Auto affordability hits low point: Consumers might want to put off buying a new car for a while, or turn instead to a used one. According to the Auto Affordability index issued by Comerica Bank, the cost of an average light vehicle (including financing) reached $29,200 in the final quarter of 2005 - 11 percent higher than the year before. It takes 27 weeks of median family income to drive home that typical new vehicle, which is the highest figure in the past six years.
As reported by Auto Remarketing magazine, Comerica attributes the drop in affordability to higher interest rates and financing a substantial portion of the purchase price, as well as the fact that people are buying more costly automobiles.
Audi supports Elton John AIDS Foundation: As Audi launches its new Q7 sport-utility vehicle this spring, prospective customers can register to win a driving trip to the American West. At the same time, customers can have a donation made in their name to the Elton John Aids foundation.
"Baby boomers" still booming: Twenty-somethings might seem to get all the attention in automotive advertising, but members of the "baby boom" generation are the most affluent Americans. AutoPacific, a noted research firm, notes that those who are 41 to 60 years old account for more than half of spending - and the amount grows as they age.
As reported by Auto Remarketing magazine, half of "baby boomer" households own three or more vehicles. If automakers note these figures, we might be seeing more attention paid to mature car-shoppers.