Edition: December 2004 - Vol 12 Number 12
Article#: 2009
Author: Repertoire

Now That’s Scary

Ever had a car salesperson change your finance rate or term without your knowledge? In a recent poll by Richmond, Va.-based CarMax Inc., 26 percent of respondents said it was the scariest thing automotive salespeople ever did to them. Meanwhile, 19 percent said the scariest thing was when salespeople charged them fees they didn’t understand. For 16 percent, the scariest thing was when salespeople did credit checks without their knowledge, while 6 percent said it was when the salespeople lost their keys. Another 6 percent said the moment when salespeople said they would lose their jobs if they lost them as customers was the scariest thing car salespeople ever did to them. Scary, huh?

Satellite Radio

SIRIUS, the satellite radio network that brings you the music of Eminem and (next year) the shtick of Howard Stern, says its system will be available in early-January 2005 as a dealer-installed accessory in the Volvo S80, Volvo S60, Volvo V70 and Volvo XC70. Automotive brands currently offering SIRIUS radios in select new models include BMW, MINI, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Nissan, Infiniti, Mazda, Audi, Ford, Lincoln-Mercury, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen. Meanwhile, XM Satellite Radio – SIRIUS’s competitor – introduced the Delphi MyFi, a personal, portable satellite radio that users can play anywhere. Not only can listeners tune in to XM’s commercial-free music channels, but also they can store up to five hours of content on the unit. The cost is about $350.

HD Radio

Speaking of radio, iBiquity Digital Corp., developer of digital HD Radio technology, announced that 10 more radio stations in Detroit recently began broadcasting digital HD Radio signals. According to iBiquity, three of the nation’s top five broadcast groups Clear Channel, Cox and Entercom announced plans this summer to rapidly expand HD Radio rollouts. A complete list of stations licensing HC Radio technology and broadcasting digitally nationwide is available at

Color Me Vibrant

North American car owners are moving away from traditional color choices for their autos and moving toward brighter and more dynamic ones, according to the PPG Global Design and Color Marketing Team in Pittsburgh. Based on research conducted this year for model years 2007 – 2009, PPG is forecasting that blues will trend toward a range of soft, silvery green-shade blues to bright techno shades of aquamarine; greens will feature different textural effects and warm undertones, ranging from a new turquoise shade to near gold; reds will gravitate to new intense sporty shades, refined yellow-shade reds and mahogany tones with effects; and naturals will feature new interpretations of gold and beige with fine texture. PPG takes its colors seriously. The Design and Color Marketing Team consists of more than 25 colorists in North America, Europe, Japan, South America, India, Australia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea and China.

Wash Watch

The best cleaning agent for the interior of your car is plain water, according to Birmingham, Mich.-based Classic Appreciation. “Often, people use too much cleaning agent, but then don’t get it out,” says Greg Swett, company owner. “That is sort of like washing your hair with shampoo and then not rinsing. The best way to clean your car’s interior surfaces is water with a damp micro-fiber towel.” Swett also suggests that car owners polish the exteriors of their cars before waxing. Polishing removes scuffs, scratches and oxidation; waxing protects the surface. Waxing first will merely coat over those scratches. Meanwhile, Eugene Turner, a 77-year-old steelworker from Detroit, won the grand prize of $5,000 in car care in the International Carwash Association’s Car Love Sweepstakes. The Association cautions drivers to get their cars cleaned at least once or twice a month – or more – this winter, in order to wash away corrosive sand and salt.

A Sense of What’s to Come

Motorola Inc. unveiled its latest portfolio of automotive sensors, including tire pressure sensors, inertial sensors and high-pressure sensors. The federal government has mandated that tire pressure sensors be installed in all new production U.S. light vehicles by 2008. Meanwhile, the inertial sensor module, to be introduced in 2008, measures a vehicle’s directional motion and acceleration and will be used to correct over- and under-steering conditions, as well as to sense potential rollover characteristics. High-pressure sensors are designed to detect gasoline direct-injection fuel pressure, brake hydraulic pressure and continuous variable transmission fluid pressure.