Mustang Parts
   Carrying Saleen wheels and Bullitt wheels.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fatwa Friday! Come on Down! Free Swords!


A Mitsubishi dealership in Ohio tested the bounds of good taste with a radio ad poking fun at Islamo-fascism. From the Detroit News:

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A car dealership's tongue-in-cheek radio advertisement declaring "a jihad on the automotive market," will not be changed, the company said, despite drawing sharp criticism that the ad's content is offensive.

Several stations rejected the spot from Dennis Mitsubishi, which boasts that sales representatives wearing "burqas" -- head-to-toe traditional dress for Islamic women -- will sell vehicles that can "comfortably seat 12 jihadists in the back."


"Our prices are lower than the evildoers' every day. Just ask the pope!" the ad says. "Friday is fatwa Friday, with free rubber swords for the kiddies."

I'm torn on this one. On one hand, mocking your enemy is a time honored tradition during times of war. On the other hand, you don't have to pretend to the enemy to mock him.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Screw Chavez, Screw Chomsky, and Screw Citgo

Did you know that Citgo is owned by the government of Venezuela?

(image courtesy of Mark Tapscott)


Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan thug-in-chief and panderer to dictators the world over, gave a speech at the U.N.:

"Representatives of the governments of the world, good morning to all of you. First of all, I would like to invite you, very respectfully, to those who have not read this book, to read it.

Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious American and world intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, and this is one of his most recent books, 'Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States.'"

Noam Chomsky, left wing wingnut, Jewish anti-Semite, America hater, socialist scum who invests his millions in the stockmarket.

The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our heads.


The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in the house.

"And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here." [crosses himself] "And it smells of sulfur still today."

Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world.

He's been hanging out with the Iranians--America is Great Satan, Israel is Little Satan, and Bush is the devil!
They say they want to impose a democratic model. But that's their democratic model. It's the false democracy of elites, and, I would say, a very original democracy that's imposed by weapons and bombs and firing weapons.

Right, much better the "true" democracy of Cuba, and Venezuela, and China, and Iran. Vote all you want, there's only one guy on the ballot. Don't ask too many questions, or this guy with the baton and shotgun will ruin your day. And take down that satellite dish, comrade.
This is imperialist, fascist, assassin, genocidal, the empire and Israel firing on the people of Palestine and Lebanon. That is what happened. And now we hear, "We're suffering because we see homes destroyed.'
Those pesky Jews, couldn't they just roll over and die quietly?
And I think I have some inkling of what the peoples of the south, the oppressed people think. They would say, "Yankee imperialist, go home." I think that is what those people would say if they were given the microphone and if they could speak with one voice to the American imperialists.
Not only should Yankee Go Home, Yankee should build a 12ft fence topped with razor wire and keep your goods and your people out of the U.S. And Yankee should stop buying Chavez' oil.
CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I don't think anybody in this room could defend the system. Let's accept -- let's be honest. The U.N. system, born after the Second World War, collapsed. It's worthless.

And maybe we have to change location. Maybe we have to put the United Nations somewhere else; maybe a city of the south. We've proposed Venezuela.

Chavez is right about this. The U.N. is worthless. I vote we withdraw. I also agree with his suggestion to move it to Venezuela. Better yet, move it to Tehran.

I don't care if my car is out of gas, and I have to be towed an extra five miles to get to the next BP station. I will not buy Citgo gas as long as Chavez is cashing the check, and sending the change to Fidel.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

We Must Never Forget

We must never forget the horror of Sept. 11th 2001. If we do, we will lose.
We must remember, they are trying to kill us.
And we also must remember the heroes we lost, the ones who ran into the very jaws of death to try and drag others out.
The ones who ran up the stairs of burning skyscapers carrying heavy lifesaving gear; the ones who faught the fires at the Pentagon, the ones who faught the murderers in the air.
The ones who had to choose the fire or the fall.
The ones who died in Afghanistan, and in Iraq, fighting the many headed monster.
The ones who we will never see again.
May God embrace them.
May we never lose our will to defend ourselves.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Drifting a Cherokee...

Maybe drifting an SUV is not such a great idea? (He rolls it over near the end)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ford's New Pilot

The biggest news of the week was the sudden announcement by Bill Ford that he was stepping aside as President and CEO of Ford, and that he was hiring Alan Mulally, Boeing's Executive VP of commercial aircraft.

The punditry flew thick and fast, from the bloggers to the Wall Street analysts. Some think Mulally is not going to be effective because he is an outsider, others think that this is exactly what is needed.

I think that the voters at AutoBlog's recent poll (results here) are right: the choice of CEO is not critical for Ford. "It's the product, stupid" seems to be the popular answer.

From my reading in the Wall Street Journal and other places, it seems that Mulally is known as a gregarious team builder on one hand, and a ruthless cost cutter on the other. While at Boeing, he cut nearly 50% of Boeing's employees, and outsourced many airplane parts and modules to suppliers.

I would guess that Mulally has been brought in to do the same thing for Ford--chop the company down in size, without mercy, by focusing on simplifying the product line and outsourcing major modules. A likely outcome of this is fewer brands under the Ford umbrella, fewer platforms, and more common parts between platforms--which is what all of the automakers have been working on doing for some time now. "Simplify!" and "Outsource!" have been the automotive mantra for some time.

Could Bill Ford have done this? I am sure he could have, but reports were that he was exhausted from wearing his three badges--CEO, President, and Chairman.

A telling bit from the Wall Street Journal yesterday, my paraphrase: Bill Ford awoke one day at 5:00am, but instead of going for his morning run, he sat down and started making a list of what he would like Ford to represent over the next 10 years. "Safety" and "Environment" were two of the things on the list. Bill Ford then thought about what brands were on the road to delivering his key goals, and which brands weren't. The brands that didn't look like they could deliver might not "fit in" with the future of Ford.

In another part of the same piece, the WSJ related this story: at a board meeting, Mark Fields advocated that Ford sell Aston Martin to generate cash to keep North America moving forward. Mark Schultz disagreed, saying that Aston was making money. Bill Ford "slammed his hands down on the table", and said "join the party, we're selling it".

What comes out of these stories, if true, is that Bill Ford is wearing thin, and needs a frontman to take over the day-to-day grind of making ugly decisions that upset employees, shareholders, and dealers.

Reading the tea leaves, I see this scenario (purely my speculation): Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston are sold off. Mercury is phased out, and Mazda takes its place as the urban/youth/import brand. Lincoln dealerships must then pick up Mazda, or sell Fords as well as Lincolns. Lincoln is on probation. Volvo stays put, due to its strong safety portfolio, and as the Euro-Luxury brand. Ford vehicles get more upscale options, to fill in for the missing Mercury.

I wish Mr. Mulally God-speed, because all of us here in Metro Detroit need Ford to be healthy, not just workers but everyone else from the auto suppliers to the restaurants.

A Hybrid for Clinton's Secret Service

Making the rounds on the news sites today was a press release from Ford, announcing that the company is donating a Mercury Mariner hybrid to Ex-POTUS Bill Clinton, for his Secret Service.

The first "presidential hybrid", the special edition Mariner will include some special custom features designed especially for Bill Clinton which have not been publicized, for security reasons.
  • Red LED arrays provide soft red mood lighting
  • Radar reflecting paint, allowing the vehicle to go "off radar" when necessary
  • A black lacquered cigar box will present illegal Cuban cigars at the press of a button
  • The rear bench has been replaced with pair of buckets which when folded down reveal an inflatable matress
  • The glass and doors are extra thick, to drown out the sound of Hillary, and deflect flying furniture
  • Darkly tinted windows provide privacy
  • Special stain resistant synthetic upholstery, to repel McDonalds special sauce and other stains
  • A special telematics system, invented by Al Gore
  • The I-4 gasoline engine has been replaced with a french-fry (or chitlin) grease burning diesel

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hybrid Hubris

The Detroit News reports that in a J.D. Power survey, more than half of Americans say they would consider buying a gas-electric hybrid vehicle. However, the devil is in the details.

Yet U.S. car buyers may have unrealistic expectations about how much fuel -- and money -- they'll actually save by going green with one of many emerging, non-gas options.

Among those considering a hybrid, for instance, the belief is there will be a 28 mpg fuel economy improvement over a gas vehicle. In reality, the improvement is closer to 9 mpg, according to J.D. Power and Associates' 2006 Alternative Powertrain Study.

The survey also found that consumers expected to pay a $5250 premium for a hybrid vehicle.

So let's do some quick math. A 28mpg improvement means a savings of $965 a year, assuming 21mpg non hybrid economy, 12000 mi/yr, and $3/gal gas.*

You could interpret this to mean that people want a hybrid to payoff in about 5 years. This is reasonable, as the average car owner keeps a car for about 8 years.

But the truth is, only the stingiest of curent hybrids (Prius, Civic) come out ahead over 5 years, according to Consumer Reports, and to get there they had to assume $4 gas and federal tax breaks. (my post on this here).

Hybrids don't make economic sense, which is why they are more of a fashion statement at this point than a consumer movement.

* Non hybrid: 12000mi/21mpg * 3$/gal = $1714/yr;
hybrid: 12000mi/48mpg * 3$/gal = $750/yr

Trike Dynamics?

I saw an item on Autoblog that Harley Davidson is going to develop a line of 3-wheel motorcycles based on its traditional 2 wheel products.

I'm not a motorcycle guy, so maybe someone out there can help me out. Aren't trikes less stable (in dynamic maneuvers) than motorcycles, because they can't lean into the turn, and are therefore more prone to rolling? How do you do an emergency avoidance maneuver on a trike?