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  • feedwordpress 03:17:10 on 2016/04/03 Permalink
    Tags: automotive, , ,   

    Giving Younger Drivers Experience 


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    Does it seem odd that we expect our sixteen year old children to be able to handle a vehicle on the roads as soon as they get their license?  In some states driver’s education is required to obtain the right to drive and a period of time with a parent or other related adult with experience sitting in the passenger seat, but once that license is obtained they are on their own.  Typically the period of instruction and experience amounts to less than two months of normal driving for us as adults and if parents purchase a vehicle for their teen they are hitting the road with the thought of driving nearly as much as their parents.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for us to have a way to provide our children with experience of driving in a safe environment that is made for them to learn and allows them the opportunity to make mistakes without some of the detrimental results?  One company has already considered this and offers driving lessons for children under seventeen years old.  This company is called Young Driver and is the largest provider in the UK of lessons for kids from the age of ten to seventeen.  They have over forty venues around the country and have already delivered over 300,000 lessons.

    While having a driving school such as those provided by Young Driver to offer lessons in is a great idea, some parents may want to have their children begin even younger or have a way to purchase a vehicle that does a better job of offering the feeling of driving that kids can’t get from the Power Wheels brand vehicles.  This has led to the development of a car that is made for children ages 5-10 to be able to begin driving much younger.

    This car offers a top speed of 10 mph and is a two-seater car that has two electric motors, disc brakes an independent suspension and obstacle detection.  This car sounds like fun, but a five-year old driving at ten mph might sound a bit dangerous.  Young Driver has installed a remote control device to allow parents to stop the car if needed in order to have some control over the vehicle.  This will give these younger drivers the experience they need to become better drivers as they get older.  The Young Driver locations around the UK will offer road systems and traffic lights to allow kids to have the experience of maneuvering at intersections, traffic lights and even parking.

    Will the Young Driver system create better drivers for the future?  It seems the elements are all in place for this to happen.  This is a great way for youngsters to learn how to drive, experience the rules of the road and have an environment that is set up for them to succeed even when they fail because they can learn from an incident and move on.  Unfortunately, a young teenage driver who has just recently obtained their license might not be as lucky.  Shouldn’t this be part of growing up and learning to drive in every country?

     
  • feedwordpress 15:01:54 on 2016/03/20 Permalink
    Tags: automotive, ,   

    An Intriguing Story of a Stork 


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    The stork has been a symbol of beauty in flight as these birds can fly for great distances with only a few flaps of their wings.  To watch a stork in flight is to witness sheer beauty and grace, giving us an art form in the air.  What does the stork have to do with the automotive world; how about a little history?

    Prior to World War I the Hispano-Suiza company made Spanish vehicles and was well-known as an automotive and engineering firm that was commissioned to begin making plane engines during the war.  The Hispano 8A V8 was an engine that gained massive popularity and was one that was cast from a single block of aluminum.  These engines were put in the SPAD S.VII which was a fighter plane which was used by many countries including the Escadrille 3 Les Cigognes (The Storks) which was a squad of talented pilots led by their ace George Guynemere.

    This nickname was first earned by the squad because the French citizens regarded the skill and form of the flying by this squad as being similar to a stork.  This name stuck and was adopted by the squadron and when the French Air Force chose to merge the squadron with other squadrons to form the Groupe de Combat 12 all of the squadron adopted the stork emblem in honor of the success of this squadron.

    While all three squadrons had a stork on their planes, they had to be discernable from each other and each one had the wings in a different position.  One had wings up, another has the wings spread and Escadrille 3 had the wings turned downward.  In a tribute to the success of the ace, Guynemere, and the success of the engine and the engineering success that it had been, Hispano-Suiza adopted this symbol, the stork with the wings downward, as its official hood ornament.  French sculptor Frederick Bazin designed the ornament and gave us an elegant look at what had been painted on the sides of the planes of Escadrille 3.

    So far we can understand how the Spanish automaker adopted the stork emblem, but what about the other company that used the stork?  The design of the Bucciali TAV 8-32 also depicted a stork on the side of the vehicle, even if it wasn’t nearly as ornate as the hood ornament design, but where did this stork symbol come from for the vehicles made by Bucciali?

    As it turns out one of the members of Escadrille 26 which was one of the squadrons which was collapsed when put together into Groupe de Combat.  He also decided to use the stork hood ornament when he made his own cars, but his stork was not nearly as striking and showed the wings spread out even with the body of the stork, which may have been the symbol of his squadron.

    Unfortunately you can’t find cars from either Hispano-Suiza or  Bucciali today unless they are kept in a car museum setting or in a barn as a long forgotten item.  As for the Groupe de Combat it is now known as the EC 1 / 2, and still uses the stork as their insignia on the bombers and jets they now have in their command, carrying on this nearly century old tradition.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:53:45 on 2015/10/22 Permalink
    Tags: automotive, , , , , Turbo   

    To Turbo or Not To Turbo? 


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    As much as that would hope to be a Shakespearean question it really isn’t.  The reality is technology moves forward, cars have to be advanced to keep up.  Imagine a big honking V8 that coughed up so many fumes it looked like it smoked three packs a day from the 1950s versus the V8s we now have that barely emit any pollution and give us more for the money.  When I hear purists speak of saving the naturally aspirated engines I think they are nuts, mostly because the only thing they can actually turn to and say is better is the sound; really, that’s all you got, better sound, give me some tech and modern features any day.

    Yes it is really cool to hear a big engine growl and fun to wake up the neighbors with a loud engine that offers a monstrous noise, but the fact remains that adding a turbocharger to the engine puts out more power, gives better fuel mileage, and lowers the emissions of a car.  If you put the Lamborghini Huracan and the McLaren MP4-12C side by side on the track the McLaren is apt to win every time.  it has a massive amount of power, handles better, has much less understeer and will whip around the corners better than the Huracan, and that is coming from someone who loves the Lamborghini model.

    The only positive anyone can tell me about the Huracan over the McLaren is the noise it makes from the engine and exhaust.  Yes, I agree that a loud engine can be a great part of the experience, but if you are getting your doors blown off by a turbocharged model that has embraced the reality of progress how much fun are you really having.

    Lamborghini Huracan Turbo

    With nearly every exotic and sports car company putting turbos into their cars it’s going to be harder and harder to find a naturally aspirated high powered engine.  If you do find one you are most likely going to pau the gas guzzler tax on that car anyway, which makes the turbo a more economical choice as well.  As I mentioned a turbocharged engine certainly gives you better fuel efficiency which is another money saver.  Think about this as well, with the advancements made we are seeing horsepower from a four or six-cylinder engine that used to be reserved strictly for those with eight or more.  That certainly gets my attention every time and reminds me how important it is to embrace advancements and technology.

    Certainly if you are restoring and older model sports car, keeping it as close to the original as possible is important but when you have a newer model the turbocharging is becoming a requirement.  Much like the manual transmission is starting to disappear so are the loud sounds from a naturally aspirated engine, but what we have in their place is exactly what we want to be able to fully enjoy and appreciate the drive on any road or track.  Forget about the noise and enjoy the pure speed and performance the turbos give you while you pass your buddies on the track who still think louder is better.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:27:20 on 2015/10/13 Permalink
    Tags: automotive, Autonomous Cars, , , driverless cars, , ,   

    When You Don’t Want to Drive 


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    After a long hard day of tugging, pulling, working and toiling the last thing you might want to do is drive home.  Whether you have worn out your mind with the challenges of being creative all day, or your body as you have worked and busted your hump to create something great driving just feels like a chore at that moment.  When this feeling sweeps over you, but you have to get home somehow, wouldn’t it be great to have a car that can drive itself home and give you a break, or at least most of a break from the thought and task that goes into driving?

    We know many car companies are working on autonomous driving cars to bring us vehicles that are able to drive themselves but right now some companies have cars that come very close to doing this for us and will make it easier for our ride home.  Right now Honda and Mercedes-Benz have systems on some of their cars using forward looking cameras, but the experience has been these systems still have flaws enough to remind you to put your hands on the wheel many times which can become a bit if a nuisance rather than a pleasure cruise.

    Tesla has also developed this technology, which should come as no surprise, and if you have it downloaded after the purchase of your Tesla Model S it will cost you $3,000 but if you order yours with it installed the cost is $500 cheaper.  On a well-marked road the Model S can easily read the lane markers and handle the driving for you.  This system is smart enough to even pass when desired if you set the feature to do so, making this the currently most advanced system on any current car with at least semi-autonomous driving ability.

    You can even follow along with what the car is looking at which is displayed on the dashboard or you can spend your time playing with the massive seventeen-inch tablet installed in the dash for your amusement.  This makes for a relaxed ride home, in a car that certainly has the ability to handle the driving duties for you, which for a great ride.  Unfortunately you can’t quite go to sleep because this system may need your help, it’s not quite able to take over 100 percent of the time, but some breaks can really benefit you on the ride home.

    In cases thus far companies have found different lighting conditions have an effect on this system in any car but the Tesla system seems to be able to handle the various lighting conditions without too much trouble.  When you want to have a break from driving this is certainly a way to do it, but when you have the Tesla Model S as your vehicle you certainly will want to enjoy the massive horsepower it provides most of the time; it’s really nice to have the option to do both when you want to.

     
  • feedwordpress 07:58:19 on 2015/09/08 Permalink
    Tags: 2016 GMC Acadia, automotive, , GMC, SUV   

    2016 GMC Acadia: Luxury in SUV Form 


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    What is it you want in an SUV?  Do you need a third row that is made for adults and not just for children?  How about an SUV that offers actual cargo space behind that third row, could you use that? Would you like and SUV that can be outfitted with AWD and offer reasonable ground clearance for you to take on some rugged trails?  Do you need to have a great towing capacity?  Would you like to have an SUV that reaches near luxury form but still has rugged roots to keep it grounded?  If any or all if these features sound attractive then the GMC Acadia might be the right choice for you.

    The GMC Acadia has been a favorite of the high powered SUV crowd that doesn’t mind paying a little more to get a great vehicle that is comfortable on and off the road.  With a towing capacity of 5,200 pounds the Acadia can bring out some great equipment or fun toys wherever you choose to go for your weekend excursion.  With the spacious cabin you can have up to eight adults ride out to the wilderness in order to get away from the busy city life and enjoy the great outdoors for a little while.

    The Acadia is built on the same platform as the Enclave and Traverse which makes it a size that is a favorite among SUV lovers.  The beauty of these large crossovers is the fact that they drive similar to a car and a truck at the same time.  The Acadia offers a firm suspension that is smooth and comfortable to blend some of the best features of both a truck and a car.  the steering is weighted and certainly predictable to make it an easy system to use and enjoy.

    With only one engine under the hood of the Acadia, the SUV gets the most from its power plant that it possibly can.  The 3.6-liter V6 engine uses variable valve timing and direct fuel injection to offer an enhanced responsiveness.  The power from this setup is 281 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque in the SLE and SLT trims while the Denali gets a boost to 288 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque.   This engine is attached to a six-speed automatic transmission to help maximize the performance and give the SUV the fuel mileage of 17 city/24 hwy mpg in FWD and 16 city/23 hwy mpg in AWD.

    2016 GMC Acadia Interior

    As a feature laden vehicle, the Acadia comes standard with the GM OnStar system with the 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, a color touch-screen stereo system with six speakers and MP3 capability, satellite radio, seven passenger seating, dual exhaust with chrome tips, a rear spoiler, a sliding second row of seats, foglights, a rearview camera, rear parking assistance and 18-inch wheels.  Add in the standard safety features of StabiliTrak with rollover mitigation, ABS, Tire Pressure Monitoring System and seven airbags to make the Acadia a safe vehicle to drive.  The Denali trim adds a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, a dual SkyScrape sunroof, perforated leather upholstery and 20-inch wheels as the standard fare.

    Of course to really put this vehicle to the luxury levels it reaches for some optional features must be added.  The options that can be added include the dual sunroofs, a rear seat entertainment system, a color-touch screen navigation system, the Intellilink Bluetooth streaming system, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, heated and cooled front seats, a premium audio system with surround sound, a head-up display, cargo area audio controls, eight passenger seating, a power liftgate, HID headlights, 20-inch wheels, Forward Collision Alerts and Lane Departure Warnings.

    Amazingly the base price for the SL model of the Acadia starts at $32,000, which is higher than some competitors, but this is a much better SUV.  Moving up to the SLE1 the price comes in around $35,000 while the Denali trim can head all the way up to $55,000.  The Acadia is one of the favorites in this segment because of all you can have on it from a rugged off roader that can haul a lot of stuff on up to a classy luxury vehicle that offers you everything you want in a great SUV.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:22:01 on 2015/09/04 Permalink
    Tags: automotive, , Jeep, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, Speed   

    Speed… With a Trackhawk in the Lead 


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    Because Jeep and Dodge are under the same umbrella, as they pretty much always have been, there is some cross testing that takes place in order to put the same Hellcat engine that we love in the Charger and Challenger into the Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Doing this makes the vehicle the Trackhawk and it is a massively powerful beast.

    While we don’t have the exact specs and notes yet the Track Hawk is expected to be amazing and has already listed a time to sixty mph, which is used many times to determine the acceleration and power of the vehicle.  Even though the numbers aren’t “official” yet, here are ten vehicles that the Trackhawk is expected to be faster than in this sprint.

    Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – 3.9 seconds – In the tenth position we start with a car that is powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine with 580 horsepower and 556 lb.-ft. of torque.  At 3.9 seconds the Camaro ties for the slowest on the list, but less than 4.0 seconds is amazing, however the SUV Track Hawk is expected to beat it.

    Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 – 3.9 seconds – The Track Hawk will be faster and of course much less expensive than the Gallardo.  Even with the 5.2-liter V10 that coughs up 543 horsepower and 397 lb.-ft. of torque the Lamborghini model cannot keep up with the Track Hawk and its Hellcat power.

    Porsche Cayenne Turbo S – 3.8 seconds – Certainly one way to compare directly is to choose another SUV.  The Cayenne is basically a 911 that has been beefed up in size and carries a 4.8-liter turbocharged V8 that offers 570 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of torque but it won’t be enough to keep up with the Track Hawk.

    Audi R8 V10 – 3.8 seconds – Even though this is supposed to be one of the quickest machines on the market, the 5.2-liter V10 engine that brings in 525 horsepower and 391 lb.-ft. of torque will not be able to make the same run as the Track Hawk that will make the run faster than this Audi.

    Lotus Exige S Roadster – 3.8 seconds – This gorgeous roadster is exquisite and drives like a dream, but with the 3.5-liter supercharged V6 engine that offers 345 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque it’s still a bit slower than the Track Hawk.  Even though there is a huge weight difference, the heavier vehicle will make the run faster.

    Chevrolet Corvette Stingray – 3.7 seconds – Obviously this is down the rungs of the Corvette ladder a bit, but the Stingray is outrun by the Track Hawk.  The Z06 will beat the Jeep hands down, but the Stingray that is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 with 455 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque will be beat.

    Cadillac CTS-V Sedan – 3.7 seconds – This Caddy is fast, and it should be since it packs the same engine as the Corvette Z06 with only a little less power at 640 horsepower and 630 lb.-ft. of torque and a much higher weight.  Even with the power under the hood, the CTS-V will be bested by the Track Hawk in this sprint.

    Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT – 3.6 seconds – Even though the production of this vehicle has come to an end, it was one of the fastest cars to sixty mph on the road.  Powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that offers 583 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque which will be only one-tenth of a second slower than the Track Hawk.

    Aston Martin Vanquish – 3.6 seconds – Long, low, sleek and beautiful, this car looks like it was taken right out of a James Bond movie.  Even so, the Vanquish which is powered by a 6.0-liter V12 engine with 568 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque will be bested by the Track Hawk and leave poor James behind.

    Ferrari California T – 3.6 seconds – As a top end posturized roadster that everyone would love to have the Ferrari California T can’t keep up with the Track Hawk.  This beauty is as close as it comes to the number the Jeep puts up, but still lags behind by just a bit in acceleration and of course it’s much more expensive as well.

    Now we have to wait and see exactly what the Track Hawk will bring.  There is a chance, although a slim one that some of these models we just discussed might be faster than the Track Hawk.  Even so it’s amazing that a Jeep Grand Cherokee will be able to even be discussed in this particular company of high power and fast vehicles.

    2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

     
  • feedwordpress 20:00:19 on 2015/08/24 Permalink
    Tags: automotive, , C-Class, , , Mercedes, ,   

    The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Brings the Sexy 


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    Many times we don’t get a look at a new model a full year before its release, but Mercedes-Benz is offering that to us with the C-Class Coupe.  This car has been well-known for being attractive and a great drive, but now it’s coming in with a whole lot of sex appeal in order to entice you to drive it.  If this is the car own you certainly will be driving as much as you can in this awesome new car with the style, class and capabilities you need to have in a great new ride.

    For 2015 Mercedes-Benz came out with the new S-Class coupe which gave us a look at a great looking sharply designed new model, but this new C-Class which will be offered for 2017 is one of the most attractive new cars to ever come down the line.  The car features a redesigned front fascia that is more vertical at the grill and sloped bac at the headlights.  The hood gives a transition to the roofline that is angular and swept back.  The roof slopes gently to the rear with an exceptional curve.  There are even molding lines along the bottom of the doors and running through the handle.  A finishing touch of the body is the sloped back rear and the lack of a B-pillar that makes a great coupe appearance.

    This new model will show up with the C300 which will be a rear-wheel drive model and the C300 4Matic that will offer all-wheel-drive.  This pairing will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that brings in 241 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque.  With this model you will only be able to enjoy one transmission, the seven-speed automatic along with the Dynamic Select adjustable chassis system that is offered exclusively by Mercedes-Benz.  Other items that you get as standard offerings on this new model include the 18-inch wheels, all-season tires, a sport suspension to make the ride in the new C-Class one of brilliant quality and energy.

    Once the C300 pair has been released they will be joined by a C450 AMG coupe that will be powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 engine that comes in with 362 horsepower.  This version of the C-Class will take on the Sport Appearance package that offers the Airmatic springs and 18-inch AMG wheels, and AMG body kit, additional chrome in the grill, AMG pedals, and a flat-bottom steering wheel.

    Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

    With performance and models discussed, the interior of the C-Class shows you sport seats in every model which give more head and shoulder room than you might expect in a smaller sport coupe.  The car is overall 3.7 inches longer than the previous model and 1.6 inches wider but this new design does cut down on the leg room in the rear seat and a bit of the trunk room.  Up front you will enjoy the benefit of the LED headlights, keyless ignition, and a 7.0-inch screen for the COMAND system, climate controls and a navigation system.

    The optional features you can choose from will include the Burmester audio system, an 8.4-inch display screen, a choice of upholstery colors, Distronic Plus cruise control, lane keeping assistance, auto braking features, parking assists and a 360 degree view camera.  The upholstery choices you can select will include saddle brown, porcelain and a nut brown and black combo that has turquoise stitching in the Edition 1 model.

    As we near the actual launch of the new Mercedes-Benz C300 we will see this car at more auto shows and learn more about the fuel efficiency and the pricing.  While those aren’t sexy stats they are important to the overall decision to buy this car.  The C-Class will offer us a great new model that can give you the feeling and driving excitement you desire.  The only question you will have to ask yourself is “Are you sexy enough for this car?” because it’s certainly sexy enough for you.

     
  • feedwordpress 01:54:00 on 2015/07/04 Permalink
    Tags: automotive, , Kia, Kia K900   

    Kia Turns the Luxury World on Its Ear 


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    2015 will be remembered for many things, perhaps the biggest thing in the automotive world is that it was the year that luxury cars truly took on a new appearance. For a long time, the standard in luxury cars went to a handful of different manufacturers, but recent years have opened the doors for a couple of newbies to claw their way onto the scene. Kia, with great confidence and some genuine swagger, was one of those newbies.

    Kia began production on the K900, known as the K9 overseas in 2012, and it officially hit the sales market in 2013. Impressive in size and aggressive in appearance the K900 emerged on the scene with a vengeance, and shut down the naysayers quickly. Comparisons were made almost instantaneously to the other luxury models on the market, and the Kia model managed to edge the others out in terms of price point and available features.

    Often when an established manufacturer releases a new car, they do so with great confidence. Kia released the K900 with the credibility and maturity of a well-known luxury car maker, despite being predominately known as a value brand. It took a large amount of chutzpah on behalf of Kia’s designers to step into the heavily trodden footsteps of the luxury automakers that have been ruling the scene for years.

    When the comparisons first began, the naysayers were skeptical of Kia’s capability to produce a legitimate high end car. First of all, the V8 engine is bigger, standing at 5.0 liters in comparison to 4.7 and smaller in other prestigious manufacturers. With a stampede of 420 horses thumping under the hood, the Kia is making sure that no one is standing in its path. After looking at the powertrain aspects of the car, the comparisons allow the K900 to truly show its stuff.

    When compared to their signature line of vehicles, the K900 is quite a price jump at $55-59K depending on trim level, but Kia has jam-packed this car with features that are only optional on competitors’ brands. Not only is this car impressively and intelligently designed, there are hundreds of additional features that provide drivers with convenience, comfort, and technology. Kia offers a rear wheel drive car complete with a wide stance and attractive lines.

    The exterior of the K900 is outfitted with standard features that add to road safety and driver convenience. Included with every vehicle are power-folding heated side mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, which allow other drivers to see your signaling intentions. Also included are auto-dimming outside mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, solar control glass, and hydrophobic glass built to repel water from collecting on the windows and windshield. Should owners live in an area where drastic weather changes are a concern, the rear windshield is heated, the windshield wipers are constructed to sense rain and defrost automatically, and an array of LED lights for all driving conditions.

    On the Luxury trim level of the K900, a variety of highly sought-after features are standard. There is a blind-spot detection system to protect drivers from being swiped by unseen cars. A hot commodity in newer cars, the Lane Departure Warning System is also an included feature at this trim level. Kia has also included a blind spot detection system, front and back parking sensors, and park assist. This high-end vehicle is full of driver technology and convenience features.

    Driver safety services are also of high concern when it comes to Kia’s production. Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Brake Assist, and Hill Start Assist are all standard safety features. Add in advanced airbags that can sense the severity of an accident to decrease the potential side effects in the event of a collision, and this luxury vehicle is as safe as a car can be.

    The K900 has also cleaned up in the awards category, having won three awards for their 2015 model already. U.S. News and World Report has awarded the 2015 K900 with the Best Luxury Large Car for families, citing abundant cargo space, safety features, and great reviews as their reasons for the decision. The Robb Report awarded the K900 with high honors, especially considering the rarity of a non-European model to make their list. In 2015, the K900 also walked away with the Internal Car of the Year from Road and Travel magazine.

    In a world ruled largely by European manufacturers, Kia has managed to make large waves. The K900 is also backed by Kia’s 100,000 mile/10 year warranty, a coverage almost unheard of in the luxury field. While there may have been critics in the beginning, are they still out there? If so, they’ve quieted down quite a bit as the K900 has managed to slam their way through the luxury door and knock it down.

     
  • feedwordpress 06:09:34 on 2015/06/25 Permalink
    Tags: automotive, , , , Evergreen, , Republished Social Content   

    Just Because We Don’t Republish Social Content Doesn’t Mean It’s Wrong 


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    As a policy, we’ve always chosen to the “once and nevermore” philosophy with our social media posts for clients. We handcraft each post and that post will appear one time and on one dealership’s Facebook page. Once it’s used, it’s done forever.

    A dealer asked me today if that’s a best practice or something that we do for the sake of proper service. The answer is that it’s both. It’s a best practice to use unique content nearly every single time (with an occasional exception described below) and to make sure that any content is only used for one dealership page. However, that doesn’t mean that the rule can’t be bent a little, especially for car dealers who are doing it themselves.

    Let’s quickly discuss both reasons that we made the rule and you’ll understand why it’s a rule that you’re allowed to break.

    Unique is Best, but…

    In an ideal world, a company will be able to generate so much content that everything posted on Facebook is never reposted again. In the real world, we understand two things for dealers who are managing their own social media:

    1. Content isn’t always readily available, so sometimes you have to recycle content that was posted in the past just to keep the pages and profiles going.
    2. Evergreen content seen by one batch of people last month may be relevant and interesting to a new batch of people who are seeing you post this month.

    We have made it a general practice to keep the content unique because that’s best for our clients, but there’s no harm in occasionally republishing exceptional content at the dealership level. The risks involved are minimal; every post will reach more new people than repeat viewers of that post as long as the gap in between posting is pretty wide. The two minor negatives are that republished content gets a lower reach potential through Facebook, even with ads, and you might have the occasional person in your market who sees the content for the second time and doesn’t appreciate it.

    The exceptions that I mentioned above are videos and extremely important content. In both cases, the base content can remain the same but you should still mix it up with the description and attached image whenever possible. These two types of posts are worth the risk since videos have the highest potential of getting strong reach and important content is, well, important.

    With Twitter, this rule is tossed out at least a little bit because the percentage of followers reached with each post is much lower. The recent changes to Twitter might have an affect on this; we’re testing to see. For now, evergreen content can go on Twitter relatively often. We try to limit it to no more than once a month for any individual piece, but again there’s nothing wrong with mixing it up with different wording or hashtags.

    Business Decision for Proper Service

    The other reason we’ve chosen to take the nevermore-approach is because the exact opposite is the norm in the automotive industry. The vast majority of companies who are posting on behalf of dealers use content libraries, bulk posting tools, and regurgitated stories in order to fill their client’s pages and profiles with content. We’ve seen disastrous results when a company posts the same picture of the same car with the same description to every dealer of the same brand on their client list. It’s amateur and looks terrible when people see duplicated content like that sent out through automation.

    I know what you’re thinking. Even some of the OEMs are doing this, so it can’t be that bad, right? I won’t go into details, but I know a very prominent OEM social media person who left their job over this practice. They’ve had someone convince them that it’s okay, that it’s better than nothing, that people are unlikely to follow more than one dealership… the list of excuses are many but the reality is the same. It’s a bad practice.

    It would be easier and more cost-effective to do it the bulk way that so many companies have adopted. I suppose we’re just silly rebels who believe that dealers deserve better.

     
  • feedwordpress 12:54:49 on 2015/05/26 Permalink
    Tags: automotive, , , toyota, Toyota Hilux   

    Looking Beyond Our Borders at the Toyota Hilux 


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    Other countries have less stringent emissions regulations and overall governmental influence over the vehicles on their roads than the US.  Because of this many manufacturers, including the ones that were born here offer a wide array of vehicles that would not be able to travel the roads in the US due to the massive regulations our government imparts on the vehicles offered here.

    The Toyota Hilux is one of these vehicles and it has a long and storied history that has made it a sales leader for Toyota for many years.  Nearly as popular in the rest of the world as the Camry is here, the Hilux enters its eighth generation as a midsized truck that is being marketed as better than the Tacoma.  With this in mind that means the Hilux would have to offer a great deal of additional off road ability, better fuel efficiency, and a heavy duty design that will create a truck that can easily surpass everything else on the road without giving up its size.

    The Hilux comes in with a newly developed frame and suspension.  The frame offers an enlarged side rail that improves comfort, ruggedness and safety.  The new leaf spring suspension and shocks give a better off road performance than on previous models.  To make this even more engaging, there are three suspension options to choose from: standard, heavy duty and comfort.

    The Hilux also offers a new line of engines and a brand new six-speed automatic transmission, which together improve efficiency and reduce the engine noise of this truck.  The model that debuted in Thailand was the Hilux Double-Cab with a 2.8-liter turbodiesel inline four-cylinder engine giving the truck 175 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque.  This engine is efficient and powerful, giving off road enthusiasts what they need along with work crews a great truck to choose.

    The appearance of the Hilux is much less boxy than the Toyota Tacoma but offers a similar design.  This makes for an overall more attractive truck than the Tacoma.  This appearance is improved from a more slender front grill, LED headlights and a tougher front bumper which are all upgrades over the last generation model, giving this new Hilux a tough appearance.  This toughness is also improved by incorporating enlarged wheel well flares while the interior is also improved to give better and more comfortable seats along with added features.

    Even though we get the benefit of the Toyota Tacoma here in the US, the Hilux would be awesome to enjoy on our roads as well, or maybe just having the ability to enjoy the same engines as the overseas models.  Regardless of the fact we won’t see them on our soil, the Hilux enters its eight-generation giving Toyota a fantastic run of success that has been enjoyed overseas in a way the Ford F-150 has success here in the US.  For anyone moving to a foreign area to work and live the Toyota Hilux offers the best choice in the midsized truck class and an amazing array of engines to provide the strength and efficiency desired.

     
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