Last night, when my wife balked at the notion of me commandeering the remote for the next four or five hours to keep the TV tuned to CNN, rather than clearing out the DVR of our backlog of shows, I set up “election HQ” in my home office. I had my laptop screen open on my left flank to check state-by-state results, and my iPad streaming CNN’s election coverage on my right flank. [N.B. – John King is amazing. Wolf Blitzer really has a strange speaking style with his random pauses and breaths mid-sentence.] Front and center, I had WordPress open in a futile attempt to create some content amid myriad distractions.
Well, the writing has been on the wall for years, but now it’s official: Suzuki will stop selling new passenger vehicles in the U.S. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this evening and will stop selling new cars in the U.S. The company’s marine engine and motorcycle business units will continue as going concerns, and the filing does not impact American Suzuki’s Japan-based parent company, Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd.
Brands come and go all the time across the automotive landscape. Heck, ABARTH part of the Fiat 500 ABARTH that we reviewed last week was itself a resurrected brand just a few years ago. The next brand to rise from the ashes is Alpine, which had been Renault’s performance brand until its closure in 1995. Renault’s partner in the resurrection: Caterham, the builder of what are essentially the continuation of the iconic Lotus 7 ever since founder Graham Nearn acquired the rights to the Lotus 7 from Lotus in 1973.
In 2009, Hyundai launched a sedan/coupe duo deemed to be so revolutionary as to be called “Genesis.” They took the establishment by storm by undercutting top competitors on price and value for money while delivering similar, if not better, performance. The Genesis Coupe, in particular, upended the rule that inexpensive, sporty, compact coupes came solely from North America and Japan. Four years later, has it aged well?
It’s back to the drawing board for Hyundai’s marketing team. They can no longer boast of a lineup proliferated by 40 MPG cars, because after today’s news, there are none of them remaining. It seems that Hyuundai What’s more, Hyundai and Kia now have to apologize for the error, replace all mileage numbers on unsold cars, and reimburse owners for the lackluster mileage.
I’ve got this friend, let’s call him Chris. Chris is a car guy. He is actually the editor of one of my favorite automotive websites. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of modern cars as well as ones stretching back to at least the 1960s. He drives a 2008 Cadillac CTS with the upgraded 3.6 liter DI V6, providing 304 HP to move the rear-wheel drive sport sedan. I knew Chris would be shopping for an all-season tire to replace worn OEM tires. Still, I was surprised when I recently read a post on his Facebook wall stating that he was going to choose replacement tires based on a Consumer Reports ranking of tires. The magazine which ranks household appliances and their automotive equivalents is a fine choice for selecting transportation appliances and tires for them, but is hardly the place to start when shopping for enthusiast products of any type.
As was widely anticipated, Ford Motor Company announced that its current president of the Americas, Mark Fields, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer, effective December 1, 2012. Also, Executive Chairman Bill Ford announced that Alan Mulally will remain as CEO until at least the end of 2014, and possibly longer. It’s no secret that Mr. Ford is quite fond of Mr. Mulally and his tenure at the Dearborn-based automaker, and Mulally holds all the cards. I’m quite certain he could continue as Ford’s CEO for as long as he wants to, even for another decade. Though he’s 67, he brings the enthusiasm and energy of a much younger man to whatever room he’s in, and he could probably work well through his 70s like Bob Lutz did.
This week in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Volkswagen officials offered some new details and information about the the brand’s upcoming 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid. The car is expected to be a leader in achieving the brand’s goal of efficient motoring alongside the diesel powered TDI model and also serve as the last piece in the Jetta lineup which now offers customers five different versions of Jetta to choose from.