Posts from ‘Political Issues’

Oct
01

The 2014 Ram 1500 is the only half-ton pickup available with diesel power.

The 2014 model year is promising sales-number junkies plenty of action to keep track of. Compiled here are the five most interesting vehicles to watch in ’14. Two of the vehicles we’re keeping an eye on are diesels; two are electric, and one is an old sales stalwart that’s boldly breaking with tradition. Time will tell if these experiments will pay off in the marketplace, and we’ll be watching to see if they do.

Jul
31
Selling Cars During the Great Recession

Wickstrom Ford is located in the Chicago suburb of Barrington, IL.

Note: This interview is being republished after having been awarded an International Automotive Media Award gold medal in the interview category. The original interview took place in December of 2011, and the original article was published in January of 2012.

Jul
25
Automotive Word Search

Here’s a “dead car brand” to get you started: Cord. Pictured is a 1937 Cord 812 Custom Beverly.

Has the summer heat got you down? Tired of political news and threats to the Euro? Well, here’s a chance to get away from it all. In fact, here’s a chance to get away from your computer. Just print out the Dead Car Brands and Meat Substitute Seek-uh-Word and set yourself down in a comfy chair. Your job, for the next hour or so, is to find 29 car brands that no longer exist, plus four substances that are typically used by tree huggers as a substitute for chicken and beef. Have fun, take a load off, and find yourself some words.

May
11
Mitt Romney and the Auto Bailout

In 2008, Mitt Romney penned a New York Times editorial entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” The progressive group Progress Michigan didn’t take kindly to the piece. Now Romney is in the news again over auto bailout.

We all know politicians will say anything, even if it requires standing logic on its head, and Mitt Romney is a fine politician. For example, in a May 7, 2012, interview with a Cleveland TV station, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee took credit for something he had railed against in the first place: the government-ordered, taxpayer-funded 2009 bailout of Chrysler Group and the then General Motors Corporation. At the same time, however, Mr. Romney stated that he also favored the very action taken by the Obama Administration to save the two automakers. So, another case of that now-familiar stance on the Iraq War: “I was against it before I was for it.”

Apr
24
Nobel Peace Laureates

F. W. de Klerk, the former president of the Republic of South Africa and a 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner, arrived in a Chrysler 300 at the 2012 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Chicago.

Carmakers are no strangers to event sponsorships. Most luxury makers have reached out to golf enthusiasts by working with the PGA and LPGA, and Kia has rather famously embraced the NBA. Looking outside the box, some makers latch on to more peripheral activities. For 2012, Mini became the official sponsor of Table Tennis Canada (TTCAN).

Mar
30
Fox News and the Chevrolet Volt

Fox News and the Chevrolet Volt

In a stunning about-face, Fox News now seemingly loves the Chevrolet Volt.

A victim of partisan politics since its introduction, Volt became a symbol of everything commentators on the popular conservative news channel found troubling about President Barack Obama and especially the auto-industry bailout.

Mar
29
2012 Ford Explorer, Nanny-State Car Laws

Back-up cameras will, by federal law, be standard equipment in all American-market cars by May 1, 2018. Is this just another nanny-state car law?

I’m not some anti-government whiner. I pay my taxes, am glad that my water’s clean, and really appreciate the fact that someone plows my street when the snows come. Additionally, I am pretty darn happy about most of the safety equipment on my car.

Mar
28
NHTSA public-service announcement, NHTSA public-service announcement

NHTSA public-service announcement

As mentioned in Driven to Distraction: Part 1, the federal government has come out against distracted driving (DD) in general and texting from hand-held phones in particular. Not surprisingly, the Department of Transportation (DOT) seems on the verge of requiring automakers to install “anti-DD” systems that would disable certain phone functions once the vehicle is in motion. I’m not sure what they’re thinking of—perhaps some whizzer “damping field” a la Star Trek—but the technology is doubtless on somebody’s shelf. However, it’s odd that the DOT is okay with voice-activated devices, as various studies have found that drivers are more distracted by phone conversations than by chatting with people in the car—which must be discouraging for all those helpful live operators at OnStar.

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