By on December 21, 2015


You’ve made some bad decisions at the holiday office Christmas party. We’ve all done it. Don’t compound it by using a (probably inaccurate) free breathalyzer that you picked up at a Honda dealer instead of a cab ride.

That, and Subaru is turning production up to “11,” Hyundai was hit hard in China and Nevada’s rolling the dice on electric cars … after the break. 


UK Honda dealers handing out breathalyzers for Christmas

Dealers in the UK are handing out free breathalyzers to prevent people from driving drunk after Christmas parties, according to AutoExpress.

According to a study conducted by the company that makes the breathalyzers (sounds legit, right?), one-third of drivers in Britain admit to getting behind the wheel early in the morning after a hard night of drinking.

About 40 percent of surveyed respondents say they’d probably drive in the morning after a long night of drinking and 26 percent said they’d even drive before 10 a.m.

Most retail breathalyzers aren’t anywhere near accurate, but that’s better than offering free or reduced-rate cab rides, right? Oh, wait.


Subaru is selling every car they have, so why don’t they have more cars?

Subaru will sell 600,000 cars in North America this year, Fuji Heavy Industries President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga told Automotive News. Fuji Heavy Industries is the parent company of Subaru.

That’s five years ahead of schedule and way ahead of production capacity. The company’s lone plant outside of Japan is located in Lafayette, Indiana, and the company has already spent millions to add capacity.

Still, the company’s chief said that it would revise its sales target and increase production at the plant — by kicking Camry out and making Impreza stateside — from 200,000 cars to nearly 400,000 by the end of next year.

Supply, meet demand.


Hyundai may miss global sales target for first time since 2008

Slowing growth in China has hit Hyundai particularly hard, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News), which means the company may miss its sales target for the first time in nearly a decade.

Unfavorable exchange rates to Brazil and Russia have also put a dent in the automaker’s coffers. Both of those countries’ currencies have tanked against the South Korean won, according to the report.

Sales in America have been one of the automaker’s bright spots: sales in the U.S. rose by more than 5 percent so far this year.


Carl Icahn outbid Bridgestone for Pep Boys

Pep Boys on Monday notified the Japanese tire giant that an offer by billionaire investor Carl Icahn to buy the auto parts store was a better deal, and gave Bridgestone until Wednesday to top it, Reuters reported.

Icahn topped Bridgestone earlier this month after Bridgestone offered to buy the 800 Pep Boys stores to merge with its 2,200 stores — which include Tires Plus, Firestone Complete Auto Care and Wheel Works — to create the world’s largest automotive parts chain.

Bridgestone’s offer of $15.50 per share (about $835 million) fell short of Icahn’s $16.50 per share (about $900 million), Pep Boys concluded. Icahn recently purchased Auto Plus, a competitor to Pep Boys, which Icahn said would be a good match to merge.


Nevada offers $335M to Faraday Future to help fund plant

Nevada lawmakers approved a $335 million tax incentive package to electric car startup Faraday Future to entice the company to build its cars in that state, AutoGuide reported.

The tax package includes $215 million in tax credits and $120 million in infrastructure improvements for the car factory’s potential site in North Las Vegas, according to the story.

The state is already home to Tesla’s massive “Gigafactory” battery plant, which lawmakers scripted a $1.3 billion incentive bill for already, and doesn’t care much for visitors.

Faraday Future said they’d like to break ground on a factory by January. Their cars will maybe come some time after that. Maybe.

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16 Comments on “TTAC News Roundup: Merry Boozy Christmas; Subaru Can’t Make ’em Fast Enough; Nevada’s Playing With House Money...”

  • avatar

    You don’t drink mojitos at an office holiday party. That’s your first poor choice!

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      The poor choice is getting drunk around coworkers. Enjoy one or two drinks with food and then leave before you can do something stupid. The problem with mojitos or other mixed drinks is that it’s harder to judge how much alcohol you get with each drink.

  • avatar

    “About 40 percent of surveyed respondents say they’d probably drive in the morning after a long night of drinking and 26 percent said they’d even drive before 10 a.m.”

    This is just far too general to be useful as a study. “Hard drinking” varies wildly between people. My mom would consider three beers in two hours hard drinking. And if your long night ends at 12:30, by 7:00 you’ll be okay – most likely. None of that is useful!

    • 0 avatar

      My favorite politically correct documented comment about a person’s alcohol consumption was ” Frequent social binge drinker”. That sounds so much better than always gets drunk at parties.

  • avatar

    Good fortune for Lafayette Indiana. Nice to hear about someone in the Midwest doing well in manufacturing.

    • 0 avatar

      Who in the Midwest isn’t? 2015 is supposed to be a record year for autos. And there’s no end to the number of cowboys who want $50,000 pickups . Subaru should bring back the BRAT, and price it at $49,999.

  • avatar

    Is Subaru building that great of cars, or are other companies just not building what the buyer is asking for when it cones to awd? Example, Scion could have added awd to the new iM. The iM is loaded with features not even offered on a Impreza. Duel climate control is one item. Not saying Subaru does not make great cars. But, no other auto maker has made changes to compete in the Subaru market.

    • 0 avatar

      Subaru has found a sweet spot in the market that is pretty much impenetrable. Rising and falling gas prices may effect the sales of big vehicles and hybrids/compacts, small/midsize SUVs/Wagons are always going to be in demand.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’m not a fan of the Subaru buying psychology, but it works:

      “Symmetrical all-wheel drive” sounds cool.

      “They lived” is impressive.

      “Love” is unbeatable.

      And – they make roomy CUVs in the hottest market segment.

  • avatar

    Subie has capture what essentially was the Volvo and Saab market share, they gambled by offering 95% AWD and stuck with it.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      In today’s bifurcated car market, Subaru captured the mass-market AWD sales. Volvo became too expensive for the mass market. Lots of AWD options for luxury car buyers, but that many at lower price points.

    • 0 avatar

      I have owned two Subaru Foresters, a ’98 and an ’06. I’d still have the ’98 save that it was rear ended by a nice big truck on the freeway. I was stopped in traffic, he was clipping right along. I was the second vehicle in a five car chain reaction. My Forester’s rear hatch was shoved into the back seats. I walked away. That’s why I have the ’06.

  • avatar

    It could be argued that Subaru of America’s success is a direct result of their being on the brink of withdrawing from the U.S. market around 1994-95. SoA was attempting to appeal to a huge swath of the market, from Justy to SVX (each available with either FWD or AWD), but its “What to Drive” ad campaign didn’t work. All the decisions made as a result – getting rid of everything but the Legacy and the Impreza, offering AWD cars only (with the Outback package for the Legacy wagon leading the way), and designing a boxier alternate body for the Impreza wagon (i.e., the Forester) – form the basis of SoA’s current success.

  • avatar

    NV is still trying to figure out how to supply water to the area. The taxpayers got screwed again by governor Sandoval.

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