Mazda3 sedan and
hatchback for 2014
Information for buyers and sellers
Highlights: 2013 CPO Forum (Day One, 11/30)
Highlights: 2013 CPO Forum (Day Two, 12/2)
Highlights: 2013 Subprime Forum (Day One, 12/4)
Highlights: 2013 Subprime Forum (Day Two, 12/6)
Used Car Week scores record attendance (11/19)
Note: Highlights of each of four conferences during Used Car Week will be posted shortly.
Depreciation rules the used-car marketplace (11/2)
Auto-dealer ads need attention (11/2)
Acquisition strategy is key to dealer success (10/24)
Does digital "chatting" really sell more cars?(10/10)
Kontos: Wholesale prices rise, then fall, in August-September (10/9)
”Gen Y” really doesn’t care as much about cars(9/28)
Experian reports on Q2 financing: 30-day delinquencies drop significantly (9/25)
Every used car has a story to tell (9/10)
Carfax aims for consumer confidence in buying process (9/3)
Experian reports on 2013 auto financing (8/30)
Kontos reports further used-car price softening in July (8/27)
Used cars travel by rail
CarMark offers residual-based iinancing
Adversarial dealer/customer relationship ... it's so 20th century
Clunkers & Creampuffs: used car history (part I)
Tirekicking Today attended Used Car Week in San Diego, November 11-15, and will be posting a full report on each conference.
Coming Soon: 2014 Used Car Buying Guide (e-book and printed book) by James M. Flammang
See our Hybrid/Electric Buying Guide at autoMedia.com. An updated, greatly expanded Hybrid/Electric/Diesel Buying Guide is scheduled for publication in book form, early in 2014.
Highlights: Green Fleet Conference
Test Drives: 2013 Infiniti M35h Hybrid ... 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid ... 2013 Lexus ES 300h Hybrid ... 2012-13 Volkswagen Passat TDI ... 2011 Lexus CT 200h ... 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid ... 2011 Chevrolet Volt
Quick Electric Drives: Chevrolet Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Mini E
Preview Drive: 2011 Nissan Leaf electric
Green Car Tour (diesel)
Preview Drive: 2011 Honda CR-Z Hybrid coupe
Preview Drive: 2011 smart fortwo electric drive (EV)
Fuel-efficiency takes many forms
2010 Hybrid Reviews: Ford Fusion Hybrid ... Honda Insight ... Toyota Prius ... Lexus HS 250h
Mitsubishi cuts price of i-MiEV electric by $6,000 (12/3)
in the auto world
Kia developing electric Soul for U.S. market (11/12)
Hybrid-powertrain Nissan Pathfinder debuts (11/9)
BMW announces new 2 Series coupe, succeeding the 1 Series (10/24)
Judge rules against New York Mayor Bloomberg's Taxi for Tomorrow program, which had awarded Nissan exclusive right to sell taxis (10/9)
Tesla CEO Leon Musk explains what happened to battery-powered Model S that caught fire (10/4)
Kia launches redesigned Soul ... electric version coming in 2014 (10/2)
National Transportation Safety Board designates some cities as low-risk areas; could reduce auto-insurance rates significantly (9/18)
Federal government now offers fuel-economy labels to sellers of used vehicles (9/18)
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid promises 50-mpg on highway (9/8)
Highlights: 2013 New York Auto Show
Mercedes-Benz hosts world debut of B-Class Electric and CLA 45 AMG coupe ... Rolls-Royce unveils fastback Wraith ... Hyundai shows 2014 Genesis ... Toyota reveals third-generation Highlander ... Aston Martin Rapide S debuts ... Jaguar hosts global debut of XJR sedan and “track-ready” XKR-S GT coupe ... Next Range Rover Sports unveiled ... Third-generation 2014 Acura MDX adds more affordable 2WD version ... Midsize Jeep Cherokee debuts ... Infiniti unveils QX60 Hybrid SUV, Q50 sports sedan ... GM brings reworked Cadillac CTS ... Dodge focuses on Durango ... Volkswagen shows 2015 Golf ... 2014 Scion tC revealed .
Highlights: 2013 Geneva (Switzerland) Auto Show
130 global and European premieres ... Volkswagen unveils Golf GTI with 220-hp turbo ... Chevrolet reveals 2014 Stingray Corvette convertible ... Rolls-Royce debuts Wraith performance coupe ... Porsche launches 475-hp 911 GT3 ... Mitsubishi brings GR-HEV diesel pickup concept ... Kia displays hybrid Provo concept ... Subaru’s Viziv diesel crossover concept features scissors-style doors; so does Volkswagen XL1 hybrid ... Volvo introduces safety system that can detect bicyclist and apply brakes.
Tirekicking Today editor Jim Flammang, a veteran independent auto journalist, has contributed countless product reviews and feature articles to such publications as autoMedia.com, New Car Test Drive, and Kelley Blue Book. He has written extensively for a variety of major outlets, including J.D. Power, cars.com, and the Chicago Tribune. Flammang is a member of the Freelancers Union, as well as the International Motor Press Association and Midwest Automotive Media Association (past president). The author of more than two dozen books, mostly on auto history, also has contributed extensively to Consumer Guide publications and to such trade publications as Ward's Dealer Business.
Toil & Trouble
Tirekicking Today has been developing a new section on work, labor, and consumer concerns. Toil & Trouble builds upon the uncommon views in Work Hurts, one of our Books in Progress. In addition to notable news items related to work and labor, this section will feature critical essays and editorials.
Fast-food workers plan protest in 100 cities on December 5, seeking boost in minimum wage (12/4)
White House thought to be considering $10 minimum wage (11/12)
Congressional impasse over Affordable Health Care Act forces government shutdown ... debt-ceiling crisis looming on October 17 (10/1)
Thousands of fast-food workers strike in 58 cities on August 29, seeking sizable pay hike (8/30)
Fast-food workers' protest, favoring $15-per-hour minimum wage, spreads to additional cities (8/2)
"World citizen" Garry Davis dies at age 91 ... lifelong advocate, in both words and deeds, of a world without borders (7/29)
June unemployment rate holds at 7.6 percent - the 10th straight month below 8 percent ... 202,000 private-sector jobs added in June (7/6)
New York judge rules that unpaid interns, employed by film studio, should be subject to minimum wage (6/12)
Own Nothing, Owe Nothing: yes, it can be done
10 Ways to Keep Occupy Movement Alive
Surprise! Some of us like to pay taxes
Reject! For some applicants, job search is futile exercise
Overview: All too often, Toil Is Trouble
Where do workers stand now, financially?
Needed Now: Jobs, Not Careers
New Ways To Look at Work
Solidarity Forever? Are unions still needed?
Quit calling us consumers!
Let's break the chain of consumer debt
Prioritize! Living with Less and Liking It
Lineup! CEOs need to justify gargantuan incomes
Job Search shouldn't be a career in itself
Traditional worklives no longer work
No more bosses
UAW: Culprit or victim?
Previous Labor Stories
“You know what the weirdest part about having a job is? You have to be there every day, even on the days you don’t feel like it.”
Jemima Kirke as Jessa Johansson, in episode 4 of the HBO series Girls, created and written by Lena Dunham
"No man is good enough to be another man's master."
George Bernard Shaw,
in Major Barbara
"He that has to obey the will of another is a slave."
Samuel Fielding (1886)
During 2013, Tirekicking Today is adding more Travel stories. Geared toward travelers on a budget, who prefer a suitcase to a backpack, our articles look at such issues as picking sensible hotels and the easiest ways to book trips. We'll emphasize blending into the community rather than spending time among folks from back home.
Special Report: Riding around Paris in a charming Citroen 2CV
El Cortez Hotel Gives Taste of Old Las Vegas
Low-Budget Lodging in Mexico
Today's TSA: Smile and Punishment at the security lane
Historic Hotels Don't Have to Break Your Budget
What's Wrong With High-end Hotels?
Even expert travelers can make mistakes
Online Booking Saves Time, Money, Stress
Is Mexican Travel Finished?
Looking Back: Train Travel in Mexico
Cheap Hotels: Horror or Delight?
Special Report: Daily life in Clichy, France
Carnival in Veracruz, Mexico ... plus unique Carnival fiesta of indigenous Mayans
Mexico City hasn't lost its charms
San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
2011 San Cristobal update
Tokyo; Barcelona; Palma (Mallorca); Paris; Bruges, Belgium; Luxembourg City; Puebla, Mexico
U.S. cities: New York. San Francisco, Miami, Seattle, Las Vegas
UPDATED: December 6, 2013
Tirekicking Today: Focusing on Used Cars and Books
Although Tirekicking Today has emphasized new cars since its inception in 1993, editor Jim Flammang has been covering the used car market as a journalist since 1985. In August, we launched a Used Car section (at right), providing valuable information to both consumers and those in the used-car business. To augment our coverage, we attended the annual Used Car Week in San Diego, in mid-November.
Tirekicking Today also continues to move into other directions. In addition to expanding our sections on work/labor and True Travel, we’re developing Essays and Commentaries. Subjects will reach far beyond automobiles, including politics, law, immigration, consumer concerns–and especially, the Absurdities that surround us. Mr. Maurice Knows It All ..., the first of Flammang's Books In Progress, is being prepared for publication, initially as an e-book.
Books in Progress (outlines and excerpts)
Editor Jim Flammang, the author of more than two dozen books (including six for children), is at work on several more. Each title views its subject from an oblique and lighthearted–yet serious–perspective. Outlines and excerpts may be seen by clicking on each title.
Mr. Maurice knows it all ... and tells you so: Observations on society and major issues of the day from a stuffed pig who just happens to know everything. In 78 single-topic chapters, Mr. Maurice unleashes his acerbic and delightfully wise opinions about everything from work to sex, movies to politics, TV to ambition. Coming Soon, initially as an e-book.
Absurdities: Logical Lapses in everyday life and thought is a comprehensive collection of stinging essays that gaze with disbelief at various aspects of modern life. Manuscript with 74 chapters is about 80% complete.
Incompetent: Coming up short in a world of achievement. Whether it's sports, business, personal relationships, the arts, or any other area of life, some of us score a flat zero in the skills and talents department. Manuscript with 35 chapters is about 70% complete.
Work Hurts: Reflections on a wasted life questions the conventional wisdom on work and careers. For untold millions, including many with "good" jobs, each day's toil delivers no joy and little reward. The 34-chapter manuscript (with four sidebars) is about 75% complete.
Hotel Life, subtitled "Living small in an age of large," assesses the satisfactions of simpler living and minimal consumption, while chronicling the joys (and drawbacks) of residing in low-end accommodations.
Steering Toward Oblivion is a caustically critical but humorous observation of the car culture and auto business. Note: Outline is being updated to reflect current conditions.
Scaredy-Cat: Surviving a lifetime of unwarranted fear and fright. A personal look backward, focusing on lessons learned about debilitating fear and anxiety, including ways to cope and survive.
Automotive titles also are in the works, including:
Hybrid/Electric/Diesel Buying Guide (updating and expanding upon our prior online guide).
Used-Car Buyers' Guide (also an update/expansion of previous online guide).
Car-Buyers Guide for those who don't really care much about cars.
Publishers Invited: Outlines and excerpts for the above books now are available online.
Mr. Maurice.... is finished and will be published initially as an e-book. For further information, contact us at JF@tirekick.com.
Untied Knots - Fiction by Flammang (coming soon): short stories, plus essays on a variety of topics.
O Canada, How Could You?
Humiliation and disrespect at the Immigration counter
by James M. Flammang
Looking for a trip that turns abruptly into a nightmare–right at the airport, upon arrival? Then, look no further than Canada, our alleged “neighbor” to the north.
Perhaps you, too, can be subjected to a barrage of vile, hostile, intimidating queries that pry brutally and abusively into your private affairs and personal history. Rather than receive a welcoming gesture, I was humiliated, insulted, demeaned, and degraded, in disgraceful ways that I’d never even imagined in my many years as an international traveler. All in the name of “protecting” the Canadian economy from the possibility, however remote, that an arriving visitor might be thinking of toil rather than tourism.
Click here for the complete essay on arriving in Canada
For additional essays by James M. Flammang, click here.
Please click here for our Special Report on daily life in Clichy, France, during our two-month stay early in 2012
Please check our numerous vehicle reviews and features at autoMedia.com, including the Used Car and Hybrid/Electric Buying Guides, plus regular contributions to their Auto News Blog.
Tirekicking Today editor Jim Flammang has contributed regular commentary to the Auto News Blog at autoMedia.com
Auto History: When Rationing Came
See our Used Car Buying Guide at autoMedia.com
See our Hybrid/Electric Buying Guide at autoMedia.com
Online since 1995, Tirekicking Today has presented a fresh and distinctive approach to the automotive world, including: Preview Drives of selected coming-soon models; Test Drives of current vehicles; feature stories of interest to car buyers and owners; plus commentary with a distinct and tangy twist. Now, in 2013, much of the auto business somehow remains in subtle crisis mode–despite rising sales. Media outlets such as Tirekicking Today have been affected adversely. Automakers host fewer new-model media programs. Invitation lists to those that occur–especially from GM, Chrysler, Ford, and Toyota–have shrunk sharply, and continue to decline. Availability of test vehicles has diminished. Growing numbers of bloggers and pseudo-journalists vie for attention alongside those, like ourselves, who have covered the auto business for many years.
As a result, Tirekicking Today isn't just about cars anymore. Although our coverage of new cars will continue, timely reviews of certain automakers' vehicles are increasingly impossible to provide. Therefore, we expect to publish more editorials and feature stories, and fewer reviews. Turning aside from cars, Tirekicking Today is expanding coverage of consumer concerns, work/labor issues, and travel (See Toil & Trouble and True Travel, in box at right).
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Drivers willing to dismiss privacy (3/12)
Young British drivers have attitude problems ... "radical" insurer claims to have the answer (3/12)
Who do car-shoppers trust for information?
Idiots Rule: Social media shouldn't dictate product plans
Are auto ads changing tune?
Where are the "Detroit 3" headed now?
Red Light Cameras can snare safe drivers
Archive for All Editorials
New automotive (and non-automotive) Editorials and Essays are being developed and will be posted soon.
Meanwhile, please go to autoMedia.com to see editor Jim Flammang's series of blog posts - mainly commentary on a broad variety of auto-related issues - at Auto News Blog. Topics have ranged from automaker market share, red-light cameras and safety recalls, to EV charging stations, alternative powertrains and romance in the car.
Highlights: November 2010 used car conferences |
2010 CPO (certified pre-owned) Forum
2010 National Remarketing Conference
Highlights: 2009 National Remarketing Conference
Market Trends ... CPO ... Valuations ... Used Car Trends ... POADA
Coverage of notable Industry News will resume during 2013, led by our new section on Used Cars.
Survey: Nearly half of commuters text behind the wheel (9/3)
Numbers Count in Used Car Search
KBB Explains Consumer Surveys
Please watch for helpful new Consumer Advice in fall 2013.
Isn't it finally time to think seriously about reducing oil use - and to take action? As gasoline prices remain below $4 per gallon, interest in fuel-efficient vehicles appears to be waning.
Feature story: Cars and traffic in Paris
Preview Drives: 2013 Chevrolet Spark
Test Drives: 2014 Chevrolet Impala, Silverado; 2014 Kia Forte; 2013 Nissan Maxima
Special Drive: 2013 Aston-Martin Vantage S convertible
The Dunning-Kruger effect:
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."
Large stock of books, magazines, photos, press kits, memorabilia, and more. Mostly from 1985-2010, but some items date back as far as the 1920s. Just let us know what you need, via e-mail to: JF@tirekick.com.
All editorials, reviews and articles are available for reprinting.
Editors are invited to contact us for rates and full details.
TIREKICKING TODAY began in 1993 as a monthly print publication. Created by widely-known automotive writer/editor James M. Flammang and associate editor Marianne E. Flammang, it went on the Internet in 1995. TIREKICKING TODAY gives consumers, enthusiasts, and industry leaders an abundant supply of valuable automotive information.
New-vehicle reviews, editorial commentary, and feature articles are added regularly.
©All contents copyright 1997-2013 by Tirekicking Today.
Material may not be reused in any way without express permission from Tirekicking Today.
For information on reprinting
and syndication rights,
please contact us at JF@tirekick.com.
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