The Internet has certainly changed how we look at the world, be it from gathering information about a topic or how we now go about shopping for products. New research data from a study carried out by Google and TNS shows that the convenience and portability of mobile has also transformed the way Malaysians buy cars, and snippets of these were presented today at Google’s Auto Day briefing at its Kuala Lumpur office. The presentation was aimed specifically at automotive industry companies to show them how the web is now at the heart of the car buying process, and how they can tap into the new trend in order to be at the forefront of people’s minds, but there were interesting statistics and insights to be gleaned from the research data. In the 1980s, selling cars was limited to reaching consumers via ads on TV and magazines or through reviews, which then encouraged people to go to their local dealer. But today, there are many entry points into the game, and the permutations … [Read more...] about 86% of Malaysian car buyers do research online before making a purchase, according to Google study
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‘Wanna court summons, buddy? You got it. Hey, Valleccio, take this asshole’s car. And you – get to the station.’ The fact that I’ve arrived in Times Square from New York’s JFK airport in under an hour is an achievement. A court summons within 60 minutes of leaving my Agony Class seat is, for want of a better word, miraculous.Having heaved me out of the car like an insolent toddler’s mother, the cop directs me to the Midtown South Precinct, a few blocks away. The Challenger barrels past, full chat. Valleccio clearly approves. ‘Why am I here?’ I venture on arrival. An officer from the scene replies: ‘Terrorism.’Sweaty and pitiful, I begin simultaneously plotting an exit strategy and avoiding eye contact with an aggressive-looking transvestite. I can’t help but feel that this trip has begun appropriately. We’re in New York to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the world’s most notorious outlaw road race, … [Read more...] about Cannonball Re-Run part 1: CAR+ archive, January 2011
► Doug Blain drives the Maserati Bora ► Only one place for it, the moutain roads ► An archive gem from our new CAR+ service Looking back at what I wrote about the Bora in January this year, I can hardly believe that the car I drove on my latest visit to Modena was from the same stable. Not that I want to retract any of my more profound impressions. I still rate the model ‘a restful, practical, long-legged and very fast high-mileage two-seater’. My abiding memory is still of ‘a taut, responsive and yet undeniably luxurious’ car with an uncanny appetite for distances, as well as for expensive Italian petrol. The difference is simply that almost none of my original detail criticisms of the prototype apply to the production version, and I want to take this opportunity of making it quite clear that the Bora is one of the finest fast cars ever built. The galling thing is that I only found this out by accident. Your editor … [Read more...] about High wind in the hills – the Maserati Bora driven: CAR+ archive, September 1972
► Mel Nichols drives the Ferrari Daytona ► V12 blasts through the Welsh valleys ► Another iconic car in our new CAR+ service We came over the crest and into the valley and there ahead of us lay an open, loping stretch of road. It dropped gently, ran flat and diagonally across the valley’s far rim. Before it reached the top there was a bend that flicked it suddenly to the right, so that it then ran square-on up on to the rim. The Daytona had been in full flight for miles; this was more grist to its mill, and we swooped down into that pretty little valley with the nose lifting and the V12’s yowl bellowing out behind us. Second ran out at 86mph, third gave 116mph at the same 7700rpm redline and then we were pushing forward furiously in fourth. The bend, the high-speed kink, loomed. We’d be doing around 130mph when we reached it; 6800rpm or so in fourth. Around 340bhp coming from the engine. If I kept my foot flat, there would almost … [Read more...] about Full chat in the Ferrari Daytona: CAR+ archive, March 1980
The noise pulled faces to every window as the cars went through the villages. The sight dragged crowds to every square. Mouths gaped. Eyes stared. Fingers pointed. Children squealed. The people of the Pennines had never seen anything like this, and if they found it hard to believe then so did we, for it had taken more than a year for the dream to be realised and there were times when I for one had feared it never would. But there I was – there we all were – with the wheels solid in our hands and the throttles firm beneath our feet and the noise loud in our ears as we whipped along the roads to the moors, roads chosen with meticulous care for their ability to extract the best and worst from each of the three cars and so provide us with the answer we had sought for so long. Which one is best?Three, four times it had almost come off in the preceding 12 months. But each time something went wrong. Once it was the Countach that left the country hours before we were due to get it. … [Read more...] about Ferrari Boxer vs Lamborghini Countach vs Porsche 911 Turbo: CAR+ archive, January 1976
Servicing my Corvette is only marginally more pleasurable than filling out my tax return. First, I stand around the service desk waiting for a bleary-eyed “advisor” to acknowledge my existence. Then the employee asks if I want to wait for my car or… if someone’s picking me up. If I hang fire, I’m confined to a waiting room with all the charm of a correctional facility. If I leave, I have to call to see if the job’s done. When I pick up my ‘Vette, previous experience has taught me to inspect it for familiar desecrations– oily boot marks, additional miles, changed radio stations, etc. Oh, and to make sure the job’s actually been done. Sound familiar?If not for warranty work, many of us would never darken the driveway of a franchised dealer’s service department. Service advisors may know plenty about the vehicles they handle– note: may— but the vast majority of them are number takers, not friendly automotive experts … [Read more...] about Are You Being Serviced?
28.3 miles per gallon. That’s what it said on the Lincoln’s trip computer. Was it real? I hated to think that some electronic glitch had made this Lincoln an eternal optimist. But one thing certainly helped it’s cause. A great owner. An awesome owner. The type of owner you want to thank years later for keeping the car in such great shape. Yes, this Lincoln was a creme puff. So now I can…Rent: My business has an 80/20 mix. 80% of my customers are wonderful. They honor their word. Care for the vehicle, and make me happy to provide them with the service. The other 20% should be shot and neutered.Some develop communication issues when the vehicle is due to be returned. Others have pretty much shitted on everything that has been given to them, and figure that this one new toy deserves their imprint.As perfect as Panther cars can be for the rental trade, it’s still very hard to put any cream puff in for this service. Every car that’s gone through the … [Read more...] about Rent, Lease, Sell or Keep: 1995 Lincoln Town Car – Signature Series
An animal rights group, NYClass (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets), used the New York Auto Show to introduce the brass-era style electric vehicle that they and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio want to replace the 68 horse drawn carriages that 300 carriage drivers use to carry tourists and others around Central Park. I’m not going to wade into the animal rights debate about the horses, and I actually think that the mayor’s idea to use vintage looking electric cars makes some sense. The Luddites who decry modern technology have no idea just how filthy cities were when we relied on animal, not machine, power (and how much arable land was used farming to feed all those draft animals). However much sense it makes to use EVs as tourist vehicles, the vehicle that is being promoted – the Creative Workshop’s ‘eCarriage’ – just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. If you were going to make an electric vehicle to carry people around the … [Read more...] about Do 7,500 Lb. Faux Vintage Electric “Cars” for Central Park Make Sense?
I still remember it as though it were yesterday. My father, nearly exactly the same age that I am today, pulling up into the driveway of our suburban home in his new company car just slowly enough for everybody in the neighborhood to see.As a cherubic five year old, I looked down from the window of the bedroom that I shared with my older brother, feeling the same sort of excitement that I normally reserved for things like the very few Christmas mornings that I had experienced thus far. Not because I was necessarily that excited, mind you, but because everybody else in the house was. The buzz was palpable. My dad was bringing home the car that signified that his new position as the president of a brokerage firm, the car that nearly everybody in the early 1980s said was their dream car.What was the dream car in question? If you were alive in 1983, you already know. It was the Lincoln Town Car, resplendent in the color of a Carolina sky that my ever politically correct mother … [Read more...] about Bark’s Bites: When It Comes To #Branding, Cars Still Come First
In one of the many private automotive journalist groups on Facebook (from which I’ll most certainly be banned later today), there was a comment posted recently from a car reviewer bemoaning his lack of a press car in the near future.“I have to go four days without a press car. My life is basically on hold,” said our dear reviewer. “What am I supposed to do?”This is the sad reality for most “car reviewers”. Their personal brands are so strictly defined that they can’t write about anything other than how many cup holders are in the newest Maibatsu Monstrosity.But then it got worse. From another reviewer: “I have no personal vehicle so when my inevitable lag in press cars happens, I’ll be lost.”I’m sorry — you don’t own a car? Say what?Others indicated that they were in the same boat. They don’t own cars, so they’re pretty much S outta L when the press car … [Read more...] about Bark’s Bites: Why Don’t Some Car Reviewers Own Cars?