Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mark Tapscott has a point! Don't support our enemies, don't buy Citgo!

Mark Tapscott of "Carnival of Cars" fame, has the "Copy Desk" blog as well. And after Chavez's babling at the UN last week, he had an interesting post. I also read the Auto Prophet's take on the issue here

Chavez is a fool and unfortunately because of Citgo he's got a nice bankroll. His hate of the US and love of dictator Fidel Castro are bad enough, but his support of terrorist state Iran and hope for a "Bolivian" revolution throughout the South American continent are outright scary.

I agree with Mark and the Auto Prophet that Citgo should be starved of the precious American dollars that they funnel into the lunatic dictator's war chest. But I have a question, hopefully someone out there can help me with. Does Venezuela have other interests that we should know about? I've vacationed in the US Virgin Islands, specifically St Croix and the largest employer on the island is a refinery owned by Venezuela and I believe Hess oil. So should we boycott Hess as well?

This seems to be Mark's source and the epicenter of the boycott GOP and the City Blog.

Update, here is the Hess/ USVI connection Hovesna which should be of interest to people in the New York/New Jersey Metro area. Although we all love those Hess trucks at Christmas, is it worth supporting our enemies ?

Friday, September 22, 2006

It's a brave new world out

Ok, I'm back again, after a couple of days with yet more technical breakdowns, I'm able to post again. I hope... And going way off topic here, but that's acceptable from time to time.

I want to share with you a recent discovery of mine, MoJoRadioLive! Some friends of mine, who I haven't seen in a while have an Intenet Radio station.
WebKittyn, a friend for many years, is the driving force behind this new venture and the host/star of Kittyn Kitch. The Kitch is an hour long daily (most days) talk show where few topics are out of bounds, and no punches are pulled. It's not for the kiddies, but it's thought provoking and entertaining.

DJ Darkstar is another old friend, and WebKittyn's sometimes co-host/business partner. I've known the Darkstar for 20 years and he hosts the Dark Hours on Friday nights. 2 hours of music talk and humor.

There are more than just the two shows, check out the website, and even if there's not a live show, the default playlist music is an interesting mix. But as I'm typing this, I am reminded that this is not for the kids, it's an adult world, small a, not xxx, but there is adult language.

Ford Transit 4x4, another reason to compete against the DCX Sprinter

You know, the more Dodge/Freightliner Sprinter vans I see on the road here in the NY Metro area, I wonder why Ford won't consider bringing the Transit to the US. And now reading about this four wheel drive version, furthers my belief that it could/should be brought here.

I know a couple of people who have four wheel drive Econoline vans, expensive conversions, for both personal and contractor usage. One fellow I know spent over $50,000 on his Diesel E-350 with the conversion!

How many of you have noticed an increase in Sprinters near you? Is it just a NY Metro area thing? I doubt it.

Holy crap! A cool Ford Wagon! But of course not for us.

You've probably seen this already on AutoBlog, Jalopnik or a dozen other automotive blogs/sites, but I have to give it to Ford Europe, they keep coming out with brave new product that has a sense of style.

The new Mondeo, as AutoFuture had pointed out, is taking styling cues from the Iosis concept car, and here is the wagon version. Wagons are not looked upon the same way in Europe, it would be unthinkable not to have a wagon version of almost any car there. And they're not just simple people movers, they're sharply styled with many of the handling and performance options of their sedan counterparts.

Too bad someone in Dearborn can't take their head out of their butt and see that. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Ford has everything they need to turn around from a product line that is truly global, if only they would abandon this "Dave" idea.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Future Ford model talk at AutoBlog....

You've probably already seen this piece over at AutoBlog discussing possible future Ford models and dates.

Not much of it is earthshattering news and what's not there is more disapointing than what is.

No surprise that a new Mustang special will be introduced each year, to keep interest high or that a Bullit Mustang will be coming. There has been buzz since before the 05 Mustang hit showrooms of Boss Mustangs, Mach 1's and California Specials.

But what about a new Crown Vic/Town Car? How about the Bronco and Reflex? When are we going to see some Diesels? When are we going to see some "Bold Moves" ????

Mazda 2 redo?

There's a quick piece over at AutoBlog on World Car Fan's article and spy photos of a redesigned Mazda 2. Now since we may eventually get this one way or another, as a Ford or Mazda, you should take a quick peak.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Ford buys Rover name, now what to do with it? I know, use it!

Here's a surpise, I was just checking AutoBlog and there's a story about Ford exercising their option to buy the Rover name from BMW. When Ford bought Land Rover from BMW part of the deal gave them the option to buy and right of first refusal. Now why would they want to buy the name Rover? According to AutoBlog in order to preserve the good name of Land Rover, by preventing the Chinese firm that bought the remnants of Rover's bones. It makes sense, if a Chinese auto maker came to market with some cheap crap ( and lets face it that's what's coming) it could negatively impact the name of Land Rover.

So Ford spends a chunk of change to stop that damage. AutoBlog speculates that the next move could be for Ford to sell the name to the Chinese for a huge profit. And from an acounting point of view it could be a good move.

But I have a better idea, why not use the Rover name?

How about giving Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin dealers a chance to diversify? Why not use the Rover name to import a new range into the US. How about some of those European Fords that are too expensive to sell as Fords in the US? How about the Ford Focus Coupe Cabriolet? How about the Galaxy or S-Max? How about a chance to bring some of the uniquely European Fords to the US and not run them through the "Dave" mill?

What do you think? I think it's worth a serious look. I know that Ford's having it's troubles now, but this is long term thinking. You have to look beyond this weeks cuts and to what's going to be in the future. That would be a Bold Move.

Where's MyFordDreams????

Well, here I am again, finally returned from exile. And what the hell happens when I'm gone? Jeez it's a reminder that the world doesn't stop spinning just because you're not watching.

News of Ford's increases in cuts and rumors of sales of divisions have been flying around all summer, hell all year. But of course the big news was the hiring of Mually from Boeing to take over the CEO position from Bill Ford Jr. I guess all the Carlos Ghosn talk was just a smoke screen or wishful thinking on the part of Billy and the Automotive pundits.

I know next to nothing about Mulally, just that he's come from Boeing, and is getting a compensation package of around $18 million this year. I don't see how a guy from a defense contractor will be able to save FoMoCo, but like I said, I'm not familiar with any facts about him.

The second, but more possative piece of news was FoMoCo's decision to not stop building the Lincoln Town Car, at least until 2010. Could this be the silver lining in the recent clouds over Ford? I hope so. I hope that someone at Ford has seen DCX's new long wheelbase 300 and realized that giving up a money making model isn't the thing to do.

Maybe someone will see this as a breathing period, allowing time to get the Australian Ford Falcon chassis ready for a Town Car/Crown Victoria replacement.

I'm back, slow at first, but hoping to be back up to speed soon.