This category contains 16 posts

Fed Says Banks Forecast Improved Lending Outlook for 2013

U.S. banks expect credit quality to rise in 2013 after they eased standards on loans for autos and businesses of all sizes, according to a Federal Reserve survey. “Banks expect improvements in credit quality in most major loan categories” in 2013, the central bank said today in its quarterly survey of senior loan officers released … Continue reading

High-strength steel is the future of the automotive industry

Automakers are not just looking to alternative fuels and engines to increase fuel efficiency – many are light-weighting vehicles with high-strength steel in order to get weight down and gas mileage up. It appears that Americans heading to car loan companies in the coming years will be in for lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The North … Continue reading

FTC’s proposed used-car rule a lemon, critics claim

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is in the process of updating its Used Car Rule — and some prominent consumer advocates are not happy with the proposed changes. “The FTC really blew it,” said Rosemary Shahan, founder and president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS). “This industry has a real problem and the … Continue reading

Consumers want more connected vehicles

The results of a recent survey showed consumers want more connectivity in their cars, as they look to plug in their smartphones and mobile devices to download applications.

New-Car Sales Expected To Surpass 15 Million Units In 2013, According To Kelley Blue Book Analysts

New-car sales in 2013 are expected to surpass 15 million units overall, driven by replacement demand, low interest rates, and compelling product redesigns and introductions, according to Kelley Blue Book, http://www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information. “These factors have kept vehicle sales moving forward despite powerful economic headwinds, and Kelley … Continue reading

More credit checks mean more loans

Here’s a chicken-or-egg question: Do people check their credit because they want a loan, or do they want a loan because they check their credit? A TransUnion study released last week said someone who “actively” monitors a credit file is more likely to take out a loan than someone who only checks credit status once … Continue reading

The unscientific proof that the U.S. auto industry has recovered

The U.S. auto industry and, by extension, Michigan’s economy are back on their feet again. It’s official. At least it is by my personal measure. Now you can monitor official government measures — yes, the state’s unemployment rate is down. But I prefer QUACK, or Quasi-Arbitrary Commute and Kitchens Index, my own yardstick based on … Continue reading

At last, a driver-friendly warning device for lane departures

I’ve never been a fan of lane-departure warning devices. Vehicles with these systems seemed like overanxious nannies, buzzing with alarm whenever I even thought about changing lanes. But now I’m willing to give the technology a second look. A few weeks ago, I test drove TRW’s Lane Keeping Assist, which was installed in a Lancia … Continue reading

Auto-Loan Rates at Record Lows Helps Drive Sales in U.S.

When it comes to car loans, money is cheap — historically cheap. Yogesh Mathur discovered that when he was in the market for a minivan for his baby-on-the-way. To keep his monthly bill reasonable, the Wheeling, Illinois, software engineer figured he would have to come up with a large down payment. Instead, Mathur got money … Continue reading

Car makers get a grip

Optimism in the manufacturing sector is in short supply. It’s not hard to see why: The country is in the grips of a hotly contested presidential election. Whether its outcome shakes loose the political gridlock of the past few years is anybody’s guess, but it’s safe to say there are a lot of skeptics. That … Continue reading