Toyota: Number 2 Is Where It's At!
Oh, Toyota, why must you fill our blogs with lies? CNN/Money reports: Toyota: We don't want to be No. 1. We know that being number one will mean you crushed GM and that some people will blame you for the fall of Detroit, but them's the breaks. GM is as much to blame as you, you know. But don't lie to us all and pretend to be humble. It's annoying. Not annoying enough to make us go out and buy a Lucerne over an Avalon, for example, but it's still annoying, and you shouldn't do it. This is a capitalist country, and competition is supposed to be good for consumers, so you're doing everyone a favor. And, besides, the U.S. government will bail GM out, so no worries.
Dude! You Rock! You're Fired!
In a move that resembles something in history that would make for a good example here, Hyundai has canned a pretty darned successful employee. The Detroit News reports: Hyundai dumps chief of U.S. unit. Automotive News reports:Cosmai out as Hyundai CEO. From the Automotive News article:
Cosmai has been CEO since 2003. He joined Hyundai in 1998 as Vice President of Sales. Since Cosmai joined the company, annual sales have rocketed from 90,000 units to a forecast 500,000 units in 2006.So what is going on here? Did Mr. Cosmai get himself into some undisclosed trouble? Or does Hyundai want to put a Korean in charge because, you know, Americans just aren't ruthless enough?
They get very distracted by colors, reality TV shows, and great big cans. CANS!Ahem! We don't know about you, but we're off to get a glass of milk.
Buick Is Delusional
AutoWeek reports: Buick's upcoming Enclave crossover has Lexus RX 330 in the crosshairs.
Ed Welburn, GM's vice president of global design, says the Enclave's new interior style, called "Heritage Forward," uses wood and leather and has adjustable individual seats. Like Buick's new Lucerne sedan, the Enclave has the brand's signature portholes in the front fenders.Wood! Leather! Adjustable individual seats! Man, the competition is done for! The rumor mill has it that it uses some space-age confabulator to blow chilled air into the area where people sit!
Steve Shannon, Buick general manager, says, "The Enclave's SUV-like shape and handling will be key selling points. Then when you add Buick's quietness and tuning - nobody has anything quite like it."Uh, yeah. No one. So if you guys got this market to yourselves, you should sell a crapload of these. Because, if you don't, it's totally your own fault. It certainly wouldn't be the nonexistent competition already making luxury SUVs. With individual seats!
Saab: Oy! (But In Swedish)
Thanks to Autoblog, we see that GM's Saab brand made $300 mln loss in 2005 - paper. Made a loss. We like that. We can use that idea in a sentence! "We made a diddle on the carpet because we drank 15 beers during one Burger King commercial!"
Sometimes It's Obvious
The Detroit News reports: Mega truck, mega price. The Mega Cab. Is there anything after "Mega"? Extended. Super. Double. Mega. No, we guess that's it. Anyway, Toyota may not want to actually be number one (they really do), but we bet they can't help it. While U.S. companies build bigger and bigger pickup trucks and dabble in some sad nostalgia-driven pony car war, the Japanese companies are keeping their noses to the grindstone building several hybrids (Insight, Accord, Civic, Prius) and more fuel-efficient cars. Hey, Detroit, at least make an attempt at building really fuel-efficient cars. A few! Look, we like big wasteful trucks like the next guy, but... wait. No we don't. We like Claire and all her talented goodness.