Wednesday, December 16, 2009

the Automotive World's All A-Twitter

While checking in on my "tweets" today, I couldn't help but notice a flurry of of activity from our friends at AAA. You know AAA. They're the people you call when your car breaks down and you need a tow from a "trusted supplier". They're the people who invented the "TripTik" - that personalized map that got my family from Ohio to Florida for so many years. (Though I still don't know why we got a new TripTik each year. It's not like the U.S. Government destroyed I-75 anytime during the 1970's. I guess it gave us peace of mind though.)

But I digress.
Today the folks at AAA posted all kinds of holiday season travel stats. In case you don't follow AAA on Twitter, here's the news:

  • AAA expects 280,000 dead batteries during the Christmas/New Year's holidays. (Good for the aftermarket sales of batteries, good for tow truck operators!)
  • Of the 1.3 million stranded motorists AAA will help during Christmas/New Years, AAA will fix 3 out of 5 issues on the roadside. Of the 1.3 million stranded, a half million will end up taking tow truck rides instead of sleigh rides.
  • 77.7 million are expected to travel by auto during the Christmas/New Year's holidays, up 4.4% (Yep, my family of 4 will be part of that 77.7 million throng.)
  • 4.2 million are expected to travel by air, an increase over last year of 2.9%.
  • Holiday travelers will travel an average 791 miles roundtrip with 40% traveling 700+ miles. My family will be in the 800 miles traveled range. Ugh. Are we there yet?
  • Airfare and car rental prices are up 2% this year, but (GOOD NEWS) hotel prices are expected to be down about 10% during the holidays. Hotel rates this year will be at their lowest average since 2004.
  • More Americans traveling during winter holidays is another sign consumers are continuing to grow more confident.
  • AAA will change 170,000 tires during the holiday period and retrieve another 170,000 sets of keys locked inside cars. Does that imply a correlation of some sort?

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