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BACK SEAT DRIVING - DECEMBER 2009

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Dec 6, 2009

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

HOT WIRES For hot and tender news wires on the car culture, see LA Car's Hot Wires GM announces it will pull the plug on Saab Going Rudolph: Sporting antlers and a red nose for the holidays California lemon law reference guide online Porsche loves Southern California  

 

NAKANO: BACK SEAT DRIVING A FINAL SAAB STORY GM announces it will pull the plug on Saab General Motors announced that the intended sale of Saab Automobile AB would not be concluded. After the withdrawal of Koenigsegg Group AB last month, GM had been in discussions with Spyker Cars about its interest in acquiring Saab. During the due diligence, certain issues arose that both parties believe could not be resolved. As a result, GM will start an orderly wind-down of Saab operations. "Despite the best efforts of all involved, it has become very clear that the due diligence required to complete this complex transaction could not be executed in a reasonable time. In order to maintain operations, Saab needed a quick resolution" said GM Europe President Nick Reilly. "We regret that we were not able to complete this transaction with Spyker Cars. We will work closely with the Saab organization to wind down the business in an orderly and responsible manner. This is not a bankruptcy or forced liquidation process. Consequently, we expect Saab to satisfy debts including supplier payments, and to wind down production and the distribution channel in an orderly manner while looking after our customers." Saab will continue to honor warranties, while providing service and spare parts to current Saab owners around the world. As part of its efforts to become a leaner organization, GM began seeking a buyer for Saab's operations in January. Last week, Saab Automobile AB announced that it had closed on the sale of certain Saab 9-3, current 9-5 and powertrain technology and tooling to Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd. (BAIC). GM expects today's announcement to have no impact on the earlier sale. As the company continues to reinvent itself, GM has been faced with some very difficult but necessary business decisions. The focus will remain on the four core brands - Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC - and several regional brands, including Opel / Vauxhall in Europe. This will enable the company to devote more engineering and marketing resources to each brand and model. General Motors Company, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 209,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall, Wuling and Jiefang. More information can be found at www.gm.com. Breaking News: GM hesitates on pulling the plug - see the latest on Saab at Hot Wires.   

 

 

 

NAKANO: BACK SEAT DRIVING GOING RUDOLPH Sporting Antlers and a Red Nose for the Holidays For $14.99, it may be the most cost-effective enhancement you can make to your car - at least for the holidays. I am referring to the Decorative Reindeer Antler Car Kit by Williamsons Products. It's a variation of those sports flags you see on SUVs during game finals. In this case, however, the Rudolph treatment comes with two great-looking antlers made of quality cloth with a foam filler. The red nose is made out of some fluffy cloth material, and ties around your grille assembly. The antlers clip right onto your windows, just like those sports flags.

Williamson Products also carries Batwings Car Kits, Bunny Ears Car Kits, Candy Cane Car Kits, Valentine's Day Car Kits, St. Patrick's Day Car Kits, Football Car Kits, Football Helmet Car Kits, Basketball Car Kits, Baseball Car Kits and Stockcar Car Kits - in case you want to have your car decorated all year round! The reindeer kit is the brainstorm of Sue Williamson Valeri. As the story goes, the idea came to Sue shortly after 9/11 happened. Numerous cars in her neighborhood were carrying flags on their car windows to show support and patriotism. Many had two flags, and Sue envisioned antlers at Christmas time, bat wings at Halloween and bunny ears at Easter. Sue handmade her first set of antlers and red nose and evidently created quite a following. "Cars would follow me into my driveway and strangers would wait on my porch to return home because they knew this was the place to get the reindeer car kits!" It turns out, you don't need to go to Sue's house anymore to pick up your reindeer kit. You can go the Amazon.com route. Or, you can order directly from Williamsons Products. Ho! ho! ho!  

 

 

 

 

NAKANO: BACK SEAT DRIVING LEMON AID Lemon Law Online

LA Car

California has historically been a trend-setter, be it car culture or car laws. That's certainly the case with the so-called "lemon law". California lemon law took a giant leap forward in 1970 with the introduction of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. Up until then, consumers had to more-or-less prove that a car company had a reasonable number of opportunities to repair the vehicle. The Song-Beverly Act establishes a presumption (rebuttable by the car company) that the car is a lemon where the same "defect" has been subject to repair four or more times within 18 months or 18,000 miles. Of course, cars have gotten a lot better since 1970. Nevertheless, consumers still manage to occasionally squeeze lemonade out of current day car purchases. That's why attorneys continue to make a successful practice out of the lemon law. One attorney, Norman Taylor, wrote the book on the subject: "Lemon Law - The Standard Reference Guide. The book has been available for quite a while, and Taylor has been practicing lemon law in California since 1987. Updated excerpts of the book are now accessible online (the entire book is available online as well for purchase). You can also contact the Office of the Attorney General online for more information about California lemon law. 

 

 

 

 

Porsche at Petree Hall

BACK SEAT DRIVING PORSCHE LOVES SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Porsche and the Los Angeles Auto Show In case you didn't already know, Porsche loves Southern California. There is no greater indicator of this than its devotion to the Los Angeles Auto Show. Porsche doesn't just show up; they consistently rent out the exclusive Petree Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center to showcase its products at the LA show. This year, the LA Auto Show is the venue for the world debut of the new Porsche Boxster Spyder.

Porsche Boxster Spyder This is no small feat for a high end car company like Porsche. The economic downturn has impacted the high end market as much as any other. The most vivid example of this at the Los Angeles show is the absence of both Ferrari and Lamborghini. The empty hall usually dedicated to Ferrari is left open at the show, but with no Ferraris showing.

An empty Ferrari exhibit at the LA Auto Show Earlier this year, Porsche pulled out of the biggest car show in the western hemisphere, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The fact that the NAIAS takes place in Detroit no doubt played a role in that decision. Michigan is not a big market for Porsche, while Southern California certainly is. In the end, it's not just Porsche loving Southern California; it's Southern California that loves Porsche. - Roy Nakano To view LA Car's coverage of the Los Angeles Auto Show, click here 

 

 

 

 

A JOURNAL OF LOS ANGELES & ITS CAR CULTURE

LA Car

That was LA Car's subtitle when it started back in 1997. It's original website address was about five times the size of lacar.com. Since then, La Car became LA Car. Its subtitle became Reporting From Car Culture Ground Zero, then From The Heart of Car Culture, to The Cars and Culture of Southern California and back. At all times, however, we aimed to chronicle the Southland's automotive spirit - much like one's own journal or diary. LA Car has always been a great source to come back to from week-to-week, to see what articles and reviews have been added to our rather staggering database. With Back Seat Driving, a.k.a. BSD (not to be confused with two similar, well-worn abbreviations, BS and BFD) and Hot Wires - Hot & Tender News From the Car Culture (co-located with Back Seat Driving, and updated at least daily), we give you some reasons to come back more often (all opinions, by the way, are those of the respective author). So, go ahead and bookmark www.lacar.com. We'll be sure to always provide a link to Hot Wires and the latest Back Seat Driving blog entry. In the meantime, welcome to the journal and journey from the heart of the car culture. - Roy Nakano  Visit the publisher and executive editor's Facebook page at facebook.com/backseatdriving  For the story behind LA Car's shift knob avatar, go to Kool Knobs for LA Car For past Back Seat Driving and LA Car Blog entries, click the Archives.

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