9.6% who moved their money compared to 8.7% in 2010 and 7.7% in 2009 - an increase the study attributed to a backlash against increased fees, coupled with poor service and unmet customer expectations. β€œIt is apparent that new or increased fees are the proverbial straws that break the camel's back,” said Michael Beird, director of Power's banking services practice.
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BUSINESS
February 15, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
If you are in the market for a late-model used car, look for Japanese-built vehicles, be selective of American brands, and buy European with caution. That's the message of the 2012 vehicle dependability study from research firm J.D. Power & Associates, which looked at the reliability of autos sold during the 2009 model year. Cars built in Japan were the most likely to lead their segments. Ford Motor Co. vehicles also did well. But anything built by Chrysler Group was at the bottom of the ratings, and of the European cars, only Mercedes-Benz scored above average.
BUSINESS
September 24, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Despite the European debt crisis, the lack of job growth in the U.S. and other generally depressing economic news, auto sales continue to tick along. The retail sales rate for new vehicles in the U.S. this month looks "much stronger than in August," according to J.D. Power & Associates, which gathers sales data from about 8,900 dealers. That's about half of all the dealers selling cars nationally. "Coming off a solid Labor Day sale, retail sales exhibited unexpected strength in the second week of September, as the recovering inventory levels have helped to bring buyers back into the market," said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power.
BUSINESS
June 23, 2011 | By Salvador Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Touch screens and voice commands didn't go over too well with new-car buyers. A key auto quality study found that new or redesigned 2011 models were less reliable than the previous year's line, much of it because of new high-tech navigation systems that didn't work properly. Domestic nameplates, which have been pushing the new technologies, were hurt the most, allowing imports to regain their lead in reliability after losing that distinction for the first time last year, according to the J.D. Power & Associates annual U.S. Initial Quality Study.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2011 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times
I've outgrown J.D. Salinger, and I don't know where that leaves me. I was 10 when my father handed me "The Catcher in the Rye," and I found not just a voice for all the wild despair and sudden inexplicable elation of adolescence but an acknowledgement that these feelings did not occur in a vacuum. Salinger reached into the "vale of tears" catechism of my Irish Catholic upbringing and lifted me out by my hair β€” don't listen, he said, they're all phonies, just keep your eyes open for small moments of beauty, and you will find them between the lies and the obscenities.
BUSINESS
March 18, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
The auto industry is producing more reliable vehicles. That's the finding of a J.D. Power and Associates dependability study examining problems experienced during the last 12 months by owners of 2008 model-year vehicles. The study, released Thursday, found there were an average of 151 problems per 100 of the 3-year-old vehicles during the time period surveyed. That was the lowest problem rate since the inception of the study in 1990 and an improvement from the 155 problems per 100 vehicles that owners of 2007 models reported in last year's study, J.D. Power said.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 23, 2011 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
J.D. Salinger A Life Kenneth Slawenski Random House: 450 pp., $27 A year after his death on Jan. 27, 2010, it's tough to know how to assess J.D. Salinger; there are too many loose ends. How can we miss a writer who removed himself from the public conversation nearly half a century before he died? At the same time, nothing in the last 12 months has suggested any loosening of the grip he maintained on his writing while he was alive. Whatever Salinger may have produced since his last published piece, the novella "Hapworth 16, 1924," appeared in the New Yorker in 1965 remains out of reach.
BUSINESS
December 17, 2010 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
In another sign of a firming economy, the U.S. auto industry is having a good holiday season. Retail sales of new vehicles this month are "significantly beating expectations," according to automotive information company J.D. Power & Associates. The firm tracks transaction data from more than 8,900 car dealers nationally. Through the first two weeks of December, retail sales were tracking at an annual pace of 10.8 million units, the best of the year and a huge jump from the 8.5-million pace during the first quarter of this year.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2010 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Even as General Motors Co. and Nissan Motor Co. get ready to launch electric cars into the marketplace, a new report from auto industry market research company J.D. Power & Associates said that sales of such vehicles would lack juice. Technology geeks and environmentalists are expected to go wild over the first mass-market electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles when they hit auto showrooms in the coming months, but most consumers will balk because of technology concerns and because gas prices aren't high enough to send them searching for an alternative-fuel option, according to the study.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2010 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
First it was reliability. Now it is basic looks and appeal. For the first time since 1997, domestic auto brands have collectively surpassed imports in vehicle appeal, said J.D. Power and Associates, the Westlake Village auto research company. Fancy luxury autos from overseas still have an edge, but among mass-market vehicles, the domestic automakers are the top dogs, the research firm said Thursday in its annual Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout, or APEAL, study.
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