Archive for Auto Industry

Back to the Future DeLorean being restored

We’ve seen plenty of Back to the Future DeLorean DMC-12 replicas pass through the halls of the internet. In that time, we’ve always assumed the original movie car was tucked away safely in a museum somewhere. As it turns out, that wasn’t the case. Of all the vehicles created for the three films, the most detailed hero car, otherwise known as the A Car, was left on display outside. The ensuing years of suffering in the elements weren’t kind to the DMC-12, and Bob Gale, co-writer for the BTTF saga, is now working to have the vehicle completely restored to its original condition.

Joe Walser, J Ryan and Terry Matalas are currently working to get the car back to its former glory, but the project needs help. The craftsmen may not need roads where they’re going, but they do need anyone with photos of the original A Car or parts from any of the movie DeLorean models to reach out via TimeMachineRestoration@gmail.com or the restoration’s Facebook page. Very cool.

Bayside Auto Sales

Back to the Future DeLorean being restored

 

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Select Hyundai’s still to go for set resale value

Back in April, Hyundai launched the Assurance Trade-in Value Guarantee ensuring every new Hyundai’s resale value two to four years down the road. Unfortunately for most folks still shopping for a Hyundai, that program has now ended. Keyword being “most” since Hyundai will no longer ensure the value of their mainline cars, but well-heeled buyers of the Genesis and Equus models can still sleep well knowing their high-end Hyundai will depreciate at a rate comparable to their neighbor’s Toyota Avalon.

“It was a marketing program and we wanted to bring a spotlight on the strength of our residual values, and it did its job,” John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America tells Automotive News.

Residual value consulting agency ALG says the data seems to back that up. Residual value of the Equus is third best in the premium-lux market behind the Lexus LS460 and the Jaguar XJ and the Genesis sedan is second only to the Nissan Maxima among full-sized cars.

Bayside Auto Sales

Select Hyundai's still to go for set resale value

 

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Toyota Sales Improving

Toyota can attribute much of its uptick in sales last month to fleets. While the automaker saw its sales leap by 7.5 percent compared to a year earlier, Newsday.com reports Toyota sold 47 percent more cars and trucks to fleet customers in the U.S. than in January 2011. Without the fleet sales, the improvement would have been less than one percent. All told, rental companies accounted for 93 percent of the automaker’s fleet sales in January, with the remainder going to other organizations.

Toyota and other Japanese automakers have always been reticent to embrace fleet sales. Doing so is not only generally less profitable than individual consumer sales, but can also lead to degraded brand image and resale value. Last month, Ford was cited for having 45 percent of the company’s Focus going toward fleets.

Toyota, meanwhile, says the news isn’t the start of a trend. When Toyota factories were hobbled by earthquake and tsunami activity in Japan last year, the automaker put a stop to fleet sales altogether to keep its dealerships fed. According to Bob Carter, Toyota U.S. sales chief, the company promised to make up deliveries to its fleet customers, and January represents the automaker fulfilling that promise. Carter also said that while fleet sales will be high once again in February, things should return to normal once again in March.

Bayside Auto Sales

Toyota Sales Improving

 

 

GM sales improving

General Motors today reported its earnings for last year and the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011. The automaker’s profits for 2011 totaled $7.6 billion, up from $4.7 billion in 2010.

While the news was excellent for the full year, fourth quarter net income was only $472 million, or about the same as Q4 2010. While that makes eight straight quarters of positive numbers since the company emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, the earnings were weighed down by losses of $562 million in Europe from GM’s Opel subsidiary.

There were also a number of one-time events that affected earnings in the fourth quarter, without which GM’s profit would’ve nearly doubled to $900 million.

Still, the company counts 2011 as a successful year, and the stats tend to agree. TrueCar.com reports that GM increased its sales by over 13 percent, increased market share by half a point, grew average transaction prices by over $1,100 and lowered incentive spending by five percent. Based on that performance, all 47,500 hourly employees will receive profit sharing checks of up to $7,000.

Bayside Auto Sales

GM sales improving

 

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Bayside Auto Sales used car dealer serving Everett, Seattle, Everett, Edmonds, WA

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Studebaker trying to come back

The annals of automotive history are filled with nameplates that weren’t quite able to survive the boom and bust nature of the business, especially here in the United States. One of the most successful orphaned automakers was Studebaker, remembered fondly for such design gems as the bullet-nosed post-World War II Starlight and trend-setting fiberglass-bodied Avanti.

Sadly, Studebaker officially ceased producing automobiles in 1966, though a small portion of its legacy lives today in the form of the ex-Kaiser AM General. But if a Colorado-based business has its way, the Studebaker name will once again appear on vehicles sold in America. Somehow, we’re far from convinced any of its conceptual designs will ever see the light of day.

Looking over the proposed revival, we see a range of so-called Studebaker cars, trucks, motorcycles and scooters. Half the motorcycles are actually Hyosung models from Korea with Studebaker scripting on the fuel tanks, and the other half are nothing but poor renderings. As for the cars, well… there isn’t a single shred of Studebaker DNA in any of them. In any case, the company is reportedly looking for “qualified investor/partners”. We wish them the best of luck… they’re gonna need it.

Bayside Auto Sales

Studebaker trying to come back

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Used CadillacUsed ChevroletUsed ChryslerUsed DodgeUsed FordUsed GMCUsed HondaUsed HyundaiUsed JeepUsed MercuryUsed NissanUsed ToyotaUsed Volkswagen