There's something about a road trip that invariably gets me excited. Maybe it's the cultural remains of Manifest Destiny or my own sense of adventure, but each year I, like millions of other Americans, pack my vehicle to the brim with enough supplies to survive a mild nuclear winter and head off across the continent.
Memorial Day weekend is one of the premiere road trip holidays. According to the American Automobile Association, more than 30 million people will hit the road this weekend, averaging 642 miles each. That means, for many, crossing state lines. And nowadays, that's more confusing than ever. Speed limits may vary, but at least those are posted. Cell phone laws, however, are much more confusing.
U.S. gasoline consumption declined 2.5 percent last week, compared to the same time frame in 2010, with motorist buying only (?) 8.79 million barrels a day during the week ending October 7, according to data collected by MasterCard. That's down from 9.01 million barrels a day back in October of 2010 and a bit below the 8.82-million-barrel mark set in late September.
Lagging U.S. sales of E85, lax trade restrictions and Brazil's worst sugarcane harvest of the last decade will allow the United States to overtake the South American nation as the world's leading ethanol exporter during the second half of 2011, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced last week. Okay, officially, the EIA said it was "likely" to happen, but when you put all the pieces together, we think "likely" = "will."
Volvo hasn't been doing too hot lately, posting a $1.73 billion loss over the past five years as it flails to find its niche. Sales of almost every Volvo product have declined in 2007, with the S60 falling by 28.1 percent, the XC90 dropping 5.6 percent and the V70 station wagon losing 7.7 percent. For June of 2008, Volvo only moved 7,001 vehicles, down 14.2 percent compared to last year. Something has to be done on the retail side, and according to Automotive News, dealers are on their way out.