Auto Show Features Hot New Cars

Looking at two, very opposite, popular market trends, the next few years’ car models seem to be offering either alternative fuel technology or massive horsepower.

This article, from Auto Reviews Online, looks at the North America International Auto Show this year and offers some fascinating highlights from the models showcased:

Mitsubishi showed production models of the Raider and Eclipse Concept cars of last year. The Raider was an "imported brand’s" variation of the Dodge Dakota pick up truck, on which it is based. The styling is more Asian influenced on the exterior and the interior is more car-like than the rugged truck like interior of the Dakota. Factor in the incredible warranty advantage Mitsubishi has on the Dakota, the Raider is sure to attract attention in the showrooms later this year. The Raider will be offered with V6 and V8 power plants. The Eclipse was shown as a gas/electric hybrid at last years show, however it has been introduced as a gas powered model offered with 2 engine choices, the 162HP 2.4L 4 cylinder and 3.8L 260HP V6 motors. The styling is quite bold and should appeal to younger buyers who identify with its street rod persona.

For heavy car buffs, this is a must read. It will be interesting to see whether the market goes the way of the environmentalist or the heavy-duty horsepower route.

Car Manufacturers Need to Steer Clear of Bankruptcy

When Daewoo folded years ago, many customers were left with cars they were still financing that could not be fixed when they stalled because parts were not available.  Warranty’s purchased from the manufacturer were voided and the buyers were left to bear the burden of a car that no longer had a parent company to back it.

A recent survey suggests buyers won’t enter into a similar situation this year. 

There’s been talk in automotive circles that General Motors may be on the road to bankruptcy court. But GM executives may do a U-turn after reading the results of a new study that finds car buyers wary of buying a car from a bankrupt company.

The survey by Directions Research, Inc., found that only 26 percent of respondents said they would buy or lease a car manufactured by a company that was in bankruptcy.

GM will probably not collapse, but bankruptcy might be an option they choose.  This survey may discourage that once attractive alternative. 

How Did The Auto Industry Fare in 2015?

Our news of late has been doom and gloom. With strikes, low sales, and dismal growth, the auto industry doesn’t have much to celebrate.

General Motors Corp. Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner sent a memo to workers in November assuring them bankruptcy isn’t an option for the world’s largest automaker, but concerns about GM’s financial health persist. The company recently announced a plan to cut 30,000 jobs and close 12 facilities by 2008. Next year, the automaker, which has a Fort Wayne plant, plans to sell a majority stake in its profitable finance arm, GMAC, to raise cash.

Ford Motor Co. is expected to announce its own restructuring plan in January. The nation’s No. 2 automaker had its share of turmoil this year, including an expensive bailout for its former parts division, Visteon Corp.

But, analysts say things are looking better for the coming year.

Despite the gloom in Detroit, 2005 will end on a fairly high note. Analysts are predicting full-year sales of around 17 million vehicles, a healthy pace that has held steady over the past 6 years.

Auto Repair Shops Continue to Fight Dealers

Dealers hope you aren’t concerned enough to complain about their computer overrides, disallowing independent repair shops from repairing vehicles.

Now, two or three times per month, his computerized diagnostic equipment shows unknown codes when hooked up to an auto with a problem.

"The scanner gets codes, but no translation comes up, meaning the information hasn’t been released," Danneman said.

Manufacturers aren’t allowing shops access to some of the information they need to repair today’s computerized automobiles. They aren’t allowing independent’s to include the information in diagnostic tools that can be used on many different types of vehicles.