Tag: Politics

By on January 25, 2013

As we come to yet another hiccup in the launch of the Dodge Dart, it’s worth taking a look backwards to examine how we got to this point; the elimination of a second shift at the Dundee, Michigan plant that builds the Dart’s 1.4L FIRE engine, as well as the firing or re-assignment of 58 workers.

As both Ronnie and Michael Karesh noted, the same 1.4T FIRE engine that’s so delightful in the Fiat 500 Abarth is weaksauce in the Dart. The 1.4T’s clunky dual-clutch auto doesn’t help matters either. If it weren’t for government mandated fuel economy targets imposed as a condition of the bailout, that engine – and possibly the Dart – wouldn’t even be here right now.

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By on October 20, 2012

Retired Chrysler CEO and former Ford president Lee Iacocca has endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Iacocca is a political independent with a record of endorsing both Republicans and Democrats for the United States’ highest elected office. In his endorsement statement, which was also published as an op-ed piece in the Detroit News, Iacocca stressed his and Romney’s experience in “turnarounds”, America’s need for leadership, and his opinion that the future of the country depends on the results of this particular presidential election.

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By on September 27, 2012

The Paris Auto Show is about to kick off tomorrow, and some of the product set to debut has me cursing myself for not maxing out my Visa on a flight and a room at the lovely hotel that’s walking distance from the Porte de Versailles, where the pretty girl with crooked teeth sits patiently at the front desk. And how could I forget the wizened gran-mere hovering over the table at breakfast, replenishing your plate with cheeses and baked goods that one could never hope to find at Publix?

Alas, I am not part of the A-List club that gets driven from the Georges V to the Expo Hall in an S-Class, and so rather than sucking down a Gauloises or getting a glimpse of Carla Bruni (I was blessed with such a privilege in 2010) I’m stuck in North America, having to use my brain rather than just repeating back what my PR minders told me over a glass of Cotes-de-Rhone

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By on September 7, 2012

General Motors hasn’t announced their Q3 financial results prior to November in six years, but they intend to announce them on October 31st, 2012 – just prior to the U.S. general election on November 6th.

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By on August 28, 2012

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Overlooked in the announcements by General Motors and Chrysler that their factories will not be hosting any presidential campaign events such as photo ops or speeches by either the Obama or Romney campaigns is the fact that GM, which for 30 years has supplied both major US political parties’ national conventions with hundreds of new vehicles used as courtesy cars, will not be doing so this year. Frankly though the Big 3 are rather notorious for the casual way in which they provide complimentary cars to high profile celebrities, and though I was familiar with the practice of providing courtesy cars for major sporting events, I had no idea that GM has been doing so in connection with the big political conventions.

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By on August 27, 2012
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Auto plant visits, long a staple of election-year vote-courting for politicians, are now banned at both GM and Chrysler plants until after the votes have been counted.

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By on August 10, 2012

Bloomberg is reporting that House Republicans, led by California Congressman Darrell Issa, are set to produce a report that heavily criticizes CAFE as a politicized move designed to curry favor with bailed out auto makers and environmental groups.

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By on June 6, 2012

The Detroit News interviewed presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Tuesday, and the Republican candidate-to-be shared his thoughts on government ownership of GM stock and the future of CAFE.

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By on May 3, 2012

Sanctions imposed on Iran by the EU and the United States have compelled PSA to delay parts shipments to Iran Khodro until September at the earliest.

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By on February 27, 2012

Editor’s note: While our erstwhile Editor-in-Chief, Edward Niedermeyer, is on sabbatical, he will continue to weigh in on automotive issues in a (hopefully) weekly column entitled Blind Spot. This is the first installment.

Back in 2008, as the worlds of automobiles and politics headed towards a dramatic collision, the founder of this site and I had a series of conversations about political perspectives on automobiles. Though these conversations were wide-ranging, I kept coming back to the same conclusion: for all of the talk about guns as “tools of freedom,” it seemed to me that cars were even more worthy of the title. After all, most people use an automobile in the pursuit of freedom and mobility every day, whereas guns are (relatively) rarely used to secure individual rights.

But embracing the car’s role as a tool of freedom raises a number of troubling questions, most of them inherent to the very cause of liberty. Though cars make us more free as individuals, we must recognize that it comes at the cost of (among other things) dependence on gasoline, an “addiction” that many now seek freedom from. As new energy sources and mobility concepts become available, citizens will have to navigate a complex thicket of issues as they seek to maximize the freedom that personal mobility offers.

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