Ram Readying for a Come-from-Behind Sales Victory

2017 Ram 1500 Rebel

I grew up with a staunch adversity to Chrysler products. It stemmed from my dad, who had a bad experience with a Chrysler Le Baron. And by “bad experience,” I mean an engine blowout before the 60,000-mile mark.

Since that day, mentioning Chrysler in conversation was akin to discussing poor bathing habits or certain political parties. It was simply not to be done in polite company.

I took that perspective into adulthood, but now that I’m older and considering a truck purchase, I’m re-thinking my attitude toward the company formerly known as Chrysler.

So, it seems, are thousands of other truck buyers in the United States. Continue reading >>>

GM Heads Back to Basics—Sells Opel, Vauxhall to the French

Peugeot CEO Carlos Tavares shakes hands with GM CEO, Mary Barra

Peugeot CEO, Carlos Tavares, shakes hands with GM CEO, Mary Barra

When quality standards appeared to slip for Subaru, we asked if perhaps the small but rapidly growing Japanese brand was threatening to “fly too close to the sun.” Since 2008, General Motors has continuously adjusted course to bring its business back to basics and avoid the allure of owning far-reaching—but ultimately unprofitable—brands. The latest departure from GM’s portfolio: Opel and Vauxhall (its entire European operations) have been sold to French conglomerate Groupe PSA, formerly PSA Peugeot Citroën. Continue reading >>>

Trump’s Tariff: The Ford Focus Isn’t the Only Car Made in Mexico

2016 Ford Focus

President Trump has been in office for over a week now, and his efforts to motivate automakers to manufacture vehicles in the U.S. have so far been met with controversy and mixed results. There’s been a substantial amount of press over Ford’s decision to cancel a $1.6 billion assembly plant in Mexico, while still moving small-car production (notably, the Ford Focus) to Ford’s existing Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly plant. The Ford Focus has been in the spotlight, but it’s worth noting that there are many more models that could be affected by Trump’s theoretical 35% tariff. In fact, the automotive industry in Mexico has had a long and stable history. Continue reading >>>

4 Must-Have Features for a Terrific Tailgate


We might still be riding out an unusually warm summer, but here in New England, the phrase “winter is coming” brings with it a very specific set of feelings. No, I’m not talking about dread and despair, I’m talking about something much more positive. You see, although New England winter may earn headlines by delivering winter storms, polar vortexes, and record-setting snowfall, it never arrives before autumn foliage, apple-picking, and most importantly, football season.

Continue reading >>>

What the New CAFE Standards Mean for Auto Buyers

White House Infographic, fuel economy standards

There has been a lot of news this week regarding the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration issuing new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The reports seem to suggest the government has gone lax on the issue of fuel economy because most Americans don’t seem to care about it.

One analyst, however, suggests the opposite may be true. Stephanie Brinley, a senior analyst at IHS Automotive, read the entire 1217-page midterm report that discussed the standards (something probably 99 percent of journalists didn’t do, including me).

She wrote in Forbes, “The (CAFE) standard and NHTSA projected figures for the 2025 model year targets, however, have now been revealed as a projection rather than a legal requirement. The report is supportive of the progress and direction of the existing standards. The agencies believe automakers can meet the challenge, and that consumers want it.”

Continue reading >>>

10 Cars We’d Happily Let Do the Driving

Google Self-Driving Prototype

Self-driving cars are coming. Thanks to visions of Skynet and Terminators, this is a frightening proposition to many people. Rather than being seen as an unparalleled convenience, autonomous cars have often been viewed as a soul-sucking leech on the driving experience. But that’s a shame, because if you begin to see cars as appliances, the appeal of an autonomous automobile is enormous.

Continue reading >>>

Cars Coming Soon: 2012 Ram Laramie Limited Proves There are More than Two American Truck Companies

2012 Ram Laramie Limited, Chicago Auto Show

The two truck companies in America are:

Ford and Chevrolet.

While the good folks in Auburn Hills may note a certain brand missing from that short list, General Motors marketing chief Joel Ewanick believes his company and the Blue Oval are the only two truck builders worth mentioning.

In a chat with Jalopnik, Ewanick said that “the two big players are Ford and Chevy” and then added that it’s like a presidential debate, saying, “We want to have it with the other strong candidate—and we want to engage them and want them to engage us.”

Not “other strong candidates,” but the singular version. Candidate.

Going on numbers alone, his argument makes sense. The Ford F-Series sold 584,917 trucks in 2011. The second-place Silverado scored 415,130 sales. The rest, including the RamToyota Tundra and Nissan Titan, didn’t even come close.

Continue reading >>>

Chrysler and Wal-Mart Team Up to Advertise Ram Trucks, But Why?

2011 Ram Laramie Longhorn

Take a look at the picture above.

Let’s put together a likely scenario of the people who own this home and truck. The truck is a 2011 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn. Conservatively, the owner of this truck left the dealership about $45,000 lighter.

The home behind the truck probably sits on 10 acres and is finished with top-quality materials. It could easily be an $800,000 home. Now, when the owners of this home hop in their new truck to head to the store to stock up on ammunition, 30/30 rifles, duck blinds, camping gear and fishing rods, where do you suppose they’ll go? Wal-Mart?

I’m not going to stoop into meaningless stereotypes here, but simple marketing rules say these people are not exactly Wal-Mart’s target market.

Continue reading >>>