Friday, July 31, 2009
They recently sponsored a hilarious and disgusting contest called "Live in it to win it", where one of several contestants who could last the longest living in a red 2009 Mustang would win it. The winner lasted 11 days.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
This Volvo S80 looks like a nice car, I'm amazed it qualified. Maybe it had major issues, like a bad transmission, or something. Still, what a waste. The engine sounds almost like it is sad to go.
This Oldsmobile looks more like a heap. The engine starts out sounding throaty, then dies with a mousy squeek.
Now, I don't think he's 100% serious, because if you notice, he doesn't damage the glass or the front end. He just beats up on the bed side a little.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
If you click on "future vehicle", you see an artsy picture of what looks like a minivan, or perhaps a crossover, called the MUC. I suspect this is a version of the Xylo (see http://www.lnkr.net/archives/prem/technology/mahindra-xylo-more-images/2011 for photos) which is something like short minivan with swinging doors.
Mahindra is talking big, I wonder if they will deliver?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
As I posted previously, (see here) and I'll do it again as a public service:
Dealers are not allowed to charge fees to customers to participate in the CARS program. If you dealer tries to do so, above and beyond their standard fees, they are trying to cheat you.
The proof is here, from www.cars.gov/faq:
Can dealers charge me a fee for buying or leasing a vehicle under the CARS program?
While dealers can charge their normal types of fees, the CARS Act specifically prohibits dealers from charging a fee for purchasing or leasing a vehicle under the program.
Friday, July 24, 2009
- NUMMI is the most expensive, labor-wise, of any of Toyota's plants in NA (Detroit Free Press)
- The Corolla is also built in Canada, at the TMMC plant
- The Tacoma is also built in Mexico, in Tijuana.
- Only one voucher per customer. You can't trade in 2 cars for 2 vouchers for 1 new car.
- Leases may be purchased with the voucher, however, the least must be for at least 5 years.
- Dealers can not charge extra fees such as administrative fees for the CARS program.
- Customers may have to pay sales taxes on the voucher amount, depending on state law.
- The CARS voucher is on top of other incentives from the manufacturer (dealers can't keep the manufacturer incentives back)
- The CARS voucher is in addition to other government programs, such as the hybrid vehicle credit.
For some reason, the thought of thousands of engines running until they die is sort of sad to me. It's like... euthanasia.
Appendix B to Part 599 - Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS
Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS Program
THIS PROCEDURE IS NOT TO BE USED BY THE VEHICLE OWNER
Perform the following procedure to disable the vehicle engine.
1. Obtain solution of 40% sodium silicate/60% water. (The Sodium Silicate (SiO2/Na2O) must have a weight ratio of 3.0 or greater.)
2. Drain engine oil for environmentally appropriate disposal.
3. Install the oil drain plug.
4. Since the procedure is intended to render the engine inoperative, drive or move the vehicle to the desired area for disablement.
5. Pour enough solution in the engine through the oil fill for the oil pump to circulate the solution throughout the engine. Start by adding 2 quarts of the solution, which should be sufficient in most cases.
CAUTION: Wear goggles and gloves. Appropriate protective clothing should be worn to prevent silicate solution from coming into contact with the skin.
6. Replace the oil fill cap.
7. Start the engine.
8. Run engine at approximately 2000 rpm (for safety reasons do not operate at high rpm) until the engine stops. (Typically the engine will operate for 3 to 7 minutes. As the solution starts to affect engine operation, the operator will have to apply more throttle to keep the engine at 2000 rpm.)
9. Allow the engine to cool for at least 1 hour.
10. With the battery at full charge or with auxiliary power to provide the power of a fully charged battery, attempt to start the engine.
11. If the engine will not operate at idle, the procedure is complete.
12. If the engine will operate at idle, repeat steps 7 through 11 until the engine will no longer idle.
13. Attach a label to the engine that legibly states the following:
This engine is from a vehicle that is part of the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS). It has significant internal damage caused by operating the engine with a sodium silicate solution (liquid glass) instead of oil.
14. File this document in the file for the new vehicle purchase.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
That’s all still true. But I have to say that, with my new “marketing” hat on, upon further review and careful study, we simply cannot make a business case for such a program. Not in today’s market, in this economy, and with fuel regulations what they are and will be.What was interesting to me was the hint dropped that GM might try to make it a police car. GM currently sells the Impala as a police vehicle, but it hasn't made a very large dent in Ford's Crown Victoria sales. A RWD Caprice might have really gotten some attention, but it was probably too expensive to pull off.
This leaves Ford as king of the police cruisers for now, but it is no secret that the Crown Victoria's days are numbered. According to rumors on the web (such as Blue Oval Forums), the plant that builds the Crown Vic will close in 2011, which means tha that the last cars would be built as 2011 or 2012 models.
Will Ford give up the police cruiser business to the Dodge Challenger, or the expensive and not-yet-existent Carbon? Currently, it is commonly thought that the police want a rear wheel drive vehicle. Ford won't have anything to sell after 2012. Will they perhaps put lights and pusher bars on the Taurus SHO?
From the recent web chat on GM's Fastlane Blog. Italics are my, er, interpretation.
|[Comment From Guest ]|
What is your number one priority in your new role and please be as specific as possible?
Our marketing has been weak. I'm going to fix that.
|[Comment From Mike Ruby ]|
Bob, will we see in improvment in GM commercials now that you are in charge of them? The new Buick commercial is very embarassing. I've had many family members and friends comment on how dumb it is, plus some of the other poorly done commercials on the Traverse and the "Surprised" commercials that played for about a week over Christmas.
It sucked and we know it, but I wasn't asked 'cause I wasn't on duty yet
|[Comment From Tom ]|
How can we get people as hyped up about small cars? Where's the Aveo SS or the Vibe GXP?
Cheap gas will kill the mini-car, so Obama had better raise the price.
|[Comment From Neighbor ]|
Did you sell your jet? We don't see you flying around anymore.
I needed to sell one plane so I could afford a Volt. I'm gonna buzz your house, smart-ass.
|[Comment From Nate ]|
Does GM have any plans for diesel cars in the US? Or are they banking entirely the Volt and Converj platforms? There appears to be customer demand for diesels as well as the Volt technology. Is there room for low production diesels?
I'm sick of people asking about diesels--there's no way to make money on them right now!
|[Comment From Guest ]|
Any plans to either filter your comments or perhaps even support the green movement, since you've made such harsh comments against the concept of Global Warming, which upset a lot of people?
Yeah, sorry about that global warming is BS thing. Hey, is it cold in here?
|[Comment From ETB ]|
Favorite TV shows? No doubt seen Top Gear. Would you consider going and taking on Jeremy Clarkson for us?
Friday, July 10, 2009
One of the wise-guys at AR15.com made this, in response to a Facebook memorial page:
It's mean, but I agree with the sentiment. Dan deserves a nomination for the Darwin award for 2009.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Use my handy applet below to look up your car to see if it might qualify for the CARS "cash for clunkers" voucher from the Uncle Sam. This is a list of cars from Edmunds that gets 18 MPG or less and has an expected fair market value of less than about $4,500. Edmunds was kind enough to post the raw data (here) and I massaged it a little and stuffed it into a Google Docs spreadsheet.
You may need to wait a little while for the data to load.
To use the applet, pick your car's age and make from the drop down list.
Update: Edmund's data only goes back to 1990, that's why that 1984 Saab isn't on there. Only cars younger than 25 years old are eligible, so the oldest model year that would qualify would be a 1984.