Q. I read that the upcoming
top-line Cadillac auto will be called the "CT6." Whatever happened to
glamorous old Cadillac names such as "Eldorado" and "Biarritz?" - -
J.H., San Francisco
A. Cadillac apparently is following the lead of foreign luxury car makers Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus and Mercedes in giving its cars "alphabet soup" names. For instance, Cadillac's 2015 autos are called "ATS," "CTS," "XTS," "ELR"and "SRX." The only Caddy with a "proper" name is the Escalade, and it's a big SUV--not a car. At least Cadillac didn't name its new top model, which goes on sale in late 2015, the "Elmiraj" (try pronouncing that) show car, from which the new model is said to borrow styling cues.
Q. I hear Cadillac is moving its global headquarters from Detroit to New York City. What gives? -- F.K. (via Internet)
A. Cadillac's new boss wants to live in the New York City area, where he once lived. Actually, he's just moving the automaker's sales and marketing teams to New York so they reportedly can get closer to a "premium lifestyle" at the "epicenter of sophisticated living." The rest of the Caddy crew stays in Detroit, although that city never used to hurt Cadillac's reputation or prestige. The funny thing is, nobody with any sense owns a car in New York City.
Q. I'm thinking of buying a used Chevrolet Corvette (can't afford a new one) and would like to read a comprehensive no-frills earlier history of this colorful car. Any suggestions? -- E.A. (via Internet)
A. Definitely get a copy of the new edition of veteran auto writer Karl Ludvigsen's "Corvette--America's Star-Spangled Sports Car--The Complete History 1953-1982." It's much bigger in size and content than the original 1973 edition. It's got a whopping 784 pages, with full color throughout. The book is from Bentley Publishers (www.BentleyPublishers.com).
Q. I live in the Midwest and am thinking about waxing my car now that this area's often-brutal winters are coming. Will a good wax job last a year? Also, does paste wax provide greater protection than liquid wax? -- J.D.. (via Internet)
A. There's no guarantee of the protective time of wax because every car and every car owner is different, along with the environment in which the car is kept. For instance, is it garaged when not used? As to the wax situation, there are liquid and paste car waxes that the veteran Meguiar's car care product company says offer "equal ease of use and performance qualities."
Q. How do you feel about the
electric car and its producer Tesla Motors Inc.? -- E.G. (via Internet)
A. The electric Tesla S is a costly, rather ordinary looking upscale car that looks much like other upscale cars--even after generous tax breaks to Tesla Motors and its CEO Elon Musk. While the Model S reportedly is above-average in many respects, one must wonder why our taxpayer money is being used to subsidize Tesla Motors' "green" car buyers, the usual car-dumb show biz Hollywood crowd (remember when the giant, gas-guzzling Hummer was all the rage in Hollywood?) and a favorable review by Consumer Reports magazine, which nevertheless says reliability of the Tesla S is "average."
Q. What do you think of General Motors' new midsize pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon? -- K.Z. (via Internet)
A. They promise to be timely vehicles, providing full-size GM truck attributes in a smaller package. They'll have four-cylinder or V-6 gas engines and will be the only trucks in their market segment with a diesel engine in North America. Their competitors are two dated Japanese models.
Q. What's your take on billionaire Warren Buffett buying the fifth largest auto dealership company in the United States? -- S.M. (via Internet)
A. Buffett couldn't tell a Ferrari from an old Checker taxicab if it ran over him, but that's beside the point because the only thing this guy is interested in is making money. The dealerships he bought will give him a good return on equity. Profits will be generated from facilitating financing on new cars and leasing deals. There's also good profits from service and used car sales. It wouldn't be surprising if Buffet bought more large dealership groups.