Best of the Web: Tesla pushes out update, increases range.

Best of the Web: Buick Y


Why the ‘Y-Job’ — Harley Earl and the Buick Dream Car

by the fully retractable Albert Mroz


Perhaps the real question you might be asking is, “Who was Harley Earl?” Well, this well-crafted post by Albert Mroz is truly an expose of a creative genius which does eventually answer the question in the title. It’s a fun read and it’s worthy of our best of the web series.

For complete story read the original at the link below.

The Rise and Fall of the Motor Town


When you think of motors and motor manufacture you think of Detroit. Nowadays though it is like a ghost town with many abandoned factories. The Big Three factories were all based here, namely General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, but the place is full of so many remains of old car factories that it is hard to chronicle properly. But let’s start at the beginning.

The very earliest factory in Detroit was in 1899 and was called the Detroit Automobile Company. It only lasted two years and the cars and trucks weren’t that impressive, especially as the cars manufactured looked like they were made with baby-buggy wheels. At that point, cars weren’t thought to replace the horse and carriage and no one was looking at them as economically viable.

Only slightly later the Packard Automotive Plant was built in Detroit; 1903. Based on the East Grand Boulevard it still stands as a huge urban sprawl of concrete. Although it closed in 1953 businesses were still using the space up to the 1990s.

Although everyone associates the Ford Motor Company with the Model T Ford these were built in Highland Park, Michigan in 1908. Having said that he did have a factory in Detroit also in 1903 in Mack Avenue but it took some time to be as large as the Packard factory. Ford had put money into the Detroit Automobile Company too but the Model T would be a real turning point for him.

The biggest Ford factory in Detroit was the Rouge Factory or Rouge Complex built between 1917 and 1928. To date, this is the largest factory in the world and went on to inspire car factories all around the globe. It is currently a museum to the history of car manufacture and innovation in general. It is not unremarkable that Detroit still holds their automobile heritage in high esteem.

The Chrysler factory was also known as the Dodge Main Plant. To be technical, the Dodge brothers owned the factory before Chrysler but that’s just the story of car manufacturers, takeovers and more takeovers. The Dodge brand was originally about working cars, vans and trucks such as the Texaco tanker. In about 1939 it became a more luxurious brand (although all cars from this point look rather stylish).

The factory closed in 1979 and became the site of a General Motors factory building cars like the Cadillac, though it looks like even the GM factory will be demolished this year. Chrysler had been merged with Daimler in 1998. In 2014 Fiat went into partnership with Chrysler to create further Dodges, such as the Dodge Dart. It’s sad that they are no longer associated with Detroit.

There are plans for a new car factory in Detroit building the Grand Cherokee and the Jeep, ironically on the site of Ford’s Mack Avenue car factory. Of course, the SUVs won’t be ready until next year, but the investment in Detroit is the main thing. So maybe Detroit’s love affair with the car will remain.


Tesla reverses decision to close stores, raises prices instead!

(Reuters) – Electric carmaker Tesla Inc said on Sunday it will raise prices of its high-end vehicles by about 3 percent on average as it plans to keep more retail stores open than planned.

Tesla said the worldwide price hikes will apply to the more expensive variants of Model 3, Model S and Model X, and there will be no price increase to the $35,000 Model 3.

The carmaker said potential buyers can place orders until March 18 at the old prices.

The move comes after Tesla said last month it was shifting all sales online to help lower prices by about 6 percent on average, allowing it to achieve the $35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than expected.

Cost savings from store closing will be only about half the expected amount as the company will close only half the number of stores planned, it said.

The carmaker said a few stores in high-visibility locations that were closed due to low throughput will be reopened with a smaller Tesla crew.

Tesla said the stores will carry fewer cars in inventory for customers who wish to drive away with a Tesla immediately.

(Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Gopakumar Warrier)

VW Monday: Two Popular VW Options


The Touareg SUV

The height of luxury, the Touareg SUV has an MSRP starting at just below $49,000 and includes every last smidge of luxury you expect from German design. This mid-sized crossover has been on the market since 2002, and named after a North African Berber-speaking community, the Tuaregs. The lovechild of VW, Audi, and Porsche, it’s obvious from its roots how the Touareg became so laden with luxury. The mission? To design an off-road machine that handled like a sports car. More than 300 people were involved in the development, which took place at Porsche’s headquarters in Germany. The VW Group PL71 platform was used as a base, which is shared with the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. Of course, the styling, technical and equipment difference are massive.

The Touareg easily seats five and comes in either a V6 or V8 engine model. Offering the most upscale trims imaginable, the Touareg’s “competition” is considered offerings from Mercedes and BMW. For those who are really power hungry, a limited amount of V10 TDI diesel Touaregs were offered in 2004 and again in 2006 as the “Tier 1 emissions concept vehicle.” However, most drivers prefer a more eco-friendly machine.

Boasting feats never before seen with Volkswagens, like easily going through a snow bank, the Touareg has showcased its strength by towing a Boeing 747—it broke the record for the heaviest load hauled by any passenger car. However, it’s not all brute force. The latest Touareg features the globe’s first automotive headlight technology, dubbed the “glare-free high beam.” The beam changes patterns continuously to avoid glare. You’ll also get adaptive cruise control with stop and go functions, the Lane Assist warning system, Side assist for blind spots and Front Assist which is an automatic pre-crash system. Mix in area view with a total of four cameras, eight-speed auto transmission and Adaptive Air Suspension with continuous damping control, and it’s clear why the Touareg is a winner.

Awarded Car and Driver’s Best Luxury SUV, Motor Trend’s SUV of the Year, and Four Wheeler’s Four Wheeler of the Year award, you’ll find the Touareg of your dreams. Whether it’s the Sport with nav, Lux, R-Line or Exec Model you’re after, a local dealer is your ticket to the best in service and inventory.


Meet the Beetle

Nothing is more iconic than the Volkswagen Beetle, whether you prefer a vintage charmer or a brand new updated “Bug.” Today’s Beetles start at just over $20,000, making them a great choice for young drivers, second cars, or simply those who appreciate a great price along with cute overload. Of course, “cute” might not be the best description of the new and improved Beetle. Those smooth lines, powerful engines and extra interior room have turned the Beetle into a superbug. Drivers can select a 2.5L, 1.8T, 2.5L with sunroof or 1.8T with sunroof. The original Beetle was produced in 1938 until Volkswagen decided it was time for a makeover. People still loved those original looks, but going into the next century it was time to spice things up.


The New Beetle is a compact car which was originally introduced in 1997. However, there were some big chances for the new incarnation, such as putting the engine in the front with storage in the rear. There have been a number of special editions released, like the Malibu Barbie. The new Beetle was welcomed with open arms, but VW had some more tricks up those German sleeves. Again in 2011, another “new” new Beetle debuted.

Boasting a max speed of up to 131 mph, acceleration of 0-60 mpg in as little as 6.5 seconds, and plenty of luggage space, this new Beetle has a lot of get up and go. But it’s not all flash and speed. The Beetle was awarded five stars from the Euro NCAP, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the machine a “good” overall score when it comes to frontal crash tests. That makes sense with those side airbags for optimal safety.

With engine sizes, Americans can select from 115 hp, 100 hp, and 150 hp as well as a turbo diesel engine option. When it comes to buying a Beetle, you’ve probably been a fan from way back. The New Beetle snagged Motor Trend’s Import Car of the Year Award, but you don’t need accolades to know if a Beetle is for you.


Best if the Web: drowning in announcements from Tesla?

  • 220px-Elon_Musk_Royal_Society (1)
  • The Model Y launch announcement from Tesla comes days after the company cut prices on other models.
  • The vehicle could have strong demand, but it could also cannibalize demand


Original Story

Tesla‘s onslaught of announcements is starting to make analysts wonder if customers are losing interest in its cars.

CEO Elon Musk said Sunday that Tesla’s upcoming Model Y crossover vehicle will be unveiled on March 14. While it could be a great vehicle with high demand, RBC analyst Joseph Spak said the timing of the announcement raises concerns. Musk tweeted the news days after the company made considerable price cuts to its other models and said Tesla needs to close some showrooms and cut sales staff. It also spent nearly $1 billion paying off debt last week.

On Thursday, Tesla unveiled its long-awaited $35,000 Model 3, reduced prices on upgrades to its Autopilot automated driver assistance system and made significant price cuts to its Model S and Model X vehicles after saying it will only sell its vehicles online to lower costs. Its shares fell nearly 8 percent Friday and slid by another 3 percent in midday trading Monday.

Best of the Web: VW goes Electric!


In January, Volkswagen teased a new electric dune buggy, a modern reinterpretation of the classic American dune buggies that were first created in the 1960s. Now, the battery-powered buggy is making its global debut this week at the Geneva Motor Show, and it has a name: the I.D. Buggy, placing it alongside the automaker’s other I.D.-branded vehicles that are meant to represent VW’s all-electric future.

Link to Original Story


For VW, the buggy is meant to show off the versatility of its MEB, or “Modulare E-Antriebs-Baukasten,” which is German for “modular electric drive matrix.” The company is betting big on its MEB platform, which will serve as the basis for the 10 million electric cars it wants to sell.

Also known as beach buggies and sand rails, dune buggies became wildly popular in the 1960s with the launch of the Meyers Manx, produced by California surfer and entrepreneur Bruce Meyers. Debuting in 1964, Meyers came up with the idea of lifting the body off the original Volkswagen Beetle and replacing it with a fiberglass, open-topped shell, making a few other modifications that would let it operate on sand dunes, as well as public roads.

DB2019AU00319Volkswagen estimates that as many as 250,000 of the original Beetles were modified into dune buggies and other unique models by the 1980s. Meyers himself relaunched his company in 2000.

All buggies from the 1960s featured a high degree of modular variability. The I.D. Buggy is no different. According to VW, it’s a pure two-seater that can be converted to seat four. Another electric motor can be added to the front axle to make four-wheel drive possible. In fact, the upper body can be completely detached from the MEB chassis, opening up a world of possibilities for third-party manufacturers as the original Meyers Manx kit did for the first buggies.

The paint job, which VW describes as “fern green,” is reminiscent of the automaker’s Day-Glo yellow microbus concept, the I.D. Buzz, which it first revealed in 2017. This makes sense considering all are members of VW’s I.D. Family, a new generation of connected, autonomous electric vehicles. Other members include the Vizzion, a 400-mile range, 75 kWh-motor sedan, and the Crozz, a self-driving crossover SUV.

Best of the Web: new rideshare competition starts in Dallas

This Dallas startup just hauled in $14.5 million to disrupt Uber, Lyft

Alto’s business model differs considerably from traditional ridesharing companies.

Dallas natives Will Coleman and Alexandra Halbardier are the driving forces behind the company, which launched in Dallas during the recent holidays.

Alto’s business model differs from traditional ridesharing companies. The firm employs its drivers and manages a dedicated fleet of SUVs. It also gives more control to its customers. For example, Alto members use an app to control the in-car experience, from music to climate. Frog Ventures designed the app and in-car experience.

Link to original article