Posts Tagged ‘dealership’

America Rejects Toyota’s Smallest Car – Scion IQ had 11 Airbags, 4 Seats, Easy Parking – Seemed Perfect for Frisco

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Four seats, sure, but they marketed it as a “3+1,” ’cause the seat behind the driver had no legroom, assuming the driver wasn’t able to scrunch forward. But the front passenger had plenty of room, as did the right rear passenger, sort of.

Read all about this unloved ride here

7J7C0092 copy

Perhaps one could pick up a used model…

Imperfect alternatives still in production include the Smart ForTwo (just a two-seater), the Toyota Yaris (harder to park) and the MINI (much more expensive), oh well.

RIP, Scion iQ.

Why is It That the 99% Pays the CA DMV for Auto Registration But the 1% Ferrari Lambo Crowd Doesn’t?

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Here’s the 99% in Lane 2 – no apparent problems here: 

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And here’s what’s in Lane 1 a few miles down the very same freeway  – it’s YAFWR (Yet Another Ferraro Without Registration):

Do you know why the richers of California tend to go without license plates on their Ferrari and Lamborghini and whatnot? Well, it’s because of the cost.

Buying a Ferraro like this one to tool around on the weekends for a little while will run you $20-something thousand in “use tax” whether you drive it a little or a lot. So what you’ll need to do is to make some arrangement with your cheesy exoticar dealer – if you think about it for a while, you’ll figure something out.*

And the Tax Man prolly won’t catch you.

So that’s why the 99% pays the CA DMV for auto registration and the 1% Ferrari / Lambo crowd does not.

*Oh, it’s a race car, not a regular car. Oh, as soon as I bought it I took it to, let’s see here, Nevada? Yeah, Nevada. As a 1%-er, I live in the crappy, windblown, high desert of Nevada instead of gorgeous California – do you buy that? Oh, that was a repositioning trip, and, you know, I hated it. I don’t actually like the job of ferrying Ferrari about, it’s such a burden. Oh, it’s…  

Are These Volkswagens Gay and are They Kissing Each Other? Yes and Yes – The Billboards of South of Market

Friday, May 4th, 2012


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Cute Convertible vs. Ugly Convertible – MINI Cooper vs. Fiat 500

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

This beauty contest isn’t hard to judge, folks:

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Hey remember when that girl asked you to go with her to San Francisco MINI to kick some tires and they were asking $38.5k for a convertible that had been sitting on a lot unsold for almost a year(!) and how SF MINI had the stones to ask for $3500 in “added dealer markup” on the Monroney?

Good times.

That San Francisco MINI dealership reminds me of an Apple $tore and not in a good way.

Oh well.

Official CA Agency CalRecycle Declares War on Car Dealerships: Says DON’T Change Motor Oil Every 3000 Miles – Let it Slide

Friday, November 4th, 2011

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), a division of our California Department of Conservation, doesn’t want you changing your car oil as much. They want you to follow the recommendation in your car’s owner’s manual, as opposed to your service manager’s “every 3000 miles no matter what” mantra.

(I don’t think car dealerships and oil change places will like this one bit.)

Anyway, CalRecycle is coming to town tomorrow to pay for free parking for motorists who pledge to increase their oil change intervals. (But don’t anybody tell StreetsBlog SF about the free parking reward – they won’t like that at all. Srsly.)

It’s called the Check Your Number campaign

All the deets, after the jump


Remember Gurbaksh “G” Chahal, San Francisco’s Own “Secret Millionaire?” Well, Now He’s Crying Over His Busted Ferrari

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Remember Gurbaksh “G” Chahal and all his troubles? Well, if you don’t, watch one-minute of this video from the NBC. Good times.

(Remember when he proudly pointed out his flat-panel TV (“BAM!”) and “great mirror?” And the zebra pelt on the kitchen floor?*)

But now, there’s sadness in his life owing to his slightly older-model Ferrari getting cracked up while in the custody of his Ferrari dealership. Of course, the dealership has offered to fix it up and/or offered to let him buy a newer, unused Ferrari at a higher price, but that’s not good enough for G.

Read all about it via Ryan Tate of Gawker.

Also via Ryan, an excerpt from the FB:

See that “why does this crap always happen to me?” 

Does this make “G” the “definition of a douchelord?”

At the Adam Carolla / Danny Bonaduce bachelor party, Key Club L.A. Photo via Anthony Citrano – Click to expand.

Chin up, G!

*Apparently, the people behind the Secret Millionaire show wanted to show a big delta between the lifestyle of his real-life SoMA pad vs. the Tenderloin hovel that he shacked-up in during the filming of the show. Well, some people got carried away with the made-for-TV furnishings. So that’s where the zebra pelt and chandelier came in. Ironically, you might prefer to live in that hovel on Larkin Street – it’s not that bad, right across the street from Homeland Security. Typical Americans watching had no idea that the rent on that supposedly unlivable apartment in the Tenderloin was more than their flyover country mortgage payments…

And Another One Bites the Dust: Electric Carmaker “Green Vehicles, Inc” Dies, Taking a Ton of Government Dollars

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

I don’t know what made the mayor of Salinas, CA think that he could See The Future, but he used to think that way, back when he sunk about $500,000 of municipal funds into now-defunctGreen Vehicles, Inc.

This was the three-wheeler that was going to sell for $25k:

From happier times:

“Green Vehicles was co-founded by Ehab Youssef and Mike Ryan in the wake of a failed ZAP! dealership originally in Los Gatos, California. Disappointment in the state of the battery electric vehicle industry at the time led the small company to take on the ambitious goal of making the world’s most sustainably made, energy efficient freeway commuter.

In 2008, the company changed course, abandoning its manufacturing base in China for an 80,000 sq ft (7,400 m2) facility in Salinas, California in order to make changes to manufacturing operations more consistent with the principles on which the company was founded. Green Vehicles recently applied to the state of California and received supplemental funds to implement Design for Manufacturability and Design for Environment changes before increasing commercial production volumes of the Triac 2.0

And here’s your timeline:

“On July 30, 2010, Green Vehicles was awarded a grant for over $2,050,000 by the California Energy Commission to assist the company’s efforts to scale up manufacturing operations in Salinas, California.

On July 18, 2011, Green Vehicles announced it had ceased operations, citing a lack of capital. Virtually all of its funding had come from state and local government grants”

Oh well…

The Crumbling Toyota Dealerships of San Francisco’s West Bay: Unreinforced Masonry + Sand Dunes = ???

Monday, March 7th, 2011

This UMB (or  URM) building on Geary way out in the West Bay will soon be history, looks like.

[UPDATE: Uh, no, the building will be gussied up and LEEDed up and up and running by July 4th, 2011, per the Richmond District Blog.]

Click to expand – check it:

Yet San Francisco Toyota continues to sell products from the once and future and current Best Car Company in the World. (Sorry, plaintiffs’ attorneys…)

(Too bad I’m not a Mommy Blogger, else I’d have an Amazon gift card coming to me right now…)

Recession, What Recession? Fairfield, CA, a City on the Grow, to Get Its Own LEED-Certified Mercedes Dealership

Monday, November 15th, 2010

The bay area town of Fairfield has just taken time out of its busy schedule to crow about how it’s growing like gangbusters while the rest of California is “still facing sluggish growth.”

Harsh. Deets below.

Enjoy your Mercedes Benzeses, Fairfield:

“FAIRFIELD, Calif., Nov. 15, 2010  — While many California cities are still facing sluggish growth, the San Francisco Bay Area city of Fairfield, California is experiencing an increase in construction and economic development activity.

Automotive group, Price-Simms, began construction in early October on a new 40,000-square foot Mercedes Benz dealership at Fairfield’s 31-acre auto mall. The dealership, which will have excellent freeway visibility from Interstate 80, will seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Green elements planned for the building include solar panels, energy-efficient lighting, and low water use. The location of the dealership allows it to serve several counties including Solano, Contra Costa, Napa, Sonoma, and Yolo. Construction is expected to be completed in August 2011. The general contractor, J.R. Roberts Deacon of Citrus Heights, California, has an extensive portfolio of auto dealership construction projects.”

Ever more deets, after the jump


California NUMMI Commission Offers Toyota No Carrots and No Sticks

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Here’s the thing about that NUMMI plant in Fremont that’s closing down at the end of the month – Toyota thought about making Prius hybrid electric cars there after the departure of General Motors, but then rejected that idea. So, Corolla production will  be taken care of by an existing plant in Ontario, Canada and pickup trucks, too, will be made somewhere else if necessary. This all got worked out last summer.  

(Here’s Toyota’s current take on the situation from NUMMI spinmeister Lance Tomasu for the record. Enjoy.)

Anyway right now, California’s Toyota NUMMI Commission is coming back from Japan after trying to nag Toyota brass into keeping the Fremont factory going. Take a look at their report. The Question of the Day is why Toyota should remain the only car manufacturer in the entire western United States.

So you’d think that California would offer some carrots and/or wave some sticks around at Toyota but the Commission’s not really equipped to do that all that much.

It’s not like they can’t find some carrots or sticks in their quiver, it’s that their quiver is pretty much empty.

According to the commission, the chance for Toyota to build hybrid electric Corollas in Fremont is somehow some big benefit to Toyota that Toyota is oblivious to. That’s not really a carrot, actually, and you’d think that Toyota would have their own ideas about making cars. Would consumers want to buy a “California Corolla” just because it’s made in Fremont? I don’t think so. Very possibly, Toyota having a big pickem-up factory in Texas helps sell big V8 pickem-ups, but the average Californian would prefer a Made In Japan label, it would seem.   

Another carrot the commission could dangle would be the synergy from making cars in the same state as tiny, troubled Tesla Motors. That’s not really a carrot either, huh?

Well, how about some sticks instead? What will happen to Toyota if it shuts down its money-losing plant in Fremont? Nothing, it would seem. One might suppose that quiet diplomacy would have been used on Toyota last year, to no avail.

Back in the day, down in Fremont:


via CanadaGood

Now, let’s read up on the news of the past weekend. Has Toyota really “lost its way?” No. Let’s see here, did Toyota make a mistake with how it handled the floor mat / plastic gas pedal parts / ?????? / issues? Yes, but that’s just a hiccup in the sands of time.

Is Toyota’s decision to discontinue production in California without GM as a partner “suicidal?” No. 

And is the success of the Prius model due to “enthusiastic Californians” or is it due to Toyota spending billions to develop the technology and then selling them at a loss for years and years? You Make The Call.  

And are the people of Mississippi looking forward to making hybrid vehicles for Toyota in a brand-new factory that’s going unused right now? Yes. Toyota decided last year to make Priuseses in Blue Springs, Mississippi instead of California. That’s California’s loss, no argument about that.

All right, here’s entire conclusion of the Blue Ribbon Commission’s report, in bold.

“The collaborative efforts of Californians, which have bolstered NUMMI’s success, are ongoing.”

Was NUMMI a success, really? Didn’t it lose money every year for the past quarter century? Yes.

“A ‘Red Team’ of state, local government, private sector and other officials have proposed significant tax and business incentives to retain the plant.”

Presumably, Toyota knows about this, but is not interested.

 “Closing NUMMI now is a decision of choice, not necessity.”

This is true. If Toyota were really afraid of the consequences of closing down NUMMI then maybe they’d run it at a loss, if necessary, forever.

“Closure abandons a loyal, highly-skilled workforce and places a heavy burden on communities and the state when they can least afford it. The decision is inconsistent with the values that have led Toyota to unparalleled economic success. It elevates narrow, short-term corporate interests above the interests of workers, the public and the long-term interests of Toyota itself.

Don’t really get this. Why should Toyota have a plant in California instead of some other state or nearby country?  

 “Looking at the pending NUMMI plant shutdown, and then you look at larger problems that Toyota is having in America” Richard Holober, from the Consumer Federation of California, told the NUMMI Blue Ribbon Commission.

Well, Toyota’s “having problems in America” primarily due to a decision to save a few pennies by using a plastic-on-plastic device to make holding your foot on the gas pedal a bit easier AND not reacting quickly enough to incident reports. This issue will get solved.

“I can’t help but conclude that this is not an isolated plant closure decision, but a symptom of a much, much deeper problem with what has happened to Toyota as a corporation.”

What has “happened to Toyota as a corporation” is that it’s become the best car company in the world. This was true last year, it’s true this year, it’ll be true next year.

“Akio Toyoda, the Toyota president whose grandfather founded the automaker in 1937, admitted at a February 24 Congressional hearing, “recently we haven’t lived up to the standards you’ve come to expect from us or that we expect from ourselves.” He also stated that one of the automaker’s great strengths was facing its mistakes and addressing them. The decision to close NUMMI reflects the period when the automaker pursued a hyper-expansion and abandoned its values in the interest of narrow, short-term financial goals.

“Hyper-expansion” = Making Popular Cars. “Narrow, short-term financial goals” = GM. Now, Toyota changed a bit after getting listed on the stock exchange in New Yawk, and Toyota has more hide-bound corporate culture than it probably needs but it’s doing all right overall.

“Toyota, however, has risen to outstanding heights by building its success precisely on strong core values. These included: 1) building only the highest quality vehicles; 2) customer safety first; 3) lifetime job security for its workers; 4) caring partnerships with communities; 5) concern for the environment. A very visible first step toward returning to this successful corporate ethic would be to keep NUMMI open, and show California and the world that the company has reached into its heritage to define its future.

I don’t know, Toyota participated in NUMMI during a time when there was a threat of massive tariffs being applied to cars imported from Japan. The 1981-1994 Voluntary Export Restraint plan of that era was a disaster for American consumers (and, speaking of “narrow, short-term financial goals,” the long-term health of the American automobile industry.) Something like the threat of massive tariffs on Toyota products would be a nice stick for the NUMMI Commission to wave about, but, for whatever reason, Toyota doesn’t seemed to be all that worried about that issue. 

“This is the moment for political leaders in Washington and Sacramento to address the closure. Millions of Californians are hurting in the worst job market in seven decades and are deeply apprehensive about the future. The most immediate, direct, and cost effective jobs program available is to keep NUMMI running.

There’s no question that keeping NUMMI running would benefit California. The question is why Toyota should lose money to finance an American stimulus plan?

“This stimulus plan delivers 25,000 jobs and could save $2.3 billion. The automaker and California would reap a triple bottom-line benefit: Toyota would restore its image and retain a world-class plant; workers and their families would make it through a dark economic winter; and California would get further down the road to economic growth and a green future.

O.K., the Blue Ribbon Commission is traveling home from Nagoya, Japan now.

Perhaps the their trip to Toyota City will prove useful even if the NUMMI factory shuts down on sked this month.

We’ll just have to wait and see what the Commission got.