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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

Gems From the International Motoring Press

On: Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 3:25PM | By: John Welch

Gems From the International Motoring Press test 1-1

Dateline, India!: Harley Davidson to sell enormous double-black motorcycles in India! Maybe that will lessen the 95ish% decrease in sales in this country . . . Of course, this story comes with quotes that mangle the English language;

"“Our mission was to lay a strong base in India to help play a long innings. India is a vital part of company’s expansions plan which now is getting global,” Harley Davidson chief operating officer Matthew Levatich said."

The story comes from good 'ole Motorbeam.com

China must be filled with suckers, or just really bad cars/China carries our economy in so many ways Department:

GM and Ford are starting to turn things around in this country, but in China they've been killing it! Killing what? I don't know, lemme get back to you . . Ford sales in China were up 111% last month, as they sold 21,127 vehicles in China for the month of August. After unloading 88,711 units in August, SAIC-GM's sales are up a whopping 122.6%. The articles come from China Car Times, and can be viewed here and here. I for one, welcome our Asian Over-Lords . . .

BMW To Produce Two New Minis

On: Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 2:50PM | By: John Welch

BMW To Produce Two New Minis test 1-1

BMW wouldn't dare sell front drive cars under the nameplate 'BMW'. Good. I don't want them to. If you are just dying to own a front drive BMW, why don't you go buy a Mini. 'Cause that's what a Mini is, a front drive BMW.

Now that that's out of the way, BMW has confirmed it will expand the Mini line up with two new models, the 'Mini Coupe' and 'Mini Speedster'. I LOVE the Coupe; it's sultry and porportional in all the right ways. Not so hawt on that 'Speedster' deal though, it doesn't look right to my eye. I'm sure the production model will look much different when it is actually produced, I hope so anyway.

Howabouts a nice video introducing the Coupe Concept?...

No Buick Grand National, or anything fun apparently

On: Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 5:45PM | By: John Welch

No Buick Grand National, or anything fun apparently test 1-1

During a recent web-chat (one of the more useless uses for the internet- the 'webchat') the general manager of Buick-GMC, Susan Docherty, was put in front of the firing squad. She spent pages and pages of chat space answering questions with mostly negative answers. One avid Buick-phile asked if the G8 chassis would make for a decent GNX. "The G8 won't become the Buick Grand National." was the response. I could have told you that was what she was going to say, buddy.

Edmunds Inside Line
covers the webchat briefly, but the entire spleepy episode can be viewed at GM Fast Lane

Ford's New Power Stroke

On: Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 2:54PM | By: John Welch

Ford's New Power Stroke test 1-1

Deciding that the engines they have purchased from supplier Navistar were more trouble than they are worth, Ford has designed and constructed their first pick-up truck diesel. The 'Scorpion' 6.7-liter V-8 diesel has many innovative features that contribute to lower emissions and NVH. Each set of valves has its own rocker configuration, the block is cast of a lighter iron, the cylinder heads are now aluminum. On top of those improvements, the motor has a unique turbo set-up.


What do we make here in 'Murricuh??!

On: Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 11:08AM | By: John Welch

What do we make here in 'Murricuh??! test 1-1

Back in June the New York Times decided to compile a list of vehicles that are "Made in 'Murricuh". This list is surprising because of all the transmissions we get from France. I'm not kidding, even more than Canada, South Korea or Mexico; it seems France supplies not only our refined gasoline but also the crappy automatic that connects the German motor to the American rear-end in your Ford Explorer.

There are other interesting tidbits on this table, found at The New York Times.

Corvette takes the win at Mosport

On: Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 10:30AM | By: John Welch

Corvette takes the win at Mosport test 1-1

The racing this weekend couldn't have been better. Wait wait, yes it could. The ALMS race could have lasted for ten hours. Fortunately the 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. will be raced on September 26. Speed is broadcasting flag to flag. I will stock up on Hot Pockets and bacon, and will not dress beyond boxers that weekend. Last year's race was riveting, and if you check previous posts, this race is shaping up to be less than boring.

Anyway, back to Mosport. After only three starts the Corvette Racing C6.R GT2 was able to claim its first victory in the American Le Mans Series GT2 class. After years of dominating GT1 (to the point where no one could compete, causing the 'death' of the entire class), the Corvette team is a relative newcomer to GT2 racing. The cars are more closely related to their production counterparts, therefore GT2 is a cheaper and less complicated undertaking then GT1. This also translates into large fields of cars, most with some sort of corporate backing. It all adds up to excellent racing.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

On: Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 3:15PM | By: John Welch

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly test 1-1

The Good: Everything about the Ford F-150 Raptor makes me happy. Long-Travel suspension? Check. Huge, CORR-style fender flares? Check. 310 bhp V8, soon to upgraded to 400? Check. Skid plates, unique and strangely attractive grille, vicious rubber and a composed on-road ride? Check, Check, Check, and Check. I've always liked Chevy trucks but this thing is just too good to be believed. It looks like it wants to eat babies without going way overboard (ala SuperSwampers, stupid brush guard, TruckNutz) and apparently the thing is beyond capable. Even though I don't currently have any reason to own one, I'm sure I could make something up.

How could this package get better? The current 5.4 liter mill will be joined by a 6.2 liter option by the end of the year. This thing is so serious it comes with a little red stripe dead at the center of the steering wheel's rim. Use it to make sure your tires are pointing arrow straight when that lurid power-slide gets away from you. Heh, that is the sort of thing that makes a pseudo race-dork like me sweat in his sleep. Edmunds Inside Line has a great image gallery. See the video after the jump  from Motor Trend. Anyone want to inform me what dictionary the word "Heavy-Dutyized" comes from?...

That new Aveo might've been a bad idea

On: Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 9:32AM | By: John Welch

That new Aveo might've been a bad idea test 1-1

As the final Cash For Clunkers results poured in from dealerships across the country, many participants have developed a case of buyer's remorse.

CNW Purchase Path, of Bandon, Oregon, conducted a survey among 1,000 Cash for Clunkers participants. Of the the thousand polled, 17 percent reported "serious doubts that they should have made the new-vehicle acquisition."

The main reason, obviously, is the new $300 bill showing up every month. Apparently some people didn't take into account the fact that they would have to pay for most of that shiny new Focus Coupe. Shoulduh bought a 20 year old BMW, which probably has all the same options (minus that infernal 'Sync' system), is rear-drive, fairly efficient, has huge aftermarket support and receive no bill every month. I'm just sayin' . . .

Source: Edmunds Inside Line

Mitsubishi not a fan of civil unrest

On: Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 1:10PM | By: John Welch

Mitsubishi not a fan of civil unrest test 1-1

Anarchy and violence are interrupting production at a Mitsubishi-owned auto plant in Venezuela. There have been two deaths caused by angry laborer riots.

The Japanese firm said the decision came in response to "indiscipline, anarchy and violence".

The factory, in the Eastern Venezuelan city of Barcelona, also produces vehicles for Hyundai. Forced nationalisation of many private companies under the Hugo Chavez leftist-newspeak-commie government was another factor in the decision, although Mitsubishi said the plant may reopen if "peace and discipline" return.

This story can be found at BBC News

Samoans change lanes

On: Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 1:46PM | By: John Welch

Samoans change lanes  test 1-1

Here is an interesting story. The island nation of Samoa has enacted legislation to officially change which side of the road commuters drive on. This is the first such major 'right of way' policy change by an industrialized nation since Ghana switched lanes in 1974.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, the Prime Minister of Samoa provides some decent reasoning for the change: Australia and New Zealand, Samoa's two largest neighbors, both drive on the left, a-la Britain and Japan. Until now, Samoa has been a right hand-driving nation, like the U.S. and Germany. In order to benefit from the thousands of used right-hand-drive autos available from its two large and wealthy neighbors, Samoa is altering its 'side of the road', if you will. There is civil unrest, of course, but this seems like the right idea for the country.

This story was taken from The Wall Street Journal

GM procrastination, Re Deux

On: Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 1:10PM | By: John Welch

GM procrastination, Re Deux test 1-1

Boy, New GM may have shed plenty of toxic debt, but they've retained every bit of the arrogance they've compiled over the years. In an earlier post we outlined the "Saab/Koenigsegg" deal for you, a financial transaction that is moving at a snail's pace. Well, GM likes to spread the procrastination around. Opel, a long time subsidiary of the General, is currently up for bids. It has been since GM declared bankruptcy, and there have been several bidders. Why hasn't it been sold already? Simple; GM wants to maintain a stake in the company so that it can regain management of Opel should the capital become available. "Hedging their bets," so to speak.