Category:

By on October 5, 2009

Game on! (courtesy:rednet.cn)

We jumped on Alan Mulally last week for sitting quietly on a $2.5b offer for Volvo from the Chinese automaker, Geely. At the time we told him to take the offer and be glad of it; after all, no one else would pay that much for a brand that hasn’t made money in nearly a decade. Or would they? Of course Alan knew more than we did, and over the weekend the truth emerged: Volvo has another bidder! The Wall Street Journal reports that the Crown consortium, led by Ford director Michael Dingman and former Ford and Chrysler executive Shamel Rushwin, are making a play for the Swedish marque. Crown is trying to lure former Volvo executives (including former CEO Roger Holtback) on board with a third of new Volvo equity in hopes of “emphasizing the Swedish nature of the company.” But can Swedish roots (or at least a good dye-job) match up with Chinese cash? The downside to the Geely bid is that the new company would walk away from pension obligations and inventory, making the deal worth less to Ford than the offered $2.5b. Meanwhile, SAIC is reportedly still in the running to buy Volvo as well. This one is still far from over.

By on October 5, 2009

Capricious!

Automotive News [sub] reports that GM has announced plans to roll out a police-only Chevrolet Caprice in 2011, based on the Holden Statesman. V8 and V6 version of the Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle will be available for order in late 2010, giving GM a competitive entry in the police cruiser market long-dominated by Ford’s Crown Victoria. Though this photo is an official GM image, spokesfolks warn that details aren’t completely finalized yet. “Some of the elements, some of the styling will be different in the production version. We are not releasing all the details in terms of specs at this point,” say GM’s Brian Goebel. Just don’t expect the changes to be major upgrades, because they are intended “to bring it in line with the Chevrolet look and feel.” GM’s RWD cop car comes just as Ford has hinted that it will develop future police vehicles based on the FWD Taurus. Meanwhile, if you want a civilian version of the Caprice, you’re stuck waiting on future police auctions. Sorry.

By on October 5, 2009

Ask a gearhead about Chinese auto styling, and the adjective most likely to come up is “derivative.” Or at least “crude.” Cars like the Rolls-aping Hongqi HQD helped build these unflattering associations, but this picture proves that they aren’t always true. This HQE, the chosen chariot for Hu Jintao’s National Day parade appearance [via Gasgoo], reaches back to FAW-Hongqi’s own heritage (rather than, say, the Robb Report) for inspiration.  That’s a good trend for an industry that was fast becoming a car blog punchline.

By on October 5, 2009

By on October 5, 2009

See? Right here! Two-week training course. (courtesy pappastenant.com)

On Wednesday, the Hawaii Supreme Court overturned a speeding conviction because the state failed to prove that its laser speed guns were functioning properly. On September 5, 2007, Honolulu Police Officer Jeremy Franks stopped motorist Abiye Assaye, accusing him of driving 90 MPH on the H-1 freeway. Because the charge of driving 35 MPH over the limit carried the possibility of jail time, Assaye was represented by a public defender. At trial, Officer Franks gave the familiar and well-rehearsed testimony about how he had been properly trained in the use of the LTI 20-20 Ultralyte speed gun and how, in great detail, the device’s self-test had been performed. As soon as Franks concluded that his lidar gun was “functional,” Deputy Public Defender Summer M. M. Kupau objected that the state had laid no foundation establishing the accuracy or proper maintenance of the device.

Read More >

By on October 5, 2009

This is going to take more than smoke and mirrors... (courtesy:files.co.uk)

Derren Brown is, for me, the World’s greatest illusionist. In his career, he has, played Russian Roulette (and won), predicted the National Lottery numbers live on TV and tricked bookmakers in paying out on bets which hadn’t won. But this problem, I think, would have been beyond him. How do you revive a car plant in a high cost country? The answer? A 4 month break.

Read More >

By on October 5, 2009

Oops! Not THAT one Ralph. (courtesy leblogauto.com)

As Colonel George Taylor would say, they’ve finally done it. Chrysler, the formerly bankrupt, federally-financed, Italian-owned carmaker has created a fourth automotive brand: Ram. As the company can’t come out and say they’re hiving-off Ram trucks to simplify Chrysler’s inevitable Chapter 7 fire sale, CEO Sergio Marchionne’s birth announcement blamed Dodge for the move (of all things). “This reorganization will allow us to protect and develop the unique nature of the product offerings within the Dodge Brand.” Yeah, ’cause all those Dodge Rams were muddying-up Dodge’s otherwise pristine image, used to such great effect with the Caliber and Avenger. To continue Dodge’s evolution towards filling Pontiac’s performance remit (I shit you not), Sergio’s appointed Ralph Gilles as the old brand’s new head, which will, presumably, no longer be that of a male sheep. As Gilles is the Canadian designer who unleashed the gangsta-riffic Chrysler 300, here’s hoping for an official name change to “The Dodge Boyz.” Meanwhile, The Detroit News [sub] is ROTFL about Sergio’s intentions to take Chrysler upmarket. Apparently, it’s going to be a “tough sell.”

Read More >

By on October 5, 2009

YF_NF

Hyundai’s on a roll. It wasn’t too long ago that the only things its cars generated were pollution and repair bills. Today, however, Hyundai cars are generating awards, increased sales, and most importantly, opinions. Read the comments section of any post on anything Hyundai, and people will have something to say. Many have good things to say, some do not. In either case, Hyundai has changed something: people care enough about its cars to have an opinion.

Read More >

By on October 5, 2009

Get thee to an Aveo. (courtesy automotiverhythms.com)

I have no idea why Mark LaNeve still works for General Motors. The former Cadillac man was serving Kool-Aid on the bridge when CEO Rick Wagoner was Richard Nixon channeling Captain Queeg. When Old GM sank into bankruptcy, LaNeve (and Bob Lutz and Fritz Henderson and the whole damn crew) should have gone down with the ship. Instead, they transferred to another boat and headed straight for the same iceberg. No surprise there: hitting icebergs is who they are and what they do. I’m not saying that LaNeve’s recent remarks about culling GM stores [via Automotive News] reveal that he’s wrong to trim the automaker’s bloated dealer network. I’m saying that LaNeve is going about it the wrong way. Here’s my thinking . . .

Read More >

By on October 5, 2009

(courtesy:kopsa.com)

TTAC’s very own David Holzman writes:

Sajeev,

My friend Polly’s ’83 air cooled, fuel injected, VW Vanagon dies at stoplights, and she has to let it cool down before it will start again. It also runs a bit rough, and it’s normally hard to start.

The engine was rebuilt 5 years ago (in Sturgis, South Dakota, where she’d gone from her home in Bethesda Maryland, for a sheepdog trial, by a VW mechanic whom she rousted out of retirement), and she thinks she’s put less than 20k on the clock since. In efforts to solve the problem, the air flow meter, the wiring, and the spark plugs have been replaced.

Any ideas? Thanks!

Read More >

By on October 5, 2009

Minimum (courtesy:proclad.ca)

A public company that allows its stock price to drop to A$0.001 per share is not normally considered successful, but the management of the BrisConnections toll road company are being rewarded as if its shares had never traded at bargain-basement prices. In fact, investors reading the Annual Report released yesterday would have no reason to suspect the company had ever been on the brink of collapse. “I am pleased to report that the Group has successfully tackled a number of early challenges, including establishing our organization, holding two member requisitioned meetings, forging solid relationships with project stakeholders, and working with our project partners to ensure a positive start to construction of the Airport Link Project,” BrisConnections Chairman Trevor C. Rowe wrote in the report’s introduction.

Read More >

By on October 4, 2009

A simpler time... (courtesy:ev1.pair.com)

By on October 4, 2009

Murauder? I just met her! (courtesy netcarshow.com)

TTAC commentator JollyJerry posits the following:

I’m looking for some recommendations and insight on highway cruisers that would coddle me and my girlfriend on a long multi-state road trip. I’m a tall lanky guy at 6′ 4″, so the Scion xB has been a perfect car for me so far. It’s definitely the wrong car to take for a long trip because it hurts my back, and I can’t stand the engine, wind, and road noise after a few hours. Here’s a list of cars I’ve been researching just to give an idea of what I’ve been looking at on TTAC and other sites: Ford Crown Victory / Mercury Grand Marquis / Marauder Toyota Avalon Chevy Impala / Monte Carlo Chevy Caprice Lexus LS Chrysler 300M Pontiac Bonneville Hyundai XG350. The ideal car would be cheap (<5k), reliable for at least a few months, incredibly comfortable on our bums and backs, and dead quiet. For this car, I wouldn’t care about looks or handling if I could get the above list. Good mileage would be a nice to have too because we’ll cover a lot of miles. Last generation domestic full-size sedans seem to do well on price and comfort. I’m more afraid of the Buicks and Cadillacs because of repair costs. Cost is also a big factor for most of the European sedans. What do you all think? Is there a car I’m missing that would be great for traveling all over the country and then selling?

By on October 4, 2009

Beats the alternative? (courtesy:gearpatrol.com)

Ford Brand             Ford Luxury Brands          Mazda

Focus: 9,182 (-11.3%)          Milan: 1,574 (-5%)                Mazda3: 6,227 (+3.3%)

Fusion: 10,834 (+9%)          MKZ 1,536 (-2.7%)               Mazda6: 3,484 (-5.7%)

Escape: 8,692 (-5.1%)        Mariner: 1,335 (-32%)          CX-7: 1,561 (-13.8%)

Edge: 4,477 (-32.5%)          MKX 1,514 (-13.6%)             CX-9: 1,390 (-34.1%)

By on October 4, 2009

You VILL learn from your mistakes! (courtesy tuningmag.net)

The BMW 1-series was a bust as was the Audi A3 in America. Sales are in the tank and everyone sits back and wonders why we don’t buy small cars. We buy small cars, just not yours. Heck look at the MINI. Maybe BMW is just not as cool. Oh right, BMWs are way cool and they own MINI. Maybe it was the Euro against the dollar, price walk ups from the 1-series/A3 to the 3 or A4 respectively, true mileage gains, looks . . . I don’t know. Or maybe these manufacturers are looking through beer goggles. Let me break it down for you like a fraction through flip flops and tip tops. First some flops . . .

Read More >

Recent Comments

  • bd2: Also, even with the increase in production to 100k for the Telluride, that still has to supply Canada and the...
  • highdesertcat: I’m very happy with the steps the current US government is taking in balancing fair trade, and I...
  • bd2: Neither Kia nor Hyundai has the production capacity of what Ford has for the Explorer. For the 2Q of 2019, the...
  • highdesertcat: NormSV650, there’s such a thing as aftermarket coolants like Zerex and other brands that are...
  • ToolGuy: Ford did model changeover in 2019 (were there any hiccups? I don’t remember). Anyway, Ford has nothing...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber