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Americans Hate Car Shopping....Even In Daytona Beach...

Daytona Auto Mall, Couple Car Shopping, Daytona Beach

Okay America, this has gotten silly. A new study by Edmunds has revealed what we've always kind of known – people don't like going car shopping. What we didn't realize, though, is why, and what they'd rather do (or not do) to avoid a trip to the dealer.

Really, it comes down to the haggle. According to Edmunds, 83 percent of the 1,002 people surveyed would rather avoid haggling, with nine out of 10 saying they'd be more excited about the car-buying process if it meant a haggle-free experience (Saturn, you were on to something).

What's ridiculous, though, is just how much people hate the haggle. One in five said they'd willingly give up sex for a month rather than haggle for a new car. Another 44 percent said they'd be willing to give up Facebook while 29 percent would happily turn over their cell phones for a weekend to avoid sitting down with a dealer.

Even more worrying, though, are the number of people that'd simply prefer to avoid the car-buying experience all together. One in three people surveyed said they'd rather do taxes, go to the DMV or sit in an airplane's middle seat if it meant not having to go through the purchasing rigmarole (somehow, we don't think the 1,000 people surveyed have ever done taxes, gone to the DMV or sat in a middle seat before).


Mazda's Mexico Plant May Increase Sales By 20%

Mazda3, Daytona Mazda, Daytona Auto Mall

Mazda3 sales in the US were down about 15 percent last year to a total of 104,713 units. According to a report from Automotive News, though, the slowdown in sales has been due more to production constraints than demand.

Good news for Mazda dealers, then, that a new plant in Salamanca, Mexico has just come online. Tom Carey, chairman of Mazda's national dealer council, told AN, "We're going to be in good shape because of that Mexico inventory." If estimates prove accurate, sales of the Mazda3 will increase by about 20 percent when the new plant begins production this month.

If those lofty projections come to pass, Mazda will reportedly be on track to exceed 300,000 total sales in the US in 2014, which would represent the brand's highest figures since its 375,000-unit peak in 1994. The brand hopes to sell more than 400,000 vehicles in the US by 2016, and with well-received products like the latest 3 and Mazda6sedan, such expectations seem quite possible.

Jeep Cherokee Sales Rival Wrangler After 2 Months

jeep cherokee sales resized 600

In its first, severely truncated month on sale, the Cherokee sold 579 units. With all of November to play with, though, dealers moved 10,169 of them – compared to 11,753 Wranglers and 14,798 Grand Cherokees. That helped propel Jeep to a 30-percent year-on-year improvement for the month, Chrysler Group to a 16-percent improvement and the group's 44th consecutive month of sales growth, exceeding analyst expectations in posting its best November numbers since 2007.

If it can just keep replicating the its first month of sales, the finalist in North American Truck of the Year voting will smoke the trade done by the outgoing Liberty, which didn't break 7,900 units in a month in the last four years of its life (and normally didn't get close to even that). In March this year, Chrysler said it wants to build 250,000 Cherokees in its Toledo assembly plant for global sales. It's early yet, but with second-month sales quoted as being as "strong as death," the bookies might be resetting the odds.

Source: Autoblog

Mercedes 838 HP Wagon? Yes Please.

E63 AMG, Brabus, AMG Wagon, Daytona Mercedes

Generally speaking, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S Wagon is no slouch. It's considerably more sporting than some full-blown sports cars, all while being able to haul the kids to soccer practice or make a quick trip to the grocery store. What if you want more, though? Well, if the E63's 577 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque aren't enough to sate your appetite for power, the team from Brabus is just a phone call away, and now the German tuning house has turned its hand to the E63 Wagon.

This might be the only 838-horsepower, 848-pound-foot car to be disappointing, although that's merely because its sedan counterpart comes to market with 850 horsepower and 1,069 lb-ft of torque. Despite these lower power figures, though, Brabus is claiming that the 850 6.0 Wagon is actually faster to 62 than the Sedan - 3.1 seconds in the long-roof and 3.5 in the four-door. Top speed is limited to 186 miles per hour.

All the extra fury is thanks to a bored-out version of the E63's 5.5-liter, biturbocharged V8. Now displacing 5.9 liters, it's been fitted with heavily revised internals and sports (naturally) larger turbochargers. Brabus tells Evo that the lower power output of the Wagon is all in the name of engine life, but if it's really faster to 60, we can't imagine owners will be all that bothered.


2015 Ford Mustang Burnout Control System?

2015 Ford Mustang, Gary Yeomans Ford, Daytona Ford, New Mustang

Whether it's lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring or automatic emergency braking, most of the electronic systems we see emerging on new vehicles focus on safety. But there are some there just for enthusiasts. We're talking about systems like automatic throttle blipping for perfect downshifts, or launch control to get that textbook acceleration from a standstill. But the latest system could prove just the opposite of the latter.

Although it has given us most of the details, Ford is still keeping certain elements of its new Mustang secret. But emerging reports may have the skinny on one system which Ford is trying is darnedest to keep under its hat for the time being. That, according to unnamed sources cited by Motor Authority, is burnout control.

The system is reportedly designed to help novices execute the perfect smokey burnout – sort of like launch control, but specifically the opposite. The system could, according to elaborative speculation, lock the front brakes while spooling up the engine to optimal revolutions before dumping (or indicating the driver to do dump) the clutch. A cloud of tire smoke and a long pair of skid marks would then ensue.

Like the aforementioned rev-matching and launch-control systems, you'd probably have to specifically enable it, thereby leaving pros with the ability to execute their own burnouts. Of course this could all prove to be nothing and go up in a cloud of smoke, but one way or another we should find out soon enough.

News Source: Motor Authority

The Fiat 500C GQ Edition - Fiats Arent Just For The Female Car Buyers

Fiat of Daytona, Daytona Auto Mall, Fiat 500C GQ Edition

Fiat dealers recently welcomed the five-door 500L into their 'studios' as a much-needed second model line, but franchisees are still clamoring for additional new model ranges as most struggle to reach profitability. There's more in the pipeline for the reborn brand, but in the meantime, Fiat continues to rely on special editions of existing products to drum up interest, in this case, the just-introduced 2014 500C GQ Edition. Meant in part to extend appeal of the tiny 500C to more male shoppers, the GQ Edition teams up the rolltop Cinquecento with publishing juggernaut Conde Nast for a (somewhat) more masculine special edition version of the 500.

Chief among the exterior changes are 16-inch gloss black alloys with red-trimmed center caps, a more aggressive lower fascia and black-bucket headlamps, along with the requisite GQ badging. There's no special additional chutzpah found under the Fiat's tiny hood, but that's okay, this model has a plenty adequate 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque from its 1.4-liter Multiair engine (borrowed from the 500 Abarth) to go with its five-speed manual gearbox.

As you'd expect of a GQ-branded product, due attention has been paid to the interior furnishings, including a matte-finish body-color gauge cluster nacelle, and Nero black leather seats lifted by Alcantara inserts incorporating a Steam leatherette center stripe and GQ embossing on the backrest.

Pricing has yet to be announced, but the canvas-roofed fashion statement is slated to hit dealers early next year.


Gas Prices Could Fall Below $3/Gallon Before Years End

Daytona Auto Mall, Daytona Gas Prices

Gas prices may fall below $3 a gallon before year's end, with some 35 states already reporting at least one station with prices below the mark, according to a report from CNBC. That's a big drop from the current $3.25/gal national average, and it could expand.

CNBC cites a report from the American Automobile Association, which claims that 10 states, mainly in the South and Gulf Coast regions, will see prices drop below $3 per gallon, while the national average will fall to $3.10 before 2014 arrives. "There's a chance gasoline will dip below $3, but it will take a considerable rebound in the US dollar or financial collapse to bring the national average below that," Tom Kloza of Gasbuddy tells CNBC.

Besides the falling price for a barrel of crude, which now sits around $95, the drop in the cost per gallon is also being blamed on the switch to the traditionally cheaper "winter blend," which costs anywhere from 10 to 15 cents less than the "summer blend," according to AAA's Michael Green. The relief at the pump could be here for a while, too. "Prices probably won't start to rise again until Valentine's Day as we anticipate the spring and summer driving season of 2014. But for now, this market is well supplied," said Anthony Grizanti, of GRZ Energy.

That's good news for those on a budget, but we're guessing that the drop in prices won't do anything to reduce America's dependency on fossil fuels or further the sales of hybrid and electric cars, most of which have been struggling to find buyers in numbers large enough for car companies to make profits on them. Win some, lose some.


Are The Advantages Of Buying An Electric Vehicle Enough For You?

Electric Vehicles, Nissan Leaf, Daytona Auto Mall, Daytona Nissan

The popularity of electric vehicles is growing, but the market for these vehicles still makes up only a tiny portion of new car sales. Still, both automakers and policymakers are anxious to encourage more people to try zero-emissions vehicles, and they're using financial incentives to bolster their arguments. Free use of public EV charging stations, tax incentives and access to high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes are all among the programs that have become common, but perks vary by state. So before you run out and buy an EV hoping to save cash and avoid sitting in traffic, it's important to check the availability of incentives in your area.

One of the newest benefits to EV drivers comes not from a government organization but from Nissan, the automaker behind the most popular electric vehicle on the market. The Nissan Leaf is available nationwide, but new Leaf buyers and lessees in select Texas markets can now enjoy one year of free charging at certain public charging stations. Nissan calls the program "No Charge to Charge." Through a partnership with the NRG eVgo charging network, Nissan is providing the perk for two markets: Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston.

The Dallas area has 23 such stations, and Houston boasts 17 eVgo locations. The stations include Level 2 chargers that can provide 12 to 25 miles of range in one hour, plus DC fast chargers that can provide an 80 percent charge in less than 30 minutes. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the annual fuel cost for the Nissan Leaf at $500, so Texas drivers could save at least some of that money by taking advantage of the free charging offer. It's available on new Leafs purchased or leased from now until March 31, 2014.

More common and widely available incentives for EV drivers are tax benefits. More than half of U.S. states now offer a tax incentive for electric vehicles, and that's in addition to any applicable federal credits. California's tax break -- up to $2,500 for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids -- was set to expire, but the state extended the offer and will continue providing rebates until the budgeted funds are exhausted.

Two other incentives for EV drivers include rebates for installation of charging equipment and access to HOV lanes. A break on charging equipment can allow electric vehicle drivers to top off batteries more quickly, saving time. Access to HOV lanes can be a huge perk for drivers who regularly face heavy traffic, saving time and improving quality of life.

What it means to you: Because these extras vary so widely by region, shoppers should check the benefits in their state and community before committing to an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. The U.S. Department of Energy provides a comprehensive, state-by-state breakdown of incentives here.


AEV To Introduce Dodge Ram Concept At SEMA

Daytona Dodge, AEV Dealer, AEV, AEV Ram

American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), the Michigan-based company that has been modifying 4WD vehicles for hardcore off-road duty since 1997, will be introducing an all-new concept at SEMA next week. The prototype, which represents the company's first build with Dodge, is based on the burly 2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab Diesel.

Unlike the company's familiar AEV Jeep Wrangler builds, which are insanely capable off-road but lacking heavy load capacity, the one-of-a-kind Ram Concept pickup provides much greater cargo and towing capabilities with few concessions in terms of off-pavement sturdiness. According to AEV, the truck is geared towards the outdoorsman who wants a "complete vehicle package" that goes far beyond the traditional aftermarket "lifted truck."

A glance at the concept's specification sheet reveals a host of upgrades that include a suspension system with a three-inch lift, oversize aluminum wheels with recessed valve stems, fender flares to provide enough wheel clearance for a 40-inch tire and a custom stamped steel front bumper capable of supporting a 16,500-pound winch. Like all of AEV's modifications, it's a clean package that appears to have come right from the factory in terms of quality, fitment and styling.

The truck will debut at SEMA as a concept, but unlike many kit-based prototypes that flood the halls of the enormous show, this smart-looking RAM looks ready for production. If it gets a green light, and our hope is that it does, you will find us in line seeking keys for a full review.


Tesla Hires Ex-Apple VP To Head Up Vehicle Development

Tesla, Daytona Auto Mall, Apple VP

Tesla announced Thursday that it has filled the position of vice president of vehicle programs, hiring former vice president of Mac hardware engineering at Apple, Doug Field, who started his career at Ford.

"Doug has demonstrated the leadership and technical talent to develop and deliver outstanding products, including what are widely considered the best computers in the world," says Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla. "Doug's experience in both consumer electronics and traditional automotive makes him an important addition to our team," he relates. Field most recently was responsible for the latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac.

Field says that he had no intention of leaving Apple until Tesla came along. "Tesla is at last an opportunity for me and many others to pursue the dream of building the best cars in the world," he says, "while being part of one of the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley."

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