We’ve all dealt with a car salesman who wanted us to sign our life away on an overpriced import, but there’s a good chance that’s literally happening in Iraq right now.
Despite their psychopathic barbarity, ISIS fighters fear many things — women, music, culture, bathing, and now a lone tank dubbed “The Beast.”
According to U.S. military official Col. Steve Warren, an American-trained Iraqi tank crew has become a one-vehicle Dirty Dozen in the aptly named Iraqi city of Hit, the Associated Press has reported.
As part of ongoing efforts to retake the city from ISIS militants, the lone crew is “tearing it up” with its distinctively midwestern machine, obliterating every unfriendly target of opportunity with its General Dynamics M1A1 Abrams.
China may be a hotbed for automakers to bring in their latest and greatest, but exports of its automotive wares aren’t as hot these days.
Global oil prices are on the rise as the crisis in Iraq contributes to market instability. Large chunks of Iraq’s oil production infrastructure have fallen under militant control, leading to a sharp drop in output. Meanwhile, Canadian officials are upset with the Obama administration’s handling of the Keystone pipeline. They contend that the inaction on Keystone is keeping millions of barrels of Alberta crude from reaching more profitable markets.
While Russia, Indonesia, Brazil and even Burma get the majority of the car industry’s attention when it comes to emerging markets, Iraq is also considered to be an up-and-coming place to sell cars. Iraqis have a funny habit of enjoying cars that are linked to foreign armies; American cars are fairly popular in the country, and so are Iranian machines too.
Not too keen on Baghdad? That’s ok. You can travel to 170 other countries and territories in my blog. Or today I can offer you the 264 best-selling models in the USA in October 2012. Every single one of them.
Where were we?
The kingdom of General Motors and Chrysler… Yes sir.
Iraq hasn’t had anything noteworthy in the automotive space since the Iraqi Taxi debacle of the 1980’s, but with a population larger than Saudi Arabia, substantial oil reserves and increasing stability, Iraq is becoming a new target for automakers eager to sell cars to a population that’s been barred from Western vehicles due to international sanctions.
Japan’s auto industry is slowly putting its toes back into the Iraqi quicksand. Their stalking horse is Sumitomo, which established the first office of a Japanese company in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, The Nikkei [sub] reports. The office is in the business center at Baghdad’s international airport, surrounded by American military facilities. They’ll build the world’s most heavily guarded workshop. (Read More…)