Wednesday, January 07, 2004
Just a note: These are all linked to the autoindex website, which has stored the press releases from the various companies. The links and the information therein are the property of that site, not mine.
BMW 6 series convertible--It's very Chris Bangle-esque, his influence is pretty strong here. Like most people I'm torn on how well he designed the BMW line, and I wonder if he may have hurt the company in the long term. I don't like the six series, I do like his five series, I like the Z4, and like most people can't stand the seven series. I don't know what the point of the six series is, I guess if you want a five series with two doors, but BMW might not want to run into Mercedes territory with too many series of cars, that are overlapping in price and confusing to the consumer.
Chrylser ME Four-Twelve--When they called this the ME car, I thought that made sense since the people who would buy it, are mostly concerned with themselves. Evidentally it stands for Mid-engined. Could have fooled me. Anyway, the car is good looking, but I really don't get the point. Would anyone buy a 100k dollar plus Chrysler? This is obviously Chrysler's attempt to one-up Ford, for their upcoming Ford GT. I don't think the Ford GT will sell well either, but it has racing history behind it, while the Chrysler has nothing. Once again, American car companies not concentrating on most of the market, and fighting each other while Japanese car companies gain in power.
Ford Bronco--I had a friend who owned a Bronco II, and my uncle still owns an old big Bronco from the mid-1980s. They're really cool cars, and this goes along with my previous article about bringing back an affordable, but not too bare-bones like Jeep Wrangler, SUV that can go offroad and is cheap. The Bronco is a step in the right direction. Just make sure this version doesn't roll over and kill anyone like the old ones did.
Ford 500 and Mercury Montego--These are the company savers. These have to do well for Ford to survive. J Mays interiors are present, which is a plus, and when these come out, Ford will have arguably the best affordable interiors in the American car biz. That is not an understatement. Unfortunately as talented as J Mays is, he is not a risk taker. The exteriors are dull, especially on the Ford 500. It's probably the right decision to make in this competitive market, and Ford has been badly burned by being adventurous, (remember the mid-90s Taurus). I wish they were a little more bolder, but they'll have to do. Ford wouldn't have to depend so much on successful launches, if it updated its products more often, instead of leaving them to rot. The current Taurus is too old, and no competition to Camry, or Accord.
Ford Mustang--I love it. I know the V6 version automatic is a girl car, and the whole car is seen as girly, but I would buy this version. Ford execs are bragging that this is a 30k dollar interior in a 20k dollar car, and they're right. This should be a shining beacon to the rest of the industry of what American car companies are capable of. One huge advantage that the Big 3 have over the Japanese is lineage. I don't know how long you can go on with the retro thing, but with efforts like this one, it's worth a shot. This thing is going to be a HUGE hit. Buy Ford stock. And no I don't work for Ford.
Honda SUT-- And in the shadows awaits Honda. Never one to excite with their concept cars, they have introduced the future of their company in the US, the Honda pickup truck. I think, if any women are into pickup trucks, they will go for this one. No man would touch a cutesy thing like this. It might be a niche big enough to sell well. I'm not sure. I think of most of the pickup truck market as a hotbed chauvanistic dudes, but maybe this will make it here. You don't see a chick in an F-150.
Ok that's all for now...more tomorrow...