TTAC Sunday News Round-up: Belgian Commodore, Planes Vs Automobiles, and You Should Thank a Trucker

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

A Belgian named Guido is looking to save the Commodore and part of the Australian auto manufacturing industry from its ultimate demise.

That, and Pak, not Paki, is probably the more correct term, flying vs. driving, austerity pain for Porsche employees, you should thank a trucker and more … after the break!

‘Project Erich’ is a last ditch effort to save the Holden Commodore

Belgian automotive engineer turned businessman Guido Dumarey believes he and his company can acquire the Holden Commodore and its Zeta platform to crank out premium vehicles after GM’s exit from Australian manufacturing.

But there’s one big problem: He’s running out of time.

According to Motoring.com.au, the businessman plans to acquire the Commodore and the Elizabeth plant where it is built.

One of Dumarey’s businesses already supplies transmissions to General Motors for the V-6 Commodore, so he isn’t a complete outsider. Motoring.com.au also says Dumarey has “made a specialty out of buying businesses in financial strife, or earmarked for closure, and resuscitating them.”

Pak is probably better than Paki

This isn’t so much news as it is a continuation of Aaron Cole’s piece on the usage of the word “Jap” in automotive circles.

In India, they have Maruti-Suzuki. But in Pakistan, Suzuki is incorporated as Pak Suzuki. In fact, that name is prominently displayed in many of its advertisements.

So, there you have it. Pak = totally cool. Paki = probably way less than kinda okay.

Want to save the environment? You should fly or drive a Prius

According to Green Car Reports, the modern airliner has all but left the automobile in the dust when it comes to environmentally friendly, long-distance travel.

Using some math, the amount of energy used by modern planes is about half of that used by modern automobiles when you calculate it by passenger mile.

Or, if you don’t like flying, drive a Prius. That’s the only gasoline-powered vehicle on sale today that equals the energy efficiency of a commercial jet, says the report.

Porsche needs to make cuts to build the Mission E, and employees seem okay with that

A report from German Automobilwoche explains Porsche must make cuts and get concessions from workers in order to produce the Mission E. Employees, for their part, are okay with that. Solidarity!

Those concessions will mean more high-tech jobs at Porsche in the long run and a zero-emission vehicle for Porsche showrooms to take on the Tesla Model S.

Now, all they have to do is not screw it up.

Long-haul trucks aren’t autonomous yet, so you should thank a trucker

All those gifts you gave your loved ones over the holiday season were delivered by those ultimate road warriors who probably spent Christmas without their families this year. They’re our truckers. And we should all thank them.

This year, the trucking trade has gotten even more intense as retailers are now relying on teams of drivers to pilot the trucks and wares to their eventual destinations, reports The Wall Street Journal:

That has raised the profile of the small subset of truck drivers who spend weeks or even months away from home, crisscrossing the country, taking turns sleeping in cramped compartments at the rear of the truck cab and then taking the wheel, and stopping only for showers or short breaks.

“The goal would be for this truck to never stop,” said Gary Helms, a 57-year-old driver, who spoke while his partner was behind the wheel. Mr. Helms—who has hauled freight for companies including Amazon.com Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and FedEx Corp.—was on his way to New York from South Carolina with his current partner, after originally picking a shipment up from California.

Seriously, truckers are the true heroes of the retail holiday season.

Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson

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  • Macnab Macnab on Dec 27, 2015

    The Taurus lured the whole industry to suppository styling bringing us years of ugly cars. what's wrong with a car having corners anyway?

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Dec 28, 2015

    "The Mission E is truly a zero-emission vehicle.*" *When parked

  • Probert A few mega packs would probably have served as decent backup.
  • Lou_BC Lead sleds. Now-a-days GM would just use Bondo.
  • Jrhurren This is a great series. Thanks Corey
  • Tane94 Not as stylish as the Soul which it is replacing but a practical shape and bonus points for EV only.
  • Ronin What is the magical white swan event in the foreseeable future that will suddenly reverse the trend?Success tends to follow success, and likewise failure. The perception, other than among true believers, is that e-cars are a lost cause. Neither government fiat, nor government bribery, nor even the promise of superior virtue among one's peers have been enough to push past the early adapter curve. Either the bust-out is right now for e-cars, or it doesn't happen. Marketing 101.Even subtle language-manipulation, such as deeming those possessing common sense as suffering from some sort of vague anxiety (eg, "range anxiety") has not been enough to induce people to care.Twenty years from now funny AI-generated comedians will make fun of the '20s, and their obsession with theose silly half-forgotten EVs. They will point out that, yes, EVs actually ran on electricity generated by such organic fuels as coal and natural gas after all, and then they will perform synthesized laughter at us.
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