The Tokyo Auto Salon is not just a preserve of doe-eyed kawaii girls, and a host of hachi-roku. It also proves that you can’t kill the HUMMER. (Read More…)
There was the Cadillac of minivans. A different kind of company selling a different kind of car. A Swede with no compromises, and a Frenchman that went from strength to strength.
Daihatsus that were perhaps, a bit too modest, by skinny dipping their unknown name in a slogan-less lake. And then we had that crazy distant Yugoslavian cousin who bragged about a ‘road back to sanity’ while his neighbors blew up his plant.
I just spent two weeks on vacation in Vietnam, and my pre-trip expectations of seeing fleets of left-behind-by-the-French Peugeots, left-behind-by-the-Americans Falcons, and left-behind-by-the-Soviets GAZs turned out to be ridiculously inaccurate. I saw a few old cars (more on that later), but most of the cars in Vietnam are boring late-model rides like Kia Rios and Toyota Innovas. However, I did see quite a few conspicuous-consumption statusmobiles in Saigon and Hanoi; the grumbling old-time revolutionary veterans no doubt refer to the current Hanoi leadership as CINOs. Here’s an example I spotted near St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. (Read More…)
The other day, I walk (don’t ask why and what for) through Tokyo’s red-light district, known to connoisseurs as Kabukicho, and I spot some HUMMERs curbside. HUMMERs are not new to the neighborhood. In Japan, HUMMERs used to be popular with certain groups, known as the Yakuza, who also frequent Kabukicho.
However, they had H2s, not the HUMMERs I saw. (Read More…)
The NYT reports that, having fallen out of favor in the Afghanistan campaign for its vulnerability to roadside bombs, the HMMWV is making a comeback. The Humvee was being replaced by mine-resistant armored personnel carriers called MRAPs,
But recent blast tests show that Humvees built with the new chimney could provide as much protection as some of the heavier, and more costly, mine-resistant vehicles that have replaced them in many uses.
And if the final tests go well, the invention could save billions in new vehicle costs and restore much of the maneuverability that the Army and the Marines have lacked in the rugged terrain in Afghanistan, military officials say. Engineers say the chimney, which rises through the passenger cabin, releases some of the explosive gases — traveling at twice the speed of a fighter jet — that have mangled and flipped many of the vehicles.
Pentagon officials have said little about the 11 blast tests so far, in which the prototype vehicles are engulfed by a cloud of smoke, dust and fire, but the passenger cabin remains intact.
It turns out that adding armor hurts the maneuverability that makes the HMMWV so prized, and is less effective than the new chimneys which deflect blast forces around and away from the passenger compartment. The military will conduct five more blast tests and could request bids for the new generation of HMMWVs sometime this fall.
How many former Saturn buyers do you figure have come back to GM for their next car? What about consumers who last purchased a Pontiac? How about HUMMER? Since we’re not bound to a strict inverted pyramid around here, why don’t you think of an answer (in terms of percentage of customers retained) for each brand and then hit the jump to see how close you were.
Wanna buy a Hummer? You can buy them as cheap as dirt these days. There was a beautiful one that went through the block at a weekly public auction in Oakwood, GA. Nice leather interior. Well kept. The H2 models in particular were an easy piece to market and sell not too long ago… but not last Thusday. It no-saled. Not even the hope of a bid at $13k. Then came the H3. No sale at 10k. No takers. Only two no-sales from new car stores that generally sell everything. Why?
I’m not supposed to let you in on our inner workings, but here is something I wanted to share with you for quite a while: There is a huge grassroots movement that wants the HUMMER back. How do we know this?
Well, we are keeping tabs on you, dear reader. (Read More…)
Nothing is worse than turning into something you’re not. I am not my father, and yet here I am besmirching his Curbside Classic series with this mystifying find. This Mk1 Scion xB is emphatically not a HUMMER, and yet… well, just look at it.
Technology Review reports on Levant Power’s “GenShock” technology, which generates electricity by converting the kinetic energy of suspension travel into electricity. And electricity generation isn’t the whole story: the entire suspension is an actively-controlled, dynamic system that improves performance as well as efficiency in a turnkey package.
Levant has developed a modified piston head that includes parts that spin as it moves through the oil, turning a small generator housed within the shock absorber. To improve vehicle handling, the power controller uses information from accelerometers and other sensors to change the resistance from the generators, which stiffens or softens the suspension. For example, if the sensors detect the car starting a turn, the power controller can increase the resistance from the shock absorbers on the outer wheels, improving cornering, says David Diamond, the vice president of business development at Levant.
HUMMER fans have a new champion in Illinois Senator Roland Burris, who has agreed to investigate GM’s shutdown of the SUV brand according to Hummerguy.net. Attempts to keep the HUMMER brand alive are being fielded by Capital & Labor International Coalition, a recently-founded fund management firm created by Thane Ritchie, founder of Ritchie Capital Management, as well as failed HUMMER bidder Raser Technologies and The Electric Motor Corporation. According to Hummerguy,
CLIC is hoping for an “acquisition by coalition,” which would involve cooperation with private capital and U.A.W. resources. Union representatives from both HUMMER production facilities were on hand to hear the plan and are running the idea up the chain of command to the International U.A.W..
Artist Jeremy Dean goes “Back To Futurama,” with this “horse-drawn testament to the collapse of the auto-industry.” [via animalnewyork.com, HT Richard Chen]