Posts By: stephwillems

By on May 27, 2020

ford explorer police interceptor utility

The sudden arrival of summer in this writer’s neck of the woods had two beneficial impacts. First, I’m able to work shirtless and, secondly, I can be assured that the harsh sun and 90-plus degree temps will scrub the rona from my car’s interior just by leaving it parked outside all day. Helps lower the Lysol budget.

Of course, summer can be all too brief, and sometimes a person doesn’t have all day to wait for ambient heat to melt the lipid outer layer of your average coronavirus. Ford has a solution that, while not great for the environment, will at least bring peace of mind to law enforcement officers. (Read More…)

By on May 27, 2020

We’re still a day away from the (online) debut of Acura’s next-generation TLX sedan, and already there’s catnip to be had for the performance and handling crowd. And for lovers of tradition and heritage, too.

Late Tuesday, Acura revealed that the TLX won’t just feature a slinky body and potent — yet unspecified — powertrain. The new sedan will also break from its predecessor by reaching further into the past, returning to a suspension type that made past Acuras top performers in their class. (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2020

Lordstown Motors

A fledgling electric vehicle company with a sprawling former General Motors plant in its possession will reveal its first model in late June.

That’s according to Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns, who said the debut of the Endurance, originally slated for the Detroit auto show, will take place online instead. A full-size pickup that shuns internal combustion, the Endurance will face still competition from the Likes of Ford, Rivian, and GM in the emerging segment, though Lordstown doesn’t plan to stop there. (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2020

hyundai

Hyundai apparently feels that boasting the freshest faces in the industry will help it woo the American buying public. With a full stable of crossovers now realized, it’s not a terrible strategy.

Just two model years after its debut, the midsize Santa Fe crossover (which replaced the Santa Fe Sport and necessitated a name change for the existing, larger Santa Fe to Santa Fe XL before that model’s metamorphosis into the less confusingly named Palisade) stands to gain a fairly radical new front end design. (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2020

ford

All the flash with only some of the dash — that basically sums up Ford’s 2020 Edge ST-Line, a midsize CUV that mimics the looks of the sport-focused ST but politely says “no thanks” to a hotter engine.

Orders opened today for the new addition to the oft-overlooked Edge family. It was the strange popularity of the Edge ST, which landed back in 2018, that prompted the minds in the Glass House to copy a trend that’s become all the rage among its import rivals. (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2020

A cross-Channel coup of sorts has seen Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer replaced by Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers in a move made official by the British luxury performance brand Tuesday morning.

Head of Aston since 2014, Palmer’s ouster reportedly came after the recently listed automaker’s stock price plummeted through the end of 2019, with the coronavirus pandemic only adding to its downward momentum — a trajectory shared in the first quarter of 2020 by the company’s sales and revenue.

Will Moers be able to cultivate some AMG-like magic in British soil? (Read More…)

By on May 24, 2020

The writing was on the wall for the last month, at least. Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after the coronavirus pandemic sent rentals — and revenue — crashing, forcing the debt-laden company into a corner that’s proven near impossible to escape from.

One of the world’s largest car rental agencies, Hertz laid off more than 12,000 workers in March and furloughed another 4,000 before scrapping 90 percent of the new car acquisitions it had on the books for 2020. While that might have stopped some of the bleeding, the core issue remains: few people are travelling, and even fewer are renting cars. (Read More…)

By on May 22, 2020

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 HD SLT

While General Motors earned the right to resume production in Mexico on Thursday, parts procurement in the gradually reopening North American economy remains a serious roadblock.

U.S. plants came online May 18th following two months of pandemic-prompted downtime. Of topmost importance to all members of the Detroit Three are their hot-selling pickup lines, though UAW- and state-approved health protocol calls for a slow ramp-up, with all plants operating on reduced shifts. Parts supply will dictate those ramp-ups; in GM’s case, boosted pickup production in the Midwest will have to wait. (Read More…)

By on May 22, 2020

2020 Chevrolet Silverado front quarter

General Motors received good news on Thursday, earning approval from the Mexican government to fire up its extensive manufacturing presence in that country after weeks of coronavirus downtime.

The green light to resume production will help the automaker restock its all-important pickup shelves, though assembly won’t turn on a dime. (Read More…)

By on May 22, 2020

Early last year, Nissan, watching global sales wane and the pressure on its (un)balance sheet increase, hinted at the potential for 10,000 job cuts, per sources. That number then rose to an official 12,500, as North American pressures added to woes in Asia and Latin America. The unexpectedly eventful year of 2020 began with buyouts in the U.S.

Now, a report out of Japan — one that seems to reflect the company’s anticipated new direction — claims the automaker’s workforce will require a 20,000-strong cull, this time with Europe as the focal point. (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2020

2018 Lexus NX front – Image: Lexus

It could be a blip, a fluke, but it could also become the norm as consumer buying habits struggle to return to something approaching normal. Via data from J.D. Power, we can see that U.S. auto sales failed to make any headway in the week ending May 17th, ending a six-week climb out the lockdown sales pit.

Finding a guilty party on which to pin the result is proving difficult. (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2020

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

Move over, people of Joplin — Tulsa, Oklahoma wants to host Tesla’s proposed second U.S. assembly plant, and it’s prepared to embarrass itself to see it happen.

On Wednesday, Tesla aficionados assembled their vehicles around the city’s famous, 75-foot-tall Golden Driller statue, which they deftly decked out to look like Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk. To Tulsa, Musk is the golden boy. Rumors abound that the sometimes unhinged executive has decided on either Austin, Texas or Tulsa for the new assembly plant site.

Some hope he’ll even move his company’s headquarters out of California. (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2020

Multiple dam failures brought on by prolonged and intense rain in central Michigan saw a record surge of water sent down the Tittabawassee River last night. Following the breach of the Edenville and Sanford dams, water levels peaked at 35 feet in downstream Midland, MI, breaking the previous record by more than a foot.

In the affected area, the dam failures left uprooted trees and lives, unmoored buildings, a lake drained nearly dry, and a catastrophe of the automotive kind.  (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2020

Kia

A rumor that began spreading last year seems to be borne out. Those whispers, which grew in volume after company executives failed to downplay the suggestion, hinted that Kia’s midsize Optima could see a name change for the 2021 model year.

Following its Hyundai Sonata sibling by a year, the radically redesigned midsizer could be the automaker’s last attempt to woo the American public and solidify its standing in the shrinking segment. At this point in the game, will a name change help at all? Maybe the better question is: would it hurt? (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2020

toyota

I can’t quite remember what it was that jogged my brain the other night, but whatever it was, it conjured up a wholesome yet frustrating memory. A memory of a person and a car from my childhood.

The person was my oldest friend’s mother — one of the kindest women I’ve ever known, matched easily by the daughter she clearly raised right. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. As for the car, it was a blue, mid-’80s Toyota Tercel 5-door. For me, that car is just a memory, and a somewhat annoying one at that, but for the owner — my friend’s mother — it was the first of many.

Toyota. They’re like the mob; easy to get in, awfully hard to leave. And that’s the way it was with my friend’s mother, who never again owned a car from any other brand. (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • slavuta: Now, with CVT, DCT being many, you better specify, the type of transmission you’re talking about
  • TMA1: How was the paint quality on this car? I parked next to a new Nautilus a few months ago, and dark blue paint...
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