M3 Auto Transport has been in the car transport industry for over 10 years. We provide services to consumers who want to ship a vehicle and carriers who specialize in auto shipping.
Tag Archives: news
The auto transport industry could see a big bump if the news coming out of the car makers is true. GM, Toyota and Kia announce new vehicle models while Chrysler, Dodge and BMW are recalling models. That means a lot of cars will be moving back and forth across the country over the next 6 months and that is good news.
GM has officially announced the 2013 Cadillac ATS for a summer release starting $33,900 for its smallest luxury sedan. The next level up will include a turbocharger for $35795 and the top of the line CTS will only set you back a cool $42,090. Don’t expect to see many of those models on auto carriers with that price tag. To get the full appreciation for the price ranges you will need to visit your local dealer showroom and check them out for yourself.
Toyota is set to release their new RAV4 EV all electric crossover before the end of the year. Be prepared to let go of a wad of cash for the fully equipped version which will MSRP for $49,800. Another shock to the system just might be the range with a paltry 100 miles before needing a charge, which takes as little as 6 hours with a 240V charger. Since your house only runs 120V, you will need a special circuit or wait even longer for a charge. All those reasons add up to few of these money pits laying around on the dealer showroom or atop an car transporter.
Sadly there will be no 2013 Kia Sedona Minivans shipping across the country. It looks like Kia is taking a timeout for 2013 on their Sedona line of mini vans. Their spokesman has made it clear that they are down but not out. Minivan competition is a fierce space and it sounds as though Kia may be taking a step back to redesign for maybe a 2014 release. Soccer moms everywhere will have to wait another year or switch to a competitor.
Auto transporters rejoice and auto makers grimace. Both Chrysler and BMW have announced major recalls for their vehicles. The Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger are both being recalled because of electrical issues. Apparently a fuse for the power distribution unit can go out and cause the ABS (anti-lock braking system) and the ESC (electronic stability control) to fail. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has forced the recall and that will put a lot of vehicles in the shop or on auto haulers to get repaired…at the expense of the auto maker of course. Yikes!
BMW has problems plaguing them as well with vehicles sold in the United States. 24,000 cars have emission problems causing smoke to come out of the tail pipe. The recall is specifically targeted to see if that smoke is clean or dirty. The recall letters have been mailed and should be arriving in mailboxes this month.
Shipping of cars from auto makers to dealers and from dealers to auto makers will probably be increasing due to these and other factors in other news events coming soon. As if the highways and byways weren’t crowded enough…watch out for that truck rolling down the road.
Distracted Driving vs Turn Signal Neglect. During their research into distracted driving, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) along with the Society of Automotive Engineers has found that turn signal neglect may be causing even more accidents than distracted driving. This misuse of turn signals, either by not turning when signaling or by turning without a signal, happens almost 750 billion times per year which may be responsible for up to two million accidents per year. They have proposed what they call the “Smart Turn Signal” to disengage the signal if no turn occurs. The system will also use a HUD to alert the driver of a turn without signal or signal without a turn. The sensors are already in most vehicles which are used for stability control and therefore implementation would be relatively easy.
Honda is working on auto technology to reduce traffic jams. When one driver slams on their brakes, it causes a chain reaction which leads to a dozen or more cars to come to a stop. The new technology would cause the vehicles to slow down rather than slam on their brakes, thus causing traffic to continue flowing. This would also reduce fuel usage because more fuel is consumed during stop and go rather than smooth driving. Honda is working with the University of Tokyo to connect onboard systems to cloud based computers to help gather driving habits and information. Honda states that the system can increase the average speed by 20 percent and better fuel economy by 8 percent.
General Motors and Isuzu may be back at it again. After their breakup in 2006, the two auto makers are in talks to make vehicles for commercial sales in South and Central America and Asia. The partnership would renew the small vehicle lineup the produced just 6 years earlier with the Chevy LUV, Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon and GEO Storm. The new lineup will most likely be made up of larger commercial sized trucks and will not be available in the U.S.
Toyota is planning on building a Prius model manufacturing plant in the U.S. for production around 2015. They are also hoping to get many of their components including the hybrid drive-train from U.S. distributors as well. While this story has been heard 2 other times in the past, it makes more sense now since Prius sales in the United States are stronger than ever. The extra production is certainly needed and either the Mississippi or Fremont plant seems to be the most likely candidates.
Car to car communication push is on and the NHTSA is leading the way. The NHSTA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is working with auto makers to ramp up the technology for vehicle to vehicle communication. The Society of Automotive Engineers claims the technology could reduce auto accidents by 80%. It would allow the exchange of information about traffic conditions, pedestrians, etc. It could also allow for cars to travel in tight packs to reduce congestion and increase gas mileage.
Mercedes looking to extend “Magic Sky” glass to more of their auto lineup. “Magic Sky” glass can switch from transparent to opaque and multiple shades in between using electrochromic glass technology. The technology uses crystals sandwiched between two panes of glass which when energized with an electrical field will cause the crystals to reorder themselves. This reordering of the crystals varies the amount of sunlight that can pass through the glass. The only problem going forward is how to address the varying window tint laws across states.
The EPA has officially rated the 2013 Ford Escape 1.6L EcoBoost at 23/33 mpg. The engine is the new 1.6-liter EcoBoost Inline-4 automatic transmission generating up to 178 HP. This is the top fuel efficient vehicle in the crossover group of cars with an automatic transmission. It has out beat the Toyota RAV-4, Chevy Equinox and Honda CR-V in highway mpg numbers. The 6 speed automatic transmission delivers 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Auto makers can squeeze out an additional 3-5 mpg with a manual transmission.
Auto makers Chrysler and Ford have released their Q1 2012 profit statements. Chrysler’s profits quadrupled to $473 million from $116 million last year. Most of their profits came from the U.S. with a 39% increase in sales. Chrysler has projected profits at $1.5 billion for year end 2012 which is a huge increase over the $183 million in 2011. Ford’s profit for Q1 2012 was $1.4 billion which is light years over GM and Chrysler; however that is a decline from last year’s $2.6 billion. The decrease is due to sales declines all over the Europe markets. Ford’s Europe markets reported an operating loss of $149 million for Q1 2012. Their U.S. operations have been able to offset that loss.
50th anniversary reunion for the Shelby Cobra and it started in January. Shelby started a set of nationwide events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their prized jewel. If happen to catch an event you can see the very first Cobra CSX2001 and the new 2012 Shelby Cobra 1000 alongside many other variations. The most recent event took place at Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, CA. This is going to be one heck of a show and everyone should look for it coming to an event near you.
Miami found hundreds of municipal vehicles that were over 5 years old and never used. Actually a Spanish language newspaper made the discovery and wrote an article on it in their newspaper. What a black eye for Miami-Dade County for spending tax payer money on hundreds of Toyota Prius Hybrids and then losing them. After the find, Miami has put the cars directly into service in an attempt to maybe save face? Either way, there will be people looking into the matter; however there is already a prevailing theory. 5 Years ago Carlos Alvarez was Mayor and purchased the vehicles. Shortly afterward he was the subject of a voter recall and was ousted. Seems the voters believed he was involved in misappropriation of funds and wanted him removed.
One step forward and 2 steps backward for car engines. It seems that auto makers are dumping their V6 engines but not for a larger V8 or something new. They are going backwards to 4 Cylinder engines. It seems there will be room in the engine compartment again to actually work on your car. For those of you not around during the 4 Cylinder engine days, that’s around 155 horsepower with about 150 lbs of torque. Not a very powerful engine at all unless you want to add a turbo charger to get an extra 20-30 horsepower.
It’s not what you know…it’s what you can prove. New Jersey has added “Road Rage” up charges for traffic violations. The new add-on, named the “Jessica Rogers’ Law”, was added in honor of the woman who was paralyzed from the waist down due to a road rage incident. She wasn’t driving but was the passenger in a car where the driver went “Road Rage” after another driver that cut them off. The new law will upgrade traffic violations when “Road Rage” is considered a factor. The big question is “who determines Road Rage”? The answer is simple…the officer(s) and judge. That’s right; “Intent” is determined by the officer(s) and judge. Not by witness testimony or facts in the case, but by a person. The defendant faces up to a max of 5 years in jail and a max of $15,000 in fines.
Honda is first in what will probably be many, court cases over hybrid and electric mpg claims. A woman in California was granted $9867 in a case against Honda. The court was convinced that the Honda Civic Hybrid did not meet the mpg claims that Honda made. Of course, Honda will appeal the decision like any company would. Especially with the precedent this would set in the industry for an onslaught of lawsuits. Hold on…this is going to be a rough ride! Pun intended…
The 2012 Grand Prix in Bahrain went off without a hitch…or did it? Many people believe that sports should be above the political and moral fray. Regardless of which side you come down on, Formula 1 has been right in the middle of it since it announced the Bahrain race. The government in Bahrain is the sponsor and that makes most political and moral people upset. See, the Bahrain government is very oppressive and brutal towards the citizens. The race was completed, a winner was crowned and the citizens were oppressed…nothing new here after all.
Can out of circulation money be turned into car parts? Ford thinks so and is working on converting that old cash into insulation, cushions and other soft materials. For Ford, recycling really does pay and it will take the approximately 10,000 pounds of money that is shredded daily and put it somewhere besides in the ground. Kudos to Ford for actually finding a real world, implantable solution to be prudent with the planet we call home. This recycling of money will also replace the petroleum based products currently being used for those parts.
Nissan singled out for the latest rounds of cyber-attacks. Vice President for Nissan Andy Palmer issued a statement acknowledging the attack and stating that there was no customer or employee data accessed. The attack happened on April 13th, but Nissan wanted to know the extent of the damage prior to making a public statement. This is becoming a nightmare and a nuisance to businesses and to consumers. While most people place blame on the business for security, the rightful owner of blame should be on the criminal(s) who perpetrate these crimes. You wouldn’t want to be blamed for your house being broken into…
With the U.S. economy still stuck in a rut, election season poised to bring out the worst attacks on corporations, unfair import/export regulations, the almighty tax code being changed again and unions getting too cozy with the government; most car manufacturers are moving their plants to China. This will not bode well for the already over pressured working class. Look for this trend to continue if the way the U.S. runs it’s country does not start to change for the better of businesses…who provide jobs. This will hurt the auto transport industry like many others.
Slow sales for the Ford Focus hybrid and electric models. Ford CEO is sure about the growth of the electric car sales but admits that it is a long term strategy. Ford is remaining low key on their sales projections for any hybrid or electric cars; instead, relying on their stable of fuel based cars to carry the line. If the sales do not show up over time, you can be sure that the dealer incentives and giveaways will start to come into play.
The future of hybrid and electric cars is on thin ice. The car makers are still very dodgy about their hybrid and electric car sales and what the future holds. Between the government handouts, non appealing designs, starting problems, catching fire problems, battery life problems and the myriad of other issues; it is not hard to see why people are not buying them in droves. The auto industry has been under enormous pressure from the government over the past year to start producing hybrid / electric cars ASAP. This has shortened the normal 2-4 year testing and safety cycle to mere months. This shortening of the testing and safety cycle is the cause of all of these issues, but it is a damned if you do…damned if you don’t situation for car makers. It’s a double edged sword and they are getting cut from both sides. The government wants these cars on the road now…but they throw the auto makers under the bus when something goes wrong. Fortunately, the American people are speaking up with their purchasing power and not buying cars that don’t work or that may cause them personal harm. This is the power of a free people and a free market system.
Edmunds picks Honda and Acura as the brands that are best at retaining their value over time. While they have had corporate setbacks with the tsunamis, floods, earthquakes and the not so well received current models; their older models have been praised for their ability to continue running and retaining their sales value over time. This is good news for anyone who owns an older model Honda or Acura and is looking to sell or even looking to hold on to it for a while longer. Honda cars are expected to hold on to 47% of their value after 5 years with Acura retaining 44% after 5 years. Hopefully we will see these cars be hauled around by auto transport companies for the foreseeable future.
Left-Lane slowpokes should be looking in the rear view mirror for the highway patrol if Delaware has their way. The Delaware legislature is looking to pass a bill that would institute a fine of up to $230 for drivers who loiter in the left lane. They would be joining many other states like Oklahoma, Kansas, and Washington, to name a few, who also have laws on the books for slowpokes. There are studies that have shown that drivers who loiter in the left lanes, prohibit the flow of traffic, cause traffic jams and increase the likelihood of fender bender accidents. These laws look to open the flow of traffic and reduce the bottlenecks.
Free Advertising! Sign Me Up “Mad Men”! The most recent April episode of Mad Men revolved around a Jaguar account for the United States. They were pitching the jaguar by its sex appeal and it sure has that. Jaguar is well known for their graceful/sexy design and when placed among the Mad Men cast, it sure fits in well. So as we all know that kind of product placement is not cheap…or is it? Apparently Jaguar was as surprised by their product on the show as we were. You can’t buy that kind of advertising I guess.
The lab fire at GM last week could cost the auto maker up to $5 million. The auto maker was testing a new battery for their hybrid lines under extreme stress for testing purposes. They were only trying to get the battery to fail but not explode. Well back to the drawing board on that one. Gm has said that this is not the same battery in their current hybrid lines and was just a prototype for the future. The investigation is still ongoing and 1 worker remains hospitalized.
Clean Diesel sales are up 35% in the United States over 2011 and 2011 sales were up 27% over the previous year. Now if you live in a European country than this is not news but for the United States and Japan to see large increases in diesel fuel vehicles is quite the change of pace. With everyone being told to focus on hybrid and electric cars, it would seem that the buying public has decided that clean diesel is the way to go. This trend has caused Mazda to get into the game recently with their Mazda CX-5 and I bet the other auto makers are taking note as well since this has surpassed the hybrid and electric sales figures.
Okay and to end on a funny note, there has been an ongoing discussion about pedestrian warning systems on hybrid and electric vehicles since the first time someone was hit by one. Dominos pizza seems to have a solution to the problem that is low cost and has a short time to market. Check this out, but put your drink down first! You have been warned…
You heard it right; the auto maker Audi purchased the motorcycle maker Ducati for $1.1 Billion yesterday. That puts Audi in with Honda, Suzuki and BMW as both an auto and motorcycle maker. This also puts some of the advanced technology from Ducati into their hands for integration into their automobiles. Most particularly their lightweight construction, control systems and combustion chamber process will now be in their bag of goodies. This acquisition also makes Ducati the 3rd Italian company to be owned by Audi including Lamborghini and ItalDesign-Giugiaro.
Ducati was founded in 1926 by Adriano and Marcello Ducati. They were originally a radio parts manufacturer but ventured into the motorcycle business in 1949. Not exactly a vertical market move, but one that has put their name in the motorcycle books forever. Their look is one of a kind and are recognized the world over because of the tube-frame design.
Used car and light truck sales up 80% in 2011 compared to 2010. Aside from CarMax, Inc., the top sellers were private auto dealers and not the major car dealerships. More private dealers are increasing their exposure via their website sales and classified sales. If the trend continues, that will be good news for the auto transport industry. When people buy used cars online, they have better selections and better prices. This also leads to the need for auto transport of their new “used car” purchase.
Three major automotive manufacturers sign on for electric brake technology in their 2013 vehicles. While the manufacturers remain nameless at this time, this does show progress in auto technology. The electric brake technology, supplied by TRW Automotive, handles both the conventional braking and the parking brake in one package. This simplifies car design, reduces braking parts by almost 50% and reduces weight by up to 16 pounds. This will help auto transporters prevent roll-aways by automatically engaging when the door is opened or the seat belt is disengaged.
Bio-Fuel option pricing released by GM will be a hard pill to swallow. As usual, the green technology being added, offered and pushed by the government is still so expensive that it out prices is efficiency. The price tag to add this option to the Chevy Silverado 2500 or the GMC Sierra 2500 is $11,000. This also takes includes the installation of a type-3 tank in the truck bed. So if you need your truck bed space, forget this option. If you need this option, you probably already have or need a truck bed toolbox and from the looks of it, both cannot exist in the same truck bed. Additionally, the ROI looks to be 3-5 years depending on fuel prices and the need for extra vehicles dues to less bed space. Look for these vehicles to be transported to auto dealers without this package pre-installed.