The Sun is Setting

A Road & Track article was recently released saying that Ford has filed for the name “Skyline” to their trademark list. While Ford did have trim levels with the name Skyline in the past, and there was a concept with the name Skyliner in it, Ford is not the manufacturer most notable for the name.

In the automotive enthusiast world, Nissan is the manufacturer that comes to mind when the name Skyline is said. While the newest Nissan flagship sports car is called the GT-R, it used to carry the name Skyline, but never has in the United States officially. That is because up until the R35, the car was never officially sold here in the States. However, if it had, up until the R35, the cars had the name of Nissan Skyline GT-R. The R35 that was sold in the America did not have the Skyline name, and I’m not really sure if it did anywhere else except Japan, if it even did there either.

While you might be thinking to yourself, gosh, why is Ford encroaching on Nissan territory and how much more could Ford ruin good names? I am going to approach this from a different angle. My beef is with Nissan. Why doesn’t Nissan care enough to keep that name? Nissan has an upcoming new Z car that will launch soon, but goodness gracious, they have a lineup that is long in the tooth and they have for a number of years now, been staying in business by fleet sales. Nissan tends to be the punch line of many jokes. They are not helping themselves by neglecting to keep the Skyline name in their library just in case. It is sad to say, but the sun is setting on the Skyline name and possibly even Nissan itself.

Ford for all the Marbles

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Last year Ford announced they would no longer be producing compact, small, mid-size, and large cars. They were changing their long term plan to only produce cross over, SUVs, and pickup trucks. Not long after that announcement, the electric Mach E Mustang was introduced, and that vehicle seems to be the kick off of a new large vehicle line up.

But, this plan might be in serious peril before it even gets started. Let’s break down a few elements that might make Ford’s plan very challenging. Many of these things can change quickly though, as they all are very recent themselves in some regard, so this is my opinion and speculation.

First, the world wide COVID-19 pandemic is absolutely destroying the global economy. Auto manufacturers are taking a beating and sales are almost non existent. With people out of work, it makes it hard to entice people to buy a shiny new expensive pickup truck.

Second, the factory that supplies parts for Ford, Ram, and Toyota trucks was recently damaged by a tornado. While this will hurt Ram and Toyota as well, it made most headlines as interrupting Ford’s production. Since Ford’s entire lineup is mostly large trucks and SUVs and the parts supplier that provides the transmissions for those vehicles is damaged, all the eggs are in one basket and about to break.

Third, oil prices are deep in the red in trading value. While that is great for consumers because prices at the pump are very low, this unfortunately isn’t the time to take advantage of it. A thirsty F-150 can be filled for cheap at the moment, but with all shelter in place guidelines and people out of work, it is unlikely that people are going to be wanting a vehicle that is expensive to fill up in the future.

Fourth; very recently Ford announced that they are wanting to achieve 10 percent profit margins, even through this current circumstances. They have placed Lisa Drake in charge to accomplish that goal. She was in charge of the 2004 launch of the 11th generation F-150. That particular skill is what they are desiring her to perform on because she is also tasked her with increasing awareness of new products being launched, something Ford has struggled with for the past few years. Most notable the newest Ford Explorer botched release.

The next blog will be about the fifth and final blow to the Ford fiasco that is brewing. But with all the issues mentioned above, Ford has put all their chips on the table. SUV’s and trucks that with gas prices low but a worldwide pandemic not facilitating using those vehicles, a damaged factory, and the need to produce and profit within all of these circumstances, it is going to be a tough year for the automotive industry in general but I think Ford will really be feeling a pinch. Although Ford has weathered a lot over the years, so I should stop being so negative. The American spirit will prevail.

 

Me, myself, and my vehicle

People customize their automobiles in unique ways. There is something about vehicles that represents individualism and we all seek to make our automobiles 1 of a kind. With so many aftermarket capabilities the options are really endless.

Now, the subject today is, if you have a car you need, do you/how can you make it a car you want? Is that possible?

Many people do this already, putting bumper stickers on, air fresheners in, license -plate holders on, seat covers, and an array of other modifications to make a less desired car that they need, or possibly just have to cope with, to be more bearable.  

Automobiles are a reflection  of your personality.  So become your own automotive personality!

Cadillac…no longer caught up

So… I read today that Cadillac is attempting to distance itself from GM.

THANK GOODNESS!

For some reason I believe that Cadillac has been misunderstood by the general public for the past 10 years and even more so in the past 3.

If you look at the sheer price, power, performance, and luxury offered by the Cadillac vehicles, no other vehicle really compares…at least what you get compared to what you give for it.

Cadillac’s are not just old peoples cars, and they are not just gangsta whips. I feel that those associations are fair, and that it adds to the diversity of America, but there is an image, more like an aura around Cadillac’s, that screams Americas finest.  

I think that the GM image has hurt Cadillac. Maybe more in a small way, but still, it has done some damage none the less and especially since taking government loans. I do realize that it is not all happy feelings, as they have not completely cut ties, and they are still supplied by all things GM. But still, I see this as a glimmer of hope that maybe, one day soon, Cadillac will be a free, privately owned car company, competing on the world class stage, and winning!

With all this in mind, I urge you to stand up and support Cadillac and help it gain some independence. While that seems almost oxymoronish due to the present circumstances, every little bit helps!

Will We Answer The Call?

What do you think of when you think of the automptive world? What thoughts do you hold concerning American vehicles VS. Asian vehicles? Well I say it is about time we started approaching the subject head on.

The year is 2009. The Global econony is struggling to get back on its feet as corporations scavenge for whats left of the automotive market. People today more than ever are looking for wise investments that serve their purpose and their wallet as they try to aquire a new vehicle. But where to start? Should they listen and take advantage of the incentives offered by our government. CASH FOR CLUNKERS! GET MONEY BACK FOR A NEW VEHICLE!! There it is! In bold letters proclaiming the mighty deal that our governement was willing to offer. But the question is, how did America benefit? Two stories to be told. One man used his cash to buy another car under the required amount of MPG number that the government requested, and the other man used his money to buy a reliable imported car form the asian market. Wait…were they supposed to spend their money on the 2009 malibu or the late 2010 production of the volt? Oh well. NEWS UPDATE: KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE AUTOMOTIVE WORLD.

We as American car enthusiasts have the ability to speak out more than ever. With the downsizing of the markets and the cut of production and cost we will see the American automotive world catering more towards public ratings and the voices of the spectators. The marketing teams will now be working overtime as they search to find standing ground in a very unbalanced market. American automaking hasn’t stood a chance against the low prices and the high production standards of the imported vehicles that over run our dealerships. So what do we do about it? Give incentives to support the asian market even more? No, we raise production standards and increase practical vehicles that will sell to a larger audience. GM has made a good start with hybrid technology and MPG numbers so why not expand now when it is critical for America to be back and known it the automotive market?

Many would cringe at my words due to the idea of putting more money into an already barely surviving market. But my thought is that without a loss at first the companies wont be around long enough to see a profit. Americans will have to be won over by preformance, reliabilty, and practicality of American vehicles or we will continue to remain under the shadow of the asian automotive market.

This has been Josh sub-blogging for Brentton. Let us know what you think in the reply box down below. It is time for car enthusiasts to answer the call. How will we shape the future of the American market?

                                                                                                                                                               -Josh