Is Now Really the Best Time to Buy

Recently, automakers, politicians and many in the media have been telling consumers that there’s never been a better time to buy a new car. In many respects, that may be true. Due to huge volumes of inventory and extremely attractive incentives, including government rebates of up to $4,500 for those who qualify for the CARS program, it’s tempting to take the plunge.

On the other hand, some have argued that waiting a little while longer may be the best strategy.

Although it’s true that now is the best time to get the best deals on current model year vehicles, by buying now, you’ll miss out on the wave of innovative new cars and trucks that will begin appearing in dealer showrooms over the next few months and beyond.

The root of the current crisis in the automotive industry is automakers collective failure to respond to consumer desires and needs. However, dramatic drops in sales, volatile gas prices, political pressures, environmental concerns and a world economy in disarray finally shook automakers from their complacency. As a result, a new generation of highly innovative, energy-efficient and technologically advanced autos are on the horizon but they’re not here yet.

Among the exciting new cars and trucks scheduled to make their way to market over the next year and a half or so are the Chrysler Town and Country EV, the Scion iQ, Chevy’s much touted Volt, Ford’s reissue of the Fiesta, Nissan’s EV-02, and the Chevrolet Spark.

All of these models offer an array of advantages over vehicles currently on dealers’ lots.

The projected release date for the much anticipated Chevy Volt is late 2010. Few autos have been as highly publicized as this extended-range electric vehicle that is expected to be priced around $40,000. Ford is looking to revive the Fiesta moniker after years in mothballs. The Fiesta is a traditional gas powered vehicle that is expected to surpass many of its hybrid competitors in fuel efficiency by virtue of its small size and light weight. Pricing for the Fiesta is rumored to be comparable to a low-end Focus model.

The new GM expects to introduce two models worth waiting for. The Chrysler Town and Country EV and Chevy Spark are expected to be in dealer showrooms in late 2010 and 2011 respectively. Chrysler’s Town and Country EV is a zero emissions electric minivan that is among the most practical alternative energy vehicles in the works today. At the other end of the size spectrum is the Chevy Spark. The Spark is Chevy’s answer to Smart Motor’s ForTwo model. The Spark, however, will accommodate four passengers and feature a number of innovations in styling and engineering that are expected to generate a strong fan base.

As most automakers have scrambled to enter the hybrid market, Nissan has been focusing its financial and creative resources toward the design of all electric vehicles. Japan’s number three automaker is in the planning stages of constructing a billion dollar production facility in Smyrna, Tennessee to support the manufacture of its new EV-02. Although details concerning the vehicle are sketchy, it promises to be significant advancement over current automotive technologies when it begins rolling off the assembly lines in 2012.

Like the Chevy Spark, the Scion iQ is Toyota’s attempt to compete for market share with the Smart ForTwo. The iQ will split the difference between the ForTwo’s two-passenger, and the Spark’s four-passenger arrangements with a three-passenger configuration, with two in front and one in back. The iQ is expected to be priced around $14,500.

So, before taking that “clunker” on a farewell drive to the new car dealership this weekend, consider whether it might be more advantageous to hang on to it for a little while longer.

Posted in In the News

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