Some of the most famous cars in the history of the auto industry were some of the cheapest ones. The Ford Model T, the Volkswagen Beetle, the Citroen 2CV and the BMC Mini were so successful mainly because they were so affordable.
Every single year, for almost 40 years, politicians and regulators have written piles of laws and regulations to control the automobile. And yet, there's no end in sight. Right now they're working on regulations that will take us out to 2025 and beyond. Will it ever end?
No one wants to touch it. Not Toyota, not NHTSA, not any politician. But the issue has to be raised. Driver error is most likely at the root of these sudden unintended acceleration incidents.
With all the attention being lavished on electric cars, you'd think the salvation of the planet is nigh at hand. But don't be duped by all the EV hype. It's going to take decades before they catch on – if ever.
One of the more intriguing tidbits that dribbled out of Chrysler's grueling 8-hour press conference on Wednesday is that the company is considering getting back into the heavy truck business. They're not talking about heavy duty pick-ups, they're talking about 18-wheelers.
Nobody reading this blog needs to be told how much trouble Detroit is in. Whether it's the Detroit Three, the city of Detroit, or the greater Detroit area, the story's the same: we're in trouble!
Today at 12:00PM EST, John McElroy of Autoline Daily is hosting a special live webcast with guest Ford Motor Co. Chief Economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick. She and John will be discussing her forecast for the American economy and outlook on the automotive market. We've embedded the live webcast John Neff
In all this debate about whether we should provide the Big Three with a bridge loan, not enough attention has been devoted to their impact on our national defense. I'd hate to see this country ever get involved in a total global war again, but I especially shudder to think it might happen without the manufacturing capability that General Motors, Ford and Chrysler provide to the United States.
To hear Ford's CTO tell it, all these painful layoffs and budget cuts going on at the company can actually be beneficial. "It gets you really focused on what's really necessary," says Gerhard Schmidt, the Chief Technology Officer at Ford.
What a week it was. Or maybe I should say, I can't believe how weak it was.
There is only one number that really matters in today's financial report from General Motors: how much cash it has in the kitty. And the answer is, not enough. GM is now burning through its cash reserves at a rate that will run short before Christmas.
Anyone watching the auto industry these days is acutely aware that General Motors is hurtling towards disaster. It's burning through cash reserves at a rate that will put it in Chapter 11 sometime next year, no matter how much management says "that's not an option." It's still being crushed by its legacy costs, yes, even after concessions from the UAW. And it just witnessed its own finance arm, GMAC, essentially pull out of the automotive lending business.
Pity the poor car buyer who wants to be a smart consumer and reads all the quality studies before going to the showroom. How do you know what to believe?
The headlines say General Motors is feverishly putting a plan together to take over Chrysler. From my standpoint, only two theories can explain why this is happening. Either the billionaire boys from Cerberus have a master plan to revamp the American auto industry, or they are in so far over their heads that they don't know what they're doing. More on that in a minute.
Every day Chrysler LLC builds Euro-spec versions of the Chrysler 300 at its assembly plant in Canada, bolts a V6 diesel engine into most of them, and ships them off to Europe. That diesel 300 gets better fuel economy, over 30 mpg, than all the other vehicles in Chrysler's U.S. showrooms. But it's against the law for Chrysler to sell that car in America.
With gas prices soaring and SUV sales sinking, General Motors just put its HUMMER brand under "strategic review." That's generally the term used when a company is getting ready to dump a brand. And that begs the question, how many brands does a car company really need?
Ooof! May sales were like a punch in the stomach, especially to the Detroit Three. It's been nearly three decades since we've seen their sales collapse so dramatically.
Thanks to sky high gasoline prices, most people are reeling from the cost of driving their cars. But that was just the first jolt. Now we're going to see a big jump in the cost of buying cars, both new and used.