TTAC News Round-up: How Low Can Oil Go, IROC an El Camino, and What's Buick Bringing to Detroit?

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
A picture is worth a thousand words, or millions of dollars worth of cars not built by the United Auto Workers.That, and Buick is planning a surprise for Detroit, oil prices are ever-so-slightly up, a super mullet El Camino, and Manny, Moe and Jack … after the break!
Chinese Buicks are on their way to the USAThe Chinese-built Buick Envision is on its way to the United States just over a month after the United Auto Workers ratified its contract with General Motors.The Envision, built by joint venture SAIC GM Dong Yue Motors, is seen here sitting at port before being loaded on a car carrier to set sail for the United States, reports CarNewsChina.Future owners of the Envision can expect a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood as GM will not offer the smaller 1.5-liter turbo engine in the U.S. It goes on sale in July.The GM-UAW contract was ratified even after 60 percent of skilled trades workers voted against it.
What’s Buick bringing to Detroit? Probably a new Enclave.According to the Detroit Free Press, Buick is planning a surprise for the Detroit Auto Show next month. Part of keeping that surprise is not talking about it, so Buick’s Duncan Aldred declined to discuss details.Instead, let the speculation begin!The Freep says it could be a production version of the Avenir concept shown last year, but sedans are selling as well as ice cream in the middle of January at the COBO Center. The Freep offers up a more likely candidate — a redesigned Enclave — which is where we’ll put our bets.That or it’s a concept.One thing the surprise reveal definitely isn’t: a Buick Verano hatchback, which is simply an Opel Astra with Buick badges in China. We have it under good authority that the Verano won’t spawn a fifth door in North America.
I didn’t know you could mullet harder than an El Camino, but you can!Look at this! The only thing missing from this picture is some guy named Bubba with way too much Powerball money driving into the Florida sunset with his new dog named Jeb!Thanks to Hemmings, I now know the 1984 Chevrolet El Camino IROC-S was, in fact, a thing and one is for sale for the low, low stupid crazy price of $27,750.If one of our readers buys this, we will send Jack to track test it.
The price of oil went up half a tick, but is still insanely lowBased on a few guys in New York City casually saying, “It’s getting a little colder outside,” the price of oil went up a dollar, reports Reuters. But that dollar is added on top of record low prices for that sweet, sweet horsepower juice.Both Brent and WTI crude are sitting under $40/barrell. Remember when it was $100 a pop? Those were the days.Those record lows are contributing to budget deficits in resource-heavy economies, such as Saudi Arabia. The oil-rich nation has posted a $98 billion (with a B) shortfall for 2015. It’s solution to the deficit: pump more oil. That other war that nobody is really talking about probably isn’t helping matters though.
How many crappy accessories could you get for $1 billion? Carl Icahn might find out.Even though Pep Boys agreed to Bridgestone’s latest takeover bid, Carl Icahn is unwavering in his determination to buy the aftermarket part and service company.According to Automotive News, Icahn has now upped the bid to $18.50/share, for a total now eclipsing the $1 billion (with a B) mark. Pep Boys has three days to respond to the offer.But that’s not all, according to AN:In announcing the proposal, Icahn Enterprises said it would be willing to pay an even higher price, so long as Pep Boys doesn’t increase the termination fee in its deal with Bridgestone. Bridgestone initially offered $835 million to purchase Pep Boys in October.
Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson

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  • Iamcanjim Iamcanjim on Dec 30, 2015

    There are benefits are drawbacks to manufacturing in China beyond the consumer lashback. All GM units in China are Joint Ventures, 51% Chinese and 49% foreign. That means a Chinese company is collecting profits, but probably not contributing to R&D or even infrastructure. There is the basic instability of the Chinese economy, making it risky to do business there long term. There is the basic long term instability of the Chinese political system. The place could descend into civil war very quickly. There is the massive costs of bribes and gifts. When the factory was built, several CCC members got multi million dollar gifts. Finally there is the risk of tariffs and trade wars. The Chinese still have punishing tariffs on US goods and the US has chosen not to respond. However if Sanders or Trump land in the White house that situation will change. It won't hurt GM to use their excess capacity in China, but it's far to risky to transfer a lot of manufacturing.

  • Kmars2009 Kmars2009 on Jan 02, 2016

    It seems EVERYONE complains about Volvo being made in China (S60L? I have yet to see one!) Yet here we are...with GM doing EXACTLY the same thing, on a possible big seller for Buick?!? What gives? Volvo primarily builds in Sweden and is thrown under the bus...while GM does it, and gets a hall pass? I don't think so! To be honest, if this works out for GM, I wouldn't be surprised to see many more GM vehicles assembled there. SHAME ON GM! They are an American Company shipping American jobs off to China! At least Volvo is already backed by Geely and has a plausable excuse. GM? Not so much!

  • Mgh57 I should just buy an old car where everything is analog.
  • Fred I've only had it for about 7 months and I like it. Mostly because I have a hard time seeing my phone screen. So even tho my Honda's screen is 6" it's a lot easier to see than my phone.
  • Cha65697928 I'm 48. Both our cars have it, I'm never going back. Being able to activate calls, messages, music, nav, opening/closing garage doors all via voice command is awesome. Now if Audi would just allow Google maps to mirror in the middle of the driver's display instead of only allowing the native nav...
  • 3-On-The-Tree Totally Agree War is total hell!
  • SCE to AUX JFK used to pronounce Laos as "lay-oss", so I want to call this car "tay-oss". But I'm told by a true VW lover that it's pronounced "ta-owse", rhyming with "house". Maybe VW should rethink a few of their product names.