Monday, September 24, 2012

Depreciation "Not Even a Real Thing" According to NADA Report

At a recent industry trade show, NADA President Victor Cardelli went on record to say that depreciation does not affect the average car owner at all. His comments were a part of a larger PR push to improve new car sales numbers, despite high unemployment and an increase in overall financial literacy among consumers.

"Do you really think that hard-working Joe Sixpack cares about some vague concept invented by those overpaid Wall Street accountants to pad their bonuses?" Cardelli continued, "We can get you $199/month lease payments with no money down. We can get you 35+ mpg to save you money on fuel. Why should you even care about some invisible number like depreciation?"

Harvard Economist Malcolm Freeman rebuked those comments, explaining that they were the "....most retarded....thing I've ever heard," continuing with several examples of the precipitous depreciation in the new car industry and a bunch of other charts and numbers that have absolutely nothing to do with $199/month with no money down and getting you in this car today.

Harvard Economist Dr. Freeman (photo credit:

Honda Financial Services CFO Akio Yokohama tacitly agreed with Cardelli, noting that a 2009 Honda Civic still costs just as much as a 2013 model.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Volkswagen Fights Critics with "Increase Your Own Content" Campaign

Chattanooga, TN - Volkswagen of America announced a new ad campaign Wednesday in an attempt to combat rising speculation that broad quality cuts, also known as "decontenting," will tarnish their reputation for quality. The "Increase Your Own Content" campaign will be launched first in Chattanooga, the site of the newest VW plant that currently produces the US-market Passat.

According to marketing intern Hans Gutenmorgen, "To these critics we say, customers must their body size increase to appreciate the larger cars, that produce we will."

Beginning with a series of "Hello, Fattanooga!" billboards, VW hopes to distract potential buyers from the company's cost-cutting measures--such as an anemic 2.5-liter base engine and lower quality interiors--by focusing instead on literally "fitting the customer to the car." With a larger customer base, both in number and physical size, buyers will be more apt to focus on the new Passat's increased seat size, numerous cupholders, and cushier suspension.

Industry analysts have been mixed in their reactions to the news.

"VW has traditionally tried a one-size-fits-all approach to worldwide marketing, something that has resulted in a sub-5% market share in the US," according to an unnamed source at "As all fatties know, the 'one size fits all' label can be very misleading. Is 'fatties' still okay to say these days?"

Consumer Reports' head of auto testing, Jim Hondafan, counters that "[VW] has long held the US market in contempt, ignoring the proper 'car appliance' mentality in favor of archaic notions of 'driver engagement' and 'fun.' It's no wonder they've lost so much ground to the Japanese." He continued by citing the increasing size and blandness that have led to decades of success among Asian manufacturers.

Please don't take pics from that angle, it makes my butt look big.

VW has made bold claims in their goal to emulate Toyota's success in the US, despite Toyota's recent troubles with allegations of unintended vehicle acceleration. VW subsidiary Audi had similar problems in the 1980s which were, ironically, a result of Americans' big fat feet awkwardly mashing two pedals at once.

In related news, VW also confirms that their torquey, efficient 2.0 turbodiesel has been a fast-selling option among Passat models. According to an internal press release, the combination of 42mpg highway and 247 lb-ft "moves Americans' cheap, fat asses down the highway with great ease." A manual transmission will not be available, since the company optimistically projects that 75%-80% of their customer base will lose a foot to diabetes over the next decade.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Subaru Offers Greek Vacation for Repeat Buyers

Subaru will soon announce plans to increase their customer loyalty incentives by offering free Greek vacations to all repeat buyers. "Subaru: Visit the Land of Lesbos" encourages owners to take a week-long vacation to the famous Greek island, including airfare, hotel, and the use of a new Subaru Legacy to tour the island.

Customer reactions have been mixed.

WRX owner Travis "T-dawg" Johnson says the vacation sounds "pretty dope," but it's not enough for him to trade his vehicle on a new one. "Dude, I love lesbos, but have you seen the new Rex? It's totally castrated compared to the old one. Besides, I've got like 20 grand worth of mods on my ride and already sold all the stock parts on ebay and NASIOC."

Lesbos: Hot, wet, and sort of fishy-smelling

Former Forester driver Kelli Planche says she experimented with Subarus in college, but it was just a passing fad. "I mostly did it to get the attention of guys. You know, not really something you want to stick with forever. Plus, most of them are kind of weird-looking. But for the right incentive, I'd probably reconsider."

Subaru's Customer Retention department hopes the move will increase customer loyalty--already among the highest in the industry--to unprecedented levels. According to Spokewoman Janine Lavetti, "A lot of people know very little about Subaru or Lesbos, so we're hoping some firsthand experience will increase their appreciation of both."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Land Rover Suburban Usage Overtakes Off-Road Role

For the first time in company history, British automaker Land Rover now has more vehicles in suburban deployment than in traditional usage, such as third-world charity and religious missions.

Citing data released just last week by the World Transportation Factbook (WTF), the number of Land Rover vehicles currently in use--notably Range Rover, LR3, and LR2--now favors the vehicles' latter-day role as a first-world suburban status symbol. Despite overwhelming data that indicates a high cost of ownership, steep repair bills, and costly parts, most owners have few reservations about owning them. Once claimed to be "The first vehicle ever seen by one-third of the world's population," most modern Land Rovers have taken a position as "The vehicle most often seen by one-third of the world's mechanics."

Land Rover: Terrace-Rated

An Anglican missionary serving in Tanzania, Nevill Chesterfield, is among the traditional users of Land Rovers. "[I've] Never owned a better vehicle in my life," he says loudly of his 1981 Defender 90. "Holds 80 litres of diesel, 15 gallons of water, 3,000 Bibles and rarely struggles through the muddy ruts." Mr. Chesterfield was unable to respond to any further questions, having been rendered temporarily deaf by his 10-minute drive to the nearest village to speak with us.

Marquis Dassad, the Anglo-Yemeni striker for London's Chelsea Football Club, owns a 2010 Range Rover. "Got me some double-deuces [22" wheels], black tint, ten thousand watts of Alpine [stereo system]. I come round, da whole block know I'm all up on it." Mr. Dassad drove his vehicle just 1,200 miles in 2010, never leaving the tarmac of central London. "F*ck da congestion charge, knowutmean?" he continued, gesturing vaguely toward his crotch.

An interesting sub-segment exists, however: American Defender owners. Characterized by their Ray Ban sunglasses, Keen branded shoes, and corduroy pants, these buyers--mostly white males between 36 and 50 years old--both defy and support the new stereotype. On one hand, their yuppie nature means they don't balk at paying $50,000 for a 10-year-old, slightly rusty SUV with solid axles and very little on-road capability. On the other hand, they also attempt to project a rugged simplicity in line with the vehicle itself, despite their spending $5,000 per year on upkeep (for both the vehicle and themselves). Such vehicles are often taken onto dirt trails, but primarily serve as an aimless diversion rather than utilitarian need.

In related news, Werner Herzog is preparing to release his Land Rover documentary, "The Todds Must Be Crazy," the story of suburban Californians Preston Reed and Michael Todd, whose mutual envy of each others' Land Rovers drives both men and their families to the brink of bankruptcy.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Local Man Over-Internalizes Casual Comment About Car

Vero Beach, FL - In response to a passer-by's "Hey, nice Vette. Looks clean." comment, area retiree and Corvette owner Ralph Garrison was overcome with a completely internalized, smug sense of self-satisfaction for the next 20 minutes.

Since first purchasing the 2005 base model Corvette in mid-2005 at a model year closeout deal, Garrison has meticulously paid to have every element of the vehicle maintained, including all optional services recommended by dealers, independent shops, car washes, and random strangers. Although he has spent nearly half of the car's original $72,900 sticker price on maintenance and detailing alone, he nonetheless claims a sense of personal pride and hard work that belies how little work was actually involved in driving the automatic-transmission-equipped vehicle a mere 2,000 miles per year on mainly straight, flat roads.

"She's still purring like a kitten after all this time" Garrison added, tacitly claiming responsibility for the car's condition while refusing to acknowledge the car's 60-year pedigree and tens of millions of dollars of engineering, design, racing, and testing that led to the car's current status. "I guess there's something to be said for the quality of Detroit steel after all," he continued while lovingly patting the car's roof panel which, unbeknownst to him, had already begun detaching at its low-quality welds and would soon remove itself while driving on A1A with the cruise control set to 45mph, leading him to question the sanity of 500-mile oil Amsoil synthetic oil change intervals, 1,000-mile Michelin tire replacements, and, in turn, his entire car ownership habits.

"It just goes to show," Mr. Garrison says, "that a little hard work with your maintenance and care can go a long way. This toy is my own little gift to myself for years of hard work and sacrifice."

Garrison's fortune comes from using his family trust fund to make random investments in the dot-com boom which, completely coincidentally, were still booming at the time of his stock liquidation and 1999 retirement to Florida.

In related news, retired GM CEO Rick Wagoner has been working on his memoirs, entitled "The Best We Could Do: GM's Failure in the Hands of the Ignorant Consumer."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Gas Stations Test Improper Fraction Pricing

Ever since a handful of enterprising gas station owners devised the now-common "nine tenths" addition to fuel prices, not a single entrepreneur has taken steps to further confuse consumers about how much they're actually paying at the pump.

As gasoline once again approaches the important $4/gallon psychological barrier in the US, a handful of station owners in suburban Detroit are taking fractional pricing one step further.

Yesterday, the sign outside Dee's Chevron station in Dearborn read "$3.87 9/10". This morning, it read "$31/8".

"I'm not trying to confuse people to make some extra cash. I'm just trying to take the edge off of the price increases. After all, gas could hit 37, maybe 39 eights of a dollar before this summer and I don't want people avoiding my station because they think $4.62 and nine-tenths is a better price. Plus we're offering a 15-eighths of a dollar discount on all carwashes with minimum eight gallon fuel purchase."

Have you seen this one yet? I bet you haven't. Please forward it to your mom's AOL email.
Critics fear the new pricing scheme could cause traffic backups as customers struggle to translate the new prices into familiar terms. One suggestion included pricing fuel according to a multiple of Big Macs, in a nod to the Big Mac Index, a classic measure of international purchasing power coined by British financial newspaper The Economist. Another suggestion mentioned pegging fuel to Starbucks Coffee's Grande Latte, but researchers determined the coffee retailer's prices were too volatile to serve as a base price index.

Across the street from Dee's Chevron, Pakistani chemical engineer and BP station owner Rakesh Sultan prefers to draw on his educational background. "Beginning tomorrow, I will post all prices as an exponential function of e," he said, showing us a full-color mockup of his $e^1.5 signage. He concludes, "I have no need for a fraction in my maths, only decimal. Call me 'the lowest common dominator.' That is the pun in English."

Just across the river in Ontario, Canadian consumers were unfazed by the news. "We've successfully fought American influence with our three-fold approach: The metric system, socialized healthcare, and cold weather. If the petroleum industry wants to bring their improper fractions here, we'll confuse them into submission with our litre measurements and slightly different dollar system."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Prehistoric Ford Panther remains found in South America

Ford's long-running and recently retired Panther Platform, which underpinned vehicles like the Ford Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town car, could be much older than experts previously believed. Often thought to have been introduced in 1979 with the Ford LTD and Mercury Marquis, the Panther continued until its retirement in 2011 as the longest-running vehicle platform in North American automotive history.

However, recent finds by paleontologists from the University of Colorado and the Universidad de Quito in Ecuador indicate the platform may date back to the Early Pleistocene Epoch, over 1.8 million years ago. Dr. Juan Lavamanos and his Andean excavation team first came across a parallel set of heavily corroded metal rails in the Altiplano region of eastern Peru last year. Initially believed to be remnants of a 14th century Inca sculpture, further research with local men revealed the boxed tubes to be a nearly complete frame from a Mercury Grand Marquis. With the help of published documentation from a long-lost Chilton publication, these findings were verified.

As researchers dug further, they found similar unexplained discoveries from towns and villages across the region. A few corroborating accounts from West Africa, many of which were substantially older than the Peruvian discovery. This geographical diversity does not date the vehicle all the way back to the Pangea Supercontinent, but rather indicates that the vehicle's technology could have been shared across oceans, among numerous cultures, and even across several millenia.

When asked who might have utilized the large, V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive vehicles during that time period, Dr. Lavamanos replied "Probably a bunch of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals." The early hominids actually went extinct during the same period, leading researchers to speculate the extinction might have been linked to aggressive driving, including drag races, "doughnuts," and burnouts.

Team members also speculate that the Panther's performance antics could be the exact technology the early Peruvians utilized to create their complex "Nazca Line" designs across the high desert. The designs--ranging from impossibly straight paths to intricate, enormous animals--have confounded researchers for decades.

Nazca monkey - evidence of precision car control?

Dr. Lavamanos is quick to point out, however, that the majority of usage would have been for taxi and police services. "Aggressive maneuvers were usually efforts to encourage mating among the species, but evidence suggests only the weakest and stupidest females would have been impressed. This probably further contributed to the species' demise."

"With the difficult terrain of the Andes, mobility was very important for the Inca." Dr. Lavamanos continues, "However, many of these vehicles fell from steep cliffs and remained buried in mud and rock for eons. It would be another two million years before all-wheel-drive would be invented. Inca folklore believed that using the front wheels to move a car was the work of the devil."

In related news, The Thor Heyerdahl Foundation has announced preparations for their "Lincoln-tiki," a Town Car they plan to drive from Alaska to Argentina as a tribute to the resourcefulness and engineering of ancient man.