Posts from ‘Commentary’

Aug
27
Car Stuff Dead Pool

Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast

Whether you drive a car, need a car, or just occasionally bum a ride with friends, you’ve come to the right place. Join the editors of Consumer Guide Automotive as they break down everything that’s going on in the auto world. New-car reviews, shopping tips, driving green, electric cars, classic cars, and plenty of great guests. This is the Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast.

Apr
19
Learn to Drive Stick

T-shirts bearing this design can be had at Redbubble.com.

The manual transmission is dead. I refuse to acknowledge any evidence to the contrary. The fact is, autonomous technology—even semi-autonomous technology—is completely incompatible with the manual transmission, and that is where the industry is headed.

Jul
02
Dancing on Tesla’s Grave

Why are so many members of the automotive media rooting for Tesla to fail?

“They’ve never turned a profit.”

This phrase has become the official battle cry of Tesla detractors nationwide. Industry pundits with an anti-Tesla axe to grind—and there are many–wield this sentence with the fervor of a sandwich-board prognosticator warning that the end is near.

May
07
Ford is Killing the Taurus, Ford Killing Sedans

Taurus is one of the models Ford is planning to phase out.

To truly excite the passions of the American automotive media, you need news that strikes close to home. International news, no matter how significant, is generally met with indifference among many U.S. auto writers. General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra and the GM board of directors opt out of the European, Indian, and South African new-vehicle markets—yawn. The Chinese government mandates that 12 percent of new vehicles retailed in China (the world’s largest new-car market) must be pure electric by 2020—whatever.

Oct
23
1991 Ford Explorer

1991 Ford Explorer

What makes a vehicle important? Sales, obviously, play a big factor. Any car or truck that sells well can be considered important. And, as it turns out, all of the vehicles on this list did well in the showroom.

Jun
06

Fahrvergnugen

When she was a younger woman, my mother spent some time working the register at a neighborhood Burger King. Near as I can tell, mom doesn’t spend too much time reflecting on her days peddling fast food, but she does share one story, and it’s worth retelling.

Sep
15

BMW versus Cadiillac

Last year, BMW sold almost 350,000 vehicles in the U.S.–almost twice as many cars and SUVs as Cadillac sold here. The reasons for BMW’s relative success are numerous, yet it can be tempting to oversimplify the situation and conclude that Americans prefer the German maker’s hardware to that of Cadillac. While that may be true, there’s more to the picture–or in Cadillac’s case, less.

Feb
01
2005 Ford Excursion, Stupid cars

2005 Ford Excursion

When you think lobster, you probably don’t think McDonalds. This may explain, at least in part, why the McLobster sandwich proved to be a bust for the folks over at Golden Arches HQ. Fast-food regulars just didn’t see the draw of a $6 sandwich that was likely to disappoint on several levels.

Jan
28
1971 Dodge Brochure, killing Dodge

1971 Dodge Brochure

When the Dodge Viper became the SRT Viper in 2013, I became convinced that Chrysler—really Fiat/Chrysler—intended to kill off the Dodge brand. The evidence was there: Pickup trucks had been rebranded Ram. The Durango big crossover was—and is—in need of a full redesign, and none was in the works. Likewise, the midsize Journey crossover was—and still is—riding on the bones of a stormy previous partnership with Mitsubishi, and no update was imminent. Finally, there was talk of moving the Challenger sporty coupe over to the SRT brand as well. With the Avenger midsize sedan being phased out, this left Dodge with the Dart—a competent but slow-selling compact sedan—and the aging Grand Caravan to soldier along with.

Aug
03
Teens and driving, Why Don't Teens Want to Drive

Teens don’t socialize as their parents did. For many teens, the smart phone has replaced the car as a social tool.

I received two nose-hair trimmers as birthday gifts this year. That generosity can be attributed to the fact that I turned 50, and that I have friends with droll senses of humor. As I look back on a half century of life (or at least the part of it I recall–I am a little hazy on the 1965-1970 period) I realize that the biggest technological changes took place after I left high school.