Volvo seems to be on the long road to recovery. Although sales have continued to slip in the USA, the numbers were up worldwide last year. In an interesting twist, 2014 was also the first year more Volvos were sold in China than North America. That could be cause-and-effect since Volvo had been more focused on their European-only new compact sedan and wagon. 2016 finally showers some Swedish love on America with a complete redesign of the XC90, the SUV originally designed for us. Because China is now a bigger market than we are, this XC90 isn’t just for us, but for China and the growing number of big crossovers clogging up Europe as well.
Trust me on this: You will start your trackday career because you love cars, but if you are any good at it you will end up hating cars.
Allow me to explain.
From “Commuting in America 2013″ via AASHTO. Lots of growth in private transportation, but public transit, telecommuting and walking to work have stayed fairly flat. Despite prognostications of a newly urbanized populace that’s hungry for public transportation, the statistics seem to tell a different story.
H/T Glenn Mercer
The King of Truck Mountain may have new aluminum armor these days, but Ford has no plans on fully equipping the rest of its lineup with the metal.
In the steadily growing U.S. new vehicle market, car sales have increased just 1% through the first ten months of 2014.
Nissan, however, says their car sales have grown 15.5% in 2014, surging forward by more than 90,000 units to 669,538.
In calendar year 2013, total new vehicle sales were up nearly 8%, but car sales grew just 4% during a year in which, for example, pickup trucks were up 12%.
2014 hasn’t been so kind to cars, with the Chrysler Group’s passenger cars collectively falling 15%, Ford Motor Company car sales sliding 4%, GM cars up less than 2%, American Honda car sales up less than 1%, Hyundai car sales down 3%, total Toyota/Lexus/Scion cars up just 1%, and the Volkswagen brand’s cars down 12%. (Read More…)
At yesterday’s Google I/O keynote speech, Google laid out its vision for Android Auto (reported here yesterday), which is quite similar to Apple’s CarPlay. I’ve ranted here before about Apple’s CarPlay when it was first announced and after more details came out last March. Both have the idea that your phone can hijack the screen in your car. What’s newsworthy from Google is that we have an enlarged list of vendors who are playing along. (Wired has the full list. Suffice to say that you’ll have plenty of choices if you want a car that goes both ways, if you know what I mean. Most interesting factoid: Tesla isn’t playing with either Apple or Google. Hear that? It’s the sounds of thousands of alpha-nerd Tesla owners crying out in terror.)
Today, I want to address why you should stop worrying and learn to love having your phone in charge of your car’s telematics display.
Well, I nearly died today.
I was driving on a winding one lane road, when a silver mid-2000’s Dodge Ram Club Cab broke through the double yellow, and swerved halfway into my lane.
My car was a 7 year old Toyota Corolla, and if it weren’t for a last split-second swerve, I would have been dead. No question about it.
There it stood, right next to the Michael Jordan Wheaties display.
A brand-new 1992 yellow Geo Metro convertible.
Price Chopper, a local New York supermarket chain (think Pathmark or Albertson’s on crack) was opening up a brand new location in Saratoga Springs.
The Metro would be the perfect vehicle for upstate New York’s salty roads and wickedly cold weather for one irrefutable reason. It was free… after tax, tag and title. The only thing I had to do was figure out how to win it.
So I got busy. 150 entries a day for 3 full months. 13,000 in all. The day came for the drawing, and I won!
In roughly 50 words, author Nassim Taleb neatly summarizes the answer to every essay ever penned about how “Car Company X Has Lost Its Way”.
While our own Ronnie Schreiber may have taken Zero Hedge to task for its inaccurate story on unsold cars, Australia is facing a situation where rising inventories have created a buyers market, just as local production of automobiles is winding down.