This just in …
As interest rates climb and consumers stretch to afford increasingly expensive cars, buyers are showing signs of practicality by digging deep to put more money down up front, according to an analysis from Edmunds. The amount of money car buyers put down to buy a new vehicle was up 6.5 percent in May to an average of $3,801 — an increase of $233 from a year ago, and $504 from five years ago. Down payments were up slightly on the used-vehicle side as well; used-vehicle buyers put down an additional $93 on average in May, an increase of 3.8 percent compared to May of last year.
“Buyers want pricier cars with more bells and whistles, leading to the troubling trend of trading longer loan terms for lower monthly payments,” said Edmunds Executive Director of Industry Analysis Jessica Caldwell. “But now that interest rates are also on the rise, something has to give. In our increasing credit-based culture where consumers are willing to finance everything from cellphones to vacations, more money up front shows car buyers aren’t completely sacrificing practicality in order to get the cars they really want.”
Auto sales overall were off one half of one percent last month. But there were some winners among the Detroit Three. Motor Trend said the top selling model at Fiat Chrysler was the Pacifica van. GM’s best seller was the Cadillac XTS, while the Explorer SUV won the popularity contest at Ford.
Ryder, N.D. was established in 1906, but in 2017, Harley-Davidson will offer the entire town – estimated population 85 – the opportunity to learn to ride, and become licensed motorcycle riders.
Harley-Davidson will ride into Ryder Saturday with the goal to create the first fully motorcycle licensed town. “The town of Ryder welcomes the roar of Harley-Davidson motorcycles down Main Street,” said Mayor of Ryder, Jody Reinisch. “We’re excited to see several generations of Ryder residents on motorcycles learning together, trying new life experiences and enjoying the beauty of our town and surrounding area like never before.”
Kia says its Optima sedan has received the highest designation possible – Top Safety Pick Plus from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Production of the Acura MDX has begun at a second U.S. factory – the East Liberty Plant in Ohio. Acura calls the MDX the “best selling 3-row luxury SUV of all time.”
New York has approved Audi’s application to be the first company authorized to perform autonomous vehicle testing in the state. The first state, conducted with the Society of Automobile Engineers, will begin in Albany in mid-June.