7 Key Rules To Maintain Your Car Tyres

In today’s world, maintenance and neglection can determine the life of your tyres. It’s quite tough to take care of your each & every part of your vehicle to maintain the performance or extend the life of your one of the most valuable assets. Neglecting the maintenance of your car tyres can be very costly.

Pay attention to these key areas to save on its replacement instead of keeping an eye on your vehicle’s performance and checking other parts. According to the experts, tyre maintenance is not a rocket science, it’s just a set of basic rules which are easy to follow for extending their life.

Know the inflation level: You better know the inflation level which is the biggest influence on tyre life. They are designed to run at a specific pressure. So gather the information on your exact axle load or refer to a tyre load chart. These are available online as well so that you can make the adjustments accordingly.

Join a good inflation maintenance program: It’s better if you can join a good tyre maintenance program which is quite difficult as they naturally lose air. Small punctures or valve caps may encourage the leakage. Make sure you check your tyres on a regular basis or once in a week to look if there is a rapid leak.

Reduce your driving speed: It always recommends to control your driving speed because the high speed generates more heat and accelerate tyre wear. The average speed between 55 mph to 75 mph can reduce the total treads mileage by 20% so make sure you keep the speed approx 55mph to increase the mileage.

Keep your vehicles well-aligned: Poor vehicle alignment is the major reason of the uncertain wears. Unexpected tread wear would appear on parts of the tyres if they don’t run straight ahead. The vehicle should be properly aligned so it’s better you start a serious alignment program which may increase the tyre mileage by 30%.

Mount it correctly: It’s better you watch the performance of your car tyres. You will have to watch that your tyres are mounted or match-mounted to the wheel correctly. The high spot may vary one tyre to another so watch this mark when you mount the tyres. It’s better if you take the high spot to match it to the low spot of the wheel.

Check & replace a wheel on time: You need to check the wheels and suspension components on time so that you can replace these hidden enemies of your tyres. If your wheel bearing is not torqued properly, it may cause irregular wear. Worn shock absorbers may cause depression wear on treads and an early trip to the scrap pile. Don’t wait for the suspension components to be broken or for any leakage. It’s better if you can replace shock absorbers and other suspension components.

Rotate Tyres: Intelligent tyre rotation is quite important to promote even tread wear and add a lot of extra miles in tread life. It’s better if you rotate drive tyres between forward and back positions once in a few months to even out wear. Rear tyres will wear quicker than the forward positions so, it’s better if you emphasize on intelligent tyre rotation.

If you follow these basic ways to maintain your car tyres, you will find the better mileage, smooth drive, and less maintenance or the car tyre replacement cost. This is the ideal way of extending your tyre life and make it reliable for a long drive.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9863026

An Overview of Car Airbags

For all we know, car airbags are one of the most effective protective measures which help reduce the impact of an accident on the passengers. As a matter of fact, it has been reported that fatalities were reduced by up to a whopping 52 percent in the case of both belted drivers with frontal airbags as well as SUVs equipped with side airbags.

Functioning of Airbags

In every automobile, facilitated with airbags, there is a sensor with the ability to detect a collision. In the event of a collision, the sensor sends an electric signal to the airbag storage. The signal reaches an igniter compound which gets heated up to result in the decomposition of sodium azide present in the compartment. In addition, the heat leads to the filling up of the airbag with nitrogen. All of this happens in an incredibly small duration of 0.03 seconds, and within 0.05 seconds of the collision, the inflated airbag forms a buffer between the occupants of the car and the steering column/dashboard.

Advantages of Airbags

While it has been pointed out at the decline in fatality rate due to the presence of airbags, let us delve deeper to understand some other advantages that they entail:

• Airbags prove to be highly effective in protecting the passengers from any significant head, neck or spine injury by offering these parts with sufficient cushioning.

• Airbags limit the distance that the head of the passenger hurls forward, thereby reducing the risk of injury to the head.

• Airbags act as a protective wall between the passenger and the windshield and windows of the car, thus protecting the passengers from getting ejected from the car.

Limitations of Airbags

• Albeit in very few cases, airbag deployment has resulted in the ignition of petrol/diesel fumes. This happens as a result of the explosion of the igniter element. This may lead to injuries and severe burns.

• The deployment of airbags is known to reach incredibly high speeds of up to 200 mph, and can, therefore, result in severe fractures or internal injuries as a result. This is especially the case when the driver’s body is too close to the steering column.

• For the airbags to be truly effective, it is essential that vehicles have both, front as well as side airbags.

Tips Pertaining Airbags

• You must always invest in a car that offers both, front as well as side airbags.

• You should always use your seat belt, as airbags prove to be more effective when deployed on a belted passenger.

• In case your car’s airbags have been deployed as a result of collision, you must ensure that you get them re-installed only at an authorised auto car care centre.

We hope that you now have a fair knowledge regarding the role of airbags in a car. Do make sure you put this knowledge to good use. Until next time, keep safe!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9867781

Drive Safe by Being Smart

RECKLESS DRIVING:

Thought cars have made our lives so much easier and convenient yet as a society; we still lack patience, crave danger or choose to be careless. According to reports over the years traffic fatalities have increased significantly.

So, I was just watching a video (short film) that inspired me to talk on this issue of reckless driving. It made me think about the cause. Could it have been prevented if he wasn’t distracted?

Yes.

In that short video, as the guy seemingly decent, slows down for an old man to pass as he waves at him back. It’s that time, when someone texts him, maybe his fiancé and sends him her pic. He just gets distracted for a second, watching those pic, he’s almost about to hit another car, when he takes a left-hand turn, and hits someone (mom and the baby in the stroller).

He takes a turn only to see a woman and her baby in stroller right in front of him. The clip ends as the mom struggles to reach to her son only to see he is gone. The man that accidentally ran over, it was his wedding day!

Sometimes one second is all it takes for your life to turn for the worst. Showing a disregard for the rules of the road, may get you into a situation, you can’t escape. Sometimes you can’t travel a second back or wish it was just a nightmare.

Multi-tasking

‘Less distractions’ ‘fresh energy’ ‘most productive’

Multi-tasking (during driving) is how I would put this together into words. It’s very common and still ignored as a serious issue. Calling, texting, or being distracted by something while driving is irresponsible.

CRAZY MORNINGS AND DISTRACTED DRIVING:

Wake up 15 minutes early, less frustration and less chances of distracted driving.

Now you’re, stuck in traffic, cursing, the traffic noise and the chaos. We have lost patience and the consequences are the incidents that happen every day, right in front of us yet we choose to ignore them.

Let’s say you’re waking up late, rushing to get car keys, by the time you find them you are too late to have your breakfast and indulge in distracted driving (in addiction to texting or talking, putting on make-up, snacking).

Sadly, whether Intentional or unintentional, it has the same consequence in these kind of accidents. There are many factors that contribute to this but identifying the contributory factors help understand in depth.

• The reckless driving ranks on the top one:

• Harmless can be lethal.

• Phones aren’t the only issue

• Driving while drowsy, speeding, having multiple passengers

• browsing music

• tending to your children in the backseat

• Dangerous behavior, acknowledging

• (Failing to follow simple rules again and again)

• (Failing to wear seatbelts)

• Unexpected maneuvering (bus and trucks)

• Paying less attention to the oncoming vehicles in the opposite lane

• Misjudgment of distance and speed

• (Motorcycles move differently from cars)

• Lack of street lighting.Unclear vision due to shadow of small trees, advertisement boards, and roadside objects during the night time.

• Difficulty in distinguishing the lane separation

• Road and Environment Factor, in particular for developing countries (where vehicle and road-environment are still not of the same standards as developed countries).

TEMPTATION, PEER PRESSURE AND YOUNG INEXPERIENCED DRIVERS:

I am writing this as reckless driving and young people are very much is ‘connected’ if we look at the statistics.

Teenage kids are most, at risk of reckless driving, and the reason is almost all teenagers behave in an impulsive, irrational, or dangerous way.

Violent games are also one of the causes teenagers are more likely to drive recklessly; according to new violent video games, movies, are a ‘gate way’ to risky thoughts. Now, that’s not just one way to desensitize one, and risky thoughts lead to risky behavior.

Although peer pressure may seem harmless, it is no joke. This craving of thrill and danger may result in horrible consequences they don’t fully understand, probably roll their eyes and ignore. As a parent, make sure they stay safe; awareness is important, follow the rules and road security regulations, and be smart and responsible.

They’re easily pressured into doing something reckless, can become a detriment to the safety of teen drivers. They should be aware, in situations like these, preventing a drunken friend from hurting themselves or someone else. Try to help them to be responsible, advise them (not lecture) to prevent from getting into trouble.

Being safe by not breaking any rules:

Running late is one of the main causes and being five minutes early can reduce that chance.

No distraction: such as cell phones, don’t get in a fight or check text messages. Use when safely parked and there is no more rush.

Stay calm and whatever makes you relax. Listen to music, if it helps to physically calm the body, if anxious.

There is no excuse for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.Call a cab, crash at a friend’s house but don’t drive.

Every day we encounter or hear this disheartening news and though we know the dangers but we do need to constantly remind ourselves because this can save anyone we love. Working on safety and road regulations still needs to be done. Let’s keep promoting a clear understanding of responsibilities, their impact and consequences.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9850855

Custom Auto Enthusiasts?

In the summer of 2001, a friend and I went to see the movie “The Fast and the Furious”. Afterwards, I was talking with my friend about some of the cars in the film and he began to enthusiastically describe what he would like to do to his ride. Suddenly my friend had begun taking a keen interest in custom autos. I found this interesting that a movie could influence what I could not for the past ten years, that is, the passion for custom autos. My friend has never called himself an enthusiast, but has become more aware of custom autos.

With that said, I began to wonder about those who saw the movie and maybe began to refer to themselves as “enthusiasts”. Then I thought about it a little longer and asked myself, “What defines a custom auto enthusiast?” After a few months of thinking about it, reading countless articles about the custom auto industry, and observing people at auto shows, I came up with my own conclusions and opinions. I have concluded that there are three types of custom auto enthusiasts:

Mild Enthusiast

Moderate Enthusiast

Hard Core Enthusiast

The first type of custom auto enthusiast is the mild enthusiast. That is, the mild enthusiast is defined as those who actually do not necessarily own a custom auto, but have somewhat of subtle interest in the scene. This type of enthusiast likes the way custom autos look, but would probably never undertake a task of lowering a truck or juicing the engine of an import. Usually this type of enthusiast sticks to the simplicity of a set of wheels, tinted windows, and maybe an aftermarket stereo system.

The second type of custom auto enthusiasts is the class that most enthusiasts fall into, the moderate enthusiast. A moderate enthusiast has a pretty good handle on the scene and has a knowledgeable interest in all things custom auto. This type of enthusiast may currently own a custom auto or at least one time did. They usually subscribe to all sorts of custom auto magazines and think of autos as more than a means of transportation. This type of enthusiast is all about lowering/raising and juicing the engine, but to build a custom auto from the ground up is a little bit out of range. An Escalade front clip on a Silverado with Caddy taillights, an air ride suspension, and just about anything else that could be bolted on with minor fabrication would be right up this type of enthusiast’s alley.

The last enthusiast is the hard core enthusiast and the custom auto hobby is his/her life. This type of enthusiast has every bit of knowledge that the moderate enthusiast has, and then some! No doubt this guy/gal has a subscription to every custom auto magazine available on the market. This type of enthusiast is also the epitome of fabrication. Bolt on products don’t really do anything for this custom auto enthusiast. If there aren’t at least a half a dozen serious body fabrications, then it isn’t custom enough! This type of enthusiast is the type of enthusiast that lays the frame work for products that haven’t been developed yet. This is the guy/gal who was probably the first person on the block to have an adjustable suspension that would lay the frame flat on the ground. Not to mention this type of enthusiast probably rubs elbows with the best and the brightest in the custom auto scene today. In a word, this enthusiast talks, eats, breathes, and dreams about custom autos… 24-7.

Well, there you have it, my observation about what defines a custom auto enthusiast. Most of us fit in the second category, but regardless of your position in the custom auto scene, everyone has one thing in common, an interest in custom autos.

Until next time… keep it legal and keep it safe.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/215060

Affordable Auto Insurance

It’s amazing how much you can save on your auto insurance if you are prepared to shop around and if your are looking for affordable auto insurance then there is no better place to start than on the internet.

A good percentage of motorists are paying auto insurance premiums that are just too high because they fail to get competitive quotes when it comes to renewal time. There are plenty of insurance companies that offer more affordable auto insurance if you are prepared to take a little time to look around.

I know people that have seen nearly a 50% drop in auto insurance premiums just by swapping to a more affordable auto insurance provider.

A lot can change in just a year so just because you believe you got the best possible quote when you took your auto insurance policy out it doesn’t mean that you have the most affordable auto insurance now.

o For a start you have another year’s no claims and you may have changed your car and just used the same auto insurance company for speed and ease. However, even if your auto insurance provider offered you the most affordable solution for one car it doesn’t mean to say that you won’t get a more affordable auto insurance quote if you have changed your car.

o Then there are new auto insurance providers coming into the industry all the time and others may have changed their pricing structure in order to gain a bigger percentage of the auto insurance market.

o Your existing auto insurance company may have decided to increase their premiums at a higher rate than their competitors which could mean that you can get more affordable auto insurance through another auto insurance provider.

o You may have changed the number of named drivers or the youngest driver on your auto insurance policy may have reached a milestone age which will help make your auto insurance more affordable.

o You may have moved house into an area which insurance companies deem safer and will be prepared to offer you a more affordable auto insurance premium.

There is any number of reasons why you should always seek competitive insurance quotes and just because you have been saddled with high car insurance premiums in the past it doesn’t mean to say you shouldn’t seek more affordable auto insurance in the future.

Use the internet as a good starting point prices on the net are getting more and more competitive with discounts being offered if you buy your auto insurance online. If you aren’t sure which companies to get affordable auto insurance quotes from first you might want to try a couple of the larger insurance companies who have been in the auto insurance business for a considerable period of time such as Progressive Insurance or State Farm Insurance.

Happy hunting, go experience the pleasure of snapping up a bargain, your quest for affordable auto insurance could leave you with a lot of spare cash to burn!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/331023

Sell Your Auto Faster – 4 Great Tips!

It is hard sometimes to get rid of your old auto but i and going to share with you 4 great tips to get the best price and sell your auto much faster, I have owned over 100 auto’s in my life and yes i had to sell them when i was done. So i hope this helps.

Auto selling tip # 1 Clean your car! I know you would think everyone would know to do this but you would be surprised at how many people fail to adequately do this very simple thing. And i mean clean like you have never cleaned it before, Wash it, Wax it, Vacuum it, Do the windows, Clean the engine, Clean the wheels / rims etc. You have to put yourself in your buyers shoes they are about to spend their hard earned money on an auto and they want to get the best value they can. People love their autos and it makes sense that they would want to see themselves in a nice fresh clean auto. You would right? I have always used a auto’s appearance as a point in my negotiations, If it was dirty, (Even though i know what i could do with the car due to my auto detailing experience) I would offer them far less then the asking price.

Auto selling tip # 2 Research your car, Having a good understanding of your auto’s market value will help keep you grounded in reality as to what you can expect to receive for it. A good idea would be to search local and on-line classifieds and you might want to check out the blue book value. Just keep in mind that your auto is going to sell for what the market dictates, And even though you might think it is worth more then what you see in the market it does not make it so. ( Of course bear in mind the first tip will help considerably in this ).

Auto selling tip # 3 Know what you want for your auto before you put it up for sale. Now consider this if you want $10,000 for your auto then you may want to put it up for $11,000 the reason being of course is that people want negotiating room, ( They love deals so give them one! ). I cant tell you how many times i have never bothered to call someone who has the word firm in their ad, It just makes sense not to exclude any possible market from calling on your auto. Also don’t give out your lowest price over the phone, Let them come and fall in love with your auto then let the negotiations begin.

Auto selling tip # 4 OK I am going to give you a selling technique that is well…. On the edge of good taste. Here we go When a person calls on your auto use this line “oh were you one of the ones that called already on this, I have a allot of messages to call back and just wondered if you had already called” This of course will lead them to believe that you have a hot item and others are quite interested in it ,Creating an urgency for them to come and see the auto. Like i said that’s a bit on the edge, Sorry. ( But it is very effective.)

Well i hope the advice here helps you sell your auto faster then ever before.

My name is Christian Gillman I have worked in various fields of the automotive industry, Including auto sales, Auto repossessions, Auto transport, Auto detailing, I have seen the best and worst and i am more of a consumer advocate then a greedy salesman so i love to tear down the dirty little secrets of the auto industry.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1737513

Future Visions of the Auto Industry and Automotive Advertising Based on What Was and What Is

Auto industry social networks all have different rules and protocols to create their unique identities in the auto industry and the inter-dependent automotive advertising industry. While there are differences in format, content and contributors they share the common goal to educate their community members by sharing best practices and insights with the concept that a rising tide floats all boats. To provide clarity and share my vision of the future of the retail auto industry and automotive advertising it must be framed it in the context of our changing geo-political and economic environment. Once the foundation of today is built on the broad picture of our world economy and politic, then the role of the Internet and related technologies can be applied to the one constant that we can all depend on — human nature — to help define tomorrow as I see it.

Any competitive business model must be built to accommodate tomorrow as well as today. Today is obvious. Sales volume, profit margins and inventory are down across all brands. Consumer confidence is falling as unemployment is rising even in the face of the expected temporary increase when the million plus census workers and various government employees — such as the sixteen thousand IRS agents to police our new health care system — are artificially added to the equation. Wholesale and retail credit lines are restricted by both natural business cycles and government intervention. Our economy is directly linked to the world economy along both monetary and political lines and the United States as well as our European trading partners are faced with excessive debt and unstable monetary systems. Our monetization of our debt — basically the fact that we loaned ourselves the money we needed to fund our growing debt by printing more money, since no one else would lend it to us — has insured the inevitable inflation of our dollar or some similar correction to our monetary system. This anticipated correction is already supported when observing the situation maturing in Greece, Portugal, Spain and other European Countries tied to the Euro and the International Monetary Fund, (IMF). No one has a crystal ball, so the only way to plan for tomorrow is to recap today’s critical issues that didn’t exist yesterday. It is these changes in — what was — vs. — what is — that will likely define — what will be and the actions that auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies must take to remain profitable and competitive in unchartered waters.

The current administration was voted in on a platform of hope and change with the expectation that the promised transformation of America would take place within the confines of our constitution and in consideration of our established belief in a free marketplace. The redistribution of wealth was understood by most to reflect the giving nature of the American people as a moral and sharing society. Unfortunately, the transformation began in ways that could not have been imagined by the majority that voted for it with an agenda that is only now coming to light. The inherited financial burdens on our banking system that justified the need for change were matured across Republican and Democratic party lines — as evidenced by the contributions of Fannie May and Freddie Mac to our mortgage crisis and the preferred treatment enjoyed by the unions, Goldman Sachs, AIG and other entities on Wall Street supported by the progressive political movement that is represented within both parties.

By way of disclaimer, I recognize that approximately 30% of our population believes in the collective — We the people — and the associated movement for the — workers of the world to unite — vs. the framers of the constitution that defined it as the individual — We The People — and the rights of the individual as a contributing member of the whole. That said, as the President has clearly stated, elections have consequences and I will attempt to limit my comments and future visions to only those actions that have or will have a direct impact on the auto industry and the automotive advertising agencies that are engaged to serve it.

The empowerment of the unions in the formation of Government Motors is already impacting the marketplace even while it is being challenged in the courts. The mandated consolidation of the retail distribution channels for General Motors and Chrysler preserved the interest of the unions over the guaranteed bond holders and independent dealers contrary to established rules of law. This precedence diluted expectations of both investors and corporations to rely on binding contracts and individual rights in favor of the collective we that our evolving society is expected to serve. Recent adjustments to the language in a variety of Federal powers have impacted previously accepted State and individual rights which must also be considered when projecting the future of the auto industry and automotive advertising — if not our country as a whole.

For example, the change in the definition of eminent domain from taking personal property — for public use — to the new definition — for public good — has already resulted in private and commercial property being taken at distressed market values and given to other individuals that promised a higher tax base to the governing authority based on their position that the additional tax revenue was for the public good. Similarly, the ownership of water rights in the United States has been changed from the previous Federal ownership of all — navigable waterways — to include — all waterways — such as ponds, surface streams and basically any water that the government determines can be used for the public good. The potential impact on the farming industry and our food supplies evidence a shift in government control of society that must be considered when projecting the future of any industry — including our beloved auto industry.

Given the government takeover of the banking industry, General Motors, Chrysler, Health Care and Student Loans that are now part of our history, the point becomes self evident. These single word changes and government takeover of entire industries for the public good dilute individual and corporate rights in favor of the rights of the collective. This is a basic step in the process of redistributing the wealth in accordance with Socialistic and Marxist principles. I am not judging the validity of any of these differing political philosophies since it would risk my ability to remain unbiased in my evaluation of present and pending opportunities in the auto industry. My intent is not to defend our previous constitutional republic over the shift to a Socialistic or Marxist democratic society, but rather to apply them when preparing a business model moving forward for my auto dealer / vendor clients and affiliated automotive advertising agencies.

For example, the recess appointment of Craig Becker as member of the five seat body of the National Labor Relations Board, (NLRB), suggests the intent of the administration to resume its push for the Card Check Regulation that is designed to facilitate unionizing all businesses in the United States. Recess appointments are an accepted practice used by previous administrations to bypass the Congress and the Senate to fill cabinet positions with individuals that are often blocked by partisan agendas. However, Mr. Becker was challenged in a bi-partisan manner based on his role as a senior attorney for the Unions including the CIO and the Service Employees International Union, (S.E.I.U), just before his appointment. The NLRB decides cases involving workers’ rights which directly impacts larger issues between Democrats and their labor allies vs. stated Republican party interests and those of the corporate world When coupled with the intent of Card Check regulation to eliminate the right of workers to a private vote to determine if a business can be unionized, the likelihood that retail auto dealerships will be forced to become union shops becomes a real possibility. The regulation also allows the government to intervene in the event that an employer challenges a union take over with a Federal administrator enforcing the union proposals as to wage and other terms and conditions of employment pending a final determination. Based on reduced sales volume, profit margins and increased costs of doing business the inevitability of these privately held dealerships collapsing under the financial weight of union demands is painfully obvious to any auto dealer that understands his cost of sales line items and their impact on his shrinking bottom line.

Similarly, the administration’s success in manipulating the processes in the Congress to pass its version of Health Care reform will increase expenses to auto dealers regarding insurance costs for their employees either in the form of forced coverage or penalties which must now be factored into projected operational expenses. These expenses may pale in comparison to other increases in the cost of doing business if the administrations’ next stated goal to enforce Cap and Trade regulations are passed. This legislation promises to raise the cost of electricity and other costs of goods in America on many energy related fronts.

For those not familiar with Cap and Trade regulations, think of it as a tax on carbon emissions that would be collected by yet another government controlled body to pay restitution to third world countries who have been breathing our pollution and suffering from its impact on global warming. Of course the same scientists that collected the evidence that global warming exists which supported this legislation have since reversed their position while confessing that they manipulated the data. However, that revelation has not slowed the administrations’ desire to move forward. In fact, they have empowered the Environment Protection Agency, (E.P.A.), to intercede and impose carbon taxes by claiming that carbon is a poisonous gas which they are authorized to restrict. Either way, the taxes will be imposed on American industry while other industrialized countries have already reversed their positions on imposing these same fees. This inequity in manufacturing costs will further reduce the ability for American manufacturers to compete in the world economy and will likely force the exit of many carbon producing industries to countries that do not impose these additional costs while taking their jobs with them.

Itemizing — what is — vs. — what was — has little value other than to cause panic when people realize that there is little that they can do to reverse the changes that they voted in. However, if properly framed in a problem solution format it can provide an opportunity for those that accept — what is, forget — what was, and work towards — what can be. Now comes the good news!

The solution to surviving the promised redistribution of wealth from the perspective of auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies lies in their use of technology to reduce and even eliminate certain fixed and semi-variable expenses. Brick and mortar facilities are often financed with mortgage terms and/or rent factors that were based on now dated real estate values and anticipated sales volume and profit margins to carry the debt service. The commercial real estate bubble of over one trillion dollars coming due over the next eighteen months with no current resource of funds to replace maturing commercial mortgages promise to exasperate already reduced equity positions for auto dealers. The related unsustainable debt service demands a change in the ways that vehicles are sold in the United States; can you say Internet!

Similarly, current staffing needs are often related to processes that are labor intensive. The associated human resource expense and exposure is based on a business model that is antiquated in the face of potential union intervention and government controls; can you say Technology!

Tax consequences resulting from LIFO credits that impacted auto dealerships who could not maintain inventory levels projected in their annual computations due to issues beyond their control are eliminating annual profits. As a direct result of all of these cumulative issues, even captive lenders are balking on maintaining floor plan credit lines or real estate mortgages. Minimum working capital requirements for auto dealers faced with reduced sales, profits and equity to present as collateral for much needed financing has severely limited dealer options to acquire funds to maintain operations.

As already hinted, the solution lies in shifting the focus form brick and mortar facilities to new online virtual showrooms and other Internet based applications that provide more efficient selling processes. Of course real world facilities for sales and service are still part of the projected solution as are the people that will be required to staff them. All processes start and end with people and human nature has and will survive on the Internet. However, the allocation of these resources and the associated expenses must be reduced in the face of the changes already in place as well as those being contemplated to accommodate our new role in a world economy.

Today’s car sales person must be educated to use new technologies and Internet based selling systems much like previous generations needed to be trained with the skills of a mechanized society versus an agricultural one. Computers are already an integral part of our culture so the transition shouldn’t be as hard as some may perceive. Similarly, large central distribution channels that used to provide efficiencies for manufacturing and retail outlets have been replaced by more cost effective online linked resources across the World Wide Web that reduce fixed and semi-variable expenses in a shared manner that didn’t exist before the Internet Super Highway.

Consumers have already been empowered by the Internet to bypass the auto dealer in both the real and the virtual world as the source for the information that they need to purchase a vehicle. Seeking the path of least resistance to satisfy a need is an established element in human nature. An auto dealers ability to accommodate their customers preference to be in charge of their vehicle purchase will be the key to their survival now and in the future. Online customer interaction platforms already allow a dealer to accommodate a two way video communication with real time interaction with the online shopper/buyer sourced from data on the auto dealer’s DMS and linked to their CRM. The transparency of this negotiation process allows the dealer to crash through the glass wall of the Internet with the ability to push and pull the same material that they can at their dealership. The result is the opportunity to accommodate an online transaction with the inevitable ability to reduce staff and facility needs in the real world along with the associated expenses and increased profits.

Social networking is another technology based solution that capitalizes on human nature which promises to change the face of the auto industry and the resources available to automotive advertising agencies to help their auto dealers sell more for less in the future. Consumer centric inventory based marketing platforms fueled by social networking communities that provide word of mouth advertising to virally extend the auto dealer’s branding and marketing messages represent the next generation of applied social media. C2C marketing messaging to social networking communities from the inside out vs. the now dated attempts to market to online communities with B2C messages from the outside in builds on established protocols in social media. Next generation platforms promise to monetize social media for automotive advertising agencies with integrated Ask-A-Friend / Tell-A-Friend features that allow online shoppers to solicit opinions from friends and family. Customer driven posts on their Face Book page drags the dealership and their vehicle into the conversation with the obvious advantage of the increased exposure and the associated viral coefficient to extend their message and online footprint for potential customers linked to the initial online shopper. Google agrees as evidenced by their weighted consideration of real time social media which quantifies the R.O.I. for the dealer with improved S.E.O. for the sourcing dealer’s expanding virtual showroom.

Other technology based solutions that improve online marketing processes converts the pictures on an auto dealer’s web site to professional quality videos with human voice placed on the auto dealer’s site, all third party marketing sites and even the search engines through a dedicated API with You Tube — further evidence the ability of auto dealers to expand beyond the limitations of their brick and mortar facilities and in-house support staff. Extended social networking platforms which allow an auto dealer to empower their sales staff to develop their own websites to market to their spheres of influence with management controls to moderate content and monitor use to prevent employee abuse exist today with the promise to be more widely used tomorrow to build the vision of what will be in the face of a challenging economy.

To extend my vision for the auto industry beyond the technologies that exist today requires a similar understanding that expenses and staff need to be consolidated beyond current expectations. Limited resources for consumers to purchase, finance and/or lease their vehicles won’t eliminate their need for transportation. Future financial instruments that are a hybrid of a lease and a rental agreement could allow consumers access to a pool of vehicles in a convenient central location where their Drivers License could act as a key and a charge card to apply charges against pre-paid transportation credits deducted by their employers and controlled by the government to track personal activities and location along with socially accepted consumption of our limited resources. I recognize that the big brother flavor of that vision may seem foreign in the context of what was and is, but we are talking about what will be based on the new collective society that our country has moved towards.

As for the role of the OEM and the auto dealer in the future, it would be reasonable to accept that the government’s existing control of the auto and banking industry will extend into the energy industry which will set the stage for the government determining which vehicles could be manufactured and/or imported and placed into the transportation pools with the locations determined by public transportation hubs that link to local distribution centers. The government currently owns 51 % of all real estate in the country through their mortgage interests in Fannie May and Freddie Mack and the pending commercial real estate bubble promises to shift a great deal more to public control. In addition. the government has recently changed the funding available to both organizations to be considered unlimited with the full faith and backing of the United States Treasury. That action coupled with the previously stated changes in eminent domain and the fact that millions of acres of resource rich land was recently acquired by the government to build additional — national monuments — suggests that land will be made available as needed to accomplish this community transportation system for the public good. Of course government employees will be needed to manage and staff these transportation hubs which would likely represent the auto dealer of the future.

Simply put, my future visions of the auto industry and automotive advertising is built on the past and the present with a recognition of what will be if we continue on the path that we have already chosen. I assume the constant of human nature and the role of technology in our evolution to date with the expectation that neither will change. Of course, there are consequences to elections so I suppose that I should update my projections after November, 2010 and the presidential election in 2012. In any case, the movement from the real to the virtual world has already started and will surely continue so that part of the vision should remain clear.

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