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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Toyota makes a Smart Move

This article is a little dated, but I saved it until I had time to update today. Toyota is basically breaking into a huge market, that has a grand total of one vehicle within it: the Wrangler. The FJ Cruiser is one of the few Japanese vehicles that actually HAS a tradition to fall back on. In the 60s and 70s, Toyota made Land Cruisers that were amazing competitors to the Wrangler. They were rugged, looked great, and had excellent offroad capabilities. Here's an example of a classic FJ40:



And here is the updated concept that came about a couple years ago. It's pretty loyal to the original I think:



Guaranteed hit. At least I'd like to think so.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

This Will Save Mitsubishi



I'm not one to do car reviews, and this car isn't even ready to drive. But since I haven't really written any analysis on the NAIAS show, I guess I can start here. By now most are aware of Mitsubishi's troubles, and it is widely rumored that the company will be gone from America within a few months. Hopefully that won't happen until this car sees the light of day. I find it to be just stunning. Mitsubishi is known as the least reliable Japanese manufacturer, but when your back is to the wall, looks are everything. The similarities between this car and the original concept are enormous. There was very little compromising. I think it just might save their bottom line. Now if they just redid the Galant and Outlander, I think they'd be fine. Why is the Eclipse always by far the best looking car in Mitsubishi's lineup?

By the way, I just learned today how to put up pictures. Pathetic, I know.

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Sunday, January 16, 2005

VW and Diesels

This article from Autoweek has some information about VW and their future with diesels. VW, and perhaps Daimler/Chrysler, seem to be the only manufacturers who have bet that diesel as opposed to hybrids, are the wave of the future. There's no mention of Peak Oil, but there is a quote from a woman who is an auto analyst, who states that only if sustained prices of three dollars per gallon will people buy diesels. Guess what, they're coming. Why are all the major automakers, with the exception of GM, making such huge investments in fuel saving technology? Do they know something we don't? Let's pretend that the supply of oil on the earth was limitless, why would they have any incentive to create a car that saves money on gas, but not to such a great extent that the money saved will make up for the difference in cost in buying said hybrid vehicle? Because the automakers know, at least if they aren't totally clueless, that oil is running out, or at the very least fuel shortages and/or price rises are on the horizon. Remember, Toyota, and probably all the other manufacturers lose money on hybrids. They build them, because they know, soon they will be a common occurrence.

If you want to know Bob Lutz's opinion on hybrids, read here. He thinks they're an advertising ploy by Toyota. Sigh. In fact they're the new standard for fuel efficiency. If you have money to spare, buy Toyota stock. Thanks.

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