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Most- and Least-Expensive Cars to Insure Revealed
Mar16

Most- and Least-Expensive Cars to Insure Revealed

By Chris Haak

Website insure.com, a site that allows users to request quotes for various insurance products such as auto insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, and other insurance products, has released its lists of the most-expensive and least-expensive cars 2010 model year cars to insure. There are few surprises on the absolute lists – there are a lot of underpowered economy or family-hauling vehicles on the ‘cheapest’ list, and a lot of expensive, high-horsepower, low-weight, high-cylinder count vehicles on the ‘most expensive’ list.

The study’s methodology was to assume a single 40 year old male driver with a clean driving record who commutes 12 miles to work, “with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. He has a clean driving record and good credit. The policy includes uninsured motorist coverage.” The study’s authors then went on to survey six large insurance carriers (State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, GEICO, Farmers and Nationwide) in ten different Zip codes per state to arrive at average costs per model. The site goes on to say, basically, that “your results may vary,” depending upon personal factors that apply to you such as your driving record, credit history, age, marital status, geographic location, and more.

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Ask Techshake:  Car-Buying Advice
Mar16

Ask Techshake: Car-Buying Advice

By Chris Haak

We at Techshake often get emails from readers (actually, more often, we get spam, and not from readers, but I digress). Some of the messages are kudos for a job well done, some are comments or critiques about something that the individual saw on our site, and some are questions. You can always us via email at [email protected]. Today, in the interest of public service, I’m copying and pasting one of those letters here (with its author’s permission), along with my public response. If you have suggestions that either the letter-writer or I haven’t considered, by all means, please share them in the comments section.

I’m in the market for a new car, and need expert advice! I’m driving my 2003 Hyundai Accent, but it’s got over 100,000 mi. on it now, and we want to replace it soon. My spouse wants something with all-wheel drive (so we don’t have to do the all 4 tires switch-out every season), and something bigger. I LIKE a small car, and want a car, NOT an SUV, NOT a station wagon, definitely NOT a van, maybe one size up from the Accent for compromise, with my only “want” being cruise control, which this Accent does not have. Any suggestions? I was thinking Hundai Elantra or maybe Sonata, or maybe Subaru Legacy or Impreza. I liked my Taurus and my Chevy Impala, too! I need help! I’m not sure what to even start looking at. Any suggestions would be welcome! – A.J. in PA

Dear A.J.,

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Congressional Panel Calls for GMAC Breakup
Mar15

Congressional Panel Calls for GMAC Breakup

By Chris Haak

The Congressional Oversight Panel, created by Congress to oversee the Treasury’s spending of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money, said late last week that GMAC could have been required to undergo a quick-rinse bankruptcy similar to what GM and Chrysler did last year. Bankruptcy would have allowed GMAC to shed itself of the millstone of its troubled non-core ResCap division, which continues to lose considerable amounts of money thanks to bad mortgages that it assumed during the real estate boom years.

The panel, chaired by Elizabeth Warren – an attorney and Harvard law professor – also criticized Treasury for not requiring GMAC to have a viable business plan in place going forward, despite receiving its first bailout money more than a year ago. To date, GMAC has received more than $17 billion USD from the US government to prop up the company’s finances. Both Treasury and the company assert that it is now solvent and will not require any additional bailout funds, but the Office of Management of Budget estimates that the government will never recover $6.3 billion USD of the money given to GMAC.

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BYD Notches Record Quarterly Profit
Mar15

BYD Notches Record Quarterly Profit

Daimler partner rides a huge wave of overall Chinese auto sales to break sales record

By Brendan Moore

03.15.2010

If you’re Chinese auto and battery maker BYD Co. and you have already signed a partnership deal with Daimler, an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with Volkswagen AG, garnered superstar investor Warren Buffet as a major financial backer, and positioned yourself in the world’s hottest car market as a major player, what do you do to further impress?

You crush your Q4 profit forecast numbers, that’s what.

That is what BYD has done, earning 1.46 billion yuan ($214 million USD) instead of the 891 million yuan previously forecasted and compared with the 243 million yuan made in the same quarter last year.

There is more good news as BYD says it will almost double its unit sales from 2009. It plans to go from 440,000 sales in 2009 to 800,000 sales in 2010.

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Nissan Shows First Commercial Vehicle for North America
Mar13

Nissan Shows First Commercial Vehicle for North America

By Brendan Moore

Nissan showed a concept version of its NV2500 work van last year, and has now revealed the production version. The NV (stands for Nissan Van – yes, not imaginative) is merely the first in a lineup of full-size body-on-frame light commercial vehicles that Nissan is planning to sell in the North American business vehicle market.

The thing you notice first is that Nissan has eschewed the snub nose look of its competitors, and sports a long nose on its van; a nose that looks a bit familiar. There’s a good reason for that sense of familiarity – the NV is based on a modified version of the Nissan Titan pickup’s F-Alpha body-on-frame platform.

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