Friday, December 27, 2013

Quite a year in wheels, looking forward to 2014

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website – via the “GALLERY: Reviews of new cars” link at

Sacramento, California – What a year it has been in the world of wheels.

The cars I reviewed in 2013 were technology loaded, performance laden and pretty much stuffed with perks once available to only high-end car buyers.

It just goes to show you: You can’t build a cheap piece of junk anymore in this automotive market.  It’s too competitive.

And that means: Advantage buyers.  Not a bad deal at all.

The auto industry rallied significantly in California and nationwide in 2013.  That backs up a long-held theory of mine:  No matter how bad the economic times get, people still save and scrape and eventually get around to replacing their old wheels.  It’s just a fact of life in America … and has been for a long time.

Remember that when the next financial panic hits.  And alas, it will arrive eventually.

Oh, and remember the experts predicting not that long ago that Toyota was on the rocks and in a downward cycle?  Big swing and a miss there, right?

One year ago at this time, I would have had trouble buying into hard-luck Tony Kanaan being an Indianapolis 500 champion and three-time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti being out of the sport for good.  To be sure, auto racing remains a fast-moving, wildly unpredictable sport.

And yes, you can still get hurt strapped to a bullet traveling at 200 miles per hour or more.

A year ago, I would not have had trouble believing that Jimmie Johnson would be celebrating as a six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.  He’s now in the greatest of all time argument, right there with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.  Will Jimmie pull down a record-tying No. 7 in 2014?  I wouldn’t bet against him.

So much to look forward to in the year ahead.  But before 2013 closes out, let me say THANKS for tuning in and reading.  It’s always fun to talk wheels with friends.

See you up the road in 2014.

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