It’s been a while since we gazed into the crystal ball to see what’s beyond the horizon on the automotive landscape. A lot has happened in the intervening eighteen months or so: GM and Chrysler are closer to bankruptcy, Ford is the only American auto company likely to survive the decade relatively unscathed, the market for hybrids peaked then bottomed out as gas prices did the same, and the only thing flowing out of Washington, D.C., faster than bailout money is political BS. Join us as we check the tarot cards to see where it’ll all lead. Here are the headlines of the future.
2010 Hyundai and Tata Enter NASCAR: Following Ford’s announcement that they’re joining Government Motors and Fiat-Chrysler in withdrawing from NASCAR, Hyundai and Tata have revealed plans to compete against Toyota. Hyundai spokesman Kim “Bubba” Chun-Joon confirmed the company’s intention to fund three teams. Chun-Joon says Hundai’s ready. “Our front-engine, rear drive two door Genesis Coupe is closer in configuration to the NASCAR ‘Car of Whenever’ than the front-drive, four-cylinder four-door sedans they’ve been trying to pass them off as.” Tata Motors is raising eyebrows with their plans to race 850hp pushrod V8 racers labeled as Nanos. “Yes, it is a stretch,” said Tata director of motor sports, Samarjit Jaysukh Tata. “But it makes as much sense as labeling them Impalas or Chargers. Besides, our research shows that southern males love big Tatas, and these are the biggest ones we can give them.”
2011 American Leyland Volt Goes on Sale: After numerous delays and teething problems, American Leyland is finally offering the plug-in hybrid Volt for sale. Thanks to improved technology, the final version can travel an astounding 125 miles without using a drop of gas. “Once we ditched the gas engine, the subsequent weight savings really improved the Volt’s mileage,” claims chief engineer Reddy Kilowatz. AL is not concerned about the modified vehicle’s range or recharge time. The company’s Commissar points to studies showing that the average buyer in its target market—gated retirement communities— travels fewer than 125 miles per year. “Anyone who needs more range can buy the gas-engine-only version, the Cruze.”
2011 – Chrysler’s UAW Members Threaten Strike Over Health Care Payments – The United Auto Workers (UAW) have voted to go on strike next Thursday unless they meet their own demands to abandon a proposed 25 percent increase in health care co-pays. “We understand the financial pressures we’re under to become a profitable automaker, but we completely reject our own decision to raise these fees,” a union leader said, under condition of anonymity. “It’s entirely unreasonable for us to ask ourselves to make greater sacrifices when our members have already given so much to themselves already.”
2012 NHTSA bans Driving – The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) has banned private vehicles from America’s roads. “The EPA has ruled CO2 a deadly gas,” NHTSA chief Charles Hurley wrote in an official statement. “Public safety demands that we remove the single largest producer of this gas (after all the rest). This move will have a dramatic impact on fatal automobile accidents and will finally remove the threat of drunk driving from America’s roads.” In a press conference later that day, President Obama pointed out that the NHTSA ban only applies to driving. Consumers are still free to buy, own and pay taxes on their cars. “We don’t expect this move to have any immediate impact on production at American Leyland,” Obama reassured. The president promised to increase federal spending on public transportation, which is exempt from the ban. “Getting on the bus is not just the right thing for motorists to do, it’s now the only thing they can do.”
2014 Last Car Magazine Standing – Proctor & Gamble has acquired AutoCar and Track Trend magazine, the last auto-related print magazine in publication. P&G assured readers that the magazine’s content would remain untouched. “We don’t care what they write; their content is already 89 percent advertising, anyway,” stated Charmin division spokesman Hugh Jass. “Our research showed the only place anyone reads it is in the bathroom. That made it a natural fit into our product line, so beginning with the July edition AC&TT magazine will be printed on rolls of Charmin UltraStrong tissue. Not only will this decrease the amount of old magazines clogging our landfills, husbands won’t have to listen to their wives complaining about magazines cluttering up the bathroom.” Reliable sources tell us that P&G is also negotiating with Sports Illustrated to produce a limited edition “Swimsuit Edition” Charmin MegaRoll.
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Hilarious thoughts... and some might not be that far from the truth... we'll have to wait and see..
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