The Great Texas Debate! Cloth or Leather, Fort Worth?

Cloth vs. Leather

Cloth or Leather? Cloth or Leather? Which is better? What can I afford? These are just a few of the many questions you will ask yourself when deciding on whether you want Cloth or Leather in your new car or truck. No doubt you will discuss this for a while before making a decision.

First thing to think about when deciding is your kids. If you have kids and you let them snack or drink in the car, be prepared for messes. When you have cloth interior in your vehicle it’s difficult to keep it clean with kids in tow. It is cheaper than leather but always think about the kids. Yes, we live in Texas and yes summers can be scorching. Cloth will not bond to your skin when your wearing shorts during those hot summer days or freeze your legs and bum during those chilly Texas months. Are you a smoker? Cloth soaks in odors. Anything and everything you put in your car can be soaked into your cloth. Think about picking kids up from football practice all sweaty and stinky or your dog getting sick in the back seat. That could be quite a mess to clean up. Cloth is more likely to fade and you better watch that cigarette that could burn holes in the cloth that may not present any damage on leather. Cloth is also susceptible to rips and tears over time.

Leather is a must in luxury vehicles and a common standard in most other vehicles. Leather does not hold smells, it’s easy to clean, it has a lovely scent, it doesn’t stain or burn like cloth. However, leather does take a little work to keep looking fresh. You should consider using cleaning lotions regularly on the leather as it will help preserve the leather and keep it looking healthy. Sometimes dirt, grease, and oils from your skin can transfer to the leather making it look dirty. If you regularly clean and use cleaning lotions on your leather you can reduce the dirty look. It’s also very important to have your windows tinted to protect them from those pesky rays from the sun that can dry out and possibly even crack your leather.

Of course ultimately your decision will depend on your lifestyle. If you’re hardly in your car and don’t travel much you may prefer cloth. If you have a few kids and a crazy dog that sheds you may prefer leather cause it’s easier to clean. The decision is yours, but if you still can’t decide, swing by my place, Fort Worth and take a spin and see which one suits you better.

Feel the need for speed?

Well you just might have that need fulfilled.  Texas will be raising the speed limit on highways to 85 mph. If you don’t know already, a speed limit of eighty-five miles per hour would be the highest posted speed limit in the United States and the second-highest posted speed limit in the world. A trip from downtown Fort Worth to downtown Dallas would only take 23 min as opposed to the 30 it takes now. Isn’t that exciting? Meh, not really, I just wanted to impress you with some math skills.

Anyway, back on target.According to an article written by Reuters

Gary Biller, executive director of the Wisconsin-based National Motorists Association, said higher speed limits are perfectly reasonable given the good quality of today’s highway construction.

“In Utah, after they adjusted from 75 to 80, nothing happened to the accident rate,” Biller said. “Actually, nothing happened to the average speed, either; it remained the same.”

But don’t get too excited just yet, the same article reported:

Under the legislation, the Texas Department of Transportation would have to conduct engineering studies before any highway could be certified for an 85 mph speed limit.

“Should this or similar language become law, the agency would conduct extensive studies and analyses to determine safety and structural integrity before raising the speed limit on any particular highway in the state,” said Penny Mason, a spokeswoman for the department.

There are Proponents and Opponents to raising the speed limit. Now this isn’t the Autobahn and I have no interest in limitless speed (for the moment), but history has shown, and I believe,  raising the current speed limit isn’t anymore dangerous than it is now. Besides, if you drive in the Metroplex you know that actually going the “speed limit” is more dangerous than following the flow of traffic.

So there you have it, almost everything is bigger in Texas…even the speed limits. Comments?

Fort Worth: What does the future look like for GM

A year ago, this question terrified me. The answer was certainly: “grim”. However, something surprising has happened. General Motors is getting back on their feet with amazing speed and focus.

There is no doubt that one of the biggest struggles that General Motors will face in the coming years is convincing consumers that their product is superior to the competition. As emissions laws tighten and consumers become more environmentally conscious the problem for an automaker like GM is difficult. Specifically, since GM is a company built around its truck and SUV sales which are considered by some to be the most environmentally unfriendly vehicles on the road.

However, General Motors has done a remarkable feat by coming out of bankruptcy so quickly and with so much intensity. Its new models are impressive and cross every segment that the company operates in. If you think that this is the same old GM singing a new tune, well you are, sadly, mistaken. Take, for example, the introduction of hybrid models to their lineup. In fact, the company has organized several events, such as the  Main Street in Motion event in Newport Beach, CA to educate the consumer and let them know that these changes are here to stay.

Do you have any news on GM you can share? Have you recently bought a new GM vehicle? How was your experience? How is your Car? Leave a few comments and tell us if you think the tide is turning for GM…or better yet come and see for yourself

Fort Worth: How the Japanese Tsunami Affects American Car Production

I’ll bet you never really thought about how an event of extraordinary magnitude, such as the recent earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan, would affect American cars.

Well, the sad news, apart from the human tragedy, is that in 6 to 8 months we may be seeing a shortage of parts used in American made vehicles. Most of those parts will be electronics, but the possibility of them increasing in price is very real. That’s just the law of supply and demand.

The fact of the matter is that, although small Japanese cars are the hardest hit, they aren’t the only ones. Cars produced in North America aren’t immune. I just learned that General Motors had to shut down a plant that makes small pickups in Louisiana, reportedly because of a shortage of Japan-sourced parts. Components come from all over the world today, and a supply chain disruption can impact plants in different countries.

North American-built cars with both Japanese and American nameplates could also be affected by shortages of parts including computer chips, batteries, LCD monitors, and other parts made in Japan. The GMC Canyon is one vehicle affected by this crisis.

Do I think that GM will figure this out? Absolutely! Do I think that the shortage in parts will slow production or drive prices up? We’ll that’s just something we’ll all have to wait and see.

On a more immediate note, if you are reading this, you may not know that Freeman Grapevine has dedicated ourselves to aiding the American Red Cross with this disaster. Head over to our Facebook page and we’ll be donating money in the name of all of those who like the page.

Take a few minutes to peruse some of the Youtube videos of the devastation and you’ll understand the grave impact this disaster has already made.

Please come by our page and help us donate.

Fort Worth: OnStar is having a contest and you should enter!

Why? Because it could mean you could be one of 10 lucky OnStar users to win a brand new Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick or GMC of their choosing.

Here are all the details from autoblog.com.

Starting today, General Motors is holding a car giveaway sweepstakes through its OnStar division. The contest will award 10 lucky OnStar users a brand new Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick or GMC of their choosing. To enter, contestants need only to push their vehicle’s OnStar button.

According to GM, it’s not necessary for the contestants to be OnStar subscribers to enter – all you need is an OnStar-equppied vehicle and you’re ready to go. The idea here is that non-subscribing customers enter the contest and realize the many benefits of having OnStar.

The winners of the contest will be allowed to pick any General Motors product as their prize – everything from the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 or Cadillac CTS-V to the Buick Regal or GMC Canyon. (Pick the CTS-V Sport Wagon. You’ll thank us later.) The only vehicle off limits is the illustrious Chevrolet Volt. GM’s contest is open for entries until May 31. Hit the jump for GM’s official press release.

So there you go, sports’ fans. This is definitely a contest to enter so start hitting those “OnStar” buttons! I just happen to know where you can find some too!

Fort Worth: Heavy GM incentives are putting them on top

In the wake of heavy incentives and deals, eyes all over the business are on GM as they enjoy a sharp surge in sales. While GM defends its level of incentives and says that they are not much higher than those of the industry at large. The business has been showing signs of life after a near collapse two years ago, but analysts warn that a price war could lead to legions of unsold vehicles.
Over production is one of the main attributes credited with leading to the automotive collapse, especially with regard to GM.

“The real question is Ford (F, Fortune 500) and how much longer they will allow GM to add share without responding with price cuts of their own,” said Jeremy Anwyl, chief executive of Edmunds.com.

Ford’s share for the first two months of 2011 was down 1.3% when compared to the same period in 2010, while GMs share rose. Incentive spending for that period in 2011 was noticeably higher on the part of GM – almost $1,100 per vehicle. GM says that incentives can not take the sole credit for the sales boost enjoyed by the company.

This is certainly good news for GM and for Freeman Grapevine! If you are interested in some of these amazing incentives and discounts, then you’ve gotta come and check em out!

My Freeman Grapevine Experience

Thank you Freeman Grapevine.  I just bought a new 2011 Buick Enclave and love it. All of my friends are jealous.    I‚m writing to tell you my experience at Freeman Grapevine was the most hassle-free car purchase I ever made.  You were patient with me and answered all my questions [I had a lot].    I‚ll definitely recommend you to all of my friends.  Thanks again.  Gary W

Turbo Buick and 32 mpg? Believe it, Fort Worth!

It used to be that if you wanted a car with more horsepower, you’d have to settle for a car that gets less gas mileage. Not so with the Buick Regal Turbo. In these times of fluctuating gas prices, the emphasis has understandably been focused on gas sipping, low horsepower people movers with style and performance taking a back seat. This is not the  case with the late 2011 introduction of the Buick Regal Turbo.

According to automedia.com:

The Regal Turbo returns late on 2011, with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Performance is core to the character, offering a sporty alternative to the current 2.4-liter naturally aspirated version, yet this time it is fuel economy that is the main boast. Buick original claimed the turbo would hit 29 mpg on the highway, but the lux division has announced that the car will be EPA rated for 32 mpg. Around town, it will get a less-inspiring 20-mpg city rating.

To put those numbers in perspective, the Buick Turbo produces 220 horsepower, besting the Acura TSX and Volkswagen CC by about 20 hp each. More noticeably, the Buick trounces the Acura with 86 more lbs.-ft. of torque. The VW is bested by 51 lbs.-ft.  And yes, the Buick with a six-speed manual transmission will also get better highway mileage.

The Buick Regal Turbo’s most popular transmission of choice will most likely be automatic, but it will also offer three driver-selectable modes that will alter the car’s personality by adjusting suspension tuning, shift pattern, and steering sensitivity through the variable effort steering system. Thus giving the Regal owner more control and they opportunity to adjust the car to their driving habits as opposed to having to adjust to the car itself.

At a sticker of just over 28K for an turbo automatic, this car is definitely something you need to drive for yourself. The fact that you get more car for your money? Well that’s just added bonus for you.

Anyone wanting to take a test drive should swing by my place. If you own or have already drivin’ the 2011 Buick Regal Turbo, then leave us a comment and tell us what you think about this car. I for one love it!

Ft. Worth: Get the GMC Acadia before it’s gone

In an effort to cut back it’s product line in the wake of a Government orchestrated bankruptcy, GM has decided to scrap the act of rebadging.

According to GMI, the Detroit automaker is doing all it can to refrain from rebadging and for that reason has decided to kill the next-generation Lambda-based GMC Acadia crossover.

The GMC Acadia launched in 2006 alongside other Lambda-platform based vehicles including the Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook and the Chevrolet Traverse.

That’s right, it may be a relative hot seller, but General Motors will reportedly ax the next-generation of the GMC Acadia crossover. The move will clear the way for a single Lambda-based vehicle for GM’s Buick-GMC outlets.

Although GM has sworn off the days of badge engineering, the Detroit automaker has offered up to four-different Lambda variants at any given time, including the GMC Acadia. That many models on a single platform caused some inherent overlap, but GM will address that issue with the next-generation of Lambda vehicles.

According to GMInsideNews, GM has canceled a second-generation of the GMC Acadia. While the decision to pull the plug on the Acadia will undoubtedly cost GM some sales, the redesign Buick Enclave – which also rides on the Lambda platform – should more than pick up the slack in Buick-GMC showrooms. In fact, the Enclave is selling so well that GM is reportedly considering increasing production at its Lansing Delta Township plant.

The next-generation Buick Enclave is expected to arrive in 2015.

Second time’s a charm
The latest report actually marks the second time GM has decided to cancel the Acadia project. GM originally halted work on the next-generation Acadia in late 2008 as the company considered shuttering the entire GMC brand. However, work resumed on the Acadia in the summer of 2009.

Now keep in mind that the Acadia is a great vehicle, the abandoning of rebadging is GM’s way of, for the lack of a better term, “trimming the fat”. The 2011 Acadia is still available, but for how long? Your guess is as good as ours. Come and check out the Acadia any time You gotta’ get it while it’s hot and before it’s gone from the lot!

Fort Worth: More Car Theft Figures

Did you know that a car is stolen in Texas every five and a half minutes. More vehicles are stolen between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. than any other time. In 2003, more than 98,000 vehicles were stolen in Texas.In 2005, more than 93,471 vehicles were stolen in Texas.

In 2009, 76,617 vehicles were stolen in Texas, accounting for an economic loss totaling $736,487,759.  285,501 thefts from motor vehicles including motor vehicle parts offenses occurred in Texas, accounting for an economic loss totaling $220,315,208.
The top five stolen vehicles in Texas are: Ford Pickup, Chevy Pickup, Dodge Pickup, Honda Civic, and the Honda Accord.

Cars are getting more secure these days and thus harder to boost which is why we are seeing the numbers of car thefts decreasing. However, vehicle burglaries and break-ins are increasing due the fact that our cars are now filled with expensive GPS systems, iPods, Smart Phones, computers, handbags and a list of other things that are too hard for a criminal to resist when left out in the open.

Remember, take your valuables in with you or totally conceal them. All of us here at Freeman really want to keep you, your vehicle and valuables safe. Victims are usually the people who are not aware or alert…rendering them an easy target.

Be safe!!!