Latest News From Bumper to Bumper Radio

National Average Jumps 10 Cents as Spring Maintenance Ramps Up for Refiners

Pump prices on the West Coast increased as much as 20 cents this past week, driving the national average up nearly 10 cents to $2.83 on the week. As stocks tighten out West due to unplanned and planned maintenance, California’s average jumped to $4.00, the most expensive state average this week and a price point not seen in the Golden State since July 2014.

“We are seeing very expensive gas prices for this time of year across the country,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Motorists are seeing prices increase as gasoline stocks decreased substantially by 7.7 million bbl amid summer-like demand readings.”

Today’s national average is 3 cents more than last month and 12 cents more than a year ago.

Quick stats

The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: California (+20 cents), Nevada (+18 cents), Missouri (+13 cents), Oregon (+12 cents), Alaska (+12 cents), Washington (+12 cents), Utah (+12 cents), Colorado (+12 cents), Idaho (+11 cents) and Kansas (+11 cents).
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.50), Mississippi ($2.51), Arkansas ($2.52), South Carolina ($2.52), Louisiana ($2.54), Texas ($2.57), Virginia ($2.57), Oklahoma ($2.59), New Hampshire ($2.59) and Missouri ($2.60).

West Coast

Motorists in the West Coast region are paying the highest pump prices in the nation, with all of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. California ($4.00) and Hawaii ($3.55) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.39), Oregon ($3.28), Nevada ($3.26), Alaska ($3.15) and Arizona ($2.97) follow. All prices in the region have increased on the week, with California (+20 cents) and Nevada (+18 cents) seeing the largest increases in the region and country.

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) recent weekly report, for the week ending on April 5, showed that West Coast gasoline stocks fell for a fourth consecutive week by nearly 2 million bbl from the previous week and now sit at 29.04 million bbl. Ongoing planned and unplanned refinery maintenance throughout the region continues to shrink stocks. Total levels are approximately 2.4 million bbl lower than this time last year and could fall further this week depending on refinery maintenance turnaround.

All-New 2020 Toyota Yaris Adventure: Answering the Question Nobody Asked

- Slightly Rugged, Domesticated Look Backed Up by Interesting-to-Drive Persona

- 35 MPG Highway Fuel Economy

- Standard 6-Speed Automatic Transmission

- Standard Two-Speaker Multimedia System

PLANO, Texas, April 1, 2019 -- Adventure-seeking Americans have looked to Toyota for more than 60 years to provide trucks that can take them on and off-road. Now comes a truck that is perfect for those who want to tell their friends they own a truck but never veer off pavement. The Yaris Adventure will make its debut in its native environment of the 2019 New York International Auto Show.

Capitalizing on consumers flocking to the small crossover segment, Yaris Adventure answers the question that nobody asked. It's part truck, part sedan, but 100 percent awesome. Toyota sells every mid- and full-size truck that hits the lot, but Yaris Adventure will fill the void of a subcompact pickup segment that has never truly existed because … well, no one realized they needed it until now. The Yaris Adventure comes complete with a two-seat cabin with storage space behind the seats. The extra cab with rear seating was ditched because it was determined that no one really wants to sit back there anyway. Meanwhile, in the back, a composite inner bed ensures cargo capacity for the most moderate jobs. The Yaris Adventure combines the comfort and fuel economy of a sedan with ideal cargo space, but not so much that friends will ask you to help them move.

"Toyota is very excited to debut this product that nobody saw coming," said a senior executive at Toyota who preferred to remain anonymous. "We're constantly listening to our customers and reacting to the market. We have to blame the market on this one, as we haven't had one customer ask for a truck like this."

Creating a segment

Just like the RAV4 created the small SUV segment in 1994, the Yaris Adventure creates the subcompact pickup segment. The 52.3-inch bed has a payload of 297 lbs., perfect for hauling coolers to the lake or that third set of golf clubs that just won't fit in a car trunk (not sure why you'd have three sets of golf clubs though, as the Yaris Adventure only seats two).

All-new 2019 Ram 1500 Honored With Autotrader Best New Cars for 2019 Award

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 11, 2019 -- Autotrader editors announced today the 2019 Ram 1500 has earned their coveted Best New Cars for 2019 Award. 

"Simply put, the 2019 Ram 1500 is on our list of Best New Cars this year because it's the best full-size truck you can get," said Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader. "The ride and handling are the best we've ever experienced in a full-size truck, the cab is comfortable and full of useful tech, and yet, the Ram still does all the tough truck stuff everyone expects. We also like Ram's eTorque system that adds useable torque at low speed and functions like a mild hybrid. Sales numbers don't lie, the Ram is on the way up and this 2019 version is the best it's ever been."

The Autotrader Best New Cars Award is intended to benefit a broad set of shoppers. Logging thousands of miles, the Autotrader editorial experts chose the winners of the annual Best New Cars based on a wide-ranging set of criteria, including interior comfort and materials, build quality, available features and ride quality, and each vehicle was agreed upon unanimously by the entire editorial and data team.

"The 2019 Ram 1500 is the benchmark for durability, technology, luxury and efficiency," said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand. "This award from Autotrader reflects our team's undivided focus on truck buyers and the features that matter the most to them."


2019 Ram 1500
The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 is a no-compromise truck, leading in luxury, efficiency, capability and innovation. Ram leads the full-size truck segment with significant gains in fuel efficiency through an all-new eTorque mild hybrid system in both V-6 and V-8 configurations. Overall weight for the Ram 1500 has been reduced by 225 pounds. The frame uses advanced materials and engineering to eliminate 100 pounds while increasing stiffness and durability for 12,750 pounds of towing capability and 2,300 pounds of payload. The new Uconnect 4C with a massive 12-inch touchscreen leads the pickup world with technology, featuring split-screen capability, 360-degree camera views and exclusive content from SiriusXM with 360L. Active safety and security systems join the technology onslaught with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and Blind-spot Monitoring.


Niro EV Named Car of the Year by Popular Mechanics

Performance, Practicality, Packaging--All Factors in Win

- "Amazing, Fantastic, Totally Normal Electric Car," says revered magazine

- From road trips to running around, Niro EV impresses PM editors

NEW YORK, April 18, 2019-- Kia Motors America (KMA) is pleased to announce that the Niro EV was selected "Car of the Year" by Popular Mechanics magazine.

"We picked the Niro EV for Car of the Year because it's an electric car that would be appealing even if it weren't electric," says Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics automotive editor. "But it is electric, and it delivers the usual EV benefits without much in the way of EV sacrifices. It's smooth, quick and quiet, with plenty of range and an affordable price. The Niro EV feels like a preview of the near future, when cars like this are the norm. But right now it's the exception."

The magazine praised the crossover Niro EV1 for its design, style, performance and practicality, citing its comfort on the highway during a long road trip as well as its functionality as an everyday runabout.

"We're thrilled by this award," says Michael Cole, COO and executive vice president, KMA. "When a publication with the storied reputation of Popular Mechanics selects your vehicle over the competition, it's a momentous event. We're proud of the Niro EV and its place in our fleet of all-electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles At Kia we strive to provide the best vehicles possible and this reward validates our efforts."


Theme Parks, European Vacations Top Summer Travel Itineraries

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 11, 2019) – According to a recent AAA Travel survey, two-thirds of leisure travelers (64 percent) plan to take vacations this summer. Many of those vacationers will head to historical European cities or soak up the sun in Orlando’s theme parks and attractions, according to an analysis of AAA’s travel booking data.

“Millions of Americans are making plans for summer vacations, visiting famous landmarks in Europe, family attractions stateside, and anything in between,” said Paula Twidale, vice president, AAA Travel. “AAA recommends travelers plan ahead and book early with the expertise of a knowledgeable travel agent to maximize your vacation experience, saving time and money so you can focus on making vacation memories that will last well after summer fades away.”

Top Summer Travel Destinations

These are the top summer travel destinations, based on AAA Travel bookings for trips June 1 through August 15, 2019:

  1. Orlando, Florida (1)
  2. London, England (5)
  3. Rome, Italy (2)
  4. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (3)
  5. Dublin, Ireland (4)
  6. Paris, France (7)
  7. Seattle, Washington (9)
  8. Anchorage, Alaska (8)
  9. Honolulu, Hawaii (6)
  10. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (12)

FIAT Kicks Off Convertible Season With Introduction of New 2019 124 Spider Urbana Edition

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 12, 2019 --

New 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Urbana Edition to be displayed at 2019 New York International Auto Show

Urbana Edition offers sporty, unique look and feel with Piano Black-painted exterior elements and Matte Gray interior accents

124 Spider Urbana Edition is available for $995 on 2019 124 Spider Classica models, which start at $25,190 U.S. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) — the most affordable roadster in its class

2019 Fiat 124 Spider offers a number of class-leading features:

Most powerful four-cylinder turbo engine in its class

FIAT is now the only lineup in the market that provides turbocharged power standard

Best-in-class cargo volume

Class-exclusive turbo engine

Class-exclusive quad exhaust tips

Both automatic and manual transmission offerings provide best-in-class highway fuel economy of 36 and 35 miles per gallon (mpg)

Italian-designed, fun-to-drive 2019 Fiat 124 Spider lineup is available in three models: Classica, Lusso and performance-tuned Abarth

2019 Fiat 124 Spider Urbana Edition is now available in FIAT studios

2019 marks 120th anniversary of the FIAT brand and 70th anniversary of Abarth

Just in time for the spring convertible season, the FIAT brand announced today the new 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Urbana Edition.

Harley-Davidson Acquires StaCyc, Inc., Maker Of Electric-Powered Two-Wheelers For Kids

Acquisition broadens electric two-wheeled portfolio to grow the next generation of Harley-Davidson Riders and lead in the electrification of motorcycling

MILWAUKEEMarch 5, 2019 -- Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) announces today that it has acquired StaCyc, Inc., producer of the 12 and 16 EDRIVE, electric-powered two-wheelers specifically designed for kids.

StaCyc, which entered the market in 2016, currently designs, markets and sells their EDRIVE models for kids, with an MSRP range of $649 to $699. StaCyc EDRIVES are sold in the U.S. through powersports dealerships, including 29 Harley-Davidson® dealerships, online and in specialty bicycle retailers.

"We're thrilled to have StaCyc become part of the Harley-Davidson family," said Harley-DavidsonSenior Vice President of Marketing and Brand Heather Malenshek. "The StaCyc team shares the same vision we have for building the next generation of riders globally and we believe that together, we will have a significant impact in bringing the fun and enjoyment of riding to kids everywhere."

The acquisition of StaCyc expands Harley-Davidson's electric portfolio and reinforces its commitment to lead in the electrification of motorcycling. Harley-Davidson previously announced plans to launch LiveWire, a premium, high-performance electric motorcycle in fall 2019 and future lightweight and middleweight electric motorcycles at various price points starting in 2021. The StaCyc electric two-wheelers will provide an entry point for the youngest riders to enjoy the thrill of riding.   

As a subsidiary, a Harley-Davidson branded version of StaCyc's 12-inch and 16-inch models will be sold through select Harley-Davidson dealers. The branded products will be available in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2019.

StaCyc branded EDRIVES will continue to be sold through StaCyc's existing distribution network.

Nearly 100 Million Americans Will Embark on Family Vacations this Year

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 21, 2019) – From coast to coast, families are gearing up for another year of exciting travel adventures with their loved ones. According to a recent AAA Travel survey, nearly 100 million Americans – 4 in 10 U.S. adults – are planning to take a family vacation in 2019, slightly more than last year. Spring and summer road trips will top many of these families’ vacation plans.

Two-thirds of all family travelers (68 percent) will embark on a summer getaway, while just under half (45 percent) are making plans to travel as a family this spring.

Regardless of the season, the great American road trip remains a major draw for these families; about half of traveling families (53 percent) expect to pack up their cars for a road trip this year.

Travelers in the South are more likely to be making plans for a family trip this year (62 percent) than travelers in the Northeast (35 percent).

A welcome gift to road trippers, gas prices have averaged nearly a quarter cheaper so far in 2019 compared with the first few months of last year. While gas prices are increasing now, summer prices are expected to be cheaper than last year. Another recent AAA survey found that 33 percent of Americans would go on at least one additional summer road trip if gas prices remain low.

“The great American road trip is still one of the best ways for families to relax and reconnect with one another,” said Stacey Barber, executive director, AAA Travel Information & Content. “This is quickly shaping up to be another busy year for family travelers, both on the roadways, as well as other popular travel destinations and attractions. To make the most of their vacations, AAA recommends families plan and research as far ahead as possible to avoid missing out on popular activities and fun.”


To help inspire would-be road trippers, AAA’s travel editors have curated more than 450 pre-planned road trips. The top five routes for summer travel according to AAA member road trip routing data are as follows:

Las Vegas to National Parks – Any road trip through the desert southwest is full of unique twists and turns, regardless of whether you remain on the interstate or head off along enticing back roads. Long the destination for gold prospectors and other dreamers, the mountains and valleys of the Arizona, Nevada and Utah deserts today provide a glimpse of mankind’s historical interaction with the area’s fantastic natural landscapes.

Summer Dreaming: Motorists Already Considering Adding At Least One Road Trip If Gas Prices Remain Low

AAA Forecasts Spring National Gas Price Average to Reach $2.75

WASHINGTON (March 28, 2019) – Spring fever may be in the air, but American motorists already have summer road trips top of mind. AAA’s latest Gas Price survey found that if gas prices remain low, 1 in 3 Americans (33 percent) would likely plan another summer road trip while 27 percent would increase the distance of one – with Generation X more likely to do both than Baby Boomers. AAA expects the national gas price average this spring to reach $2.75, a savings of nearly 20-cents compared to last spring’s high of $2.92.

“Cheaper crude oil prices have helped to keep pump prices lower this winter,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “While we are seeing the national gas price average increase and mirror prices from this time last year, spring pump prices for the majority of motorists are not expected to elevate to the nearly $3/gal level of last May.”

However, motorists on the West Coast and in the Rockies region will likely see prices reach or exceeded $3/gal, which is similar to last year.

In addition to increasing the number or mileage of summer road trips, the AAA survey shows that Americans said lower gas prices would encourage them to spend or save more, but this varies based on generation and region:

The majority of Millennials (53%) and Gen X (49%) would put aside money for savings as compared to Baby Boomers (44%).

Generation X is more likely to increase shopping/dining out, drive more on a weekly basis or use more expensive gas as compared to compared to Baby Boomers.

Motorists in the South (11%) and West (10%) say they would use more expensive gas while five percent of those in the Mid-West (5%) and seven percent in the Northeast (7%) would be willing to upgrade fuel type.

Three in Four Americans Remain Afraid of Fully Self-Driving Vehicles

ORLANDO, Fla. (Mar. 14, 2019) – A year after a number of high-profile automated vehicle incidents, American attitudes toward fully self-driving cars have not rebounded. AAA’s annual automated vehicle survey found that 71 percent of people are afraid to ride in fully self-driving vehicles – indicating that overall sentiment has not yet returned to what it was prior to these incidents occurring (63 percent). AAA believes the key to helping consumers feel more comfortable with fully self-driving vehicles will be bridging the gap between the perception of automated vehicle technology and the reality of how it actually works in today’s cars.

“Automated vehicle technology is evolving on a very public stage and, as a result, it is affecting how consumers feel about it,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Having the opportunity to interact with partially or fully automated vehicle technology will help remove some of the mystery for consumers and open the door for greater acceptance.”

Experience seems to play a key role in impacting how drivers feel about automated vehicle technology. Many cars on the road today are equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which are considered the building blocks for fully self-driving vehicles. AAA’s recent survey revealed that regular interaction with ADAS components like lane keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and self-parking significantly improves consumer comfort level. On average, drivers who have one of these four ADAS technologies are about 68 percent more likely to trust these features than drivers who don’t have them.

Even more promising, AAA found that Americans are receptive to the idea of automated vehicle technology in more limited applications. About half (53 percent) are comfortable with low-speed, short distance forms of transportation like people movers found at airports or theme parks while 44 percent are comfortable with fully self-driving vehicles for delivery of food or packages. However, once the passengers become more personal – in particular, transporting their loved ones – one in five remain comfortable.

“Despite fears still running high, AAA’s study also shows that Americans are willing to take baby steps toward incorporating this type of technology into their lives,” continued Brannon. “Hands-on exposure in more controlled, low-risk environments coupled with stronger education will play a key role in easing fears about self-driving cars.”

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