(Note absurdly-large 20-inch wheels, you know, for “luxury.”)
Sometimes I just don’t know…
I don’t know, You Make The Call on how wrong this Cadillac commercial is:
Apparently, San Francisco and Los Angeles are the same place.
Apparently, Brad Pitt just looooooves grandpa cars.
Apparently, Brad Pitt is a whore and his price is $3,000,000.
Uh, I don’t know.
Presenting the big-on-the-outside, small-in-the-inside Hummer H3, the “Baby Hummer.”
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I can sort of see why GM donated this this vehicle, but nevertheless, sometimes, I just don’t know.
Wouldn’t a minivan be a better choice? I think so.
PS: We should have let GM die this time, you know, as opposed to waiting until next time…
I’ll tell you, the process of taking a very tired gasoline-engined Mitsubishi / Volvo economy car and plopping in a battery and an electric motor isn’t going so hot for CODA Automotive.
Get the updates here.
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Nobody’s buying this car.
Nobody’s releasing sales numbers for this car.
But, here you go, have at it and buy one today – I don’t care.
Well, here it is, from the NYT’s Bradley Berman – it’s the big review of the little POS electric car that’s actually made in China but final-assembled in troubled Benicia, way out there in the eastern part of the North Bay.
Here’s your warning that things aren’t going so hot:
“The company even brought its chief executive from China. Coda hired Philip Murtaugh in 2011, a former top executive at the Chinese operations of General Motors and Chrysler. At the 2011 Los Angeles auto show, Mr. Murtaugh expressed concern over the reception for the car’s styling in the American market. First produced nearly about a decade ago, it gives the impression of a knockoff copy of a Y2K Nissan Sentra or Honda Civic. “The vehicle was chosen three years ago,” he told me. “I came in nine months ago. We couldn’t change it.”
So, the reason why your state-subsidized vehicle sucks is Somebody Else’s Problem?
And then there’s this, the primary selling feature in some of the Coda ads, the large trunk:
“Yes, the trunk is cavernous, but I would gladly give up three inches of trunk depth for more legroom in the back seat.”
(The reason why the trunk is so big is that the Coda Sedan is actually a two-decade-old Mitsubishi Carisma designed for the European market, which, at the time, was in need of a little car with a big-ass trunk. Things didn’t work out, so the factory was shipped to China. I’m srsly.)
OK. Moving on.
“…difficult to accept the shortcomings of the Coda at its current price, despite its ability to grant 100 miles on a single charge.”
Here it is. Actually it looks more like a 1992 Honda Civic 4-door sedan with giant aftermarket wheels, to my eyes:
I’ve been telling you about this venture, this unholy alliance of Goldman Sachs execs (the people who brought us the failed WebVan, srsly, the same exact people), assorted federal government hangers-on (bureaucrats who know nothing about cars, electricity, or batteries or whatever), the People’s Republic of China, and other ne’er-do wells, for years now.
And then when the car comes out and its time for the Big Review from the sainted NYT (which had been pretty positive on this issue of this piece of junk), Coda Automotive gets a thumbs down.
That’s not much to show considering all the government subsidies this company is getting.
(And, mind you, this is after they lowered the MSRP down from the originally-planned $45,000(!), as I and host of others (the so-called haters) have been suggesting for a good long time.)
But at least twenty people in Benicia have jobs at the final assembly plant what are paying In-and-Out level wages….
“After a year’s success in casting bankrupt Fremont solar maker Solyndra as the prototype for President Obama’s energy policies, Republicans now are targeting what they have dubbed “Obamacars.”
OBAMACARS? THAT’S A NEW ONE ON ME. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA INDEED HAS A PROBLEM ON HIS HANDS WITH THE VERY UNPOPULAR DETROIT BAILOUT. I’M NOT SAYING IT WAS HIS IDEA BUT HE CERTAINLY SUPPORTED IT AND IT WAS BAD IDEA, IMO. FOR SOME REASON, HAVING SOMETHING TO DO WITH OBAMA, GM MADE WILDLY UNREALISTIC FORECASTS FOR THE VOLT PLUG-IN HYBRID. OBVIOUSLY, THERE’S GOOD AND BAD FOR OBAMA TO BE SO INVOLVED WITH DETROIT.
For some GOP members of Congress, the Chevy Volt, made by General Motors, is a fire hazard and a job loser, while Palo Alto’s Tesla Motors is a crony capitalist purveyor of toy cars for Silicon Valley millionaires.
FIRE HAZARD? NO. JOB LOSER? NO. BUT CRONY CAPITALIST PURVEYOR OF TOY CARS FOR SILICON VALLEY MILLIONAIRES? YES! DING DING DING!
The campaign has tainted Energy Secretary and UC Berkeley physicist Steven Chu and his agency’s renewable energy loan programs, rupturing a consensus under former President George W. Bush, who started the programs to end America’s addiction to oil.
I DON’T KNOW IF THE CAMPAIGN DID THAT. WE’VE WASTED A LOT OF MONEY ON A LOT OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS – THIS IS TRUE WITH OR WITHOUT ANY CAMPAIGN.
But it may not stop the electric car. The assault has enraged General Motors. On March 1, the company opened an unprecedented campaign to re-introduce the Volt in California, the biggest U.S. auto market, even as it temporarily halted production because of slow sales.
THE CHEVY VOLT IS NOT AN “ELECTRIC CAR.” SORRY. IT’S A PLUG-IN HYBRID, IRL.
GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson has complained about the political atmosphere that surrounds the Volt.
UH, DOESN’T HE OWE HIS JOB TO THE “POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE?” I THINK SO.
“Sometimes I feel bad for President Obama,” he said this month after an appearance at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
AWW. AND SOMETIMES SMITHERS FEELS BAD FOR MR. BURNS. SOMETIMES.
The automaker accused Republicans and the media of hyping claims that the car caught fire during testing, which forced temporary layoffs at the Volt plant in Detroit.
IF THE VOLT WERE WAAAAAY CHEAPER, IT WOULD SELL SOMEWHAT BETTER. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NEWS OF FIRES. GM, FOR POLITICAL REASONS, WAS WAAAAAAAY OFF ON PREDICTIONS OF SALES FOR THIS MODEL.
Tesla, which received a $465 million Department of Energy loan, has dropped pursuit of new federal loans, raised private cash and plans in July to start deliveries of its $50,000 S car, claiming it is on its way to the mass car market.
“We applied during the Bush administration, and we were approved under the Obama administration, so as far as we’re concerned, we at least had a bipartisan relationship for the loan,” said Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes. “We got one of first loans and we used it to build the car that is now going into production in a U.S.-based facility. … I’d like to think we’re pretty much a case study on what the loan program was designed to do.”
THE FEDS SHOULD NOT HAVE PUT ANY MONEY INTO TESLA. SORRY.
Showing photos of a charred Volt, a panel of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista (San Diego County), held a hearing in January called “Volt Vehicle Fire: What Did NHTSA Know and When Did They Know It.”
NOW WE’RE INTO THE POLITICS. BUT I THINK ELEMENTS OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PLAY THE EXACT SAME GAME, RIGHT?
“Without a doubt, the antics have hurt sales, which has probably contributed to the need to shut down the plant for a few weeks and temporarily lay off 1,300 employees,” said GM spokesman Shad Balch. “It’s just blatantly wrong information. You get some of these folks on national news shows making outrageous statements about batteries catching on fire and cars randomly exploding.”
THE “BLATANTLY WRONG INFORMATION” ABOUT THE VOLT MOSTLY COMES FROM GM. MOSTLY. THE VOLT IS AN UNPOPULAR CAR. DEAL WITH IT, GM. WHAT IF THERE WERE A HEARING SOMEWWHERE IN DC ABOUT EXPLODING APPLE IPADS? DO YOU ALL THINK THAT WOULD MAKE THE IPAD AN UNPOPULAR PRODUCT ALL OF A SUDDEN? THE EXPENSIVE VOLT IS THE EXPENSIVE VOLT. DEAL WITH IT.
An independent analyst at TrueCar.com, a new-vehicle pricing and research firm, said what is slowing Volt sales is GM’s failure to tout its economics as gasoline prices soar past $4 a gallon.
TRUECAR.COM IS A BIG POS OF A WEBSITE. WHY IS IT BEING CITED IN THIS FASHION?
The Energy Department’s loan programs have been plagued by politicization, bankruptcies and bureaucratic bungling.
OH, HEY. HEY, THAT SHOULD BE THE HEADLINE. NOW YOU’RE ON THE TROLLEY!
Electric car maker Fiskar Automotive of Anaheim, which produces the luxury Karma in Finland and is aiming to produce a mass market “Project Nina” car in the United States, was approved for a $529 million loan guarantee. But it has drawn down just $193 million and was blocked in May by the Energy Department from further disbursements for failure to meet project milestones. It has stopped work at its Delaware plant.
WHAT A FIASCO. WHY DO WE GIVE MONEY TO CARMAKERS?
Toprak of Truecar.com said the 18,000 electric cars sold in the United States last year, mostly the Volt and the Nissan Leaf, make up just one-tenth of 1 percent of new car sales.
TO REPEAT, THE VOLT IS NOT AN “ELECTRIC CAR.” REPETICION: EL CHEVY VOLT NO ES UN COCHE ELECTRICO. IT WAS GOING TO BE, BUT THEN THINGS CHANGED.
What the Chevy Volt looked like back when it really was an electric car. As seen on Market Street in San Francisco back in 2008:
Later on they added in a gas engine and they made it look lame and then they jacked up the price waaaaaay high.
That’s GM for you…
Remember when them German cars were screwed together better?
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But your MB or BMW? Not so much.
Do these brands stand for luxury? Sure. But do they stand for quality these days? No.
(At least these German brands rank slightly above above rock-bottom Government Motors and Chrysler (nee Daimler Chrysler))
Check the website of that Famous Newspaper for the News of the Day.
12. General Motors
Well, you’re probably too young to remember, but back in the 1980′s we had this thing where people would buy Audi 5000′s and then they’d press the go pedal when they meant to press the no-go pedal. Drivers were crashing into swimming pools, killing pedestrians – it was carnage. The funny thing was, though, that if you kept your foot on the brake your Audi 5000 wouldn’t go anywhere.
The Canadians (Transport Canada, eh?) looked into it and called these unintended acceleration crashes the result of ”driver error” but the NHSTA came up with the polotocally correct phrase “pedal misapplication.” No matter, it means the same thing. To sum it all up, here are some peoples’ takes on this issue and here’s a different perpective from the Center for Auto Safety*
The point being is that the whole theory that plaintiff’s lawyers initially came up with to explain what was going on was complete garbage. If you want to talk about how best to size and locate the gas and brake pedals for the relatively unskilled, a-driver’s-license-is-my-birthright American driver, well then have at it, but it’s sort of funny how these accidents didn’t happen as much in Honda Civics, which had an almost identical pedal layout. And the upshot is that sales did recover in the U.S., and Audi is back to being the sexy chariot of the yuppie it was back in the ’80s.
Toyota’s tip on how to operate your floor mats:
And here’s Toyota’s advice on how to not kill yourself when your sticky throttle sticks wide open, from a time when the floor mats were considered the primary cause of trouble (but it’s still good advice):
First, if it is possible and safe to do so, pull back the floor mat and dislodge it from the accelerator pedal; then pull over and stop the vehicle.
If the floor mat cannot be dislodged, then firmly and steadily step on the brake pedal with both feet. Do NOT pump the brake pedal repeatedly as this will increase the effort required to slow the vehicle.
O.K. fine. It still baffles me how a CHP officer who inspected vehicles as a major part of his job couldn’t figure this out when his Lexus loaner sedan’s throttle got stuck full-open. He didn’t know how to navigate the needlessly-complicated shifter into N? The brakes failed? He didn’t know he had to press the ignition off button for three seconds? I mean, I would have thought he could have done those four things done in about ten seconds, but the period of time where the car was out of control was much longer than that.
(Some people say to not try to turn off the engine, but I say go for it. As far as how difficult it is to turn off cars with keyless ignition switches, well, how did you intend to turn off the car at the end of your trip? That’s what you should do when you’re barreling along the highway out of control.)
Could Toyota intall a “brake-to-idle feature” so that when you’re under full throttle and you hit the brakes the car realizes that and closes the throttle no matter what? Yes, it looks like that would end this issue for the most part.
In the meantime, Government Motors is mocking Toyota over these recent deaths, offering $1000 to Toyota owners who trade-in for a General Motors car. The problem with that, GM, is that Toyota can’t hear your mockery because they’re way up in nosebleed territory on the mountain of cash they’ve managed to accumulate over the years. Nice try tho, GM.
Somebody could write a book about this, maybe they’ve already started.
*This doesn’t make sense: “…cars with full acceleration take an average of 65 feet to stop.” If you’re saying that cars at freeway speeds with throttles stuck wide open take an average of 65 feet more to stop than similar cars at idle, then you might have something there, CAS.
Now I’m sure that other people are out there on the Streets of San Francisco (™, a Quinn Martin Production) commuting to work on a Segway scooter, but this guy, this guy*, he’s the man. Why? Staying power, baby. He’s been doing it for while. With style.
Note the black suit, black gloves, stick-it-to-the-Man lawyer’s ponytail(?), saddlebag, auxilliary lighting – it’s got to be the same dude I used to see years ago on Market Street. Apparently, he has a safe and convenient way of storing his rig at home and at work, and he’s worked out a good-enough system for safekeeping while performing errands. Good for him.
Click to expand. On Market crossing problematic Octavia Boulevard, San Francisco’s Greatest Public Policy Disaster of the 21st Century**
You see, he’s not riding on the sidewalk, not tromping on the grass, not riding on the train tracks, not clowning around in Golden Gate Park like Lily, not skylarking himself into a painful (at the very least – that poor, poor woman) faceplant, not killing himself at 5 MPH, not playing soulja boy, and not wearing a tuxedo while escorting a high-heeled woman(!) to the exclusive Black and White Ball.
In short, the man has his dignity.
Quite unlike Gob, for another example:
Truth be told, the San Francisco man you see in the first photo is using the cleverly-designed Segway exactly as it was meant to be used. (There was some issue before about allowing Segways on sidewalks, but all the effort by a bunch of lobbyists failed. So, the street is where these things belong, apparently.)
*Note the use of a Canon 135mm 2.0 lens avec full-frame digital camera. The key is to use this combo wide-open, so you use either Aperture Priority or Manual Mode to set the lens to f/stop 2.0. (That’s the full Clockwork Orange setting, no squinting allowed.) You end up with a diffuse, fuzzy background (depending on geometry of where you’re standing, etc.) and clear view of whatever you focused upon, assuming the not-so-hot auto focus feature of your Canon 5D (Mark II or Mark I) got the job done. This special kind of look is why some people get digital SLR cameras.)
**So far. The NIMBYs of Hayes Valley have nine decades left to top themselves.