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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Miscellaneous

Wireless Sensors

On: Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 2:32PM | By: Geoff Ciesla

Wireless Parking Sensor test 2

The idea in theory is interesting, but it may cause more harm than good. Starting this fall, San Francisco will test 6,000 of its 24,000 metered spaces, enabling drivers to be notified by street signs or cell phones when a spot becomes available.

Whitacre Looking For a Few Good Executives, Willing To Work For Peanuts

On: Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 12:50PM | By: John Welch

Hooray America! test 2

Tex Whitacre Jr. and GM's Board of Executives are currently searching for “a motivating, inspirational leader” to direct the ailing company back to its former glory. Though candidates need to be strong and accomplished leaders, they don't need to be existing CEOs or even have strong auto credentials ("auto credentials" being worth little more then a hill of beans in 2009 . . .).

Whitacre told reporters that he was looking for "A person that's a motivating, inspirational leader that's familiar with big companies, manufacturing or industrial, would be helpful." No ess; I thought you were planning on hiring a career junkie as the new CEO . . . instead you want a strong leader with manufacturing or industrial experience . . . gee, would that even apply to a mass-market auto manufacturer? Seriously, Tex, if you're going to call press conferences, try actually saying something at said conferences.

VW's Plan To Rule The World

On: Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 11:38AM | By: John Welch

VW and Suzuki test 2

Welp, they're gonna own us all one day. Volkswagen, I mean. Earlier this year the fiesty automaker declared its intentions to be the world's number one car manufacturer by 2018. And then VW set about doing just that. They purchased a 49.9% stake in Porsche and then moved on to consuming companies with strong Indian and Chinese presence. Suzuki, for instance. Look at the big brain on Dieter!

The Reason You Don't Work In Construction . . .

On: Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 2:33PM | By: John Welch

Jim Henson's failed venture:  test 2

 . . . is pretty clear. At a construction site, there is no YouTube. Plain and simple. My 21st century sensibillities won't stand for a internet-less occupation, as I'm sure yours won't either. Here are a few reasons why our breed requires the majesty of the innerwebs to fill out the productivity gaps in our lazy, office chair-based business day . . .


Fiesta Pricing Announced, The 'Shopper Prices Our Own

On: Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 4:41PM | By: John Welch

Ford Fiesta test 2

Aww geez, Ford went and screwed up the Fiesta. Who knows why; US crash regulations, marketing fluffery regarding fake chrome, needing to save a few pennies with a cheaper grile. Whatever the reason, Ford went and uglified the new Fiesta but-good for our (American) consumption. What was once an attractive, almost angry looking small car now has that unpleasant small-car cheapness to the front end that none of us particularly like . . . Here at the 'Shopper anyway. You might like it, but you also might be a total jerk.

So it got all goofy/cheap looking; it's still a fantastic amount of car for a (comparable) pittance. Certainly worth pricing, as it will probably occupy more than a spot or two behind the gates of the 'Shopper parking lot in years to come. Served on a platter: all the steps needed to reserve a $13 grand Fiesta for yourself, thoughtfully scewed to keep that "13" from swelling much past "17" . . .

Fritz Gets Fired; Ms. Fritz Jr. Gets Fired Up

On: Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 12:17PM | By: John Welch

Fritz Gets Fired; Ms. Fritz Jr. Gets Fired Up test 1-1

I was sick. I missed it. Fritz Henderson has finally gotten pushed out of GM, Tex Whitacre has finally gotten his "Mullay-Badge", and I was sick. Thankfully, I couldn't really care less. Allen Mullay can't be replicated, GM can't squash corporate bureaucracy even with the proverbial "gun to its head," and Fritz has been wishy-washy during his entire tenure. Bring back my four-door Zeta, and then maybe I'll care. Right now, I really don't.

Thankfully, social-networking and the wholesale destruction of American "class" have produced a complete public meltdown that I can at least feign interest in. Fritz has himself a daughter. She has herself one uh them fancy Facebook dealies. As we all know, the relative consequence-free world of Facebook lends itself to all sorts of ess-talking that maybe should have been proof-read before posting. It's a girl, she was born in the nineties - thus, there was no proof-reading . . . .


On: Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 6:33PM | By: John Welch

Oh, Fritzy, always hard at work destroying my automotive dreams . . . test 2

Tomorrow the staff here at the 'Shopper will be observing the women-folk as they carry out their indentured servitude, screaming our heads off as the Lions lose, again, and pounding copious amounts of tasty beverages. We'll be back on Friday with "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly," as well as Toyota/GM/Ford/Chrysler news, and "Gems From the International Motoring Press" . . .

Until then, HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY; Thanks for reading!

Drive safe,



More Lukewarm News Out Of GM And Toyota

On: Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 12:26PM | By: John Welch

Opel Corsa OPC test 2

The Saab deal has crumbled, surprise surprise. Koenigsegg, unable to secure the loans necessary to acquire Saab's assets, pulled out of negotiations yesterday. The Swedish government has ruled out any chance of a state bail-out for the beleaguered automaker.

Slightly better news comes out of Germany. GM will be cutting capacity at all of its Opel manufacturing plants, however, none of the plants will be shut-down, as previously feared.

Which brings us to Toyota. In an effort to trim expenses throughout its North American operations, Toyota is planning on moving jobs from California to Michigan or Kentucky . . .

Mark Reuss To Save the SS . . . es . . .

On: Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 10:50AM | By: John Welch

Mark Reuss test 2

Any company suffering from economic malaise will want to streamline its product offerings in order to maximize gain from expenditure. In the past GM has done this by axing low-volume performance models, eliminating the cost of expensive go-fast bits. It's a new day in Detroit, and the new GM vice president of global engineering, Mark Reuss, is not going to stand for euthanizing Chevrolet's high-profile "SS" cars . . .

Toyota, Dana Must Report On Crusty Truck Frames

On: Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 4:53PM | By: John Welch

Toyota, Dana Must Report On Crusty Truck Frames test 1-1

Nah, Nah - Toyota finally screwed something up. Not that I'm wishing Toyota any bad luck, but MAN, am I sick of their "holierthanthou" reputation in the US market. Finally, after years of hearing all about Toyota's amazing reliability, and their astronomical resale value and their magical fuel economy blahblahblah, they've finally gone and really screwed the pooch. Hard. The pooch has a broken hip.

"Wasn't that 'floor mats' thing a pretty big deal?" you ask. Well, no, not really. Zip-ties solved that problem. Here we have a real serious failure. Here we have an afront to humankind that just cannot be overlooked: The thingee that holds the spare tire in place gets a little rusty . . .. What?!? What a let down!! Is that all??! No, this rust can cause your Tundra's brakes to fail in extreme cases . . . sigh, I was hoping for some sort of grisly catastrophe that involved the Tundra completely imploding on itself, crushing the driver and the driver's dog in a cocoon of twisted metal and shattered glass . . . Toyota, you always let me down . . .

Twelve Drivers Linked To USF1

On: Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 11:22AM | By: John Welch

Jonathan Summerton test 2

America needs a pick-me-up. A cattle-prod to the collective face. We need to go out and trounce the rest of the world at their own, uhm . . . some game of theirs. We got our Basketball "Cojones" back, now how about our Engineering-Prowess "Cojones." USF1 plans to do just that, albeit with a British co-owner and some sort of European driver.

Which is fine. Lately I don't trust us enough to assume we could dominate the most technically advanced sport in the world without any experienced help. I mean, seriously, Taco Bell invents asinine, Newspeak, adver-words and we don't out-and-out boycott them over it?! ("Melty"?! How stupid are we, really?) Eff, I had Taco Bell yesterday!

Even if I and most of the rest of us are hopeless trainwrecks, Ken Anderson most definitely is not. He's put together a world-class F1 program in North Carolina, and now he's ready to employ some drivers. The first year might not be pretty, but 2011 could be the year America wins its pride back . . .