Monday, December 19, 2011

Saab Files for Bankruptcy!

Today Saab filed for bankruptcy, after General Motors shot down Saab's recent plan. It now looks like Saab will not survive. Spyker purchased Saab from General Motors in 2010 for $400 million.

I really was hoping that Saab would be able to make it after it was purchased from General Motors. It's a shame that Saab has to suffer due to the lack of management of the old General Motors. The 9-5 and 9-4x are very attractive vehicles and it would have been nice to see what Muller could do with the brand. I have to give credit to Muller because he has stood by Saab the day since it was acquired. I didn't expect the Saab brand to go through all of these problems. Today looks like the beginning of the end for Saab.

Update (2/28/12): It seems like Saab may still have some life left. Several international and Swedish investors have made bids for Saab. The names of these investors have not been released but leads many to speculate. According to a few sources Volvo and BMW have thrown in bids for Saab. The investor who gets Saab will have to a plan that is in the best interest of Saab. .

Please be sure to check back for more details!

Will Saab be rescued? Are you a loyal Saab fan?

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thoughts: 2013 Nissan Pathfinder

Spy shots of the next generation Nissan Pathfinder have surfaced on the internet and I am quite curious about the final product. Upfront the Pathfinder reminds me of the Murano, which is a great looking vehicle but I'm not sure if it will work for the Pathfinder. The new Pathfinder will be built on the same front-wheel drive platform as the Murano, Maxima, and new Infiniti JX. It is very likely that the new Pathfinder and Infiniti JX will share the same engine options as well.

I think that the redesigned Pathfinder will have a better shot at competing against the Toyota Highlander, Chevy Traverse, and Honda Pilot. The only thing I am really concerned about is if Nissan plans to give the new Pathfinder a masculine look.  I've always seen the Pathfinder as being very rugged and aggressive.The Murano is a nice looking but to me is geared towards females instead of males. Based off of the heavy camo I can't really tell how the new Pathfinder will look. I'm hoping that it keeps it's masculine look which makes it a Pathfinder. I didn't find anything wrong with the box look of the current generation Pathfinder. It would have been very interesting if Nissan could have developed that truck shape. I think that the GMC Terrain pulls off that look very well. 

The Pathfinder concept will be unveiled at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thoughts: 2013 Dodge Dart

The 2013 Dodge Dart made its debut this week at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich.

Dodge is getting back into the compact segment with the 2013 Dodge Dart. The Dart will replace the aging Caliber, and become Dodge's smallest car in it's lineup. Dodge's new compact sedan is based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback. The Dart will offer Dodge's performance and Alfa Romeo's DNA which will result in a fuel efficient, attractive, and fun to drive vehicle.

The styling of the new Dart takes some cues from the Charger, with the full-width LED tail lams, and dual exhaust.. The Dart has a tailored split-crosshair grille, projector headlamps, fog lamps, and accentuated fenders. The Doge Dart will be powered by 3 fuel efficient four cylinder engines. Buyers can select from a new "Tigershark 2.0L engine, a 1.4L MultiAir Intercooled Turbo engine, and a new "Tigershark" 2.4L MultiAir engine.

The Dart will be built at Chrysler Group's Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Ill.

I've never really been excited about products from Dodge. I think that this vehicle will attract many buyers to the Dodge brand. I have to give Dodge credit because they are making the right choices and moves. The Dart will be priced at about $16,000. I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the new Dart. I may consider it as my first car!

What are your thoughts on the new Dodge Dart?

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Friday, December 2, 2011

FIAT And Bing Team-Up For The Bing Magical Holiday Calendar

Yesterday Microsoft's search engine Bing kicked off the Bing Magical Holiday Calendar, giving away HUGE prizes each day during the month of December. Today, Automaker FIAT has teamed up with Bing for the campaign, and are giving users a chance to win a brand new FIAT 500 Lounge Hatchback. If you want a chance to win, users should to visit TODAY to enter the sweepstakes, which closes at 11:59pm PT TONIGHT.

Users can also checkout the Bing Magical Holiday Calendar for a chance to win cool prizes each day during the month of December. Bing is offering a variety of giveaways and entertainment including today’s FIAT giveaway, along with other customized prizes including free concerts for a year, a trip around the world, a VIP New York Fashion Week experience and more.  Each day’s surprise is unveiled at 12:01am PT and entries are open until 11:59pm that evening.

If you want a chance to win a FIAT 500 Lounge Hatchback make sure to enter the sweepstakes!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Honda Motor Co. 2011 November Sales

The Honda Motor Co. sold a total of 83,925 vehicles, a decrease of 10.1% compared to last November. The Honda brand was down 9.9%, selling 74,016 units. The Civic led the pack selling 17,133 units, up 0.7%. The CR-V was down 13.7%, selling 16,426 units. The CR-Z saw a decrease of 71.4%, selling 305 units. The Insight was down 53.2%, selling only 749 units.

The Acura brand sold 9,909 units, down 11.2%. The TSX was the leader, selling 2,691 units, down 0.2%. The RDX saw an increase of 7.6%, selling 1,326 units. The MDX saw a decrease of 24.2% selling, 3,308 units. The RL sedan sold only 45 units, a decrease of 74.3%.

I am a fan of Acura's designs but not a fan of Honda's recent design language. I think that many people don't like the designs of recent Honda's and Acura's. Majority of the comments I've heard about Honda and Acura has been pretty negative. Honda is starting to understand this because they are going to deliver a refresh of the recently introduced Civic. In my post about Acura (, I talk about what they need to change. In my opinion the brand shares too much with their Honda relatives. If Acura can differentiate itself from Honda and deliver impress car designs I think they will get more attention to their brand.

Toyota Motor Corporation 2011 November Sales

The Toyota brand sold a total of 118,502 vehicles, up 2.4% compared to last November. The redesigned Camry led the pack selling 23,440 units, up 8.5%. The new Yaris had a gain of 149.8%, selling 5,604 units. The Corolla still managed to sell 16,115 units while being down 4.5%. The Prius was up 42.8%, selling 15,208 units.The Tocoma was up 8.5%, selling 9,739 units.

The Lexus brand sold a total of 19,458 vehicles, up 2.4%. The ES led the pack selling 4,731 units, up 11.6%. The IS sold a total of 2,876 units. The RX was the only SUV in the lineup to not see a sales decrease. The HS hybrid has not been a big seller, only selling 207 units.

The Scion brand was down 11%, selling 3,553 units. The tC coupe was down 6.4% selling 1,578 units. The xB was down 17.(% selling 1,202 units. The xD sold 773 units, down 8.4%.

Both Toyota and Lexus saw an increase in sales compared to November 2010, while Scion saw a decrease. I expect Scion to see a jump in sales when the 2013 FR-S arrives at dealerships. The 2013 FR-S will attract so many people who may go in to see the FR-S but end up buying another model. This new model is exactly what the Scion brand needs!

Nissan North America November Sales

Nissan North America sold a total of 85,182 vehicles in the U.S., which is a gain of 19.4% compared to last November. The Nissan brand was up 21.4%, with 76,745 vehicles sold. The Altima was up 12.2%, with 20,613 units sold. With help from the redesigned sedan, the Versa saw an increase of 38.2%, selling 9,921 units. Nissan's popular Rogue crossover was up 27.2%, selling 10,845 units. The Leaf was able to sell 672 units. The Frontier was up 37.8%, selling 4,324 units. The 2012 NV commercial van sold a total of 1,238 units.

The Infiniti brand was only up by 3% last month with sales of 8,428 vehicles. The G sedan led the way with 3,623 units sold, up 26.9%. The QX was the second best selling Infiniti model, up 9% with 1,446 units sold. The FX saw a increase of 24.9%, with 1,125 units sold. The EX35 saw a big decline of 46.8%, with only 428 units sold.

Nissan has done very well lately increasing their sales while Toyota's and Honda's sales have declined. I am optimistic that Nissan's sales will continue to increase especially with the redesigned Altima and Sentra on the way. Infiniti on the other hand is not faring to well when comparing their sales with other luxury makers. I think Infiniti offers great vehicles that are very competitive in their classes. I just don't understand why their models are not attracting consumers. This is an issue that Infiniti needs to try and figure out. Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have been selling so many more vehicles this year than Infiniti has. I said this in my post about Infiniti ( but they really need more vehicles in their lineup. It's been years but it is time for Infiniti to bring back the flagship Q sedan!!!
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