The 2012 Automotive Accessory Market Report by Foresight Research studied more than 7,800 new-car and -truck buyers and learned that 42 percent of all buyers install accessories within the first two years of purchase, and the average person is spending $1,662 (that’s an 8 percent decline from a year ago). Accessories related to electronics, comfort, and convenience are the most popular installations. Tires are comfortable, right?
Speaking of trends, H.E.A.T., which is the auto-theft prevention program in Michigan (the acronym stands for Help Eliminate Auto Thefts), has noted the some spiffy new trends this year. For starters, catalytic converter theft is back, and it’s being joined by airbags, tires, wheels, and navigation. There’s also a lot of retagging and cloning going on: The bad guys swap the VIN from a vehicle that matches the stats of a stolen one (i.e., year, make, model, color). And do your due diligence when it comes to Craigslist or the like; selling and trading of stolen vehicles is on the rise via that route. Also making the list was “push steals”: pushing the vehicle away after breaking in, in order to release the gears. More about H.E.A.T. at www.miheat.org.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer is trying to get the four main rental car companies—Hertz, Enterprise, Avis, and Dollar/Thrifty—to permanently stop renting or selling vehicles that are under a safety recall. As we went to press, only Hertz had adopted such a policy.
INRIX Traffic Scorecard: It’s an analysis of traffic congestion throughout the U.S. What caught our eye was that Honolulu was number one when we looked at the most current rankings. That surprised us. P.S. That’s number one in the bad way.
The Malaysian government has created a New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)—the first NCAP was in the U.S. in 1979, and they exist around the world. NCAP is about elevating vehicle safety standards, among other things.
Late payment of auto loans is at an all-time low—at least with regard to the last decade.
Our owner, Source Interlink, now has a corporate Facebook page. “Like” it, so we don’t lose our jobs. While you’re there on the Facebook, “like” Four Wheeler’s page if you haven’t yet. Right this second we’re at 15,140. We know that’s not all of you. And we know where you subscribers live.
“So we’ll be giving away one grand prize of 500 gallons and weekly prizes of 32 gallons.”
—Promo about the Ram Gallon Guarantee, a sweepstakes lasting through September 1, in which you could win fuel. Go to www.ramtrucks.com/gallonguarantee to enter
The Most Obnoxious or Most Ingenious Way To Fill Tires
Nissan is going to bring the Easy-Fill Tire Alert system to models starting in 2013. You might have thought filling tires was already easy, but that shows you are clearly doing everything in your life the hard way. This one’s TPMS alerts you to a low tire, then once you get yourself to an air source, the easy begins: As you air up, the vehicle’s flashers come on to confirm said air is flowing. Once the tire reaches the correct pressure, the horn honks. If you try to add more air, the horn gets really, really PO’d.
Is It True?
A moment of silence for the Dodge Durango? Or can we still talk until 2016, but then go radio silent?
The GMC Sierra Denali goes for $134,000 in China?
Will the downsized Chevy Trax SUV come to the U.S.?
You can get a 12-foot-wide by 23-foot-long by 15-foot-high parking space in New York City for $1,000,000?
A diamond coating for a vehicle’s finish, inside and out? And the company is called Gemballa?
Gee, That Press Release Sounds Naughty:
“Chevron Honors Lubricant Carriers”