Running an international nameplate automobile dealership is time consuming. Reading the news shouldn't be. Each morning, we research hundreds of stories from around the globe in order to create a daily e-newsletter that provides you with easy-to-read summaries and links to top news and features from our industry.
Sent to over 30,000 recipients every weekday morning, FirstUp conveys the day's auto-related news quickly, concisely, and accurately. Topics covered in FirstUp range from new vehicle releases, to the latest legislation concerning the auto industry. This is news designed with you in mind.
October 1, 2014
Speed Traps: America's 10 Most Ticketed Cars
Think driving a Porsche or Camaro makes you ticket bait? Think again. Blazing horsepower doesn't send the car rocketing down the freeway – the driver does. That helps explain why the vehicles most likely to be involved in a moving violation aren't high-octane speedsters, but rather inexpensive four-cylinder vehicles favored by younger drivers. As a result, reports CBS News, the four-cylinder Subaru WRX is three times as likely to be ticketed (33.6 percent) as the spectacular 8-cylinder Alfa Romeo 8c Competizone (9.3 percent), according to a new analysis by Insurance.com. The lightning quick Dodge Viper (5.3 percent) is also far less likely to draw a ticket than the self-consciously square Dodge Dart (26.7 percent). Insurance.com looked at the vehicle makes and models that were most frequently involved in a moving violation over the past three years, crunching data provided in 557,000 auto insurance quotes. "It's not about horsepower," said Des Toups, managing editor of Insurance.com. "The Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, and Nissan GT-R rank well below average for tickets even though they can easily double the highest speed limits. But those cars are also costly, so their buyers tend to be older and take fewer risks." To see the list of America’s most ticketed cars, click here.
’15 Toyota Camry Reflects Shorter Product Cycle
Heightened competition is shortening automotive product cycles, as strikingly evidenced by the ’15 Toyota Camry that’s hitting the market. It’s not exactly a full-blown redo, but it comes close, reportsWardsAuto. “It’s more than one would expect” halfway through a product cycle, says Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager-Toyota Div. at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., calling the midterm enhancements “unprecedented.” The last full Camry redo was for the ’12 model year. Vehicle lifecycles normally last about six years. But this is the abnormally competitive midsize sedan market. As the competition intensifies, the segment has seen a cadence of automakers introducing markedly upgraded models featuring sleek and eye-catching lines that in the past weren’t associated with 4-door family cars. “We’ve raised the bar again in the midsize segment,” Fay says. That bar has been rising rapidly, as various automakers weigh in. The new Camry demonstrates Toyota’s determination and wherewithal, auto analyst Joe Phillippi, president of AutoTrends, tells WardsAuto. “They sell a lot of them, and they want to protect that. The No.1 status is very important to them. And they can afford to do something like this.” For more on the strategy behind Toyota’s 2015 Camry, click here.
Automakers to Tout Technology at Paris Motor Show
The Detroit News reports that self-driving vehicles and smartphone integration will be among the top features at Europe’s biggest auto show this year, as executives focus on something that’s become increasingly hard to come by: buyers. The nascent recovery in the region’s car market is already running out of steam after sales contracted for six straight years to a two-decade low in 2013. That puts pressure on carmakers at the Paris Motor Show, which kicks off Thursday, to showcase new technology and gimmicks like an even more powerful version of the ultra-luxury Bentley Mulsanne sedan and running lights shaped like Thor’s Hammer on the new Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle. “The question is if the pre-crisis level will ever be reached again,” Martin Winterkorn, chief executive officer of Volkswagen AG, the region’s biggest automaker, said in a Sept. 25 interview with German broadcaster N-TV. To kick-start demand, manufacturers are turning to gadgetry like vehicles that drive themselves and smartphone integration to win over consumers weary of being cut off from the rest of the world while behind the wheel. Find out more about how automakers are using technology to lure auto consumers at this week’s Paris Motor Show by clicking here.
AT&T Says 2 Million Customers Using Connected-Car Service
According to Automotive News, AT&T Inc. gave its first look at the performance of the connected-car unit, a new growth business for the largest U.S. phone service provider. About 2 million U.S. cars are using its wireless network either through wholesale or retail contracts, AT&T said in a filing. That number includes about 500,000 new connected cars added in the third quarter. The company did not provide a revenue amount for its connected car business. Looking for growth beyond sales of wireless services to phone and tablet customers, AT&T has targeted Internet-connected cars as a potential $1 billion sales opportunity. In-vehicle technology is the top selling point for 39 percent of car buyers today, according to a study that consulting firm Accenture released in December. “The connected-car numbers are strong but not surprising since luxury carmakers are bundling connectivity in with the price,” said Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics LLC in Dedham, Mass. “The question is: How will the medium and low-end car buyers respond when they have to pay for the service,” Entner said. Click here for coverage of consumers who are using connected-car services.
2 Segments Where Auction Prices Jumped
It seems the impending fall market may have already begun affecting prices in the lanes as summer was wrapping up, reports Auto Remarketing. According to the latest RVI Market Updata report, the RVI Used Vehicle Price Index fell by 1.6 percent in August when compared to July. Year-over-year, the index fell by 2.6 percent last month. And the nominal index saw a decline of 1.6 percent from July levels and fell 0.3 percent from August 2013. Price declines last month were expected to be heavy, as NADA issued a report in Mid-August which stated auction prices had already fell by 3 percent, exceeding industry expectations. According to the latest report from RVI, sports cars and minivans were the only segments to buck the trend last month and post auction increases. Sport cars saw a 1.2-percent increase from July, but were down 3 percent year-over-year, according to the RVI Used Vehicle Price Index. And minivans saw a spike of 0.4 percent from July and was up 0.5 percent year-over-year. On the other hand, the smaller vehicles, such as small sedans, compacts, and sub-compacts, saw prices drop the most this past month. For more on which vehicle segments have experienced auction price changes, click here.
2015 Mungenast Lifetime Achievement Award: Now Accepting Nominations
Each year, the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) presents the David F. Mungenast Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award to an individual to recognize his or her commitment and contributions to the international nameplate auto industry and community. AIADA's board of directors created this important honor in order to highlight a leader who possesses a similar community spirit and devotion to the industry as the awards' namesake, David F. Mungenast Sr., a former AIADA member who also served as chairman of the organization in 1998. AIADA needs your help to select the 2015 winner of the David F. Mungenast Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award. Please consider the requirements for nomination fill out the attached form. Return the nomination form to AIADA by mail, e-mail, or fax no later than October 31st. The winner will be announced at AIADA's 45th Annual Meeting & Luncheon in San Francisco, California on January 25, 2015. Thank you for your participation in selecting the recipient of this important honor.
Around the Web
Mazda Mulling Furniture, Designer Goods in Bid to Command Higher Prices [Autoblog]
3 Ways Your Vehicle Results Page Can Drive Shopper Engagement [CBT News]
The Redone 2015 Kia Sedona Minivan [USA Today]
Ferrari 458 Speciale A is Italy's Most Dangerous Spider [BBC Autos]