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Tag Archives: Mitsubishi
Tweet 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT. All photos by Randy Stern Just when the pundits, the analysts, and the skeptics were predicting the demise of Mitsubishi Motors in North America, there are still signs of life over at the three-diamond brand. … Continue reading
Tweet It was good to not have to travel for this one… Actually, that is not true. If I had the chance, I would have flown off to New York to attend the media days of the auto show at … Continue reading
Tweet All photos by Randy Stern It is rare that the Twin Cities Auto Show gets a special product debut. Last year, the revised 2013 Lexus RX quietly appeared on the floor of the Minneapolis Convention Center. This was just … Continue reading
Tweet 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE AWC. All photos by Randy Stern A Victory & Reseda review of the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport There is a new kind of crossover coming to town. Be prepared to downsize a bit. As … Continue reading
Tweet Photo by Randy Stern When I do research on various subjects, I try to have a global perspective in what I am examining. Sometimes, my attention is grabbed by something really wonderful. Most likely, it is something that I … Continue reading
Tweet Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz USA Not all auto shows this year will be cause for celebration. As Palexpo opens up for the annual auto show in Geneva, a pall of uncertainly looms across Europe. Debt crises, currency concerns, political … Continue reading
Tweet 1982 GMC S-15 Pickup. Photo (c)1981, 2012 General Motors To survive a recession, you have to weather the storm. The early 1980s were an economic mess, yet not as bad as it was during the 1970s. This past recession … Continue reading
In the last State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proclaimed that the automotive industry in the U.S.A. is “back.” Some may argue that the industry’s return to prominence has not been fully realized, but there are signs that it is on the upswing.
However, this is not the same automotive industry of my childhood. Nor is it the same industry of my ancestors. Progress in manufacturing and an emphasis on globalization changed the way we view the manufacture of automobiles. On one hand, it had helped North America by the opening of production centers by non-Detroit-based automobile corporations.
On the flip side, the strategy of bringing the automobile closer to its marketplace through localized manufacturing plants evolved to accommodate a wider offering of products and advances in transportation and technology to eliminate the need for extra production capacity. Since the 1970s, this meant losses in manufacturing jobs and idle facilities – some reborn into other uses.
There are now generations of Americans who have forgotten that there was a mighty production facility in their community. Though some of them have not seen the wrecking ball, others either resemble a lay of wasteland or have been built to unrecognizable specifications.
There are some manufacturing facilities that continue to produce automobiles. They are imposing sites, sprawling for acres with telltale signs of industrial might. These continue to fuel the engine of the American economy.
A tour of these facilities – operational or otherwise – is in order. I will start just a few miles from home… Continue reading
Captive imports…and why did they exist anyway?
At a time when the call was to tune down the horsepower and prepare for an oil crisis, a recession and a never ending war overseas, domestic automakers figured it was high time to build another round of compact cars. By going smaller, there were two routes to take: Build them domestically or import them from a global partner somewhere. Three out of the four North American automakers chose the latter.
Chrysler had been selling Simcas and Sunbeams alongside Barracudas and Imperials through the 1960s. Simca and Sunbeam were a part of growing European operation for the Pentastar. In turn, Chrysler looked high and low to match the incoming compacts from General Motors, Ford and American Motors. They went across both the Atlantic and Pacific for their answers. Ford sold some European products at their dealerships in the past – the Cortina was the most popular and the Capri was a mainstay at Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. GM sold Opels at Buick dealers, but would soon play the captive import game as early as 1976.
You could also stretch the captive import involvement to AMC – that is if you include the subcompact Metropolitan that was jointly developed between Nash and Austin. They actually sold Metropolitans with the Hudson badge for a bit. At one time, Mitsubishi imported the Hyundai Excel for some of its dealers in the USA. Continue reading
Prior to 2002, Top Gear was a bit boring and stuffy. It was so stiff that even Jeremy Clarkson was a bit restrained compared to today’s show. Well, there was an older version of MotorGeek, and before that, my articles appeared on two other online magazines I either contributed to or edited for. The following article was from that Plasticine Era…a few moves ago. There is some relevance as the Mitsubishi Endeavor is still in production…but, not for long.
Enough boring set-up…read on… Continue reading