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By on December 5, 2011

In Once Upon a Car, Bill Vlasic artfully employs quotes gained through over 100 interviews to make readers feel like they’re “in the room.” Assuming that Vlasic has accurately reproduced the original dialogues, we learn how senior executives really talk… (Warning: Graphic language after the jump.) Read More >

By on December 5, 2011

Chinese media are going wild because BBC’s Top Gear has landed in China. Jeremy Clarkson and James May arrived in Beijing for filming a new Top Gear episode which will be on TV in next year’s season. Judging from the pictures take on-scene, the shoot seems to center on two topics, and both may make the Chinese car industry lose the ever so important face. Read More >

By on December 5, 2011

The long-awaited pent-up demand is finally here, and it’s here to last – at least into the first quarter of 2012, says Edmunds.com. A “mini-bubble” of new car sales has been identified, and it could make for a good start of 2012 say the car-counters of Edmunds. Read More >

By on December 5, 2011

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Over the last few weeks we traveled to South KoreaSwedenCanada and Romania. It’s been a while since we haven’t been to Africa, so this week I have decided to stop in South Africa.

If lions, rhinos and zebras are not exactly your thing, that’s ok, I’ve prepared 159 additional countries for you to visit in my blog, so click away!

South Africa is a production hub, and this has an impact on the best-selling cars there, on either side of the scale…

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By on December 5, 2011

Some claim the Japanese don’t import enough cars. After what happened on Sunday near Shimonoseki, Japan, high value imports should experience a sudden blip.

On a freeway in southern Japan, at least 10 supercars were involved in what The Telegraph calls “likely to be the most expensive car crash outside of a car racing track.” Total damage is estimated at around $4 million. Read More >

By on December 5, 2011

There are a lot of things you can do instead of spending five figures on a new ride. Travel the world. Pay off debt. Get a house. Heck, you can even pursue that elusive shangri-la known as retirement. Or have lunch at Waffle House for three years straight so that you can completely avoid that ‘growing old’ business.

A new car is a big chunk of an expense for a lot of folks. But sometimes it’s worth it.

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By on December 5, 2011

 

Avoiding the usual Auto Journo networking opportunities like the plague leaves me with the road test equivalent of everyone’s sloppy seconds.  But there’s a good story behind a nearly dead model, unless we are talkin’ about the Chevy Malibu. Without the charms of a 6th gen Honda Civic or Panther Love (‘natch) this whip’s demise couldn’t come soon enough. A recent sales chart proves the point: a sad commentary for a car that was once hailed as “the car you can’t ignore” by people genuinely interested in making a CamCord fighter…so how exactly has the ‘Bu faired since then?

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By on December 5, 2011

The “Race Of Champions” is a made-for-TV event which purports to pit the world’s best drivers head-to-head using a variety of vehicles on an indoor stadium course. This year’s event was won by up-and-coming WRC pilot Sebastien Ogier (for the individual event) and the rather formidable team of Sebastian Vettel and M. Schumacher (for the Nations Cup).

Whom did the United States send? Well, we sent our very best — Travis Pastrana and Brian Deegan. How’d they do? Well, Pastrana’s gone as far as the second round in the past, but this time it was all bad news for the Americans. How badly did they get beaten? Click the jump to find out…

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By on December 5, 2011

Rumors that the Bank of China would be taking a role in the “rescue” of Saab turn out to have been something of a miscommunication. Saab explains the situation as it currently exists.

Swedish Automobile N.V. (Swan) announces it is in discussion with Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. Ltd. (Youngman) and a bank in China about an equity interest in Swan. The discussions include a short term solution to enable Saab Automobile to pay the November wages and continue reorganization. The outcome of the discussions is still uncertain. Any possible transaction would be subject to the approval of the relevant stakeholders. [emphasis added]

As always, you can read about the proposed new structure (which has PangDa out of the picture) and why it will solve all of Saab’s problems over at Saabsunited.com. But far more interesting is the English-language interview with Victor Muller, found here (skip ahead to the 38:40 mark), in which Muller explains that GM can block any deal in which an automaker takes a 20% or larger stake in Saab, and that he is essentially Vladimir Antonov’s front man. After all, trying to understand Muller is far more compelling than this latest deal, which can be approved by GM (because it keeps automakers below 20% ownership), but won’t actually solve Saab’s basic problems (for precisely the same reason).

By on December 4, 2011

I’m in the passenger seat of the very bouncy ’97 Ford F250 LeMons Department of Highway De-Beautification Vehicle as I write this, heading up I-5 after one of the best races of the ’11 season, and I’m unable to dredge my depleted brain for the parts of speech necessary to do justice to Unununium Legend of LeMons Spank‘s achievements this weekend. Read More >

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