When The General decided to eliminate the Oldsmobile brand— I’m still convinced that the main reason for the execution was the syllable Old in the marque’s name— the process took nearly a half-decade, with nostalgia-drenched “Final 500” editions of the last Oldsmobile models released with great solemnity. Even the ho-hum Silhouette minivan got a Final 500 version for its sendoff. When the Pontiac Division’s time came at the close of the 2000s, the 84-year-old marque was shoved out the door to stagger to an ignominious death, unloved and alone in a Michigan drainage ditch. Here’s one of the very last Pontiacs ever built, found in a Denver boneyard last month.
Nissan’s slow-selling, goofy-looking minivan debuted in the United States market for the 2009 model year and got axed just five years later. You can still buy a new Cube in Japan, but junkyards on this side of the Pacific are getting discarded Cubes in more-than-flukey quantities.
After seeing several in a Denver-area self-service yard last month, I decided to photograph one.
TTAC commentator Bobby Flashpants writes:
I have an unique issue with my 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. I’ve posted about it at fordfusionforum.com, and no one so far has heard of anyone with the same issue. Here’s the link for the post, and the text is reproduced (and edited to remove site-specific context) below:
Good Morning Sajeev,
Today is my 2010 GTI’s 15th day in the shop (shocking, right?). Earlier this month it was in for 13 days, I had it back for 6, and I dropped it back off two days ago. The issue is somewhat strange, but in my mind, easily fixable. I have been getting CEL 2294 and when I run my own VCDS scans, I have been getting the following logs (edited down).
I didn’t drive the Bugatti Veyron, but here you are reading my review. So how exactly did an automotive journalist with zero manufacturer connections, and no income (at the time) aside from menial paychecks as a drum instructor get the nerve to write a Veyron review?
“SOLD…to the gentleman by the staircase!” bellowed the auctioneer, before everyone applauded the winner of the night’s ultimate charity prize: a trip to Bugatti central for a factory tour and a full day of seat time in the Veyron. As I stood next my brother, who was still in shock from being that high bidder, I knew he’d once again give TTAC a taste of the high performance combined with the brilliantly decadent. But, over a year later, the good Dr. Mehta is still busy beating cancer into remission. And we’re running out of time before the Veyron slips into the history books.
Luckily, he was kind enough to being me along.
Ford reported a $6.6 billion profit for 2010, its highest in more than 10 years. This year, they could add $13 billion to the profit line, without selling an extra car. How will Ford pull off the miracle of the loaves and profits? With a simple bookkeeping entry.
There is one area where the feared Chinese export machine is way behind, and this is cars. According to data published by the China Association of Automobile manufacturers CAAM, 566,200 units were exported in 2010. At and in the same time, China imported 813,600 units.
While we were focused on the U.S. market in 2010 and were happy that it awoke from the dead and went above 10 million, the world quietly left carmageddon behind itself and set a new record: 72 million light-vehicles were sold worldwide in 2010, a number never seen before, says J.D. Power. For this year, the Westlake Village research group expects another world record. However, most of this record was not and will not be produced where most of our readership lives.
It’s official: China’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) announced that in 2010, Chinese bought 18,061,900 vehicles, an increase of 32.37 percent over 2009. Automobile production rose to 18,264,700 units, an increase of 32.44 percent.
As predicted several times, China handily broke the world record of annual sales, established by the U.S.A. way back in 2000 with sales of 17.4 million units.
You have heard the whole year about the exploding Chinese car market. Surprise: Production growth in the U.S. appears to be stronger than China. In a few days or weeks, we will have the 2010 sales numbers. In this economy, what’s more important than spending money is making money, and that means jobs. For that, we have to look at the motor vehicle production numbers by country. For those, we will have to wait many months until OICA gets around to tabulating them. Let’s make a best guess estimate for who’s on top and by how much.
So who will be the world’s largest automaker this year? Like it or not, this is decided by numbers of units produced, size doesn’t matter. Some time in summer 2011, OICA will publish the official worldwide manufacturer ranking. Let’s try to figure out the top three. Number 3 is easy:
Back in 1983, my father, entranced by its idiosyncracy, nearly bought a Saab 900 Turbo. He even would have bought one, but with Detroit showing new signs of life I was on a “buy American” kick (the decade ultimately cured me). So he ended up buying the second-place finisher in Car & Driver’s infamous Baja comparison test instead. Down the road very different qualities drew him to Lexus. Apparently, Saab wants him back. How else to explain the new 9-5?
The third-generation Camaro, so much swoopier than anything else on the road back in 1982, looked more like a concept car than a production car. The throaty V8, though pitifully weak by today’s standards, at the time was easily capable of getting a 14-year-old’s pulse racing. Some critics dinged the car for its impractical packaging, size, and weight, but I didn’t care. I wanted one, badly. Never did get one. By the time I could afford a Camaro, I agreed with the critics. From frenzied test drives in the Toyota Corolla GT-S and Honda CRX I learned the joys of high-revving multi-valve engines and agile handling. GM recently introduced a fifth-generation Camaro. What has it learned in the last 28 years?
Robert Farago didn’t have many kind words for the cars he reviewed. But, while noting the car’s shortcomings, he lavished quite a few on the Lexus IS-F, even implying that he’d like to own one. How did Lexus’s first attempt at an ultra-high-performance car manage to melt RF’s normally stone cold heart?