Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we have reports from Automobile Magazine, Wired and The Onion.
The Death of Real Japanese SUVs – Automobile Magazine
I don't really, because we still have the Toyota 4Runner and Nissan Xterra and they do a passable job of keeping the class alive. Stuff like the Samurai and Trooper and Montero did an interesting niche a generation ago. But when you have the Jeep Grand Cherokee that's capable and comfortable, do you really miss these old offerings?
These experiences got me thinking about Japanese, body-on-frame SUVs and their disappearance from the U.S. market. In the 1980s, vehicles like the Isuzu Trooper and Mitsubishi Montero were all the rage. They were boxy-cool and offered a ton of utility, combined with go-anywhere ability. Both the Montero and Trooper are long gone from the USA.
Just because GM and Chrysler are no longer government owned doesn't mean cars and politics aren't still involved. The Tesla issue will be very big this year, and in 2016.
Mitt Romney famously called Tesla Motors a "loser" company during his run for president. He lost, of course, and Tesla is by any measure winning. And so we see would-be presidential candidates lining up behind the Silicon Valley carmaker as its fight against auto dealers becomes a potential breakout issue in the 2016 election.
And finally, let's honor the Honda Days.
Now at last, on the first New Moon after Toyotathon, the mystical proclamations of the ancients about boundless utility, reliability, and fuel efficiency have finally come to pass! The era of customer incentives and factory rebates is upon us! That ancient prophecy is now manifest, writ in the very ink of the gods in the Sunday paper insert, heralding the arrival of the Honda Days dreamt of by so many generations before us!