“Wait! Is that a…”
“Are you British?”
“I haven’t seen one of these since I left Venezuela as a teenager, only rich people had Sierras!”
Behold random responses from gawkers of TTAC’s Project Car. The surprises continue after several hundred miles under the Ford Sierra’s belt, as life with this fish out of water is far from a compromise. (Read More…)
This was my first vacation in, like, ever. And it was supposed to be a break from cars. No driving, wrenching, writing, photographing! Stop looking at that Ford Versailles, don’t take a photo of that Renault, because car design is no vacation in such a beautiful place…right?
And then “my” Ford Ranger found me in Leblon. Oh, for the love of why did I walk down this street I can’t believe that stupid truck followed me from…
- how much addedcostsontopofthepurchase/transport price?
- 25% truck import duty? even with a 4-door model ?
- how much paper work? US customs, EPA, State safety inspection, DMV plate?
- what if the truck has a broken or no engine/transmission, would that make the import any easier/cheaper?
- if it has no engine, install a local used engine in the US?
- does it matter if the truck is from Mexico,Thailand, South America…? any easier rules?
- RHD personal vehicle is allowed in the US?
Emerging markets have been a big theme at TTAC for the past few years, with our coverage going beyond the cursory articles on automotive developments in the BRIC countries. Our articles on places like North Africa and Indonesia aren’t always the most popular, but we keep an eye on them for a very important reason. These countries are the final frontier for growth in the automotive sector.
Last week, I had the privilege of attending a Naturalization Ceremony. If you have never had the opportunity to be there when immigrants to our country take the oath of citizenship and exchange their Green Cards for their Naturalization Certificates, you are missing out on one of those special things that makes the United States of America a truly great place to be. Looking out across the crowd you can see people who began their lives in the far corners of the world sitting beside one another without regard for gender, race or national origin. It matters little where they came from, whether or not they once lived on one side of some armed border or the other, today they are Americans and the old hatreds, if not forgotten, are at least set aside. On that day, they are united in their desire to join in our great experiment, to offer their descendents to the great American melting pot in the hopes that they will blend seamlessly into the fabric of our nation in the same way that we, the descendants of so many who made that journey before them, have done.
Hola! First off, love the site, long time listener, first time caller. I recently had the amazing opportunity to act as chauffeur for my good Chilean friend Diego’s road trip through Patagonia. He had access to a little four banger 1998 Daihatsu Feroza (Rocky in the US) but did not know how to drive. So I gladly I wrestled this thing around Southern South America in a circuit of just over 3000 Kilometers that took us south on Chile’s famous Carretera Austral (dirt roads cutting through the Andes) and back north through Argentina’s Route 40 (very similar to route 66 in the US). (Read More…)
Excess capacity through 2016 will be a royal pain in the butt for Ford, hurting their margins on the all important small car segment.
Brazil detailed their new five-year national auto policy, which is meant to spur investment in new auto factories, locally sourced parts content and reduced vehicle prices.
With a 35% import tax on new cars, Argentina is already a touch market for foreign brands seeking to bring cars into the country. But the Argentinean government has just made it little bit harder by demanding that importers export an equal amount of Argentina-made goods for every car imported. As a result, Bloomberg reports that Porsche’s importer is exporting Malbec wines and olives, Mitsubishi’s importer is getting into the peanut export game, and Subaru’s representative is shipping chicken feed to Chile. BMW, which has had recent difficulties importing into Argentina, is focusing on its core business, exporting auto parts and upholstery… and a little processed rice to make up the difference. But why are these major manufacturers getting into all kinds of strange side businesses just because Argentina wants to improve its trade balance and foreign currency reserves? Simple: Argentina is South America’s second-largest economy, and it’s been growing at over 5% per year since 2007 (i.e. when other markets were shrinking). So if the government wants imports balanced with exports, well, Porsche’s importer is just going to have to get into the wine business, isn’t he?
Mazda has barely thrown off the shackles of Ford, but the Japanese already make their new freedom felt. In a way that won’t make Ford happy.
Mazda and their new largest shareholder Sumitomo will spend anywhere between $350m and $475m, and will open a plant in Mexico that will start making lots of little Mazdas as early as 2013. According to The Nikkei [sub], Mazda will build its bread & butter Mazda2 and Mazda3 models in Mexico. They will not be shipped north. The cars are destined for the Mexican, Brazilian, and other Central and South American markets. Mazda will initially make some 100,000 units there, later more. An engine plant is also in the cards.
This marks a series of firsts for Mazda. (Read More…)