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Fiat is Italian. Italians like Fiat. Fiat likes Italians and as such directs their advertising towards Italian sensibilities. One such sensibility is a light-hearted perspective towards sex. In the U.S. this can come across as a light brushing of soft-porn sometimes, but then again we are the puritanical ones in this equation so it is only natural.

Take the two new commercial spots Fiat put out for their 2017 Fiat 124 Spider. One of them features an Italian couple, over 55, basking in their collective glow during a late afternoon but with a case of erectile dysfunction and a Viagra bottle … that’s empty. It is basically a continuation of the famous Super Bowl 2015 commercial for the Fiat 500X. It is a long ad, more than likely 20-30 seconds too long because we get the gist pretty early on but it works, especially in Italy, as it plays on the light-hearted stereotype of sex-crazed [...]

Tesla has been in the news for all the “right” things up to now, and rightly so. They are revolutionizing the automotive industry with a novel business model and an attractive offer (smartly designed roadsters) as well. They are definitely ruffling feathers which is always a good thing, but how they will respond to these latest allegations have us particularly interested.

Last week The Mercury News published a story surrounding Tesla’s use of foreign workers at a vehicle production plant located in Fremont, California. A specific individual, Gregor Lesnik, a Slovenian national was apparently contracted by a local construction company in Slovenia and subsequently told that he would need to be sent to the U.S. for work because there were no jobs within the company in Slovenia. He was sent with a B1 “Visitor for Business” visa which does not allow one to work with all the corresponding benefits. When Lesnick suffered an injury he [...]

The Best Car Maintenance Advise

The Best Auto Care Advise

Advice, advice, the best advice!

We know, the internet is chalk full of car tips and tricks to keep your most valued asset (maybe not, but sounds good) humming at tip-top shape. While we risk sounding redundant here with our tips, we’ve been in the business for a while and feel strongly that if you are going to follow anyone’s advice stick with ours!

Clean Brake Dust

This is big folks. Brake dust contains an assortment of gunk and grime and leaving it too long will cause some ugly long-term problems. A simple damp sponge and cold water will do the trick.

Tire Pressure

One that most frequently forget. Once a week is ideal, although we understand this can be a lot to ask. Bad tire pressure however will affect your car’s fuel economy, comfort and handling. Over time this adds up to lots of dollars.

Engine Belts

There are a series of rubber [...]

For those who don’t follow the automobile industry that closely the name Magna Steyr might appear to be a mad scientist working on revolutionizing the next Audi coupe, a rouge CEO out to overtake BMW, or a stunt double for Matt Damon in the eighth and final chapter (probably not) of the Bourne series. Sadly enough, all scenarios are dead wrong. Rather, Magna Steyr is the largest contract manufacturer for automobiles in the world. They engineer, develop and assemble cars for other companies on a contract basis with its principal production base in Graz, Austria.

Pretty cool, right? So even cooler, they have just signed on to build a new roadster jointly developed by BMW and Toyota. The successor to the Z4, the car is slated to roll out 60,000 units in conjunction with the Toyota Supra’s replacement. BMW already stated that it will end production of its Mini Paceman and Countryman in Austria and [...]

In a previous post we discussed Mitsubishi’s recent issues surrounding the overstating of fuel-efficiency for some of its fleet for a mind-boggling two decades. When one really digs into the issue, the cover-up, amount of players involved, and the sheer will to continue with this over not three years, seven years, fourteen years, but twenty plus years is a scandal that on paper would absolutely crush a company.

Mitsubishi appears to be weathering the storm quite well thus far. Last week some more news sprung forth which needless to say was a bit more positive. Nissan has announced a strategic partnership with its Japanese competitor in which they will take a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi totaling JPY237 billion. Over the past five years the two companies have aligned and will now extend this alliance into areas such as purchasing, technology-sharing, occupying common vehicle platforms, joint plant utilization among others.

With this purchase Nissan will [...]

BMW and Porsche occupy similar “target markets” if you will. Both high-end, niche, with demanding clientele that expect a product and performance that has been molded and conserved over multiple decades. They have never necessarily competed as their core models are quite different – Porsche is more roadster and BMW more sedan, for the most part. BMW has been shifting that paradigm over the years however and news is the new 6 Series will be competing with the Porsche 911.

To compete with the 911 BMW would need to depart heavily from their “bread and butter” design. The 6 Series currently includes a coupe, convertible, and the four-door Gran Coupe. Word is the convertible and Gran Coupe will be scrapped and the coupe model will be the sole leftover, the sole survivor. The new and improved 6 Series would be built on what is called the CLAR platform. This is new to BMW and what [...]

Nissan GT-R facelift

...but does it need it?

The Nissan GT-R was first unveiled in 2007. A self-proclaimed “supercar” it was the successor to the Skyline GT-R although no longer belonged to the actual Skyline range. A 2+2 model, Los Angeles was the launching ground and some comparisons immediately surged (from a visual perspective) to the Mustang. In 2010 the model received a significant facelift with the new version combining a revised exhaust system, lighter and stiffer wheels, and revised Dunlop tires.

Well once again, designers have returned to the drawing board. Earlier this month news out of Tokyo is we will be seeing a 2017 GT-R hitting U.S. showrooms very soon. Stylists are still tinkering, but the goal according to official Nissan sources is the principal goal will be boosting the twin-turbo’s fuel efficiency.

The “redesign” is admittedly tough for the GT-R and earlier in March Nissan showed off the 2017 model at the New York auto show. Restyled body panels and [...]

Uber, Lyft and other similar platforms have been waging world-wide wars with city, county, municipality and any other governmental regulatory agency one could conjure up. What’s the issue? People’s livelihood in a nutshell. Taxi companies fear these new modes will gobble up demand and that thus far is a legitimate concern. Folks report cleaner cars, respectful drivers, fun additional perks like water, candy, and even tea or coffee in some instances. Prices can be higher in some cities and countries, but lower in others. At a macro scale it seems to be a similar price for a superior product. Taxis are worried.

Late last month in Austin, Texas, Uber and Lyft released statements indicating that new proposed rules which would include fingerprinting of drivers, will make it difficult for them to continue following their proposed business models. Both ride-sharing services are urging followers and clients in the Austin area to contact the city council and [...]

“________ found cheating economy tests over the past 25 years.” Deliver that statement to any auto executive worldwide, ask them to insert their employer in the “blank,” and prepare yourself to witness a break-down like that from an apocalyptic Will Smith movie. Well, a more tempered version played out last month when Mitsubishi was found to have been cheating on fuel economy tests since 1991. Worst yet, the company had initially admitted to the scandal but claimed it only affected an insignificant number of K-cars.

What started as something potentially insignificant has certainly blown up. Half of the company’s market valuation has been wiped out and some are speculating this could absolutely demolish the company in terms of operational sustainability. This might sound far-fetched but embarrassment is certainly running high. A task force has been appointed while the chief executive and operating officer have denied reports claiming they will be stepping down. The fact this [...]

This blog has touched frequently on innovation, tech industry trends, and most recently, autonomous cars. It’s the future, we’re moving in that direction. The hurdles are considerable, but at this stage it is more regulatory/safety related rather than technological. Following this train of thought, what about car insurers? What is in store for them being that a “computer” over a human will be driving the vehicle they are insuring?

A preeminent mind has weighed in and we’re all ears … elephant ears! When Warren Buffet speaks, this blog listens. The esteemed investor made his way to CNBC’s Squawk Box earlier this month and boldly pronounced that autonomous vehicles will topple car insurers. Intuitively this sticks – safer cars would equate to less accidents which equates to less need for insurance. Yet Buffet and Bill Gates now believe we have at least another 15 years before any of the significant changes in autonomous driving will be [...]

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