Berkowitz's Futures Market: Car News That's Not Worth the Fuss

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
berkowitz s futures market car news that s not worth the fuss

I think it’s great to get excited about new cars, announcements from manufacturers, spec sheets, press kit photos, and concept cars. I’m a jerk, but I’m not a jerk made of stone. With my mea-culpa qualification out of the way though, I do find it frustrating to see what I think of as undue enthusiasm. If you jump, you can see my five TTAC-spirited assessments of the product announcements of the week.

1. Chrysler says they’re thinking about building a car-based pickup truck. Some say it would be more like a Honda Ridgeline, others that it would be akin to the El Camino. I say it’s not going to happen.

2. Everybody (save Edward Neidermeyer) loves the Buick Lacrosse. I think it looks fine, especially the interior. But who genuinely believes this is going to sell well? Other than the trick suspension, consumers are going to see a cleanly-designed but unmemorable car, from Grandpa’s brand, made by a dying company. Check the Lincoln MKS sales to peer into the Lacrosse’s future.

3. Ford Fusion’s 4-cylinder mileage is best in class (23/34). Great. But unless that’s going to be Ford’s total new image – the most fuel efficient cars on the road – it’s not going to get enough new customers into the showroom to matter. That, or $5.00 gas (wait a few years).

4. Cadillac is going to show a Volt-based car at the Detroit Auto Show. I’ve said many time that I don’t think the Volt will ever be built and sold in meaningful numbers. So the odds for this car in real life are even slimmer. As in none.

5. The Nissan GT-R Spec V is cool. Matter of personal preference. You might really love it. Or instead, you might be over 13.

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2 of 22 comments
  • Davey49 Davey49 on Jan 10, 2009

    mcs- 2 inches is a lot, plus its 52.5 vs 56 in the rear seat. No one is going to cross shop the Prius with Fusion/Malibu/Accord/Camry/6 by size. They're going to say that they will sacrifice some roominess for the extra fuel mileage. Plus the Prius still looks like a Prius, which might be hard to take for some people.

  • Thoots Thoots on Jan 10, 2009
    SpacemanSpiff : Why don’t Toyonda offer sport suspension packages on the Camry & Accord? Camry does. It's called the "SE." You can get it with a powerful V6 engine, and with highly-bolstered sports seats. Nobody at Car and Driver magazine, which only values performance, will never compare anything but the plainest-Jane stripper Camry to its precious (and always top of the line model) Accord. As for Fusion, the kind of thing that always stops me is "six-way power seat." Nope, you just can't get a full power seat in the thing. Like you can with Accord and Camry. Or the cheap-subcompact "antenna on the roof" job. Nope, you're not gonna get one hidden in the rear window like Accord and Camry. Believe it or not, real buyers pay attention to little details like these. And more than a few people comprehend that it's built on the past-generation Mazda 6 platform. In Mexico. With (get this) "50 percent US-sourced parts." As opposed to the Camry, built in Kentucky (that's in the US), with 75 percent US-sourced parts. Or the Accord, built in Ohio (that's in the US, too), with 70 percent US-sourced parts. Never even minding whether you want to call this thing a "US" car or not, "Cheaper than Accord or Camry?" Gosh, it should be!