Yesterday, Chrysler Group LLC reported net income of $473 million USD for the first quarter of 2012. This was a gain of 407 percent over the $116 million USD net income that the Fiat-owned automaker reported for the same quarter in 2011. Chrysler’s numbers were boosted by a 25 percent revenue increase and a 39 percent vehicle sales increase. Chrysler also reported free cash flow of $1.7 billion in the first quarter.
GMC was founded in 1901 as the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company inPontiac,Michigan, by the Grabowsky brothers, Max and Morris. In 1905 the brothers, sensing a good deal, sold up to the originators of thePontiacbrand. Both, or all three, were gobbled up in 1908 by Walter Durant and his burgeoning General Motors company, and the rest, as they say, is (GM) history. The car side retained its name ofPontiacand the truck side was renamed General Motors Commercial. It would be an exaggeration to say that it’s been a picnic for GMC ever since, but where’sPontiac now? Whereas 111 year-old GMC sails serenely on, making upscale Chevys and big profits for the parent General.
Over the last week we have been driving around a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara edition. Like the large majority of the people who will buy, own, and drive one, we spent most of our time with the Jeep on paved surfaces. We have split this video review into three parts; the first part covers driving a Wrangler on the street. In the second, we take the Wrangler to an off road park to have some fun. In the third and final video, we show what’s involved in removing the Wrangler’s roof; it requires far more than just pushing a button.
An unexpected source has stepped forward to perhaps help prevent the complete shutdown of the automotive industry due to the effects of a resin shortage which threatens to cripple all global automotive production.
Over the years, we have been one of the few outlets to give Serbian automaker Zastava a fair shake. This fact did not go unnoticed by the Zastava PR staff, who never saw it in their hearts to give us a press car to flog, but they did have frequent with our former (and missed) writer, Andy Bannister.
There are several ways to make your critics shut up. One is to address their criticisms point by point, giving in to your critics’ concerns. One is to ignore them and press on, sort of doubling down if you’re confident that you are making the right decision despite what the critics say. Or, you could respond the way Volkswagen did to criticism directed at its de-contented 2011 Jetta and do both – pressing forward with the lower-end models, but adding a higher-end model that addresses most of the criticisms levied at the lower-spec cars (albeit at a much higher price point).
About a year and a half ago, we looked into what is the single biggest threat to the electrification of the automobile. And what is that threat? Economics. Despite not having to pay for gasoline or some types of maintenance, the current crop of EVs have a severe economic handicap even with generous government subsidies.
Drivers are increasingly feeling helpless within the shifting trends of the automotive world. We like our manual gearboxes. Yet, today almost all (if not all) new Ferraris on sale cannot be ordered with a stick shift. We like our comfortable cars. Yet, we have to contend with modern cars with large rims that worsen an already stiff ride. We also unreservedly love our big, naturally aspirated engines that make the best sounds on earth – and they are also going.