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October 2011 Blog Posts

  • BMW Is 2011’s Most Sustainable Auto Manufacturer

    Surprise! BMW was named the most sustainable auto manufacturer for 2011 by the SAM Group for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. Except that it isn’t really a surprise: BMW has earned top sustainability honors for the past seven years. The maker of the luxurious six-figure 7-series and the cheap and cute Mini is also the only auto maker to be listed on the DJSI every year since the indexes were created in 1999.

  • American Automakers Slipping in Customer Satisfaction

    It’s been a tough couple of years for everyone -- especially American automakers. The economy collapsed, two out of the Big Three received government bailouts, and gas prices have gone nowhere but up. And now they’ve got a new problem on their hands: customer satisfaction with American-made automobiles and light vehicles is dropping.

    When you look at the numbers, it doesn’t seem so bad, really. It’s only a percentage point or two in most cases. But with many Asian-made vehicles gaining in customer satisfaction, Ford, Chrysler, and GM can’t afford to let buyers slip away a percentage point at a time.

    Here are the auto makers who suffered a drop in 2011:

  • Shoppers Want Higher MPGs, not Higher MSRPs

    It’s not much of a surprise that poll numbers supported the recent federal government decision to raise CAFE (that stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Given the fact that fuel prices are only going to creep ever upward -- not to mention the environmental costs of getting the gas from the ground to the pump -- drivers are realizing the benefits of high-mileage vehicles. It helps, too, that technology is improving, with hybrid systems, valve shutoff systems, direct injection, and clean diesels that all deliver a fun driving experience with better fuel economy.

  • Ford Focus Electric Coming to an Outlet Near You

    People may be surprised to learn that the new 2012 Ford Focus Electric was part of Ford’s plan all along. Well, maybe not the Focus in particular, but Ford has had all-electric battery-powered vehicles in development for years. What better way to introduce a zero-emissions passenger vehicle than to put the new technology in a familiar and already eco-friendly form?

    Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way: it’s a five-door hatchback Focus with a 123-hp electric motor powered by lithium ion batteries. It needs a 240-volt outlet to charge in 3-4 hours, and it has a top speed of 84 mph.

  • Can Expert Car Reviews Be Trusted???

    Before I give you my full answer, let me provide you some context…

    One of my colleagues here at AutoBuying101.com shared an interesting article that got a little attention in the automotive journalist community last month.  The following article suggests how editorial critic car reviews are biased due to numerous circumstances: http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=5141