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By on April 1, 2011


I’ve been driving the A100 Hell Project around with its horrible-at-best Carter BBD carburetor (which Chrysler almost certainly chose because it was 18 cents cheaper than a Holley), and every time it stumbles, refuses to idle, or performs any of the standard repertoire of BBD tricks, I swear to myself that I’m going to go to fuel injection real soon. That process began weekend before last, when I grabbed the intake and throttle body off an ’89 Dodge van. Read More >

By on April 1, 2011

Toyota reports [PDF] that it has increased its MSRPs by an average of 1.7%, as the automaker seeks to regain control over pricing which has taken a hit in the year since its recall scandal. Of course, the fact that the firm’s supply of vehicles is likely to be limited by the chaotic aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami was causing its transaction prices to rise anyway, but Toyota tells Automobile magazine that the MSRP increase

has no relation to any production shut downs or shortages stemming from the recent disaster in Japan

Uh huh. Whatever you say.

By on April 1, 2011

As we had warned a few days ago, the Japanese car market took a punishing hit in March. Sales of new cars, trucks and buses dropped 37 percent from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association reports. Separately reported minivehicles took a similar hit and dropped 31.6 percent, according to data by the Japan Mini Vehicles Association, published in The Nikkei [sub]. Read More >

By on April 1, 2011

Bugatti’s jumping onto the high-po four-door bandwagon, as its parent company Volkswagen has approved its Galibier concept for production, according to Automotive News [sub]. Initial specs: 1,000 HP and a $1.4m pricetag. All other questions should be directed to the video above.

By on April 1, 2011

Somebody must have slipped Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne some Sodium Pentothal as an April Fools joke, as he’s just topped his previous high-water mark for ill-advised candor (set earlier this week). Automotive News [sub] quotes the feisty CEO admitting

The economics of EVs simply don’t work. On the 500 that (Chrysler) will begin selling in the U.S. next year, we will lose over $10,000 (per unit) despite the retail price being three times higher [than the gas version].

Like, Zoinks! I spent some time in a Cinquecento last weekend, and though it made a great little LeMons pace car and is honestly quite fun to drive, it’s not much car for the $15k-$19k+ Chrysler wants for a 100 HP version. Spending three times that amount for a money-losing electric version simply boggles the mind. Or do they celebrate April Fools Day in Italy?
By on April 1, 2011

And no, it’s not an April Fools day story! Bloomberg reports

The United Auto Workers membership rose 6 percent to 376,612 last year, the first gain in six years as U.S. automakers began hiring amid a recovery in sales.

The UAW’s membership increased by 21,421 members from 355,191 in 2009, according to a union filing today with the U.S. Department of Labor.

UAW President Bob King has wasted no time in declaring this a sign of recovery in what you might call the UAW’s “core business”:

This increase is a reflection of new organizing by the UAW, the recovery of the domestic auto industry and UAW members who won a first contract during the year. We hope to continue this growth in 2011 and beyond, as we fight to win a more fair and democratic process for workers to organize.

Of course, King’s attempt to link this minor improvement in his union’s membership to the recovery of the domestic auto industry is the real April Fools joke here…

Read More >

By on April 1, 2011

Like most manufacturers, BMW is getting ready for the pilgrimage to Shanghai, where the Shanghai Motor Show will open its doors to the press on April 19, and to the public on April 21. Some at BMW go with mixed feelings. There will be some delicate discussions between BMW brass and their Chinese joint venture partner Brilliance. The reason: At Asia’s and possibly the world’s most important auto show, Brilliance will show their A3 SUV. Germany’s Auto Bild calls it “a brazen BMW X1 rip-off, with inspirations from Audi.”

The matter becomes even more touchy as BMW plans to produce the X1 in China with a launch date in 2012. It will be built by BMW’s Chinese joint venture with Brilliance. Read More >

By on April 1, 2011

Lawmakers in four states this week advanced legislation that would, if passed, either place mild restrictions on or outright ban the use of automated ticketing machines by municipalities. The Florida state Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday voted 4 to 2 to approve an outright prohibition on the use of red light cameras — just one year after the legislature had given in to the lobbying effort of localities in authorizing their use. Senate Bill 672 must now clear the Senate Community Affairs Committee before being considered by the full Senate.

Read More >

By on April 1, 2011


Even though I still think the Achieva was saddled with the very lamest car name of all time— what ether-huffing focus group OK’d that abomination?— the SCX was actually quite quick for its time, and incredibly quick for a marque that appealed primarily to octogenarians too frugal to spring for a Buick. They were fairly rare to begin with, and this is the first SCX I’ve ever spotted in a self-service wrecking yard. Read More >

By on April 1, 2011


A truck at the Nordschleife? No, no service truck. One that does some 190 mph. Possibly more. A truck made by BMW. In a press release, BMW dubs it “the world’s fastest pickup.” If they say so. One needs to be very careful with these statements in Germany, lest someone will sue you faster than the truck completes the Nordschleife lap. Read More >

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