- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 29, 2007

Miniature cars show set in Dunn Loring

The Capital Miniature Auto Collectors Club is sponsoring the first of two shows this year featuring all scales, makes and materials of model cars.

The show is scheduled Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire House Community Hall, 2148 Gallows Road, in Northern Virginia.

Admission will be $5 for adults, with children under 12 admitted free.

In addition to about 60 tables with vendors selling miniature autos of all types, there will be door-prize presentations at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

For more information, call show chairman Jim Brostrom at 703/941-0373 or send e-mail to [email protected]

Southern Knights plan car, cycle show

The Southern Knights Rod & Custom Car Club will hold its 20th annual Coming Out Car and Bike Show April 15 in Charlotte Hall, Md.

There will be awards for the top 40 vehicles and top five motorcycles, with several special category awards, too. Registration is 8:30 a.m. to noon. Admission will be $3 for adults, with children under 12 admitted free.

There will be door prizes, a raffle and a flea market. Plus, food will be available. All proceeds will go to charity, according to the sponsor.

For more information, including directions to the Southern Maryland site, call Wade Coates at 301/645-2645 or Bill Bushey at 301/274-3860.

Blue Book offers report on SUVs

Kelley Blue Book and Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research’s latest report series, called Brand Watch, finds that the two most important factors of luxury SUV shopping are driving comfort and driving performance.

But nonluxury SUV shoppers consider fuel efficiency and durability/reliability the two most important factors, according to the vehicle research company.

Its report says that falling in the middle of the top five consideration factors for both of these groups is safety. Among luxury SUV shoppers, Lexus ranked No. 1 for driving comfort — the shoppers’ top consideration factor. Among nonluxury SUV shoppers, Toyota ranked No. 1 for fuel efficiency, durability/reliability and safety — the segment’s top three consideration factors.

Brand Watch asked both luxury and nonluxury SUV shoppers for their opinions about 17 different attributes associated specifically with SUVs.

New-vehicle shoppers were asked to not only rank these attributes in importance, but also to rate each manufacturer on those important factors. The price-point difference between luxury and nonluxury SUV shoppers leads the top five attributes among these two consideration groups to be nearly opposites. In the luxury SUV shoppers group, GMC’s luxury Denali line topped the rankings for seating capacity, towing and being family friendly, but tied for last place with Saab among shoppers when it comes to prestige and brand status.

In the prestige and brand status category, consumers ranked Mercedes-Benz at the top. For brand cachet and perception among consumers, Hummer and Cadillac came in close behind Mercedes-Benz among luxury SUV shoppers. While Hummer placed high for brand and prestige, the military-style vehicle ranked last for luxury and sophistication.

Perceptions of vehicle brands in the nonluxury shopping group placed Toyota and Honda high for the majority of attribute categories including comfort, reliability and safety. For stylishness, layout/design and versatility/flexibility, non luxury SUV shoppers rated Ford highest for those attributes. “In-market shoppers’ make/ model choices are clearly influenced by brand perceptions and brand-level campaigns,” said Rick Wainschel, vice president of marketing research and brand communications for Kelley Blue Book. “It appears that the branding campaigns executed by some of the domestic luxury SUV brands are paying off.”

Car Care for a Cause featured in April

Can an oil change fight cancer? Ford Customer Service Division is planning on it with a Car Care for a Cause event during April’s National Car Care Month that includes making a $100,000 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure on behalf of its Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealerships’ service customers.

In addition to helping in the long-term fight against breast cancer, Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealership-service customers can reap some rewards, including no payments and interest-free financing for products and services, spa gift cards and free TripTunes car-stereo connectors, according to Ford.

Oil change-reminder stickers with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure logo are just one way of increasing awareness and donations to the cause.

For more information about Car Care for a Cause, visit www.genuineservice.com/pink.

Mail items of interest to Auto Notes, care of Bill O’Brien, The Washington Times Copy Desk, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002. Or send items of interest via e-mail to [email protected]washingtontimes.com. The deadline is 5 p.m. on the Monday before the date of publication.

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