Anyone with an interest in odd cars probably has at least a passing fascination with Japanese kei cars. As a member of that small subset of enthusiasts, I have a long-held fantasy that involves owning a Suzuki Alto Works, Daihatsu Mira Turbo, Honda Today, or Honda Acty. But the closest North America ever got was the i-MiEV, which Mitsubishi stretched a few inches to comply with U.S. crash ratings — nullifying its official status as a kei.
Sure, most kei cars are utter garbage from a driving perspective, but their utilitarian quirkiness and microscopic road-presence are difficult to replicate on anything other than a moped. They’re also stupidly affordable, which is one of the reasons they’ve persisted in Japan.
However, that’s beginning to change now that their home country has begun taxing them into extinction. The miniature breed, brought to life specifically so budget-minded motorists can have a vehicle and always find parking, lost roughly 25 percent of its yearly volume since Japan targeted them in 2014 — resulting in a sudden annual deficit of nearly 550,000 pint-sized vehicles.
The Mitsubishi Vanup turned out out to be surprisingly popular: Fark picked it up and gave our servers a bit of a workout. Well, we have more where that came from. Here’s a very well executed domestic version on the same theme, right down to the “Chevy Vanup” tailgate logo and VANUP vanity plates. But unless the owners (UO students) do something about it quick, this thing is headed for the impound yard. And how will it be described by the police?
All the recent photo-shops and today’s shortened Vista-Coupe made me think of the car that most looks like it can’t have been designed to be the way it actually came out. The longer you stare at the Suzuki X-90, the more bizarre and surreal it becomes. It looks like what Micky and Minny Mouse would drive now days. Well, I’m mighty thankful for the little Suzuki’s existence, because it certainly breaks the monotonous waves of hand-me-down Camrys and Accords parked near the campus. Anyway, I have a thing for eccentric and short cars.
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- Kosmo Umm.....probably about halfway between the two sides' positions?Neither side can cast the first stone. The Big 3 have record profits, and the UAW's leader has a mixed agenda of 1) good deal for his members and 2) a megalomaniac's drive to a legacy.
- Analoggrotto I bet a Goddess Mary Barra boudoir set would be enough to charm all of the UAW back to work.
- Daniel J The Two Tier system was done on purpose. The UAW and the auto companies couldn't just shaft employees who, in essence, signed up before the financial meltdown. To stem their compensation, anyone who joined after got paid lower.This was done on purpose. The auto companies benefit because they cut costs and they also hope that eventually the new employees might dislike the deal the UAW make and possibly defect from the union when these same employees could join a non-union shop for more money.The UAW was hoping for the opposite, that these new employees would be mad at the auto companies and side with the union when it was time to re-negotiate.At this point, are the current Tier 1 employees going to take a cut? Can the auto companies afford to give the Tier 2 employees the same amount of money as the Tier 1?
- Redapple2 UAW - Already overpaid. Relevant question. What are the transplants paid? Honda, Toyota, Nissan, VW. What about Tesla? What about Tier 1 and 2 auto suppliers. UAW should have been smashed when GM and FCA went bankrupt.
- Redapple2 TV screens to run everything instead of knobs. Turbo 4 that poorly does the job of a V 6. I think i will turn away from new product and preserve what I have for 15 years. I m reaching that point.