Selling Cars: Apparently not crucial in the car-selling business.
-Car companies don't just spend their time drawing cars and then making some. Let's look at what else they do.

Movie stars, charity events, yes, even blogs are part of the fight to shove a new car into your driveway. Product placement, champagne-soaked galas and children's events with not a child in sight are all crucial for maintaining the delicate business called automotive.

Not all these activities are a complete waste of that $199 a month we pay to lease our Getta….I mean….Chevy truck. Creating buzz and a genuine appearance of corporate goodwill is a major priority for manufacturers. In this, long awaited, rebirth of Basic Transportation, let's look at everyone's up to.

Look, here's Tom Cruise and Laurence Fishburne looking excited about MI3 on the roof of an Escalade. That's because GM are the official providers of cars for the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. To be fair, if you paid to see MI3, good chance you think the current Impala is pretty nifty too.

The sponsorship is ideal because everyone knows that no American craves a 6.2 litre V8 more than New Yorkers. And with the gobs of media coverage the Tribeca Film Festival garners across the nation, there's no doubt that having the almost-convincingly-straight Cruise and the not-quite-popular-since-Matrix Fishburne stand on the Escalade is the perfect thing for GM to do.

This is money that could be used making more Solstices. The HHR is a great use of an existing platform, whereas middle-aged celebrities on a Cady isn't. Instead, getting involved with the TFF is as uninspired an idea as the Cobalt.

Dodge, on the other hand, are mingling the regular folk! A fantastic idea that's made even better with some 'amateur' snaps springing up on Autoblog. The Challenger concept, just debuted at Detroit in January is now making surprise appearances. To check out what the muscle car buying public thought, some Dodge guys showed up to a California cruise night to cheer up so real car fans. Needless to say, no one jumped on the roof.

In case there was any doubt, people love cars like this and they must have loved seeing the retro concept. It’s hard to believe that starting with a car that was made already, thirty-something years ago is even allowed in the car designer handbook - but the success of the current Mustang after years of ponycar wannabes from Ford changed the rules.

The Challenger is a lot truer to its roots that the current Charger or even the Camaro Concept. There is, however, one car that’s looked pretty much the same since day one, sometime around D-day, in WWII. That’s right, it’s the Jeep - CJ, TJ, Wrangler or Renegade, there’s only one Jeep that comes to mind when someone says Jeep. It’s the Jeep. And Jeep continued to break new ground in product placement since the last century, striking deals with video game producers (and, in Tony Hawk‘s case, stars) to make sure that Jeeps stay at the front of our mind and associated with the word ‘Jeep‘. While the latest Unlimited has little to do with WWII, that’s no reason those patriotic feelings shouldn’t be nourished.

That's why Jeep struck a deal with Electronic Arts to feature a Willys Overland in next year’s sequel to Medal of Honor, called Medal of Honor Airborne. The Jeep will be able to go places other game vehicles can’t and be used as a weapon’s platform. No word yet when the RPG-launcher edition Wrangler will announced.

Pontiac Solstice Convertible

General Motors hit a home run with the Pontiac Solstice-a small convertible with an attitude! This is a sporty little 4 cylinder car that handles like a high end sports car. Priced to sell with a 5 speed manual for around $20,000, with the automatic and fully loaded being around $27,000. This is a car that barely spends a night at any dealership as there is a waiting list. When they hit the ground, salemen are scurrying to call their prospects. General Motors finally got it right!
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The Pontiac GTO

What happened to the Pontiac GTO? The sports car to fill the void of the Trans Am for Pontiac is history after this year. Is it that the GTO name reminded car buffs of the times of old, and the new look reminded them of the Grand Am? Or, is the $1000 gas guzzler tax a turn off for the automatic GTO? I believe sports cars are a thing of the past. Where can you go and show everyone what your car will do? Cruising city blocks is not what it used to be. Although, Corvette and the new Camaro will do well, as the new Camaro is going back to the past in the look all the way down to the recessed gauges. We want to remember our past, the way things were when we were young. The GTO captured none of the characteristics of cars of old and I believe this is why it failed. Let me know what you think.

Cheap Car Insurance

Everyone is looking to find Cheap Car Insurance. There are a few companies that I would personally recommend. This is one if you want to Save Money on Auto Insurance.

When calling or researching on the web remember to have a few things at hand. The VIN numbers on each vehicle that will be on the policy, information on all the drivers including date of birth, driving records, and drivers license numbers. Cheap car insurance may be hard to find, but you can always find cheaper car insurance if you shop around and compare prices. Remind your kids that good driving records is the #1 way to lower car insurance premiums. It will gradually lower with age, but stay away from accidents and tickets to keep your car insurance cheap!

The best way to save money on car insurance is to do your research on the internet because you can receive a FREE Auto Insurance Quote NOW!

Newman's Take on the Merger

Quoted from USA today: Paul Newman

"Listen, I'm just like Fox News. I'm fair and balanced," he says, playfully mocking Rupert Murdoch's cable network. "But for this merger to occur, Tony must first think about what is fair and realistic. He can't load the gun, point it at us and expect us to make a deal. I know what the offer was, and it was neither fair, nor balanced."

I hate to say I told you so but here we go again.

If the "nobody can lose" filter doesn't get turned off there will be no merger!

1 Bourdais, 2 Bourdais, 3 Bourdais, Four?

Sebastain Bourdais made it three in a row at Monterrey Sunday with his third victory in as many tries. After leading the first stint he was passed during the first pit stop only to regain the lead at the next stop. Nothing seemed to bother the Frenchman, not even a near miss of a back marker, as he went on to complete the last stint and bring home his third win of the year.

Next I suppose he will show us how to do circles!

There were an estimated 76,000 in attendance for the three day event. Yes I said only 76,000 for the three days. Long Beach draws that many for the race. Gerry Forsythe indicated that this could be the last event there.

There goes another permanent road course!

Car Salesman-Bad or Bad Rap?

I really believe that most car salespeople are good people and I believe they get a bad rap sometimes. Many salesmen that I know are very good people and just doing a job to provide for their family's, and can we truly blame them for wanting to make as much money for their family as they can. Dont get me wrong, there are some out there that will lie and cheat to sell a car, but there are many more that would not tell a lie if their job depended on it.
How do you know, as a customer, if you got a good deal or if you were ripped off? I believe that a "good deal" is just a perception that we have placed on a transaction. It is a good deal if we like the car and was given all the information that we need to make an intelligent buying decision. It is always someone else that tells you that you did not get a good deal. When I was selling, I had customers tell me that profit was not a dirty word. They did not mind paying me a profit because I gave them all the information that they needed to know and probably some that they did not need. I made sure that my customers were taken care of after the sell especially because that is when you find out what kind of deal you had. When a customer came in and had a problem, I took care of it, period! When that person was ready to buy another car, they knew my name and was already confident that they would be taken care of.
Maybe instead of classifying all salespeople as scum of the earth, we may need to take a look at those that take care of the customer and realize that they are people like all of us that are trying honestly to put food on the table for their family.

Hybrid cars News Update

This Monday hybrid car owners at New Jersey will be reworded. Drivers of hybrid vehicles at New Jersey Turnpike could use high occupancy vehicle lanes which will bring much relief in their commutation. The move is welcome as it will encourage people to opt for hybrid vehicles in the era of rapidly rising fuel prices. Owners of hybrid cars could drive in HOV lanes without any occupant. Right now these lanes are reserved for vehicles with at least 3 occupants, motorcycles and buses.

Congressman Brad Sherman, a big supporter of hybrid car thinks that plug-in hybrids will be next big thing in automobile industry. According to him cars that could get more then 100 miles per gallon could be termed as the cars of the future. Since electric cost is one third of the current gas price, there seems much depth in his thought. It was Brad Sherman who sponsored legislation which was aimed to encourage hybrid vehicles be included in highway bill which enabled states like California allow these cars in car-pool lanes.

Another great initiative to promote hybrid cars was taken by Aviva Insurance Company of Canada. Aviva is now giving 10% discount on auto insurance in Quebec. The only criterion for this discount is that the car should be environment friendly. Thumbs up to Aviva for acknowledging well deserved environmental friendly car owners.

Used Car Inspection Tips

Everyone says "check the oil on a used car to see if it is black." Yes this is one thing you should do, but I say go a little further. The #1 thing to look at when buying a used car is the headliner. Why, because you will see how this car was treated inside and be able to tell if it was a smokers vehicle or not. Also around the top of the door window where people throw their cigarettes out, and without saying the ashtray. Now, check the glove box to see if they kept service record reports. If not, you can check the dealership if it was a trade from a previous customer of theirs. Just remember, many used cars come from rental car companies, enough said, but these rental car companies are under contract to have them maintained so probably not that bad if the cosmetics of the car look as though they were taken care of. Also, if you are opposed to a smokers vehicle and it is not obvious by the smell that will rarely come out, check the seats to see if there are any obvious patches in cloth. Many companies are good and cover them well, but many times it stands out like a sore thumb. Under the hood, check the belts and hoses to see how they look-belts should be tight, hoses should be firm. The first time you start the car, have someone else start it, and be at the rear of the vehicle to check the smoke that comes from the muffler. There is going to be some, but make sure it stops after a few seconds of running after the water condensation has burnt off. This is just a few things that most people dont think about, if anyone has more leave them in the comments section of this post.

Used Car Prices and how they are determined!

Servicing Your Car-How to Save Money

To save money on your car, you definitely want to have it serviced. I believe that everyone needs to find a mechanic that they can trust, but a few tips to save you money. If you take your car to a dealership, remember that the service writer gets paid on commission like salesmen. They will try talking you into a more expensive fix than what you really need. For instance, if you take your car in for an oil change, they may tell you to do a 30,000 mile routine maintenance, which may cost $79.00. The #1 thing you can do for your car is have the oil changed regularly, every 3000 miles, but be cautious of more expensive maintenance.

This is not to say that a regular tune up or maintenance is not good for your car. You may want to have it done, but you dont have to over do it. One thing I will say, Rotate your tires every other oil change! I have seen tires last 70000 miles because of routine tire rotation. This makes the tire wear better and last longer. Many will do this every other oil change to help them stay on schedule.

Dealerships are not always the highest place to get your car serviced. Dealerships have well trained mechanics and you will be covered if something does go wrong. You can always dicker with your service writer as well. There prices are not set in stone. Give them a price that you will do it for and if they want your business bad enough, they will do it. If not, take it elsewhere!

128,000 Watch Bourdais Light up Houston

Well, Houston is in the books and Bourdais is still dominating the Champ Car scene. In spite of a handful of troubles that might have stymied lesser competitors Bourdais took advantage everything given to him during the race to win his second straight race of the young season. The event was attended by an estimated 128,000 fans.

Bourdais times were disallowed on the first day of qualifying when his car failed tech for being 3 pounds underweight. Not something you would expect of the Newman Hass guys! Bourdais eventually qualified an unfamiliar 5th for the race. Then during the first pit stop the concrete gave way under the rear air jack causing a longer than expected pit stop and a shuffle for the lead.

Eventually Dominguez, leading after the first pit stop, missed a turn and although he was able to get back on track unassisted gave up the lead and the race to Bourdais.

How was the track you asked? Too rough, I was surprise they weren’t breaking suspensions as they did in San Jose! An aerial view of the track revealed a funnel shaped entry into the first turn, a chicane made temporary traffic cones to slow the cars before the originally designed turn 1. It’s no wonder the start of the race was single file and only slightly a faster pace than during a caution. Perhaps Champ Car needs a track guru too assist with these new venues!

But they all made it through the first turn without an incident. I guess they had to do something to keep all 17 cars entered from wiping out on the first lap. (he said with tongue cheek)

Extended Term Financing On Car Loans

This is a car buying tip that I cannot stress more--do not finance your car over 60 months. The going trend is 72 month financing, which charges you an enormous amount of extra interest not to mention the car will ALWAYS be worth less than you owe on this plan. The car will depreciate at faster rate than you pay it off, hence the term "Up Side Down."

There are even those finance companies that finance for 84 and 96 months. Do not fall for this extended term finance option. If you cannot handle the payment on a 60 month loan, DO NOT buy the car. It is very simple, we buy cars that we cannot afford. Pick a vehicle that you can afford! There are some very smart money guru's that say, if you cannot pay cash for the car, do not buy. I say, pay for the car in a short amount of time.

You would be surprised if you look at the difference in finance charges on 72 months compared to 60 months. You will save thousands by going 60 months and many are opting for 48 months. Just remember, do not make it emotional or keeping up with the jones's. Buy a car you can afford.

discount auto parts

Everyone knows that keeping an auto running is just about as expensive as buying an auto. There are numerous online sources for auto parts, but be careful of those you choose. Buying your parts online can save you big money, but do your homework. Check out Partstrainfor a good starting place. They are reputable, easy to use, and will match or beat any price that you get elsewhere. Bookmark my site to let me know if you save money.
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AUTO WARRANTY; Extended Car Service Policy

Extended warranty is a policy usually written through the big auto makers ex. (GMPP General Motors Protection Plan) that takes care of your car when it breaks down. It is called many different names; Extended Warranty, Auto Car Warranty, Extended Auto Service Policy, etc. This is a good product, just be careful what you pay. You do not want to have a $500 deductible 25000 mile warranty and pay $3000 for it and unknowing customers are paying this daily. Do a little research, there are good extended warranties that you can purchase outside the dealership and save big money online. This Extended Warranty Quote is good for all makes and models including but not limited to, Chevrolet, Dodge, GMC, Pontiac, Buick, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Cadilac, Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Hummer, Nissan, Toyota, and any make or model you may have.

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May - Merger Mania Month

I wanted to be first to post merger mania news for May since everyone is saying this is the year, - like we haven’t heard that before!

I will examine the information and try to bring some new perspective to the deal. I believe all that has been said and written has been done so with too much bias from both sides. The suggestions being tossed out are old hat and without much imagination.

I am hoping that this merger, if it happens, is a result of the two businesses realizing that the combination will yield a profit by becoming one. If it is done for any other reason, such as for one or the others ego, then forget it, it won’t change things. I want the natural order of business to be the driving force here.

So far we have two criteria that have been made public by the protagonists for this deal. Actually both have been put forth by KK, they are; the merger must be one that can last and cannot be done simply for the sake of merging the other, no one can loose. Although that hasn’t been elaborated on I think we all know what that means.

So far TG is quoted as saying there’s a lot of hair on this cat. I suppose that means there are a lot of obstacles facing the merger.

Let’s look at the possibility of the merger being announced this month to be effective for 07 and what it might look like. What is needed to meet the two criteria? The chassis and engine combinations must be decided and must not give either side an advantage. The obvious chassis choice would be the Panoz DP01. It’s the only chassis that neither side has experience with. If the engine choice is turbocharged then Cosworth seem the logical choice however if the engine choice is NA then the Honda seems a likely choice.

What is needed for the new series to begin with the first race in 07? If the car count is simply brought forward there would be a need for 72 Panoz chassis. Since there are likely to be drop outs that number should be smaller. Could Panoz make that many cars in time for next seasons testing? I don’t know but it doesn’t feel good to me!

Also needed would be 72 engines for the season. If it’s NA then Cosworth has to update one, if its turbo then HPD has to dust off the old turbo they had built by Ilmor. Would there be a third engine manufacturer?

Do these combinations pass the tests of making for a lasting business and no one loosing? You decide.

I say these combinations or a variation them of might well work but there is not time for implementation for all of 07. The chassis and engine suppliers simply cannot get it done in time. So then what happens if the merger doesn’t happen for 07 and CC continues with their planned new chassis? Doesn’t that eliminate the window of opportunity for both sides to get a fresh start with new equipment and satisfy the,” nobody looses” test?

Perhaps TG and KK could give the cat a haircut by infusing Panoz with cash to help move the timeline in. But what do you do about the engine problem, more money?
There is a need for some very creative thinking here. As I see it the merger might be best served by happening over a period of time instead of all at once. Perhaps for 07 the only race for the combined series would be Indy the other races would be as before. Then in succeeding years the schedule is combined to make the merger complete. This method would also help to clear the calendar of previous commitments by both sides.

The initial league could be made of two divisions which could have individual champions who might race for the championship in a race off in the last race.

Something different than we are familiar with has to come of this merger if it is going to pass the “long lasting test”.

I would like to add two more requisite tests to the merger. First the costs must be controlled so that the owners can participate without graft and secondly the organization must have a strong independent leader that can lead the new series up out of the ashes. Perhaps a commissioner of sorts?

So what all is stopping this merger? Perhaps nothing, perhaps everything! Frankly I don’t look for a merger to happen in time for 07. But if it does it won’t look like anything we now know. The longer they wait the harder it will be to past all of the tests! But then if they wait much longer there may only be one left, then of course no merger will be necessary!

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