Tips for Major Gas Savings While on the Road!

Setting intentions for a safe and cautious drive before taking the wheel can not only save lives, but it can also save money. Vehicles take a myriad of different gas types at different consumption speeds, but no matter what you drive, here are some tips to save gas, and therefore money and precious time! No more daily gas station visits for you!

1.     Accelerate slowly: You will make it to work on time! No need to accelerate with all of your might. The harder you press on the accelerator, the faster you will run out of fuel.

2.     Slow down gradually: Braking does not use up gas. Heavy breaking does, however, indicate that you could have let your foot off the accelerator sooner. Additionally, if you do not rush up to a red light, it may turn green before you reach it — allowing you to roll through without stopping or having to accelerate from a standstill.

3.     Don’t speed: Generally speaking, cars tend to get better mileage when driven at lower speeds. They also tend to not warrant expensive speeding tickets, which saves you even more money.

4.     Warm Up Your Car for Shorter Lengths of Time: If you wake up and it’s cold outside, don’t warm up the car for longer than 30 seconds. If the engine is idled for more than one minute, you not only waste fuel, but you may also pump nasty greenhouse gas emissions into the air. Engines of modern cars do not require the extensive length of time that older models needed to warm up.

5.     Don’t carry unnecessary weight: Each additional pound the engine has to move requires more fuel. Carrying heavy tools and supplies may weigh the car down more than you realize. Load them into your vehicle only on the days of their usage.

6.     Keep the windows up: Running the air conditioner does affect gas mileage, but increased air resistance from driving with the windows lowered hurts mileage more than the use of cooling air.

7.     Keep your car maintained: For better gas mileage, keep your vehicle in spectacular condition. Clean filters, good spark plugs, and correct tire pressure all attribute to your car’s gasoline usage.

Next time you hit the road, think about what is expending most of your gas. You might just save yourself some money!

Car Leasing: What’s That?

Car leasing is a notable term when looking for a car, but there is no simple equation for the components of the process. There are many different types of leases available, so it is important to recognize the differences and similarities between each option. Here are the few different types of car leases:.

Open-End Leases

An Open-End lease is not common. It is used primarily by businesses or those who travel extremely frequently. Consumers should expect:

  • Higher payments per month,
  • Payment for depreciation if the car is under market value
  • If the car does not depreciate, consumers may not need to pay additional fees
  • Quicker depreciation due to excessive wear or mileage
  • No mileage restrictions

Closed-End Leases

This is the most common lease that consumers go for. At the end of the lease, they can “walk away.” It entails the usual:

  • Good credit allows for the chance of lower monthly payments
  • Agreeing to the fixed number of years lease contract states
  • Keeping up with the required maintenance of the car
  • Staying within predetermined mileage
  • The car will be returned to the dealer at the end of the lease.

“Option to Buy” Lease

This leasing option, particularly for new car leases, gives you the option to purchase the car at the end of the lease. This is enticing for those looking to purchase vehicles in the future. Here are tips to utilize towards the end of this lease:

  • When going over pricing, prices may be easily negotiable. This price should be listed in the contract before signing. Note if the negotiated price is higher or lower than the car’s market value.
  •  At the end of the lease, consumers can either pay cash to buy the car or finance the buyout price
    1. If one decides to finance, they should be sure to negotiate interest rates.

Single-Payment Lease

Single-Payment leases heavily rely on cash.

  • You can pay the entire sum of the lease when you sign this lease. This helps get rid of monthly payments and can possibly help eliminate most of the monthly interests.
    1. Paying a large amount of money immediately can help consumers get a better deal on the purchase price.
  • Finance rates will be lower
  • The chances of getting approved for this lease is better
  • With this lease, all the costs will be presented upfront, in the contract, so that purchasers can see all the fees and other costs.

Subvented Lease

Subvented leases are unique. These are available because automakers are striving to get their inventory moving, and this is offered by finance companies associated with a specific manufacturer. With this lease:

  •  It may only be available to those with great to excellent credit
  • If individuals qualify, it can save them a lot of money
  • Interest rates are lower
  • Estimated depreciation is lower, which can lead to lower monthly payments.

If you come across any leasing questions, feel free to visit our Swapalease.com FAQ’s page for more information.

The Most Stolen Cars of 2019

In the United States, According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there is 1 auto theft every 6.5 minutes. If you live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that number is a lot higher. Motor vehicle theft connotes the criminal act of stealing or attempting to steal a motor vehicle. With auto theft remaining a prevalent issue in the United States for years, it is important to note which vehicles are most prone to theft and if you happen to be driving one of them.

  1. Honda Civic
  2. Honda Accord
  3. Full-size Ford Pickup
  4. Full-size Chevrolet Pickup
  5. Toyota Camry
  6. Nissan Altima
  7. Toyota Corolla
  8. Full-size GMC Pickup
  9. Full-size Dodge Pickup
  10. Jeep Cherokee

Notably, Ford Pickups have a reputation of easiness to break into. These trucks are highly wanted in the Black Market. Also, the Jeep Cherokee is the only SUV on the list, but it has been popular for decades for durability and longevity.

To help prevent auto theft, always be sure to care for your personal belongings and get in the habit of locking doors each time you exit the vehicle.  Auto-theft is unfortunately not on the decline, but hopefully, with care and effort, will be in the future.

Some other preventative measures you can take is to remove your keys from the vehicle when not in use, not leaving a spare key near your vehicle, closing the windows, parking in well lit areas, installing a tracking system and installing an audible alarm or anti-theft device.

Ford’s Contribution to Fighting COVID-19

In the middle of April, Ford and 3M announced an effort to manufacture PAPR, a form of protective equipment for individuals to be used by medical professionals. The collaboration was originally announced at the end of March.

The CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health approved the work, and Ford and 3M officially started shipping their respiration equipment. Recently, Ford stated that it would take less than 40 days to produce and deliver gear. It is aiming to create more than 100,000 units.

PAPR stands for “powered air-purifying respirators.” It includes a face-shield and a hood to allow for maximum protection for health care workers. The device uses F-150’s fans, found in the vehicle’s seat cooling system, to supply air for up to eight hours. Ford is additionally producing reusable gowns, made from airbag equipment found in the vehicles. The company continues to produce transparent face shields.

David Claeys, president of two hospitals near Detroit relayed, “The need to protect our medical teams is heightened – Ford’s gown production could not come at a better time during this crisis. Our front line health care workers are working around the clock to treat COVID-19 patients and we need the necessary supplies to support them.”

The production was set to begin on May 6th, 2020. The production base is Ford’s Vreeland plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.

The Ford Director of Global Body Exterior and Interior Engineering, Marcy Fisher, said “By working collaboratively with 3M to quickly combine more than 100 years of Ford manufacturing and engineering expertise with personal protection equipment design and expertise, we’re getting much-needed technology into the hands of frontline medical workers to help when they need it most.”

Additionally, those interested in contributing to this effort may submit personal information at www.fordnewideas.com.

May’s Possible Reopening of the US Auto Industry

Auto-developments and major changes in auto technology have seemingly come to a halt in the past few months as workers and manufacturers struggle to balance safety and labor. However, recently, automakers have begun an upward trend toward reopening production. Developers are finding ways for temperature checks, gloves, and masks to attribute to a healthy work environment. Automakers aspire to support production while maintaining safety standards.

President of the United Auto Workers Local 862 in Kentucky, Todd Dunn, said “I think a lot of a lot of Americans are ready to get our country back on target,” he says. “But … we’ve got to be able to put in some levels of precaution that we didn’t have before.”

Much anxiety runs through processing plants, as when workers remain in such close quarters, a spread of coronavirus is likely. The largest reasons for a stall in auto production are Mexico and Detroit’s lockdowns. Mexico’s stay at home order is applicable until at least mid-May, and the Detroit auto industry claims it cannot reopen until Mexico does. This is because about 40% of the country’s auto parts that are imported come from Mexico.

Companies such as Ford Motor Co. and General Motors have halted production for months but may reopen by the end of May. This is dependent on the production of necessary parts from prime auto-part production centers like Mexico and Canada, in addition to the impending decisions of the United States on what to keep closed and what to open once again.

“We’re not going to just flip a switch and everything’s going to be back to normal,” Sean Suggs, the president of a Toyota Corolla building plant, says.

He continued, “There is no going back to the normal way. We simply can’t operate the way we operated before COVID-19.”

Companies like General Motors state ongoing communication with the federal government and note that a mass reopening will be probable only when the United States, Mexico, and other key components of production are capable of moving forward in a steady, health-conscious fashion. For now, the reopening has proved meticulous and slow.

US Auto Industry Relies Heavily on Mexico to Reboot

Many suppliers in Mexico remain shut down, causing a delay in restart for Detroit automotive factories.  Approximately 40% of imported auto parts come from Mexico, and parts manufactured in the US are often exported there for vehicle production.  Some of the strain is due to the Detroit Three, that have reportedly targeted a restart for their U.S. assembly plants in mid-May.  However, Mexico remains on lockdown, and auto parts are considered a nonessential business to the country.  Mexican plants are to remain closed through May 30th.

“This is the issue, I believe, the whole industry is struggling with,” said Joe Petrillo, director of business development and advanced engineering for Meridian Lightweight Technologies, a supplier of lightweight cast metal parts mostly for the auto industry.

The automotive industry like many others is interconnected to the global supply chain. The U.S. auto industry cannot build cars if government actions in other countries or states are not in sync with one another.

General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles idled their assembly plants stateside in March as the pandemic swept the nation. They have not declared a restart date yet, but they have reportedly eyed May 18 as a possibility. Toyota announced it plans to postpone it’s operations until May 11th.

There is still inventory in the supply pipeline to support a U.S. restart, but there’s also a larger gap in time between the U.S. restart and the Mexican restart. Many automakers still have hope that there could be some flexibility by the Mexican government that would allow the auto industry to start back up in support of a North American start up. On April 24, the Ministry of Economy in Mexico published a news release stating they are working with the U.S. and Canadian governments on a plan for the automotive industry to safely restart activities in the region.

Reopening Automotive Supply Chains Across the United States Requires Coordination Strategy

As the American government plans to start reopening the U.S. economy in May, many companies have begun to question whether Mexico and Canada will be on the same time schedule.

Manufacturers in chemicals and electronics have suppliers across both borders. The automotive industry is not immune to the same structure. Much of the uncertainty revolves around Mexico, which has taken a stricter approach than the U.S. and Canada in regards to what they consider an essential business. The lack of coordination between countries has caused chaos in many industries. Many automakers have expressed increased concerns about lack of coordination when economic activity in only one nation resumes.

On Thursday, Trump made him plans to reopen the U.S. economy well know, releasing guidelines that could allow some states and employers to resume business and work within a month.  “A national shutdown is not a sustainable long-term solution,” the president said in a briefing. “To keep vital supply chains running, these chains have to be taken care of so delicately. We must have a working economy and we want to get it back very, very quickly.”

Some larger carmakers have indicated they plan to reopen in early May. But for the auto industry in particular to get back to producing vehicles, it’s not enough to just reopen parts of or even the entire U.S. economy. Auto supply chains across North America are intertwined, so a smooth reopening may not be possible. Even in a best-case scenario in which the nations and states cooperate on the timing and scope for a reopening, the logistics will be more complicated for individual companies and plants.

Safely reopening plans requires a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment for workers, which may be a problem given shortages of gloves and masks in the U.S.  Plants in China cycled through the virus, but didn’t restart at full production immediately. More important that reopening is reopening correctly.

How Automakers Are Trying To Boost Dropping Sales During Coronavirus COVID-19

During this economic crisis caused by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, automakers are struggling to offer car payment programs to help those in need. Their marketing efforts are now focused on trying to convince people that it is a great time to buy a car.

Major car manufacturers such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)Ford Motor CompanyGeneral MotorsHyundai, Kia, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen are offering  coronavirus payments and plans.

Automakers’ COVID-19 programs and incentives to spur sales have begun quickly. These types of incentive programs have been used in the past during economic downturns and for inventory control. The good news is that history repeats itself, so car sales will recover over time, so it won’t be necessary to count on these types of programs long term.

During tough economic times, car manufacturers are anxiously waiting for things to go back to normal. Major car manufacturers in the USA are offering several incentives such as delayed payment options for people in the country affected by COVID-19.

For instance, Fiat Chrysler is providing funding for leases and new-car purchases through Chrysler Capital and Ally Financial. They’re also offering a wide variety of payment options.

Many car manufacturers are offering help to those people affected by the pandemic. If you anticipate problems making your payments, it is important to contact your auto financier as soon as possible. It is in your best interest to discuss your options this could include things such as flexible payment arrangements and extensions. Keep in mind that if you are leasing you can also negotiate to postpone lease payments as well.

Automakers are also introducing new programs to stimulate potential buyers to purchase their car.

General Motors is offering customer’s interest-free payments for 84 months and also postponed payments for up to 120 days. Ford Credit is offering to make customers first three loan payments while giving the option to delay their first payment for an additional 90 days.

It is important to understand that every car manufacturer has different needs so they are offering different programs. But all are offering flexible and creative financing relief to customers during this time.  As a consumer, you can be confident that car dealerships are open for both vehicle sales and service.

Automakers are also giving customers the option to shop online and get their car delivered. Through this initiative, consumers have the opportunity to choose a vehicle, estimate their trade-in value, agree on payment, add accessories, and schedule delivery without visiting the showroom. A great idea during social distancing and isolation.

Projections for U.S. auto sales for the rest of 2020 are not looking strong. If COVID-19  isolation is prolonged more long-term, economic slowdown will lead to fewer car sales. This scenario has forced automakers find creative ways to help people in this time of need.

Tesla Close to Debut of Longer Range Model 3 in China

Tesla has announced it plans to extend it’s lineup in China by offering a Model 3 Sedan that’s locally built with a longer driving range. They will start as early as this week. The vehicle will have a range of more than 400 miles on one charge, compared to its current basic version that holds much less.

The price will start around $45,800 before rebates, although exact pricing is yet to be determined. A longer range could help Tesla fend of competition with other brands such as Volkswagen Group and BMW who are also bringing out new electrified models in the China region.  Automakers are counting on new vehicles to spur demand in the market, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The longer range Model 3 will qualify for electric- vehicle subsidies, and is exempt from China’s sales tax on cars. Registrations of Tesla vehicles have fallen for the past two months in China, showing the carmaker is also suffering from the broader auto industry decline. The slowdown has come amid Tesla’s multibillion-dollar push to expand in the world’s largest electric vehicle market.

Tesla’s factory in China has recovered from a virus-related shutdown better than most in the industry, helped by aid from local authorities. After resuming operations at its Shanghai plant, Tesla’s outside the United States have surpassed the capacity it had before shut down. It has a weekly production reaching about 3,000 cars, the company said last month.

Auto Industry Learns from 2008 Recession Lessons to Survive Virus Hardship

In Spring of 2008, Renault executives received notice from colleagues at Nissan North America about the health of the U.S. auto market. Prices for used cars fell significantly, and orders were also slow. The U.S. subprime mortgage market also began to crumble with securities losing value and adjustable rate loans began to reset with higher interest rates.

Renault’s leaders decided to cut 5,000 European positions, which later was raised to 6,000 through attrition and severance. Inventory was decreased so that cash flow and production could be closely monitored. Subcontracting costs were also lowered, and development of a sports car similar to the Nissan 350Z was halted with a postponed launch.

“The crisis started sooner for carmakers in the U.S.,” said Patrick Pelata, who was named Renault’s chief operating officer in mid-October 2008. “We looked to the U.S., and we said it was going to come to Europe.”

Much of this happened after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, setting off a global financial crisis. At the same time, Fiat decided to extend summer vacation closings of its plants after noticing a global collapse in new orders, including Ferrari’s. “The second half of this year and the first half of the next could be a true bloodbath,” Fiat and Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo told Automotive News Europe in July 2008. “By summer of 2009, we should have a clearer idea of the winners and the losers,” he said.

Through incentives and government aid the European auto industry was able to bounce back. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has temporarily shuttered factories and showrooms once again. Many executives and analysts have said that automakers learned lessons in 2008 that can help them to better navigate the current pandemic. “Since that time all car manufacturers have gotten more rigorous about capital allocation and trying not to spend more than required, and also about having sufficient cash reserves in case they face a similar crisis,” one expert said.

“The big advantage between the crisis now and 10 years ago is that capital markets are very liquid and interest rates are very low, so I am pretty certain we won’t see a cash crunch,” Porsche Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke said. For now, many automakers are looking into temporary loans that will allow them to cover fixed costs such as salaries to avoid any layoffs. This year, after imposing restrictions on movement and commerce in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Europe’s national governments pledged they would step in to help automakers again, with loans, direct payments or in a worst-case situation.

These guarantees have helped prevent automakers from cutting costs. It’s expected a similar helping hand will be extended in the wake of COVID-19, today.