March 2, 2008

El Camino of Assie-land (And Then I Start Rambling)

They still have an El Camino in Australia made by Holden called the Ute. Here's an ad showing the history of the Ute. The Chevrolet El Camino, which was built from 1959-87 (with a break from 60-64), was GM's response to Ford's Ranchero. Although the popularity of the El Camino carried it on for nearly 8 more years beyond the Ranchero, we haven't seen a newly designed El Camino here in the USA since the late 80s. The Aussies; however, have both the GM owned Holden Ute and the Ford Falcon (new name for the Ranchero) today. There is some buzz on the automotive blogs that GM may introduce an El Camino based off the Ute platform here in the USA, but don't hold your breath. Automakers don't bring the popular cars of other countries here because they don't think they will do well. That must be why all the foreign cars do so poorly. Wait, isn't Toyota on top now? Can you say bitter? I'm not really interested in the Ute myself but I do think American Automakers are making decisions that don't fit the pulse of automotive fans here in the USA. Ford and GM both have excellent vehicles they produce and sell in other countries, which are appealing to Americans too. This concept of "World Cars" would probably work if automakers focused there research more on what is hot and what's not. There are probably several problems that I don't know about, like: the unions, differing opinions within the corporations, poor data gathering, self glorifying designers, old school thinking (like Ford and their desire to name all cars with "F" and all SUVs with "E" in the USA). I think there should be more avenues for consumers to give input on what they are looking for. With the Internet this should be easy. Heck, if you read a few blogs and automotive magazines, you'd see what's available in other countries and what's missing here. If you think about it, why do we still have cars with problems like roominess, fuel economy, power, handling, beauty, safety. Why are all the American Automakers losing money every year when this is the county with the most advanced, most wealthy, most wide spread, self indulged, EVERYTHING? How can the automakers RIGHT HERE be so out of touch with the desires of the people RIGHT HERE? Why is it the foreign automakers are out selling, out designing, out EVERYTHINGing the American Automakers? It's sad really. Henry Ford is often thought of as the "Father of the Automobile" (I know there is some debate on this), and Ford is now known for poor quality vehicles. I could talk for hours about the first and last Ford my parents bought (Taurus) and how it killed my parents' bank account. It was a pile of.....it was horrible. And now Ford renames the Five-Hundred to "Taurus". They are so out of touch that they think the Five-Hundred did poorly because of the name? NO! READ A BLOG OR MAGAZINE, FORD! You'll see that it's a boring design, it had a gutless engine, and it's front wheel drive. The Taurus name did nothing to help. And the engine upgrade, done with the name change, wasn't enough to offset the stigma associated with the name "Taurus". At least "Five-Hundred" started with an "F". Haha. Give me an Toyota or Honda so I know I'll see 200K miles. Give me an Audi or BMW so I can love to drive the roads of this HUGE country. Give me my VW Golf with 167,000+ miles and great handling, fuel economy, comfort, sound system, design, etc. so I can know I purchased an inexpensive vehicle that has fulfilled so many of my desires. Sure it's a little small, but it does so much extra that I forget about it's stature (yeah, okay and it's color, jerk). It's blue. Stop calling it purple. Wow. What happened here. I really just lost track of the point of this blog. I need to add a subtitle to this blog. I'm a ramblin' man.