Made Across America

Do you know where your car, truck, or SUV was made? While many folks overlook the fine print*, the place of origin has significant implications on the American economy. The auto industry is back on track, with 16.9 million new vehicles sold in America in 2014, up from a low point of 11.5 million in 2009. This resurgence has created over 400,000 new jobs over that timespan, at automotive manufacturers, suppliers, and dealerships.

Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn EcoDiesel on Capitol Hill
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You Want a Real EcoBoost? Lets Put it in Perspective …

I spent the better part of three days at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit this past week. While I’ve been to NAIAS a number of times over the years, this was the first time I flew home knowing that I need to start doing things differently, ASAP. Although the price of gasoline may have plummeted, there’s still a mission (make that multiple missions) that must be accomplished. Gas will not stay this cheap forever.

Ford kindly flew me in with a crowd of “Digital Influencers” and I lived happily in the big blue snowglobe with my new comrades. Our agenda was non-stop, starting with a Sunday night visit to the historic Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit, where the Model T was designed and built.

1908 Ford Model T at the Piquette Avenue Plant
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How Low Will Gas Go?

The recent drop in crude oil prices has driven the cost of gasoline down to remarkably low levels across America. It’s a whole new era, with our country suddenly awash in relatively cheap oil. This couldn’t come at a better time for many families, with all that newly liberated cash finding its way into the holiday gift budget. The piggy bank’s been fracked and we all need new jumbo flat screen TVs, the latest video games and fuzzy blankets.

So how low will gas prices go? What’s really driving the price drop? Is it simply all of the oil flowing from the Bakken Shale or is there more at play? Will OPEC’s gamble pay off? Are we on the right path to American Energy Independence? How does this drop compare to previous drops? (See: Historical Price of Gasoline in America).

I shot a little in-car stream of consciousness video while driving Slambo this week. Please take a gander and tell us what you think in the comments …

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Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Conquers the Mountain

Have you ever dreamed about climbing a ski mountain in a Jeep? I know I have. The thought of scaling peaks in a 4×4 has crossed my mind countlessly over the years while riding on the chairlift. So when BF Goodrich asked if I might be interested in a hands-on demo of their their brand new All-Terrain T/A KO2s at Hunter Mountain on a tricked out Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, I jumped on the opportunity.

This was not an ordinary media junket. I didn’t need to get on a plane, dress up, or sit through a slide presentation. All I needed to do was gather up my cameras, drive Slambo up to Hunter Mountain, stay over one night, wake up and go four wheeling in a wicked modded Jeep Wrangler with one of the best drivers in North America.

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How Much is My Junk Car Worth?

If you’ve never had the need to get rid of a junk car, count yourself lucky. Dumping a clunker can be a real hassle. The trick is to minimize your financial loss without spending a huge amount of time, effort and expense. I’ve had to unload more than a few junkers over the years and it’s never been fun.

For most consumers, junking a car is a losing proposition. But for entrepreneurs, there’s plenty of money to be made. Think about all of the print, TV, and radio advertisements you’ve endured for WeBuyAnyCar, for example. Their pervasive jingle is a highly-effective earworm. If they weren’t making a pile of money off the transactions, they wouldn’t be able to drop so much on advertising. For WeBuyAnyCar and similar firms, junk cars can be gold.

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