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Friday, 12 April 2013

Renault Captur Overview

Renault Captur is that the new urban crossover from Renault. Its flowing lines highlight its distinctive proportions, whereas its massive wheels, generous ground clearance, wide tracks and steeply raked, forward-set windshield kind a singular mix of MPV, SUV and hatchback, formed and created reality by Renault. Renault Captur lends itself absolutely to an intensive personalisation programme, too. With its several permutations of two-tone bodywork, wheel colors, light-weight and dark interior trims, upholstery materials and graphic motifs, Captur can attractiveness to a very broad spectrum of tastes and wishes.

The inventive freedom enjoyed by Renault's designers shines through within the options and generous interior house expected of this sort of auto. although compact (it is just fractionally longer than New Clio), Renault Captur is especially convenient. The slippy rear bench seat provides the best balance of house for passengers and their baggage, with a most carrying capability of 455dm3 (up to the bags cover). within the traveler compartment, 2 ingenious innovations underline Captur's character as a really easy vehicle: an outsized drawer-type glove box, that is straightforward for the motive force to succeed in and holds eleven litres, and therefore the handiness of removable seat covers which may be unzipped, machine washed reception and refitted.

Meanwhile, the in-dash Renault R-Link transmission pill provides access to an entire new level of property, with Associate in Nursing ever-expanding library of dedicated driving applications.
The new Renault Captur features “smooth, fluid, balanced forms” with design elements inspired by the concept version, like the front fascia and that cool forward position of the steeply raked windscreen. The new Captur will be offered with an original two-tone color scheme, combined with large-diameter wheels and sill guards.

The new crossover measures 4.12 meters in length (157.5 inches), so it offers a generous interior space, a high-up driving position, large cargo area, modular interior and innovative stowage solutions.

The new Captur offers a combination of colors and motifs, so the cabin is warm and relaxing. As standard equipment, the crossover will offer hands-free entry, hill start assist and rear parking sensors. For those customers that want to further customize their model, Renault will also offer connected, in-dash Renault R-Link touchscreen multimedia tablet, plus a system that comprises six loudspeakers, Bluetooth connectivity, audio-streaming and Arkamys hi-fi sound.
Engine lineup of Renault Captur

Under the hood, Renault will place a choice of both petrol and diesel engines, combined with the very latest Renault technologies. Final specifications will be unveiled during the car’s debut in Geneva, but Renault has promised the new crossover will return best-in-class fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, starting from as low as 96g/km.

The new Renault Captur will make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show, with sales to begin later in the summer. Prices will be announced at a later date.


Renault developed their new Captur as direct competition for Nissan Juke. In Europe, the Nissan model is offered with a choice of one diesel and two 1.6-Liter gas-burning units, with power ranging from 110 horsepower to 190 horsepower.

Despite its bulky exterior look, the Juke has stolen the hearts of many European customers and the new Captur will have to try very hard if it wants to become a success on the market.

Friday, 5 October 2012

New Carpe Diem Site

For new posts please visit Carpe Diem's new home at The American Enterprise Institute.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Major CD Announcement

Dear Carpe Diem Regulars

Over the next several days, there will be some major changes taking place for the Carpe Diem blog. After six years, almost 10,000 posts, and more than 8 million visits and almost 12 million page views using the Blogger platform, Carpe Diem will become a WordPress blog at a new website. 

Starting within the next few days, Carpe Diem will be exclusively hosted by The American Enterprise Institutes's new AEIdeas website, which also features Jimmy Pethokoukis's blog as well as other AEI blog "channels" by topic (Economics, Foreign and Defense Policy, Politics and Public Opinion and Society and Culture). Many of the AEI scholars and fellows now regularly blog in the topic areas of the AEIdeas blog including Charles Murray, Andrew Biggs, Marc Thiessen, Michael Auslin, Mackenzie Eaglen, Dani Pletka, Nick Schulz, Karlyn Bowman, Alex Pollock, Ken Green and Arthur Brooks, among others.  

Here’s how the relocation of Carpe Diem will affect you: 

1. If you have the current Carpe Diem website bookmarked, you’ll be automatically re-directed to the new website and you won’t need to do anything.  (Here's a direct link to the new Carpe Diem website.)

2. If you subscribe to the daily email updates of Carpe Diem posts, you should still receive those emails with a summary of posts over the last 24 hours from the new AEIdeas website. 

3. If you regularly (or occasionally) leave comments on Carpe Diem, you can still easily make comments at the new AEI website, by providing a name and email address (the email address won’t be published). The comments at the AEIdeas website are moderated before appearing on the AEI website, and I’ll do my best to help with the moderation process to be sure your comments appear as quickly as possible. 

4. All of the 9,000 posts in the Carpe Diem archives have been moved to the new AEIdeas website, so they will still be available and searchable by key word.   

5. If you follow Carpe Diem by RSS feed, here's the link to the new Carpe Diem RSS feed

Thanks for your loyal readership and I hope you continue to follow Carpe Diem at its new home!

National Home Sales Snapshot from DQ News

Click to enlarge.
Today's "National Home Sales Snapshot" from DQ News is displayed above, which has been updated with U.S. home sales during the last 30 days in 98 of the top 100 MSAs (excludes Louisville and Wichita), and covers about two-thirds of all U.S. home sales.  Compared to the same period last year, home sales over the last 30 days have increased by 9.8%, following previous increases in September of 11.3% (last week) and 10.3% (first week of the month).  

The median home sales price increased nationally by 7.8% above a year ago in the most recent 30-days sales period, which is the highest year-over-year increase during the last six weeks of data displayed above, and reflects a pattern of gradually increasing median home price increases (from 5.3% in mid-August), even though the median price has remained flat at about $200,000.  

Quotation of the Day: The Fallacy of Redistribution

From Thomas Sowell's column today (emphasis mine):
The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty. The communist nations were a classic example, but by no means the only example.

In theory, confiscating the wealth of the more successful people ought to make the rest of the society more prosperous. But when the Soviet Union confiscated the wealth of successful farmers, food became scarce. As many people died of starvation under Stalin in the 1930s as died in Hitler's Holocaust in the 1940s.

How can that be? It is not complicated. You can only confiscate the wealth that exists at a given moment. You cannot confiscate future wealth -- and that future wealth is less likely to be produced when people see that it is going to be confiscated. Farmers in the Soviet Union cut back on how much time and effort they invested in growing their crops, when they realized that the government was going to take a big part of the harvest. They slaughtered and ate young farm animals that they would normally keep tending and feeding while raising them to maturity.

We have all heard the old saying that giving a man a fish feeds him only for a day, while teaching him to fish feeds him for a lifetime. Redistributionists give him a fish and leave him dependent on the government for more fish in the future.

If the redistributionists were serious, what they would want to distribute is the ability to fish, or to be productive in other ways. Knowledge is one of the few things that can be distributed to people without reducing the amount held by others.  That would better serve the interests of the poor, but it would not serve the interests of politicians who want to exercise power, and to get the votes of people who are dependent on them.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Wednesday Afternoon Links

1. Markets in everything: WiFi enabled, multi-color, energy efficient LED light bulb that you control with your iPhone.

2. "Patchwriting" is more common than plagiarism, and just as dishonest.  I guess that's what happened to me, see recent CD post

3. Almost half (46.3%) of Irish residents buy private health insurance, despite "free" national health insurance.

4. Thanks to the commodity boom, 2012 graduates from the South Dakota School of Mines make more on average than Harvard grads, $56.7k vs. $54.1k.

5. New website archives every TV news program since 2009, and it’s now online and searchable for free.

6. Russia has vast new diamond field containing "trillions of carats," enough to supply global markets for next 3,000 years.

7. Airlines add service in North Dakota's oil patch:  Delta to add two daily Minneapolis-Williston flights, United to add three flights from Denver to Williston.  

The Year of the "Plow Horse Housing Recovery"

Some key reports today on architecture billings, existing home sales, and new residential construction provide additional evidence that a U.S. housing recovery is underway:

1. Reuters --  "A leading indicator of U.S. construction activity rose last month to its best level in five months, indicating that demand for design services is expanding, an architects' trade group said on Wednesday. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rose 1.5 points to a reading of 50.2 in August, according to the American Institute of Architects. Any reading above 50 indicates an increase in demand for architects' services. The ABI is considered a predictor of U.S. construction activity nine to 12 months ahead.  A separate measure of inquiries for new projects rose 0.9 points to 57.2, the group said."

MP: Both the Billing Index (ABI) and the New Projects Inquiry Index have risen in each of the last three months, and the ABI was at the highest level last month since March, while the inquiry index in August was the highest in six months.

2. Existing U.S. home sales surged in August by 7.8% over July, marking the highest monthly increase in home sales in a year, according to today's National Realtors Association (NAR) report.  Compared to last August, home sales this year were 9.3% higher, and last month's increase was the 14th consecutive year-over-year increase in home sales.  The median home sales price in August was $187,400, a slight decrease from July's median price of $187,800, but above last August's median price of $171,200 by 9.5%.  According to the NAR, "The last time there were six back-to-back monthly price increases from a year earlier was from December 2005 to May 2006. The August increase was the strongest since January 2006 when the median price rose 10.2 percent from a year earlier."

Other positive signs from today's report include: a) a reduction in the share of distressed sales in August this year (22%) compared to last year (31%), b) a reduction in the median marketing time from 92 days in August 2011 to 70 days last month (almost one-third of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month), and c) a drop to only a 6.1 month supply of homes in August at the current sales pace, which except for a 6.0 month supply in January is the lowest inventory level of existing homes for sale since April of 2006. 

3. Associated Press -- "U.S. builders started work on more homes in August, driven by the fastest pace of single-family home construction in more than two years. The increase points to steady progress in the housing recovery. 

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that construction of homes and apartments rose 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000 last month. That's up from 733,000 in July, which was revised lower from last month's initial estimate. Single-family housing starts rose 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 535,000 homes, the best pace since April 2010."

MP: Single-family home starts last month were the highest for the month of August since 2008, and were 27% above last year, marking the largest year-over-year increase since April 2010.  Further, the number building permits issued in August was 24.5% above permits in the same month last year.  In both July and August, building permits were above 800,000 in each month, and it's been four years since there has been more than 1.6 million permits issued in a two-month period.    

Bottom Line: The evidence continues to accumulate pointing to a gradual, but steady housing recovery that is underway in the U.S.  As with any economic or housing recovery, it can be expected that the improvements in the U.S. housing market will be somewhat choppy at times.  But the fact that most of the main housing indicators (existing-home sales, new home sales, pending sales, housing prices, asking prices, home affordability, etc.) are showing gradual, but consistently positive signs of improvement would support the growing consensus that a sustainable housing recovery is underway.  

Brian Wesbury et al. at First Trust have described the slowly improving U.S. economy as the "plow horse economy," which keeps moving gradually forward despite the pessimistic media reports of "gloom and doom."  Perhaps it would also be appropriate to describe the ongoing recovery in the U.S. real estate market as the "plow horse housing recovery" - which keeps making gradual, but steady improvements month after month.