Truck News - Insider - July 2005
2005 Geneva Motor ShowForget the rail pass. Give us one of these, and those...oh yeah, and that, too. The automakers sashayed into Switzerland for the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. What they unveiled for concepts are hardly Old Europe: no lederhosen here, but a collection of sophisticated and urbane ideas tailored to the Euro tastes of the 21st Century. Of course, our friends over there have yet to embrace the SUV and pickup truck like we have, but there were a few concepts that we can probably shoehorn into the context of our mag's take on the automotive world.
Where America ShopsMore consumers are likely to purchase automotive accessories from franchise auto parts stores than any other retail outlet, according to SEMA's Automotive Lifestyle Study. Independent auto parts stores come a close second. About 50 percent of consumers say they are likely to shop at an independent store, while 59 percent say they are likely to visit the chain stores. On the flip side, around 75 percent of consumers say they are unlikely to go to a car show for automotive goodies, and 68 percent of consumers wave away newspaper classified ads as a likely option. Just about 24 percent said they would buy parts from a speed shop.
But, what about that digital vanguard of the buy-anything set? Surprisingly, 57 percent of consumers said no way to eBay, while 24 percent of consumers surveyed thought they were likely to buy car parts on the online auction. That said, internet sites appealed to more consumers (33 percent) than did magazines and mail order catalogs (24 percent).
Other Interesting Factoids* Women are more likely to buy accessories from a brick-and-mortar store than men.
* Women are more likely than men to purchase specialty equipment from the dealer (42 to 24 percent). Meanwhile, more men will buy from internet sites than women.
* Consumers, ages 28 to 39, prefer chain stores more so than their younger counterparts.
* People who are 52 years and older are less likely to buy from an independent shop than younger consumers. But, those who are 16 to 27 are more likely to visit the car dealer for accessories than people 28 to 51.
Hang Up And DriveLast year, 1.2 million people were talking on a handheld cell phone, while driving at any given daylight moment. That's a lot of people who aren't noticing that a traffic light turned green or who are driving by Braille. According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, cell phone use increased to 8 percent among drivers, ages 16 to 24, from 5 percent in 2002. In 2004, more women than men talked on the phone while behind the wheel of a car, and drivers with at least one child passenger were just as likely to use the phone as people with no kids in the car.
Strange But TruePolice in Fall River, Massachusetts, arrested a man who was driving a stolen vehicle that was hot in more ways than one. The pickup, owned by Cardinal Health Nuclear Pharmacy Services, contained radioactive material. After he was apprehended, the driver said that he did not know what was in the containers holding the hot cargo.- Associated Press
Wisconsin sent 25,000 notices to truckers and motor-home owners that mistakenly directed them to a psychic hotline to renew their registrations. The number connected callers to "the nation's most informative psychic connection service, helping you with love, money, health, and romantic encounters."- Associated Press
A 4-year-old Michigan boy took under-age driving to new extremes by slipping behind the wheel of his mother's car for an overnight visit to the local video store. He drove about a quarter-mile from his home to the video store without incident, but the store was closed. On the boy's return home, he hit two parked vehicles before backing up into a police cruiser. How did a boy too short to reach the pedals manage to drive the car? He would jump down to hit the accelerator and then get back up to see where he was going. According to police, he looked like a drunk lying down to pass out, waking and sitting up, and then passing out again.- Reuters
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