Posts Tagged ‘sedan’

San Francisco’s Most Famous Car of 2014: A “Mirror-Finish Aston Martin Rapide, Because Eff You, That’s Why”

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

[UPDATE: Word on the street is that the driver lives in The Avenues, where he has a rep for driving too fast out there. Word on the street is that the driver has a "neckbeard."]

I seen this $200k+ Aston Martin Rapide all over town – I seen it I seen it! In the Financh, the SoMA, the Fillmore, pretty much all over the 1/8th of a pie slice that is northeastern SF.

(This ride has now officially stolen the thunder of that Kandy-Kolored Gold-Flake Streamline Baby Lambo used as a daily driver(!) by a CCSF junior college student.)

So, why the mirror finish, dahling? Well, per Arlen of Flickr, “because fuck you, that’s why.”

And, has this garish Aston been registered in California yet? Well, maybe, but if it has a CA license plate, it’s certainly not mounted on the back where it should be, and that’s odd, because it’s been in town for a while, oh well.

Who can solve this mystery?

As seen being driven, poorly, in the Upper Fillmore area…

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Seen on the Street: Owner of Expensive Lexus LS 460 Luxury Sedan Votes “SNOWDEN FOR PRESIDENT”

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Another UCLA Law alum for Snowie:

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Peas in a Pod: The Tesla Model S and the Fisker Karma are Very Hard to Tell Apart

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Ah look, from Marin it’s a red Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid in red and in the background it’s a silver Tesla Model S electric car.

Don’t they look super similar?

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Ah memories:

“On 14 April 2008, Tesla Motors filed a lawsuit against Fisker Automotive, alleging that Henrik Fisker stole Tesla’s Model S hybrid technology and was using it to develop the Karma. Tesla’s suit claimed that the design work done for the Model S sedan by Fisker Coachbuild was substandard, and that Fisker Automotive diverted its best ideas to the Karma.[77] On 4 November 2008 CNET News reported that Tesla Motors would discontinue its suit after an interim ruling in favor of Fisker et al.[78] A news release on the Fisker Automotive website stated that Tesla was ordered to pay US$1,144,285 in costs.[79]

The Old-School Cadillacs of the Western Addition – These are the Whips Upon Which We’ll All Ghost-Ride, Eventually

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Cadillac Ranch, Bryant Mortuary, 635 Fulton:

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Ooh Nice One, Goldman Sachs! CODA Automotive in Bankruptcy Today – The Bay Area’s OTHER Electric Car “Factory”

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Read the news and turn the pages.

I remember seeing CODA Automotive’s first SFMTA bus stop ad back in 2010. I thought, “Man, what a turkey.” That’s the year I started the DeathWatch.

This whole CODA concept appeared to be another big fat loser from Goldman Sachs and that’s exactly what it turned out to be.

Oh well.

Ah memories, memories from 2010:

Whatever You Do, DON’T Put $499 Down on the $45K, Mostly Chinese, All-Electric Coda Sedan

I’ll tell you, the Mitsubishi Carisma didn’t exactly slay the European market when it went on sale a decade and a half ago. Simply, it wasn’t popular. Then a regional car maker in China tried to take the design from Mitsu and make a version to sell to the Chinese in 2005. It wasn’t popular there neither, even at a price of just $10,000. It, as they say, “lacked quality to make a mark” in the Chinese market. O.K. then.

Well, they went and took out the gas engine and fitted it with a big heavy battery and a lightweight motor and that’s how we’re getting the 2011 Coda Automotive Sedan at a price of, wait for it, Holy Toledo, $44,900. That’s the news of the day, 45K, officially.

Should California and the feds give you tax credits to buy this thing if all Coda Automotive is going to do is raise the price sky high?

What a POS this thing is. Just look at it. In some ways better, and in some ways worse than your sister’s ’94 Honda Civic:

Now, they’re going to have a showroom in the bay area soon and they’re going to let you take a test drive starting next month. Fine, test drive the thing, I don’t care. But don’t give them a deposit, don’t encourage them.

All right, what about the all-electric Nissan LEAF, the Coda Sedan’s arch-rival? The LEAF is better and cheaper.

Here’s what an overly-excited CODA fan was saying about the LEAF last year:

“It’s an alien-looking buggy with small wheels and no nose that won’t look like a real car to American buyers”

Uh, no, that’s incorrect. Sorry.

via NissanLEAF

Hey, here’s a question:

Why is the LEAF so much cheaper than the CODA?

Yes the CODA has a big trunk that the LEAF lacks but so what. (The CODA  has small rear seat area because of that big trunk, so oh well.)

Uh oh:

“More ominously for the company, the sedan is more expensive than the Nissan Leaf, which will retail for $32,800 before incentives. Put another way, the Leaf is almost as cheap before incentives as the Coda is after incentives. And Nissan has a well-known brand name and  years of automotive experience.”

Here’s another question:

Why does the CODA cost so much more than the Chinese design it’s based upon?

Here’s another question:

How on Earth can people call the CODA an American car if the bulk of it, the glider (basically the entire car except for the battery/transmission) is made in one factory in China and the giant battery is made in another factory in China? What’s that, you wait for the boats to arrive in L.A. County Contra Costa? Solano?, Alameda? (one of them counties anyway) and then slap the battery and various whatnots inside the glider and that’s your “final assembly” in America? I cry foul.

Let’s face it, the Coda Sedan is a Chinese car, whether you like that or not.

Maybe a $45k electric sedan seemed like a good idea last year, but this thing is looking like a clunker already. That’s why people are saying that it, “may be a tough sell.”

Now, speaking of tough sells, let’s look at some of the marketing we’re getting from the CODA people. Go ahead, click and read along:

Electric agility

“The CODA might be the most agile car you’ve ever driven.”

Nope!

“Do you know the feeling of stomping the pedal and waiting for the car to build speed? Those days are over. The experience of driving a CODA is completely different.”

Well, I know what a Chevy Chevette Diesel automatic is like. It’s slow, with a o-60 time of 20 seconds plus. I know your CODA is quicker than that, but is the experience of driving the thing “completely different” from other cars? Nope.

“It’s small, energy-dense UQM PowerPhase® electric motor packs a punch, and weighs hundreds of pounds less than internal combustion engines.”

How can a motor be “energy-dense?” Shouldn’t you be talking about the energy density of the battery instead? Speaking of which, how much does the battery weigh? Isn’t that the more salient aspect?

“So whether you’re standing still or moving at a good pace, you’ll get instant torque and acceleration when you need it.”

You’re selling an electric car on this basis? Isn’t the CODA slower than the average car being sold today? Yep.

All right, caveat emptor.

All the deets, after the jump

(more…)

Here’s One Problem, Just One Problem, With Tesla Motors’ Buyback Scheme: High Mercedes S Class Depreciation

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Here’s the news of the day:

“Working with some of the largest and most respected banks in the country, Tesla has been able to create a financing product that combines the surety and comfort of ownership with all the advantages of a traditional lease.

US Bank and Wells Fargo will provide 10% down financing assuming a good credit rating, and the down payment is covered or more than covered by US Federal and state tax credits ranging from $7,500 to $15,000. New Jersey, Washington and DC also have no sales tax for electric vehicles. These advantages are not available when leasing.

After 36 months, you have the right, but not the obligation to sell your Model S to Tesla for the same residual value percentage as the iconic Mercedes S Class, one of the finest premium sedans in the world, made by Daimler (also a Tesla partner and investor).

Not only is Tesla guaranteeing that resale value, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk is personally standing behind that guarantee to give customers absolute peace of mind about the value of the asset they are purchasing.

We also encourage you to think about Model S ownership in terms of true out of pocket cost. When considering the savings from using electricity instead of gasoline, depreciation benefits, and other factors, buyers will save hundreds of dollars per month compared to owning a gasoline powered car.”

The problem with this, or rather, one of the problems with this, is that Mercedes Benz S-Class cars have horrible resale value.

Just horrible!

Check it.

So if Elon Musk really wants to put his money where his mouth is, why doesn’t he use cars more desirable and practical for the residual value percentage guarantee?

How about the Nissan Versa or Honda Fit?

Just askin’.

Coda DeathWatch, Day 898: Coda Automotive is Coding – Crappy, Expensive Electric Cars – Thanks, Goldman Sachs!

Friday, March 29th, 2013

This is the end of the Coda Automotive DeathWatch, which started on October 14th, 2010.

But tell me if I’m wrong, tell me if the final assembly facility in Benicia starts chugging out product all of a sudden ala Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory.

Otherwise, I’m concluding that Coda is dead. It’s not responding to stimuli, anyway.

Get the story here, just keep on clicking back in time to learn about the star-crossed Coda Sedan.

Why did we, the taxpayers, subsidize Coda when it was obvious that it couldn’t succeed?

I don’t know.

Now back in 2007, the electric car we were going to get from China was called the Javlon XS500. It was suppose to come in 2008. It didn’t. Check it:

Adieu, Coda Automotive.

Miles Automotive on the $30,000 Javlon XS500 all-electric sedan

Then, in 2008, we were promised the Miles XS500. That was going to come in 2009. It didn’t. Check it:

Miles XS500 will be a lot more expensive than planned, maybe

Then, in 2009, we were promised the Coda Automotive Sedan. That was going to come in 2010. It didn’t. Check it:

Coda Automotive Unveils New Mainstream All-Electric Sedan

And on and on.

Per Wiki:

Coda’s investors include:

  • Aeris CAPITAL – a private Swiss investment office
  • Harbinger Capital Partners - private hedge fund based in New York City, New York.
  • Riverstone Holdings - a private equity firm based in New York City, New York.
  • Piper Jaffray - a U.S. middle-market investment banking firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Angeleno Group – a Los Angeles based private equity firm
  • EDB Investments (EDBI) – an investment firm headquartered in Singapore
  • Countyline LLC – an investment entity owned by Tony Pritzker and J.B. Pritzker
  • John Bryson, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and adviser at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts[23]
  • Miles L. Rubin – Founder and Chairman Emeritus of CODA Automotive; former CEO of Detroit Iron & Steel Industries, Reliance Manufacturing, Puritan Fashions Corp. and Polo Ralph Lauren Jeanswear
  • Steven “Mac” Heller – Executive Chairman of CODA Automotive; former Goldman Sachs Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Worldwide and Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division[23]
  • Tom Steyer – Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco private equity firm; Founder, Co-Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Farallon Capital; member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University[23]
  • Klaus Tschira, founder of SAP AG[23]
  • Les Wexner – Chairman and CEO of Limited Brands
  • Henry “Hank” Paulson - former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, former Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and special representative of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue[23]
  • Mack McLarty – (Thomas “Mack” McLarty) Former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton, President of McLarty Associates and McLarty Companies, a transportation business based in Little Rock, Arkansas[23]
  • Kevin Czinger – Senior Strategic Advisor, CODA Automotive; Former President and CEO at CODA Automotive, executive at Global Signal, Webvan Group, Bertelsmann AG, and Goldman Sachs

Board of Directors

  • Miles L. Rubin – Founder and Chairman Emeritus, CODA Automotive; former CEO of Detroit Iron & Steel Industries, Reliance Manufacturing, Puritan Fashions Corp. and Polo Ralph Lauren Jeanswear
  • Steven “Mac” Heller – Executive Chairman, CODA Automotive; former Goldman Sachs Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Worldwide and Co-Head of the Investment Banking Division
  • Alan Chesick – Acting Legal Advisor of CODA Automotive, former general counsel of Fortress Investment Group
  • Daniel Weiss – Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Angeleno Group LLC, a leading Los Angeles-based private equity firm focused on high growth investments in the energy sector
  • John Bryson - Former Chairman, CEO and President of Edison International from 1990 through 2008, a director at The Boeing Company, The Walt Disney Company, and the California Institute of Technology
  • Niall Davis – One of ten founding partners of Swiss aeris CAPITAL AG, a large global private equity firm
  • Philip Murtaugh – CEO, CODA Automotive; former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GM China, EVP International Operations of SAIC
  • James P. McGinnis – Managing Director, Harbinger Capital Partners
  • Lord John Browne – Managing Director and Managing Partner of Riverstone Holdings LLC, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Chair of the Tate, Member of the House of Lords

Board of Advisors

  • Mack McLarty – (Thomas “Mack” McLarty) Former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton, President of McLarty Associates and McLarty Companies, a transportation business based in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Dr. Thomas Cardello – Partner of Sunrise Capital, an institutional fund manager, Advisory Director and former MD of Global Electronic Derivative Market making for Morgan Stanley
  • Dr. Michael Wang – Manager of the Systems Assessment Section of the Center for Transportation Research at Argonne Labs, serves as a senior advisor to the Chinese government on new vehicle technology and alternative energy production
  • Henry “Hank” Paulson - former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, former Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and special representative of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue
  • Thomas F. Steyer – Managing Director of Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco private equity firm; Founder, Co-Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Farallon Capital; member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University
  • Woo C. Lee – Head of Asia for the advisory firm JL Thornton & Company, formerly a U.S. diplomat at American embassies in China, Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia
  • Thomas R. McDaniel – Director of SunPower Corp., SemGroup, LP, Cypress Envirosystems, and the Senior Care Action Network and Formerly executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Edison International
  • Kevin Czinger – Senior Strategic Advisor, CODA Automotive; Former President and CEO at CODA Automotive, executive at Global Signal, Webvan Group, Bertelsmann AG, and Goldman Sachs

 

Once Again, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk Proves Himself Wrong Over the Shortcomings of the Expensive Model S

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Let’s check in on troubled Tesla Motors’ troubled CEO, Elon Musk.

Here he is – please try to guess which photo here has Photoshopped footwear. It’s not easy:

You see, ’cause one’s a joke and the other, well, the other’s kind of a joke as well.

Oh well.

First of all, let’s examine the appropriate number of kids to have with a woman a’fore trading her in on a new model.

In Elon’s case, that number is five.

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Five kids.

Then bam, you move on.

If you’re Elon.

And what does your first wife say to all this? She’s all, well at least Elon’s new gal isn’t a blonde.*

Cause you see, that would fit the profile of a stereotypical messianic middle-aged asshole CEO-type to a T.

Which rhymes with T (sort of).

Which stands for Trouble, Tesla, and The Times.

So let’s see, from the mouth of the horse, or jack-ass, your pick:

“NYTimes article about Tesla range in cold is fake. Vehicle logs tell true story that he didn’t actually charge to max & took a long detour.”

Well, as discussed here, that bit in the NYT (instigated by Tesla to show off its branded power stations) had issues.

But was it fake?

NO, NOT AT ALL.

So you were wrong, Elon.

And oh what’s that, you have the logs from the car, but not GPS data or recordings from Tesla Customer Service?

Isn’t that kind of funny?

And Elon, how much range should your six-figure car lose after parking it overnight when it’s cold?

What’s the appropriate amount?

And Elon, isn’t your Model S sort of a ridiculous vehicle being big on the outside (longer AND wider than an eight-passenger Toyota Land Cruiser) and small on the inside?

And Elon, didn’t you promise you’d deliver 5000 vehicles last year?

And are going to meet that goal? I don’t think so.

You see, a normal person would feel bad about breaking a promise.

Do you feel bad sometimes, you know, when all those things you’ve said would happen don’t actually happen, you know, actually and IRL?

I don’t know.

And oh, there’s this:

“Detail showing car driving around in circles in front of the Milford Supercharger trying to get Model S to stop.”

Would you like to correct that one, Elon?

Didn’t think so.

Hey Elon, if you’re so rich and confident, why don’t you use your own money to fund Tesla?

Hey Elon, if you’re so rich and confident, why don’t you guarantee the loan guarantee you worked out with the feds?

You know, so the taxpayers’ half a billion dollars wouldn’t be at risk.

So here’s your lesson, Elon:

Elon Musk and How Not to Handle a PR Crisis.

See how that works?

So this is wrong:

Yesterday, The New York Times reversed its opinion on the review of our Model S…”

Why don’t you correct yourself, Elon?

Oh, here’s somebody who’s not wedded to the idea of Tesla being the greatest corporation evah:

John Markoff ‏@markoff Excuse me Elon, but Margaret Sullivan does not speak for the NYT. Distortion to say the NYT “reversed.”

Oh Elon, will you ever win?

(And please pay back our money soon, m’kay? ‘Cause we’re still out for Solyndra ‘n stuff.)

*At least you didn’t shoot her through the bathroom door four times, srsly.

Who Killed the Electric Car (Again)? Tesla CEO Elon Musk Did – “Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway”

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Vaunted Tesla Motors’ vaunted Model S sedan getting towed at the end of a New York Times test drive:

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Oh Elon Musk, will you ever win?

Oh Elon Musk, your jackassery actually hurts the industry you’re trying to promote.

Oh Tesla CEO and media criticElon Musk, don’t you yourself burn far, far more petroleum than the average American? Like you get a loan from the taxpayers and a good chunk of that money goes to paying your aviation fuel costs, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Isn’t it ironic?

Dont’cha think?

Read the news and turn the pages/

Watch them play a different game/

And [soon enough] no one knows your name

 

 

If Your Mercedes Only Has One Star Up Front, Why Not Just Add Another? This Isn’t Cheesy At All!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Upon further review, this kind of thing is cheesy.

Generally, sedans get the silver hood ornament (which evolved from last century’s external radiator cap) and coupes get the grill ornament, but there’s nothing stopping you from having both, I s’pose:

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