It’s well-known that China has some serious issues with protecting intellectual property. From cars that are knockoffs of the name brand models (the Brilliance H530 is so similar to the F10 BMW 5 Series that ) to serious accusations of state-on-state cyber warfare, most global companies only reluctantly venture into agreements with Chinese companies. Sure, they really want access to that large and growing market, but they are also deathly afraid about how their hard work on research and development may help their local Chinese partners more than them in the long run.
As you know, we don’t usually deviate much from our core mission of covering cars and the car business here at Autosavant. But this morning, an really caught my eye, and it’s about a railroad. Don’t worry, we’re not going to go all “” on you, but there’s definitely a connection between this news and the auto industry, so bear with me for a few minutes while I explain.
While attending the launch event for the 2014 Corvette Stingray last month, I was struck by a thought that just wouldn’t leave my head. Were GM executives being honest when they said that they only applied the Stingray name to the car at the eleventh hour, only after it was clear that the car raised the bar in terms of design and performance? Could there be another reason that it’s no longer just a “Corvette,” but now a “Corvette Stingray” or even just “Stingray?” Well, here’s my crazy idea. Grab your tinfoil hat.
About two weeks ago, my wife and our five year old son were in a pretty serious car accident. No father wants to get a call from his wife saying that a tractor trailer skidded into their van on a wet road, there was an airbag deployment, and that they were still waiting for the police or ambulance to show up. It took every ounce of will power that I have to not drive home at 120 miles per hour that day. Fortunately, they both survived, and thus far seem to have fairly minor injuries. (We’ll know more after my wife’s follow-up appointment on Friday).
At next week’s International CES in Las Vegas (where our own Kevin Gordon will be on-site), both Toyota and Audi will show their concepts for self-driving, or autonomous cars. Some states (Nevada, California, and Florida) have approved autonomous cars on public roads, and many observers see them as welcome, or necessary, or inevitable. But are you ready for them?
Over the years, Infiniti’s management has made some head-scratching moves. The brand, launched around the same time as Lexus, decided to show rocks and trees – and not the actual products – as it launched, which led potential buyers to wonder just what the heck Infiniti was. Now, Infiniti has a decent – albeit not full – lineup consisting of the G and M cars, and EX, JX, FX, and QX crossovers, all with model names that describe their engine displacement, so it must be time to blow things up.