We were poking around the NYT archives when we stumbled across this gem, car maintenance budgeting advice for people interested in owning a car … in 1907. Some of the advice remains the same. Other parts, like how much to pay your driver and how much to budget for repainting the car once a year — not so much.
We had a robust debate on Monday on the use of cell phones and wireless devices while driving. Since then, Consumer Reports Cars has taken a look at the actual statistics for accidents caused by driver distraction, and also the cell-while-driving laws actually on the books in the United States in different localities. Spoiler alert: Texting while driving isn’t a good idea.
The fine petrolheads at Jalopnik have compiled this list of ten very suggestive automotive print ads, from the 1960s onward. It reminds me of a study where men were shown two ads of the same car, one ad with a sexy woman, the other without. The men rated the car with the living hood ornament as more appealing, expensive, and faster than the car without. At the same time, the men vigorously denied that the model’s presence had any affect on their opinion whatsoever.
Rain water, not fraud or sabotage, is behind the bad gasoline sold at stations near Baltimore early this week. Hess, the supplier, is covering any damage to customers’ cars caused by the diluted fuel. So, how does this happen?
Remember the disgruntled Range Rover owner in England who lettered his complaints on the vehicle and parked it in front of the dealership? Reader M.H. discovered his American counterpart standing in front of a Hyundai dealership in Vancouver, Washington.
As GM’s bankruptcy looms, let’s take a look at what might be in store for its network of dealerships. Chrysler dealers are understandably angry at the company’s shutting down of dealerships, refusal to take back unsold inventory, and general inability to, in the words of Jon Stewart, “be a f@#king person.” Or ethically behaving corporate entity, whatevs.
In case you don’t watch “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” as obsessively as I do, here’s a segment from earlier this week that is relevant to Consumerist readers’ interests. In it, they provide an overview of news coverage of the closing of GM and Chrysler dealerships, and implore the companies to “be a f@#king person!”
Mark Calisi, 47, who owns Eagle Auto-Mall in Riverhead, New York, says he was “devastated” to learn that his dealership would be closed. He said Chrysler accounts for a third of his business, which also sells Volvo, Mazda and Kia, and that on Thursday he had to sack 30 of his 100 employees.
General Motors is projected to default on its next bond payment—the last before the June 1st government-imposed restructuring deadline. Next freeway exit: bankruptcy.
The Washington Post has just published a story accusing executives at Chrysler Financial of turning down a $750 million government loan because they “didn’t want to abide by new federal limits on pay,” and instead opted for more expensive private sector financing, “adding to the burdens of the already fragile automaker and its financing company.” Chrysler Financial denies the charge.
WeSeed directed us to this sad photo album of cars backed up at ports and manufacturer lots around the world. Maybe they can be handed out in clusters as executive bonuses at the end of the year.
Shaken by a huge drop in sales last month, Toyota has announced cash incentives to help move inventory, including (for the first time) the Prius. [Jalopnik]
You, dear consumer, have abruptly stopped purchasing automobiles. GM’s sales are down 45%. Ford has sunk by 30% and Toyota, yes, that Toyota is down 23%.
Here are 11 secrets to detailing your car like a professional. [CNN]
Earlier this summer, we wrote about how Paul was being gouged by Advantage Rent-A-Car on repairs that had to be made after his rental was damaged in a hit and run. Paul was willing to pay the repairs on the vehicle, but Advantage wanted almost double the amount. After we posted his story, Paul was able to get in touch with a higher-up at Advantage who passed him along directly to the Chairman. Here’s what happened.
Consumerist reader Chris decided to take advantage of GM’s please-buy-a-car Employee Discount sale that we wrote about yesterday, so he headed off to two different dealerships in the NY/NJ area. What he found were deserted showrooms with salesmen who ignored him or argued with him over the existence of specific models he’d looked at online. He adds, “tonight I’m off to Toyota for some hard numbers on a Corolla and Camry.”
GM is desperate to boost its sales this month, so the company is offering some steep discounts under its “Employee Pricing” sale. The car blog KickingTires is covering the discounts and points out that “almost all of the prices are around 10% off, which is big in terms of car sales.” For example, you can save $9,000 on a Hummer H3. Of course, you’ll spend that much on gas for it in the first week, but there are other options as well, like Saturns, Chevys, and even the 2008 Corvette Z06 (which we mention separately because KickingTires says powerful sports cars are usually exempt from this sort of sale, but not this time).