Tag: Brazil

By on July 26, 2016

Bernie Ecclestone (Ryan Bayona/Flickr)

Brazilian media sources say kidnappers are demanding a huge ransom for the safe return of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law.

The São Paulo kidnapping of Aparecida Schunck, mother of Ecclestone’s wife Fabiana Flosi, was reported in Veja and Globo, according to the BBC. The assailants are asking for $36.5 million. (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2016

1988 Volkswagen Fox Wagon in California Wrecking Yard, RH front view - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

In the 1970s, the Audi 80 was sold in the United States as the Audi Fox. In the following decade, Volkswagen decided to sell the Brazilian-made Volkswagen Gol as a Volkswagen Fox in the United States, presumably using the Fox name because it was so good.

The Fox was cheap and disposable and most were crushed before the end of the 1990s, so this ’88 wagon is an unusual find these days. (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2016

2016 Fiat Toro

A top Ram executive is heading to Brazil next week as the truck maker increasingly cozies up to the idea of adding a smaller pickup to its lineup.

The trip comes after Mike Manley, global head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep and Ram brands, told The Detroit News that an “opportunity” exists in the U.S. midsize pickup market.

“I think that space is big enough, certainly, to have two offerings there,” Manley said at last week’s New York Auto Show, referring to the recently-announced Wrangler pickup and a hypothetical Ram model.

(Read More…)

By on March 16, 2016

Ford Troller T4, Image: Ford Brazil

I can’t believe it, but I’m about to argue that the American market needs another SUV. Seriously. No, please, don’t click away.

Really, beyond the various Wrangler derivatives, are there any true sport utility vehicles offered here any longer? Everything else is a unibody cute-ute or some monstrous limo/wagon hybrid that can’t handle a curb, let alone a rocky trail.

Plus, it has the perfect name for both the writers and readers of TTAC: Troller.

(Read More…)

By on January 5, 2016

Nissan Kicks Concept

Nissan said it will produce a vehicle based on the Kicks Concept car shown at the Sao Paulo Auto Show in 2014. It will be sold globally, beginning in Latin America this year.

CEO Carlos Ghosn said the car appeals to Latin American markets that prefer compact crossovers. You know who else buys compact crossovers? You, and everyone else you know, apparently.

According to several reports, the Kicks would fit into the automaker’s lineup between the smaller Juke and larger Qashqai. Is there a hole for crossover sales between our Juke and Rogue? There’s only one way to find out. (Read More…)

By on July 28, 2015

 

General Motors will invest $5 billion to build a global line of cars with Shanghai-based SAIC Motors that will be sold in Brazil, China and other emerging markets, the automaker announced Tuesday.

The cars won’t be sold in the United States, according to the statement.

The global vehicles will go on sale starting in 2019 and the automaker expects the line to eventually produce roughly 2 million cars annually.

(Read More…)

By on April 19, 2015

IMG-20150416-WA0012

The last time I saw this car it lay bare and gutted in front of me. The seats had been pulled out, the dash taken apart and wires dangling. The carpets were in the process of being removed. All of this in an effort to find the source of an infestation that had plagued it.

(Read More…)

By on April 14, 2015

renault-sandero-stepway-2015-011-620x380

Oh, Brazil. Not having the cars, the will or possibly the means to offer proper SUVs to customers back in the 90s, local makes did as the always do and improvised. Raise up the suspension, modify it (or not) as needed, insert bigger wheels, add lots of plastic cladding and graphics, and your pseudo-SUV common hatch or station wagon is magically transformed into an “aventureiro”.

(Read More…)

By on March 27, 2015

honda-hrv-jeep-renegade-23-620x413

Like it or not, compact SUVs, particularly B-segment vehicles, are the segment to be in right now. They may be anathema to enthusiasts in the developed world, but in developing markets, their is no hotter property. In Brazil, where the Renault Duster and Ford Ecosport have reigned supreme, the market has just gotten a bit more crowded.

(Read More…)

By on March 20, 2015

Lula Inauguração

And then came the 90s.

With democracy finally back, a new Constitution, and new economic ideas and policies forcing the market open, the slow pace of the 80s suddenly gave way to much friskier times. General Motors was the first to make use of the opportunities, they would import systems and brought on the best Opel had to offer. The Corsa was launched and soon had long waiting lists and people paying over list price. It followed Fiat’s plan, a small car with lots of color and accessory options. Two door and four doors. Soon, sedan, station wagon and a pickup version. All highly successful, all putting pressure on the Gol and derivatives. (Read More…)

By on March 19, 2015

JK Fusca

There are a couple of things that mark Brazilians of all stripes. Football (the “real” world type) is surely one. There are many others. “Feijoada” is something almost every Brazilian loves, and the “caipirinha” drink has been a constant forever. However, things change. Brazilians now drink more beer than “cachaça” that is the basis for caipirinha and the city of São Paulo boast more sushi bars than Tokyo and eats more pizza than Rome, Milan and Turin combined.

(Read More…)

By on March 7, 2015

corcel5

As I pulled into the gas station last week, I faced a decision. Regular gasoline was on sale for R$3,199 a liter, while ethanol (or “álcool” as we old timers insist on calling it) was R$2,299. That meant the sugarcane derived fuel was 71.8% of the price of gasoline. Bearing in mind that gasoline in Brazil is actually E25 and will soon be E27, the rule of thumb is that if the price of ethanol is 70% that of gasoline, it compensates to pump it in spite of the mileage drop.

(Read More…)

By on February 19, 2015

20150117_120108

Walking up to the pearl white, Japanese-Brazilian, new Nissan March, I smile. Can’t help it. It looks so cute. Especially in this top-of-the-line version all prettied up, with the bigger (and good-looking) wheels and its funky design that though more grown up than before, is still playful. Plastichrome abounds and can be found in the front, sides and back. I instantly warm up to it, I want to like it.

(Read More…)

By on January 27, 2015

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How much is first place worth? How much difference would it make to you as an automaker to see a decades old tradition die? How much would you do to try to keep first place and how much would it hurt to see it all go away?

(Read More…)

By on January 23, 2015

 

A Captiva audience?

Aside from the car-less world of cruise/train travel, my post-CCS Design vacations involve seeing an American on the road only to feel their styling and (more importantly) proportioning are sleeker and prettier. Douchey perhaps, but it’s my benign contribution to American Exceptionalism.

Even if this “proper” Chevy is a German Opel (sold alongside many a Korean Daewoo) introduced in Frankfurt as the Antara GTC.  Harley Earl may spin in his perfectly-proportioned grave…but I digress. (Read More…)

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