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Automotive and Insurance Industry News


Study Says 35% of New Vehicle Sales at Risk if Incentives and Rebates are Eliminated

IRVINE, Calif., March 2 / -- AutoVIBES, a monthly automotive study from Harris Interactive(R) and Kelley Blue Book shows that a majority of consumers time their new vehicle purchases based on available incentives.

Manufacturers would like to reduce and eventually eliminate new vehicle incentives, but based on new research it may be more difficult than they think.  According to AutoVIBES research, 67% of consumers planning to buy a new vehicle in the next 12 months say their purchase timing is 'very much or somewhat' affected by the availability of incentives.


Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Continues Strategic Growth Plan 

TULSA, Okla., March 2 / -- Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. announced the acquisition of the Thrifty Car Rental franchise operations in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.  The acquisition includes a location off-airport at Raleigh-Durham International Airport and a location in downtown Durham.  The acquisition continues the corporate growth strategy of acquiring franchisees in key U.S. and Canadian markets. 

The Raleigh-Durham acquisition adds approximately 625 vehicles to DTG's corporate operations.  Since the Company announced its acquisition strategy in early 2003, DTG has successfully acquired 26 key U.S. and Canadian markets and opened six new Greenfield locations. 


401(k) Plans Fail to Engage America's Youngest Workers 

HARTFORD, Conn., March 2, 2004 / -- America's primary retirement-savings tool, the 401(k) plan, is failing to interest America's youngest workers, calling into question the 401(k)'s long-term contribution to individual wealth and its value to employers as a tool to attract and retain top talent.

According to CIGNA Retirement & Investment Services' third-annual Workplace Report on Retirement Planning, fully one-third of America’s youngest workers don’t participate in their employer-sponsored 401(k) plans.  The survey also found that they were 19 percent more likely than older Boomers to label the 401(k) "the benefit of yesterday." 


A Lead Foot Equals A Lighter Wallet 

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio — March 1, 2004 — A lot of drivers may be putting themselves at risk for being cited for speeding, which may result in higher auto insurance rates. A national survey of more than 1,000 drivers, conducted by the Progressive group of insurance companies, found that 90 percent of respondents drive over the posted speed limit and 39 percent speed more than 25 percent of the time they're behind the wheel. Also, nearly half of those surveyed  weren't aware of the potential affect of a speeding ticket on auto insurance rates.


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