Jazzhead

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  1. I love the SHO. It's the first car I've seen since 2005 that I'd even consider trading in my 300C for. A big sedan with big performance is one of those things that, once experienced, is hard to give up. (I have a Ford Focus for grocery getting.) I figure the new car I get in the next couple of years will be the last hurrah - the last time to get the car I really want instead of settling for the eco-compromise the government wants me to. I'll have the rest of my life to drive those things - but the era of classic size, comfort and performance has only another five years or so, tops. Right now, the SHO would get the nod, with the performance variant of the LaCrosse and whatever Chrysler presents to replace the current 300C worthy of consideration. My C still sparkles in showroom-mint condition, so I'll save up for least another year or two. But ultimately I won't miss out - I want one one last example of Detroit's classic best in my stable, to thrill me when I'm not puttering around in my Rascal.
  2. If We Really Want to Save the US Auto Industry

    My own pipe dream to revive our industrial base is to bring back tariffs. But not tariffs like back in the thirties, based on politics and aimed at disfavored countries. Rather, tariffs that are objectively determined based solely on a country's wage/benefit levels as compared to our own. Autoworkers making twenty bucks an hour can't compete with foreign workers making two bucks an hour. So use a formula-driven tariff to raise the labor cost of imported manufactured goods to, say, 75% of American wage/benefit levels. That still leaves margin to keep U.S. manufacturers from growing fat and lazy. But we (meaning our hard-working middle class) shouldn't have to face unfair competition from low-wage countries. Until those countries raise their wage/benefit levels to within 75% of our own, tax the difference. And use the tariffs, perhaps, to shoulder the legacy costs of American companies for things like retiree medical benefits that are only a pipe dream for workers just starting out. The so-called "world economy" has yielded benefits for some, but it has devasted the middle class in this country that works with its hands. It's time to bring back an old idea with a new twist - apolitical tariffs.
  3. I agree with the decisions to dump Hummer and reduce Pontiac to a niche, but Saturn? Where has is ever been proven that the "step-up" branding that GM pioneered a half century ago doesn't work anymore? Why not sell the same basic vehicle in multiple "flavors" for different customers? It works in apparel, it works in housing, why not cars? Ironically, Saturn right now has the best vehicle portfolio in its history.
  4. Cost of gas, Soccer-mom image doom minivans

    Porblem with minivans is they aren't so mini anymore. Chrysler should put out a cheap, short-wheelbase version of the Caravan, just like they did before the current generation. No stow-n-go, just a small, space-efficient vehicle that can haul a driver and six kids to a baseball game, or a family of four and their gear on a road trip.
  5. Post your dealbreakers

    The only "dealbreaker" for me is that the car must be American made. To ship $30,000 bucks overseas when our own people are hurting is the height of community irresponsibility, as far as my values are concerned. Other than that, it's all a matter of my current need for the vehicle. My current stable consists of a Jeep, a rear-wheel drive sedan and a FWD subcompact. That covers the gamut, and I have no problem whatsoever with replacing a gashog with another gashog. Gashogs bring both utility and safety to the table. So long as I have a subcompact for grocery getting and commuting, my view of high gas prices is similar to my view of alcoholic beverages now that the authorities take drunk driving seriously. I cannot drink in quantity, so I drink quality - microbrews, single malts. Same with cars and high gas prices. I can't drive as much, but when I do drive, I want the experience to be exhilerating.
  6. GM Officially Cancels Zeta Buick

    I've adjusting to high gas prices by driving less. Not by turning in the car of my choice and driving a crapmobile. When the drunk driving laws drove up the price of public drinking, there was an increase in the sale of microbrews and other premium hootch. People were forced to drink less, so they chose to drink better. Why wouldn't the same phenomena hold true for cars? Sure, I'll have my Ford Focus, but my "second car" is still gonna be some funmobile, whether a Jeep or a sophisticated rear-driver. Why can't GM make a marketing case for selling that kind of fun for popular prices?
  7. Chrysler 300 EDIT :revised post

    MRDetroitMetal - I rarely post reactions to the member designs, so believe me when I say - this is a sharp, superior concept and seems like a viable 300 successor (and I am currently a 300C driver). for Chrysler to explore. It retains the chiseled side look, including that plane running length-wise at the side-edges that in the concept incorporates the tale lenses. It would also make a nice Lincoln, the straight sides being of course a 60s Lincoln cue.
  8. Eight-Brand Pileup Dents GM's Turnaround Efforts - WSJ

    I must be missing something, but I still see the value behind the original concept of separate "step-up" divisions. Take the same basic platform, and sell it in different guises to different demographics. It seems to me to be an efficient way to cover more of the market. Maybe it's obsolete today to have different dealerships for each brand, but GM's already taking care of this by combining Buicks, Pontiacs and GMCs at the same dealer in most areas. But I assume it's not tremendously expense to produce four versions of the same crossover, that appear as different flavors for different groups of buyers. What's obsolete about the concept of diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks? So long as combined sales are reaching their targets, what's wrong this business model? I assume that if they only sold one crossover, and sold it at Chevy dealers, then they'd have lower sales. But how much lower? Is the difference enough to justify the development/marketing costs of the different variants? Isn't the bottom line all about keeping plant capacity at its highest level? If all four variants are coming off the same line, then what's wrong with giving consumers more choice?
  9. 2009 Chevrolet Traverse Preview

    I dunno. Of the GM crossovers, I still like the Saturn Outlook best, but I was hoping the Traverse would be a smaller vehicle, not larger. What I need is a five passenger vehicle, not a seven-passenger behemoth. The Edge looks like the best fit, although a Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD might fit the bill. The interior of the Traverse looks fine, though, and it should hit its target market quite well. GM is offering the market I represent the Saturn Vue, and it's okay, but that Edge is a best seller for a reason. It's simply an inspired looker, and the new Sport version will be very, very tempting.
  10. Challenger Unmasked

    What else can I say but - I'm in love.
  11. Change of plans for Dodge Demon

    It doesn't say the Demon will necessarily be built in China, only that the platform will be a B segment platform designed by Chery. I'm not aware that Chrysler right now has the capability world-wide to engineer a B segment platform, so going to an outside company for the engineering is not outrageous. But building it in China for the U.S. market would be. No way I'd consider one if it isn't built in N.A. We need to stand up for the middle class in this country and resist the importation of automobiles built by workers making a buck an hour. China lets its currency float against the dollar so it will always retain that unconscionable advantage in labor costs. Once we get used as consumers to cheap Chinese automobiles, it'll be just as it was with cheap Chinese shoes - they'll be everywhere and the jobs will be gone. As for FWD, that's not necessarily a problem with a little roadster. I love my Focus ZX3, it's the best handling car I've ever driven. RWD is for off-the-line power and torque; it feels great in my 300C. But for that fun-to-drive factor, the Focus proves it can indeed be engineered into a little FWD-er. I'd buy another one in a hot minute. The Mini is another example of a good-handling FWD car.
  12. PT Cruiser Convertible, Dodge Magnum production to end

    The lack of a gas guzzler tax on the SRT-8 Magnum all by itself pays for several years of its "dismal" fuel economy. That one's indeed a future collectible.
  13. The Great Aurora Project

    Count me as another fan of the original Aurora who sez go for it! There's nothing like driving a pristine example of a favorite old classic. My baby is a '93 Grand Cherokee Limited in Hunter Green that I found by accident for sale by a guy whose wife drove it from house to market only, never taking it offroad. The beast looks as good as it did when it left the showroom floor, inside and out. I get more complements on that old Jeep than I do for the new cars I'm making payments for.
  14. Hey, they can build it wherever they want. I can also choose not to buy it. As a current driver of a full-size RWD car built in North America with union labor (300C), all I can say is if it's not built here and doesn't support the jobs of Americans, I'll take my business elsewhere.
  15. Taurus nameplate doesn't generate sales by itself

    Ford needs to advertise this car, and they need to advertise it the right way. Sure, it's the safest car in America, but the Taurus is a lot more than that - - Unparalleled room and trunk space - Modern engine (one of Ward's ten best) and six speed tranny - Great fuel economy numbers for its size, on regular gas - Much quieter than the Five Hundred it replaces - More reliable than Toyota, with both the car and drivetrain Made in USA The local Ford emporium is selling loaded SELs for less than 25 grand, and that is a stone bargain for what you get. The looks of the car are certainly improved with the new grille and tails, but I can't help but wish that the money Ford spent to put the contemporary roofline on the new MKS had been spent on the Taurus. The Taurus's roofline is straight out of a late nineties Audi, or an early nineties Taurus. It's not unattractive, but it's dated.