On the Horizon: Three Automotive Trends to Look Out for This Year

Things are constantly changing—from the seasons to the latest fashion trends to the menu at your favorite restaurant. And the automotive industry is no exception. Like clockwork, a new crop of cars, crossovers, SUVs, trucks, and subcompact cars enter the market, each one trendier than the next.

And here at Jim Shorkey, we like to stay up-to-date on all things car related. So here are our best guesses on what to except this year and beyond.

Techs and Specs Are Standard. As the times change, so do the cars. Automakers are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of each other, much to the benefit of drivers everywhere. And it’s our guess that cutting-edge technological advances are just around the corner, with even more breakthroughs coming in the form of better electric vehicle technology, first ever dirt-repellant car paint, fuel-economy saving transmissions, web-connected in-car experiences, vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V), high tech safety technology, and so much more. The industry is even looking at energy-storing car body panels for hybrid/EV usage.

Just the Way You Like It. Automakers understand everyone wants a vehicle designed for them. So get ready for a more customized, design-shifting experience over the next few years in the automotive industry.

Lots of automakers already offer such a customized experience, but moving forward you’ll be able to fine tune the way your car drives, glows (yes, glows), holds things, and potentially even the way it looks with relatively little effort.

Cozy Cabin Quarters. Already apparent in cars like the 2015 Chrysler 200, in-car cabin quality is being forever changed through feedback from user experiences and a higher class of materials being used. Thank you, carbon fiber and beautiful wood trim.

There also seems to be a trend appearing to unfold that makes the passenger and driver experience more pleasing inside the vehicle – partnerships with companies, including Beats by Dre, Bose, Siri, and Google Maps.

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Look for this to continue with an emphasis on infotainment applications (apps), entertainment (USB backseat ports), and even comfort (a la NASA-inspired seating).

Power Days at the Jim Shorkey Auto Group

The Jim Shorkey Auto Group has teamed up with CBS Radio to bring YOU tons of great prizes, including two box seat tickets to a ‪#‎Pirates‬ baseball game, a $50 gift card to Grille 36, a $50 gift card to a sporting goods store, and an autographed baseball! To enter, simply stop by one of our Jim Shorkey locations, fill out an entry form, and drop it into one of our ballot boxes! Contest ends 3/30/15. Good luck!

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Spring Forward and Drive Safe, Everyone

Don’t forget, Pittsburgh: We’re springing forward this weekend! And while setting your clocks forward an hour can be painful in the morning, it’s one of the first signs of Spring. With the changing the seasons, comes new weather patterns. Below we have some driving tips from AAA to help you battle Spring weather. Fingers crossed it will be here soon!

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  • Slow down on slick roads, and increase your following distance even when mist begins to fall. Keep in mind that even a small amount of water can mix with oil and road dust to create slippery conditions.
  • Be sure your vehicle is ready for rain by replacing your windshield wipers at least once a year. Don’t drive faster than your wipers can clear water from the windshield.
  • Avoid driving through large puddles, which can impair your brakes, cloud your vision, or cause you to hydroplane and lose control of your vehicle. If you can’t avoid a puddle and find your vehicle hydroplaning, gently ease your foot off of the accelerator; do not brake.
  • Share the road. Warm weather brings motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians out on the roads. Because more and more pedestrians have developed habits of texting, talking on cellphones, and listening to music, they can be unaware of the traffic around them. Be extra cautious around intersections and in residential communities.
  • Understand the impact of medications on driving. New spring growth often causes seasonal allergies, so keep in mind that over-the-counter allergy drugs can have side effects or interact with other medications to cause drowsiness or diminish your driving ability.
  • If possible, go around potholes. Potholes-an after-effect of winter weather-can hurt your tires or throw your car’s front end out of alignment. If you can’t avoid a pothole, try to slow down, as the damage can be costly to fix.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated. Doing so can reduce damage from potholes, uneven pavement, and other road hazards.
  • Change your car’s cabin air filter if you suffer from seasonal allergies. The cabin air filter, which removes pollutants before they enter your vehicle, can be essential in minimizing the amount of dust or pollen that enters your vehicle, thus relieving your allergies during travel.
  • Spring weather can be temperamental, so be prepared for quick changes by taking the proper precautions. To learn more about protecting yourself, your family, and your vehicle all year round, consider registering for a driver-improvement course, such as the classroom or online courses offered by AARP Driver Safety.

If Jim Shorkey Brands Were Presidents

In honor of Presidents Day, we are examining the traits and characteristics exemplified by some of our most admirable presidents. And while taking a look back at the men who shaped our country, we found some similarities with our automotive brands! So we thought it would be entertaining to imagine Jim Shorkey brands as presidents.

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Ford: George Washington

Other than both being the first – George Washington being the first president and Ford building the first affordable, mass-produced automobile – Washington and Ford share similar qualities. George Washington’s character can be defined by both great strength and great influence. And for that reason, our Founding Fathers chose him as our first president. Likewise, the Model T was built to accommodate everyone—large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It was made from the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering devised. And because of the automobile’s great strength, it was named the world’s most influential car of the 20th century in an international poll. Both George Washington and Ford set the standards for presidents and automobiles to come.

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Jeep: Theodore Roosevelt

The life of Theodore Roosevelt was one of constant activity and outdoor adventure, immense energy, and enduring accomplishments. Roosevelt’s engaging personality enhanced his popularity and his features became symbols of national recognition. You can find these same admiring qualities in the Jeep brand. Jeep is no stranger to the great outdoors, for their main product range consists of sport utility and off-road vehicles. Today, the Jeep Wrangler is one of the few remaining four-wheel-drive vehicles with solid front and rear axles. These axles are known for their durability, strength, and articulation. Just like Roosevelt, Jeep has a signature look with its seven-slot grille that is recognized anywhere.

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Mitsubishi: Woodrow Wilson

Thomas Woodrow Wilson can be described as confident, ambitious, intelligent, loyal, generous, and extremely hardworking. Wilson was a leader of the Progressive Movement, and after a policy of neutrality at the outbreak of World War 1, Wilson led America into war in order to “make the world safe for democracy.” The Mitsubishi brand follows in Wilson’s footsteps when it comes to loyalty and safety. The Mitsubishi Mirage received recognition for the highest loyalty in the Non-Luxury Sub-Compact Market by IHS Automotive. And not to be outdone, the Outlander, Outlander Sport, and Lancer have been honored with the title of “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). These Mitsubishi models are designed to make the roads a safer place.

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Kia: John F. Kennedy

John Kennedy was charming, witty, ambitious, competitive, gregarious, and easy on the eyes. He made the rules and often ignored convention – he was “The Boss.” Much like JFK, Kia is “The Boss” of the automotive market. While most automotive manufactures are used to the conventional way of producing vehicles, Kia took a different approach and made design its “core future growth engine.” JFK was described as an imposing figure, with flashy threads and a smile to match. JFK’s style can be found in Kia’s “Tiger Nose”, which Chief Designer Officer, Peter Schreyer, describes as “a powerful visual signal, a seal, an identifier.”