A little weirdness couldn’t hurt…

By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine

Talk to anybody in this business and sooner or later the conversation will shift to the unusual, the strange and occasionally the downright weird things that happen around cars and trucks. Hey, it wouldn’t be any fun if everything was the same day after day, right? We’ve recently come across a couple bits of industry news that, while maybe not truly weird, certainly qualify as eye-openers.

Upside-down markets

Surely you know somebody who prefers to buy used cars instead of new “because the bugs are worked out and of course they’re always cheaper.” You may want to acquaint them with a recent bit of number crunching from the folks at NADAguides.com,  the same folks who prepare the new and used car price guide books.

They recently identified 107 models that command a higher price as a year-old used car than the equivalent zero-miles new car. The effects are seen across the entire range of vehicles, from commuter/economy through high-end luxury rides. For example, they quote a particular model Chevy Aveo at $12,115 new in the showroom, but show a year-old one in clean condition going for  $14,525. They also say a 4-wheel drive Toyota Tacoma can be had new for just over $26,000 but a used 2011 will cost $30,700.

What’s up with all that? Industry watchers say the overall supply of used cars is down for a number of reasons and the supply of first-class, clean, low-mileage vehicles is even lower. NADAguides stated that they did not figure transportation/destination fees into their initial new car prices, but in most cases even adding that fee still didn’t equalize the products. Now you may have to convince Uncle Charlie that everything he used to know is wrong—his new car could actually “gain” value the minute he drives it off the lot.
Go figure.

A new normal?

If you don’t own a BlackBerry personal device you may have missed this one. Last week, the company endured repeated blackouts and loss of service worldwide. Service was finally restored, but the effects of the outage are now being seen with this unusual statistic from the United Arab Emirates.

Since the devices are nicknamed “crackberries” for their addicted owners, it’s fair to say many users were suddenly thrown into symptoms of cold-turkey, involuntary withdrawal from being constantly connected. However, that wasn’t a bad thing—”The National” newspaper, based in the capital city of Abu Dhabi, recently reported that during the BlackBerry outage period, traffic accidents declined significantly.

Attributing statistics collected through local police and other authorities, the paper said, “A dramatic fall in traffic accidents this week has been directly linked to the three-day disruption in BlackBerry services.

In Dubai, traffic accidents fell 20 percent from average rates on the days BlackBerry users were unable to use its messaging service. In Abu Dhabi, the number of accidents this week fell 40 per cent and there were no fatal accidents.
On average there is a traffic accident every three minutes in Dubai, while in Abu Dhabi there is a fatal accident every two days.”

Further, a police spokesman noted “a significant drop in accidents by young drivers and men on those three days.” He said young people were the largest user group of the messenger service.

Hang up and drive, will ya!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org or visit http://bit.ly/cf7az8 to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit http://bit.ly/9FxwTh to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.


About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues. www.macsw.org
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