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It pays to be careful with the products that bring in the dough. Ford learned its lesson about that with the Five Hundred and Freestyle, the cars that (temporarily) replaced the Taurus in 2007. Those two tanked big-time, and it’s debateable whether the Taurus, which has since been redesigned (again) into a very well-sorted full-size sedan, has ever recovered from that gaffe.
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Hyundai is on a tear. If you hadn’t noticed, the new Hyundai Sonata, Tucson, Elantra sedan and Accent have all been dramatically re-shaped in the past couple of years and the reaction has been generally positive. Still, major styling changes are always a bit of a gamble: they can backfire if the styling is seen as too trendy, overstated, or perhaps even ugly – just ask Acura! While handsome new styling is often the easiest and most cost effective way to attract new customers, bad styling is also the easiest way to lose them. Continue reading
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With the exception of a few retro vehicles such as the Mini and Beetle, it isn’t often that a car becomes a runaway hit right out of the box. That said, that was precisely the case with the Hyundai Elantra, which is completely redesigned for 2011. In January, its first full month of sales and before the company even started aggressively advertising it, it became the best-selling car in Canada, ahead of the triumvirate of Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 that usually jockeys for the top spot.
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Hybrid hype is flying high at my current place of employment, the Toronto production of the hit show Jersey Boys.
Many of the young cast members covet a hybrid vehicle. They want to be green. They want to be cool. They want to stick it to Big Oil. Bless their socks. They don’t really know what a hybrid vehicle is, or what it does, but they’re sure that with a little green hybrid badge they’ll drive around for free and butterflies will come out the tailpipe. Continue reading