The Nissan GT-R sets another record: largest price increase

Nissan launched it’s 480-horsepower GT-R supercar with a price of $69,850 plus $625 destination. A lot for a Nissan, but even in the current economy demand has been very strong–most of the 2009s have already been spoken for. Sales are down and raw materials costs are up for all major automakers. So Nissan needs to find a few extra bucks anywhere it… More →

They said “never again”

Automotive News reports this morning that General Motors is “postponing nearly all of its product development spending in 2009 and 2010” to avoid running out of cash next year. Among many depressing stories to come out of Detroit lately, this is the most depressing yet. I remember the last time they took such a drastic step, in the early 1990s.… More →

Why should anyone care about misaligned trim when choosing a car?

Since at least the 1980s we’ve heard about how American cars lag on “fit and finish.” Namely, that the paint often doesn’t look as flawless, the interior plastics look cheaper, and the various gaps aren’t as tight and precise as those in the best foreign models. In recent years, the domestics have caught up, at least in specific cases. But… More →

“Minor” problems

Every so often in browsing auto forums I come across a list of problems someone has had with their car, after which the owner concludes, “but these are all minor. I haven’t had any major problems.” Or they’ll simply post, “I haven’t had any major problems with the car.” Or, in critiquing reliability information from TrueDelta and elsewhere: “But they count… More →

Above critique vs. below notice

We’ve got the system in place to provide the most up-to-date, most “real world” vehicle reliability information. Now we just need more participants. The 35,700 vehicles signed up so far are a great start. But 100,000 would be better. How to get there? Well, media coverage would help. But it has proved surprisingly difficult to obtain this coverage. A major source of this difficulty: much… More →

Isn’t TrueDelta just another auto site?

A few days ago someone emailed me, saying that, as far as they could tell, TrueDelta did not offer anything that many other auto sites did not already offer. So what’s the point? This perception baffles me, since the information TrueDelta offers is unlike that available anywhere else. Yet it is also quite common. So we clearly have a major disconnect on… More →

Car forums – will the pursuit of profit kill the fun?

It hasn’t been easy gathering together enough car owners to get TrueDelta’s vehicle reliability research off the ground. For many models, a forum dedicated to the car has been essential in getting the word out. Unfortunately, truly great automotive forums are increasingly rare. As Greg Childs of NICOClub, a forum for Nissan and Infiniti owners, notes in a recent editorial,… More →

First 2010: Chevrolet Camaro

Well, the pricing database now has its first 2010 model, the Chevrolet Camaro. The first Camaros won’t reach dealers until next March, but dealers started taking orders today. The 300-horsepower V6 starts just under $23,000 (with “heritage steel” wheels), and the 422-horsepower SS V8–with standard 20-inch higher performance tires–starts just under $31,000. Both prices are surprisingly competitive. The Camaro V6 lists… More →

Can General Motors and Ford avoid bankruptcy? The implications for you?

For a couple of years now I’ve contributed car reviews to The Truth About Cars. But I’ve never penned one of that site’s signature “General Motors Death Watch” or “Ford Death Watch” pieces, partly because I felt (or at least hoped) that the domestic manufacturers would muddle through without declaring bankruptcy…somehow. This now appears unlikely. General Motors and Ford were already struggling… More →

Limited – to the number they can sell

No word has been more abused by the auto industry than “Limited.” The implication–that the manufacturer will be producing only a small, fixed number of vehicles, so it’s special–has rarely if ever actually been the case. Instead, production is limited to the number they can sell. And, in the case of the Chrysler Aspen Limited, which inspired this post, perhaps a few… More →