Ow my globalization: Chinese Dodge

Summary from Automotive Digest:


  • Chrysler Group to import small Dodge car from China’s Chery automaker, beginning in 2008
  • Deal confirmed by DC, 1st such pact w/ Chinese automaker by any major Western producer
  • Tentatively named Dodge Hornet, ‘B-car’ subcompact will be smaller than Dodge Caliber
  • Chrysler turns to China because cost of building domestic B-car all but wipes out profit
  • Deal pressures UAW on carmaking costs
  • Holding prospect of small SUVs, compacts also farmed out to China


  • Chery already exports cars to about 20 countries in SE Asia, Africa, Middle East
  • Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda praises Chery’s manufacturing record
  • Says it’s “good fit” w/ domestic automaker’s engineering, design staffs
  • Chery deal still to be ratified by DC supervisory board, UAW chief Ron Gettelfinger is member
  • Chery-Chrysler liaison began after Chinese automaker broke off agreement w/ US dealer group working w/ Malcolm Bricklin

Detroit Freep news article has more

Long story short it’s supposed to STAY in third gear unless you shift

My car is down for the count, needs a new transmission. Won’t have it back until next Thursday. Thank goodness that Freddy at Tustin Acura is giving me a loaner car, and that this is all under warranty and won’t cost me more than $50. I wonder what a transmission replacement at the dealer would cost otherwise? Shudder.

Thank you for being a cool guy, Freddy at Tustin Acura.

Mahalia Jackson, he’s not.

Music for Maniacs is a fine mp3blog for aficionados of outsider music and other oddities. Today’s post revealed one of the main problems “New Religions” or “Cults” have; their gospel music blows chunks.

Submitted for your consideration, L. Ron Hubbard’s music from 1980 for Battlefield Earth. Both of those tracks were intended as “soundtracks” to the novel.

One can easily picture the great man bent over his synthesizer, getting the evil laughter, boop-beep sounds, and ominously cheesy organ sounds just right.


I went to the supermarket tonight near midnight as I often do. The only reason I ever go to Ralphs is that it’s open late; otherwise I’m at the produce market, Trader Joe’s, etc.

The Ralphs on 17th Street in Costa Mesa, CA is very bright, painfully so. I feel like Lou Reed coming down off heroin when I walk in there out of the dark into the fluorescence. The produce is horrible except for one or two items, so it’s strictly a packaged goods and dairy kind of place for me most of the time. I really like the people who work there, though.

Lately I’ve been going to another Ralphs less than a mile away if I can; it’s only open until midnight, but the Westcliff Plaza one’s staff has revolted and replaced the corporate Slow Jam/Office Rock muzak with their own mix CDs, so that my 20 minutes of grocering are smoothed by a few tracks of 70s funk or 1940s jazz etc.

Tonight I made the mistake of going back to 17th Street and experienced the worst innovation yet. They’ve put a door buzzer in because of all the beer runs etc. and every time anyone enters or leaves it makes a piercing, cringe-inducing 70 db BEEEEP. No, not BEEEEP. More like BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. It’s the sort of sound I associate with fire alarms at hospitals. Can’t be ignored, makes you stop in your tracks and flinch. I could see people making involuntary attempts to cover their ears each time it went off, which was about every three or four minutes. We were all on a broken starship from a shitty science fiction movie.

I grabbed the stuff I absolutely needed and checked the fuck out. At first I thought the noise was a broken alarm, but the checker confirmed the worst; it was permanent and would go off on every use of the door. I expressed disbelief. “I feel like writing a letter!” She handed me a comment form to send to them. “I’d really appreciate it”. I told her I probably wouldn’t be back for a while but I’d send in the comment letter.

Another customer came up and we bonded over the hell-noise. What the hell were they thinking? As I left, I told the checker “The mental health costs they’ll pay out to you guys are going to be way worse than a few beer runs.” She high-fived me.