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Plight of The US Auto Industry: An Interpretation

Tuesday November 11, 2008

What happened to the American auto industry seems to be the convergence of many separate mini-disasters, almost none of which they had any control over. Personally, I think that said elements to the bigger problem are as follows and have linked together in the following ways.

First, there was the very first gas crisis, back in the day. This had forced them to abandon all that they knew and all their tried and true stuff in order to fully revamp their line-ups and meet the new market demands. Of course, success was limited, as it usually is at the start of any new design and they therefore experienced their share of problems. At the same time, there was an influx of cheap cars from overseas, which were typically a bit more reliable, seeing as these were their very own “tried and true” product they had been building back home for ages. This has, in turn, given birth to an entire generation who will not give the domestics a fair chance and who also seem to typically believe in a mythical infallibility of all things foreign. Of course, with Honda, Toyota et al abandoning their tried and true designs and going the modern/tech route these days, we see the appearance of poorer reliability, which is surely a direct result of no longer using their own tried and true designs and components.

Read more…

Ghosn, Ghosn, Gone…

Monday December 4, 2006

So after being blown-off by GM, who was merely entertaining Kerkorian in the first place, Renault-Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn suddenly feels that he’s some kind of car gos that’ll come and save one of “The Big Three” suddenly, huh? A quick glance at the news ever since the GM-Nissan thing, there have been rumours of a takeover of Ford by Ghosn and at the present time, there are even rumors that Chrysler is up for sale and could be taken over by Nissan (of course, Carlos denies this).

The most shocking though has got to be how Ghosn speaks of possibly forming an Alliance with a U.S. automaker “when the time is right” and “once they and their shareholders are ready”. It’s as if he seriously thought they needed him to come in and save them and as if GM’s refusal was a mistake; then again, if you listened to the reports following that rejection from GM, they were saying that they felt that GM wouldn’t be worth it. Funny though how GM was bringing more to the table and was the one who actually pulled-out.

He mentions himself that rather than trying to form an alliance, he will be focusing on bringing Nissan back on track. Though, I’m sure this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they were seeking another partner to join their exisiting alliance to begin with. Nah, this was just a rescue mission to save GM… Ha! Keep telling yourself that and it just might come true…

C&F Returning Soon!

Wednesday November 1, 2006

As the title says, the site will be making a comeback in the not too distant future.

I am presently working on a little update, as the new look of the site kinda suggests and should proceed with a re-launch of a revamped Crubs & Fents within the next couple of weeks.

Sorry for being away so long, but I am back and getting ready to kick things into gear once again.

C&F ON HIATUS: taking a 2 week break

Wednesday August 30, 2006

Well, I’m posting to inform you that due to the start of another year of university as well as other circumstances in my personal life, I will not be able to post regularly, if at all, during the next few weeks.

If all goes as planned, I should be back no later than the 15th of September (give or take a day or two). At that point, things should be relatively back to normal, save a few changes that I may make upon my return.

Thank you for understanding and I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause..

Toyota Delays Models Due to Quality Problems

Friday August 25, 2006

With the recent plethora of news about quality problems and recalls that have been coming in from Toyota, here’s another one: they are slowing down development of upcoming models, in hopes that they can eliminate any possible problems.

This news comes in the middle of long list of bad news, including:

  1. Numerous steering-failure recalls
  2. Sienna liftgates that fall onto people
  3. Complaints about fit & finish on new Avalons and Camrys
  4. A scandal about them possibly hiding defects and recalls from the public
  5. A scandal involving sexual harassment

Of course, they reassure us that quality is still their top priority and that they will make sure tha there is no repeat of this recent flood of quality problems. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The Caddy That Zags: BLS to Come to America?

Tuesday August 22, 2006

As early as 2009, Cadillac could be bringing over an updated version of the current Cadillac BLS, sold only in European markets and based on the SAAB 9-3. Read more…

Vehicle Owners Must be Notified of “Black Boxes”

Tuesday August 22, 2006

For the past few years now, an increasing number of cars have been equipped with EDRs or “Event Data Recorders”, which are something like a black box for your car. This is mostly for helping law enforcement officials reconstruct accident scenes by gathering all the information the car recorded about the last moments before a crash.

There’s just one problem: many people aren’t even aware that their car is equipped with such a device.

Luckily this has now changed, in the United States at least.

The NHSTA has passed a new regulation which will require all automakers to notify customers if and when their vehicle is equipped with an EDR. Automakers will have until September 1st, 2010, to comply with the notification and other requirements in the new regulation, if they choose to equip their vehicles with recorders.

Also under the new regulations, auto recorders must track vehicle speed, acceleration, and deceleration, braking, steering and some air bag functions. In some cases data on vehicle roll angle, steering inputs, and passenger safety belt use will be recorded.