By now we are all used to the scarcity of new vehicles, and the consequent rise in prices of used cars. Far
from the situation being a windfall for auto dealers, in order to have a sufficient supply of used vehicles
they are having to pay up for the ones that they find at auction, and often have to walk away when
bidding drives up the price of a car beyond a reasonable price.
A case in point: recently a 2019 VW Jetta went through a dealer auction on the West Coast and sold at a
price that was over $3,000 above its original sticker price when it was new!
So, when will it end? That depends on who you listen to. Some are saying that things will ease in the late
spring or early summer of 2022. Industry sources are predicting that the current problems are likely to
stretch well into next fall before supplies approach previous levels.
But will things ever revert to normal? There are those in the industry who are theorizing that auto
manufacturers will not go back to the days of flooding dealer lots with inventory, then throwing huge
rebates and incentives at remaining units once the new model year vehicles start to arrive. There seems
to be a growing enthusiasm for maintaining a steady, just-in-time approach to new vehicle supply, with
fewer incentives and less discounting among the mass-producers, bringing them more into line with
smaller manufacturers such as Mazda or Subaru.
This means that consumers would pay slightly more for their vehicles going forward, but the upside is
that depreciation will not be as drastic as in previous years, and that resale and trade values of those
vehicles will be correspondingly better when the time comes to find a new ride.
Will this happen? No one has a crystal ball, and we have to get past the issues with microprocessor
supply before anything can happen. New emissions and fuel economy regulations, combined with the
increasing prevalence of electric vehicles will have a huge effect on the automobile industry within the
next few years, so we will just have to wait and see.
When is too early to start thinking of getting your car ready for winter?
Even though summer is technically not even over yet the best answer is that it’s never too early. If your
battery is around three years old, then it may be getting towards the limit of its effectiveness. Cold
winter temperatures affect the battery tremendously, so if you have one that is getting close to the end
of its useful lifespan, then a cold snap could push it over the edge and leave you stranded. It is always
wise to have your battery checked out well in advance and replace it if there is any question as to its
Recently I was waiting at a stop light, and I happened to notice a van in the left turn lane next to me. A Ford E-Series van painted white. There are countless thousands of these vehicles on the road at any given time, and normally they don’t attract any attention. But this one was wearing the graphics of a food service company, and it was in terrible shape with rusty rocker panels, a fist-size rust-hole in the side, flaking and missing paint over the rear wheel arch, and a rear bumper covered in rust.
I get it, times are hard and it’s an expensive proposition to replace a commercial truck with a new one, and with the current shortage of new inventory on hand it’s a difficult one as well. But what if there was another way?Read the rest of this entry »
As the calendar moves into June, thoughts of vacations and road trips tend to be more frequent for many of us. But where to go?
If you are still somewhat reluctant to climb into a metal tube in close proximity to a lot of other people, or prefer to spend less money, that leaves the car. But where to go?
Luckily there are a lot of attractive choices, all within a reasonable driving distance from Milwaukee. A perennial favorite is, of course, Door County, Wisconsin’s most popular vacation spot. Close enough to Milwaukee to be considered a day-trip destination but with enough to occupy a family for an extended stay, Door County offers picturesque scenery, public beaches, shopping, live theater, go-karts, adventure golf, state and county parks, and food, from traditional fish boils to gourmet dining and everything in between. All this is just a two-hour drive away.
Another popular choice, and a little closer, is Lake Geneva. A longtime playground for Chicago’s elite, there is always plenty to see and do here, and although rather expensive, the lake tour by boat is informative, and a peek into the lives of those who live, part-time or full-time, on the lake.
Woodstock, just across the border in Illinois, is a charming town with a traditional layout, and is just over an hour’s drive from Milwaukee.
Another great destination if you’re a fan of racing, is Elkhart Lake’s Road America. Set in picturesque countryside, the circuit offers a full slate of events to suit any tastes, from NASCAR and Superbikes to Historic Cam Am and sports cars. A great, noisy and fun way to spend a day!
For a proper road trip, of course, the destinations are endless, and half of the fun is in the sights and experiences you enjoy along the way. Regardless of destination, it is important to make certain that your vehicle is road-ready before you leave. Even if you have a newer car, it’s wise to have the condition and pressures of your tires checked ahead of time, and to ensure that your oil and filter have been changed recently. Make certain that the number for your roadside assistance is in your phone, and if you don’t happen to have such coverage on your vehicle any longer, then signing up for AAA might be a good idea. Many insurance policies can also include similar coverage, so check with your agent just in case.
Our trained technicians will be able to inspect your vehicle prior to any trip and advise you if it needs anything. Just give our service department a call to schedule an appointment.
The Complete 2020 Mazda Engine Guide
You may have heard or read about how responsive and efficient Mazda engines are from a review or a salesperson. Those traits are definitely something most people want in their vehicles. But many vehicles have more than one engine option. For instance, most midsize crossovers have an available four-cylinder and V6 engine.
How about the CX-5? Does it have a V6 model? Does it have any options at all? What kind of engine does the 2020 CX-5 have?Read the rest of this entry »
2020 Mazda CX-9 Seating Capacity, Dimensions, and Options
The 2020 CX-9 is the newest iteration of the midsize crossover SUV by Mazda. The prior model year CX-9 was named one on Car and Driver’s “10Best” list. Recently, Mazda was named best automaker by US News and World Report, for its fifth consecutive year.
The CX-9 is undoubtedly a great vehicle, but if the vehicle you’re looking for needs to be able to seat a specific number of people, none of that matters if there aren’t enough seats. So, how many seats are in the 2020 Mazda CX-9?Read the rest of this entry »
2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack Cargo Area, Seating Capacity, and More
People who like wagons have definitely gotten the short end of the stick over the past few decades. With the prominence of the crossover SUV, most automakers have stopped selling wagons in the US entirely. Luckily for those of us that do like a good wagon, Volkswagen is still selling them here in the States. The 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack was named Best Wagon in Car and Driver’s 2019 10Best list. It won the title thanks to its combination of performance, utility, and comfort. Today, we’ll be looking at its utility.
How much cargo space does the 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack have?Read the rest of this entry »
Choosing Between a V6 and a Turbo Four-Cylinder
Some say that a turbocharged inline-four is just as good, if not better, than a V6. Other will say that it’s not even close: the V6 wins every time. Which is right?
Should you get a V6 or a turbocharged four-cylinder engine?Read the rest of this entry »