Archive for May, 2011
General Motors announced last Wednesday that it is adding two shifts and about 2,500 hourly and salaried jobs at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to build the new Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan and the next-generation Chevrolet Impala large sedan alongside the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera electric cars. This is in addition to a $69 million investment in tooling and equipment to support the Impala, along with a $121 million investment back in April 2010 to support Malibu production.
GM North America President Mark Reuss said of this recent announcement: “Filling this plant with new work is very satisfying because GM is dedicated to helping rebuild this city. We are confident in the flexibility of the plant, the excellence of our workers and the great cars assembled here.”
This announcement is part of GM’s plan to create or retain about 4,000 jobs and invest $2 billion in 17 manufacturing facilities in eight states. Other GM plants positively impacted recently include locations in Bowling Green, Ky., home of the Chevrolet Corvette, Toledo, Ohio, and Flint and Bay City, Mich. These moves are on top of 9,000 jobs saved or added and $3.4 billion invested in U.S. operations since mid-2009.
The jobs will mostly be filled by members of UAW (United Auto Workers) Local 22 in Detroit. Joe Ashton, UAW vice president-GM Department, says that this workforce understands the important tasks at hand in this job field. “The members of UAW Local 22 soar over the bar every day by demonstrating their flexibility, hard work, and their intense focus on the customer.”
Memorial Day weekend is often considered the unofficial start to summer as well as the barbecue season. With high gas prices and the economy in a rut, you may be less inclined to throw barbecues this year, but with these money saving tips, you don’t need to sacrifice your summer grilling fun.
1. Make it a Potluck
The easiest way to save money on your barbecue is to make it a potluck. Have your guests bring a side dish, dessert, or even a beverage option to share with the group. Not only does the host save some time and money this way, but a potluck brings more variety to the table, and the guests get to feel more involved in the party.
2. Go Traditional and Buy in Bulk
Meat is usually the most expensive part of a barbecue, and you can save big if you shop smart. No need to go gourmet for a casual outdoor barbecue. Traditional, inexpensive options like ground beef, hot dogs and sausages make for fine barbecue fare. Buy in bulk at wholesale spots like Costco or other warehouses, or keep an eye on your local grocery store for specials and sales on meat.
3. Go Green and Save Green
Spending money on paper products like disposable plates, cutlery and napkins is like throwing money down the drain, not to mention bad for the environment. Cut your costs and save a tree by using dishes from your cupboard or purchasing reusable plastic tableware from the dollar store that will come in handy for many future barbecues. Your wallet and the environment will thank you.
4. Buy Supplies in the Off Season
Stock up on barbecue supplies like grills, accessories and charcoal in the off season and save a bundle during times of less demand. The best time to purchase new barbecuing supplies is at the end of the summer when stores want to clear their shelves for new seasonal merchandise. Time your purchases right and save big!
5. Bargain Beverages
Providing beverages for a large number of guests can be costly. Opt for beer instead of liquor and be sure to buy it on sale to save even more. Soda in two-liter bottles is much more economical than cans, and a tall pitcher of lemonade not only hits the spot with barbecue fare, but it’s also inexpensive to prepare. Be sure to start making ice in your freezer a few days ahead of time and stock up to avoid having to purchase that as well.
6. Avoid Prepared Foods
It might be tempting to buy that big tub of potato salad at the grocery deli or that chocolate cake from the bakery. However, a small time investment to prepare side dishes or desserts on your own can really go a long way in terms of saving money. Potato and pasta salads are easy to whip up even for a novice chef, and making your own cake from a box mix is not only easy and inexpensive, but will also impress your guests!
7. Go for Simplicity in Décor and Entertainment
Don’t lose sight of the fact that a barbecue is really all about being able to enjoy quality time with your guests. No need to waste money on extravagant decor, themed decorations, or expensive entertainment when all you need is good food and good conversation. A simple vase with flowers or some background music can add some nice ambiance, but skip the streamers and balloons or themed napkins and tableware to save money.
The Sonata Hybrid is Hyundai’s first hybrid on the market, with a fuel efficiency rated at 35 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. Any EPA estimated mileage rating, whether for a hybrid or regular car, comes with the standard disclaimer that the actual mileage may vary due to factors including driving conditions, driving habits, vehicle options and more. In a recent cross-country trip in a Sonata Hybrid, professional driver and self-proclaimed “hypermiler” (one who uses techniques to maximize fuel efficiency in cars) Wayne Gerdes showed us how much that estimated mileage can actually vary.
Gerdes’ route spanned from the edge of the Pacific Ocean (San Diego, CA) to the edge of the Atlantic Ocean (Jekyll Island, GA), 2,269 miles crossing over mountains, deserts, the Continental Divide and the Mississippi River. Remarkably, Gerdes completed the trek using only 38 gallons of gas, just under 2 tanks’ worth, reaching an impressive average fuel efficiency of 59.58 miles per gallon.
Gerdes has performed similar extreme efficiency tests with the Ford Fusion and non-hybrid Hyundai Sonata, but he was particularly impressed with the Sonata Hybrid: “This demonstration shows how the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid can deliver extremely impressive fuel economy and range for drivers who value fuel savings. This is the first time I’ve driven a car that ‘does it right!'”
Indeed, Gerdes is a professional with many “hypermiling” tricks up his sleeve, but he nonetheless shows that it’s quite possible to beat the fuel efficiency ratings on a car’s window sticker. Think you can beat his average? Check out the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and try it for yourself!
The Chicago Sun Times recently reported that selling prices for used cars are at a 16-year high, making it an ideal time to trade in your current vehicle for a brand new one. Statistics show that dealers are paying an average of $11,660 for a used car or truck, an increase of almost 30 percent since December 2008. “You’re not going to find a situation like this very often,” says Jonathan Banks, executive auto analyst for the National Automobile Dealers Association used car pricing guide.
Used car owners looking to upgrade to a new vehicle can thank the recession for this unique window of opportunity. In tough financial times, fewer people make large purchases, such as a new car, so drivers are holding on to their vehicles longer, resulting in a decline in the supply of used cars and trucks available for sale. According to the Polk research firm, the average car on the road now is 10.6 years old, a marked increase from 9.8 years back in mid-2007 before the recession struck.
MSNBC Autos released a list of the Ten Most Improved Cars of 2011, and a few of their picks caught our eye. These candidates are definitely ones to put at the top of your list if you’re in the market for a new vehicle.
Buick Regal: MSNBC touts the new Regal as sleek and racy, shedding its former stigma as a vehicle strictly for the older generation. This luxury sedan gives a comfortable and exhilarating ride and is safe and fuel efficient to boot.
Chevrolet Cruze: While the Cruze is a fairly new model, MSNBC highlights its particular improvements over its predecessor, The Cobalt, including a much smoother ride, top notch safety features, and a much-improved classy interior.
Hyundai Elantra: The Elantra ditches its “cheap” image and puts itself in contention for best-in-class honors in the compact segment. Thanks to its improvements in powertrain engineering, the new Elantra has got both serious power as well as impressive fuel efficiency (40 mpg).
Rogers Auto Group is proud believer in supporting community programs for the younger generation, and what better place to start than right in our own neighborhood. Rogers is happy to be a sponsor of the McGuane Bridgeport Baseball League (MBBL), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the service of the youth of the greater Bridgeport Community right here on the South side of Chicago.
The MBBL is geared to provide an outlet of healthful activity and training and has a wide range of programs for children ages 4 through 17. From the Tee Ball Division to the highest level Pony Division, these baseball programs emphasize instruction, fun, goal-setting, along with healthy competition for the older players.
The Hyundai Genesis was first launched onto the American auto market in 2008, and its facelift for 2012 shows a strong commitment to making it one of the best premium sports sedans available, rivaling comparable cars from competitors like Mercedez-Benz and Lexus. The 2012 Genesis made its debut at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, and boasted such improvements as an upgraded V-6 or V-8 engine, revised suspension tuning, and a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
But the real intrigue for this forthcoming release lies within the Genesis’ R-Spec model. In terms of raw stats, the R-Spec has a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that delivers 429 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm. It’s the most powerful engine ever offered by Hyundai, but even at this premium performance level, you’re not going to sacrifice fuel economy. The R-Spec estimates 16 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
Looking beyond what’s under the hood, the Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec also has plenty to offer in style, comfort, and safety. On the exterior, the R-Spec features 19-inch alloy wheels, redesigned headlights with LED accents and daytime lights, and a more prominent front fascia with wide lower air intake. Color options are available only in the sleek choices of Black Noir, Platinum Metallic, and Titanium Gray, and the black leather interiors scream elegance. On the safety front, the R-Spec has all the bases covered with eight air bags, electronic active head restraints, stability control, optional Lane Departure Warning System, eight ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers and a rear backup camera.
Judging from the preview and early critical acclaim of the Hyundai Genesis R-Spec, this sporty sedan is going to make a big splash when it hits the public later this summer.