Here’s wishing everyone a very fun filled holiday weekend. The Auto News Column will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 2.
“August is a huge month for dealers who need to clear out 2014 models to make room for 2015 inventory,” said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. ”TV and radio airwaves are filled with these clearance deals and they’re helping push hesitant car shoppers into the ‘buy now’ mode.” As a result, Edmunds is forecasting 1.5 million car and truck sales for August, a gain of .7 percent year over year. It said Chrysler will see a sales increase of 15 percent for the biggest surge among the Detroit three. GM will see a 2.5 percent drop from a year ago, and Ford will be off 1.3 percent, if Edmunds forecast proves to be correct.
J.D. Power said audio, communication, entertainment and navigation systems are the most problematic component category in new vehicles. And the main problem is voice recognition, or actually the lack of it. Bluetooth connectivity is the second most frequently reported problem followed by wind noise and navigation problems. Power said auto makers “continue to produce built-in voice recognition and connectivity systems that are not in sync with consumer expectations” and auto makers “need to go back to the basics.”
If sales of the 2015 Mustang are robust, a Ford official said it would consider adding a third shift at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan. The plant has just started production of the much talked about sixth generation pony car.
VW announced its 2015 Jetta will carrying a base price of $16,215 for the 2.0L trim level, but it will be available only as a factory order. The S model is next up the ladder starting at $18,425 with a six-speed automatic. If one opts for the new turbocharged TDI clean diesel, the price jumps to $21,640. The diesel is pictured. VW said the 2015 Jetta will appear in showrooms in the third quarter.