The Return of Badge Engineering

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Why did GM retire its Pontiac and Oldsmobile brands? It was because they’d stopped engineering cars. They had become marketing divisions for the same (fundamentally) “GM” vehicles also sold under other brand labels, such as Chevrolet and Buick.

The practice came to be styled – derisively –  badge engineering.

It wasn’t really GM’s idea to hollow out two of what had been among its most successful brands. The problem was the government – or rather, trying to comply with the government’s ever-increasing roster of demands styled “regulations.” When Pontiac and Olds were still engineering cars – and specifically, engines unique to those brands – each of those brands had to individually comply with the regulation-demands. This, of course, cost GM – the corporation – money. GM decided it could make more money by consolidating its engineering. Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles got Chevy-made engines which were already “certified” and “compliant.”

No need to “certify” GM and Oldsmobile engines separately.

This ended Pontiac and Olds, eventually – once people realized they were just buying a badge rather than an Oldsmobile or a Pontiac.

Bad ideas have a tendency to come back. The hacks over at Automotive News – which was once staffed by writers and editors who weren’t caged parrots – squawked out the following the other day, under the embarrassingly compliant headline, Automakers Must be Flexible, Work Together to Survive the EV Transition:

Shared resources could give automakers some cushion as the pace of EV growth ebbs and flows. Most components needed for EVs are consistent across automakers. Using common parts and joint procurement while maintaining their own branding and styles makes financial sense.” 

This is what an automotive journalist – an automotive trade publication – recommends as the way for the automakers who are losing money hand-over-fist trying to “sell” EVs to recover some of their losses.

For electric vehicles to succeed, “automakers can’t afford to run business as usual,” the piece goes on. “Their survival hinges on a business shift. Most automakers lose about $6,000 on every $50,000 EV they sell.”

So let’s all sell the same thing – under different labels. It worked so well the last time, right?

“Common parts and procurement” means a Chevy would have the same battery as a Kia – and the Kia would have the same battery as a BMW. Well, maybe a larger or smaller battery; more (or less) kilowatt-hours. A single or dual electric motors. But all made in the same factory by the same supplier.

Different colored shapes sold with different badges on their plastic flanks. But all of them functionally the same things under their plastic skins, with their electric slot car guts sources from a common supplier. One skate fits all!

“Compared with losing $6,000 per vehicle, collaboration is worth a try.”

Italics added. Ask Vidkun Quisling about that.

And no – it isn’t “worthy a try.” Having been already tried. Having already failed. An automotive journalist would know this and would therefore never suggest this as the “business shift” needed to salve the losses incurred by the government forcing every brand to manufacture the same devices in order to be compliant with the regs.

An automotive journalist would not use the supinely submissive cuck-speak of “surviving the EV transition,” as if this “transition” weren’t forced and unnatural, like the act of rape. One can “survive” that “transition,” too – by relaxing and enjoying it, as some people suggest. As the hacks over at Automotive News suggest.

What is wrong with these people?

It’s their job to explain things to their audience – not feed them fait accompli pabulum. How about raising a fist in defiance of this “transition”? By explaining to readers that it is a forced “transition” being done unto them by malicious (and mendacious) people who want most people to drive less and – ideally – not much at all. That this forced “transition” – via regulations – is meant to achieve exactly that. And that this “sharing” of “resources,” this injunction to use “common parts and joint procurement” will do to most of the brands that still exist what has already been done to brands like Olds and Pontiac – and Mercury and Plymouth, too.

It will lead, inexorably, to a consolidation of brands, pathetically trying to re-sell the same things with different badges. Why not just have one Consolidated Motors that sells the universal device – in various colors, mostly the same shape and in sizes ranging from smaller to larger?

That’s exactly where this is headed, as inevitably as the place where Pontiac and Olds were headed once they had made the “transition” into being badges that engineered exactly nothing of their own.

EV alliances, such as the one announced by Honda and Nissan, will be crucial for automakers’ balance sheets and longevity,” says the Automotive News piece.  

Look, we don’t want any trouble here, said Ned Beatty in Deliverance. He soon experienced a “transition” quite similar to the one Automotive News counsels. Relax. Don’t fight it.

Try to make the best of it. Maybe even try to enjoy it.

It’ll be over soon.

. . .

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113 COMMENTS

  1. The thing that got me about badge engineering is that they could still make cool new cars by kitbashing the parts from other brands. For example the Pontiac G6 could’ve been offered with the GM 3.6L engine. This would have given customers a reason to buy it vs the Chevy Malibu. Likewise either the Enclave or the Outlook could’ve had the 4.8L V8 to distinguish them from the Acadia/Traverse.

  2. A Badge with a problem…..

    Last Friday, Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, which was already McLaren’s biggest shareholder, having first invested in 2007, took over full ownership of the troubled British company, which has been experiencing heavy financial losses.

    McLaren recorded a pre-tax loss of $349m in the first nine months of 2023.

    England is losing all it’s car brands…

    Jaguar is East Indian
    MG and Lotus are Chinese
    Morgan is Italian
    Caterham is Japanese
    McLaren is Bahrainian
    Rolls Royce is German…BMW
    Bentley is German…VW Audi
    Aston Martin is Chinese and Bahrainian

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/bahrain-opposition-activist-detained-criticizing-mclaren-ownership

    • Hi Anon,

      Britain is lost. What is left of it that’s still identifiably “British”? Not much. The British (the few remaining) will soon be like the Indians – not the India Indians – are in this country. That is to say, residents of a place that is no longer their country.

      • Right….

        The original British tribes were invaded a long time ago by the slave owning nobility…genocided them and made them slaves…slaves in their own country….same as all the other white tribes in Europe….from that time on the slave owning nobility says they have allodial title to all the land there…and in all the other commonwealth countries they conquered..about 30% of the planet….

        King Charles the 3rd comes from those old nobility bloodlines…which includes Muslim royalty…….he wants to return to an absolute monarchy…just him in control…king at the top slaves at the bottom…but which slaves?…someone said Britain will be a Muslim country soon….check out immigration….

        those old nobility bloodlines…go right back to the Pharaohs…the original slave owners….still controlling the planet today…..

    • ‘McLaren is Bahrainian.’ — anonymous1

      Bahrain locked up Ebrahim Sharif for posting on social media, “With McLaren, we have moved from tragedy to farce. We have completed another cycle of owning failed companies with bottomless losses.”

      Boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix … and McLaren. Screw these towel-head thugs, and their crappy vanity cars.

  3. I was reading through the comment threads, and it reminded me of something they do not make like they used to-and relevant to this site. And that, those red gasoline jugs. About a year or so ago, I went to the store, bought two, five-gallon jugs, and then off to the gas station I went to fill them up. No problems, right? Good grief, what happened to just unscrewing the top off, putting the end of the hose into the jug, and filling it up with the gas? But no. A gas station tech guy had to show me how these “new and improved” caps operate. For saaaaafety. Good grief, that is as bad as having the cans of air (for dusting computer keyboards) hiding behind the counter because, well, saaaafety, and kids huffing the cans to get high. I am too old for that crap, buddy, just give me the old fashioned stuff that was never broken, and did not need fixing.

    • These days, you’ve got to buy your own spout, like this: https://ezpourspout.com/

      Get them before they’re banned. I have them on each gas can. Also, racing fuel jugs have straightforward spouts.

      These “improved” spouts are terrible. You’ll pour gasoline all over your mower or car or generator when trying to fill it. They’re supposed to prevent vapors escaping, but when you spill a pint of fuel trying to get it working, you do a lot more environmental contamination. However, Uncle says this is better, so everybody’s got to comply.

      • Thank you for the link, OP. My first thought was, “oh brother, now I have to buy a second piece, because what I used to buy before was too good, worked too well, and had to be messed with because some dumb fool did something equally dumb” that required fixing something that was never broken to begin with.

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerrycan#:~:text=Today%20similar%20designs%20are%20used,are%20also%20produced%20in%20plastic.

      >The German design jerrycan is still a standard container for fuel and other liquids in the armies of the NATO countries.

      >In the United States, the jerrycan is defined by the Code of Federal Regulation, 49 CFR 171.8 as “a metal or plastic packaging of rectangular or polygonal cross-section”.[15] As of 10 January 2009 all portable fuel containers are required to conform to two new regulations:[16][failed verification]

      They must meet new federal Mobile Source Air Toxics regulations, based on the California Air Resources Board’s regulations.[17]
      They must meet the requirements of the Children’s Gasoline Burn Prevention Act.[18]
      These new regulations do not apply to OSHA-approved metal safety containers, but rather to the common red plastic, portable gas cans. The regulations apply only to newly manufactured petrol cans, and there is no requirement on the part of users to discard their existing cans or to upgrade,

  4. Rebadging the Fiat 124….

    India
    The Fiat 124 was also introduced in India by Premier Automobiles Limited. In 1981 Premier began the process of acquiring the production tooling for the facelifted SEAT 124 D after authorization from Fiat.[19] The model was released in the autumn of 1985 as the Premier 118NE.

    Malaysia
    The 124 was also built at the Kilang Pembena Kereta-Kereta (KPKK) factory in Tampoi, Johor, since the latter half of 1967.[1] The cars were distributed by Sharikat Fiat Distributors.

    Spain
    In the frame of the licence agreement between SEAT and Fiat, it was produced and sold in Spain with the name SEAT 124 from 1968 to 1975

    Turkey
    The Fiat 124 was also produced by Tofaş under the names “Murat 124” between 1971-1977 and “Serçe” (“sparrow” in Turkish) between 1984 and 1994, in Bursa, Turkey. 134,867 Murat 124s were produced between 1971 and 1994. Tofaş concurrently produced the Fiat 131 series under the name Murat 131 between 1976 and 2002.

    Bulgaria
    The Fiat 124 was also produced under the name Pirin-Fiat in Lovech, Bulgaria, on the basis of complete knockdown (CKD) kits between 1967 and 1971.

    Korea…A Fiat 124 was named a Kia….
    The Fiat 124 was also produced under the name Fiat-KIA 124 by Asia Motors in South Korea, between 1970 and 1975. In total 6775 units were assembled….so the first Kia was a Fiat….later on S. Korea learned how to build cars….

    Egypt
    From 2002 to 2007, Lada-Egypt company built at least 9,000 cars (2,200 in 2006) in the shell of VAZ-2107 (Riva), a renamed Fiat 124 same as in Russia

    • Poland also had a Fiat the 125 that was manufactured in Warsaw between the years 1967 and 1991.

      From Wiki

      “Polski Fiat 125p is a motor vehicle manufactured between 1967 and 1991 in Poland under a Fiat license by the state-owned manufacturer Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych (FSO). It was a simplified and altered variation of the original, Italian-made Fiat 125, with engines and mechanicals from the Fiat 1300/1500. To distinguish between the models, Fiat and FSO revived the marque Polski Fiat. After termination of the license, the car was branded as FSO 1300, FSO 1500 and FSO 125p.”

      I actually had a ride in that car. We hired a taxicab for touring purposes. Small but doable.

      • The Fiat 125 is a large family car manufactured and marketed by Italian company Fiat from 1967 to 1972.
        The body was a slightly lengthened development of the Fiat 124: the two models had the same passenger compartment and doors, but the 125’s rear seat was set slightly further back,

        Rebadged Fiat 125….

        Yugoslavia/Serbia
        The Zastava 125 was a Zastava produced model identical to the Polish 125p

        Egypt
        Nasr 125….In Egypt production of the Polish 125p version went on under the name Nasr 125 until 1983.

        Soviet Union
        VAZ-2103 was based on Fiat 125.

        Argentina
        Argentinian Fiat 125 Potenciado Familiar…station wagon
        1978 Fiat 125 Multicarga….pickup truck
        In Argentina the 125 was built from 1972 to 1982, initially by Fiat-Concord and later by Sevel Argentina. In addition to the 4-door sedan version, a station wagon (called “Familiar”), a pickup truck (called “Multicarga”, a unique Argentine design) were built. There was also a coupe called 125 Sport with the same mechanics than the sedan, but based on the Fiat Coupé 1500 Vignale.

        Fiat 125 Multicarga…pickup truck…

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV6zGn6rVlk

        • The Italian Fiat 125 got the Lampredi 2 liter 4 cyl twin cam hemi engine…probably the best 4 cylinder engine ever made….

          A Ferrari engine designer engine in your Fiat….

          Aurelio Lampredi designed engines for Ferrari before working at Fiat Lancia designing engines and running Abarth…

          A quick Fiat 125 with Lampredi 2 litre 4 cyl twin cam hemi turbo @ Willowbank Drags
          12.09 second 1/4 mile @115 mph….

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DVWzOXsUdU

    • I read the article, John. It reminds me of Ray Kurzweil’s book “The Singularity Is Near”. In his book, Kurzweil firmly believed humans would one day merge with machines, and thus, live forever. He did admit to that bothersome, soul and spirit aspects of a person, and how either would play into the bigger picture. The book was most interesting to say the least. The article link you shared above seems to be one more step towards that goal. At least for some who may be in that club the rest of us are not in.

      • Hi Shadow,

        The guy who runs Technocracy News, Patrick Wood, has been warning about Technocracy for years and even wrote books on that evil ideology, but people laughed him off as a conspiracy theorist. Well unfortunately, just the past 4 years proves his warnings were spot on, as these technocrats, through puppets in Western Governments, pushed or are pushing all sorts of demented/ evil ideas such as Net Zero, digital ID, digital vaccine passports, CBDCs, mRNA vaccines for all, EVs for all, transhumanism, lab grown meat/ frankenfood, “15 minute cities”, etc. He posts a new story up every weekday, but as of earlier this year, to read past articles, you have to become a member of the website, and new articles that are posted are only available for public viewing for 3 days, likely due to the censorship-industrial complex that was exposed over the past few years.

      • And they’re practicing their butchery on children who are a little confused as they go through puberty. Transexual is just the warmup for transhuman, where powerful pharmaceuticals and surgery are used to “create” homo-superior. Khan Noonien Singh made real.

        There will be mistakes of course, iterative design always takes a while to find its way. They won’t do these experiments on their own kids, of course, only after the tech is perfected will they let the butchers alter their gene line.

        • Morning, RK!

          This is what comes of normalizing the pathological. Pretending it’s sane to wear a “mask” has had consequences. It is not coincidental that “mask” wearing coincided with the sudden eruption of men dressing like women (and the reverse) who literally think – and insist – that they have “transitioned” to the opposite sex. This is mental illness. And it’s not only been normalized, to question it is being pathologized as “hate.” Is it any wonder that kids are being abused my mentally ill people who want to normalize (as by spreading) their own mental illness?

          • In fact, the common sexual confusion among adolescents has been codified as “normal”. Their confusion has become a ripe target for extraction of profits, as the Medical Industrial Complex continues on its merry way.

          • There’s a computer graphics term called the uncanny valley. It’s when CGI generated images are very good, but just off enough that humans (and dogs, probably) can spot the fake. It’s getting harder though.

            Some of the pro-trans community set themselves up for a lifetime of surgery in an attempt to “fix” their uncanny valley problem. And I’m sure the plastic surgeons are planning new techniques that will be the big breakthrough to make a convincing Victor, Victoria IRL.

            What’s interesting about the uncanny valley problem is the old Warner Brothers cartoons were more believable than the graphics creations made today. Probably because the images are so obviously fake our brain just accepts a rabbit that walks upright and is larger than a human (who has a giant head).

            • Hi RK,

              Yes. Some can pass. But it;’s still not real. Chaz Bono – at a glance – looks like an overweight guy. But she isn’t and never will be a guy. You’d have to alter the engineering at the chromosomal level – at which point the result would actually be female. But I don’t expect that’s possible. In the meanwhile, anyone who insists that a male can “transition” into a female – as in literally – is ideological (and aware they’re lying, to further an end) or insane.

            • >lifetime of surgery in an attempt to “fix” their uncanny valley problem. And I’m sure the plastic surgeons are planning new techniques

              Calls to mind the “complications with my complications” scene from the Terry Gilliam movie “Brazil.”
              The Germans even have a verb, “verschlimmbessern,” which means to screw something up while attempting to improve it, the noun for which is “Verschlimmbesserung.”
              https://germanyinusa.com/2020/01/24/word-of-the-week-verschlimmbessern/

              In English, we have to content ourselves with “Don’t f*ck with it, you’re only making it worse.”

          • Hi Eric,

            Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson had a story late last year on the transgenderism push. It’s a lobby consisting of liberal billionaires and Big Pharma…..Big Pharma is undoubtedly viewing “transgenders” as potential lifetime customers, while the liberal billionaires are your George Soros, John Kerrys, Bill Gates, and Al Gores who are pushing other demented ideas such as Net Zero and frankenfood…

            https://sharylattkisson.com/2023/12/watch-transgender-lobby/

            • I can see why Big Pharma pushes the Transgender craze. They create a life time of customers. I was watching a later episode of Jazz Jennings, and the boy was crying to his mother that he did not feel like himself, that he just wanted to be himself. Of course the mother (Munchausen by Proxy?) assured her “daughter” that everything was fine, “she” was a strong person, etc. No, your SON is not fine. Everything was chopped off, and you gave him hormones before he was allowed to go through normal puberty as the man he was meant to be. But hey, dilating yourself several times a day to keep that “front hole” from closing is perfectly normal? Gees, what in the hell happened to this country, that society would think this normal? If this now man (Jazz/Jaron) does not kill himself once he figures out what he has done to himself, he is now forever a life time customer of Big Pharma, which suits them just fine, as their greed knows no bounds, even if it destroys children’s lives. The fact that this mother-and Big Pharma-can live with themselves, and sleep well, is just mind boggling.

    • turning people into appliances plugged into an all-seeing internet, more transhuman robots than people, dutifully following orders but unable to produce anything beyond what is programmed into their quantum microchips, bereft of the sparks of inquiry, innovation and joy in a electric panopticon that’s sterile and joyless, you are better off dead.

      they implant an operating system in you and connect you to the grid, they also connect an AI robot to the grid, this is so you can train the robot to do your job. you won’t be needed then = soylent green.

      the dissenting and disenfranchised will find themselves branded as “terrorists”, gathered up into the box cars, and shipped away to be disappeared by the millions.

  5. How we got to this miserable pass with EeeVee compulsion:

    ‘While doing nothing to reduce inflation, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 acted as step one of the implementation of Joe Biden’s Green New Deal, giving the EPA explicit powers regarding greenhouse gases and forcing solar, wind, and other alternatives to fossil fuels on the private sector.

    ‘The IRA’s Title VI amended the Clean Air Act to identify pollutants by name, including CO2, so the EPA would have congressional authorization to regulate them and shift to pricier green forms of energy.

    ‘Overlaid on the new powers were massive amounts of new taxpayer cash, with the act spending approximately $370 billion in incentives for solar panels, EVs, and other environmentalist wares that can’t make it in the market.

    ‘The misnamed Inflation Reduction Act was written by Democrats to function as that clear legislative license the Supreme Court demanded in West Virginia v. EPA.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/roberts-court-may-force-you-drive-ev

    Coal state traitor Joe Manchin was the key player who guided the IRA to passage and shaped its terms. If he were to be crucified the day after tomorrow, then we would call it Double-Plus Good Friday. 🙂

    • The EPA has had those powers since it’s inception, though it was done in the form of setting fuel economy rules. From 1978 to 2006, congress set the fuel economy standard to 27 mpg by 1985. It was relaxed for a couple of years during Reagan, but was fully restored by 1989 or 1990.

      In 2007, the Energy Conservation Act was passed which raised them to 35 mpg by 2020. The Obama Administration then moved that requirement to 2016. At the end of his 8 years in office, he raised the total to 50 mpg by 2025 or 2030, since there was no longer a federal law. Congress handed that power to the EPA, so they didn’t have to worry about what to call it.

      In 2017, Trump froze the requirements to 35.5 mpg and then later raised them to 40 by 2025 or so.

      CAFE and also the EPA as a whole is to blame for all of this.

      There is no EV Mandate per se. They don’t care if you choose an EV or not. They don’t want us driving.

  6. Call a Fiat 124 a Lada…

    Fiat devised its 124 model in the middle of the 60’s, presented it to the public in 1966 and won the European Car of the Year award in 1967 with it.

    Automaker AvtoVAZ was formed from a collaboration between Fiat and the Soviet Vneshtorg (Department of Foreign Trade. The first preliminary agreement was signed on 1 July 1965. Eventually, a general agreement between the two sides was signed in Moscow on 15 August 1966.[4] Fiat’s subsidiary Comau supplied many of the automation systems in the plant.

    The company began producing the VAZ-2101 in 1970, which was a more rugged version of the Fiat 124 sedan. The car was given heavier steel body panels and strengthened components, which improved reliability on bumpy roads and in the harsh winters of the Soviet Union.

    The first cars manufactured by AvtoVAZ with technical assistance from Fiat were marketed under the Zhiguli designation,

    Lada become the brand for export markets. Due to the scarcity of auto-repair shops in the Soviet Union, Ladas were designed to be easily maintained by their owners.[1] The rugged Lada was popular in Europe, Canada, and South America for customers looking for more affordable alternatives to local brands, and sales of the new cars were extremely successful, reaching as far as New Zealand

    Lada “gained a reputation as a maker of solid, unpretentious, and reliable cars for motorists who wanted to drive on a budget.”[8] The Lada brand appeared in 1973, and it has since become the main brand for AvtoVAZ vehicles.

    the Lada 1200 by its export name (and VAZ-2101 according to the factory code system) received a modern, Fiat-designed overhead camshaft block (OHC) fresh out of the box. As far as we know this engine had been developed earlier for a smaller Fiat off-roader that would have been sold alongside the Campagnola but ultimately it never reached production.

    The car was equipped with rugged drum brakes on the rear, as the latter proved to be more reliable on poor roads then discs…. More reliable and up-to-date front and rear suspension with increased ground clearance, a modernized transmission, and recessed door handles were also fitted.

    All these models had soft suspension adapted to the local roads that provided a very comfortable ride even on tough gravel roads. Early models included a crank, in case the battery went flat (an item later dropped) and an auxiliary fuel pump.

    (1976–1981) — special modification, only available to Soviet police, 1,452 cc (89 cu in) engine (from VAZ-2103) in VAZ-21011 body.

    21018 (1978) — ATTENTION…first series rotary engine modification for Soviet police & KGB with one-rotor 70 hp (52 kW; 71 PS) VAZ-311 Wankel engine with electronic ignition and twin-electrode sparking plugs.[14] It also featured a downdraft carburetor,

    Lada…(Zhiguli)….a whopping 16.8 million units that have been built in 42 years of production.

    Sales to Cuba began in 1971 (and until 2006, Raúl Castro drove to work in his own saloon…

    1970 Lada msrp €1128….. $1054 in 1970 U.S. dollars… $8432 U.S. dollars in 2024…

    • Ladas were designed to be easily maintained by their owners…..Early models included a crank, in case the battery went flat and an auxiliary fuel pump….

      Bring these back and sell them today at $8432 U.S…..you sell a million of them….cheap transportation for slaves…..totally analog and simple…very cool….

      but….today they are forcing slaves to go deep in debt to buy $50,000 unreliable, dangerous, no life, 5000 lb EV’s….lol

      • Americans got a worse car at twice the price of a Lada….a rebadged Fiat 124…

        1970 Lada msrp $1054 in 1970 U.S. dollars…

        1970 Ford Pinto msrp about $2000

        1970 Chevy Vega msrp about $2000

        1970 VW Beetle msrp about $1800

        The Pinto…
        If it gets rear ended it catches fire…the 1st EV…lol

        The Vega…….
        the severity of the Vega’s problems was becoming apparent. Chevrolet recalled half a million Vegas in 1972. Rear axle shafts could separate from the housing, causing the wheels to literally fall off. Faulty brackets on the single-barrel carb jammed the throttle open. The optional two-barrel engine could backfire violently enough to split the muffler, blowing hot exhaust on the fuel tank and causing it to expand, rupture, and ignite.

        An undiscovered defect in the new rust-proofing system left the underside of the front fenders unprotected. GM had rejected plastic fender liners to save money, and Vegas suffered from rapid corrosion—primarily of the fenders, but rocker panels, lower doors and front suspension parts could also be affected. One dealer toldAutomotive News that he was touching up rust spots on brand-new Vegas.

        The Vega’s best-remembered problem, however, was its infamous melting engine. The engine didn’t actually melt, but if it got too hot the cylinders would distort, wearing the coating on the walls and forcing coolant past the head gaskets. The former problem increased oil consumption (exacerbated by faulty valve stem seals) and the latter increased the frequency of the overheating issue. If a Vega owner didn’t keep the coolant topped off, the Vega could, and often would, destroy its own engine. Chevrolet extended the engine warranty and retrofitted an overflow bottle and low-coolant warning light, but not before many owners got replacement engines to go with their replacement fenders.

        • In Germany you could buy a high quality, 1965 Audi F103 4 door sedan..It cost $1,997 in U.S. dollars in …It had the Mercedes M118 engine in it

          In the U.S. in !970 you got a horrible, defective, low quality Vega or Pinto for $2000…lol

    • Rebadged Fiat 124……Lada…(Zhiguli)….a whopping 16.8 million units that have been built in 42 years of production….just in Russia….

      That is a lot of business…why didn’t the U.S. get in on some of that business? Didn’t the big 3 have a vehicle that could have been built there? Fiat got all the business….and in many other countries too…..

  7. Off Topic but sort of related.

    Russia just came out and blamed the US, GB and Ukraine for the murder of Russians at that concert. Maybe we’ll get that war our government has been pushing so hard for. Of course our law makers will be eating caviar in taxpayer paid shelters while we will be chasing down bugs and I doubt too many of us will be driving around in that nuclear dust cloud. Just saying…..

    • They can eat all the caviar that they want.

      Who’s going to bother attempting to dig them out of the shelters, after the initial barrage?

      Any survivors would probably bar the doors from the outside, just to make sure.

      • True, Publius. Russia “keeps her enemies closer”, and I am sure they know full well where all the underground bunkers are located in the lower 48. Zuckerberg thinking he is snug and cozy underground in his Hawaiian Island compound is laughable, at best. I agree! Let them unbury themselves after the carnage, the rest will be too busy trying to survive a nuclear Winter, and avoiding starvation and toxic water supplies. I guess whether we get blasted back to the stone age, or taken over by the Russians up here is a question that will have an answer to very soon. As for the “last meal”, forget the caviar, I would rather have an old fashioned, juicy steak.

    • bomb shelters for the slave owners but not for slaves….

      Nuclear war

      Russia has built a large number of bomb shelters, enough for 40 million people….in a nuclear war a higher percentage of the population will survive because of this, so maybe pushed to the wall it isn’t totally unthinkable…..at least they gave some thought to protecting some slaves..

      In the G7…no bomb shelters for the slaves on the bottom

      China isn’t as concerned, they figure they can survive a nuclear war because they have a huge population, so there will be survivors.

      https://www.prepperfortress.com/russia-has-constructed-massive-underground-shelters-in-anticipation-of-nuclear-war-2/

  8. “Surviving the EV transition….” Kind of like surviving a transition from wealth to poverty, or from health to sickness! There are many ways to try and survive the aforementioned, and none of those methods involve just embracing the suck and doing nothing to return to wealth and health.
    The “EV transition” is an unnatural disaster foisted upon the automotive world and automakers best advice is to do whatever they can to buttress themselves against this storm. All are like a bunch of homeowners in the middle of tornado alley, with spring coming and a bad season ahead. Toyota and Honda have built storm shelters underground (by keeping ICE cars in production) but other makes have failed to take such precautions and are sitting ducks for the next big government generated twister.

  9. I used to real almost every buff mag as well as the industry publications. Now they are all part of the hive mind. Bought and paid for shills spewing propaganda.

    Literally, the automotive media has already imploded. No longer profitable, they have consolidated, moved on-line, and serve only as a mouthpiece for supporting the government policy no matter how bad.

    The walking dead.

    And yet, a rag like that proposes to the industry that the water is fine, come on in. Just do what the Givernment wants and consolidate. Just like we have. Zombies, all of them. They are dead – they just don’t realize it yet.

    • Hi Screw ’em –

      Yup. Most of the car press as it now stands is no longer especially into cars. It’s a weird thing. Like Playboy run by a gay Hugh Heffner.

      • I miss Brock Yates and Csaba Csere. One died, the other was forced to resign for some reason. Both were true car guys who pushed back against the regulators.

        • I met Csaba Csere at a National Motorists Association members meeting in 1996. He was a pretty cool dude. I also heard William Jeanes, the editor in chief speak back in one of their meetings back in 1989. I fashioned him as some sort of funny guy. Back then, there was a vital automotive press, unlike today.

          Without fat sponsorships and inside connections, it appeared that the magazines died as Automakers turned from real people to the government as their primary customer.

          Car and Driver was my favorite publication followed by Motor Trend, Road and Track then Automobile. Car and driver got the fastest accelerations and lap times out of cars. Car and Driver had the best articles, followed by Road and Track, then Motor Trend. Automobile never track tested its cars, so it was hard to take seriously.

          Car and Driver, Road and Track, and Motor Trend all wrote great articles on the 55 mph speed limit back inthe day and those were instrumental in building up some pressure to get rid of it. You can never forget the Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash in 1971, 1975, and 1979.

      • Maybe they have no concept of anything other than the shit they’re handed.

        When all you know is McDonalds and Doritos, Entrecôte and Beurre d’Ail pour Baguette probably won’t ever come to mind as an option.

    • I used read every car magazine I could find….now I can’t read them….they are horrible…they are full of EV bs, or articles about the over weight, bastardized, new cars that rat you out…full of spyware…just like cell phones….

  10. I have a brilliant idea: How about GM and others stop producing, and then trying to force consumers to buy vehicles (EV’s) that they do not want, even by force? Does the glut of EV’s sitting unsold on the lots tell you fools anything? How about building what they (we consumers) want (the Feds be damned), and see how much money you make? Whoops, we know that will not happen. The Feds will come in and shut your asses down for not being the compliant sheep (baaaaah) we know you are. What was that saying again about insanity? Oh yes, doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results? Repackaging a bad idea, and then trying to put a bow over it is akin to putting perfume on dog crap: It is still crap, and it still stinks to high heaven.

    • I don’t know if this is doable, but maybe foreign makers could just pull out of the US market. Blame it on overburdening regulations and let customers freak out.
      Maybe that pressure on politicians would get them to stand up to the EPA.

      Probably not.

      • It sounds like a great idea, but nah, it probably would not work, Dan. You know the EPA will blame such a collapse on anyone and everyone but themselves. The EPA sees themselves as gods and overlords of us blebs. After all, these are the same types of folks who got jabbed, and then blamed us un-jabbed (and after being demonized for it for 3 years) for THEIR vaxxed-induced sickness. The EPA will blame us for their mess, rather than rightfully looking into a mirror. Something, I dare say, none of them have done in a long time.

  11. There’s a difference between Hoboken, New Jersey and Dripping Springs, Texas.

    Down every road there’s always one more city – Merle Haggard

    What if everywhere you go, everything would all look the same? Every place a copy of the place you have just been.

    Be a good episode for Twilight Zone, where we are it seems.

    The USS Fubar is without power and slammed into a bridge, one too far. Gotta be some heavy drinking going on all around Chesapeake Bay.

    I can’t lift and swing a hammer at all, no solid grip, too much pain. Powerless, you are only able to hold a beer.

    • >What if everywhere you go, everything would all look the same? Every place a copy of the place you have just been.
      Already there. The food simulations are identical at every Taco Smell in BFE.
      And a blind man could probably navigate every WalMart in the USA without a cane, once he had been trained on one.

  12. So in today’s news, we read that the Dali cargo ship which they used to collapse the bridge had a Ukranian captain and OBTW:

    “Bloomberg reports that the US automotive supply chain will be disrupted. Data shows that Mazda Motor and Mercedes Benz, Subaru of America, Mitsubishi Motors of North America, and Volkswagen Group have the most exposure to the port.” (ZeroHedge)

    And wasn’t that quite the “lucky shot”? I mean, lost power, huh? And just happened to have the perfect drift to impact that support pylon nearly 100% head on.

    Hmm 🤔

  13. ‘This [badge engineering] is what an automotive journalist – an automotive trade publication – recommends.’ — eric

    It’s also what managers with MBAs recommend. When the goal is cost reduction, common parts will do the trick. Despite the fact that Japan produces more engineers and fewer MBAs than America, Honda and Nissan’s partnership is doing what Japanese companies reflexively do when times are tough: beat up the suppliers.

    Nissan wants to cut costs of its EeeVees by 30 percent to make them competitive with ICE vehicles. Each supplier will be called in, sat down in a windowless room, then systematically pressured all day long by a ‘good cop, bad cop’ team until all expectation of profit is erased from their quivering, shell-shocked minds. Been there, done that.

    Moving back to darkest America, what MBAs don’t understand — but every suave showroom salesman in his plaid ‘full Cleveland’ sport jacket does — is that buying a car is an emotional decision. That’s true whether the decision maker is a male car buff concerned about the specs, the suspension, and the tires; or a soccer mom visualizing whether the crossover will be convenient to drive, ferry kids and load groceries — and has a good make-up mirror on the sun visor.

    When auto makers orient themselves toward soulless Big Gov as the dictator of every vehicle’s basic envelope and features, their connection to the buyer is lost. This insidious loss of bonding plays out over years, but grinds exceedingly fine. It leads to the sales stagnation and financial vulnerability of a ‘zombie company’ (actually a defined term in finance).

    Then a recession — which can halve sales of a costly ‘consumer discretionary’ product like cars — comes along and delivers the kill shot. Just like it did 15 long years ago, in 2009. It is eerie and strange that the US economy is being kept alive, like a hospital patient hooked to a ventilator and a heart-lung machine, by borrowing over a trillion dollars a year. We all know this is unsustainable.

    Outside their hospital window, GM, Ford and Stellantis see the lurking shadow of a hooded figure with a scythe. Time’s up, bitchez.

    • >buying a car is an emotional decision.
      As are many other purchases, particularly discretionary ones.
      “Sell the sizzle, not the steak” is the mantra.
      To which I cynically respond, “Sell the apple, not the snake.”
      Hey, it rhymes.

      • Suave showroom salesman, sellin’ the sizzle:

        ‘Premiere Automotive founder and owner Troy Duhon and his wife, Tracy, sit in a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Seville that they keep on display inside their dealership in New Orleans East on Monday, March 25, 2024.’ — New Orleans Times-Picayune

        https://tinyurl.com/3zwde8k3

        YEAH BABY. You had me at ‘red leather pants.’

        • ‘Duhon said that the Nissan store in Harvey, La. also has emotional significance: It was where he met his wife, Tracy.

          “She came in to buy a car and I teased her. I say, ‘You know that was the last car you ever had to pay for.'”

          Greatest pickup line ever … at least for a guy in plaid sport coat. 🙂

  14. Badge engineering really started in the 1970s with the American auto manufacturers having to compete with Japanese and European automakers. All one has to do is look at the economy cars the domestics put out then and it becomes obvious. The Mercury Bobcat, for instance, was nothing more than a Ford Pinto. GM used the same platform for the Chevy Monza, Buick Skyhawk, Olds Starfire, and Pontiac Sunbird. And the Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon were twins. It was the most cost-effective way to deal with all the imports that were destroying their market share. Of course, Uncle’s fuel mileage and pollution regulations didn’t help. But the American buying public caught onto the badge engineering quickly and stopped purchasing them. Why pay more for a Mercury Comet when you can have the same thing in a Ford Maverick for cheaper?That eventually pared them down.

  15. On one hand, standardization would work to make cars more easily repairable. Think of the long running Chevy small block 350. Years and years of economical aftermarket parts.

    Where are the hotrodders of this generation? Why don’t we see electric vehicles being tinkered with to make them cool? We painted flames on our hotrods. Why aren’t young fellers painting circuit boards and sparks on their rides? LOL

    Because EVs have no soul. Would you paint flames on your microwave? Nah, that would be dumb.

    • Hi Philo,

      Yup. High voltage batteries are also in the don’t-fuck-with-that category of things. Not unless you really know what you’re doing and have the right tools. This excludes almost everyone and especially “young fellers,” who don’t have the money for the tools and haven’t got the deep knowledge/skills needed to screw around with these things.

      And even if they did, why bother? What would be the point? To make the battery store more charge? To make it more powerful? Who gives a flip? Same flatlined emotional experience. The difference between a 9 volt battery and a AAA battery. Nothing like the difference between a four barrel and a two barrel. A hot vs. a mild cam.

      I feel about EVs the way Bill Hicks felt about Jay Leno’s selling out to peddle Cheetos and whore for NBC.

      • Quote:High voltage batteries are also in the don’t-fuck-with-that category of things. Not unless you really know what you’re doing and have the right tools.

        Its hard to know what you are doing because chips and softvare managing the battery are all proprietary. You could literaly create a fire with a wrong parameters. But I always wondered what would be the effect of an extra battery added in paralel in a regular car.

    • ‘Would you paint flames on your microwave?’ — Philo Beddoe

      Never thought of it before. But yes, now that you mention it, some bright flames on the side of the boring white box definitely would liven up the kitchen decor — as well as provoking titters from the ladies at summer barbeques.

      Meanwhile, Jenny Granholm is drafting a regulation requiring every ICE vehicle to have this decal affixed to the gas filler door:

      https://ibb.co/q7Z2BkS

      • I tried doing an image search for custom painted microwave. Nothing. Could be the first one! Paint the flames, and soup up the internals to go high power nuclear. Vegi-burgers in record time and style.

    • >economical aftermarket parts.
      GM parts as well. One reason Chevy engines, both big block nd small block, were popular with enthusiasts is that performance parts were available direct from GM if you knew what to order.
      RPO = Regular Production Option

      “Hot rod parts” for an electric motor?
      What could that possibly mean?
      Nothing, is my guess.

    • > Would you paint flames on your microwave? Nah, that would be dumb.

      Alton Brown put flames on his stand mixer. (At least it’s a KitchenAid. 🙂 )

  16. Sorry, but GM asked for the regulations. They knew their cost structure couldn’t sustain all the different brands, they tried and failed to produce a successful competitor to low end Japanese and high end German vehicles, so they cut back.

    GM once made RVs. They were lightweight, innovative and compared favorably with Airstream and other high end lines, but at a fraction of the size, weight and at a price that only comes with GM’s manufacturing expertise. The engineers picked through the parts bins and found the Olds 455 and front drive transmission used in the Toronado and Eldorado. It was a capable machine (used in a Cannonball run).

    But GM decided it didn’t make enough profit, so they scrapped the whole thing and converted the factory over to pickup trucks. They even destroyed the fiberglass molds so there was no going back.

    Counting beans is a better business than building good innovative products.

    • Yes, GM, Ford and about every other carmaker secretly likes them. They don’t have to guess about the direction of the market anymore. They just have to build their cars for two customers: the EPA and the National Traffic Safety Administration. Instead of building sedans, coupes, convertibles, trucks, and SUVs, its mostly crossovers and trucks. With the EPA gas mileage rules favoring larger vehicles, they don’t have to work as hard to meet fuel economy target.

      They don’t really care if they sell 20k or 20 million vehicles a year. Their cost structure permits them to build as few as they need to build.

      The Auto industry is hollow shell of what it was even 10 years ago. Its shocking really.

      I will never return to a car show.

      I will never buy a car newer than 2013.

  17. And in all of this, one critical aspect—standardization—is ignored.

    A while back, there was a post about how none of the plugs and sockets for charging EVs are standardized. In other words, if you don’t have a Tesla, you can’t charge at a Tesla Super Charger.

    • It is worse then that….if there is 6 different charging networks….you need 6 different apps to use the charger…so you have to have to have a cell phone, (another bloody bill), that doesn’t have a run down battery and you can’t pay cash….then you have to navigate all the menus on the charger and the app….for old people forget it…they have enough trouble with a tap payment terminal….

    • Yeah, it interesting that all the gasoline pumps and filler necks are the same, yet they couldn’t standardize charging systems.

  18. If companies are jointly collaborating on parts or *agreeing* on what parts to buy and what not to buy, is this not a Sherman Act violation? Did the writer of Automotive News think about that before scribbling his dribble.

    • This is exactly what I was thinking while reading Eric’s article. It’s these same people who carry-on about mOnOpOlIeS who A.) Want them when it fits there narrow control-freak, authority-loving personalities, and B.) Never bring up the Federal Reserve, which is kind of weird.

  19. Little boxes on the roadways
    Little boxes made of fiberglass*
    Little boxes, little boxes
    Little boxes all the same

    There’s a red one, and a green one
    And a blue one and a yellow one
    And they’re all carbon composites
    And they all drive just the same.

    -with apology to Malvina Reynolds
    ————————
    *Well, actually, more likely carbon composite, but fiberglass fits the meter of the song better at this point, and there might still be *some* fiberglass. In any case fiberglass *is* “something you eat with eggs.” Isn’t that right, Beldar?

  20. Quote: figure out how to comply
    explains all regulations ever. Purposely ambiguous and complex so you can fuck with undesirable manufacturer as you like.

    As for Lada it wasn’t like that because of regulations. It is a simple every-man car. Built to not be great but to be easy to fix. You still have people driving it . You can start a fire under the engine at -40 and crank it up. It is also heavy steel so if you hit anything at slow speeds it will have a bump that you can fix with a hammer or sometimes not even that. I wouldn’t count on crash test safety though even with modern ones .

    I guess it follows Russian engineering doctrine. Not great quality but simple and robust mechanism so it doesn’t need perfection. Complete opposite to Germans like t-34 compared to Panther.

    • >Not great quality but simple and robust mechanism
      Also, inexpensive to manufacture, thus available in large quantities, cheap.
      Not out much if you wreck one.

      >Complete opposite to Germans
      Some of the turrets for the Tiger II were made by Porsche.

      • German tanks looked like modern luxury cars. They were also way more comfortable to drive. Russians just made simple fast tanks that had crude huge welds and were uncomfortable and you had to be short to fit. But still Russian tanks weren’t that much worse than German ones and they were way more reliable due to simplicity.
        Tigers were so fancy not many were produced. Some even had hybrid electric / petrol engine. I wont even talk about monstrosities like Mouse.
        Point is Germans never figured out the laws of reliability . Germans would never produce something as simple as Kalashnikov. They would add many features that are nice but are not necessities. And those things were built with care an precision but still a machine of a 100 parts built by experts is always less reliable than machine with 5 parts built by drunk soviet peasants .

        • ‘still a machine of a 100 parts built by experts is always less reliable than machine with 5 parts built by drunk soviet peasants’ — Pupet

          Love it! That’s a true farm-boy philosophy: if it can’t be fixed with pliers, a crescent wrench and baling wire, then replace it with something that can.

          • That philosophy thats practically common sense. Is also confirmed by reliability math. That was discovered after ww2.
            Reliability multiplies if you have 100 parts with 99% reliability the reliability of a whole machine is 36%.
            So you get a machine that breaks easily. And since tolerances are tight and there is a lot of parts. Its hard to fix in field.

            Engineers know about it but now mostly ignore it. Or purposely make a certain part fail. Safety tolerances are also tight. I was taught to design a bolt, beam or anything to handle at least 3x nessesary load. Now they dont do it. Thats why a fridge from the 50s lasts even today but modern stuff breaks.

        • >they were way more reliable due to simplicity.
          Also much lighter.
          Tiger II was a very heavy machine.
          >Mouse.
          Not to mention:
          Der Landkreuzer P-1000 „Ratte“
          https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landkreuzer_P-1000_„Ratte“
          Or, for that matter, the Schwerer Gustav.
          Which according to Wikipedia, required a crew of:
          “250 to assemble the gun in 3 days (54 hours), 2,500 to lay track and dig embankments. 2 flak battalions to protect the gun from air attack.”
          As one of my college professors would have said, “not a practical design.”

          It appears many German military engineers of that era were graduates of the Biggus Dickus School of Engineering.

        • “Germans never figured out the laws of reliability”

          Back in the day when Mercedes made reliable cars…before they started just making high tech crap…today…

          They would have 10 parts doing one job instead of one part doing ten jobs….so it was more reliable…but when you had to fix it…more time and higher cost required….

      • All the turrets for both the Tiger I and Tiger II tanks were made by Krupp, designed around their main weapon, intended to just fit the three men (Commander, Gunner, and Loader) but not much more. This is why the Tiger I turret, basically formed from a single piece of rolled, homogeneous plate, into a “horseshoe” shape, had to be replaced; it actually had been intended for the 75 mm KwK 42 tank gun, which had slightly superior penetration than the KwK 36 88 mm gun, but less HE capability which was considered important in the tank’s designated “break-through” role (“durchburchwagen”). The Tiger II, devised to slope its armor and take the more powerful KwK 43 88 mm L71 gun, needed an entirely new turret. Krupp’s initial design was intended for the Porsche submittal, which had a hybrid gasoline-electric drive, mounting the turret in the rear of the hull, and having large entry doors in the hull rear; much like the modern IDF Merkava tanks. This design was rejected, but the some fifty “Porsche” turrets were still used and mated to hulls coming out of Henschel’s Kassel factory; all these tanks were issued to two Heavy Tank Brigades (“Schewerepanzer”), one Heer and one SS, in France; all the tanks were lost by the end of August, 1944. Although this tank certainly looked “bad-ass”, the curved front mantlet proved to be a shot trap, and the left-side bulge in the turret, necessary for the commander to get around the large main weapon, proved also a weak spot. However, this turret, like the regular “production” turret, also had a feature not typically employed before in tanks: a stowage area in the turret bustle to take quite a few rounds for the tank’s gun. While this was tactically quite helpful, as it provided a lot of ordnance for a fight, it also proved a huge vulnerability, as the 76mm guns of the USA “Easy Eight” Shermans, or the D5T weapon of the Soviet T-34/85 could penetrate the turret side at typical combat ranges of 300 yards or so; once discovered, this was used to readily destroy “King Tigers”, most notably in a counter-attack at a bridgehead over the San river in Poland in August 1944, where one T-34/85 took out three KTs in only two minutes. So the turret bustle had to be used for stowage of other things, and the rounds carried in the huge tank was significantly reduced. If only the Germans had thought of what the Americans did some 35 years later, with the M1 Abrams, which also stores rounds in the turret bustle, but has a sliding door that seals off the storage compartment from the crew; if the tank takes a penetrating hit in the turret bustle and some round(s) are “cooked off”, there are “blowout” panels that will divert the explosion away from the crew and the rest of the vehicle, saving them all.

      • It’s not that the Soviets didn’t have better ideas; it’s simply that the demands of the “Great Patriotic War” meant they needed what they could produce, in HUGE QUANTITY, “warts and all”, versus improved AFVs. The T-34/85 arose from the turret of the proposed T-43, which looked much like its T-34 predecessor but did away with many of the earlier vehicle’s problems; especially that it had the three-man turret which was tactically much better. To have switched over to the T-43, which also incorporated a torsion bar suspension, like the German tanks, would have necessitated a three-month factory shutdown, which STAVKA and Stalin would not accept, so the turret of the new tank was mated to the hull of the existing vehicle, lessening the inevitable logistical problems of conversion to a new model, but incorporating the advantages of the “newer and better”. The decision was also made to stuff the D5T 85 mm gun into this vehicle, as it had been intended to use the 76 mm gun, but combat experience in 1943 had shown that the 76mm weapon was ineffective against the German “Big Cats”, and even was out-ranged by the more numerous KwK 40 L48 weapon used on the Panzer IVs and StuG IIIs. Although the new gun, intended for the “new and improved” JS tanks, an outgrowth of their troublesome KV heavy tanks, made the T-34 nose heavy, it proved very effective as it could take on even the Tiger I and Tiger II tanks with some hope of prevailing. It certainly gave the T-34/85 a fighting chance against the German Panther, which Germany produced 4,000 of in 1944, but the Soviets produced 11,000 T-34/85s as well as more of the other AFVs they fielded. The war was one of production, i.e., not only better weapons, but MORE of them, which the Germans, although their stuff was typically better, they never had enough of, and lacked fuel and spare parts for the tanks they did issue. The Soviets epitomized Stalin’s maxim that “Quantity has a ‘quality’ all its own!”

    • The T34s chased the Panthers from Stalingrad all the way back to Berlin, destroying most of them along the way. Having wider tracks, the T34 simply drove by many of them, stuck in the mud and abandoned.

      • The Panther actually made its combat debut at Kursk in July 1943, not at the Battle of Stalingrad. But yes, operational losses, along with the vehicle’s considerable weight (at 44 tons, the Soviets considered it as another “heavy” tank, today, given its combination of protection, firepower, and mobility, we’d call it a Main Battle Tank), were more often a Panther’s doom rather than being knocked out by enemy fire, and this was especially true at Kursk, as the vehicles were new and hadn’t been thoroughly “shook down” at the testing grounds. The Panther had a defective differential unit which often simply sheared its gearing. Also, the engine, to deliver adequate power, had been upsized, which in turn made it vulnerable to overheating. At Kursk, quite a few Panthers simply had their engines suddenly catch fire. This combat debut went so badly that Hitler himself dubbed the vehicle “that clanking He 177”, after the Luftwaffe’s attempt at a heavy bomber which had a similar endemic problem of engine fires!

        FWIW, the B-29 was also initially plagued by engine fires, which were so bad that the bomber was nearly cancelled outright, or an alternative to produce a version with the Packard-built Rolls-Royce Merlin engines was seriously considered. Even after the “Battle of Kansas”, a major effort to fix the problems, the B-29 was still subject to losses due to engine fires, even more than Japanese AAA fire or fighters.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kansas

        Indeed, the B-29 operational losses were so bad, especially once they were based out of Tinian island after the conquest of the Marianna islands was completed by August of 1944, that the decision was made to take the heavily fortified island of Iwo Jima. That not only due to the potential for the Japanese to station interceptors there (which they actually sent few, as they had few trained pilots to spare and fuel for their aircraft) to harass the B-29s, but also US Navy search and rescue aircraft. The losses of Marines there were so heavy that our planners and strategists were understandably criticized for throwing their lives away.

  21. “Automakers Must be Flexible, Work Together to Survive the EV Transition”
    In other words, kneel to the regulators. Who are not elected, and have no interest at all in improving your welfare.

  22. Badge engineering as far as I understand it revolves around using parts made for the cheapest “car” in this case being Chevrolet and building more expensive vehicles such as a Cadillac with them. Isn’t an Escalade just a gussied up Tahoe selling for ten’s of thousands more?

    I suspect if all the parts are the same quality a lot people will buy the cheapest version and then do what is common in China. Change the emblems and grill and voila your Geely is now a Honda!!!

    • Bade engineering got ridiculous, especially with “Generous Mother” in the 1960s and 1970s. For example, Pontiac, without its own six-banger when it introduced the compact Tempest and, in 1967, the “Fire-Chicken” (Firebird), at first devised the “Trophy Four”, which was literally HALF of its 389 V8, which never quite worked out its vibration problem. When John De Lorean took over the Pontiac Motor Division, he was willing to use the Chevy Six, but didn’t simply want to “rebadge” it with “Pontiac” stamped on the valve cover. Since the “vision” of Pontiac was to sell “performance”, versus the “staid” Chevys, he had his engineers develop a version of the Six with an belt-driven overhead cam and a jackshaft in place of the regular camshaft. This proved not only to significantly boost the power output of the base Six (from 140 hp in the Chevy 230 to 160 hp in the Pontiac OHC Six for the 1 bbl, and a four barrel version that drank premium fuel was offered, putting out 210 ponies), but the engine was quite a bit smoother. The OHC Six was available from 1966 to 1969, and when DeLorean was “kicked upstairs” to head Chevrolet, the “Suits” had Pontiac drop this engine, on the basis that they felt it was eating into more profitable V8 “packages”.

      Any vehicle, like the infamous Cadillac Cimarron, that’s obviously a blatant attempt to re-badge a cheaper vehicle and add a few “trinkets”, indicates that engineering is no longer important to that company, i.e, “the Suits” are making the decisions.

  23. The Automotive magazines are impulse buys at airport newsstands purchased by nerds traveling for business who want that “preaching to the choir”.

    Here in Austin, the Tesla logo on the Gigafactory dominates the view outside the windows of the latest airport expansion. Who wants to read about the past when the future — as defined by Elon — is just across the runway?

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