While America Slept. Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
while america slept saturday january 10 2009
An overview of what happened in other parts of the world while you were in bed. TTAC provides round-the-clock coverage of everything that has wheels. Or has its wheels coming off. WAS is being filed from Beijing this week, from Berlin next week,

Chinese Buick: The Buick LaCrosse, set to debut at the North American International Auto Show next week, is a Chinese product. Due to Buick’s popularity in China, the company’s design team there took the lead in remodeling the LaCrosse, Gasgoo writes. Sales of Buicks in China reached 332,000 units in 2007, according to data supplied to IHS Global Insight, a consulting firm. The LaCrosse was the second-best seller there, with 71,500 cars sold. Figures for full-year 2008 year are not available yet. By comparison, GM sold 137,197 Buick branded cars and light trucks in the U.S. in 2008, down 26.4 percent from 2007. The company sold 36,873 LaCrosses in 2008, down 23 percent from 2007. In December alone, LaCrosse sales dipped 59 percent to 1,451 units.

Renault shelves India plans. Renault put a big HOLD on a project to set up an assembly plant at Chennai, India, the Nikkei (sub) reports. Patrick Blain, executive vice president for sales, told a press conference that the freeze doesn’t mean that the project has been shelved. “We had a date” for the completion of the project, he said, but “we no longer have a date.” The project is a joint venture between Renault and its Japanese alliance partner Nissan Nissan’s production line is going ahead as planned.

Shanghai to breathe easier: From Nov.1, 2009 on, China’s equivalent of the Euro IV will be mandatory for all cars newly registered in Shanghai. Vehicles failing to meet the standard will not be registered and their sales will be halted, Gasgoo says. Shanghai is leading the way towards a nationwide implementation of the standard. The EU IV standard has been mandatory for EU members since 2006.

And that’s all for today. For the next days, WAS coverage will be a bit spotty as your BS will move his post to Berlin, Germany for a few weeks to chase the elusive Euro. There will be no WAS this Sunday, and there may be no reports on certain days due to a hectic travel schedule all over Europe.

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2 of 4 comments
  • Empowah Empowah on Jan 11, 2009

    The badge engineered Insignia is a Buick Regal, which is smaller than the LaCrosse. Both nameplates have coexisted in China for a while now. The new LaCrosse was designed in both Shanghai and the US.

  • Jerry weber Jerry weber on Jan 11, 2009

    Every time a writer emits a missive that if GM survives it will be with Caddy and Chevy, the names Buick, Pontiac, & saturn sink a little further into the swamp. Who wants to put $20-30K into an orphan? People are using an old maxim of Blaise Pascal (the French philosopher) that goes like this. If I don't buy the Buick and it keeps going onward, I lost nothing. But if I buy one and it is the last year for them, I will tank for thousands. Therefore, err on the side of safety and don't gamble with the buick. If confidence is part of the game people play in buying a car, buick will sell less in 2009 than in 2008.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂