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2012-07-24 16.00.58About a million remote start systems are sold annually with remote starters that use a smartphone continuing to increase in sales, according to a recent report from CE Outlook.

This winter season the industry got off to a slow start due to the warm weather but with recent storms in some parts of North America companies will likely show substantial numbers in the end.

As reported, at Directed we’re seeing more sales of the Bluetooth version of our Viper SmartStart.

This is a lower-cost option but one that obviously significantly reduces the range. But for people who want to leave their cars “puffing” on the driveway in the morning when it’s cold, SmartStartBT certainly is a great solution.

That may explain in fact the rise in sales.

Our thanks to CE Outlook for reporting on this.

Read more on the remote-start trends from CE Outlook here.

2012-07-24 16.00.52-1An interesting article about the future of car manufacturing and production following the Chicago Auto Show.

We may all soon be driving cars that are increasingly built on shared platforms.

This revolution of the car business is being spear-headed by Volkswagen — which invested some $70 billion in its MQB program.

Other automakers are studying this and may follow suit. That’s because of the cost savings and increased profits are too much to ignore.

For instance, VW is expected to report a record profit of $30 billion from last year in part as a result of their new mega-platform strategy. This is great news for all the major automotive companies — but there is a huge potential downside if/when there’s a vehicle recall.

And what about consumers buying various models of cars and basically getting the same one their neighbor got but with a different badge and perhaps a wildly higher price tag?

Read more about Volkswagen’s “Holy Grail” from the Chicago Tribune here.

2012-07-24 16.01.14-1theftThe National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has released information about where the most SUV and CUV thefts occur in the U.S.

As you might expect it is … California!!!!

This covers the time period from January 2008 to June 2012. Of course California has the largest population and is the center for car culture, so citizens of the state shouldn’t be too alarmed that they rank first.

However, the disturbing part of the data is that the number of thefts is increasing on a yearly basis.

The total number is 3,003 vehicles stolen.

Over 50 percent of those are happening in Southern California.

Protect your rides, people! (Get a Viper system!)

Read more about the car theft trend from Yahoo News here.

2012-07-24 16.00.48We blogged a while ago about thieves taking third row seats from SUVs.

Now in a continuing trend of stealing parts of vehicles instead of the entire thing itself, we find thieves are making off with truck tailgates.

What some people may find truly shocking about this is that it only takes 30 seconds to remove the tailgate. Yikes!

Meanwhile for the owner it’ll take a lot longer to replace and at a cost of around $1,000! This is a relatively new type of theft but the National Insurance Crime Bureau says that it’s definitely on the rise.

See the article for which truck models are most likely targets (beware Ford owners) and the states where it happens most. And follow the recommendations to avoid losing your tailgate.

Read more about the tailgate theft spree from The Car Connection here.

Photo credit: Chrysler.

Photo credit: Chrysler.

Why is the world going mobile?

Because more often than not, smartphones are better at a diverse collection of functions than some other single device is at one of its core features.

Take navigation for example. In a recent J.D. Power study, they found consumers were increasingly unhappy with the systems built into their cars.

Almost half the people downloaded a nav app onto their phones to supplement their in-car counterparts.

Moreover, drivers say they will not purchase a car with nav again. And really, why should they when the nav on their handheld is so effective?

Whether you need directions, security or entertainment, the solution increasingly seems to be right in our hands.

Read more about the mobile revolution and nav stinking from Wired.com here.