Posts Tagged ‘general motors’

A Video Visit to NoPA! – The Gannett Bold Italic Plus General Motors Equals WTF – Selling $4 Toast to Tourists

Monday, March 31st, 2014

So let’s see here, for whom is this video?

Is it for tourists and people who lived in town for less than three weeks? Well, it has something to do with the Gannett Co. Inc The Bold Italic so the answer’s gotta be YES.

We’re selling Chevys here so that’s why the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid is featured so heavily of course, but who drives the one block from Alamo Square to the touristy part of Divisadero? Is this real life?

Oh, and here are two relevant  terms I happened to have learned in this particular decade, so they’re kind of new terms for things that have been around for a while:

1. Vocal Fry Register

2. Upper Thigh Gap (“Hey, stand in front of this white thing for contrast, or better yet, let’s put this white card right here, you know, temporarily, for contrast.” Is that how this worked?)

Hey Gannett, when are you going to make money in San Francisco, you know, to generate taxes to pay back the losses you’ve claimed on your ridiculous venture?

Just asking, corporate overlords.

Instead of doing this crap, why not do something real? This video shows why you’re a joke, The Bold Italic

OMG, the Cadillac Version of the Chevy Volt, the 2014 XLR is Pricey! $76k for a Plug-In Hybrid?

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Here it is, the amazingly-expensive 2014 Cadillac XLR, for just(!) $75999:

(Note absurdly-large 20-inch wheels, you know, for “luxury.”)

Sometimes I just don’t know…

Brad Pitt Made a Cadillac TV Commercial in SF and LA for the Chinese Market? – So Very Wrong

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

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.

Apparently.

Why is the Red Cross Driving Around San Francisco in Giant Hummer SUVs?

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

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…

Apparently, Nobody Wants to Buy the All-Electric CODA Automotive Sedan for $40K – Layoffs at Benicia “Assembly” Plant?

Friday, July 20th, 2012

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.

Click to expand

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.

The “Bay Area-Made” Coda Automotive Electric Car Finally Gets Its Big Review in the New York Times – Uh Oh!

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

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.

To this:

“…difficult to accept the shortcomings of the Coda at its current price, despite its ability to grant 100 miles on a single charge.”

Yep.

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.

Oh well.

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….

Look at that S-Car Go! Comments Re: Today’s Bit on “Electric Cars” in the Chronicle – EL CHEVY VOLT NO ES UN COCHE ELECTRICO

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Here we go:

“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.

LOOK AT THAT S CAR GO! OR YOU COULD CALL IT THE TYPE S, AS TESLA DOES. AND HOW ABOUT $57,400 FOR THE BASE PRICE OF THE STRIPPER MODEL S, YOU KNOW, INSTEAD OF “$50,000?”

“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.

OH WELL>

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.

Oh well.

That’s GM for you…

How’s That General Motors Bailout Going? The Value of GM is Down By About Half During 2011, So Far, YTD

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Why on Earth do we subsidize car production?

What’s so special about it?

Click to expand

Maybe GM deserves to die?

Sorry, Mercedes-Benz and BMW Owners: Your Cars are, Once Again, at the Bottom of the Quality Rankings

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Remember when them German cars were screwed together better?

This car on Haight Street does:

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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.

Oh well.

(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.

Web site

1. Honda
2. Subaru
3. Toyota
4. Volvo
5. Ford
6. Hyundai
7. Mazda
8. Nissan
9. Volkswagen
10. Mercedes-Benz
11. BMW
12. General Motors
13. Chrysler

What To Do When Your Toyota’s Gas Pedal Sticks and You’re Going 120 MPH?

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

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.

Anywho, it’s 2010 and we now have a another entry in the annals of unintended acceleration: the 2010 Toyota Vehicle Recalls. Floormats and the gas pedal setup both appear to be part of the problems.

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.

Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine.
 
If unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF, or to ACC. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but the power assist to these systems will be lost.
 
-If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the engine. Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button.
-If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. Do NOT remove the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.

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.

Stay safe

*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.