TTAC News Roundup: Merry Boozy Christmas; Subaru Can't Make 'em Fast Enough; Nevada's Playing With House Money

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

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.

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

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  • Gottacook Gottacook on Dec 21, 2015

    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.

  • Zip89123 Zip89123 on Dec 21, 2015

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

  • Tsarcasm No, Japan only. Life costs by Rank:#1 - House (150k+)#2 - Education (30k+)#3 - Automobile (30k+) why waste hard earned money in inferior crap => Korean, Chinese, and American cars are trash. a toyota or honda will last twice as long.
  • Tassos In the 90s we hired a former PhD student and friend of mine, who 'worked' at GM "Research" labs, to come work for us as a 'temp' lecturer and get paid extra. He had no objection from GM, came during the day (around 2 PM), two hours drive round trip, plus the 1.5 hour lecture, twice weekly. (basically he goofed off two entire afternoons out of the five) He told me they gave him a different model new car every month, everything (even gas) paid. Instead of him paying parking, I told him to give me the cars and I drove them for those 90 mins, did my shopping etc. Almost ALL sucked, except the Eldo coupe with the Northstar. That was a nice engine with plenty of power (by 90s standards). One time they gave him the accursed Caddy Catera, which was as fun driving as having sex with a fish, AND to make it worse, the driver's door handle broke and my friend told me GM had to pay an arm and a leg to fix it, needed to replace almost the whole damned door!
  • 3-On-The-Tree I only buy Toyota cars. But if the Chinese cars are cheap people will buy them. They don’t care about the above issues that were stated in this forum.
  • Tassos Ford models are like dumb Hollywood movies. The original is far better than their god damned sequels. This was true of the Mustang vs the II, AND the Capri vs its second gen, and their BEV PORKER atrocities many decades later
  • Jeff I would not buy a Chinese car with the current global situation with Taiwan and Ukraine but I believe eventually China will become the number 1 producer of vehicles globally. Lou brought up a valid point that much of the content of new vehicles has components made in China. Even many of the tires that are sold are made in China. Try buying a small appliance or electronics that are not made in China. Many of the electric motors that go in power reclining furniture are made in China. Many auto parts especially replacement parts are made in China.