By on April 7, 2014

2010_Honda_Insight_LX_--_10-03-2009

Did the second-generation Honda Insight fail in the marketplace because of a lack of marketing resources? If you said “yes”, then you may want to look at a gig at American Honda.

(Read More…)

By on May 14, 2013

Cadillac_ATS_at_NAIAS_2012_(6677990619)

Cadillac may be gunning too hard for Germany’s domain of rear-drive sports sedans, but one area where The Standard of the World won’t be gunning for them is in the volume race. GM CFO Dan Ammann told Automotive News that unlike BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, ”We’re not going to be in every single segment that they’re in”.

(Read More…)

By on April 2, 2013

The multi-billion dollar endeavor of developing a new car has effectively ended the one-off specialty car that many enthusiasts still clamor for and wronglyassert is feasible in this era. Supermodel-thin margins, a saturation of brands and vehicles and an ultra-competitive global marketplace have killed the previous formula for developing a production car, which was mostly a one-off solution to local road conditions and buyer tastes

The necessity of scale is a double-edged sword; if the bean counters deem a product too costly and it may proceed as a watered down version of the original concept. If a new architecture or platform is approved, then we are practically assured multiple variants spun off that platform.

As it turns out, GM nearly took the cheapskate approach to developing the Cadillac ATS. But at the 11th hour, the General decided to change course, and enthusiasts will be all the better for it.

(Read More…)

By on November 7, 2012

The V6 Mustang reviewed yesterday wouldn’t be the car it was without the Track Package, which provides pretty substantial upgrades to the brakes and suspension.

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By on November 1, 2012

Pursuant to our continued discrediting of the “Jeeps built in China” lie, Donald Trump took to Twitter to further propagate that falsehood. And the Donald ended up getting a virtual earful from Ralph Gilles, head of Chrysler’s SRT Division.

(Read More…)

By on October 21, 2012

“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.”

-Thierry Morin, former CEO of Valeo

(Read More…)

By on August 13, 2011

In his New York Times comparison of heavy-duty pickup trucks, Ezra Dyer opens with a provocative comparison:

Heavy-Duty pickup trucks are the supercars of the truck world. They have more power than drivers are likely ever to exploit, and bragging rights depend on statistics that are, in practical terms, theoretical.

How does he figure?

While you can’t buy a diesel engine in a mainstream light-duty pickup, heavy-duty pickups now offer propulsion suitable for a tandem-axle dump truck.

I’m not exaggerating. Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V-8 packs 400 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque; the base engine in a Peterbilt 348 dump truck offers a mere 260 horsepower and 660 pound feet. Does your pickup really need more power than a Peterbilt?

I’m guessing most HD truck owners won’t take kindly to the question, especially coming a scolding Gray Lady. But if you read the full review, you’ll find that Dyer was able to locate at least one contractor willing to admit that he realized he just didn’t need his HD’s overabundance of ability. It goes against the grain of the “bigger, faster, tougher, more” marketing message that has helped make trucks such a huge part of the American market, but is it possible that the tide is turning? Have pickups improved too much? The huge sales of Ecoboost V6-powered F-Series certainly suggests the we may just be moving towards a more pragmatic truck-buying market…

By on January 20, 2011

“About 13.8 million vehicles were sold in 2010 in China compared with 11.6 million in the United States.”
The Detroit News

Yesterday, we had a short seminar on Chinese new car statistics. Apparently, it was needed. Too bad the Detroit News, Motor City’s hometown newspaper, skipped class. Message to the DetN:  It’s 18 million vehicles. 18,264,700 to be exact.

So where do the 13.8 come from? We know: In 2010, Chinese passenger car sales reached 13.76 million. However, that number excludes “commercial vehicles.” Common mistake. But shouldn’t happen to a Detroit paper.

Dear DetN: If you don’t count the Chinese “commercial vehicles”, then you can’t count the U.S. “trucks” either. You really don’t want to do that.

By on January 6, 2011

Letter to the editor of the New Times by Robert Pankhurst:

“On my drive home yesterday, an advertisement over my car radio told me how much the Cancer Society needed old cars donated to help them fight cancer. Then I remembered watching the Youtube video where cars were turned in for the government program called “Cash for Clunkers.” (Read More…)

By on January 13, 2010

Sympathy for the devil? (courtesy:eurocarblog.com)

Chrysler may file a suit challenging the congressionally mandated dealer cull arbitration, reveals CEO Sergio Marchionne to Automotive News [sub].Why? Because it’s just not fair that dealers pressured congress to give them a fair shake. Wounded by the arbitrary backlash against his arbitrary cull, Marchionne threw his head back and cried unto the heavens:

Ask me what fairness is involved in all this. Why doesn’t anyone ask what’s fair to Chrysler?

(Read More…)

By on January 11, 2010

Yuk it up... (courtesy:DetNews)

It’s a bit early in the day to be crowning a QOTD, especially considering there are sure to be plenty of juicy quotes coming out of the NAIAS today. Still, this one deserves a special place at TTAC for the sheer bold-faced shamelessness of its untruth.

I think (the government bailout was) well placed, and I think they’ll make a lot of money. GM’s on its way back. We’ll be back. The government’s made a good investment. We appreciate their support. We’re glad they’re here.

So said GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre to reporters from the Detroit News today. As I recently explained in an op-ed in the NY Times, unless GM’s market cap soars to its highest level in history (a pipe dream if ever there was one) the taxpayer losses on the GM “investment” will be in the billions. Even the government estimates losses on the GM and Chrysler bailouts to reach $30b. Whitacre surely meant that a GM IPO will generate some kind of money for the Treasury’s 60 percent stake in GM, but the way it came out makes it sound like the bailout will be a positive investment for the government. That’s an impression that GM desperately needs to foster in order to have a chance at emerging from government control. Too bad it’s just an old-fashioned fib.

By on January 4, 2010

Please do not attempt to perform a Google Image search for "Asian Glory" (courtesy:novinite.com)

As soon as the vessel embarks, all risks related to the vessel are the responsibility of the distributor. All payments for the cars have been made, while the cars are also insured.

From a Hyundai statement to Bloomberg on the fate of 2,388 Hyundai and Kia vehicles aboard the Asian Glory, which was hijacked by Somali pirates en route to the Middle East.

By on December 15, 2009

Who wants to be a millionaire? (Courtesy: Getty Images)

A person that’s a motivating, inspirational leader that’s familiar with big companies — manufacturing or industrial — would be helpful… We can’t pay people a whole lot of money here

Ed Whitacre offers up the opportunity of a lifetime [via Automotive News [sub]] : a chance to lead General Motors to victory over decades of inertia and sclerosis in a brutal market for a million bucks (if Feinberg likes you). Candidates need not have CEO experience or strong auto credentials, although Whitacre warns that the job takes him 14 hours a day, 5½ or six days a week. And when he does manage to steal away for a relaxing Sunday of rattlesnake extermination, his phone constantly rings. Plus, the RenCen is a freaking maze, y’know?

(Read More…)

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