“President Obama is proud of his bailout of General Motors. That’s good, because, if he wins a second term, he is probably going to have to bail GM out again.” Sounds like our august founder, Robert Farago, sounding off about [s]American Leyland[/s] the New GM. Nope, it’s Forbes this time, and they come to bury the General, not to praise him.
Forbes predicts that the U.S. will bypass China this year as the world’s largest auto market. Forbes does that because it employs as its China expert one of the lousiest forecasters in the business. Regular Forbes columnist Gordon G. Chang published a book in 2001, titled “The Coming Collapse of China.” In it, he predicted that China would implode by 2006, if not earlier, due to the mass of non-performing loans. China did not implode. Instead, non-performing loans brought the U.S. banking system and the world to the brink in 2008. In 2006, Chang wrote the book “Nuclear Showdown.” In it, he predicted that North Korea would rain nuclear missiles on Japan. Has not happened either. Now, Chang predicts that China will no longer be the world’s largest auto market when the year is over, and that the title will go back to the U.S.
By making this prediction, Chang shows that America is a land of opportunity: People who can’t count and aren’t really bright can become famous columnists at Forbes.
Yabe! (Oh shoot.) As the sun set over Toyota City and Tokyo, Toyota’s execs and Sararimen (salary men) alike were crying in their sake. Today was a sai aku (very bad) day. A day everybody at Toyota most likely would want to forget. No, no recall for a change. There isn’t much left to recall anyway, or so it seems.
The sai aku day started with Moody’s downgrading Toyota’s formerly stellar credit rating to “its lowest-ever level,” as The Nikkei [sub] laments. Moody’s came to the somewhat belated conclusion that “multi-million vehicle recalls and safety issues raise questions about its profitability and ability to stay ahead of rivals on pricing power until 2012 at the earliest.”
To make matters even more sai aku, Moody’s warned that its outlook for the rating remains negative. Why the pessimism?
There’s all kinds of controversy over what makes a car “green” and what doesn’t. Some point to size and efficiency, crucifying Hummers and full-size trucks as criminals against the planet. Others point to lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, battery-component mining pollution and other less-obvious measures to excoriate hybrids. In any case, TTAC’s scientific department isn’t well-funded enough to issue a comprehensive report on the subject. Forbes may not have tested cars itself, or dug into true “dust-to-dust” footprints, but it’s gone ahead and published a list of “America’s Dirtiest Vehicles” anyway. Let’s take a look, shall we?
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- FreedMike I guess some folks are just bound and determined to drive around with a grenade in their steering wheel.
- FreedMike Bit dear, but these might have collector appeal, particularly one with 20,000 miles (assuming that's not a doctored figure) that hasn't had the full "whip" treatment.
- Adam4562 I have Bluetooth in my car , the name comes up and I answer . It goes through the speaker. I’ll text on a stop sign or red light . If it’s really urgent hill pull over .
- Dukeisduke I'll pick up my phone and look at a text or something else while at a red light, but when the light turns green, the phone gets put down.
- Dukeisduke Haven't some cars been recalled multiple times (replacement airbags being recalled).