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Automotive and Insurance Industry News


Drivers Still Want Their SUV’s, Despite Record Gas Prices 

IRVINE, Calif., March 22 / -- The latest release of the New Vehicle-Buyer Attitude Study on SUVs shows that purchase interest in SUVs remains high despite soaring gas prices.  Among car-buyers, interest in an SUV increased 3% over last year, when pump prices were at 2003 highs.   

Among those considering an SUV as their next purchase, their No. 1 concern was rollover issues (49%), with impact on foreign oil dependence ranking at the bottom of their concerns (19%).Favorability ratings toward SUVs increased 5% over last year."


Are Convertibles Falling Out of Style? R. L. Polk & Co Says “Maybe” 

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., March 22 / -- A survey done by R.L. Polk shows that, in the U.S., at least, convertibles are declining in popularity.  For the second year in a row, sales in the U.S. market have dropped, down 2.3 percent in 2003 when compared with 2002. This added to a drop of 4.6 percent in the previous year. 

Sales peaked in 2001 with over 310,000 units sold, but have slowed in recent years. Analysts consider convertibles more a more discretionary purchase than most vehicles and are sensitive to changes in consumer confidence and buying attitudes. 


Your Design Could Be Seen at the 2005 North American International Auto Show

 DETROIT, March 22 / -- The world's top designers gather in Detroit each January for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).  If you aren't a designer for one of the major car companies your best chance to have your work presented at NAIAS is as a participant of the growing Michelin Challenge Design(TM). 

Each year Michelin establishes a theme, and designs come in from all over the world and are reviewed by an international panel of top designers. Those selected will have their work featured at NAIAS. Designers interested in participating should complete a questionnaire on-line at by the April 15, 2004 deadline. 


Auto Insurance - Bad Web Sites Driving Customers Away 

EDMONTON, Alberta, March 23 / -- Consumers would buy auto insurance on the Internet, but many insurers' online quoting systems are so bad they are steering business away.  In a study of 14 leading auto insurance web sites nearly half the surveyors reported receiving error messages when they tried to get a quote, and more than a third were put off requests for personal information that should not be required just to get a quote, such as whether you own your own home. If consumers have a problem navigating an insurer's online quoting form, how painful would it be to file a claim?



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