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Jun 122010
 

Daniel Lewis

From Facebook – MINI had publically challenged Porsche to a race (MINI Cooper S vs. Porsche 911 Carrera S) at Road Atlanta on June 21st. MINI has also given Porsche home court advantage because the race track is right down the road from Porsche’s corporate headquarters. MINI even put out a full page ad in the New York Times to make it official. This is going to be awesome!

*UPDATE*: Porsche’s rebuttle:

“Dear Jim,

Imagine our surprise to discover our former employee, now the head of Mini, has challenged us to a head-to-head race. As you surely know, Porsche has a long history of racing success, with more than 28,000 wins over the last 60 years. In our early days, we pitted ourselves against the giants, so we’ve been in your shoes.

But as you also know, Porsche doesn’t race for fame, stunts or publicity. We race to challenge ourselves; we race to push sports car technology; we race to translate every win on the track to our cars on the road. If you
need a reminder of our intent, please take a look at this short video:

While your challenge seems like a fun and lighthearted campaign, we’ll stick to racing the way we have over the decades. We welcome you at Sebring, Le Mans, Daytona or any other sanctioned race where there is more at stake than T-shirts and valet parking spaces. We also invite you to any of the thousands of tracks around the world where Porsche owners compete each weekend.

Good luck with your race at Road Atlanta on June 21; we hope you enjoy the day.

Sincerely,

Detlev Von Platen
President and CEO, Porsche Cars North America

Wow, GREAT response, but I still want the race. :(

From GM – OnStar and Google have joined forces to make car navigation simpler. By the end of this month, OnStar users will be able to send directions, that they look up on Google maps, directly to their car. I have to admit, that is pretty sweet! Hopefully this is just a small step for things to follow in the near future.


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Sep 202009
 

feature_by_johnchoi

US car makers are reinventing themselves in this era of bailout money, bankruptcy and “cash for clunkers.” It’s a stark flashback to the early 1980’s when Chrysler received a government bailout – Chrysler is a repeat offender in this regard. Lee Iacocca came over to the struggling auto maker, leading the charge to turn things around. Turn things around they did, in terms of sales, but turn things around they did not do in terms of product. The entire Chrysler recovery was based on K. The K platform. Virtually every car they produced was based on a single platform. The LeBaron. Dodge Voyager minivan. You name it, it was based on the same old thing. Mr. Iacocca even went on television, in commercials espousing the “new” Chysler. Hard to believe it has been 25 years since this commercial aired on national television. Does it not remind you of a new set of commercials from yet another Detroit automaker that’s hitting the airwaves as we speak?

Want to know? Click on to find out.

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Sep 182009
 

Daniel Lewis

Traffic Jam

From DesMoinesRegister.com – A truck carrying about 24,000 pounds of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches was overturned on US 52 in Iowa last Monday morning. The accident caused the US 52 to be closed between Durango and Sageville. Children in Iowa were served fish sticks instead. Do you like fish dicks?

Kanye West on South Park

General Motors
From GM.com – GM has finally put up the “rules” about thier 60-day money back guarantee:

In order for You to qualify for the repurchase of Your Eligible Vehicle:

* The Eligible Vehicle must be a new 2009 or 2010 model.
* You have purchased an Eligible Vehicle and taken Delivery between September 14, 2009 and November 30, 2009.
* You must be able to deliver to the Participating Dealership a clean and unencumbered title to the Eligible Vehicle, which title has remained in Your name since the Delivery Date of the Eligible Vehicle.
* You must be an individual natural person who is the title owner of the Eligible Vehicle. Businesses, corporations and partnerships do not qualify.
* Your Eligible Vehicle’s odometer must not have more than 4,000 miles since the Delivery Date.
* Your Eligible Vehicle must have been registered and insured in the Buyer’s name since the Delivery Date.
* Your Eligible Vehicle must have no more than $200 of damage as determined by GM or GM’s agent. Such damage may include, without limitation, internal or external scratches, scrapes, dents, odors, rips, burns, etc.
* Your Eligible Vehicle may not be leased.
* Your Eligible Vehicle must have been returned to a Participating Dealership where You purchased it, in the same working order as it was on the Delivery Date.
* Your Eligible Vehicle must not have incurred damage or non-warranted repairs in excess of $200, regardless of whether such damage has been repaired.
* Your Eligible Vehicle must not have been subject to any liens or other security interests other than a lien for the original financing used to purchase the Eligible Vehicle.
* A minimum of thirty (30) days must have passed since the Delivery Date of Your Eligible Vehicle.
* Only one Eligible Vehicle may be returned per household.
* Your Eligible Vehicle must pass a purchase inspection conducted by GM or GM’s agent.

The rules sound pretty reasonable, aside from the fact that damages must be under $200. Would this convince me to “try out” a GM…nope.

Formula One From the BBC – Lotus has returned to Formula One! I personally have just started watching F1. I wonder if the Lotus Elise fan boys will help add to the number of viewers from the United States.

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Sep 112009
 

Daniel Lewis

What’s this you ask? We’ve decided to create a listing of articles that beg questions like, “What the heck?,” where our readers can catchup on the silly, the weird and the sometimes outrageous automotive happenings during the past week. Feel free to throw in your comments and add to the mix

Wrong Way

From the Associated Press – The US Territory Samoa has decided to switch the side of the switch on which you drive. Yep, you read it correctly. Whereas they drove on the right side of the road as does most of the civilized world – save for the UK, Japan (where they’ve tried to simulate the English in more ways than one) and Australia (the country that started as a British penal colony). But what the hell right? Samoa now becomes the the first country in a decade to implement this rather untimely shift.

Lexus TennIS Ball 350

From The Miami Herald – To ride the PR wave that is the US Open, Lexus created an IS350 covered with tennis ball felt on the exterior. This is their second sports-themed car – the first was a LS460L completed with golf ball dimples and all. We can understand the need for creating some buzz around a vehicle, but this seems like such a waste of tennis balls and a decent sports sedan.

Money-Back Guarantee
From The NY Times – GM is now offering a 60-day money back guarantee on their vehicles starting Monday.  60 days and 59 nights is a mighty long time to see if you REALLY like a GM vehicle. Does it really take that long to determine whether Detroit iron is any good? There aren’t any details of any fees that may be incured at this time.

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Apr 262009
 

 

Pontiac, the 83 year-old General Motors brand once dubbed as the “excitement division” of the Detroit OE manufacturer, will be eliminated Monday, April 27.

According to The Detroit News, the demise of the Pontiac brand is part of the government-supervised restructuring plan of the automotive industry. GM is also set to close additional production plants and cut jobs to further reduce its $28 billion in unsecured debt.

Sure, Pontiac may have been an “exciting” brand in the past with the venerable old school GTO introduced in the 60s. But there have been nothing exciting about the forgettable Aztek, the front wheel drive Grand Am (’85 and up), the crappy G5 (rebadged Chevy Colbat), and the G6, which is just an updated & rebadged Grand Am. What about the latest GTO / G8? Both are made by Holden, GM’s subsidiary in Australia, and Holden is no General Motors (in a good way). What about the Pontiac Solstice? You can buy the same car as a Saturn or Opel (Germany), all sharing the same underpinnings. Hell, the Solstice’s roots can be traced back to the Opel Speedster / Vauxhall VX220.  There’s nothing original about any of their cars.

Rather than being an exciting brand, Pontiac – much like GM’s other brands – have incited an endless chain of yawns. And having no small car strategy has for sure hurt this brand. Personally speaking, I have never considered a Pontiac vehicle when shopping for a new car. Needless to say, I won’t miss it one bit.