GM, Nissan get first dance
Maybe such a partnership would improve GM’s ranking in the JD Power APEAL study. Released last week, the report measures performance, execution and layout based on survey responses from 63,000 consumers after 90 days of ownership. Top performers include Porsche, BMW and Lexus. Lincoln came in at 11th, and was the highest ranking domestic nameplate. Cars at the top of their segments included the Suzuki Aerio for subcompact, the Porsche Cayman for premium sporty car, the Lexus IS for entry premium, the Ford Fusion for midsize and the Honda Ridgeline for midsize pickup. The Nissan Titan took first in the large truck category.
Challenger, made in Canada?
That makes the Challenger a Canadian car….eh? Just as Canadian, anyway, as the 300 and the Charger, which are assembled in Ontario. If that’s not enough to make a NASCAR fan cry, consider this: the Ford Mustang is also technically an import, as is the new Chevy Tahoe. Confused? So were we, so figured out exactly which cars can claim a Made in America tag. It turns out that being assembled here isn’t enough -- the government says that a car must be made of at least 75 percent American parts to be considered red, white and blue, which makes the Toyota Sienna the most American minivan you can buy…….There’s no truth to the rumor that Congress will further define American-ness by requiring automakers to report on the nationality of its assembly line workers. So - the most American vehicle you can buy? Try the Ford Escape – built here, it’s made of 90 percent US parts. That doesn’t include the Ford Escape HYBRID, however, which has far too many Japanese components.
Let’s Make a Deal
In addition to loyalty programs and clearance sales, Bill Ford Jr. has also decided to back off promises of a blue oval hybrid future, saying that instead of building 250,000 hybrids by the end of the decade, the company will instead focus on a BROAD environmental strategy, the focus being alternative fuel vehicles such as ethanol and bio-diesel. The company still plans to introduce hybrid versions of the Mazda Tribute SUV in 2007, and the Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan sedan in 2008.
Hybrids making happy oil barons
Hybrids are one way to beat the price at the pump. Another way is to buy a bike a pedal to work, ride the bus, or carpool. Then again, if you’re too lazy to do that – and I know I am -- you can always just yell at someone. Hey….at least you’ll feel better. And now, for a limited time, you can yell at, I mean, ask an oil executive questions about gas prices. Watch for a friendly oil executive coming to a town near you this summer, as top guns at Shell begin a 50-city tour across the United States in hopes of persuading people that Big Oil is not ripping them off. Note: They probably won’t like it too much if you ask them for some of their billion dollar profits back.
Photos courtesy of the automakers