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AUTOS
May 30, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk has announced an accelerated rollout of fast super-charger stations across the U.S. and parts of Canada, promising to boost the current eight stations to 25 by midsummer. By the winter months of this year, Musk said, coast-to-coast travel for the company's electric car will be possible along Interstate 80. Musk said that 80% of the U.S. would have access to the $150,000-to-$300,000 stations by 2014, and that 98% of the nation would be covered by 2015.
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BUSINESS
March 24, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
To buy or not to buy? That is the question facing many car shoppers these days. That's because rising gas expenses and a looming shortage of Japanese-built hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles are starting to pump up prices for gas-sipping autos. But analysts at auto information company Kelley Blue Book say that with all this turmoil in the marketplace, consumers should think twice about jumping to buy a new car. They say it's a mistake to pay a premium for a fuel-efficient car when gas prices could easily drop in the coming months and the price of the vehicles come back down.
BUSINESS
April 10, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
If you are planning to sell or trade in a used car, the next couple of months might be the most optimum time. Prices of late-model used cars are expected to peak for the year over the next six weeks or so, according to analysts at the National Automobile Dealers Assn. Used Car Guide. That's because auto dealers are trying to stock up on their used car inventory for the busy spring and summer seasons and there is a shortage of good used cars, an echo effect of the recession. Auto sales plunged to their lowest level in a generation in 2009, when Americans purchased just 10.4 million vehicles after buying an annual average of well over 16 million for the previous decade.  That removed millions of potential used vehicles from the market.
AUTOS
May 6, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
BMW is recalling 42,000 of its model year 2002 and 2003 3-series cars because of front-passenger-side air bags that may not inflate properly in a collision, the automaker said Monday. BMW is the latest to join a group of five other automakers that have recalled more than 3 million vehicles because of the air bag problem, which could spray shrapnel around the cabin in a crash. "We have not had a single case of a reported failure in our cars, but it is the same problem, yes," said BMW spokesman Julian Arguelles, in an interview.
BUSINESS
March 3, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Buyers shifting their shopping to small, fuel-efficient vehicles because of high gas prices run the danger of making a long-term decision on a short-term price spike and finding themselves driving a car they don't want, some analysts warn. "It is like people who look out the window, see that it is raining and then think it is going to rain for the next four years," said Jack Nerad, an analyst with auto information company Kelley Blue Book. Though most oil watchers believe the cost of petroleum is on an ever-upward curve, the steepness of the climb is likely to be uneven, and it's not clear whether prices will remain high if political turmoil in Arab oil-producing nations recedes.
AUTOS
April 2, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Tesla Motors has worked out a deal with several banks to sell its pricey electric sports sedan with a guaranteed buyback after 36 months. The transaction is meant to be competitive with leasing, a key component of luxury auto sales.  In a lease, people essentially rent fancy nameplates such as Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar -- instead of putting up a lot of cash or taking a large loan to finance the purchase. Tesla is now getting into that game, with a transaction that works like a lease but actually is a resale agreement.
BUSINESS
July 9, 2010 | By Brent Snavely
Though sales of cars and trucks in the U.S. continue to be more sluggish than expected, automakers are enjoying the largest increase in average transaction prices in more than five years. Industrywide, consumers spent an estimated average of $29,217 on a new car or truck from January through May — an increase of $1,057, or 3.7%, from last year, according to estimates provided by Edmunds.com. Edmunds' figures are based on a sampling of data from about 40% of U.S. dealers. The Detroit Three are outpacing the industry's gains — giving the automakers an opportunity to improve profit margins.
BUSINESS
August 25, 2010 | By Wailin Wong
Teachbook.com has two employees and fewer than 20 users signed up for its free Web community. The site has yet to officially launch. But the Northbrook, Ill., company, which provides tools for teachers to manage their classrooms and share lesson plans and other resources, has been thrust into the spotlight by social networking giant Facebook, which sued the start-up for using "book" in its name. "We've been sitting here scratching our heads for the last couple of days," Teachbook's managing director, Greg Shrader, said Wednesday.
AUTOS
April 23, 2003 | John Valenti, Newsday
A car salesman once asked me in a negotiation: "How much do you want to spend for this car?" The correct answer, it seemed, was obvious. "Nothing," I told him. "I'd like you to give it to me." Stunned, he let out a nervous laugh, shuffled some papers on his desk, looked again at the invoice sheet for the car and waited for a real answer. The one he was not going to get. Not then, not now. Not ever. Because it was a dangerous question, maybe the most dangerous question in any negotiation.
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