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By on February 28, 2020

Pretty much anytime automotive data acquisition becomes the topic of discussion, we have to take time to mention customer protections and ask where the line for privacy should be drawn. With social media firms making a mint off the process online and automakers conducting major moves to likewise leverage personal data, it’s practically a nervous tic at this point.

Hoping to get out ahead of some of the potential problems arising from issue, California enacted new consumer protection laws that came into effect at the start of the year.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) aims to give individuals greater control over the personal data being harvested. Most of this is supposed to be done by allowing consumers to request what kind of information is being collected, ask where it’s going, and the ability request that the subsequent sale or continued acquisition of personal data cease. However, CCPA contains provisions for customers to ask a company to delete all information it has stored on them, as well as rules prohibiting any discrimination related to a person exercising their privacy rights.

Frankly, it all sounds rather good to someone who prattles endlessly about data privacy rights, but it’s also causing problems for the automotive industry. Read More >

By on February 28, 2020

Given the disparity between the U.S. and Canadian auto industries, it’s not surprising that Friday started with news of a shift dropped at Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario minivan plant and ends with two more added at General Motors facilities just across the border.

GM said today that a shift each will be added to its two Lansing, Michigan assembly plants; one to support a brace of new sedans (this could be the last time anyone writes such a statement), the other to support — what else? — crossover production. Read More >

By on February 28, 2020

2018 Chevrolet Impala, Image: General Motors

Yesterday was a sad, sad day for lovers of the traditional domestic full-size sedan — a rapidly vanishing breed. The last Chevrolet Impala rolled out of Detroit-Hamtramck, and with it the last General Motors big car.

Chapter closed.

It’s a sign of the times. By the end of this year, Buick’s lineup won’t even play host to a single car, let alone a big, four-door one. Cadillac dropped its CT6 in January. But if you’re thinking that the Impala’s discontinuation will lead to immediate, juicy discounts, think again. Read More >

By on February 28, 2020

German consumer group VZBV has reached an agreement in its class-action lawsuit against Volkswagen over the use of illegal software intended to cheat emissions testing. The settlement amounts to 830 million euros (roughly $912 million USD). While not nearly as sizable as what U.S. customers received in their settlement, it’s what VW believes its European customers deserved. Citing a breakdown in negotiations with VZBV earlier this year, the automaker said it was willing to offer €830 million and wasn’t interested in shelling out any extra for litigation attorneys who allegedly wanted €50 million for handling the case.

The manufacturer seems to have gotten its way, though we doubt VW considers shelling out another billion to handle a five-year-old scandal a major victory. Read More >

By on February 28, 2020

The Toyota 2000GT’s been a legend for decades now. A simple mention of its name conjures up the correct silhouette. Eyes glaze over at the gentle curves, classic sports coupe proportions, and the big front lamps trapped behind plexiglass.

Today we’ll dig a little deeper into this legend.

Read More >

By on February 28, 2020

PSA Group

Given the size and modest specs of Citroën’s Ami city car, you’d think post-war rationing was still a thing in France.

The Ami, revealed Thursday, is a production version of the Ami One concept PSA Group debuted at last year’s Geneva Motor Show. It’s small, short, looks the same coming as it does going, and doesn’t require a driver’s license. It could be a ticket to freedom for a 14-year-old, but first they’ll have to get used to living life at no more than 28 mph. Read More >

By on February 28, 2020

The Swiss city of Geneva will not see crowds of international visitors descend on the continent’s premier auto show next week. Instead, ticket holders will stay home, waiting for a refund, while automakers swallow their losses.

Blame lies on the country’s government, which on Friday banned gatherings of 1,000 people or more in the face of a growing viral epidemic. Read More >

By on February 28, 2020

It’s not unexpected, but it still comes as a blow. The impending loss of the Dodge Grand Caravan stands to sadden lovers of the industry’s longest running, most inflation-resistant minivan, but it’s a truly bitter pill for workers at Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant.

As reported yesterday by Canada’s Financial Post, the Grand Caravan — darling of Lee Iacocca, chariot to young soccer players for decades — will cease production at the end of May. Read More >

By on February 28, 2020

After a decade-plus of being TTAC’s foremost expert in Panther-bodied Fords, as well as the go-to Texan for any of your questions about OBD II or old-car designs, Sajeev is moving on.

He’s found a full-time home with another outlet, and we wish him well. He’ll be missed.

Read More >

By on February 28, 2020

Mercury Grand Marquis Taxis & Sajeev Mehta, Image: Sajeev MehtaI was once a disillusioned grad student, endlessly unhappy with my prospects and with a simmering anger within my soul.

I previously ranted for Blue Oval News, after that outlet beat Ford in court. But when that gig ran its course and grad school had me over a barrel, I found TTAC’s august founder and made a modest proposal: let me review something that deserves a fresh perspective over Spring Break and I’ll give you 800 words on it.

No matter, things improved over the course of almost fourteen years, to the point I must now say goodbye to my beloved home.

Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

Volkswagen gave the 2021 Golf GTI some uninterrupted time in the spotlight by debuting it ahead of the Geneva International Motor Show. While VW kept plenty of details under wraps, the important items were on display. Pay close attention, as this may be one of the few Golf models we receive in the United States and Canada.

Around these parts, the take rate for VW’s performance hatchbacks (GTI and Golf R) is far greater than that of the economy model, and it seems the manufacturer finally took notice. The manufacturer has yet to confirm anything at this point, but all signs point to GTI becoming the base trim inside the U.S.

In Euro-spec form, that means 245 horsepower and 273 pound-feet coming out of a predictable 2.0-liter turbo. That’s a sizable bump over last year’s 228 hp and 258 lb-ft and, assuming the GTI hasn’t packed on the pounds for the 2021 model year, it should yield noticeable performance gains.  Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

While the preliminary data from the National Safety Council shows 2019 being a safer year for cars operating in America, its report noted continued concerns regarding pedestrian safety. Additional data gleaned from the Governors Highway Safety Association’s (GHSA) assessment of pedestrian deaths by state shows that those traveling outside of cars aren’t enjoying the same safety enhancements as those sitting comfortably inside the cabin.

Its report estimates that 6,590 pedestrians were killed in 2019. The figure represents a 5-percent increase from 2018 and is the largest number of deaths the United States has seen since 1988. The situation, however, isn’t as simple as the big numbers suggest. Despite pedestrian fatalities gradually creeping up since 2009, only 30 states actually saw an increase in their total number of deaths last year. The GHSA now projects a pedestrian fatality rate of 2.0 per 100,000 people. While that’s also the highest rate the country has seen in years, it’s actually far lower than automobile fatalities — which currently averages around 11.0 per a population of 100,000.  Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

2016 Chevrolet Impala LTZ Detroit - Image: GM

Mark this date on your calendar or, should you be so inclined, in your diary. Today — February 27th, 2020 — marks the end of the Chevrolet Impala.

Some 62 years after its launch, the last Impala sedan will roll off the line Thursday at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, The Detroit News reports. A very different future awaits both the factory and the industry, and it seems cars like the Impala have no role to play in it.

It’s been a long time coming. Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

Automakers are reassessing the number of employees they’re willing to send to next week’s Geneva International Motor Show. While plenty are simply exercising their right to snub the show, with over a dozen giving advance notice that they will not be in attendance, others are reconsidering what’s prudent as a viral outbreak grows in Europe. Overall, the industry is scaling back on the number of people it feels comfortable sending to the show.

New coronavirus cases in Switzerland have left some worried that the trade event will be cancelled at the last minute.

“The coronavirus public health crisis alone puts a big question-mark next to this year’s show,” David Leggett, automotive editor at data and analytics specialists GlobalData, told The Telegraph this week.

On Thursday, Toyota said it plans to send only business-critical staff to Geneva, specifically those responsible for operations in Europe and nobody else. Volkswagen Group also plans to send only those deemed mission critical, according to Automotive News — and that’s just for starters.  Read More >

By on February 27, 2020

2020 Toyota Camry AWD 2 - Image: Toyota

In a shrinking U.S. midsize sedan market, Toyota’s slice of the pie is the biggest. In fact, despite its own year-over-year decline in 2019, the Toyota Camry’s slice of the U.S. midsize market actually increased to 25 percent last year because its decline was comparatively modest.

Now Toyota has its sights set on a corner of the midsize car market the brand has left uncontested for nearly three decades. Not since the Gulf War (no, not that one; this one) has Toyota fielded an all-wheel-drive Camry in the United States. And just as Toyota exerts its control in the overarching midsize car segment with a heavy hand, the automaker expects to do the same in the all-wheel-drive sub-segment of the same category.

Toyota has designs on 50,000 annual Camry AWD sales in the United States.

Oh, Subaru Legacy, where doth Toyota’s success leave thee? In the shadows. Read More >

Recent Comments

  • Peter Gazis: thornmark I’m old enough to remember 5 years ago. When Honda was selling 380,000 Accords a year. Last...
  • Peter Gazis: Toolguy Change happens, GM’s 1980 marketshare of 50% was unsustainable. Especially with imports from low...
  • ToolGuy: Peter, So that’s 11 U.S. final assembly plants currently operating or on standby. And then we see the...
  • slavuta: CC also bad in the rain because it will make car hydroplane more
  • C5 is Alive: The very last one, I fear. I’ll be sure to search for the new home for your writings, Sajeev. Best...

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