“Take BMW. In the near term, they will have nine entries in the compact segment. This is basically our heartland,” he told me on the sidelines of the Paris auto show. “With the brand reputation they have, you start to have a massive problem.”
-Gunnar Herrmann, Ford of Europe’s Vice President of Quality
“When you do everything right but too late, you do it all wrong. Before reaching a dead end, PSA decided to forge a partnership with a manufacturer [General Motors] that I don’t consider to be among the industry’s leaders of the pack. Overall, I think there is a lack of ambition [when it comes to product] from the French manufacturers.”
“When you are a young designer of course, you think everything is wrong and should be different… You want to conquer the world and with great ideas. But over the time you have to really understand what Golf is, what VW is, And to mature to a certain degree, I needed that time. It took 15 years before I really knew what I was talking about.”
The Opel/Vauxhall Cascada got a surprisingly warm reception on TTAC, considering that it’s a ragtop with humble origins based on the Delta II platform (thank you, readers, for correcting my mistake).
Every day seems to bring new tales of doom and gloom for Europe. Is it time for a Continental Deathwatch?
This essay, which likens supporting a sports team supporting a sports team to being in an abusive relationship, struck a chord with me even though I care little about pro sports. But what about you?
I don’t have any particular bias against American cars, but it’s fair to say that I’ve always preferred imports over American muscle, save for one major exception; the GMC Typhoon.
Reader Claude Dickson asks
I was watching Road Testament on YouTube and they were purported talking about the best fast cars to drive slow. Most of their suggestions were ridiculous, but the question they asked is becoming increasingly relevant if the question is refined to what are the best high performance cars to drive at sane speeds on public roads. The point increasingly made by many of your reviews is that fast track times or better performance stats do not dictate a better road car. A good example is your review of the new 911-superior in just about any performance metric you might select,- just not that much fun. So B & B, which performance cars put a smile on your face while driving around town and which just don’t???
Those are the words of Antony Sheriff, managing director of McLaren, who spoke to a Dutch publication regarding the future of its supercars. The new Mclaren MP4-12C, with its compact, turbocharged V8, is an impressive machine, but Sheriff may be exaggerating the demise of exotic, multi-cylindered engines.
Growing up, my parents were adamant about prohibiting video game consoles in the house; TV was time-limited as it is (the permitted shows included South Park and The Simpsons…go figure), the computer was for “educational purposes” (i.e. school work or reading about cars) and recreational activities took the form of a book or outdoor activities. Until that fateful day in Target.
Starting with the redesigned 2013 Accord, Honda will introduce its new, ultra-efficient/more powerful Earth Dreams engine lineup. And it’s far from the most silly moniker attached to automotive technology.
With all the rumors about German-built Citroens and re-badged French MPVs, it’s time to do what North American car lovers do best; cast a greedy eye upon vehicles we can’t get, and talk about how much we’d like them.
I wasn’t five minutes before my friend and I had gone to inspect TTAC’s Project G-Body Grand National that we began discussing the next foray into fiduciary stupidity. My friend Joey, not content with his cream puff 1986 Grand National (with a verified 38,750 miles on the odometer) wanted to know how we could “get in to rallying”.
My war on Christmas gift-themed car ads has scored something of a victory, as AdAge reports that “creative spots for new luxury model automobiles that hyped the holiday have failed to perform effectively in the fourth quarter of 2011 so far,” according to surveys by Ace Metrix. And the accompanying quotes by the ad evaluation firm’s CEO Peter Daboll really sum up a lot of the problems with these 30-second cliches:
It’s astounding that four of the ‘top 10′ luxury automobile ads were below norm… many automotive brands have stepped away from good creative and fallen back on “Buy it now, you idiot” messaging wrapped up in sales events and bows. When we started looking at cars with bows and yet another Toytathon, it was enough, already. To suggest that someone buy a Lexus for his spouse in these economic times…”
You’ve got to love that sinister ellipsis, especially when certain luxury brands are suggesting not only that you buy your spouse a car, but that you buy them a cell phone as well, with which to alert them that you’ve bought them a new car…