Southern Automotive Journal May 2011

Page 1

Buick Regal


May 2011


ABPA Presents Results of Testing Demonstrating the Quality and Safety of Independently Produced Auto Parts I-CAR Recognizes Allstate for ‘Best in Class’ Collision Repair Training

DEALER NEWS NADA Launches ‘Japan Relief’ Campaign J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Contrary to Popular Perception, Consumers Say Upselling of ‘Unnecessary’ Work by Auto Dealers is Rare Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association Presents Peach Awards at the Atlanta International Auto Show

Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept: A Study Of Efficient and Intelligent Design for A New Luxury Customer Cadillac has introduced the Urban Luxury Concept, a design study exploring a new type of vehicle that offers a luxury experience in a diminutive size. The Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept complements its compact dimensions with the design, features and technology for which Cadillac is known. “The Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept celebrates its scale with intelligent, innovative content that makes it unique regardless of its size,” said Clay Dean, Director of GM North American Advanced Design and Cadillac Brand Champion. “It has a small exte-

rior footprint, but is roomy inside.” Conceived and designed in the Los Angeles area, where tight, confined parking areas for apartments, office buildings and even suburban homes are part of everyday driving, the concept weaves Cadillac’s iconic design elements into a form that eschews conventional vehicle design to answer the needs of those metropolitan motorists. Comparable in size to popular Urban Luxury Please Turn to Page 4

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Infiniti FX35

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Acura Jackson Acura

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Nissan Jim Burke Nissan 205.320.7320 866.320.7320 205.458.4452 Nalley Nissan 404.292.4774 800.647.7278 404.297.6962 Lexus Nalley Lexus Marietta 770.514.7408 800.966.5398 770.590.4132 Nalley Lexus Roswell 678.795.2050 877.495.3987 678.795.9606

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Limbaugh Toyota 205.788.9390 800.239.5050 205.780.5215 Nalley Toyota of Roswell 678.832.4300 877.594.8696 770.552.2365


Nalley Volvo 770.951.1043 800.782.9313 770.933.0118 Volvo of Memphis 901.347.4208 800.338.5481 301.347.4207


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Urban Luxury From Front Cover city cars found in Paris, Shanghai and London, the Urban Luxury Concept demonstrates a departure from conventional vehicle design. It seats four, with easy access to all seats available via a pair of scissor-type doors that extend outward and rotate forward when opened. The design fosters a roomy passenger area, which is trimmed in exquisite materials and features next-generation interactive technology. Touch-pad screens and projected readouts take the place of most traditional gauges and serve as the audio and climate system controls – a design feature that helps open up the interior for greater passenger space. “While small in size, this concept is an exploration of what Cadillac could be in the future, as the brand continues to focus on redefining industry standards for advanced vehicle design and integrated technology,” said Don Butler, vice president for Cadillac marketing.

Engineers have developed a concept hybrid propulsion system for the Urban Luxury Concept that includes a turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder engine employing electric assist technology, engine start-stop function, brake energy regeneration and a dry dual-clutch transmission. Based on extensive prototype and production experience, a combination of these technologies could offer projected fuel economy of 56 mpg in the city and 65 mpg on the highway, in a vehicle of the size and configuration of the Urban Luxury Concept. A new scale of Art & Science As a strong example of form following function, the unconventional body style maximizes passenger space and makes a technology statement. At the push of a button, the large, scissortype doors push away from the body and rotate in a seamless, elegant motion. A large aperture allows for effortless entry and exit– particularly in tight city parking

“The door design is purposeful and technologically advanced, which is the essence of how we’re taking Cadillac into the future.” Frank Saucedo, lead designer

spaces. “This is a new vision in vehicle design that was created to answer the needs of city dwellers,” said Frank Saucedo, lead designer. “The door design is purposeful and technologically advanced, which is the essence of how we’re taking Cadillac into the future.” The Urban Luxury Concept’s design is marked by a sharp profile, supported by forward-sweeping body lines that combine to suggest motion even when the vehicle is stationary. The 19inch wheels are pushed to the edges of the body – a design that creates almost no overhangs, leaving more space inside. In fact, the car’s wheelbase is 97.1 inches, but the overall length is only 151 inches . The interior room is bolstered by a wide, 68.1-inch stance and 56.9-inch height. “It may not look like Cadillacs on the road today, but it shares the comfortable and high-tech elements that owners have come to associate with larger, traditional luxury sedans,” said Saucedo. “As more customers demand premium features even in smaller vehicles, a vehicle like the Urban Luxury Concept could be a solution.” Technologically advanced interior A large windshield and twin skylights create an open, airy feeling and enhance the perception of spaciousness inside with seating for four. A minimalist approach blends with refined materials, colors and lighting. These elements combine to create a passenger space that conveys the new perception of luxury: Urban Luxury Please Turn to Page 30

Southern Automotive Journal

May 2011

ABPA Presents Results of Testing Demonstrating the Quality and Safety of Independently Produced Auto Parts An industry trade group at the March meeting of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) unveiled a presentation based on the results of independent studies that demonstrated the quality and safety delivered by competitively produced aftermarket body parts. The Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) presented the results of various data obtained through low- and high-speed crash tests, lump mass modeling simulations and quasi-static crush tests to

this latest meeting of the CIC, which initially placed this issue on the front burner more than a year ago. Co-Chair of the ABPA Legislation and Regulation Committee Eileen A. Sottile presented data that debunked information about aftermarket parts presented at not one, but two CIC meetings last year by original equipment manufacturer (OEM) proponents. In addition to showcasing the videos of crash tests and other studies that supported the integrity of aftermarket parts, the ABPA

also revealed misleading and inaccurate claims made concerning energy absorption, accident occurrence, injury frequency and airbag sensor response. A team of engineers with deep experience in automotive safety systems critiqued the earlier studies, highlighting the lack of data to support claims made by the car companies and the misleading conclusions which were ABPA Please Turn to Page 27

Congressional Support for Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Highlights Importance of Continued Funding for Successful Program The strong public support voiced by U.S. Senate and House leaders to restore funding for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) at Congressional hearings highlights the bipartisan and bicameral support for the successful clean air program, said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

“The strong statements of support for DERA’s funding by Congressional leaders like Chairman Tom Carper, Ranking Member James Inhofe and Chairman Mike Simpson reflect the importance of the program to cleaning our air and improving the environment,” Schaeffer said. “We fully understand Congress has a difficult and important mission in its effort to reduce federal spending and the national debt. DERA has already been part of this budget cutting process. During the recent reauthorization approval, DERA’s funding authorization was reduced by 50 percent over the previous five years even though grant applications exceeded funding by a 7 to 1 margin in recent years. In addition, program applicants have offered to provide more than $2 billion in matching funds May 2011

for the program. “DERA is also one of the most successful clean air programs in existence. EPA states DERA returns a minimum of $13 for every $1 invested and by some estimates, as high as $20 for every $1 invested through environmental and public health benefits.” The landmark DERA grant program was originally authorized for five years as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to fund upgrades and modernize the oldest, most polluting diesel engines, complementing the stringent emissions standards EPA set for new diesel engines beginning in 2007. Because of its success and costeffectiveness, DERA was reauthorized by Congress for five more years and signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. But six weeks later, DERA was not funded in the President’s 2012 budget proposal on February 14, 2011, which terminated the program. DERA’s diverse coalition of public, private and non-governmental organizations that worked successfully to gain Congressional reauthorization of DERA during the lame duck session has been focusing its effort on restoring funding for the highly successful program. OMB’s Termination Language for DERA Is Based On Faulty Assumptions & Inaccuracies DERA Please Turn to Page 20 Southern Automotive Journal

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I-CAR Recognizes Allstate for ‘Best in Class’ Collision Repair Training Allstate Insurance Company has announced receipt of the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals business designation, the highest recognition in the collision repair industry. As a company, Allstate is the largest P&C organization in the country to receive this designation. Allstate achieved this designation by having all their employees who are directly involved in the collision repair estimating process take 5 or more courses of I-CAR training. This same designation can be achieved at collision repair shops and departmentally within the context of a large organization. To achieve the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals designation, Allstate had to consistently demonstrate an on-going commitment to provide customers with

efficient, safe and high-quality repair services. The designation recognizes Allstate for equipping its employees with the most-up-to-date knowledge available in the industry to meet the changing needs of customers. Allstate is the first major insurer in the United States to achieve the I-CAR Gold Class Professionals designation. “We’re pleased to be recognized as an I-CAR Gold Class Professionals. This is a symbol of Allstate’s commitment to providing its employees with the training and resources needed to provide Allstate customers with a safe and superior customer experience,” said Bill Daly, assistant vice president for auto claims. I-CAR is an international, training organization solely committed to pro-

viding members of the collision industry with the necessary knowledge and skills relevant to their position to achieve a complete and safe repair. As an I-CAR® Gold Class Professionals(TM) business, Allstate provides its auto claims employees with access to timely, role-relevant collision repair training that is best-inclass. “Through Allstate’s designation as an I-CAR Gold Class Professionals business, Allstate will be aligned to better serve its customers in the future. Ongoing training with I-CAR will allow Allstate to broaden its teams knowledge, allowing them to provide their customers with the best services possible,” said John Van Alstyne, I-CAR CEO & President.n

J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Contrary to Popular Perception, Consumers Say Upselling of ‘Unnecessary’ Work by Auto Dealers is Rare Despite some perceptions that auto dealerships routinely pressure customers to accept unnecessary maintenance or repair services, very few service customers indicate experiencing upselling by the dealer, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study(SM) released recently. Overall, only 7 percent of service customers in 2011 indicate that their dealer attempted to sell them service

work that they perceived as unnecessary. However, customer-reported rates of upselling increase as vehicles age. Among owners of one-year-old vehicles, 4 percent indicate that the dealer tried to sell them unnecessary work. This increases to 9 percent among owners of four-year-old vehicles. Customer perceptions of upsell pressure have a notable impact on overall satisfaction with dealer service. Among service customers who say they

do not perceive that they were upsold, overall satisfaction averages 780 on a 1,000-point scale. In contrast, among customers who experienced upselling from the dealer, satisfaction averages 642--a difference of nearly 140 points. “Suggesting additional service work can actually benefit both customers and dealerships--customers may J.D. Power Please Turn to Page 23

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Consumer Reports’ Used-Car Reliability Survey Finds Some Used Cars Have Fewer Problems Than New Models With the average new car losing 47 percent of its value in the first three years of ownership, buying a used car can be the best way for consumers to get the most vehicle for their money, according to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto issue. Consumer Reports found eleven 2008 models with about the same or even fewer problems than similar 2010 models in the same class. Among the most trouble-free 2008 models were the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Yaris with 11 and 12 problems per 100 vehicles, respectively. The average 2010 car had 13 problems per 100. While the FJ Cruiser and Yaris did not score well in Consumer Reports road tests, some of the other most reliable 2008 models, such as the Honda CR-V and Fit did, making them better overall choices. Overall, Japanese cars are the most trouble-free, with Honda and Toyota

far ahead compared with older vehicles made by other major manufacturers-especially 2006 (five-year old) and earlier models. “Knowing a brand’s reputation for reliability can aid the used-car shopper, but it’s not foolproof. You’re buying just one model from that brand. So it’s important to check out the specific model’s reliability ratings and learn about other factors like performance and safety,” David Champion, Sr. Director, Consumer Reports Auto Test Center. Some models have an alarming problem rate even when they’re still fairly new. More than one in four owners of the 2009 four-cylinder Toyota Tacoma pickup reported a problem with the radio in the 12 months covered by the survey. For now, it’s being replaced free under Toyota’s basic warranty, which expires after three years or 36,000 miles.

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The survey also found that fiveyear-old models can be good bets for used-car buyers, although problem rates, on average, are worse than rates of three- or four-year-old cars. While threequarters of the three-year-old vehicles in Consumer Reports’ Survey were problem free, so were two-thirds of the fiveyear-olds. The most problem-free fiveyear-old model was the 2006 Toyota Highlander V6, which had 19 problems per 100 vehicles. Consumer Reports survey also found that cars older than five years are not so trouble-free. Only half of the nineand 10-year-old vehicles had gone 12 months without a reported problem. Buying used is an affordable way to get key safety and comfort features

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Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association (GAAMA) Presents Peach Awards at the Atlanta International Auto Show

Best in Show - Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet by M. Tucker 2011 marked the 3rd annual presentation of the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association’s (GAAMA) Peach Awards at the Atlanta International Auto Show on March 23, 2011. A panel of seven veteran automotive journalists faced a difficult task judging the cars, vans, light trucks and sport utilities on display from 35 exhibiting car lines. Best New Vehicle - Hyundai Equus The awards

included Best New Vehicle, Best Green Vehicle, Best Truck/SUV, Best Crossover Vehicle and Best in Show. Celebrating its 28th year, the 2011 Atlanta International Auto Show’s lineup included the newest model year vehicles from Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Lamborghini, GAAMA Awards Turn to Page 13

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Southern Automotive Journal


2011 Infiniti FX35 Responds to Driver’s Every Need With Power, Grace, Luxury and Advanced User-Focused Technology The Infiniti FX, one of those rare vehicles that is equally seductive whether in motion or standing still, enters the third year of its second-generation design in 2011 with a number of refinements and its performance spirit firmly intact. As one of the most radical expressions of sport and utility prowling the streets today, FX is equipped with a 303-horsepower 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 engine. Enhancements to the FX for the 2011 model year include the addition of standard power rear liftgate. Once again in 2011, FX’s aggressive styling serves notice of its performance under- Efforts were taken to reduce weight, includpinnings with its long ing the use of aluminum doors and hood, hood, stretched wheel- and enhance body strength. base, short front and rear overhangs, and low to enhance the drivcenter of gravity. The design’s distinctive ing experience. The side air vents, located behind the front leather-appointed wheels, allow air to flow through the front seats offer 10engine compartment and out the side of way driver’s side/8the vehicle, reducing front end lift. way passenger side FX’s pronounced performance power adjustments appearance also features a lustrous and are available Infiniti signature double-arch front grille, with a heating and fog lamps and iconic High Intensity cooling function for Discharge (HID) bi-functional xenon maximum comfort operation, microfinished crank journals headlights. The aggressive silhouette in any season. and cam lobes, and Teflon-coated lightis highlighted by a strong front-to-rear The V6 engine features an alumiweight pistons, a dual exhaust system shoulder line, tight greenhouse, kickednum block and heads and electronically back roofline and integrated rear spoiler. controlled throttle system and has been Infiniti FX35 Please Turn to Page 29 The large LED taillights extend beyond tuned specifically for use in the FX35. The the body, helping create aerodynamic engine is rated at downforce, while large dual exhaust 303-horsepower outlets with chrome finishers cap the and 262 lb-ft of action-ready appearance. torque. Under FX’s polished, assertive stylT h e ing is an equally advanced body strucadvanced V6 ture, offering room for five adults and engine design 678.802.5000 the capacity to hold four full-size golf also features a Toll Free bags. FX utilizes the rigid FM (for Front symmetric twin 800.522.2345 Midship) platform architecture, with a ram air intake sysFax balanced front-to-rear weight distributem that reduces 678.802.5018 tion to help provide exceptional hanairflow resistance, dling performance. Efforts were taken Continuously to reduce weight, including the use of Variable Valve aluminum doors and hood, and enhance Timing Control body strength. System (CVTCS), The Infiniti FX’s interior includes a a silent timing 11875 Alpharetta Highway • Roswell, GA 30076 command center-style cockpit designed chain for quiet

Ferrari Maserati of Atlanta


Southern Automotive Journal

May 2011

with Neighborhood News, Ossamah Shabbir from Autotalk, Priscila Rivere with Engines and Heels, Farid Sadri with Multi Media X, and Committee Chairman James Lewis from the Birmingham Times analyzed the potential winners displayed over 400,000 square feet of Atlanta’s World Congress Center during the morning hours of March 23rd prior to the show’s public opening later that afternoon. After much discussion and scrutiny they made the following award deci-

Best Green Vehicle - Nissan LEAF

Best Truck/SUV - Ford Explorer

GAAMA Awards From Page 11 Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Lotus, Mazda, Mini, Nissan, Porsche, Ram, Scion, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo and Wheego. Judges Ryan Reese from The Car Couple, Linda Sharp

Best Crossover - Land Rover Evoque

sions. Best New Vehicle went to the Hyundai Equus; Best Green Vehicle to the Nissan Leaf; the newly designed Ford Explorer received the Best Truck/SUV award; Best Crossover Vehicle went to the Land Rover Evoque and Best in Show was awarded to Nissan’s Murano CrossCabriolet. “This was the hardest year ever for our judges,” said newly elected GAAMA President, Ryan Rees. “Some of the categories, especially Best Green Vehicle, were very hard to decide.” n

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Fiat North America Begins Delivering Fiat 500 Prima Edizione Models to Fiat Enthusiasts

Fiat North America began delivering the first Fiat 500 Prima Edizione models to customers throughout the United States during March 2011. These limited-edition 2012 Fiat 500 models were offered to Fiat enthusiasts in the U.S. as a reward for their years of steadfast loyalty to the Fiat brand. The 500 special-edition models represent the first Fiat vehicles to be sold in the U.S. since 1984. “We are delighted to begin delivering the highly-anticipated Fiat Cinquecento Prima Edizione models to our cherished Fiat fans,” said Laura Soave, Head of Fiat Brand North America. “We value their unwavering loyalty and are thrilled that we now can show our appreciation by delivering the Prima Edizione models. The Prima Edizione marks the exciting and longawaited return of the Fiat brand and true Italian automotive design to North America.” The Prima Edizione (First Edition) model is meant for Fiat stalwarts like Shaun Folkerts, 38, who has a barn full

of Fiat vehicles, dating back to 1958 and in various stages of restoration on his property in Douglassville, Pa. He has 90 Fiat vehicles in his collection, about a third of them housed in the barn, and the rest in a nearby warehouse. Folkerts, a former environmental consultant and now stay-at-home dad, drove today from his home in southeastern Pennsylvania to take delivery of his Prima Edizione at Fiat of Gaithersburg, a Fiat Studio in Maryland in the metro Washington D.C. area. “I’ve been waiting almost 28 years for this model to arrive, so I would drive anywhere, anytime for this Fiat 500,” an

May 2011

elated Folkerts said. Folkerts’ first car as a teenager was a Fiat Spider “and I’ve never looked back.” In July 2010, Fiat fans attending the Club FiatLancia Unlimited annual convention in North Carolina were given the opportunity to place reservations and select their vehicle build number for the unique Prima Edizione model. Folkerts took delivery recently of Prima Edizione No. 11, produced in Toluca, Mexico. The model appeals to a broad spectrum of customers, like the father and son from Pennsylvania, each getting their own Prima Edizione model, and the husband and wife team of Italian descent in Philadelphia who will soon take delivery of a Rosso (Red) Prima Edizione and a Bianco (White) model. Even a 16-yearold high school sophomore soon will drive her Prima Edizione model home in suburban Detroit. “The fact that these cars are Fiat 500 Please Turn to Page 28

Southern Automotive Journal


NADA Launches ‘Japan Relief’ Campaign The National Automobile Dealers Association is urging its 16,000 members to support the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami fund of the American Red Cross. To jumpstart the campaign, the NADA Charitable Foundation announced today a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross’ special Japan fund. The Red Cross set up the fund to support disaster relief efforts in Japan after

the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March. “The magnitude of the disaster in Japan keeps growing. Relief needs are staggering,” said Stephen Wade, NADA chairman. “We’re reaching out to dealers and their employees across the country to help support the international relief efforts in Japan.” A massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the Pacific Ocean and

nearby Japan on March 11. Nearly 10,000 people are feared dead. More than half a million people have been evacuated and many others are homeless without food, water and electricity. To make an online donation, click here,or checks can be mailed to: American Red Cross, Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief, PO Box 37242, Washington, DC 20013. For more information, visit

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The 2011 Regal: A New Buick Bred On The Autobahn

“The 2011 Buick Regal is like nothing you’ve ever experienced from this brand,” said Roger McCormack, director of product marketing for Buick.

Armed with turbocharged horsepower, a driver-selectable suspension system and a firm, European-tuned chassis, the all-new Buick Regal delivers a driving experience that rivals the best import sport sedans in the segment. “The 2011 Buick Regal is like nothing you’ve ever experienced from

this brand,” said Roger McCormack, director of product marketing for Buick. “The Regal is the next chapter in Buick’s transformation and will expand the portfolio to include a modern sport sedan.”

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T he new Regal takes on competitors such as the Acura TSX and Volvo S60. It has a longer wheelbase and greater trunk volume than those vehicles, along with standard features – including a six-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels and OnStar – that aren’t offered standard on either competitor. And with an estimated 30 mpg on the highway, it delivers excellent fuel economy, too. The Regal’s development is rooted in Germany, where the globally led engineering team created the award-winning Opel Insignia – the 2009 European Car of the Year. The Insignia has garnered more than 31 prestigious awards and is the best-selling midsize sedan in Europe. Regal will bring all of Insignia’s award-winning design, technology and European-inspired performance capabilities to the American market. “Regal is all about great proportions,” said John Cafaro, design director, passenger car. “For example, the fenders

May 2011

Southern Automotive Journal


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North Carolina Senate Bill Dilutes Vehicle Safety Inspection Program North Carolina state Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Dist. 33, has introduced legislation that would harm the North Carolina state safety inspection program by exempting new vehicles from testing for their first six years. North Carolina Senate Bill 123, titled “Eliminate Motor Vehicle Safety Inspections,” was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce.

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) opposes these changes to the North Carolina Vehicle Safety Inspection Program. Such a bill would mean that a car could have 90,000 miles or more (based on the average annual mileage of 15,000) before its first vehicle safety inspection. The bill’s effect would be to create less-safe highways in North

Carolina - due to a potential for more accidents leading to more injuries and possibly more deaths. ASA asks North Carolina repairers to contact their legislators and express their opposition to Senate Bill 123. Repairers can go to ASA’s legislative website at and send a pre-written opposition letter.n

NADA Guide Analyst: Rising Cost of Fuel Will Impact Used-Vehicle Prices Rising gasoline prices will play a significant role in determining the price of used cars and trucks--including trade-in values--across all vehicle segments, said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide. “The upward trend in gasoline prices will have an impact on consumer preferences for vehicles and will impact used-vehicle prices, but it will pale in comparison to the situation in 2008, when gasoline prices last spiked,” Banks said. Gasoline prices have climbed more than 35 cents during the first two weeks of March, driven by speculation that the country will experience a short-

age in oil supply because of disruptions in oil production in the Middle East and new concerns after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan last week. “The impact to vehicle production from the earthquake in Japan will limit the supply of many fuel-efficient cars like the Toyota Prius,” Banks added. “These vehicles were already tight on inventory and over the next month demand should easily outstrip supply in the new market, driving more consumer demand towards used cars and trucks. “Historically, a sharp increase in fuel prices has been followed by a decline in large, used SUV prices and

conversely, resulted in an increase in prices for used compact cars,” he said. Auction prices in February were up between 1 to 3.7 percent on a monthover-month basis, with passenger cars recording the largest price gains and SUVs recording the smallest price gains, according to AuctionNet, a wholesale data supplier. In February, auction prices for compact cars increased about 3.1 percent or higher, depending on the model year. Auction prices for large pickup trucks and SUVs were flat compared to January, which is a departure from the expected seasonal price increase of

May 2011

Used-Vehicle Prices Turn to Page 25

Southern Automotive Journal


DERA From 5 “One of the most puzzling aspects of this process is the termination language for DERA in the President’s budget request,” Schaeffer said. “The statements that DERA has achieved its short term objective of removing or retrofitting the dirtiest diesel engines in use is based on faulty assumptions and inaccurate information. “While OMB’s termination language acknowledged DERA’s effectiveness in producing ‘tangible reductions in NOx and PM emissions,’ OMB’s projections of older diesel fleet turnover are not accurate.” There are an estimated 11 million existing older diesel engines and equipment that do not have the more recent clean diesel technology which has reduced emissions by 97 percent. As of 2011, DERA has funded the replacement or retrofit of approximately 50,000 engines. “There is no question that the number of engines retrofitted or replaced

to date represent only the tip of the iceberg of what needs to be accomplished,” Schaeffer said. “A major problem in increasing the use of the new technology is the economic downturn has increased the average fleet age for highway and off-road vehicles alike, creating more need for DERA funding, not less as OMB states.” Congressional Leaders State Support for Restoring DERA’s Funding “Funding DERA Is A No Brainer . . .” “While I understand that the President’s budget requires many unpopular, tough cuts, I do not understand cutting DERA, which has shown a consistent high return on its investment, for every $1 invested, we get over $13 in health and economic benefits in return. Funding DERA is a no brainer and I will work with the Administration and my colleagues to find ways to fund this effective program.” U.S. Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee’s Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee. “This Is Irresponsible . . .” “When

it comes to real pollution, such as sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, EPA’s budget falls short. For example, it eliminates funding for the Diesel Emission Reduction Act, or DERA. This is a program with bipartisan support--from me, Chairman Boxer, Sen. Carper, and others--that we passed last year. It would help reduce real pollutants, but EPA has decided to spend elsewhere. This is irresponsible and, if followed, bad for public health.” U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Schaeffer Optimistic About DERA’s Future “As we move forward with DERA’s important mission we are optimistic that funding will be restored by Congress on a bipartisan basis,” Schaeffer said. “We also will be supportive of EPA’s expanded oversight process of the grants as proposed by EPA’s Inspector General. Accountability is vital for all government programs and we think EPA’s new oversights will make an excellent program like DERA even more successful.”n

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May 2011

Buick Regal From Page 17 are flared to wrap around the tires, an aggressive stance that people aren’t used to seeing in recent Buicks.” The car’s performance-oriented spirit is also conveyed in sleek, sculpted body-side detail and aggressive headlamps that further suggest motion. At the rear, “There is great design harmony between the exterior and interior,” an abbreJohn Cafaro, Design Director viated rary sport sedan aesthetics. deck and Regal’s firm, highly tucked-in body panels are the hallmarks bolstered seats were benchof a contemporary sport sedan, with marked against the top import bold taillamps and their intricate lightcompetitors for comfort and ing elements reinforcing Regal’s attensupport, while a standard flowtion to detail. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels through center console offers are standard. plenty of storage for passengers in the The Regal’s finely crafted, sporty front and back. and well-appointed interior focuses on Smart applications of technolexceptional attention to detail blending ogy are also hallmarks of the Regal, signature styling cues with contempo-

May 2011

including details such as an available multi-function controller on the center console for operation of the audio system, navigation system and Bluetooth or OnStar hands-free calling. The faceplate for the “infotainment” screen is set at a 30-degree angle to contribute to the car’s flowing interior design. Unique with its allfour- c ylinder powertrain, the Regal relies on the excellent horsepower-perliter ratio of the Ecotec engine family to deliver smart, on-demand performance that is also very efficient. The available 2.0L turbo uses direct injection technology to optimize performance, reduces emissions and maximizes fuel efficiency. The 2.0L turbo is FlexFuel-capable, meaning it can run on gasoline, E85 ethanol or any combination of the two fuels. The 2.0L turbo cements the sport sedan credibility of the Regal, with on-demand power comparable to a V-6, but the inherent efficiency of a four-cylinder. Regal’s Interactive Drive Control System chassis technology offers enhanced vehicle stability and greater driving safety. It is designed to change the personality of the car based on the personality of the driver. A sophisticated driving mode control module continually monitors driving style utilizing yaw rate, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering wheel, throttle and vehicle speed. It defines the dynamic vehicle state, including acceleration, braking and cornering, to optimize chassis reactions. It also executes all of the driver selections. All four dampers are electronically controlled and continuously adapt within milliseconds to the prevailing road conditions, vehicle movements and individual driving style. Chassis settings are adjustable by the driver, with Standard, Tour and Sport settings.n Southern Automotive Journal


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May 2011

J.D. Power From Page 7 prolong the life of their vehicle, while service facilities may gain additional revenue,” said Jon Osborn, research director at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, it is key for dealerships to properly train their staff in the subtleties involved in adequately explaining the necessity and value of additional services without placing undue sales pressure on the customer.” The study examines satisfaction among vehicle owners who visit a service department for maintenance or repair work. The CSI rankings are based on dealer performance during the first three years of ownership, which typically represents the majority of the vehicle warranty period. Five measures are examined to determine overall customer satisfaction with dealer service (listed in order of importance): service quality; service initiation; service advisor; service facility; and vehicle pick-up. Lexus ranks highest in customer satisfaction with dealer service among


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ly among customers whose vehicles are under warranty. Between 2007 and 2011, the share of service visits at dealer facilities has increased from 67 percent to 74 percent. During the same time frame, overall share of spending for dealer service visits increased from 70 percent to 73 percent. “By becoming more competitive in terms of cost and convenience, dealer service facilities are making some progress in capturing share from non-dealer service facilities,” said Osborn. “Due to low sales levels during the past three years, service volumes for new in-warranty vehicles are expected to steadily decline through 2013. As a result, maintaining service customer share and loyalty will be vital to dealers in the coming years.” The 2011 U.S. CSI Study is based on responses from more than 97,300 owners and lessees of 2006 to 2010 model-year vehicles. The study was fielded between October and December 2010. J.D. Power and Associates measures dealer service in various countries around the world.n

luxury brands for a second consecutive year and receives an award for a third consecutive year. Lexus achieves an overall CSI score of 846 and performs particularly well in all five measures. Rounding out the top four nameplates in the premium segment are Jaguar (837); Cadillac (830); and Acura (828). Among luxury brands, Volvo and Porsche achieve the greatest improvements from 2010. Among mass market brands, MINI ranks highest with a score of 805 and improves by 19 points from 2010. MINI performs particularly well in the vehicle pick-up and service quality factors. Also among the top 10 brands in the mass market segment are GMC (803); Buick (799); Chevrolet (792); Kia (784); Hyundai and smart, in a tie (783 each); Volkswagen (779); Ford (773); and Honda (765). Of mass market brands, Mazda and Suzuki achieve the greatest improvements from 2010. The study also finds that, during the past five years, dealer service facilities have gradually increased their share of service visits and spending, particular-

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May 2011

Southern Automotive Journal



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Used-Vehicle Prices From Page 19 about 2.5 percent. The latest data gathered by AuctionNet on March 15 shows that fuel-efficient vehicles like the Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cobalt have continued to increase. Average values on small cars are up between 4 to 6 percent with several Hyundai and Kia models posting increases more than 6 percent in March. Meanwhile, truck prices have remained stable and have not showed signs of

serious declines over the past month. “Because of the recent spike in fuel prices, values for used compact and mid-size cars are increasing dramatically compared to the rest of the market,” Banks said. “We expect prices of compact and mid-size cars to continue to increase because of the recent production disruptions in Japan. Lower production of popular-selling new cars will limit availability and drive more consumers into the used-vehicle market.” Hybrid prices, which increased dramatically in 2008 and then waned

considerably through fall 2010, have begun to rise again as fuel prices have increased, he said. For example, AuctionNet prices for the Prius are up more than $1,700 since November 2010. In March, Prius values have increased by about 6 percent with the strongest gains occurring this past week. “Barring an extreme increase in gas prices driven by a potential domino effect in other Middle East and North African countries, it’s unlikely that used-vehicle prices will experience the extreme volatility seen in 2008.” n

NCOIL Votes to Kill Model Parts Act

At the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) spring meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the Property and Casualty Insurance Committee voted against the proposed Model Act Regarding Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair. Automotive Service Association (ASA) members have been contacting state legislators who serve on this committee asking them to oppose the proposed model act. Committee members first accepted an amendment that stated “certified aftermarket crash parts shall be presumed to be capable of restoring a vehicle to its pre-loss condition.” This amendment was offered by state Rep. Brian Kennedy, D-R.I. ASA opposed the Kennedy amendment; the amendment passed by one vote. The Property and Casualty Insurance Committee followed by defeating the Model Parts act. Robert L. Redding Jr., ASA’s Washington, D.C., representative, spoke on behalf of Automotive Service Association at the NCOIL meeting on Capitol Hill, highlighting provisions found harmful by the ASA Collision Division Operations Committee.n

May 2011

Southern Automotive Journal


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ABPA From Page 5 contradicted by the ABPA’s subsequent scientific testing. Included in the ABPA presentation was information released by the group last month following a 5 mph frontend barrier test in which an aftermarket bumper reinforcement bar outperformed its original equipment supplied (OES) equivalent. In that test, a pair of 2007 Ford Mustangs (one outfitted with an aftermarket bumper reinforcement bar and the other an original equipment supplied part), both effectively absorbed the impact without the deployment of airbags. However, a piece of the bumper fell off the vehicle outfitted with the original equipment part, and a Ford

dealer auto body shop estimated it would cost $200 less to repair the aftermarket-equipped vehicle than the one with the car company part, which sustained more damage. The ABPA also explored the results of a 35 mph crash test of two 2006 Toyota Corollas, one with an aftermarket bumper reinforcement bar and the other a car company equivalent. The test resulted in identical degrees of vehicle crush (601 mm) and airbag deployment in both cars at the exact same time (7.5 milliseconds). The performance of the two vehicles was essentially equivalent, with similar results obtained for 11 separate occupant injury criteria. The aftermarket- and the car companyequipped cars both delivered occupant safety well within the federal safety

standards. Said Sottile, “ABPA appreciates the opportunity that was given to us by the CIC to present this data, which shows definitively that aftermarket parts perform well within the federal safety standards, provide the same crashworthiness and occupant protection as car company parts, and have no impact on airbag response timing.” She added, “Facts are stubborn things. Hopefully they will help put to rest some of the criticism of the aftermarket by original equipment manufacturers with whom the industry competes. ABPA looks forward to releasing additional modeling and testing data to the general public which illustrates the safety and quality of aftermarket parts.”n

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Fiat 500 From Page 15 reserved by a father and son, a husband and wife, and even a high school girl illustrates the strong appeal of this model to a broad array of customers who identify with Italian design, modern technology, fuel efficiency and overall value,” Soave said. Soave was ecstatic as she handed Consumer Reports From Page 9 at a far better price. To help consumers navigate the vast options in used cars, Consumer Reports has compiled a Best of the Best list to guide consumers to the 2001 to 2010 models that scored well in road tests when new and have been consistently reliable. This list, with other good choices is organized into

the keys of the No. 11 Prima Edizione to Folkerts at Fiat of Gaithersburg. It also was a special moment for dealer Harry Criswell. “This is clearly one of the highlights of my automobile career,” Criswell says. “This is a perfect car for the perfect time. The American public is ready for this vehicle. I think this Fiat 500 will create an entirely new market segment of vehicles.”

The Fiat 500 Prima Edizione is exclusively available in three colors: Bianco, Rosso and Grigio (Gray). These limited-edition Fiat 500 models are equipped with a manual transmission. Designed as a collector vehicle, each Prima Edizione will feature a sequentially numbered vehicle identification number (VIN) and unique numbered matching badge on the instrument panel.n

nine categories and also by cost: Best Used Small Car: Honda Fit Best Used Family Car: Toyota Prius Best Used Upscale Car: Lexus ES Best Used Luxury Car: Acura RL Best Used Sport & Sporty Car: Mazda MX-5 Miata Best Used Minivan: Toyota Sienna Best Used Small SUV: Honda CR-V Best Used Midsized & Large SUV:

Toyota Highlander Best Used Pickup Truck: Honda Ridgeline The issue also identifies models that have had multiple years of belowaverage reliability in the Worst of the Worst list. The Used Cars to Avoid list highlights specific models and the years that they had below-average reliability. n

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Southern Automotive Journal

May 2011

side mirror courtesy lights as the driver approaches the FX and continues to light key areas as driver Around View® Monitor utilizes four small superwide-angle cameras and passengers and convenience equipment ranges from a leather-wrapped steering wheel

Infiniti FX35 From Page 12

with equal length exhaust manifolds and low muffler exhaust pressure to to provide a virtual 360° view of objects around the vehicle. help improve engine breathing. The FX35's transmission is a refined 7-speed transmission that offers and shift knob to both a wide ratio of coverage and a dual front and rear wide lock-up area, as well as a manual cupholders, four shift mode, Downshift Rev Matching 12-volt power outand Adaptive Shift Control (ASC).

settle into the interior. The 2011 FX makes available an array of advanced technology systems. The FX’s available advanced Around View® Monitor utilizes four small superwide-angle cameras – The FX35 interior offers an array of comfort and conve- mounted on the front, side and rear of the FX – to pronience equipment. vide a virtual 360° view of objects around the vehicle, helping to and available tonneau cover and alumimaneuver it in tight spots. The system num pedal accents. Hospitality features uses advanced image processing to cominclude the Infiniti Intelligent Key with bine the images from the four cameras Push Button Ignition and Sequential and provide a unique “Birds-Eye View” of Welcome Lighting Illuminated Entry systhe vehicle’s surroundings.n tem that starts with turning on the outlets, power windows with front one-touch autoup/down function, power door locks

The standard ASC system adapts the transmission’s shift timing depending on driving style. Infiniti’s advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system with Traction Control System (TCS) is standard on all FX models. The FX interior’s array of comfort



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Urban Luxury From Page 4 small, exquisitely detailed and fitted with the latest in digital technology. The front row passenger seat slides and reclines to offer a relaxing seating position. When folded flat, the seat’s rear panel offers modern parents a conveniently integrated Orbit Baby SmartHub™ docking station within reach. “There is no minimum size for a Befitting its role as a Cadillac, the Urban Luxury Concept’s Cadillac driving expe- interior materials convey luxury through quality and advanced technology

rience. The Urban Luxury Concept’s interior reflects the ‘smaller is better’ aesthetic that permeates the world of technology,” said Saucedo. “And while this design philosophy reflects what’s going on in the world around us, it also has a more practical use when it comes to the Urban Luxury Concept: It creates more interior space.” The conventional “center stack” of controls is replaced by a divided interface that creates more space at the forward section of the interior. A pair of projected

readouts flanks a large, prominent analog speedometer reminiscent of a high-end time piece, assisted by a high-definition headup display. C a p a c i t i ve multi-touch switches throughout the interior ensure seamless and intuitive electronic control. The technology behind the unique touch pad controls is ergonomically tucked around the steering wheel to deliver real-time feedback for an efficient commute. The right-hand touch pad is hidden until deployed or detached by the passenger, who can interact online without compromising the driver’s control. Via the on-board network, a passenger can request destination directions or

audio playlists be integrated in the driver controls. Also woven into the system is OnStar with advanced voice recognition interaction, which allows the driver to do more without taking his or her eyes off the road or hands off the steering wheel. Befitting its role as a Cadillac, the Urban Luxury Concept’s interior materials convey luxury through quality and advanced technology. Blue and grey leather dominates the interior space and is contrasted by fabric selected for its high-tech look and feel, and usually found in couture fashion. It is used on the seats, as well as parts of the instrument panel and door panels. The interior is finished with carboncolor wood inlays, brushed aluminum accents and ceramic materials. Ambient lighting conveys an upscale aura that is complemented by the ultra-modern Tanzanite glow of the touch-screen displays.n

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May 2011


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Photos are for illustrative purposes only and are based upon the latest information available. European vehicles or product may be shown. Vehicles may also be pictured with non-US or optional equipment. We make reasonable efforts to provide accurate information but we do not provide a warranty of accuracy. Consult your authorized BMW center or for more information. ©2005 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name and logo are registered trademarks. All rights reserved.

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