Ford Retiree J Mays Says German Cars Don't Look German, Reserves Particular Criticism For One Automaker

“I think the British do a pretty good job — they seem to produce cars that look British,” Ford Motor Company’s retired design chief J Mays says.

Given that Minis essentially look the same as they’ve always looked, Mays makes a good case.

But Mays tells Automotive News he’s “a big stickler for cultural relevance.” And while the man whose influence can still be seen across much of the Ford lineup — he retired three years ago — credits the Brits for bringing culture to car design, he gives no such credit to the Germans.

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Junkyard Find: 1976 Audi 100 LS Sedan

The Audi 100 was the car that made most Americans aware of the Audi brand for the first time. The 100 wasn’t particularly reliable in American hands, to put it mildly, and most examples were long gone by the time the 1980s came to a close.

Here’s a long-neglected ’76 that just showed up in a Colorado Springs self-service wrecking yard.

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Junkyard Find: 1978 Porsche 924

Many Internet Car Experts believe that any Porsche, no matter how battered, is worth big money. Spend some time around the 24 Hours of LeMons and you’ll learn otherwise, and of course you can always find 924 s, 944 s, 914s, and even the occasional 928 in the cheap self-serve wrecking yards. The 944 is the most common, but for some reason I have never shot one for this series. I’ll remedy that soon, but for now here’s a much-abused 924 I spotted in Denver not long ago.

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New Or Used? : No One Loves My Bimmer Edition

A reader writes:

Steve –

So glad to see you back at TTAC. I’ve learned so much more about auctions to go along with what you and I discussed a year-and-a-half (!) ago.

I have a question of a personal nature. Well, it’s still car-related, but it has to do with MY car, so I guess that’s what makes it personal.

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German State PM Tells Opel "Go West, Young Man!"

Exports have been mentioned before as a way to help improve Opel’s precarious near-term fortunes, and now one of Germany’s state-level Prime Ministers is throwing his support behind the export plan.

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2013 BMW 3-Series Wagon Coming Here: Will We See A Diesel Stick-Shift?

Even as the wagon Gods smile down upon on this Mother’s Day, BMW’s announcement of an all-new 2013 3-Series Wagon still has us waiting with bated breath with the announcement of not one but two diesel powertrains.

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BMW X1 XDrive35i: 0-60 In 5.3 Seconds

Although Canucks have been enjoying the BMW X1 xDrive28i for over a year now, the launch of the X1 in the United States will see both the four-cylinder model, and a 3.0L twin-turbo I6 version, dubbed the xDrive35i. And it’s fast.

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Upcoming Audi A3 To Weigh Nearly As Much As First-Gen Car

Audi claims to have broken the dreaded “weight spiral” with their next upcoming A3. The new car will weigh nearly as much as the first-generation car did in 1997, despite being faster, safer and more luxurious.

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BMW May Takeover Nedcar Plant

Could BMW be acquiring the soon-to-be-shuttered Nedcar plant, which formerly built the Volvo S40 and Mitsubishi Colt? Dutch website Nu.nl seems to think so.

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Audi Picks Mexico For New Plant

Just as we predicted, Audi has chosen Mexico as the site of their newest manufacturing plant. A specific site for the plant will be selected later in the year, with production of an unnamed SUV ( said to be the Q5) starting in 2016.

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Diesels Account For Nearly A Quarter Of Volkswagen USA Sales In Q1 2012

An Automotive News report – about the oft-rumored return of the Volkswagen Scirocco – dug up an interesting nugget of information. Diesel sales accounted for 23 percent of Volkswagen sales in the first quarter of 2012, and future product plans are going to help give oil-burners a boost.

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Volkswagen Alltrack Concept; A Diesel Wagon, But Alas, No Manual

Volkswagen will apparently debut a “concept” version of the Passat Alltrack, a European model that shares little with our Americanized Passat sedan.

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Mercedes-Benz R-Class Discontinued In United States

Mercedes-Benz will no longer sell the R-Class crossover (minivan? SUV? wagon? we’re not sure) in the United States as of the 2013 model year. Slow sales meant it was hard to justify continuing sales of the car in America, but the R-Class will live on elsewhere.

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2013 Audi RS4 Avant – Another Hot Wagon We Probably Won't Get

A 4.2L V8 making 450 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. A 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. 0-60 in 4.7 seconds. Want to know more about the 2013 Audi RS4 Avant? Hit the jump to get down to the nitty-gritty.

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2013 Audi RS4 Avant Spied

Despite being falsely accused by members of the B&B of hating wagons, I will formally declare that I adore them – I’m just a realist about their sales prospects in the United States. The 2013 Audi RS4 Avant forces me to confront the dissonance over lusting after such a car, while knowing that it would be a non-starter in North America for all but the most eccentric rich dudes, ala the Mercedes E63 Wagon.

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  • Jwee I think it is short sighted and detrimental to the brand. The company should be generous to its locked-in user base, treating them as a resource, not a revenue stream.This is what builds any good relationship, generosity to the other partner. Apple does with their products. My iPhone is 5 years old, but I keep getting the latest and greatest updates for free, which makes me feel valued as a customer and adds actual value. When it is time for a new phone, Apple past treatment towards me certainly plays into my decisions (as did BMW's - so long subscription extracting pigs, its been a great 20 years). Imagine how much good will and love (and good press) Polestar would get from their user base if they gave them all a "68 fresh horses" update overnight, for free. Brand loyalty would soar (provided their car is capable).
  • ToolGuy If I had some space I would offer $800 and let the vehicle sit at my place as is. Then when anyone ever asked me, "Have you ever considered owning a VW?" I would say "Yes."
  • ToolGuy In the example in the linked article an automated parking spot costs roughly 3% of the purchase price of the property. If I were buying such a property, I would likely purchase two parking spots to go with it, and I'm being completely serious.(Speaking of ownership vs. subscription, the $150 monthly maintenance fee would torque me off a lot more than the initial acquisition cost.)
  • ToolGuy "which will be returned as refunds to citizens of the state" - kind of like the Alaska Permanent Fund? Make the amount high enough and I will gladly move to California to take advantage (my family came close to moving there when I was a teen, and oodles of people have moved from CA to my state, so I'm happy to return the favor).Note to California: You probably do not want me as a citizen.
  • ToolGuy Nice torque figure.