Tag: 2013

By on October 9, 2013

Over the next few weeks I will be taking you on a trip through Trans-Siberian railway, stopping along the way in various Russia, Mongolian and Chinese cities to observe the vastly different car landscapes each time. The first stop was St Petersburg in Russia, we are now off to Moscow!

Russia, Mongolia and China not your thing? That’s fine, you can check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

Back to the Trans-Siberian and Moscow. Jump in!

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here.

(Read More…)

By on October 1, 2013

Over the last couple of weeks I have been backpacking my way along the Trans-Siberian railway, hopping on and off the train and discovering surprisingly different car landscapes along the way. Today I begin a long-term series that will  look at and analyse the cars present in each city I passed.

Each time I took the train or bus I moved between 800 and 1000 km so it’s really like finding oneself in a different country altogether, even though I stayed in Russia for the first two weeks of my trip. I’m not sure yet how many parts there will be in this series as I haven’t finished the trip yet! I hope you’ll enjoy the reports as much as I did creating them.

Russia, Mongolia and China not your thing? That’s fine, you can check out 174 other car markets on my blog.

Back to the Trans-Siberian. Our first stop is St Petersburg, Russia. Jump in!

If you can’t wait for the next report, you can follow my trip in real time here.

(Read More…)

By on September 1, 2013

What better way to finish one month and start a new one than going through our traditional World Roundup? None, I know.

Enough of the world? That’s fine, I knew some of you would feel that way, and I’ve prepared something else: you can check out new car sales data for 176 additional countries and territories on my blog. Go on, you know you want to!

Now if you want to know what happened worldwide in the magical world of car sales, jump in!

 

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By on June 24, 2013

Finally the much anticipated Worldwide May 2013 Roundup is here! First a bit of overview of the largest markets with a very contrasted picture this month: China (+9%), the USA (+8%) and Brazil (+10%) are all up significantly while Japan (-9%), Germany (-10%) and Russia (-12%) all have full brakes on.

If last month the Toyota RAV4 was under the spotlight, in May we witness an interesting trend across a few European countries: whether it is a coincidence or not is something that will become clearer as the year goes by, but it would appear that European consumers have been very patriotic this month…

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By on June 11, 2013

2013 BMW X1 xDrive28i Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

I know a guy who used to own a BMW 318ti. Like most 318 shoppers, he paid way too much because it had a roundel on the front. At some point he realized that 25-grand (in 1997) was an awful lot to have paid for an asthmatic 138-horsepower rattletrap and sold it. Likewise, the fog lifted at BMW and they refocused on volume models. Then came the 1 series, a fantastic little car that hasn’t exactly set the sales charts on fire. The Germans are a persistent people, so for 2013 they are fishing with fresh bait. Click through the jump as we look at the cheapest BMW in America, the 2013 BMW X1.

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By on June 3, 2013

2013 Mercedes-Benz  CLS63 AMG Exterior, Front 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes
My statement “BMW is the new Mercedes” may have ruffled the most feathers, but the second thing that gets thrown in my face is: “what then has Mercedes become?” I’m sorry if the forum fanboys can’t adjust to the new normal that is a softer, more civilized, more luxurious BMW that puts comfort over balls-out performance. Sometimes you just have to let the ostrich keep its head in the hole. If you think the M6 is the best thing since sliced bread, read no further. This isn’t about BMW, this is about the German luxury company. What of them?  To find out we were tossed the keys to a six-figure beast for a week.

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By on May 30, 2013


TTAC continues its coverage of the race for World’s Largest Automaker. Last year, around this time, we did not do too badly with our guesstimate that Toyota would finish the year as #1, GM as #2, and Volkswagen as #3. Let’s see how we’ll do this year. (Read More…)

By on May 25, 2013

After taking you on a trip through Europe, today it’s time to get global once again as I give you the much awaited World roundup for April 2013.

Who made the worldwide headlines in April?

Hints: two Japanese and one German…

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By on May 20, 2013

Last time I opened my mouth, we travelled to Norway, the new land of the Nissan Leaf, and before that we religiously went through our monthly worldwide Roundup, spending time praising the ever-impressive performance of the Nissan Qashqai. Now it’s time to look at the 200 best-selling models worldwide. And there is a big (Chinese) surprise on the podium…

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By on May 10, 2013

 

2013 Honda Accord EX, Exterior, Side, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. DykesOur last look at the Accord was back in September when we ran a two-parter (part 1, part 2) after being invited to the launch event. Yes, shockingly our invite wasn’t lost in the mail. As TTAC has said in the past, there are problems with launch events. Usually you’re running around in a pre-production car that may not be “quite right” yet, you have to split your driving time with some dude from another publication (shout out to Hooniverse on that trip).  Drive time is limited, and exclusively done on roads selected by the manufacturer. Sometimes you don’t get the trim level you want either. What I wanted was one step up from the base model, the mainstream EX and I wanted it on the same roads I’ve driven the other Camcord competitors. Here’s that review.

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By on May 7, 2013

I remember when the RX rolled onto the scene in 1998. It was truly the first successful crossover as we would know it today. While everyone else was trying to produce a truck-based luxury SUV, Lexus took the Camry/ES platform, put a jelly-bean inspired box on top and jacked the ride height up to 7.7 inches. The result was instant sales success. As we all know however, success has a price. The marshmallow-soft FWD RX lacked road feel, steering feel and sex appeal. Although it’s a bit late in the game, Lexus has decided to fix that last problem with the introduction of the 2013 RX F-Sport. (Read More…)

By on May 2, 2013

Do not adjust your screen, Solo is back. (photo courtesy: Mike Solo)

Hello TTAC! For those who wondered where I went, I’m back from my global tour with the USAF. I am back in my native West Texas, attending Texas Tech University in pursuit of a Mechanical Engineering degree. As a break from finals, I test drove the best selling car in the US, with a decidedly continental Captain Solo slant. Thus far, I have consumed two overpriced lattes and wandered around Lubbock for 45 minutes in an attempt to organize my thoughts and come towards an unbiased conclusion about the baffling Toyota Camry.

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By on April 24, 2013

Toyota released global production numbers for the first quarter of 2013 today, which gives us a chance to officially initiate our 2013 tracking of the World’s Largest Automakers, based on hard data. Having made 2.5 million units in the first three months, Toyota maintains its lead over runner-up GM and third-place Volkswagen, however, the field is tight. (Read More…)

By on April 22, 2013

The Avalon has been something of a caricature since it wafted on stage in 1994. The stretched Camry was low on soul, devoid of style and soft of spring. In short, it was the Buick that wouldn’t leave you stranded. Since then Toyota has struggled to divine a mission for their full size sedan, a problem complicated by the re-invigoration of the large sedan market by the American brands. In hopes of resurrecting sales numbers, which have slid to 25% of their 2000 year shipments, Toyota has injected something hitherto unseen in an Avalon: style. Is it enough?

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By on April 15, 2013

Redesigning retro is a herculean task. You need to change the vehicle enough to be worth the effort, meanwhile maintaining an iconic retro theme. If you don’t change enough, shoppers won’t see a reason to trade in their old flashback for the new time capsule. Change it too much and you’re left with a caricature. The task is so daunting that few even attempt it. (Just look at the one-hit-wonders: PT Cruiser, HHR, SSR and Thunderbird.) VW on the other hand is different. After all they continued to build and sell the same Beetle with minor tweaks for 65 years straight. If anyone can tweak retro and convince people they need it, it’s VW. Sure enough, 2012 was the best Beetle sales year since 1973. As a chaser to VW’s revived retro-mojo, the Beetle is now offered sans-top and VW tossed us the keys to a brown-on-brown model for a week so we could get our 70s on. Can you dig it?

(Read More…)

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