Posts By: Tim Healey

By on October 20, 2017

newspapers

As you’ve no doubt already seen, Tim Cain is leaving us to pursue another opportunity. We wish him well, but as punishment, he owes us Timbits from Tim Hortons. Lots of Timbits. Like, caseloads.

Confectionery jokes that I have already run into the ground aside, what does this mean for the site? If you love Tim’s sales analysis, it will still be a part of TTAC – just less often. He will still post for us a few times a month on a part-time basis.

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By on October 18, 2017

2018 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T - Image: Honda

If the 2018 Honda Accord tickles your fancy, you can head to your local Honda store and plunk down some cash on the hood (figuratively, of course – cash on the hood would just blow away in the wind).

We’ve driven the new Accord, which drops the V6 and coupe models, and we came away liking it but wishing for a little more sport.

Regardless, with the rival Camry also being all-new for 2018, Honda has made sure it has a fresh, new generation on hand to continue the rivalry. All this despite concerns about the mid-size sedan segment as a whole – concerns Honda has dismissed.

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By on October 18, 2017

Outside of perhaps its front styling – especially the slightly bug-eyed headlamps and the pinched grille – the Kia Niro doesn’t really stand out in a crowd. It’s quiet, thanks to a hybrid powertrain. It’s compact in length and height. It has a driving experience that isn’t memorable in ways good or bad. And none […]

By on October 16, 2017

I’m normally among the first to roll my eyes when automakers speak about “brand identity” and other such marketing claptrap, but when Land Rover employees speak of how the new Range Rover Velar fits in with the brand, it is hard to deny that they’re being accurate. Whatever it is – or isn’t – the […]

By on October 12, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Tahoe LS - Image: Chevrolet

A standard part of the dealership test drive experience involves the salesperson grabbing the key to the car in question out of a lockbox, then accompanying the customer on the drive. A new patent filing suggests General Motors may be looking for a way to give customers access to the car without requiring a salesperson to dig through a box of keys.

GM appears to be working on a patent that would allow customers to have a temporary digital key granted to them in order to gain access to a vehicle they want to test drive.

The system would work like this: Interested customer applies for the key, the dealer verifies the buyer’s interest and identity, dealer approves the test drive and monitors it. If the customer doesn’t want to buy the car, the dealer can revoke the digital key authentication, and it can also do the same to a prior key holder if the vehicle is used and someone other than the first title holder buys it. (Read More…)

By on October 6, 2017

If I were opening a performance driving school tomorrow and needed to strike a deal with an OEM for a supply of cars, the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ would be on that list. To be sure, plenty of other production cars are well-suited to the purpose of instructing students. Last time I went through a track […]

By on October 5, 2017

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Our resident document digger, Bozi Tatarevic, stumbled upon a document submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that may confirm at least some details about the next Jeep Wrangler.

The docs appear to confirm that the upcoming JL-platform Wrangler will offer two engines at launch – a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 285 horsepower and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 368 horsepower. Yes, you read that right.

The other piece of news gleaned from the submitted docs is that the Wrangler will initially debut as four-door only. Just three trim levels were listed: Sport Unlimited, Sahara Unlimited, and Rubicon Unlimited.

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By on October 3, 2017

There’s only one reason for the Dodge Demon to exist, and that’s to go fast in a straight line, preferably at a dragstrip. Which is why I haven’t fully understood the point of the car, at least up until now. And maybe I still don’t. I mean, how many dedicated drag racers are out there […]

By on October 2, 2017

Let’s get this out of the way up front – I’ve always had a soft spot for the Honda Accord. I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a fanboy, but I am a former owner of an ‘90s-era Accord coupe (I bought it used in 2005 or so and sold it in 2012) […]

By on September 22, 2017

GM

The only people who like towing companies, it seems, are those who make money off them.

A Detroit-area towing company is accused of doing something that will make the rest of us hate towing companies even more, if the allegations are true.

It all started last year, with multiple investigations into Detroit police officers suspected of taking bribes in exchange for giving business to select tow companies.

Nationwide Recovery, the company at the center of this story, sued the city of Detroit in July of this year, claiming that the city pulled its permit illegally. Nationwide claims it had nothing to do with the bribery scheme and so its permit shouldn’t have been revoked. The city of Detroit said that wasn’t true and went to federal court to explain why.

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By on September 21, 2017

Let’s get this out of the way right up front: The 2017 Honda Civic Si is not a baby Civic Type R. Yes, it shares the name and platform, but not only does it differ mechanically and stylistically in key ways, it also provides a different driving experience. Different, but still excellent. Just a different […]

By on September 19, 2017

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

Before joining the gang at TTAC, I was freelancing, and a lot of my work centered around electric vehicles. Which means I was reading and writing a lot about Tesla, especially during that time a few months ago when the small California-based automaker somehow became the most valuable automaker in the world, at least from Wall Street’s perspective, based solely on its potential.

Some of my work took me into the depths of the pro-Tesla blogosphere. While these sites can serve as valuable sources for news about the company, they also have an unabashed pro-Tesla stance. Objective, they (mostly) ain’t.

And that’s okay – while many, if not most, media outlets default towards being as objective as possible, there’s no rule stating that your blog or outlet has to be objective. It’s okay for HuffPo to be leftist and National Review to lean right. And so it is with outlets that cover Tesla – no one expects Teslarati to be critical of the brand.

It’s one thing to have pro-Tesla blogs, of course, but another to be unable to even talk about the brand without dividing into two tribes – the fanboys who think Tesla is the best company ever and can do no wrong (as it disrupts the industry and solves every one of the world’s problems), and the “haters” who think that Tesla is doomed to fail any day now and it’s a minor miracle the company has lasted this long.

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By on September 13, 2017

Not long ago, I wrote glowingly about the new Honda Civic Type R. Part of my praise was based on the fact that the Type R is bargain-priced compared to its competition. Yeah, I liked the Type R. A lot. Even took a little crap in the comments for it (fair enough). But again, a […]

By on September 6, 2017

Let me start this review off with a promise: I will try to avoid any “VTEC kicked in, yo” jokes. That’s in part because the 2017 Honda Civic Type R doesn’t exhibit the behavior of past VTEC engines that inspired the jokes, but mainly because the meme is played out. Full disclosure: Honda provided us […]

By on August 25, 2017

pexels-photo-279949

For a variety of reasons (the post-recession binge finally cooling off is the biggest), new-car sales are down in the United States. One would expect that would hurt the revenue of new-car dealerships. Not so much, it turns out, as dealers have found other ways to generate revenue. Or at least that’s what a Bloomberg report says. But there are caveats that suggest the Bloomberg piece may be generalizing. In other words, maybe some shops are seeing more revenue from more work, but other shops aren’t, even as they get busier, due to other factors.

Traditionally, new-car dealerships have always generated revenue and profit from their service and parts departments – and those departments outshine sales at many stores. So it’s not surprising to see dealers turning to a reliable profit center when sales slump.

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