Posts By: Mark Stevenson

By on November 22, 2016

2016 Ford Mustang V6 Convertible interior, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Hey, let’s give this a try again.

Do you hear that sound? It’s the collective silence of every cheerleader in America not giving a single care to the possible death of a V6-powered Mustang. Even though the automatic, drop-top, V6 Mustang is colloquially called the Cheerleader Edition, do you think Sally McJumpyskirt really cares if four or six or eight pistons are doing battle with physics under the hood? Nope.

But we’re different. We care that the V6 offers a more aurally pleasing soundtrack than the cookie-cutter 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder model. We care that, in the real world, the V6 will likely return fuel economy that’s nearly as good as its smaller, boosted cousin. We care that the tried-and-true 3.7-liter V6 is just that — tried and true.

Yet, I can’t help but not care about its death.

(Read More…)

By on November 20, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-11-19 at 9.09.25 AM

Last week, on TTAC’s 15th birthday, I asked you — all of you — for your input on what TTAC should be going forward. I wanted to know what we were missing. Thankfully, TTAC’s leaders have a history of holding open conversations with its readership.

It’s this open communication that’s such a blessing during an age of websites shutting down their comment areas by throwing the uncivil baby out with the bathwater in the name of civility. If anything, empty commentary is civil. It also isn’t commentary.

But we are not empty. You filled the space with a chorus of over 300 comments. We’ve listened and have already begun making changes behind the scenes to put your suggestions in motion.

However, I also need to address the elephant in the room. Actually, there are a few.

(Read More…)

By on November 19, 2016

The enduring popularity of the Chevrolet Equinox has led General Motors to some creative manufacturing approaches to keep up with demand. In addition to the crossoverÕs assembly home in Ingersoll, Ontario, GM runs a shuttle system that takes Equinox bodies to Oshawa, Ont., for painting and final production, Image: General Motors Canada

After a long-fought public relations campaign by General Motors Canada and Unifor, and a collective agreement that sees Unifor-GM temporary workers converted to full-time employment, Oshawa Assembly is on the up as pickup truck final assembly will run alongside Cadillac XTS production in the future.

However, that truck production can’t sustain Oshawa Assembly in the long-term, and sources within the company are saying more product is on the way for the beleaguered plant.

According to two General Motors representatives, one on each side of the border, Oshawa will produce vehicles in addition to the still unannounced pickup final assembly and Cadillac XTS.

(Read More…)

By on November 14, 2016

TTAC Logos

When I first joined The Truth About Cars in April of 2015, I made it my mission to catch up on TTAC’s illustrious history. I marked a date in my calendar: November 14th, the date of TTAC’s first published post, which makes today TTAC’s 15th anniversary.

TTAC has done a lot in 15 years. It’s offered up honest, informative, and entertaining reviews, which many in the industry still describe as “brutal” — a descriptor we wear with pride. We’ve kept an eye on the Detroit Three before, during, and after the massive bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler. We’ve kept Silicon Valley and government honest. And we’ve launched the careers of some of the industry’s most trusted critics (and others who completely sold out — you can’t hit a homerun every time you step up to the plate).

It’s easy to look back on 15 years of history with a romantic view, but it’s infinitely more difficult to predict and anticipate the future.

That’s why I come before you today.

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By on November 8, 2016

As I drive the new 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback through the yellow leaves of Ontario’s autumn, a very tired metaphor comes to mind. You probably know the one. It includes a guy with the initials R.F. — and no, not the one who founded this particular corner of the internet. I’m going to refuse this inspiration. Leveraging […]

By on October 28, 2016

AJAC Canadian Car of the Year 2016

This week, Canada’s most vaunted automotive journalists are at the nation’s best known race track — Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, or Mosport if you’re over the age of 12 — putting the market’s newest vehicles through their paces in a series of tests to select the Canadian Car of the Year.

This year’s event is, on the surface, no different from prior years. However, there is something truly exceptional about the event, dubbed TestFest, for 2016.

The award for Canadian Car of the Year, no matter which automaker wins it, doesn’t matter in the least.

(Read More…)

By on October 23, 2016

Third-generation Buick GL8, Image: GM

It’s no secret General Motors’ Buick division does the majority of its business in China. The tri-shield brand offers up six separate nameplates in North America for 2017 while giving customers in China the choice of 10 (or 11, depending on how you count them) different nameplates.

One of the models Buick offers in China that it doesn’t offer here is this: the Buick GL8 — and it has a 30-year-old secret beneath its newly redesigned skin.

(Read More…)

By on October 21, 2016

Fisker Hype Machine w/ Comments, Image Source: Fisker Inc.

Whenever you hear the words online reputation management, two underhanded marketing activities should immediately come to mind.

The first: fake reviews. There are agencies that exist solely to place fake reviews on sites like Yelp, DealerRater, and Google Reviews to increase a business’s overall rating. For a great example of this, see Bark M.’s piece on Orlando Kia West.

The second reputation management tactic is to, again, hire an agency to place comments from fake readers in article comments that cover topics related to a particular business.

It’s this second tactic we are going to discuss today.

Fisker is no stranger to controversy and bad press. However, much of the automotive press is more than willing — more than happy, even — to give Henrik and his new company a “get out of jail free” card as it covers the new Fisker Inc. Yet, a small subset of the media exists to find the real story behind the press release and we’re more than willing to offer up the bad news with the good.

Fisker or another actor (who we’ll get to in a moment) is trying to make those professional opinions irrelevant by any means necessary. And they’re using — wait for it — an Indian online reputation management company to lift its own corporate profile and wage a proxy war against Karma Automotive, the same company Henrik founded as Fisker Automotive in 2007.

(Read More…)

By on October 9, 2016

1993 Mitsubishi Diamante wagon, Image: © 2015 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars

Carlos Ghosn, the synergizing executive that Sergio Marchionne only wishes he could be, isn’t mincing words when it comes to Nissan’s plans for fledgling automaker Mitsubishi.

According to the Renault-Nissan top boss, the deal between Nissan and Mitsubishi is “massive.”

(Read More…)

By on October 9, 2016

General Motors Centre

General Motors may have committed to its Oshawa assembly facilities, but it’s a different story for the city’s main arena.

General Motors Centre, a 10-year-old facility in Oshawa, will see its name change after another company secured naming rights.

According to DurhamRegion.com, the arena will be renamed Tribute Communities Centre on November 1st.

(Read More…)

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