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By on April 5, 2021

American automakers can usually count on selling just below 3 million vehicle sales in China every year. While that figure includes the caveat that the Chinese Communist Party requires foreign manufacturers to partner up with established local companies, it remains substantially larger than the number of cars Chinese brands manage to move in the United States per annum — which is effectively zero.

From BYD to Zoyte, just about every large Chinese manufacturer has issued a deluge of promises about breaking into our market over the last decade — including most of the names we’ll be mentioning below. Consider this sort of the “Where Are They Now?” of evergreen automotive content about regional disparities. Because very little has moved in regard to China’s involvement with the North American auto market and the current geopolitical climate doesn’t make us think that’s likely to change anytime soon.

But it hasn’t been for a lack of trying.  Read More >

By on April 5, 2021

1976 Ford Maverick sedan in Colorado junkyard, RH front view - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsFord squeezed an amazing amount of value out of the 1960 Falcon‘s chassis design, with everything from the 1964-1973 Mustang to the 1980 Granada rolling Falcon-style. The Falcon itself got replaced here by the Maverick starting in 1970 (with one year of overlap when both were available), but the Maverick still had the 1960 Falcon’s bones under its skin. Millions of Mavericks (and near-identical Mercury Comets) were sold here during the 1970-1977 period, and nearly all of these affordable commutemobiles got crushed decades ago. Still, I run across the occasional Maverick/Comet during my junkyard journeys, and I found this optioned-up ’76 in a Denver-area yard last summer. Read More >

By on April 4, 2021

Travis Birdsall/Shutterstock.com

It’s unfortunate the word ‘creeper’ has a different connotation in the Internet era. Anyone saying “Do you want to see my new creeper?” or “I crushed my old creeper and put it in the dumpster,” will likely receive a visit from the gendarmes in short order. At the very least, the FBI will be watching your texts for a couple of weeks.

But we know the difference. These seats are a permutation of the flat creepers that have rolled along garage floors for decades. Ages ago, some bright spark figured a chair on wheels, set just high enough to tackle lug nuts or a set of brakes, would be a good idea. They were right. We’ve selected a few of the things off Amazon and gathered them here.

Just don’t text anyone about them, ok?

By on April 3, 2021

GMC is using the Final Four to take the wraps off of the next part of the all-electric Hummer lineup — the Hummer EV SUV.

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By on April 2, 2021

VIN 001

VIN 001s are a rarity few can appreciate, let alone afford. Barrett-Jackson, auctioneers with aplomb, moved a handful of them last weekend at their auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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By on April 2, 2021

2020 Ford Escape Hybrid

It’s been a year and a half or so since I first drove the current-gen Ford Escape down in Kentucky, before anyone heard the word, COVID, and I still don’t know what to make of it. That goes double for the hybrid.

I wasn’t enamored with its blob-like styling, but some of youse guys found it attractive, or at least acceptable. Certainly, Ford gets credit for taking a bit of risk in order to make the Escape stand out in the sea of anonymous compact crossovers.

Read More >

By on April 2, 2021

QOTD Question of the day

Jan, Toyota’s innocuous ad spokesperson, poses our question of the day (QOTD)  to picture yourself in a new Toyota. We’re asking, what new vehicle of any make would you picture yourself in? Assuming, of course, dealers still exist.

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By on April 2, 2021

Rare Rides has touched on Monte Carlo once before, in a well-past-its-prime NASCAR / Jeff Gordon edition from 2000. Monte Carlo surfaced again more recently, as its Nineties iteration was effectively a renamed second-generation Lumina coupe. But we’ve never covered the Eighties Monte Carlo, which was a very popular car in the midsize segment at a time when the personal luxury coupe was alive and well.

And someone kept today’s 1987 example in as-new condition.

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By on April 2, 2021

car dealerships

Car dealerships are a conundrum. For decades, they’ve prevailed despite changes in every aspect of what occurs at a new car dealership. The big question is whether they will continue doing business as they have, or will there be changes to a system that’s out of touch with buyers today?

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By on April 2, 2021

CarMax DealerYesterday, used-car giant CarMax announced it finalized a deal to acquire automotive consumer advice site Edmunds, in a deal worth just over $400 million.

CarMax promises it’s magnanimous, and that Edmunds and its advice will operate independently of CarMax and its sales.

Read More >

By on April 1, 2021

Xiaomi

Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone colossus, has announced they are building their own branded electric vehicles (EVs), just like Apple, Huawei, Sony, and Foxconn.

If you’re prepared to lose money, starting a car company is easy. Just ask Tesla. Xiaomi has plenty, enough to sink $10 billion into the venture over the next 10 years.

Read More >

By on April 1, 2021

One of Volkswagen’s joint ventures in China has reportedly offered to purchase regulatory credits from Tesla in order to adhere to the regional environmental ascendancy. While VW may be doing everything in its power to swap over to an electric-vehicle manufacturer, it’s apparently falling short of government dictums.

FAW-Volkswagen — which shipped a little over 2 million automobiles in Asia last year — happened to be one of the biggest polluters of 2020 according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. As it turns out, selling internal combustion vehicles consumers actually want to purchase in large quantities has some kind of environmental cost. Fortunately, it’s one regulators think can be solved by buying green credits from rivals who do all of their polluting during the initial assembly process and launder any future emissions through the national energy grid.  Read More >

By on April 1, 2021

Waymo, the autonomous program backed by Google-parent Alphabet, seems to have upset some residents of Phoenix, Arizona, who have elected to whip eggs at the company’s test vehicles. Selected due to its lax regulatory standards, the state has become home base for Waymo to pioneer its self-driving vans since 2016. However, newly released police reports paint a picture where the locals are far less enthused with the vehicles’ progress than Waymo’s marketing materials would suggest.

A subset of Phoenix citizens has been demanding the firm improve transparency and offer better explanations for some of the higher-profile crashes since 2018. Despite Waymo assuring the public that mishaps are rare, local reports showed some erratic behavior among the test mules operating in 2020. While a few of these incidents made the news, local police reports from Chandler and Tempe (metropolitan Phoenix) indicate there was a slew of incidents we did not know about — many of which involved encounters with frustrated, human motorists.

Read More >

By on April 1, 2021

NHTSA
A warning was issued today to owners of 2021 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans with 6.6-liter gas engines by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If a battery short circuit were to happen, there may be a low battery voltage warning, the battery might die, or an engine compartment fire could take place.

Read More >

By on April 1, 2021

I was running an errand earlier this week and spotted a Ford Bronco Sport street parked on Chicago’s famed State Street. Coincidentally, I had just tested one off-road a bit over a week prior.

The baby Bronco impressed me on our first drive, despite some flaws. And our own Adam Tonge has argued that the Escape-based Bronco Sport may spell the end of the line for the venerable crossover that lends it its platform.

Read More >

Recent Comments

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