Robin Miller on Allmendinger

Sometimes Robin just say's it all!

Reprinted from the CCWS website:

From watching A.J. Allmendinger since he was 18 years old, getting to know him and constantly beating his drum on national television, the one thing I was convinced of is that he had absolutely zero interest in anything with a tin top and closed wheels.

Named after four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt, the Dinger was groomed for Champ Car and excelled at every level on his climb up the ladder. He made it clear that ovals weren't his cup of tea and that NASCAR held no interest for him.

As he told RACER's (and our web site's) David Phillips in 2004:
"I race not because I want to make a lot of money doing it, that's a perk I'm not gonna lie and it's nice to have, but I race for the passion of winning. Of beating the other guys on the track, knowing that when I won I drove the best that day. And I love doing it on all types of circuits.

"I love this atmosphere and racing in Champ Car, hopefully it can get back to where it was in 1995. I love Champ Car and I want to win the title. I'm not here just to race, I'm here to dominate. I don't get any enjoyment out of running 10th. And it's my dream to dominate Champ Car."

Of course those quotes have turned out to be the ultimate dichotomy.

Allmendinger did dominate Champ Car this season during an eight-race stretch but, obviously, that still wasn't enough to out-weigh the money bags being thrown at him by Red Bull and Toyota.

The brightest young star in open wheel racing in North America is gone to NASCAR and there's no way to sugarcoat it -- it hurts Champ Car, the fans and the future. A.J. was the lone American in the series this year and suddenly our National Anthem was back on the play list in victory lane.

His three consecutive wins in his first three starts for Forsythe Racing had to be the most impressive and enjoyable story in all of motorsports. It even made old curmudgeons like me happy.

After A.J. won his second straight race at Cleveland I confessed to Gerry Forsythe that I hadn't cared about who won a race since the '60s but I'd silently rooted for that cocky Californian because it was sooooo good for him, the series and open wheel racing in this country.

But, even after his third consecutive win at Toronto, the storm clouds were forming because A.J. had hired CSS Stellar Management and they immediately rubbed Forsythe the wrong way.

The two sides went back and forth with the co-owner of Champ Car telling A.J. he wanted a decision for 2007 by Surfer's Paradise. The two of them had dinner following Dinger's win at Elkhart Lake and he told the Chicago industrialist he just didn't feel comfortable talking about money.

About 10 days before Surfer's I called Gerry and asked if there was any good news on the Allmendinger Front? He replied that CSS wanted $3 million a year and there was no way he was going to pay that amount. I actually wrote a story for that was posted for about 20 minutes with the headline: 'Forsythe Accepts Allmendinger Won't Be Back in '07' before Forsythe called and asked if we could kill that story because he'd just heard from A.J.'s representatives and they wanted to re-negotiate.

That was Oct. 13 but, by the time we were in Australia, the handwriting was on the pit wall. A.J. kept deflecting questions about his future and his fiancee told people they were going to NASCAR. One of A.J.'s subordinates even acted liked she was still trying to "negotiate" with Peter Davies, the senior VP of business development for Forsythe, during the weekend. When A.J. got back to the USA he called Forsythe, along with agent Adrian Sussman, to inform the co-owner of Champ Car he was heading south.

I won't tell you the lame excuse they offered for their final decision but I can tell you that Forsythe is still laughing about it.

The diehard Champ Car fanatics now refer to Allmendinger as a "traitor or hypocrite" or worse but, let's be honest, you can't fault him for taking the big NASCAR money. It's human nature, it's security and, unfortunately, it's the trend for most of the good young racers in this country.
And you certainly can't fault Forsythe for not matching that figure. He felt like he not only made a fair market offer, he'd saved A.J.'s career by picking him up after he'd been fired four races into this season. Does he have a right to feel a little betrayed? Damn straight he does.

I think Paul Tracy spoke for most of us when he said that Allmendinger just didn't handle things professionally with the guy who had given him the chance to shine in a Champ Car.

In the final analysis, racing is a business and two business decisions were made. But it doesn't make it any easier to accept. Something none of us thought possible has become a reality:
A.J. Allmendinger, Cup driver. Sickening isn't it?

WickerBill sez;
Thanks Robin you saved me the trouble writing it!

Honda Ridgeline, 2006: The Weekly Driver

Honda Ridgeline
Honda Ridgeline, 2006: The Weekly Driver
By James Raia

A friend recently made the comment: You never really look at a pickup truck and say, Wow! Thats a good-looking vehicle.

Id never thought about it his terms, but his words rang true. His comments also made me laugh because we were discussing the Honda Ridgeline, the new compact pickup truck.

When I first noticed the truck, I immediately thought, Well, thats the first Honda I dont like.

Introduced last year at car shows and first made available nationwide earlier this year as a 2006 model, the Honda Ridgeline could be categorized as the anti pickup truck. But I didnt know that until my weekly test drive.

The Ridgeline just doesnt look like a Honda, and it looks more futuristic than functional. But just like the Element, which didnt fit the sports utility mold when it was introduced, Hondas new pickup up distinguishes itself quickly and on many levels.

My weekly test vehicle was the RTL version, the top of the line of five options. Like the lower priced RT and RTS models, the RTL features a 3.5 liter, 255 horsepower V6 with a 5 speed automatic transmission and all wheel drive. Its the only powertrain available.

The four door Honda Ridgeline also features a five foot long cargo bed. It includes independent rear suspension and a unibody construction. The cargo box is made from dent free plastic with a steel enforced floor and locking trunk bin.

Standard throughout the line are 17 inch wheels, bucket seats, a 60/40 split rear bench seat, anti lock, four wheel disc brakes and a rear window with a power sliding center section. The RTL edition also includes a navigation system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, heated power mirrors and universal garage door opener.

The standard features inventory is long and varied, and includes: AM/FM/6-CD changer, MP3 player, satellite radio, automatic air conditioning, alloy wheels, map and cargo box lights and steering wheel radio controls, among numerous other equipment gadgets and technology.

Driving the Honda Ridgeline, however, is even more impressive. In short, it drives like a car. And while Consumer Guide describes the ride as exemplary for a pickup, the qualification isnt necessary.

With its upright, firm seats, fine steering and handling, expansive leg and head room, smooth and sturdy steering and handling and quiet ride, the Ridgeline simply shines.

A few unique offerings, including deep, plentiful and perfectly located storage compartments and trays, and a cavernous, sliding console between the front seats further add to the Honda Ridgelines fine use of space.

The front backs seat rubber floormats are secured with easy to use toggles. When not needed, the mats remove easily, revealing stylish carpet.

Honda uses the marketing motto: We put everything we know into the Ridgeline. What will you put into it?

That seems like the perfect question. It also quickly defuses any disparaging initial comments made about the vehicle, whether from the public or from an unknowing car review whos now been enlightened.

The Weekly Driver: 2006 Honda Ridgeline

Safety features
Dual front airbags (standard); front and side curtain airbags.

Fuel Mileage (estimates)
16 mpg (city), 21 mpg (highway).

Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles, Powertrain, 6 years/60,000 miles, Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.

Base price range

Take A Ride To The Future In A Hybrid Car

Honda Hybrid Motor
Take a Ride to the Future In A Hybrid Car:

By utilizing the latest in advanced technology, hybrid cars might just provide a glimpse into the future of automobiles. Hybrid cars sport sleek and futuristic looks, but these cars arent just for show. These scientific marvels make use of both electric and gas power to make for a cleaner, more cost efficient, and environmentally friendlier car.

As the worlds supply of oil inevitably runs out and the prices of gasoline continue to skyrocket to staggering new heights, more and more people have begun to look for an alternative way to power their cars, as well as to save some money. Thankfully, the rise of hybrid cars are providing a much needed solution to these problems and more. The popularity of hybrid cars continue to grow as more people begin to realize the many advantages that hybrid cars hold over conventional ones.

So, what is a hybrid car and how does it work?

As the name suggests, hybrid cars utilizes a combination of different technologies. Hybrid cars use an electric propulsion system together with of a gas propulsion system to great effect.

Hybrids cars consist mostly of the same basic parts as normal gas cars. They contain a gasoline engine, a fuel tank, batteries, and a transmission. The difference is that hybrid cars also contain an electric motor and in some cases a generator, that work in conjunction with the gasoline engine to run the transmission.

A hybrid car can work in different ways.

In a parallel hybrid system, both the gasoline engine and the electric motor are connected to the transmission. The car alternates between the two and sometime uses them together. It typically works by using the electric motor to power the car at lower speeds and once the car reaches a certain speed, the car will automatically switch to the gasoline engine to give it extra power.

Other cars use what is called a series hybrid system. In this method, the gasoline engine is used to power a generator. The generator is responsible for charging the batteries that power the electric motor, which in turn, turns the transmission causing the car to move. The gasoline engine in a series hybrid never actually runs the car directly.

Some of the later hybrid models have a feature that stores up the kinetic energy that is built up when braking and uses it to further charge the car's batteries.

The biggest advantage of a hybrid is that it uses a lot less fuel than normal cars. Hybrid owners will be very happy with the mileage that these cars are capable of.

It also helps that hybrid cars tend to be built with lighter materials like aluminum and plastic. The engine is also typically smaller and specially designed to consume less fuel.

Environmentalist will also be very pleased with hybrids seeing as how they emit far less air pollution. Using a hybrid car helps makes our world a cleaner and more beautiful place to live in.

The government is also very fond of hybrid cars. So much so that theyre offering buyers tax incentives and other benefits. In some states, hybrid car owners can drive their hybrids in the high occupancy lane, even if theyre all alone in their cars.

The earlier hybrid car models tended to have unique and special designs, but as more and more manufacturers are catching on to the hybrid craze, they have begun to create hybrid versions of their normal cars. The Honda Civic Hybrid for example, looks more or less exactly like a regular Civic.

Buying a hybrid car will inevitably cost more than a regular one. However, the money that is saved from the lower fuel consumption, along with the tax deductions will eventually make up for the extra cost of a hybrid. Those who drive frequently will be the ones that benefit most from this.

With all the of the benefits that hybrid cars give, its no wonder that theyre so quickly gaining in popularity. Hybrid owners figure that its an excellent way to save money on gas and it gives them a good feeling, knowing that theyre making a difference in the environment.

So those who are in interested should go seriously consider owning one and join the ever growing number of people who are stepping into the future with hybrid cars.

Lee Dobbins writes for where you can get more news and information on hybrid cars.

Article Source:

Making E85
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BioDiesel Conversion
BioDiesel Process
Take a Ride In a Hybrid Car
Hybrid Tax Credit
Pursuit of Hybrid Synergy
Electric Hybrid Aptera
Hybid Cars, Whats the Big Deal?

Find The Parts You Need For Your Car At Online Auto Parts Stores

Find The Parts You Need For Your Car At Online Auto Parts Stores
by Gregg Hall

Here is some great news for you car owners: Online automotive stores are now offering parts for your automobiles at rock bottom prices. Along with absolute customer satisfaction, you can experience excellent performance and quality from your auto parts, all while saving money. Up to a 50 percent discount is offered on your choice of newer or older model parts for your car with many online sites.

Lets take a gander at the great deals that online automotive parts stores have for your cars exhaust system.

Emissions are the Mission

Over the years, the automobile industry has taken an active part in helping the environment. There is a firm belief that the smog emissions from automobiles are the major cause of ozone depletion and smog. Online automotive stores are combating this by offering the highest quality in exhaust parts on the market. These web stores believe that the exhaust system is very important to the maintenance of the car, therefore they only offer the most reliable parts.

In the past few years, the requirements for emissions testing have risen due to the overflow of concern for the environment. Since the late 1970s, all automobiles have been required to add a catalytic converter to their exhaust systems. The catalytic converter is the part of the exhaust system that filters out the excess gas produced by the combustion. This cleaner air is then sent out of the automobile via the exhaust pipe.

With two different kinds of exhaust systems, The Dual Exhaust System, and Emission Control System, you are more than likely going to find something you like. The DES features 2 tailpipes, which allows the engine to exhale easier. This exhaust system also reduces the pressure on the engine, which allows the engine to inhale easier for a more effective thermo genesis.

The ECS centers on diminishing the amount of smog released by the exhaust. This system can be broken down into two subcategories: elimination, and alteration. This system keeps the smog from forming, and alters the spin off before the exhaust is discharged into the environment.

Get Your motor Running Efficiently

When you make sure that your engine is running properly, you are helping to reduce the release of smog. For example: if you own an old car, you can upgrade its exhaust system, engine, and electrical parts. This helps your car run more economically and helps reduce needless combustion waste.

You can also help keep your car running efficiently by reducing any unnecessary weight. Keeping it light and tight helps keep your engine from having to work harder to pull all the extra poundage around. You can lighten your cars load by purchasing high quality body parts that are more durable, but made from lighter materials. Log onto a store and find what you need.

Online automotive stores that feature parts can offer you exactly what you deserve the absolute best auto parts on the market at the best possible prices. Not only do they offer top quality exhaust system parts, there are parts for almost any make, model, and year you own.

Online automotive stores offer dependable, heavy duty parts for trucks, sport utility vehicles, and larger work automobiles. Because these automobiles are used for the more tough jobs and have the highest emissions requirements, they deserve the toughest parts and the best possible exhaust system parts. Additional auto parts are available here as well: headlamps, mirrors, coolant systems, brake lights, and tires, all at a reasonable price.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as car parts at

Article Source:

General Motors 100000 Mile Warranty

GM offers all new car buyers of the 2007 model year a 100000 mile warranty. This is great for buyers, but what is covered in this warranty.

You still have your standard factory bumper to bumper warranty. For instance, Pontiac still offers 36 months, 36000 miles of bumper to bumper warranty. Buick still offers 4 years or 50000 miles of bumper to bumper warranty. But, on top of this, you get a 100000 mile powertrain warranty that will cover engine, transmission, and drive train. The extra warranty will not cover radios, window motors, and the like. This is still great news for buyers that were spending an extra $1500 to $1800 and more for the extended warranty.

The only one that is not happy about this is the finance manager, as this is a large profit center and a large portion of their pay. It will be hard to sell a bumper to bumper warranty on cars that are already covered for major components.

In my opionion, you still need to weigh the options of buying a certified used car that you can purchase for $5000 to $10000 less than new. You can still add the $1500 warranty and be covered, and save thousands. Look at both options when purchasing your car, truck, or suv. Rates on certified used are awesome as well. I just sold a 2006 Chevy Malibu, saved the customer $7000 from a new one and was able to get them a 3.9% interest rate as it was a select unit. A Select Unit is certain vehicles that GM decides will receive special rates for the month. Others receive 5.9% which is still a great rate on a used car and the certified program gets you a car that is like new. If you want more details on certified used, click here. If you decide to buy certified used, dont miss this article. It will definitely help you save some money.

2007 Saturn Sky: The Weekly Driver

2007 Saturn Sky Convertible
Saturn Sky, 2007: The Weekly Driver
By James Raia

If theres one sure thing about the Saturn Sky, its the new sports cars attention-grabbing appearance. Passersby stopped me at traffic signals and asked questions. Restaurant patrons came to my table and inquired. Neighbors wanted to know about the Sky, and even friends who care little about cars were interested.

The Sky was introduced as manufacturers first high performance convertible sports car as a 2007 model although it was first available in the spring of 2006.

The two seater, which shares its basic design with the Pontiac Solstice, is available in two options, the 177 horsepower base model and the 260 horsepower, turbocharged Red Line. Both models, like the Solstice, are rear wheel drive and have 5-speed manual transmissions as standard equipment. (A 5-speed automatic is also available in both models.)

My weekly test drive was the base model, but it featured two option packages, including a premium leather trim package, automatic transmission and an upgraded sound system.

Like the Solstice, Honda S2000 and Mazda Miata, the Sky is at its best with its rag top down. The vehicles exterior design, which some have compared to a Lotus, is sleek and handsome. The cars standard 18 inch aluminum wheels are perfectly contoured under the body. The Sky simply looks fine maneuvering through city traffic or cruising down the highway.

The Sky has an affordable starting price at just slightly more than $23000. But its attractive price comes at a cost. The convertible top, for example, is manual. And while it easily fits into the trunk, the two side flaps and the center trunk hood latch are difficult to properly secure. The trunk is ajar warning light repeatedly flashed during my test week.

An area dealership technician explained that securing the top has been a regular problem for the Sky and he offered a technique to the finesse the top firmly into a secure position.

The Sky has a few additional shortcomings. Consider:

With the top down, theres no trunk space, With the top up, the trunk compartment is nearly useless because of its odd convex design

The Saturn has only a 13 gallon fuel capacity

Most gauges are adequately sized, with the exception of the very small and difficult to see gas gauge.

Still, considering its price point, the Sky does have a lot offer. Its steering and handling are superior. The two passengers sit low in vehicle, providing the oxymoron of being in a spacious cockpit. Acceleration is sufficient event with the base engine, but the car was slightly underpowered in some hilly scenarios.

The Sky has a sizable list of standard features, projector beam headlamps and foglamps, daytime running lamps, rear window defogger and remote keyless entry with an alarm. Smaller but nicely presented standard features include three stowable cupholders and a tire sealant and inflator kit.

My test vehicle also included a premium trim package leather seats, leather steering wheel, steering wheel audio controls, etc. at a $750 addition. The automatic transmission added another $850 and the XM satellite radio and three months of service added another $350. With the options total at just slightly more that $3000 and the standard $575 destination charge, the Skys final prices approaches $27000.

Saturn has attracted a lot of attention with the Sky and its a fine-looking vehicle. But the Sky also well defines the adage of waiting for the second or third year of a new vehicle before making a purchase.

The Weekly Driver: 2007 Saturn Sky

Safety Features
Dual front side airbags.

Fuel Mileage (estimates)
22 mpg (city), 26 mpg (highway).

Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles, Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles, Roadside 24-hour assistance program, 3 years/36,000 miles.

Base Price

Article Source:

Mitsubishi Eclipse, 2007: The Weekly Driver

Mitsubishi Eclipse
Mitsubishi Eclipse, 2007: The Weekly Driver
By James Raia

Driving a nicely performing convertible with the top down on a sun baked day is about as good as it gets. But the varying functionality and quality of convertible tops can easily diminish the experience.

With the 2007 Eclipse Spyder, Mitsubishi is attempting to squelch the concerns of convertible buyers who may constantly wonder just how long their vehicles ragtop will work properly.

After restyling and adding improved safety features to the Eclipse coupe for 2006, the convertible version became for the first time this month (March, 2006). And it's impressive.

With the flick of two side easy to maneuver latches and then the pressing and holding a button just above the transmission box, the convertible function works fast. The entire up or down process -- windows, rear glass mirror, cloth top and cover takes less than 20 seconds.

My test drive for the week was the 2.4-liter, 162 horsepower GS model with a four-speed automatic transmission. And it has a lot to offer other than its efficient, electronic convertible top.

Grouped in the sports performance category, the Eclipse has a spacious interior, its well-healed at nearly 3500 pounds and its a nice competitor in an attractive category that includes the popular Toyota Solara and Ford Mustang.

As a heavy vehicle for its class, the Eclipse feels sturdy and confident on the road. It corners with a firm response and with its nicely contoured seats, front passengers have a secure, capsule like feel.

In some tests, shorter drivers felt they had to reach for pedals. But the Eclipses front-seat room is welcome. The only exception is that the vehicles low level feel hampers entry and exit. Two rear seats are small, but not afterthoughts as is in the case with other manufacturers offerings in the class.

My test vehicles automatic transmission was responsive, although not fast. Understandably, automatic transmissions dominate the market. But the sportiness of the Eclipse seems more conducive to driving with its optional five speed manual transmission. The GT model comes with the five speed manual standard, and that must dramatically improve the driving experience, particularly considering the GTs 3.8 liter, 263-horsepower engine.

The now year old Eclipse exterior styling is sleek. My test vehicle nicely matched its exterior Liquid Silver Metallic (gray) with a charcoal gray interior, giving the vehicle a nice road presence.

The instrumentation panel and console is nicely designed with a sharp, angular designed easy-to-use knobs, button and switches.

Standard features for the GS model include: 17 inch wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, power windows, CD player, 50-50 split rear folding seat.

My test vehicle also include several options. The Deluxe Leather package includes heated leather front seats, heated exterior mirrors and an outside temperature and compass display.

Another option is the 650-watt, nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system with AM/FM radio, 6-CD/MP3 player. Theres also an eight inch subwoofer thats positioned conspicuously in the middle of the two rear seats.

Unfortunately, the subwoofer has about the same total surface size as the rear mirror, which represents the Eclipses largest shortcoming.

The Weekly Driver: 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse

Safety features Dual front airbags (standard)
front and side curtain airbags.

Fuel Mileage (estimates)
22 mpg (city) 29 mpg (highway).

Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles Powertrain, 10 years/100,000 miles, Corrosion, 7 years/100,000 miles (24-hour) roadside assistance program, 5 years/unlimited miles.

Base price $25,984.

Phillips Again Showing His Ineptness


Please find something else to complain about, as business writer you are a bigger failure than than you are as a speaker!

Rain on the Zhuhai Parade?

Zhuhai Jungle

According to information on the Zhuhai web site the rainfall for Zuhai in May of 2003 was 13.7 inches.

The average humidity was 82 percent.

Highest annual rainfall on their chart was 98.3 inches.

It's looking like a better than average chance it will rain on the Champ Car event next May.

There could very possibly be a half inch of rain every day there.

Oh, and the average May 2003 tempemperature was 80.6 F .

My weather prediction for the race .........rainy hot and humid!

GMs Smartbuy Lease Benefit For Financing With GMAC

A smartbuy with GMAC is similar to a lease, but at the end of a smartbuy, you have options. You have the option to drop the car off and walk away, sell the car, keep the car and finance the balance.

The benefit of a Smartbuy compared to a standard lease program is that you are guaranteed financing by GMAC if you decide to keep the vehicle. When considering a lease, if you are late on a few payments, you may have difficulty financing the car for the remainder of the term.

A Smartbuy will allow the purchaser to obtain a lower payment while still having their name on the title. Whereas, in a standard lease, the finance companys name would be on the title; in this instance, GMAC. You will also have to carry lower deductibles with a standard lease, where the smartbuy you can carry standard Insurance deductibles.

I tell customers that if they drive low mileage, like 12000-15000 miles per year, the smartbuy is the ticket. Many say they want to buy the vehicle because they hate to pay for a car they never own. But, consider what amount you received for trade-in on the last 4 year old car you thought you owned. When in reality, money was still owed on the vehicle and you was several thousand dollars upside down. If you were in a smartbuy, you start new again. If you buy, you pay more per month and carry money over on the next vehicle.

Some terms you need to know in a lease or smart-buy. The first is Cap Cost or Capitalized Cost. Cap Cost is the amount that you pay for the vehicle. Therefor, Cap Cost Reduction would be anything that decreases this figure, Down payment, trade in, rebates, etc. The last scary term to know is Residual Value. This is a figure determined by manufacturers of what your car will be worth in 2, 3, or 4 years. Cars depreciate and are given a percentage of what they will be worth at lease signing. This is actually a great thing because when you purchase, you do not know what your vehicle will be worth in 4 years. If your car is given a residual value of 50%. This means you will pay 50% of the vehicle minus any cap cost reductions. This in a nutshell is leasing. It is not scary, just scary terms!

Remember, price is still negotiable in a lease. For a lower lease payment, a lower price always works! Get Your FREE Quoteon the vehicle you are considering to lease. This will give you a free price quote and save you thousands.

Check out New Bonus Cash on all Leased Vehicles. Big Bonus Cash Money can be used for anyone leasing a vehicle even if it is not GM!!!

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Used Car Prices and how they are determined!

Willing To Give Free Car Buying Advice

I love giving my opinion, so what better way than to help others. If you are in the market, or planning on buying a car in the near future, You have come to the right place. Everyone wants advice, so why not ask someone who knows. Post your question under this post, in the comments section, and I will post your answer back as soon as I read it. I check comments almost daily, so will get you an answer quickly. This will also let me know what customers really think about when buying a car and may help me sell more cars. Now, you may say, why take the advice of a car salesman? Remember, I did say FREE Advice! I have nothing to gain, just a little friendly advice. I am not saying that it will always be correct advice, but I will give you an intelligent outlook from the inside. I love selling cars and will not EVER tell a lie to sell a car. That is just me. Some sales people will lie because they think the truth wont due, but this is not me. I want customers to come back to me in the future as well as send referals. So, if you have a question, whatever it may be, just post it under the comment section of this post. Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.

2007 Nissan Maxima: 300, Avalon Take Notice!

Nissan Maxima
2007 Nissan Maxima: 300, Avalon Take Notice!
By Matthew Keegan

During the late 1990s, Nissan rolled out a new version of its Maxima to the critical acclaim of automobile experts as well as to consumers who snapped up the snazzy car in record numbers. Nissan carried the momentum forward until when the 2004 model was released, it was perceived by many as a step backward and sales dropped accordingly. Now, Nissan is poised to release a new Maxima and the company has the Chrysler 300 and Toyota Avalon in its crosshairs!

Make no mistake about it: when consumers are disappointed with a particular model they will look elsewhere, not even brand loyalty can keep consumers in the fold. Nissan found this out painfully in 2003 as the first Maximas were released as 2004 models. Sales dropped as potential buyers complained about the cheap looking interior as well as the uninspiring exterior.

Nissans loss was Chryslers and Toyotas gain as the full sized, rear wheel drive Chrysler 300 has performed very well and the all new for 2006 Toyota Avalon is evoking favorable comparisons with current Lexus models. Nissan, realizing that lost sales was lost income hurried the Maximas redesign and has pushed the new car up market. This means that the all new Maxima will probably more resemble a vehicle from Nissans luxury car division Infiniti than any Nissan has to date.

So, what are the major changes? They will include the following: a redesigned exterior that takes its styling cues from Infiniti, a much more luxurious and refined interior, and more optional equipment made standard.

Sure, you will pay more for the new Maxima, but in the end you are certain to drive away with a car that competes effectively with Chrysler and Toyota for sales in the all important large car segment. This is good news for Nissan and for you, the potential buyer.

Copyright 2005
Matthew Keegan
is The Article Writer who writes on a variety of topics including: advocacy, automobiles, aviation, business, Christian themes, family, news, product reviews, travel, writing, and more.

How Much Do Salesmen Make On Each Sale

This is a topic that I have avoided talking about, but have had many questions about it, so why hide it! How much does a Sales Person make on the sale of a vehicle? You may be surprised. I have had customers think that I made thousands of dollars per sale. This is just not the case.

Sales people, are paid a percentage of the profit, whether it is a new or used vehicle. The percentage may differ from dealership to dealership, but the average is 30% on primary customers and 25% on secondary customers. A primary customer is one that is easy to finance, for instance, financing with GMAC, Ford Motor Credit, etc. A secondary customer is one that has to bring check stubs, phone bills, electric bills, etc. The reason for the decrease in percentage on a secondary customer is because of the time it takes for funding to take place, or for the dealership to get their money. If you want to make sure you are getting the best deal on your purchase, try using Yahoo! Autos
to get a free invoice price quote.

Now, look at new cars. Since I sell GM, we will say selling a new G6 which has a base price of around $17,000. If I sell a G6 for list price, it may have a markup of approx. $600. At list price on a primary customer, I will make around $180. For every $100 dollars that I discount the car, $30 dollars comes out of my pocket. Now, you see why there are so many games played. An average sales person sales between 8-10 cars a month. On the more expensive cars, say a Yukon that lists for $45000, there may be $1800 markup.

Now, lets look at used cars. On average used cars are marked up $3000-$4000 dollars. Now you have some room to work, and still make money. Many customers will not buy a used car though and it is very hard to survive selling only new cars.

GM may have shot theirselves in the foot will value pricing. Value pricing lowered the markups of vehicles over past years. Not only do customers not believe there is so little markup, sales people cannot survive selling new cars. Many sales people try switching to used cars any chance they get. I do not believe this is what GM had in mind when they implemented value pricing.

So, the next time you are negotiating with your salesman, give him a little break. You can tip your salesperson, and they will fight for your best deal. Not a bad idea to tell your salesperson that you are going to tip them if they can get you a great deal. I have had customers tip me upwards of $100 dollars, just because I gave them a great presentation and was not pushy.

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