Author Archive: Derek Michael Weissman

Author Archives for Derek Michael Weissman

The automotive market in Asia is a monster. And we’re not just talking Asian brands. As we know with this crisis nearly every manufacturer in the world has a factory or many in Asia, with China being the preferred destination for most. To enter China a foreign manufacturer needs to first align themselves with a Chinese counterpart. This Chinese counterpart will have a name, like any other business, but these companies are frequently owned by the state. For example, in 2018 Ford and a company known as Baidu launched a partnership to begin testing autonomous cars. Jaguar Land Rover engages in a joint venture with Chery and there are still rumors that the two are in talks to create a new model. BMW and Brilliance Automotive Group Holdings have been in advanced talks to manufacture nearly half a million cars but that has understandably been placed on hold. And lastly, Volvo, has been owned [...]

One thing is for sure. We have a whole lot more time to read now than we ever did. When all this is said and done (it will be, don’t fall into the doomsday talk, very smart people are working on the medical side of this and will eventually sort it out) and our lives are back to normal, we’ll look back on these past months with some valuable lessons learned to prepare us (and our younger generations) for their future.

But let’s talk coronavirus and where the auto sector stands with all this. As we know by now, business has slowed to a crawl. Many car dealerships are no longer open and Hyundai (at the time of this piece) is considering a worldwide closure as is Toyota and Fiat Chrysler. Shocking, yes, but now some are beginning to ask, “are there some deals to be had, here?” The short answer, yes. For [...]

If you enjoyed Part I and already made some notes on which rides to keep your eye on, you’re going to absolutely go nuts over what we have here!

2019 BMW X1

Want to hop into a BMW and not pay an executive’s level price tag? The XI is your best shot, a small crossover SUV that has gained fans over the years. Wonder why? Well, at just $309 per month (and $3,989 at signing), getting into a BMW was never easier. These prices are for Southern California so do your homework first. Also, this is for the 2019 model so lessees will be picking up those cars still left in inventory.

But fret not if the 2019 isn’t there for you, the 2020 version is just $349 per month so the difference isn’t all that great. Do know that the actual mechanical and aesthetic differences between the two years are [...]

We won’t hit you over the head yet another time surrounding the benefits of leasing versus buying, or vice-versa. Suffice it to say that for some leasing is awesome, while for others buying makes much more sense. But let’s put that aside and concentrate today on leasing. If leasing is your thing, and you have weighed all the pros and cons, then this two-part post is going to be right up your alley.

The following are some great lease deals throughout the U.S. but do know that these all will vary state by state.

2020 Chevy Impala

Want a big sedan? Crickets, crickets … We know, let’s hold off on the old and tired sedan jokes though. We’re SUV folks now, right? Through and through, but there are still some sedan lovers out there and Impala is tech and value-packed, no doubt about it.

The Impala was introduced [...]

One of the most demanded areas we report on is the car makes and models you’ll see more of (due to their high demand), and those you won’t (due to, well … their really low demand). Today we’re going to hit on the latter, those rides that unfortunately have been declining in popularity and might be off the market before you know it. Counting down from 25 to 1, here we go …

25. Lexus RC

  • 2015-2019 Decline -68.95%
  • Total sales (2019): 4,591

24. Infiniti Q70

  • 2015-2019 Decline -69.80%
  • Total sales (2019): 2,552

23. Nissan GT-R

  • 2015-2019 Decline -70.05%
  • Total sales (2019): 331

22. Audi A3

  • 2015-2019 Decline -71.05%
  • Total sales (2019): 10,418

21. Ford Taurus

  • 2015-2019 Decline -72.50%
  • Total sales (2019): 13,423

20. Fiat 500X

  • 2015-2019 Decline -77.82%
  • Total sales (2019): 2,519

19. Alfa Romeo 4C

  • 2015-2019 Decline -78.00%
  • Total sales (2019): 145

18. Subaru Impreza

  • 2015-2019 Decline -78.27%
  • Total sales (2019): 21,838

Come mid-March the supply shortage will be felt, but as we stated earlier the epidemic has had little impact on car sales during February for example. Many analysts get paid handsomely to forecast sales figures in tough times like these. The latest figures for total U.S. new car sales in 2020 have been lowered to 16.6 million. For reference, last year approximately 17 million were moved. The problem for the U.S. however could be exacerbated for several reasons. First, if China is unable to get things under control the shortage in parts will invariably have a deleterious impact on U.S. production. Nearly every American plant relies one way or another on some Chinese parts. Second, parts that arrive from other trading partners could slow mainly because many of them depend on the Chinese for things like bolts, nuts and other parts.

On the buy side, American buyers will certainly be more cautious in [...]

These days everyone is talking about the bug. Coronavirus is spreading quickly, and while we will likely get through this, things aren’t looking good in the short-term. By the time you read this there will have been some considerable changes that aren’t reflected here either. But we’re a car blog so cars we’ll talk, and when General Motors was bit by a 6-week strike last fall they likely thought they had seen the worst of it (from an economic point of view). Showrooms took a hit as did independent service shops (where repair parts for cars plummeted due to supply shortages). But fast-forward to today, and with the virus the effect on the auto sector is likely to be worse.

The epicenter, China, has all but shut down their vehicle-manufacturing sector since late January. The production and shipment of Chinese-made auto parts to the U.S. has been severely compromised, a business valued at [...]

Tech advances are supposed to make things easier. For the most part, this is true. Let’s take keyless entry as an example. Back in the day, after purchasing a ride one of the best feelings was receiving the keys. The owner/dealer after having wrapped everything up would come out, pull out of his/her pocket the keys to your new car, dangling in the sunlight, the brand prominently displayed, and hand them over. You grabbed said key, held it up, and proudly proclaimed, “I can’t believe you accepted my offer for 25% off the Blue Book value of this car!” Ha, just kidding, but if you did manage to negotiate 25% off the Blue Book good on you. That’s quite the feat.

But back to the feeling for a second. It’s a fabulous feeling, receiving that key and beginning a new relationship with a new car. Yet, technology has stepped in and keyless entry [...]

As nearly every industry can attest to, one of the biggest issues a company faces is not how to attract more clients, nor even how to streamline operations and become more efficient. Rather, it’s how to comply with regulations imposed by governmental bodies. No one in his or her right mind would argue that a lawless society is preferable. We need laws for several things – to keep order, to maintain a transparent playing field, and to not fall into utter chaos. But some regulations are more onerous than others, and the European Union (EU) CO2 emissions policy might just be one (depending on who you ask).

The CO2 policy stipulates carmakers must raise their average fuel efficiency from roughly 57 miles per U.S. gallon (mpg) to 92 mpg by 2030. To provide some context, in 2015 the defined number was 41.9 mpg and in 2025 the figure will rise another 15%, all [...]

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