Tag Archives: Suzuki

My Favorite Vehicles That Make You Scratch Your Head and Wonder “Why Did You Buy This?”

Tweet All Photos by Randy Stern Have you ever looked at a vehicle out on the road – or in a parking lot – and wondered “why would anyone own such a thing?” Sounds judgmental, right? It is…or, not. The … Continue reading

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Throwback Review: Call It What You Will…

07Suzuki XL7 607Suzuki XL7 8

What do you think this particular SUV needs to make it stand out in a crowded market? It’s an odd looking entry, isn’t it?

Perhaps it needs a mask. Nissan created a new preview site for their upcoming GT-R coupe as a play on the multitude of videos posted of their prototypes in action at the Nurburgring. Each one of these testers had a black mask obscuring the front end of each vehicle. Therefore, Nissan dubbed their preview site after the “black mask.” This gives the upcoming supercar a bit of mystery before its official unveiling at the upcoming Tokyo Auto Show.

However, the vehicle I’m reviewing needs more than just a black mask. To set the record straight, the vehicle in question is neither a high performance coupe nor a Nissan product.

What the Suzuki XL-7 needed was a paper bag. Continue reading

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My Favorite Loss Leaders

Tweet Everyone loves a Grand Am! – All Photos by Randy Stern This decade saw six brands simply disappear from American showrooms: Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Mercury, Saab and Suzuki. They join the misbegotten that danced in front of us for … Continue reading

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Historiography: The Epic Failures

Tweet All Photos by Randy Stern Not everything goes the way as it was intended. Selling a new brand in the USA is not as easy as you think. The impetus begins with good intentions, but somehow the idea of … Continue reading

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Five Favorite Industry Failures

Tweet All photos by Randy Stern Failure is something that society either hates or loves. How does a failure occur? Mismanagement is one source of the problem. Incompetency is another – perhaps notes as the biggest source of failure. Timing … Continue reading

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Five Favorite “Brief Appearances”

Tweet All photos by Randy Stern O, Five Favorites, we hardly knew ye… Frankly, the old Five Faves have been set aside somehow thanks to Auto Show coverage, going Way Off Road and whatever floats V&R’s boat…er, car. That does … Continue reading

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The Last Ride for American Suzuki’s Auto Business

Tweet Photo by William Maley/Cheers & Gears As predicted by various people in the know, it still came as a surprise. It was announced on Monday that American Suzuki Motor Corporation would realign their business to concentrate on motorcycles, ATVs … Continue reading

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Five Favorite….Captive Imports?

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

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Five (Not So) Favorite Vehicles I Ever Experienced

I try to be a positive person when it comes to the automobile. But, sometimes, you end up getting a heap of scrap. What can an automotive person do after experiencing a piece of…garbage?

We drove them once in our lives. Vehicles that gave us fits, drain our pocketbooks and put us in arrears with our creditors. These were vehicles where even the dealer you bought it from would refuse to take back – even under a Lemon Law.

Trust me, I feel your pain. I had my share of automobile nightmares. Maybe I had more than the usual motorist – if not the same. In my time, I’ve experienced suicidal radiators, suicidal valve heads, suicidal gaskets, suicidal power steering pumps, over-torqued wheel bolts – and so forth.

And, one wonders why I do not own a vehicle. Continue reading

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