News you can use to find the right car
As if recalling over a million vehicles and reporting a loss of $1.1 billion wasn’t bad enough, GM must also deal with a recall on the Buick LaCrosse, one of the new cars they hope will reawaken consumer desire to drive a GM product. And maybe it will…after they fix a nasty brake pedal failure that, according to NHTSA, includes more than 61 thousand vehicles. If you recently purchased a LaCrosse, call Buick at (866) 608-8080 or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
SOLSTICE COMING There is good news for General Motors, though, and it rides on the slender shoulders of the new 2006 Pontiac Solstice. According to Jim Hopson of Pontiac, more than 7,000 early orders have been taken for the roadster. Hopson said that these initial orders will be delivered during the summer, and that Solstices will likely begin arriving at dealerships by the end of this summer.
CALIFORNIA CONSERVATION Now if they offered the Pontiac Solstice as a hybrid…now you’re talking. Until then, we’ll have to survive with the likes of the Toyota Prius. According to a study conducted by RL Polk, more people than ever are surviving quite nicely with the Prius -- and with Hybrids in general, thanks much. Nationwide hybrid registrations are up 81 percent since 2003. Not surprisingly, the Prius led all hybrids with a 33 percent jump and is the leader, gobbling up 64 percent of the hybrid market. That’s more than 30 percent over the next closest hybrid, the Honda Civic Hybrid. And surprise, surprise: California led all states with more than 25,000 registrations. According to RL Polk’s study, the hybrid market has grown more than 960 percent since the introduction of the first hybrid in 2000. "Expectations of continuing high gas prices, combined with the introduction of new models to the consumer market, have heightened interest in hybrid vehicles," said Lonnie Miller, director of Polk’s Analytical Solutions. "Hybrids offer improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions while maintaining the functionality and convenience of gasoline-powered vehicles. Hybrid technology is also easy to produce and works within the existing transportation infrastructure." The Polk study revealed that California strongly outpaced all other states in new hybrid vehicle registrations. In 2004 there were 25,021 new hybrid vehicle registrations in California, about 4.5 times that of second place Virginia with 5,613. Washington came in third with 3,441; Florida came in fourth with 3,272 and Maryland rounds out the top five with 3,238 new hybrid vehicle registrations in 2004. Almost half of California’s registrations took place in the Los Angeles metro area.
SATURN GIVEAWAY All those hybrids on the road mean one thing: you have as much chance of getting a rebate on a hybrid as you do buying a Solstice in July. But if you’re on the bargain hunt, you may want to consider the 2005 Saturn L300 and its thirty five hundred dollar discount. That’s more than 15 percent off sticker. Just be sure to remind yourself about the discount you got when you’re driving down the road in your new L300.
NAVIGATE TRAFFIC You start up the car, head to work and whatddya you know – a traffic jam. Better call the boss and ask for a raise so you can trade that Saturn for a Cadillac CTS ---- one with the new XM NavTraffic feature. According to XM officials, the traffic report updates every five minutes or so and is culled from a variety of federal, state and local sources. Should an incident occur on your route, the NavTraffic system will take from five to 20 minutes to register the accident, depending on how quickly the info is reported and sent to the satellite. The system shows rate of traffic speed, incidents and can select a different route. Owners of new CTS sedans with GPS systems get a three-month trial; after that, subscriptions are about $10 a month. A combined Navtraffic and XM radio subscription runs $14 a month.
FORD SAVES MUSTANG Gotta figure Ford owes the horses something, what with the dollars they’ve made selling the Mustang to America. So after receiving a phone call from the Bureau of Land Management, Ford did the right thing and gave 19,000 dollars, saving 52 aging Mustangs from slaughter. Ford is reportedly working with the government on a more extensive program in order to preserve and protect this important part of America. According to a Ford spokesperson, "The wild mustang has been an inspiration for Ford Motor Company for decades. It saddened us to learn that many wild horses are in jeopardy, and it was an easy decision to help when asked by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. We are working with this federal government agency to investigate a way to sustain these horses that are such an integral part of American lore and tradition. We hope to work together to develop a broader plan that provides safeguards for the wild mustangs’ continued protection."Sometimes……small efforts stand for really big things.