Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Is Toyota the new Chevy?

Ok, for our first regular posting, lets fire up the way back machine...

Back in the '60s, when I was buying Hershey bars for a dime, it was the "Big 3", and then everyone else. Now, it is pretty much the reverse of that. Toyota is the new Chevy, aping the styling cues of its luxury cousins. Lets call Honda the new Ford, with its luxury divisions not quite ever getting it together. The new Ford (Honda) and the new Chevy(Toyota) still seem to be trading off who is winning the styling wars (personally, I am voting for Honda right now). And who gets to be the new Chrysler? Probably Nissan, since they have their "Imperial" line up all worked out now, and a bevy of trucks to boot. 

My point is that American cars are pretty irrelevant these days. Ford seems like those loose conglomerates of Britain, circa 1963: the Austin/Sunbeam/Healy mess that no one could ever keep straight who is in and who is out. GM might as well be the Toyota of those days, turning out odd looking vehicles that seem to linger in your peripheral vision. Not sure what the hell Chrysler is these days. Foreign cars are where the action is now. That part of the picture is kinda sad. Will these former greats make their comeback? Not if they keep turning out vanilla milkshakes on wheels.

The bright spot these days, is there seem to be more options to choose from. Gone are the small american independents, but we have an increase overall of makes available, giving us some great choices. The wierd thing is that Hyundai makes better looking cars than Chevy (yes, even the new Malibu), and Mazda made the greatest sales advances in '07, arguably a result of pretty good styling overall. 

Style-wise, the fun stuff is happening in the smaller car segments... Land-yacht and truck buyers are stuck wanting their Cordobas and 98's, with or without a cargo bed out back, regardless what it costs to send our boys to secure our energy future.  Oops, I wasnt gonna get political.

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