May Auto Sales Lag Again Despite Holiday Discounts

Memorial Day weekend rebates won’t lift May U.S. new-vehicle sales above last year’s results, according to a J.D. Power and LMC Automotive forecast update. Based on sales data from the first two weeks of the month, total (retail and fleet) May deliveries are set to fall 3.5% from a year ago to 1.54 million units, when adjusted for one extra selling day this year (25 days in May 2017 vs. 24 days in May 2016).

“The holiday weekend is one of the heaviest trafficked car-buying periods in the year and, in 2016, the Friday-Monday selling period accounted for more than 20% of May retail sales,” said Deirdre Borrego, J.D. Power’s senior vice president of automotive data and analytics. On an adjusted basis, retail deliveries will dip 2.9% below last May, while fleet deliveries are expected to drop 5.8% below last year and account for 20.8% of total sales.

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Houston, Nashville art museums to feature ‘Gross’ cars

1937 Delahaye 135MS roadster by Figonh et Falaschi among featured vehicles | Peter Harholdt photo courtesy REVS Institute

1937 Delahaye 135MS roadster by Figonh et Falaschi among featured vehicles | Peter Harholdt photo courtesy REVS Institute

Ken Gross is at it again, and this time it will be art museums and their patrons in Houston and Nashville that will benefit from Gross’ curatorial talent.

From February 21 through May 30, the exhibition “Sculpted in Steele: Art Deco Automobiles and Motorcycles, 1929-1940” will be featured at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and from May 27 through October 9, “Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance, 1945 to 1975” will be at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Today’s automotive manufacturers strive for economy and efficiency, but there was a time when art and elegance reigned,” the Houston museum’s news release

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Bringing it home: Mecum adds trucking to its auction business

Semi tractor trailers sporting Mecum graphics are used for collector vehicle transport | Mecum Auctions photos

Mecum Auctions has branched out from the auction business and into collector car-transportation, offering its buyers a means to bring their prizes home in enclosed trailers emblazoned with the Mecum logo.

The new Mecum Auto Transport service, launched in April, already has transported some significant vehicles to auction, such as the collection of the late Chevrolet Dealer Bob McDorman to the recent Indianapolis sale, as well as providing delivery of cars sold at auction. More than 1,000 collector vehicles consigned to auction or purchased from various Mecum auctions have been transported for customers so far, according to Mecum.

Mecum says its drivers will take good care of your even the priciest cars

Mecum says its drivers will take good care of

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Green Light for Audi’s New Traffic Light Assist Technology

This fall, Audi will begin offering a new traffic light technology in three of its models so that it’s possible to rarely stop at a red light. The technology is part of Audi Connect Prime services infotainment package subscription for the 2017 Audi A4, A4 Allroad, and Q7 SUV. The technology, called V21, enables a car to communicate with an urban area’s traffic light infrastructure. At first, the technology will be rolled out in a few select cities and metro areas in the United States.

The new technology relies on local data that relays patterns and timing through Wi-Fi. A driver is shown the right speed to follow with a traffic light image that features lit up red, amber, and green icons to adjust driving in order to make a green light. If a light is missed, the system counts time until the next green light and

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2012 Cadillac SRX Road Test


Best-in-class power; premium fuel not required; comfortable ride.


Poor visibility; limited backseat headroom.

Third Time’s the Charm

Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor

The 2010 Cadillac SRX did not make a great first impression on us. At the time, we felt that the base engine was not powerful enough and the turbo engine could only be had in the highest trim levels. But regardless of what we thought, the second-generation Cadillac SRX went on to be a huge success for the automaker. It has quickly become Cadillac’s best-selling vehicle and also the second best-selling luxury SUV in the market.

To its credit, General Motors listened to the feedback and made a number of improvements, even though strong sales might have persuaded the company otherwise. So now the 2012 Cadillac SRX receives another engine, which takes the place of the other two. It is not only more

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Ore. shop sues GEICO, claims DRP creating antitrust conditions; carrier’s suit against repairer continues

A Portland, Ore-area collision repairer sued GEICO Tuesday on Sherman Antitrust Act grounds, alleging the carrier is conspiring with its Auto Damage Xpress direct repair program auto body shops to fix prices and boycott the plaintiff.

Leif’s Auto Collision Centers v. GEICO is similar to litigation the auto body shop filed in 2014 against that insurer and many others as part of the multi-state litigation pitting dozens of shops nationwide against carriers on steering and antitrust grounds. Leif’s dropped many smaller carriers as defendants in 2015, but left GEICO and some of the other major players named in the case.

Middle District of Florida Judge Gregory Presnell closed the case in late 2015 after Leif’s failed to amend its initial lawsuit in response to an earlier dismissal without prejudice. However, Leif’s v. State Farm et al and similar cases dismissed by Presnell could

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UAW defeated in bid to organize Ohio glass facility

The United Auto Workers failed to organize workers at Fuyao Glass America Inc. in Ohio because of “anti-labor tactics and intimidation by management,” the union said.

Employees at the Moraine, Ohio, plant voted 886 to 441 against organizing under the UAW. That facility was a General Motors Corp. plant until 2008. When GM owned it, employees were organized under the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers — Communications Workers of America.

The Fuyao employees’ vote came less than a week after The Detroit News first reported that federal agents expanded a corruption investigation to include a member of General Motors Co.’s board

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All but one local lawmaker voted against auto insurance reform

In a vote that surprised few, all of the local State Reps. voted no on the recent automobile insurance reform bill, except for one.

Joe Bellino (R-Monroe) was the only person who represents any part of Downriver to vote yes, he’s also the only Republican who represents any part of Downriver.

Bellino’s district is mostly in Monroe County, with just a small portion of southern Wayne County slipping into his responsibilities.

Among the other Downriver Reps., several were outspoken about why the bill was bad, despite it sounding like a win from it’s supporters.

“We have to be really careful with how we address the cost of insurance,” Rep. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) said. “The bill only had one sponsor, which isn’t necessarily unusual, but it’s not part of the normal process. There was no co-sponsorship memo that went out asking for help getting it support.”

She said the bill ha a lot of bad provisions

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US launches pilot program aimed at alerting drivers about unfixed recalls

With an estimated 30 percent of cars on the road operating with unfixed recalls, the U.S. government has launched a pilot program in the northeast aimed at alerting owners with open recalls.  

Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it awarded a $222,300 grant to the Maryland Department of Transportation in starting the pilot program. 

The NHTSA points to the massive, worldwide Takata recall for a spike in cars with open recalls being on the road. The Takata recall includes more than 19 automakers, 22 brands and has been called the “largest and most complex auto safety recall in U.S. history.”

It says the FAST Act grant was offered to six different states that all said its customers needed to be notified of open recalls at time of registration, but that Maryland was the only state to apply for the grant. 

“The Department

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Food Bank in urgent need of Thanksgiving turkeys

STOCKTON — By this time last year, people had donated 648 turkeys to the Emergency Food Bank.

On Friday, the organization tallied this year’s total. It was a quick count: 30.

Public donations have been slow to come in this year, said Mike Donaghy, the Emergency Food Bank’s executive director. The organization was up to about 80 by Monday, but it was still in need of hundreds more turkeys.

Each year, more than 2,000 San Joaquin County families receive a turkey and a cardboard box full of food from the Emergency Food Bank in preparation for Thanksgiving. The annual giveaway draws hundreds of people to its 7 W. Scotts Ave. headquarters.

It’s concerning to Donaghy how few turkeys have been donated, because the agency depends on those donations for the giveaway. But Donaghy said the food bank will make sure

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