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By on August 14, 2011

Chevrolet has big plans for Germany. “Mid-term” one percent market share will be in Chevy’s crosshairs, says Automobilwoche [sub]. “We have a realistic chance to reach that level, which is very important for a German importer,“ Chevy’s Germany-chief Steffen Raschig told Automobilwoche. “This is my main target.“

He is aiming low. Read More >

By on August 13, 2011

I must admit that I assumed the first-ever Ford Granada in LeMons history would fall apart on the track within minutes of the green flag, but the Swamp Thang is still groaning around the course after nearly two hours. Read More >

By on August 13, 2011

Divide $64 million by about 10,000. What do you get? I was a liberal-arts major, but I figure the answer is “About $6400.” That’s a lot more than $850, right? Hop into this here Silverado with me, dear reader, and let’s take a ride through another adventure in GM’s mismanaged past.

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By on August 13, 2011

I’m back on the LeMons trail again, this time at Circuit Grand Bayou aka No Problem Raceway in lovely Belle Rose, Louisiana. It’s so hot and swampy here in August that we’re running the race from 8:00 PM to 10:00 AM, making it more like the 14 hours of LeMons. It’s all sugar cane fields, bugs, sweat, and excellent Cajun cuisine here, and we’re having a great time. Read More >

By on August 13, 2011

In his New York Times comparison of heavy-duty pickup trucks, Ezra Dyer opens with a provocative comparison:

Heavy-Duty pickup trucks are the supercars of the truck world. They have more power than drivers are likely ever to exploit, and bragging rights depend on statistics that are, in practical terms, theoretical.

How does he figure?

While you can’t buy a diesel engine in a mainstream light-duty pickup, heavy-duty pickups now offer propulsion suitable for a tandem-axle dump truck.

I’m not exaggerating. Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V-8 packs 400 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque; the base engine in a Peterbilt 348 dump truck offers a mere 260 horsepower and 660 pound feet. Does your pickup really need more power than a Peterbilt?

I’m guessing most HD truck owners won’t take kindly to the question, especially coming a scolding Gray Lady. But if you read the full review, you’ll find that Dyer was able to locate at least one contractor willing to admit that he realized he just didn’t need his HD’s overabundance of ability. It goes against the grain of the “bigger, faster, tougher, more” marketing message that has helped make trucks such a huge part of the American market, but is it possible that the tide is turning? Have pickups improved too much? The huge sales of Ecoboost V6-powered F-Series certainly suggests the we may just be moving towards a more pragmatic truck-buying market…

By on August 13, 2011

One of the biggest clouds hovering over Better Place’s venture in Israel – and globally – is what stands behind the well-prepared presentations and thoroughly thought out, customer-oriented marketing. What makes the seemingly adventurous venture appealing to the business hounds investing their best capital in it? Such questions from journalists are usually answered with a neat smile, a corporate joke and a dry statement.

While Better Place still isn’t revealing its global business plan, it finally sheds some light on the numbers behind its Israeli venture, as part of a worldwide roadshow in preparation for the company’s upcoming $300 million capital raising.

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By on August 13, 2011

Are we “out of the ditch”? While some in the world of financial analysis say the US is headed for a double-dip, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne reckons the worst is behind us, but that growth from here will be painstakingly slow. Right or wrong, at least Marchionne isn’t falling victim to the irrational optimism that traditionally infects the auto industry…

By on August 13, 2011

With the world’s established automakers facing increased competition from ascendant Korean car brands, and with even more competition from Chinese automakers just over the horizon, the key to continued success is leveraging every single advantage that’s been accumulated in the past. Traditionally those advantages have been technical, whether in engine technology, suspension set-up know-how, or long-established relationships with suppliers. But as technical advantages fade, brands are having to cash in on their other, less tangible assets… including heritage.
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By on August 13, 2011

Twenty years from now I’ll still be looking at cars. They may become faster than today’s sports cars and more luxurious than a Mercedes S-Class. But many of us enthusiasts will find something missing within all their awesomeness

That’s because great cars are not about perfection. They are about character. With that in mind, I found a pristine 1995 Lincoln Town Car the other day. With good miles, pristine leather, and a driving experience as Americana as a 1965 Mustang, it may someday become a collectible worth keeping. But then again…

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By on August 13, 2011

Over the last month we have gone to AfghanistanNorway, Haiti and Mongolia… Hope you’re not too jet lagged because today we are flying to Israel. שלום!

If you live there, have been there or simply are not in the mood today, I have your back: there are 155 additional countries to be explored in my blog so click away!

Now those of you who have been following these weekly posts for a while are already familiar with the car landscape of neighboring countries like Egypt and Syria. Well, Israel is another beast altogether, with a set of popular brands unique in the world…

Read More >

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