Category: Middle East

By on July 14, 2017

2015-Buick-Avenir-Concept-10

Today marks the third and final entry in our Domestics Abroad miniseries. This is where we take a look at the models proffered around the globe that wear a domestic company’s badge on the grille, but are not offered in the brands’ domestic markets. This is ground zero for “you can’t get that here.” All nameplates you’ll see in this series are current production models.

We kicked off this series with Ford and its 13 qualifying models. Second was Chevrolet, which had 9 models accounted for, and one which I forgot (you can see it below the jump). The Unmentionables will cover the remaining international offerings from Buick, Dodge, and Ram.

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By on June 29, 2017

2014 Kia Sorento EX-008

If there’s one thing shared by members of ISIS and the Western world, it’s an appreciation for the utility and versatility of high-value crossovers. Yes, even militant, fundamentalist killers have a myriad of needs requiring the likes of a Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sorento.

As Iraqi forces continue their push into territory previously seized by members of the Islamic State, visual evidence has emerged of the desperate tactics employed by the retreating fighters. Perhaps the most surprising are a plethora of Korean crossovers outfitted for battle. Read More >

By on November 11, 2016

veterans day (steve corey/flickr)

It’s Friday, but it’s also Veterans Day. North of the border, it’s Remembrance Day — something I was reminded of when a pair of CF-18s buzzed this writer’s home at 11:11 this morning.

Because of the solemn date, our weekly look at odd automotive news will take on a camo green tinge. Sure, we’d love to regale you with stories of Allied forces turning their jeeps and 6×6 trucks into mobile gun platforms in the mud of western Europe, but that’s in the past.

Today, we look at a Syrian mystery vehicle, militants with wood, and a city terrorized by a bland color. Read More >

By on November 7, 2016

peshmerga bmw kirkuk

In the many wars spanning the globe, a variety of vehicles have been pressed into military service by insurgents and militias alike, most notably the venerable Toyota Hilux. More recently Chinese compact pickups have appeared on battlegrounds, and even one Texas plumber’s Ford F-250 turned up in the hands of some bad guys.

Now comes word that, on October 21, a heroic Kurdish Peshmerga fighter used his bulletproof E32 BMW 7 Series as a military ambulance to save up to 70 people.

Ako Abdulrehman made repeated trips under ISIS sniper fire to save fighters and civilians wounded during the militants’ attack on the Kurdish city of Kirkuk. Read More >

By on October 17, 2016

Toyota Hilux (Image: Toyota UK)

The long-awaited battle to retake the northern Iraq city of Mosul — an ISIS stronghold for the past two years — began this morning, with Allied forces supporting the Iraqi Army troops and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in their quest against the Islamic State.

One player has a heavy presence on both sides of the battle, and it isn’t a person or organization. It’s the Toyota Hilux, the go-to vehicle for terrorists and allies in the war-torn region. So numerous is the do-anything pickup, that the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. questions how so many Toyotas could find their way into ISIS hands. Read More >

By on September 30, 2016

Renault Duster

Few good news stories seem to originate in Iran, but Renault wouldn’t agree.

The French automaker has inked a deal with the government of Iran to massively boost vehicle production in the middle eastern country. Read More >

By on April 14, 2016

M1A1 Abrams tank

Despite their psychopathic barbarity, ISIS fighters fear many things — women, music, culture, bathing, and now a lone tank dubbed “The Beast.”

According to U.S. military official Col. Steve Warren, an American-trained Iraqi tank crew has become a one-vehicle Dirty Dozen in the aptly named Iraqi city of Hit, the Associated Press has reported.

As part of ongoing efforts to retake the city from ISIS militants, the lone crew is “tearing it up” with its distinctively midwestern machine, obliterating every unfriendly target of opportunity with its General Dynamics M1A1 Abrams.

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By on December 29, 2015

buick-envision-usa-1

A picture is worth a thousand words, or millions of dollars worth of cars not built by the United Auto Workers.

That, and Buick is planning a surprise for Detroit, oil prices are ever-so-slightly up, a super mullet El Camino, and Manny, Moe and Jack … after the break!

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By on November 10, 2015

151110_Fiat-Professional_DIM_01

Making its debut at the 2015 Dubai Motor Show, the Fiat Fullback will be playing its first season in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa next May.

The Fullback — a rebadged Mitsubishi L200 — takes its name from the position found in rugby, soccer, and American football. Its purpose: to help Fiat break into the medium-duty pickup segment in the aforementioned EMEA market, where 675,000 units from the likes of Ford, Toyota and Mitsubishi were sold in 2014.

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By on October 19, 2015

Turkey Saab 9-3

The Turkish Science, Industry and Technology ministry announced last week that it had purchased the intellectual property rights — but not naming rights — to the second-generation Saab 9-3 that was most recently produced by National Electric Vehicle Sweden, according to Digital Trends.

According to the ministry, the car will be produced with 85 percent of its materials coming from the country, and will sport a face from the defunct Cadillac BLS.

The Swedish car company, who owns most of the shuttered Saab, sold the rights to the Turkish government after it stopped producing the all-electric Saab in 2014. The new car will be powered initially by some engine, according to the report, with the ministry working with NEVS to make an electric powertrain.

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By on October 7, 2015

Toyota Hilux. Picture courtesy of Toyota

(Probably because it’s the most popular truck.)

Automotive News reported that Toyota is cooperating with U.S. authorities in uncovering why members of the terrorist group ISIS seem to be so fond of Toyota Hiluxes and Land Cruisers, which consistently rank among the top 5 best-selling vehicles for many Middle Eastern countries, prompted by an investigation* by ABC News.

The automaker said the company forbids directly selling cars to paramilitary or terrorist organizations because of course it does. The company said it would be impossible to control indirect or illegal sales to terrorist organizations because of course it is.

ABC News hasn’t reached out to Ford to see how it controls sales of F-150 trucks to American drug cartels. Read More >

By on September 8, 2015

2016 Cadillac XT5

Cadillac will release later this week the first “official” looks at its replacement for the SRX — the XT5 — before unveiling the car first in Dubai, and then shortly after in Los Angeles. Autoblog first reported that the XT5 would be shown in Dubai.

The Dubai International Auto show will be held Nov. 10-14, and the Los Angeles Auto Show will be held Nov. 20-29 for the public, with a preview for media on Nov. 17.

The XT5 has already been extensively photographed in the wild before (See above. And go ahead, Google it if you want to see more, we’ll wait right here) so the reveals this week and in November may be a little anticlimactic.

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By on August 23, 2015

Entrance_OPEC_Headquarter_Vienna

Iran’s oil minister has said that an emergency OPEC meeting may be necessary to stem the tide of slumping worldwide oil prices, Reuters is reporting. Algeria has also called for an emergency meeting.

A barrel of crude oil slid to its lowest price last week of around $40, the lowest in more than six years. Record low gas prices could closely follow, which would help American drivers and car buyers, however the broader economic impact may be tougher to discern. Worldwide markets sank on Friday, largely on fears that China would slow its economic growth and instability in Greece could hamper European economies.

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By on August 21, 2015

Ford Mustang Receiving Gas Circa April 2015

Break out the champagne and 7-liter engines. Have one on us, alright?

The Wall Street Journal and Reuters are reporting that despite a mild increase in crude, oil is hovering around $40 a barrel and it’s expected to further dip in coming months to a six-year low on a global glut of oil.

The national average for a gallon of gas could drop to as low as $2, Green Car Reports says, which would be the cheapest its been since January, and could approach historical lows from 2008.

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By on July 28, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

Ford announced that it made a $1.9 billion net-adjusted profit in the second quarter of 2015, marking the largest gain for the automaker since 2000, according to Automotive News.

The profit represents a 44-percent gain over last year despite dipping global sales and a stronger U.S. dollar hampering exports. Ford said it was selling cars for more money and offering fewer incentives, despite recent reports of F-150 incentives topping nearly $11,000 in some places.

Ford said revenues in North America surged 10 percent, which helped the company beat Wall Street’s expectations.

Read More >

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