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11 Apr 2014

2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe now more expensive than when new

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2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe

At the end of the day, your friendly Autoblog editors are car guys, just like you. So, while we might have more of an opportunity to test some of the most interesting vehicles on the new car scene than does your average gear head, we can still be found whiling away those long afternoon hours looking at used cars and thinking about what could be.

Just the other day, we had a vivid reminder about one of our dream cars from the very recent past, the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe. If you didn’t catch it, Michael Harley had a great time testing and reviewing the new Dinan S3-R version of the car, which throws an impressively engineered turbo and suspension tune on a BMW that was damn near perfect out of the box.

In the Comments section of that review, a few savvy Autoblog readers pointed out that our estimated price for a used donor car, set at $50,000, was low. Odd, we thought, as the car retailed for less than $50k ($46,135) when it was new in 2011. So we started checking around.

With only 740 units sold in the US to begin with, finding data on 1MC sales is a bit dicey, but here’s what we know. We tracked down about 20 cars currently on sale, by way of major used auto sales websites, and found an average asking price of a whopping $61,670 with an average mileage of about 11,600 on the clock. That’s more than $15,500 over the MSRP when new, or an appreciation of around $5k per year.

The best deal we could locate was a 14k-miler for $55,500; the most expensive being $65,991 with just 8,800 miles. Those numbers are just about right on based on the industry standard Black Book, too, which calls the retail value in California, for instance, at an even $60,000 for an “Extra Clean” car. Talk about an investment we can get behind…

2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe now more expensive than when new originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

Despite shuttering local assembly, Holden gunning for top spot in Oz by 2020

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Holden Struggles As Hundreds Accept Redundancies

Little more than a month after leaving the top slot at Volkswagen of India to become managing director of Holden, Australian outlets are reporting that Gerry Dorizas said he wants Holden to be number one in Oz market share by 2020. Dorizas says he believes it can be done with better and more youth-focused product, a better dealership experience and “a lot of work.”

Even with all of that, it’s an ambitious timeline. Holden has seen its once colossal 25-percent market share drop to 9.9 percent last year, only about half of Toyota’s 19 percent and just a few hot breaths ahead of Mazda at 9.1 percent (the Corolla was the best selling car in Oz last year, dethroning the Mazda3 after three years by just 1,500 units). In fact, it’s still in the danger zone presented by Hyundai at 8.6 percent. More worrying still, Holden’s 2013 market share is a decline from its 12.8-percent share in 2011 and 10.4-percent share in 2012.

That 2020 target would also give it just three years after the cessation of Australian assembly operations for the rebound, and no one really knows how potential Holden intenders are going to react when the local manufacturing show is really over. And by now, we all know how motivated Toyota will be not to cede its crown. Dorizas is confident when he says, “[We] will come back,” but he’s paid to be. How he manages to make that happen, or not, will be a show worth watching.

Despite shuttering local assembly, Holden gunning for top spot in Oz by 2020 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Apr 2014 09:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

Monowheel Ryno bike hitting the streets mid-April [w/video]

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Ryno Motors founder Chris Hoffman rides a Ryno electric unicycle

It was 2011 that the Ryno electric unicycle began making news. Three years later, the news is that the one-wheeled commuter transport vehicle is shipping: head to the Ryno Motors site and you can pick one up for $5,295. If you’re the type that always has to try the extra toppings, then you can upgrade to lithium-ion batteries “for an additional fee” and get the Ryno Rack for $169.95 to make portage on your one-humped camel a little easier.

A refundable deposit of $150 will get your name down for one of the first units, said to ship in the second quarter of this year. Coastal habitation is suggested since you’ll have to pick up your toy at a dealer, where you’ll get some “brief training” in how to ride it. Ryno says the “high-volume production run” will happen late in the year.

The Ryno has a range of ten miles and a 12 mile-per-hour top speed. It’s street legal, can be charged at a regular home outlet, is safe for use on sidewalks and recently stopped by the Popular Science offices to be taken for a spin. You can watch the tech guys try out the front half of the Batcycle in the video below.

Continue reading Monowheel Ryno bike hitting the streets mid-April [w/video]

Monowheel Ryno bike hitting the streets mid-April [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Apr 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

VW orders stop-sale on four models for leaky transmission

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2014 Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen has issued a stop sale on several models in the US while the automaker waits for parts to repair a transmission fluid leak. About 25,000 cars with the EA888 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission are covered under the stoppage, which includes models of the Jetta, Passat, Beetle and Beetle Convertible. All of the affected models were built after February 1.

According to VW, an O-ring that links the transmission cooler to the gearbox can leak and potentially start a fire. Mark Gillies, VW US Product and Technology Manager, told Autoblog that there haven’t been any reports of fires, crashes or injuries caused by the problem. Some of the cars were sold to consumers, but the company is still working to figure out exactly how many.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the company expects to have the correct part in two weeks or less and repairs should take about 30 minutes. “We’re trying to fix it as quickly as possible,” Gillies told Autoblog.

VW orders stop-sale on four models for leaky transmission originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

Honda, Mercedes top KBB brand image awards [w/video]

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ECONOMY

Kelley Blue Book has announced the winners of its 2014 Brand Image Awards, which look at brands with “attributes that capture the attention and enthusiasm” of customers in the market for a new car.

The award is divided up into luxury brands and everyone else non-luxury brands, with a number of sub-awards in each group. There’s also a single award for truck brands. Taking the crown for the best everyman brand (for the second year in a row) is Honda, while Mercedes-Benz was the king of the luxury brackets. Ford, meanwhile, had the best image among pickup buyers.

Honda was also named the most trusted brand among shoppers, while Kia, GMC, Mini and Chevrolet also snagged awards for value, refinement, performance and styling, respectively. Secondary winners in the luxury ranks include Lexus, Buick, Porsche and Jaguar. Mercedes was also named the most refined luxury brand.

“The classic saying ‘perception is reality’ falls true with the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards, as more than 12,000 in-market new-car shoppers have voiced their opinions about today’s automakers,” said Hwei-Lin Oetken, vice president of market intelligence for KBB. “With strong marketing communications coming from auto manufacturers and dealers, and the increased importance of peer reviews and ratings, consumers today are more influenced than ever to take interest in a brand, ultimately affecting their vehicle purchase decisions.”

Take a look below for KBB’s video recap of this year’s awards, as well as a press release detailing the winning attributes of each brand.

Continue reading Honda, Mercedes top KBB brand image awards [w/video]

Honda, Mercedes top KBB brand image awards [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

Honda Accord Hybrid sales capacity constrained

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2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

Honda might be selling more hybrids if it could just get them to dealers. While the second-generation Insight never lived up to sales expectations and production is ending, the Japanese automaker is seeing strong demand for the Accord Hybrid here and abroad. However, there is so much global consumer desire that it can’t keep them in US showrooms.

The problem limiting the sales of the Accord Hybrid is its battery pack and its popularity in Japan. “There’s a waiting list for the product,” said Jeff Conrad, Honda general manager, to Ward’s Auto about the sedan’s US popularity. While the American Accord is built in Marysville, OH, the batteries are imported from Japan, where the model is quite popular. According to Ward’s data, the automaker sold 2,414 examples of the hybrid version from October 2013 to February 2014 in the US, but it shifted 6,000 units in Japan in its first three months on sale. Conrad also admitted that the constrained supply is limiting the amount of marketing the automaker can do for the hybrid.

Honda spokesperson Chris Martin told Autoblog the company is working on a solution to increase production for the near future. “We are going to resolve the battery issue,” he said.

Honda has had a rocky road in launching its hybrids. Conrad admits that the Insight never got much of a marketing push after its launch. The CR-Z faces an uncertain future as well. Sales of it are ending in Europe for the 2015 model year, and Ward’s data indicates that Honda only sold 4,550 of them in the US last year.

Honda Accord Hybrid sales capacity constrained originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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