Mojo motors

The Most Durable Automobiles on U.S. Roads (Wall St. Cheat Sheet)

WSCS Blog LogoArticle by Justin Lloyd-Miller for Wall St. Cheat Sheet

Automotive shopping and research resource Mojo Motors recently conducted a study to seek out what cars still made good buys with the highest mileage in their respective classes.

“We analyzed almost 300,000 vehicles on Mojo Motors from the model years 2002 to 2012 to find the highest mileage used vehicles,” the site said. [keep reading]

What the CarGurus IPO means for auto startups

CarGurus recently announced they will be expanding their service internationally and going public. I’ve been asked by colleagues and the press for my thoughts and here are three reasons why I couldn’t be more excited.

  1. Finally! Automotive gets to have its share of the public markets.  AutoTrader and Cars.com have been operating profitably for over 15 years, but are still closely held private companies (Cox Enterprises, Inc. owns AutoTrader and Gannett owns Cars.com).
  2. All automotive marketplaces will benefit.  As the Founder of Mojo Motors I’m thrilled our category will get attention the other major verticals (real estate, travel, jobs) have enjoyed for years through multiple IPOs.
  3. International expansion is a bold move.  The challenges are significant and margin for error is very thin.  CarGurus’ strategy to go public, then use proceeds and/or stock to acquire existing players is a great idea with some historical evidence. This is how eBay successfully and quickly expanded internationally in the early to mid 2000’s. This same strategy can work in the automotive space, as well.

As 2014 begins making way for 2015, here’s a recap of some of the developments in automotive tech.

  • January 2, 2014 – Cox Enterprises increases stake in AutoTrader to 98%
  • January 21, 2014 – CarWoo shuts down after $16M in funding
  • May 16, 2014 – TrueCar goes public and trades at $9 a share
  • August 4, 2014 – Gannet buys Cars.com for $1.8B
  • October 11, 2014 – CarGurus announces they are going international and public

Expect the automotive marketplace shakeups to continue in 2015 and beyond…


Written by Paul Nadjarian

Paul is the Founder and CEO of Mojo Motors, an automotive classified website where shoppers Follow cars to get alerts when dealers drop prices.

About gas taxes (boston.com)

boston-dot-com-logoArticle by Bill Griffith for boston.com

Snowbirds and parents driving college students along the East Coast on a regular basis quickly realize that gas prices are lower in New Jersey, Virginia, and South Carolina. Conversely, it’s best to avoid filling up in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. The reason? State taxes on gasoline vary considerably around the country. A tip of the cap goes to Sam Jackson and New York-based car-shopping website MojoMotors.com for compiling the countrywide data. One of the reasons for doing the study, notes Jackson, is the pending global warming tax that California is scheduled to implement on January 1, adding a predicted 15 cents per gallon. [keep reading]

Will driverless cars ever look normal?

In a Mojo Motors poll, 4 out of 5 people said they would not buy an autonomous car if it were on the market today. Even early adopters might be wary of buying a driverless car. It’s tough looking past the unusual design language and that big do-hicky on the roof that looks like a rotor-less helicopter motor.

google-driverless-car-fuzzy-blinker

To be fair, Google’s prototype would be blind without that chunky Lidar detector on the roof. In its current form, Lidar (Light Detection And Ranging) may be unsightly, but the technology is critical to autonomous cars. It provides a detailed 3D map of the vehicle’s surroundings in real time. This data is run through algorithms that allow the vehicle to identify and react to minute signals such as when a biker signals a lefthand turn. [keep reading]

Here’s How Gasoline Taxes Stack Up State By State (Wall St. Cheat Sheet)

WSCS Blog LogoArticle by Justin Lloyd-Miller for Wall St. Cheat Sheet

For many states, taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel are an important source of revenue for supporting road and infrastructure programs. Most road work and bridge repair is largely funded by money raised from taxes on gasoline, both at the federal and state level. The federal government imposes a tax that amounts to about $0.18 per gallon. The money raised through this specific tax is used to finance major repairs to interstate highways and bridges, as well as roads through national parks and other public infrastructure. Recently, the issues surrounding the desperate state of the nation’s road and bridge network have led many to believe that a tax hike might be in order to address the crumbling roads, freeways, and bridges unless another solution is proposed. [keep reading]

Audi May Have Outdone Google in Race for Self-Driving Car (Main Street)

Mainst-logoArticle by Mia Taylor for Main Street

The next time an Audi passes you on the road, look to see if there is a driver behind the wheel. That is, if you’re driving in California. Last week, Audi became the first automaker in California with a permit from the state to test self-driving vehicles on public roads, putting itself at the forefront of a technology that has the potential to change society. [keep reading]

How much is my state gas tax?

gas-pumps

The smartest college students in Boston know that on the way back from a ski trip, you’ve got to stop at the liquor store to pick up supplies before you cross the border back into Massachusetts. That’s because New Hampshire has no alcohol tax, whereas Massachusetts takes $4.05 per gallon in taxes from the sale of the standard volume spirits with 40% alcohol.

It turns out that the same discrepancies exist for fuel taxes. In addition to the federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon (CPG) for gasoline, each state issues unique taxes and fees which are compounded with federal rate.

These additional costs vary significantly across state lines. On the low end, Alaska collects 12.4 CPG for gasoline on top of the federal tax. On the high end, New York collects 50.5 CPG.

state-gas-tax-infographic-2014-mojo-motors

In this study, we’ve taken the federal tax out of the equation in order to analyze patterns and differences in state fuel taxes. Like so many “cost of living” heat maps, the discrepancy between the coasts and the interior of the US is striking. The four most expensive states to live in, according to CNBC, are New York, California, Connecticut and Hawaii. These are also the four states with the highest taxes on gasoline. Fun fact: the fifth most expensive state to live in, Alaska, has the cheapest gasoline taxes. Drill baby, drill! [keep reading]

Auto Dealerships Take a Cue from Apple (1to1 Media)

1to1 logoArticle by Judith Aquino for 1to1 Media

Spending time in the car typically means abandoning the Internet and apps for older technologies like satellite radio, CD players, and navigational screens attached to the windshield. But auto makers have been rolling out new features to bring the automobile up to speed with consumers used to touchscreens and on-demand entertainment. [keep reading]

Hey America, Formula E is no joke

The newest edition to the racing world has debuted with a bang. On Saturday, drivers took to the course in the inaugural FIA Formula E Round 1 in Beijing, fighting for a place in the history books as the first driver ever to win a Formula E race.

heidfeld-prost-formula-e-2014-beijing-crash

In lap 25 of 25, it came down to Nick Heidfeld of Germany who drives for Leonardo DiCaprio’s race team and Nicolas Prost of France. Heidefeld made his move, accelerating to the outside. The two cars collided, resulting in a spectacular crash that ended with Heidfeld upside down, uninjured but shaken. Brazillian driver, Lucas Degrassi, ended up taking the win for Audi Sport.

At 150mph, Formula E cars only reach speeds two thirds as fast as their Formula One brethren, yet the new electric vehicles offer their own excitement. Apart from the technological feats required to master the nascent technology of electric racers, this crash demonstrated the dynamic acceleration capabilities of these vehicles.

Formula E might be the only motorsport that is quiet enough to allow music to be played throughout the race, but clearly it is no joke. It is also clear that some Formula E drivers are not yet acclimated to the capabilities of their new vehicles. Heidfeld’s last minute decision to attempt an overtake took Prost by surprise and he has publicly apologized to his friend via Twitter, “I understand that I am responsible. I just did not see him, feel very bad.”

nick-heidfeld-nicolas-prost

The winner of the inaugural race, Lucas Degrassi, is likely the driver who is most comfortable being powered by a battery. He was the FIA’s first official test driver during the development of the Formula E Series. If this first race has shown us anything, it is that we can expect even more excitement as drivers gain more experience and EV technology continues to evolve.

Given the waning popularity of open wheel racing in the US, it is no surprise that there isn’t much buzz around Formula E. Tesla has succeeded in proving to Americans that EVs can be sexy, but the company is not even allowed to sell directly to consumers in most states, and we’re all still waiting for that “affordable” Tesla Model 3 that Elon promised us.

We’ve got a long way to go before Formula E takes over our weekends, but maybe that will change once Tesla enters a car in the race, or once we’ve had it it with the National Football League. If you’re interested, the next installment of the ten-race inaugural season will broadcast from Malaysia on November 22.


Written by Sam Jackson

Images: Speede-Formel.de

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