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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Another Car Blog

Check out Cesarautoblog, on my links list to the right. I think that's about 4 car related blogs altogether...we're growing, be warned.

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New BMW and New Buick

BMW has released photos of their new 1-series. Word on the street is that the car won't be released in the US. Quite frankly, that's great news. BMW should glance over at their German cousins, VW, to see a company with absolutely no idea how to market their cars, and no idea which brand deserves what status. They will of course release their A3 into the US, in hatchback form no less. Hatchbacks haven't sold well in the US, EVER. And VW's money problems are due in large part to their aging lineup. Expanding that lineup with a Phaeton, or an A3 is wrong, wrong, wrong. The Golf, and Jetta, are old as ever, and need refreshening. Yet nothing.

Buick is introducing a new vehicle as well, the Velite. It's built on a new RWD platform that will be shared by a variety of expensive cars in GM's future. I'm wary of this expansion as well. The Regal and Century are ancient, but getting replaced. Unfortunately the replacement is hardly adequate. Putting perfume on a pig, or giving each division an expensive halo car, doesn't seem like the right solution.

Sorry for the delay in updates, I'll try for more in the future.

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Sunday, March 21, 2004

Recalls, Recalls

GM announced this week, a massive recall. Recalls are an embarrassment to be sure, but they are necessary, and forced by the federal government. Because of this, the government should do its best to tell the public what kind of recall they are giving. They should differentiate between a recall that could cause a fatality, and one that could not. This tailgate issue for GM trucks is not something that could cause a fatality, and that should be emphasized.

The Big 3 seem to do more recalls than the Japanese, partially because they don't make as well built cars, but mostly because they simply have more cars out on the road. Recalls this big are almost always done to cars that are a few years old. A few years ago, the marketshare of the domestics was even bigger than it was now. The press is the first to jump on this as evidence of Detroit's failure; it might actually be a tribute to their success. If Toyota and Honda take over most of the market, large recalls will start to be their bread and butter. Anyone remember the engine sludge controversy Toyota had a few years ago?

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