Dear TTAC Readers,
Thank you so much for your patience over the past couple of weeks of my absence while I have been dealing with family issues. Unfortunately, time is what it is and family members get old and as much as we try and prepare ourselves, it still happens.
Thus far in our Chrysler LX platform coverage, we’ve discussed two designs that never made it past the working concept stage. The first of those was the Airflite, a Crossfire-styled hardtop hatchback, while the second was the larger Nassau which was also a hardtop hatchback. Neither of them had pillars, and both focused on the future of car design.
Journalists made incorrect predictions at the debut of both concepts and stated that the Airflite (in 2003) previewed the upcoming 300’s styling, while the Nassau (in 2007) was a sneak peek at a new styling direction for the 2008-ish revamp of the then-current 300. While those assumptions were wrong, a never-debuted Nassau design from 2000 was the actual genesis of the 300’s styling. And it appeared on the new LX platform in 2005.
Like it did with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Toyota has dragged its feet on developing and shipping new EVs. It offers several hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, and there’s even a hydrogen fuel cell model for sale in California, but Toyota did not offer an EV in the United States until just a few months ago. That should have been cause for celebration at Toyota, but a recall just a month into being on sale likely squashed any excitement. Now, the automaker says it has fixed the problems and restarted production.
After a few successful years building a trio of Toyota models (Corona, Publica, and Crown), Shinjin was forced to look elsewhere for a business partner. Toyota wanted to sell cars in China, and China forbade any company that sold products on its shores from having operations in South Korea. As expected, the government stepped in and assisted in a new deal between Toyota, Shinjin, and General Motors.
The deal was finalized in 1972 and saw Toyota sell its stake in Shinjin directly to GM. The 50-50 GM-Shinjin venture saw the latter immediately renamed to General Motors Korea. GMK was immediately the new face of GM product distribution in South Korea. Let’s embark upon a series of particular business arrangements involving Shinjin that didn’t last very long.
It turned out that 1994 was a high point for the Nissan Maxima. The third-generation sedan was just about the ideal mix of driving dynamics, quality, luxury, and whiz-bang tech features. It was offered in well-equipped GXE trim for lovers of comfort, and sportier SE for Sports Enthusiasts (or something). After its introduction for the 1989 model year, Nissan made relatively few changes to its impressive sedan.
Sales were around 100,000 units in its first two years, and then around 85,000 for the next two years. But in its final model year of 1994 the third gen’s sales nearly doubled, to 163,138. It was time for a new Maxima in 1995. It was a generation that branched out to become other interesting vehicles but also started the model’s decline.
With automotive prices skyrocketing these last two years, you may have found yourself waiting out the market until wealthy business magnates, unaccountable banking institutions, and multinational monopolies have had their way with it – hoping beyond hope that they’ll be a modestly priced car for you to live in when the economic dust finally settles.
But what if you can’t wait that long and need something today? While may not be able to steer you toward the deal of a lifetime, we do know which vehicles you might want to cross off your list thanks to a study targeting mainstream models seeing the highest dealer markups. Though, be warned, you’re still probably better off driving whatever you have today because the national average still has vehicles listed 10 percent above MSRP.
Just a year after a massive recall that impacted tens of thousands of Chevrolet Bolt EVs, General Motors is expanding production of the electric hatchback and other models. The Bolt and Bolt EUV saw record-high sales through the third quarter, but the rising tide of GM’s production boost will lift several other models, too.
It’s been more than a minute since we have delved into the world’s build & price configurators, an activity which surely litters the search history of every gearhead reading this site. Since our last installment, there has been no shortage of new vehicle introductions, including a few trucks which predictably tweak your author’s interest
If recent global events have taught us anything about the auto industry, it’s that unpredictability is the new norm. Gone are the days when one could confidently muse about the fortunes of one brand over another, replaced by erratic parts shortages and inconsistent volume of supply.
Still, some are weathering the storm better than others.
Today we embark on the story of the small British car made famous long after its demise by a certain BBC car program. It was ugly, poorly made, and had a nasty reputation while it was still on sale. We're speaking of course about the Austin Allegro. Prepare yourself for the forward-looking new car from British Leyland.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has suggested that the global semiconductor shortage will persist through 2023.
“The situation will remain very complicated until the end of 2023, then will ease a little,” he told French outlet Le Parisien over the weekend, adding that “semiconductor manufacturers have an interest in making business with us again, especially as they’re raising prices.”
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- Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.
- Cardave5150 I've had 2 different 300's - an '08 300SRT and an '18 300C. Loved them both a LOT, although, by the time I had the second one, I wasn't altogether thrilled with the image of 300's out on the street, as projected by the 3rd or 4th buyers of the cars.I always thought that the car looked a little stubby behind the rear wheels - something that an extra 3-4" in the trunk area would have greatly helped.When the 300 was first launched, there were invitation-only meet-and-greets at the dealerships, reminding me of the old days when new model-year launches were HUGE. At my local dealer, they were all in formalwear (tuxes and elegant dresses) with a nice spread of food. They gave out crystal medallions of the 300 in a sweet little velvet box (I've got mine around the house somewhere). I talked to a sales guy for about 5 minutes before I asked if we could take one of the cars out (a 300C with the 5.7 Hemi). He acted like he'd been waiting all evening for someone to ask that - we jumped in the car and went out - that thing, for the time, seemed to fly.Corey - when it comes time for it, don't forget to mention the slightly-stretched wheelbase 300 (I think it was the 300L??). I've never found one for sale (not that I've looked THAT hard), as they only built them for a couple of years.
- Jkross22 "I’m doing more for the planet by continuing to drive my vehicle than buying a new one for strictly frivolous reasons."It's not possible to repeat this too much.
- Jeff S Got to give credit to Chrysler for putting the 300 as a rear wheel drive back on the market. This will be a future classic.
- Lou_BC How to Fix Auto Media? Stop fixating on soft touch plastics and infotainment systems. I did quite a bit of research on my ZR2. There was no mention of the complexity of putting the transfer case into neutral. (9 step process). They didn't talk about how the exhaust brake works with tow/haul mode. No mention that the exhaust brake does not work with off-road mode. Nannies only stay turned off with the lockers engaged. Only one review mentioned the tail pipe as a vulnerability.