Archive for the ‘Vehicle Technology’ Category

Fuel Economy is America’s #1 Criteria When Shopping For A Car

Friday, November 14th, 2014

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When looking for a new car, there are a lot of factors to consider: how the car looks, how comfortable the ride is, its high-tech amenities, and the number of cup-holders.

But according to a new study from the ACC, the thing at the top of most shopper’s must-have list is good fuel-economy.

To uncover that fact, the ACC in conjunction with another research company polled 1,014 U.S. adults about a number of things related to cars and car-shopping.

Major takeaways from the firm’s survey include:

– 79% of respondents said that fuel efficiency was more important than most other factors when shopping for a new car, even outranking safety features and price.

– 72% of respondents said that fuel efficiency is more important now than it was five years ago.

– 37% of respondents said that they’d driven out of their way to purchase cheaper gas.

Which is all very interesting, if not terribly surprising.

At Car Direct, our goal is to help you in finding the right vehicle for you.  Check out our inventory page to see what we currently have in stock.  Don’t see what you’re looking for?  Give us a call – that vehicle may be on its way in.  If not, we’ll find it for you!

Today’s Collector Car Market vs. Tomorrow’s Collector Car Market

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

 

 

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A demographic shift is definitely on the horizon – some 76 million baby boomers will soon reach retirement age.  And while this brings up a number of concerns and issues, we have to ask, “When the Baby Boomers put down their auction flags and retire, what will happen to the collector car industry?  Who’s going to buy all their cars?”

This is a very real question.  Each generation not only defines its tastes, but is also defined by its tastes.  There is a worrisome rhetoric that young people just aren’t interested in cars any more.  This has been heard before when generations move on in age and the next one reaches its prime, but it is certainly a cause for concern to those that are a part of the Baby Boomers Generation.  Will those who are a part of Generation X, Generation Y, or the new Silent Generation care about the cars of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers?

Some Baby Boomers did embrace the classics of their parents’ era, rightfully recognizing them as objects of art and pieces of history. This was helped by the sheer volume of boomers, enough to absorb the best collector cars, while also preserving the cars of their own era. But don’t expect this phenomenon to be repeated. Not only has the sheer volume of collector cars grown, but the next generation in the line of succession, Generation X, isn’t as large or as enthusiastic as the Baby Boomers.  It is argued that the children of the Baby Boomer generation aren’t developing an interest in collector cars; there are too many other things capturing their attention – travel, sports, the internet and social media (technology).

Over the last 50-60 years, there has also been a strong shift with the development and rapidly changing technology.  This “change in tastes” of the next generation will likely also affect the hobby of collecting cars.  While today’s collector car market is dominated by mostly original cars and more-or-less accurate restorations, the future may be about resto-mods; old cars with modern equipment, incorporating today’s technology.  Anecdotal evidence already suggests that resto-mod buyers tend to be younger, which makes sense.

Our take is that car collecting as a hobby won’t fade away, but the hobby will certainly evolve.

At Car Direct, our goal is to help you in finding the right vehicle for you at a rate that you can afford.  Check out our inventory page to see what we currently have in stock.  Don’t see what you’re looking for?  Give us a call – that vehicle may be on its way in.  If not, we’ll find it for you!

Are CD Players In Vehicles Becoming Obsolete?

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Vehicle CD PlayersAre in-dash CD players are finally going the way of 8 Track and Cassette Players?  Automakers have predicted this for the better part of the past decade as car stereos augmented the standard CD player with auxiliary MP3 jacks, USB/iPod connectors and, eventually, streaming Bluetooth audio. This year, J.D. Power’s Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study found that as many people listen to CDs as external devices, like an iPod or a smartphone. In past studies, more drivers still listened to CDs, but the times are now changing.

It’s already happening, and not just in tech-heavy cars like the Tesla Model S.  In a 2013 Dodge Dart, and the CD player goes into the center armrest — a spot that underlines just how many drivers Dodge expects to use it. Up-level versions of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee and redesigned Grand Cherokee, meanwhile, forego CD players entirely. You can still get one, but it goes in the center armrest or glove compartment. Chevrolet’s 7-inch My Link touch-screen in the 2014 Sonic eliminates the CD player altogether. And in the 2014 Kia Soul and 2013 Chevrolet Spark, you can’t buy a CD player in any trim.

Are we just a few years away from CD players becoming extinct? And what are car designers doing with the free space?  Ford, Honda and Hyundai vehicles still have tried-and-true CD players, but all three are monitoring customer habits to see when that will change.

In the Sonic, Dart and both Jeeps, larger touch-screens take up space where the CD slot might have gone. That makes sense; after all, the center stack is some of the most sought-after space inside a car. But how much space does the CD player really take up? Not much. Even though we are only looking at a quarter of an inch of horizontal space, this is still the prime real estate area inside any vehicle.  Every bit of space counts and can be reconfigured.  GM products like the new Chevy Impala and Cadillac XTS have a hidden compartment behind the touch-screen equipped with a USB port that can store a good-sized smartphone and wallet.

There are still a number of people who are using the CD more than they are the external device. We have to recognize the investment in our CD libraries, and to many people there are sometimes so much more pressing financial needs than a new iPod.

Will there be a year when in-dash CD players go completely extinct?  While we are reluctant to venture a guess, we do think it will be a slow exit, much like the lengthy exit of cassette decks.  When that happens, the trusty CD slot will become an artifact of the past. The day will come when you see a CD slot in the dash of a car and you say “Look at that old thing”, the technology will scream “I’m an old car”.

At Car Direct, our goal is to help you in finding the right vehicle for you.  Check out our inventory page to see what we currently have in stock.  Don’t see what you’re looking for?  Give us a call – that vehicle may be on its way in.  If not, we’ll find it for you!