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Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Miscellaneous

F1 Soap Opera Heats Up Pt.1

On: Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 10:31AM | By: John Welch


F1 Soap Opera Heats Up Pt.1 test 1-1

I haven't even sucked down the morning's first Coke and already more has happened in the world of F1 than seems possible in 24 hours. Grogginess aside, I think I can lay out the basics of the recent lunacy. First, who exactly will be racing next year?


Forza 3 Draws Nigh . . . Well, The Demo Anyway

On: Mon, Sep 14, 2009 at 3:21PM | By: John Welch


Forza 3 Draws Nigh . . . Well, The Demo Anyway test 1-1

OmigawdOmigawdOmigawd! Forza three is almost here! You can take your Gran Turismos and your NFS Shifts and you can pound them squarely into your under-stimulated colon. Forza Motorsport has claimed the title of "Most Well Rounded Simulator" (my own award; I'm sure somebody disagrees) since its inception, 'Forza Motorsport' on the original Xbox. No other game has offered the level of customizationa and realism that Forza displays. Period.

 


Sick Of Your Geo Already?

On: Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 2:13PM | By: John Welch


Sick Of Your Geo Already? test 1-1

GM is rolling out an ambitious 'rebate' plan next week. Try full rebate. If you find you don't like your new GM vehicle, for any reason, in the first sixty days of ownership, you can return it for a full refund. The marketing blitzkrieg features a folksy Texan and fresh product. Actually, most of it is 'fresh' only if you were smart enough to avoid that Transformers 2 turdcicle. We dummies have all laid eyes on the Chevy Beat already.


Required Viewing: This Weekend's Racing

On: Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 3:58PM | By: John Welch


Required Viewing: This Weekend's Racing test 1-1

It's a fairly slow weekend coming up, September 11th through the 13th. There's the omni-present NASCAR and Formula One races, split between Speed and ABC/ESPN. There is a Speed World Challenge race that will be broadcast on Friday, during work, of course. I'll set that DVR as soon as I get home. Still waiting for Discovery HD to begin showing their HD rally coverage, and there is no ALMS or Grand-Am. Both series are gearing up for the final races of the season.

Friday, September 11th

8:00am       SPEED: Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix practice, Monza

12:00pm     SPEED: NASCAR Sprint Cup practice, Richmond

2:00pm       SPEED: SCCA SPEED World Challenge, Elkhart Lake, Wis.

7:30pm       ESPN2: NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Richmond

3:00am       ESPN2: NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis, Ind.

Saturday September 12th

8:00am      SPEED: Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix qualifying, Monza

11:00am    SPEED: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying, Madison, Ill.

2:30pm      SPEED: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Madison, Ill.

7:30pm      ABC: NASCAR Sprint Cup race, Richmond

Sunday September 13th

6:00am       SPEED: GP2 Series, Monza

7:30am       SPEED: Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, Monza

4:30pm       SPEED: Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, Monza

 

Source: Racer.com


 

GM Finalizes Opel/Magna Deal

On: Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 12:40PM | By: John Welch


GM Finalizes Opel/Magna Deal test 1-1

Opel employees were able to breathe a sigh of relief this morning, as it appears GM has agreed to sell a 55% stake in Opel/Vauxhall to Magna and its Russian partner Sberbank.

GM had reservations about selling to Magna, not wanting to release intellectual properties to its Russian partner. A deal has been reached, and apparently the patent drawings for the Ecotech engine are safe. German workers and government officials strongly supported take over by Magna because the Canadian firm has pledged to keep all Opel manufacturing plants in Germany open, saving as many German jobs as possible. The other company in the running for Opel, RHJ International, made no such claims. The German government was less then willing to put in the required national funds if these jobs were not secure.

GM released a statement, making it clear that the deal is not final (are they ever?!), stating deals with labor unions and the German Parliament still need to be ironed out.

"This has shown that the patience and single-mindedness of the federal government has paid off," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had uncharacteristically stuck her neck out in favor of Magna, lobbying in both Washington and Moscow.

Hopefully this will bring closure to this facet of New GM's reorganization, and they can get to work turning the G8 into an Impala already . . . (never gonna happen, I know, I know . . )

Source: The New York Times


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 . . .


AutoAnarchy Timeline

On: Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 12:13PM | By: John Welch


AutoAnarchy Timeline test 1-1

I dig auto-themed timelines. My attention span is short and my need for usueless facts is vast. Mostly so that I can regurgitate them during polite conversation; making me appear either extremely informed, or extremely obnoxious, take yer pick.Timelines make it easy for me to acquire a sensible amount of information without offending my ADD.

Auto-info ala carte comes to us from the New York Times today. Starting with four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline, the timeline spans the last year of horrific auto-debauchery. Very informative, each month features a number of articles devoted to industry wide collapse, carnage, and failure.

Source: The New York Times


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


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.


Gems From the International Motoring Press

On: Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 5:00PM | By: John Welch


Gems From the International Motoring Press test 1-1

Russian Car Kitsch: From Russiablog.org: "The war in Chechnya is dragging on after twelve years and 18 year old drafted soldiers are still dying on a daily basis; Russian pensioners are saving money by not buying toilet paper, and 80% of the population is barely making the living. But it’s not the same in Moscow. The hot new trend of the season is “airbrushing”". . .

So, that's kind of depressing, but the pictures of Dali-Clocks on Alfa hoods are pretty priceless . . .