As you know, TTAC has been following the modularization trend in the industry with great interest. At TTAC, you received an early heads-up on Volkswagen’s MQB kit architecture four years ago, and we followed it ever since. TTAC was one of the first to tell you that Toyota is working on its own kit architecture, called “Toyota New Global Architecture,” TNGA for short. More than a year ago, we told you about Nissan’s Common Module Family (CMF). Now, everybody is talking about kits and modules. Let’s talk a little more. Read More >
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Every time we see images of the 2015 Mazda3, it looks better and better. This one, which appeared on a Russian site via Jalopnik, is the clearest image we have yet. It looks like a lower, more compact CX-5. Hopefully it’s not as slow. Mazda is apparently set to reveal the car in New York on June 26th with a streaming webcast via Xbox Live.
Renault-Nissan gave us their first look at their new “kit” dubbed “Common Modular Family”. The new will use four pieces, the powertrain, the dashboard and area aft of the firewall, the “cradle” that holds the engine and front suspension and lastly, the rear section that could be configured for the guts of an all-wheel drive system.
Hours after I longed for a return of the Fiat Multipla, Fiat delivered. The 500L Living will be a true MPV, carrying seven. The last Multipla only carried six. It will be a bit longer than our 500L and have the option of a 0.9L TwinAir engine, two diesels or a naturally aspirated 1.4L gasoline engine making 95 horsepower. I’ll pass. It’s not ugly enough to stoke my boiler. But it’s not coming to North America anyways.
I’m slow to embrace technology. When people say this in modern times, it usually means that they only have 274 iPhone apps and they’re still stuck using the iPad 3. But when I say it, I mean that, sitting on my desk as I write this, is an actual bill, being paid with an actual check, in an actual envelope with an actual stamp.
As we reported yesterday, Chrysler will be recalling the
2.7 million 1.56 million Jeeps being targeted by NHTSA over rear-end crashes that can lead to a fiery death. The solution; a trailer hitch out of the Mopar catalog.
The writing-about-writing crowd is abuzz with discussion about the rather unusual death of Buzzfeed/RollingStone/Gawker writer Michael Hastings. Mr. Hastings, whose name is never mentioned in the press without the immediate mention that he was “the fearless journalist whose reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal”, died in a single-car accident in Los Angeles yesterday morning. This in and of itself is not unusual, but the circumstances of the crash and its aftermath won’t do anything to quiet the conspiracy theorists who are already claiming that the military-industrial complex found a way to cap the guy.
We can’t help it that there is so much crummy news about GM, but here is something decidedly positive: GM “has no plans to make additional investments in its French partner PSA Peugeot Citroen SA which is subject to the depressed European automobile market,” Dow Jones Newswire says via NASDAQ. The wire heard it from Dan Akerson himself, so it must be true. Read More >
The car you see above is actually not the 2014 Fiat 500L. For most of you, this will be a relief. It’s actually a Fiat Multipla from the mid-1990s. It is ugly. So ugly, in fact, that I love it. I’ve been thinking about importing an LPG-fueled version for use as a daily driver, so that I can fill up at the local taxi garage here for roughly $2/gallon. It’s a terrible idea, I know. Especially when Fiat now sells the Multipla’s successor Stateside.
After a court in Braunschweig, Germany, dismissed two investor lawsuits against Porsche SE, it didn’t take the third one either. Instead, it delegated a lawsuit that seeks $2.7 billion in damages to a Hanover-based court that specializes in cartel matters, Reuters says. Finally, a decision after a hedge fund’s heart. Read More >
The bare and plain fact that TTAC was, to some degree, built on the GM Death Watch series often causes our readers to think that we, as a group of writers, hate GM. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your humble author grew up thinking the “Mark Of Excellence” was a mandatory part of every seatbelt buckle and that the Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency was the most awesome sedan money could buy. If we’re angry at GM, it’s in large part because the people who ran the company destroyed an incomparable, irreplaceable legacy through their complacency, incompetence, and short-term thinking. The men who ran the company into the ground managed to snatch an improbable defeat from the jaws of victory. There is no hell hot enough for the architects of General Motors’ fall from grace. They destroyed a big part of the United States and there was no, repeat, no reason for it to happen.
And now the emblem of their seemingly deliberate failure is coming up for sale.
When GM announced last week that it wants to increase Cadillac’s share of the global luxury market from 8.5 percent now to 9 percent by 2016, we opined that from “looking at the plan, GM appears to be betting big on the success of its new Chinese assembly plant.” It turns out that Cadillac is betting big on China. Cadillac “aims to quadruple its share of China’s luxury auto market to 10 percent by 2020,” Reuters reports today.
By 2020, GM is “targeting about 250,000 luxury car sales in China,” says Reuters. It will be rough.
Toyota’s main corporate website in Japan has been hacked. According to a Toyota spokesman in Tokyo, Toyota’s main corporate website at www.toyota.co.jp was penetrated by unknown attackers. Data on the site was changed, the hack then led users to a fraudulent website, where they may have caught malware. According to a Toyota statement, the malware should be detected by modern malware checkers. Read More >