The Truth About Cars » Media http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:20:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Media http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/media-2/ Columnist: Consumer Reports ‘Prostituted’ Itself With Tesla Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/columnist-consumer-reports-prostituted-tesla-review/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/columnist-consumer-reports-prostituted-tesla-review/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:30:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1157098 Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins (great name) slammed Consumer Reports for its glowing review and better-than-perfect score for the Tesla Model S P85D, in part, because the $127,000 car still qualifies for a government tax break. “Prostitute is not too strong a word,” he wrote. “… (Consumer Reports) is shilling not only for the […]

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2012 Tesla Model S

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins (great name) slammed Consumer Reports for its glowing review and better-than-perfect score for the Tesla Model S P85D, in part, because the $127,000 car still qualifies for a government tax break.

“Prostitute is not too strong a word,” he wrote. “… (Consumer Reports) is shilling not only for the car but the government policies that subsidize it.”

Jenkins takes aim at the state and federal tax incentives still available for the vehicle — which are going away in many places — and at the magazine for hyping its review so heavily, and subsequently giving it away for free on its subscription-based website.

Jenkins’ point is re-enforced by the fact that Consumer Reports sent to media an embargoed statement summarizing their review the day before it was published, which is unusual for the consumer magazine.

Included in the statement:

“The P85D represents a glimpse into the future of automotive technology in which cars will be more energy-efficient than ever, while still delivering a terrific blend of performance and practicality,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing in the statement. “The Tesla is a shining example of how higher fuel economy standards can be achieved without sacrificing performance.”

Jenkins aimed at that performance by saying that if Consumer Reports was concerned with energy efficiency, it wouldn’t hype the battery draining “insane” and “ludicrous” speed modes in its review.

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Consumer Reports Rates ‘Imperfect’ Car With Perfect Score http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/consumer-reports-rates-imperfect-car-perfect-score/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/consumer-reports-rates-imperfect-car-perfect-score/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1154009 Consumer Reports says that Tesla’s Model S P85D initially scored 103 points out of a possible 100, which initially “broke” their rating system. Consumer Reports adjusted the overall score to 100, and said that the Model S P85D wasn’t perfect, but that it was very good: To be clear, the Tesla’s 100 score doesn’t make […]

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Tesla P85D Backside

Consumer Reports says that Tesla’s Model S P85D initially scored 103 points out of a possible 100, which initially “broke” their rating system.

Consumer Reports adjusted the overall score to 100, and said that the Model S P85D wasn’t perfect, but that it was very good:

To be clear, the Tesla’s 100 score doesn’t make the P85D a perfect car—even at $127,820. It has imperfections. The interior materials aren’t as opulent as other high-ticket automobiles, and its ride is firmer and louder than our base Model S.

What’s more, a lengthy road trip in an electric car with a 200-plus mile range can be a logistical hurdle if a quick-charging station isn’t along your route.

It’s also important to note that our Rating doesn’t include the Tesla’s reliability. The Model S has average reliability, according to our owner-survey responses.

The Model S P85D sports upgrades beyond the Model S, including “insane” and “ludicrous” speed modes that can propel the car from 0-60 in fewer than 3 seconds.

Previously, the Model S was the highest-rated car Consumer Reports had ever tested. The 1996 Porsche Boxster also scored a “perfect” 100 almost 20 years ago.

Consumer Reports said that the 103 score and its subsequent re-scoring of 100 wouldn’t impact other cars’ ratings.

“This car is not perfect in every single way,” said Jake Fisher, Auto Test Director for Consumer Reports. “It doesn’t fit in the rest of the automotive marketplace.”

Fisher added that the scoring system was “non-linear,” meaning cars wouldn’t need to accelerate from 0-60 mph in around 3 seconds to score well on the test.

According to the testers, the Model S P85D’s interior shortcomings and initial buyer satisfaction were more-than compensated by the car’s performance and fuel economy, which are both greater than the Model S.

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Chevrolet Says Journalist’s Packed-up Corvette Z06 Had Dirty Oil http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chevrolet-says-journalists-packed-up-corvette-z06-had-dirty-oil/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/chevrolet-says-journalists-packed-up-corvette-z06-had-dirty-oil/#comments Sat, 22 Aug 2015 14:02:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1150809 Last time we heard from Fox’s Gary Gastelu, he was reporting that his test Z06 gave up during his track run in a spectacular shower of oil and grease and bits and fun. Now, he says Chevrolet has told him what went wrong and it’s a familiar story: After bringing it back to Chevrolet HQ for […]

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2015-Chevrolet-CorvetteZ06-003-sm

Last time we heard from Fox’s Gary Gastelu, he was reporting that his test Z06 gave up during his track run in a spectacular shower of oil and grease and bits and fun.

Now, he says Chevrolet has told him what went wrong and it’s a familiar story:

After bringing it back to Chevrolet HQ for inspection, the engineers determined that the likely cause was a piston connecting rod bearing that was damaged by debris in the oil that was left behind after tapping the threads for the oil filter. Once a piece gets jammed in there, it starts creating more debris, which keeps making things worse until finally … kablooey. In this case, it took out a few more pistons with it.

Chevrolet says that the number of affected engines are in less than one percent (they all seem to be early engines, with contaminated oil and fewer than 2,000 miles) of all Z06 cars.

Gastelu said the tester Corvette he drove never received the oil change after 500 miles that Chevrolet recommends to keep the engine from catastrophic failure. The cause for the failure may be thread shavings for the oil filter that may have made their way into the engine and circulated through the engine.

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Saskatoon Strippers Protest Law With Charity Car Wash http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/saskatoon-strippers-protest-law-charity-car-wash/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/saskatoon-strippers-protest-law-charity-car-wash/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 22:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1146417 Strippers who are peeved about Saskatoon’s recent law banning peeling in bars held a charity car wash Aug. 16 to benefit breast cancer — and protest the new law — CTV is reporting. Dancers from the Pink Champagne Girls company say a court reversal of a law that allowed them to strip down to their underwear in […]

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Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 1.40.43 PM

Strippers who are peeved about Saskatoon’s recent law banning peeling in bars held a charity car wash Aug. 16 to benefit breast cancer — and protest the new law — CTV is reporting.

Dancers from the Pink Champagne Girls company say a court reversal of a law that allowed them to strip down to their underwear in March is hurting their business. The company said it raised $600 for charity from the car wash.

“It’s kind of a boobs-for-boobs thing. We thought it would fit in nicely,” Emily Kempin, owner of the Pink Champagne Girls, told CBC.

Bad weather pushed the car wash from Aug. 15 to Aug. 16.

“Do your share, Save a pair! We are doing this as a protest! We should be able to work in a safe environment!” the group wrote on its Facebook page.

Strippers are allowed to work private parties in Saskatoon, according to reports, but not in public places such as bars.

(Photo courtesy CTV)

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New Prius Will Be Shown Next Month in Las Vegas http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/new-prius-will-shown-next-month-las-vegas/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/new-prius-will-shown-next-month-las-vegas/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 17:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1145889 Toyota’s next-generation Prius, which will be the first use of the automaker’s new global platform, will be shown to media in Las Vegas next month, Bloomberg is reporting (via Autoblog). The report doesn’t specify when the automaker would build the next-gen Prius, or why it chose southern Nevada in the summertime for its reveal (Tesla speculation […]

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2016 Toyota Prius Getting Gas At Vons

Toyota’s next-generation Prius, which will be the first use of the automaker’s new global platform, will be shown to media in Las Vegas next month, Bloomberg is reporting (via Autoblog).

The report doesn’t specify when the automaker would build the next-gen Prius, or why it chose southern Nevada in the summertime for its reveal (Tesla speculation starts now).

Sales of the Prius have declined since 2007 and 2008 when average gas prices in the U.S. hovered around $4 per gallon. Toyota hasn’t fully updated the Prius since 2009, with a mild refresh gracing the hybrid in 2011.

Bloomberg notes that the eco-friendly Prius may have lost sales to all-electric cars — Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, and others — in the time it’s taken Toyota to update it.

The automaker began taking reservations in California last month for its hydrogen-powered Mirai.

According to our own Bark Maruth, we should expect glowing coverage of the Prius from reporters from carsaregoodandfun.net sometime next month.

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Analyst: Tesla Could Surge with Autonomous Ride Sharing Biz http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/analyst-tesla-surge-autonomous-ride-sharing-biz/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/analyst-tesla-surge-autonomous-ride-sharing-biz/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 17:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1144945 Tesla’s ride-sharing business could be worth hundreds of millions to the company in the future, an analyst for Morgan Stanley said Monday. Adam Jonas increased his price target for Tesla from $280 to $465 — but said the stock could go even higher to $611 — based on his forecast that Tesla could introduce an autonomous ride-sharing […]

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2012 Tesla Model S

Tesla’s ride-sharing business could be worth hundreds of millions to the company in the future, an analyst for Morgan Stanley said Monday.

Adam Jonas increased his price target for Tesla from $280 to $465 — but said the stock could go even higher to $611 — based on his forecast that Tesla could introduce an autonomous ride-sharing service by as early as 2018, Bloomberg reported.

It’s at least the third time that Jonas has publicly pumped Tesla’s stock.

Jonas says that Tesla’s future could be in part-time car ownership or autonomous sharing, which could position the carmaker with the likes of Apple or Google who may be building cars for those purposes.

Jonas dubbed the prospective venture “Tesla Mobility” although the automaker hasn’t publicly shared plans for that kind of service. Jonas said the automaker could make public plans for a ride-sharing program in 12 to 18 months, with a launch shortly after the mid-size Model 3 in 2017. He predicted that Tesla could launch a fully autonomous, ride sharing program in roughly 10 years.

Before people could split payments for robot cars, Jonas says that there would be two phases: a semi-autonomous phase and then a nearly completely autonomous phase before launching a fully driver-less car in 2025.

Jonas asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk about the program earlier this month during an earnings call and Musk was predictably tight-lipped:

Jonas: First question: Steve Jurvetson was recently quoted saying that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told him that if by 2020 Tesla’s cars are autonomous, that he’d want to buy all of them. Is this a real, I mean, forget the 2020 for a moment, but is this a real business opportunity for Tesla? Supplying cars to ridesharing firms, or does Tesla just cut out the middleman and sell on-demand, electric mobility services directly from the company on its own platform?

Musk: That’s an insightful question.

Jonas: You don’t have to answer it.

Musk: I don’t think I should answer it.

Jonas: Sometimes you can tell more from the non-answer than from the answer.

Shares of Tesla were up 1.5 percent in early trading Tuesday to $259.05.

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Lutz: GM-Chrysler Merger Makes Sense http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/lutz-gm-chrysler-merger-makes-sense/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/lutz-gm-chrysler-merger-makes-sense/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 18:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1134001 My goodness, when isn’t former General Motors exec Bob Lutz just the best? The former GM chief recently appeared on an Automotive News panel and boy that guy has vision and the rest of us have bifocals. Car and Driver correctly points out that Lutz makes good points regarding a merger between GM and Chrysler, but […]

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Bob Lutz  Picture courtesy dailytech.com

My goodness, when isn’t former General Motors exec Bob Lutz just the best? The former GM chief recently appeared on an Automotive News panel and boy that guy has vision and the rest of us have bifocals.

Car and Driver correctly points out that Lutz makes good points regarding a merger between GM and Chrysler, but the sage’s wisdom doesn’t stop at the following quote:

“The knowledge that one is to be hanged in the morning focuses the mind wonderfully.”

Lutz, alongside TrueCar President John Krafcik, former BorgWarner CEO Tim Manganello, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, among others, waxed philosophical on the car business and its apparently shrinking economy of scale.

Lutz said GM tried to buy Chrysler twice and that it would have made sense for the automakers: their headquarters are close, and there were efficiencies in their powertrains, i.e. Hummer and Jeep.

“I was always in favor of GM acquiring Chrysler and I honestly think it would deserve a serious look now. You would get synergies … which would be massive,” he told the panel.

And “Maximum Bob” being “Maximum Bob”:

“We look at DaimlerChrysler as having been a failed merger. Well, it wasn’t failed for the Chrysler shareholders. At the time of the merger, the Chrysler shareholders realized an enormous gain.

“The subsequent execution was flawed in that Daimler never stepped in. Everybody kept doing their own architecture, and you had the hubris as part of the Mercedes [side] that said, ‘We will never use a Chrysler engine.’ I have news for you: Our four-cam V-6 engine 3.2-liter was every bit as good as the equivalent Mercedes-Benz.”

And then cynical, coal-powered Bob:

“I don’t know if anybody noticed, but full-size sport-utilities used to be — just a few years ago used to be $42,000, all in, fully equipped. You can’t touch a Chevy Tahoe for under about $65 (thousand) now. Yukons are in the $70 (thousands). The Escalade comfortably hits $100 (thousand). (Eds Note: It gets comfortably close.) Three or four years ago they were about $60,000. What this is, is companies trying to recover what they’re losing at the other end with what I call compliance vehicles, which are Chevy Volts, Bolts, plug-in Cadillacs and fuel cell vehicles.”

Don’t you dare change, Bob.

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Whoa, Don’t Get Amped About Your Free Model X Just Yet http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/whoa-dont-get-amped-free-model-x-yet/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/whoa-dont-get-amped-free-model-x-yet/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 20:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1130529 Yesterday, we reported that in a sales call, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced a referral program that could, possibly, maybe net one free Model X for someone who referred 10 new buyers. The qualifications for getting the free car: Refer 10 buyers by Oct. 31 and be the first in your “region” to do so. […]

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Tesla Model S Center Stage

Yesterday, we reported that in a sales call, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced a referral program that could, possibly, maybe net one free Model X for someone who referred 10 new buyers.

The qualifications for getting the free car: Refer 10 buyers by Oct. 31 and be the first in your “region” to do so.

Turns out “region” doesn’t mean what we think it does.

According to a Tesla spokesman, “region” in this case means “country.” As in, apparently, one (1) Model X will be awarded to a single (1) person in the U.S. for referring 10 new Model S buyers.

In case you’re wondering, the U.S. is a larger market for Tesla than the next nine countries combined.

So if you live in Switzerland, it may be a good deal to get your friends to buy a Tesla and score your own for free. If you live in Dallas, however, you should probably line up your friends at the “dealership” today.

Lesson: Elon Musk is really, really good at marketing.

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Tesla Dead Last in Dealer Experience, First in PR http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/tesla-dead-last-dealer-experience-first-pr/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/tesla-dead-last-dealer-experience-first-pr/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 13:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1110609 We have opined in these pages before about how for every Tesla sold in America, there are two or three glowing stories written about the electric automaker. There are days when over 50 percent of the pieces on auto industry news feeds are about Tesla, which is not bad for a company capturing 0.1 percent of the U.S. automobile market. Tesla Motors […]

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Tesla Store

We have opined in these pages before about how for every Tesla sold in America, there are two or three glowing stories written about the electric automaker. There are days when over 50 percent of the pieces on auto industry news feeds are about Tesla, which is not bad for a company capturing 0.1 percent of the U.S. automobile market. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is truly a marketing and public relations genius.

Given that, it is fascinating when a negative story surfaces about Tesla’s way of doing business and the slobbering media is strangely silent. 

A customer study conducted by research firm Pied Piper Management Company revealed that Tesla dealers are dead last in converting prospects into buyers. Labeling Tesla sales representatives as “museum curators,” PPMC calls Tesla out for not asking questions about prospects’ driving habits and how they plan to use their new vehicle, as well as their inability to ask for the sale. PPMC noted that the fact that many Tesla outlets are not able to offer test drives, which also contributed to the poor ranking.

2015 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index

Said PPMC chief Fran O’Hagan:

“Dealerships that sell proactively — think of them as doing everything they can to be helpful to a car-shopper — not only end up selling a lot more vehicles, they also end up with happy shoppers and customers. On the other hand, customers don’t usually mind the ‘museum curator’ dealerships, with courteous salespeople who answer questions but do nothing to proactively sell. The difference is that the ‘museum curator’ dealerships end up much less successful; selling fewer vehicles … “

Say what you want about the current franchised dealer system, but what is wrong with showing interest in the customer, offering a demo drive and asking for the sale? It is not happening at Tesla outlets.

Mercedes-Benz backed up their up recent winning of the J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index award by topping the PPMC survey. I can tell you from firsthand experience that Mercedes-Benz has tirelessly worked the past four years to change the culture of their dealerships’ sales operations and the top ranking shows their efforts are paying off.

The PPMC survey supports what we wrote in 2013: If Tesla wants to succeed in America they need to drop their direct sales strategy and join the traditional franchised dealer network by partnering with an established brand. If not, and their government subsidies dry up, Tesla will be a goner.

(As an aside, it is nice to see PPMC emerge as a potential competitor to long-time customer satisfaction surveying firm J.D. Power and Associates, a company despised by automakers. They complain that J.D. Power is a monopoly and that they charge outrageous fees to advertise winning an award. The sheer number of J.D. Power surveys about the automobile buying and ownership experience is so high that I expect to see this headline someday, “Jeep Wins J.D. Power Award For Customer Satisfaction For Windshield Wiper Stalk Operation During The First 47 Days Of Ownership.”)

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Report: Hummer Recall Only Happened After NHTSA Threatened GM http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/report-hummer-recall-happened-nhtsa-threatened-gm/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/report-hummer-recall-happened-nhtsa-threatened-gm/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 21:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1115425 Jalopnik has an interesting story today about how General Motors negotiated its way into recalling 200,000 Hummers only after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration threatened to launch a formal investigation. Last week, Hummer recalled nearly 200,000 SUVs due to an increased fire risk because of a faulty HVAC harness that could melt and catch fire. GM knew about the problem […]

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Hummer H3. Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

Jalopnik has an interesting story today about how General Motors negotiated its way into recalling 200,000 Hummers only after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration threatened to launch a formal investigation.

Last week, Hummer recalled nearly 200,000 SUVs due to an increased fire risk because of a faulty HVAC harness that could melt and catch fire.

GM knew about the problem in 2008, Jalopnik writes, and did nothing until issuing a recall this July.

The story details a growing schism between NHTSA and automakers, who’ve been accused of having a cozy relationship before.

Officials at GM presented NHTSA officials with their accounting of the increased fire risk in Hummer H3 and H3T models in January. When federal officials audited the numbers later, they discovered a larger number of incidents than what GM may have reported.

According to Jalopnik, federal safety officials gave GM an ultimatum in June: recall or risk a federal investigation. GM issued a recall notice on July 9.

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Smart Decides Cursing Children Are Hilarious, Clever [Video] http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/smart-decides-cursing-children-hilarious-clever/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/smart-decides-cursing-children-hilarious-clever/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 22:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1111105 Ahead of its new Fortwo and Forfour models, Smart is releasing an advertisement destined to live only on the Internet. The ad — titled “Swearing Kids” — is completely self-explanatory and accurate. It is wholly uncensored and mostly funny and full of naughty language that’s definitely Not Smart For Work. Like anyone with children will […]

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Smart advertisement

Ahead of its new Fortwo and Forfour models, Smart is releasing an advertisement destined to live only on the Internet.

The ad — titled “Swearing Kids” — is completely self-explanatory and accurate. It is wholly uncensored and mostly funny and full of naughty language that’s definitely Not Smart For Work.

Like anyone with children will tell you, kids have a habit of picking up foul language from parents and repeating it at the most inopportune times.

George Carlin can’t be too proud, though, as the purveyor of micro cars only covered just two of his seven dirty words.

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Hyundai New Official Sponsor Of NFL, Official Truck Title Open To Others http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-new-official-sponsor-of-nfl-official-truck-title-open-to-others/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/hyundai-new-official-sponsor-of-nfl-official-truck-title-open-to-others/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1102969 Are you ready for some football? Along with some bulgogi and a pack of Hite? Hyundai is, as it is the new official automotive sponsor of the NFL. According to ESPN, Hyundai will pay $50 million per year for the honor of taking up where General Motors will leave off beginning this season, The Detroit […]

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Hyundai And The NFL - This Is Football, Oppa Gangham Style

Are you ready for some football? Along with some bulgogi and a pack of Hite? Hyundai is, as it is the new official automotive sponsor of the NFL.

According to ESPN, Hyundai will pay $50 million per year for the honor of taking up where General Motors will leave off beginning this season, The Detroit News reports. However, the deal only covers cars; the NFL can still award an “Official Truck of the NFL” to a sponsor of its choosing, so long as it doesn’t compete with Hyundai. The automaker’s official titles include car, SUV and luxury vehicle of the NFL.

Though GM no longer is the official sponsor — it cancelled its $25 million/year agreement with the league earlier this year, bringing an end to a relationship begun in 2001 — truck brand GMC will still have a presence on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

Hyundai’s sponsorship of the NFL joins other automakers and brands in the game, including Kia’s relationship with the NBA, Chevrolet providing trucks with “technology and stuff” to Major League Baseball, Honda skating to where the puck will be for the NHL, and Audi shooting the winning goal into the back of the net for Major League Soccer.

The first instance of Hyundai’s new relationship will appear September 10, where the automaker will have a major presence during NFL Kickoff festivities.

(Photo credit: Hyundai)

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Lowrider Magazine Founder Sonny Madrid Dead At 70 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/lowrider-magazine-founder-sonny-madrid-dead-at-70/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/lowrider-magazine-founder-sonny-madrid-dead-at-70/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 20:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1100041 The founder of Lowrider magazine, Sonny Madrid, died Monday at 70. The San Jose, Calif. native founded the iconic magazine during the mid-1970s, Hemmings Daily reports, when two events linked to his previous magazines — published as a student at San Jose State University — provided the seed capital needed to launch the first issue […]

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Sonny MadridThe founder of Lowrider magazine, Sonny Madrid, died Monday at 70.

The San Jose, Calif. native founded the iconic magazine during the mid-1970s, Hemmings Daily reports, when two events linked to his previous magazines — published as a student at San Jose State University — provided the seed capital needed to launch the first issue in January 1977.

From there, Madrid and his staff sought to connect every last independent lowrider community as they could, with Madrid leaving the Bay Area in his 1954 Chevrolet sedan delivery to promote the magazine in locales like East Los Angeles — where lowriders began — New Mexico and Texas; the staff expanded outreach further east.

Madrid was also key in the decision to add pin-ups to the front of every issue of Lowrider, beginning with the November 1979 issue. Despite the initial outcry from both male and female readers, magazine sales climbed 15 percent to 20 percent, per figures reported in Charles M. Tatum’s book, “Lowriders in Chicano Culture: From Low to Slow to Show.”

Overall, Madrid’s Lowrider not only covered and helped to grow the lowrider scene, but also promoted the music, fashion and culture surrounding it. However, the original magazine would fold after the December 1985 issue over financial difficulties. The resurrected Lowrider returned in 1988 after former staffer Alberto Lopez bought the magazine from Madrid; Lopez later sold the magazine to publisher McMullen Argus in the late 1990s.

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BREAKING: Toyota Offices Raided In Tokyo In Connection With Hamp Arrest http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/breaking-toyota-offices-raided-in-tokyo-in-connection-with-hamp-arrest/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/breaking-toyota-offices-raided-in-tokyo-in-connection-with-hamp-arrest/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:36:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097897 Reuters is reporting police have raided Toyota’s office in Tokyo in connection with the arrest of communications chief Julie Hamp over alleged drug importation offences. When asked, a Toyota spokesman declined to comment on the nature of the police presence, but said the company is cooperating with police. Hamp, the first female senior executive at Toyota, […]

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Julie HampReuters is reporting police have raided Toyota’s office in Tokyo in connection with the arrest of communications chief Julie Hamp over alleged drug importation offences.

When asked, a Toyota spokesman declined to comment on the nature of the police presence, but said the company is cooperating with police.

Hamp, the first female senior executive at Toyota, has a long road ahead of her if there’s enough evidence to bring her to trial, as we covered last week.

[Source: Reuters]

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Top Gear’s Three Musketeers Set To Return With New Series http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/top-gears-three-musketeers-set-to-return-with-new-series/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/top-gears-three-musketeers-set-to-return-with-new-series/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2015 16:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095953 While “Top Gear” moves forward with new host Chris Evans at the helm, Clarkson, Hammond and May are closer to introducing a new show of their own. Jeremy Clarkson confirmed the news to The Sunday Times, the details of which are still unknown beyond speculation the new show featuring Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May […]

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Hammond Clarkson May

While “Top Gear” moves forward with new host Chris Evans at the helm, Clarkson, Hammond and May are closer to introducing a new show of their own.

Jeremy Clarkson confirmed the news to The Sunday Times, the details of which are still unknown beyond speculation the new show featuring Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May will be on Netflix. Said details are projected to come in the next few weeks, with the first episode to debut before “Top Gear” returns after next March.

Meanwhile, May will host a two-episode series called “Building Cars Live” on BBC Two. The 90-minute episodes will be broadcast live from BMW’s MINI factory in Oxford, England, where he and co-presenters Kate Humble and Ant Anstead will follow the process of building a car from raw materials. The series will also air before “Top Gear” returns.

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Nürburgring Management Bans Manufacturers From Attempting, Publishing ‘Ring Times http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nurburgring-management-bans-manufacturers-from-attempting-publishing-ring-times/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/nurburgring-management-bans-manufacturers-from-attempting-publishing-ring-times/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 17:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095969 Depending on one’s point of view, this is either the best or the worst thing to happen: The ‘Ring time is no more on the Nürburgring. During filming of “APEX: The Story of the Hypercar” — a documentary following auto manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche and Koenigsegg over three years as they battle for halo-car dominance, […]

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BMW M5 Ring Taxi

Depending on one’s point of view, this is either the best or the worst thing to happen: The ‘Ring time is no more on the Nürburgring.

During filming of “APEX: The Story of the Hypercar” — a documentary following auto manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche and Koenigsegg over three years as they battle for halo-car dominance, with the ‘Ring as the backdrop — director J.F. Musial said he received a phone call from Koenigsegg founder and CEO Christian Von Koenigsegg, informing him the track’s management had banned all manufacturers from attempting and publishing times achieved on the famed course. Koenigsegg had planned to put his One:1 through the pace prior to the ban.

The ban stems from an accident during a VLN race in March involving driver Jann Mardenborough, where a spectator was killed as a result. Management reacted by imposing a speed limit at the site where the accident occurred, followed by similar limits on other high-speed portions of the ‘Ring.

While management is set to review the limits at the end of this year, manufacturers are barred from making lap-record runs, even if the entire track was closed to the public for said runs. However, a run recorded by Lamborghini with its Aventador SV was allowed — under the claim the run happened before the limits were in place — while WTCC is permitted to ignore the limits altogether.

(Photo credit: elyob/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

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New Top Gear Presenter Reveals Talent Search For Co-Presenters http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/new-top-gear-presenter-reveals-talent-search-for-co-presenters/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/new-top-gear-presenter-reveals-talent-search-for-co-presenters/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 18:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095273 BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans is the new lead presenter for “Top Gear,” but now he needs at least one other at his side, and it could be you. According to Top Gear magazine, the host began his audition search Thursday, which is open to any and all comers: The way Richard and James were […]

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Top Gear Talent Search

BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans is the new lead presenter for “Top Gear,” but now he needs at least one other at his side, and it could be you.

According to Top Gear magazine, the host began his audition search Thursday, which is open to any and all comers:

The way Richard and James were found was by auditioning, so what we’re going to do is hold auditions. Not just for famous people, ex-famous people, up-and-coming famous people, but for people who are watching the show.

Male, female, old, young, it doesn’t matter. The one thing that does matter is that you’ve got to have a real appetite for cars, and you’ve got to know something about cars.

You can be a mechanic, you can be an amateur racing car driver, you can be a guy who’s a fireman but who’s been building his own Land Rover in his shed for five years, but you’ve got to know about cars…

Those who wish to live the dream are asked to record a video clip no longer than 30 seconds, filmed from the waist up with “no stunts, no gimmicks,” just talking. Candidates must be over 16, but they can be from anywhere in the world.

Finalists will be invited to audition live before Evans and the show’s production staff, though the host offered no guarantees a member from the public would be selected, stating such a selection would “only happen if there’s anything good.”

Details on where to send the clip will be announced Friday.

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BBC Radio 2 Presenter Chris Evans New Presenter Of Top Gear http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/bbc-radio-2-presenter-chris-evans-new-presenter-of-top-gear/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/bbc-radio-2-presenter-chris-evans-new-presenter-of-top-gear/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 18:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1094753 It’s official: BBC Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans will now be the new presenter of “Top Gear,” an appointment supported by Clarkson, Hammond and May. Evans explained how he came into the new role during the June 17, 2015 edition of his morning show, Top Gear magazine reports, which began with a phone call last […]

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Chris Evans Circa July 2009

It’s official: BBC Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans will now be the new presenter of “Top Gear,” an appointment supported by Clarkson, Hammond and May.

Evans explained how he came into the new role during the June 17, 2015 edition of his morning show, Top Gear magazine reports, which began with a phone call last Wednesday from BBC Entertainment chief Mark Linsey.

During the phone call, Evans learned Richard Hammond and James May would not be returning to the show after all following the dismissal of Jeremy Clarkson, and was asked if he would take up where they and former producer Andy Wilman left off. He had previously stayed out of what he called “a chess game” involving all three of his friends, preferring to let the matter resolve itself.

Once the situation changed, Evans deliberated with “TFI Friday” sidekick Will MacDonald his wife Natasha for a day on the proposal, deciding to accept the role after taking into account his long career in radio and television.

Prior to the announcement, Evans contacted his friends. May said he would “talk about things” with him over the next few days, Clarkson gave him his best wishes — and a piece of advice Evans couldn’t say on the air — and Hammond texted Evans was “designed and built” to host “Top Gear.”

As for who will join Evans when production begins in the next few weeks, he says one of his co-presenters would “definitely, 100 percent” be female, The Telegraph notes. His contract is for three years, and will pay £3 million ($4.7 million USD).

[Photo credit: Paul Williams/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Trailer For Final Top Gear Episode Unveiled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/trailer-for-final-top-gear-episode-unveiled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/trailer-for-final-top-gear-episode-unveiled/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 19:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1088417 Cue up The Doors, because the end is near: the trailer for the final episode of “Top Gear” was released Tuesday. The episode will be presented by only James May and Richard Hammond, with Jeremy Clarkson out of the picture following the “fracas” between him and producer Oisin Tymon earlier this year, The Telegraph reports. […]

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Top Gear Arctic Expedition

Cue up The Doors, because the end is near: the trailer for the final episode of “Top Gear” was released Tuesday.

The episode will be presented by only James May and Richard Hammond, with Jeremy Clarkson out of the picture following the “fracas” between him and producer Oisin Tymon earlier this year, The Telegraph reports.

The 30-second trailer — pulling footage from the two films which will comprise the final episode — presents the full trio tackling caravanning and racing to a dinner in the worst SUVs £250 ($382 USD) can buy. A second trailer shows trucks rolling down a muddy hill, and the lads travelling to a classic car show in affordable classic roadsters.

The BBC reportedly offered the remaining presenters a multi-million pound deal to stay on the long-running program, though the pair have stated they would be reluctant to return without Clarkson or show producer Andy Wilman.

The airdate for the final “Top Gear” episode has yet to be announced, but is expected to air on BBC Two in the next few weeks.

[Photo credit: Wapster/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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Jalopnik, Other Gawker Media Writers To Unionize http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/jalopnik-gawker-media-writers-unionize/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/jalopnik-gawker-media-writers-unionize/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 18:15:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1084625 It’s official: Writers for Gawker Media’s online publications, including our friends at Jalopnik, have voted to unionize. Out of 118 eligible voters throughout the online-only media company, 107 cast their vote Wednesday to decide whether or not to be represented by the Writers Guild of America, East, Gawker reports. The results came to 75 percent (80 […]

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Jalopnik Front Page

It’s official: Writers for Gawker Media’s online publications, including our friends at Jalopnik, have voted to unionize.

Out of 118 eligible voters throughout the online-only media company, 107 cast their vote Wednesday to decide whether or not to be represented by the Writers Guild of America, East, Gawker reports. The results came to 75 percent (80 votes) in favor, 25 percent (27 votes) opposed.

As for how some of Jalopnik‘s staff voted, writer Raphael Orlove said he supported the move to unionize despite reservations regarding demands other Gawker Media writers have been making. Orlove goes on to state he would like the contract to focus on safeguarding against the company when it makes moves to the detriment of those who, while valuable as far as writing talent goes, are the least equipped to sort out the messes left behind.

Meanwhile, editor of subsidiary Black Flag Stef Schrader said she would likely vote against unionizing, based on Gawker’s unique situation as a company and WGA’s focus on more traditional forms of media. Schrader adds she and other remote employees haven’t received replies to emails about what WGA does from the union itself – asking for any organization working to represent the employees be “as responsive as work on the web demands,” especially with those not in New York – and is concerned for the company’s contractors who are prohibited from joining the WGA by the National Labor Relations Board, leaving them vulnerable come negotiation time.

And Gawker Media owner and founder Nick Denton’s take on the vote? In response to a comment from former vice president of editorial and sometimes Jalopnik contributor Joel Johnson, Denton praised the transparency leading up to the vote, an aspect his company says could be applied even further than the “transparent to a fault” stance already present. He also looks forward to working with whomever the writers choose to represent them during the company’s strategic discussions.

The next step? Jalopnik Editor-in-Chief Travis Okulski explains:

Gawker writers have approved the WGA to negotiate a contract on their behalf with Gawker management. If the contract is agreeable, which I think is what they expect, we’re unionized. If not, ties are dissolved or a new contract would be brought to the table.

Should all go as planned, Gawker Media would be the first online-only media company ever to have union representation. Time will tell if other companies follow in Gawker’s footsteps.

[Image credit: Jalopnik]

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Consumer Reports Declares Tesla Model S P85D ‘Undrivable’ Due To Glitch http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/consumer-reports-declares-tesla-model-s-p85d-undrivable-due-to-glitch/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/consumer-reports-declares-tesla-model-s-p85d-undrivable-due-to-glitch/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 17:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1070146 The thrill has gone for Consumer Reports‘ review team over the Tesla Model S, declaring the P85D “undrivable” in a new blog post. The publication said its tester was described as such due to issues with the automatic door handles, The Detroit Bureau writes. The handles were supposed to extend when someone with the vehicle’s […]

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Tesla Model S In Hero Blue

The thrill has gone for Consumer Reports‘ review team over the Tesla Model S, declaring the P85D “undrivable” in a new blog post.

The publication said its tester was described as such due to issues with the automatic door handles, The Detroit Bureau writes. The handles were supposed to extend when someone with the vehicle’s keys walked up to the car, failing to do so with the model in review.

With repeated attempts to enter the car in the traditional manner failing, one of the reviewers opened the front passenger door with a smartphone app to fire-up the EV. The success was short-lived, however, as the onboard electronics limited driving time to two minutes before shutting down.

Ultimately, CR called up customer service — which continues to receive high praise according to the publication’s reviewers — to haul the ailing P85D to the dealership for repairs. Despite the woes suffered prior to rectification, though, the publication continues to give the Model S a strong recommendation to its readership.

[Image credit: Tesla]

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Autoleaks: 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Revealed Ahead Of Weekend Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/autoleaks-2016-chevrolet-camaro-revealed-ahead-of-weekend-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/autoleaks-2016-chevrolet-camaro-revealed-ahead-of-weekend-debut/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 13:51:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1069058 Thanks to CNBC, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was revealed to the world ahead of its global debut Saturday at Belle Isle in Detroit. The unofficial unveiling occurred during a segment about the upcoming Camaro on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday morning, AutoGuide reports. The screencaps, captured by forum users over at GM Inside News, show the […]

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2016-Chevy-Camaro-CloseUp

Thanks to CNBC, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was revealed to the world ahead of its global debut Saturday at Belle Isle in Detroit.

The unofficial unveiling occurred during a segment about the upcoming Camaro on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday morning, AutoGuide reports. The screencaps, captured by forum users over at GM Inside News, show the front and rear profiles of two 2016 models.

Of the few other details revealed thus far, the new Camaro will receive a 6.2-liter V8 and a possible turbo-four as two options, the latter meant for battle against the Ford Mustang EcoBoost. Magnetic ride control will be available for the SS, while handling has been improved thanks to a stiffer, lighter construction. A flush belly pan is said to reduce lift by 30 percent, and optional dual exhaust will come with a number of settings, ranging from roaring track destroyer, to quiet cruiser in the city.

More will be revealed Saturday, where Chevrolet is holding a special event at Belle Isle celebrating the Camaro’s history alongside the debut of the 2016 model.

[Image credit: GM Inside News]

2016-Chevy-Camaro-CloseUp 2016-Chevy-Camaro-Main 2016-Chevy-Camaro-Rear

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TTAC At The Movies: “Slasher” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/ttac-movies-slasher-2/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/ttac-movies-slasher-2/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 14:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=936714 Movie director John Landis is probably best known for his 1978 comedy classic Animal House. I am such a fan of it that I recently made a pilgrimage to the Dexter Lake Club, the Oregon roadhouse used in the film where the frat boys partied during their road trip in a black suicide-door 1964 Lincoln Continental. (“Do […]

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Slasher Courtesy docurama.com

Movie director John Landis is probably best known for his 1978 comedy classic Animal House. I am such a fan of it that I recently made a pilgrimage to the Dexter Lake Club, the Oregon roadhouse used in the film where the frat boys partied during their road trip in a black suicide-door 1964 Lincoln Continental. (“Do you mind if we dance wif yo dates?”)

To folks in the retail automobile business Landis is better known for his lesser-known 2004 Independent Film Channel documentary Slasher, a movie that represents the most authentic cinematic depiction ever about selling cars. In the world of fictional flicks about the car business, there have been few hits but several great individual scenes. The 1980 movie Used Cars immortalized the line,”50 bucks never killed anybody!” Who can forget Robert De Niro tossing a couple out of the Audi showroom in the 2002 film, Analyze That? Even though it was about swamp land salesmen, the 1992 picture Glengarry Glen Ross could have been about car salespeople and their sales managers; its highlight: Alec Baldwin’s dead-on sales meeting speech (NSFW).

Slasher betters all these as it is 100% non-scripted reality. I was reminded of the doc after reading Bark M.’s piece about the dealership who would run customers’ credit and then hand them a color-coded balloon so salespeople would know their level of creditworthiness. You will see a real-life variation of that tactic in this brilliant and often hilarious documentary.

The film follows Michael Bennett, a traveling used car sales specialist who sells his “slasher sale” services to desperate dealers for $4,000 per day. Bennett is a mixture of Cal Worthington, Cooter Brown, and Professor Harold Hill. Rarely without a beer or cigarette in his hand, he may be the most hyper on-screen presence in history.

We tag along with Bennett to a Toyota store on the wrong side of Memphis in need of moving fifty aged used cars in one weekend. Bennett’s shtick embraces every stereotype of car dealer sales events: double the number of balloons on the lot, hire sexy girls (“Slashettes”) as greeters, give away prizes, bury the airwaves with what the dealer’s sales manager called “the single most obnoxious radio commercial,” and – most importantly – offer autos for as low as $88. That is the total price, not a payment, on two chosen turds.

Dressed in a cheap tuxedo, the wiry Bennett bounces from car to car slashing prices previously marked up 100% or so, easy to do with 5 to 10-year-old used cars. One lucky couple chose a green 1995 Hyundai Accent marked at $888 and Bennett cut it to the magic $88. The car spewed blue smoke as the happy customers sputtered off the lot.

Many moments of this picture are painfully accurate. The look on the salespeople’s faces as Bennett held the kickoff sales meeting said, “Why was our owner such a sucker to hire this guy?” The film puts a clock on one couple as they go through the promised “fast, no negotiation” process and we learn it took 2 hours and 12 minutes to close their deal.

Slasher 2 Courtesy docurama.com

On the second day of the sale, the $88 cars are gone and the floor traffic literally stopped. Bennett and the “Slashettes” head out into the street to flag down motorists. I do not know if Landis planned this but the movie nearly slows to a halt at this point, which is exactly the feeling you get as a car salesperson when nobody is coming through the door.

Bennett’s energy is what drives this movie. We follow him at night as he crawls through the pubs and strip clubs of Memphis. The picture becomes a character study of this flawed man, an individual with too many years in the car business but with nowhere else to go.

Landis has always had a fine touch with the music he chooses for his movies. In Slasher, the soundtrack is entirely from artists of Stax, the legendary Memphis recording studio. When Otis Redding sang “Shake” as Bennett closed deals or wailed “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)” as it became apparent the sale was a flop, the songs fit the scenes perfectly.

The documentary was filmed in 2004 and one would think  these type of sales events would be in the past as manufacturers crack down on dealers with low customer satisfaction scores and ones hurting their hollowed “brand.” A quick search of youtube will show you otherwise.

Slasher is available through amazon.com or just watch this eight-minute “Making Of” feature and you will get the drift.

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Project CARS, Just Like Many Real Cars, Can’t Match The Media Hype http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/project-cars-just-like-many-real-cars-cant-match-media-hype/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/project-cars-just-like-many-real-cars-cant-match-media-hype/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 12:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1063937 Project CARS is probably the most hotly-anticipated automobile-related video game to “drop” in the past few years. It’s ridden a positively Kanagawan wave of media hype and compensated “viral” marketing to its release – but at least one well-informed source is saying that this new emperor is decidedly trouserless. The site is called Pretend Race […]

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pcarskotaku

Project CARS is probably the most hotly-anticipated automobile-related video game to “drop” in the past few years. It’s ridden a positively Kanagawan wave of media hype and compensated “viral” marketing to its release – but at least one well-informed source is saying that this new emperor is decidedly trouserless.

The site is called Pretend Race Cars and although its “Community Assisted Review” of Project CARS is well into TL;DR territory for all but the most committed, here’s the money shot:

I don’t know what to say, other than we told you so. It sucks that a large portion of the community was turned into viral marketers for a game described as “middle-of-the-road” and playing with a traditional controller “borders on impossible.” We pointed out the abundance of bugs mentioned in the WMD forums several times. We pointed out the internal discussions of poor controls. We had others confirm performance issues. We called the lackluster driving physics and shoddy AI. It’s a flop, guys.

If you’ve followed the so-called “GamerGate” controversy over the past months, you already know that gaming journalism is under precisely the same sort of close community scrutiny that is applied to the autojourno biz only once in a while, and that the results of that scrutiny have been disturbing to say the least. It’s been shown that the vast majority of new products aimed at the “gamer” market are reviewed by people who have nontrivial reasons for promoting many of those products and ensuring their success, and that those reviewers are often actively hostile to, or contemptuous of, the gamers who are supposed to be the audience for their reviews.

Does that sound familiar? It should. We’re fighting the same problem here in automotive journalism. Our founder, Robert Farago, created this website because he wasn’t comfortable following the manufacturer-provided narrative. Years after his departure, we’re still trying to bring you the truth about cars, regardless of how unpopular it makes us at the auto-show dinners. So I’m not surprised to see something like the screenshot at the top of this piece that shows Kotaku publishing the same basic promotional article over a dozen times. Just substitute “new Mustang” or “Cayman GT4″ for “Awesome Screenshot” and you’ll have a microcosm of the world of auto media. What did the Apostle say? And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.

But the problems with Project CARS go beyond a merely compliant gaming media. The business model followed by Slightly Mad Studios has been utterly fascinating to observe; the more you paid, and the earlier you paid it, the more say you could have in the development of the game. This is brilliant for multiple reasons, but perhaps the most pertinent is the tendency for people to have a bias towards their own purchase decisions. Speaking personally, I wonder if I would have been able to evaluate the BRZ/FR-S twins honestly had I managed to succeed at getting into the “First 86″ early release. The more you spend for something, the less likely you are to call it a piece of shit in public.

The exception to this, by the way, would be the Superformance S1 that I purchased new in 2001. I’m perfectly willing to talk about what a piece of shit that was despite the fact that I handed over nearly forty grand in cash to make it happen.

The large number of people who had bought into the Project CARS, er, project took even the mildest criticism personally:

pcars3

Reading this and other comments, I can’t help but think of the people on the various GT-R forums who openly wished for my violent death after I suggested that Nissan might have been gaming the so-called “Nurburgring record”. None of them were Nissan engineers, and none of them were on the Nissan payroll; they were simply emotionally invested in their prospective purchases. You cannot buy the kind of rabid loyalty that your own customers will award you simply for accepting their money.

The combination of a see-no-evil media and a large group of pre-purchasers intent on justifying their credit-card bill can be a powerful one when it comes to swaying public opinion. For that reason alone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more and more automakers adopt a long-lead strategy of getting customers for new automobiles on board early with small deposits and constant communication. It’s what Elio Motors has done, and if you could see the behind-the-scenes statistics for TTAC articles, you’d know that Ronnie Schreiber’s articles on Elio are extremely popular and controversial even months after they’re written. It isn’t because the man on the street knows or cares about Elio; it’s because the average Elio “intender” is far more involved in the fortunes of the company than the average man or woman who just wanders onto a dealership and buys a Camry is in the fortunes of Toyota.

The end result appears to be an underwhelming product released to overwhelming acclaim. Does that sound familiar? It certainly does, but it might not be the last word on the subject. In the modern release-now-and-fix-later mindset, Project CARS might yet be whipped into shape by its developers. Software is much easier to revise post-sale than a real car is. For now, however, those of you who haven’t yet handed over your money might want to follow the same advice that used to be given to potential purchases of GM cars: wait until they get it right.

The post Project CARS, Just Like Many Real Cars, Can’t Match The Media Hype appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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Mockup Of 2016 Honda Civic Spec Sheets Fools Autoblog http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/mockup-2016-honda-civic-spec-sheets-fools-autoblog/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/mockup-2016-honda-civic-spec-sheets-fools-autoblog/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 14:12:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1063554 [UPDATE: Autoblog owned up to its mistake with the following: “Alright, we made a mistake. Turns out this “leak” was actually just a mockup done by a CivicX forum member, and we totally went along with it. Sorry, folks. You’ll have to wait a little longer for your hot Civic pricing news.” – CA] Earlier […]

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2015 Honda Civic Concept

[UPDATE: Autoblog owned up to its mistake with the following:Alright, we made a mistake. Turns out this “leak” was actually just a mockup done by a CivicX forum member, and we totally went along with it. Sorry, folks. You’ll have to wait a little longer for your hot Civic pricing news.” – CA]

Earlier this morning, Autoblog published a leak regarding the pricing of the 2016 Honda Civic. In its rush to be first, however, it forgot to confirm.

The specs sheets were originally pulled from a CivicX forum around speculation of the upcoming compact’s pricing and other features. Those sheets were a mockup from member RobbJK88, a graphic designer who wrote the following about them:

I just did this for fun, i was bored at work. It’s in no way official, just speculation based on what we know about the civic already, the current civic, and what honda has mentioned in various interviews. I based most of the standard equipment listed on the features for the current civic while moving a few things around based on Honda’s promises of more standard equipment and such. Any speculation on what we might see, or would like to see that i may have missed?

RobbJK88 adds that he pulled the specs from from the Civic models currently listed on Honda’s website, then tweaked them and the prices to match up with speculation.

[Photo credit: Honda]

The post Mockup Of 2016 Honda Civic Spec Sheets Fools Autoblog appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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