By on November 10, 2010

When Fiat started to get a grip on Chrysler, there was very little chance of success. But to be fair, they are making a go of it. Sergio Marchionne is doing his best to integrate Fiat and Chrysler. Is he really? (Read More…)

By on November 10, 2010

When Tata bought Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) from Ford in 2008, the general consensus was that Ford was off-loading a massive problem, and that Tata should have their collective heads examined. JLR had been nothing but a cash drain on Ford. Sucking up resources which other divisions (cough-Lincoln-cough) sorely needed. The Jaguar brand was damaged due to the X-Type “fiasco” (note the inverted commas, because I still love my X-Type!) and Land Rover wasn’t really held in much higher regard. Even I, a big Jag-fan, had to concede that I was seeing the final days of JLR. How wrong was I? (Read More…)

By on November 9, 2010

Dealerships are a pain in the neck. The salesman tries to convince you that they’re your friend (when you know damn well they want as much money as they can squeeze out of you), getting warranty work out of them is sometimes a nightmare and, if you’re buying used, you don’t know what the car has been through. You can write a letter of complaint, but will that really help*? You may get a discounted service as compensation, but will anything REALLY change? Well, BMW wants to shake the dealership experience up a bit. In the customers’ favor. (Read More…)

By on November 9, 2010

The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) held its first Future Car Challenge. This was a race from Brighton to London (about 57 miles). The Auto Channel says it was to see who could consume the least during the trip. To keep things fair, the trip consisted of different driving conditions from country roads to traffic jams. Well, the race was done and the results are in. I can now reveal that the winner of the first RAC Future Car Challenge is, (soft) drum roll, please… (Read More…)

By on November 9, 2010

The idea behind the big car bailout supposedly was to keep millions of jobs in, well, North America. Ford didn’t partake, and hence should be free of moral obligations. (Not that other companies on the government drip seem to be queasy about exporting jobs instead of cars.) Empowered by a clean conscience, Ford moves production to where it makes the most money. To India. (Read More…)

By on November 8, 2010

A few days ago, I wrote about car sales all over Europe falling faster than a…..erm……really fast thing. I also wrote how this didn’t bode well for the UK car market. Well, the figures are in and, unfortunately, I wasn’t wrong – this time. It’s pretty bad. New car registrations fell 22.2 percent in October. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) also said that further declines are likely for the rest for the year. Oh goody(!) Looks like I’m going to have to find more words for “dropped”.

Shall we take a look at the carnage? It’s not for the faint of heart. (Read More…)

By on November 7, 2010

The Freep says GM has appointed a Vice President of diversity. And they’ll need one. GM’s post-IPO ownership roster shapes up to be quite, well, diverse. China’s SAIC appears to be gung-ho for the IPO. And it’s not just the Chinese government that likes the idea of owning a little bit of America. (Read More…)

By on November 7, 2010

Toyota’s legal problems are piling up. It is now being alleged that they killed a lawyer. The New York Daily News reports that 79-year-old lawyer Ernest Codelia Jr died of carbon monoxide poisoning and his partner, Mary Rivera was brain damaged. And their Lexus is being blamed. How come? (Read More…)

By on November 6, 2010

Australia is pretty much a stronghold for Toyota. Looking at the figures, it seems that Aussies like well-made, cheap reliable cars. And to be honest, who doesn’t like those kinds of cars? But what happens when someone else comes to your market, and does well what you do well? Well, you get worried. (Read More…)

By on November 6, 2010

History is written by the victors, or so the saying goes. You lose, not only do you get beaten up in real life, but also in the history books. Few losers come much bigger than Rick Wagoner. The man who oversaw the last slide into Chapter 11. Yep, there wasn’t much love out there for “Red Ink” Rick. Until a few days ago. (Read More…)

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