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Autopitch website revealed, set to change the way we buy cars

At one point in time, we will need to buy a car. This usually implies hours of wasted time spent on the Internet browsing through many websites that sell cars, comparing prices or writing down numbers of specific dealers.

Seeing as how it’s our money on the line, things really shouldn’t be that way. That’s why a new website has appeared, Autopitch.com, which promises to change the way we shop for cars online.

How does it do that? By making the dealers hunt for buyers. The system is pretty simple, and can be described as a reverse Ebay, for example. Those who want to purchase a car can post an ad, describing the model and other details, and dealers will be able to pitch their offers to the buyer.

“Autopitch is the reverse of eBay Motors,” said Brad Chase, founder of autopitch.com. “People post the car they want and dealers bid on their business. This saves a huge amount of time and effort usually spent shopping for a car online.”

Most of the times, dealers tend to take customers for granted. But let’s not forget that buyers have the money and are doing the dealers a favor by opting to purchase from them. Hopefully, Autopitch will be able to finally put some leverage in the hands of the common user.

All GM brands hosting holiday sales starting this week

In case you were wondering about buying a car this holiday season, then you might want to check out some of the brands from General Motors, as the large corporation will be hosting some major sales for all of the models built under its various brands.

“All of our efforts will be to sell down our remaining 2009 inventory,” said GM’s VP of sales, Susan Docherty. She revealed that each car brand will have its own distinct promotion, with Chevrolet hosting “Red Tag Sales”, Buick and GMC going with “Holiday Event” while Cadillac will go with the classic “Season’s Best.”

This is also a great time to get the remaining Pontiac and Saturn models from dealerships as Docherty revealed that only 10,000 Pontiacs and 8,000 Saturns are still in stock. “We’re actually winding down those products quicker than we had anticipated,” she revealed.

This is some clever marketing from GM, which might generate a nice amount of money during this holiday season.


Toyota Prius still dominates Japanese market, ahead of hybrid rival Honda Insight

Although it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone remotely familiar with how the automotive industry works nowadays, it seems that the Toyota Prius is still experiencing strong sales in its native Japan, beating its fellow hybrid rival, the Honda Insight.

26,918 Prius models were sold during the month of October, showing the popularity that the Toyota model enjoys. The Insight however, ranked number nine overall, with just 7,074 models sold, but well over the target that Honda set for the hybrid model, of 5,000 units.

What’s a bit surprising is that the second best selling car was another Honda model, the Fit/Jazz, which went on to sell 15,444 units during October, showing that even a normal model, with the right accessories and qualities, can dominate a market which is oriented towards hybrids.


China’s auto market increases 72 percent during October, 1.2 million vehicles sold

It seems that someone forgot to tell the Chinese people that there is a recession going on, as the population of the Asian country is spending money left and right, and according to a recent sales analysis, predominantly on money.

As opposed to October 2008, when the recession was still brewing, the Chinese auto market has seen sales increase with over 72%, reaching a dizzying 1.2 million units sold. Although this is a slight decrease from September, where 1.3m were bought by the Chinese people, it’s a number even the US can’t dream as it recorded “just” 838,000 units sold.

But don’t go thinking that the Chinese have set up a gold mine in every home. Instead of funding new mining operations for said gold, the government has employed a new system of tax deductions and subsidies in total worth of around $586 billion. Yeah, billion with a “b”.

With such big sales figures, no wonder every major carmaker is struggling to get a piece of the Chinese pie.


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Volkswagen surpasses Toyota and GM in worldwide sales, study says

Volkswagen surpasses Toyota and GM in worldwide sales, study says

During recent times, the battle for the world’s biggest automaker has been a battle between the former champion, GM, which is now struggling in terms of finance, Toyota, which is holding the title for the last time frame, and Volkswagen, which catching up fast, and, according to statements made by its executives a few months ago, plans to overtake the other two companies by 2018.

But it seems that the bottles of champagne could be opened as early as the end of this year, as a new study made by the Global Insight Institute, pegs the German manufacturer’s sales for the year 2009 at around 4,4 million units, overtaking Toyota’s 4 million and GM’s “measly” 3.6, which was in turn outsold by Ford, managing 3.7 million.

While the data isn’t official yet, as the manufacturers will reveal their figures at the end of the year, it does seem quite likely, considering the many successful brands the VW Group has under its corporate umbrella.


Ford sold over half a million Fiesta models in its first year

As proof of the huge popularity the new Ford Fiesta model has enjoyed in the markets it was launched, the US company announced that it has sold over half a million units in the first year since it was launched in the German market.

Since then, it has swept Europe by storm, managing to sell over 400,000 units by September 2009, and then was released in countries like South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and, the newest holy grail for the auto industry, China. Considering the strong demand which manifested itself in October, it’s safe to say that the small Fiesta blew everybody’s expectations and went past the half million mark.

But the company isn’t satisfied yet, and plans to expand the market for the Fiesta to new territories, with the most important one being North America, where it will begin selling in summer of 2010. Potential customers will be able to admire the Fiesta’s attractive design as early as December’s Los Angeles Auto Show.


VW Golf is the best selling car in Europe for the month of September

Well this isn’t really a surprise, but sales analysis company Jato Dynamics has revealed that the best selling car in Europe during the month of September was the Volkswagen Golf hatchback, with 59,552 units sold. What’s more interesting is that two other hatchbacks also occupy the next two steps, with the runner up being the Ford Fiesta with 51,291, and on third the Opel Corsa model, with 38,497 cars sold.

The company also revealed that it has recorded a growth in the car market, largely due to various government running incentives similar to the Cash for Clunkers one, in which people could trade in their old vehicles for vouchers which could be used to buy new ones. A lot of people have chosen smaller cars which are better suited for city life.

But as most of these government programs are coming to an end, analysts say that another fall of the market might be expected until the end of the year.


General Motors Offers 60-Day Money Back Guarantee for its Cars

General Motors isn’t doing so well in terms of sales as most of its division are bleeding money left and right and cars are just gathering dust in dealerships across the United States. That is why the company is resorting to some pretty ingenious marketing stunts in order to promote them.

The most recent? Why one pulled straight from infomercials and teleshopping ads, as the large corporation will give you a 60-Day money back guarantee for any of the cars you buy from brands like Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac. In case after the 31st day you’re not satisfied with the car, then you’ll get your money back without any other charges or fees.

“We know that we’ll need to work very hard to get people’s attention and encourage them to give Chevy, Buick, Cadillac and GMC a try. We think the ‘May the Best Car Win’ campaign and the Satisfaction Guarantee offer should help re-instill confidence in the excellence of our products,” revealed Bob Lutz, marketing representative for GM. “We’re putting our money down that if people buy one of our vehicles and don’t absolutely love it, we’ll take it back. We will stand behind them both in the short-term and over the long haul.”

Do keep in mind though that only cars which were purchased with cash need apply, as those bought on lease contract don’t count. Also, you’ll need to be quick about it, as cars delivered by November 30 qualify for this promotion. Each household is permitted to return one car, thus avoiding any scams which would cause GM to loose even more money.

Overall, this is a pretty courageous move from GM which just might make the average American trust the large corporation once more. Hopefully everyone will be happy at the end of the promotion.


Smart buyers back out leaving the cars ‘orphaned’ in US dealerships

Aren’t people always acting like a herd? Last year, when gas price were up through the roof, Smart dealerships registered a very high demand for the small German car. Now, when gas price are back to a more normal level, everyone is dumping their new Smart. According to an article from USA Today, Smart dealers are facing with increasing unsold car lots, caused by customers who placed their orders and then backed out. And the $99 required deposit (which is also refundable) is making this decision really easy to take. Smart confirmed but said they’re not worried about this situation yet “”Are a few more people canceling (compared to) last year? Yes. But certainly we’re not seeing a huge falloff” said Smart spokesman Ken Kettenbeil.

According to Smart, the company has around 30,000 prospective buyers who paid the $99 reservation fee but have not taken delivery and from these, about 35% back out (about 30% in November). However, we think Smart should worry, because Autodata reports that in February Smart sold 1,415 units, almost half of how much it was selling last year.


2010 Chevrolet Camaro to start at $22,995

Chevrolet has announced the pricing for its muscle car, the new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. The new Camaro will be offered with a choice of two engines, a 300 hp (224 kW) 3.6 liter V6 unit for the LS and LT models, and a 422 hp (315 kW) V8 powerplant for the SS. Both engines will be available with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Fuel consumption is estimated at 27 mpg (highway) for the V6 and 23 mpg for the V8.

Some of the new Camaro’s features are 10 available exterior colors, four-wheel independent suspension system, four-wheel disc brake systems standard on all models, including four-piston Brembo calipers on SS models, StabiliTrak stability control system and traction control standard on all models, 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheels and RS appearance package available on LT and SS, including HID headlamps with integrated halo rings, spoiler, specific taillamps and 20-inch wheels.

The new Chevrolet Camaro will start at $22,995 MSRP for the V6 LS model, and $30,995 for the Camaro SS (including the $750 destination charge). Customers will be able to place their orders starting today, October 13, and production is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2009. (more…)

Porsche sales down 45 percent in August

Porsche has announced that in August they’ve only sold 1,516 vehicles in their largest market, the US and Canada, which means a 45 percent drop in sales. Even though Porsche said that the weak sales were caused by the model changeover of the 911 series cars and sales drops happen when carmakers make the model changeovers, 45 percent is quite a big drop. The main reason is the decreasing demand for fuel “thristy” sports cars all over the US, .The face-lifted 911 model with a new, more fuel-efficient engine will be released in the US this month and that was one of Porsche’s main concerns regarding the facelifted 911, which has now more fuel efficient engines. A big drop was registered by the Boxster model, entry-level buyers’ choice, who sold 66 percent units.

United States and Canada is not the only market where Porsche’s sales went down. The other two important markets, the UK and Germany also registered less vehicles sold (25 percent in the UK and 18 percent in Germany). Porsche also attributes the drop to the changeover of the 911.


Mercedes GLK – First step, first success

Only a month after the first orders, it seems that the new Mercedes Benz GLK figured out the recipe of success, because 10,000 cars have already been reserved only in Western Europe. 1000 units from the 10,000 models ordered, are GLK Edition1, a model available exclusively at the time of getting out, with a particular exterior design, a different interior and an AMG leather steering wheel. The first deliveries will begin in October, and first US owners will get their cars in 2009.

Toyota is officially number 1

Its official: GM is no longer the world’s largest automobile manufacturer. Toyota sold 4.8 m vehicles in the first half of 2008, while GM managed to move 4.54m. Higher U.S. gas prices have “put an enormous amount of pressure” on GM’s truck sales, said Erich Merkle, an automotive consultant with accounting and consulting firm Crowe Chizek and Co LLC. “That is equating to lower sales for GM and causing them to now fall behind Toyota.” GM and Toyota were roughly even in 2007 for the top spot among the world’s automakers, with GM slightly ahead if sales from a China business were included.

GM’s sales in North America fell to 963,929 vehicles in the second quarter from 1.2 million, hurt by the slow U.S. economy and labor disruptions in the U.S. market, the company said. Sales in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East rose 17.7 percent, while sales in its Asia-Pacific region grew 14.6 percent, GM said. Sales rose 2.5 percent in Europe. Mike DiGiovanni, GM’s chief sales analyst, said most of the industry’s sales increase is expected to be in the so-called BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China.” Certainly the biggest risk is the U.S. economic downturn and potential spill-over effects on the global economy,” he said.

2009 Mazda 6 pricing announced

Scheduled to hit US showrooms late this summer, the 2009 Mazda 6 will have a price tag starting at $19,850. For this money, you’ll get the entry level Mazda6 i SV powered by the 170 hp 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine. The same engine is available for the Mazda6 i Sport and i Touring, which will feature some extra options and will start at $21,250 and $22,750 respectively. The Mazda 6 Grand i Touring model starts at $25,850.

The 2009 Mazda6 s Sport will be powered by a 3.7 liter V6 producing a total of 272-hp and will carry an MSRP of $25,150. The Mazda6 s Touring will start at $26,150. The top of the line Mazda6 s Grand Touring will start at $29,150.

Check out more details about every model on the Mazda6Club Forum.


Nissan UK gets 700 orders for the GT-R in the first 48 hours

On April 2nd, Nissan UK started accepting orders for the Nissan GT-R and, in the first 48 hours, 700 orders were already placed. Looks like the performance car will be very popular in the UK. With pricing starting at £52,900 (OTR), the car will be available in three trim levels (Base, Premium Edition and Black Edition) and the first customers will get their cars in March 2009.

Paul Willcox, Managing Director Nissan Motor (GB) Limited said: “In normal production terms the pace of the line can be increased or decreased to meet with demand but as the engine of the GT-R is built by hand there is a maximum production capability of 1000 units per month. This volume has to satisfy all global demands covering America, Asia and Europe and therefore it will be late May before we know if we have been successful in our request.”

To place a reservation for a GT-R, you can go to www.gtrnissan.co.uk or you can visit one of the 10 specialised high performance centres placed around the UK. And for those who really want one, due to the heavy demand, Nissan advices to place order as soon as possible.

Click here to read the full press release

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