created 11 months ago | Tagged:
William A Cunn
Remember when auto sales cratered in late 2008 when the rest of the financial markets tanked? Things were so desperate going into 2009 that the government stepped in with the Cash for Clunkers programs to pay people to buy new wheels.
There must be something to it. Sales of new cars and trucks last month were at their best since 2007.
Fuel Economy Sales of hybrids and clean-diesel vehicles were up more than 35% in the first quarter. But you don't necessarily have to buy one of those vehicles to gain a lot of fuel economy and savings. The internal combustion engine has improved so much in the last ten years that even non hybrids will save you big money the longer you hold on to your new vehicle...if you choose well.
Power While new engines and transmissions help deliver better fuel economy, newer vehicles also tend to be more powerful. In many cases, changes to engines that improve fuel economy also increase horsepower.
Safety Significant changes in technology make vehicle occupants safer than ever before. For instance, on the 2001 Toyota Camry, front airbags were standard. Side airbags for the driver and front passenger were optional. An anti-lock brake system (ABS) was standard on highly contented V-6 models, but traction control was optional across the board. Electronic stability control was still an exotic, not-available-on-affordable-car feature.
Tech Not a single new 2001-model year vehicle sold in the US offered factory-installed iPod connectivity or the ability to play music off of a USB device. Are you trying to use your iPod or smart-phone while you drive? If so, you are likely braking the law.
Easier Credit Back in 2008, 2009 and even 2010, it was ridiculously hard for consumers with even solid credit to get favorable terms from banks and finance companies. Now that banks have burned off a lot of their bad loans, credit terms are easier today than a year or two ago for people with solid, and even decent, credit.