Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ford's Performance Problem

Has Ford painted itself in a corner for 2012 with its mind-blowing new V6 Mustang?

You're UnHumble Car Czar says, "Yep, probably" ... because now Ford's two new lower-line up-and-comers, the turbocharged Fiesta (2012) and (possible) turbocharged Focus (SWG: 2014) may bump up against or even pass Ford's 24k 305 hp secretary(it) pony on the price charts.

Traditionally V6 Stangs have never been competitive with hot hatches in a straight line, let alone in zigging and zagging. It's an all-new game for 2011; the lowliest pony now hits 60 in the low fives and slices and dices with any EuroSedan you care to mention.


With traction control, folding rear seats, and 30 MPG on the highway, practically every argument for choosing a hot-rodded economy car over what is likely America's best all-around sports coupe to-date disappears.

Ford should probably figure out how to raise the price of the Mustang, but this office thinks it's a much better idea to keep the prices of the blown Fiesta and Focus really, really low.

I am the CarCzar, and I'm here to help.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Business as Usual for Innocents at Main Street AutoMall

Thank goodness car dealers have been exempted from financial lending reform. These hard-working local businessman would be hurt by the restrictive provisions of the U.S. government's latest Wall Street-bashing legislative fusillade according to multi-zillionaire West Coast Mega-Dealer Ron Tonkin.

"This is a win for my children, and my children's children, who would be sentenced to lives as mere millionaires if my dealerships could no longer screw those least able to afford to be screwed with sucker loan terms," Tonkin didn't say.

The nation's automotive landscape may be changing, with electric cars, six-cylinder Corvettes, and Buicks that handle better than BMWs.

But at least we know now we have preserved a little of that old-time automotive Americana:

Balloon note loan structures and PayDay lending-level interest rates for those too uncreditworthy or too dumb to look elsewhere ... loan payment insurance premium schemes ... all of which will keep Ron Tonkin and his fellow hard-workin' local Main Street businessmen in Bentleys and Ferraris when they're slumming it on St. Barts all winter.

Fear not, Automotive Nation. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes Change is just Chump Change.