Americans Buying More SUVs And Crossovers Than Sedans

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1st Gear: Good, Sedans Kind Of Suck


There are a lot of sedans I will forever love, including the W123 sedan and the Lotus Cortina, but I've argued before that they're not the most efficient use of space nor the most attractive form factor.

America, it seems, agrees, buying more SUVs and crossovers for the first time ever:

IHS said that, through May, SUVs and crossovers account for 36.5 percent of the new vehicle market, compared to 35.4 percent for sedans. Five years ago, sedans held the top spot with 36.3 percent of the market, while SUVs and crossovers accounted for 31.4 percent. IHS studied vehicle registration data supplied by Southfield-based automotive data firm Polk.


Thankfully, the CUVs they're buying are basically small wagons or hatchbacks.

2nd Gear: Is Volkswagen Trying To Buy Fiat?


High on the list of stories that I believe are probably a little true, but I hope aren't mostly true is this one from Bloomberg via a German magazine:

VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech, who is a member of the family that controls the Wolfsburg-based carmaker, has held various talks with associates and members of the Agnelli family, which controls Fiat, Manager Magazin reported on its website. VW and Turin-based Fiat declined to comment on the report. A spokesman for Exor SpA, the Agnelli family investment firm, said the company had no immediate comment.


I think it's cool that VW bought Ducati and I'm a big fan of what they've done with some of their brands, but.... ughhhhhhh. We need more than three big automakers. We need many. We need the ideas that come with them. The style. The brand. The platforms.

It's fair to say Sergio Marchionne is likely against this idea, since he didn't even want to sell Alfa, but if his latest five-year plan doesn't work don't be surprised if the family that controls Fiat doesn't start thinking about it.


3rd Gear: The Ford Mustang Is Going To Africa And The Middle East


O beautiful, for spacious roads,

For blackened tire marks,

For bright red spoilers majesties,

Above the African plain!

The Mustang (and a bunch of other cars) are going to Ford's African and Middle East units.


Coming later this year is the Focus. The Fusion will go on sale in the Middle East this year and Africa next year. The Mustang will arrive next year.

"The all-new Mustang is out of the stable," Jim Benintende, president, Ford Middle East & Africa, said in a release. "The Mustang is uniquely Ford and has a huge fan base in the Middle East — the second largest market outside North America."


The last time America sent Mustangs to Africa it was a big success.

4th Gear: Tesla Is Definitely Going To Build More Stuff In CA


Don't worry about Tesla Model S or anything else getting built outside of California any time soon as Elon Musk has continued to use the promise of a bigass battery factory to get whatever he wants.

California has set into play various legislative proposals and actions that have enabled it to come back into consideration," a Tesla spokesman said. "Discussions have taken place between us and various representatives of the state and the overtures they are making and conditions they are proposing place them in a better position for consideration."

The state last week authorized local property tax breaks for battery plants. On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill authorizing a $420 million tax credit for Lockheed Martin Corp. LMT -0.66% that included language also allowing local governments to offer property tax breaks to battery manufacturers, essentially creating a pathway for Tesla's gigafactory.


Translation: "Please don't go Texas, please don't go to Texas, please don't go to Texas"

5th Gear: Carlos Ghosn...


One of Japanese Prime Minister's Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics 2.0" reforms is to get women into the workplace, including getting female workers appointed to 30% of top jobs.

Nissan Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn doesn't agree...

Scepticism from Ghosn, a Brazil-born French citizen of Lebanese origin considered one of the more progressive executives in the country, echoes resistance among Japan's more tradition-bound business leaders to the 30 percent target. Ghosn said aiming for 10 percent by end-March 2017 was a more realistic goal for Nissan, where women now fill around 7 percent of management positions.

"Frankly, what I don't want is a burst of females in management with a lot of failures," Ghosn told a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday, when asked about the 30 percent target. "We need to show successes. If people start to see ... failures, I think it's going to be counter-productive."


Ghosn was later heard saying "Women are as filthy as men, not naming any names - I don't know any - but women... are... dirty"

Reverse: He Was Very Tightly Swaddled As A Baby

Nils Bohlin, the Swedish engineer and inventor responsible for the three-point lap and shoulder seatbelt—considered one of the most important innovations in automobile safety—is born on July 17, 1920 in Härnösand, Sweden.


Neutral: Will You Ever Buy Another New Sedan?

Or will you be getting something with a hatch?

Photo Credit: AP Images