Tag: brands

By on May 17, 2019

lotus evora gt430

After Chinese auto giant Geely took a controlling stake in Lotus two years ago, the British brand has prepared itself for a turnaround. With a more stable financial footing secured, Lotus can be whatever it wants to be.

Enthusiasts want it to remain Lotus, only with an actual range of vehicles on offer. Group Lotus’ CEO, who also happens to be Geely’s chief technology officer, knows what he wants         the brand to mimic: Porsche. Feng Qingfeng has great fondness for the brand’s would-be rival, calling its products “wonderful.”

It seems he’s also okay with an SUV. (Read More…)

By on May 15, 2019

1967 DeTomaso Mangusta, Image: DeTomaso

De Tomaso, the idled Italian supercar brand that built a handful of drool-worthy models during its tumultuous lifespan, is poised for a resurrection.

The one-time maker of the Ford-powered Mangusta and Pantera will return from its hibernation with a new model introduced at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 4th, the brand’s owners claim. Lovers of the brand’s historical offerings no doubt have their fingers crossed, hoping this isn’t another false start. (Read More…)

By on May 14, 2019

A short while ago, we ran a QOTD post about special branded editions, gauging our readers’ desire to see them return in 2019. Today’s Rare Ride is one of the special designer brand editions of yesteryear (the Eighties), which represented luxury, taste, and wealth.

Grab your wide-lapel blazer. It’s time for Bill Blass and the Lincoln Mark VI.

(Read More…)

By on April 29, 2019

smart fortwo electric

The brand discontinuation we’ve all been waiting for has come to pass.

One month after the city car-building Smart brand’s salvation at the hands of China’s Geely, parent company Daimler has announced the 2019 model year will be Smart’s last in North America.

Say goodbye to a single electric model with a range of 58 miles. (Read More…)

By on April 25, 2019

2018 Buick Enclave Avenir grille - Image: Buick

People and cultures, like the arts, traditions and cuisine born of those cultures, come in all flavors, and so do cars. The great thing about global trade is that we have choice in nearly everything we buy. Few, if any, people are forced to purchase a product because no alternatives built by rival companies exist.

And, because we’re not living under the thumb of an oppressive apparatus that demands us proles buy dismal crapboxes from a sole state-owned factory, our driveway diversity is off the charts. Maybe yours tops them all. (Read More…)

By on April 24, 2019

They used to be commonplace, but the last decade or so has seen this automotive phenomenon fade from memory. Today we talk special branded editions, and how it’s time for them to make a comeback.

(Read More…)

By on March 4, 2019

2018 Chevrolet Tahoe RST

There are occasions when human beings need a bit of time to get used to something, such as when your teenager suddenly dyes their hair purple or you are suddenly forced to buy new work boots because your old ones have completely collapsed. I have experienced 50 percent of these examples in the past week and will leave it to your speculation as to which one it is.

Something else your author needs time to assimilate? New car names slapped on machines introduced to replace an outgoing model. It’s the automotive equivalent of daytime soaps suddenly hiring a new actor to play the same character. It’s jarring.

Here’s today’s question: should OEMs introduce new names with their new cars? Or should they hang on to the tried-and-true? As you’d expect, I have a couple of opinions.

(Read More…)

By on May 30, 2018

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, due to retire in less than a year’s time, will lay out the automaker’s future on Friday. Well, the next five years of its future — and we all know how malleable those plans can be.

According to a Bloomberg report, sources with knowledge of the plan say the near future contains far fewer Chryslers for those living outside the U.S., and no Fiats for those who are. (Read More…)

By on May 2, 2018

The news lately has been plenty full of speculation and angry comments about Ford’s decision to kill off anything with a trunk (save the Mustang, for now).

Generally, the consensus among the B&B seems to be that Ford is making an ill-advised and short-sighted decision. Well, today’s your chance to build your own lineup of profitable, future-proof vehicles in a game I just invented.

(Read More…)

By on March 19, 2018

Ford Dealership

On Friday, we published our take on the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup. Some of you even read it, for which we thank you. Ram wisely brought a wide range of trims to the event, ranging from the workaday Tradesman to the high-zoot (that one’s for you, commenter MLS) Limited model.

The differences in equipment, capability, and appeal between the different trims on display got me thinking: at what point do we start thinking of these things as distinct models?

(Read More…)

By on March 12, 2018

VW logo, Image: Volkswagen

China’s all about electric vehicles and clean, green everything, or so the tankies granola types claim, and automakers from Detroit to Germany can’t wait to get their hands on a piece of that market. In Volkswagen’s case, China’s thirst for EVs spawned a brand new brand.

Unfortunately, as is often the case with language, the name of VW’s EV-focused brand could mean something very bad, depending on who reads it. (Read More…)

By on March 9, 2018

2018 Chrysler 300 Limited - Image: FCA

If German automakers keep calling SUVs and five-door liftbacks “coupes,” maybe we’ll see a reversal of this trend. For now, however, American car buyers have never been quite so unimpressed with “cars” come trade-in time.

According to Edmunds’ annual Trade-In Loyalty Report, passenger cars just don’t have what it takes to lure buyers back into the three-box lifestyle. Sport utility vehicles, on the other hand, have all the appeal of a WWII pinup model parachuting into an overseas USAF base. (Read More…)

By on March 8, 2018

Image: Aston Martin

Aston Martin is pretty damn pleased with itself, having just debuted a futuristic and luxurious electric car concept in Geneva — one it says will attract the next generation of ultra-well-heeled motorcar buyers.

The Lagonda Vision Concept previews a real-world car scheduled for production in 2021, with another to follow by 2023. Bearing a re-launched brand name long associated with the Aston marque, this Lagonda coddles its passengers in a Blade Runner-esque shell that’s outfitted like one of those sexy, Roger Moore-era James Bond escape pods. There’s cashmere and silk. Savile Row tailors were brought in to handle the upholstery. Quite simply, it’s the future of motoring, Aston Martin claims, so you’d better get used to it.

Filled with unbridled enthusiasm over his new creation, Aston design chief Marek Reichman got a little personal during an interview with Britain’s Autocar. Let’s just say his target, now aghast, is having none of this nonsense. (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2018

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

Early on in the film Gran Torino, which I’ll admit is a guilty pleasure of mine, we see the curmudgeonly Walt Kowalski watch grimly as his no-good, ungrateful son drives his family away from his decaying Detroit home in a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser.

It’s 2008, and the financial crisis is threatening the very existence of the American auto industry. Meanwhile, we see in Walt’s driveway the evidence of a lifelong allegiance to the Ford Motor Company —  a 1972 Ford F-100 bearing all the scars of three-plus decades of hard use, and his spotless, cherished ’72 Gran Torino.

“Would it kill you to buy American?” Walt mutters as the pristine Toyota drives off, wishing, no doubt, that he could turn his M1 Garand on the four-wheeled interloper. (Read More…)

By on October 23, 2017

2017 Skoda Kodiaq rear

Nothing stirs up enthusiasts and cynics quite like the potential launch of a new brand in the United States. Over the past several years, we’ve reported on the motions being made by established European players eager for a thin wedge of the country’s huge car-buying pie — players like PSA group, which is now in the early days of a decade-long return to the U.S. marketplace.

Less exciting, especially considering the level of zeal expressed for quirky French cars, is the rumored emergence of the Skoda brand on this side of the Atlantic. Once a lesser player in the Volkswagen Group fold, the Czech automaker is enjoying huge sales increases. There’s a diverse lineup of vehicles, including a seemingly made-for-America SUV, the Kodiaq. The brand even filed trademark applications for model names.

So, should we expect a go-ahead decision in the months ahead, like the brand’s leadership hinted at last year? Nope. Skoda has better things to do. (Read More…)

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