No. 876
December 7, 2016

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HERF Hauler.

This would be the ideal vehicle to pull a trailer with your HERF (Hydroegen Electric Racing Federation) racer to the track:

All joking aside, if they are able to develop the hydrogen refueling infrastructure I think this will actually catch on with the trucking industry. From there I predict it will trickle down to the pickup industry next (many utilities could use this and the Class 8 truck drivers from the “early adopter fleets” also drive a lot of pickups and would be comfortable making the switch). After that it may trickle down to the general auto industry but most of the public will need convincing so I don't see that happening until late in the next decade.

Hey, at least it's a step in the right direction for Hydrogen fuel cells!

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania



High-Octane Truth in advertising.

Probably the best used car ad I've read in ages. (I don't know if you've read any Dune books though. There are a lot of references to it)

Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania


Comparisons, etc.

Not sure your sales comparison of the Continental and Cadillac CT6 was actually “apples and apples” as Cadillac still sells the XTS which competes with a lot of the same buyers that would consider a CT6. It would be fairer to put the two Cadillac nameplates against the Continental.

Stuart, Florida

Editor-In-Chief's Note: Actually, directly comparing the CT6 to the Continental is correct. The XTS represents the "old" Cadillac buyers that de Nysschen and Ellinghaus & Co. don't care about. The CT6 is the flagship of Cadillac sedans until they bring out a bigger one; same for the Continental. And with Cadillac spending double what Lincoln is spending on incentives, things aren't looking up for the CT6 at the moment. -PMD


From the "Angry Appliance" File.

No lie. Upon flipping to "On the Table," I thought that Honda NeuV was a picture of a coffee maker, or a vacuum, or other small appliance.

Andy D.
Greensboro, North Carolina

Covering a lot of ground.

I think that Lincoln will have two competitors to its Continental, and neither is Cadillac. Its primary competitor will be Lincoln itself. Viewed from the side and especially from the front, only the die-hard car guy or Lincoln devote will be able to tell the Continental from the lesser priced MKZ. And, the MKZ has those absolutely stunning (dare I say sexy?) tail lights. Plus… haven't we seen that front end on other, more European, cars?

Which brings us to the other competitor – Hyundai. Let's face it, the rear of the Continental was lifted right from the Azera and cleaned up a little. Why would a potential Continental owner spend that kind of money on a Lincoln when the people behind him will think he's driving a Hyundai?

I applaud Ford for doing the right thing and bringing back the Continental nameplate. It's a shame they attached it to a mishmash of design cues lifted from others and blended into a perfectly balanced mix of “what car is that?” Think about how many Continentals would be on the road if they followed through on their 2002 Concept. It did very well for Chrysler!

Rochester, New York

Editor-In-Chief's Note: You're covering a lot of ground here. First of all, lamenting about the Gerry McGovern concept is noble, because we did too. It was a stunning design that screamed "Lincoln Continental" and it should have been built. But that's not today's reality. You're forgetting the one thing that the MKZ doesn't have, however, and that is the name Continental. To a lot of people, even non-car people, that name is worth the price of admission. As for Hyundai, I didn't mention it in this column but I wrote a definitive column about this not too long ago, and that is both Cadillac and Lincoln should be very wary of the Genesis G90, because if consumers actually get off of their asses and seriously look at the G90, it is hands down a more attractive package at a much more attractive price. -PMD


Actually, the Fiat dealers - what's left of them - couldn't care less.

Dodge is coming back to NASCAR! Sergio is bringing it! Yeah! All right!... To return to NASCAR in 2017, however, you would have to present your design in October of 2015. So... Dodge will be back in NASCAR in 2019!!!!!!! The Fiat dealers are enthused. You just can't make this stuff up.

Lugoff, South Carolina



That dog won't hunt even with a Kobi t-bone.

Once again, a car-maker CEO proves that I could never do his job, as I absolutely don't know what he is thinking (or perhaps smoking). Today's example is Masamichi Kogai, CEO of Mazda, who plans to take Mazda upmarket.

Moving upmarket, Mazda will run straight into Acura, Infiniti, and the bottom of the Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Cadillac lines. Just below that are top-trim models from the likes of Ford (the interior of the new Ford Fusion Platinum looks lovely). There isn't any market white space upmarket and Mazda's brand image won't support higher prices.

How Kogai thinks this could possibly end well is beyond me.

Boston, Massachusetts

Editor-In-Chief's Note: I agree wholeheartedly. After being immersed in this business for decades, the propensity for serial delusion among car executives is always eye-opening but never surprising to me. Mr. Kogai is no exception. It's a classic case of if you talk to yourself long enough, you start believing the dulcet tones of your own thought balloons. Mazda has no business going upmarket. Period. And they are headed for a giant 2x4 in the forehead. -PMD

Oh no, don't jinx us now!

I agree with your CT6 vs. Continental assessment. Lincoln hit a home run, and 2016 sales for the division are up 9.5% YTD even though the Continental has only been available for a short time. Just like the Detroit Lions, Lincoln is doing great this year.

John B.
Houston, Texas



Naming rights.

Since Mercury is gone, Lincoln has another great name: Cougar. Maybe it has been long enough since the name Cougar has been abused by applying that name to the wrong car (that last small two door). Apply Cougar to the right car and it could do well. On another Lincoln name front, didn’t “MK” used to stand for Mark? The Mark series, in the past, denoted personal luxury.

Brian Little
Marion, Iowa

Editor-In-Chief's Note: Don't be surprised if Lincoln brings back the "Mark" designation on a future model. -PMD

The Hydrogen Economy.

I gotta ask the question: While I agree that hydrogen fuel would be an ideal fuel from an emission point of view, where are we gonna get hydrogen on a scale similar to the volume of gasoline burned today? For demo purposes, it seems that it can be obtained from fossil fuels. But what happens to the carbon if you do that? Just pile it up someplace? Burn it? (Yikes---CO2 emissions!)

Wimington, North Carolina

Editor-In-Chief's Note: The most commonly expressed scenario is that we would get it from natural gas. People would technically be able to re-fuel their hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from home or at hydrogen fueling stations. -PMD

Lincoln should start by learning from... Lincoln.

It will be interesting to see if even Lincoln learns from Lincoln. The MK (S,K,Z,X) doesn't resonate with customers at all and most folks just say, “MK whatever-it-is” or “MK something.”

Scott Johnston
Fort Dodge, Iowa


Dodge returning to NASCAR… again. I was wondering what that collective yawn was directed at. Hasn't anyone told Sergio that NASCAR is over? That no one cares about homogeneous cars driven by homogeneous drivers going in circles for hours on end? That no one attends or even watches on TV anymore? That their series sponsor, Sprint, quit this year? One could slap a Dodge sticker on the side of any current stock car and no one would know the difference. I fail to see the point of any of this. Other than the need to piss away money until it's time to leave the “sport” again.

Plymouth, Michigan



A toaster too far.

I love Honda's ingenuity… but sometimes they go over the top... big time! Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem Las Vegas Redefined mobility experience Make people's lives better Emotion Engine. WTH? Are we talking about cars or has Honda built an ASIMO hooker mobile?

BTW, I want a toaster oven like that.

Irvine, California



Toyota on "Hairspray."

I'm curious for your feedback on the Toyota commercial that aired during Hairspray Live in NBC. I typically find Toyota commercials painful (grounded to the ground) but I thought this was cleverly done with a nod to, and I never thought I'd write this, Corolla heritage.

Peachtree Corners, Georgia

Editor-In-Chief's Note: Agreed, I thought it was exceptionally well done. -PMD