Monday, October 18, 2010

Something New

The LG Report has been meaning to try something new for a while and we're just finally getting around to it.  Those of you who are familiar with The Daily ShowThe Colbert Report and The Onion,  know that those organizations traffic in comedically false news, or parody. 

The LG Report wants to jump on that bandwagon too, but we don't want to get sued for parodying someone else's actual news story.  So we've copied a story from a major news outlet, and we've added our own spin (in red ink), but we're not revealing the source.  The odds of getting caught are very slim, we know.  And, in fact, if we were caught and sued, it would bring tons of publicity to The LG Report and we'd probably get far more followers than just the very learned and elite group of 43 that we have today (take a bow folks.)  But we're not going to risk it by revealing the source, sorry.      

The LG Report has been around since December 2009 and this is our 135th post.  In that time, the parade of ads in the right hand column have earned us a whopping $90 or so.  Not a lot of money with which to defend a plagiarism lawsuit.       

Choosing an article to parody was not easy.  Politics, religion and sex were all out of the question; too great of an opportunity to offend and turn the Elite 43 into the Friends 'n Family Five. 

Even picking on something as universally reviled as "The Real Housewives of...." or the reality show "The Jersey Shore," would offend some of our readers.  So we settled on this: auto parts.  If you're offended by an article parodying auto parts, please accept our apologies, mostly because we're sure you also own a shotgun.  And you've probably already done time and wouldn't mind getting back in the slammer to enjoy your three squares a day.  Who could blame you? 

Anyway, here we go:

Motorists toughing out a weak economy are opting to fix their old cars instead of buying new ones, creating a boon for auto-parts sellers. This was revealed in a government-sponsored MIT study since it would be really hard to figure this out otherwise. "Duh uh" to the tenth degree here.

Don't you think they really meant to name the company "Advanced Auto Parts?"
Big auto-parts chains are thriving. Their stock valuations have seen dramatic increases. Shares of Advance Auto Parts (AAP), AutoZone (AZO) and O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) are near 52-week highs. 

The retailers are benefiting from a confluence of factors, not the least of which is that too few people are willing to buy new cars when credit is tight and unemployment is high. Even dumb people driving pieces of crap can be smart once in a while.

"People who are not buying new cars are hanging on to their old cars and repairing them," says Michael Odell, CEO of the Pep Boys (PBY) chain, which has 600 stores, with plans to add 35 more. This great insight, by a respected auto parts industry executive, counters conventional wisdom, which would tell us that people are just throwing away their old cars and walking everywhere. Thanks for the newsflash Mike! 

As a result, the average fleet age for all cars and trucks in the U.S. was 10.2 years in the latest R.L. Polk survey, up 21% in the past 14 years.

This car is in to have the fugly yellow paint removed.
 In the early part of this decade, when people had jobs, the auto industry was selling more than 16 million cars a year, vs. the 10 million-plus that sold last year. That created a bulge of old cars, and those jalopies represent "the sweet spot" for auto parts retailers because they often need substantial repairs, says analyst Colin McGranahan of Bernstein Research. This doesn't apply, of course, to Toyotas, which are being driven into walls and off cliffs, thanks to faulty accelerators.  The result: a boon to the economy by stimulating the healthcare and funeral service industries!  Incidentally, it's just a rumor that Toyota is working on cars with three sets of exterior handles on each side to double as coffins.    

Auto-parts dealers have adapted by stocking more basic repair items, such as alternators, starters and brakes instead of the bling-bling accessories popular in better economic times. "Bling-bling accessories?"  We didn't realize that Snoop Dogg was writing about automotive issues these days. 

The industry is banking that even when the economy recovers, people will hang on to their cars longer. "People have realized their cars will last longer than five years," says Judd Nystrom, senior vice president of Advance Auto Parts. So far, nobody quoted in this article has said anything that a 5-year old wouldn’t know.

Also driving the parts industry:

•Driving more miles. Americans cut back on driving when gas prices rose a couple of years ago. Now, car mileage is starting to rise again, Federal Highway Administration figures show. The more miles driven, the more servicing that cars need. If this article doesn’t win the Pulitzer for “Most Obvious Statements Made,” nothing will.

•Fewer auto dealers. General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler collectively closed hundreds of car dealers, creating fewer places for car owners to get their cars serviced. More have turned to independent mechanics, who often get their supplies from parts sellers. Or car thieves.  Also called "Chop Shops." It's not unusual for a car owner to pay his local mechanic to reinstall the very same airbag that was stolen from his car a week later.  But you didn't hear that from us.

More auto-repair school graduates are getting jobs at independent garages instead of at auto dealerships, says John Frala, professor at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, Calif. That's really the name of the college, "Rio Hondo," we're not screwing around here.  You’d think that Honda would pony up some dough to sponsor the school and merely change one letter in the name, but no, that’s too logical.  Reportedly, students can only pay their tuition in cash using hondos.  

We got bored with the rest of the story and cut it off here.  Hey, you have to admire our willingness to experiment!

UPDATE ON OUR LAST POSTING: LG visited Noit in the hospital on Thursday, and we're glad to report that he's in great spirits and recovering quite nicely.  LG was thoughtful enough to pick up some light reading material for Noit, the current issue of Reader's Digest.  Here he is enjoying the diversion:

That's it for today folks, thanks for stopping by.  We hope to see you back again soon.  And please keep sending good and healing thoughts Noit's way.  Peace be with you.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Thanks for linking to me! :) GUESS WHAT? You won a very special award from me. Because I am all cool like that. ps I NO LONGER do wordless wednesday LG. It's been months. Months.


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