The Truth About Cars » england http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 02 Jul 2015 23:04:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » england http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com 2016 Ford Focus RS Delivers 345 HP With ‘Specially Engineered’ EcoBoost Mill http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-ford-focus-rs-delivers-345-hp-with-specially-engineered-ecoboost-mill/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/2016-ford-focus-rs-delivers-345-hp-with-specially-engineered-ecoboost-mill/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 17:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1099817 Ahead of its arrival at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England, the 2016 Ford Focus RS’ horsepower figures were officially revealed. Ford says the hot hatch’s “specially engineered 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine” is good for 345 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque to all four corners. The turbo-four shares the basics with […]

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2016 Ford Focus RS

Ahead of its arrival at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England, the 2016 Ford Focus RS’ horsepower figures were officially revealed.

Ford says the hot hatch’s “specially engineered 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine” is good for 345 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque to all four corners. The turbo-four shares the basics with the all-aluminum mill found on the Mustang, with upgrades including: a “low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with larger compressor”; “less restrictive intake design” for more breathing capability; larger intercooler and radiator for increased cooling; high-temp-resistant cylinder heads and high-tensile cast iron cylinder liners; and “a large-bore high performance exhaust system with an electronically controlled valve in the tailpipe that helps optimise the balance of back pressure and noise output.”

Other features linked to the powertrain include Ford’s Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring system, launch control, and a handful of driving modes, including an “industry-first” drift mode so one can drift in Formula D without first yanking out the front differential.

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If You See Something, Say Some… No, Wait, It Would Be Best To Keep Quiet http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/see-something-say-no-wait-best-keep-quiet/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/see-something-say-no-wait-best-keep-quiet/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 13:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1098561 Have you ever seen a bus run a red light and endanger your fellow pedestrians? Did you think that it might be a good idea to record that action on your smartphone so you could alert the bus company? Did you ever consider that the bus driver would stop the bus, get out, and choke […]

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Have you ever seen a bus run a red light and endanger your fellow pedestrians? Did you think that it might be a good idea to record that action on your smartphone so you could alert the bus company?

Did you ever consider that the bus driver would stop the bus, get out, and choke you?

From the ever-more-vibrant-and-culturally-enriched United Kingdom comes the above video, described in the accompanying article as such:

One witness told the Standard: “The bus driver had apparently run a red light and the pedestrian filmed it on her phone.

“The next moment the bus driver pulled up and left the bus in the middle of the road and stopped the traffic.

“She assaulted the pedestrian, grabbed her and dragged her onto the pavement. The driver was stood over her like Muhammad Ali and started arguing with the people who came to help.”

In a statement on Friday the Metropolitan police said it was investigating an allegation of assault.

“A 27-year-old woman reported to police that she had been assaulted by the driver of a tour bus. No arrests were made and enquires continue.”

Well, we wouldn’t want the rights of the bus driver to step out and whip some nosy college girl’s ass to be infringed on, y’know? One has to wonder exactly what kind of proof the Metropolitan Police would need to arrest someone. Would they have arrested Jack Ruby back in the day or would they have just continued the ol’ enquiries? Here in the Land Of Trans Fats And Beauty Pageants For Five Year Olds we’re always hearing about how London is under the proverbial Electric Eye…

…do we have time for a Judas Priest video here? We do? Great!

…and back to the topic at hand. In fact, there is one camera in the UK for every eleven subjects but the city of London is not any safer despite the intrusion of so-called public privacy. I wonder why that is? Is it because when you give the cops a video of a bus driver experiencing a psychotic episode, they just continue the enquiries? I mean, here in America, we usually reserve the privilege of avoiding prosecution for a public beating to, um, the police, and rich people, and celebrities. What’s the world coming to when a bus driver can get away with the same kind of stuff that Hope Solo does?

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Ford Unveils Carsharing Pilot Program For Select Ford Credit Consumers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/ford-unveils-carsharing-pilot-program-for-select-ford-credit-consumers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/ford-unveils-carsharing-pilot-program-for-select-ford-credit-consumers/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1099089 Financing a Ford and looking to bolster your monthly payments? The automaker has an idea: rent your car to others. Ford owners financing their rides through Ford Credit can rent them out to other drivers through its Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing program, announced Tuesday evening. The pilot program will invite 14,000 and 12,000 owners “in six […]

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2015 Ford F-150

Financing a Ford and looking to bolster your monthly payments? The automaker has an idea: rent your car to others.

Ford owners financing their rides through Ford Credit can rent them out to other drivers through its Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing program, announced Tuesday evening. The pilot program will invite 14,000 and 12,000 owners “in six U.S. cities and London, respectively” to rent their vehicles to prescreened drivers on a short-term basis, with rental payments going towards paying down the note.

To enable this, Ford partnered with rideshare companies Getaround (U.S. market) and easyCar Club (London), whose respective “Web-based, mobile-friendly software” will handle all transactions.

The six U.S. cities selected to participate in the sharing program are the California cities of Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco, as well as Portland, Chicago and Washington. The program is slated to run through November 2015.

(Photo credit: Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars)

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TVR Reborn: Gordon Murray Engineered Machine Set For 2017 Launch http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/tvr-reborn-gordon-murray-engineered-machine-set-for-2017-launch/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/tvr-reborn-gordon-murray-engineered-machine-set-for-2017-launch/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 15:01:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1084329 TVR, along with announced partners Gordon Murray and Cosworth Engineering, is planning a rebirth for the storied British shed-built brand for 2017. The new car is expected to be powered by a unique Cosworth-developed V8. But, don’t hold your breath, as we’ve heard this story before. Led by current owner Les Edgar – a Brit who […]

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TVR, along with announced partners Gordon Murray and Cosworth Engineering, is planning a rebirth for the storied British shed-built brand for 2017. The new car is expected to be powered by a unique Cosworth-developed V8.

But, don’t hold your breath, as we’ve heard this story before.

Led by current owner Les Edgar – a Brit who founded video game developer Bullfrog Productions before it was assimilated into Electronic Arts Europe – and a three-seat executive board, TVR has been on a long road to producing sports cars again in the U.K.

Edgar purchased the entire company from Nikolai Smolensky in 2013 after it nearly died on the vine. Back then, Edgar stated TVR would start producing a new two model range of cars in 2015, priced between 50,000 and 80,000 GBP.

We are now half way through 2015 and there’s a complete lack of new cars being produced by the Edgar-led TVR. That’s not to say the company has been dormant over the years since Edgar took over the marque as it has been providing “genuine parts” for current owners.

In 2014, Edgar revised the timeline, stating a new R&D facility had been established in southern England and new cars could be expected in two- to three-years time, putting TVR’s rebirth somewhere between 2016 and 2017. It seems the timeline has now shifted solidly to 2017 with the latest announcement from the British company.

The now-slated for 2017 car has received engineering input from Gordon Murray, famous for his involvement with the McLaren F1, and will be powered by a Cosworth V8 that’s likely to be sourced from an existing design. TVR says the car will be priced similarly to how their cars were in the past.

Aside from his interest in TVR, Edgar has been involved in Aston Martin’s return to GT racing. It’s possible the reborn TVR could follow suit.

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QOTD: Is It Time for Lefty Countries to Drive on the Right Side of the Road? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/qotd-time-lefty-countries-drive-right-side-road/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/qotd-time-lefty-countries-drive-right-side-road/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 11:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1055017 After only selling close to 250 Volts in Australia since its introduction in 2012, the decision was made to not import the second-generation extended range electric vehicle, even though it features less-quirky styling and an improved electric drivetrain. But, if Australia was a left-hand drive country, would this be an issue? Thanks to laws in Australia prohibiting […]

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Brooker Hwy 25, Australia

After only selling close to 250 Volts in Australia since its introduction in 2012, the decision was made to not import the second-generation extended range electric vehicle, even though it features less-quirky styling and an improved electric drivetrain.

But, if Australia was a left-hand drive country, would this be an issue?

Thanks to laws in Australia prohibiting the sale of left-hand drive vehicles, should an automaker want to sell a vehicle Down Under, it must be converted to right-hand drive. For a number of vehicles, due to packaging constraints, this is not feasible from an engineering perspective. More often than not, while it might be technically doable, it just isn’t financially prudent – as is the case with the newly-cancelled Holden Volt.

Countries driving on the left or right

Folks, its 2015 and we still live in a world where, depending on what country you live in, you drive on one side of the road or the other. Isn’t it time for this to change?

It would certainly make it a lot easier for automakers to develop, engineer, and sell global models. It would make roadways safer (every year there’s always at least one tourist here driving on the wrong side of the road, usually around a roundabout). Australians could get all the Volts and F-150s they want. We could have saved the Australian ute. Everyone could have been happy.

What do you think, B&B? Is it time to ditch right-hand drive?

[Image source: Wiki ian (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons/Benjamin D. Esham [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

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Land Rovers, Jaguars Et Al Leave Höegh Osaka After Month At Sea http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/land-rovers-jaguars-et-al-leave-hoegh-osaka-month-sea/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/land-rovers-jaguars-et-al-leave-hoegh-osaka-month-sea/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=991122 Having spent most of January on its side, the Höegh Osaka returned to Southampton, England Tuesday to unload 1,400 premium vehicles bound for Germany. According to The Daily Mail, the car carrier was intentionally run aground in the Solent off the Isle of Wight January 3 when it began to list at 52 degrees shortly […]

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Land Rover Hoegh Osaka

Having spent most of January on its side, the Höegh Osaka returned to Southampton, England Tuesday to unload 1,400 premium vehicles bound for Germany.

According to The Daily Mail, the car carrier was intentionally run aground in the Solent off the Isle of Wight January 3 when it began to list at 52 degrees shortly after departing for Germany through the English Channel. Around 1,400 premium vehicles were onboard, including Land Rover Defenders, Jaguar XFs, MINIs, a Rolls-Royce Wraith, and a Porsche Boxster.

Presently, each of the 1,400 vehicles aboard are being inspected for any damage, especially the type that would mean a final ride to the crusher. The final total won’t come until early next week at the latest, though a decision to follow in Mazda’s footsteps — the automaker scrapped 4,700 units aboard the Cougar Ace in 2006 — would prove costly; the total value of Höegh Osaka’s cargo stands at £30 million ($45 million USD).

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Capsule Review: 1983 Ford Sierra Ghia 2.0 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/capsule-review-1983-ford-sierra-ghia-2-0/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/capsule-review-1983-ford-sierra-ghia-2-0/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:44:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=981897     “Wait! Is that a…” “Are you British?”  “I haven’t seen one of these since I left Venezuela as a teenager, only rich people had Sierras!” Behold random responses from gawkers of TTAC’s Project Car. The surprises continue after several hundred miles under the Ford Sierra’s belt, as life with this fish out of water is […]

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“Wait! Is that a…”

“Are you British?”

 “I haven’t seen one of these since I left Venezuela as a teenager, only rich people had Sierras!”

Behold random responses from gawkers of TTAC’s Project Car. The surprises continue after several hundred miles under the Ford Sierra’s belt, as life with this fish out of water is far from a compromise.

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To see it is to not know it: like most hyper-futuristic designs past their prime, a head turner in conservative 1982 England is a familiar profile in conservative 2015 Texas.  Aside from the steering wheel on the wrong side!

But critical eyes notice the Ghia’s grille-free nose and alien headlights. The conversation’s tenor changes: there’s no better compliment to Mr. Uwe Bahnsen and his gifted team than the subtle and thoughtful reactions a Sierra earns a full thirty-three years after liftoff.

Get behind the wheel and the modern theme continues, because it drives like a newer vehicle.

Reasonable drag coefficient (.34) and almost nothing frontal area aside, the finest late-70s technology helps the Sierra match (or trump) the manners of new vehicles at most (legal) speeds.  Strut front suspension with rack-and-pinion steering is right, even without modern aluminum componentry. The semi-trailing arm rear looks modern-ish with exposed webbing on the differential: credit the beginnings of finite element analysis.

(photo courtesy: Ford Press Release)

At 2500-ish lbs, the ho-hum Ford Sierra is a balanced rear-wheel drive, fully-Germanic chassis on a family car body. Which means that roads normally tortured by flaccid CUVs now tango with something Miata-sized.

Captain Mike, the mastermind of this plan, behind the wheel at the Nürburgring.

Thrills start at the tiller: no power assist means road feel harkens to a dance with a soul mate. Manual steering effort is no chore with 165mm wide tires that rarely lack grip on city streets. Emergency maneuvers are effortless, understeer is progressive with the possibility of gentle, controlled oversteer.

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Go round-abouting and the Sierra hangs tight as speeds near 25mph. Above 25 and the front wheels howl as your grin grows. Add a dab of oppo, scandinavian flicks, badass drifter talk blah-blah-blah: with more go-juice, steering modulation and you could duplicate this:

Fiesta THIS.

Like all Sierras thrashed-then-trashed in Europe, its a joy to drift at low speeds even if hamstringed by saggy, original springs and plush dampers. But it’s a pleasant ride/handling tradeoff.  Potholes disappear with 80-series sidewalls smoothing imperfections to the point the big-rimmed Rolls Royce Phantom hangs its NVH-soaked head in shame. How Britishy!

Too bad about the buzzy powertrain: 105 bigger-than-you-think horses from a 2.0L OHC four-banger (sporting a large 2bbl Weber) means the Sierra rarely struggles, but makes a helluva ruckus.

It’s a wonderful powerband: diesel-like torque from a standstill with a smooth-ish (but L-O-U-D) demeanor all the way to 6000 emissions control free revs. The 3-speed auto schools modern units with an effortless 1-2 upshift and a reassuring push to 3rd at full throttle: all autoboxes should shift this sweet.

Brakes?  Credit the light weight for the Sierra’s discs/drums bringing the machine down from 60mph with the hustle of a modern machine. ABS would help, ditto weight adding life-saving technology like airbags, larger door bars, etc.  I reckon with today’s weight shedding tech (aluminum engines, plastic hoods/intakes, etc) offsetting the safety goodies, the Sierra’s fighting form wouldn’t gain a pound.

In the right place. (photo courtesy: Ford Motor Company)

And Ghia spec Ford Sierras are a nice place for average Americans and most Europeans, aside from the previous owner’s decision to order it sans air conditioning: antique English vehicle shopping FTW, SON MATE!

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Fleet-spec Sierras don’t stand a chance, but the real wood trim and buffet-worthy options list protect Ghias from modern motoring irrelevance. Power windows (front 2 or 4), crank moonroof, adjustable reading lamps and a four-speaker cassette stereo are far from impressive. But heated seats, roll up rear sunshades, headlight washers and a gen-u-wine electronic trip computer are touches you’d pay extra for even today.

Mediocre overall, as integration is the killer app.

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Because 1980s. (photo courtesy: Ford Motor Company)

The dash, less radical than the wraparound polycarbonate bumpers, organizes controls in zones for easy use: one to the right of the gauges, another to the left, a third atop the center stack (dark chocolate) and a 4th in the lighter brown region. It’s charming in a proto-modern, Atari 2600 human factors kind of way.

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The interior bits are from a dumber era in polymer construction, yet texture/fit/finish from the doors, vent registers, levers and switches is pure Germanic craftsmanship. Aside from the (period excellent) brown velour, the interior’s aged well.

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But goodness, those seats are magical.  Don’t let the benign seams fool you: the Ghia sucks you in, cradling you. All passengers get thick, luxurious cushions with brilliant thigh support and Volvo-worthy head restraints. Even the Velcro-like velour provides impressive lateral support for everyone but latex-wearing fetishists.

While the stereo is barely adequate, while the vintage Hitachi deck’s discman input smartphone jack provides turn-by-turn Google navigation and streaming audio, don’t forget the tunes held in a handy hatchback with 42.4 cu-ft of space!

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And the beat goes brown.

Considering fuel economy numbers near 30mpg for highway-skewed driving (no overdrive) the Ford Sierra is an antique you could daily drive. (Just find one with A/C.)

But the original MKI design asks for more. It deserves more. 

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Back on the trailer for big upgrades: more gears, power and period-correct emissions processing for a powertrain worthy of that efficient body.

Yes, this Sierra has the power of contemporary V8s in a superior chassis. And it’s quite the time capsule, even difficult to find in Europe…but at what cost to cutting-edge design?

Next time you see TTAC’s Ford Sierra, prepare for an even larger threat to the notion of a modern car!

 

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Last Remaining United Kingdom Cadillac Dealer Closes http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/last-remaining-united-kingdom-cadillac-dealer-closes/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/last-remaining-united-kingdom-cadillac-dealer-closes/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 19:44:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973201   In a move that that will be mourned by…well, I am not sure by who, the lone surviving Cadillac retailer in England has closed its doors. English trade journal Car Dealer Magazine reports that dealership Bauer Millett in Manchester shut down just before Christmas. Citing the high cost of doing business and increased competition, owner Mitch Millet also gave […]

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DTGFP Bush - 005.jpg  George W Bush Britain Visit

 

In a move that that will be mourned by…well, I am not sure by who, the lone surviving Cadillac retailer in England has closed its doors. English trade journal Car Dealer Magazine reports that dealership Bauer Millett in Manchester shut down just before Christmas. Citing the high cost of doing business and increased competition, owner Mitch Millet also gave up his Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Jeep and Chrysler franchises.

Millet did not say, but we imagine selling large left-hand drive American vehicles would be quite a challenge in the UK.

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen has previously announced that Caddy will return to England in 2019, complete with diesel models. No word if the automaker is going to open an office on Savile Row.

Paging DeadWeight, paging DeadWeight…

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Honda UK Launches First Commercial Solar Hydrogen Facility http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/honda-uk-launches-first-commercial-solar-hydrogen-facility/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/honda-uk-launches-first-commercial-solar-hydrogen-facility/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=944001 In a partnership with various organizations, including Briggs Equipment UK, BOC and the Swindon Borough Council, Honda UK has launched its first commercial-scale hydrogen production and refueling facility in its hometown of Swindon, England. SHD Logistics reports the facility will produce 20 tons of hydrogen annually through solar hydrolysis, a process that creates the gas […]

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In a partnership with various organizations, including Briggs Equipment UK, BOC and the Swindon Borough Council, Honda UK has launched its first commercial-scale hydrogen production and refueling facility in its hometown of Swindon, England.

SHD Logistics reports the facility will produce 20 tons of hydrogen annually through solar hydrolysis, a process that creates the gas from water via the sun’s heat. The first customers will be limited to a pair of forklifts and a commercial fleet on the grounds of Honda’s Swindon production plant, as well as an education center next door.

The hydrogen will be delivered through 300-meter long pipes to a refueling point inside the factory, where two Briggs lithium-ion/hydrogen hybrid forklifts will replenish their tanks as needed. The fueling process is expected to take five minutes, each full tank generating 5.5 hours of run time.

Honda hopes the new facility, parts of which were already in operation since 2011, “will be a benchmark for other refuelling stations to follow” as well as reinforce the United Kingdom’s potential among automakers as a place to contribute to the new hydrogen future with vehicles and infrastructure.

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ London Headquarters To Focus On Corporate Finance http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/fiat-chrysler-automobiles-london-headquarters-to-focus-on-corporate-finance/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/fiat-chrysler-automobiles-london-headquarters-to-focus-on-corporate-finance/#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 11:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=827618 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ new headquarters in London, England will be as small as many Silicon Valley startups, with a staff of 50 mostly focused on finance. Automotive News Europe reports FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne and Fiat Group chairman John Elkann will have a home in London, with FCA COO Richard Palmer possibly having a place […]

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Fiat 500 in London

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ new headquarters in London, England will be as small as many Silicon Valley startups, with a staff of 50 mostly focused on finance.

Automotive News Europe reports FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne and Fiat Group chairman John Elkann will have a home in London, with FCA COO Richard Palmer possibly having a place there as well. Though no new hiring is planned, the automaker hopes to pull more finance employees from its Asia Pacific and Latin American regions to its headquarters, where most of the work will involve treasury operations.

The move to London also means tax savings for FCA; whereas Fiat paid 31.4 percent in corporate taxes to Italy while Chrysler paid 35 percent to the United States, the Italo-American company will pay only 20 percent for its part of filling the Queen’s coffers. This strategy has come under fire from both sides of the Atlantic, with feelings of betrayal on the part of Italians due to history, and on Americans due to tax dollars used to rescue Chrysler in 2009.

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Honda Drawing Back UK Production In Face Of Weak Growth http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/honda-drawing-back-uk-production-in-face-of-weak-growth/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/honda-drawing-back-uk-production-in-face-of-weak-growth/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 13:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=781425 With a forecast of low sales growth in Europe expected to remain in place for the next few years, Honda has decided to scale back production at its plant in Swindon, England. Reuters reports the plant will go from three shifts to two, resulting in a 10 percent layoff in the workforce. Honda will build […]

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2014 Honda Civic Hatchback

With a forecast of low sales growth in Europe expected to remain in place for the next few years, Honda has decided to scale back production at its plant in Swindon, England.

Reuters reports the plant will go from three shifts to two, resulting in a 10 percent layoff in the workforce. Honda will build about 120,000 vehicles annually, down from 140,000 in 2013. Swindon has the capacity to build 250,000 cars per year, but at projected levels, the plant will be severely underutilized.

Though Honda Motors Europe senior vice president Ian Howells said his company had not seen the growth it expected in 2013 in the European market, figures for January showed overall sales climbing 5.2 percent on the strength of demand from Italy, Portugal and Greece. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom’s sales climbed 10.8 percent in 2013 to 2.26 million vehicles.

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How Did That Get There? An Anglia In East Alabama http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/how-did-that-get-there-an-anglia-in-east-alabama/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/how-did-that-get-there-an-anglia-in-east-alabama/#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 06:15:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=499453 As much of America redevelops in the direction of increased urbanization and strip-mall suburbia, small downtowns have either dried up or re-purposed themselves as purveyors of quaint fashion and entertainment. Such is the case with Opelika, the sister town to Auburn. Boutiques, restaurants, and antiques places have mostly replaced the hardware stores and other obsolete […]

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As much of America redevelops in the direction of increased urbanization and strip-mall suburbia, small downtowns have either dried up or re-purposed themselves as purveyors of quaint fashion and entertainment. Such is the case with Opelika, the sister town to Auburn. Boutiques, restaurants, and antiques places have mostly replaced the hardware stores and other obsolete staples of small-town commerce. I come from a family of enthusiastic collectors of rare junk, but even I can see the occasionally sad irony of a town selling pieces of itself just to get by. A few weeks ago, however, I spotted a prominently displayed chunk of the past that defied my expectations. Instead of distressed Americana on sale, one shop had a very English relic I didn’t expect to see in this part of the country. I returned later to take a closer look.

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    This Ford Anglia was pulled from a field somewhere in East Alabama. The proprietress of the shop knew of the car’s British origins, but didn’t know how it came to rest in a Southeastern cow patch. She received it “from a friend” and converted it into a display piece for her downtown antiques emporium. Lodged in the front window of the shop with a couple of artfully-positioned suitcases, it’s not for sale. Its value as a conversation piece and an attention-getter clearly outweighs whatever sum someone might be tempted to pay for it. Rest assured, Anglia diehards: this isn’t one that you’d want to save. It’s pretty rotten in the floors and the sills, there’s plenty of bullet holes, and a number of hard-to-find bits are missing. Still, I’m glad that it wound up here rather than in a China-bound scrap steel container. It took me a while, but I managed to get some decent shots of the car despite it being surrounded with stuff.

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    Who in Alabama would have bought this car new? I’m guessing it was sold here as a new or nearly-new car because of the chrome trunk tag. Brewbaker Motors is a large multi-franchise family dealership in Montgomery that still operates today. They aren’t a Ford store, though, so they must have acquired it secondhand. I like to think that some expat British professor brought the car with him when he came to teach at Auburn in the 1950’s. He might have traded it in after discovering that English Fords didn’t have much repair or parts support in the Deep South. Or maybe some hardworking Dixie resident snapped the Anglia up as an alternative to the big Fords of the era. In any case, it went the way of all discarded cars in Alabama and became somebody else’s target. Now it serves as a reminder that not everyone wanted a Detroit land yacht in the 50’s.

Thanks to the owner of Resurrect Antiques for her permission to photograph the vehicle.

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Nissan Europe Ramping Up Local Leaf Production http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/nissan-europe-ramping-up-local-leaf-production/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/nissan-europe-ramping-up-local-leaf-production/#comments Wed, 27 Feb 2013 15:46:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=479287 With Nissan bringing Leaf production to Japan and the United States, the next stop on their localization train is Europe. The Sunderland, UK plant will begin in the spring, and along with European production will be a series of tweaks for that market. Most significant for the Leaf is a bump in range, allowing the […]

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With Nissan bringing Leaf production to Japan and the United States, the next stop on their localization train is Europe. The Sunderland, UK plant will begin in the spring, and along with European production will be a series of tweaks for that market.

Most significant for the Leaf is a bump in range, allowing the car to travel 124 miles instead of the previous 109 miles. A revised heat pump is partly responsible for the boost in range, while a new fast charger option can cut charging times in half (fast charging stations across the continent are said to have tripled, according to Just-Auto).

Luggage space and overall packaging is also improved, thanks to a redesigned powertrain that incorporates the motor, inverter and charger assembly under the hood as a single unit. Luggage space is said to be improved by as much as 40 liters. The battery itself will be produced locally as well.

While a mid-cycle refresh is standard practice for most car companies, Nissan has been tailoring some of its changes to the local markets in North America, Japan and Europe, based on owner feedback and telematics data. Notably, the chassis, steering system and brakes were all revised for European tastes, with the dampers and steering firmed up and the brakes made to feel more progressive – changes that would be welcome on the North American spec car.

 

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Subaru UK Kills Off Impreza, WRX, STI http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/subaru-uk-kills-off-impreza-wrx-sti/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/subaru-uk-kills-off-impreza-wrx-sti/#comments Fri, 14 Dec 2012 18:35:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=470192 If you read British buff books like EVO, it would be easy to think that the hot versions of the Subaru Impreza are fixtures of the UK’s motoring landscape. Not only are they beloved by enthusiasts, but the WRX is even employed as a police car in certain municipalities. But starting in 2013, British car […]

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If you read British buff books like EVO, it would be easy to think that the hot versions of the Subaru Impreza are fixtures of the UK’s motoring landscape. Not only are they beloved by enthusiasts, but the WRX is even employed as a police car in certain municipalities. But starting in 2013, British car buyers won’t be able to purchase one of the small Scoobies.

A lack of demand has led Subaru UK to kill off the Impreza, and its more sporting variants. AutoExpress reports that

“The new Impreza has been under evaluation in the UK for 12 months, but the decision has been taken not to bring that car to the UK because of insufficient demand…Subaru is concentrating on what it’s really good at – so we’re concentrating on SUVs and the BRZ – we’re hoping to get more [BRZs] next year to satisfy strong demand for that car.”

That means that going foward, the XV, Outback and Forester will be the staples of the lineup, as well as the BRZ. The Legacy may not even survive. Luckily, UK buyers can still import vehicles from Japan as grey market cars.

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Morgan Threatened By Tree Fungus http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/morgan-threatened-by-tree-fungus/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/morgan-threatened-by-tree-fungus/#comments Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:20:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=465543 Morgan’s wood-framed sports cars are facing an existential threat; a species of fungus that infects ash trees, which are the source of wood used on Morgan’s legendary sports cars. Ash has been used for over a century, but the situation could necessitate a switch to other kinds of wood. Ash dieback, as the disease is […]

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Morgan’s wood-framed sports cars are facing an existential threat; a species of fungus that infects ash trees, which are the source of wood used on Morgan’s legendary sports cars.

Ash has been used for over a century, but the situation could necessitate a switch to other kinds of wood. Ash dieback, as the disease is known, has been ravaging ash trees in the UK, and usually kills 90 percent of trees that become infected.

Steve Morris, Morgan’s Operations Director, told the Daily Mail

‘Ash has very good properties for stability and the way it can be formed. We have been using ash for traditional building for 100 years. It is possible that we would have to look at other types of wood. This news is a worry for us and we are taking it very seriously. It would be a shame if the problem escalated.’ 

A statement on the Morgan website claims that the company has a two year supply of ash wood, and that it could also be sourced from France, Germany, the United States and Belgium.

Hat tip to Reddit Autos

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Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Honda To Send Mexican Fits To UK http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/honda-to-send-mexica-fits-to-uk/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/honda-to-send-mexica-fits-to-uk/#comments Tue, 02 Oct 2012 19:16:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=462516 Just-Auto is reporting that Honda will cease UK production of the Jazz (aka our Fit) “to benefit from production economies of scale and fully [use] Honda’s global production resources”. So, where are they going to come from? Of the seven countries that currently produce the Fit, Just-Auto suggests that Fits built in China and Japan […]

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Just-Auto is reporting that Honda will cease UK production of the Jazz (aka our Fit)

“to benefit from production economies of scale and fully [use] Honda’s global production resources”.

So, where are they going to come from?

Of the seven countries that currently produce the Fit, Just-Auto suggests that Fits built in China and Japan are the most likely candidates. But with such a strong yen, it would make little sense to end domestic production of the Jazz and import it from such a locale.

What if Honda is going to send Fits to the UK from Mexico? Honda’s UK plant provided the Jazz for Europe, alongside China and Japan. While the UK and Mexico don’t have a free-trade agreement, there is one with the EU, and that’s prompted Audi and other manufacturers to choose Mexico for plant expansion.

Honda’s UK plants will begin producing the Civic exclusively, while their Mexican factory is scheduled to start cranking out the next-generation Fit in 2014 – right when the new European Civic models are set to be introduced, alongside an all-new Jazz. Good timing, isn’t it?

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Ford Plant Could Be Next On Europe’s Chopping Block http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/ford-plant-could-be-next-on-europes-chopping-block/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/ford-plant-could-be-next-on-europes-chopping-block/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 21:45:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=453625 Ford last closed a plant in Europe a decade ago, when its Dagenham assembly plant was shuttered, but the Blue Oval may be forced to do it again. Faced with excess capacity and mounting losses on the continent, Ford needs to trim some fat. According to a report by Bloomberg The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker’s assembly […]

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Ford last closed a plant in Europe a decade ago, when its Dagenham assembly plant was shuttered, but the Blue Oval may be forced to do it again.

Faced with excess capacity and mounting losses on the continent, Ford needs to trim some fat. According to a report by Bloomberg

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker’s assembly plants in Southampton, England, and Genk, Belgium, may be vulnerable.

The Southampton factory is apparently running at less than one-third capacity, and built fewer than 30,000 Transit vans last year. The Genk plant builds the Mondeo – an important car for Ford, but one that is cursed with a small market and a declining customer base. Europe’s already volatile economy is hardly the place for a pseudo-upscale sedan like the Mondeo, as well as the S-Max crossover and the Galaxy minivan (which did have a slight uptick in sales this year).

Ford isn’t the first automaker trying to shed capacity, with Opel and PSA undertaking plans to shut down underperforming factories. And they probably won’t be the last either.

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Jaguar Land Rover Gets 35,000 Applicants For 1,000 Jobs At Halewood Plant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/jaguar-land-rover-gets-35000-applicants-for-1000-jobs-at-halewood-plant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/jaguar-land-rover-gets-35000-applicants-for-1000-jobs-at-halewood-plant/#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2012 13:57:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441421 When Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to start hiring workers at their Halewood plant, the company received 6,000 applications in less than 24 hours. One month on, and Jaguar has received a further 29,000 applications. The north of England has traditionally lagged behind the south in terms of economic prosperity, but the loss of good jobs in […]

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When Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to start hiring workers at their Halewood plant, the company received 6,000 applications in less than 24 hours. One month on, and Jaguar has received a further 29,000 applications.

The north of England has traditionally lagged behind the south in terms of economic prosperity, but the loss of good jobs in industries like manufacturing, shipping and mining has further enhanced hardships in the region (and also inspired some of the world’s best musicians, from The Beatles to New Order to Oasis). The JLR factory near Liverpool will expand its workforce to 4,500 employees while producing vehicles like the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover LR2 around the clock. In 2009, Halewood lost 300 jobs after Jaguar cancelled production of the X-Type, but since then, thousands of jobs have been added at the facility.

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Dacia Lodgy Emerges, UK Sales Questionable http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/dacia-lodgy-emerges-uk-sales-questionable/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/dacia-lodgy-emerges-uk-sales-questionable/#comments Thu, 05 Jan 2012 20:24:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=424558 Dacia showed off their Lodgy MPV today, giving more fodder for Dacia fans who became aware of the brand via their slavish devotion to Top Gear. The Lodgy is a small minivan available in 5 or 7 seat configuration and sold under a Romanian auto brand certain to go on sale in the rest of […]

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Dacia showed off their Lodgy MPV today, giving more fodder for Dacia fans who became aware of the brand via their slavish devotion to Top Gear. The Lodgy is a small minivan available in 5 or 7 seat configuration and sold under a Romanian auto brand certain to go on sale in the rest of Europe, but maybe not in the UK.

Buried within the Dacia press release is a vague statement about UK sales. According to Dacia a”…decision on commercialisation of Lodgy in right-hand drive for the UK market is still to be finalised.” Dacia, as you’ll remember, is owned by Renault, which just heavily consolidated (or purged, in the parlance of Ceaucescu-era Romania) their UK lineup amid drastically falling sales.

While the famed Renaultsport hot hatches were untouched, practically everything else was given the ax in the UK, along with a 33 percent of their dealers. Renault is hoping to move upmarket, leaving Dacia to sell the cheap stuff (while their big Laguna range will be replaced with crossovers) the Scenic MPV, which also offers 5 and 7 passenger seating. Renault is likely evaluating whether there’s a business case to be made for the Lodgy, or if the car will cannibalize sales of the Scenic. One thing is certain; we won’t be the first to make “Dodgy Lodgy” jokes or puns.

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