It’s definitely fun watching two sexy booth babes unveil a new supercar at an auto show. Acura definitely seems to have a winner with the updated version of their NSX Concept, this time having the interior ready as well for journalists to inspect. You can check out this NSX Concept gallery along with a video of the car, and then read up on some of the interior features here.
This concept vehicle definitely lives up to the supercar standards set by Acura with the first NSX. This vehicle is striking from every angle and definitely generated plenty of buzz.
The Frankfurt Motor Show is huge, with countless exhibit halls filled with new cars and concept vehicles. Lamborghini had one of the smaller exhibits, but they got plenty of attention a red Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale that they unveiled at the show along with two beautiful Aventadors in white and metallic gray.
The beautiful Amber takes on the Nissan Juke in an agility contest. That’s right, they found a reason to have a hot model in a bikini run around next to the Juke. Kudos!
It’s all part of a model search contest for the 2011 SI Swimsuit Issue. Nissan partnered with Sports Illustrated to launch the “Model Search” contest to put the spotlight on 8 beautiful up-and-coming models from around the globe, each vying for one spot in next year’s issue. Check back as we post more videos! No model has ever been guaranteed a spot in the issue, until now. From 2/15/11- 3/9/11, consumers will cast their votes to determine which model will become the next SI Swimsuit Issue model by going to here.
Today’s treat is a cool photo of a cute redhead posing next to an old Volkswagen Beetle. Usually you see how babes posing next to sports cars, but we found this photo in a cool gallery of sexy girls and old cars.
We know that thousands of Americans are taking advantage of the Cash for Clunkers program, so the program is helping to drive auto sales and stimulate the economy. In case you haven’t noticed, we can use some stimulation.
Beyond that, however, it turns out that the program is even more successful than originally thought when it comes to replacing gas guzzlers with fuel efficient cars.
And the Transportation Department reported that the average gas mileage of the vehicles being bought was significantly higher than required to qualify for a rebate of $3,500 to $4,500. Of 120,000 rebate applications processed so far, the department said the average gas mileage of cars being bought was 28.3 miles per gallon, for S.U.V.’s, 21.9 miles per gallon, and for trucks, 16.3 miles per gallon.
“The statistics are much better than anybody dreamed they would be,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California. The actual mileage gain so far, she said, was not due to the details of the law but “the good judgment of the American people.”
Senator Feinstein, along with Senator Susan M. Collins, Republican of Maine, was the author of an early version of a “cash for clunkers” bill that would have required bigger improvements in mileage. Their decision to express support for extending the current version of the program, at a news conference late Monday afternoon, was an important signal to other senators concerned about whether the program was doing enough for the environment.
Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, an early backer of the Feinstein-Collins approach, also voiced support for an extension. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said. “It’s working in every way. It’s working as stimulus, it’s working to help families, it’s working to improve mileage.”
The chances are pretty good that Senate will vote this week to extend the program so that it can be signed by President Obama.
Some opponents of the program have expressed concern that auto sales will stall after the program ends, whether it ends now or in the fall after an extension. This concern is unfounded. Many people taking advantage of this program have older cars that they’ve driven for years, and many of them keep older cars for the simple reason that they are thrifty. Without this program, many of them would likely keep their old cars. With the program, they have a huge financial incentive to junk the old car and pick up a new one at a great price. Along those lines, Ford announced today that they see car sales rebounding through 2010, as pent-up demand starts to drive the market.
The recession has devastated the worldwide car market, but it’s also affecting other firms in all aspects of the auto business, from auto parts salvage to auto insurance.
The idea of making money from used auto parts conjures up images of thugs in chop shops tearing apart fancy stolen cars. But auto salvage is a perfectly respectable business, and Chicago-based LKQ has turned scavenging into a science. Since 1998 a group of former Waste Management executives have been revolutionizing a mom-and-pop industry by rolling up dozens of scrap yards that turn junkers into usable parts, and convincing insurance companies and body shops that recycled parts are just as good as ones straight from the manufacturer. After the company went public in 2003 the stock returned better than 500% through its peak early last year, landing LKQ (the name stands for Like Kind and Quality) at No. 58 on our 2008 Fastest-Growing Companies list. “Basically, they’ve got thousands of acres with a bunch of cars lying around,” says analyst John R. Henderson of Morgan Keegan. “But there’s a lot of money in ripping them apart.”
LKQ (LKQX) hit the skids last year. As commodity prices tumbled in the second half, the company was getting dramatically less for the material sold to scrap-metal dealers. Earnings fell about 40% in the fourth quarter. The company also suffered from a little-known side effect of recessions: falling insurance claims. People were driving less (3.4% fewer miles in 2008, according to the Federal Highway Administration), and many cash-strapped drivers chose to go without repairs rather than pay the deductible. Auto claims were down about 4.5% industrywide last year. Overall, LKQ’s growth (not counting acquisitions) slowed to just 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Its share price tumbled 60% from its peak, to under $10.
Yet analysts have not given up on the company, and many believe it’s a bargain. Nine rate it a buy, against five holds. At its core, harvesting scrapped cars is still a very profitable business. With a national feed of daily pricing information, LKQ’s buyers know exactly how much to pay for a vehicle (the company bought nearly 150,000 of them last year). And with a broad customer base, they’re assured of selling whatever parts they can find. That’s not the case for a local or regional operation, which isn’t as sure of its supply of wrecks or demand for parts. Typically, a junker LKQ buys for $1,700 yields at least $3,600 in revenue, according to Henderson.
Over time a recessionary environment may actually be good for LKQ. Insurance companies are cutting premiums, and have had huge losses in their investment portfolios. They’re looking to save money, and one way is to put more pressure on the body shops they work with to use cheaper recycled and generic parts. In the past a big worry that insurance companies had about such parts was the reliability of supply. Typically, scrap yards and generic suppliers could offer only about 45% of the parts insurers ordered. But LKQ, with a national footprint, plus its 2007 acquisition of generic-parts importer Keystone, fills 65% of orders, according to analyst Nate Brochmann at William Blair.
As the article points out, the auto insurance business is being affected in many different ways. Claims are down, but they are also cutting premiums. It’s probably a great time to go shopping for auto insurance.
Here’s a great photo of a sexy girl with a killer red Corvette, although as a couple of our readers pointed out, it’s not of the Z06. (We’re amazed that they even saw a car with her standing in front of it!)
Nevertheless, here’s a history lesson on the Z06:
Corvette’s legendary Zora Duntov first brought forth the concept of Z06. Though the Automobile Manufacturers Association had encouraged a ban on racing in 1957, which the GM chairman strongly supported, Duntov knew customers would continue to race Corvettes. In the midst of planning for Sting Ray production, Duntov suggested it was in Chevrolet’s best interest to continue with parts development to benefit racers. Thus, Duntov and colleagues created “RPO Z06” as a special performance equipment package.
The RPO Z06 package first offered on ’63 models included a 20 percent larger diameter front antiroll bar, a vacuum brake booster, a dual master cylinder, sintered-metallic brake linings within power-assisted Al-Fin drums cooled by front air scoops and vented backing plates, larger diameter shocks and springs nearly twice as stiff as standard.
These Corvettes came to be known as known as the “Big Tanks” because the package initially had a 36.5-gallon gas tank versus the standard 20-gallon for races such as Sebring and Daytona. At first, the package was only available on coupes because the oversized tank would not fit in the convertible.
The Z06 was resurrected in 2000 and has been around ever since. The photo above has a recent model, and a beautiful model to go along with it!