Auto News for Jan. 27

Keeping in mind that sales were slowed by cold and snow a year earlier, the experts think January 2015 still will be a good month for auto makers. J.D. Power is predicting a 12.4 percent sales boost and most think the biggest gainer will be GM. We will get the actual figures early next month.

Problems with leaking fuel have Audi, VW and Porsche recalling about 27,000 vehicles here in the U.S. The notice covers Porsche Cayenne and Panamera S hybrids from model year 2011-12. Also being recalled are the 2012-2013 Audi A7, and the Audi Q7, S4 and S5 from model years 2011-2012. Dealers will replace seals and fuel injector rails.

You will be able to watch the stars on Super Bowl Sunday and we are not referring to those on the field. Pierce Brosnan will appear in an ad for Kia, while Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel will promote the all-electric BMW i3. If you can’t wait, the Brosnan ad is on the Detroit Free Press web site and it is more than worth a look.

AM General has been selected to build the Mercedes R-class luxury sport utility at its assembly plant in South Bend, Indiana. Production of the SUV will be moved from the Mercedes plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and make AMG the only contract manufacturer for MB in this country.

I was in a new car showroom yesterday and found that dealer add ons, generally worthless trim pieces and stripes, added anywhere from $2,200 to more than $3,000 to the price of every new vehicle on display. One compact got a bat wing on the rear and other extras that added about $3,600 to the base price. That doesn’t beat the other dealer that charged for putting helium in the tires of all cars on the showroom floor. Not to mention the $300 dealer processing fee. Word to the wise – check the window sticker very carefully before you sign on the dotted line and reject such nonsense. It is the only way dealers will stop this practice and remember – none of these items will add a dime to the price come resale time.

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