This Week in Car Buying: Corvette to pace Indy; Hyundai's insurance play; Volvo valet gets ready to roll; Inventories high
If you’re looking to take a break from the Memorial Day sales event shopping, you might check out watching the Indy 500 on Sunday, May 27, where the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 has been selected as pace car for the racing classic. It marks the 15th time that a Corvette has had the honor and the 29th time for a Chevrolet. Chevy’s first at Indy was in 1948 when a Fleetmaster Six Convertible paced the race.
However, if you are looking to purchase a replica version of this 755-horsepower beast, Chevrolet says it has no plans to offer one. While it has done limited edition pace cars as retail units, this is one of the few times they have chosen to pass on the tradition, most recently last year with the Camaro ZL1. Because its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 makes more than 700-horsepower, the ZR1 can accelerate to 60 mph in just 2.85 seconds and has a top speed of 212 mph, so it is pace car ready right out of the box. If you want to buy one, be prepared to shell out more than $122,000.
Hyundai’s insurance play
Hyundai announced that it is working with Verisk to devise a usage-based insurance (UBI) rating that incorporates vehicle data from its Blue Link connected car services. The ability to monitor how a vehicle is being used is a key element in delivering lower premiums with UBI. Data will be delivered to Verisk from lessees and owners who consent to have that information shared.
“Our alliance with Verisk will enable new value-added services for our customers,” said Manish Mehrotra, director of digital business planning for Hyundai. “Hyundai customers will have access to their portable Verisk Driving Score, which can lead to discount offers on UBI programs and support driver feedback that helps improve their driving.”
Drivers who opt in will be able to access the Verisk Driving Score and use it in approved UBI programs in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Driving tips and reports generated by Verisk, according to Hyundai, can be used to encourage safer and more efficient drivers.
Blue Link connected car services are available on all 2018 Hyundai vehicles. When equipped, the package includes three years of complimentary services including safety, diagnostic, remote and voice guidance features. Blue Link allows owners to remotely lock/unlock and start the car along with preconditioning the cabin through the climate control system. Other features include car finder, enhanced roadside assistance and stolen vehicle recovery.
“This agreement with Hyundai further establishes the Verisk Data Exchange as the solution of choice for automakers seeking to connect their customers with innovative insurers,” said Saurabh Khemka, senior vice president of Verisk IoT/Telematics. “As growing numbers of insurers use the exchange for underwriting and claims solutions, it will help drive evolution within the insurance industry.
Volvo valet gets ready to roll
Volvo is getting close to rolling out a national valet service on as part of its Volvo On Call app having recently conducted a test program in Palo Alto, Calif., where it picked up and delivered customer cars for service appointments. The new valet service trial is in addition to pilot programs in in the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle, where vehicle fueling and washing is offered as part of the app.
Volvo says it received favorable feedback on the valet service where customers who scheduled service and/or repairs arranged to have a temporary car brought to them and dropped off at their home by a valet, who then takes the customer’s car to the dealership. As a result of the pilot’s success, the company will be rolling out the service to other dealers nationally as early as the first quarter of next year.
While strong March sales helped to keep the days’ supply figure in check for the auto industry, there are still more than 4 million vehicles on the ground, according to Automotive News. It’s the second straight month that the total number of vehicles in stock exceeded that level. But the measuring stick, which is the number of days it would take to sell at current rates all those units, is actually lower at 69 days than it was a year ago when it was 73. And month-over-month, the number has dropped from 74 days.
By brand, BMW has the leanest inventory at 37 days, followed by it Mini unit at 38 days. Subaru, which traditionally has a low days’ supply followed with 48, a number equaled by Mazda. Mercedes-Benz and Nissan were also tied at 53 days’ supply. Those with the highest inventory include Fiat, with a 157-day inventory, followed by Ram at 111 days, VW at 105, Porsche with 103 and Lincoln at 87 days.
Plug-in hybrids are the next big thing in fuel efficiency. We drive the 2018 Honda Clarity, Toyota Prius Prime, Chevrolet Volt and Hyundai Ioniq in this Comparison Test.
Ford is entering the diesel race among half-ton pickups. Its 2019 Ford F-150 Diesel has earned a segment-best 30 mpg highway rating from the EPA.
Sometimes the bottom line isn’t the bottom line. In this latest Insider Car Buyer Tips, get the lowdown on the taxes and document fees that come after your deal here.
In the market for a new car? Explore these useful tips on how to get the best deal: