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The Big Subaru Sell Out

June 24th, 2015

2013 Subaru Legacy off-road

While Volkswagen remains obsessed with selling enough cars to become the largest automaker in the world, Subaru remains content with being one of the smallest.

This is the tale of two opposite strategies, and it seems to be paying off for the smaller underdog while the larger champ slowly falls to its knees.

Volkswagen has entered desperation mode and is giving away cars in order to boost its sales numbers. That’s almost a literal statement, as $39/month lease deals on the Jetta have popped up around the country.

Subaru, meanwhile, routinely sells out of its production runs and has no need to slash prices or offer major incentives.

Subaru supplies what the market demands, while Volkswagen tries to create a market and inflate demand. Guess which business model is more profitable?

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Don’t Roll Your Car This Summer

June 23rd, 2015

rollover1

The white Tahoe sat in the median between the north and south lanes of the freeway. Personal belongings were scattered for dozens of feet in all directions. The rear window was broken out, and about 10 people milled around inspecting the damage.

This could have been any of the accidents that are unfortunately all too familiar on American Interstates, except this particular vehicle had come to rest on its roof.

Yesterday was clear and warm with nothing but blue skies, dry pavement, and light traffic. I don’t know how the Tahoe rolled over or what circumstances led to the accident, but it appeared that it happened just moments before I passed. No other vehicles were involved.

How can a single-vehicle rollover happen on such a perfect day for driving?

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Car Minded, Car Safety, General Chat , , , ,

Have You Ever Heard of These Toyotas?

June 22nd, 2015

Toyota_Vitz_TRD_Turbo_M_1

Do you recognize the logo in this picture?

Look close. You’ll see a familiar shape in the car but the logo itself is probably completely unknown.

For car people like you and me, seeing a logo on the road that isn’t instantly recognizable is a little jarring. Questions swirl in our heads. We wonder if a new brand has quietly been launched or if we’re spotting something rare and exotic.

This happened recently on the streets near my home but after some research I discovered the logo in question didn’t belong to anything exotic, but was a disguise for something far more common.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Comparing Cars from Back in Our Fathers’ Day

June 19th, 2015

1961 Jaguar E-Type

No matter what the application, technology always advances. In the 1980s, Casio was famous for its Databank watch. It included enough storage memory for some addresses and phone numbers, and it had a handy calculator, just in case you decided to tip 18.7%. In April, 2015, Apple released its own smart watch. It’s roughly the same shape as Casio’s Databank, but the technology now allows for 8 gigabytes of storage, a touchscreen, haptic feedback, and a range of apps that cover everything from the weather to the Red Sox score to what Jeremy Clarkson’s been tweeting this week. Cars are no different.

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How Many Decades Does It Take for an Ugly Car to Look Cool?

June 19th, 2015

Ford Edsel 2-Door

When you’re asked to think of the biggest car flop of all time and the ugliest car ever made, there’s one car that is most likely to come to mind.

The 1958 Ford Edsel (officially known as the Edsel Ranger).

The car has ended up on countless lists of the world’s ugliest cars and has become synonymous with failure. The Washington Post called it The Flop Heard Round the World.

The Edsel did fail upon its introduction, but that’s not necessarily because it was a bad car. It failed because of bad marketing.

Ford over-promised on the Edsel and over-hyped the car to the point of unrealistic expectations. When it was finally revealed, the public was left with the bitter taste of disappointment and turned their backs on the car that Ford had spent the equivalent of $2 billion to develop.

More than 50 years later, though, the Edsel might finally be cool.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Domestic Cars, General Chat , , , ,

How to Pick the Right Car Dealership

June 18th, 2015

Shopper and salespersonGoing new car or used car shopping this weekend? There are a lot of choices out there, and it can be tough to decide. But I’m not talking about buying your next car. I’m talking about picking your new or used car dealership. That’s the second most important decision you will make on what is typically the second most expensive thing you own.

Here are 5 things to consider when choosing a dealership. Most apply to both new and used car dealerships.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat ,

When Do You Decide to Sell Your Car?

June 18th, 2015

1993 Volvo 240

Today let’s discuss one of the endless debates in car ownership. It’s the bane of existence for owners everywhere and the justification many people give for buying a new car.

Here’s the issue:

An older car requires sudden and expensive repairs to continue running. Do you take your chances and fix it or get rid of it and purchase something newer?

A friend is struggling with this issue right now and might be on the verge of making the wrong choice.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , ,

You Could Be Closer Than You Think to Driving an Electric Car

June 17th, 2015

Tesla Model X Falcon doors

Let’s take a few minutes to talk about Tesla, because things at the electric automaker are about to get seriously supercharged.

Bad puns aside, electric cars are becoming more accepted in the U.S. and around the world, and Tesla is a big reason why.

With immediate plans to get into the crossover and small sedan markets, the Tesla logo could soon be found in driveways across America. With at least one model priced near a loaded Honda Accord, perhaps one of those driveways could be yours.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , , ,

Are Collision Avoidance Systems Really Necessary?

June 16th, 2015

collision avoidance system

“Hey, watch this, kids,” I said as I lifted my feet off the pedals off my 2013 Subaru Legacy. “This car’s so cool because it senses cars in front of it and stops itself.”

I should mention that I was on the Interstate going about 60 miles per hour as traffic up ahead slowed to a crawl.

With my car careening toward the brake lights, I trusted the car would perform as it always has and apply the brakes before I even had to worry.

Except I started to worry.

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How Long Will the Mustang and Corvette Be Cool?

June 15th, 2015

gt350orange

The Shelby GT350 came up behind me far too quickly. I could see its menacing grille approaching in my mirror, and I briefly thought it might hit me. The driver swerved at the last moment into the adjacent left turn lane and stopped at the red light.

The orange car with black racing stripes idled just ahead, immediately followed by, what are the odds, another orange GT350 with black racing stripes.

The two identical cars revved their engines in some sort of brotherly bond, but I wondered if that first dude felt instantly unimportant, and I imagined the second dude feeling like a girl at a party wearing the same dress as a stranger.

I wondered if they knew each other or if it was a crazy random happenstance. Either way, it wasn’t good.

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