Overall, pickup truck sales took a big hit during the first six months of 2006, compared to the same period of time last year. On the small pickup side, total sales dropped 10.3 percent, but a few models actually saw jumps in sales. Honda sold 26,868 Ridgelines during the months of January through June, which is an impressive 88.5 percent jump from this time last year (the Honda Ridgeline began selling in February of last year). One possible reason for this sales growth: More pickup truck buyers may be looking for trucks with SUV-like comfort and convenience with the towing and hauling capabilities of a pickup. The Nissan Frontier, which was redesigned for 2005, is attracting more pickup truck buyers, as sales grew 19.5 percent. Toyota Tacoma also experienced increases in sales, growing 10.2 percent compared to the first six months of last year. On the large pickup side, overall sales dropped 11.2 percent. The Lincoln Mark LT, which still remains a relatively low-volume pickup, experienced a 137.4 percent sales jump-the only large pickup with sales growth (the Mark LT also began selling in February of last year).

That's A Lot Of Freakin' Used Cars, Man!
Bay Motors announced that its two millionth passenger vehicle has been sold in the U.S. The milestone vehicle is a blue '05 Jeep Liberty, purchased by first-time eBay Motors buyer Kelly Joyce of Charleston, South Carolina, from Century Motors of Pompano Beach, Florida.

"Only six years ago, the thought of going online and buying a car you've never seen-from a seller you've never met-was an unfamiliar concept to most people," said Rob Chesney, senior director of eBay Motors. "Since then, two million buyers have successfully bought cars and trucks on eBay Motors. It's a fundamental shift in car purchase behavior, and we're gratified that so many buyers and sellers have made eBay Motors what it is today-America's preferred online destination for buying and selling not just vehicles, but parts and accessories, too."

Joyce had never thought about going online to find a car. After an accident totaled her previous vehicle, she needed to find a reasonably priced car fast. On eBay Motors, Joyce found the perfect car for her, listed by Century Motors at a great price, $3,000 under the Kelly Blue Book suggested retail value.

Frank and Gina Fuzy, the owners of Century Motors, have made selling cars online a significant part of their business. Already a successful dealership with a 25-year history, they were originally skeptical that people would actually buy a car sight-unseen on eBay Motors. They listed Century Motors' first car only after a friend convinced them to try, and they were amazed when bidding quickly escalated. Today, Century Motors has grown its business and now sells exclusively on eBay Motors. Currently selling about two cars a day on eBay Motors, the dealership is building a new $1.1 million warehouse to store its vehicles.

In its first years, eBay Motors was embraced by car collectors and enthusiasts. Today, the site has evolved into a destination for everyday car buyers and dealers, where a vehicle is sold every 60 seconds. eBay Motors helps people find deals in a safe, easy-to-use marketplace. The site offers multiple purchase methods, including Auction-style, Fixed Price, and Best Offer, which allows buyers and sellers the ability to negotiate. In addition, eBay Motors enables several third-party services for customers, including vehicle inspections, shipping, financing, and as much as $20,000 in buyer protection for qualified purchases.

Get Your Duramax Here
Gale Banks Engineering announced it has been named by General Motors (GM) Powertrain to be the world's exclusive OE distributor for the 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel engine. The arrangement gives Banks exclusivity of the popular diesel engine for marine, off-highway, and specialty uses. Banks will offer the engines in stock form, all the way up to special-built racing applications. Banks was chosen for its long-standing and successful history in engineering performance systems for GM Powertrain products.

This arrangement marks another in a series of partnerships between Banks and GM spanning four decades. A few of the partnerships with GM include, in 1971, Banks was named OEM supplier of Big Block Chevrolet engines to the world marine market; in 1980, Gale Banks began teaching graduate level engine design at the General Motors Institute; and, Banks is still the first and only aftermarket company to develop a dealer-specified turbo system option for GM's 6.2L diesel engine, beginning in 1988.

Over the past five decades, Gale Banks has set numerous land speed records and achieved many performance engineering milestones, leveraging GM Powertrain systems. Past records include: World's Fastest Passenger Car and World's Fastest Pickup, with the Banks project Syclone that was later marketed by GMC as the Syclone pickup. Also, Banks recently completed the world's first road race twin-turbo Duramax diesel pickup-the Banks Sidewinder D-Max Type-R.