Gasoline demand increased on the week to the highest level (8.7 million barrels per day) since March as stocks decreased, but the combination wasn’t enough to significantly impact gas price averages across the country. On the week, the national gas price average only increased one penny to land at $2.19. That is nine cents more than last month and nearly 60 cents less than a year ago.

“The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) data shows gasoline demand and supply continue on a roller coaster ride,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

National gas price avg. remains at $2.19
The National gas price avg. remains around $2.19

“As motorists react to unfolding COVID-19 information, we are seeing driving behaviors related to filling-up ebb and flow.”

From May to early July in 2019, gasoline demand averaged 9.5 million barrels per day (barrels per day). For the same time period this year, demand is measuring at 8 million barrels per day while gasoline stocks sit, on average, at 24 million barrels. The low demand and high supply are keeping gas prices relatively cheap for the summertime.

Ford unveiled the 2021 Bronco – including a classic two-door and first-ever four-door – the flagship of an all-new family of rugged off-road vehicles.

The all-4x4 Bronco brand is marketing “Built Wild” with its heritage-inspired style, engineering and smart off-road technology, plus innovative features to help outdoor enthusiasts create adventures wherever they go.

“We created the Bronco family to elevate every aspect of off-road adventure and equipped them with class-leading chassis hardware and exclusive technologies to raise the bar in the rugged 4x4 segment and take people further into the wild,” said Jim Farley, Ford chief operating officer. “They’re built with the toughness of an F-Series truck and performance spirit of Mustang – and come wrapped in one of the most stunning and functional off-road designs that’s true to the original Bronco design DNA.”

The all-new Bronco re-enters the scene with an all-4x4 lineup with production beginning in early 2021 and first models arriving in Ford dealerships next spring. Bronco owners can choose from an extensive lineup of more than 200 factory-backed accessories for maximum personalization, enabling dealers to provide outfitting-on-demand for each customer’s individual adventure needs.

1975 Bronco, the classic years are hot sellers right now
 A 1975 Ford Bronco, the classic years are hot sellers right now

Just like the first-generation Bronco, nicknamed G.O.A.T., the mission of the all-new 2021 Bronco is to deliver maximum 4x4 go-anywhere, anytime capability and confidence.

Up to seven driver-selectable modes are offered including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, with Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl for off-road driving.

Two 4x4 systems are offered on all Bronco models, a base setup and advanced 4x4. The base system utilizes a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case, while the optional advanced system features a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that adds an auto mode for on-demand engagement to select between 2H and 4H.

Best-in-class projected gasoline-powered horsepower and torque is available with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, which is projected to produce 310 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 2.3-liter EcoBoost is targeted to deliver best-in-class four-cylinder torque of 310 lb.-ft. with an expected 270 horsepower.

For maximum low-speed rock-climbing capability, a segment-first 7-speed (6+1) manual transmission paired with the available advanced 4x4 system with automatic on-demand engagement generates a class-leading available crawler-gear ratio of 94.75:1. An available segment-first SelectShift 10-speed automatic transmission makes for easier driving on- and off-road, while offering a maximum 67.8:1 crawl ratio with the available advanced 4x4 transfer case.

The newronco family includes a 4 door for the first time
The new Bronco family includes a four-door for the first time

Both Bronco two- and four-door models make the open-air experience quick, easy and fun. Two-door models come with a standard three-section roof system – left and right front sections and a rear section – molded-in color and an available premium painted modular top with four sections that adds a removable panel over the rear seats and cargo area. Four-door models have four removable roof sections – left and right front panels, a full-width center panel and a rear section. Roof panels on all models can be removed by one person by unlocking the latches from the interior. First-row panels stow away onboard on two-door models.

All modular hardtops have rear quarter windows that are removable in three easy steps – snap, push and lift away – without removing the roof panels.

DealerFire, a business unit of DealerSocket, and Stream Companies, a full-service, fully integrated, tech-enabled ad agency, announced a strategic partnership that brings together expert advertising solutions with award-winning technologies to offer dealers a consolidated approach to digital marketing. This new partnership taps into the power, strengths, and capabilities of both companies to provide dealers with an innovative way to accelerate their digital marketing performance. Stream will serve as the full-service ad agency and ad tech provider and DealerFire as the website and SEO provider for dealers who will now have the best of both offerings combined together. Dealers will continue to receive the white-glove customer service for which both companies are well known.

“Stream’s partnership with DealerSocket’s DealerFire will allow both companies to innovate faster and provide the best client service in automotive marketing,” said Dave Regn, co-founder of Stream Companies.

Gubagoo – the leading provider of digital retailing and messaging solutions for automotive dealerships – published data showing the continued increase of online retail and messaging tools, even as auto dealerships return to full operations.

Changes to the automotive retail environment due to the pandemic have increased the importance of doing business online for dealers. Gubagoo's Virtual Retailing, which allows dealers to sell vehicles online, and Gubagoo's ChatSmart, which facilitates conversations with customers on dealers' websites, saw record usage through this period.

While the use of digital tools during widespread closures increased dramatically, more notable is that the use of these tools continues to increase, even as communities across the country re-open.

In the past four weeks, Virtual Retailing use has increased by 39 percent nationwide, and messaging has increased an additional 17 percent from the historic levels seen during the height of the pandemic.

The North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) Awards announced the addition of six vehicles to its list of 36 models eligible for the 2021 awards, including some late launches brought on by COVID-19-caused delays.

2021 Polestar 2, its first all-electric car
The 2021 Polestar 2, Polestar's first all-electric car made the list

The six additional car and utilities are:

  • 2020 Cadillac CT4/CT4-V
  • 2021 Kia K5
  • 2021 Polestar 2
  • 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e
  • 2021 Ford Bronco Sport
  • 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA

NACTOY expects it will add several more models before this year's list closes as jurors work to accommodate the industry's unusual and still-changing 2021 product release cadence.

"In order to provide consumers with the most comprehensive assessment of new cars, SUVs and trucks, we think that it is essential to be as inclusive as we can when it comes to vehicles that will be in showrooms by the end of 2020, so we're adjusting our time schedule accordingly," said NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg.


 
Chevrolet's Corvette Stingray won Car of the Year in 2020
Chevrolet's Corvette Stingray won Car of the Year in 2020

NACTOY jurors make assessments of vehicles that qualify for consideration during their work for print, online, radio and broadcast outlets, and during an annual comparison drive, which will be held this year from October 5-8 in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Semi-Finalists in each category will be announced at the LA Auto Show in November, Finalists in December and category winners in Detroit in January 2021.

To be eligible, vehicles must be all-new or substantially new and must be available at dealerships before the end of the year.

The previously released list of 2021 NACTOY candidates with additions:

                                                                                                             

 

    Car of the Year    

 2021

 Acura TLX

 2021

 BMW 330e and 330e xDrive

 2021

 BMW 430i, 430i xDrive, M440i xDrive

 2021

BMW 545e xDrive

 *2020

 Cadillac CT4/CT4-V

 2021

 Genesis G80

 2021

 Hyundai Elantra family (includes N Line  and HEV)

 *2021

 Kia K5

 2021

 Lexus   IS

 2021

 Mercedes-Benz E Class Sedan, All-          Terrain, Coupe, Cabriolet

 2021

 MINI Cooper SE

 2020

 Nissan Sentra

 *2021

 Polestar 2

 

 *Additions

 

  Utility of the Year

 2021

 BMW X2 xDrive25e

 2021

 BMW X3 xDrive30e

 *2021

 BMW X5 xDrive45e

 2021

 Buick Encore GX

 2021

 Cadillac Escalade

 2021

 Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban

 2021

 Chevrolet Trailblazer

*2021

 Ford Bronco Sport

 2021

 Ford Mustang Mach E

 2021

 Genesis GV80

 2021

 GMC Yukon/Yukon XL

 2020

 Honda  CR-V Hybrid

 2021

 Hyundai Santa Fe

 2021

 Hyundai Venue

 2021

 Kia Seltos

 2020

 Land Rover Defender 90 and    110

 2020

 Lincoln Corsair Grand 

 2020

 Mazda CX-30

 *2021

 Mercedes-Benz GLA

 2021

 Nissan Rogue

 2020

 Toyota Highlander

 2021

 Toyota RAV4 Prime

 2021

 Toyota Sienna

 2021

 Toyota Venza

 2020

 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

 2021

 Volvo  XC40 P8 Recharge

 

 *Additions

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