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Car Buying Archives - Page 79 of 84 - Omaha Auto Deals

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09 May 2014

GM offers employee pricing to owners of recalled vehicles

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Massive Ignition Switch Recall Weighs Heavy On GM's Profits

Owners affected by the General Motors ignition switch recall are getting even an better incentive to return to its brands for their next new car. The automaker says that these drivers can now get employee pricing on its models. Previously, GM was only offering them a $500 discount if they bought a new 2013 to 2015 vehicle.

According to GM spokesperson Jim Cain speaking to Autoblog, the company has been offering the incentive to affected owners for about a month. But it purposefully isn’t advertising it or disclosing volumes. “We want to give dealers as many tools as they need to satisfy customers,” he said. Buyers get employee pricing on 2013 to 2015 models, which is a certain percentage below dealer invoice, and it replaces the previous $500 offer. It will be available throughout the duration of the recall.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the original $500 enticement wasn’t enough to bring buyers back to showrooms. Many of the roughly 2.6 million affected vehicles are on their second or third owners, and they might not be able to afford a new car.

GM’s recall campaign for the ignition switches began in April. Cain said the effort is going as planned. Delphi is running multiple shifts for replacement parts and may add a second or third production line. The company expects to have a majority of vehicles repaired by October. In the meantime, affected drivers can take advantage of free loaners while their car is serviced.

GM offers employee pricing to owners of recalled vehicles originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 May 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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04 May 2014

How Mercedes' sterling reputation hurts Sprinter sales

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2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

If you’ve ever visited Germany, you know that Mercedes-Benz doesn’t exactly carry the high-end cache in its homeland that it does in the US. While the Three-Pointed Star is still certainly known for its luxury sedans and sports cars, the brand also represents most of the taxis on the road, and its Sprinter vans make many of the deliveries. The upscale image in North America might be beneficial when trying to lure new buyers to a CLA-Class, but Merc is seeing pushback from some commercial buyers who think its vans are too ostentatious for them.

Mercedes USA has created a dedicated van unit, and one of the group’s first tasks is to fight this belief. It has already begun targeted, web-based ads advertising the truck’s monthly payments to show potential customers they can afford it. “We want to align perceptions with realities,” said Christian Bokich, Mercedes USA Product and Technology Manager. A standard Sprinter in the US starts at $35,920 with a 144-inch wheelbase and standard roof, and the largest models provide the most cargo space among competitors.

The company also has another way to sell the Sprinter – Freightliner ; these models are identical other than the grille. According to Automotive News, that brand sees most of the van’s large fleet orders.

Despite some customers being turned off by a commercial Mercedes, Sprinter sales are growing. According to AN, the van’s sales were up 25 percent in March to 1,915 units, and February was up 18 percent. For 2014, the US model receives a new standard powertrain that pairs a 2.1-liter four-cylinder BlueTEC diesel, making 161 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, with a seven-speed automatic, and an all-wheel drive version is on the way. Mercedes is out to prove to the US that it is as good at vans as it is with plush sedans.

How Mercedes’ sterling reputation hurts Sprinter sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 12 Apr 2014 13:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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04 May 2014

Cadillac's Euro reboot may have implications for US models, sales

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Cadillac CTS V Coupe at the end of the road Magdeburg Germany

Firmly on the comeback trail in the US, Cadillac is still trying to get out of the starting blocks in Europe. At the Geneva Motor Show in March, Cadillac’ senior execs revealed plans to grow the brand’s presence in a luxury market dominated by the big three German marques, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

GM President Dan Ammann says he sees “enormous” potential for Cadillac globally.

Over the past 20 years, the General Motors premium nameplate has tried and failed multiple times to break into the European market. This time around, Cadillac recognizes that progress will be modest at best, and depends on specific changes to models, some of which may impact the brand’s US lineup. Planned new sales tactics in Europe may also impact the way Cadillac does business on this side of the pond.

GM President Dan Ammann says he sees “enormous” potential for Cadillac globally. “Our goal is to take a much more consistent long term approach than what the company used to historically,” he tells Autoblog.

For Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac chief marketing officer, this means a slow and steady strategy for the European market. Ellinghaus, a former BMW executive, sees annual sales volumes reaching around 2,000 units for the next few years. That, of course, is a drop in the bucket compared to the German luxury brands’ sales totals. But being the underdog is not necessarily a bad prospect, says Ellinghaus. Cadillac lacks a properly developed dealer network in Europe, but this gives the brand an opportunity to experiment with a new approach. “I think the future of retail in the automotive industry is without bricks and mortar, at least in comparison to what we do now, which is investing multi-millions in dealerships all over the country,” he notes.

“Because of our limited volume, it will be easier to take care of customers on an individual basis. So we see a competitive advantage there and can pioneer a new retail format, with pop-up stores, virtual stores and a flagship store, maybe. If this approach works we then roll it out in rest of the world.”

Continue reading Cadillac’s Euro reboot may have implications for US models, sales

Cadillac’s Euro reboot may have implications for US models, sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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04 May 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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04 May 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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04 May 2014

BMW i3 configurator is so advanced it's replaced trim levels

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BMW i3

BMW’s electric i3 is slowly marching its way to dealers. It might not be happening quite fast enough for customers, though. For you anxious individuals, head over to the BMW consumer website and build your ideal i3 in the new configurator.

Before we talk about all the stuff this build tool can do, we need to address the naming of BMW’s trim levels for the EV hatchback. The 328i, for example, is available in Sport Line, M Sport Line and Luxury Line. That’s good; it makes sense. The i3, though, has Giga World, Tera World and Mega World. Seriously. We’ve no idea what BMW was thinking when it came up with this (this is the same company that regularly uses the phrase “Sport Activity Vehicle,” so…).

Silly names aside, let’s try and translate where each trim fits in. The Mega World is the base trim. The Giga, at $1,700, adds stylish leather-and-wool seats in a clean two-tone color scheme, along with 19-inch wheels and a leather-covered IP. The Tera World demands $2,700, but makes up for it with its own 19-inch wheels and a full leather interior. Both lines (worlds?) add satellite radio and eucalyptus wood trim.

Color choices are limited to six, with four metallic items and two non-metallics. Interior colors, meanwhile, are locked into the three trim levels. Each trim has a pair of packages, with the $1,000 Parking Assistant Package adding automatic parking, park distance control and a rear-view camera. For $2,500, i3 buyers can add navigation, adaptive cruise with stop-and-go tech and BMW apps.

Prices for a base, all-electric i3 start at $41,350. The priciest we could build our i3 (with range extender) was to $56,025. which included a optional 20-inch wheels on our Tera World trim ($1,300), a $700 DC fast charging station ($700), heated front seats ($350) and a Harman/Kardon stereo ($800). The i3 is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax incentive, which drops the max total to $48,525. Hop over to BMW’s consumer page and have a look at the i3 and its configurator.

BMW i3 configurator is so advanced it’s replaced trim levels originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Apr 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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04 May 2014

2015 Chevy Camaro Z/28 already sold out?

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2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Chevrolet may have struck gold with the Camaro Z/28. Not only is it a great car to drive, it’s also proving to be a hot seller. A rumor has emerged that the brand has already fulfilled all the orders for the planned 500-car production run.

Don’t worry, though. If you want a Z/28 in your garage, Chevy plans to start building a second production order of 2,500 or more cars for the 2015 model year, according to Autoguide. However, it’ll be a few months before those will start arriving at dealers. In the meantime, you still might be able to get your hands on the $75,000 track-biased Camaro. While all 500 cars were spoken for, some were ordered by dealers to just show off the sports coupe on their showroom floors, according to Road and Track. You might be able to wheel and deal to get one of them.

We’ve contacted Chevy for confirmation of the rumor and will update this story with more information when we hear back.

2015 Chevy Camaro Z/28 already sold out? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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04 May 2014

2015 Mercedes C-Class order guide leaked

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2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

We may not have an official starting price for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but as of right now, we can tell you about all the options for the eagerly anticipated new luxury sedan.

Benz Report has the entire order guide for the C-Class, with breakdowns from package pricing to how many different colors, wheel designs and lighting configurations will be available when the new model hits dealers later this year. As we mentioned in our initial review of the C-Class, there will be a pair of engine options, with the now familiar 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder available in both rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations and a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6, which can be had in all-wheel drive, only.

From there, though, the available options are impressive. Much like it does on the current car, Mercedes is offering a pair of packages that sort of define the entire car. With the C300, buyers will have the choice of either a Sport or Luxury package in addition to the base trim, while C400 buyers are limited to the Sport model.

The Sport package costs $2,500 (rising from $2,300 on the current C-Class), although the addition of 18-inch wheels, a sport suspension, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and more supportive seats is sure to soften the blow. The Luxury Package is more reasonably priced, at $650, and options 17-inch multi-spoke wheels, a traditional Mercedes hood ornament, a softer suspension and the customer’s choice of wood trim.

Once that’s out of the way, buyers are faced with 10 color choices, three optional wheel choices that are independent of the Sport and Luxury packages, and a healthy array of interior leather and leatherette colors, as well as trims. Finally, there are seven option packages.

Most are carry overs from last year, with items like the Premium Pack, Driver Assistance Pack, Lighting Pack and Multimedia Pack seeing moderate tweaks in terms of content and pricing (the biggest price change involves the Lighting Pack, which is actually $640 cheaper). New packages include the $1,190 Airmatic Pack (adjustable Airmatic air suspension), the $2,300 Interior Pack (Vented leather seats, ambient lighting, memory settings for the passenger seat) and the $350 Air Balance Pack (Mercedes scented HVAC system). The standalone options sheet looks fairly vast, until you realize that a number of items are included on certain trims and with certain packages. The big-ticket items include the panoramic sunroof, which sees its price jump from $1,090 to $1,480, while a few items from the Driver Assistance Pack are also available à la carte.

Now, it should be stated that these prices could certainly change before the car arrives later this year. That said, this is a pretty handy guide as to what to expect when it comes time to order your very own C-Class. Hop over to Benz Report and have a look.

2015 Mercedes C-Class order guide leaked originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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04 May 2014

2015 Ford Mustang option prices gallop onto the web

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2015 Ford Mustang GT

The 2015 Ford Mustang is one of the most anticipated cars of the year, despite the fact that production hasn’t yet begun. What’s a pony car fan to do? It turns out that Ford already has pricing and options information about the vehicle in its dealer ordering system. A few enterprising folks have snapped some pictures from it and have posted them online. You might not be able to drive your car yet, but you can at least see what it might cost.

At the moment, Ford appears to be splitting the Mustang into five models – 3.7-liter V6, 2.3-liter EcoBoost, GT with the 5.0-liter V8, 50th Anniversary and SVT. There are 10 available paint colors, 2 of which require an extra outlay. Triple Yellow is $495, and Ruby Red Tint is $395. Regardless of model, navigation goes for $795, and reverse parking assist is $295.

For both the EcoBoost and GT, the six-speed automatic tacks an extra $1,195 to the sticker, and adaptive cruise control is the same price. The GT also has a limited-slip 3.55 rear end for $395 and a GT Performance package for $2,495. Recaro leather seats add an extra $1,595. For the EcoBoost, there’s something called EcoBoost Performance package for $1,995. The system doesn’t say what the packages include.

The info here also fits exactly with what we know about the Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition from the New York Auto Show. The package comes in Kona Blue or Wimbledon White with a special leather interior. According to this data, it adds $1,595 to the cost of a Mustang GT.

A user at the Mustang 6G forums also has images from the ordering system, and they include some info on the SVT model. While there are no prices, options include a track package, tech package and available Alcantara or leather seats.

Note, the pricing and options listed here could still change. That said, it’s still fun to check them out. Information on colors and body styles can be downloaded as a PDF from The Mustang Source forum, and the rest can be viewed at Mustang 6G. Happy building.

2015 Ford Mustang option prices gallop onto the web originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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04 May 2014

2015 Acura TLX launch delayed

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2015 Acura TLX

Last week in New York, Acura pulled the wraps off its all-new TLX sedan – a midsize model that replaces both the TSX and TL in one fell swoop. In a bit of behind-the-scenes full disclosure, we were originally scheduled to get our first drive of the car in early May. But an intrepid reader forwarded us an email to Acura dealers saying that the on-sale date of the TLX will be pushed back, and subsequently, the automaker confirmed to Autoblog that the official media launch has been postponed, as well. Acura spokesperson Chuck Schifsky tells us that the 2015 TLX will now go on sale later this summer.

“We don’t view it as a major delay,” Schifsky told Autoblog. The TLX is “the most technologically advanced Acura” yet – even more so than the original NSX, Schifsky says – and thus, there are “lots of systems to get sorted out.” When asked if there is a specific component to point to regarding this delay, Schifsky told Autoblog that it’s “not any one thing.”

“We have determined that it is necessary to modify the production schedule for the 2015 TLX, which will move the on-sale date to late summer.”

“The TLX has more advanced and customer-relevant technology than on any other Acura model in our history, and we must assure that all systems are ready for mass production. Further, it is critical that we have a stable and sustainable supply of vehicles and components to support the strong customer response that we expect for this all-new Acura sedan,” a company spokesperson wrote to its dealers. “To achieve these goals, we have determined that it is necessary to modify the production schedule for the 2015 TLX, which will move the on-sale date to late summer.”

The 2015 TLX uses both a 2.4-liter inline-four and a 3.5-liter V6, and will be the first Acura to use two brand-new transmissions. The 2.4-liter engine features an eight-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, and the 3.5-liter V6 uses a nine-speed automatic. What’s more, the TLX features a reworked version of the Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) that debuted in the larger RLX, and the company’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) is available, too.

“The 2015 TLX is the emotionally powerful car we’ve been longing for,” Acura wrote to its dealers. So it goes without saying, the company has a whole lot riding on this all-new offering, and it’s important to get it right from the start. Schifsky reiterates, “Don’t put the car on sale until it’s perfect.”

2015 Acura TLX launch delayed originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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