Tag: brands

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…)

By on October 23, 2017

2018 Chrysler 300 Limited - Image: FCA

On the surface, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep brand is everything a modern-day brand should be. SUVs and crossovers, a looming pickup truck, and no cars. This is what the world wants.

On the opposite side of the coin, Chrysler is the brand seemingly no one, save for North American minivan buyers and a shrinking pool of traditional luxury sedan devotees, wants. Year-to-date, sales of the brand’s two-model U.S. lineup is down nearly 10 percent.

Overseas reports claiming FCA has ended production of right-hand-drive models at its Ontario, Canada assembly plants paint an even grimmer picture, even though the core RHD Chrysler model — the rear-drive 300 — is not, apparently, extinct. (Read More…)

By on June 21, 2017

18 -1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Lately, I’ve taken you back in time when it’s my turn to offer up a Question of the Day. Today is no exception, as we’re going to discuss the past and the future at the same time. Now, while your head is spinning and you reach for a VHS copy of Back to the Future, allow me to explain.

We’re going to discuss the car brand you’d like to resurrect, and the models it would offer today. Sound like fun? (Read More…)

By on April 26, 2017

[Image: Audi AG]

After history’s largest and most expensive automotive scandal forced a sudden pivot at Volkswagen Group — from expansion-minded to profit-focused — the German automaker might let go of a cherished toy.

According to insider sources who spoke to Reuters, VW is exploring the sale of Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati as part of a company-wide streamlining effort. After shoveling over $20 billion to the United States in a bid to end its diesel debacle, the company is in full penny-pinching mode.

The revered boutique motorcycle company was a long-awaited feather in ex-VW chairman Ferdinand Piëch’s hat, but after just five years of ownership, it may be time for Ducati to find a new home. (Read More…)

By on February 28, 2017

jeep 75th birthday

The automaker that can’t seem to catch a break in overall quality rankings — or more comprehensive ones — doesn’t get a reprieve in Consumer Reports‘ latest brand ranking.

In its 2017 list of the best and worst brands, which combines scores for predicted reliability, road testing, safety and owner satisfaction, a familiar German brand returned to the same podium it occupied last year. Unfortunately for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the bulk of its brands languished — once again — on the lowest steps of the pyramid. (Read More…)

By on June 22, 2016

JD Power

If you’re planning to buy a new vehicle this year, J.D. Power wants you to know you’ll probably happier in a Kia than a Porsche.

Well, maybe less annoyed. By the little things. On average. That’s one takeaway from the firm’s annual ranking of automotive brands based on consumer complaints logged during the first 90 days of ownership.

This year’s J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study is good PR for many automakers, considering 21 of the 33 brands moved up in the rankings this year, including those in the Big Three. Domestic brands collectively recorded a lower problem tally than their foreign competition, a feat only accomplished one other time in the study’s three decade history. (Read More…)

By on June 8, 2016

2017 Toyota Highlander

When it comes to brands that resonate with buyers, no other automaker tops Toyota, according to a recent study.

In its annual ranking, BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands shows the Japanese automaker rising two spots to place 28th out of all companies in 2015. Second and third-place automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz both gained ground in the rankings. (Read More…)

By on March 18, 2016

Mustang

When you get to a certain age, you think you know everything about Monopoly:

Children will cheat (it’s what they do), you’ll never make money off of the louse-infested Baltic Avenue, and utilities can be a cash cow — especially in real life.

But who knew there was a version of Monopoly devoted to brands? Huh? Playing a game devoted to brands means people might start talking about brands, and that’s not something you should do. (Read More…)

By on March 16, 2016

Scion tC Release Series 10.0

If you’ve been holding out on buying a Scion tC until the right special edition came along, this is your last opportunity.

Scion’s parent, Toyota, took the youth-oriented brand behind the woodshed last month, making the upcoming Release Series 10.0 version of the tC coupe an aerodynamic swan song. (Read More…)

By on March 1, 2016

2015 BMW X4, Image: BMW

Amsterdam’s port facility is more crowded than a Walmart on Black Friday and it’s all China’s fault.

That, BMW wonders how it all went wrong, Millennials bare their souls to a salesman, Toyota walks down memory lane, and a safety regulator has some explaining to do … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on February 3, 2016

scion_gravestone

Update 2: Toyota has officially announced Scion’s “transition to Toyota.”

Update 1: Road&Track is reporting it has confirmed the rumor with an inside source and the death of Scion will be publicly announced later today.

A top-secret meeting took place Tuesday afternoon to announce the death of the Scion brand to employees, reports CarBuzzard (via Motor Trend). The company is rumored to make the announcement public today.

We at TTAC have openly wondered about the future of Scion, though recent sales performance of new products looked to have put the youth-oriented brand on the right track.

(Read More…)

By on September 9, 2015

meme

I guarantee that every brand loyalist will have a reason to hate me after reading this article.

Every manufacturer sells a shitty car or two and then hides those defects behind a not-so-small army of lawyers, dealers, and corporate employees.

Why?

It’s the corporate American way. In our legal world, the power of denial can save you billions of dollars if you have the right army to fight your battles.

Every manufacturer plays this game. Every… single… one…

(Read More…)

By on July 30, 2015

2000-isuzu-vehicross

Way at the bottom of the comments on yesterday’s Hyundai Santa Cruz article was a reference to a vehicle that I think, if it was built today, would probably sell better today than it ever did when it was new.

The Isuzu VehiCROSS, for all its faults, is (almost) exactly what people are craving today in a crossover-fueled market: go-anywhere utility, a tall sitting position, and full wrap-around plastic body cladding. Oh, and you either love it or hate it, just like every other new, successful crossover hitting the market in America at the rate of 2.5 new models per second.

(Read More…)

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