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Talk to the Press



  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    my demonishing comments towards Jaguar - at least yours. I owned a '73 XJ-6 when I was a hard-partyin' Air Force airman in Athens, Greece. (Sounds like the title of a song!)

    I couldn't keep that thing running, and that's where I first heard the Lucas joke - from a group of British tourists laughing at me while my buddy and I pushed the car out of the "pick up" lane at the Athens Int'l Airport. I would rather that they helped push versus making humor.
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Hi there,
    The New York Times is interested in talking with folks who made sure they were on the waiting list for one or more of the most anticipated vehicles of the decade, such as Navigator, Beetle, Miata, Z3, M-class, PT Cruise, SC430, Escalade, MDX, and Tbird. If you trade in vehicles frequently in order to have the hottest new thing, you are eligible for 15 seconds of fame in the NY Times. Please post here in Talk to the Press, or respond to [email protected] with your phone number and city/state of residence no later than Monday, August 20.
    Thanks, folks. As always, I look forward to hearing your stories!
    Jeannine Fallon
    Director of Public Relations
    [email protected]
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Hi again,
    The New York Times is looking to interview owners of diesel and alternative fuel vehicles.
    If you are interested in sharing your experience with such vehicles, please post here in Talk to the Press, or respond to [email protected] with your phone number and city/state of residence by Friday, August 24.
    Jeannine Fallon
    Director of Public Relations
    [email protected]
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,701
    I sent you an e-mail with the info to forward. Thanks.
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    A reporter is looking to talk with someone who bought a large suv or truck within the past year and is thinking about trading it in for a smaller vehicle. Please respond to [email protected] with your daytime contact info and vehicle info by Monday, May 1, 2006.
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Thanks so much for the exhaust-note examples. They're great. That story is in pretty good shape and my editor has a draft.
    Now it's on to the next big thing. I'm looking into how small sport sedans are taking over the market. Seems that high fuel prices and the teetering economy have more people looking at smaller cars. But they don't want econoboxes! We're looking at the likes of the 3-Series BMW, C-Class Mercedes and Jaguar X-Type.
    The ideal example for my story is someone who recently traded in a big
    luxury car for a smaller one--like a 7-Series for a 3-Series, or a big Jag for the new small one. Any help is much appreciated! Please post your comments here or send them directly to [email protected] Thanks as always.
  • 2 years ago I traded a Chrysler Concorde for a Passat for much the reason you gave. I wanted to get from the heavy metal to a smaller, more efficient sedan, but was unwilling to accept the mundane. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford a 3-series at the time, so I went a couple notches lower.

    Now I am in considering trading my minivan for the 3-series I wanted last time. That will be done about the end of this year.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    the WRX is a sedan. And it'll whip the 3-series and the Jag's butts!

  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Thanks again to those of you who (along with CEO Peter Steinlauf) responded to post #92 re: hot cars. Below is the NY Times article that resulted. Enjoy!

    When Hot Cars Go Cold
    DETROIT -- THE Lexus SC 430 is the chief object of automotive desire this summer. Demand is high, supplies are short and dealers are charging thousands of dollars over the $60,000 sticker. But to Jay Shoemaker, the elegant convertible is old news.

    Mr. Shoemaker of San Francisco got his SC 430 in March, and he has already sold it, pocketing $8,000 in profit. When he ordered the car in December 1999, he was the second person on Lexus's waiting list.

    Now he is looking ahead to his 2002 Mercedes SL500, which he ordered a year ago and plans to pick up in Europe next April. It will be the 74th car that Mr. Shoemaker, 49, has owned, most of them convertibles and all but five of them imports.

    "My average tenure for owning a car is one year, although if I really like it, maybe two years," said Mr. Shoemaker, chief executive of the Coppola Companies, a collection of businesses — including a winery and movie studio — owned by the filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. "I generally try to be early on the curve so if I don't like it, I can always get rid of it without losing my shirt."

    While the market for generic cars and trucks has been buoyed by discounts and incentives, there is strong demand for a handful of hot models. Aside from the SC 430, there are waiting lists for the Ford Thunderbird roadster, the Acura MDX sport utility and even the Honda Odyssey minivan. Their scarcity makes them all the more desirable, said Ron Pinelli, a consultant with Autodata in Woodcliff Lake, N.J.

    "When something is in short supply, you feel special because you have it," Mr. Pinelli said. "Despite the economic downturn, there are still plenty of people with the money to buy whatever they want."

    Automakers both love and fear trend surfers like Mr. Shoemaker. Their early-bird purchases help to kindle interest in new cars, but their fickle tastes have been picked up by the broader market. Shoppers looking at an array of vehicles, with a wide range of prices, are now eager to drive the hot new thing. Carmakers are scrambling to figure out not just how to generate heat, but how to keep hot cars from getting cold.

    Wesley Brown, an analyst with Nextrend, a market research firm in Thousand Oaks, Calif., says vehicles have become personal accessories as much as transportation. "We've become a much more fashion-oriented, image-oriented society," he said. "We're always looking for what's going to make me look great, what's going to make me feel great."

    That is one reason Peter Steinlauf bought his SC 430. Mr. Steinlauf, 54, chief executive of, a Web site for car buyers, fell in love with the SC when he saw the first pictures of it a year ago. The romance continued upon delivery. "You sure feel very popular" behind the wheel, he said. "Strangers stop you to talk about it."

    There is a price to be paid for being first. Some California dealers are charging premiums of $10,000 and more for the 2002 Thunderbird, which starts around $35,000. One dealership that is charging only the sticker price is Albion Motors in Albion, Mich., about 100 miles west of Detroit. Seven customers have placed nonrefundable deposits of $5,000, said Andrew Blackledge, the dealership's Internet sales manager.

    Trouble is, Albion Motors will get just two 2002 T-Birds; its prospective buyers are on waiting lists for 2003 and 2004 models.

    Even those guaranteed to get T-Birds may wait longer. Production was halted on Aug. 15 because of a cooling system problem, and resumed only yesterday.

    Such glitches can contribute to a car's losing its buzz, said Art Spinella, founder of CNW Marketing Research of Bandon, Ore. His research indicates that interest in the T- Bird, which has been repeatedly delayed, may already be fading. Mr. Spinella conducts focus groups in which he shows photos of coming cars and asks consumers to rate their interest. An average score is 100. On his first test of the T-Bird, conducted in June 2000 in Florida and California, buyers gave it a score of 140. By January, its score had dropped to 129.

    Another Ford vehicle, the hulking Excursion S.U.V., shows how quickly a hot vehicle can go frigid. When Ford unveiled the Excursion in 1999, the company expected it to be a huge success. But even before the Excursion came to market, environmentalists attacked it as an excessively large gas-guzzler. Soon after, gasoline prices spiked.

    "A lot of high-income people just decided, `Enough is enough,' " said Michael Luckey, analyst with the Luckey Consulting Group in Pompton Plains, N.J.

    At the height of its popularity, Albion Motors sold about 10 Excursions a month. It now sells about 2, Mr. Blackledge said.

    Interest remains high in the Honda Odyssey minivan, still a suburban status symbol three years after it came to market. Odyssey sales are actually down slightly this year — not for lack of buyer interest, but because of a production quandary. Both the Odyssey and the Acura MDX sport utility are built at a plant in Alliston, Ontario, that is at full capacity. Honda has had to cut Odyssey production to build more MDX's.

    At the moment, the scales are tipped in favor of MDX, which has a four-month waiting list; the Odyssey wait is generally about three weeks nationwide, said a Honda spokesman, Andrew Boyd. Supplies of the Odyssey should ease up late this year, when Honda opens a factory in Alabama that will be devoted to the minivan.

    But even the biggest sensation of the late 1990's, the Volkswagen New Beetle, has struggled to stay in the limelight. When that car came out in 1998, "you could have sold truckloads if you could have gotten them," said Gary Smith, general manager of Halbinsel Volkswagen in Escanaba, Mich., who sold the first New Beetle in the country.

    Since then, the cars have become widely available and deals abound. says customers across the country have been paying an average of $400 below the $17,325 sticker of a basic New Beetle.

    But Mr. Smith is already looking ahead. He is awaiting a convertible version of the New Beetle, for which he already has one order, though VW still hasn't said when that car will go on sale. Mr. Smith is also lobbying for VW to build a new Microbus based on a design study that was shown to the public last year. "If they ever decided to produce it," he said, "it would be a smash."
  • I live in rural SW Virginia and had several 4 & AWD vehicles due to the possibility of snow and the need to get out. I sold a nearly new Subaru SVX to get a midsize SUV - a Mercury Mountaineer. I needed a vehicle to carry loads after my wife traded the Suburban. After two years of the SUV I decided I wanted a small wagon (I could carry loads and still have AWD) and looked hard at the Subaru WRX wagon and the Audi A4 Avant. Neither fit exactly (turbo lag of the Subaru and price and availability of the Audi). When I saw the Mercedes Benz C230 it was love at first sight.

    I had to give up the AWD but got a Mercedes for less than the Audi and only slightly more than the Subaru. I gained great handling, very good economy, and a hatchback to carry stuff. I have to wait for winter to see if it can handle snow with its RWD (which I like) and electronic/mechanical controls (of which I am leary).

    So far I am VERY pleased. Good handling, 10+MGP better fuel economy (albeit with premium gas) in a very taut package,and a good price (>$30K).
  • I'm a little late for the discussion, but to me there is nothing to compare with the sound of a high performance in-line 6 of the pre-emmission era. Big Healey's, Jags, etc. There is nothing to compare, even big rumbling V-8's.
  • I moved from a Honda Odyssey to a Toyota Celica. Don't have to drive the kids any more!

  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573


    We are not looking to sensationalize bad drivers; we want to point out that wrong choices are often made behind the wheel due to inexperience or youthful feelings of invulnerability.

    Possible causes of the crash could have been:
    · distraction from the road such as cell phone use, changing CDs, putting on makeup, fooling around with group of friends, etc.
    · falling asleep behind the wheel
    · too much partying
    · speeding
    · racing with another car
    · angry frustration or road rage

    · or if your car crash injury could have been avoided if a seat belt had been worn!

    *If any of the above applies to you or someone you know, please contact
    ROSEMARY KALIKOW, Producer, Court TV (212) 973-8940, or
    Email: [email protected]
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Have you bought or shopped for a 3-Series BMW, C-Class Mercedes, Jaguar X-Type or other small sports sedan since Sept 11? If so, your comments are of great interest. Please get in touch with me via [email protected]
    Thanks as always,
    Jonathan Welsh
  • When back to the dealer a week later and order it. The MRSP was $35,550 and I got the car for $33,750. It includes an yearly detail of the car for as long as I own it.
  • You can contact me at my e-mail address in my profile.

  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Thanks to all of you who participated on- and offline about your post-Sept 11 shopping experiences. I think we've befriended The Wall Street Journal for life, since we provided so many responses. Hope it's been fun for you to interact with the reporter. Here's another chance...

    The New York Times is interested in hearing people's reactions to the special car rental deals currently in effect. You can now borrow a car for as low as $9.99/day from Enterprise or $20/day from Hertz, and you can get a Ford Ranger at $19.99/day or $99.99/week from Budget. How does that fit into your travel plans? Or, does it inspire you to rent a vehicle locally for personal use?
    Thanks for coming back to me at [email protected] with your comments, phone number, and city and state of residence by Wednesday, October 17 if you'd like to participate.
    Very best always,
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
    [email protected]
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,701
    That interestes me. I rent vehicles fairly often and have cut back the amount of rentals I use, because most of the rental agencies started cutting their mileage allowed.
  • Yes, someone who defies the auto gods, and doesn't buy an import sedan! And buys a Van of all things!
    Proud to buy a car that is not only made in America, but maintains profits within this country. Ahh! How Politically Incorrect is that!

    Why I bought a full sized (non-conversion) van:
    Chevy Express 1500 Passenger Van (base w/ 1SC package)

    1. Bigger interior space than SUV
    2. Better gas mileage than SUV with comparable interior space (there isn't one, nope, not even the Toyota Land Cruiser - joke)
    3. Not what everyone else buys, but sold enough in commercial applications to ensure that repair/maintenance will be cheap and easy to come by.
    4. Ability to remove rear 2 seats for a massive 270 cubic feet of cargo space.
    5. It's better than a pickup, because *my* "tonnaeu cover* is air conditioned, and if I need, I can put the 2 rear benches back in.
    6. Insane number of engine choices and configurations.
    7. The "sin bin" may (again) be the wave of the future?
    8. No interest in little sports sedans that my friends have to cram into, no matter how great the handling might be.
    9. Conversion is possible in the future, if I desire it.
    10. Cheaper by far than any big honking SUV, sports sedan, or other poseur-mobile. Not being popular has its benefits, it seems.

    My buying experience was Difficult, to say the least.
    Few dealerships even offer a base, non-conversion van. Fewer still offer one that isn't a white, windowless "commercial" van.
    When the dealers I went to (Both GMC and Chevy) didn't have base vans, some asked me about getting a Chevy Tahoe ---- with prices waaay up in the 30Ks. Not gonna happen...

    In the end, I found ONE Pewter Metallic with the 5.0 liter V8 where I live, and I jumped on it with GM's 0% interest, and my company's GMS discount program.

    In the end, I am a happy camper, with this fun to drive- look down on others as you drive the big rig - feeling. No problems, though I mistook the clutch fan for high revving at first - my bad. The vehicle has a whopping 31 gallon gas tank that I have only had to fill once (was filled initially by dealer) and I have driven 700+ miles so far. A good vehicle, and none of my friends recognize it or know it. What a GOOD feeling it is to not be yet another sheep, following the "trenzzz".

    The Suzuki was....O.K.....but the engine sounded like a tornado at 70mph, revving waaay up at 4000 rpms, and none of my friends appreciated the cramped (even with the sedan) ride. Overall, I realized fast that my hobbies and lifestyle could not be supported by a little economy car. No gripes against Suzuki, but I don't live in Japan anymore, and I now recognize that fact in my big American house and Big American needs.

    - Happy Express Owner
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    What are the most important factors in your car-buying decisions? I'm looking for a ranking of concerns such as safety, price, monthly payment, styling, quality, etc.
    Please post here and/or send your response to [email protected] by Monday, October 29 for inclusion in a Chicago Tribune article.
    Thanks as always for your time!
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    I'd have to go with safety (now that I've got a little one to think about), the availablility of a manual transmission, fuel economy, and the fun factor in that order. Styling isn't a major concern, but it still plays into any buying decision I'd make. Also important are long-term durability, build quality, and space. Given these criteria, and I know I'm not the only one with them, I think it's easy to see why sporty station wagons are making a comeback (or really, a debut, if the "sporty" part is factored in.)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    1) Reliability. I've had too many american cars that were just complete crappola. I don't care how safe the car is, if you are left stranded on the side of the Cross-Bronx X-way at 3am, that safe car now becomes quite the un-safe car

    2) Utility. Not necessarily an SUV, but whatever the car's purpose it should do the job properly, beit Sports Car, SUV, Van, Roadster, etc. I can't stand 90% of the SUVs out there cause they are all curvy and not very good for hauling boxes and other assorted items in the back. When I showed up to the Dodge dealer with 2 17" monitor boxes he looked at me like I was crazy when i tried to fit them in the back of the durango.

    3) Safety- Real safety items such as real world stats on # of crashes etc. Not theoretical rollovers, or 5mph crashes into things that don't exist in the real world, or biased automotive press tests. Cold hard factual real world stats.

    4) Price- Value more specifically. For instance I bought a trooper for $25,500 fully loaded. No other SUV can come close to the features + size + reliability for even $30K out the door price.

    [email protected]
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    1) Performance

    2) Resale value. Is it a better buy new or Used? I just bought a 99 Jaguar used (for myself.. I am a dealer) as I saved over $40,000! Meanwhile, another family member just bought a new Mercedes CLK Cabriolet on my reccomendation new. There's no real savings there going used. People just dont look at that factor enough. "Ooh, I can get a Taurus cheaper than an Accord" Meanwhile, it'd be cheaper to drive a Mercedes CLK for 3 years!

    3) Comfort

    4) Styling.

    5) Reliability

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,175
    What are the most important factors in your car-buying decisions? I'm looking for a ranking of concerns such as safety, price, monthly payment, styling, quality, etc.

    Please send your response to [email protected]

    Edmunds Moderator

    Need some roadside assistance? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Just purchased or leased a vehicle? Share your vehicle reviews

    PF_Flyer's 2014 Versa Note Long Term Blog
    How To Start Your Own Long Term Blog

  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    You missed it, dude. Look up about five posts.
  • Sounds just like the last one . . .

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My top criteria:

    1. Fun to drive. Doesn't have to be a rocket in a straight line, but balanced performance in an entertaining package is an absolute must.

    2. Utility. It must meet my needs. By that I mean at least decent payload, towing, passenger space, cargo space, etc.

    3. Reliability. Must be better than average, at least. I'd like a 5+ year warranty to go with it, too.

    4. Value. At any price level, a good value. I'd be in the $20k to $30k price range, but for that much I pretty much want it loaded.

    Specific things I'd like include traction and stability control, a wagon bodystyle, a manual tranny, 4 channel ABS, and AWD.

  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Great responses - I've forwarded all of them to The Chicago Tribune and will let you know how it goes!
    And, I've connected with pf_flyer to thank him for being so thorough in helping me get the word out about our search - we don't expect any more deja vus like that again!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 23,819
    Well, not suprisingly, I almost agree with Bill on this one. Performance is my top concern. But resale is my 3rd. I've got to put comfort above that (chalk that up to 3-4 hours spent in my car every day). And styling is dead last for me. If it looks good but doesn't start, then its still worthless in my book. I'm more of a function over form person.

    But, its tough to put some of those in order because there aren't many I'd compromise on. If it was lacking in any of the areas, I wouldn't buy it. So, really, I guess they are all equally important when you get right down to it. Yes, performance is what I look at first, but if its butt ugly, then I'm not buying it, no matter how fast it is.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • the most car that I can afford that meets my needs.

    I guess that means that my needs are first, as in size and/or volume, followed by number of doors, functionality and comfort. I also want a fun driving experience, but since it has to meet my needs first, I guess that follows, along with economy and style.

    That all said, the whole package must fit into my price range. If you look at it one way, the price is the most limiting criterion. I think, like almost everybody else, cost is really #1. But once you have a laundry list of cars that fit within your budget, the other criteria float to the top.
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