Honda says it will put a sleek hydrogen fuel-cell sedan into limited production next year and will sell a unique mass-market hybrid in the United States within two years. It will be priced less than the $25,000 Civic hybrid.
So how much money will consumers have in their pockets after purchasing a new vehicle? According to the “Auto Affordability Index” compiled by Comerica Bank, the purchase of an average-priced new vehicle took 24.7 weeks of median family income in the first quarter. This is down 1.5 weeks from the fourth quarter, and is also down 0.5 weeks compared to a year ago. This means that consumers have more discretionary income in their pockets to purchase specialty-equipment parts and accessories.
All buying decisions are made based on emotion, as are all decisions NOT to buy, according to Larry Merserearu—small business consultant, speaker and author in the field of marketing and promotion.
Emotions fall under two general categories: fear and greed. Almost any product can be advertised using either emotion. But if you really want to get your prospects’ interest, fear is the more powerful of the two.
Give your products and services some thought. What will be better about your prospects’ lives after they start using them? Will they be healthier, wealthier, wiser?
Automakers continue to focus on new technologies that enhance driver safety. For example, electronic stability control is becoming more prevalent in the new vehicles released by the OEMs. In addition, automakers are now using electronically controlled suspensions to enhance consumers’ driving experience. For example, Tenneco Inc. recently announced that its Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CES) system is featured on the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class launched in Stuttgart earlier this year.
According to a recent Ward’s Auto article, German manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen AG introduced a rear-wheel drive eight-speed automatic transmission at the International Vienna Motor Symposium.
Market-watchers have been particularly interested in the rash of announcements on fuel-cell (FC) vehicles that surrounded the 2007 Shanghai Auto Show and the recent funding and development news at the Hydrogen & Fuel Cells 2007 exhibition in Vancouver, according to a recent Fuel Cell Today article.
Although convertible hardtops have been around for some time, this past year has seen a huge influx of less expensive niche models with folding hardtops, according to a recent AutoWeek article. The article states, as hardtop convertible variants were introduced on vehicles, such as the Volvo C70, Pontiac G6, Volkswagen Eos, Chrysler Sebring, Mazda MX-5 and BMW 3 Series, automakers pushed their benefits: protection from the weather and theft, a quieter ride and even better body stiffness.
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More than 550 exhibitors are expected at this year's PAACE Automechanika taking place this July 11–13 in Mexico City. To date, 30 SEMA-member companies have signed up to exhibit at the largest automotive-parts trade show in Latin America.
The Salon de SEMA section of the show will once again feature dozens of project vehicles and a center stage with "Overhaulin'" co-host AJ introducing exhibitors and their products to buyers.
SEMA-member companies that would like to receive the SEMA PAC Newsletter featuring up-to-date information on Capitol Hill, friends and allies in Washington D.C., and information on SEMA PAC activities, are invited to click here. For more information regarding the SEMA Political Action Committee, contact Linda Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org.