For decades, big corporate profits were blasted as a sign of greed, especially by unions. GM changed all that. When a sheep dipped GM, free of legacy finance costs, and not paying taxes due to losses a normal company would not have been able to carry over after a bankruptcy, declared a record $7.6 billion profit in 2011, chests of GM boosters swelled with pride, as if the profits had been theirs. A year later, there is $2.7 billion less to be proud of. GM’s European millstone, Opel, continues to drag the company down. Opel’s operative losses more than doubled to $1.8 billion for all of 2012. Read More >
BMW took a break from the arduous job of creating new variations of its Mini, and went to a party. Even that was strictly business, Mini was the official partner of the Grammy after party at the Chateau Marmont, a hotel famous for its dead celebrities. Read More >
Consumer Reports tested the latest offerings of Detroit automakers, did not like the Dodge Dart, was frustrated by the Cadillac XTS, was underwhelmed by the Lincoln MKS, and put off by the Chevrolet Spark. CR ended up recommending a Japanese Lexus ES instead. Read More >
Yesterday, we told you about that miracle battery, Toyota allegedly has developed. The Nikkei [sub] said it will double the range of an EV. The Tokyo wire quoted researchers as saying that they “may also be able to achieve a driving range of between 500km and 1,000km” (310 to 620 miles), You possibly noticed the skeptical tone when we reported on the report . As it turns out, the Nikkei was a bit – exuberant. Read More >
In September, click-hungry Kelley Blue Book celebrated its “10 coolest cars under $12,000” (With click-triggering gallery!) Two months later, rampant inflation sets in. Now, it’s the “10 coolest cars under $25,000.” Necessarily, the September choices were a bit low rent. Let’s see what you get when you double your budget. All 10 of them. With pictures. And then, we’ll take revenge on Kelley and crown our own super cool car. Read More >
Nissan’s chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga said he was “disappointed and frustrated” by the lackluster sales of electric vehicles in general and the Leaf in particular. Speaking at the mid-term results press conference at the Nissan HQ in Yokohama, his emotional appeal to recognize Nissan’s pioneering efforts in the field of zero emissions had undertones of an eulogy on the electric vehicle: Read More >
Hey there, autocrossers! Aren’t you tired of explaining to that stacked little “administrative assistant” down the hall that you race on a parking lot, not a racetrack? Would you like to change that in a way that preserves your car and your own scaly hide? Would you like to face off against TTAC’s
only most feared racers? Of course you would.
Nordschleife-enthusiasts, head for your lists. Still a year away from its official launch, the Porsche 918 Spyder rounded the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 07:14 minutes. Not bad for a plug-in hybrid. The timing however, could have been a bit more high-tech. Read More >
Eric’s a pretty decent bloke. A retired teacher and UK import, he’s been living on our little block since 1968. Always quick with a wave or a clap on the back, he and his wife were first at our door to welcome us into the neighbourhood, gift-basket in hand. Since then, he’s been the consummate gentleman, nodding attentively when I’m describing my plans for the place, never intrusive, respecting our privacy but always politely interested in how we’re doing. The perfect neighbour: Fred Rogers could take lessons.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t care if he was a semi-reformed axe-murderer with a peacock-sanctuary in the backyard and a penchant for three a.m. amateur bagpipe practice – he’s got a pickup truck. Read More >
The dream is always the same.
The day is ending. Cool evening breezes riffle across the sun-scorched furze and set dried leaves a-rustling in the trees, their sibilant hiss like the restless fluttering of a thousand small birds. Long and dappled shadows stretch flickering fingers across the hot tarmac of the final corner.
There is a crowd and they are silent, expectant and indistinct: faces like the smudged soft-focus colours of an impressionist oil-painting amongst the flapping flags. Insects hop and buzz in the long grasses; gradually, slowly, their hum is blended, enhanced, and finally supplanted by a rising crescendo.
The pack is coming, and Kaida is leading them. Read More >
Who needs a mid-engined rice racer to drift? Latest dispatches from Russia show that with a little training, your can even drift when pulling a trailer. This creates so much enthusiasm that the camera car engages in a little sympathetic drifting as well.
GM CEO Dan Akerson might be in another one of his battles with the truth.
In a softballed interview with Fortune, GM’s CEO Dan Akerson said that he was suddenly and surprisingly drafted to lead GM as if it was time to go to war. “This was a call to service for me,” said Akerson, as he wrapped himself in a red, white, and blue flag and regaled interviewer Geoff Colvin with stories from the U.S. Naval Academy. Akerson makes the CEO job sound like a hardship post: Read More >
In case you did not get your tickets to the 2012 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, held at the Lake Como in Italy, or if you did not want to trade barbecue for bietole, there is a monster gallery of the Zagato Coupe after the jump. Read More >