April 2009 Motor Trend Vol. 61, No. 4

Read Motor Trends' Article - Top 40 New Cars
Read Motor Trends' Article - Top 40 New Cars

It is February 28th and I am reading my April edition of Motor Trend. (Does it bother anyone that magazines and textbooks for that matter seem to put there publication dates more and more in the future?) Anyways, this is a great magazine…and helps me keep current in the ever-changing auto industry. From the doom and gloom of the country’s current economic situation, it is nice just to wake up on a Saturday morning, watch the snow fall outside, and read about a passion of mine – cars. A must for any car enthusiast is to read the “2020 Foresight – What’s New and What’s Next in Automotive Technology” – basically a big “special advertising section” from Castrol Motor Oil, but nonetheless very informative. I believe the next 5 years, depending on which technology (Low Temperature Combustion Engines, Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Electric, Plug-in Hybrids, CNG, etc.) gets a major grip with consumers, will determine what auto companies survive and which ones go belly-up. The focus of this edition of Motor Trend is the “Top 40 New Cars”. If you are thinking about buying (even during this recession), then you need to take a look at how these cars compare to one another. My picks within the Motor Trend (MT) 40 are MT’s #22 – Ford Fusion Hybrid (see more here http://www.fordvehicles.com/cars/fusion/) and MT’s #24 – Honda Insight (http://automobiles.honda.com/insight-hybrid/). Full disclosure, my wife Linda and I “donated” some money to Ford (via Ford stock)…hoping to keep Ford going.  The other “must read” article is on page 48 titled “How to Drive a Bargain – Advice from a Former Salesman”. Summed up, if you are in the market for a vehicle in 2009, you have all the cards in your hand. The author (Carlos Lago) states to do your homework before going to the dealer with an offer…pick out your vehicle, know your credit situation, complete Internet research for rebates/incentives/target price. I like this advice…once you determine which new vehicle you would like parked in your garage, email and fax dealerships so they send you their best deal! Good advice in an economy where most dealerships are drowning in 2008 and 2009 inventory. My advice…take a look at tax credits available to Hybrids, Clean Diesels, and other Alternative Fueled Vehicles (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxcenter.shtml) and visit my website on “Buying a Car“.

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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