We hear it pretty often that Malaysian car buyers don’t give two hoots about segments. You know, the alphabets that separate the Toyota Corolla Altis (C-segment) from the Camry (D), and the Honda HR-V (B-SUV) from the CR-V (C). We’re told that the man on the street creates his own segments based on price – a RM50k car, an RM80k sedan and around RM150k for an executive sedan, for instance. As cars grow bigger, the size boundaries of the traditional segments are blurring, with the smaller ones catching up quickly. But while size is the easiest method to pigeonhole a car – it doesn’t take an expert to see that a model is big or small – it’s far from the only difference manufacturers add to their range. Features, tech and sophistication count, too. Proton will be hoping that Malaysians take the latter into account when forming opinions on the new Persona, which will be followed by the debut of the new Saga later this month. Two new sedans in two … [Read more...] about DRIVEN: 2016 Proton Persona 1.6 CVT, what segment?
Mercedes benz wholesale auto parts
Old is gold. The original Audi A5 is nearly 10 years old now, having made its debut in 2007, but I’ve never tired of its looks. Nothing truly radical about the design, unlike the mould-breaking TT for instance, but the Typ 8T‘s lovely proportions and gentle lines are both classy and timeless. The A5 Coupe could pull off many styles. Whether as an elegant Gran Turismo gliding into a hotel lobby; or posing in bright coloured, RS-branded gym-wear and chunky shoes – the two-door Audi had the physique to match. This writer still turns to look whenever an A5 Coupe passes by. The only other mass market car to still arouse me after all these years is the Alfa Romeo 156. Both, coincidentally, are works of the great Walter de Silva. Statutory declaration: a fanboy of the design I am. While the A5’s timeless design still compares well with its younger rivals, it can’t go on forever. Nine years is a long time in today’s fast-moving car world, and the baton had … [Read more...] about DRIVEN: 2017 Audi A5 and S5 Coupe – enduring class
One great feature of this website is that there’s been precious little news of the presidential election, except perhaps when a certain candidate called out Ford Motor Company for moving American jobs to Mexico. [Spoiler Alert: Ford is moving small car production from its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, to Mexico, but the plant will be tasked with building with more-profitable Ranger and Bronco instead. At this point, no Michigan workers will be laid off.] Well, at last, our long national nightmare is over, which means its time for the 2020 presidential election campaigning to start. What’s been happening in the auto biz while everybody else has been pre-occupied with the choosing of our 45th president? Here’s a little recap of some news you may have missed… Dieselgate II: True, this is hardly a light diversion from politics, and it’s a misnomer, as it doesn’t involve just diesels. California’s environmental authorities now are … [Read more...] about Automotive Diversions from the Presidential Election
In the auto industry, change is the only constant. For evidence, see the barrage of new products for 2013 — more than seventy new offerings, which we’ve gathered here. Rather than simply reporting on the facts and specs, we attempt to give these new cars a bit of context. It’s a dynamic, fast-moving industry, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Acura ILXAcura has been without a true entry-level model. (The TSX has become too close to the TL in size, design, and price to perform that function.) Enter the smaller, cheaper ILX. Is it the second coming of the Integra, the frisky subcompact that once attracted young people to the brand? Not really. The ILX has a bit of an identity crisis, as it comes in three distinct iterations. The car is based on the Honda Civic sedan, and although Acura designers did a good job of disguising that fact, we wouldn’t exactly call it handsome. The interior, at least, is a wholesale improvement over the Civic’s more … [Read more...] about New Cars 2013
We're getting used to Chrysler saving its own skin to the uproarious clash of cymbals. The company stretched a shapely capsule over a huge cabin for the 1993 Chrysler Concorde and Dodge Intrepid, and jaws went rubbery. The Canadian-built Concorde and Intrepid are history, but if science ever revives Al Capone, Chrysler has his car. The brief on the new 300C Hemi starts with two complex axles yanked almost wholesale from a Mercedes-Benz E-class. They are screwed to the far ends of a retro-ritz cockpit and a chrome-bedecked bunker with gun slits for glass. Optional interior fringe includes a choice of real walnut or faux tortoise-shell trim direct from the Gatsby era. Eight cylinders hump out the Hemi's 340 horses and 390 pound-feet of torque, the power slipped under the floor to the rear where, in full fury, it paints the road with 10-foot patches of rubber and shoves the mass to 60 mph in a torrid 5.3 seconds. When not needed for saving time, four of the Hemi's cylinders … [Read more...] about 2005 Chrysler 300C Hemi
I recently stood on the showroom floor of a Los Angeles-area luxury car dealership as their sales manager pointed out a middle-aged couple browsing the lot. “We will never sell them a car,” he said. “In fact, we are going to politely ask them to leave.” Why? “One of our salespeople recognized them. They are professional Lemon Law scammers. They have hit two other dealers but they are not going to hit us.” Welcome to Southern California where car buyers are often criminals, ripping off automakers and their captive finance arms to the tune of over $50M a year. These sophisticated white-collar crooks are skilled at using fraudulent means to obtain a vehicle, such as ID theft or sub-leasing cons, or by using fraudulent means to dispose of a vehicle, such as engineering bogus Lemon Law claims or by rolling back a car’s odometer to avoid lease-end excess-mileage charges.The targeted vehicles are almost exclusively from Audi, BMW, Lexus, … [Read more...] about Tales From The Cooler: The Land Of The Crooked Car Buyer – Part One
It’s a common joke that winking at an auto auctioneer can get you into trouble. I found plenty of trouble recently thanks to my winking, as I am now the terrified owner of a small army of Smart Fortwo city cars. These cars have less than 12,000 miles on their odometers, are equipped with heated leather seats and upgraded sound systems, and are still fully covered by Mercedes-Benz’s four-year/50,000-mile factory warranty. At $4000 for a 2014 model and $4900 for a 2015 model, the Smarts weren’t so much bought as they were legally stolen. Although it’s a bit nerve-racking to own so many of them, to me these cars represent the rolling embodiment of opportunity in today’s used-car market.When it comes to used cars, it pays to study the recent past to help understand the present. The Smart Fortwo, for example, has not sold well in the past few years. Last year, U.S. sales fell 17 percent to a mere 6211 units. That comes after sales plummeted … [Read more...] about How to Get a Deal on a Used Car, Or: Why the Heck Did I Buy 20 Smart Cars?
Forbes recently published an article titled “Cars That Can Last 250,000 Miles (Or More).” Unfortunately for the author and Forbes, measuring long-term quality of any new or late model is nearly impossible. Most defects and cost cutting compromises don’t become glaringly obvious until well after the vehicle becomes a common site at the wholesale auto auctions I frequent. That dependable car of yesterday can easily become a rolling pit of the modern day regardless of what seemed to be the reality. So, I won’t pretend to know the crystal ball of reliability when it comes to any new car. However older used cars are a panacea of good data from actual owners, and to me that’s the only yardstick that truly matters. Every week another 6,000 to 7,000 vehicles get added to our Trade In Quality Index. This week 22 out of the top 25 vehicles in overall mileage fell into one of four categories.Chevy/Ford Truck Or SUVFord Panther … [Read more...] about Monday Mileage Champion: Same As It Ever Was… And Will Be…
Never mind those electric-car bargains we told you about mere months ago. Prices have been on such a steep downward trajectory that there’s already an entirely new, sweeter set of deals to be found. You might find a five-year-old vehicle with relatively low mileage, very low operating costs, and nothing wrong with it—for the price of a beater.The asterisk: That car would most likely be a Nissan Leaf, and you’ll only be able to go about 60 miles before needing many hours plugged in—unless you’re fortunate enough to have fast-charging hardware nearby.Apparently most people aren’t willing to live with that asterisk or the few others that accompany life with a used electric car. According to the pricing authority Black Book, retail values for the used 2013 Nissan Leaf are at an average 22 percent of the original MSRP—in the range of $8000 to $8500—while that five-year-old Leaf is selling at just 11 percent of its original sticker.A … [Read more...] about Tesla Aside, Resale Values for Electric Cars Are Still Tanking
The auto journo world is in a tizzy because electric automaker Tesla refuses to post its car sales numbers on a monthly basis and the numbers they do divulge are suspicious as they are without detail and they vary widely from actual registration numbers. Our friends at Jalopnik ranted about it last week, calling on Tesla to start reporting sales consistently. They based their story on a report by Seeking Alpha that deduced that Tesla may have as many as 12,000 unsold Model S’s, based on registration figures and the automaker’s quarterly financial reports.We say congratulations, Elon Musk, you truly are the head of an American car company now, as reporting bogus sales numbers to the press is a normal part of an automaker’s modus operandi. Auto manufacturers claiming they sold more cars than they actually did is nothing new. Sales numbers in the US are based on those deliveries reported by dealers, not when … [Read more...] about Tesla’s Tanking U.S. Sales And The World Of Automakers Falsifying Sales Numbers