A great philosopher once said that you can’t start a fire without a spark, followed by something about rhythmic movements in unlit spaces.
Well, if there’s a war brewing against autonomous technology and self-driving vehicles, the flashpoint might have occurred in New York — City and State — last week. A large trade group and labor union joined forces in denouncing the driverless scourge headed their way, with one of the groups angling for a 50-year-ban on the automotive heathens. (Read More…)
Prior to the New York International Auto Show, Toyota distributed an upbeat press release. Come party with us, it said. “Scion is not going away quietly.”
Yet, as I walk toward Scion’s booth, a quiet unease fills a void once occupied by a loud, confident generational pulse. The typical eye-catching signs with heavily embossed, trendy hashtags are all but entirely absent upon my arrival. Massive subwoofers sit dormant inside 13 years’ worth of one-off tuner concepts. Engineered studio lighting softly highlights the vehicles on display, while simultaneously attempting to hide the vast, empty spaces between them.
Scion’s show booths are normally chock-full of tchotchkes and the beautiful people handing them out — but not today.
That was for fashion writers to see the car’s style (and aerodynamic properties?) and to announce Cadillac’s new partnership with design firm Public School, an Austin, Texas-based studio that’s probably hopelessly cool.
The car didn’t touch the ground, no one drove it, its powertrain is still somewhat of a mystery, and here’s why (via AdAge):
Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus said the goal is to gain the attention of fashionistas, rather than cater to car buffs, auto journalists and other petrolheads. Because in his view, younger customers are less interested in the technical details of cars, and don’t read car magazines as often as they used to. But “they are very interested in fashion. They are very interested in design,” he said.
Legendary DJ and hip-hop artist Grandmaster Flash is asking fans for help in finding his Dodge Charger that he said was “given away” at a New York parking garage July 16, ABC News is reporting.
Grandmaster Flash, whose real name is Joseph Saddler, asked for help Sunday on his social media accounts, saying he dropped his white Dodge Charger off and returned two hours later July 16 to discover a parking attendant had given the car to someone else who looked like Saddler.
According to ABC News, Saddler reported the car as stolen to the NYPD on July 16, three hours after the incident happened. Saddler said the car was full of vinyl records and equipment.
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, $2.4 million
It’s impossible to visit Manhattan without noticing wealth and privilege. Though I’m loathe to use the P word as it’s been corrupted by politics, how else can you describe someone driving a S Class Mercedes-Benz with “MD” New York license plates other than as affluent and expecting special treatment from parking enforcement that won’t be extended to some zhlub from Jersey in a Camry?
New York City generates so much wealth that the people there can afford the opportunity and real costs involved with insane traffic, general congenstion and expensive infrastructure. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising, then, that the New York International Auto Show is where car companies go to show off their goods from the top shelf. (Read More…)
Everyone knows it by its export name, Lada, but its real name was VAZ and that is how it was commonly known in Soviet Union. Like all other Soviet automakers, VAZ is an acronym and it stands for Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod, or Volga Automobile Plant. This is not to be confused with Volga cars which were made by GAZ, Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod or Gorky Automobile Plant, some 600 kilometers southeast.
Tesla is one step closer to resuming direct sales of its electric vehicles in New Jersey after the N.J. Assembly passes a bill that would allow it and other ZEV manufacturers to bypass the independent franchise system in selling electric vehicles.
I live in Brooklyn and I have a 2011 Prius that I still owe about $10k on. Before mocking my choice of personal transportation, remember that driving dynamics mean next to nothing when you live in a place where it’s hard to go above 40 MPH at any given time and the roads resemble 1990’s Kosovo. That said, my best friend is the service manager at a Volvo dealership and she just received a 1993 Volvo 940 wagon on trade. (Read More…)
Automotive News reports Tesla and Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association reached a compromise agreement over the weekend that would allow the EV automaker to keep their five stores while prevent Tesla or any other auto manufacturer from establishing more direct-sale stores in the state. In the words of Governor Andrew Cuomo:
Today’s agreement reaffirms New York’s long-standing commitment to the dealer franchise system, while making sure New York remains a leader in spurring innovative businesses and encouraging zero emissions vehicle sales.
A proposed law that would have eliminated Tesla’s ability to sell cars in New York state has died on the vine, after lawmakers adjourned their legislative session without taking any action on the bill.
Score one more for government control, corruption, and general silliness. New York’s TLC threw down the glove a while ago on the “Uber” application which allows taxi and “black car” drivers to arrange rides over the Internet. This isn’t the first time TLC has acted all crazy and stuff. Wait, wrong TLC. Oh well — the sentence two previous to this one applies even without the link.
You can’t fight City Hall — after all, this is the same commission which magically decided to replace every taxi in New York with Japanese minivans assembled in Mexico that didn’t actually exist at the time of the decision, and nobody said nothing, yo. No surprise, then, that Uber is leaving Gotham like Batman riding that bomb out to the ocean in the last Dark Knight film.