29 September 2007

And We Hurtle Towards An Obvious Conclusion To This Mess


But a $2 billion (Canadian) class-action lawsuit launched yesterday alleges collusion between the Canadian and American head offices of some automakers to allegedly inflate the prices of cars in Canada while inhibiting cross-border shopping.
Hallelujah! The Canadian consumer isn't as stupid as they look!

So Honda- why is it that the built in Canada has that price discrepancy? Hey Toyota- fess up about the RX. GM- what about all those Oshawa cars?And I didn't forget about you Ford- what's up with the Edge and MKX?

Inquiring minds REALLY want to hear what the auto manufacturers have to say about this.

Jaguar Pulls A Prince


The Jaguar name will be dropped from the marque's cars in a few years, says design chief Ian Callum.
Let us now run down the multitude of idiocies that are in the process of being carried out at Jaguar, and by extension Ford.

  • An ongoing onslaught of shitty cars that can't compete in their respective segments either because they're just outright horrible, or even worse for a Jaguar, boring.
  • An 'all new' design direction that looks like it has cribbed various elements from Lexus, Infiniti and BMW.
  • Floundering public perception and a complete lack of direction.
  • Being sold to a 3rd rate 3rd world manufacturer named Tata (admittedly not the fault of Jaguar)
  • And our latest 3 Stooges move- removing the Jaguar name from the vehicle.
Now the question I'm sure some are asking is- why is it a dumb move?

Well, first of all, you have to understand the place of Jaguar in the current marketplace. It HAS no place. It's a lost child. A wandering soul with no home. It prices cars above the established big dogs in the luxury segment based on past performance and recognition that no longer registers with buyers. It designs cars to look like Mini Me Aston Martins (not bad for any other maker, but it's a JAGUAR damn it). Basically, Jaguar is up Shit River without a paddle. Or a functioning toilet. And now, their brilliant move is to erase their name off of vehicles that are supposed to give them a new place in the market- vehicles that are supposed to remove the stale taste of crap they've been offering over the last 20 years.

Unfortunately, no one will know what just passed them now.

Kudos Jaguar.

Get Your Excessive Speeding In Before Midnight Tonight


The new street-racing law goes into effect tomorrow, and OPP Sgt. Cam Woolley predicts "shock and awe" over the tough new provincial legislation.

If a driver is caught going 50 kilometres over the speed limit, police will impound the vehicle for seven days, issue a minimum $2,000 fine and suspend the driver's licence for seven days.


I think I especially like that this law not only presumes guilt without a court case (something you are entitled to under the law- even for a speeding ticket), but that it also is static in terms of the 'amount of the the limit'. Meaning, if you're doing 100 in a 50, you probably need to be given a smack upside the head- but if you're doing 150 in a 100, maybe a big ticket is a better and more fit punishment.

My favorite part of the article is this-

"If a motorist is coming off the 400-series highway at 100 kilometres an hour and hits an 80 zone and then goes through a small town with a 50 zone, they will be 50 over the limit and will get their car impounded," Woolley said.
I like that the OPP is essentially giving a heads up that otherwise innocent drivers can have their cars seized because of idiotic speed changes- which aren't all that uncommon especially on minor highways outside of the Toronto region.

Chalk another one up for the Black Helicopters gang.

25 September 2007

GM Signs $800 million Export Deal With China

GM announced today that it has signed an agreement with Shanghai General Motors, one of its joint venture partners, to sell at least $800 million worth of sport utility vehicles and related parts and accessories in China under its successful Buick brand there. Of course, the only sport utility vehicle that Buick builds in the US is the new Enclave Crossover, and the deal calls for GM to export up to 25,000 Enclaves over four years, beginning in 2008. Also, the Enclave is arguably the only US-based Buick that does not already have a superior counterpart sold in China (the LaCrosse in China is a much more upscale, modern vehicle than the US version, and the Park Avenue in China is more luxurious, powerful, and modern-looking - not to mention rear wheel drive instead of front wheel drive than the US Lucerne.)

This deal comes on the heels of a deal that GM signed in May to export more than $700 million worth of Cadillacs from the US to China, bringing the total dollar value of GM's US exports to China to over $1.5 billion.

Moves like this aren't going to reduce the enormous trade deficit that the US has with China in any significant way, but it's nice to see some "Made in America" products being sent to China, rather than the usual direction. Now, my only complaint is that China literally gets the "best of the best" in terms of the global Buick offerings. They have better cars than the US Buick lineup has, and now will also receive the US market's superior crossover.

There has been some speculation that the timing of the announcement was intended to "throw a bone" to GM's striking UAW workforce, showing that the company is doing what it can to find work for their assembly plants - and job security for their workers. Whatever the timing or motivation behind it, it's nice to see GM talking more about sending vehicles to China rather than sourcing them from there, as Chrysler LLC has confirmed and Ford is rumored to be considering with its upcoming Fiesta.