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Tag Archives: Madison
The question is no longer “what is a crossover.” It is “what size do you need?”
Since petrol prices scaled up to $4.00 a gallon nationwide earlier this year, the North American automotive market saw a general shift towards smaller, more efficient vehicles. Benefitting from this downsizing shift is the small crossover segment. If you scour over the sales charts, you will notice the astounding growth in sales of these smaller utility machines.
It is also a field that is getting a bit crowded. On the top of the segment’s charts are the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Ford Escape. These three vehicles practically boosted this segment’s profile from the onset. However, it appears that almost every manufacturer that sells vehicles in North America has at least one to offer.
As a byproduct of the growth in small crossover sales, there are now niches within this segment. While Toyota, Honda and Ford rule the more mainstream sections of this class; there are now luxury models available for the more discriminating consumer. Even the luxury models are experiencing boosts in their sales figures – evidenced by staggering month-to-month increases by the greatly improved BMW X3.
When you have two distinct sub-segments within a market class, no one seems to be concerned about “the middle.” After all, the North American market had been divesting away from the middle of the market by eliminating entire brands – Mercury, for example.
The arguments are plenty as to the reasons behind diverging away from the so-called “middle.” Still, consumers want something that is not too pretentious…and not too plain, either. The BMW X3 is a wonderful machine, but it can be priced too dear for most families. The Toyota RAV4 may offer three rows of seats, but some consumers complained it’s too cheap and plastic for their tastes.
There is good news, however: The “middle” still exists and it lives right in the heart of the small crossover marketplace.
At what point does a relocation became a classic road trip?
Moving is a lot of work. We all know this. We pack what we can into our vehicle – our own or a rental truck – and head off. It takes a high level of effort to ensure that nothing is broken, destroyed or stolen.
When I moved out of California, I packed what I can in four bags and flew out on a red eye from Los Angeles International Airport to Dulles Airport near Washington, DC. That was two days after Thanksgiving in 1996.
Four years later, America as about to go to the polls to vote for George W. Bush. The Clinton era was effectively over in Washington. The white gloves of contract officers were wiping up enough dirt to re-compete contracts and lay off semi-essential workers. I left my IT procurement contract position at a defense agency in September of 2000 and hoped for the best. Continue reading
Tweet The 2010 Chevrolet Impala LT used on my recent trip to Madison, Wisconsin. Photo by Randy Stern Petrol just reached $3.29 a gallon range throughout the Upper Midwest today. There are plenty of explanations for this. In some cases, … Continue reading
Would you spend six days in a 2009 Toyota Avalon, especially when it’s not yours to begin with?
Plenty of you own Toyota’s North American large sedan. I salute you. You made it clear that Toyota can build a Buick – even better than GM can. Although Buick is changing, angling more towards a younger consumer group with a mix of flash and cool in the new LaCrosse sedan and the Enclave crossover. The Avalon is far from bread-and-butter, but the AARP wouldn’t mind if you traded in your old Century Limited or LaSabre for an Avalon.
My original review of the supersized (and over-designed) Camry conjured up these images of Buickdom. For a few of these days, I had a former Buick LeSabre owner with me as I devoured the state of Wisconsin, while dicing and slicing through Madison and Milwaukee in the process. For the record, said former last-generation LeSabre owner is under the age of 30. Continue reading
The Upper Midwest is known for many things. There’s snow, for starters. Then, there’s the mix of agriculture and forest land that mark the landscape. Not to mention, the lakes! In Minnesota alone, there are approximately 10,000 of them. If you believe the license plate’s motto, it just seems like there are 10,000 lakes in the state.
Next door is Wisconsin, Minnesota’s proverbial backyard, has a city full of mystical energy wedged between two lakes. In the middle is an isthmus where the core of the city’s activities occurs. The insanity of the place is founded between the 1960’s ideals of some of the citizens and the sprawl beyond the shores of both lakes.
This is Madison; Wisconsin’s state capital and home of Bucky Badger and the tens of thousands of his minions. Oh, and my home for three-and-a-half years.
A leading GLBT publication named Madison one of the top ten places for lesbians to live. The reason for this is the large presence of feminist groups and women who truly live a feminist lifestyle within the city. Feminist does not always mean lesbian, but it does mean prominent residents such as singer Tret Fure and USA Member of Congress Tammy Baldwin.
Madison is also a small music mecca. Butch Vig came home to Madison after years of being a session drummer in Los Angeles to set down roots for a new band. Garbage was the brainchild of Vig with Scottish siren Shirley Manson as the front person of the band. If you’re looking for Ms. Manson anywhere on State Street, she does not live in Madison. Vig continues to operate his studio somewhere on Madison’s East Side.
In all, Madison is a great getaway from the hubbub of the city. If you’re coming from Milwaukee, Chicago or the Twin Cities, you will find yourself enthralled by the two major lakes in the city: Mendota and Monona. The isthmus is where it all happens, as you will find as we spot you the highlights of a visit to affectionately known as Mad-Town. Continue reading