• For Ford's Top Designer, Car Design Is Car Experience
    I know someone who got a degree in design from Stanford around human-machine interface. Talk about writing your own check. Especially if you're going into the automotive business. Where car-interior design used to be solely about considerations like where the door handle should be and what textures are more conducive to inner peace, and how the dials should look, it is now about data, communication, and entertainment - the virtual worlds beckoning from the screens and dials of the connected car. It's what the car can give you, and how much of it you actually want. It's about how much ...
  • Volvo Is Global, But How Swedish Is It?
    Volvo is moving on several fronts here in the U.S. as it becomes a truly global carmaker. The company, which has manufacturing in Europe, and China, is soon to be the newest import car maker to open manufacturing operations in the American south, joining brands like Nissan, BMW, VW, Kia, Toyota, Honda, and Mercedes-Benz.
  • It's The Year Of The Crossover
    One clear message from April U.S. automotive sales numbers: cars that aren't cars are moving off lots a lot faster than cars that are. Yes, with SUV's on the move, it feels like the late '90s all over again. Well, almost. Back then, SUVs were actually trucks with a different hat: they were a two-box setup on a pickup-truck ladder frame. Today, SUV pretty much means a crossover, a unibody vehicle that is basically a car. Which means today's SUV is more fuel efficient. Make that way, way more fuel-efficient, thanks to new materials, new engine configurations, and new powertrain ...
  • Chevrolet Battles Jay Gatsby In Chelsea
    I was intrigued by Chevrolet's "Hidden Gems" campaign; so much so that I decided to go see what it was about. So, on Saturday night I hit the Dream Hotel Downtown in New York, where Chevrolet was ensconced in a conference room with a social media team, the whole thing overseen by Matt Scarlett, Chevrolet advertising manager.
  • New Film, 'A Faster Horse,' Takes You Where Few Get To Go
    Before Henry Ford built the Model T, he asked people - I'm guessing it would have been over a jug of cider in the barn, rather than a polished table in a conference room - what they wanted most when it came to transportation. The answer: "A faster horse." Well, as we all know, he decided to stay out of animal husbandry, and give people something else entirely.
  • Cadillac, Chrysler, And Objectivism
    Objectivism is now basically the rhetorical hockey puck of Red State political discourse. Atlas has been shrugging so much lately he called me on my cell for my orthopedist's phone number. Republicans should just call the next Presidential campaign the "Rand and Rand Show." Hell, Ayn might as well just dig herself out of the ground and run for president.
  • Toyota's T2 Says Bye-Bye To General Market
    From the Model T to Y2K, auto ads have pretty much been monochromatic. While back in the '70s the closest thing to an Hispanic auto ad was Ricardo Montalban talking about Corinthian leather, the general market has pretty much meant Caucasian. That changed after 2000, with more urban and youth-focused auto ads.
  • New York Auto Show Will Be As Much About The Connection As Cars
    Automotive technology will be as big a star at the New York International Auto Show, which starts this week, as the cars themselves. Tesla has upped the bar again by announcing it will have something like an autonomous car this year, That would seem to put pressure on the brick-by-brick, autonomy-by-evolution approach the industry subscribes to at large.
  • Don't Call Us, We'll Call You, Once You're Owned By Someone We Already Call
    It's bad enough when I hear my daughter and her friends wondering if they can be the next Taylor Swift. When I hear a variation of that from grownups, I want to slap someone. It brings me back to the late '90s. I'm not talking about grownups thinking they want to be Taylor Swift. It's grownups thinking they can be Howard Roark.
  • Is General Motors' Warranty Roll-back Risky Business?
    General Motors sent out a memo to dealers last week, saying it planned to cut the powertrain warranty coverage. The letter, which has been reported upon in numerous places, says the roll-back reduces visits under its free maintenance program for Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles, starting with 2016 model-year vehicles. Also downgraded is the five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. It is being cut to five or 60,000 miles. GM will reduce the number of service visits under its two-year, 24,000-mile Chevrolet Complete Care, GMC Pro Grade Protection and Experience Buick Protection maintenance programs from four years to two.
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