We Are Being Killed on the Road!

Following ten years of happy decreases, the numbers of highway deaths jumped higher in the first three months of 2012. About 48% of the country says that Obama is to blame, while 49% say that Romney is clearly the culprit. The remaining three percent are blaming a warmer-than-usual winter.

Highway fatalities surged 13.5% the first quarter of 2012 according to numbers gathered and released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Hopefully a dead cat bounce, this is a turnaround from last year when road deaths reached their lowest point in 60 years.     

So far this year, there have been 1.1 deaths per 100 miles driven, a major increase from the 0.98 deaths there were for the same number of miles driven in 2011.  As reported in the link below, Tampa is one of the worst cities for fatal accidents.

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General Motors Stock Falls, Is GM Finally Dead?

You the U.S. taxpayer lent General Motors a whole lot of cash a few years back. Well, maybe not you in particular since only about 50% of us pay federal income taxes, but half of you lent that American automaker some pretty heavy funds not too long ago. Wouldn’t you like it back? I know this writer sure would.

What’s Needed:  $53 Per Share

But, there is a chance we just won’t be repaid. For us to break even on our loan to GM, the car company’s stock price has to hit 53 bucks a share. And, unfortunately, it just fell to $19. Since January 2011, GM’s stock price has plunged more than 52% to lose more than $30 billion in market capitalization. It is now worth less than what it has lost in the past 18 months.

The Asset Relief Program’s special inspector general has recently said GM still owes U.S. taxpayers close to $27 billion, or $2 billion less than what the company in total is worth.

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Play Fair: Rotate Your Tires

All of your tires rotate in different ways and at different rates. The pair in front is responsible for carrying the weight of the engine and all of that twisting and turning that you do with your steering wheel, while the two on the rear axle just get pulled along with no say in the matter whatsoever, and the one in the trunk, well, he’s completely in the dark about everything. Yes, you treat all of your tires differently, and that’s just not fair.

So how do you go about being fair to your little rubber friends? You rotate them; that’s how.

A good rule of thumb is to rotate them every 6,000 miles or so. Assuming all of your tires are the same size, just move the rear tires to the front and the fronts to the backs. However, if the front tires are different sizes than the back tires, you will need to move the left side tires to the right and vice-versa.

Now, there is one word of caution, if you possess differently sized front and back tires and unidirectional treads you will not be able to rotate nothing but your backseat lover. Unidirectional tread is easy to spot, it’s got arrow- or V-shaped tread pointing to your car’s front. Dang, that was many words of caution, sorry about that. 

Rotating time is also a good time to check the wear and pressure of your tires.  If you are purchasing a used vehicle from an in house financing car dealer in your area, be sure to inspect the tires.  If they show excessive signs of wear or need rotating, make sure you have the dealer address this before you leave the lot.

BMW vs. EPA, the Battle for MPG Ratings Supremacy

BMW and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have entered the octagon to battle.

In its corner, BMW has its 2012 BMW 328i, which the German automaker gave a highway mileage rating of 36 miles per gallon. While, in the opposite corner stands the bloated EPA, its anti-Teutonic rage barely kept in check, saying that the luxury sedan only rates a 33 miles per gallon.

Oh, and in the neutral corner is Motoramic who did its own testing of the BMW 328i. They found that while a rating of 36 miles per gallon was indeed achievable, it is awfully tough to get there since the car’s new turbo four-cylinder engine is so much darn fun to push.

Unfortunately, given that we’re talking about a 2012 model, you’ll still have to wait a few months before you’ll be able to get an auto loan in house for one of these beauts.

Mercedes Taken by G.I.’s in WWII Must be Returned to Heirs: Court

A Mercedes-Benz 500K “Spezial Roadster” that was taken by American soldiers from its German owner at the close of the Second World War has to be returned to owner’s heirs according to a court in Hamburg, Germany.

The car, now worth around $4 million, was owned by Hans Prym, the owner of a business that manufactures zippers, buttons and other clothing closers, at the time that it was taken. Now, Prym’s grandchildren, who happen to still own the clothing fastener business, want the car that their grandfather bought in 1935 back.

Vintage car aficionados believe that there are only 29 of this type of car left. This one in particular is in top condition. In fact, the car was currently impounded by a court order after it was offered for sale at a car show in Essen, Germany by a Dutch classic car collector who purchased it last year for $3.8 million – now that’s a serious in house financing car loan.

Pleased with the recent court decision, Alexander Martius, the heirs’ lawyer, said, “The court has recognized our claim is valid and we will prepare the next stage and file suit for the car’s return. We think the decision is right and it’s an important step toward restitution. I am extraordinarily happy for the Prym family.”

10 Cars That Will Not Be Made In 2013

Everything changes with time. No where is that more evident than within the automobile industry. What sells like hotcakes one year may fizzle the next. In that spirit, here are ten automobiles that will not be produced in 2013.

  • Tesla Roadster
  • Cadillac Escalade EXT
  • Ford Escape Hybrid
  • Lexus HS 250h
  • Mercedes-Benz R-class
  • Saab…the automaker went out of business
  • Volvo C70
  • Kia Sedona
  • Hyundai Veracruz
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse

The exit of the Tesla Roadster is a bit of a surprise since the company sold every unit produced. Others, like Saab had been in trouble for a very long time. The automotive industry is a fickle mistress, who knows what will get the ax in 2014.  At least some of these should end up on in house financing car lots in your area.

“Government Motors” Dreams of Being General Motors Again

Though General Motors has strung together nine consecutive quarters of profitable quarters, in the minds of many, GM continues to be Government Motors due to declaring bankruptcy and receiving a taxpayer bailout nearly three years ago.

Despite, this relatively lengthy stretch of success, there is good reason for this cynical view of the American automaker: the Treasury Department continues to own 26% of the company. This help-ownership brings with it a menu of window dressing restrictions including a ban on corporate jets and pay restrictions on new hires.

Though GM bigwigs tend to downplay how big of a burden government ownership can be, at least one fellow has just about had enough. Talking about this and the Treasury’s future plans with GM, the automaker’s chief executive Daniel F. Akerson said, “I try not to let it bother me, but the fact is it does bother me. I don’t know what the government plan is. I think it would be helpful if they would publicly state it.”

Surely this state of things can’t be good for GM’s public image or sales, though after talking to a few in house financing car dealers in NC, it doesn’t seem as though die-hard GM fans have been swayed enough to become Chrysler or Ford turncoats.

Honda Still Reeling From Tsunami

Honda Motors recently released its full year earnings statement for the period that ended in March. The year included a tsunami, an earthquake, flooding in Thailand that forced parts shortages, and a resurgent yen. Net profit was down by more than 60% and sales were down by 11%.  While fewer new Hondas were being sold, prices for used Hondas surged on in house financing car lots across the nation – a simple phenomenon based on scarcity.

While the news sounds dire on the face of it, the slump is temporary and Honda sales have begun to recover. The back to back disasters closely followed by the flooding in Taiwan caused a drop in profits and sales for most Japanese automakers. The resurgent yen chewed into exporters profit margins, helping to lead to lower than normal operating cash for these automakers.

Even though these setbacks are temporary, the value of Honda Motors stock has dropped over 3% since the announcement of the figures and may not recover until the next earnings statement become public. Could be a good time to invest in some Honda stock.

GMC Celebrates 100 Years with Heritage Edition Sierra, Yukon, Yukon XL

GMC is celebrating its 100 year anniversary of being a truck manufacturer by unveiling special edition trim packages of its GMC Yukon, Yukon XL and Sierra.

The trio of trucks and SUVs, the American automaker’s main three models, will be offered in exclusive Heritage Blue, White Diamond and Onyx Black. They will also sport special floor mats and headrests containing special Heritage Edition badges. Additionally, the special edition pickups and SUVs will come with many cosmetic upgrades.

The various trim packages and features add from $195 to $1,970 to the base price of the vehicles. Though GMC was founded in 1909 after a commercial-vehicle builder was bought by GM, 1911 is when various smaller companies were consolidated to form the General Motors Truck Company, GMC.

Of course, being brand new, you won’t probably be able to use an in house financing car loan to finance one of these.

New Smartphone App for Vehicle Repo-Men

Drivers behind on their auto-loan payments have better watch out. There’s a new smartphone app in town, and its coming for you.

The new ARS mobileAgent smartphone app has been released to the phalanxes of American Recovery Services’ (ARS) repossession agents patrolling our nation’s roads, lanes and driveways. Armed with the app, ARS repo agents will be able to send and receive important information to and from ARS headquarters. This information includes repossession reports and status updates at all hours of the day and night.     

ARS, America’s original repossession service provider, believes that its agents will find the app to be extremely useful since it has been made for both iPhone and Android phones and will enable them to streamline daily processes they had already been doing into an automatic process takes place in real time.

In use, the ARS mobileAgent app will capture and transmit date, time and GPS location of repossessions along with any additional comments the repossession agent adds. Previously, the agent had to take the time to enter and submit this information. ARS says that all of the data captured, sent and stored will remain secure as it makes its way to the in house financing auto loan lender.

ARS, prides itself on its commitment to integrating technology into its industry, says that it repossesses a vehicle in the U.S. every three minutes of every day.