24 April, 2006

Heart of (fibre)glass

TVR has confirmed that following a hard winter, it has been forced to lay some workers off. This is a temporary move to tide the company over, according to spokesman Ian Law.

He couldn't yet say how many workers were involved, but insisted that the workers were made redundant and hadn't "simply fallen off". He also downplayed rumours that electricians at the Blackpool factory stopped working every time it rained or the wind was blowing funny.

TVR traditionally suffer poor sales during harsh winters, as 95% of test drives conclude with an odd plastic car lodged backwards in a hedge whilst the driver phones a Porsche dealership.

For the future, however, TVR remains optimistic that its plans to expand in the Middle and Far East, where it doesn't rain often, will help to pull it out of the problems created by slow domestic demand. In addition, Law reckoned that we're in for some big surprises at the British Motor Show in July.

Industry insiders are bracing themselves for a hysterically swoopy plastic monster that looks like a tartrazine fuelled 10 year old boy broke into the styling studio, has a really loud V8 and smells like a canoe.

20 April, 2006

Turning Japanese

In a move that will pain many patriotic frenchmen, especially the criminals, the Gendarmerie Nationale are to use Subaru Impreza WRXs for chase vehicles. French cars have been deemed too slow.

The Japanese car maker has won a key contract for fast intervention cars for the highway police. "We have a contract to supply 63 cars to the Gendarmerie Nationale for patrols on the roads," Subaru spokesman Gilles Varmoux said. "There was a tender for four-door, four-wheel drive cars that could go faster than 240 km per hour (149 mph) and had a reasonable price," he added.

The Scoobys will replace Peugeot's 306 S16 and the Renault Megane Coupe.

It's an embarassment for a country that is fiercely proud of it's national products. Industry insiders know that the only reason the Peugeot 607 exists at all is so that President Chirac doesn't have to turn up to Euro meetings in a Merc. That's why they've sold three.

The police forces are among the most faithful clients of the local car makers, but this time the French offerings were just too slow. "These new vehicles will allow the national police to fight the most serious and most dangerous road offences," the Gendarmerie Nationale, part of the defence ministry, said on its Website. It adds that 156 agents would be trained to drive the cars on the Bugatti racing circuit of Le Mans.

The cars are for the rapid intervention brigade (BRI) which previously had vehicles that could not go faster than 190 km per hour (118 mph). The BRI, spread over the country at 55 stations, will intervene only in case of a crime or serious offence when a driver has to be stopped immediately.

But officers equipped with the new vehicles are confident that on fast pursuits they'll still be passed by a rusting Citroen C15 floating along in the wrong lane whilst the impassive be-sandalled gallic driver puffs languidly on his pipe.

18 April, 2006

Yosemite Sham

Oh yeah we love cars, motorbikes and such. But I think most folk are waking up to the fact that we need to look a little bit closer at the impact our usage has. Well most folk...

Dave Givens, an electrical engineer, from Mariposa California has won "America's Longest Commute" awarded by auto repair firm Midas. His daily trek to Cisco's San Jose headquarters is a 372 mile round trip.

Givens, however, has no plans to change his routine any time soon after running the same route since 1989.

Dave heads out the door at around 4:30 a.m. from a ranch at the edge of the Yosemite National Park. On a good day, he can make the 186-mile trip to Cisco's sprawling offices in less than three hours.

Givens usually arrives home at around 8 or 8:30 pm but the drive home through thicker traffic can take up to five hours some days.

"I could live a bit closer, but it would cost more and wouldn't be anywhere near as scenic," he said.

12 April, 2006

Big Oil meanies

Chrysler's chief spokesman Jason Vines took on major oil companies on Monday, saying they had failed to combat high gas prices, demonstrating outright greed.

"Big Oil would rather fill the pockets of its executives and shareholders, rather than spend sufficient amounts to reduce the price of fuel, letting consumers, during tough economic times, pick up the tab," he wrote on an official Chrysler blog, open only to automotive journalists and industry analysts.

Well gee whizz Jason you say Big Oil only care about making profits for it's shareholders? What in christing fuck did you expect? A face-painting tent on every forecourt and half-price Wednesdays?

If you want to send a message the mean old men in Big Oil, those bad ol' Texans who are so cruelly working the market to their advantage.

You may want to stop fitting 5.7 litre Hemi V8's into even your most mumsy shopping trolleys like the appalling Chrysler Aspen.

Just a thought.

07 April, 2006

I'm ready for my close up

Those business gurus over at Chevrolet have run with a marketing idea so open to abuse it's kinda cute. You can 'direct' your own tv ad for a Chevy Tahoe SUV.

Finally the chance to show Ridley Scott he's a know-nothing toilet. Fetch my bullhorn, chop out a finger wide line of racket, and get me my gold plated directing pistol.

Check out my ad here (warning, it has sound)

With inspired marketing decisions like this you can expect their new slogan to be "Chevy strong as a kitten, dumb as a sackful of hammers"

03 April, 2006

I heartily endorse this product or book

Oh Carol Vorderman, how much does the marketing department love you? Let me count the ways... I'll have two off the top and three from the bottom.

Carol's ever so clever. She can do sums. In her head. Whilst twinkling gaily towards a presenter, not like that Rain Man who can also do sums but is a bit scary.

Carol's the acceptable face of book learning. Ever so clever for a lady! Bright in a way that the folk watching telly can understand. More of a parlour trick than anything else.

And you what that spells? Money in the bank. Want a vaguely scientific gloss over your product? Carol's agent can quote for you on the phone today. It's the only choice if you're having trouble hawking margarine or dubious diets. Need your sudoku compilation to stand out from the crowd? Carol's got some paperwork on her right now for a simple cover shot 1 year deal.

As time and exposure take their toll keep an eye out for Carol's hold'em poker sets and the Vorderman system for picking steeplechase winners.