By on July 16, 2014

How is it that one man can play a Brecker Brothers tune all by himself, but Volkswagen can’t match Kia’s profitability and Acura can’t manage to sell cars? Could it be that the more talented people you put together in a room, the fewer good ideas come out of that room? But if that’s the case, how do you explain the Brecker Brothers in the first place?

Maybe Have The Guys Who Made The Mk4 Coilpacks Make The Rest Of The Car: Martin Winterkorn is calling for action that is “clear, effective, and sometimes painful” to save 5 billion euros on core models by 2017. What is it with the German VW guys and the whipping and the bondage and the pain and whatnot? VW’s captive labor representative applauded the move. Winterkorn states that he wants to make it possible to profitably build cars in Germany, probably because saying anything else would be tantamount to mailing in his resignation letter.

But Someone Is Building Cars Profitably In Germany: “All two-door Porsche models will come from Zuffenhausen in the future.” That’s straight from the head of the works council. This goal will be accomplished by additional investment in the old triple-decker factory and also probably through reducing output by continuing to ensure that the 911 is both slower and less reliable than that hick-ass Corvette.

My Uncle Has A Country Place, That No One Knows About: Steering wheels will be gone by 2035, according to the always-profitable and interesting IEEE (geeks call it the Eye Triple E). The results of a study they mailed to their members confidently predicted the death of the human-directed vehicle within just twenty years, which is precisely the time gap between the 1979 Crown Victoria and the 1999 Crown Victoria. Other completely batshit-crazy things from the study: IEEE members believe that the show “The Big Bang Theory” is probably based on a real apartment in Los Angeles, and seventy-four percent of them expect the eventual vindication of the “Firewire” standard, with one member writing-in “Universal Sucky Butts! Am I right, or am I right?”

I Want To Believe That This Is From The Same Freakin’ Press Conference As The Other Wacky Statements: Incurable optimist Mike Accavitti told the Detroit News that the upcoming TLX sedan would be awesome. “Finally the moment is here that we’re going to unleash that TLX sedan, and we’re very confident it’s going to bring us the same kind of success we’ve experienced with the MDX and RDX.” Mr. Accavitti declined to state whether the “unleashing” would cause the same kind of side effects associated with other unleashings, ranging from my neighbor’s German Shepherd all the way to Kobe Bryant. Remember the days that you could actually walk into an Acura showroom and buy an Integra Type-R? In the words of my future ex-wife, Este Haim, those days are gone.

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16 Comments on “While You Were Sleeping: July 16, 2014...”

  • avatar

    Sure…Acura sales will spike a bit with the intro of the new TLX, but can they sustain it? I doubt it…
    Honda seems hellbent on making Acura irrelevant with mediocrity.
    It’s a shame, I still have fond memoires of my ’08 TL-S 6MT.

  • avatar

    I think we need to accept that VW probably doesn’t know what it’s doing in the same arrogant, myopic, German way that has served has served them so well in past global endeavors that included believing Hydrogen a pragmatic buoyancy agent for zeppelins, the Enigma code unbreakable, the British too stupid to develop practical radar, diesel a rational automotive fuel source for the future, MQB modular platforms a good idea, and Tennessee anything more than a 3rd world nation in which to build cars.

    They will NEVER question their motives until the red ink covers the ledger pages, and even then, it’ll be because of some backhanded insult of an excuse about not understanding the simplistic desires of the US market.

  • avatar

    Yes, the TLX will cause Acura sales to soar, but only because somebody in the factory got tired of the three letter crap and installed “Tillex” badges, and people thought it was because they replaced the steering wheel with a tiller. Acura will catch on to the increased sales, changing the name of the MDX to Middex and changing RDX to Riddex, but the latter change will cause them to be sued by a pesticide company.
    (Sorry – it’s 5 AM and I haven’t had my coffee yet.)

  • avatar

    Best musical reference ever on TTAC! Giulio is a god!

  • avatar

    “Finally the moment is here that we’re going to unleash that TLX sedan”

    Anyone else picture Zoolander about to unleash “Magnum”?

  • avatar

    I imagine Herr Winterkorns morning meetings/briefings are held in a subterranean padded conference room with Enigma’s ‘Sadeness’ playing in the background, a hooded man-slave hitting a ritualistic gong 3 times, at least two people who formerly worked for the KGB in East Germany once upon a time, several women from Germany’s iteration of Cirque du Soleil dressed in lots of latex, a roasted suckling pig complete with apple in mouth, a mule, “little person,” helium balloons and several archaic Hun torture devices.

    • 0 avatar

      I always pictured meetings in the large automakers being more like the war room in “Dr. Strangelove.”

      General “Buck” Turgidson: That’s right, sir, you are the only person authorized to do so. And although I, uh, hate to judge before all the facts are in, it’s beginning to look like, uh, General Ripper exceeded his authority.

      Or perhaps that only applies to meetings at GM?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Actually I think what you’ve described is just another lunch meeting at the “Daily Kanban”

  • avatar

    I’m now going to have to listen to Red Barchetta and hope that images of the TLX don’t spring to mind.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    I’m an EE myself, but stopped caring about the IEEE a long time ago.

    About VW and its German-ness (which is a contraction of German and stubborness): I am also under the impression that, the VW directors and board cannot grasp how come “those dimwit Americans do not comprehend the greatness and superiority of VW’s offerings”.

    Lastly; the song Red Barchetta from Rush….a dystopian view of the automotive future. Written in 1981 if I recall correctly, and becoming truer and truer as time goes on.

  • avatar

    1) Volkswagen — No comment. Now, maybe if they built cars people WANT…
    2) Acura — Aren’t they the guys who make cars so much alike that you can’t tell one model from the others?
    3) Porsche — They appear to have lost their direction. What once made them a very desirable brand is being forgotten in order to appeal to the lower classes.
    4) Autonomous Cars — While ideal for 99% of all driving needs, there will always be a need for manually-driven vehicles; just as there’s still a need for manual transmissions 80 years after the invention of the automatic.
    5) TDX, RDX, MDX — It’s all alphabet soup to me. No wonder nobody wants Acuras.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Maybe what Acura should do is start calling their sedan a “Legend.” Then, at least there will be an aspirational target for the designers of these vehicles and the managers of the company. I always thought the second generation Legend (with the longitudinal front engine, front wheel drive) was a very handsome car, a little different than anything else on the market, but very handsome.

    Porsche is the poster child for dilution of brand equity — now making money selling the ultimate poseur’s car (much moreso than BMW, which acquired that rep in the 80s, not so much because of the quality of the car, but because of who was buying them). And by “ultimate poseur’s car” I’m referring to the expensive hopped-up grocery-and-kid getter SUV’s and the fat, four-door sedans whose drivers can sorta pretend that they are taking their wife and two hapless victims in the back seat, for a ride in an aircooled 911. I guess we have to hand it to Porsche that this second effort to diversify from the classic rear, air cooled engine sports car was more successful than the first (viz., the 924/928/944 series of cars).

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    I didn’t even know you and Ms Bassface were even dating, Jack.

    As for why Carmassi can play Becker Bro’s all by himself, vs why VW can’t be profitable as Kia and why can’t Acura sell cars at all:

    None of us are as dumb as all of us.

    Carmassi is an individual genius. While Korporate Kollective Koolaid turns entire organizations into zombies.

  • avatar

    my head is still spinning from jaco’s playing on the shadows and light clip and now you post this one!

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