Even though the BMW i8, i3 and M3/M4 were the starts of the BMW stand (in that order), I was more interested in the upcoming 2-Series. Unlike the Mercedes-Benz CLA and the Audi A3, the 2-Series is rear wheel drive, as the future 1-Series moves to a front-drive platform shared with Mini.
Even when manufacturers restrict access to events, press fleets and product previews, TTAC manages to get the juicy details, thanks to an overlooked segment of the automotive industry. Our network of supplier sources is far and wide, spanning all tiers and market segments, and our latest bit of information comes from one source, who raised an interesting question about the Chrysler 200.
The longer I do this, the more I realize that it’s about people, not machines. Don’t get me wrong, I still think that cars are way cool, something only human beings could create, but it’s those human beings involved in that creation that make stories worth telling and hearing. When my son, my only son, Moshe, whom I love, was a boy we put model cars together. It was a father-son thing but I also wanted him to learn a little patience. We took care putting them together, but we rarely painted them. That too took much patience. Sometime when he was in fifth grade, so this would have been 1994 or 1995 when Mo was ten years old, we were building a model of a Dodge Viper. It was an AMT/Ertl kit, in 1:25 scale. (Read More…)
After a long slog through NAIAS and getting TTAC’s house in order for the new year, I was delighted to see the response to my first big endeavor of the year, my Generation Why piece. But with 174 comments and multiple tangents, I wanted to open up the floor to clarify a few things.
Nissan is keeping true to its promise of offering up a new model every 3.5 seconds for the rest of time. What you see above is the newest child to be birthed from Yokohama Prefecture, Japan – the Nissan Versa Note.
Our NAIAS preview post revealed a common theme of dissatisfaction with the slow-striptease style of product reveals, where manufacturers “leak” teaser shots ad nauseam in the run-up to a product launch. It seems the readers are tired of it, and frankly, I am too. So what’s to be done about it?
It’s a new tradition at the storied Mini brand: Each car show gets its own dedicated Mini. Swatch tried it with the Swatch car, but could not pull it off. Now, BMW’s Mini is doing it with great success: At the inside, the same movement. At the outside, ever changing designs. Collect all colors!. Of course, Mini won’t break tradition at the Detroit Auto Show, and it will bring you: The John Cooper Works Paceman.
TTAC’s influence on the auto industry continues to grow. Following TTAC’s choice of the Detroit Beer Company as the location of our meet & greet during the North American International Auto Show’s press preview, the NAIAS’ own organizers, DADA, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, held a press conference this morning, upstairs at the same brew pub, announcing plans for next year’s show. Most of the announcements were fairly mundane, but buried in the news there may have been hints of a change brewing in how General Motors’ flagship brand is marketed.
With all of the leaks, it’s not so easy to be surprised at NAIAS. But I managed to learn a thing or two by attending. My top dozen takeaways:
1. Compared to a Lamborghini, a Ferrari seems…normal. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. (Read More…)
There’s a bit of a brouhaha brewing about Ford bringing about 150 “social media influencers” to Detroit and then Las Vegas for the big North American International Auto Show and the Consumer Electronics Show. While there may be some ethical issues concerning transparency and disclosure, I doubt that anyone begrudges Ford the ability to spend Ford stockholders’ money promoting Ford Motor Company and its products. Ford is acting in the fiduciary interests of those stockholders. Whether or not cabinet members and other Washington officials are acting in the fiduciary interest of taxpayers by flying to car shows is another question. (Read More…)
At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (9 – 22 January,) Porsche will unveil its latest topless 911, the 911 Cabrio. The more chaste 911 Coupé will be available in the USA starting in February 2012. The Cabriolet will follow a few months later, when the season allows public disrobing of your car. (Read More…)
Photo Credit: Autoblog Green
It’s getting a little predictable. Go to a big car event like the North American International Auto Show or the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress and you’re going to see politicians and government officials. I suppose that’s to be expected, but to be honest, I’m a little ticked off at how our public servants get a large megaphone at those events without bearing any of the costs that you, I, or a car company would have to pay for for the same treatment.
For the past three years particularly because of the meltdown of the domestic automakers, the bailout and the US Treasury’s subsequent stakes in GM (still held) and Chrysler (divested so that Fiat could own more), but really since the beginning of time, politicians and auto shows went together. I remember, after a press conference where Wayne County (MI) executive Robert Ficano exchanged gifts with the chairman of the People’s Army owned automaker Changfeng, asking Mr. Ficano just how many Changfeng employees voted in Wayne County. During the ’08 presidential election, most of the primary candidates on the Republican side visited the show’s press preview.
Want a small electric car that looks like a movie theater or even a stadium inside? Johnson Controls shows the ie.3 concept car at NAIAS. Sure, it has a battery. But it also has spring loaded flip-up seats, just like at the movies. Or at he ballpark. (Read More…)
“Prius has become to hybrids what Kleenex is to tissues and Levis are to jeans.” So said Bob Carter, group VP and general manager of Toyota U.S.A. With so much brand power, it would be a waste to have only one Prius. From now on, Toyota has three. The Prius received a bigger and a smaller sibling, with the idea towards creating “a modern family with a Prius for everyone.” (Read More…)