New Year, New Resolve
We now find ourselves at the beginning of a new year and it is a time for introspection and resolve. Of course 99% of the things that we resolve to do for ourselves never get done, and any attempt that we might make towards changing ourselves or our lives is all for naught. I suppose that as long as we keep trying to improve ourselves then one day perhaps we may be successful.
Because changing ourselves is too hard and nit picking others is much more fun, I have come up with several new year’s resolutions for most of the major auto manufacturers in the U.S. These are things that they need to change, or work on improving through the course of 2012 if they want to improve themselves. Some of these are legitimate and may actually happen soon and some of them never will, but if they did, it would mean a better company and better cars. Of course none of these companies care what I have to say, but never the less I have no problem telling them what they should be doing.
- CEO Dan Akerson needs to get the Federal Government out of the shareholders meetings. The Federal Government still owns about 25% of this American icon and nothing would be better for GM, and the American tax payer then to get Feds out of the way. The UAW needs to sell its stock as well. Talk about conflict of interest.
- Find a way to build the Chevy Volt for 15k cheaper or kill it all together. 42 grand is too much to pay for any small 4 door sedan.
- Build a modern V8 engine that’s reliable. The LS has been a great motor but could be so much better with DOHC and 32 valves. The Northstar was modern, but was terribly unreliable.
- Find a way to sell more Tauruses and Explorers. These two names used to be huge hits for FoMoCo and then the public figured out how bad they were and quit buying them. The sad part here is that both of these models have evolved into solid, worthwhile vehicles. Ford should have never brought the Taurus name back from extinction, they should have stuck with the 500 or chosen another name altogether.
|The new Taurus|
- Try and convince long time Mopar fans that the new models that they will be releasing soon are not just rebadged Fiats from Italy. When Mercedes owned Chrysler they kept the American cars separate from their German cars for the most part. Fiat is taking a different route.
- Convince the public that a car with a silly name on it like “Abarth” can be cool and fast.
- Quit telling the public that the Chrysler 300 is “Imported from Detroit” when it is in fact imported from Canada where it is built.
- Build a new Dodge Viper and make it a worthwhile. It must be BBV; big, brash, and vulgar. If it doesn’t meet these requirements then give to Fiat.
- Continue to fight for the title of World’s Largest Auto Manufacturer. The competition is coming from Volkswagen and it is getting fierce.
- Sell a large pile of Scion FR-S’s to make up for the only 5 or 6 Scion iQ’s that will be sold.
- Develop a ¾ ton Tundra powered by a diesel engine.
- Market the new GS properly so that the Lexus line can sell something other than RX’s. Lexus is the number one luxury car in the U.S. because the RX sells so well. That’s okay but the RX is a crossover and not a regular sedan. The new GS represents a new direction for the Lexus performance sedan lineup.
- See the issue above that they are having with Toyota. Volkswagen wants to dominate and they are doing a good job of positioning themselves to do so.
- Convince people that the new designed and built in America Passat is not as boring as it looks. If Vdub wants world domination, they must have a greater presence here in the states. The Passat is trying to make that happen.
- Repent for the lackluster redesign of the iconic Civic. The 2012 Civic is not much different from the outgoing model. When you build a car that is the sales leader in its class for so long you have got to make it count every time you redesign. Note to Honda: Put a K20 in the CR-Z and all will be forgiven.
- Build a rear-wheel drive, V8 powered performance car of some kind. Sedan, coupe, sports car, truck, anything, just as long as it has a great V8 and rear-wheel drive.
- Dare to build something daring. With U.S. market share sliding they need to do something to break out of their funk.
- Find a way to make the Nissan GTR even faster. This is sure to happen since they seem to come out with a new one slightly faster than the old one, every year.
- Sell some Leafs in order to feel more justified in spending all the R&D budget on the electric city car. Of course even if they do sell a big pile of leafs (er is it leaves?) they likely would not break even for many years if at all.
- Convince the public that their cars no longer have the plastic fantastic interiors that they did during the last decade. Nissan interiors were so bad they would make a Ford Windstar from the 90’s feel down right sumptuous on the inside.
- Get control of the terrible looking crossovers that they are continuing to offer. The X5 is good enough; everything else is ugly and pointless.
- Sell as many 4 cylinder 328i’s as possible to prove that even though the 3 series is bigger than ever, it’s still a small sedan.
- Figure out a way to make their model lineup even more confusing than it already is. C class, E class, and S class we understand. It’s not as simple as 3 series, 5 series, and 7 series, or even A4, A6, and A8, but we can still follow. When you start talking about CLS, SL, CL, SLS, SLK, this is where things get confused, and if you consider the SUVs, M, GL, GLK, R, and G then there is just no way to keep it all straight. Maybe if I knew German this would all make sense.
- Keep up the appeal with the lefties that their cars are more virtuous than any real SUV, and if you drive a Subaru through the woods it makes the trees happy.
- Figure out a way to make the WRX even faster than it already is. This little rally car is kind of the opposite of the Subarus that the granola eaters favor.
- Build an all-new 911 that will be a major departure from what the 911 has been in the past and with a radical new design and…never mind. Just release the next 911 even if it is pretty much like every other car before it. I have no doubt it will be great.
- Kill the Cayenne and the Panamera. No Porsche should have 4 doors.
- Continue to silently take over the U.S. market. Hyundai and it’s little brither subsidiary Kia, have taken the nation by storm in the last few years by building car that people want to drive with a price that people want to pay.
- Find a new place to source model platforms and parts. Things are going okay since Ford dumped all of its Mazda stock but they need to figure some things out like how to redesign there current models without the help and resources of Ford.
- Convince the public that making a car using more plastic and lighter materials and calling “Skyactive Technology” isn’t just a PR stunt.
- Sell some goofy electric cars. Not that all electric cars are goofy, but the Mitsubishi I-MiEV is definitely goofy. It’s also the cheapest legitimate electric car you buy in the U.S.
- Find a way to build the Evo XII. If they kill the Evo then may the automotive gods have mercy on those executives’ souls.
- Try not to go belly up
|Mitsubishi Evo XI|