Monday May 30th, 2011
Just In Time For Summer Driving Season!
What do 36.9 million Americans have in common? They all don’t know how to drive! Obviously! Have you been out there lately? Caught the teenagers texting and speeding on the highway, the hurriers blowing through yellow lights and crossing pedestrians? The rubberneckers driving too slow, the disinclined to proximity on the bumper of other drivers? Yes, yes, yes and yes!
(Aight…enough with the exclamation points.)
It’s something that we all knew of course, but when quantified, bad driving takes on different meaning. This is all part of the 2011 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test, conducted for sociologic and economic purposes. (Sociologic because it shows just how uninformed men and women are in different regions and states, and economic because a dearth of technical driving knowledge does end up costing drivers a lot of money, and no one likes that.)
Turns out that men really are better drivers than women. Men averaged 80.2% correct against 74.1% for the ladies. But we knew this, right?
Kidding, kidding, kidding…
Tuesday May 31st, 2011
Slow News Days Often Bring About Random Facts About California
That would be today. California has a very specific auto franchise law; automakers cannot own dealerships located within ten miles of their franchised dealers. Unless…the manufacturer owns the franchise for less than a year, or ownership is in conjunction with franchised dealers who have substantial investment in the operation. (Which isn’t confusing at all.)
The Car Connection has a good story of Chrysler trying to avoid the law in Los Angeles, and establishing an alleged “marketing strategy showroom” (my quotes).
Other franchised establishments that have intriguing “marketing strategy showrooms” (my quotes, again)? “Hooters” and “Chip and Dale’s” (again, my quotes, so I could write that I’m being partisan here).
Wednesday June 1st, 2011
Nifty Car Advertisements
Instead of only drilling the public relations and marketing departments of auto companies, when they do something correct, it’s good to identify and laud it. Such is the case with two recent electric car commercials, both touting the value of electricity, juxtaposed with the exhaust that billows from traditional petroleum and diesel based engines coming out of every-day appliances. Nissan and Renault have debuted nearly identical spots, which may or may not cause problems between the rival companies. Renault has a 44.3% stake in Nissan, and Nissan owns 15% of Renault (further information about the alliance and the advertising campaigns can be found here). The two spots are below, with Nissan’s first, followed by Renault’s.
Both are obviously identical, and why not, because it is a very good advertisement; sleek, informative and environmentally jarring, with a calming piano score. Everyone loves calming piano scores.
Plus, now it’s clear Renault is pronounced “Rayh-know” and not “Reh-knawlt”.
Thursday June 2nd, 2011
Toyota Recalls For Steering Problem; Only Left Hand Turns Affected
Toyota is recalling 52,000 Priuses from 2001-3 U.S. editions. The electric power steering pinion-shaft attachment nuts could loosen, and over time the customer will gradually notice significant increased steering effort when making a left hand turn. The recall is voluntary as of now, and is the result of a four year investigation. Toyota is adamant that the steering wheel will not stick in the U.S., as the cars had a habit of sticking on first-generation Japanese market Priuses. That was due to Japanese models’ right-hand drive setup, whereas we here in the U.S. have left-hand drive setups (something with the engineering and lubricating grease not reaching the nuts).
Ever hear of those stories of older drivers only taking right hand turns? Looks like we finally have an explanation.