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WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Car break-in; bike found

Two reader reports to share:

CAR BREAK-IN: From Jessica:

My car was broken into (Wednesday night) in the Seaview area at 48th Ave SW and SW Juneau. The person used some sort of remote keyless device as there was no smashed windows/forced entry and the car was 100% locked. They rummaged around to find not that much: some loose change and a couple old gift cards with probably less than $15 left on them.

BICYCLE FOUND: Behind Charlestown Center (3727 California SW):

The finder, who sent the photo, says: “Some cobwebs and pollen on the bike lead me to believe it has been there a while.”

Article source: http://westseattleblog.com/2017/05/west-seattle-crime-watch-car-break-in-bike-found/

Vehicle Restrictions with Bad Credit

You can’t finance just any car if you have credit problems because most subprime lenders have vehicle restrictions on the kinds of cars you can finance.

Vehicle Restriction Questions

Because we have spent the past two decades working with credit-challenged car buyers here at Auto Credit Express, we currently receive at least two hundred questions each month, most of them dealing with auto finance. Here is just one:

“I have already been shopping for a vehicle and was wondering if there are any restrictions on the vehicle, as far as a loan is concerned?”

There are a few things here that need to be discussed, so let’s begin.

We Are Not a Lender

Like many questions we receive, it looks like this borrower thinks Auto Credit Express is a bank. We aren’t. What we do is match consumers to dealers in their area that work with a wide range of lenders. Even if this person has less than perfect credit, the finance department should have the experience to understand their situation.

Does This Consumer Have Bad Credit?

The question doesn’t mention anything about credit issues, but in this case we’re going to assume that this person is dealing with problem credit.

The Bad Credit Car Loan Process is Different

vehicle restrictionsTo begin with, if you have credit issues, you shouldn’t start the car buying process by picking out a car.

That’s because the financing procedure is different if you have bad credit. The first thing you’ll have to do is find a dealer that works with credit-challenged car buyers. That’s because most subprime lenders are indirect lenders – they only work with car dealers and don’t directly loan money to borrowers.

Once you find a dealer (something we can help you with), when you pay them a visit you’ll need to bring a number of things with you including your most recent pay stub, a valid driver’s license or state ID, and a cable or utility bill with your name and address on it.

With this information, the special finance manager will then determine if you meet the lender’s basic requirements. In other words, do you have enough income, after your monthly bills are paid, to be able to afford a car loan plus the full-coverage car insurance you’ll need?

Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, your information will be sent to a lender (possibly more than one) for an approval. If you are approved, the approval will also contain the lending tier you qualify for. That tier will determine your interest rate which, in turn, will also determine the vehicle price range you qualify for.

Subprime Vehicle Restrictions

Subprime lenders typically won’t finance a vehicle that is older than ten years with more than 100,000 miles. But that’s just the start. In most cases the higher the mileage, the shorter the loan term. If a vehicle has 50,000 miles the lender might be willing to finance it for 60 months. But if a similar vehicle has 80,000 miles, the loan term might be restricted to 48 months or less.

The same goes for model year. Everything else being equal, newer vehicles generally qualify for longer loan terms than older vehicles. For example, a two-year-old vehicle might qualify for a 72 month loan term, while a four-year-old vehicle might only qualify for a 48 or 60 month loan term. Older vehicles will be restricted to even shorter loan terms, and so on.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is this: because of vehicle restrictions, if you have credit problems, you should first get approved for a loan before you begin the process of picking out a vehicle.

If credit problems are standing in the way, but you’re ready to take the first step, we want you to know that Auto Credit Express is here to help. We have a nationwide network of car dealerships that are trained in special finance. This means they have the lenders and know-how to help people in all types of credit situations.

Our service is free, fast, and there’s no obligation to buy anything. See what we can do for you by filling out our car loan request form today.

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Article source: https://www.autocreditexpress.com/blog/vehicle-restrictions-bad-credit/

Warranties Defined: The Meaning behind the Quickly Spoken Selling Points

If you’re in the market for a new car, you are no doubt considering a lot of the perks that come with getting a vehicle that has had no prior owners. Your unused ride should smell factory fresh, have minimal miles, and be at the onset of a manufacturer-backed warranty. That last item—the warranty—is often a key selling point for automakers when marketing new cars and trucks. In car commercials, quick-talking voice-overs promise warranties that are bumper to bumper, lifetime, or even “America’s Best.” But what does it all mean?

Put simply, a warranty is an agreement between the consumer and manufacturer, with the latter saying it has faith in the product it has built—for at least its first few years of use. For automakers, it can also be a key part of their marketing. Hyundai launched a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty in 1998 to combat negative perceptions about the quality of its cars. That warranty still exists today. Chrysler, not always known to be a bastion of quality, launched a lifetime powertrain warranty in 2007 but scrapped it a couple of years later.

What’s important to remember is that every automaker has its own definition not only of “warranty” but of the different kinds of warranties they include with new vehicles. Focusing here on new-vehicle, manufacturer-backed warranties, these are some terms you should be familiar with before you shop:

1956 Li’l Sunshine Bumper Car

Bumper to Bumper

Most automakers offer “bumper to bumper” warranties that span three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Although the name implies that everything on the car is guaranteed, there are exclusions. For example, you could argue the tires are between the bumpers, but they are often covered by a separate warranty from the tire manufacturer. Parts that fail due to general wear and tear are typically not covered by bumper-to-bumper warranties; nor are fixes that are not defect related and outside of automakers’ control, such as car crashes, theft and vandalism, general abuse, and alterations or modifications done by the vehicle owners.

Otherwise, the bumper-to-bumper warranty is the most extensive coverage and begins from the date the vehicle is delivered to the customer. Most new cars and trucks come with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, but some companies have longer coverage. Higher-end marques such as Mercedes-Benz and Buick, for example, cover vehicles for four years or 50,000 miles. Last month, Volkswagen announced that its all-new 2018 Atlas and Tiguan will come with the lengthiest bumper-to-bumper warranty among SUVs sold in the United States. The coverage is for six years or 72,000 miles, whichever comes first, and is transferable to subsequent owners at no cost.

A V-8 connected via torque tube to a transaxle is Chevy’s recipe for balanced weight distribution, but save for the aging Aston Martin Vantage, none of the AMG GT’s more-direct competitors make use of it. Jaguar uses a conventional behind-the-engine transmission. Porsche hangs the engine off the back of the transaxle, while Audi’s mid-engined R8 sees the transaxle bolted to the back of the engine. The most similar car to the AMG, then, would be the new Ferrari California T, with its twin-turbo V-8 and rear-mounted trans, but the droptop Italian costs a lot more, while even the supercharged Vette Z06 will cost significantly less.

Powertrain

The “powertrain” warranty comes hand in hand with the bumper-to-bumper warranty, but it typically lasts a little longer, with most automakers offering it for up to five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.  It covers only the parts that make the vehicle go: the engine, transmission, and drivetrain. And as with the bumper-to-bumper warranty, most automakers will say what’s covered in paperwork that comes with the new vehicle. In Ford’s powertrain warranty, the company spells out the parts included, right down to the engine thermostat housing.

It is also important to see what is not covered. In Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, for example, the camshaft is covered if there is a factory defect, but not if the damage was caused by poor lubrication brought on by improper maintenance.

Regular Maintenance

With all vehicle warranties, maintenance is very important. Automakers usually require that, to keep repairs covered, the vehicle must be regularly maintained according to a schedule laid out in the owner’s manual. For example, if you skip all the scheduled oil changes and then subsequently experience problems related to low or dirty oil, the automaker can argue that a needed fix is not covered, due to your lack of care. Even if you don’t want to sift through your warranty documents to find the specifics on this, a good rule would be to just maintain your car at regular intervals.

Captive Repairs

Car companies typically expect you to do regular maintenance at their factory-backed, franchised dealerships. But by law, automakers cannot void your warranty just because you get your vehicle serviced or repaired at an independent mechanic or retail chain shop. The Federal Trade Commission notes that manufacturers and dealers are not obligated to pay for those fixes, however.

In other words, if you’re going to pay for the repairs, even though they’re covered by the warranty, feel free to have your car fixed by whomever you want. But if it’s covered by the warranty, you have to go to where the warranty dictates to get it fixed for free. Another caveat: If you or your independent mechanic improperly repair something and it causes greater damage, the automaker and its franchise dealer can decline to pay for the repair, as long as they can prove that you caused the damage.

“Limited” Edition

You may also notice that new-vehicle warranties include the word “limited” in the title. Fun fact: The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act requires a written warranty for any consumer product that costs more than $10 to be labeled either “full” or “limited.” Limited means that not everything about the product is covered. It is also limited because it does not span the life of a product and can also be given that name if it is limited to the original purchaser.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Is It Transferable?

That brings up another important aspect of warranties: You need to know whether they are transferable. Remember that aforementioned Volkswagen warranty on the new Atlas and Tiguan? VW is calling it “the best in the business.” In making such a bold claim, the German automaker acknowledged Hyundai’s America’s Best 10-year/100,000-mile warranty but noted that the Korean automaker’s coverage is not transferable to a second owner. VW’s is.

Tires, Emissions, Rust, and Other Warranties

The tires of vehicles are sometimes covered by automakers’ new-vehicle warranties or may have separate coverage. Ford’s new-vehicle limited warranty covers tire defects in factory-supplied material and workmanship on a prorated basis up to 36,000 miles. But at least 10 tire manufacturers that supply Ford’s vehicles also offer their own warranties, as outlined in Ford’s 69-page pamphlet. Same with Honda.

New vehicles may have roadside assistance warranties built into the bumper-to-bumper warranties. Many automakers and dealerships also sell them separately. Some automakers, such as Fiat Chrysler, will pay for the vehicle to be towed if it’s for a fix that is under warranty, for example.

Like power yoga instructors for your car, engineers have helped make cars both quicker and more efficient by focusing on their breath. Today, even the lowliest of subcompact cars breathe easily through four valves—two intake and two exhaust—for every cylinder, and most modern engines have the ability to advance and/or delay the opening and closing of both the intake and exhaust valves. Aerodynamicists have mastered the craft of directing airflow into the engine bay—sometimes through active aero shutters—allowing engines to gulp in as much fresh, cool air as they need but no more. Exhaust systems have also evolved to reduce back pressure through the pipes, emissions components such as the catalytic converter, and mufflers.

Emission-control warranties are federally required and have been since 1972. The coverage comes in two parts: a performance warranty and a design-and-defect warranty. The performance warranty covers repairs for two years or 24,000 miles to ensure the vehicle passes emission tests. Design-and-defect coverage is for the same amount of use, but some automakers may add on to the limits.

Major emission-control components are covered for up to eight years or 80,000 miles. Components included in this coverage are the catalytic converters, electronic emission-control units or computers, and onboard emission diagnostic devices. As this is the law, you can expect it to be uniform across all makes and models. But not all states require emission testing, and some, such as Alaska or Texas, require it only in certain parts of the state. AAA has a good state-by-state breakdown.

LeMons Barber Studebaker Rust

Rust and perforation warranties are common, and the length of coverage varies from brand to brand. Toyota’s new vehicles are covered for an unlimited amount of time but up to 60,000 miles. Chevrolet covers its cars’ and trucks’ sheetmetal for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first, and guarantees rust-through coverage for six years or 100,000 miles. Cadillac and Buick vehicles have a warranty of six years/unlimited miles for rust-through corrosion.

What about what’s on the dash? Hyundai’s limited warranty includes five years/60,000 miles for its vehicles’ radios, CD and DVD players, and navigation systems. It also has unlimited coverage of its air-conditioner refrigerant charge. These are just some of the more specific warranties often offered alongside powertrain and bumper-to-bumper coverage. It all goes back to the point that “bumper to bumper” typically does not mean everything between the bumpers is covered.

With any new-vehicle warranty, you have to read the fine print or at least understand what is in the owner’s manual and related documents. All companies are required to detail to consumers what the warranty covers and what it does not. The onus is on you, the consumer, to be familiar with these documents at the time of purchase, so there are no surprises later.

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/warranties-defined-the-meaning-behind-the-quickly-spoken-selling-points/

What’s $190000 Between Friends? BMW M4 GT4 Now Available For Order

BMW M4 GT4

For $67,195 BMW will sell you an M4, a proverbial race car for the street; however, for just a smidge less than $190,000, the German company will sell you a literal race car. The BMW M4 GT4 is now available for order, and unsurprisingly the twin-turbocharged coupe means serious business.The 187-inch long race car wears a carbon-fiber hood from the water-injected M4 GTS, a pair of carbon-fiber doors, and a host of aerodynamic add-ons, including front splitters and a massive rear wing. BMW also equips the stripped-out M4 GT4 with the seat, brakes, and pedal box from the bigger BMW M6 GT3 race car. Those brakes comprise of chunky 15.4-inch front and 14-inch rear rotors, with calipers using six pistons in front and four piston at the rear.

BMW M4 GT4

Other racing upgrades include a built-in air jack, adjustable anti-roll bars, a set of Öhlins shocks, and an adjustable spring at each corner. While BMW went to town on the M4 GT4’s suspension components, the company played it safe with the powertrain, since GT4 rules require that the basic engine—including its position, location, and orientation—remain original. As such, the M4 GT4’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six can be traced back to the production M4. Fitted with a racing exhaust, the engine produces 431 hp, just six more than the production car. All of that power is sent rearward via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that’s been programmed for racing. Meanwhile, a massive 33-gallon fuel tank stretches the distance between pit stops.

BMW notes that customers will have the opportunity to begin racing the M4 GT4 in 2018, with the first customer cars expected to enter the 24 Hours of Dubai in January. Until then, BMW’s factory team is waving the M4 GT4’s flag at racing events around the world, with the car set to compete next at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in Nürburg, Germany.

BMW-M4-GTS-REEL

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/whats-190000-between-friends-bmw-m4-gt4-now-available-for-order/

What’s $190000 Between Friends? BMW M4 GT4 Now Available For Order

BMW M4 GT4

For $67,195 BMW will sell you an M4, a proverbial race car for the street; however, for just a smidge less than $190,000, the German company will sell you a literal race car. The BMW M4 GT4 is now available for order, and unsurprisingly the twin-turbocharged coupe means serious business.The 187-inch long race car wears a carbon-fiber hood from the water-injected M4 GTS, a pair of carbon-fiber doors, and a host of aerodynamic add-ons, including front splitters and a massive rear wing. BMW also equips the stripped-out M4 GT4 with the seat, brakes, and pedal box from the bigger BMW M6 GT3 race car. Those brakes comprise of chunky 15.4-inch front and 14-inch rear rotors, with calipers using six pistons in front and four piston at the rear.

BMW M4 GT4

Other racing upgrades include a built-in air jack, adjustable anti-roll bars, a set of Öhlins shocks, and an adjustable spring at each corner. While BMW went to town on the M4 GT4’s suspension components, the company played it safe with the powertrain, since GT4 rules require that the basic engine—including its position, location, and orientation—remain original. As such, the M4 GT4’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six can be traced back to the production M4. Fitted with a racing exhaust, the engine produces 431 hp, just six more than the production car. All of that power is sent rearward via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that’s been programmed for racing. Meanwhile, a massive 33-gallon fuel tank stretches the distance between pit stops.

BMW notes that customers will have the opportunity to begin racing the M4 GT4 in 2018, with the first customer cars expected to enter the 24 Hours of Dubai in January. Until then, BMW’s factory team is waving the M4 GT4’s flag at racing events around the world, with the car set to compete next at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in Nürburg, Germany.

BMW-M4-GTS-REEL

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/whats-190000-between-friends-bmw-m4-gt4-now-available-for-order/

What’s $190000 Between Friends? BMW M4 GT4 Now Available For Order

BMW M4 GT4

For $67,195 BMW will sell you an M4, a proverbial race car for the street; however, for just a smidge less than $190,000, the German company will sell you a literal race car. The BMW M4 GT4 is now available for order, and unsurprisingly the twin-turbocharged coupe means serious business.The 187-inch long race car wears a carbon-fiber hood from the water-injected M4 GTS, a pair of carbon-fiber doors, and a host of aerodynamic add-ons, including front splitters and a massive rear wing. BMW also equips the stripped-out M4 GT4 with the seat, brakes, and pedal box from the bigger BMW M6 GT3 race car. Those brakes comprise of chunky 15.4-inch front and 14-inch rear rotors, with calipers using six pistons in front and four piston at the rear.

BMW M4 GT4

Other racing upgrades include a built-in air jack, adjustable anti-roll bars, a set of Öhlins shocks, and an adjustable spring at each corner. While BMW went to town on the M4 GT4’s suspension components, the company played it safe with the powertrain, since GT4 rules require that the basic engine—including its position, location, and orientation—remain original. As such, the M4 GT4’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six can be traced back to the production M4. Fitted with a racing exhaust, the engine produces 431 hp, just six more than the production car. All of that power is sent rearward via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that’s been programmed for racing. Meanwhile, a massive 33-gallon fuel tank stretches the distance between pit stops.

BMW notes that customers will have the opportunity to begin racing the M4 GT4 in 2018, with the first customer cars expected to enter the 24 Hours of Dubai in January. Until then, BMW’s factory team is waving the M4 GT4’s flag at racing events around the world, with the car set to compete next at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in Nürburg, Germany.

BMW-M4-GTS-REEL

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/whats-190000-between-friends-bmw-m4-gt4-now-available-for-order/

President Trump and the German car imbroglio

“Free Trade” – my assemblage currently featured at the Barrett Art Gallery in Santa Monica.

With the usual gross exaggeration, the media have been reporting that President Trump told European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and E.U. Council president Donald Tusk that “the Germans are bad, very bad” for making and selling lots of cars, contributing to their trade surplus, due to all their exports.

Juncker said it never happened and the conversation was about Germany’s trade surplus and it was quite civilized.  When you’ve got an arrogant, supercilious, disdainful European Union official such as him defending Trump, you know he must be telling the truth.  Via Google Translate, the quote disavowing the media claims is here in Der Spiegel:

Trump had in no way been aggressively put forward. “‘Bad’ does not mean evil – bad enough,” said Juncker. The atmosphere was constructive. “He did not say the Germans behave badly. He said we have a problem,” said Juncker.

Still, there’s a bit of an argument worth looking at, given the issue at hand.  Trump is criticizing the Germans for their cutting-edge industry selling first-rate cars?  How could that be bad?  Or a problem?  Shouldn’t every nation do what it does best?  Some nations produce the world’s best hoteliers, others produce the world’s finest agricultural products, still others produce the world’s best chess players and computer programmers.  Germans do precision tools and cars.  The metalworking industry has been a German area of excellence since the rise of Nuremberg, in Bavaria (where the cars are now made), on a major trade route to Italy.  Albrecht Durer, the greatest painter Germany ever produced, was the son of a Nuremberg metalworker in the 15th century, and his life and work were intimately connected with the commercial rise of this city, showing that great art arises from great commercial prosperity.  The city itself fell into decline when wars took over.  But Bavaria remained Germany’s industrial center.

This brings me to my real point.  They’re Germans.  What do Germans do when they aren’t busily cranking out cars?  It’s either Germans making and selling cars, or else they go Nazi.  Germany has a hideous record of military aggression when it is not kept busy with commercial pursuits.  Is it a really good thing to tell Germans not to make cars anymore?

And to address the trade surplus issue that comes of it, it’s worth noting that the lines are not as clear as the statistics suggest.  Trade is a complex thing, which is why some of the best free-market economists say deficits don’t matter.  Germany is one of America’s largest foreign investors, with $208 billion in investments here, employing 620,000 American workers.  They locally source when they produce their cars here because it’s the most cost-effective way to do it, visiting German auto executives told me a few years ago.  So when Germans build cars for the German market, they like to use Romanian factories because they are closest to the spare parts makers around the region, and this cuts inefficiencies and transport costs.  Same thing with the U.S. BMW cars sold in the U.S. assembled at plants in South Carolina, and Mercedes-Benzes sold in the U.S. made in Alabama.  (Volkswagen is now mostly in Mexico, but that keeps the illegals employed in their home country.)  Japan, too, locally sources its production, with Toyota’s operations in Kentucky and Texas, and Nissan’s in Tennessee and Mississippi.

Juncker pointed out that the argument Trump was making was directed at Germany but insisted there was no going to Germany directly.  Any dealings with Germany would have to be done through the E.U. which makes no distinction between countries.

I was making clear that the U.S. cannot compare their trade situation with individual member states of the European Union. They have to compare their performances with the global performances of the European Union and I made it clear that the commission is charged with trade issues and not the member states.

That may be what Trump really meant to get at, and he is likely right that bilateral agreements based on individual countries’ particulars is a better way to go in negotiating better treaty deals, which seems to be what he wants with Germany.  There’s no sense applying the same muscle to Greece as is required in a deal with Germany – and that is where Juncker slides into unreality.

In any case, it’s an unfortunate thing that car-making is what Germany is being criticized for.  There are so many things the Germans need to be blasted for – their laziness on defense, their kowtowing to the gamier elements of the Middle East, their open-borders migrant policy, their miserable socialist taxes that keep their birthrate down, and their intrusive government structure that discourages religion and family formation, in addition to their disgusting affinity for the European Union.  But car-making isn’t what makes Germany “bad” or a problem.  Juncker pretty well explained that the E.U. would be a roadblock toward any adjustment of trade terms with Germany.  That’s where the real problem is, and it will likely be a chronic one until the European Union breaks up.  It really isn’t German cars.

Article source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/05/trump_and_the_german_car_imbroglio.html

President Trump and the German car imbroglio

“Free Trade” – my assemblage currently featured at the Barrett Art Gallery in Santa Monica.

With the usual gross exaggeration, the media have been reporting that President Trump told European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and E.U. Council president Donald Tusk that “the Germans are bad, very bad” for making and selling lots of cars, contributing to their trade surplus, due to all their exports.

Juncker said it never happened and the conversation was about Germany’s trade surplus and it was quite civilized.  When you’ve got an arrogant, supercilious, disdainful European Union official such as him defending Trump, you know he must be telling the truth.  Via Google Translate, the quote disavowing the media claims is here in Der Spiegel:

Trump had in no way been aggressively put forward. “‘Bad’ does not mean evil – bad enough,” said Juncker. The atmosphere was constructive. “He did not say the Germans behave badly. He said we have a problem,” said Juncker.

Still, there’s a bit of an argument worth looking at, given the issue at hand.  Trump is criticizing the Germans for their cutting-edge industry selling first-rate cars?  How could that be bad?  Or a problem?  Shouldn’t every nation do what it does best?  Some nations produce the world’s best hoteliers, others produce the world’s finest agricultural products, still others produce the world’s best chess players and computer programmers.  Germans do precision tools and cars.  The metalworking industry has been a German area of excellence since the rise of Nuremberg, in Bavaria (where the cars are now made), on a major trade route to Italy.  Albrecht Durer, the greatest painter Germany ever produced, was the son of a Nuremberg metalworker in the 15th century, and his life and work were intimately connected with the commercial rise of this city, showing that great art arises from great commercial prosperity.  The city itself fell into decline when wars took over.  But Bavaria remained Germany’s industrial center.

This brings me to my real point.  They’re Germans.  What do Germans do when they aren’t busily cranking out cars?  It’s either Germans making and selling cars, or else they go Nazi.  Germany has a hideous record of military aggression when it is not kept busy with commercial pursuits.  Is it a really good thing to tell Germans not to make cars anymore?

And to address the trade surplus issue that comes of it, it’s worth noting that the lines are not as clear as the statistics suggest.  Trade is a complex thing, which is why some of the best free-market economists say deficits don’t matter.  Germany is one of America’s largest foreign investors, with $208 billion in investments here, employing 620,000 American workers.  They locally source when they produce their cars here because it’s the most cost-effective way to do it, visiting German auto executives told me a few years ago.  So when Germans build cars for the German market, they like to use Romanian factories because they are closest to the spare parts makers around the region, and this cuts inefficiencies and transport costs.  Same thing with the U.S. BMW cars sold in the U.S. assembled at plants in South Carolina, and Mercedes-Benzes sold in the U.S. made in Alabama.  (Volkswagen is now mostly in Mexico, but that keeps the illegals employed in their home country.)  Japan, too, locally sources its production, with Toyota’s operations in Kentucky and Texas, and Nissan’s in Tennessee and Mississippi.

Juncker pointed out that the argument Trump was making was directed at Germany but insisted there was no going to Germany directly.  Any dealings with Germany would have to be done through the E.U. which makes no distinction between countries.

I was making clear that the U.S. cannot compare their trade situation with individual member states of the European Union. They have to compare their performances with the global performances of the European Union and I made it clear that the commission is charged with trade issues and not the member states.

That may be what Trump really meant to get at, and he is likely right that bilateral agreements based on individual countries’ particulars is a better way to go in negotiating better treaty deals, which seems to be what he wants with Germany.  There’s no sense applying the same muscle to Greece as is required in a deal with Germany – and that is where Juncker slides into unreality.

In any case, it’s an unfortunate thing that car-making is what Germany is being criticized for.  There are so many things the Germans need to be blasted for – their laziness on defense, their kowtowing to the gamier elements of the Middle East, their open-borders migrant policy, their miserable socialist taxes that keep their birthrate down, and their intrusive government structure that discourages religion and family formation, in addition to their disgusting affinity for the European Union.  But car-making isn’t what makes Germany “bad” or a problem.  Juncker pretty well explained that the E.U. would be a roadblock toward any adjustment of trade terms with Germany.  That’s where the real problem is, and it will likely be a chronic one until the European Union breaks up.  It really isn’t German cars.

Article source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/05/trump_and_the_german_car_imbroglio.html

President Trump and the German car imbroglio

“Free Trade” – my assemblage currently featured at the Barrett Art Gallery in Santa Monica.

With the usual gross exaggeration, the media have been reporting that President Trump told European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and E.U. Council president Donald Tusk that “the Germans are bad, very bad” for making and selling lots of cars, contributing to their trade surplus, due to all their exports.

Juncker said it never happened and the conversation was about Germany’s trade surplus and it was quite civilized.  When you’ve got an arrogant, supercilious, disdainful European Union official such as him defending Trump, you know he must be telling the truth.  Via Google Translate, the quote disavowing the media claims is here in Der Spiegel:

Trump had in no way been aggressively put forward. “‘Bad’ does not mean evil – bad enough,” said Juncker. The atmosphere was constructive. “He did not say the Germans behave badly. He said we have a problem,” said Juncker.

Still, there’s a bit of an argument worth looking at, given the issue at hand.  Trump is criticizing the Germans for their cutting-edge industry selling first-rate cars?  How could that be bad?  Or a problem?  Shouldn’t every nation do what it does best?  Some nations produce the world’s best hoteliers, others produce the world’s finest agricultural products, still others produce the world’s best chess players and computer programmers.  Germans do precision tools and cars.  The metalworking industry has been a German area of excellence since the rise of Nuremberg, in Bavaria (where the cars are now made), on a major trade route to Italy.  Albrecht Durer, the greatest painter Germany ever produced, was the son of a Nuremberg metalworker in the 15th century, and his life and work were intimately connected with the commercial rise of this city, showing that great art arises from great commercial prosperity.  The city itself fell into decline when wars took over.  But Bavaria remained Germany’s industrial center.

This brings me to my real point.  They’re Germans.  What do Germans do when they aren’t busily cranking out cars?  It’s either Germans making and selling cars, or else they go Nazi.  Germany has a hideous record of military aggression when it is not kept busy with commercial pursuits.  Is it a really good thing to tell Germans not to make cars anymore?

And to address the trade surplus issue that comes of it, it’s worth noting that the lines are not as clear as the statistics suggest.  Trade is a complex thing, which is why some of the best free-market economists say deficits don’t matter.  Germany is one of America’s largest foreign investors, with $208 billion in investments here, employing 620,000 American workers.  They locally source when they produce their cars here because it’s the most cost-effective way to do it, visiting German auto executives told me a few years ago.  So when Germans build cars for the German market, they like to use Romanian factories because they are closest to the spare parts makers around the region, and this cuts inefficiencies and transport costs.  Same thing with the U.S. BMW cars sold in the U.S. assembled at plants in South Carolina, and Mercedes-Benzes sold in the U.S. made in Alabama.  (Volkswagen is now mostly in Mexico, but that keeps the illegals employed in their home country.)  Japan, too, locally sources its production, with Toyota’s operations in Kentucky and Texas, and Nissan’s in Tennessee and Mississippi.

Juncker pointed out that the argument Trump was making was directed at Germany but insisted there was no going to Germany directly.  Any dealings with Germany would have to be done through the E.U. which makes no distinction between countries.

I was making clear that the U.S. cannot compare their trade situation with individual member states of the European Union. They have to compare their performances with the global performances of the European Union and I made it clear that the commission is charged with trade issues and not the member states.

That may be what Trump really meant to get at, and he is likely right that bilateral agreements based on individual countries’ particulars is a better way to go in negotiating better treaty deals, which seems to be what he wants with Germany.  There’s no sense applying the same muscle to Greece as is required in a deal with Germany – and that is where Juncker slides into unreality.

In any case, it’s an unfortunate thing that car-making is what Germany is being criticized for.  There are so many things the Germans need to be blasted for – their laziness on defense, their kowtowing to the gamier elements of the Middle East, their open-borders migrant policy, their miserable socialist taxes that keep their birthrate down, and their intrusive government structure that discourages religion and family formation, in addition to their disgusting affinity for the European Union.  But car-making isn’t what makes Germany “bad” or a problem.  Juncker pretty well explained that the E.U. would be a roadblock toward any adjustment of trade terms with Germany.  That’s where the real problem is, and it will likely be a chronic one until the European Union breaks up.  It really isn’t German cars.

Article source: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/05/trump_and_the_german_car_imbroglio.html

BMW M8 Prototype: Munich Forecasts New Peak Performer at Nurburgring

BMW M8 Villa d'Este conceptBMW M8 Villa d'Este concept

Two days after BMW unveiled the Concept 8-series at the famous Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Italy’s Lake Como, it’s using the 24-hour sports-car race at the Nürburgring to preview the hottest new 8-series coupe: the M8.

Unlike the Como concept, this prototype was entirely covered with camouflage wrap, so the presentation was more of an aural than a visual treat. What we could see were fat tires, large aerodynamic addenda, four round exhaust tips, typical M-spec mirrors, and huge air intakes. Behind the intakes is a powerplant that is hungry for air, both to ingest and for cooling: the next-gen twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 that probably will make something north of 600 horsepower. This is the same engine that powers the next M5, and it will be mated solely to an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive will be standard, although drivers will be able to select a rear-wheel-drive mode to induce powerslides or to drift at will.

The M8, we’re advised, will be at least 200 pounds lighter than the outgoing M6 it replaces. While the new M8 will be the spiritual successor of the M6, there is a historical precursor that was called M8. It was a prototype derivative of the 1990s-era 8-series, fitted with a 6.0-liter V-12 rated at about 540 horsepower and equipped with a manual transmission. BMW decided against building it and went for the 850CSi instead.

There is a good reason for the Nürburgring to serve as the venue for this car’s announcement. That’s because BMW will build a racing version of the new M8 called the M8 GTE, which is set to make its competition debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona next January—months before the roadgoing car comes to market.

BMW M8 Villa d'Este conceptBMW M8 Villa d'Este concept


Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/bmw-m8-prototype-munich-forecasts-new-peak-performer-at-nurburgring/