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What would your vanity plate say?

“You’re so vain!”

We all seen them. You may actually have one. The Vanity license plate. It can say a lot about the driver who owns the plate. I’ve personally never owned a vanity, but I’ve certainly seen my fair share.

Well, as it turns out, the vanity plate has come a fairly long way in a relatively short period of time. What was once an fairly low cost way to personalize your vehicle has now become big business.

After years of selling vanity plates as a modest sideline — charging as little as $5 — states think there’s more money to be made in whatever drives people to buy them. Facing budget crunches, states are raising surcharges or proposing annual fee hikes for custom plates.

Texas has gone a step further. It hired a private company to raise $25 million over the next five years by auctioning off vanity plates.

“People like to express themselves, especially in Texas,” says a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

In fact, vanity plates can boost self esteem for the simple reason that vanity plates say “who I am and what I want people to know about me”. It’s like a mission statement.

In turn, a paper published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology in 2008 found that drivers with vanity plates, bumper stickers and other “territory markers” were far more likely to use their vehicles to express rage — by honking, tailgating and other aggressive behavior.

This year, at the nation’s first such auction, Texas sold 33 plates for $139,400. That’s a hefty chunk of change!

However, don’t think that you can just get anything on those plates. I believe all states who allow vanity plates also regulate what you can and can’t express. States have long denied certain combinations of letters or numbers considered obscene or inappropriate, sparking battles with motorists….and well, some are just down, right dumb like: “3XWYVS,” “H8CATS” and “TROFYWIF.”

So, if you were going to get a vanity plate, what would it say? Leave me a comment below, let’s see how creative you can get!

News Wire: GM Lansing Delta Township Plant Builds 2 Millionth Vehicle

The 2 millionth vehicle, a 2016 Buick Enclave, rolls off the production line at the General Motors Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant Friday, August 14, 2015, in Lansing, Michigan. GM's newest assembly plant in North America, opened in 2006, Lansing Delta Township Assembly currently employs approximately 3,200 employees on three shifts. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)
The 2 millionth vehicle, a 2016 Buick Enclave, rolls off the production line at the General Motors Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant Friday, August 14, 2015, in Lansing, Michigan. GM’s newest assembly plant in North America, opened in 2006, Lansing Delta Township Assembly currently employs approximately 3,200 employees on three shifts. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

This article originally appeared on buick.com)

LANSING, Mich. – A 2016 Buick Enclave, painted in White Frost Tricoat, rolled off the production line at General Motors’ Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant today, the 2 millionth vehicle produced at the automaker’s newest assembly plant in North America.

“This milestone directly reflects the dedication and hard work that our employees put into these crossovers every day,” said Mike Trevorrow, Lansing regional plant manager. “This team has established a strong foundation since opening to enable us to produce our 2 millionth vehicle in nine years, which is quite an accomplishment.”

Opened in 2006, Lansing Delta Township Assembly blends best practices and the newest technology in one facility. It was the first automotive manufacturing facility in the world to be a Gold Certified Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Since starting production, Lansing Delta Township has manufactured the Saturn Outlook, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Acadia Denali and Buick Enclave. A white Outlook was the first vehicle produced on May 24, 2006.

The plant currently employs approximately 3,200 employees on three shifts.

GM has announced more than $580 million in investments for Lansing Delta Township facility over the last two years, including $63 million in 2014 to expand the plant by nearly 263,000 square feet and $520 million earlier this year for tooling and equipment associated with future new vehicle programs.

“Producing the 2 millionth vehicle would not be possible without the great people we have here,” said UAW Local 602 President Bill Reed.

While most vehicles follow somewhat of a bell curve for sales during their lifecycle, the Enclave has continued an upward trajectory after more than seven years. Minor dips in 2009 and 2012 reflected overall trends in the recovering auto industry, but record-setting 2014 sales represented a 39-percent increase over the Enclave’s first full year of production. As of June 2015, more than 500,000 Enclave models had been sold worldwide.

“The Enclave led Buick’s product renaissance, redefining what consumers should expect from a full-size luxury crossover,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “It is fitting that an Enclave is the 2 millionth vehicle to roll off the line in Lansing, demonstrating continued consumer demand.”

This milestone for Lansing Delta Township is part of GM’s celebration of 500 million vehicles built globally, more than any other automaker.

(Read the entire story here..)

What Makes Your Car Sexy?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rexgray/4609996185/in/photolist-82nrfR-g9hWo4-82quLQ-pQgYmW-82qyX1-bz32CW-bz32wA-bz32B5-bz32EE-82quYY-82qv8C-82nrLZ-82qyfA-hRr2u-82qyom-g9hZAY-82nper-82qx9b-82npaz-82qzbd-82qyvw-fMgwNM-82noJM-82qvTG-82nph6-iw8y7P-gc7gy-82qzfC-82qyMU-82qysh-82ns5V-82nrHB-82nqtT-82nsaH-82qyQW-nZ3w9m-82nrBp-qjFGEa-82qyj9-7bzwHy-82swDG-82qwhw-7GSV3Q-82nqmn-mVj8k-pnLstV-82mJcg-8gyizP-ePGnru-cV2tWJ
Rex Gray, Flikr Creative Commons

What makes your car sexy? Shape, form, color, aesthetics, ergonomics, economy, brute strength, clever technology, brand, implications of status, practicality, modernity, or the classic era it was born in? What is it about your car that makes you think other folks say “Ahhhh!” when they see your vehicle? It’s a well known fact that America has had a love affair with the automobile since the day they started rolling off the line, and the above question is one that every auto manufacturer since the very beginning has wrestled with. Maybe not in terms of what makes it “sexy” in that specific term, but if you take all the above ideas and condense them down to a single idea then “sex appeal” would have to be a defining factor in a huge number of automobile purchases.

So how do you define the sex appeal of your car in a broad sense? Because isn’t what makes one auto more attractive to buyers than another as specific as the taste of the individual buyers themselves? That is the risk auto manufacturers take every time they unveil a new model: will the public react positively? One of the celebrated blunders in years past, the legendary lack of sales of the Chevy Nova in Mexico because “No Va” translated roughly to “It Does Not Go” in Spanish, actually didn’t happen but it’s so well known it actually serves as a warning to manufacturers of the unintended consequences of the tiniest detail. Sometimes it’s just as simple as the lines of the fenders, the sound of the motor at idle, or the design of the rims. For other folks the bottom line is the sexiest thing, miles per gallon, efficiency, and simplicity mean more to them than horsepower or paint job. To each their own and according to their need!

Horton Classic Car Museum

https://www.flickr.com/photos/leecannon/6233477606/in/photolist-aiyHnN-svYoPL-8o8xZ3-svXQ4A-rz8hEW-bgQudt-bgQtVX-aihkEu-aihnQw-8kCEW3-sez5Lb-seG4Av-sw9w6x-aieymF-aieAtX-sw6WJc-seFxJX-sw8ZQ2-rz8kg7-brfqjX-auQcHQ-cLGaHq-pNqjid-auQcHN-kwpojW-9ooQis-9okNj6-bNk2ue-84ModP-apijPx-apm3Fy-84Mogc-83BxDn-9okN9k-brfprg-oHxWgU-baiXRZ-nziijv-84QCnh-84QCjd-apm2XS-apimeZ-apm559-apm4oq-apm3kL-apiktV-83BxGt-6uTjRe-nqqWWJ-nqr12G
Lee Cannon, Fliker Creative Commons

Just north of here and a smidge west, is the little town of Nocona, TX. Now, Nocona is deservedly most famous for it’s boots. The boot factory there has been cranking them out since 1925 when it was by the daughter of a man who’s last name was Justin…which you may recall is a fairly famous name in the boot world as well. Now, just imagine a quick roadtrip out of town up to Nocona with the kids. You can pick up some boots, eat some pretty good BBQ, after all the rain we’ve had lately, you know it’ll be a pretty drive, and most importantly there’s something to show the kiddos, because what Nocona also has, despite it’s cowboy-centric history, is a world class automotive museum.

The Horton Classic Car Museum is right there in the middle of town on the corner of Walnut St and Clay St. The owners, Pete and Barbara Horton got their start in the rough end of the oil business, but unlike a bunch of folks, were able to hang on through the ups and down times and pursue their passion of collecting and restoring classic cars.

The museum features a wide array of classic automobiles. They have almost every Corvette model produced between 1953 and 1978. A 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk is one of the most uniques cars in the collection, which apparently only 40 were ever built. They also have vintage Lincoln, Oldsmobile, Ford, Packards, Chevy and Pontiac vehicles on display, mostly of the 1950’s era.

In another building is the Horton Motor Co. Museum which seems to be more muscle car related. On display there is a 1970 Plymouth Hemi-Cuda convertible, a 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS,  as well as a 1968 Shelby Cobra Mustang. This museum has 16 cars on display and is available by appointment or along with regular museum tours. They’re open M-F 9-4, and Sat 9-5.

 

Bedford, Tx Distracted Driving Ordinance

Another Metroplex city has taken the noble action of putting constraints on distracted driving. When you read the number of causalities that are a direct result of distracted driving, I’m sure you’ll understand why. Myself and everyone else at Freeman Grapevine applaud  the efforts of our cities to stop distracted driving.

On November 18, 2014, the Bedford City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting distracted driving practices as they relate to portable electronic devices (which is defined as any handheld wireless communication device, laptop computer, tablet, media player, handheld gaming device, or any electronic device capable of displaying text-based communications, games, pictures or video).

In 2012, there were 3,328 people killed in distracted driving incidents. Statistical data reflects a significant correlation between cell phone use while driving and an increase in motor vehicle accidents. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that a person is 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash or near crash by looking away from the forward roadway for just two seconds; a risk that is comparable to driving with a blood alcohol content level of 0.15. Another NHTSA report shows that while texting, the average person’s eyes are off the road for five seconds. At 55 MPH, those five seconds equate to traveling the length of a football field while blindfolded.

The intention of the ordinance is to prohibit drivers from interacting with any electronic device in their hands, whether it is viewing, typing, or talking while operating a motor vehicle upon a public roadway. This includes while vehicles are stopped at a traffic signal.

Types of actions that are considered “use” in the ordinance are as follows:
- viewing the display screen of a portable electronic device
- holding a portable electronic device in a position to talk into or listen on
- manipulating a portable electronic device by interacting with its display screen or pushing any button to enter text, dial numbers, or to engage in any other function.

The ordinance DOES NOT prohibit GPS devices affixed to a vehicle, a hands-free device, or the utilization of a portable electronic device in an emergency situation.

Be smart folks. chances are, that text can wait. It’s not worth destroying your life and the lives of others because you we’re to distracted with being social. There is no excuse. Pull over if you have to use your phone. Remember, you are driving, so why not actually focus on driving?

Why Running Your Car On Empty Is Bad

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Who isn’t tired of the fluctuating and ever increasing gas prices? It still hurts the wallet every time I have to fill up. And to avoid that sting, some people are driving their vehicles until they have used every last drop in the gas tank, literally. Which means not only could they end up on the side of the road because they ran out of gas, but running on empty can cause costly damage to your vehicle. We’ve seen it first hand here at Freeman Grapevine.

Most people on the road don’t realize that if you are running on empty, you may be putting your vehicle at risk by causing damage to the fuel pump. The electric fuel-pump motor uses the gasoline as a coolant, so when you are low the pump may suck in air which creates heat and that is not a good thing. Replacing the fuel pump will cost a couple hundred dollars to fix which leaves you in a position of shelling out even more money!

Besides costly fuel pump damage, running on a low tank of gas could possibly leave you stranded on the side of a road or could possible be the cause of an accident if your vehicle suddenly stops running. Being stranded puts both you and your vehicle at risk. Hopefully a friend can help out by bringing you some gas, but you will need to be prepared to take some heat for letting your car run out of gas in the first place!

Thankfully, you can prevent these situations by following the tips below:

  • Fill up once your tank reaches 1/4 full.
  • Before driving on a long trip, fill up. You never know what the traffic might bring that day and you may end up with a longer trip than planned.
  • If you do get low enough on fuel for your car to ding or warn you, fill up as soon as possible.  Don’t hope that you can get just a little bit further as you never can be sure how far you can get.
  • Find the cheapest gas near your house instead of driving to the other side of town. There are some apps out there that can help find the cheapest gas.

Don’t take your chances by running your vehicle on empty. Even though you may think you are stretching your dollar further, you will run the risk of potentially having costly as well as dangerous situations running on a near empty gas tank. One way to make sure you are getting the best MPGs possible is to have your tires properly inflated and your vehicle properly maintained. You can always bring your vehicle by Freeman Grapevine and we can help you out!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/axbecerra/14172811893/in/photolist-nApncK-aoUASn-ah1RqK-agZZ4B-ah1258-agZRfn-agZYwx-5vSjF9-5vSiXE-7gBwMS-7gBwQ7-7gBxf3-ah3Eey-agZRyx-ah3KA3-agZQ2T-5vN1x6-7gBwB7-7gByg1-agZWZp-agZPP8-5vSm8q-7gBwEY-7gxAyT-ah3E2w-ah3JB7-ah3L8d-7gBwHd-7gxB2T-7gxAVP-ah3Lvq-agZXEH-agZYga-cnKhoj-7gBxFo-3qJ6y4-aYVQnr-niQnRF-nzEAjV-nBrzhM-kvgoLQ-niaZZB-nib5fo-nBryyc-nxBRLf-niaY9n-nzFeCT-nic3Ee-nib11u-nzEyET

When Is It The Right Time For A New Car

dallas Buick Dealer, Dallas GMC Dealer, dallas GMC Truck, dallas new car, dallas Used Car, dallas Used Truck, dfw driving, financing, GMC Dealer, GMC TruckLike most, you may have a special relationship with your car. I know I do. I love my truck! It only stands to reason that when the time for a change comes it may become difficult when it’s time to part with it. Heck, you may even be in denial that it is even time to part with it.  If you’re on the fence on whether or not you should start to consider a new car or not, take the quick quiz below by answer yes or no to each question below to see if you should be in the market for a new car or if the one you’re currently driving is just fine:

  1. Is it hard to find parts for your car when repairs are needed? Spending hours on the phone or the Internet tracking down a part to your car is big waste of time, but necessary if you need to drive.  If you take your car to your trusted mechanic and even they are having a hard time finding parts then time may up on your car.
  2. Do you find yourself putting more money into your car than your car is even worth?  Sure, in your mind your car may be a classic, but if your car is costing you more than what’s it worth it’s time to revisit basic accounting before you get yourself further in the red.
  3. Do you trust your vehicle? If you get into your car and are just not sure if it will get you to the place you need to be without any problems, you need one that you do trust. No one likes being broken down in the road. It’s dangerous, a waste of time and just frustrating.
  4. Is your car safe? If you were to get into an accident do you think your vehicle could protect you with airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control which are all pretty much standard on today’s cars.
  5. Will your vehicle pass the emissions test? Cars that close to or older than 15 years old have less of chance passing emissions testing. And just about every state has some sort of emissions testing that their vehicle needs to pass in order for it to be legally on the road.

In my opinion, if you answered “yes” to even one question, then I would highly suggest putting a new car purchase in the budget. Of course you don’t have to buy brand new, a used car is new car to the new owner.  The bottom-line is that you need to be safe in your car and be able to trust that it can get you from point A to point B without any problems. And if you do have problems you don’t want to be sinking a lot of cash into something that doesn’t give a return, especially if you’re going to be running into more and more problems.

Come by Freeman Grapevine today, we’d love to help determine if your current car is just getting to old. And if so, we have a lot of new and used cars for you to take a look at.

2015 yukon, 2015 yukon, xl, 2015 youkon denail, new yuon, freeman grapevine, gmc

Are You Brand Loyal To Your Car

car brand loyalty, Buick Dealer, dallas Buick Dealer, Dallas GMC Dealer, dallas GMC Truck, dallas new car, dallas Used Car, dallas Used Truck, financing, GMC Dealer, GMC Truck,

I bought a new shirt the other day and I realized that I keep shopping for the same brands and the same style that I always buy. Do I have a brand loyalty? Am I aligning myself group by wearing a certain brand? What about new cars in Dallas and Fort Worth? Are people brand loyal when it comes to new cars?

“Sure”, you might say, “…but only with trucks and maybe sports cars…Mini-vans and sedans? Probably not.” Is that really true though? I did some research and found out that isn’t entirely true. In fact, 3 out of 4 new car buyers ARE brand loyal…even  to mini-vans and sedans.

Here’s the rub. According to a Consumer Reports survey I read, it says that 73%of new car buyers are somewhat likely, or very likely to buy from the same brand again. However, it apparently depends a lot on age and gender:

CR says 54% of women are very likely to stay brand loyal, while just 43% of men are. And half of older drivers say they plan to buy a vehicle of the same brand next time, vs. 41% of younger crowd.

OK, so what is changing the minds of the other 27%? Apparently, top three reasons people say they’d switch to a different brand are higher quality, better fuel economy and a lower price.

So, just over a quarter of new car buyers see the automobile as a simple mode of transportation.

Just 27%, that seems awfully low…except when you are dealing with brand loyalty. We’ve aligned ourselves in such a way with brands that people can, quite literally, get to know a little something about your personality from a mile away simply by the shape of the car you drive. That’s right…the shape. Think about it for a second and if you don’t already know this, you’ll figure it out. Buick, GMC, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus all have their signature silhouettes.

Are You Upside Down On Your Car

Source: www.deceptology.com
Source: www.deceptology.com

At Freeman Grapevine, we get asked all of the time by new car buyers: “What does it mean to be “upside down” on your new car?” Well, simple put, you owe more than the car is worth.

The first step to getting out of this crazy situation is to understand that you are not alone. Roughly 30% of people in the United States are in similar situations, and what’s more is that many of these people are in this situation from the get go. That’s right…almost the moment they drive off of the lot. Sometime you gotta’ do what you gotta’ do when you need a new car.

Now that you know you are not alone, the next step is to take stock of what your current options are.

One of the more common strategies people use to get out of such situations is to try and sell the car. Unfortunately, unless you are able to sell the car for what you owe, you are still responsible to pay the loan in full, regardless of who actually owns the car. Another common strategy is to trade in the car that is upside down for a new vehicle. While this may get you out from under one inverted car loan, it is going to put you right back under another one.

This is great advice:

The best thing you can do is finish paying that car off and then sell it or use it as a trade. If you are upside down, you are probably going to want some guidance as to how you can get back on your feet. That’s where Freeman Grapevine can help.

Does anyone have a suggestion or service they can recommend?

How Potholes Can Damage Your Car

Hey, it happens even to the best of us here at Freeman Grapevine. You’re driving along, focusing on the road ahead, and you might not even notice the huge hole in the road…until you drive over it.

Bam, you just hit a pothole. It might have sloshed your coffee, or made your CD player skip. You quietly curse the pothole and you might even shake an angry fist in the rear view mirror, but then you just go about your day. What you might not know is, driving over potholes can cause serious damage to your car.

First off, what exactly is a pothole? Well, as roadways freeze and thaw, some of the water erodes the dirt beneath the surface of the road. Then the asphalt will start to crack and chip away. This leads to small holes in the road, and they will eventually turn into potholes.

How can potholes affect you? Well, you could notice immediate damage via a flat tire or long-term damage could start to affect your alignment and steering. Pothole damage accounts for about 500,000 insurance claims every year, so you should look for any signs of damage as soon as possible.

Source: www.engadget.com
Source: www.engadget.com

 

If you have aluminum rims, they might become bent or warped if you hit too many potholes, and they just can’t withstand the impact that older, steel rims can. If you hit a deep pothole, it could chip away some of the rust proofing on the undercarriage of you car, and you will want to get that repaired as quickly as possible.

The biggest problem will have an effect on your steering and shocks. If you notice that your car starts to pull in one direction or the other when you let go of the steering wheel, your alignment is probably off. If you notice that your drive is becoming a little rougher and you can feel every little bump in the road, those potholes might have messed up your shock springs.

Let me know if you have any funny or nightmarish pothole stories, and I might include them in a future blog post! Of course, if that pothole has left you with any of the issues I mentioned above, then feel free to bring it into Freeman Grapevine so we can take a look.