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…)

By on November 5, 2010


When GM was in its final throes (about 2000 onwards) it was quite easy to see that GM would go under. Even though they were posting records profits, anyone but the shills knew that these profits came from the SUV boom and not from any long term sustainable plan. That’s fair to say, right? So now let’s move to Toyota. The cry I hear, these days, is “Toyota is the new GM! Toyota is the new GM!” (Why people have to say things twice, I’ve no idea. I’m not deaf, just stupid.) And there is certainly some evidence to suggest that. Piling on the incentives, suspect quality, etc. But then something comes along which, seemingly, blows that theory out of the water. (Read More…)

By on November 5, 2010

BMW is on a roll at the moment. They’ve booted Mercedes-Benz (their most hated rival) off the number one slot in India, they’re making big steps in China and their profit is rising fast. That last point is the fulcrum of this article. You see, profit is where BMW is forecast to have problems. Not lack of profits, but the size of them. (Read More…)

By on November 5, 2010

Toyota is probably feeling a little unloved right now. The US government has been trying to burn them at the stake, Chinese buyers are shunning them and even the Canadians are even saying “No, eh?” (My experience of Canadians is pretty much limited to “South Park” and “Due South”). But love and good news can come from the most unlikely of places. (Read More…)

By on November 4, 2010

Toyota drops in China, Canada, The United States, Japan and (almost certainly) Europe, too. You’d think good news would be scarce. And you’re right, it is! But wait, there’s one! (Read More…)

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