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15 posts from June 2012

June 29, 2012

Cars Land Opens at Disney's California Adventure Park

Cars Land Opens at Disney's California Adventure ParkAs automotive enthusiasts, we have a soft spot for Disney/Pixar’s Cars movies. So we’ve been looking forward to the latest chapter, which does NOT occur on a movie screen: The debut of Cars Land, part of a $1 billion renovation at Disney’s California Adventure Park.

"While I love all of the movies we’ve made at Pixar, the Cars films are particularly close to my heart, so seeing Radiator Springs come to life at Disney California Adventure is a dream come true,”  said Disney/Pixar creative director John Lasseter at last week's grand opening.

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June 27, 2012

Bowman Gray Stadium – The Madhouse

Bowman Gray trackI had always heard stories about this crazy quarter-mile paved track near Winston Salem, NC. About how they packed the grandstands every Saturday night. About how they raced around a football field on what looked to be a running track. About how there were crazy fights in the pit area and huge rivalries amongst the local drivers. About how some of NASCAR’s most famous names got their starts there.

Then I watched the TV series, “The Madhouse” that aired on the History Channel for just one season in 2010. It followed four Modified teams racing weekly at this place they called Bowman Gray Stadium. It looked exactly like what my racing friends had described. I decided then, that I had to experience this with my own eyes someday. 

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June 25, 2012

Infographic: The Science Behind Seat Belts

Seat-Belt-Science-300-200x155The awesome graphical-engineers at have done it again, and produced a new snazzy and informative infographic!  From how they work, to statistics about lives saved by their use, and even including a state-by-state breakdown of seat belt laws, the message of this graphic is clear:  Seat belts save lives.  Hit the jump to see the graphic.

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June 20, 2012

Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks

Help us spread the message of Texting and Driving Prevention with your friends and community. Visit

Nearly 500,000 young adults each year are injured due to distracted driving. What are some ways that you stop yourself from answering a text while driving?

Did you know that the average text takes your eyes off the road for nearly 5 seconds? When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field.

If you're in a car with a friend who's driving and you see them texting, do you hesitate to tell them to stop?

Did you know that 49% of drivers with cell phones under 35 send or read text messages while driving? How will you stop texting and driving?

36% of teens say they've been involved in a near‐crash because of their own or someone else's distracted driving. Has this ever happened to you?

Please - If you're in a car with a friend who's driving and you see them #texting, do you hesitate to tell them to stop.


Jody DeVere CEO
Jody DeVere CEO Certified Female Friendly®


Heels & Wheels - Flats not Heels for this Baby Boomer Test Driver

Jody_Flats_SeatbeltBagWomen over 50 were described as a "Spark Plugs" at a recent all women Heels & Wheels vehicle test drive event I attended in San Diego. These "Spark Plug" women have the highest net worth of any group in the U.S., wears flats, glasses and feel generally that spending money on acquiring “Stuff”  is less important than having new experiences. As a "Spark Plug" myself, I was asked to step into her shoes and test drive several new vehicles with her needs in mind.

Two all new General Motors vehicles were available in the fleet of 14 vehicles for test drives for this Spark Plug; the all new 2012 Buick Verano and the 2012 Cadillac XTS. So I slipped into my flats and took my first spin in the Verano along the Southern California coastline with Jennifer Nardicchio, the Buick Verano Marketing Manager, fun girl-talk included.

Jody_DeVere_Buick_Verano (1)With beautifully styled exterior and interior trim, simulated wood paneling, the Verano has many features found on much more pricey luxury sedans. It even has blue cockpit lighting for night time driving. Options include , dual-zone automatic climate control, push button starting and parking brake, heated leather seats with contrast-color stitching. Important to me was the hands free Buick IntelliLink "safety conscious" communication and entertainment functions that can be controlled by touch, voice, or steering wheel button commands. With Buick IntelliLink, you are truly in command of your connected infotainment experience. Simple, seamless, personalized – IntelliLink delivers a world of infotainment to the 7” high definition, full-color touch screen radio available as standard equipment on all 2012 Buick Verano's.

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June 18, 2012

Taking Three Generations on a Road Trip? Here are 9 Steps to Arrive Stress-Free

By Allstate

3GenRoadTripIncreasingly each summer, parents are packing up the SUV, squeezing in grandparents and the kids, and hitting the road for an ambitious intergenerational road trip.

But, from flat tires to family squabbles, planning a safe road trip with three generations on board is challenging. Here’s a step-by-step guide to planning your next extended-family excursion.

Step 1: Assess the passengers. Take an inventory of everyone’s interests, their physical abilities and their routines before settling on a destination (do you really want to disrupt a toddler’s sleep schedule? The youngest and oldest in the group offer a good reality check of what’s possible.

Step 2: Pick a “must-do”. Ask each family member to select one “must-do” activity. Everyone will feel like they have a voice in the planning process and will have something to look forward to, including moody teens.

Step 3: Set expectations early. Everyone should know what to expect in terms of stops, activities, etc. If your child needs an early bedtime to keep from getting cranky, be clear about this scheduling need from the start. The same goes for adults. If you’ll need regular Wi-Fi access or will be required to check in with your office, let the family know in advance. You should also establish a set of behavioral guidelines. Who will be the disciplinarian? What are the consequences for misbehavior?

Step 4: Talk about money. Communication can usually ward off money conflicts in a family, and an all-family vacation is no different. Decide where you’ll be cutting costs (4-star or budget hotel?), where you don’t want to, and, most importantly, who will be paying for what.

Step 5: Split up activities. Balance kid-friendly activities with historical and cultural attractions for adults. A trip through Virginia, for instance, might include a day at Colonial Williamsburg followed by a day at the neighboring Busch Gardens amusement park. Splitting up activities can also help balance energy levels: while parents and kids hit the amusement park, grandparents might enjoy resting at the hotel and reading.

Step 6: Keep it flexible. Yes, a great road trip starts with great planning. But micro-mapping a trip eliminates spontaneity and crams too many activities into each day. Instead, build in daily “free time” for things like naps, road-side attractions or even a short run.

Step 7: Prepare the car. Prior to hitting the road, take your car in for an oil change, a tune-up and a full cleaning. Stock it with things like water bottles, garbage bags, wet wipes and some entertainment (books, games, DVDs) to prevent kids from causing driving distractions.

Step 8: Upgrade your ride. Close quarters can lead to grumpy passengers. If your budget allows, consider renting a large van or even an RV. Everyone will have more personal space to relax. An RV can also double as a home-away-from-home, which can cut down hotel expenses.

Step 9: Enjoy the journey. Half the fun of a road trip is the spontaneous family sing-alongs or the prospect of retelling stories about getting lost. Patience and a good sense of humor will ensure the memories are ones you’ll want to keep—even if you’d like to forget all the questionable diner food you ate!

PamelaryanPamela Reyhan is the manager of digital content strategy for Allstate. She loves all things digital, is the mother of twin girls and is a former Diet Coke addict.


June 16, 2012

Top Ten Most Popular Cars for Dads


Shopping for an extra special gift for Dad on Father’s Day? We’ve got the inside track on the most popular cars for dads: Based on 2011 data received from men with children about the cars they drive, the findings show that Dads have similar concerns as Moms when it comes to transporting their families.

Forget about getting Dad a sports car, unlike the list of cars that men prefer, dads are not concerned with speed as much as they are with practical cargo space. Fathers need a fuel-efficient car for commuting/work and weekend activities. And while they do want brawn, they need a back seat, proven by the large number of sedans.

It’s not surprising to discover that three trucks make the list, but you might be surprised to discover that minivans aren’t just for moms: two minivans made the list of cars that are most popular with dads, and they also happen to be the most expensive of the 10 vehicles on the list.

Ready to get the lowdown on what cars are most popular with dads? It’s all here. We've also provided the vehicle’s market average[i] and current potential discount off of MSRP[ii] to give car buyers context on how that vehicle’s price is trending in the automotive marketplace.

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June 15, 2012

Cadillac's 2012 Cargo Management System makes this CUV THE ultimate summertime ride

2012_SRX_Perf_Collect001.jp2012 Cadillac SRX Crossover’s luxury trim level is equipped with their signature Cargo Management System.  SRXs Chief Engineer,  Elizabeth Pilibosian explained this cargo feature in a recent Cadillac promotion.  The cargo area is large enough to hold, Luggage, sports equipment and anything you want to take on your road trip this summer,”  Pilibosian said. 



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June 13, 2012

Darting Around in the 2013 Dodge Dart

Red_dart_bullseyeThe all new 2013 Dodge Dart breaks new ground with a savvy, modern, sporty and cool looking Dodge design and is the first Chrysler Group vehicle based upon a FIAT architecture, adapted from the award-winning Alfa Romeo Giulietta. I know women LOVE their FIAT's and my bet is Dodge has hit the bull's-eye with women car buyers who will fall in love as  I DID :--), darting around in the Dodge Dart!

Red_Dodge_Dart_1970After a 37 year production break, I was very excited to have an opportunity during the Heels & Wheels media event to dart around in the all new 2013 Dodge Dart and revisit my fondness for this personally memorable vehicle. (I actually learned how to drive in a 1970 Red Dodge Dart, pictured left.) Dodge sold more than 3.6 million Darts between its introduction in 1960 through 1976. The Dart brings back a very nostalgic time in life for many Baby Boomer women like myself, although it bears little resemblance to its forerunner.

The U.S. compact car segment comprises 15 percent of the U.S. new car market and the all-new 2013 Dart offers the fuel economy and pricing of a compact car – starting at an U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just $15,995. The all-new new Dodge Dart will arrive in U.S. dealerships in June of 2012 as a 2013 model.

Jody_DeVere_Dodge_Dart_2013Why I Think Women Will Love the 2013 Dodge Dart:

The Dodge Dart’s interior cabin is exceptionally quiet, stylish and eye-pleasing. Several women were involved in the design team and the interior design really stood out for me. Rather than using traditional film or faux wood, the Dodge Dart uses thoughtfully placed splashes of color in locations like door inserts, storage locations, stitching and seat bolsters. The fresh Dodge color concept is what differentiates the Dart from other compact cars; it’s a unique, contemporary design concept that enables the Dart to strike an emotional chord with women drivers and passengers.

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June 11, 2012

Heels & Wheels - Thought Leadership on Women Car Buyers

Heels&Wheels_Christine_OverstreetI was delighted to participate in the 2012 Heels & Wheels  event which was formed to honor women as a major force in the automotive purchase decision. Heels & Wheels allows automotive women to gather and test drive vehicles in a female-only environment and offer some real-world testing. The aim is to garner input on vehicles as they directly affect women car buyers.

Heels & Wheels Thought Leadership on Women Car Buyers

These are some of the thought leadership principles we aspired to glean from our time together. What will appeal to her? What will make or break her purchase decision? We get influential women in cars to ultimately discover what women want in a car. Real-world testing includes: loading groceries, child seats and golf clubs, ingress/egress, cabin functionality, accelerating, braking and ride. That information is culled and used to increase female buying power by providing useable “woman-tested” knowledge.

Heels&Wheels_AutomakersOver thirty women media pundits along with eleven automakers, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Cadillac, Buick, Mazda, Kia, Hyundai, Chrysler, Dodge, Mitsubishi, all gathered at the Hotel Estancia La Jolla, CA. Insights were shared by the Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence team, vehicle designers, product marketing specialists, panel speakers and a very special "Driving In Her Shoes" presentation by Joni Gray and Christine Overstreet, the effervescent women leaders of Heels & Wheels, on the dynamic and every changing women's car buying market.

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