Battle to offer the cheapest car: Nissan vs. Hyundai

Last month Nissan garnerd quite a bit of publicity for the Versa by adding a decontented sedan powered by a smaller engine to the line and pricing it at $9,990–before destination. Of course, this is Hyundai’s turf, so the Korean automaker felt compelled to respond. The chosen response, they’ve cut the price of the Accent hatchback by $1,100, to $9,970–again,… More →

Executives, brands, dealers

My people have suggestions for Detroit. These suggestions tend to center around replacing senior managment and cutting brands and dealers. Dealers–these companies do have too many dealers. But this hurts the dealers more than it hurts the companies. In the short term at least GM, Ford, and Chrysler would not save much from cutting dealers. Brands–how many brands of jeans… More →

Amnesia, hindsight, and health insurance

Just a few months ago seemingly everyone was criticizing Detroit for failing to foresee $4.00 gas and develop fuel efficient cars accordingly. Even today we hear that these companies should refocus on alt fuels. But how many of those who claimed that Detroit should have spent billions of dollars to develop more fuel efficient vehicles predicted that fuel prices would… More →

Concessions from the UAW?

GM, Ford, and Chrysler have been begging for loans from the federal government in order to avoid declaring bankruptcy. But the government has been reluctant to grant them these loans without a viable restructuring plan. So far, it’s hard for anyone to see how these companies can avoid bankruptcy and (in Chrysler’s case) even liquidation even with the loans. Many… More →

Why don’t small cars get better highway fuel economy?

Anyone who has paid close attention to the EPA ratings–or the real-world fuel economy figures on TrueDelta, has probably noticed that compact cars don’t tend to get much fuel economy on the highway than midsize or even large cars. Take Toyota’s offerings, for example:  Yaris – subcompact:  29/35 Corolla – compact: 27/35 Camry – midsize: 21/31 Camry V6 – midsize:… More →

The one proven away to improve cars’ fuel economy

With Detroit’s leaders before Congress begging for money, many people have been suggesting that cars with improved fuel economy be part of any bailout. This is ridiculous, the same way that the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations have always been ridiculous. Improved fuel economy cannot effectively be legislated. Why not? Because this route forces companies to develop cars they… More →

GM’s Lambda large crossovers, 2007 vs. 2008

A year ago, and again nine months ago and six months ago, the 2008 Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook–GM’s “Lambda” large crossovers–had about half the repair rate of the 2007 Acadia and Outlook (the Enclave wasn’t offered as a 2007). A clear case of waiting for the second model year of a new design, right? Maybe not. Three months ago… More →

Two red lights: Infiniti EX35 and smart fortwo

The November results of the Vehicle Reliability Survey have been posted. Two of the 179 full results are especially intriguing. Other sources of vehicle reliability information give the 2008 Infiniti EX35 and 2008 smart fortwo high marks–the Infiniti even placed first in its segment in one study. Yet in TrueDelta’s latest results both models receive our new “red light,” to… More →