June 1st, 2012 at 12:00pm
A new report from ALG says Ford and Hyundai have had the best improvement in perceived quality during the last five years. Analysts at Ford predict the next crop of midsize sedans due to flood the market in a year or so are going to eat into small-car sales. Volkswagen is considering selling its small pickup, the Amarok, in Canada. All that and more, plus Autoline Daily correspondent Craig Cole test drives the Infiniti G37.
Good day! It is I, Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics and the United Alliance of Certified Automotive Analysts bringing you another healthy, vitamin-enriched, fiber-filled dose of news. Welcome to THE Autoline Daily. It’s currently Friday, the inaugural day of June in the year of our Lord 2012. LET’S GET STARTED, SHALL WE?!
PERCEPTION IS REALITY
A new report from ALG says Ford and Hyundai have had the best improvement in perceived quality during the last five years. Since 2008, Ford’s perception of quality has gone up 37 percent while Hyundai’s has increased by 25 percent. While the two automakers had the best improvements, Honda and Toyota still rank number one and two among mainstream brands. On the Luxury side, Lexus, Mercedes and BMW rank 1,2,3 respectively. ALG surveyed more than 3,000 consumers in the U.S.
VW CONSIDERS AMAROK FOR CANADA
Volkswagen is considering selling its small pick-up, the Amarok, in Canada. According to Autoblog, the automaker has contacted dealers in the country about the Amarok to gauge customer interest. So far they’ve received positive feedback. VW would not say what cab styles or powertrains the company is looking at. The Amarok is currently sold in South America, Europe and Australia. But don’t hold your breath for it coming to the U.S. A VW spokesman says the company has absolutely no plans to introduce it in the ‘States.
FERRARI AUCTION FOR EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
Italy was rocked by a couple of earthquakes last month and to help out the victims, Ferrari will auction several unique items. The top one is the 599XX Evo, a sports coupe that incorporates Ferrari racing technology and is worth 1.3 million euros. Other items in the auction include a Formula 1 V8 engine, along with racing suits and helmets from F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. The on-line auction starts next week and is open to anyone in the world.
MID-SIZE CARS TO TAKE OVER
Americans are a value-conscious people. We’re all about getting the most for our money. Like ground sirloin at the grocery store, we practically purchase our vehicles by the pound to get the best deal. It’s literally been that way for decades and it’s not going to change anytime soon. According to an article published on WardsAuto.com, analysts at Ford predict the next crop of midsize sedans due to flood the market in a year or so are going to eat into small-car sales. And this without removing any of the pink slime used in most mid-size cars. Seriously, mid-size product cadence is unprecedented right now. New versions of the Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Mazda6 and Chevy Impala are set to land at dealers. They deliver astonishing fuel economy and offer more room than C-segment offerings.
APPLE OF BMW’S EYE
From near-bankruptcy in the mid ‘90s to becoming the world’s most valuable company, Apple has had an astonishing decade and a half. Its business practices and product philosophy have been copied by other organizations the world over, including BMW. Bloomberg reports the German luxury automaker plans to add tablet-wielding product experts to its 3,000 global stores. These “geniuses,” so to speak, are the geeks of the company. They will help customers sort through and understand vehicle options, as well as assist them with things like pairing their phones with their car. BMW is doing this to defend its position as the world’s No.1 luxury automaker. I hope BMW isn’t too literal in the Apple Genius Bar approach. Having to set up an appointment a week before you go to buy a car isn’t gong to sit well with Bimmer’s high-end clients to who time IS money.
LOOK OUT BELOW!
Look out! The sky is falling . . . LITERALLY! Vehicles on a highway in Melbourne, Australia were struck by sheep of all things that rained down on the motorway. According to Fox News, a truck transporting the formerly “live” stock rolled over, dumping hundreds of animals on the road. At least three vehicles were totaled. Luckily nobody was seriously injured. Meanwhile in another commonwealth country, cell phone-sized metal parts from an Air Canada Boeing 777 hit a number of cars on the ground in Toronto. CBC reports the airliner, which was bound for Japan, suffered an engine failure shortly after takeoff. Again, no injuries were reported. I say wear a helmet. Or better yet, just stay in your SafetyBunker™!
After the break we’ll take a peek at a highfalutin’ luxury car.
(The Infiniti G37 test drive is only available in the video version of today’s program.)
Gee whizz, whadda Infiniti?
Tune into RoundAbout tonight to learn about stories of a mysterious Nazi treasure and find out what famous personality has declared his intent to become Motor Trend’s Car of the Year — you heard me right. Plus, the RoAb crew will celebrate the triumphant return of everyone’s favorite game: The Price is CORRECT, not to be confused with that other game by a similar name. Anyway, all this fun and more kicks off tonight at 6:30PM Eastern Time at Autoline.tv.
Oh — by the way: I’ll be on the show next week with my evil twin (registered trademark) Bob. We’ll go head-to-head on some great automotive debates. Go ahead and send in your ideas to RoundAboutShow@gmail.com. It’s sure to be one Hall-of-a-good show. And if you don’t like it, too bad! You can get the Hall out.
Anyway, I’m Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics thanks again and I’ll see you next week! Tootles!