“Just don’t race,” my boss told me at 12:43 a.m. his time, which was the middle of the afternoon for me. “I can think of more reasons not to do it. I just don’t think this is worth it for a story.” This story he was referring to, me running my first-ever wheel-to-wheel car race with Chinese automaker Geely in Shanghai, seemed worth it a few weeks earlier. It was an opportunity to race in a field with some professional drivers on the Shanghai International Circuit Formula One track in stripped-out race versions of Geely’s 131-horsepower Emgrand GL sedan, and to see up close what was happening with China’s budding motorsports culture. It all sounded like a grand time, and a safe one. But considering what went on the few days I’d been in Shanghai—or the lack thereof—before Geely released about 20 seemingly novice drivers on a 3.4-mile circuit from a standing start like rabid wolves, it didn’t seem fun anymore. My … [Read more...] about I Went to China to Race a New Car. Then Things Got Weird
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Car companies often tweak their vehicles for different markets in order to comply with regulations or serve varying customer tastes. But Ford is apparently considering a novel change to cars bound for the Chinese market: removing the “new car smell.” Yes, the fresh but sometimes dizzying smell of a brand-new car might be popular in the US, but it’s apparently off-putting in China. More than 10 percent of drivers in the country complain about aggressively smelly new cars, making it a “top industry problem,” Brent Gruber, a senior director at J.D. Power, told the Detroit Free Press. “To put that in context, it is nearly double the problem rate of the second most prevalent problem, excessive fuel consumption.” Ford spelled out its solution for this issue in a recent patent application (though the consumers who are worried about excessive fuel consumption may not like it). Simply put, the source of “new car smell” has to do with the … [Read more...] about Ford dreams up a way to kill ‘new car smell’
As Jalopnik’s resident car buying expert and professional car shopper, I get emails. Lots of emails. I’ve decided to pick a few questions and try to help out. This week we are discussing proper paint care for a new car, high mileage leases and more. First up…. Soon to be getting an expensive new car. Want to protect it from the start. Did a bunch of initial reading on films/ceramic. I’m going to wrap the entire car in expel for the long-term protection and self-healing properties. Now I am reading that some people are putting ceramic coating over the wraps as well. Is this a thing and does it truly help in any way (easier washing, shininess, not needing to wax, etc...)? Taking the cost factor out of it, what do you think/have you heard? Thank you for tolerating this first world query. This one is outside of my wheelhouse, so I went to friend of Jalopnik and car detailer extraordinaire Larry Kosilla owner of AMMO NYC. Here is what he had to say - Some … [Read more...] about What Is the Best Way to Protect the Paint on a Brand New Car?
The Morning Shift All your daily car news in one convenient place. Isn't your time more important? Car loan interest rates are too high, a Tesla investor takes a big stake in a rival, and so much more in The Morning Shift for Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. 1st Gear: The National Automobile Dealers Association Chairman Has a Lot to Say Wes Lutz is the chairman of the NADA and the owner of a Michigan dealership himself, which means he knows car sales as well as anyone, so we should trust him when he says that interest rates on car loans are getting out of control. They now average nearly six percent, according to Bloomberg, and, Lutz says, leading buyers to buy cheaper used cars instead. That could be a problem for dealers. In recent years we’ve seen rising new car prices offset by people just taking out longer loan terms, which in many cases hinged on low interest rates. Take that out of the equation and you’re in trouble: “Consumers are stretched at this … [Read more...] about Interest Rates Are Getting Too High for New Car Buyers
The Morning Shift All your daily car news in one convenient place. Isn't your time more important? A gloomy sales outlook for the rest of the year, a devastating earthquake affecting Toyota production, and a deep-dive into the effects of BMW’s South Carolina operations on the state’s economy. All of this and more in The Morning Shift for Monday, Sept. 10. 1st Gear: The Rest Of This Year Could Be Rough For Car Sales Automakers are going to face a “tough slog” as they try selling vehicles in the U.S. between now and the end of the year, Automotive News asserts. Even though sales have been up this year compared to last, the news site says analysts don’t expect 2018 to be any better than 2017, spelling an ominous forecast for the remainder of the year. From AN: That means these next four months are shaping up to be a tough slog to the finish line for automakers — and a test of executives’ ability to suppress their instinct to open up the … [Read more...] about The Rest Of This Year Looks Rough For New Car Sales