Auto News for Dec. 31

I think the auto news story of the year is not the robust sales, or the new models, or the GM ignition story. Nay, nay! I tend to go with what puts money in consumer’s pockets, and in that case, the story of the year is lower gas prices. Experts say consumers are saving $450-million on gas these days, and for the average family that can mean an extra $25 to $75 a month in savings. Already, many are seeing prices below $2 a gallon. Enjoy it while it lasts.

As you know, cheap gas has improved consumer confidence and that has driven up auto and truck sales. TrueCar is predicting that sales will increase a vigorous 9.5 percent this month compared to one year earlier. “What a way to close out this blockbuster year for the industry,” said John Krafcik, President of TrueCar. He said automakers will be “grinning as they close the books this year.”

The folks who should know, Allied Van Lines, report that more people moved to Texas this year than any other state. Florida was the second most popular move in state followed by Arizona, South Carolina and Colorado.

NADA reports that the Corvette Stingray retained more of its value than any other brand this year, or 84.7 percent. The Subaru Forester also did well, holding on to 81.8 percent of its value. On the other side of the scale, the Mitsubishi Mirage performed the worst, holding only 54.5 percent of its MSRP.

The Auto News column will resume on January 2. And on Saturday, my choices for Car and Truck of the Year will be revealed. Don’t miss it!



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